Monday, July 25, 2011

The End?

Oh my lanta! How are we at the end of July ALREADY? Seriously? Where did the summer go?

I'm looking at my day planner and it has actually hit me that we're SIX (6) days shy of the end of July! Meaning, we're SEVEN (7) days away from the beginning of August!! Wowzers!

And with those thoughts come the reality that in:
  • EIGHT (8) days I will take my IPA final "Head to Toe" assessment exam/check-off
  • FIFTEEN (15) days I will take my my Health Assessment final
  • SEVENTEEN (17) days I will complete my Summer Trimester at school
  • FORTY-THREE (43) days I will begin my Fall Trimester (1 of 6 to go!)

Yowzers, getting ahead of myself there!!! Better pull back and remind myself of Matthew 6:34 - "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." The Lord sure knew how our hearts and minds would jump ahead and begin to worry and fill with anxiety. So thankful that He knew the reminders we would need! 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

4 more days

the countdown has begun...

I cannot wait to have him home.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Bend Low

Praying that you take the time to read this today. That you are taken a bit out of your comfort zone and yet encouraged that we have a Savior that calls us out to serve those around us and He gives you the power, ability, and strength to do it! How can you serve today? How can I?

From the blog of Katie Davis, a Nashville area young woman that lives in Uganda and is serving daily just where she is. We can too...

Around here, we live bent low.

Tuesday morning ladies from Masese stream through my front door. We have moved our weekly meeting from the slum of Masese to my living room because I have been up all night with new foster baby and can’t imagine getting all 14 of these little people out of the house. Excited about a change of pace and my sweet friends in my home, I enlist the help of darling Tamara and 13 eager little girls to give these ladies pedicures. We wash and we rub and we paint. I rub lotion into old scarred feet and think of the journeys they have traveled. I whisper thanks for the ways they have blessed me and the things they have taught me, and here in a puddle on the hard tile floor, Joy overflows.

It is on this same cold, smooth tile that I kneel hours later,
[. . .]

Thursday, July 21, 2011

TFC Blog: A New Look

Lasting Hope for Ethiopia

Have you noticed our new look? I certainly hope you have because that would mean you have visited our website in the last month! Central to The Forsaken Children’s new look is the new logo pictured here.

Going forward you will see this logo throughout The Forsaken Children’s literature – an image, an icon, a symbol that represents all that TFC strives to stand for: LASTING HOPE.

To finish my blog post for TFC and see the new logo and it's breakdown and meaning go here. I'd love to hear your feedback on the logo.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Happy Birthday, sis!
I cannot believe you're 21 today!

I couldn't be more proud of the beautiful  woman you are daily becoming inside & out! 

Proverbs 31:30  

 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; 
but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.”

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's About Relationship

My daddy wrote this devotional for his fellow elders at church. I thought it was too good now to share. Enjoy.


We all just recently celebrated our nation’s Independence Day on July 4th, 2011. This nation was founded on principles that gave our citizens the freedom to praise and honor God as they saw fit, and God has blessed this nation tremendously. Though our nation faces many challenges today, Independence Day was a time to reflect on the freedom that we enjoy, and on the sacrifices that so many have made, and continue to make, for that freedom.

While many enjoyed our nation’s anniversary, for anyone that has paid any attention to the news over the past months it has truly been a challenging time, some say an unsettling time. We’ve all been saddened at the loss of life in wars over the years, but in some ways we understand the danger that is involved in such struggles. Recent months, however, have really struck us with the suddenness with which our world, and that of others, can change.

Just in the area of natural disasters, we’ve seen a surge and scale that many simply cannot comprehend. On April 27th, a mile-wide EF4 tornado struck Tuscaloosa, Alabama killing 44. On May 22nd, Joplin, Missouri was struck by an EF5 tornado, with winds exceeding 200 miles per hour that remained on the ground for six solid miles. This became our nation’s deadliest tornado in six decades, with a loss of life totaling 158, property damage exceeding $3 Billion, and debris that is said to be able to fill a football stadium one mile high. But, nothing compares to the estimated $210 Billion in property damage, and loss of life exceeding 20,700, counting dead and missing, from March 11th’s earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. And, that doesn’t even factor in the growing risks from their damaged nuclear reactors.

In each case, in the blink of an eye, devastation struck - man, woman and child, friends, coworkers, the lonely, the churched, the unchurched, the good, and the bad. While most of us expect every day to be pretty much like the one before, these sudden disasters leave many asking “Why? Where is God in all this? Why has he forsaken us? What purpose could something like this serve?” Well, those are all pretty good questions, and as I thought about them the word that kept coming to mind was Relationship, and though God doesn’t cause
these tragedies to befall us, he does use them for his good purpose.

If you are at all like me, maybe you too slip sometimes into focusing too much on the here and now, on your job, your stresses, your family, your leisure, what your plans are for next week, next month and beyond. As someone said, you slip into a focus on the Horizontal and lose site of the Vertical. Focusing only on those things around you, the Horizontal, you lose sight of what is most important, your relationship to God, the Vertical. But, tragedies cause those impacted to reevaluate what is important, and in most cases they determine that it isn’t the things they had, but their relationships that are the most important. And at that point, God has an opening in those people’s lives.

This earth and all within it are passing away. You know that from observing the passage of time, the aging of the people you love and the things that you own. But God is eternal, not bounded by the constraints of this world. His love for us knows no limits, and his desire is for us to be with him in heaven forever. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden of Eden, our relationship with God was broken. But God had known this and already had his plan in place to bring us back into oneness with himself through the Holy Spirit and the saving grace of salvation through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, to restore the relationship between us.

God remains patient and long suffering, waiting for us to turn back to him. God’s blessings of provision fall upon us all, as shown in Mark 5:45 where Jesus teaches about loving your enemies, saying “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” He does this so that all may embrace the truth in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” And as in Acts 13:38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.”.

Many may feel that they are too far gone, sinned too badly, to have such reconciliation with God, but as Romans 10:13 states “… Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” And God’s acceptance of them is well modeled in the parable of the Prodigal Son, where Luke 15:20 states “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”

Relationship – it’s what is clearly most critical to us whenever we suffer tragedy, and it is what God is seeking to restore between each one of us and himself everyday. As these two pictures of a church from before and after the Joplin tornado show, even in your most difficult times, the cross remains and is your path to restoring your relationship to our heavenly Father.

 Thank you God for your grace and love, and may our hearts turn towards you as we are reminded of the most important thing, that being a right relationship with you. To you be all the glory, in Jesus name we pray.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Current Read

I finally completed The Hole in Our Gospel, which I have been reading for a LONG time now. Seriously, it has taken me forever. It wasn't an easy read - in the sense that it definitely left you unsettled at times, being reminded and made aware of the gravity of those in need, but more so I have been amazed at how slowly I'm reading non school material now that I'm in nursing school. It's hard to find the time, or desire to read when there is time because you've had your nose stuck "in a book" for school.

In March I spoke at a women's ministry event for my church about some of the things the Lord has shown me through my travels to Ethiopia and interactions with The Forsaken Children. My main point throughout my short talk was based on what God showed me about Jesus feeding the multitude of people in Luke 9 with a little boy's fish and small loaves of bread. God revealed to me through my time in Ethiopia and working with The Forsaken Children that He is the one that multiplies. All He wants is for us to GIVE what we have and let Him create the miracle and blessing through that giving.

I had never read this story of Jesus from that light... the reminder and reality that Jesus was never asking me to give something I didn't have (like the disciple thought - a year's wages to pay for everyone's food), but wanted what I was able to give. He wanted my little, so He could multiply it. For so long I had bought into the enemy's lie that I had nothing to give because I didn't have much or couldn't possibly make a dent in the major problem, but it's just that - a lie.

It was cool to complete The Hole in Our Gospel and come to the final chapters of that book that shared the same story and challenge. As I read it, I was like, WHOA, that's totally what God showed me, prior to ever reading those pages.  It was neat.

In other reading news... in May my hubs purchased me this book, One Thousand Gifts, for me. Last night I had a quiet opportunity to begin reading it. Only 15 pages in, I'm aware of why so many of my girlfriends have spoken highly about it. Looking forward to continuing it and sharing more.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Green Thumb

I do not have a green thumb. Seriously, I believe the farthest thing from it. I think if I'm completely honest with myself, I'd have to admit that plants scare me. I'm not sure what to do with them. Plus they seem so fragile, slow moving, and time consuming - my current schedule doesn't really allow for much time to give green things TLC.

But our front yard plants were growing out of control... something had to be done.

I borrowed my rents' clippers (or whatever they are called) and attempted to gain some control over the greenery in the bed in front of my house this morning. I went out to tackle the task. It started off well. I was on a mission and knew what I needed to do. Or so I thought... but once I began the snip, snip, snip of the branches and leaves growing over the bed's borders, I got lost.

How do you "form" a plant?

I am apparently completely lacking... but I attempted and at least got the majority of the plants growth back into the borders of the bed. See for yourself:


The major problem with this whole lacking a green thumb thing is that I really desire to have a garden that grows tomatoes (for my hubs), squash, zucchini, cucumbers, green peppers, and watermelon. It would rock to be able to pull those items (some of my favorite eats) from my own backyard and put them to good use one day. Hmmm.... maybe one day I will learn.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Day in the Life

While Mr. McGoo is away, I thought it would be fun today - a good Friday treat - to do "A Day in the Life of Your Wife" via photos for him. I took a few photos with my camera phone each hour or so and emailed them to him.

The photos went all throughout the day, hoping to make my hubs smile and laugh along the way. He knows his wife is a ham, so I wasn't worried about that.

Here are a few of the photos sent - many were goofy as the second image suggests. And probably the most special was introducing Mr. McGoo to our friends new addition to their family, Brinley.

Leaving the furbabies for the day - off to work

At the office

Meeting Brinley - she's beautiful

Furbaby love and computer time
Alpha Male while Daddy is away

Silly, but I thought it was a pretty creative way to remind my hubs that I love him and am thinking about him while he is away. Plus I had a blast while doing it. It's fun to be silly now and again.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

1/3rd of the Way

We're one full week into the three weeks that Mr. McGoo and I will be apart during his study abroad. One third of the way down. Although at times it feels like it has gone fast, I think about the next two weeks and really feel like the time has been going slowly. I miss my man.

I've been humbled by the reality of me missing my hubs and the fact that it's ONLY three weeks. I've been humbled to think of the many men and women serving our country abroad, leaving family behind. I've been humbled thinking especially about the mothers home alone with children while their husband and children's father works to protect this nation. And often they are apart for months, a year, or more. I cannot fathom this and am humbled, amazed, and so thankful for the strength and sacrifice of these men, women, and children. I've thought about my friend, Sarah and her gorgeous family of girls and the multiple times her hubby has been away serving his country.

So while I'm missing Mr. McGoo and cannot wait for him to get home and be able to spend time with him, I'm thankful for the perspective this time is giving me. I'm thankful that it has given the Lord an opportunity to remind me of how He has blessed me. Remind me of the men, women, and families that sacrifice for and serve this country. Remind me to keep these families in my prayers more regularly as they too ache to see their loved ones, to hold them near, to hear them laugh, and see them smile.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Just Because

Yup, it's definitely a Monday. I don't mean in the typical "ugh, it's a Monday" kind of way, more so, in the "it's time to hit the ground running again" Monday way.

The extra pace of life throughout the time my hubs is away has begun. Thankfully I got a few post 10pm minutes of downtime and love with my furbabies...

Think they're comfy?

Just because...
"Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." -Henry Van Dyke

    Saturday, July 9, 2011

    Mr. McGoo Abroad

    Mr. McGoo is blogging about his adventures in London and per my request posting photos of the things he is seeing. I'm looking forward to at least a photo or two a day of his adventures (hopefully more but I'll deal with one or two minimum. he he).

    To follow his adventures go to his blog, here.

    For now, I wanted to share one of the photos he posted today - the clouds are beautiful, the skyline is so cool, and the light coming from the left is magnificent.

    If I can't be there with him, at least I can get some visual cues and reports of his day. ;)

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    Crawfish Boil & BBQ for a Cause

    At the beginning of May, Mr. McGoo and I - along with the help of MANY - put together our 2nd Annual Crawfish Boil & BBQ for a Cause. Using the casa of friends, we welcomed any and all to come enjoy all you can eat crawfish and bbq for $20 each or $30 per couple (kids eat free!) to raise funds for worldwide missions.

    Last year we raised $1500 for missions and this year was even better! I captured quite a few photos this year but here are just a few to give you the gist...

    Mr. & Mrs. McGoo - hosting the event

    Brother McGoo - fellow Crawfish cooker with Mr. McGoo

    Kiddos playing with some of the live mud bugs

    Some of the fabulous ladies helping work the "ticket" table

    Our fab BBQ chef and his beautiful wife

    Even the little ones enjoyed some good eats

    Lessons were given to crawfish newbies

    And the eats were delish!

    With the help of so many and because of the 118 adults that attended the event, we were able to raise 

    $2400 for worldwide missions!

    That's $900 more than last year and many more folks attending than last! God definitely blessed the event!!! With the funds raised, we were able to donate to mission trips from our church going to Aqua Viva Children's Home in Guatemala this summer ($900+), help support an entire family's mission trip from our church to Uruguay this summer to love and support missionaries on the ground there ($1000), and donate to the organization that is very close to Mr. McGoo and my heart, The Forsaken Children ($400+).

    We couldn't have done it without everyone's help, those who attended, the generosity of those involved, and God's blessing! 

    We're looking forward to next year. What a fun way to enjoy a festive atmosphere, get some good eats, time with friends and family, and raise money for a great cause or two! Until next year...

    Ps. Each of the "causes" I listed could always use additional support, even if only $10. Feel free to click on any of the links and donate if you feel led. 

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    3 Weeks

    I've been blog MIA for over a month now and am still busy as ever, but want to work on getting back into the blogging groove. We'll see how that goes.

    I'm home, recently arriving back from a short trip to Nashville. Mr. McGoo and I drove to Nashville yesterday morning, arriving into the city just in time to catch the USA Women challenge Sweden in group play of the Women's World Cup. Unfortunately we didn't see the US women put Sweden away because they lost 2-1 and will have to face Brazil in the next round, but we did enjoy the time together.

    After catching the game, we made our way to the Nashville airport and I "put Mr. McGoo on a plane" for London by way of Atlanta. He will be studying abroad for 3 weeks and this will be the longest time we've been apart since we began to date in April 2006.

    4th of July time together
    It was SUPER hard to say goodbye, but I'm looking forward to hearing about my hub's adventures in England and am thankful for how it is allowing him to graduate a full semester early. I'm going to miss him like crazy, though.

    Thankfully we were blessed with extra time together on July 4th and were able to enjoy hanging out without the typical things a normal Monday brings. We also were able to spend time together all day Wednesday until he walked through security about 4:15pm.

    After sending Mr. McGoo off, I attempted to compose myself and made my way to the middle sis and BIL's house in Nashville. It was great to spend some time with them and eat dinner together. I spent the night and made my way out of the house around 9am for a coffee date with a friend, which was followed by a lunch date with another favorite gal. After lunch I headed back home.

    My goal these three weeks while Mr. McGoo is away is summed up into one word: PRODUCTIVE. Even though I know it's going to be a daily struggle having him away for so long, I am going to work to make the best of it and am confident that the Lord is sufficient during this time! I'll share more on the "productive" theme as I hopefully succeed on that daily.