Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hands and Feet

Religion that God our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

If you ever wondered what it looks like to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world ... it looks like this.

It looks like giving up a whole Saturday (and the weeks before, collecting donations) to help raise money to bring a little girl home from an orphanage. It looks like getting out before the sun comes up to carefully lay out thousands of items ... and then quickly moving them all under the shelter when a downpour (or should I say "side pour" with all the wind?!) comes about an hour into the event! Being the hands and feet of Jesus looks like working and sweating and sacrificing with a smile on your face ... not seeking anything in return.

We've seen the hands and feet of Jesus more this summer than I think we ever have before. We've seen them in the people who have worked tirelessly to help us raise funds and in the countless people who have donated items or money or even offered encouragement. Honestly, it's almost more than I can process. And the gratitude I feel is way more than I can put into words (without getting choked up, anyway!) Saying "yes" to a calling that takes more than you have is very scary. And there are plenty of people who may think it's even unwise. But I disagree. James 2:22 says that Abraham's faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. James 1:3 says the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 2:24 says a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. 1 Corinthians 2:5 ... so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power. God does not intend for us to only say "yes" when we can make it work on our own. Faith is only completed when you step out there and rely on His power. He is big enough to fill in our gaps. And that He has done for us.

To all those who helped this weekend – Syble, Leisa & David (and the sweet girls who were with you), Doris & Buddy, Chase, Lance, my parents – and to my awesome sister-in-law, Heather, who closed out a Pampered Chef fundraiser for us ... THANK YOU for ministering to us and for allowing God to use you to fill in the gaps for us! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

This Wait is Just TuTu long!!!

I've really tried to have self-control and not buy too many clothes until I get Charlotte's updated sizes. But Rylee and I saw this tutu at Old Navy and just could not help ourselves!! I'm sure it will look much cuter on our girl than it does on the carpet!! :)

We received Charlotte's immigration approval on June 25th. Then yesterday we got the last piece of paperwork stating that everything has been forwarded to the U.S Consulate in Guangzhou, China. So now all we have to do is wait for our travel approval. I've been told this approval could take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks to come. So ... a little more waiting is in order!

Fundraising is coming along. Donations and shirt sales from the 2nd Annual Etowah Road Race on July 4th helped us raise over $700 (around $500 in donations and $200 in extra shirt sales)! Scott wrote about his experience at the race here. Also, my awesome sister-in-law, Heather Barkley, is hosting a Pampered Chef fundraiser for Charlotte! We are still waiting to hear about the last two grants we applied for. It is basically a race against time ... we are expecting to travel around the first part of August! Please pray for those grants to be approved in God's perfect timing.