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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Restoring A Dream

     Have you ever lost a dream? Circumstances altered your plans, sending you into a survival mode? You focus on today, because tomorrow is uncertain. Live thinking about your next meal, the next people who will walk through the door and overlook you.....again. Have you given up on being chosen? Do you loosen your grip on HOPE?



   


     Children in orphanages around the world wonder each and every day-- Will anyone ever come for me? Is there anyone in this whole world who wants to be my mom? They have been left by their own families because of illness, death, or poverty. The older the child, the bleaker the odds of being chosen for adoption. Infants and toddlers adjust to a new home in another country much easier. The language barrier is less of a challenge, healthy attachment to a family is more certain.


     So you wait, day after day, the stench of urine from undiapered children permeating the building, and you watch as moms and dads stroll in and choose their children. Choose them.....because they are wanted


     You remember how it feels, don't you? The team captains stand before you picking their teams. Please don't make me be last. You think of your strong points, give yourself a pep talk. Reasons why you would be chosen float through the mind while you try not to care. But even when you are picked dead last, you still get to be on the team.


     Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. ~Psalm 27:10



      In this case the stakes are much higher. Children growing up in orphanages around the world may never know what it's like to be on the team, in a family. If they are not chosen, they will age out of the welfare system never experiencing the unconditional love and hope children need in order to thrive. Aging out of this system is dangerous, and in many parts of the world a death sentence. So much so, that the orphanages often lie about the ages of the children to keep them safe longer. An easy feat, considering failure to thrive is epidemic.


     These children may grow up, not feeling a mother's kiss on a boo boo, a father's arms around them to tell them it's going to be okay, wondering if God sees them.


     Jessie and Matt Gunderson have chosen their children, a brother and sister in Ethiopia. These children no longer need to hope they will be picked. They are already intensely loved. I wonder.....do they lie awake at night imagining what it will be like to have parents, brothers and sisters, a home? Have they prayed for this? Are they beside themselves with excitement?

 
     A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing....Psalm 68:5-6a


     You can read the Gunderson's adoption story here. Enter the Disneyland opportunity drawing here for just $5 through the end of February. Their children wait for them half way around the world, and the financial hurdles are huge. Please consider praying and/or donating. If we all pitch in, there will be two fewer lonely souls in this world. We can help restore the dreams of these two beautiful children.


    If God is tugging your heart to go beyond you can help them meet their $3,000 matching grant goal this week, you can donate on their behalf by mailing a tax deductible contribution to Lifesong for Orphans PO Box 40 / 202 N. Ford St Gridley, IL 61744 Please put “preference Gunderson#3461 adoption” in the memo section.



Saturday, February 9, 2013

     In over my head....again. With an unquenchable desire to take a group of teenage girls and their moms to Seattle for the Revolve Tour conference, I've plotted and planned. The hotel is booked (2 actually, just in case one falls through). Three fundraisers are in the works, each one intended to be a fun and useful service to others. Hopefully, that makes them a win-win for everyone.




 
    Next weekend is our first fundraiser ~ a 50s Diner and Sock Hop, though I don't anticipate much Sock Hopping. 240 Bottles of Coke have been purchased, the menu drawn up, prices determined. We will have some fun photo props, and the girls are planning to dress up in 50s fashion to serve the tables. All is going smoothly. So the problem?


     It is not uncommon for me to fall on my face when trying to tackle a large task. I once planned a wedding reception, and forgot to buy food. The day before, my mom called to see how things were coming along. "What! Amy, you are having eighty people for dinner tomorrow!" Well, yeah, but my house was really clean.

   
     Therein lies my insecurity. I have these great big ideas, but flop on the follow through. Someone always has to save me, swooping in to rescue my dream of a job well done. While I am grateful for these saves, they can be embarrassing. I think to myself... I can't do it. I should stop trying.


     Why do I keep trying? Because if I work at it, learning as much as I can along the way, I am bound to succeed. Forcing myself to perform outside of my comfort zone develops skills and experience I would never gain otherwise. Then there's that awesome promise that God's power is perfected in weakness, and I am counting on that this spring.


     Do you ever force yourself to develop a skill you aren't good at?