Monday, January 31, 2011

School Me...

I signed up for a womens' bible study at my church. Going to be honest here- Nothing makes me more nervous than a group of women I don't know and Christian ones for that matter. Yet, I continue to put myself out there...the real me- the beautiful and the ugly. Some will get me, most won't. It's okay. Point is- I don't hide or pretend. Anyway, signed up for this class about the lies Christian women speak to themselves. I went through the workbook and am a little unsure. One of the first few pages asks you to list the lies you speak about yourself. The thing is, I spent 10 years of my life in a PMA sate of mind ( positive mental attitude) only speaking that which you want, believe, etc. You claim victory in all area of your life. If you are sick then you must not have faith type stuff. Thing is, I spent 10 years of my life living in my own doctrine. Life isn't easy, disease free, without tragedy and heartache. To live without challenges does not mean you are, "blessed". It means- you refuse to fully grasp GOD in all areas of your life...the good and bad. He dwells in both places. I know many people are bugged by the way I speak about calling myself a, "mess", "selfish"..etc...but I am. I am completely inadequate and undeserving. To me, it makes the grace given me even more priceless. To others, I am being hard on myself and not giving myself credit. I don't want credit though. I want it to be obvious in my life that when things go well- there can only be one explanation and when things go "bad"..I come out stronger. So, I'm looking forward to this class and hoping it can bring balance to humility vs worth

Friday, January 28, 2011

All Things Must Eventually Come to an End...

I realized something- I am not good at follow through unless I have a deadline. I started this raffle of a one of a kind FUNKY FISH design bracelet almost 3 weeks ago with a cut off of Feb 28th-the day we leave for Africa. To be completely raffle isn't going so well. I haven't completely figured out why. To enter all you need to do is donate any amount to the get, "BEMM'S butt to Africa" campaign. Even just $5.00 would be appreciated and enter you to win this freaking awesome bracelet! So, to hopefully inspire those of you who are like me and wait until the last moment to do things, I have decided to make it the last moment!
You have until Tuesday at 9pm to enter. We will announce the winner Wed. You can donate to the right of my blog.

The Land of, "I Don't Know"

This morning began with having to call 911 and a feeling of fear and uncertainty. The day is almost over and everything is fine...yet, I can't help but to think about the, "I don't know".

When we all woke up this morning, I found Diezel lethargic and having a hard time breathing. In the almost 3 years he's been home we have dealt with our fair share of medical scares with him. I haven't been this scared since we first got home from Ethiopia and we watched him struggle in the hospital. Although his health has improved over the past few years, somethings still get to me. I remember spending weeks with the twins in the hospital when we got home and every doctor, nurse, technician, therapist would ask the same questions. "What's their health history?" "Are they allergic to anything?" "Any diseases run in the family?" "Were they full term?" "Have they been hospitalized before?" "Was it a normal pregnancy?" With each question all I could say is, "I don't know." I forgot how much I don't like those questions. I don't like it that I can't fill in the blanks for them. I don't like the land of, "I don't know".

As I was being asked the "I don't know" questions by the paramedics this morning, I took comfort in the things I did know.

1. I know I love this boy with every fiber of my being.
2. I know that he and Xia would be dead if they were still in the orphanage. We were told when we brought them home that they had maybe 2 weeks left to live.
3. I know that even though it has been a difficult transition for us, that our lives are beyond blessed because we chose to adopt.
4. I know that there are 2 less orphans in the world.
5. I know my GOD has great plans for him.

There is so much I don't know and may never know, but what I do know is what matters.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"If you have the faith of a mustard seed"

I don't know about you...
but that verse is by far the most encouraging and simultaneously
the most aggravating verse ever.

(well Proverbs 31 is up there too)

I see myself as a woman of faith.
A woman who refuses to see the practical and sensible
A woman who believes in the impossible and witnesses miracles everyday.

This past week
I was humbled to see a mountain move.
BEMM (Amy and Myself)
had absolutely no financial means to get to Africa.
To say my family is going through some lean a mild statement.
I have never asked for any help financially for my trips, adoptions, ourselves ever.
I have either sold stuff or done without. Period.
Over the years my family has sacrificed more than I can explain to help the visions I have in my heart to help others.
When I first asked for help for my trip back to Africa....
you have to hard that was and how many people I asked to advise me.

It all came back to this verse....
He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."

If I have so much faith that mountains will be moved to help everyone else I support....
then why do I lack the faith that God would move a mountain for me?

It's like, I can see the value in this person or that person, but am unable to see that same value in myself. I guess the thing is...I know I am loved and valuable in His sight, but I feel so raw and ugly in front of you. Why? That is so warped. That leads me to believe that I really don't know my worth and that my faith is not even close to a mustard seed. Why can I see beauty in everything else and work my butt off to support someone I don't even know....yet, I feel so inadequate asking you to help me get to Africa to continue to do what I do?

We are so close to purchasing our tickets.
A little under $500 away.
Yet, A feel so weary and defeated.
I feel this way every time before something awesome happens.
You know me...I am a
getter done type of girl
I hold on till the last moment..
then I hold on some more.
I don't quit
or say
It's not "God's timing"
That's like saying, "Sorry, can't share my bread, don't know when I'll get more and haven't gotten clear direction from God if I should share."

Point is....
I feel defeated
it's the wrong time
slightly like a beggar...

Yet....I have the faith the size of a mustard seed and I know and believe in miracles.
I will not give up, give in or make excuses...
I will not wait for the fat lady to sing...
I am going back to Ethiopia Feb 28th.
Reality say's I'm $500 short
and I'm tired and sick...
Maybe I should just quit and justify....

I have 5 weeks and the faith of a mustard seed
In 5 weeks 1000's of mommas will die due to pregnancy related causes
and if I need to beg for the rest of the money to go.....then it's worth it!
Because Every Mother Matters

We have only 7 funkyfish necklaces left.
We have 24 hours to hold on to our ticket prices.

We are 7 necklaces and 3 paintings away to cover our ticket costs.
That's it!
I used to think my faith moved the mountain....
but what I learned is...
faith+action moves the mountain....

The miracles I have seen..from the $15k for doma, 2k for Workinesh, 5k for Marion's house, 5k for Nile project, 3k for birthingkits, 5k for Project Hopeful, 5k in adoptions.....all of those started with my mustard seed faith , your beautiful hearts and God's power!

I have the faith
I need you.
We need $500 by tomorrow for our tickets.

I have these 7 beautiful necklaces at $50 each

Can't buy a necklace then please enter our raffle to win this bracelet. All amounts help...

Any amount enters you to win this...A $50 donation buys a necklace and enters you....

Or you could do nothing. Chances are you never even read this far..and I may not raise the $500 needed to travel...You may not be a part of the miracle tonight and you may see me cry tomorrow, but you know what? I have the faith at least the size of a mustard seed and I don't quit.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I'm in so much physical pain right now, I feel like I'm dying. Yeah, I know I am slightly melodramatic....but, holy cow. The pain meds are kicking in and my tears are starting to dry up. I consider myself to be quite tolerant in the pain department. I push harder than any other 5'1 ish weighing 100 pounds girl that I know. My Achilles heel? Anything to do with teeth and dentists. If you have read this blog for any period of time then you know my fear and loathing that is associated with all things oral. I lost my front teeth in a freak accident at 17, have undergone years of work, thousands of dollars to repair the damage. I even went 20 years without treatment after several failed attempts to fix all my dental issues. You might remember the time, I ran out of the dentist office during mid-procedure screaming, "She's the devil" only to have my husband drag me back in. No joke. Finally after saving for years (10) and getting enough courage, I went over a year ago to get the smile of my dreams and finally face my fears. Well, I faced my fears, didn't get the smile of my dreams, but did come out with a workable solution that involved my 4 front teeth.. I was quite confident after investing 5k and 6 months worth of treatments that my oral troubles were behind me. Over the last few months the annoying pain in my mouth has been increasing and I have been trying to ignore it. Then on Friday I woke up to insane pain and very evident swelling. I called my dentist. They were closed, but knowing my history, they called in a very strong antibiotic and pain meds and scheduled me for Monday morning. I am so freaked out.
1. I don't have the money to deal with this
2. I am terrified of what is going to happen
3. I am in so much pain
4. If my implant fails and I have any more bone loss that means more bone grafts.
5. I'm leaving for Ethiopia and still need to finish funding that
6. I thought I was done.
7. no matter what...I have to sit in that squeaky chair, and smell that smell, and open my mouth to the point of cracking....

On top of that I feel so stupid worrying about something that hasn't even happened. Stressing over money and being a baby about it all.

It just hurts so bad and the pain in my head is excruciating. My headaches have been increasing in intensity and frequency. I wake up often to the worst head pain. I just hope my headaches and oral pain are related....

One big silly complaining baby signing out...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Clearing Things Up.

I attempted my first "Facebook Event" to try to raise awareness for our upcoming trip and to raffle off this one of a kind FunkyFish bracelet. Let's just say, I either have no idea what I am doing and or the people I invited have no idea what I was trying to do. Over 400 people were "invited" (I'm still so confused by the whole event thing) to help BEMM get their butts back to Africa by entering to win this rad bracelet. Basically by donating any amount towards our mission trip would be entered to win. Yeah, even a quarter would qualify...the point was to make it do-able for anyone who wanted to help. So far we have 27 people who are "attending" -meaning going to enter the raffle of the bracelet by giving any amount to our trip...out of that only 7 have. Then we have 9 people who "may attend" the event. This one cracks me up. ( people may or may not give any amount to enter a chance to win a rad bracelet and help BEMM get to Africa. Then there's 387 people who haven't responded. My thought is...the whole creating an event is way too complicated and doesn't make since to 98%.

So here it is, on my blog...your official invite to donate ANY amount towards our trip to Africa for a chance to win this Rad Bracelet! My goal is to make this as simple as possible.

Here is the link. Here is your chance to not only win this rad bracelet, but to help BEMM get their butts back to Africa! Thank you in advance!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Everywhere I Turn...

It seems every blog I check, every facebook status I read, the emails I get are all pouring their hearts into trying either to raise money for adoptions, mission trips, orphans, eliminating sex-traficking, HIV, water, fulfilling a worthwhile dream of a child, cancer...the list and needs go on and on. In the midst of trying to raise money for "my own" trip, organization and needs...I just feel so darn tired, worn-out, stretched, and hate to admit it..maybe even a little over-it. The constant in your face of auctions, raffles, selling t-shirts and dare I say it? Yes, the Tacky 4 Africa headbands can leave me overwhelmed and numb. Where do you begin? Where do you stop? Sometimes going on a blog or facebook can spiral into one big guilt trip or justification rant..... Am I doing enough? If I get a haircut or buy a new pair of boots and post that as my status, will others silently think (but never admit) "oh, she can spend $100 on shoes, but screw the orphans". Or then there's the opposite..."I'm so sick of people using Facebook as a way to put in everyone's faces what they feel we should be doing , but aren't...Screw them, I'm going to hide all future comments from those people ."

Is it just me? Am I the only one who struggles with this? I have given more money and raised more money via the web. I have learned about more causes, organizations and needs than I would have ever known about from this crazy social media thing. I have also been left feeling like I can never do enough or give enough or care enough too. I have found myself rallying for causes that I never thought I would. I get caught up in the excitement of a group effort to make a difference. I find myself caring about people I have never met and giving to efforts that I have never heard of.

Yes, the needs are great and everywhere you turn it seems there is something else to support.
If I step back though and sort through the politics that tends to happen in non-profits and just see it for what it is...It's family. It's not this cause or that, my ministry or theirs, this families adoption or that family, it's not about just maternal health care, orphan care, adoption ministries, street kids, prison help, medical care......It's about something more. Something beyond ourselves and our abilities...So, as easily as I can get get overwhelmed by all the needs including my own that seem to pound on me daily...I know I can't help them all, but I can help one and doggoneit I can buy a pair of boots too (if I had the money for them:). My point is, it's so easy to get caught up in the big, huge, unseemly and unchangeable problem of poverty itself and the masses that are trapped under it all....that we often feel so inadequate to even try to make a difference and are too paralyzed or possibly hardened to just look for the one. The one person, the one cause, the one act of kindness that will change not only the receiver, but the one who took the time and effort to see one person in the sea of faces and inspite of not being able to help them all....reached their heart and hand, out to at least one and changed both lives forever.

I love seeing all the pleas and requests on FB....overwhelming they can be, and yes... sometimes a little guilt ridding...the thing is...I see hundreds of people choosing to ignore the masses and focus on the one person, the one issue, the one cause that they feel lead to and that is incredible.

I encourage you to find something you are passionate about. I encourage you to believe that you can make a difference and have cute boots:)

just don't get so overwhelmed by the causes you see that you tune out and don't tune out to all the causes you see because you think what you can do won't will.

Trust me..for every dollar I get...I do the hallelujah dance

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hurry Up

I can't sleep. Xia woke up crying like she so often does. I'll find her just sitting up in bed, crying hysterically and looking very lost. Normally I just tell her to lay down and go back to sleep. She always does. It's almost like she is still sleeping when this happens and totally unaware that she is sitting up crying. Tonight though, I picked her up and carried her down to my bed and stroked her face. I tried to go to sleep myself, but the combination or my man's snore, Xia's snore and thoughts running crazy through my head lead me down stairs to sit and stare at our Christmas tree. Yes, it's still up and I have no idea when it will come down. It seems like the only thing I'm in a hurry for is going to Africa and raising money for Africa. Crazy things is, I think just by being in a hurry for those things it has affected so many other things as well. Important things. Like my kids, my family, my relationships, my quiet time. As I sit here and gaze at our tree, I can't help but to feel like I hurried through Christmas, I hurried through the last two years of my children's lives, I hurried through conversations, I hurried through time....just because I was in a hurry to get to Africa, to raise money for Africa.

I recently had a phone conversation with a woman who is becoming a dear friend to me. We started our conversation in prayer as we have the other few times we spoke. I remember listening to her prayer and knowing it was meant for me and it was wise counsel. I have thought about what she said a few times since then, but never meditated on them...I have been in such a hurry afterall. It wasn't until right now, tonight, gazing at the only thing I haven't hurried, the taking down of my tree that I truly get it.

"I pray Father that Steffany is fully present in every moment where ever she is. I pray when she is with her beautiful children and family that she is fully there, with them and for them and Lord I pray that when she is working to help the moms that she is fully present and fully there for them. I ask that you help her seek You in every moment so that her heart maybe full of joy"

So, tonight here I am. Finally enjoying this Christmas moment 3 weeks later. Enjoying the present that was given to me. HIS love. HIS peace. HIS grace. HIS mercy and this moment.

I didn't take any Christmas Day/Eve pictures this year. I don't know if I was just too hurried or it may have something to do with the majority of the house puking...either way.

But I did take a few the night we put up the tree. There is one picture in particular that completely captures what it means to be fully present, unhurried and a heart full of joy. After the craziness of decorating (decorating a tree with 6 kids is um...nuts), I crept back downstairs to get a picture of the tree and this is what I saw

My daughter Faith still enjoying the tree long after her siblings went up stairs for hot chocolate. She was merrily singing and dancing around the tree adjusting ornaments. I just wanted to freeze that moment for her, for me...

Tomorrow when I wake up, I will be fully present for my husband, my children, my relationships, raising money, my conversations, and in all that I do, but most importantly with my God and I will not hurry through a moment of it. Well...maybe laundry I can hurry (that doesn't count does it?:)

Merry Christmas

Matthew 6:33-34
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Tears and Laughter I am crying (again). Sometimes I wish I didn't cry so much, that I reserved my tears for something I guess that was profound or at least I could announce boldly that, "I am not the type" to cry easily....but I do. I cry a lot. The crazy thing is, I laugh a lot too, I just tend to do so simultaneously or at awkward moments. I remember being 17, just getting out of a Mexican jail only to end up in a jail in Phoenix(unrelated) and then the next day forgetting to put the emergency brake on in my parents car and having it roll backwards slamming into our stone wall around our house thus totally the car and the wall. I just stood there...laughing hysterically, then crying uncontrollably...back and forth I went, from laughter to tears. I know this may seem like such an off the wall and completely weird story to share, but I learned a lot about myself that day and the nature of things in general.
1. I cry a lot
2. I laugh a lot
3. I have no idea how to act when I feel so completely out of control.

Fast forward 20+ years....Not much has changed. I still cry a lot. I still laugh a lot. The one big difference. The one thing that truly matters now is...I don't have to be in control. I know who is in control and I trust HIM completely. That doesn't mean that I still don't struggle with feeling so completely out of control that I don't cry and laugh at the same time. I do. I am now as I type this. People ask me, "How are you doing?" The only thing I can say is, "Crazy good!"

When I sat down to write this blog post I had one purpose....To share with you all the beautiful blessings that have been happening in my life.

I was crying just thinking about them all. A week ago I posted about needing help to get back to Africa. In 24 hours 4 amazing friends donated more than $300.00. I cried as each donation came in. The amount was insignificant. That you believed in me was profound. Then the next day- Dawn and Cathy from FunkyFish blessed me with a gorgeous bracelet to raffle off to help raise $.
I had 2 beautiful people donate for a chance to win it. Thus bring our total to $340. Months ago, I listed my wardrobe center on craigslist to sell to help make the 5k for Project Hopeful. We ended up raising the money we needed and I forgot about the listing, then two days ago someone came and bought it for $150! We were now at almost $500. I cried. Then Amy Smith, BEMM's VP and photographer posted a beautiful blog about having coffee- We ended up with raising almost $300 more. Again I cried. Yesterday, I was blessed with the most amazing beautiful quilt, that was handmade by Clara Lawrence to help raise the money needed. I listed it on EBAY in complete faith that someone will buy it for the price I set. I cried when I stared at the picture of it. She perfectly captured the very essence of the heart of BEMM. To me, it is priceless. If that wasn't enough then Dawn and Cathy from FunkyFish once again blessed me. They made 10 one of a kind necklaces for BEMM for me to sell. Wait- There's more! Today, I went online to check ticket prices and I found tickets to Ethiopia from Kansas City for $830 a piece. Which means we are half way there! I cried. Then got motivated. We only need $800 more to get our tickets! We can do this! HE can do this by today. I know it.
.....Then I talked to my mom and she sounded horrible. My dad just had a heart attack before Christmas( He is doing well) and now my mom is sick. I will not go into details, those of you who know me well enough can put the pieces together. I also watched my man and son leave the house yesterday morning to knock on people's doors and ask if they needed their driveways plowed or cars cleaned. (yeah, we own a Photo company with 50 employees, but times are hard and he needs to make money outside of our company to pay people) LOVE HIM! NOT MANY MEN WOULD DO WHAT HE DOES! Now...I laugh, then I cry...back and forth I go.
Like a Merry go Round...Out of control.

This post was not what I intended. I wanted to write something to inspire you to want to help. I basically have until today to raise the $800 needed to purchase the tickets. I have 10 beautiful necklaces to sell, an EBAY auction of the quilt, the raffle of the bracelet, having coffee with Amy, and the ever growing Tacky $ Africa headbands....

But...I got nothing to inspire you. I have my tears and my laughter and this crazy merry go round I'm on. I am crying tears of joy for everyone who has believed in me and helped, I am crying tears of sadness for my momma and the only life I know with her. I am laughing at how amazing GOD is and how HE uses the broken. I am laughing at how blessed I am and the friends I have. I feel so out of control...Yet, know HE has it! My mom, my family, my trip, BEMM, our company...all of it.

And in all of this-He uses my tears and my laughter and my out of control feeling to make something beautiful....

You can help any so many ways!
1. The obvious-Pray for me:)
2. Help spread the word of why we are going back to Ethiopia
3. Enter the raffle of the bracelet (any donated amount counts as an entry)
4. Buy a necklace- They are $50.00
5. Bid on the quilt or share the link on your facebook!
6. Share coffee with Amy
7. Buy a headband!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Never Satisfied (Written by Jodie)

Because Every Mother Matters. A simple, powerful, yet poignant statement. Unfortunately, the world hasn't fully embraced this concept; because if they did, mothers wouldn't have to die from childbirth related causes due to a lack of medical care. Mothers wouldn't have to suffer a death of a child from malnutrition, dehydration, or pneumonia. Mothers wouldn't have to place their children in orphanages because of inability to provide for her family. Mothers wouldn't have to be vilified because of their HIV status. Every mother should matter in this world. If they mattered, families could be together and mothers could learn the skills necessary to provide for her family. " To educate a man is to educate his family; to educate a woman is to educate the world."

Steffany Boster, founder and creator of Because Every Mother Matters, started this organization because of her love for the mammas in the world. It was not okay that in East Africa 1 in 11 mothers die from childbirth. It was not okay that in Ethiopia " being pregnant means one foot in the ground." It was not okay that there are 147 million orphans in the world. It was not okay that a child born in Africa has a 17% chance of dying before the age of five. It was just not okay. Their mission statement is to support those who provide hope to mothers around the world and in our own backyards. See it was never about BEMM. It was about the mothers. Because Every Mother Matters supports and fundraises for organizations and non-profits helping the mothers. BEMM has raised over 50k for the mamas. She raised 5k for Project Hopeful + Sisterhood Project and 15k for Doma's maternal and infant health clinic in Ethiopia. How did she raise all the money? Headbands. Better known as the infamous " tacky for Africa." The headbands originally came from an idea that people would purchase a tacky headband for $10 not knowing what it would look like to support the organizations. To her surprise people bought them. She spoke to a woman who hires local refugees and decided that the headbands could benefit both the mammas and the local refugees making the headbands. It was mothers helping mothers and an organization extending the olive branch to other organizations in need. BEMM is going on their first mission trip to Ethiopia in February to connect with local and international organizations helping mothers. The team has gone to Ethiopia numerous times before, but will serve as their first official trip and to get their costs money. The team has been fundraising to get BEMM to Africa through various donations, auctions, and the tacky headbands. God is at work for the team and will be their guide to do his work for the mothers.

If everyone in the world cared for just one mother. It would mean one less orphan and death in this world. It would bring her and her family hope. Hope that she could give to other mothers. This hope is what BEMM wants to provide.

~ Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Analyzing the Blah's

For the past few weeks I have been in a funk. A self one made at that. Nothing significant has happened to warrant such a feeling of drab. I could blame spending the last few weeks of sickness that has been running wild around here and the constant exhaustion from that....but truth is, in all honesty-when is someone in my family not sick? Really? I know that sounds bad, but there is always some sort of health issue around here and no amount of PMA seems to change that. Okay, well maybe my blahness is from our financial situation. Our year ended um...quite lame in that department. We owe more than we have and don't even own one single credit card...go figure. We had to lay off a few people in our company, take out loans to make payroll, had someone break into our building and rob us, etc....but you know what? We have struggled financially worse than this before. I was just laughing with a friend that just a few short years ago, we lived in an 800sqft apartment with 3 kids, electricity that was off as much as it was on, and eating bread and ketchup and I was pretty happy. Then maybe, just maybe I feel lousy because we have way too much on our plate. We have 6 kids, a few businesses in a sucky economy, the film, my organization, taking care of family, and life...Yeah, but...we have always had more going on than we know what to do with. It's how we roll. Then there's my marriage....Yes, things have been stressful for the last few years. Adam and I have had so much against us. (I think all relationships have been under attack this past year). We have struggled through the adoption of the twins, our crazy lives, mid-life stuff, and the fact we have been married for 16 years! Yet, we continue to grow closer everyday and Adam is still my best-friend. I love him deeper than I did the day we eloped over 16 years ago.

So, what's left? Why on earth have I been feeling so completely overwhelmed and just plain un motivated? Could it be my connection with God? Have I become so "Me" focused or "Africa" focused that HE has been replaced? Without my Creator in my life, without every single move I make be woven into His beauty....It is all in vain. Have I become vain? Have I stopped seeking HIM? Have I forgotten? Do I remember the state of grace that I melt into every waking moment? Do I still know the same love that set me free all those years ago?

I want to say, "yes"...I want to believe deep down that I am still doing everything inspite of me, and for HIM. What's different then? I think it's exposure. I am so used to being naked before God bearing all my inadequacies and trusting that in all my ugliness....HE is there, embracing me.

I never thought that I would be exposing that same ugliness to a crowd of 1000 or that in that crowd a handful of people would embrace me, encourage me and praise me. This my friends is what vexes me....YOU. I am used to and comfortable with my life that I have lived quietly over the last 15 years. The very fact that I would even ask for help to fund my trip to Africa is so beyond my threshold and that in 3 days 5 of you would donate a total of $300 to my trip is overwhelming.

I guess I'm finding myself slightly freaked by all God is calling me to and having so many of you support me.

I just don't want to let anyone down.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hey Mister/Ma'am...Do You have a Quarter?

I have been trying to figure out how to even start this post and why is it that so many of my posts I struggle with how to begin them. Maybe it's because I constantly find myself in the land of being out of my comfort zone. I spend so much time trying to find the right words or sentence to begin my post with. I'm not an idiot and I do realize that the majority of people decide if they are going to continue to spend 5 minutes of their lives reading a blog within the first two sentences....well, at least I do.

I remember crying out desperately a few years ago wanting to be used by my Creator. Yes, I do believe being a wife and mother is the ultimate calling. I have lived that to it's fullest for over 15 years and am unashamed and blessed. I do know beyond any doubt that He also has asked more, because I have begged to be whoever and whatever He needs. I remember after our daughter in Liberia died and I felt that know...the tingling, the uncomfortable sensation that permeates your heart. The organization needed 5k for a new baby home. I had never raised money before, in fact I was terrified of fundraising and sales. Fast forward to now-
I have raised and given over 50k since then to different organizations, adoptions, refugees and needs. I have sold cars, fed my family only rice, and basically did what was needed to make a difference. Those of you who truly know me..know how uncomfortable I am in talking about this.
I do not have a legit "non-profit" for a reason....I have never, ever wanted this to be about me...I don't want anything I do to be about BEMM. Not once in 3 years have I asked for a dime for my adoptions, my mission trips...I cried when my church brought us meals after I brought the twins and sick pregnant lady home with me.

Here it is.....I need help. I need money. I am asking everyone to chip-in. I am suppose to leave on Feb 28th with my photographer and BF Amy Smith, the director of delivering Hope-Jaime Glandon, ICU nurse Jodie Herring, a video guy named Phillip. Our goal? To document and serve the people BEMM has come to love and admire. We will be visiting the center we are building with Doma, the women from the Sisterhood Project for Project Hopeful, The Orpans of Zeway with Funky Fish, A village in Assela through my partnership with MOPS international and to just serve who we come across. By going...BEMM is able to continue to raise funds for several organizations.

I guess what is I am asking you to support me. I'm not asking you to support this cause or that....I am simply asking YOU, to help me and that is hard. To be perfectly honest-

I guess that is the thing I have trouble with. Separating stuff in my heart. It's easy and blesses me to ask people to step up and give to something greater than myself and their-selves.... I know by going on this trip I will come back equipped to keep going on and raising for orgs, but there's that part that is strictly going because it fills ME.
I think I do what I do because it brings life to ME...I hate that. I want to do what I do because I am not in the picture...does that make sense?

So here I am asking you to bless me and support my trip.....and trust me to keep working my butt off answer the call I have been given...

So, hey mister...can you spare a quarter?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

One Big Blog

This blog of mine has been though so many phases over the past few years.
I have blogged about our journey into the world of adoption
and how that lead me to my first fund raising effort for a baby home after our daughter died, which thus took me to Uganda
and a small island that needed clean water and healthcare
starting an org to provide birthing kits to pregnant mommas in Uganda
then back to only blogging about my heartache of wondering where my kids were
I wrote about waiting to adopt, raising my 4 kids when my husband was gone.
I wrote about losing a kid we fell in love with here in our state only to have him devoured by the foster care system and the intense pain.
I shared with you all the joy of finally finding our twins in Ethiopia, only to find them dying once we got there.
You read about the pregnant momma I met in Ethiopia and followed her story for a year after I brought her home with me
sold my car to pay for her medical care.
You waited anxiously for pictures of her daughter who even here in America,
almost died due to pregnancy related causes..
and updates on my own health after
I contracted Typhoid Fever, Hep A, Giardia and tissue parasites.
I have written from the funny "doing the dance", and toothpaste marriage wars
to being completely real and honest about the daily struggles I have
...not only from raising 6 kids, but the struggles that come with life.
I blogged a little about having myocarditis for 6 months and my families fear that I would die.
I have written about my feelings about non-profits, ego and the lack of organizations partnering together for orphan prevention.
You have heard me on my soap box,
my whine box
and my pity box.
Many of you have supported the number of causes I jump on and have jumped in with me .
I have blogged when I felt my faith was moving mountains
when I was so weary that kicking a pebble seemed hard.
You have watched my family overcome everything from physical,
and mental illnesses.
You saw me try to sell my first headband for doma and fail.
You witnessed the evolution of the Tacky 4 Africa Headbands
because of loyalty bought one or two

You have seen this blog....
my blog stay on topic like a two year old uses the potty.

The thing is
I stress out about what to write.
I hate that.
Should I write about my family?
The twins? My marriage? My faith? Funny Stories? Because Every Mother Matters?
My passion? My stupidity? Should I censor myself? Edit my thoughts to please the majority? Write for people that want to learn about adoption? Promote great causes. Be politically correct? Should I create a few different blogs? One for my family? One for Adoption? One for my organization-Because Every Mother Matters? One for my marriage? One for my walk?
Holy crap- can you imagine?
As my organization is growing and the amazing organizations I represent would think that maybe...just maybe I should separate my thoughts from my work.
But I can't or rather I won't.
I lack the ability to compartmentalize.
Everything is in one giant room

This is me.
All of it. 2011
I will continue to write
about this and that
and blend it all together on this blog.

Thank you friends, family, strangers and those that just happen to pass by for reading, supporting and inspiring and encouraging me to keep writing.