Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Time

Christmas time. It means different things to different people. For us it means:

Happy smiles on Christmas morning

Lots of food!
Celebrating our son Cody's birthday
Fathers and daughters 
Friends  and family
A first Christmas!
43 people in a small area and having fun!
Cousins, brothers and sisters
New cousins
Extra kisses
Grandpas undivided attention
The new coat you wanted
This Christmas was wonderful!  Almost everyone that I love was in our home.  But we know the  reason we celebrate this day is because of the birth of Jesus Christ. He was born so we could live. Without Him we would not have life. We would not know the love of family and friends, good food, a child's first Christmas. We have because He gave. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I've got nothing!

The last couple of weeks I have had nothing to say on my blog, twitter or my facebook page. I find this very strange. I can't even think something up! I had come up with all these excuses. It's Christmas time and I have a lot to do. Working on Hug Away. Working at work! Talking care of my family. I realized that couldn't be the reason because except fo the holiday that is my life.
Maybe I am suffering burnout. I don't know. What I do know is I don't like it. During the day I can think of a lot of things I would like to share but when I get home and sit in front of my computer, nothing. I don't get it. Maybe God is wanting me to slow down and spend more time with Him. Something else I haven't been very good at lately. Hmm..I think I just figured out my problem! 
                         May we all remember the reason we celebrate this season, Jesus Christ. 
                                               Merry Christmas from my family to yours!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Urgent Prayer Request

An aquaintance, single mom, is adopting her 3rd daughter from China. She is short $5, 000 for the final adoption cost. The little girl is 3 years old and has a heart defect and needs surgery soon! If you can donate any amount at hugaway.org ,go to the donations & every penny will go to her adoption. This little one can't wait much longer for surgery. Let's help bring her home! We only have 3 days. Thank you in advance! I will keep you posted.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Baby J

The newest addition to the Bayer family! Baby J. He arrived in June. He loves his cute little pudgy toes. He can almost stick those precious tootsies in his mouth!





He loves to look around. He is a very curious little guy.






He loves playing with grandma!






He loves to make loud noises at the top of his lungs!



Remember I said he was curious? He will role all the way across the living room to get to the door so he can look out.




I am thankful for this precious little one. He is a blessing! I wanted to show him off :)

































Monday, November 28, 2011

You Keep on Going

Today I had a lot of work to do with Hug Away. I couldn't wait to get to the office and get
started! Our office is small. It would fit in our bedroom. Actually, 2 of them could easily fit in our bedroom! It also has no windows. One could call it a large closet :) The point is it is our office, it's not fancy but it meets our need.
So I sat there attempting to knock the list out. When you are the President and the only employee it can be a bit overwhelming at times. After a few hours I looked at the piles and felt like I really hadn't accomplished much at all. I felt defeated. It didn't help that on Wednesday I have to give our notice that we will not be renewing our office lease. We just don't have the money for it. I wanted to cry. Not about the office, but the fact we have over 70 kids who still need sponsors, families who need food, a school that needs so much work, sponsors unable to pay. Yeah, I was feeling a little stressed and like a failure.
I put my head in my hands and said "Lord, what do am I suppose to do?" After a few minutes I looked up and saw this precious work of art hanging on the wall. On the first day I was at the school in 2010 I saw this button picture of Africa and fell in love with it. A young teacher at the school had made it. He was so pleased that I liked it.
As I sat there in my office looking at that beautiful picture and I felt God say " You keep going, that is what you do."

I smiled to myself and remembered my last day at the school when the children presented me with this beautiful button picture of Africa. It was priceless. The love, the hugs, the gratitude, the words "We love you mama Laney" all these memories came back to me and reminded me

that this is why not just myself, but my family, prayer warriors, sponsors, donors and volunteers have to keep on going. For them. We are servants and God will never give us more than we can handle




\



Below are pictures of my Ethiopian babies that I sponsor. The little one to my left is my friends baby. Oh yeah and my Korean baby! She loves this country and the children as much as I do. See the little boy? Last year when Adanech brought him to me he ws so dirty and his clothes were torn. He lived alone because his mom had died and his dad left him alone often. I had bought him new clothes while I was there and he was so happy. When I got home I had wrote him a letter telling him how important it was for him to go to school and get his education and do his very best. A few months ago before I went back to Ethiopia I received a letter from him telling me he was doing what I asked and was studying hard. What God has called us to do is working!


So when your feeling a little overwhelmed, stressed and like a big failure, take a moment and have a conversation with God. You may be surprised at what He will use to remind you why you must keep on going!

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.


Galatians 6:9














































































































































Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful

We should thank God every day for something. Family, friends, food, health, our homes, our freedom, the fact that we woke up today.
I began doing this a long time ago and it keeps me grounded. If I want to go into a pity party I think of something, anything that I can give thanks to God and it makes the need for that pity party to go away.
Today I am grateful that I had all my kids together. I know as the years pass this will not always be the case. So for today, for this moment in time I will embrace this gift of family. And for that I am truly thankful.


"As we pause to thank Him for the blessings of the past year, we must not forget to thank Him for the lessons we have learned through our difficult times. We are not to be thankful for just the pleasant, easy things, but ALL things." Millie Stamm

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Adoption Haters

I know that every person has a right to their opinion. I get that. Of course I don't agree with a lot of opinions and a lot of people don't agree with mine. That's fine. BUT today I read something that totally broke my heart and I just don't understand. Here are a few things I read.
"Women adopt so they won't ruin their bodies with a pregnency."
"Adoption is nothing more than buying babies."
"Why fundraise to take a child from their mother."
"Birthmothers are manipulated into giving away their child."
"Adoption hurts babies."
"Adoption is unethical"
There was so much more. So I found several of these statements on a "anti adoption blog" It thrills me to note that this blog written by a atheist seems to have began in 2006 and there have been no post since 2009. Friends, when you spew hate the majority of people are going to turn away.
So in reading this I gather this person thinks it's better to leave a child alone in the world. Never to know the feeling of family or to have someone tell them they are loved or to feel safe. Does this person think it would be better to leave a helpless child who for whatever reason is a orphan, vulvnerable, or a victim of sex trafficking, abuse, starvatiion and death. All these things are better than being part of a family who will love that child more than life itself. Really?
I would love to tell this person, yes it would be great if there were no orphans in the world. That all children could stay with their birth family. It would be great if the major reasons children are orphaned unplanned pregnancies, war, disease, drugs & abuse didn't exist. But reality bites. All these things and more exist and children are left alone. If someone in the world wants to love them, care for them and protect them then why not.
Is every adoption perfect? no. But neither is every birth. Do adopted children have issues? Some do but so do biological kids. It doesn't matter if your children are biological or adopted. That is a part of life. It's how you deal with it that matters. I
I am a mom to six wonderful kids. I tell people I have six kids three are adopted but I forget which three. How they arrived in our family doesn't matter, what matters is they arrived! I love each of them the same and I thank God for these six blessings.
The point is if there were no people in the world called to adopt then who would love these precious children? No one. Most would be on the streets or doing drugs or become prostitutes because they would grow up not knowing love, compassion and feeling safe and that they mattered. And here is the biggie. Adoption is biblical.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

They Don't Ask for Much

This past weekend I attended Women of Faith in Oklahoma City. As always I come away so inspired! WOF has always sponsored World Vision. This year they shared more about kids needing sponsors than usual. I love WV. I have sponsored two children with them for over five years along with three that I sponsor through our foundation Hug Away. After they would share stories or a video women would swarm the tables looking through all the pictures to pick out a child to sponsor. I was happy not only for the children but also the sponsors. It's a blessing to be a blessing!
Kalkidan excited about our matching rings!



My babies! Kalkidan, I'm holding Eyerus, Kalkidan sister (she is sponsored by a friend, Berhru & their sister Jordan!


One of my hopes this year was to find a sponsor for all of our children still waiting around 85 at last count and sponsors for families about 30 still waiting. It doesn't look like it will happen and that breaks my heart.


People ask me how can I sponsor five kids. Easy. Since traveling to Ethiopia and seeing the faces if kids and families waiting to go to school and waiting to eat, I know a lot of things I can spend $20 or $30 easily. Just more stuff. I'd rather my money went to a child or family so they can eat or go to school. These kids and their families are so grateful. They take nothing for granted. They don't wake up worrying about tomorrow, their goal is to make it through this day.


They don't ask for much. They just want to know someone cares.


I know times are tough. Trust me I get it. About six years ago I was sitting in our livingroom with my daughters Jordan and Cameron watching a World Vision special. They were showing picutres of kids that needed sponsors. Of course my girls were "oh mom, we should sponsor one of those kids." Jordan was 10 and Cameron was 6. I said "Yes we should." Cameron said "then call momma!" I told her I would later. She handed me the phone and said "If you don't do it now momma, you won't do it." From the mouth of a child.


So maybe you have thought about sponsoring a child or family. Maybe you have had it in your heart to make a difference and your not sure how. All of us are not called to travel to other countries, many are called to stay and help others go or give money to help somebody, somewhere. If you have thought about helping a child please go to our site http://www.hugaway.org/ Look at the pictures and choose a child to sponsor. You will be blessed!











Thursday, November 3, 2011

Marriage, Love & Looking Ahead

What Lies Behind Us and What Lies Before Us are Tiny Matters Compared to What Lies Within Us. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sometimes God will use the most unlikely places or situations to teach you something about yourself. This is what happened to me in Ethiopia. I hadn't planned on sharing this but God laid it on my heart so here goes.

So I'm in Ethiopia focused on what God has sent me to do. After about four days I am thinking about my husband. Of course I missed him and the kids but this was a gnawing feeling and it wouldn't go away. Each day the "missing" him grows stronger. I am not understanding this. I have gone away before for much longer and have never had this happen.

Love doesn't commit suicide. We have to kill it. Though, it often simply dies of your neglect. Diane Sollee
One night as I lay in bed God speaks to my heart "Elaine it's not missing him that you are feeling it is what you have missed." Huh? I pray to understand. We still have a couple of days left in Ethiopia and I am still focused on our mission but underneath the focus I feel this sense of loss. Again I pray and tell God " I don't understand. Is something bad going to happen?" Now I can't wait to get home and see my husband.

The night before we are to leave I get it! God shows me what He wants me to know. That for the past few years Mike and I have taken the focus off of one another and made kids, church, the foundation and jobs a priority. Not good.

When Mike and I married we made a vow to one another that we would always work on our relationship. Yes, marriage takes a lot of work. We both had relationships before and had been burned but we chose not to focus on those relationships but to focus on us and make it work. We had a lot going against us. A lot. Most people thought we wouldn't last a year. I'm not going to lie, the first three years were tough. Extremely tough. I had a lot of trust issues and to be honest thought this guy was to good to be true!

A good marriage is the union of two good forgivers. Ruth Graham

We began going to church and our lives changed for the better. Oh, there were still arguments but they were fair arguments. Sometimes very loud, passionate arguments but fair.

Many marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they are on the same side. Zig Ziglar

Then we got busy with life, kids, church and jobs. Our relationship would be tested over and over and at times in the eyes of the worlds we were prime divorce material. Sadly, we ignored the problems because we were to busy to take the time and work on them. Not any more!
I couldn't wait to get home,and tell Mike!

The day after I returned home I asked Mike if he wanted to go and get some coffee. As I sat and told him what God had laid on my heart he just looked at me. I mean he never took his eyes off me. I thought I had something on my face! I made my case passionate, short, sweet and to the point. When I was finished he smiled and said "You know what babe? God has been saying the same thing to me." I sat there thanking God. He was working on both of our hearts at the same time and we listened. Miracles do happen!

For wherever you go, I will go: And wherever you stay, I will stay, Your people will be my people, and your God, my God. Ruth 1:15

If you have never read the 5 Love Languages you need to. My husband is not romantic or very good with words. Mikes love language is acts of service. When he fixes something , makes dinner, buys groceries or builds something for me that is his way of showing his love for me. Once I understood that every guy is not Mr. romance it made me appreciate what he does even more. My love language is words of affirmation. This works out for the both of us. He does nice things and I let him know how much I appreciate it!

I know I have one of the good guys and I know anymore they are a rare find. I am so grateful that God brought us together.

I tell my kids "you must love the person more than you dislike their faults." No one is perfect and if you are looking for perfect you will be very disappointed. Only the Father above is perfect.

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I nver have to live without you. Winnie the Pooh

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

$30 dollars a month does make a difference!

To anyone who thinks that $30 a month doesn't make a difference I will tell them they are wrong. I have had a gentleman tell me that to make a difference we need to provide ways for people to make a living so they can provide for themselves and their families and that $30 a month is a temporary fix.
I understand what he is saying and I agree. It is wonderful when we can train people in a vocation so they can provide for their families but wouldn't it be easier if they could read or write?
When we reach a child who is living in poverty, who is unable to go to school and has no food and find them a sponsor who says"I want to change a child's life" I say amen and sign them up! That sponsorship will provide a child a uniform, school supplies, food and minor medical needs met until they are 18.
They will go to school and learn to read and write. The will learn about math and so much more. Take that child when they graduate from high school and for all we know they will come up with ways for their families to work! They will be the ones to invest in their community. And all because someone was willing to part with $30 a month. It is a investment into a child's life so they can grow up and make a difference in the lives of their community or maybe the world.
$30 a month does make a difference.

Looking at faces filled with hope!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tgist

There are times that come along in your life that you know without a doubt that they are God assignments. You know, you plan one thing and something totally different happens.
We planned on meeting someone else but God wanted us to meet Tgist.






Our team was taken to a village to meet Tgist. She is 23 years old and has been on her own since she was 15. She has been a believer for about 4 years. As we set in her mud home she made coffee and told us her story through a translator. Her mother died when she was 15. She lived in the city Addis, very dangerous for a young girl. She moved to the village where she lives now. As she told her story, looking down at the coffee she was making for us, one by one a tear would fall. When the coffee was ready she stood up and told the translator she wanted to say a prayer. This really touched my heart. Here in America it seems so hard to get anyone to pray out loud or share the gospel. In Ethiopia they are excited to pray or share about Jesus.


She said the prayer in Amharic but you knew what she was saying. It was beautiful. We asked what would it cost to set Tgist up in a business so she could provide for herself. $12o, that's all and her life would change.


I sat there and asked God if I should help her. God laid on my heart that "since she has became a believer she has been faithful. Today she will be rewarded for her faithfulness." That was all I needed. I wrote the check but understand that God provided, not me. The money goes to to the Evangelist who will help her set up her business of selling coffee, sugar and incense.


I ask that you pray for Tgist. Pray her business is a success and that she will share her testimony with others.



Thursday, October 27, 2011

Romans 8:28

The pictures are to show you what we would have missed if we had not relied on prayer, faith and Gods' word.
In the next few weeks I will share stories that only God can write.




One of my sponsor children. She is so precious.



Jordan's new friend


My amazing team! Beth, Jordan, Gloria and Hannah.

From the day we planned our mission trip to Ethiopia Satan began his attack. First attack. One of our ladies who was the first to sign up and has such a heart for these children was unable to go. Second attack was when we were told a large sum of money we were expecting to help fund this trip was probably not going to be available. Third attack we had worked every Saturday for 2 months to raise money for this trip. The day before we left I found out we were each getting 1/2 of what we thought we would get. Fourth attack. About an hour before we were to board our plane out of Tulsa the flight was canceled. We went to the ticket counter to reschedule and were told there was nothing available. We couldn't get out until the next morning and we wouldn't arrive in Ethiopia until Saturday night. Our first big day was that Saturday. I am sure at this point Satan thought he had won this battle. We asked for hotel vouchers because we didn't want to say goodbye to our families again. That night as I prayed Romans 8:28 came to my heart.


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


This would now be our scripture for this journey. I don't take an answer like "no way" "not going to happen" or "not possible" very well when God has called us to serve. When I found out that we might not receive that large sum of money we were expecting I sent out prayer request to everyone I knew. Less than 24 hours later I received a phone call telling me the money was there.


When I received an email that we were getting half of what we had expected from our fundraiser I text a friend just to tell him I didn't see how this was possible. A few minutes later he text me back and said a check was being written at that moment to make up the difference.


The night our first flight was canceled and we were told more than once "no way" I stood in front of the ticket counter praying, my team stood behind me praying as a nice man worked extremely hard to reroute us. Basically he had five women looking at him...nicely and encouraging him that he could do this. Over an hour later he told us we would get out the next morning and be rerouted through Germany. We would lose our first day in Ethiopia but at least we would get there. When we arrive in Germany they have no information on us at all. Standing firm and 2 hours later we were boarding a flight to Ethiopia.


The day before we left Ethiopia I went to confirm our flights home. Yup, you guessed it, Nada. Nothing at all. When they rerouted our flights from Tulsa, they canceled our tickets coming home. It took our friend John in Ethiopia, our travel agent and a team at Ethiopian air, but they got our tickets home.


Faith...It isn't always easy to have, but personally I have it with me at all times!


We knew God had called us on this mission trip and the only thing that would stop us would be our lack of faith. Faith, prayer and a scripture were our weapons against Satan's attack on us.

When you are called to go on a mission trip one thing you need to get in your head is the fact that it's not about you! You will be tested and attacked. You will be uncomfortable at times, tired and your plans can fall flat in a minute. When you are on a mission trip you are there to serve. It's that simple. You may start out to do one thing and God calls you to another. If you give God control you are going to be so blessed and it makes things a whole lot easier. His plans are always so much better than ours!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

LOVE

This was the last thing I saw when I said good bye to the kids last year in Ethiopia. I remember I truly thought my heart was going to break. If I didn't have a family at home I would have stayed! What is in us that makes our hearts fall in love with a group of children after spending just a few days with them? What is in us that makes our hearts break when we have to say goodbye? What is in us that makes us face our fears, step out of our box, leave the comforts of home, leave our family, work tirelessly raising money for these little ones? What makes us do such a thing?
God that's who. He gives us mercy, compassion, faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love.

Love gives us power. The power to do whatever God has called us to do. To go out in to the world and make difference. To give of ourselves.




See the picture with the woman and little boy? Often while in Ethiopia we would eat out. We made sure to have enough to "take away." When we were out we would see so many begging for food or money. We were out of our van when this young woman approached us. She had her little boy on her back. I went back to the van to get the food (and a few$) and gave it to them. She hugged me and kissed my cheek. Then I hear this little voice "madam, madam" and the little boy reaches over his mothers shoulder, says thank you and kisses my cheek. The love and gratefulness I felt from them was powerful! Such as small thing we did, but for a moment it made a huge difference to them.


At the school we partner with, food is a very big deal! For most of the children this is the only meal they will receive for the day. It may be the same thing day after day but they are grateful for every little morsel.



They sit in crowded classrooms. But they don't care. They are there to learn and yes receive a meal. They take nothing for granted. Nothing.


They are so happy! And they love us and will tell you so! They have so little but give so much. They are grateful, loving, sweet and good. All they ask for is to have their basic needs met. Food, shelter, and water. When we give them these things they also receive hope, hugs and lots of love!

And this is why we can travel half way around the world to try and make a difference in their lives. Love. Besides that God commands us to go to them!


One more week and myself along with my oldest daughter and a team of amazing women are going to go to Ethiopia. Our plan? To do whatever God calls us to do. One thing for sure we will be giving lots of hugs and loves to those precious kids!






















The Hug Away team will be heading to Ethiopia in one week.



































Saturday, September 24, 2011

FAITH

Faith. A word I love. Most Christian are aware that having faith is not always easy. I would dare say that for the most part it's not easy. Faith is believing in something we can not see. My 7 year old daughter Kennedy said it best, "I don't know what faith is but I know I have it."
In about 3 weeks our team will be traveling to Ethiopia. Satan has attacked this trip since the get go. What began as seven team members is now down to five. Our route to Ethiopia is going to be brutal. What we planned on doing while we are there has changed. Our fundraisers have not gone well and $3,000 we were expecting, well that's not looking good.
For most of us who have been called to "go and help the orphan, feed the hungry, preach the gospel" the finances are not there. We have faith and do our part. As for my team, we are working concessions every Saturday for 2 months. Today is the 4th week we have worked and will be the first time we will see a small profit. We have 2 more games before we leave. We have sold t-shirts, we have prayed. We will leave behind our families, our work which we will not be paid while we are gone, plan to do one thing but knowing if those plans change we will walk through the doors that God opens. We will remember that we are there for them, not for us.
So it is safe to say the only thing we do have that is for sure is our faith and when your a Christian you know that is all that matters. God has called five of us to Ethiopia. This is a honor, not a burden. We will do our part and in His most perfect timing He will do his.
Satan would love for us to crumble and quit. Sorry Satan, not going to happen!
I love this quote and I live by it.
"Be the kind of woman that when her feet hit the floor in the morning, the devil says, Oh crap she's awake."



Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Today my heart broke...again

Today I went to visit the Vietnam Traveling Wall.It is something I have wanted to see for a long time. When I was little girl my family lived just down the road from Fort Sam Houston Army Base in San Antonio, Texas. My dad had stayed in the hospital on base when he had heart problems. After he was released he began inviting some of the men who were serving in the Army to our home. They would visit on holidays, dinner or just to hang out. They were so young.
There were three young Green Berets that we became very close to. They were like our big brothers. We would visit them on base or go watch them practice jumping out of planes. In my eyes they were bigger than life. I was particularly close to Gary. I even took him to show and tell!


One day they came to our home and I remember they looked sad. They were leaving to go and fight in the war in Vietnam. We never saw them again. We did get a couple of letters but I have no idea what happened to them. Did they make it back? Did they die? I will never know. As I walked up to the wall and saw the thousands of names my heart broke. Is one or all of their names carved on this wall? So many names. So many lives lost.


What was pretty amazing is that when I pulled up to where the wall was I saw all of these people walking out of the school. It was a naturalization ceremony. These people, young and old were walking out with their flags, citizenship papers and these big smiles. It was a sight to behold! Trust me, our newest citizens have to know more about our country than we will ever know! They do not take our freedom for granted. As I walked past all the smiling faces and I came to the wall, I didn't expect to feel so many emotions. It was reminder of all the lives that have been lost in the name of freedom.

America is known as the land of the free and the home of the brave. Today I had the privilege of seeing people who came to America to be free and the names of men who had died for that right.


Greater love has no one than this, that he who lays down his life for his friends. John 25:13

















Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Have you ever thought about adopting?

Well if you have I've got some news for you! I have a blog www.Istillwait.blogspot.com with information about several waiting children.
I also just received information on a young man 13 years old who needs to be adopted before he ages out July 1st 2012. It is stated he is from the Asia continent. He loves to play soccer, is an extrovert, healthy and wants to be adopted!
There is financial aid up to $14,475. Single women may apply. For more information please email me at: hugaway@cox.net
Please let others know about this young man and the children posted on my
"I still wait" blog. Maybe together we will find all of them a home!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

5 Grandestbabies!

This is a picture of me and my five grandestbabies! I have had the same question asked several times since I posted this picture on face book. So I thought I would answer it here just in case anyone else wanted to ask me this question.
Those that know my family should know that 2 of my 3 sons each have a child. Now it has always been a unspoken rule in our home that we never use the words step or half. Adopted yes. So along the way of life's amazing journey God has blessed us with five grandestbabies!
With that being said 3 out of 5 of these precious ones have blessed our lives by allowing us to be their grandparents through adoption! I have often said "we have six kids 3 are adopted but I forget which ones." The same applies with our grandestbabies. Their ours plain and simple. It doesn't matter how they came to us, all of them are part of our family. And that's what matters!





Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Mom



Tonight I went to my youngest daughters meet the teacher night. Again I sat there in a second grade classroom, in a tiny chair looking down once again at the little drawing my daughter made me because she knew without a doubt I would be there. The surroundings are all to familiar. I added it up, I have attended 27 meet the teacher nights ( this was the 3rd time for this particular teacher) at this elementary school! On the bright side only three more to go.

As I looked at all the young moms sitting there hanging on to the teachers every word and asking lots of questions I was thinking to myself that I would have never in a million years imagined that I would still be sitting here at this stage in my life. That wasn't my plan. But God had a different plan and I am so glad He did. The older I get the better my life becomes.

I may never be the youngest mom, the skinniest mom or the coolest mom in Kennedy's class, but I will always and forever be her mom...and Cameron's mom, Jordan's mom, Dustin's mom, Cody's mom and Michael's mom and that makes me a blessed mom!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Speck

I was watching TV the other night and they showed a picture of earth from space. It made me think of all the people who live here. Billions of us


We are all different yet we are the same. We laugh, cry, get mad, we love, we hurt, our hearts break. We have dreams, hope and desires. I would be so bold as to say we all have regrets. We've taken to many trips around the same mountain and are ready for a change. We are trying to survive in a world where many have become arrogant, self gratifying, selfish and rude. It is overwhelming at times. Yes when you look down at earth from space we are nothing but a speck.
That's is space's view.





From Gods view we are so much more! We are His children. He loves us more than we can imagine. He gave us life here on earth and His desire is for us to live with Him forever in heaven! How do we get there? We just have to believe in Him and ask Him into our heart. No burnt offerings, no idols to worship, no cults. Just believe He died on the cross for our sins.


What I find so amazing is the fact He is a gentleman. He doesn't force you to believe in Him. And even though He created this earth and everything and everyone on it He will leave you alone if you ask Him to and if you ask Him back into your life He will forgive and forget and love you as if you had never left Him! What more can anyone ask for?


I don't know about you but if I am going to live on this earth I want to be more than a speck! Come on, invite Him in! He's been waiting for you!


That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:9)







































Sunday, August 14, 2011

Muffin Top

No, I am not talking about the muffin you eat. It's the mysterious little roll or big roll that

appears around your waist. Apparently it doesn't matter what size you are the roll appears on most women.


When did this enigma begin? Looking back it seems the muffin top became an issue when the jeans began fitting below the waist! Ironically I didn't have a muffin top until a couple of years ago after I lost 30 pounds. I was finally able to wear those cute jeans that fit below the waist. I was so excited...until I saw this roll. What the heck??? It seems the jeans push all of our extra skin up and out...yes that is what we will cal it extra skin! Small, large, fat or skinny, short or tall the muffin top has no boundaries. And oddly enough it seems most women don't seem to care that they have this roll and their stomach falling out over their the top of their jeans and their tight shirts can't hold them in.



And one more fashion Faux paux...the butt crack. It now seem to be OK for women to show their butt cracks. This to we will blame on the low jeans. Yet again most women don't seem to care. You know they have to know it is showing! Surely they feel a draft. Yes it's true the show of the butt crack no longer belongs to just the plumber.


Remember the pants that use to fit around your waist? Sometimes I wish they would come back in style but then I remember they just made you rear look big! As long as padded shoulders don't come back in style I guess I will live with the muffin top!









Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Unworthy



That is how I feel right now. Extremely unworthy to do what God has called me to do. Tonight as I was going through the list of children we have who need sponsors I realized 51 have sponsors and 103 still wait. Almost 2 years since this program began and we still have 103 kids waiting for someone to spend a measly $30 a month to change their lives.



Don't get me wrong I am honored to have been chosen to do this. But having 103 kids waiting and some of them getting read to age out is unacceptable.



I'm also mad! People think nothing of buying $30 worth of beer, pop, coffee, cigarettes, or get a pedicure or manicure...I could go on and on but if I approach them about sponsorship I get this "I really can't afford it right now. Things are tight.'' Really?

See the young man pictured above? He has nothing. I mean no food, no bed...nothing. He is 13 and he has waited over a year for someone to step up and say "You matter and I am going to help you."

I have 102 more waiting. All ages, boys and girls. Some who need surgery. Some who are starving. Try and go to bed with that on your mind and heart every night and see how you sleep.

It would take $37,080 a year to sponsor the remainder of these kids and if I had it I would, plus the $36,960 it would cost to feed them and their families ($3o or $2o a month looks much better!)

I often say "God if you give me the money I'll do it." But I know that's not how it works. We are all suppose to help.

Those who do sponsor understand this and I love them! Don't get me wrong, I totally understand we all have our passions, our gifts, the things we want to fight for. But what are we willing to give up to make these things possible?

Do I feel unworthy? Yes. But for whatever reason God believes I along with the help of some amazing friends can do this.

I am human, I am tired, I am overwhelmed, I am aggravated. But this I know:


I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Standing at a Crossroads

I am standing at a fork in the road. A crossroads if you will. I am a wife, a mom, a grandma, a sister a friend. But more than anything I am a child of the one true God. And He is calling me and I desire to obey Him.



When Mike and I founded the Hug Away Foundation our desire was to help families with adoption and go to the orphans of the world and love on them, feed them, give them hope and tell the about Jesus, always glorifying God in all we do. We began in 2008.


In the beginning we were able to offer some grants to a few families but after a year donations dropped and it seemed Hug Away would be no more. I was depressed and felt like a failure. One night I remember praying and I said "God you opened this door and only you can close it." A few days later a friend called me and said she had a good friend from Ethiopia she thought I should meet. When I met him and heard his story I knew that God was telling me "this door is staying open."


Since that day God called us to begin a child sponsor program in Ethiopia and Project Hunger no More. The list of children and families in need continues to grow. And this is why I am standing at a crossroads.


Besides taking care of my family, I work part time and run Hug Away. I know, that I know that I know God is getting ready to do more amazing things through Hug Away and I need to commit more time to the foundation. We use any donations we have for rent of a small office and expenses. Everything else goes to sponsorships, Project Hunger no More and grants if there is anything left over.


Leaving my job, even if it is part time is a unsettling thought. I don't make a whole lot but what I do make helps with the bills. I have tried to think of ways to make money at home but I would be right back to square one. The fact is running Hug Away is becoming a full time job, one that I am passionate about and I love.


I was thinking about me trying to come up with ways to make all of this work when I thought "hmm...why don't' I give this one to God." So I did! And as I wait at this crossroads I know that some amazing things are going to happen! All I need is the faith of a mustard seed and that I have.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Ethiopia Mission Trip Fundraiser







Our t-shirst are in! We will have them from now until October 8th to raise money for our upcoming mission trip to Ethiopia. They are already pre-shrunk (I washed one to make sure.)We have chilren sizes youth small, medium & large for $10


adults small, medium, large and x-large are $15


xxl and above are $17.


If you would like to purchase one or two or more :) please email me at: hugaway@cox.net


We hope you will tell your friends and family about our fundraiser. We have faith that we will raise the money we need. Thank you in advance!