August 2, 2013

Beefy Biscuits for Dogs are BACK!!

 

Rachel is once again selling her Beefy Biscuits for Dogs!!

All proceeds from these sales will go towards her trip October 18 with Project HOPEFUL Awassa. This is her first mission trip and I am so excited that it will be in the country that we dearly love.

(and thank you to those who helped her earlier to raise funds for Samaritan’s Purse’s Horn of Africa Famine Fund and to Restoration Orphanage)
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Each bag  will be in different shapes-some large and some small.

These treats are all natural..containing only whole wheat flour, a bit of honey, beef broth, egg, yeast, and parsley. (and cost big bucks in the pet stores!)
 
Dog love them! We have sold them before and everyone has told us that they are loved by their dogs. Our dog, Clyde, literally sits and begs for them when they are on the counter!
 
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Price:  $5 per bag if you are local.  $10 per bag shipped
 
If you want some shipped and want more than 1 bag—email me with your address at gcknight at verizon dot net  and I can get you a quote for what shipping would be for more than 1—we can do combined shipping to save you money!
 
Go to the link below to purchase some Beefy Biscuits for Dogs!

https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=L2LDE3NJ2FUVS

Thank you so much!!

If you'd like you can also donate your tax deductible contribution to her mission trip here:


May 17, 2013

thoughts from the heart

Reposting again as the mission trip debates begin this summer. 

I posted this yesterday on facebook and it received so many responses from people saying they needed to hear it, that I thought I would also post here…with some additional thoughts below it:
friends...there are so many debates going around right now within adoption and ministry community that it's really getting disheartening. If I really took to heart everything I was reading I would come to the conclusion that everything we have done in the last 4 years has been terrible, I trafficked my boys, and I probably destroyed several countries because I blew some bubbles with some kids out in the dirt. Some thoughts... 1) There is no one size fits all mission program...it depends on the country, the people, and the community. 2) Books are books and are someone's thoughts and opinions..read them...but it's not gospel. Unless it IS the gospel. 3) What's right for me and my family may not be right for you. My experience is my experience. Yours is yours. Let's learn from each other. 4) Everyone is constantly learning and changing and rethinking things.
 How about in LOVE sharing what you have learned to help new ministries or families in adoption instead of pouring judgment out.

 and may I say that I realize that trafficking does happen..and I abhor it just as God does.. but we cannot stop doing the things God calls us to do because there are evil people. Instead..we do those things we are called to do while fighting evil. Does that make sense??

Now…as I keep thinking about this…I also want to add is that we have to be careful not to lump every adoptive parent, every agency, every ministry into one big pile and paint with very big broad strokes. 

I am seeing people becoming frozen and not doing anything because once you start researching you feel every thing is considered wrong ..and then you have no idea what to do.
That is not helping!!  So…what do we do??

Pray..asking God to lead you and to shut doors you are not supposed to go through (and then listen and wait for His answers!)  Be diligent, do your homework, ask questions, choose agencies or ministries you support wisely.

If God leads you to a short term mission trip..then DO IT.  There are many ways to do these and do them right. Don’t make it all about you. Don’t make it all about what you bring. Blend in as much as possible. Be respectful. Ask the in country staff how you can help. Listen to them.  Go to share love and to be a friend to people. Make the people more important than any project.
I read a quote one time and I don’t even remember where…about whether to give money or to go on the trip. The person’s response was “love is much better given in person”  I big puffy heart love that.

From Greg and I’s first short term mission trip that gave him the heart and desire for our adoptions, a ministry in Zambia supporting a school and many other things within a village (that is still going on with different people leading it), and now Hawassa Hope..

Have we learned things? Yes, looking back there are many things that we should have done differently. Many things we do differently now because of those lessons learned.

But you know, I don’t think God responds with “well, you screwed that up—done with you now. Way to mess up my entire work in that country. Guess I will move on to the next one”

Seriously.

Also..there are many books, blogs, websites, facebook posts flying around out there right now.  Many from people I respect. By all means, read them, glean from them,  and learn.  But remember…it’s a person. Who is just as much a mortal person as you and I.  Another person who does not have it figured all out. It’s a person’s opinion and thoughts coming from their experiences.  Someone else could right a completely different book or post from their experience.

And..I also want to say…that Hawassa Hope's biggest supporters are adoptive families—those in process and those with their children home.  Giving their time, energies, and money helping families to not have to make heart wrenching choices.
And that is beautiful.

February 27, 2013

Someone Free

Someone sent this to me today. So powerful. So convicting.

It’s speaking specifically about sex trafficking..but can be applied to so many other things.

Who do we deem not valuable in society? Not worthy of a second (or third) chance? 

Not worthy of our time or response?

“When Jesus said love our neighbor did He really mean the prostitute down the street?”

Want to get involved in the fight against trafficking? go to www.IJM.org

February 24, 2013

Dealing with Death

It’s been a little over 2 months since my dad went home to God.  Some days it seems like that night was forever ago and other days it seems like it was just last night. Some days I know that he is gone. Other days it just seems like it isn’t real.  A paradox of emotions and thoughts.

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2 months to begin to process all that has happened. I have a couple of suggestions or comments that I’d like to share from what we have experienced.

Suggestions for you!

#1) Sit down soon and talk with your special people and let them know what your wishes and desires are. about everything. WRITE IT DOWN. If there are special things you want for people to have—write it down.

#2) Put everything together that someone would need in the event of your death in a specific place. You don’t think about it..and think that you have so long before something could happen. But you never know. This is on my list to do pronto.

Here are some examples of what to have in a notebook here:

http://www.todaysletters.com/2010/08/notebook-tutorial.html

Suggestions for others:

#3) Don’t start making a list of what you want and let it be known that you want it. Don’t take things without permission (whether you had given them as a gift or not)  Wait for the family to bring it up. They are still processing the fact that someone is gone and giving away (or selling) special personal items is not even in their mind yet.

#4) Do not volunteer to be a pallbearer weeks before a person dies. Seriously.

#5) Do not criticize how people handle the funeral and the remains—especially if you aren’t family. Just don’t go there. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, you have free will to do what you want when your family member dies.

What has been the best help?

People who just be with you. 

God sent angels that night in the form of a couple of older men who just put a loving warm hand on my back as I said goodbye.  People who helped days after by cleaning and driving for us. People who ran errands. People who brought meals and told us they were praying.  People who called and said “I am here. anytime. just call me.”  and called again to repeat that.

My favorite? 

People who shared their stories of my dad. Of fun times. of laughter. of things he did that I didn’t know about. That’s what makes the hard times easier. 

Just some thoughts from a daughter who is missing her daddy.

February 19, 2013

a very special little girl needs help and a family

Friends,

Can you help me share this post with anyone that you think would be interested?  We need to get this sweet girl the medical help she needs and a family.

Thank you!

~Charisa


From IAN:

We have another exciting opportunity to help a child in need. We want you to meet Baby M. She was born two months ago with several medical conditions that need immediate attention. The hospital in Mekelle contacted us for assistance, as the treatment needed is not available in Ethiopia. They state that “… her future life is under threat unless the problem is managed surgically.”

The doctors have diagnosed Baby M with Myelomengiocle (a type of Spina Bifida), Hydrocephalous and Clubfoot.

The doctors informed us that Baby M “… needs urgent attention to save her life as the management of her illness needs higher experts requiring surgical repair… that is not available in Ethiopia”

Our ultimate goal is to find Baby M a forever family; however our immediate goal is to provide the medical care she urgently needs.

We all know that it takes a village to raise a child and we believe with your help, resources, and connections, we will be able to drastically improve her quality of life.

If you would like to learn more about her conditions or resources available in your area:

http://www.spinabifidaassociation.org

http://www.hydroassoc.org/

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/clubfoot/DS00814

If you would like to help or are interested in becoming her forever family, please contact us. Photos and medical information will be provided to serious inquires.

You can also contact IAN at:

1 303-691-0808 waitingkids@internationaladoptionnet.org

February 1, 2013

Women of the Bible--Hagar

Hagar

“fugitive” or “immigrant”

I don’t know about you..but as an adoptive mother..this part rips my heart out. I wonder what my sons’ mothers felt when they made the choices that they did.

When the water in the skin was gone, she put the child under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot, for she said, "Let me not look on the death of the child." And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept. 17 And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, "What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. . 18 Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation." 19 Then  God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 And God was with the boy, and he grew up. He lived in the wilderness  and became an expert with the bow. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran, and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

The story of Hagar has always seemed somewhat unfair to me. It shows when we make choices that are outside of God’s plan and out of fear and desperation (Sarah using her for the heir) that those choices can affect so many lives.

Thankfully God still hears our cries. He still bends low to rescue us. He still redeems situations and lives.

I wish that I could have all of you over for that Middle Eastern feast they suggest and discuss and share all of our thoughts and ideas. But we’ll have to settle for blog world.

What did you think?  Anything new come to you?  The issue of pride being in this story with Hagar was a new thought for me.

January 31, 2013

Created for Care Recap

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I had an amazing time at Created for Care this past weekend.  I made the trip after several weeks of feeling burnt out, exhausted and overwhelmed.

I went seeking refreshment.

Greg even sent me this note.

I am praying you will be blessed, refreshed, and energized so you can serve more effectively with greater joy!

Refreshed I was. Worshipping with friends who were very dear to me, having heartfelt conversation late into the night and in that 8 hour car ride and lots of laughter.

One of the things that I love about this group is that you can go straight into the heart of conversations. No weird awkwardness or surface talk. You introduce yourself (scream if you are meeting a bff internet friend for the first time) and then you are right in it.  I love that. I needed that.

Now..some cool things. At the retreat there was something called “A Date with God”  Danielle and I signed up for the 8am session.

We walked down stairs in the room and I saw this tent up with the sign “Tent of Refreshment” Yep. tears started.

We sat down and waiting for others to arrive and while the gal who was hosting this was talking about each station, I had tears flowing the whole time and we hadn’t even started yet!!  A station to sit at a cross and soak up the Word, a tent to sit under and be refreshed and hear from the Lord, a huge map to lay hands on a country God called you to pray for, a wall to leave sticky note prayer requests and to stand and pray for, 2 ladies to go to for intercessory prayer, a place to draw, a place to sculpt, a place to paint.

And then-- A place to go and be prayed a blessing over and to receive a scripture. Now..as I sat on my knees, I knew the lady I was to receive a blessing from. I went to her (yes, weeping as I went) and she started to pray. Just. right. what. I. needed.  She prayed I would feel His love. She prayed for the burdens I felt. She prayed that I would feel His arms and proceeded to give me a huge bear hug (yes, I was sobbing at this point)

And then.

She prayed for the child we hadn’t met yet. in earnest. WHAT??  STOP THE TAPE.  I have NO IDEA what that was about. I hugged her (there’s no talking in A Date with God) picked my Scripture (rolled up paper)  and our session was over.

and I was still going “WHAT??”  Asked my friend who also was with her if she had that in her blessing. No. Asked others the same question. No. UNLESS they had a child waiting.

Funny thing is several weeks ago Greg told me on the phone he was ready to start again. (remember..I usually pulled him into adoption with tow rope) and I laughed and told him he was crazy.

As soon as I got back to our room I sent Greg a fb message. We decided she was nuts.

I just needed to share that here because honestly-- We are open to whatever God wants. (did I just say that? on  public place?) and so if there is another child out there…I can come back and read this and see how God was working.

I then read my Scripture

Isaiah 44:3-5

For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
4They shall spring up among the grass
like willows by flowing streams.
5This one will say, 'I am the Lord's,'
another will call on the name of Jacob,
and another will write on his hand, 'The Lord's,'
and name himself by the name of Israel."

Pouring water on a thirsty and dry ground. Yes. exactly how I felt. dry. thirsty. needing refreshing.  Thanking God that He is faithful to pour that water out and bring dry bones back to life.


Some pictures from the weekend

Danielle and I took a walk in the afternoon. It was FREEZING.

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Love this group. All of these women have done older child adoption and are a source of encouragement each and every day.

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AGCI crew

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AGCI friends

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Hanging out with the Project HOPEFUL team.

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I love this girl. Too many states between us.

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January 23, 2013

Women of the Bible Wednesday—Sarah

Sarah

“Chieftainnes”  “Princess”

 

Scripture Readings:

Genesis  12:1-20, 16:1-8, 17:1-22, 18:1-15, 21:1-13 

Galatians 4:22-31

Couple of things strike me with this.

#1  After losing the referral of that first little boy and we were grieving and wondering, I had a friend email me to not lose heart. That God had our “Isaac” still waiting. This comforted me so much at the time. That’s God’s promise to use would come to pass.

I try to think of Sarah and how she must have felt during all of this. Following her husband to foreign lands, the desperation of infertility, jealousy, being given to the pharaoh to protect the family, have it happen again with Abimelech and being told that the promise would come now as an ‘old woman’

and then to argue with the Lord…

Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. 12  So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, y"After I am worn out, and  my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?" 13 The Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh and say, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' 14  Is anything too hard  for the Lord?  At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son." 15 But Sarah denied it, 8 saying, "I did not laugh," for she was afraid. He said, "No, but you did laugh."

How many times do I try to hurry God’s promises up…try to work out myself…make it happen the way I think it should happen.

Because, to be honest, sometimes I don’t trust God with it completely.

http://ubdavid.org/youthworld/winners1/graphics/6_abraham-sarah-baby.jpg

I love the passage on how important names were in Biblical times (one thing I love about Ethiopia)

which reminds me of this verse:

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it." (Revelation 2:17)

And I loved this:

God hints at his purpose for you by planting dreams within your heart.

What are your dreams?

Odds and Ends

Life around here:

Many faces of T-man

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And we decided he was going to be a runner. He ran 80+ times around in a circle around the house. non stop.

I let Rebekah highlight my hair on Saturday because I was bored. Note to self: 50 minutes may be too long.

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Rachel was pretty stoked to take her cow skull to co-op that she drug up from the creek.  Can you say HOMESCHOOLER?

T is still learning how to drink like a toddler human

T’s singing debut. We are waiting for Adele to call for a duet.

January 13, 2013

Let our little girls be little girls

Can we chat?

This has been something that has been weighing heavy on my heart for a while from what I am seeing everywhere: schools, homeschool groups, churches, stores..etc.

The ‘growing up’ of our little girls.  The rush to push them ahead. Grow them up. Make them mini grown women.

Now..to add some disclaimers.

#1  I don’t have it all figured out. At all. Anyone who knows me knows that. So this isn’t a lecture or a judgment. Just a mom sharing her concern and her heart. So PLEASE do not take it as such.

#2  I am not talking about responsibilities or chores or maturity levels. Yes, children need those and yes, “way back when”  they had a lot more responsibilities and ‘grew up’ a lot quicker. But….I am never one to hold tightly to something just because that’s the way they did it “way back when” (we can all think of things that we are glad didn’t stay the same) and also things were different back then as well. Very different.

Now..back to our girls.

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Can we let them just have their make believe and their dolls for a little while longer?  Do we have to rush them to ‘teen world’ so soon?  Make up, body hugging clothing, texting, and boys?

Can we let them enjoy their tree houses, nature finds, and bikes for a couple more years?

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Let’s not encourage them in the boy craze where their hearts are broken and self esteem is crushed.  Instead, let’s encourage them in discovering who they are, trying new things, and developing who they are in the Lord.

Let’s make sure they know that their self esteem comes from God and who they are in Him--- a beautiful creation from His hand that He loves and cherishes.

If they need to date so early, send them on a date with Dad (or Grandpa) —let him teach them the type of guy that they should be looking for.  If there is no significant male in their life to do that--- Mom..you then teach them by setting that example yourself.

Here is my real concern.

As humans..we always want the next thing…the next game, the next fad, the next big electronic product, the next movie…

If our girls are growing up so fast and being allowed to do things so early…what will be their ‘next thing?’

Let’s not burden them with those responsibilities and temptations so early.

“And so seated next to my father in the train compartment, I suddenly asked, "Father, what is sexsin?"
He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case off the floor and set it on the floor.
Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?" he said.
I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
It's too heavy," I said.
Yes," he said, "and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place

January 11, 2013

Women of the Bible Study—Join me?

I am going to start this study and blog through it weekly.

Women of the Bible: A One-Year Devotional Study of Women in Scripture

It looks interesting and I love studying actual people from the Word and learning from their lives.

The last books I have done  have been intense on ministry and orphan care and I am needing a change of pace at the moment.

Check it out-- I plan on sharing about it on Wednesdays.

http://www.amazon.com/Women-Bible-One-Year-Devotional-Scripture/dp/0310326001/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1357927795&sr=8-4&keywords=women+of+the+bible

Want to join in?

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