September 29, 2007

Taking the moment...

Sharon and I were just headed to the long check out line at the Bodagona ( our grocery store) when I spotted my friend Sarah's husband, Tony and their son Jacob, strapped in a front pack to his dad. "Hey" we called out over the crowd and Tony made his way over to us while I laughed and said "You doing the whole single dad shopping trick?" he laughed right back and said " Yep, how am I doing?!" Our conversation soon turned to what we are all talking about these days in Guatemala and our friends and families are talking about back home and my adopting families are talking about with me daily, the political climate of adoptions, which is in complete upheaval. Tony commented that he and Sarah just felt strongly that if for some reason they were stuck in the adoption process for Jacob and the country closed, they would simply see the Lord's hand in leading them to live in Guatemala... Jacob snuggled closer to his daddy and I marveled at this couple's faith, but he struck a cord in my heart for those children who were not snuggled in the front pack of a parent who was willing to lay their life down in love for this is a plea for all of you faithful friends to gather at the throne on behalf of the many little ones in Guatemala who are without families and hope, that the Lord would have mercy!! Politics are at their height here in Guatemala, strong statements by the Department of State have been issued, speculations made, rumors flying that spark fear in families waiting to bring their children home, we guess and second guess to try and figure out what is going to happen, we look back at the history of other countries that have been closed down for some time by the implementation of the Hague, and most of all we try and wrap our hearts around the fact that children as precious as yours and mine will be deprived from the only thing they really need and most of all deserve, families and to be sons and daughters and not "nameless" rejects....these children have faces. I ask you to think of your children, your grandchildren, your nieces and nephews and with the preciousness of their lives imprinted on your hearts, please pray for the children of Guatemala and let's trust Him to faithful and mighty to save!

THANK YOU, Katie Mohr and all our amazing friends who shipped across country a whole suitcase full of goodies for Sharon, Irene, Bella, Madi and me.....we had "Christmas" at my apartment as we reveled over each coloring book, puzzle, magazine, books, toys, clothes... literally we were giddy excited...we are still trying to sort who gave what so we can thank you individually, but until then, thank you each so so much. We felt very "loved on" and seriously each gift was SO perfect and fun!!!

Silly Madi in her brand new clothes, tags still on...Irene couldn't wait and had her stripped down and a new outfit on within seconds! :)

AND last but not least, not sure if it appropriate to post pictures of toilets but I couldn't resist sharing what I found tonight....after working on the computer, I looked up and Madi wasn't in the living room playing anymore and she was WAY to quiet to be up to any good and sure enough I found her in the bathroom trying to drown her shoe and bottle!!
I started to correct her soundly, but I just couldn't and broke out laughing at her determined little face, finger still on the "trigger" wondering why those suckers wouldn't flush!!! I grabbed her, wet jammies and all and kissed her until she wished I would goes so fast and with so many hard, heart breaking things going on right now in Guatemala, I just had to treasure this moment I had with my little chocolate chip...we could change her jammies and probably the tennis shoe would never quite be the same, but who cares, 'cause as I put her to bed tonight and she grinned at me behind her bottle, I wondered all over again if your heart can burst with love!

September 26, 2007

Could someone tell me... to make this week go any faster...Monday evening of next week my cute little mom is coming for the has almost been 9 months since we have seen each other, I can't even tell you how silly excited we are! She is bringing Seth ( two years old from Guatemala and their youngest) and we are envisioning talking our heads off, drinking an insane amount of coke, watching our babies play (SO fun!) swimming every day (oh, whip cream on the cake, our dear friend is paying for us to have a room at a hotel in the city, the whole week) and...and....everything a girl would want do with her mom she hasn't seen in 9 months...more than anything I want to see my mom with Madi in her arms!! It will be a very busy week as we are taking pictures of children in process, seeing attorneys, foster mothers, all our waiting, working, but we will be together and knowing the two of us, talking non stop. My mom wants to come to Antigua to visit Hermano Pedro at least once ( she was actually the one who introduced me to Hermano Pedro almost 6 years ago and daily asks about individual children there) and she would also love to see Steve and Shyrel, so we will see how much we can squeeze in...I personally am excited about just being in the city... AC, huge bathtub, hot water ( did you hear that Alison...oh, and Anne too!) swimming pool, even the elevator kinda has me jazzed... Hmmmm, call me a spoiled American but I haven't been out of Antigua for so long, the city is sparkling from my stand point!! :-) THEN as if the week could get any amazing friends Mary and Kelley are flying down from Michigan and staying for a long weekend, Friday through Wednesday....their great husbands are taking care of the children and we are counting the minutes until we are together and can act like school girls ...I LOVE these friends!!Tons of pictures are coming, trust me, you are going to be begging for me to stop, but I just won't be able to help myself!

****By the you have probably picked up on, I usually blog late at nights which is when I am "free" and honestly should be in bed instead of making my friends suffer with my terrible typos because my mind already went to bed hours before..... so, sorry guys and thanks for your patience!! Could I also just thank those of you who e-mailed me privately after I posted "Real Life" I literally cried over every e-mail and was just ministered to by you, your journey and the testimony of God in your life...RICH RICH RICH and I am so blessed by you, thank you!

September 21, 2007

It's already happened....

......Madeline turned 17 months old this week!!!!! How can that be?? Already?? A "Delight" would be an understatement in describing this girl of mine!!

....This is one of Madi's songs..."borrowed" from little Lauren Rosenow... who is now singing with the angels!....

September 18, 2007

Real Life

Real Life...I have thought alot about the freedom of "real life" lately From one who has known first hand the burden and pride associated with being a people pleaser, this journey into freedom is not only an eye opening one, but just plain liberating. I am pretty sure I am at the very beginning of this journey and have people like my mom as a goal to aim for...a woman who walks in true freedom from the fear of men, if she knows she is right with the Lord and her family she handles the rest of "life" with this gracious sort of freedom, walking in true humility with not even a trace of an image and the "realness" of her life and love for Jesus serves to attract people to her, like bees to honey. Genetically, she passed not even an ounce of that to me!!! If we are honest with ourselves though...aren't we drawn to reality, drawn to something we can identify with from those who are brave enough to just say "This is who I am and let me tell you about this Jesus" I mean it can be enjoyable to read or hear beautiful words expressed, painting perfect lives, families, homes, ministries, marriages, relationships, parenting, friendships...I like perfect, but I am not drawn to perfect, because there is nothing in "perfect" that I can relate to and honestly the older I get, the less I am drawn to "perfect" I'm liking raw glorious realness these days...because in realness for me is change, life altering, Christ filled change,
My whole life I have been a do it by the book kind of girl, I liked living within the confines of a box ( it's safe there, you know) and think I thought (did you get that) that I had it pretty figured out ( in a humble way of course) the right words flowed, my life would naturally fall into line with "the plan" and I could continue saying the right words and having it figured out for years to come....I mean don't get me wrong, my relationship with the Lord was absolutely authentic and there were many times of true breaking in my life...good stuff, really hard stuff, but my fall back or at least what was between the lines of life was this consuming people pleasing. Kind of ridiculous, a major waste of time and most of all bondage the Lord has been determined to set me free's been a long time coming and He is so good!!
So real life....could I just glorify the Lord and say...let me tell you about this matter what front I put on, I am as real as it gets, and the testimony of my life, is that the love of God has reached down and redeemed me from my self and plucked me right out of that comfortable box and He never walks away, no matter how undesirable I get. It makes me want to run up one of these beautiful mountains that surrounds Antigua, run to the very top, throw my hands in the air and shout to the world "I don't know the answers any more" I am the one who falls short of the grace of God daily.He's the One Who is faithful every morning. He's the One Who brings compassion and redemption for "lost causes" He's the One Who delights in mercy. He's the One Who heals, forgives, redeems, comforts, saves, purifies, fills, changes,'s's all Him! So if you wonder who I am....I am the one, who blows it, reacts in the flesh, stresses over the lack of being able to pull this crazy busy life off perfectly, the one who cries easily after a long exhausting day, the one with the pride, the one who gets so busy and looks up and realizes that she hasn't spent any time with the Lord that day, the one who needs help, struggles with fear and letting go of control, flops at least once a day as a mother, the one who doesn't have the answers anymore...I'm the girl who is shedding the image, I'm the one who needs Jesus.....I am the one who He is teaching to walk in the freedom of desperation. I never knew it could be this good and I have never in my life loved Him more

September 16, 2007

Happy INDEPENDENCE DAY, Guatemala!

The last couple of weeks have flown, I am convinced life has never been busier and I can assure you I am not one of those wonder women who can pull off life as busy as this, flawlessly, looking fresh as a daisy with mascara still on at the end of the day...nope, not me! Just ask my friends and mom who I call at least once daily to say "Now, how on earth do I pull all of this off" ...still not sure of the answer to that question, knowing myself, not sure I will ever know and I am kinda wondering if the Lord is intentionally planning it this way!! We have put the petal to the metal with adoptions, not knowing what next year is going to bring with the political climate and the Hague and I have been so excited seeing the Lord bring some amazing and precious families forward for children through Amor Del Nino and Casa Bernabe and we are having many families traveling to bring their children home. I am positive that I work with some of the most remarkable families and ministries in the world, seriously....the Lord allows me to be in a position to see utter selflessness, humbling faith, passion, vision and a love that has hands and feet that are put to action and I am not talking about a couple of people, I am talking about a host that God has raised up who are dancing on the streets of injustice over the children here in you have any idea how exciting that is?!
We have a team who is talking, praying and trying not to crawl out of our skins we are so excited about what God could be pulling together in starting a children's home/ministry....I have two very dear friends flying to Guatemala from Michigan the beginning of October, leaving their hubbies with the kids (thanks husbands!) and coming down here for a fact finding, girls weekend...we plan to look at houses, school, visit some ministries together and just kind of get practical about what this would look like if the Lord moved us to do this thing. I can't wait...I love these friends and I love seeking the Lord within community like rich!!!

Speaking of friends....after some e-mail communication, I was finally able to meet these couples last was this incredible INSTANT connection for all of us. Lindsey, Chris, Amelia and Scott thank you guys for your hearts and friendship, can't wait to see you again in Guatemala soon!

AND...directors of The Shepherd's Crook Ministries and my good friends, Scott and Kathy Rosenow also came to Guatemala for a few days to bring home their son Ethan and were able to visit Amor Del Nino and Hermano Pedro while they were here as well!!

TODAY was INDEPENDENCE DAY here in Guatie, so my good friend Sharon and I met for breakfast and then caught the tail end of the parades and marching bands, a true Guatemalan experience and we had a blast and Madi danced to the drums and even raised her hands and praised the Lord.... bet you didn't know you could do that to band music...I am not sure why she is so cute, but she is and it makes me want to eat her most every second of the doesn't help that she is infatuated with baby dolls, dancing to any music and would be perfectly happy if we read "Goodnight Moon" no less than 10 times every night!

I had my cute neighbor Jenny ( see picture below) come over for lunch this week and not only is Jenny so much fun, she is also quite insightful...she offered excellent child training advise for Madi "Train and maintain, Melissa" I was like "Wow, Jen that is really deep and good" which encouraged her to repeat it several more times, which was a good think, I think I needed to hear it several more times "Train and maintain" I like that and trust me, I will take all the help I can get!! Closing this random post because I have to get up early for church tomorrow and will post randomly again soon, I'm sure!! :-) Thank you, each of you for your support and prayers! We send out love from Antigua Guatemala!

September 2, 2007


Madi was out of diapers early one morning, so I popped her in the stroller, bundled her in a blanket and we headed out to one of the tienda’s near my house…on our way home, one of the boys who sleeps on my street in front of my apartment, called out to me and to anyone else who would listen “ Dos quetzales…solamente dos….por favor” he was almost whimpering, crying out and desperation was written all over his face….in his hand he held a little alcohol bottle that they use to sniff glue, and he was shaking the bottle, turning it over to make sure there was nothing left in it, sticking it in his nose and mouth and all the while begging for two quetzals…I could hear him long after I had walked down the street. Later that day as I was walking to go meet a friend, I was ohhing and ahhing with Madi ( who of course was brilliantly getting alot out of our little nature lesson, I think she was even taking notes) how gorgeous the volcanoes were that particular afternoon, after a heavy rain that morning, the air had cleared and you could see crystal clear every part of the mountains except the very tops, that were encircled by clouds…you know that “heart hurting” kind of beauty and once again I was struck with the utter beauty of this country and yet tragic pain as well…God is at work and you don’t have to look hard or long to see His hand moving in such a mighty way throughout this country and it is thrilling. A group of us, very dear friends are just seeking the Lord about what He wants us to DO with this vision and passion, He has laid on our hearts for the children of Guatemala, each of us have had and are having defining moments that are nothing but the orchestration of the Lord. Right now we are at the very foundations of this “something” and there is a lot of praying, brainstorming and sharing and I have never been so excited and filled with such anticipation in my life…I am not sure what exactly, not sure when and definitely not sure how but “On the mount of the Lord, it will be provided” Gen 22:14 Exciting days!!!

I remember a couple of years ago when the ManChen orphanage was in full gear here in Antigua…it was very sad place and especially sad for little guy named Daniel

…Daniel was about a year old and was a struggler…having some neurological damage, Daniel acted like a 2 or 3 month old and because his needs weren’t met, he spent a lot of his time fussing and crying, which compounded the problem for the already overworked and few and far between caregivers and he was more often than not just left in his bed…crying One afternoon, we were feeding babies for dinner and each person, had two and three babies and only Daniel was not getting fed, he just lay in his crib and wailed…I walked over and asked one of the nannies if he had eaten yet and she said “He doesn’t really eat much” I picked him up and he immediately stopped crying and I began to feed him slowly, a lot dripped out of his mouth but he was eating and I was crying …. I sat there and cried and tried to feed Daniel and just said out loud to the Lord “Why aren’t you here, Lord, why aren’t You stepping in for this baby who has no one to advocate for him” and He said “I AM” and I stuck another spoon full of cereal in his mouth and in that moment I realized that the presence of the Lord was all over that orphanage, there was not one part of Himself that He was withholding from these children and it changed me and it changed my perspective…instead of desperation and hopeless, which are both directly from the enemy, it is this joy and unbelievable privilege to walk into a place like ManChen and in the power of cross, the hope of the gospel and the powerful love of God and say “Let’s go be apart of the love of Jesus to these children” “I AM” That’s what I hear Him saying as my friends and I pray and seek His face about what He wants us to do…I AM