• My Sincerest Apology

    Date: 2017.06.24 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    I want to apologize to everyone whose inbox was inudated with posts from my blog today.  We have a couple of children who say they want to blog and we decided to keep them all in one place for ease in printing journals of our blogs.

    Unfortunately that meant taking all of Jasmine’s previous blogs and transferring them to my blog.  I thought I was being tricky and publishing them from the date Jasmine published them.  I had no clue they would all get sent to all of you wonderful folks who subscribe.

    My husband asked me why I was forwarding all of the blogs to him and I realized what was going on.  I truly am sorry.

    Lisa

  • Jasmine’s Dream – Forgive Yourself

    Date: 2017.06.23 | Category: Jasmine's Blog | Response: 0

    Everybody in life makes mistakes sometimes really big ones, but God always forgives us.

    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins…  1 John 1:9

    But sometimes I think I say many bad things that I can’t be forgiven and I can’t forgive myself.  One time I talk to mama about it and mama says I should forgive myself because if you don’t forgive yourself it is like you are saying God is lying and He won’t forgive us.  But God is perfect and doesn’t make any mistakes and His word is true.  If God can forgive me, then I should trust Him and be able to forgive myself.

    Some people do really, really bad stuff.  Some people kill others and do some really bad stuff and they think they can’t be forgiven.  They think God will never forgive them.  They think what they did was too bad and they mess up their lives.

    But some people do some really, really bad stuff and then they believe God will forgive them and they change their lives and do some really big things for God.  People like Paul in the Bible.  Paul killed Christians and then he saved Christians.  He changed his whole life when he trusted God and forgave himself.

    God tells us to always forgive others.  Mama says I should forgive the nannys and my mama and my grandma.   Mama says it doesn’t do any good to be mad at them because they don’t know I am mad.  It only makes me sad and hurts my family here.  It doesn’t mean that it is okay.  It means that I leave it to God to judge them.

    My family always forgives me when I make a mistake or I get mad.  I sometimes hurt my mama’s feelings because I feel bad about myself.  Mama says that people who are hurting inside hurt other people.  I didn’t want mama to love me because sometimes I am afraid she will leave me too.  I love mama.  I don’t want to have mama leave me too.

    Sometimes I think my only choice is to make everyone hate me so that I can leave and live alone.  I think everybody’s lives will be easier if they don’t have to take care of me.  But my choice was wrong mama says that my family would be sad if I wasn’t here and they want to take care of me because they love me.

    Right now I work hard to forgive myself.  I want to let my family know that I love them.  I want to live here.  I want to do BIG things for God.  I want to make good choices.  Mama always says, “Was that a good choice?”  Now I ask myself that too, cause rule #1 in our house is to be kind.

    If you forgive yourself and other people, you will make your life easier because you won’t be an angry person.  If you don’t forgive, you become an angry person because you always think everything is about you and what people did to you, but if you forgive people, you can be happy and figure out what God wants you to do with your life.

  • Jasmine’s Blog – Perspective

    Date: 2017.06.23 | Category: Jasmine's Blog | Response: 0

    Perspective – a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

    My friend, Amy Eldridge, Love Without Boundaries, just visited Cambodia and Uganda.  Her stories made me think about what other kids go through in other countries. We should be thankful for what we have.  There are kids with no shoes who have to walk hours to get water.  They want to go to school but they can’t.  They get one meal a day.  They are hungry and don’t have much water.

    In Cambodia, these kids get up as early as 2 a.m. to pick through the garbage in the dump for cans and food to eat.  There are kids with no parents.  There are mean people who take little girls and do bad things with them.  My heart is sad.  There is much evil in the world.

    I hope that we can do something for these kids.  I want to give as much as I can to build schools and send food.  Amy wrote about it on LWB’s blog,

    Cambodia: Part Four

    I have read these blogs with my mom and I cried. These kids should not have to live like this. I am so excited about trying to help them.

    It gave me a new perspective on the orphanage. Even though the orphanage was bad I still had food and a bed to sleep in. I had a blanket to keep me warm and some water to drink. I sat in a wheelchair and I was mostly safe. I didn’t have to work all day. It can always be worse. I HATE that it’s worse and can’t believe that some kids have to do this.

    I looked at all these pictures of the dump and it makes me so sad. I have new nephew and when I held him it was so wonderful. He is so cute and I think about how could you look at this baby and put him in a dump. My grandma told me that she found me in the dump. Because I was “garbage” is why nobody liked me. Holding my nephew gave me the new perspective that I wasn’t garbage because I was in a dump. He couldn’t do anything to be put in a dump and I couldn’t either. No kids should ever be in a dump.

    Some people do anything to help their child and still they don’t have enough. They sell everything they have and still it’s not enough. There are kids that need sponsors on Amy’s page. If you can help, please help them.

    I think about how I want a $20 game but what could they do with that $20? I am having a hard time thinking about buying a game when others don’t have shoes or food. I have a hard time when I am just thinking about myself and being selfish. What could I give up so they could have more? I want to use my money the right way.

    I have a new perspective on lots of things.

     

  • Jasmine’s Blog – Elyse’s Words

    Date: 2017.06.23 | Category: Elyse, Jasmine's Blog | Response: 0

    (Elyse recently asked me to share this on Facebook)

    We have been studying the human body. We were talking about fingerprints and how every single one is different. It was a wonderful talk about how each of us is unique and different. Later that evening Elyse asked me this question.

    Elyse – Mom, how come your fingerprints don’t scar? I mean I have scars all over my body but I don’t have them on my finger. It was cool what we learned about in school today. You lose your skin but you still have the same fingerprints.
    Me – Do you mean your finger tips? Why would you have scars on your fingers sweetie? Did you burn them? Did something happen?
    Elyse – No, when I was really bad. I mean really bad. The nanny would pick up the skin on the end and cut them with a scissors but I don’t have any scars.
    Me – (Trying to stay unemotional because she stated this fact with no emotion whatsoever. It was like she was discussing someone styling her hair.) Why would she do that?
    Elyse – It was only when I was really bad. Like when I asked her why she was being mean to someone. I think she just wanted people to be afraid of her so we wouldn’t tell on her and she wouldn’t get in trouble. She finally got fired though.
    Me – They finally fired her? I’m happy to hear that. You know that no one should touch you like that or hurt you like that. You know you don’t deserve that right? No one deserves that.
    Elyse – Yes, I know that now. No one should hurt me. It’s just the way it is mom. Some people didn’t care and left us alone. Some people were just mean. No one really cared about me because my legs didn’t work or at least that’s how I felt. It’s just the way it is.
    Mom – I’m sure people cared. It’s just different. It’s a different culture and your love language is hugs. No one really hugs there so you had a hard time.
    Elyse – Mom, do you think people understand that it’s not a good place to be a kid? Do you think they understand how much these kids want mommies and daddies? Why don’t more kids get adopted? Do you think it’s just because people don’t know that they need familes? Why can’t we adopt mom? It’s not fair! We should adopt 3 more. Could we tell them we will stop at 3 more? Please mom.

    These are the things that are hardest for me. Things that are part of their past that just become an every day occurrence. It doesn’t stand out as something that was horrible. It just is what it is. These are the hard things. It’s not hard to help Elyse cath, or help her in and out of her wheelchair. It’s not hard to reach the things she can’t reach or help her get into the tub. What is hard is trying to heal the pain of past hurts. The trauma is so much bigger than the physical issues. Elyse is a blessing. She is joyful, sweet, caring, and so very bright. How many Elyse’s are just waiting for a family of their own?

    I know it’s hard. I know it’s out of your comfort zone. I know it’s ridiculously expensive. I know it’s scary beyond anything you could even imagine BUT the longer they wait, the harder it is.

    Last year internationally adoptions were at their lowest. 5,647 children got families. It is estimated that there are millions of orphans waiting worldwide. There is a foster care crisis in this country right now. There are 400,000 kids in foster care. 100,000 wait to be adopted. 20,000 will age out without ever receiving a family. (Adoptuskids.org) This isn’t ok. Don’t kid yourself into thinking this is ok and someone else will do it.

    Do something! Anything! Just don’t close your eyes and pretend it isn’t happening. Elyse, who was adopted at the age of 9, has asked me to share this story so that people understand that kids are waiting. She says they want families so much! She wants you to understand that bad things happen, but the very worst thing that happens is feeling like you just don’t matter.

  • Do Something from Jasmine’s Dream

    Date: 2017.06.23 | Category: Jasmine's Blog | Response: 0

    Do you ever feel like you can’t do anything?  Like the problem is so big you couldn’t possibly make a difference.

    My mommy and daddy work with Love Without Boundaries.  We pray and talk about the kids they are trying to help.  We talk about their lives and what they are going through. Sometimes it makes me cry.  The kids don’t have shoes.  The kids are very sick.  They kids walk for hours to get water.  They sometimes only eat one meal.  They want to go to school so bad.  They want to learn how to read so they can make their lives better.

    I think about how I get to live a very beautiful life and then I look at what is happening there.  I want to be able to help but I can only do a little.  I don’t have a lot of money.  Sometimes it makes me really sad.  Mama says I have two choices:

    1.) I can be sad and mad about it and get nothing done.

    OR

    2.) I can use my voice to make others think about it and try and do something.

    I want to do something.

    My birthday is coming up and I think about all the stuff I have.  I have so much and they have so little.  Why?  I keep telling my mom I don’t want anything for my birthday.  I wish they could live a good life like us.  I don’t deserve this life so why do I get to live it?   I don’t like the evil world where babies die and kids starve.  I don’t like it at all.

    Mama always says once your eyes are open you can’t pretend it isn’t happening.  I wonder why others don’t do anything, but mama says they don’t know.

    Do you know that there’s a little girl who is 14 called Grace on Love Without Boundaries?  She is in so much pain and LWB has been able to get her a doctor to help.

    Grace 1

    Now you know.  I just want people to help her.  It’s just so sad.  She can only sit for 20 minutes.  No kids should have to be hurting.  Right now I just really want to help her get better.

    That would be the very best birthday present ever.  I pray about her and hope that this time surgery will work.  She’s already had four surgeries.  But now Love Without Boundaries has a really good doctor.  Maybe this time she will be able to be fixed so she can feel better.

    If you are sad about Grace too, please help her get surgery.  She really needs help.  Please pray about her and ask for God to let the doctor know what they need to do so she can get better.

    Thank you for praying for Grace.

  • Adoption Questions Part 3

    Date: 2017.05.22 | Category: Adoption, Elyse, Jasmine (Shuang Shuang), Jessica | Response: 0

    The girls and I have been talking a lot about what their days were like in China.  We decided to share their answers on the blog so others could understand what their days were like.  They want others to understand that these children need a family.  They need homes and love.  The greater the child’s disability the greater their need for someone to care for them.  All three girls of our girls were in wheelchairs and that plays into how they spent their days and how they were treated by others.  This post does NOT describe every child’s life in an orphanage, this is just our girl’s experiences.

    The following questions were answered by Jasmine (age 17 – adopted age 14), Elyse (age 11 – adopted age 9), and JJ (age 9 – adopted age 8).

    What time did you wake up every day? 

    Jasmine – We woke up at 7.  On Monday every week I would get up at 5 for a shower.

    Elyse – We woke up at 6.

    Jessica – I don’t know.  I never saw a clock.  It was light out.

    What did you eat for breakfast?

    Jasmine – We ate noodles every day for breakfast.

    Elyse – We didn’t have breakfast, only the babies ate bottles.

    Jessica – I didn’t eat breakfast.

    What did you eat for lunch?

    Jasmine – We had rice, tofu, meat, and green beans.

    Elyse – Sometimes we had soup or baby eggs, and rice.  We had veggies like bok choy and seaweed.  Sometimes special we had shrimp.

    Jessica –  I would eat soup with carrots and peas and wet rice (?).

    What did you eat for supper?

    Jasmine – We had pork every night with rice and seaweed soup and sausages.

    Elyse – Seaweed or tofu soup, congee, or rice.  Sometimes we would have meat – chicken or pork.

    Jessica – We would sometimes have chicken feet, pork, and soup.

    Were there ever any special treats?

    Jasmine – Chicken feet on New Year and Children’s Day.  Sometimes visitors brought crackers.

    Elyse – Chicken feet when my foster grandma visited.  Candy from visitors.

    Jessica – Visitors brought candy and crackers and weird milk.

    Did you ever have fruit?

    Jasmine – Bananas and apples for snack.  They would also let us have juice and the Chinese cracker.

    Elyse – Banana and apples and watermelon and sometimes mangoes.

    Jessica – Bananas and apples and oranges.

    What did you do during the day?

    Jasmine – Got up at 7, I wore the same clothes I slept in, breakfast was at 7:30, then I watched tv with everyone, sometimes I read to the kids and played with them, we would eat lunch at 12, watch more tv, take a nap at 1, snack at 3, watch more tv, then we eat dinner at 5, and watch more tv until 9 and then go to bed.   We were always in the same room except for sleeping.

    Elyse – I got up at 6, they put me on the toilet for a long, long time, then I would get up and help feed the babies, then back to the toilet,  I ate lunch on the toilet, and they would let me get up and feed the babies, put me back on the toilet, and I would eat supper on my little tiny table while on the toilet.  I would read books while sitting there.  It was so boring.   I would feed the babies before bed, change their diapers, and I would go to bed really late at night.  About once a week I would get to go to the school room and learn.  I like to learn.

    Jessica – I woke up when it was light outside.  I played with toys by myself.  I ate lunch.  I took a nap.  I watched tv. I ate supper.  I would play on my scooter and go around in circles.  I would go to bed when it was dark.

    Did you ever brush your teeth? 

    Jasmine – Once every 3 months or so.

    Elyse– Never brushed my teeth.

    Jessica – I never brushed my teeth.  I never ever see a toothbrush.

    What about clothes?

    Jasmine – I would wear the same clothes for one or two weeks.   The nannies always picked out my clothes.  If I asked to wear a dress the nannies would tell me that I don’t deserve a dress because I can’t walk.  I could wear nice clothes when someone was visiting.

    Elyse – I would wear the same clothes for close to a month.  I would still have to wear the same clothes if I got urine on them.  (Elyse is incontinent from spina bifida.)  I sometimes smelled so they made me sleep in the baby room but that was okay because I loved the babies.  The nannies said I can’t wear nice clothes because I can’t walk and I pee on my clothes because I have to wear a towel no diapers.  The nannies would pick the worst clothes for me unless someone was visiting and then I could wear nice clothes and as soon as the visitor left I would have to take it off and put on my dirty clothes again.

    Jessica – I changed my clothes when I got wet every day.  I wore yucky towels for diapers.   They hurt and was tied really tight.

    Did you play outside?

    Jasmine – No I could only sit at the window and watch the other kids play.  I wished I could play so much but I was upstairs and they couldn’t get me downstairs.   The boys would make fun of me for not going outside.

    Elyse – I wasn’t allowed to play outside with the other kids.  But it was okay because I got to take care of the babies.  Every time I looked at the babies I got upset because the nannies said they hate babies, but I love babies.  Who wouldn’t want a baby?  One time I took care of a baby a lot.  She was always happy with me but then she died because her head got too big.   I feel it was my job.  I liked my job.  The other girls thought the babies were yucky because they spit up and peed on them but that don’t bother me at all.

    Jessica – Sometimes for a little bit.

    What time did you go to bed?

    Jasmine – I went to bed at 9:30 because the nannies want to watch the tv.

    Elyse – I would go to bed sometimes late like 12:30.

    Jessica – I would go to bed when it was dark.

    Who did you share a room with?

    Jasmine – I shared the room with three other girls.

    Elyse – I shared the room with 20 babies.

    Jessica – The little kids.  There was lots of them.  They were little kids who couldn’t walk.

    Did you ever get to leave the orphanage?

    Jasmine – On Children’s Day every year we got to do fun stuff like go to the zoo, eat KFC, and go to a movie.

    Elyse – I never left the orphanage.

    Jessica – They tell me they would take me but they never did.

    Do you have any happy memories from the orphanage?

    Jasmine – I liked to play with the kids and read to them.

    Elyse – Taking care of the babies.  I loved the babies.

    Jessica – Feeding the babies bottle.

    What was the saddest thing for you?

    Jasmine – The nannies would hit me.  They would use a stick from the big apple in the box that China has.  They would sometimes tell me I was bad so I could not eat.  They would throw me on the bed and in the shower.  It was so scary because they would just throw me.  I didn’t want to take a shower.  Sometimes they make me sleep on the floor because they tell me I can get up myself but I can’t because I can’t move by myself.  When they would try to stretch my legs out to make me walk, but I couldn’t.  It really hurt.  When the kids and the nannies were really, really mean to me.

    Elyse –  When the baby died when I was holding it.  They baby just stopped breathing and the nanny took the baby away and brought in a different baby.  It was so very sad.  It made me so upset.  The baby’s head was just so big.   One time the nanny got mad at me and cut off the skin on my fingers.  She said I was going to tell the boss on her and she wanted to scare me.  When they would throw me on the toilet and on the bed and the bathtub.  I hated them throwing me down.  There is other really sad stuff I don’t want to talk about.

    Jessica – I hate the doctor!   I don’t like the nannies yelling at me.

    Did you have any friends?

    Jasmine – Liuli and JoLiy

    Elyse – Just the babies.

    Jessica – Yes, I can’t remember their names.

    Anything else you’d like to say?

    Jasmine – The nannies really didn’t like me at all.  They didn’t like taking care of me.  They always say I can walk and that I am just pretending so I can be lazy.   The nannies said people will never like me if I can’t walk.  They say I will never get married.  I am happy to have a family now.  I wish all the kids could have families.

    Elyse – The nannies tried to stretch out my legs.  They try and try to stretch them out.  (Elyse has contractures on both legs but she has no feeling in her legs.)   Orphanage life is not good for kids.  I wish I could change the world and I would pick that no babies would die or that there would be no evil people to hurt other people.

    Jessica – Orphanages are bad.  The worst place with ugly pink bathtubs and bad doctors.

     

    “Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows we know and holds us responsible to act.” Proverbs 24:12

     

     

     

     

     

  • For Life: He Makes Things Beautiful

    Date: 2017.05.14 | Category: Uncategorized | Response: 0

    I am honored to have been able to share a little of our story on No Hands But Ours today…

    For Life: He Makes Things Beautiful

  • 30 Years

    Date: 2017.04.30 | Category: Kyle | Response: 0

    30 years have come and gone and I still miss your face.

    I miss what could have been.

    I miss all those days when I could have held you near.

    I miss the dream that is still so vivid of you and Codey playing on a hill somewhere.  The grass is green.  The sun is shining.  I can feel the warmth on my face.  I see you both in little bib overalls and bright colored shirts.  I see you toddling and falling.  I see you running to your daddy.  I hear our laughter and I feel the love.

    It was the most beautiful dream.

    But the reality is that your daddy carried your 3 pound 8 ounce body, in a little white box, to the place your body would lie.

    FOREVER!

    Thank God that isn’t forever for you.  Thank God for the blessed hope of forever!  Thank God for the beautiful dream of seeing you again.

    Because you aren’t in that little white box.

    I know that.

    I know you are happy!

    I know for you it will be but a blip in the time of eternity.

    I know your death allowed me to not fear death and to realize the shortest of lives can have the most amazing amount of worth.

    I know all of this but I still miss you.

    I still wish I could celebrate your birthday!

    I still wish I could kiss your face!

    And even though I know that your death took us on the most amazing journey…

    The truth is…

    Five days wasn’t near enough.

    I still miss you.

    I wish you were here.

    I know that is selfish, but it is the truth!

    One day closer to seeing your sweet face and holding you again.

    Happy birthday Kyle!

    Your brother misses you and so do daddy and I.

  • I Was So Wrong…

    Date: 2017.04.15 | Category: Adoption, Elyse | Response: 0

    I shared this story on Facebook yesterday and because I feel it is so important I’m sharing it here too…

    As we drove to Ben’s appointment on Wednesday, Dan and I were reminiscing about when we first saw the kid’s pictures. We were talking about how many times we have fallen in love instantly. Not every time but quite a few times we have instantly known. It’s amazing how many times you can lose your heart.

    We then started talking about when I first met Elyse. Dan wasn’t able to travel with me that trip because two of our kiddos had just had open heart surgery and we felt one of us should stay home just in case.

    I remember Elyse’s face when she first met me and I could tell she was disappointed. I was older and heavier than the mama of her dreams. I watched her act so much older than her years. She wouldn’t eat and talked of being fat, at the time she weighed 55 pounds. She talked to the guide about me and laughed. He would refuse to tell me what she said. My feelings were hurt and I wasn’t supposed to let them be. I had been through this before. You aren’t supposed to take it personal, but I did for that first day at least.

    We got to the hotel that first night and she asked to see her clothes. I pulled out the suitcase full of clothes that we had lovingly picked out for her. She picked up items, which were rolled in pairs of outfits with a hair band around them, she took the band off every outfit, and put them in one of two piles. One to keep and one to discard. I watched her make faces and discard clothes that I had thought were cute. She would wrinkle up her nose and drop the shirt or pants on the ever growing “I’m not wearing that pile”.

    I remember calling Dan that night and asking “what have we gotten ourselves into? What child in an orphanage turns down new clothes?” So many judgmental thoughts were going through my head. Will she be mean to our kids who are really delayed. Is she going to make fun of Grace who was a little overweight after her bouts of steroids. What would she say to Jasmine?

    My heart was truly having a hard time.

    The next day the guide told me that Elyse wanted to take the clothes with us on the orphanage trip. Elyse also asked us to buy treats for the orphanage. Elyse was very specific about what she wanted to buy. Time and time again she turned down treats that I suggested. I watched her tear open the snacks and pour them in the Walmart sacks. I remember thinking “what will the orphanage director think? There goes our nicely arranged care package.”

    A couple days later we walked in the orphanage and everything changed. She found two older girls who were very delayed. She took the treats that she picked because they were their favorites and ever so sweetly placed them in their hands and put the treats/their hands in their pockets where the snacks would be safe. She did this over and over again. She found some little ones and handed them a treat with the biggest smile on her face. She handed out clothes and hair bands to so many kids. She hugged them goodbye.

    And my heart knew underneath all that tough exterior and outward signs of “only looks mattered” there was a caring heart.

    I was so wrong to judge her and she will tell you the same about me. So much is not understood at first. It’s been two years and I am still learning new things as she learns more and more English.

    She recently told me that the nannies argued with her and wouldn’t let her say goodbye to the babies that she had cared for and her heart was broken. I had seen the disagreement and wondered what Elyse had said or done.

    Our babies lose so much and it takes so much time until they can even tell us what they were thinking.

    I think this story is much like life. We are all too quick to judge that person who doesn’t act like us, talks different, or doesn’t wear the same clothes. The person who is grumpy because they are having a bad day. We should all extend just a little extra grace because we never know what someone else is going through and even when we think we know, we are often wrong!

    I know I was wrong. Every judgment I made of Elyse in those early days was wrong. Elyse has the sweetest heart. Yes, she is beautiful, I would hate for her to think otherwise, but now she knows her worth is not based on how she looks. Her thoughts before were what she had been taught, not what she believed.

    (Edit) I woke up this morning and realized I didn’t put in one of the biggest things I learned about her once we got home. We had an appointment to take her to the doctor for the routine appointment that you do upon arriving home. She was so happy and we couldn’t figure out why. Elyse asked Jasmine, who spoke Mandarin still, if she was going to the doctor to see if she could have babies. What 9 year old is worried about whether or not she can bear children?

    We found out that she had been taught that her only hope for happiness in life was her beauty, if she could have a baby, and have surgery to fix her legs to walk. She wasn’t caught up in her beauty and looks because she was vain. She was caught up in it because she had been taught that her happiness in life depended on it.

    She is an adored, loved daughter. I am blessed to know her. Oh what we would have missed and oh how wrong I was!

  • Family Mission Statement

    Date: 2017.04.01 | Category: Faith, Family Life | Response: 0

    mis-sion state-ment (noun)     A formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual.

    A written declaration of a company’s or individual’s core purpose and focus that normally remains unchanged over time.  Properly crafted mission statements:

    1.  Serve to separate what is important and what is not,
    2. Clearly state what you believe, and
    3. Communicate a sense of intended direction.

    We have been working on our family’s mission statement for a while now.  We wanted something that shows our children what we believe in, what we are striving for, and what our family considers important.  It’s pretty easy, or at least it should be, for children who grow up in your house from birth to know what your family considers important.

    Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Deuteronomy 11:19

    It’s a little harder when the children come to you much later in their lives.  The language issues can make it difficult for quite a while.  It takes years for them to have deep conversations about what matters.  It takes a long time for them to understand what is important to your family.

    We wanted our children to be able to say that they were an “Ellsbury” and this is what their family stands for.  Because so many children have special needs and medical issues, we wanted them to be able to say they were strong and brave in times of trouble.   We wanted them to understand that we strive to help other children and families.  We want them to be generous of their time, their gifts, and the money God gives them.  We want them to be trustworthy and kind.  We want them to have a great foundation of faith to build their lives on.  We want them to trust God and His plan.  We want them to know that even though we can not help every child, we can help children one at a time.

    I have a thing for quotes and Bible verses. Anyone who knows me well can attest to this fact.   I especially like them out where I can see them.  Being an imperfect human being, I like daily reminders of how I am supposed to live my life.

    Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.  Deuteronomy 6:9

    I wanted our statement to be something that we would see every day.

    I thought about having it done in vinyl…

     

    Or printed out on a peel and stick sheet…

    Or done in metal…

    Or put on a canvas like these that I purchased from Glory Haus…

    I thought about having it framed.

    But I just couldn’t make up my mind.

    Then one day on Facebook another mama posted her family’s statement on this really cool board.  I asked her where she purchased it and she said Mary and Martha.  You can order this board that comes with four song verses on chalkboard tiles that you interchange ($120) BUT you can also personalize your own chalkboard tiles for $18 for the set of 7 boards.

    I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out.

    Now it is front and center in our living room.

    If you haven’t already put what your personal or family’s mission statement is on paper, I highly recommend it.  Otherwise we waste years of our lives striving for things that aren’t really important to us or aren’t what we want our lives to stand for.

    Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.” –
    Francis Chan

     

     

     

     

     

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