Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy B-day to My Mother-in-Law

Happy Birthday to my favorite Mother-in-Law!

We made her a frame with photos of all the people who love her so much. She was very happy. She is a great person with a beautiful spirit. I can't wait to have many more birthday's with her. I also don't think there is a person more excited to be a grandma then she is! I can't wait to see the two of them together.

My Barat is Married!

Congratulations to Aaron and Jessica Kirkland!

Thank You Lord!

I am SO happy that I was able to be here yesterday and today for all the wedding festivities and ceremony! I prayed the Lord would help everything work out so I could stand beside Jessica today and I really am very happy it worked out. It actually was extremely stressful to think I might not be there, but Jessica is so amazing and she had no problem with whatever happened. Her actual comment was, if Elora came during it she was just sad she wouldn't get to see her until after their honeymoon. What a sweet friend. Now my barat is married to a wonderful man and on her way to her honeymoon and I am relaxed and just waiting for God's timing. The rehersal was beautiful and today went so well. She looked beautiful and Aaron was so sweet. I really enjoyed hearing the ceremony and thinking back to all the people I have witness say their vows including me. It also made me miss all my bridesmaids that were their for me, isn't that silly? It really is such an important day and I was honored to be there!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

ThanksGiving

We had Thanksgiving this year over at our neighbor Tighe and Greg's house. I was looking forward to it because I love their family so much and I am SO thankful for them. Bryan's mom came, and Tighe's dad as well as 2 other special people to their family. We had a wonderful meal and went around the table and said what we were most thankful for this year. After I went to the hospital with Gracey. We visited at the children's ward, the ICU waiting room, and the hospice floor. Tighe and I watched a movie after (well kind of!) while the guys settled Catan (their favy game). I went and helped Jessica with some wedding preparations and then came home! I got to talk to my family and even to my sweet niece Ilona who said "I love you Lala" 3 times and passed the phone back to my sister. I wish I could have hugged her.

God I am thankful that You Are. I am thankful that you pursue me and show me who You Are everyday.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Day like Today

Today is my 28 th birthday. I know, that seems SO weird to me. Please no "you're almost 30" jokes, I really will cry...really I will and you don't want to be responsible for that, right? I had a great day! I woke up and had chocolate doughnuts. Then we went and got a massage! After we got my drivers license renewed since it expired today. We bought a couple of preemie outfits for Elora and washed them. We also got her car seat secured. Then we went out to dinner with Bryan's mom and as soon as we sat down my phone rang and it was our social worker. I nearly fainted! I know if she calls that it is because of news we need to know. Basically she told us our birthmother had some bloody show yesterday and was told to go and get checked out at the hospital, but she did not go until today. She was monitored for 4 hours and it detected some contractions, but nothing regular. She was also at a 1 cm. She was told to go home and rest and so that is where we are at right now. Elora looks very stable and great, but it would certainly be better for her to stay for a little while longer. I know way to much about preemie's and feel like she would be ok, but I feel somewhat helpless because I cannot protect or really know what is happening. So I just pray. Hasn't it seem I was just here doing that same thing already? Ok, so if I don't post for a while it is because we are on our way and so is Elora. We are going to bring our laptop to the hospital in order to post some photos for my family in MA. How I wish they all could be here!!!

Pray for Elora.

B-Day

Some photos of my birthday. Csaja got me some really neat things, among them special notebooks and folders to keep all my special notes about Elora and her adoption. Then it is Bryan and I at dinner right after we were called with an update. Then it is my mother-in-law and I! She is so sweet.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ready to Go

We talked briefly to our Social Worker today and we were told that our Birthmother is feeling a lot of pressure and that it looks like it could be this weekend or next week! We were told to have our bags packed and be ready to go. We have accomplished our task and are just waiting and praying and waiting and praying more. I know it still could be a while, but either way we needed to get our stuff ready. I even went over our evacuation plan if the call comes in the middle of the night! Praise God for the joy that is to come. He is truly Amazing.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Dear Elora

Dear Elora,

I can’t sleep because I am thinking about you constantly. I wake up seeing your face, I go about my day dreaming of days together, and fall asleep unwillingly with visions of loving you more than I ever thought capable. I wonder what it will be like seeing you for the first time. I have prayed for you more than I have ever prayed for anything in my entire existence. You are a legacy, and opportunity to prove to God I love Him and want to raise a child for His purpose and glory. You are a promise. I will not force you to be Bryan and I. It is true that most biological children have characteristics of their parents. I wont raise you in denial that we adopted you out of faith and trust in Jesus. I will accept your entrance with joy and wonder and it will be my delight to acknowledge this and encourage you to be who you are as a child of God, not who we think you should be because we are your parents. I love you and cherish you already. I am looking forward to growing. Motherhood is no doubt a challenge that never ceases. And as everything in my life exists to draw me closer to God, so will you. You will know who Jesus is because I will thank Him everyday that you are my daughter. You will know He worked His love in our lives as you were chosen for us. I will not be perfect, but I will love.

Your Mommy

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Yard Work


Today we cut the morning glories down in preparation for the colder weather. They were already dying down yet still attached, so we cut them and pealed it off the trellis. As you can tell they got wildly out of hand this summer and began a plan to take over the world! We cut them down and wadded up the top where most of it grew and ended up with this gigantic ball of ivy! I think it would make a great tumble weed! LOL! Except that it might actually hurt someone in its path of destruction. Every time I look at this photo of Bryan and the ball of ivy, it makes me laugh so hard because they started out SO tiny and we never thought they would even grow at one point. My sister assured us they would and even cautioned us they may get out of hand. I guess I should have listened.

Petition Update

I wish to expand on my previous post for "Petitioners Needed that are Against Sexual Displays on Vehicles." I have received many signatures already, even from Mrs. Abilene (thank you!) and thank you personally for standing up for this. But I also have had remarks to where some feel like this is a pointless battle with our government. They suggest there is nothing we can really do about protecting our children from sin, so they are choosing not to get involved. With a world with so much sin in it, the best we can do is just learn how to protect our kids from it. But I believe we have a right to step further. I am astounded someone may agree with the validity of the complaint, yet feel like there is nothing that can be done, so why even bother to get involved (dirty or bothered by it?), meaning I guess their signature is a huge involvement. I am not asking people to go present this with me, but I am asking for support if they believe this is wrong, to at least sign the petition.

I also remember so many amazing people like William Wilberforce, and Martin Luther King Jr. whose quest was to abolish slavery. Did the government and the country support slavery? Yes. It seemed an impossible task for these men to petition against slavery. But they knew it was wrong and they pressed on and obtained support from their people to stand up. The ones that said "well it is just too late, there is nothing I can do about it, but just not have slaves." There is more to do when we see sin then to avoid it. I believe we are CALLED to do something about it when we deliberately see sin. But it is not convenient for some people. Are we lazy? Should we just step aside and let satan rule? Yes, he will destroy more and more as these days get evil, but we still have a voice and can stand up for something.

Even today in some cities like Omaha Nebraska, it is illegal to wear pants that slouch exposing the butt. What happened is people decided it was inappropriate and sexually perverted. They petitioned and won and it is illegal Now, wouldn't our situation be right up there if not beyond the density of such an appeal made law? I think sexual demonstrations on vehicles is more damaging then slouching pants.

SIGN PETITION CLICK HERE

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Crisis means Choice

Did you know that the Greek word krinein meaning crisis is translated as a “choice or decision?” How appropriate and true is this definition. Every time we face a crisis we have an internal choice to make. How do we handle it physically through our actions? Emotionally in our head? Spiritually in our heart and soul? Do we make a decision to solve it? Worsen it? Be selfish? From now on if in a “crisis” recognize you are being forced to make a “choice.” Crisis is more of an adjective rather then a noun. It is a call to action rather then a sentence one is unable to do anything about.

Pouting Weenie



I stumbled across these pathetic pictures of Gracey pouting next to Bryan a long time ago. I guess no one was paying attention to her. Poor thing.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Petitioning Against Sexual Displays on Vehicles

Something happened today to initiate fierceness against those who think it is funny or cute to vulgarly expose people and innocent children to sexual content on their cars.. You will be able to read more about my complaint and request at the petition site by clicking on: "click here to read this petition" below under the signing box.

I would appreciate you taking the time to read my petition and sign if you are willing. I am going to be sending it to our city council as well and if I have to, I will walk around to obtain physical signatures. I know probably nothing will come of it, but I have to believe I have done everything to stand up for truth, if not for me, then for Elora's generation. It is just too big of a deal to me and I am not afraid of any one's rebuttals because I know the Lord hurts over things like this.

This is very important to me so I thank you for joining me in this. You are more than welcome to pass on this petition to anyone and everyone you believe will stand up saying that these actions should be illegal.

For His Glory and Truth and the Joy and Confidence it provides.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sooner then Later

We got a call yesterday from our social worker telling us that our birthmother had a typical sign of approaching labor. In fact, the doctor saw her today and feel like Elora will be here in December for sure if not before. She is not dilated or contracting yet. Usually it takes weeks after this happens for delivery, so we are still expecting to have some time, although today I washed little pink clothes and disinfected bottles. It was great! Please pray for Elora and our birthfamily. Elora should be fine even if she were born early, but it would be better if she waited a little longer. For now our cell phones are glued to our sides and we are dreaming about our little girl in our arms.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

I just finished a book called “the Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” I never heard of it until Maggie told me a couple of weeks ago that it was worth reading. I am so surprised I never stumbled across it before. Recently a movie was made about it and I hope to watch it soon.

It is a nonfiction book about a man who was in his prime of life and had a debilitating stroke that left him completely paralyzed. His diagnosis is called “locked-in-syndrome.” The only communication he has with the world is by blinking his eyes. He has no ability to even sit on his own or even eat at all because he cannot swallow. The entire book was written, in fact, by dictating his story by blinking letters that eventually form into words to someone else.

You would expect the book to be very difficult to read. Anyone who lives with his challenges would have every right to complain and feel sorrow, but he uses humor and wit to describe his life and situation. I would love to see his heart turn to the Lord and perhaps he has, yet he still offers hope to those in this world.

It doesn’t matter what abilities you have or do not have, everyone has something to offer. It reminded me that no situation is beyond God’s power to use for His glory. Again he did not write the book from a realization of God, but nevertheless, what I chose to take from it is that we are all here to help others and give of ourselves even if we are only able to talk blinking our eyes. I don’t know if I could do that, but I have had to decide who I was going to be in difficult situations, one of which I thought I would be on dialysis until I got a transplant.

I think it is a good book to read. It is not long, yet it allowed me to be thankful for what I have and not take any moment for granted, even what seems to be pointless ones.

One quote I particularly enjoyed was this one. He is describing what goes on in his mind and life in the hospital he stays at. He is talking about noises.

“Far from such din, when blessed silence returns, I can listen to the butterflies that flutter inside my head. To hear them, one must be calm and pay close attention, for the wingbeats are barely audible. Loud breathing is enough to drown them out. This is astonishing; my hearing does not improve, yet I hear them better and better. I must have butterfly hearing.” (Jean-Dominique Bauby, pg. 97)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

ViewFinder November 2008

(written by me for the West Texas Photography Society newsletter, to encourage and challenge)

What inspired you to begin taking photos?
Was it curiosity, admiration, or love?
What must our desire to capture a moment say about our hearts?
Is it that we noticed?
That we stopped long enough to respect beauty?
How can our hobbies, professions, or joy make a difference?
Could our view change opinion?
Can our passion create peace or acceptance?
Are we saying that we lived?
We longed?
We suffered?
We laughed?
Who are we that what we see is worth someone else seeing it too?

But it is just this, that we are a simple piece of a puzzle trying to get the world to see itself perhaps from a better point of view, from the heart.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thankful for Eyelids

I don't make it a habit to post a bunch of times per day, but this was just too funny to not.

So as though we need more examples of why communication is so important, my story commences to prove it.
I decided we would cook out tonight and Bryan is on his way home, so I figured I could get the grill fired up and ready to go. Bryan said he would walk through it with me, so I go to our backyard to the grill. He said, “turn the gas tank on.” Ok, not hard, did that! That was easy. Then he said turn the knobs on to “high.” And I did that too! Next came the part I was nervous about. The RED ignition button. I pressed it a couple of times and nothing happened. I asked, "does it need to be open?" (meaning the lid) and Bryan said “yes" (meaning the valve) so I left the top open and pressed the button and a HUGE MASSIVE GIGANTIC ball of flame surrounded my head! I am so surprised I was not charred to a burnt crisp. I was so scared. It died down just as quick and I immediately thanked the Lord for eyelids. I am sure the ball of fire was able to be seen from outer space. I will stick to the George Forman grill from now on…it’s safer, if I want to keep my head.

Update on Adoption

Yesterday we got an e-mail from our social worker and it let us know that the birthmother is going to allow me in the delivery room. I cried when I read it and was so excited! It was not the original plan, but after meeting with us she felt like this would be ok. I feel so blessed right now. There is a lot that I look back on and ask "why" to. The pain of miscarriages, and losing Natalie. I asked questions and thought of so many reasons why it was unfair that I am unable to give my husband and family the gift of a child. But, there is nothing in me that feels like I am jipped or given a second best option. I feel like I have just been awarded the Nobel peace prize, climbed Mt. Everest, or had dinner with the President! Or maybe it is all three together! I feel SO unbelievably blessed. God has given me this situation and kept me safe to raise our baby girl. So, now I don't ask questions like "who gets told they are not able to kids that are as young as I?" I ask "who gets an opportunity like we do? Who gets to meet the birthparents and love them AND be in the delivery room when she is born?" I feel like the Lord is blessing us with a gift that gives me so much joy thinking about it, because it is something completely out of my control, it HAS to be Him doing it. I know that there is still more time to go by and we will meet and talk with the birthparents more, but I feel like things will be ok and I pray for them everyday. Not just for Elora, but for them, their hearts and emotions, joy and sorrows. I want them to know I care about them too. Keep us in your prayers. Thank you.

My Barat (Friend) is Getting Married

One of my closest friends is getting married in less then two weeks! I am so excited about it. Yesterday was her lingerie shower and it was so much fun to just relax and hang out. She is such a great person to be around that has so much compassion and love. I am so honored to be standing as a bridesmaid. I can't wait for the week of the wedding. It is going to be so much fun. Her fiancee is a great guy and I just know they are going to be so happy together.

PS. We almost never call each other by name. We have used the word "barat" for years now, which translates into "friend" in Hungarian.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to my Favorite Angela

Last night I had tons of fun. Tighe and I celebrated by pampering our sweet friend Angela. We made a coupon for her to redeem when we all had time. It said "Come for an evening or pampering, good food, and relaxation with massage, feet, pedicure and hair styling." I cooked Hungarian Stuffed Peppers, Tighe made a yummy chocolate cake that melted in our mouths. We set up the living room as a spa-day-out and played music for her while Tighe did her hair and I did her feet and painted her toe nails. After we lite candles on her cake and we sang "Happy Birthday" and sent her home with notes of love and encouragement. She was not allowed to help clean up, but have fun and let us love her.

Angela is one of those people who are simply beautiful. Her skin and eyes demand notice. She is always smiling and her laugh in contagious. I met her through my neighbor Tighe and since then she has not only being a support, but has become a sister. She has 2 children and is expecting her third little girl right around the time Elora will be born. That will be so neat and interesting if they were born on the same day, or even days apart. We tease because poor Tighe wont know what to do with herself if it all falls on the same day.

I think birthdays are a great way to not only celebrate the person, but also encourage them to know what others see in them. Angela is loving, funny, passionate and compassionate. She asks me questions all the time about my story and how God showed up in my life. She likes some books I read. She has fun and throws a mean 3 year-old birthday party. We tease her and say she is going to help us throw Elora's birthday parties. She got everyone involved and enjoying themselves.


I am so blessed to know her and I pray many blessings over her and her family. I pray for health and truth to be over her this next year of her life.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mount Rushmore: A Racial Intimidator

Not too long ago my sister told me the truth about Mt. Rushmore. I had never been there or really desired to go. I know of it and have seen photos as well as learned about it in history class. The truth behind the construction of this monument is racism. It was not an innocent gesture to commemorate George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. It was a warning, if not blatant threat, to any race besides white, that whites ruled the United States of America, not blacks, Mexicans, or especially Indians.

During 1925 our country was robbing Indians of their land, rights, and lives. Gutzon Borglum, the creator, was not accepting of other races and the making of this place was not done with consideration of all Americans, just whites. Ronald Walters writes in his book “The Price of Racial Reconciliation”:

“Borglum’s contribution to the dominant ideology of the era not only exalts the contribution of whites to the making of America civilization, but tries to exclude blacks from the myth of America’s new creation. Borglum’s view of America was that of a white nation in conflict with other racial and ethnic groups, some of whom came before the Europeans, such as Hispanics and Native Americans, and others, such as Africans and Asians, who were used as laborers to build the countries material infrastructure. Mt. Rushmore is set in the Black Hills of South Dakota in the home of the Sioux Indians, who regard it as a desecration of the land of their ancestors. The monument to democracy was carved not only in a place where, but a time when, Indians were being hunted down, slaughtered, and set on reservations. Thus, Mt. Rushmore stands as one of the greatest ironies of America.” (pg. 8)

Mt. Rushmore was formed as a threat to the Indians living on the land. It was a statement made to demonstrate intimidation and control.

Charles Paul Freund says in his article "The many meanings of Mount Rushmore":

"It may come as a surprise to many that, for a few people, Mount Rushmore is actually a place of evil. But a New York-based grad student named Jesse Larner has written nearly 400 pages attempting to expose the mountain's negative side. In Mount Rushmore: An Icon Reconsidered (Thunder's Mouth/Nation Books) Larner argues that the sculpture is, in a phrase he quotes, "a monument to whiteness.""

Although most go there to see the artistry of the faces in the mountain, something saddens my heart because of the reason behind it. I would think we would be cautious as a nation against such demonstrations. I think of things like pride and selfishness.

If these really are the intentions of the reason for this monument then I will never visit this place. The pain and suffering the Indians must have gone through just makes me so sick.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day to Day Stuff

Sometimes I can’t even believe it is already November. It seems like just yesterday we were in Israel. Today we were switching our closets to winter clothes for the next whole 8 weeks until it is summer again. It took a long time to do this, but it was needed. I love organizing and making things easier to get to. Talent comes into play when you are limited in closet space. I think we are almost graduated to professional at this point. As I grow older I notice how much I want to be simple and not have clutter. I know there are important things to have, but I just don’t feel everything needs to be out all the time. I rather pack away stuff we like but don’t need right now then have it on a shelf making it overloaded.

In reality I almost think we have way too much stuff anyway. I just don’t really care about it. If something breaks you can’t change that it happened. It is not like it will last forever anyway. There are some things though that I take really good care of like Natalie’s stuff and my hope chest that Gracey scratched at one point! (I know, bad Chawennie. She wanted to get up and see out the window at an old place and scratched it).

It is such a challenge to live life one day at a time, making the most out of every moment. I think this is even harder to do then worrying about the future. Life keeps going through all the ups and downs. And then you end up months later looking back on everything that happened and wonder how in the world you did it. God. That’s how.

Job 19:25-27

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shelf

Before we left for our weekend to meet our birthparents we worked on Elora's room. I wanted to bring photos of it to them to show how much we are excited and love this little baby already. I knew I wanted to put her name somewhere in the room. I also had a shelf I wanted to hang, so I put the two together and got this. I put some books on the shelf that mean a lot to me and were given by special people. Elora's middle name is Cynthia after my sister. I will have to blog about that sometime. My niece Ilona's middle name is Olivia! I have the best sister in the world!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Our Meeting

This weekend went very well. We met with our birthparents and talked for two and a half hours with them. We also stayed with some very sweet people who were really loving and supportive to us. I don’t know exactly what to write about everything, as I really am still digesting it and praying over our visit. I was told that Elora is 3 lbs and 4 oz right now! It seemed like the Lord has been working in our birthmoms life too as she felt drawn to us and even mentioned that it might be a spiritual thing that gave her the desire to chose us. I can tell you that I don’t think I have ever been so nervous in my entire life as I was on Saturday. Right before we were about to pull up to the restaurant I could not think about what I was there for anymore or I was to become completely immobile. We drove up and our social worker was there with them and we walked up and I asked if I could give her (the birthmom) a hug and I did. Nothing felt weird or awkward. In fact we were so happy because we all took a photo together at the end. I will put it in an album for only Elora to see someday. We left and went back to our host family’s house and I kept saying over and over again “I can’t believe we just did that!” Who gets to do things like this in life? Not a lot of people. I felt so honored to have been given a chance to meet them and have Elora hear our voices for the first time! It is truly an amazing situation to be in and I thank God that we were given this opportunity.

We also visited the hospital that Elora will be born at. We got to see a little boy only 15 minutes old! I started feeling so much anticipation after we walked down the labor and delivery hall. When will we be here waiting for Elora?

On our way home I became really scared. I started thinking about how much I want everything to go well and worried that they might change their mind or something like that. I don’t know exactly what to tell myself though. All I could come up with is that I would have to concentrate on the Lord and make Him my most desired thing. I am already invested in this birthfamily and believe we were near Elora this weekend. I guess the waiting now for me is not going to be easy. I was doing fine up to this point. Now I am nervous. I can’t control what will happen. I can’t see into the future. I want it to be then so I can feel and see Elora and know she is ok and that we will bring her home. I am sure this is all very normal. I just have to guard my heart and keep praying. Please keep us all in your prayers. Pray that God will give peace to my heart. Pray that God will reveal His love to our birthparents.

Thank you all so much for your phone calls, e-mails, texts, and prayers. We will go back and meet with our birthparents again the first week in December. After that we will wait for Elora to be born and will be called as soon as the birthmother goes into labor. Can’t you just see me running to get everything in the car? I will have everything ready just in case in December. We will drive directly to the hospital and will be able to leave hopefully with Elora when she is 48 hours old.

For God's Glory and to show His Love.

Good Idea, Bad Idea

A long time ago when I was a kid, I used to watch Animaniacs and during the show they would have a little short blurb called the "Good Idea, Bad Idea" segment. I remember laughing at them when I was younger and just recently I began creating my own good idea, bad idea's. Bryan and I just got back from a walk with Gracey and we made up a few like "Good idea: standing underneath a tree for shade. Bad idea: standing underneath a tree for shade that has tons of birds above it that have to go to the bathroom."

When we got home I looked up the segment on the internet to see if I could show Bryan what the orginals were like (since he didn't ever see any of them) and I found a few that I am posting for fun. I would love to know any of your thoughts on a "good idea, bad idea" original!



Friday, November 07, 2008

Life = Mirror


About two weeks ago we were thrilled about the opportunity to see the King Tut exhibit that passed through Dallas. The artifacts were flown in from Egypt and we had tickets for the event since June. Bryan’s dad bought them for us and we have been planning to go for so long. It happened the same weekend we found out about Elora. That is way we were in downtown Dallas during rush hour and I was screaming with delight and Bryan tried hard not to get in an accident. I will never forget that moment! I wish we had it recorded.

It was great to see all the old items. We were give headsets as well, which told us the history of specific objects before us. There were a lot of people there that day. You would think all the gold and jewels around me would be what I noticed and loved, and what I “ohhh’ed and ahhh’ed” about, but it was a word that made me alive with excite. One word written on the wall with an explanation caught my eye, the word “Ankh.”

It is a simple word used often in the era, which we explored that day. Commonly one would notice a symbol going along with this word. I have seen it before yet never knew what it meant. I will post a photo of it along with this post.

At the museum they had an Anhk hanging on the wall and the description below read “a word that means ‘life’ as well as mirror.” Instantly I was amazed! I thought of the Lord and how He has given us life through Him, and as a mirror image of Him. We are “life” and we are a “mirror” of God’s form and perfect creation like Genesis 5:1 says, “He made him in the likeness of God.”

We are also called to be mirrors in our life by love and kindness.

The people during this era of time were deeply suspicious and superstitious people who even offered human sacrifices. Some gave their children over as an offering to their idols. They do not seem to follow Jesus, but this symbol still demonstrates a part of creation, reality, and Truth, even though it is in a mixed up context, I still believe it shows God’s power even in their non-Christian culture.

I told some of my friends that I was curious about being around all that stuff since it was no where near something that was used for Jesus or God, and wonder what I could learn from it. I even prayed the Lord would show me something and I knew it was this right away! It made me so happy.

This symbol says that life is also a mirror. God is life and we are mirrors as we are created in the likeness of Him as well as a reflection of beauty, but not the actual representation of it yet!

It is so interesting they define it and put those two words together. So long ago, they may have not even recognized God was still working and showing Himself. They chose that definition and lived by it and it tells me more about God and Jesus than anything they sacrificed and prayed to.

Killed for being Christian

Story taken from The Independent World, Photo above is Gayle Williams

By Jerome Starkey in Kabul, Kim Sengupta and Beauregard Tromp
Tuesday, 21 October 2008


Gayle Williams worked with the poorest and most unfortunate of the children in Afghanistan, young boys and girls who had lost limbs to landmines and bombs. She was dedicated to her task of teaching them the basic skills needed to survive in a harsh and violent land. Yesterday the 34-year-old British woman was murdered while walking along a quiet, tree-lined street in Kabul on her way to work.

She believed in living among the people she served, staying in a modest private house, shunning an armed escort in favour of using her own two feet. She made an easy target for the two gunmen who had been lying in wait for her. One of the men got off the motorcycle, walked up to Ms Williams and opened fire at close range. She was already dead by the time her killers had weaved their way through the crowd at Kart-e-Char, leaving her corpse in a pool of blood.
"The men on the motorcycle stopped in front of the lady. They took out a gun and shot her on the spot. Then they rode off," said Daolad Khan, who was working on a building site directly opposite the murder scene. Mohammed Gul, a shopkeeper, added: "They knew what they were doing, they knew she would be there. She was hit many times on the chest and the body, no one could have lived after such an attack."

Ms Williams had been in the country for two and a half years, working for a charity called Serve Afghanistan, which helps disabled children and adults to learn to live with their handicaps. A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, declared that she had been executed "because she was working for an organisation which was preaching Christianity in Afghanistan". Converting from Islam to Christianity is a capital offence in Afghanistan but friends and colleagues of Ms Williams stressed that while the organisation she worked for was Christian in its beliefs, she was extremely careful not to try to convert Afghans.

Mike Lythe, the head of the charity and a friend of Ms Williams, said: "This is a tragedy. She was working with disabled children, blind and deaf children, children hurt and maimed by the fighting. She knew the dangers, but Afghanistan is where she wanted to be."

Her mother, Pat Williams, who lives in London, and sister Karen, who has settled in Johannesburg, received the news of the death yesterday afternoon and were considering flying to Kabul. "Gayle was serving a people that she loved, and felt God called her to be there for such a time as this," her mother said last night.

"We know her life was blessed and she was a blessing to those around her," she added. "No one could have asked for a more humble daughter with a more loving heart. She died doing what she felt the Lord had called her [to] and she is definitely with him."

In one of her newsletters to friends and family, Ms Williams had written: "God has an amazing plan for this country and even though things so often look hopeless we can focus on Him knowing that He is able to see His plans and purposes fulfilled in Afghanistan."

Six months ago, Ms Williams had been pulled out of Kandahar and recalled to Kabul, after the abduction and murder of an Afghan colleague. In her newsletter, she explained that she and other charity workers were being watched: "We have been told that our office was under surveillance but no one could be held or charged due to insufficient evidence". On the same day United Nations security officials warned that armed men had been moving into Kandahar with the aim of kidnapping foreigners, and the decision was taken to evacuate Serve staff to Kabul.
Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, has seen a series of bombings and shootings and at the time the Afghan capital was regarded as a place of relative safety. Since then Kabul has experienced an increase in violence. Ms Williams abided by safety instructions issued to aid workers, varying her route and clothing, leaving home at different times. But this did not save her from the gunmen and the murder added to fears among expatriates who are already feeling beleaguered in an Afghan capital being encircled by a resurgent Taliban.

Aid workers, in particular, have become targets. Three women – a British-Canadian, a Canadian and a Trinidadian-American – along with their Afghan drivers were killed outside Kabul two months ago. In another sign of unravelling security, Houmayun Assefy, a grandson of the Afghan king, Zahir Shah, was kidnapped in the city centre on his way home. Ms Williams' death also came on the day that a suicide bomber killed two German soldiers and five children in an attack in Kunduz in the north of the country, another area previously deemed to have been relatively safe.

Douglas Alexander, the International Development Secretary, condemned the murder yesterday. "Her killing was a callous and cowardly act by people who would take Afghanistan back to the dark days of the Taliban tyranny which scarred the country for so long," he said.
But for many in Afghanistan, the dark days are already back, with Taliban attacks happening with increasing frequency and in ever closer proximity to the capital Kabul. Nato commanders privately admit that a lack of cohesion in Western strategy has bolstered the insurgents. And yesterday General John Craddock, the head of Nato forces in Europe, warned that the West was "wavering". "That impedes operational progress and brings into question the relevance of the alliance here in the 21st century." General Sir David Richards, the new head of the British Army, believes that a "surge" of around 30,000 troops is needed to counter the Taliban.

Western politicians and military commanders have repeatedly stated, however, that a purely military victory in Afghanistan is not feasible, and that reconstruction and development of the country are vital components of a settlement. The prospect of this taking place, however, would be greatly undermined if the departure of aid groups from the country accelerates following Ms Williams' death.

"Obviously it makes aid workers very worried about staying in Afghanistan," said Mr Lythe of Serve. "I think other attacks may take place. It seems to be the policy of the Taliban to destabilise the country by trying to knock out aid work and drive out NGOs."
Ms Williams grew up in the town of Empangeni in KwaZulu Natal before moving to England with her mother. After attending secondary school in London, she returned to South Africa and studied biokinetics and occupational therapy at Zululand University. She subsequently returned to London where she worked with disabled and deprived children.

An avid cyclist and canoeist, she had always had a fascination with Afghanistan and was determined to work there. The pressure of working under constant pressure, however, was taking its toll. Mr Lythe recalled: "A group of us went on a walking holiday to Tajikistan recently and Gayle told us how wonderful it was to be able to relax, not to worry about things like keeping herself covered up in public. But she knew that it was a holiday, she needed to go back to her work. She was passionate about her work."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

An Undiscovered Jewel: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

I love when I happen upon a treasure and then wonder how in the world did I not know of this before?

The other night I was watching TV and a preview popped up for a movie called “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.” Instantly I was drawn to it. I got chills all over as I watched. Bryan was on the computer and didn’t see the preview so we looked it up and I noticed it was based off of a book written by John Boyne. I went to the library the next day and checked it out and finished it the next day in bed close to midnight. I even got up this morning and re-read the last two chapters because it was just that good. Don’t be amazed with my reading skills because it is not that long of a book!

I really didn’t expect this book to touch me the way it did. The author did a phenomenal job. Read it, but if you don’t then make sure you see the movie that comes out on November 14, 2008.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Oh Boy

I can honestly say there is a knot in the pit of my stomach. There is so much that he stands for against God and I cannot say that I will agree or support his decisions. I know that God says in the end there will be a great divide, a distinct line of people who follow Him and those who don’t. I believe it is beginning and we will see a steady and subtle opinion against truth and the justice of God. And it will come about in a way that I think even Christians wont think it is a big deal because it will be supposedly for “the greater good.” There is no way I will support abortion or gay rights and these things are not of the Lord.

I think Christians should stay strong and keep digging deeper into God and His truth. It will be more and more difficult to stand up and know Truth if we don’t study it, if we don’t know it in our hearts and not just our heads. Sin will slowly become not a big deal and those who don’t push to God will have a hard time. People will seek to justify lies. Justify killing babies who are not born, justify letting men marry men and women marry women. So what if we are promised money? Tax breaks? So what? I don’t want money or even health benefits, I want leadership who will do what is right and not what people want their itching ears to hear to make them feel better or more important.

How do we pray for a world that God says He will ultimately destroy? How do we support a future president who thinks he loves God but doesn’t really seem to by what he stands for? They say that you will know them by their fruit and there is nothing I see in him that is the fruit of God. There will be those who say “Lord, Lord,” yet He will not recognize them. Should we pray for him to really know God? Could he turn to Him? Pharaoh was Pharaoh and was there at the time to harden his heart so Moses could show God’s power. Isn’t there going to be the “one” who comes in the end? And if he is not the “one” then perhaps this is just the birth pains of our corruption. The anti-christ will not come and announce, “Hey I’m the anti-christ!” God’s word says that he, the anti-christ, will deceive people and everyone will be saying “peace peace.”

And who the heck is Oprah to be standing up and talking on his behalf? She is a TALK SHOW HOST. What is that all about? So Jay Leno or Ellen could stand up and talk about the election as though they are SO important? Whatever!

I am not a huge political opinionated person. But honestly I don’t care because this is my blog. This is a huge deal and even if it is a slow thing, I don’t think he will bring good. Nothing good comes out of sin unless it is the means to lead to Jesus who forgives.

Life is not all about what we think someone can do to make the world a better place, it is about what we can do to give glory to God and stand up for Him, and that in turn will make everything, even the world better.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Even More

How faint the whisper we hear of Him.
Job 26:14

If you research you can find miracle after miracle the Lord has done for His people. The sick are well, the blind see, and those who are even dead are raised to life. There is so much God has done I do not even believe we could fit it into books. He is Mighty, He is Good, He is Life, and He is the I AM. Take all of this, every drop of how Amazing He is and then read Job 26:14 “How faint the whisper we hear of Him.” All that we know and proclaim is still just a whisper in comparison to how Awesome He is! Every time I think of this verse it offers me hope for the future. If all we see and know are just mere whispers then God must be even more wonderful than we could ever imagine! Thank You Lord for your Love and for Your Grace.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Another Day

What a day! Here were some of the things I will remember:

1. Gracey tooted so loud today that she startled me and herself. I must have laughed so hard and loud that my family could hear it in Massachusetts.

2. I decided to go for a walk with Gracey before we participated in a 3 hour therapy adventure. I have found it helps her work with me as a team as well as get some energy out. There were so many mosquito's out and I was unaware they were biting me until it was too late. They might as well have picked me up and carried me away to their lare! One even bite me smack dab on my forehead. So when we finally got to where we needed to go I had a HUGE red swelling bump right between my eye brows. It was so itchy too but I knew I couldn't scratch it or it would grow even bigger.

3. We did "Dream Night" tonight at the Grace museum. It is a special night for kids with disabilities to participate in and have fun. I was so pumped to go ever since I found out about it. I knew Gracey would be perfect for this kind of involvement. In the first 10 minutes I decided to sit on this huge lion on the kids floor (there are 5 floors at the museum!). Before I knew it a disabled little girl about 10 years old or so ran up to me and pulled my hair and would not let go. She could have very well lifted me off the ground with how hard she pulled. I tried so hard to not let the stinging tears in my eyes from the pain be seen. It hurt very bad. I could see her dad get embarrassed so I told him it was not a big deal. I still feel so sore from it. I can laugh though because I know she did not mean it. I have worked with people who are unable to control themselves and sometimes hurt others involuntarily. I guess I just didn't expect that to happen at all. Please know I am in NO WAY holding a grudge.

Above all I was so honored to see everyone tonight. Some of the most wonderful people who have taught me about life are those our society label mentally disabled. I was hugged by a little 4 year old boy who couldn't speak because of his condition. But I saw something in his eyes. It was love and the Lord. I would chose 10 times of someone pulling my hair until it nearly makes me cry so that I could get one hug from innocence.

We will travel this week to meet our birthmother. I have prayed endlessly for her and our meeting. Not too many people ever get to experience something like we will. I am blessed because of all of this. I want to open my heart and receive all the wonders God has in this. Yes, I have waited a long time for a child and expected it to happen a different way, but I would never go back. I see so much love and hope through this process and I praise God for His love even when I don't deserve it.

Thank You Jesus for today. For all the good and difficult. I pray that everything I go through will lead me to You and Your Beauty and Love. Thank You.