Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I don't want an appointment!!!

Wow!  It is so hard to believe that we are at the point where we need to get passports.  Since mine & John's were renewals we were able to simply mail the renewal application in.  For the kids, we had to make an appointment at the Post Office and bring the whole family in. 

Of course, the only appointment time they had for the next several weeks was right in the middle of nap time!  But the kids were all troopers.  Poor Livi cried on the way there. She kept saying, "I don't want an appointment!!!"  It took me a while to figure out why she was so upset, but then I realized she thought this was the appointment where she gets a shot!  After I assured her this was not going to be that kind of appointment she was all smiles.
Eliza was excited she got to carry the papers in! And Olivia was happy once she knew no one was getting a shot!
My brave girls walking in, hand in hand.  I am nervous and excited to see
 how they handle all the changes over the next few months.
Poor Aiden was alseep and had to be woken up for the appointment.

Livi waiting for the PO worker to return with our papers.

Once he woke up, Aiden loved playing with the pen that was chained to the counter!

It should take 4 to 6 weeks for the kids passports to be processed and mailed to us.  Please pray that everything goes smoothly and quickly.  Next we have to apply for Visas!  

Forsaking Strawberries!!!!

I noticed the big tent from a couple blocks away.  Every year, about this time, I begin to search for it, knowing that it should pop up any day.  It calls me.  It beckons me.  It knows that I can not drive by without succumbing to the temptation.  And today, like every other time I see it, I stopped.  I gave it.  I could NOT help it.  They were calling out to me!!!

 I absolutely LOVE strawberries...almost to an unhealthy point!  Literally, I could have eaten the entire flat of strawberries in the car before I got home, but the little ones were with me and I wanted to show some self control!  And now the kids have that same intense love for strawberries.  Our family can go through 8 to 10 quarts of strawberries every week!

Aiden calls them "straw-bees"
People often ask me what food I missed the most when we were in Togo before.   I can unequivocally say, "STRAWBERRIES!".   I told John that this spring and summer I will have to eat all I can because it will be at least 2 years before I get them again.  

This morning I read this verse and it made me chuckle, "And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, (or strawberries!!!) for my name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life." Mt 19:29

So does that mean that I will receive a hundredfold worth of strawberries one day??  Will my plate at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb be piled high with bright red strawberries? Will I have a beautiful strawberry patch next to my mansion?  I don't know.  But I do know that as the Bible says just a few verses before that one, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible".  So can I forsake my beloved strawberries for the next couple years?  I can!

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Magic of One!

Last week my family had the chance to share our story of losing our home at a Heroes Banquet that the Red Cross holds every year.  The theme was "The Magic of One" referring to how just one person can make a difference in someone's live.  This banquet is for the people that volunteer and help raise money to enable the Red Cross to help people all over the country and all over the world.  This is a little bit of what I shared:

What do you think about when you think of the RED Cross. My first experience with the Red Cross was as a young teenager taking the baby sitting course.  My husband and I usually give blood with the Red Cross.  I have also dealt a little bit with the Red Cross in helping get a military family member home when they had a critically ill loved one in the Intensive Care.  I was like most people though when I thought about the Red Cross…..they are a great organization.  They do great work.  They help people…..but other people.   The people in those others neighborhoods.  Or those people in other towns that were wiped out by tornados.  Or those people in that 3rd world country that experienced a massive natural disaster.  But on Dec 3rd, 2011,  I became one of those people.  My family, my childrenl, we were the ones that needed help!

Me speaking to some of the Heroes that volunteer for Red Cross

Just a few minutes after I arrived, my husband and I were standing on the side of the road, watching the chaos, when I noticed a man in a jacket that said “Red Cross”.   Initially I thought, he must be here to help the firemen, to give them water or food.  But then as he approached us, I realized that he was there for us.

He took my husband to the side and they talked awhile.  And I guess I still didn’t understand what was going on.  I think in my mind I thought maybe they help with clean up or finding lodging.  But then my husband came back and showed me a gift card with a substantial amount of money that was for us to help with immediate needs for the family. We are like most families.  We didn’t have an emergency fund or a big savings account.  I work full time and John works part time and is in school full time.  We did not have the means that day to go out and  buy our neccessties, so that card was tremendously helpful.   Later that evening, we went to Walmart and used that card to buy immediate needs:  socks, underclothing, snacks for the kids, diapers, sippy cups, a book bag for my oldest for school, toothbrushes, toiletries, things like that,every day essesntials.  We also used it to buy clothing and shoes for the next day or two.  We used it to survive.
There is a Bible verse that my husband and I took on as our mission verse when we served in Africa.  It is Jude 22” And some have compassion, making a difference”.  It is interesting to me that the Bible doesn’t say that all make a difference.  It doesn’t say that everyone makes a difference.  It is those who CHOSE to act on their compassion that makes a difference.  Compassion without action is nothing!  The Red Cross puts action behind their compassion to reach out to those in need to make a difference in their lives.
So now, when I think of the Red Cross, I don’t think it for those people, or for someone else, because they touched my family in very real way.  And so we thank you, each of you, and we thank the Red Cross, because the Red Cross helped us to take the first step of many difficult steps on the road to rebuild our lives
The girls were VERY excited to meet a princess!  She is actually Miss Goldsboro,  Blaire Mozingo, but the girls saw her tiara and just knew she was a real life princess.  Blaire's pagent platform is the Red Cross.  She also was the recipient of Red Cross aide in the form of an emergency blood transfusion.

We were so grateful for the oppurtunity to tell the Red Cross how much we appreciate all their help and assistance after our loss.  The fire changed me in so many ways....I am thankful for that.  And I am thankful for all the wonderful people that have come into our lives since that dreadful morning.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Perfect Storm

I am terrified.  For the last few days it is all I can think about....the upcoming ladies meeting at our church.  A couple months ago, I was asked to speak at Faith's ladies meeting called "The Perfect Storm" about the house fire and how the Lord worked in our family's lives.   I said yes right away....but now I wish I had said no.  I am not a public speaker....I hated speech class in highschool and college and now I am absolutely terrified.  My sole desire is to brag on Jesus.  I want people to look at me and see how good the Lord has been.  I don't want this to be about me, or our family.  My heart longs to honor HIM.  If you are reading this, would you please say a prayer for me?  So many people are hurting and I pray I can be an encouragement to them.  I know that HE will help me.  He has promised to "do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." (Eph 3:20).

My family

My family