Thursday, February 28, 2008

Another Guatemala Video for Those Interested!!

This may bore some of you but I was pretty proud of myself that I figured out how to make a movie like this!! :) So, grab some popcorn, kick back, and enjoy the show!! Just kidding, it's only 3 minutes long!!!

Ok, I just realized you can't see the full screen!! Sorry! Anybody know how to get it show more than half the screen?

Missing Claudia

Since there's not much going on in my life right now, I thought that i'd post about Claudia. For those of you who don't know, Claudia is a sweet 5 year old girl who I fell in love with in Guatemala last spring. She constantly wanted me to hold her and would pout whenever I'd pick up anyone other than her!!! When I went down there this summer with the church group she always preferred me to hold her over the other people. Which, frankly, I was quite happy with!!!! She certainly knew how to play with my heart!!! Here's a picture of her:

Isn't she precious? She has just the greatest laugh. I'll put a video of it farther down in this post. I really thought that we would adopt her. I prayed SO HARD that spring and summer. But God said no. It was probably the most disappointing thing that I've ever experienced. My life-long dream of a little sister to love and nurture was not in His will. But God is faithful to fill that hole in our hearts and give us a way to let that love out. My business has been so great for that. It's a tangible way to get sweet little kids like Claudia home to loving families.

Yesterday at work we had a little Hispanic girl and her mother come in. That little girl reminded me so much of Claudia. So when I got home I got on Eagle's Nest website and I was shocked to see that they had cut her hair!! :( I was so sad!!! She looks so much older and I realized that when I go back there again "my" little girl isn't going to be so little. And my heart aches for her adoptive family. Her case is very complex and they have to watch her grow up without them. Her new big sister keeps asking when Maya (the name Claudia will recieve once she's home) will come and play with her. So if you think of this sweet girl today, lift up a prayer for her and her adoptive family. Her adoption is very close to falling through right now. Within the next couple of weeks they will be having a court date and if nobody shows up to claim Claudia then they will issue a Certificate of Abandonment and her new family will be able to adopt her, Lord willing.

Here's a video of her laughing. Sorry for the initial view of her mouth!! I didn't quite plan that very well and I don't know how to edit videos!!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

And This Is Love

I believe that I have entered into a new chapter of my life. Just in the past week, I have learned so many new lessons. The Lord is molding my heart in new ways. To catch you up to date, there's Ethan who's still in Memphis fighting Leukemia. To top it off, two women from our church got in a very bad car accident on the way home from the retreat. One of them had just very minor injuries and is feeling fine. The other of them is still in the hospital. They had to put a chest tube in because she had some minor lung damage due to the side air bag of their car. But it was a joy for me to go and spend the night at their house to take care of her three darling daughters. She's doing better and will hopefully be released tommorow. This post is VERY long with the rest just being spiritual lessons I'm learning. So buckle your seat belt and take a short ride through my life right now!!

1.) The first thing that God has really imprinted on my heart the past week is what the body of Christ really is. As I babysat those three girls last night the phone rang off the hook. It was all people from our "Covenant Family" (our church) calling to see if they needed anything. One sweet mom helped me find a ride to church with car seats for the two younger girls. She told me to call at anytime- night or day. That is what love is. It is people gathering around their brothers and sisters in Christ, holding out their hands to help pull them out of the valley or at least make their climb out easier. I have been so touched by the church's compassion and hearts of service. I am moved to tears as I see the beautiful picture of love to these two families who are suffering. By God's grace!!! Thank you Jesus that in this messed up world we can find love to hold eachother up with. Anyway, I have been very moved and changed by watching our church gather together in these trials.

2.) The second thing is something that the speaker at the retreat talked about. She talked about repentance and I realized that I don't repent like I should. I don't see my sin as the nasty, filthy, shameful junk that it is. Why is that? I am just too self-righteous and prideful. Ouch. I'm so self-sufficient (rather, I think that I am) that I can't even admit that my heart is black as dirt. And I also realized the AMAZING grace that my God has given to me. That He picked me up- a weak, dirty, unlovable child- and washed me clean. He took my sin upon His shoulders and bore the punishment for my sin because He loved me. That is just too incredible to fathom.

3.) Getting tired yet? :) This is the last one. The last one is, I think, an ongoing struggle in the life of a Christian. God convicted me of how pathetic my devotionals are. I'm ashamed for Him to see my laziness but there's no hiding it. So, I'll attempt again to have consistent devotionals. Praise God that He loves us even when we mess up again...and again....and again.. and again..

So it's been a long week. I'm tired but I have joy and hope. And that's what will pull us through even when life's tough. Also, if any of you who are reading have any prayer requests feel free to put it in a comment on any post that I write. I'd love to pray for you!!

Ladies Retreat

The Ladies Retreat was a blast!! It was so much fun to just hang out with other women/girls, swim at the waterpark, and most importantly grow closer to God.

Me and my friend Kristen.

The four of us "ladies" led worship on the retreat. I put alot of effort into practicing but it was SO worth it. It was such a good experience for me to practice leading worship on piano. I'm so glad that I was given the opportunity.

Overall, it was a great retreat and I praise the Lord that I could go.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My new hair do.

I got my haircut tonight. I know it's a pretty trivial event but I thought I'd blog about it anyway! I tried a new hairstylist and really like her. This isn't the best picture but it's the best I've got for now! I'm going on a retreat this weekend so I'll post about that on Sunday hopefully.

Everybody have a great weekend!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Family Weekend

It's been a fun weekend so far spending time with family. We're at my aunt and uncle's house about an hour and a half away. My other aunt and uncle are here from Maryland. We only see them about twice a year so it's been fun to catch up with everybody. I've laughed alot this past weekend- God has blessed our family with a sense of humor!!!

Burdened Heart

We found out yesterday that a boy from church has been diagnosed with leukemia. His name is Ethan and he is a year older than me so I know him well from youth group as well as Cornerstone. It was very sudden as he's been healthy up until the past few weeks. My heart is so heavy for him and his family. During your day today, please lift up a prayer to our Great Physician, our Father- the Giver of all good and perfect gifts. We have hope that our Faithful God will do a miracle. But sometimes He asks us to walk the road and trust in Him.

God doesn't promise to give us challenges equal to our strength,
but He does promise to give us strength to fight our challenges.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!!!!!!!

Happy Valentines day to everybody!!! I hope you all were shown a little love today!

We ate dinner as a family tonight and spent the evening just hangin' out. Mom and Dad always give us a small gift every year but this year we had to wait until after school to open them because Dad was at work this morning. Caleb could hardly bear to wait another 7 HOURS to open his present! We had a "Buy One Get One Free Blizzard" coupon from Dairy Queen which expires today and so Mom and Caleb are coming in the door with our frosty treats.

Caleb and I are heading off to Kankakee tommorow for a Band/Choir trip with Cornerstone. My aunt and uncle from Maryland are flying in tommorow as well so it will be a very busy weekend!!! I'll post some pics. from both activities when I get a chance!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Monday, February 11, 2008

My New Blog

Well, it's a new thing! I've started a blog. My desire for this blog is for it to be a place for me to record God's works in my life. So here it goes!!!