Thursday, September 25, 2014

Starting Conversation about Orphans - Lifesong Mission Moment

Coffee Conversation
Are you having trouble communicating why you have chosen to walk the adoption journey? Or maybe you have tried time and time again to get your church to start an adoption or orphan care ministry, and it just hasn't clicked yet. How do you start and kindly facilitate a conversation that shows God's heart for the orphan and our response as the church?

Host a Coffee Conversation.

Coffee shops tend to create an environment where people connect through conversations over a warm cup of joe or a refreshing iced latte. Recreate this atmosphere by hosting an intentional Coffee Conversation with your church, Sunday school class or small group. Maybe it's a one-on-one meeting with your pastor at a local coffee shop or maybe it's an event with small group. 
Use this kit to help you share about the needs and opportunities to care for orphans with provided discussion questions and scripture references.

How it works:

  1. Visit and fill out the form to recieve the Coffee Conversation Toolkit with step-by-step instructions on how to host an event, along with video links, discussion questions and promotional materials.
  2. Purchase Gobena Coffee for your event. Visit Gobena Store
  3. Use provided materials to promote event.
  4. Host event using some or all of the resources provided in toolkit.

Looking for more Advocate Opportunities?
Visit to see more unqiue, tangible ways you can care for orphans!

Monday, September 22, 2014

On giving to those in need and showing hospitality

Share with the Lord’s people 
who are in need. 
Practice hospitality.  

Romans 12:13

I sit in wonder again at how God works in even the little details of our lives.

Back in January I set up the "schedule" as far as what verse of Romans 12 I was going to focus on for each month.  I had no idea what was planned all the way out in September.  The calendar was clear.

But here I am, with the verse staring me in the face:  Share with your Brothers and Sisters.  Give to them that are in need.  Practice hospitality.

I've already posted once this month in a way that we all can show support and give to another one of our brothers and sisters.  And even though we would love your monetary donation to help out hurting children, even more we would love your prayers.  Prayers for Justin and Carey, for their marriage, for their two surviving children, for their ministry as they share their story with others.  We can give so much to one another.  It doesn't have to be dollar bills.

Pray above all else.

But also Time.

A car ride.

A load of hand-me-down clothes.

A coffee.

A note. (or email, or Facebook post, or Tweet, or whatever else is out there...)

There are SO many ways to give to one another who are in need. These were just off the top of my head.  There is a lot of creativity out there - start sharing and giving!

And then there is the second half of that verse.  That one is a bit tougher for me.  Helping someone out?  I'm there!  Practice hospitality?...excuse me a moment I think I'm needed...somewhere...else...

I love the idea of hosting others in our home.  Opening up our doors and inviting people in.  It sounds so fun, friendly, warm.

But I often choke on the implementation of it.

It's hard to swallow the sweetness of hospitality when you've got a knot of perfectionism caught in your throat.

I want to be OK with the pop-ins.  The visitor who calls 5 minutes before showing up.  The guest who knocks on the door with warning.  Happily open our home to 20+ guests for an evening.

But so often I want my house to be picture perfect before anyone comes. (To go down a more drastic path, I actually like my house to look like that every night before I go to bed.  Seriously.  I know I have an issue.  And so does my household.)

But as the dictionary states, hospitality is the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers. The quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.
Nowhere in that definition does it state anything about having your house look great.
Hospitality is all about the feeling that is evoked when someone walks into your home.
Do they feel welcome?  loved?  
This post has taken me over a week to write in it's completion.  Just spurts here and there.  And in this week I read on my friend's blog about hospitality.  Although the word was never mentioned, the whole post reminded me of what true hospitality looks like. 
This month we have hosted a few different things in our home.  And this short little verse is a great reminder to me:  practice hospitality.  Because I have found I truly enjoy having people in our home when I can quit worrying whether they can see the dirt on the floor, whether they think the bathroom is gross, or my decorating scheme needs intervention.  
I mean, this group of kids pictured here, and their wonderful parents - awesome weekend.  The End.
Well, this month has been good practice for me.  Which is good because I'm going to need a lot of practice.
Yeesh, this probably made everyone not want come to our house now, huh?
Well, I did just say that I need practice...

Monday, September 8, 2014

Looking for a little help

Last year, you may recall Paul and I running the Columbus Marathon.

You may remember it be a bit different for us than in times past.

Well, this year we are doing it again.

Running in memory of Bryer.

Running in support of his parents who have continued on without their sweet baby in their arms.

Running for all those other little kids fighting for their lives right now in Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

And you can be a part of it.

Paul and I are looking for friends and family to donate just $10.

When you donate, all the money goes to the hospital and helps pay for the little things that can help brighten a little one's day. 

Or their tired, bedraggle mother. 

Or their exhausted father.

Our entire team is hoping to raise $7,928.

That is a dollar for every hour that Bryer 
ran his own personal marathon.

This Friday marks one year since Bryer finished his earthly race.  Can you help us reach our goal by then?

Just go to either of these pages and donate - and THANK YOU!

Oh, and if you want one of those super comfortable, quite cute T-shirts, all the money for those go to the hospital as well!  Check 'em out at this website.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

August Look Back

August was FULL.

Full of New.

New job for Paul.

New job for me.

New teachers for Owen and Hannah.

New schedule for Maddie as she got to visit various friends houses while I worked and she waited for her day to start Preschool (not until after Labor Day!)

New baby niece which also brought new parent titles to my brother and his wife.

As we attempt to settle into all this sort of new going on, I pray that God's Spirit can be felt.  Moving among us as we see how our family now operates outside the parameters of houseparenting.  I pray our hearts are receptive to His Spirit and its leading, in whatever direction He takes us next.

For now we are caught up in the new and struggling against the constraints of time and schedules, priorities and commitments. And seeking and striving to keep God in the center of it all.

Otherwise, this crazy ship's gonna fall apart.

 Helping dig trenches to help with drainage (this house likes water...sigh)

Produce!  Loving all the fresh veggies we are getting this summer
 I believe he is dressed as a ninja.  A one-shoed, backward t-shirt ninja.

 Love it when all three kids play and imagine together

 Homemade ice cream and a National Geographic Kids Book.  Intense.  Can you tell?

 Last day of summer vacation, we took in the zoo.  

 Everyone jump on the count of 3.  1...2..3... oh well.

 First day of school (for all three of them)!

 "I think my outfit looks cute.  Please take a picture of me."  Oh boy.

 Elise Clara, born on our anniversary!

 Maddie offered to put away the laundry.  It turned into a sorting and making of outfits. 

 More produce!  I may have over done it on the amount of tomatoes I planted...
 The local splash pad closed on Labor Day.  The Thursday before we hit it up after supper.  Just about the only ones there.  It was delightful.

 End of summer campout.  Involved several stuffed animals, a large box fan, 
and a few stories before bed.