Saturday, January 30, 2010

One More Story

Tonight, while we are all resting in our warm, snug houses, there are some who are not nearly as comfortable.

They are bedding down on the concrete floor of the American Embassy in Haiti.

They are those caring for orphans who have received permission to come to the US to be united with their families,

but for some unclear, political reasons, have not been allowed to come home.

We have heard many great stories of homecomings, but there are still so many waiting.

One of their names is Ronel. His special story is told here.

Tonight, while you are resting comfortably, would you think of these children and their families?

20 or so

20 or so degrees outside.

(Can you see the squirrel hunting for nuts in this picture?)

20 or so minus 12 (that's 8 for ya'll mathematically challenged folks) inches of snow.


20 or so
minutes to bundle up.


20 or so
minutes of play.


20 or so
years of memories made this snowy day!


Friday, January 29, 2010

More prayer needed

EDITED TO ADD: They are on their way! Check for updates below.

Praying for this group of orphans waiting to leave Haiti TODAY.

They are at the airport just WAITING to leave...

http://countdowntohomecoming.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Before

1/4 of the roads were paved

80 percent of people live in poverty

54 percent of people live in abject poverty

2/3 of the labor force did not have a formal job

Less than 20 percent over the age 15 can read and write

40 percent did not have access to medical care

380,000 children were considered orphans

and all this BEFORE the earthquake.

Father, forgive me for not knowing.
Forgive me for not caring enough to want to know.
Thank you for opening eyes to see and hearts to move in Your love.
Thank you for the beauty and strength of the Haitian people.
May these statistics be radically changed and
may the people of Haiti truly know Your peace.


Monday, January 25, 2010

On Transitions and Such

Lots of changes/transitions going on here in the Richly Supplied household...

Nathan is moving from 2 naps a day till one. You know this is a hard part of a little guy's life when you mention this to someone and they sigh and say something like, "You poor thing." or "He'll get through it soon, you know." It has been hard on him with his naps and wakings being all over the place the last couple of days. We are pushing onward and hoping it all smooths out to the wonderful sleeping kid we all love SOON.

Caleb's schooling took a big step forward this past week. I knew the way things were going around here were just causing us both frustration and I know that we need a little more direction for his schooling (Me randomly picking things out of books just was not working for us.) SO, I bought a preschool curriculum for us to start doing in the next couple of weeks. I went with the Sonlight P4/5 . Caleb loves to read and I think we both will enjoy doing this together over the summer/early fall. I bought the books from various sources, cutting the cost for the program in half! Cha-ching! The books have started coming in and it is almost like Christmas each day when the mail arrives. (I get WAY too excited over a children's books.)

We are in the throes for planning next fall's activities. Join the Y, don't join? Swimming lessons, no swimming lessons? Explore school options for Caleb, stick to things the way they are now? I can't believe it is not even FEBRUARY and I am already seriously praying over what life will be like come September.

One of the things that has remained constant has been my heart's burden for Haiti and its orphans. I have rejoiced in the news clips of parent's welcoming their children home, but know there are so many more hurt, broken, needy children that just want to be loved. I truly believe that God is working through this tragedy to bring forth His glory and that if we are just willing, God is going to blow our minds away with the magnitude of His grace, mercy and provision for the land of Haiti.

Sing to God, sing praise to his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds —
his name is the LORD—
and rejoice before him.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.

God sets the lonely in families,
he leads forth the prisoners with singing;
but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.


Ps 68:4-6

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Beary Good Time

After several heavy posts, I thought it was time to lighten things up a bit around here. On Monday, we celebrated David's day off with a family trip to the zoo! We had a "beary" fun time, mostly because of this guy and all his antics.


I have never seen the polar bear this active EVER. Usually when we visit, he is sleeping in some shady spot. I had begun to think that they had bought a stuffed bear rug for the exhibit. since he NEVER moved, ever.

Go figure that a POLAR bear is more active in January than July.


He was doing back flip after back flip, playing with his tire and generally having a "beary" good time himself.


We were all enthralled for quite a while. Who wouldn't be?


The lions were also a treat to watch as they got to eat a treat.


This wolf came RUNNING when he heard Nathan cry out. I think he thought he might have a treat, too, if he could figure out how to jump over the fence.


Nathan saw the wolf coming and took off RUNNING himself.


Keep praying for Haiti- Even this guy is getting in on the act!


Bye for now! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

For those left behind...

133 orphans (many under the age of 3) began walking this morning to the US embassy to begin the process of humanitarian parole. Would you pray for them?

And for those left behind? For the hundreds (if not thousands) of orphans who have no families waiting for them and do not qualify for humanitarian parole?

Read this for the scary reality facing those left behind and this for a challenge to the church to step up to fight this reality.

Would you pray for them?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

They Heard and They Answered!

This morning Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano announced Humanitarian Parole Policy for Haitian Orphans on a case by case basis.

Pray for the those cases to be many and for the c hildren to reach their forever homes quickly and safely!

From the Howertons' Blog:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hopefully Making Some Noise

Hopefully. many of you have read my previous post on the need to Make Some Noise for the orphans in Haiti who have already been matched to American families to receive Humanitarian Parole from the US State Department in order for them to be united with their families here in the US.

Hopefully. some of you even contacted your Senators or the State Department.

Hopefully, some of you saw a report on CNN that some orphans are being flown to the US.

Hopefully, you realized that these numbers aren't quite accurate and that MOST of the orphans in Haiti are still there, without even basic necessities.

Hopefully, you will check out this page which has sample letters to contact congress if you have not already done so.

Hopefully, if you have questions, they can be answered here.

Hopefully, you will contact your rep, join the group, blog about this topic, or post something on Facebook as you hopefully continue to make some noise.

Hopefully, above all, these children will be home soon.


And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Make Some Noise

As I have watched the news from Haiti unfold this week, my heart has broken many times over the most vulnerable of those impacted- the children. I have felt helpless. We have given what we can to help financially and I have prayed fervently and often, but I still have wanted to do more.

Reading the Smitty's blog today, I found out that I can--- and so can you!

An adoptive family is seeking help in making some noise to bring home those Haitian orphans whose adoptions are almost finished.

Read about it here.

For those in NC, you can contact Sen. Kay Hagan here or Sen. Richard Burr here.

I know many of you who read have been impacted by adoption and I trust all of you have been impacted by what is going on in Haiti. Read, act and pray and then,

Go make some noise.

Sing to God, sing praise to his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds—
his name is the LORD—
and rejoice before him.

A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.

Psalm 68:4-5

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Perspective

Yesterday began as an interesting day. While David was showering, he noticed the water wasn't draining well. Well, a few minutes after his shower, we realized it was more than a slow drain. As water (and nasty, yucky, smelly gunk) backed up into the bathtub, he went looking for the clogged pipe that was causing the back up. After dismantling and cleaning out several nasty, yucky, smelly pipes, he found the culprit was a big nasty, yucky, smelly clump of nasty, yucky, smelly gunk.

After cleaning up (and taking another shower thankfully), he said he was sorry that my day had started out that way. I had to tell him that through it all, God had really helped me to keep perspective and I wasn't very sorry at all.

You see, while my day started kind of rough, I did not start my day looking at a house that had collapsed the night before. I would not spend my day searching for loved ones or wondering if my children were alive, let alone where we would get our next meal.

My day, it seems, wasn't that bad after all.

Events, such as the earthquake in Haiti, put life in perspective. My worst days do not come anywhere near the awful days others are enduring at any given moment.

In all the hard days, no matter where we are or what we are experiencing, we must have the perspective that we are under the caring eye of a loving God. God cared about our clogged pipe and rejoiced with us when David was able to fix it. And friend, how deeply God cares for the people of Haiti. His heart aches for them as He weeps alongside them.

I hope and trust you are praying for the people of Haiti. I hope you will ask God how you can help out this ravaged nation today, tomorrow and far in the future.

A couple of blogs you might check out to see how to pray specifically:

The Livesay Family, Missionaries in Haiti

The Baptist Haitian Mission (The group which Samaritan's Purse is working through on the ground.)

Pray, read, pray, give and always have a little perspective.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Note To Self

Note to Self:

One might want to consider reading any chapter books to yourself BEFORE reading them to Caleb. For one never knows when you are reading a book and the whole family is getting into it. Maybe it is a book about a boy who needs to save his grandfather's farm by winning a dog sled race. Maybe you are in the the most exciting moment of the book, as the boy and his dog race to the finish line, barely ahead of the best competition.

Maybe then out of no where the dog's heart EXPLODES in her chest and she DIES ten feet from the finish line.

One never knows what might happen then. Your jaw and David's jaw might just drop to the floor, Caleb might stand up yelling, "He lost the race! He didn't save the farm! WAIT! THE DOG DIED!!!" just before he breaks into a heart wrenching sob over the dead dog. All of this just might happen right before bedtime, making it somewhat difficult to get a tender-hearted Caleb calm enough to sleep.

Read the book to yourself first next time. Just a thought, Self, just a thought.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Talker

Anyone who knows us in real life, knows Caleb likes to talk... a lot. At first he might seem the shy quiet type, but let him get comfortable with you or get him talking about something he is excited about, and the kid will not be quiet.

Saying the boy likes to talk...a lot is an understatement. (For example, we were out to lunch earlier this week and he was going up to all the kids, asking their names, telling them where he went to church and asking if they could be friends.)

So, it came as a little surprise to me that when we went for his 4 year old check up, the pediatrician suggested that we should get Caleb's speech evaluated. I guess quantity does not make up for quality and that Caleb does not articulate as well as he should.

We have not had the appointment yet, but I am really interested to see what happens. Anyone who has experience with this kind of thing, I am open for any advice or insight! I will keep you updated!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I Do Not LIke Shots.

Taking my boys to the doctor has never been that big of on ordeal for us. I love our peds office and they make it so easy for us to be there. Furthermore, I am blessed with really healthy kids who do not have to go to the doctor that often. (Not counting well-checkups, I think I have been to the peds office maybe four times total. HUGE HUGE blessing!)

The biggest ordeal concerning doctors visits has been the numerous shots each boy has received over the years and even that has not been that big of a problem. Neither boy likes shots (Who in their right mind does?) and both boys cry generally after getting them.

Still, this is nothing compared to some children and their reaction to shots. When I was getting my kindergarten shots, I jumped out of my mom's arms screaming and began to run circles around the examination room with the syringe still hanging from my arm. I ended up hiding under the table and it took my mom, the doctor and two nurses to get me out and to get the shots in me. Luckily I have not had that kind of experience, yet.

I think if Caleb had thought about doing that at his 4 year check up this past week, he would have in a heartbeat. (He was hiding under a chair when the nurse came in, but just to yell BOO! at her.) Getting him up on the table took some doing and then come the nurses instruction. "Lay across him and hold his hands please." What? Lay down on top of him? Hmm, to say the least, Caleb did not like that at all.

I thought holding a newborn getting shots was hard, but that is nothing compared to staring into the eyes of your four year old, while laying down on him, as he gets three shots. The fear, questioning and pain in his eyes were enough to break my heart and the only thing I could think of doing was pray that this would not somehow scar him for life.

I do not think that there is any long term damage. (A trip to Chik Fil A seemed to restore our relationship fairly quickly.) When David asked Caleb how the appointment went all he said was "I don't like shots, Daddy."

Me neither, big guy, me neither.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Wanna Dance

Growing up I was known for dancing, not trained, fluffy tutu dancing, but just for dancing wherever I went. I would dance up and down the grocery store aisles while my mom shopped. I would dance in the middle of the outfield during my tee ball game. I would dance around the house and on my way to the bus stop.

I do not mean some little stand in one place-wiggle a bit kind of dancing. I mean the twirling- jumping-kicking my legs up-throwing my body around kind. It did not seem to matter where I was or who was looking, I would dance with the freedom and abandonment that comes with the innocence of childhood. (I guess it did matter who was looking the couple of times I ran smack into people while dancing in the grocery store, but did it stop my dancing? No, I just twirled the other way.)

Somewhere along the way, I lost that freedom. I began to care more about what people thought than for my need to twirl with the music. I forgot how to dance.

I feel my faith is a little like that, too. As a young believer, my faith was limitless. I believed God could do anything and I wanted anyone who came within earshot to know it. Somewhere along the way, I feel I have let realism and cynicism creep into my faith and my expectations of God.

As we start this new year and this new decade, my desire is to learn to dance again. I pray that God teaches and renews in me a sense of freedom and abandonment and even a little bit of innocence in my faith and walk with Him.

Almost two years ago, on our trip to Germany, David and I walked by an art gallery and a picture caught both our eyes. (The gallery was closed, if it had been open, I have little doubt we would be walked in and bought the picture.) The picture was the inside of a dark church, with people sitting staunchly in pews and the rector standing sternly at the front of the church. All eyes were staring at a young girl bathed in light from a single, stained glass window.

The girl, unaware of her audience, was dancing.

This year, I want to be that girl.

I wanna dance.


Monday, January 4, 2010

Check

Christmas. Check.

Caleb's birthday. Check.

New Year's. Check.

One whirlwind of a month done. Check.

One whirlwind of a month year to come...

because we all know that life with little ones is a constant whirlwind. Check.
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