You are 40 years old now. Are you finally starting to look your age? Do people still tell you that you look years younger than you actually are? I’m sure you enjoy it now more than you did in college.
I can’t imagine what your life is like now. I hope that where ever you are you are still living every day to bring Glory to God. I hope that you haven’t settled for an “average” life and that you are still seen as “wise beyond your years” because you are striving to become a Godly woman. Where ever you are I hope that you are still trying to make God’s name known everyday.
What is your family like? I hope you have a Godly husband who is able to lead your family. I hope that you still have fun with each other and that you make time to spend alone with each other. How many kids do you have? I’m not sure how many kids I wanted growing up, but I know I wanted a big family. Have you adopted yet? If not, pray about if it is something that God wants you to do.
How are your parents? Brothers and sisters? I’m sure you are all spread out across the country now. How many of your siblings are married now? I’m sure you have many nieces and nephews now that you get to spoil when you see them.
How is your job? Whether you are a stay at home mom or still a teacher I’m sure your life is full of kids. If you’re a teacher I hope you haven’t burnt out and that you still do all you can to make sure that every student is successful. Do you love your students as much now as you did your first year teaching? Even if you aren’t teaching I am sure that you are still working with kids in someway. Do your best to show the kids around you the love of God and help them realize that God loves them more than any person ever could.
Right now you have just finished your student teaching and you will be graduating from college in about 6 weeks. In January you will either be substitute teaching or looking for a teaching job. Right now you love your job and can’t wait to meet your first class of students. You can’t wait to see which students God places in your class
Today is your 24th birthday. Right now you live with three Godly young women and they are a great blessing in your life. You also have many great friends. I’m sure you are all spread out all over the country, but hopefully you still keep in contact with some of them. Some of your friends have been with you through many rough times in your life.You are a member of a great church right now and you are surrounded by many older Godly women. Where are you now? Do you still try to take advantage of the Godly people who surround you? I hope you are now reaching out to the women/girls who are younger than you and discipling them like older women have discipled you.
(I stole this from Jessica Hardy and would encourage you all to steal it from me. I would love to see what you would say to your future self.)
So last night I learned a few good life lessons:
1. I should always check to see whether a door is locked or unlocked when I go outside.
2. On the off-chance that I forget to check the door I should always carry my phone with me.
My roommate is house-sitting for a couple of days and last night I was going to spend the night there with her and a couple other girls. As I was getting ready for bed I realized I had left my Kindle in my car so I went out to get it. When I tried to get back in the house I realized that the door was locked and I did not have any way to get in contact with the girls inside. I ended up knocking on different doors and windows and all I was able to accomplish was that I scared all of the girls who were still awake. Eventually they figured out that I was locked out, but not before I gave up trying to get their attention and ended up driving home.
Needless to say that after everything settled down and they realized that there wasn’t someone trying to break in there have been many laughs about the whole situation…and there are probably more laughs to come. At least my life is never dull. 🙂
In less than 3 weeks I will be on my way to spend a week in Haiti with a small team from my church. We will be working with a local church and doing a Vacation Bible School with some of the children. I am really excited and looking forward to what is going to happen while we are down there. I have never been there, but over the past couple of years I have really wanted to have the opportunity to go down and help in some way.
My goal is to post one specific prayer request everyday until I leave so that you guys can be praying along with me. I wanted to start this on the first of June so I am obviously a little behind, but I will post what I have been praying for the past 4 days and then will update this blog daily with a new prayer request.
- June 1 – Pray for the trip in general. That all of the aspects that need to come together will come together smoothly.
- June 2 – Pray for all of the necessary funds to come in. The cost for every person going is $2,000 and there are a couple of us trying to raise all of our support. For those of us raising support it is starting to come in, but we still have a way to go.
- June 3 – Pray for the church that we will be working with while we are down there.
- June 4 – Today was the first day of Vacation Bible School at church and so I have been praying for the Vacation Bible School that we will be doing with the children in Haiti. Specifically that all of my team mates and I will start preparing for our jobs that we have to make the VBS run smoothly.
- June 5 – Pray for the children that we will come to our VBS. Pray that God will be working in their hearts now and that they will be ready to hear the Gospel when it is shared with them.
- June 6 – Pray for the health of our team. Both leading up to leaving and while we are there.
- June 7 – Pray for team unity. We are only there a short time and we need to focus on the work God has for us to do while we are there.
- June 8 – Pray for the revival that will be going on each night. Pray that people will see who God really is and their lives will be changed.
- June 9 – Pray for the team as we prepare to share our testimonies, with the Haitians, at the nightly revivals.
- June 10 – Pray that we will be a blessing to the people we interact with. Whether that be the people in the church, at the VBS, or whoever else we may come in contact with.
- June 11 – Pray again for the necessary funds to come in. Also, please be praying that I will trust that God is going to bring the money in so that I can focus on preparing myself to leave.
- June 12 – Pray for the safety of our team. Safety while we fly to Haiti and safety getting around once we get to Haiti.
- June 13 – Pray for the adults that will come to the Bible studies we are offering. Pray that they will be ready to listen and learn.
- June 14 – Pray for our translators. Pray that the words that we say will be clearly translated and understood by the Haitians.
- June 15 – Pray for the women who will be preparing the lunch for the children each day. Pray that we will be able to provide enough food for everyone who shows up.
- June 16 – One week to go!! Pray that the final preparations come together quickly.
- June 17 – Pray for the different aspects of the VBS that we will be doing. Pray that the children will be attentive during the lesson portion and that Gospel message will be clearly stated both during the story and at the end of each day through the wordless book.
- June 18 – Pray for the crafts aspect of each day. Pray that even though we have to use translators that everything will be explained clearly. Pray that we have enough supplies for all of the children who show up (roughly 100) and that the time will go smoothly.
- June 19 – Pray for the games aspect of each day. Pray for the safety of the children as they play games and for the directions to be clearly given. Pray that we will be able to have fun with the children even though we do not speak the same language.
- June 20 – Pray for the music aspect of each day. Pray that we will be able to teach them new songs, both in Creole and English, and that everyone will have fun doing it.
- June 21 – Just a few days to go!! I’m sure there is something I haven’t included in this list. Pray again for the trip in general and that we will be flexible for whatever it is that God has for us while we are there. Pray that we will be open to what the Lord wants to teach us this coming week.
- June 22 – Pray for the people that we will meet on our flights/in the airports. Pray that we would be ready to share the Gospel with someone we come into contact with during our travels if we feel God telling us to.
- June 23 – Today is the day!! Pray that all of our flights go smoothly and that there are no delays.
Tonight I went to the C.O.A.C.H. graduation and it gave me flashbacks to when I walked across the stage just 5 years ago. 5 years is such a
long short time, but the years have still flown by. So much has happened since I graduated and thankfully God has not allowed me to stay the same. I really enjoyed getting to catch up with old friends tonight and seeing how God has been working in their life.
I graduated with 30 other great men and women.
God has blessed us so much in the past 5 years! Can’t wait to see what he does in their life in the next 5 years.
This post is going to contain a random assortment of what God has been showing me the past few weeks/this semester so sorry in advanced that it is really long.
I started this semester with mixed feelings about graduating in May. I was excited to be done, but also nervous about entering the ‘real world’. Now the semester is over half way done and I still have the same mixed feelings. I don’t really know what the next year holds and I have had to learn to give it to God because if I try to figure it out on my own it stresses me out. But I know that God has my future already planned and it is better than anything I could have ever planned. One verse that God used a couple of weeks ago to remind me of that fact is Psalm 139:16.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. ” – Ps. 139:16
This semester has been really crazy, but through it all God has shown me new information about who He is and also areas where I need to grow.
- At the beginning I was struggling with the fact that my life was not lining up with how I imagined it would be when I was a lot younger. What this really meant was that I had always thought I would be married shortly after graduation and that is not what is going to happen. I was able to sit down with a good friend at the beginning of the semester though and talk about what I was struggling with and she encouraged me that God has a plan for my life.
- Family has also become really important to me this semester. Early in the semester my cousin died suddenly and unexpectedly and it really just reminded me how short life can be and how important family is. Since then I have tried to not only spend more time with my family, especially my younger siblings, but also have tried to spend quality time with the youngest ones because I don’t know what the future holds.
- This semester I have also continued to be involved in the Abolitionist Society of Oklahoma. Through my involvement God has given me more of a heart for the unborn, but also for the moms who are scared and feel like abortion is the only option. Looking back it has been neat to see how God used volunteering at a pregnancy center the summer after my Freshman year to begin to mold the views I have on abortion now. (I’ll write more about that in another post).
- One exciting thing that is happening in Oklahoma is that there is an organization trying to get an amendment added to the November Ballot that will change the definition of personhood in the constitution to beginning at the moment of conception. If you would like more information on that feel free to ask me or visit Personhood Oklahoma
- I have also been thinking a lot about what true worship looks like now and what it is going to look like in Heaven, but I have already written a post about it that you can read.
- For Spring Break this year I went to San Antonio for a college retreat over the Trinity and it was mind-blowing. I learned so much and I am still trying to process it, but the two biggest things I learned was that 1) God corrected my thought that there was a hierarchy in the Trinity. All three persons of the Trinity are equal, thus the use of the word ‘and’ when they are mentioned. 2) There are references to the Trinity found throughout the Bible (both Old and New Testament), but I had never seen them. The most surprising one mentioned this weekend was Mt. 28:19 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name (singular) of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit(multiple names)”. This picture shows that they are three persons in one.
- This weekend I also attended church at Castle Hill First Baptist in San Antonio and heard a great sermon on Brokenness. But it was during the singing time that God really convicted me that I am spending too much time trying to live up to what others expect of me instead of focusing on who God has made me and living like He is the only one who matters. Looking back this is actually something that God has been trying to show me for weeks, but I’ve just not been paying attention to what He has been saying.
I have also been thinking/praying/researching a lot about what I am going to do for a job in the fall, but that will be a whole other blog post. I know there is probably something I have forgotten, but that is enough for now. I am so thankful that even though I constantly fail Christ He is still faithful to show me areas where I need to change even if at first I don’t notice/want to listen.
I would love to hear what God has been showing you this semester.
Last Sunday was Tami’s 13th birthday (although she will tell you she is only 8)! It is hard to believe that she is that old. Since she joined our family when she was almost 4 years old life has been a journey of ups and downs. At times it has been really hard, but it has been great watching her grow over the years.
Every year she learns something new and she is actually very smart even though she tries to play dumb at times. She can also be one of the sweetest girls you have ever met, if you catch her at the right moment 😉 God has taught me so much through having her in my family and I know there is still probably more to learn.
The past couple of weeks I have been think a lot about worship and what it actually looks like. I started thinking about it when I was at work and the children I was watching were singing Vacation Bible School songs and worshiping God. I often get goosebumps when I hear the two and three year olds singing songs like ‘How Great is Our God’, etc. (On a side note, I still get goosebumps every week in children’s choir when 55-65 kids sing/shout about how they are not going to bow to idols. I pray this is a truth in their life now and for the rest of their lives.) I also love listening to multi-ethnic groups singing worship songs or just worship songs in different languages. Chris Tomlin’s song How Great is Our God (World Edition) is one of my favorites (just a heads up that the song is kind of long, but is worth it). To me it is just a picture of what Heaven is going to be like and makes me look forward to it.
I’ve also been thinking about what true worship looks like. I know that it is more than just singing songs, but that it is the way you live your life. In John 4:24 Jesus says “God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” (NASB) This means that worship is not external, but is something done in the heart. I know that external signs of worship can be faked, especially when singing worship songs. I know I myself have been guilty at times of giving off the impression that I am worshiping, but inwardly I am focused on something else. But I also believe that if real worship is taking place inwardly that it will be visible externally. When I think of real inward worship displaying itself externally I think of other countries where they may be persecution going on. A couple of summers ago I had the opportunity to spend 7 weeks in India and the city I was in is known as the holy city and everywhere you look there is a shrine or temple set up to one of the Hindu gods. There is even a big Muslim population in this town. But I never once saw a church or an obvious Christian building. While I was there I had the opportunity to visit a Indian church service and was blessed and encouraged to hear them worshiping God. Even though I could not understand a word they said you could see in their face and hear in the way that they sang that they were truly worshiping.I have a recording of them singing and would love to share it, but I’m not sure how to upload it.
Those are my thoughts for right now. I am going to continue to look at different passages of scripture to see what God says about worship. Feel free to ask me how it is going.
Sorry if some of this does not make any sense. It is late, but I really wanted to get this down. If you have any questions, if something I have written is wrong please let me know.
I recently attended an open discussion about abortion that the Abolitionist Society of Oklahoma put together. During the evening one of the pro-choice people in the room explained why he is okay with abortions and his reasoning was that the unborn do not have a right to life because they are not able to hold preferences. When asked later if he would be okay with the killing of 14 year olds who were mentally retarded he said yes because they too can not hold preferences about their world. What I understood from that is that a person has value only if they are able to have a preference about the way they live and change it if they are not satisfied. I’m sorry if I am misrepresenting you, but this is what I understood from what you said.
I would like to argue that a person, no matter their intelligence level, has value because God made them and gave them value. Several verses in the Bible speak to the fact that man was created in the image of God.
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” – Gen 1:27 (NAS)
God said this right before he created man and man is the only thing that was created in the image of God.
“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.” – Psalm 139:13-16
In these verses we see that, even before we were born, God knows everything about us and it stands to reason that if he knows everything about us then he knows which of his creations are going to have a mental handicap. God is able to create people so they don’t have a mental handicap so if He creates them with a mental handicap they must still have value because He created them and every human that God creates has value. There are other verses that explain why humans have value, but for me these verses sum it all up.
Aside from the fact that all human value is found in God I know personally that measuring a person by their mental capacity does not make any person a lesser human. The problem with finding human value in mental capacity is that there are many forms of intelligence that can not be tested by an IQ test. I have a sister, Tami, who is mentally retarded, but I would say she has more intelligence than many people it just looks different. We adopted her when she was 4 years old and since she has joined our family she has never put her shoes on the wrong feet (and we never taught her) and she is able to dribble a basketball as good as most people. She also has great musical rhythm and when she hears a song with good rhythm she can not help but drum along. But she is also tricky and is able to do a lot more than she lets on. She doesn’t talk much but every once in a while she will slip up and speak clearly, but then she tries to act like it was a mistake so that she does not have to work so hard. While she may not be able to say her ABC’s or count to 10 without help I don’t care and I can’t imagine anyone who has met her saying her life has no value just because she is not really able to hold preferences about her life. She is my sister and the fact that God has said her life has value is enough for me.
Tami, 12, who joined my family in 2003.
She brightens my life everyday and reminds me that every person is special in God’s eyes.
I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted, but one thing that God has been challenging me in is the area of integrity. He has also been showing me how important it is. Most of this has been in connection with school and homework. It has frustrated me for the past year or so that some of my classmates don’t actually do the work to complete the assignments, they just make everything up and I’ll do all of the work and we will get the same grade. Of course they don’t tell the teacher this, but they often talk about it with me or other classmates.
It really bothered me, but I just kept telling myself that God saw the work that I was doing and that is really all that mattered. Also, I comforted myself with the knowledge that the hands on practice that I was getting at the time would benefit me later on and some of my classmates wouldn’t have that experience. But even knowing all of this it still bothered me how openly they talked about just making all of their work up or finding all of their answers in the back of the book. But then in class yesterday my teacher was telling us how important it is that we teach our students the importance of integrity and how integrity means doing what is right even if we don’t get a reward for it right away. I heard that and it just encouraged me to hear that the work that I put into my assignments is the right thing to do even though others can come up with the same level of work with out doing the hard work required. Later that evening I talked about it with my roommates and they encourage me even more with the following verse:
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men,” – Colossians 3:23
As the above verse says we are to do our work for God and not for anyone else. I really appreciated them sharing that verse with me because I knew it, but hadn’t been thinking about it.
If you read this post thank you for reading my ramblings and I hope that it encouraged you to always do the right thing even if nobody else sees.
My parents always raised me to be pro-life and to me that meant that abortion was wrong, but I never thought to take it to another level. But my parents not only taught me to be pro-life they also lived out what they believed. See, my family has completed 5 adoptions, from 4 different countries, in the past 10 years. I am now the oldest of 8 children and have 2 biological brothers, 2 sisters from India, 1 sister from Haiti, 1 sister from China, and 1 brother from Guatemala.
We don’t really know anything about my siblings mothers because of the records that the orphanages kept. We know that Fulmaya and Nisha’s mothers were both young and unmarried. We also know that Hannah and Tami’s mother’s died, which is part of why they were put up for adoption. We actually know more about Juan’s mother than any of the others. We know that she was unmarried, young, and already had another son. But even though we would probably never be able to find them, even if we wanted to, I will be forever grateful for the fact that they chose life for their child.
Until recently I did not realize how much God had been watching over all of my siblings, even before they were born. See in India, China, Guatemala, and Haiti it is legal for mothers to get abortions if they want them. In India and China it is almost encouraged by some if you know you are going to have a girl. There is already an article
on the Abolitionist Society’s blog about abortion in China and if you haven’t read it you should check it out. But I’ll explain more about abortion in India. See, more girls are aborted each year, in India, than boys because when a girl gets married their family is required to present her husband with a dowry. But so many families in India can not afford a dowry because they are poor and so it is easier to abort their daughter. Because so many girls have been aborted there is an imbalance in the ratio of boys to girls. In order to help lessen this imbalance the Indian government has actually made it illegal for any woman to get an ultrasound so that they can not abort their child based on gender. While this has not stopped women from finding out the gender of their baby it has started to make a difference.
Also, looking back over my families different adoptions it is obvious that God had picked each child to be part of our family. First, we were actually in the process of adopting a boy from Haiti at the same time that Tami was in the process of being adopted by another family. Well, the boy we were adopting had sickle-cell anemia and ended up dying before we could complete the process. It just happened to work out that the family who had been adopting Tami had to stop for some reason so we were able to adopt her instead. Another example is with Nisha’s adoption story. See, Nisha was born with Aperts syndrome which, if not taken care of within a few years, can cause brain damage. Well, when we found Nisha she had been in the orphanage for 3 years and because of her syndrome no one wanted to take her. But for anyone who knows Nisha they know that she has one of the best personalities of anyone they have ever met, even with all that she has had to deal with. But the most obvious picture of God’s working is with Hannah’s adoption. My mom found Hannah’s referral in December when, Hannah was 13, and according to China’s adoption policy a child must be adopted by the age of 14 or they become ineligible. We started the process knowing that we only had 6 months to complete an adoption that usually takes over a year, but God worked it all out and we finished the process the day before she turned 14. While the others each have a unique adoption story Tami’s, Nisha’s and Hannah’s best illustrate how God worked to put my family together.
I am a big sister. I am an Abolitionist.