Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ordinary People

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
and the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
in the light of His glory and grace."

I marvel when people tell me that Marty and I are special, because we love our boys, because God sent us to them. We've been over it here before, but I have to say again, "We're not special!" When God looks for a job candidate it's not the same way man looks. Marty and I are nothing special. If you met us in real life and many of you have, you would not gasp in awe. I promise. You would be meeting two of the most ordinary and likely uninteresting people you've ever met. 

Marty works hard for our family, as a correction's officer at a minimum security prison. He served our country for five years in the US Navy. I stay at home, in my tidy lived in house and do my best to teach our kids. I am the soccer Mom, gymnastics Mom, taxi driver, I always knew I'd become.  I often feel like I'm missing the mark in these endeavors. Neither of us has a college education (plus side: no college loans). We met in high school and did the unthinkable...we got married at 18. I know, I have my own thoughts about marrying young versus waiting til you're in your late 20s or 30s, but that's a different post for a different blog, I guess. So, you see we are ordinary. 

The greatest truth I've realized in the past few years is this one. GOD uses ordinary people! He uses the Shepherd boy to slay the Giant and become the King. Even David had his many imperfections, he committed adultery, murder, and more. He uses the chiefest of sinners to change the course of the church and history forever. Paul knew his own weaknesses, he recognized that he was nothing apart from the awesome grace of God. He uses fishermen, willing to lay down their nets and take up His cross. They didn't know where He was leading, only that He was worth following. 

God uses ordinary people!

He doesn't need us to be extraordinary, He wants to make us into a new creation. He wants to be strong in our weakness. Marty and I have a lot of weakness, for Him to turn to strength. We were not willing participants when He first began to call us down this path. We were willing, though to go where He called. Who does God need to end the orphan crisis? Obedient people, willing people. People who are listening intently to the Saviors calling. People who are tired of the status quo. People who will lay down their nets and take up a cross. People who know that God intended more for them and for their families than to chase the American Dream. People ready to be courageous, ready to risk much for the KINGDOM. 

God is looking for people who have turned their eyes upon Jesus. If you haven't looked in His direction lately, look today. It's amazing how earthly things become less important when we're gazing on our Savior. Your life will be different if you choose Jesus, it will be fuller and brighter than you ever imagined. It will also be hard. My prayer is that the American Church would stop lying to people. Following Jesus will not make your life easier, it's not supposed to. Look at Jesus' life and the life of his followers and then ask yourself if God intended for your life to be easy and comfortable. I'm sure He did not! Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."

Please, don't feel like God can't use you. Do you feel ordinary? Great! God uses ordinary people. We've seen ordinary people step up and join our family on this journey, again and again, this past year. Without the obedience of ordinary people our boys wouldn't be coming home. Did you hear me? Without the obedience of ordinary people our boys wouldn't be coming home. You've given and prayed and now, that you've watched us walk this path (two of the most ordinary people in the world) maybe you're ready to start your own journey. We'll walk beside you. 12 ordinary men, who had been changed by Jesus, changed the course of history forever. Will you embrace you ordinaryness (I know it's not a word) and pick up your cross and follow Jesus wherever He leads?

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Finishers are at it, AGAIN!

Praise God! He's a God of more than ENOUGH! The Reed family finished the matching grant in just 4 hours and they finished strong at $920 total. The full match will be deposited today and now, the Reed family can relax and focus on bringing home their boys! Thank you to everyone who helped. Oh, and keep watching, because I'm sure the "Finishers" will be back soon! 

I hope you all are enjoying the work of the "Finishers" as much as I am. We have been in awe as God has showed up for our family and the Cole family already this month. Once again, we have a family who is very close to funded and could really use our help pushing through to their goal. You can read about the Reed Family on their Reece's Rainbow profile or you can just skip on over to Christine's Blog and read about this amazing family.

The Reed family expects to have travel dates, today or tomorrow, to go and pick up their boys! You all know that my heart breaks for the boys. So often, chosen last, simply because they're boys. I'm so excited for the Reed family to have chosen not one, but two boys.


and Fischer

Such handsome boys. The Reed family has done the hard work of raising the funds needed to get their boys home and only lack $2,000 to be FULLY FUNDED! Our Finishers learned about the Reed family and knew they wanted to help finish them up. So, there is an $800 matching grant on the table! Dollar for dollar will be matched up to and including $800. Now, here's the catch, just like the last two times the "Finishers" stepped in, we have from 8pm (EST) tonight until midnight (EST) on Friday night. So 27 hours from now, the Reed family should be $1600 closer to funded. So give and share with your friends and watch along with us as God melts this mountain!

It gets better, since I contacted Christine, she has shared the matching grant on her blog and guess what? God has already provided the final $400 they will need to be funded! That's right! Another anonymous donor has stepped forward and said that when they reach the goal for the matching grant, they will give the final $400. I don't plan these things, ya'll. God just loves to show-up and show-off! He is so faithful!

For this matching challenge, we're asking that you give using the chip-in on Christine's blog. We'll know they're funded when the chip-in hits $800! If you'd rather give anonymously through their grant on Reece's Rainbow, go ahead, just be sure to comment here or on Christine's blog and let us know, so we count your donation toward the $800 goal. 

Let's do this! Not just for the Reed family and their boys, but for the KING and His GLORY! 

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

We got DATES!!

I leave to pick the boys up on May 23rd and we'll fly back into the Raleigh Durham airport on June 2nd! Praise God our boys are coming HOME!

That's all for now, I have a home study visit in less than an hour!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Urgent Need!

I come to you often with the older, children. The boys, who get passed over, again and again. I try to advocate for the ones with the most urgent need. Then, I read something like I read today and I remember that all of these children are on borrowed time. Borrowed time...there's no guarantee that transfer won't happen before they turn 5 years old, we just assume it won't. Today, I read this from Andrea, the founder of Reece's Rainbow...Keegan is in danger of being transferred to a mental institution because his baby house is closing. This is Keegan...

He just turned 1 in January. 1 year old and he is in danger of being transferred to a mental institution. Don't pretty it up. Don't think for one minute that it's going to be okay because he's a cute little baby. Dear Lord, where is the church? My heart cries to think that he will be locked away in an institution. That such a precious little one will become a forgotten boy. Please, share his picture. Pray and ask God if Keegan is your son. He is someone's son!

Caring for the orphans is the very heart of God. Adoption is the essence of our faith, without it we'd be lost forever. Jesus provided for our salvation on the cross, for our adoption into the family of God. We are no longer slaves, but sons. Can we be the hands and feet of Jesus to Keegan and free him from slavery, from the sentence of death that is lingering over him, even now? Can we make him a son? Will you be the change you want to see in the world? Keegan's life depends on our response...

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Friday, April 20, 2012

What's Next?

One day, I'm going to learn. I'm going to learn that I cannot have any expectations in regards to timing with our adoption. I had so hoped to be coming to you this morning with the dates of my final trip to bring the boys home. It dawned on me that I haven't shared the details of how that trip will work, so while we wait, let's jump in!

For our pick-up trip Marty is staying home with Eli and Julie. They had a wonderful time in November staying with their Aunt Meagan and Uncle Larry in Maryland, but we want them to be in as much of their normal routine as possible, when we bring their brothers home. Since, Marty couldn't find a friend willing to travel to Bulgaria and wrestle 2 boys for a week in a hotel and then a 20+ hour flight home, I got the job. I do have more than one friend, who is willing and eager to go with me. The most logical and exciting choice for me was to take my long time, best friend, who I haven't seen in going on 3 years with me. 3 years is a long time and when I knew I needed to take someone with me, Marty suggested Daniell. He earned super points for that.

I thought, well, I'll ask, but I met Daniell when our husbands were both in the Navy. Her husband is still in the Navy and that makes travel difficult. Time away for a Navy Spouse is almost unheard of, probably for a spouse in any branch of the military. Thankfully, God is always in the details and Daniell's husband, Stacey is going to be able to take some time off for her to make the trip. I so thrilled she's going to meet our boys and how much fun will it be to take my best friend with me to the other side of the world.

Anyway, now, you know who my traveling companion will be, so let me tell you what happens when we arrive. This is my best understanding...we will fly into Sofia, Bulgaria on a Thursday and drive directly to Joseph's region, where we will spend the night. Friday morning we will go to his orphanage and pick him up. This should take about 45 minutes, then we drive to Samuel's orphanage on the way back to Sofia and pick him up. All so we can be back in Sofia to file for passports before 2 pm. Then, we settle into our hotel and wait. Wait for the passports to be ready and for the boys' medicals to take place on the following Thursday. We should get the all clear on Thursday and board our flight home on Saturday morning.

We're hoping to arrive at the Raleigh/Durham Airport on Saturday evening, early enough so our friends and family we'll come out and meet us and the boys. Now, all we need are dates! Please, pray that we receive them quickly. It's making everyone here a little edgy waiting. One day, I will learn, maybe during our next adoption...did I say that?

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rainbow Shower

We've been over this before, but it bears repeating...I have the most awesome friends on the planet! Saturday was our "Gotcha Shower!" My friends, Brooke, Tonya and Chandres decided we needed a shower to help get ready for the boys' arrival home. Brooke headed things up and she did an amazing job with the food and decorations. I was a little hesitant when Brooke first said she wanted to do a rainbow theme, but it turned out beautifully and Brooke should be a party planner.

Don't believe me? Check out these pictures...

Brooke setting things up!

Rainbow Cupcakes!

Roy G Biv fruit spears and jelly beans (they don't sell violet jelly beans, so pink it is)!

Tonya made this to show off our kids.

Almost time for the guests...they're never far behind a Chick-fil-a tray full of nuggets!

So, we're ready for a rainbow themed party! There are games, presents and most of all guests to introduce you to, but that will have to wait for later. Life is calling. We're busy here in the Rhodes' house. Hopefully, we'll have pick-up dates this week. Keep praying and I'll share some more weekend fun, tonight!


Sunday, April 15, 2012

Our Mystery Guests Revealed!

Blessed doesn't even begin to cover it. I have so many stories to tell and things to share from this weekend. I'm exhausted, but in the best kind of way. First, I promised to tell you who our mystery guests were. We spent last week excitedly anticipating a visit from another Reece's Rainbow Family. You're just not going to believe who came to stay at our house with all seven of their children this weekend. The Rogers Family arrived, yesterday, in time  for our "Gotcha Shower." They stayed overnight with us and went to church and onto the Playing Them Home Event with us. It was such a fun time of fellowship. Erika and Mel just completed an adoption from Eastern Europe in October of 2011, when they brought home...

Clare (this is her just waking up look)

and Malachi

They're about six weeks or so from travel to pick up BERNADETTE and MASON! I can't even begin to tell you what a blessing it was, like a balm to my soul, to hold and love on sweet Clare and Malachi. Especially Malachi, he reminds me so much of our boys and he did my heart so much good. All of the Rogers Gang is a blessing. Each child unique and beautiful. We'll gladly open our home anytime to welcome...





John Daniel

Oh, Erika and Mel can come, again, too. As long as they bring all these loves, plus Bernadette and Mason with them. It felt just like hanging out with old much common ground, a sharing of faith, love for God and family and of course, for the orphans. Here's just a few more pictures of us with our in-real-life (no longer just bloggy-land, facebook) friends. We miss them, already!

Matthew and Eli

Cailee, Julie, Joy

Me, Erika and Julie, along with Malachi and Clare, who are clearly finished taking pictures.

We loved our time together this weekend. It was too short! I can't wait to tell you all about the BEST "Gotcha Shower" I've ever been to, complete with pictures of the friends who love us so well and love our boys even more. That's for tomorrow. 

For today, if you want to help the Rogers family bring home our sweet Bernadette and precious Mason, too, head on over to their Reece's Rainbow Grant and make a tax-deductible donation. Time is running short for my friends. They travel in less than two months and still need about $15,000. I know, they'd appreciate any help you sent their way.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Weekend Fun

I am about to have the most amazing weekend! Lots of pictures will be coming on Monday morning. What's on the agenda? Our friends are throwing us a "Gotcha Shower" today. In hopes of making sure we have everything we need for the boys when they come home. I have great friends! It's my prayer that every adopting family would be loved on as well as we are.

Today, we're also expecting overnight guests. Another Reece's Rainbow Family is coming to stay, so they can be a part of the Pickett Family fundraising event that's happening tomorrow. Playing Them Home is an event organized by the Pickett and Morton families to help raise the money needed to bring home their kids. Sadly, the Mortons have had to release Sam and Duncan (they have new families committed), but are coming to help anyways. They're wonderful friends. Playing Them Home will be a family event with soccer games, a 5k run and a fun run for the kids. We're so looking forward to it!

Wait, I didn't tell you who's coming to visit. I'm not going to tell you! It will be a surprise! When you come back Monday morning, you'll know why my heart if so full of JOY, today, at the anticipation of finally meeting my friend and her family, face to face. We're going to have a house full and love every minute of it.

I hope your weekend plans are as fun as mine. I'm looking forward to seeing lots of friends and family this weekend. We're so blessed by each of you and everything you've done to make our boys coming home a reality!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Faith Walking...

How can we walk by faith and not by sight? First, we must know who God is and what His promises are. Promises like the one in Psalms 91:14-16. It's a promise with a condition. The condition is we must love God and hold onto Him with all of our lives. We must be "all in" for the King and His Glory. When you read on and learn the reward, the kept promise of God for such obedience, it truly does become easier to walk in FAITH.

"If you'll hold on to me for dear life," says God, "I'll get you out of any trouble. I'll give you the best care if you'll only get to know and trust me. Call and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times; I'll rescue you, then throw you a party. I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation!"

So the question becomes not "How can we walk by faith and not by sight?" but, "How can we not?" Do you believe the promises of God are yes and amen? I do! Every assurance He gives in His word is already a kept promise on His part. Please, walk in the promises of God, today. Don't hesitate to go where He guides, to speak words of love prompted by Him, to feed the poor, to care for the orphan, the widow, the homeless, the destitute. When you begin to do these things God promises a "full life in the emptiest of places" (Isaiah 58:11).

I know a good place to start giving care to the orphans. I even know some orphans, who desperately need care. Each of these is waiting and God's promises are "yes and amen" for them as well. We are His hands and feet and with the full assurance of our God's faithfulness how can we not walk by faith into our calling? Is God calling you to bring one of these home? I pray, that you'll ask Him sincerely and then put on your FAITH FEET and get to walking!


Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Finishers


Update: Another family of "finishers" has promised to finish the last $400, once the $300 matching grant challenge has been met. So, once we reach $3911 on the FSP the Cole family will be funded with the grants that are coming! How great is our God! For the King and His glory, we will rescue these little ones!

I had the most amazing experience last week as we watched our last $1270 come into our grant. We were contacted by an anonymous donor, who wanted to help push us to our goal. They offered us a $500 matching grant and within hours it was met. Mid-Friday morning we were funded. It was so much fun to watch and be a part of that the anonymous donors contacted me, again, and said, "Who's next?"


Seriously, our anonymous donors are going to be called, "The Finishers" from now on. They want to be able to help push families into their goal of being fully funded. So, when "The Finishers" said, "Who's Next?" I said, "The Cole Family!"

The Cole Family Sponsorship Page

Beth and Dan Cole leave to meet their girls in 8 days and are only $1,000 short of their goal. I'm showing $3611 on their FSP page, so when they hit $4650 they'll be FULLY FUNDED! Two of the most precious words an adoptive family hears on their journey. Beth and Dan are bringing home two girls...



I picked them because I have watched Beth work so hard and tirelessly toward their goal. Also, because their girls are precious and desperately need to come home, now! 

"The Finishers" have offered to do a matching grant from now until midnight Friday (EST) of $300. Every dollar up to $300 will be doubled between now and then. I'm praying for just a little more, though. I'm praying that you'll all be so excited to see Beth and Dan within $400 of their goal (which is where they'll be when the match is met) that you'll keep giving generously until they're FULLY FUNDED!

One more time, here's their Family Sponsorship Page where you can make your tax deductible donation!

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Double Portion

Today, Marty and I received a double portion blessing. When Julie was born nearly 7 years ago, we didn't think our family could be any more blessed. We had an amazing son and a beautiful daughter. God knew better. His plans are always better than our plans, His ways higher than ours.

It is with great JOY that we officially announce the welcoming of Samuel Dimitar Rhodes and Joseph Ivaylo Rhodes into our family.
Our double portion blessing!
Samuel Dimitar Rhodes
Born in Assenovgrad, Bulgaria
on October 21, 2007.
Welcomed into our family
on April 10, 2012!

Joseph Ivaylo Rhodes
Born in Haskovo, Bulgaria
on April 7, 2005.
Welcomed into our family
on April 10, 2012!

We are celebrating the faithfulness of God this morning in His kept promises to our boys! No longer orphans, but sons, brothers, cousins, nephews, grandsons, friends, loved, cherished, adopted! A double portion indeed!

Mandy, Marty, Eli and Julie

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tomorrow Morning...

Tomorrow morning, when we wake up, it will most likely be to the news that our boys are orphans-no-more! Will you pray for our attorney tonight as she prepares to represent our family in court tomorrow? Court should happen around 3 a.m. EST. Pray for favor and that the judge would see no reason not to grant full sole legal custody of Joseph and Samuel to our family!

Look for a very excited post in the morning! One where you'll finally be able to know the boys' full legal names. We haven't shared their middle names before now, because they are their current Bulgarian names. That's the first time we've acknowledge the country the boys are in here on the blog. Tomorrow we'll be adding two little Bulgarians to our family!

We simply cannot wait! Our JOY is coming in the morning!

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...

Hidden in Christ,

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Joseph!

You want to be excited for your kids to have a birthday, but I'm having a difficult time finding my excitement, today. I shared earlier this week that Joseph was not feeling well and that if he were better by Friday our friends (who were visiting their daughter) were going to have a party for the two of them. The party was a raging success, except for it was short one guest of honor. Little Avery had a wonderful birthday party with her parents, but Joseph was not well enough to come. So, the post full of brightly colored birthday celebration photos will have to wait til next year.

Meanwhile, it is Joseph's 7th birthday, today! Sadly, he's spending it shut away in isolation because he's still sick. Wendy and Jeff were not allowed to see him, again at all. You can't know how much it makes our hearts ache to wonder if we could have gotten there faster. The process is what it is, though and we just have to rest in God's perfect timing. Joseph has lived 7 years as an orphan and on Tuesday, he will be an orphan-no-more.

We couldn't make it in time for your birthday, Joseph, but you won't spend very many days of your 8th year without a forever family. We're praying, today, for your complete healing as a birthday gift that only our Heavenly Father can give you. Next year, Buddy, next year...just you wait! We're going to celebrate YOU!

You are not forgotten. God has always seen you and held you, so today, I rest in knowing that HE loves you more than I ever could.
Happy Birthday, beautiful boy!

We're coming as fast as we can...
Mom, Dad, Eli and Julie

Friday, April 6, 2012

It is Finished!

Talk about timing. This is amazing! To be able to write a post on Good Friday entitled, "It is Finished!" When God slays the giant, He does in a way that can only glorify Him! In January I told you were handing the funding back over to God. We thought we needed $8,000, turns out we really needed $10,500. Either way, God did it!

He used our friends, family, and strangers to topple the Giant! He did it by using His people who were obedient when He called. God performed this miracle (yes, $10,500 in about 3 months time is a miracle) so that our family will never doubt that He called us to this path. He loves our children and us! He went to the cross, so we could be adopted into His family and so it's fitting that today, He finished the work to allow Joseph and Samuel to be adopted into our family.

So, it's with great JOY that I tell you, "IT IS FINISHED!" We are Fully Funded! All we need now is to pass court and go get our boys!

Thank you to everyone, who has given, prayed and shared! Keep watching!

Hidden in Christ,

Thursday, April 5, 2012


I was contacted, yesterday, by a family who wants to do a $500 matching grant for us! A family we've never met, felt impressed upon by God to give a gift for our boys. Move over, Mountain!

This family wants to remain anonymous and would like to match dollar for dollar any donation that comes between now and midnight (EST) tomorrow, Friday, April 6th. We have a lot to celebrate in the coming week. I'm going to make you a list.

1. Sunday is Resurrection Day! My favorite day of the year! We have much to celebrate in the new life Jesus offers each of us with his death and resurrection! The Hero of our story!

(I'm not sure we really need any other reasons to celebrate, but here are a few more).

2. Joseph's 7th Birthday is Saturday! 7 years of surviving without a family and his last birthday as an orphan is worthy of celebrating. Our boy is a fighter! Happy Birthday, Little Man!

3. Sunday is our anniversary. For 12 years, I've been married to my best friend and life gets better every year. We can't wait to see where God takes us in the next 12 years! It has surely been one of life's greatest adventures to be married to this man. I love you, Marty!
He's going to LOVE my picture choice...

4. April 10th is our Court Day! Joseph and Samuel will become official and forever members of the Rhodes' Family!

5. April 12th is Julie's 7th birthday! What a blessing she is to our family. Our only girl...she has our hearts.

I think, we could do with one more thing to celebrate this week. It wouldn't make us sad at all to be able to celebrate the day we got Fully Funded, along with all the other fun things we're looking forward to this week.

Thank you to the family who has issued the challenge. We need another $1280 to be funded. We only have until midnight Friday, then the match goes away! So, if we match every dollar, we'll be within $280 of being funded. Can you help?

We hope you'll be around this week, because the party is just getting started! We have much to be thankful for and I plan to share it all with you!

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...Do Something!

Hidden in Christ,

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Little Man is Sick

I received pictures from friends of ours, yesterday. They are visiting their soon-to-be daughter, who lives in the same orphanage as Joseph. You can check out their blog and see pictures of their precious little girl. Next week they'll go meet their new son. I love to see families first meetings. It's a beautiful thing to watch as God ties hearts together. Wendy and Jeff happen to live just an hour or so, from us and we've had dinner with them and just visited a couple of times, now. They're wonderful people and I'm excited that our kids will get to play together once they're all home.

Wendy and Jeff got to spend a few minutes with Joseph, yesterday. Poor kid is sick. His little face is swollen and he has some cold sores. Wendy said he just doesn't seem to feel well, at all. It's very hard for a Mama's heart to hear her little one is sick and not even be able to give him a hug. Wendy also said he was upset and scared of them, but did reach to be held after a few minutes. I'm thankful she was there to hold him for that little bit of time. Here's a picture of Wendy and Joseph from yesterday.

And another of Joseph by himself...

Eli picked that little red truck to send to him. It's Joseph's birthday on Saturday, so he wanted to send him a little gift. We're pretty sure Joseph has a virus causing the swelling and blisters. Will you pray for our little man? Wendy wants to have a little birthday party for him and Avery (their little girl) tomorrow, but Joseph won't be able to go, unless he's well enough to be back around the other kids.

Soon, little man, soon. Soon, you won't ever be sick without a Mom and Dad to hold you and comfort you. Soon, being sick won't also mean you have to be separated from your routine and your friends and everything familiar, which I'm sure makes even the smallest cold a little more miserable (I do understand why it's necessary to keep him from the other kids, wouldn't want to make everyone sick). We're praying for God to heal you and to comfort you. He does love you more than Mommy and Daddy do, so we're trusting you to His care. We're coming, though, as quickly as we can.

Please, pray and I'll update you all when I have information. It's incredibly encouraging to know that we have so many friends and family who will pray for our boys. While you're praying, don't forget about Samuel. That God will protect him, too. Thank you, friends. Thank you for being here and for caring.

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...

Hidden in Christ,

Monday, April 2, 2012

Ridiculous, Outrageous, Extravagant Love...

Ridiculous, outrageous, extravagant LOVE! That's the only way I can describe what happened in a 24 hour period over this weekend. Saturday night as I was heading to bed, I thought, "Let me check our grant." This is unusual because I rarely ever check our grant. Imagine my surprise when I realized that it had grown by nearly $1500. I blogged about that gift, yesterday morning before church. It was like opening the flood gates. That one gift inspired many of you to begin to give.

By the time we returned home from church, another $100 had come in, a couple of hours later $250, then $10, $20, and up, up, up went our grant. I kept updating Marty and we were wondering what was going on? Was someone doing a giveaway, had someone written a blog post? To my knowledge none of those things happened. I believe God began to speak to hearts on our behalf. I'm so thankful for everyone who took the time to respond. It is wonderful to be able to say that GOD did it!

It was the most fun we've had in awhile. I laughed and squealed and hollered for Marty to come look more times than I counted. We were overwhelmed by your generosity. We experienced a time of refreshing and a renewed energy to finish the task. Sometimes it's as much about the encouragement your giving a family as it is about the money. Yesterday, you encouraged our hearts.

Check out the ticker on the right hand side of the blog this morning! We only need $1455 to be FULLY FUNDED! It is truly amazing to watch God melt the mountain like wax! I hope you'll rejoice with us as we praise God, from whom all blessings flow!

Pray, Adopt, Advocate, Support...


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Thank you!

I'm standing at the foot of the mountain and watching it crumble before the Lord. I love to share these stories with you. I love to tell you of people who have given sacrificially. I don't know the details of today's story. Yesterday, we had an anonymous donation of $1455 (really $1500, but 3% of any donation over $500 goes to Reece's Rainbow to offset Paypal expenses). Did you read that?

$1455!! It's by far the largest anonymous gift we've received to date. It, along with some other funds, that have come in the last two days, has put us back within $2,000 of our goal. I don't know who the giver was, but I'm thankful for the gift. Humbled that once again, someone chose to help move this mountain out from between us and our boys.

I know God is FAITHFUL. He keeps his promises. He is the giver of every good gift. Once again, we know that He has called us to this place. It's a place of complete dependency upon Him. It's a hard place to walk, but also, the very best place to walk. How can I ever doubt His love for me, when He continues to prove Himself faithful at every turn.

Who gets the glory in ALL of this? God does! Who is moving the mountain? God is! When our family reflects back on this journey for years to come the sustaining truth, the red thread woven throughout, will be of God and His faithfulness. It will be a story for our children and our grandchildren about how again and again God provided. A story full of mercy, grace, provision and redemption. A God Story, the very best kind of God Story.

To the gift giver...I may not know who you are, but my heart, our hearts, say, "Thank you!" To each one who continues to sow seed matter the size of your gift, you are a part of our story and while I may not know who you are, my heart, our hearts, say, "Thank you!"

Hidden in Christ,