28 October 2009


Each morning my alarm goes off and I don't want to get out of bed. Just 5 more minutes I think. Recently, I've been justifying my laziness by spending that time in prayer - sometimes falling asleep multiple times. I don't even have to ask God to grant me more sleep cause that comes naturally.

This morning was different.

I woke up and immediately began praying for a dear friend. She's my age and yesterday was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. The story of her diagnosis and treatment is hers to share and because she hasn't shared yet, I'll leave all of that out. It's not the purpose of my post anyway. This morning I was focused in prayer. Having learned and been reminded about several things surrounding prayer in the last 6 months, I had a hard time praying.

Pray for Specifics.
Naturally I want my friend healed. Fully. I want her to feel better. This isn't completely out of selfishness. I know that she's called to missions overseas. In my peabrain sized mind, I can't comprehend how she can go through the medical stuff associated with HL and still do the missions work.

This Then is How You Should Pray...
There's a section of verses in the bible that talk about how to pray - bringing glory to God's name, bringing God's kingdom to others, asking for God's will to be done. HOw can I incorporate my not-so-selfish specific prayers with this? This part I managed to put together pretty easily in my thinking and praying. God, a complete healing would allow her to bring glory to Your name, bring Your kingdom to lost people, do your will by reaching the nations. Can it be that simple?

Simple Faith.
It's so much easier to have faith like a child - a simlple faith. Praying for God's will to be done would be so much easier and that evokes emotion from faith but that's not me. I do want God's will but I also want to tell God my heart (yes, I know he already knows it), I want to share the intimate details of who I am and that when my friend hurts, so do I. Is it really that simple?

So in the early hours of the morning when I should have been crawling out of bed, I was there wide awake approaching the throne of a Holy King on behalf of my friend. Though Ryan nudged me three times to wake up, I was wide awake and thankful that God hears our prayers!

Funny Kids

Last night on the way home, the kids were in the back seat being kids. Bethany yells out "he pinched me in the nose". Pinch gets used to describe a variety of things. I tried to use it as a moment of learning which didn't come out real smoothly. But it was funny.

Bethany turned to Scott and said "Scott, I love you even when you're naughty".

Scott turned to Bethany and replied so sweetly "Bethany, I love you even when I'm naughty too".

Gotta love the things kids come up with!

26 October 2009


Okay, so I'm about to be transparent and real here.  This also means that you will get to see my ugly but real side.  Warning.
I will try to keep it brief.
For months I have planned an adoption auction.  I have spent countless hours designing a website, gathering auction items, creating flyers about Ethiopia and orphans, purchasing supplies, asking God to bless the event, asking friends to make desserts, etc.  I've honestly spent more time on this event than I did on my wedding planning. 
We spent Saturday morning setting up and decorating.  I continued to pray for 3 main things: 1. That it would bring God glory, 2. That it would bring an awareness of orphans, 3. That we could raise a specific dollar amount with the auction.  It came together wonderfully and I was nervous but hopeful.  By mid afternoon, my throat was getting sore and I knew that I needed to sit down for awhile.  That break didn't happen but I did have a chance to get cleaned up (and put on make up for the first time in months), bathe my wild kids, and spend a few moments with family. 
We left to head back to the Opera House so that people could bring their desserts and we could eat as a family plus our friends that were helping.  As we sat together and ate our pizza, I had this overwhelming feeling of loneliness. 
So I began to pray.
Why would I feel so lonely.  Maybe it was that I was sitting in the big Opera House and had stopped running around.  The prep work was done and we were all getting a bite to eat before it began.  Maybe it was the devil playing tricks.  Of course a million things run through my mind.  I felt like I was having this argument with God about the lonliness and the "what if no one comes" thoughts that were running through my head.
But God, I aksed you to bless it in Your Name, not mine. How will they know about the need to care for orphans if you don't bring them through the door?

And the negative thoughts continued.  I should have sent out postcards.  I should have put more in the paper.  I should have...  Seriously, why do we do this to ourselves.  The bible clearly says not to give the devil a foot hold.  Though I firmly believe that we should pray for specifics, I knew that God would choose to do what He wanted regardless of how much work I did and how much I was kicking myself for not doing.  Do you ever have that?  Where you have this battle in your own head?  I should have done the postcards... but I can only do so much with my time.  I should have done this... but I have two little kids that need mommy to eat supper with them. 
And so I shrugged it off and went on, focusing on how to present the desserts, etc.
The auction started at 630 and I'm so thankful I wasn't wearing a watch!!!  People were there but not tons and tons of people like I had hoped for.  It wasn't until the auctioneer walked in that I really realized how little people were there.  There was 45 minutes on the silent auction before the live auction of about 8 items.  Here stood the auctioneer and we hadn't even filled the room yet.  We waited another 15 minutes before I faced the inevitable and went on with the live auction. 
I didn't count the number of people there.  And to be honest, I don't think its important.  What I do know, is that I was really, really dissapointed in the turn out.  There were approximately 30 people there.  Besides the auctioneer, there was only three people there from the community outside of our church.  One was helping with the auction and the other was the auctioneer's son, who also happens to be a client of Ryan's.
The live auction came and went without much excitement.  A few things were bid on by several people but most things kept their starting bid or had one bid on them.  My saddle and blanket went for $25 when the auctioneer started it at that but even he turned and told me that he wouldn't understand if I didn't want to sell it for that much.  This was not what I envisioned.
My heart was happy but broken all at the same time.
Sure, the Iowa Hawkeyes were undefeated and playing at the same time but that couldn't have kept everyone home could it?  It wasn't even raining out.  I feel stupid for planning for 500, thinking we'd have at least 200 and having 30.  There's all these desserts, are people going to be mad that I asked them to make a dessert that I didn't really need?  What are you trying to teach me through this Lord?
Of course, I'm not all negative in my thinking...
At the same time, I was so glad for those who did come.  In fact one of the checks in the donations (they didn't bid on anything) said "we care" in the memo line.  Oh how I wish they would have said that at the event.  How could I stand there and look past all the people who were there to only focus on who wasn't?  There were lots of people there who care about us.  Who see the value in adoption.  Who care for the orphans.  That was so obviously evidenced by the amount of donations, by the desserts given, by the prayers said and the kind words shared.  But I was asking for more.  And it so wasn't in God's design for there to be more that night.  I still don't know why but I'm trying to be at peace about it.
I am so thankful for all the participation.  So, so thankful for the countless hours that mom kept my kids while I worked on adoption stuff.  So, so thankful for Ryan's ability to let me be off in another world focusing on this while he put the kids in bed and didn't get my attention.  So, so thankful for Cassie's amazing help planning, shopping, setting up, getting donations, adverstising, etc.  I'm so thankful for those who have cared through this process, whether they put it on the memo so I could "see" it or not.
We can't always see things even if they are there.
It's so much easier for me to understand and comprehend the tangible.  I specifically prayed for a range of money (between $4500 and $5400).  I didn't set a goal that would fund all of our adoption, or even a goal that would fund the difference of what we'd not saved on our own.  I don't even know where the goal came from except to say that it came to mind while I was praying one day.  We didn't meet that goal with the auction but I'm okay with that.  Because in that I faithful to pray and seek God and He was faithful to answer.  Those who supported us through winning bids, supported us big time.  I heard one lady say that she was writing a check for $500 and wanted the difference to go towards the raffle tickets.  I didn't know what her total was so I added it up later that night.  I was blown away to read the totals on checks and then match them with what they'd purchased.  It was so cool.  And as I held the money in my hand late Saturday night, I was and am so thankful to God who made it all happen.  Cause at the end of the night, we were ~$3,000 closer to bringing children home from Ethiopia. 
Yes, God did hear my prayers and He did answer and I'm so glad to have participated in that!

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20 October 2009

I think he's nocturnal

Scott and I pulled another all-nighter.  When we went to bed last night he was still awake even though he was told to go right to sleep and get rested so he could go to school.  About midnight he started puking.  Poor kid.  By time I changed his sheets, changed his clothes, got him all settled and went to the basement to start laundry, he had puked some more.  Fun job at midnight!  I ended up staying in his room with him while we had our own little sleep over.  It was quite fun and every few minutes (it seemed but I couldn't see his clock) we went through the routine of restlessness where I grabbed the trashcan, he dry-heaved, said he was done, snuggled up to me and I scratched his back.  I constantly prayed over him for his health and for mine as this is a busy week.  He was so sweet about it all and though I wasn't getting any sleep, it wasn't that bad. 
I'm so glad I didn't take benadryl to help with my allergies or I would've been dragging! 
At 5am when Ryan's alarm went off, he ventured into Scott's room to find out what was going on.  Scott was finally sleeping soundly and I was desperate for my comfy bed!  I texted my girls that I wouldn't be working out, listened to the guys have their accountability time over coffee, wished I'd worked out since I was awake anyway, and eventually conked out hard.  It was 840 when I woke up!  Thank you Jesus for some rest!
This morning I had a bright-eyed bushy tailed little boy who was insistent that he felt fine.  I was sure that his puking party was not the flu even though the media has everyone scared to death about it.  It was sure to be related to one or both of the following: 1. Sinus drainage - it causes an upset stomach and we've been there before.  2. Cough syrup with codeine - he hadn't had much to eat at supper and codeine can cause upset stomachs.  No fun regardless.


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19 October 2009


Life is moving forward quickly around here.  This weekend we were actually home - maybe because Ryan had to work and Scott is still sick and it has rubbed off on me.  Anyway, I took some time to clean the kids' rooms upstairs.  As I picked up a barrel that holds monkies, I was surprised to see what was inside.  The barrel had been on the floor with the opening pressed against the floor.  And when I picked it up, there was a nice, thick web spun with a scary spider in it.  I immediately through it in the toilet even though it was dead.  If that's any indication of my cleaning lately, its getting mighty scary around our house.
Praying for God to do big things with the auction this weekend and looking forward to spending some more time keeping up with my home and my family!

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16 October 2009

Remembering Scott Redfern

Just wanted to share this with you to see if its something you might find interest in. Scott was a dear friend of mine in my teenage years. He led me to Christ in those years and died in a tragic accident when we were sophomores. Scott's life and death has left a legacy that has impacted many, including myself and maybe you too. I love and cherish the memories of my dear friend and of course want to participate. Take a look below (the layout changed a bit by posting it here but you'll get the idea) and if you feel like this is something you want to be involved in, you can contact bonnie@newpathcenter.org

ps. the Byers are actually Scott's cousins who are missionaries in Germany. Cool people (from what I hear) and actually preached a message at First Baptist in Kingsburg when they were home last summer on furlough.

Have a great weekend

a project of
New Path Center

Scott's 30th Birthday

We wish we could celebrate with him, but honoring his memory in this way brings joy to us and furthers God's Kingdom around the world.
Thank you to those who have responded
with your memories of Scott.
We are blessed by your friendship and love.

We invite you to join us in remembering Scott's birthday with a donation to purchase a Kiln for Köln for Dave and Rachel Byers, missionaries in Germany with Greater Europe Mission.
See the details below!
Kiln for ln
Last Friday was the db KUNST Einweihungsfeier (Grand Opening). Those who attended shared the excitement as friends and neighbors were welcomed at the new shop at Unter Kahlenhausen 43.

What a light in the darkness this shop
will be as Dave and Rachel minister through their artistic talents and build relationships with the German people to share the message of Christ.
Take a look at db KUNST Opening:
db Kunst Opedning

db kunst opening 4

What is Kiln for Köln?
Old kilnTop Loading KilnKiln for Köln is a project, in Scott's memory, to purchase a new kiln for db Kunst. Dave's kiln, pictured on the left, is no longer working. The cost to purchase a new one, similar to the one on the right, is $3,200.

To mark Scott's 30 years, we hope to receive 30 donations of $100 for the Kiln for Köln project to purchase the new kiln for Dave's shop.

To date, we have received checks and pledges totaling $1,100. We would love to hear from you so we can send the funds to the Byers by Scott's 30th birthday, November 23rd.

Dave reports: "A reliable firing kiln is the most important piece of equipment in the studio. Everything really hangs on it."

Perhaps you can't give $100 . . .
Three of Scott's friends from high school could not give $100 each, so they are splitting it three ways! Thanks for your creativity!

Thanks so much for remembering Scott in this way.

Please make your check out to
New Path Center and write Kiln for Köln
on the memo line on your check.
Your gift is a tax-deductible donation and you will receive a receipt for tax purposes.
Please mail checks to:
New Path Center
PO Box 874, Kingsburg, CA 93631-0874
Attn: Kiln for Köln
PO Box 874

Kingsburg CA

New Path Center is a registered
db storefront
Click here
to visit the website of
db Kunst
to see
what God
is doing
in Köln
Tony and Bonnie 1974
Visit the Byers' website
to read about their own personal journey of transformation. You will understand
why the arts
are so much
a part of how they live out
the gospel message of
a God
who restores.
Scott IHS
November 23, 1979 ~ February 6, 1996

Birthday, Scott
Read Scott's story here.

Give This One to Daddy

Last night I stayed home with the kids while Ryan went to bible study. It was good to focus on them for a while. When I was tucking Scott in bed, he was really snuggly and had been all day (the benefit of a sick kid). He gave me the longest, sweetest bear hug. It warmed my heart to think he wanted to hug me that much. In an instant, he let go and asked me to give that hug to his daddy. It was still sweet, even though the hug wasn't for me. It was neat because his daddy is the one who tucks him in and tells him a story every night. He must have missed him last night. He did continue with a few more genuine hugs and named off the individuals who I wasa told to give them to. I love my son!

In case you're wondering, no, he's not perfect. I did leave out the drama of eating supper and the pooping in his undies stories :)

15 October 2009

Life Takes Over

Today I have a sick kid at home. Well not really at home, but at his Grammy's. I'm so thankful that they are so involved in our day to day lives. Scott cried this morning when he couldn't go to school. He loves school and had even made a little card for one of the girls in his class. Yes, a GIRL. Not so sure what I think about that. I quizzed him about her and this is the one child who's last name he doesn't know. I'm a protective mama and want to know who his friends are, who their parents are, and WHY he's already making a card for her???? Cute for now, I know. But it will only progress I think.

Got my hair chopped yesterday. It was WAY overdue! Living in cruise control lately. Trying to do everything and not doing anything so great it seems like. This is the season though and I'm thankful that God has put different things on my heart.

Off I go. Have chapter 8 of Crazy Love to read before bible study tonight, even though I'm staying home with the little guy!

14 October 2009

Time to Shop

Did you realize that Christmas is 72 days away. That may sound like a lot but when you take out work days, Thanksgiving holidays, school and other activities, that doesn't really give you many shopping days left.

I have a great shopping option that just might be exactly what you're looking for.

Our adoption auction website is up and running. We're about half way through the online auction and still there are many items that have not received bids. This auction site might be the perfect place for you to pick up that special gift at a great price.

Check it out www.j4hauction.blogspot.com

For those who don't know, this auction site is a fundraiser to help Ryan and Tamara [Martinez] Buitenwerf adopt siblings from Ethiopia, Africa.

06 October 2009

Been a while

I know its been a while since I've posted but I've been busy. I'm spending my lunch half hour at the library working on adoption and fundraiser stuff and not getting to blog at all. My evenings are full of much of the same stuff. I do have a few baby dolls finally made for my kids so that's exciting. Ryan is slowly getting the bookshelves painted that he built. Its a long and slow process and not enough hours in the day to get all the things done that we need to have done.

If you haven't been to the auction site, check it out before it ends on 10/23 www.j4hauction.blogspot.com.

01 October 2009

Bethany's Tutu

Last night I had one tired little girl who didn't like her new tutu at first. She said it was too big. But within a few minutes she was dancing around in her new tutu and cried when we took it off to put her in her Curious George pj's. This morning she had to take it to Grammy's to show off. Thanks for making it Patty. She loves it!

ps sorry for the not so perfect photo - we couldn't get her to stand still!