Friday, May 8, 2009

963 coffee winners!!!

Congrats to all five of the beautiful ladies who entered my 963 Coffee (& Cocoa) giveaway! You're all winners!!! Thanks so much for entering to win. I'll be sending out your samples next week.

We're still trying to get the word out about our fundraising project. Any and all help is greatly appreciated. :-)

Praying your weekend is especially blessed.

LIVING A BLESSED LIFE (even with a fever!)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

one more to share

Ah, made it through the day, thanks to my quickly growing up daughter! She just put Sara to bed for me (early) and now the house is blissfully quiet. :-) Praying tomorrow I wake up feeling 100 times better! (I've got birthday cake making and house decorating to do!)

Anyhow, with all this quiet time to rest on my hands, I thought I would get caught up on my online reading. I just ran across yet another incredible article over at Reject Apathy/Relevant Magazine.

The first sentence made me a bit nervous, but I quickly realized that Jeff Goins is articulating something very similar to what God has been speaking to me this week. I love it when that happens.

Seems like we're not the only ones, but a reader also left me a comment that she too was praying that God would make her "uncomfortable." Hmmm, what is the Holy Spirit up to?!? Sounds like a revolution is starting, Friends. No kidding. It's gonna be GOOD!

LIVING A BLESSED LIFE (even with a fever!)

sharing thoughts

So, I somehow managed to catch a virus from my son, complete with fever. He got home Sunday after spending an action-filled weekend with his dad at our church's Men & Boys Campout. I was thrilled to kiss all over his sweet face, not knowing that he wasn't feeling well. Ugh.

My high-energy boy must have been hit hard because he's spent 90% of this past week laid up in bed. And now I am. Please pray it passes soon as my oldest turns 11(!) on Saturday and we have a fun-filled day planned. :-)

I have so many ideas floating around my head, but realize that I'm unfortunately not all that coherent. But, I did just read a really great post titled "Why Ethiopia?" It includes an excerpt from a book I am currently reading by Mary Ostyn titled The Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family.

BTW - did you know that nowadays, most people consider more than one or two kiddos a large family? We're soon to be double that, so it's a good thing I'm reading Mary's awesome book!

Anyhow, if you're curious why a family would choose to adopt from Ethiopia, or any other country for that matter, I encourage you to stop by Brianna's blog and read her post.

Praying that you're staying healthy and are LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Sweet blessings,

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

celebrating!

I'm in the middle of a "real" post :-) but had to share my joy! It's been a very eventful day in our home today.

Our social worker just sent us the rough draft of our home study. (Two-three weeks before we expected to receive it! THANKS, "R") :-)

We're approved to adopt our son! One step further. God is SO good. Can't wait to celebrate soon with Ethiopian food!

Praying it's been a great day for you. Keep LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Ecstactically, (Is that a word? Nope. Oh well, gotta run...)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

inspired to give MORE

On Sunday morning, I was sitting in church before the service skimming through the book of Isaiah. I've been solely reading my Poverty & Justice Bible lately. I love the way they have the 2000(plus) verses highlighted, but also that it uses the Contemporary English Version. My previous Bibles were either NIV or NLT, so this new translation makes the Word really fresh for me.

Anyhow, the first verse that caught my eye was Isaiah 25:4a:

"You have been a place of safety for the poor and needy in times of trouble. "

I love that God has and will be a place of safety for the poor. I think the key, however, is that He uses us to minister to His children in need.

I started thinking about ways that I can be a blessing to those in need. I've come a long way in my giving. I honestly used to be pathetically selfish with my time, my resources and my money.

Every day, I find myself looking ways that I can invest in the lives of my family, my friends, my neighbors and my world. And yet, it just doesn't feel like enough.

My life is still comfortable. Too comfortable. I have so much excess that what I have shared with others I'm sure has blessed them, but sadly, it's been easy for me to do. It wasn't necessarily a sacrifice.

As I sat in church, I looked down at the jewelry I was wearing. I felt God challenging me to sell it and use the money to bless people in need. Crazy thought, huh?

Or is it? Francis Chan challenges us in Crazy Love to really take an honest look at ourselves and the choices we make in our lives. If the world "gets us," than are we really living lives that glorify our Creator?

And so, I told the Lord, "Yes. But since it is a bit unusual, could you please just give me confirmation that you want me to do this?" (Ha. The world still has a strong hold over me, I'm afraid!)

Right then, one of my dear friends came over and noticed me praying. She asked if I was alright and I told her I was trying to discern the Lord's will. She bent down, put her arms around me and prayed right then and there.

Less than three minutes later, our pastor started his message. Wouldn't you know, this was the verse he opened with:

"Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Mark 10:21)

No kidding. I was so caught off guard that I only heard part of what he said next, but it was something that challenged us about the true value of silver and gold in comparison to the rewards God has for us in Heaven. Oh my. (Actually, I plan on listening to his message online just because it honestly felt like a lightening bolt straight from Heaven!)

I started to get excited thinking about all of the people God could bless through the money I received from selling my jewelry.

I then asked myself, "If I sold my jewelry, what other things in my home can I sell?" (Honestly, I was listening to your message, James!) The millions of things that I own but no longer use would be easy to sell. But, some of the others? Well, they would definitely hurt my flesh. A lot.

Do you want to know the really crazy thing? When I thought about giving things that actually hurt, a deep sense of joy came over me. I knew it was God's Spirit speaking to me, urging me on to take the plunge deep into the amazing world of "crazy love."

The next day, I received an alert from 5for50 asking for emergency donations in order to buy formula for infants starving in Ethiopia. Yes, my ring looks beautiful on my hand and it holds sentimental value. But, could I live with myself if I were in Ethiopia, standing at a baby's graveside, knowing that I could have done something to save his life?

Ethiopia Urgent Need

This world is nothing in comparison to the incredible future God holds for us. I want to pour out every single last bit while I am here. I don't want to regret a single moment or a single choice.

I know my choices will differ from yours, my Friend, and that's good. God created us to be unique. What a boring world this would be if He didn't!

But, I would like to lay the question before you. Is God calling you to give a little more? What are some practical ways you can respond to Him today? Are you willing to up the ante, even a little bit more tomorrow? Can you continue finding ways to give until it actually starts to hurt?

I promise you that it will be worth every last drop of blood, sweat and tears. I know it was for our Savior. It is for Him and because of Him that I am LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

P.S. 963 Coffee Giveaway is still going on! Please spread the word. :-)

Making the plunge,

Monday, May 4, 2009

Scripture memory

In yesterday's post, I sent y'all over to Beth Moore's Living Proof Ministries blog to read a post written by her daughter, Melissa.

If that was the first time you've read Beth's blog, I thought I would introduce you to Beth's Scripture memory challenge. Twice a month, on the 1st and the 15th, we choose a verse to memorize. Or, at the very least, pray it on a daily basis.

Here's the verse I'm working on:


"Each morning let me learn more about your love because I trust you.
I come to you in prayer, asking for your guidance."
Psalm 143:8 (CEV)

To be honest, my brain is having a hard time memorizing the verses I have chosen so far. But I refuse to give up! I know that even if I don't memorize it completely, my spirit is still nourished.

So, what'ya say? Would you like to join us? We're only on verse 9 and it's never too late to start.

Please also be sure to visit my 963 Coffee Giveaway post and enter to win a free sample. There have got to be more coffee and/or cocoa lovers out there! :-)

It's a wet and rainy day here in Oregon. This morning I was teaching Liam in his Bible class about how without rain, we don't have food. Although I sure would prefer a sunny day today, I am so thankful for God's provisions and to be LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Sweet blessings,