Matthew 22:37-39

Matthew 22:37-39

Monday, May 30, 2011

So we spent a few days in Joplin, helping where we can.
I don't think I could describe in words all the destruction and devastation.
We helped a few people at their houses. It was heartbreaking as we would ask what they wanted to save or have us try to pull out, and they were just overwhelmed and didn't know. And I wondered, what would I say, I wouldn't know either. We heard stories from our friends and how they escaped, heard stories of death and so many awful things. We saw pile after pile of places, houses, businesses that I grew up seeing. We would be on a street I should know but I couldn't even recognize it. We saw family after family sorting through their houses that were flattened.
I was able to visit the daycare I helped a friend open back in 2004. We had parted on bad terms but because of this storm we were able to hug, talk, and reconnect. She lost everything, her preschool was completely gone. It was devastating looking at the piles, recognizing things that we painted and toys we put together so long ago. We talked about how thankful we were that there were no kids there because there was no place to take them all to safety.
We were able to spend a day at Blendville where we ministered and served for 3 years. It was so hard seeing this building all torn up, seeing the sanctuary where Brennan and I were married completely torn apart. But the cross was still standing! All day we tore the ceilings down and water would just pour out and you would look up and see the sky as the roof was off as well. It was hard seeing it like this but I had to keep reminding myself, it is just a building. We spent the day with some of the leaders and the great people of Blendville. We laughed so much and there was such great joy amongst the sadness, I miss that church family so much. So many of the people serving there that day lost both their church and their homes and they amazed me with their great love and servant's hearts!

I saw complete strangers helping one another. I saw people coming to help those who lost their homes and loved ones in this storm. I saw people serving food and drinks to people they didn't even know. I can't tell you how many lunches, snacks and drinks we got offered each day. So many people just loving and serving one another, people taking care of people.

I think President Obama said it best when he said the people of Joplin have given NEW MEANING to the term, Love Thy Neighbor.

I sat at a dinner with my family as we prayed and cried tears of joy because we were overwhelmed with God's protective hand over everyone. Everyone in my family and Brennan's family were safe from this storm, praise the Lord!

I spent time with my best friend, laughing, crying and just being silly. We both needed a night just like that and it was great just being together and enjoying each other's friendship.

I served alongside my little sister who has such a heart and love for people. When she would get quiet and sad it would break my heart because I knew she was hurting for everyone. She loves so deeply and encourages me in so many ways. I was able to serve alongside my brother, my husband, and my father in law as well and see them all love and care for others.

Lyndlee and Gavin stayed with their Granny but each night when we would return, Lyndlee would ask if we were helping the hurting people. Last night before bed, she prayed for all those who were hurt by the big storm and I just cried and cried because she remembered to do this on her own. I left the room because I didn't want to upset the kids, but she followed me and told me not to be sad but to be happy. I love her heart.

This week she and I have also talked a lot about heaven, how we just can't wait for God to come back and take us home. I love how I can talk to her about these things and she completely gets it.

Honestly, the things that are strange to me are all the videos and pictures being posted all over facebook and emails. I never have understood taking pictures of disasters like this. If it is your own home, your own business than I feel yes it is your right and your choice. Maybe this is where I am completely wrong, but that is okay, these are my feelings.

It is hard sitting in my home when I know so many people are hurting and without their homes and loved ones. It makes me think of Haiti, Japan and so many other places that experienced disasters so much bigger than this.

I am so proud of my hometown, how everyone has come together and loved each other. Can't wait to be back there serving and loving as well.

Would appreciate prayers, Brennan is headed to Israel today and I will be headed to Cambodia next Tuesday. We are so thankful the Lord has allowed us to take this trips. We can't wait to see all that He wants to teach us. Change our hearts Oh Lord, and let us serve and love others on these trips!

Thankful to the men and women that serve our country, and grateful to their families as well!
So thankful for God coming back soon to take us home!

Monday, May 23, 2011


My heart is heavy and hurts. I can't believe all the destruction that has happened in Joplin and I feel completely helpless. I grew up here, it is my home town, and now it looks like a war zone.
All our family is fine, praise the Lord.
News of the church of our first ministry at Blendville Christian Church, is that is is gone, the whole neighborhood is gone. Trying to hear about all the congregation that lived in that neighborhood.
My sis and her sweet family were just blocks away from the center of the tornado. It seemed to stop right before their house. So thankful they are all safe.
Wish I could hug my family right now.
Praying for everyone in Joplin right now.......

Friday, May 20, 2011

Israel & Cambodia just a few days away.....

So I knew summer was going to be nuts, but this is crazy.
Those who know me, know I am a planner and have been focusing on the Cambodia trip just 19 days away. I knew in the back of my mind that Brennan could be going to Israel anytime soon, and I kept feeling God giving me peace knowing that it would be back to back trips.
Well that is just what it is going to be.
A great friend from our church has offered to take Brennan to Israel. Such a blessing!
So they leave next Monday 30th. Yep you read that right! Brennan will get back from Israel just in time for us to be together as a family for a day, celebrate Gavin's birthday early, celebrate Father's Day early, get groceries for the 2 weeks I am gone, and get me all packed for Cambodia.
The day I get back from Cambodia, Brennan will be at camp for a week with the youth kids. I have a great momma and sister who are going to help me with the kids, just in case the jet lag has taken over.
I am getting more emotional about the Cambodia trip, just praying and thinking about these sweet girls and all that they have gone through. And then of course thinking of leaving my babies for 13 days has been tough but I know this time apart will be good for all of us and we will make it. They will get to spend special time with daddy and I will be getting the chance to love and serve brothers and sisters in Christ!
Took Lyndlee to her preschool walk through yesterday, can't believe my little girl is old enough to go to preschool. She loved it.
Lately she is very into noticing that her skin looks different from ours. So today she told me she was brown because she is from Taiwan and I am flamingo. Not for sure exactly what that means, but it made sense to her!
Gavin is busy as ever, growing up way too fast. He is so naughty at times, all boy and into everything, and yet so very sweet! He is such a momma boy and I am loving that.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

8 years!

My hubby told me this morning that we have been married 8 baseball seasons today.
I love my husband so much and can't believe it has been 8 years :)
Love all the places the Lord has allowed us to serve together and can't wait to see all the other adventures of life we will share.
We have been in ministry from the time we were engaged in 2002, took a short break while we were working on adoption funds for our sweet baby girl. But I have loved every minute of ministry together with this awesome man.

Monday, May 16, 2011


Saw this on another adoptive mom's blog and loved it.

A lot of people wonder about what to do when your child starts asking why they look different than the other people in their family and a mother shared this SUPER COOL example.

You take brown eggs and white eggs - you show how they are different on the outside, but totally they are the same on the inside. The mother described cracking the egg and examining the inside. She even cooked both eggs and everyone tasted how they were the same in flavor also.......

It is just like all the colors of M&Ms....different on the outside and same on the inside! Just a fun way to put your child's hearts at peace. We always talk about the JESUS LOVES ME song...RED, YELLOW, BLACK, AND WHITE, they are precious in his sight.... Celebrate the differences and find the fun similarities.

Monday, May 9, 2011

My Little Girl is 4!

Today is Lyndlee's birthday. She is such a sweet precious girl. Right when she woke up I sang happy birthday to her and she said, oh, thank you mom! She has such a sweet kind heart. Sure, she has her moments where she throws fits and acts horrible but she seriously has such a kind heart. I am babysitting kids today so at lunch Lyndlee got a brownie with 4 candles and we all sang happy birthday to her. She was so excited, I love that about her; that the most simple things can make her day.

Not a day goes by where I don't think about her sweet birth mom Li-Sywe. She carried Lyndlee and loved her for so many months. She chose to give her life in a country where the abortion rates are high. I can't imagine how hard it was for her to decide to give her up for adoption. I can't imagine the joy & miracle of carrying your baby, feeling her grow, giving birth to her and giving her up because you know you can't care for her the way your baby needs. That is true love. I cry at times just thinking of all that sweet Li-Sywe went through. But she knew she was sick, she knew she couldn't take care of Lyndlee. There are tons of details that we keep just for Lyndlee and we want to keep those private for her. But it breaks my heart that Li-Sywe passed away and that Lyndlee won't be able to see her one day if she wants too. I remember that day so clearly when we got that email and my prayers have been for the Lord to give us the words to speak when that day comes to tell Lyndlee. And in my heart, I know Li-Sywe knew how sick she was and that was why she chose to have a C-Section, and that is why she chose to give Lyndlee a better life. I still pray that the Lord can open the doors for contact with Lyndlee's older sister and her grandparents in Taiwan. She looks so much like her sister, they are both so very beautiful. We pray for them, praying they can come to know our Lord as the One True King!

Not a day goes by where I don't think about sweet Ted and Bev. They chose us to be the parents of sweet baby Jya-Ying! They went through all the adoption steps, the court dates, took her to doctor appts, loved her, rocked her to sleep, changed her, took care of her, sang to her, and told her about Jesus. They chose to give up time with their own family, their own kids and grandkids because the Lord was calling them 42 years ago to Taiwan. The Lord called them to move to another country to take care of orphans and love them as their own. They are amazing people and we are so blessed to know them and have them in our lives. Bev says when she was little she wanted to give children to all the mommys that couldn't have children. And that is exactly what she is doing. They have blessed so many children and families throughout their years on ministry! And I can't think of them without thinking of all the people that work and serve at the Home in Taiwan, plus all the sweet interns they have that come to help!

You see, my sweet Lyndlee was blessed with 3 special women in her life. Li-Sywe carried her and loved her, and Mama Bev took care of her, sang Jesus Loves Me to her and loved her as her own. And now I get to be her mommy and raise her and love her.
I am blessed to have this sweet little brown eyed, brown skin, precious girl in my life.
I love you Lyndlee Jya-Ying and am so blessed to be your mommy!

And on another note, my little sister raised over $300 for the girls in Cambodia. She is buying the supplies we need on our trip which is just 30 days away. My sister rocks and I know her sweet friends, my mom and other sisters helped a ton too! Love you guys.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Sister Joy

So time to brag about my little sister. First, God has blessed me with an amazing family, with wonderful sisters who are my best friends, and also wonderful sisters married into the family. Blessed beyond words.
My little sister, although I don't consider her little, is amazing. So many people ask me, are you close, and I say yes, super close!
We are so much alike, when I hear her talk, I think wow, we say the same things. And days when I am being silly, Brennan will look at me and say, wow and we wonder where Joy gets it?
I can talk to her forever on the phone, I can sit in her room to chat or we will watch Little House or I will fall asleep too early for her. She stays up way to late for me and I am old she says. She stays true to her name and is full of love for others. We can tell each other anything and be completely honest with our hearts. But the thing that amazes me day after day is her love for others. I always tell her she will be a missionary one day, and that I would love to serve alongside her. She is beautiful inside and out. She is the babysitting queen and always seems to be taking great care of the kids, loving them as her very own. She cares for others in ways Jesus commands us to love and care.
I told her about my Cambodia trip coming up and what did she decide to do?
She decided she needed to do a garage sale to raise funds so that she could buy supplies for all the girls living in safe houses in Cambodia. So that is just what she is doing this weekend with her friends. Wow, amazing girl. And my mom and other sisters are jumping right in and they are tackling an entire list of supplies for our trip. They are all such servants and I love them dearly!
Proud of my little sister Joy and I know Jesus is as well!
Keep loving people sis, keep serving them with all your heart and telling them about the Good News of our King!

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Enemies Are Men Like Me

While I don't agree with everything Derek Webb says, I do appreciate some of his songs and words.
I have come to give you life
and to show you how to live it.
I have come to make things right
to heal their ears and show you how to forgive them.
Because i would rather die,
I would rather die
I would rather die
than to take your life
How can I kill the ones I’m supposed to love,
my enemies are men like me.
I will protest the sword if it’s not wielded well,
my enemies are men like me.

I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
Martin Luther King, Jr
Ezekiel 18:21-23

But suppose the wicked stop doing all the sins they have done and obey all my rules and do what is fair and right. Then they will surely live; they will not die. Their sins will be forgotten. Because they have done what is right, they will live.
I do not really want the wicked to die, says the Lord God. I want them to stop their bad ways and live.

Matthew 5:44
But I say to you, love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. If you do this, you will be true children of your Father in Heaven.

I am thankful for Scriptures God gives us. I am thankful that I am not the one who decides who gets grace and who doesn't. I am thankful for our troops and their families, who have given up so much for my freedom.
But I am grieved by all the deaths and wars. I am grieved that people are rejoicing and happy over the death of one man. Something is wrong here. And something my husband brought up this morning cannot leave my heart: Americans rejoiced over the death of one man yesterday, and yet numerous orphans died alone yesterday, and many seem not to care.
Something is not right.....