Sunday, January 31, 2010
As you know a major earthquake struck southern Haiti on Jan. 12th, knocking down buildings and power lines and inflicting what its ambassador to the United States called a catastrophe for the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation. As I post this blog, the latest numbers are: 150,000: estimate of the death toll, from the Haitian Health Ministry. The European Union and the Pan American Health Organization, which are coordinating the health-sector response, have estimated the quake killed 200,000 people. 194,000: Number of injured. 134: Estimated number of people rescued by international search teams since the quake. Below are 2 recent reactions to the devastating earthquake. Please let me know what you think.
Mere hours after the island nation was devastated by the quake, Pat Robertson suggested on his "700 Club" program that the disaster was payback for a "pact with the Devil" that Haitian slaves made to gain their independence from France more than 200 years ago:
"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti and people might not want to talk about it," the televangelist said. "And they got together and swore a pact to the Devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you'll get us free from the French.' True story. And so the Devil said, 'Okay, it's a deal.' . . . But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another."
What are your thoughts on this issue?
Jace Boster-My son's response
Crud, i really love these blogs, they clear my mind so much and remind me, that there is a world out there, and of how funny people are about things when they lack Faith in the ONE TRUE GOD!
So Here Goes...
I am praying that GOD speak to me through his HOLY SPIRIT and help me to testify my Faith, and that HE uses it to open your hearts
First let me clarify one thing
satan has no power to do anything. All he can do is mess with our thoughts, and that satan is possibly messing with this minister's thoughts to make unbelievers even more opposed to the message and the gospel of CHRIST JESUS THE LORD.
(Yes! Christians are just as sinful as regular people, what is different however is that we have an ALMIGHTY GOD to help us escape our sin, and a hatred toward all our sinful transgressions.)
I also think that even IF satan and the Haiti slaves made such a pact, that was generations ago, and GOD wouldn't punish people for things their ancestors did. my opinion.
Now. i'm proposing another scenario
Haiti Slaves are being oppressed by the French so they cry out to GOD instead of satan. GOD replies to their cries of repentance and submission, and they are freed from the French. Haiti government is formed and the first generation of the new Haiti is very Godly, but the second and third generations, not so much. So far we can compare Haiti to the Israellites now. They were slaves of Egyptians and they cried out to GOD to let them go. GOD listened and sent Moses, and you know the story, ten plagues and all. When the Israelites are set free, almost immediately, they turned back to idols. A cycle started with Israel. One generation they are GODLY, next gen they fall away from GOD, GOD sends invaders as a reminder of HIS covenant, Israelites cry out to GOD for help, HE frees them, Next Generation is Godly, then it starts all over again. Like that i think that Haiti has fallen away and GOD is trying to bring his loved ones back to HIM. Sometimes an Earthquake, just like a Spanking, is required.
i don't think, GOD is punishing them for a deal with satan, that was made after more than 200 years ago, which all of a sudden now GOD decides to send an Earthquake after them.
Rather, not being attached to GOD is sorta like a deal with satan in itself. satan doesn't come at the crossroads and say he will give you >Insert Desire here< if you sell him your soul.
No satan prefers more covert operations. he dosen't show up openly, but sneaks in and places lies inside of you, to make you think JESUS isn't true (Which JESUS is true!!!!!, and i can't stress that enough) and he markets different gods and religions like Islam, Buddhism, Catholicism, Hinduism. satan even uses different idols like Playstations and TVs, Girlfriends or Boyfriends, or even Sports to take you farther away from GOD (Not that Playstation, TV, dating, and Sports are necessarily bad by themselves, i really like playing Call of Duty, but the problem is when you take those things and put them above GOD.).
My Point is that NOT being in an Active Relationship with GOD, is in fact a deal with satan.
Anyone and everyone who is not in JESUS CHRIST THE LORD, whether he or she be Spider-Man, Brittany Spears, your Best Friend or even YOU, is in a deal with satan.
Now that i believe that i am finished, i pray that the GOD of Heaven and Earth free you who are Lost and release you from your deals with satan, and bring you to CHRIST!
Friday, January 29, 2010
Nice long mostly natural blonde hair to
Very short dark brown hair.
I could care less if I had short, long, blonde, black, curly or straight hair. I rarely wear make-up and am not the most hygienic girl. I call myself with much love, "the dirty hippie:)" I do however normally pay great attention and give much thought to how my dear hubby feels. His reaction took me by surprise. To be honest...I am still trying to come to terms with it. I find myself being sullen, acting shy, wearing a hat at all times, and feeling just plain weird. I feel ugly and lost. But the worst of it...is I know it is my fault and it goes way deeper than just hair and appearances. I have never posted about marital stuff before and that's for a good reason. I do not, will not and never have spoken ill of my husband to anyone. I believe the marriage is a sacred union. If I have a problem, I go to Adam and I fall on my knees. The only reason I am sharing is because this is not an Adam problem...this is a me problem. I do share very openly on my blog about the struggles I am going through. And this is my struggle. I believe it is impossible to stand still. Show me anything in God's creation that just does nothing or is impacted by nothing. In all areas of your life you are never in stand still. You are either moving forward or falling back. That goes for your personal development, your relationships, your health, and your spiritual growth. With that said...Why am I feeling ugly and embarrassed? Because I am and I should. Whenever I feel like I need to change something external to appease the internal then something is wrong. When I crave distraction from my everyday life then something is wrong. When I feel my happiness will come from change than from endurance then something is wrong. When my inside is as chaotic as my outside then something is wrong. It is not a hair problem, a location problem, a kid problem, a responsibility problem, a self image problem, it is a spiritual problem. I have been so wrapped up in my sickness problem that I neglected what was in front of me. Adam and I have been married for 15 years not by luck, but by hard work, and constantly pushing forward as a team. My hair is nothing more than a silly metaphor. While I am discontent with how things are..I am more importantly ignoring what is right. To me my hair is unimportant...to my husband it is everything. Not my hair really..more like what is constant. It's like how after the earthquake in Haiti I approached him about opening our home. I like change. I crave chaos. When I asked him, it was like daggers in his back. I am telling him I need more. God speaks to me. As a man....He hears...My wife is not satisfied. She wants more. God speaks to her? Am I not enough? But when you are unified he hears...I am doing well. She believes in me. Yes, we can take on more...I can feel it. And sometimes if you are unified you will hear...My husband knows us so well. I am blessed. I need not look elsewhere. My heart really is content. Whether it's my hair or more children....It is never about me. When I got married I was suppose to abandon me....I was called to embrace we. And I know that I fell backwards...I know I neglected him. When I start to focus on his weakness I have failed to see my own. When I can see mine for what they truly are...his are nothing. When you feel like the people around you need to change...then my friends it is time to look inside. And you will find it is not as much about them, as it is about you and what you need to change. No, it's not your hair, your family size, or your circumstances....it is your heart.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
He is about 8 months old.
I ran out of my bedroom to find Tyler getting busy in the kitchen with some random stray female feline friend. We do not live in a neighborhood, so I have no idea where this harlot cat came from. And how the heck did Tyler sneak her in at 4am. Tyler is not spayed yet. He missed his surgery when I was so sick. I thought it could wait a few months because he is strictly an indoor cat. Well....Tyler proved anything is possible.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Turns out I wasn't ready.
I wasn't prepared.
The words didn't quite come out like I had envisioned.
The twins are starting to notice they are brown and we are tan.
I tell them everyday and always have from the day I met them how beautiful they are.
How much I love their yummy skin.
I don't try to hide our differences or ignore their heritage.
I want them to embrace who they are inside and out.
I thought I did such a good job with the everyday realities of being a trans-racial family
that I would somehow escape the conversation I failed at today.
Thank God I have tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
My name is Amber Kaufman and, as Julie mentioned, I am the Doma Medical Coordinator. I just received an update from Israel, our in-country coordinator, regarding the woman that needs surgery. Some information about the woman first – her name is Wiwkinesh and she is approximately 38 years old. She has three children and lives in Bora -- a very rural mountain community in southern Ethiopia. We held a 2-day clinic in Bora during our last medical trip. We will be returning in April to do another 2-day clinic. Israel has informed me that Wiwkinesh is in Addis Ababa (the capital city) and will be going to the hospital tomorrow. He was not sure if she would have the surgery tomorrow or the next day. Please say a prayer for Wiwkinesh that the surgery goes well, that the surgeon has skilled hands, and that she heals quickly. Also please pray for her family as she is away from her children during this time.
I also want to tell each of you thank you so much for your overwhelming generosity! Wiwkinesh had suffered several years with the condition and had no means of having it fixed. Thank you for providing the resources – it is greatly appreciated!!
I will send more information as I receive it. Thank you for your support and generosity!!
Monday, January 25, 2010
I want to be able to relate to everyone from the guy on the corner with his sign to the lady in fur standing next to me in line.
I want to love them as much as I desire to be loved.
It is like a constant battle inside of me-one side pushing itself into the shadows and the other side desperately seeking the limelight. It's like wanting to be on Oprah but then showing up in disguise. I search out truth, but then camouflage my true intentions.
This is my struggle.
This is me.
As much as I crave anonymity, I crave being recognized. I created this blog to satisfy both.
I can be appreciated by strangers.
Yet, open myself up for judgment from people I know.
It's a fine line.
A line that I cross many times.
What weakness do I lay in front of the world to see? What strength do I want to be acknowledged and praised? I can manipulate my readers to view me and see me how I want.
What started as a facebook pep talk with a friend turned into an epic one song journey. Spending hours listening to the same song over and over again. What I thought would build up a friend brought me to my knees.
It was a song about Superman. The Five for Fighting Song.
"I can’t stand to fly
I’m not that naive
Men weren’t meant to ride
With clouds between their knees
I’m only a man in a silly red sheet
Digging for kryptonite on this one way street
Only a man in a silly red sheet
Looking for special things inside of me
inside of me ...... inside of me ...ya inside of me... inside..of me "
The reality is...
I am nothing.
And even in my superman cape it is just me.
I can show you the white cloud I ride and write about flying high, but the truth is it's still just me. So in my quest for the great acceptance of others I am left unsatisfied. Because that's not who I am. I bleed. My life is messy. I make huge mistakes. I won't hide them. My cape is fake and my clouds are gray. I will never be loved by all or appreciated by many.
But I am loved by one.
The Special Thing Inside Of Me.
I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
And the more I try to search for
or pretend that
I am anything other than me
the closer I get to
digging up the
Thursday, January 21, 2010
I got to relive all the emotions and memories with each post I read. I got to reflect on where I have come from and I got inspired to keep moving forward to where I want to go. What is it about looking back than spurs you ahead? I cried all over again when I saw Marion's picture of her lying in the hospital alone in Liberia . I remembered like it was yesterday not being able to fully comprehend the attachment I would have to a child half way around the world that I have never met. And to come to the realization that her death was the catalyst I needed to hear God's voice. At that time all I could think of was the two children in Liberia that I was to adopt. Yes, I would read about the statistics of infant mortality in developing countries. I knew a little of the aids pandemic. I was aware that lack of water was a problem. But for me the reality was I just really wanted to adopt my two Liberian kids. Is wasn't until Marion died and Emmanuel left the orphanage that it became personal. That the number of 143 million orphans became real to me. That Marion would be alive if she had access to clean water and basic medicine. It took the death, just one of thousands that day-the death of a baby I never met but was still my daughter to make me finally get it. It is or was never about just two children. Two weeks later the funds were raised for Marion's house. A home that was to be built in her honor to care for babies without a home. At the same time this was happening our family was falling in love with another orphan. Only he was in our city and in foster care. He was 12. We became his respite care providers so we could spend the weekends with him. I spent hours a week on the phone with his foster mom. We took him to Disney world. Our children loved him. The week before he was to move in and forever be a part of our family his foster mom called. He molested a little girl and would not be able to be a part of our family. That was it. No call from his caseworker. Nothing. He moved to another foster family just around the corner from us. Even now as I look back it still hurts, but now I feel a great sense of relief. Looking back I can see how God beautifully orchestrated everything from Marion, Emmanuel, foster kid D, to our twins Diezel and Xia. Through our foster parent training I learned to understand without condemnation the choices some moms make inspite of their responsibilities as a parent. I have a deeper since of compassion after realizing I could make the same decisions given the same situation. In me the same darkness and uncertainty lives. Just today I was feeling stagnant. Like a clogged pipe. Crying out, "Lord I have felt you. I have heard you. Yet I feel like I have done nothing". Then I looked back and reread my life over the last few years and I know the truth. I heard. I felt. And I did do something. During the time of Foster kid D, I partnered with an organization in Uganda. In two weeks the money was raised to fund a project. Lives were changed. Clean water was made possible. Agriculture processes were put in place. Then....on Jan. 16 2008 exactly one year after my sister died to the day and 1 year 16 days after we decided to adopt I got a call. "would you be interested in twins. One boy one girl almost 2?" I forgot how scared I was to get excited until I read my old posts. It took me forever just to look at their pictures. I remember looking at them for the first time..
Okay this is officially too long..
Until next time.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Monday, January 18, 2010
Sunday, January 17, 2010
I know I completely went off on a tangent here. As I reread my words I pray that they are understood. But I am not naive and I know that to some I will sound like a dork...and that's okay. Because I am.
Oh yeah...Before I went in a whole other direction-My point was...I felt weird launching Because Every Mother Matters in light of what happened in Haiti. I did not want to diminish focus, funds, or peoples hearts to wanting to serve there. It felt weird. Then the more I thought I started feeling like a complete idiot. The fact is...People are dying everywhere. Mothers and their children are facing unthinkable hardships in every country. For me to hold off a campaign to help the mommies in Uganda to help the mommies in Haiti seemed crazy. A LIFE IS A LIFE. EVERY MOTHER MATTERS! So whether you feel led to help a Haitian mother, a Ugandan mother, or a mother across the street...just do it.
If you are looking for an organization you can support in Haiti I recommend contacting Jocelyn.
She started Redeeming waters and will be heading to Haiti this week. Since she is a small organization you can know that she will personally use your donations to make a difference.
Contact her through her site.
And yes, I will be writing more about Because Every Mother Matters and what we are doing.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Exciting things in the works.
Details are being worked out.
Knees are getting raw from prayer.
Are you ready????
Ready to get dirty?
Making a Difference
I am tired of that pit in my stomach that gnaws at me. The feeling I get when I know God spoke to me a long time ago and now it sounds barely like a whisper. The fear of not answering Him when He has called. I am tired of living my comfortable life.
I am ready.
Sunday, January 10, 2010
You did it!
We raised the $1000 in 4 days.
half way around the world
And the best part.
Her medical care is being arranged right now.
I hope to have Gedese be able to go to the hospital and visit her.
To be her voice.
and to tell her about all of you.
You made a difference:)
Not after I just read my blog list.
The words and stories I want to share with you are not my own.
I have been crying for 30 minutes reading blogs.
I want to share with you what I read.
Please take the time to read their words
watch their videos
and listen to their hearts.
I want to take you on a journey
Second stop-My blog friend Julie. She blogs about fear. They are an "older" couple adopting. She has such a sweet spirit and writes with honesty. Please go and read her words and listen to her heart.
Next-My friend living in Fitzville wrote a post that broke me. It's a simple post about her son and food. It was such a huge reminder to me to never forget where my children have come from. I am inspired by her and her insight to understand where her son's stress was coming from.
Then head over to Donna's blog- It is an older post, because she never writes(hint) I come back this a lot. An amazing story of surrender. I love this woman.
Friday, January 8, 2010
I get them everyday. I get frustrated. I get discouraged. I want to give up.
Maybe God tagged the wrong person.
Maybe I heard wrong.
Maybe they are right,
maybe the problem is too big.
I am comfortable.
I have my own struggles.
I can't make a difference.
But you know.
You know deep down.
That you are not a better person than they are.
You know that helping doesn't have to be a "great deed"
It just needs to simply come from the heart.
The problem is HUGE.
It is way bigger than you can tackle.
you too are "struggling" financially
you just bought something you didn't need.
The truth is -
You can make a difference.
You can impact and save a life.
It does not take a better person
It does not take a rich person
It does not take someone else.
It takes YOU!!!!!!
We need you.
They need you.
Please give your time
don't have any?
Give your money?
don't have any?
Then give your heart!
Because Every Mother Matter's needs your help!
Those of you new to my blog-
is an organization I started with Brandi (a blog friend) in partnership with Doma Connection to provide birthing kits to remote villages in Uganda.
Right now I need to raise $800. for a momma in Ethiopia. They discovered her on a recent trip
she has a prolapsed uterus and is still living!
my amazing children upon reading about her gave me all of their Christmas money without hesitation. One of my kids has been sending out desperate pleas for help for this mother and has yet to have anyone respond. My heart breaks for not only this mother in Ethiopia who does not know if she will receive the care she needs to be able to not only survive and raise her children,
but also my children's hearts who gave in complete faith and love be faced the reality that so many people feel like their $1.00 or $100 won't make a difference.
So they don't even bother.
But it will.
It will make a difference
has their first project and it is a mommy half way around the world who is living their life like this
So, what do I tell the amazing women that want to make a difference and my own children who give selflessly because of a desire to make a difference?
I tell them-
Some people will
Some people won't.
And those that will
do so not because of what you show them or tell them
but simply because
they want to.
those that don't
might if you
show them and tell them.
In the end
it's all the same
A life was changed.
Go HERE to make a change.
When making a donation please put for Ethiopian Mom or Because Every Mother Matters in the "special instructions to the seller" box.
You will see this box after you log in to your Paypal
on the confirm your order page.
And please know,
if you have any doubt
of how I feel about the importance of feeling lead to a certain charity vs. giving out of guilt please read
Thursday, January 7, 2010
I know. I know. All 3 of my peeps are jumping up and down with excitement.
With better health on my horizon and one huge spiritual battle won
I am on fire (sizzle).
The book is coming together.
Because Every Mother Matters has it's first project.
(Which you definitely want to be a part of...if you are a mother, have a mother, or want to be a mother)
I know you probably are wondering...
What happened to Steffany(me)?
All the vague medical posts, what was wrong?
Let's just say
I haven't been the same since Africa.
So, let's start with physical.
Many of you remember when I came back I ended up sick with:
And not to mention 2 very sick kiddos
Oh yeah and 1 very sick pregnant Ethiopian lady.
I spent the next year taking antibiotics,
adjusting to very sick and needy twins
fighting our government,
selling possessions to take care of the pregnant Ethiopian woman(Gedese)
that was living with me for the year. Needless to say I didn't take the best care of myself.
For the year and a half I have had reoccurring fevers and intestinal upset.
Then on Oct 22nd, I spiked a high fever and had severe chest pain.
Being who I am...
A day later I drove to Iowa to run for Water4Christmas. A charity to raise money for clean water in Liberia. I ran in the freezing wet cold. Six hours later I ended up to my embarrassment in the hospital. Thank God I had a dear friend with me.
They diagnosed without any tests me with ChestWall Pain.
I then drove the 5 hours back home and ended up in the hospital here.
I was then diagnosed with Pericarditis. I was put on nasty medicine that made me violently ill.
It wasn't until my next hospitalization that an infectious disease Dr. was called in. Given all my past travel history complicated by my last conquest of a 7 day backpack adventure in the remote mountains of Colorado spanning almost 40 miles they decided I might be so sick due to my recent travels or my Africa travels. Then they proceeded to do tons more tests. After being released with still no answer I decided to go to a naturopath. He told me I had lung parasites and gave me more meds. By this point I have now been sick for a very long time. Not only the year of Africa stuff but then now 2 months of "thought I might die" sickness.
Severe chest pain
intense muscle weakness
Breathlessness that left me so tired I just wanted to stop breathing.
And still no answers.
At this time I am now believing My Africa stuff and my newest Lung stuff are separate and they are making a huge mistake trying to find a common ground.
I finally about 4 days ago started as directed taking the naturopath med.
And I am feeling better.
Then yesterday I went to my regular Dr.
I went in believing I am healing...
and I left despite what was said that I am still healing.
He wants to run more tests, but I decided to hold off for a few weeks to see if I keep improving before we dig any further. The tests and unknowing in itself can be a little stressful. The newest "theories" are I might have had Myocarditis and if that's the case I am grateful to be alive.They would want to do a MRI of the heart to confirm this, but even if it's diagnosed the only thing to do is give it time, rest and keep taking my high doses of anti-inflammatory. So at this point having that test seems pointless. My pulmonary function test pointed to a possible neuromuscular disease. The test to explore that possibility more fully would require an intense nerve test. Since I have no other symptoms of either multiple sclerosis, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or late onset of muscular dystrophy and I am feeling better, I decided to postpone that one since it's quite painful. The other test they wanted to perform is a lung biopsy and yes...you guessed it. I opted out for now. I will not even discuss the colonoscopy they wanted to do:) If it was two weeks ago and I was still feeling as bad as I did...I would not hesitate to run any of these tests. So, if in two weeks I am still improving we will probably assume it was lung parasites or Myocarditis. If however I am not improving then a testing I will go.
So there you have it....
where Steffany has been physically.
I am amazed at how much the physical ties into the emotional and spiritual as well.
And that my friends is where true growth happens
I am so excited to share more...
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
For more info http://julieannclark.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/ethiopia-trip-join-us-on-our-april-trip/
We need to raise $1000 for her treatment. I am so excited for this opportunity to stand up and be counted. To stand up and make a difference. To stand up and see one life changed because we as a team decided to do something. This will be our first project. Yes...our goal is to provide birthing kits to the women in Uganda who lack the basics during labor and delivery. At the same time WE ARE BECAUSE EVERY MOTHER MATTERS!!!!! Every mother no matter where they are. And this one mother. This mother without a name. This mother without a face. This mother matters and she needs our help.
Good news...we only need $900 now. One of my kids who has asked to remain anonymous gave all of his Christmas money the moment he heard about her.
May we all act so quickly and so boldly
Go HERE to donate
Sunday, January 3, 2010
I have no idea what is really ahead of me this year....but I am ready!