Monday, April 13, 2009

Caleb-isms VIII

Shortly after Steven met Francis, we invited her to our home for lunch so that Caleb and I could get to know her. When she came in, she and Caleb started talking, and she asked Caleb if he was looking forward to being a big brother...

Caleb: "Yep! My stister is in ma Phiwapines" (the Philippines - HA!)
Francis: "That's right!"
Caleb: "Yep. That's where Goliath is, that's the PhiliSTINES!"


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Family time in Holy Week

In 2007, we bought a book that has become a favorite family tradition for the Christmas season. It is called "The Advent Book" by Jack and Kathy Stockman. When we bought it, we were added to the Stockman's email newsletter "Celebrations and Traditions" that they send out in correlation to holidays. It gives wonderful ideas for creating Christ-centered family traditions for various holidays. We received one for the Lent season with ideas, also, for Holy Week that has been wonderful.

On Tuesday, the focus was Loving God. Below is the anagram Caleb did (mostly on his own) with Steven. He came up with "Love" and "Trust" all by himself. Steven tried to explain that "Trust" wouldn't work because the word starts with 'T' not 'R', but Caleb was so excited about "Trust" that he told Steven, "It's okay, Daddy, because there is an "R" in "Trust"!"Steven helped out with "Obey" and they both came up with "David". Then they prayed and asked God to help us love Him, trust Him and obey Him and have a heart for Him like King David.

Caleb had the best time coloring the word "Lord" and writing all the words "All by myself"!

This was the most precious time we've had during Holy Week so far. I can't wait until Sunday morning!

Caleb-isms VII

Another example of how much my Savior loves me...

This morning, after sleeping poorly in a separate bed from my sweet husband because he was THAT sick, and being absolutely exhausted not only by the break-neck pace of the past few days and weeks but also by the thought of the content and length of the day ahead of me, this is how my Lord used my baby to wake me up:

Caleb: "It is weeeelll, it is weeeelll, wif my is weeeel, it is weeeel, wif my sooouuul!"

And mine, as well. Thanks for the reminder, Father. Amen.

Friday, April 3, 2009

It's been awhile...

So, a dear friend informed me last night that I have gone far too long between blog posts and promptly instructed me to post something immediately. It's nice to have friendships close enough that we can speak the truth in love!

What we've been preparing for over the past month is our upcoming fundraiser. It is the most unique fundraiser that I've ever come across and we are so very excited about it. For today I'll just give you an overview of our project in the form of the letter we - and our team - have sent out to raise awareness of what we're doing. Stay tuned to find out more...

I am writing to you to enlist your support in an unusual opportunity to serve. More about that at the end. For now there are a few people I want to tell you about.

The Widow
Francis Lee is a precious woman who’s been through a lot in the last five years. After marrying Harold Lee, and having two children Michelle and Amanda, the family began building a home in Nolensville, TN. Harold and Francis did not want to take on a large 30 year mortgage, so instead they began building a home on their 11 acres piece by piece as they were able to save cash to buy materials. They would go to Home Depot, fill up their Yugo, go back to their property and build the house themselves, from footers to trusses!
On their 24th wedding anniversary, Harold began having pain and heaviness in his chest and was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was 66 years old. With Chemo and radiation, they battled it into remission only for it to return within the year. After one month in the hospital he was released to hospice on January 7th, 2005 and passed away January 9th.
In July of that year, Francis went in for a routine colonoscopy and was diagnosed with colon cancer. Following surgery, chemo, radiation, blood clots in her lungs and double pneumonia, she was forced to retire after 31 years of teaching in the inner city.
Since the loss of her husband and the decline of her own health, Francis has been unable to continue work on her home, and is overwhelmed at the outpouring of support and help that our team is offering.

The Adoptive Family
Steven, Mandy and Caleb Reutter live in Franklin, TN where they attend Fellowship Bible Church. Steven and Mandy have known since before Caleb was conceived that they felt God’s call on their life to adopt, but did not know when that would happen or what it would look like. In the summer after Caleb turned 2, God’s adoption plan for their family began to take a shape they could see. Since Steven’s family on his mother’s side is Filipino, the Philippines seemed a natural choice to begin research of international adoption. Their paperwork was submitted to the Philippines in July of 2008 and they were approved by the country’s adoption board on August 21, 2008. They are now in the middle of the 12 - 18 month estimated wait time to receive a referral. They are expecting to be referred a little girl between the ages of 6 and 24 months. The stories of the ways that God has both lead and blessed this journey are many. If you would like to know more about the Reutters’ adoption story, please visit the weblog they are keeping at

How do you fit in?
We’re not all called to adopt, but each of us is called to care for widows and orphans 
(James 1:27). First, please pray for the Reutter family in their adoption journey. Second, please pray for Francis as she continues to adjust to life as a widow and that her health would continue to improve. Third, the adoption process, while more than worth it, is incredibly expensive. The Reutters are trying to raise a portion of the money necessary to bring their little girl home. They are trying to raise $20,000.

Both Hands -
To do that, we are having a workday at Francis’s home. I am part of a team of folks who have come alongside the Reutters to help them on this journey they believe God has called them to. The team will spend the entire day Saturday April 25th installing all kinds of trim-work throughout the house, and kitchen countertops, as well as cleaning, decluttering and organizing inside and out to let Francis know that she is loved and not forgotten. Think of it like a charity golf outing; but instead of us golfing to raise money, we are going to support a widow in need.

With your tax-deductible sponsorship of my work that day, you will accomplish three things: 1) You will help serve the needs of a widow who deeply needs it 2) you will be helping an orphan find a forever home and 3) you get a tax break in the process. How often do you get to feel that good about yourself in a single act of kindness?!?

How to Help
1.) Pray for Francis, Mandy, Steven, Caleb and the precious little girl waiting in the Philippines.
2.) Consider sponsoring our work.