Saturday, November 28, 2009


I read this devotional from Elijah List this morning. I HAD to share it. Be challenged, and be blessed...TO bless!!
Victoria Boyson: The Power of Love
by Victoria Boyson
Nov 28, 2009

Recently, as many of you know, my laptop was destroyed - run over by a semi. People have been curious about how it happened, but the question in my head wasn't how, but why? Why did it happen? The Lord warned me months before that there was going to be an attack against my laptop. I know, it sounds odd, but that is the truth. So, I was very careful to backup and copy everything of any importance.

However, the question "why" still harassed me for weeks after it happened and heavy sadness settled on me. I sought the Lord about it and I thought about what was on the computer that would have been lost due to the incident; what wasn't copied elsewhere? I have several books I'm writing on there and work I've done for others, but all of that was copied on to other computers. Then it dawned on me—the only thing that was not backed up was what I'd recently written about the power of love.

It was about the power love possesses to destroy the works of darkness. Wow! It was about God's heart working through people to bring the lost to Him and liberate them from spiritual darkness, bringing them into a relationship with Jesus Christ. It was about the generations loving and appreciating one another.

The Enemy's After Our Love

The Lord impressed my spirit then that the enemy was after our love! I began to weep at the thought of it. By the enemy's pursuit of it, it showed how terrified he is of it. The Lord reminded me of the last few years in my own life and the enemy's constant pursuit to destroy my ability to love.

"And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other. And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people. Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold" (Matthew 24:10-12 NLT).

The attack on our love has increased and our ability to love has been assaulted. With many in the Body of Christ, it's been a vicious battle, wrestling with issues of forgiveness and justice. But His Word says, "We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against the mighty powers in this dark world, and against the evil spirits in heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12 NLT). The enemy uses people to fight against us, so it's not always easy to remember who our real enemy is.

Honestly, I can't say that I see an end to this battle for our love coming anytime soon—the enemy's not going to quit—he's got too much to lose to give up. But we can become wise to his plans and schemes against us and learn from every battle we encounter. And most of all, we need to remind ourselves daily of the power of God's love.

Unconditional Love

God's love is limitless—hotter than fire and stronger than anything. Look at the power in these words: "I am convinced that nothing will ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of Hell can separate us from the God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-39 NLT).

How deep is the Father's love for us? His unfailing love is as high as the heavens and reaches to the sky (see Psalm 57:10). His love is unconditional, meaning it has no conditions. God does not put stipulations on His love. His love is real, limitless, and changeless. It is the only love we do not have to earn in some way.

His love is limitless, but ours isn't—His love is unconditional, but our earthly love is full of conditions. We cannot love like this apart from God. And when we (fallen yet, redeemed) allow His love to flow through us, then Hell trembles. His Word in Luke 6:28 NLT says, "Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you." But our love debates this concept, it's only by His love can we truly love.

Relentless Pursuit

Years ago, I had an encounter that revealed the relentless power of God's love, which showed me God's love physically in action.

I was ministering at a women's conference in the south and we were nearing the end of a weekend of meetings. The message had been delivered, the altar call had been given and many women had been ministered to. God had done a great work in everyone that had come forward. There were a few women remaining at the altars still, but I was ready to end the meeting. I stood ready to bring it to a close when God stopped me. "We're not done yet," He said.

Knowing He didn't want the meeting to end, I continued to call people to come forward. I knew there was someone else the Lord wanted to minister to, but no one came forward. I then felt the Lord tug at my heart. He wanted me to sing the song Jesus Loves Me. So, I asked the pianist to play and I sang to them. And the power of God's love coated the place—it was beautiful. I would've been satisfied with that, but God knew what He was after.

Unbeknownst to me, God had been working on the heart of a woman in the back of the church all during the meeting. I didn't know it, but she'd left and come back several times. Still, she did not respond to my invitation to come for prayer. That is, not until I sang that simple song. As I finished singing, she literally RAN to the altar. Before I knew what was happening, she flew into my arms; I barely had time to catch her.

She no sooner got to me than the power of God hit her and she collapsed into my arms. We somehow got her to the floor and continued to pray for her. As she lay in my lap, a demon spirit began to manifest in her. It was pretty up close and personal for me, so I kinda freaked a little. My first thought was, "Somebody should do something!" Then I realized, I was the "somebody." Still fairly new in this type of ministry, I realized they were all expecting me to handle the situation. All eyes were on me—they were all watching what I would do next...gulp.

My eyes turned toward this dear woman laying unconscious in my lap, and the love the Lord had for her burned in my heart. That love turned into intense anger toward the demonic spirit that tormented her. Without even realizing it, I started speaking to that demon in a voice so full of power and authority it didn't even seem like my own voice. I commanded that demon to let her go and it did. She was free!

We all began to pray for her, rejoicing in everything we saw God do for her, and God filled her that day with His spirit, restoring her soul with His love. She was exhausted but delivered, and we rejoiced with her. She'd been sought out by God's love, captivated by His love, freed by His love and restored by His love.

I want you to understand something; I did not even see her in the back of the church. I didn't pursue her for Christ's sake. It was God's intense love for His daughter that kept pursuing her again and again, and not wanting to close the meeting because of His love for her—His pursuit of her. It makes me cry to think of His love for her and how passionately He pursued her. She wanted so badly to leave that place, but HE kept bringing her back again and again.

I went back to that congregation a year later and met up with her again. I honestly didn't even recognize her—she was so changed by the power of God's love. She was a different person. The woman who hugged me now was not the same person I'd met a year earlier. Her whole family had been changed by what they'd seen God do for her, all by the power of His love.

So, why are we surprised that our love is under attack? It's the most powerful weapon we possess, and we need to fight to protect it at all cost.

When Christ told us to bless those who curse us, it was for our sake, it was to protect our hearts from cold love.

The stronger our ability to forgive and even bless those who've been a curse to us, the stronger our love will be—the greater the impact God will have through us.

When you want to hate but love instead through God's power, you unlock the richness of Heaven. You unleash God's power on yourself and those around you!

If you want revival,
if you want revolution,
if you want God...then love!

P.S. For those of you who were curious about my laptop—God is good and He's provided me with a new one through the love and generosity of a wonderful couple. May the Lord richly bless them.

Victoria Boyson
Speaking Life Ministries

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Thursday, November 26, 2009


I am so very thankful for so very much!! My son Caleb is soon to complete his tour in Iraq and will be flying home. One more tour of duty completed, home safe and sound. THIS fact is so overwhelming for me.I've said it before, but what overwhelms me is gratitude and a sense of unworthiness as the mom and wife of soldiers, that we have come thorugh as many tours of duty as we have: the way we have. Our friend Daphne and her sons have a new house to be thankful for this season, but her husband, Scott, did not help her plan this house. He will never live there. We celebrated Scott's life and observed his funeral last June...........a tour in Afghanistan, a road side bomb.
Life is so uncertain, its not promised to anyone, it is precious, it is fragile and it is all around me. We will speak by phone to Joshua and family in Maryland, he is also safely back from Iraq within the last two months, speak to daughter Kari, recently reunited with husband after some troubles, Esther isn't with us today; she's at fiance's family gathering with Casey:twe will talk , but Gideon and friends will be with us, Hannah and Jon and NEW LIFE Charlie, now 2 months old will be here, Malachi is home, and next year, Lord willing, Sopheak will be here as the newest Smith: his wife and our daughter-in-law. Jael will be bubbling all over the house in her ever-effervescent fashion. Isaac, Noah and Isaiah will be busy playing basketball in the front or football in the back, Leah is quieter, most of the time, but her presence is always so mcuh fun. Her sense of humor and style of reacting to thngs is just pure joy! Rachel and Naomi will be busily bopping around and wnating to help. Naomi will be trying to work a good trail ride in to the day since its not raining. If she can be riding she WILL be riding. LIFE ............. precious!
A warm house in which to be together. Something we do not take for granted. 17 years ago we lost our house and all its contents to a fire a week before Thanksgiving. It was the strangest feeling I had when we were driving to our dear friends Kevin and Jenny's house to accept their kind invitation for us to stay with them while we found a rental house. I looked out the back window of our vehicle at the town we were leaving, our very few ( mostly donated) possessions with us and the thought hit me: "we are homeless". We stayed with our gracious friends for about two weeks, the one and only Thanksgiving Dinner I didn't help prepare was that year. We went to a local hotel serving a buffet and had a banquet room all to ourselves (we had 5 of our kiddos with us, they had 3) I am so thankful for our friends ( and we are STILL close friends!!) and how they ministered to us at that time. NOT many people would be so willing to open their whole lives that way. We drove 40 + miles to stay with them............there was "no room" at any "local inn". Friends in this life are precious and of great value!
ITs easy to take things and sections of life for granted...too easy. Having a good number of our family roots now firmly planted in extremely impoverished nations, we dont'fall prey to that very often, Yet we do, and that makes for a time of out and out BLESSING COUNTING. Today as we wish that our sweet Daniel were home with us, and Junior and Diamoh as well, we are thankful that they are being cared for, they have food to eat, thankful that we can pray for them, help in small ways to add to their care from far away, thankful that God put them on our hearts and into our family. SO many children around the world, and here in the USA, do not have anyone.
As we count our blessings today it will be as we pray for ways to live that Thanks to God out in real ways to others.
My friend Kim posted a beautiful prayer on her blog this morning. When I read it , all I could say was "amen" Pray it with us?

Dear Lord,
Today, we take time out to give you thanks for all the tremendous blessings we enjoy every day. Even in the midst of our difficult circumstances and the trials we face, we recognize that we have been the recipients of your mercy and grace. We thank you that no matter what we are going through, we have assurance that your love endures forever! We thank you that because of your love, you have provided us with salvation and have rescued us from death, hell, and the grave. We thank you that we have a heavenly eternity to look forward to. And even while we live here on this earth, we are the recipients of your enduring love. We thank you for your forgiveness, your provision, your guidance, and your grace to help us navigate our way through each day. We thank you that you will never forget or forsake us. We thank you that even in the darkest night, you shine your light to show us the way. Not only today, but each and every day of our lives, we thank you that we can truly know that your love for us endures forever.
In Jesus' Name,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Give My Life to the Potter's Hands

I was looking for a video of "Wounded Soldier" to fit into my previous post. THIS stopped me in my tracks instead. I have sung this songs many times but never thought of it in the context of this powerful video.




The trailer is short, but so to the real point of what abortion truly is about. IF you don't know much about it, or if you do, this film and its message is one we need to share. Abortion, the first degree murdering of our children is being packaged so deceptively and so innocently that even "smart" "Godly" "moral" people are falling into this pit.
I wrote a comment to a dear friend's blog about this fim and this issue earlier today. I am going to quote myself and re-post here what I shared there.

Life, ALL LIFE is so precious to to our Heavenly Father! In so much of scripture He places references to family, how to raise family, how to honor life, in so many other places He exhorts about the spilling of innocent blood, from back in the 10 Commandments to references of offering children to Molech, and forward.I love David's Psalm 139 in which he talks about things that "science" had not yet begun to discover, yet David a shepherd -turned-king , knew.
13 "For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[a]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;"

The enemy has done a great job of convincing women (and men too) that this evil is "the only way out." The woman in the trailer said it so well when she talked about being willing to kill someone else to save herself. He has us so convinced through our instant gratification/me first/ ME-do-you-hear-me-I-said-ME ME ME- mentality that when "ME" gets in an unexpected situation, "ME" begins to look for rules and loopoles that are the easiest in which "ME" can keep going. America is famous for "short-cuts" and of all we have come up with, pulling this one out of horror stories of history, allusions from scripture, allowing this one to be introduced as anyone's RIGHT is purely sickening, if that isn't an dichotomous mix of terms.
The enemy has been very skillful at slowly introducing this "life style choice", this sin, to modern America, but not too much at one time. He has exploited minimal statistics, maximized the "hopelessness" of many a situation, and every time, he has quietly whispered "Its not 'really ' a baby' yet. OK so it is, but its too small to feel anything, it can't live on its own. What about your college plans? What about your new job? Is it fair that you have to put your plans on hold when you DON'T HAVE TO? Is it fair to your other child(ren) to have this new one come so soon? Is it fair to your husband who works so hard just to put minimal food on the table to have to feed another baby? ITS NOT FAIR TO YOU! What OTHER choice do you have? If you use adoption, everyone will know you gave away your baby. What kind of mother gives away her baby? Single, church -going young woman: Your church family who thinks so highly of you will KNOW what you did. We can fix this. We can hide this." The abortion mills will not steer a woman to an adoption agency; there is no money to be made in sending women away to another facility. I don't think that Planned Parenthood has licensed psychologists or psychiatrists on staff, or licensed social workers who are familiar with the path to adoption, so planning parenthood is a smokescreen for the first degree murder, the slaughter of innocents: by-the-sexually-active-adult consumer of carefully cloaked and disguised murder .
The slippery slope which abortion has wrought is so closely related to the slippery slope which my prayer group has discussed earlier this week: "disruption" of adoptions. THESE TWO LIFE CHOICES which dismantle family are being used by the enemy, causing families to through distorted lenses what the roles of parent and child are. We can not "train up a child in the way he should go" if we allow him to be murdered before he can be trained. We can't "train up a child" if we give him to someone else. OH they may well train him up, but asking God to give our job to someone else is nto the same thing. Our children can not do all that learning of wisdom, seeking of knowledge, from fathers and mothers as scripture instructs, if they are dead. If they are "disrupted" Someone ELSE will do our job for us.
CHURCH, be the CHURCH! Be on the watch for teens heading down a dangerous path. My mom is in a nursing home an dshe never misses a chance to love on her aides and to get to know them. She is often warning them about living with boy friends, unplanned pregnancies, and inviting them to come to church, to come to her room to pray. Does your town have a crisis pregnancy center of any kind? SUPPORT IT! Give your outgrown baby clothes, buy some new ones and donate them, teach a mentoring class, set up babysitting for those moms at your church for the moms who did NOT kill their babies. Abortion prevention is step ONE, not the only step. Set up a parents night out for the adoptive families in your church, interact with them, GETTO KNOW THEM so that when they have problems they are notleft to feel all alone. IF a teen in your church gets preganant or an adoptive family discusses some "Attachment issues" even if you don't know what that MEANS,
LISTEN TO THEM, pray with them (DO not cop out with "I'll pray for you." DO IT! Ask if you may pray with that person right now!!) SO what if you don't understand their issues. I don't understand depression at all. I am a type A go go go eternal optimist person. When a prayerrequest for a person suffering from depression related issues, I take it to the Father. HE understands it all. As we come before the Throne, God promised that the Holy Spirit would interceed and pray for us, even with groanings and utterings. WE , you and me, do not need to understand with empathy everything that another person is experiencing to pray with them. The world is hurting. WE HAVE THE ANSWERS. Let's share them all over the place:to the woman who at some point may admit that she did an abortion, and can't get out from under the condemnation, who says "I know God forgives but I can NOT forgive myself" REACH OUT CHURCH, to families with little children and protect those moms and dads from burn- out and stress which lead to divorce, REACH OUT to adoptive families because they are bound to have some unfamiliar issues. I think musically almost all the time, and a song I sing sometimes which is so powerful is Helen Baylor's DON'T LET ANOTHER WOUNDED SOLDIER DIE. "Come let us pour the oil, ...lets minister healing to them."
Be broken hearted over this movie trailer but don't just sit in your computer corner wringing your hands. IF WE ARE THE BODY WHY AREN'T OUR HANDS REACHING?
Now maybe you know a little bit mroe about another evil in our family -destroying society. WHAT WILL YOU DO?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Missing Daniel

We had our Thanksgiving family dinner at church last night. It was a great time of fellowship and great food. VERY LITTLE could have made it any better. WELL, one "little thing" would have made it a whole lot better.........yes: Daniel in my arms and in his outfit which matched the one Baby Charlie wore to the dinner. Hannah and I picked these little "Thankful for Mommy and Daddy" playsuits out way back in August! I was afraid Daniel's would be too small and the one for Charlie looked so BIG. Last night, Charlie's was actually too short and Daniel's was painfully empty.

His bouncy seat looks pretty empty too...........

His Ghanaian Habitiat for Humanity elephant looks a bit under-played with

The OSU warm-up suit I bought for our flight back home is ready to be packed. His church clothes are ready for him too............

Look at his sweet face..lookat his t-shirt...."ado(red)" ADORED... YES HE IS!!!
WE continue to pray that the snippets of good news , progress reports that slip out of Liberia and communicated updates through email truly open the doors for Daniel to be home by Christmas. IT IS POSSIBLE!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

just fun

Birthdays, play, hanging out, friends, family,farm, unexpected finds............ just some of what makes life so precious. How blessed we are and how thankful I am to our Heavenly Father for all the special moments in my life. "Oh taste and see that the Lord is GOOD!!"

Saturday night Naomi and I had a nail painting date. Naomi who likes striped birthday cake, likes polka dotted finger and toe with white dots for fingers and white with pink dots for her toes. I was happy to create the look for her. Finger nails are fun!
Birthdays are always fun. Can you see Esther's nails? I didn't paint those cool designs but I treated her to the manicure session which did. Her dinner choices? Chicken and dumplings and Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream, and candles!!!

Baby Charlie and his smile make anything fun!!

This IS an egg plant! Not a large egg plant, but an egg plant nonetheless. I have never seen such a strange mutation in a veggie before, but doesn't this look like the Wicked Witch ofthe West out of Oz to you?? I think that perhaps Veggie Tales should create a new character, based on my eggplant and they should name it Edgar or Edna. Life is fun, even with vegetables!!
It was grandson Blake's birthday last week too, he is now 12. Trying to get a good smiley face on a 12 year old who just wants to carve up his cake : definitely fun!!

Those goats!!! Those human boys who don't bolt the gates in the goat pasture OR the back yard gates! We woke up to find all the goats, including the visitng stud-muffin buck in this photo, on the back deck staring in the window at us. Pappa Charlie was holding Baby Charlie and had to show him the goats. Grammy HAD to take a photo op, of course!!
NEVER one to miss the opportunity to chew on a good branch or last chance leaves, Brownie jumped up on the picnic table and stood on her hind feet to snag some breakfst goodies. Hannah called us "Hillbillies" for finding this funny. I reminded her that WE know how to appreciate "Simple Pleasures". OYE!
Riding horses is always fun, especially if its the horse that you have personally helped to raise and break. Here's Madyson and Naomi riding Chuck our 3 1/2 year old gelding.

Home school means pumpkin pie with whipped cream for breakfast when there IS pie and IF the students who want the pie have done their EXPLODE THE CODE phonics lessons!How fun is that!

YES, its Pecan Pie Cake season again!!! Except for baking this cake in June at Noah's request for his birthday and for my missionary friend Rhonda who was here from from Cambodia, requesting that I make it for her summer visit, this is a THANKSGIVING Season cake. This will be the 12th Thanksgiving season for which I have baked my now "siganture dessert." I will do it twice this Thanksgiving as I have for almost all the previous 11: one for our church family gathering and one for our at home Thanksgiving dinner. It is worth every minute it takes to prepare and decorate!!
Why is this fun? I absolutely love the incredible detail in the paintings of the 1600's "Dutch Masters" of whom Johannes ver Meer is my hands down favorite. When I was in the Netherlands, I made a point of going to the Rijksmuseum where many of ver Meer's paintings are on exhibit. This painting called "The Kuchenmaid" and another called "Love Letter" are my favorite paintings by my favorite artist. WELL, all that to say, as I was browsing at Christmas ornaments the other day in a store, looking for a dated ornament which had meaning for our tree, I saw a beautiful purple silk ornament with MY FAVORITE PAINTING on it!! PURPLE, my favorite color AND ver Meer together, on a dated ornament: TOO COOL TO PASS UP! For all the basketball ornaments, ballet dancers, gymnasts, fishermen and baby birth year ornaments and adoption year ornaments, I had not really ever found anything that was uniquely special to ME. This was a special find and I had a lot of fun making that discovery. It was the ONLY one of its kind. It was surrounded by Santas which I don't care for...nothing else remotely "cool" in any color. FUN!!!
Football at OSU is almost always fun, well that losing thing , not so much, but this was a goregous afternoon, the band was performing and as you can see, OSU Cowboy fans really do seem to "bleed orange"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fiancee' Visa!

ITs completed, copied in triplicate so there can be no missing components at the Visa interview, all the i's are dotted and t's crossed. Proof of Malachi's US citizenship, proof that he and Sopheak have indeed met and have a relationship (no mail order bride thingie goin' on here!!) his written chronology, photcopies of his passport pages with all the Cambodian visas from his trips, and photos of them together in Cambodia and in the USA, even a photo of her with all of us for good measure, and a letter from my missionsary friends for whom Malachi worked in Cambodia and who watched the relationship grow from "Linda, I think maybe Malachi kind of likes our daughter, no, maybe our other daughter, but then he acts like nothing that any of the girls have to say or do are of any interest to him and sometimes, he makes a comment that leads me to think that he might just like Sopheak........" to "We are seeing romance in bloom between Malachi and Sopheak." (Of course THAT narrative is not part of their letter head documented verification, but "we know.....") and a letter which Sopheak wrote to Malachi. Both of their biographies (G-325 A forms to be exact) are written out, passport sized photos for the FIANCEE VISA are signed, both have written their letters declaring and stating their intention, each to marry the other within 90 days of Sopheak arriving in Cambodia. Tomorrow he will buy the USPS money order to pay for the processing of this life changing paperwork. We are all praying that the processing takes no more than 7 months as Malachi is planning to go to Cambodia for about two months, spend time with friends and with Sopheak and her family, hang out in Cambodia because he loves Cambodia, and maybe make some plans for when they return to Cambodia after he graduates form college. The BIG HOPE is that the visa appointment (which takes place at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh) will be during the time he is in Cambodia so that they may fly back to Oklahoma together. It will be shortly after they return that there will be A WEDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Exciting times ahead, and what will undoubtedly feel like a very long wait for Malachi and Sopheak.
I could not be much more thrilled for both of them. WE love her so much and are very pleased that the sweet young woman we met 4 years ago when Esther and I traveled to Cambodia for Leah and Rachel's adoptions, who translated for us between the children and us ,who went with us all over town, who became our friend, is going to become FAMILY! I knew that God had put Cambodia deep DEEP in Malachi's heart when he and I traveled there in February 2004 for Isaac's adoption. I saw God calling him into fulltime service there, sensed it so tangibly; he was 15 1/2 but he and I both had no doubt that God had shown Malachi a major part of his future. It was no surprise that he wanted to go back in summer of 2006, and again in September 2007. When God put Cambodia on mine and Charlie's hearts so many years ago, I KNOW I had NO IDEA what all God had in mind. I may still not!!

from Matt Redman

"This world is full of fragile loves-love that abandons, love that fades, love that divorces. Love that is self seeking. From a heart so amazed by God and his wonders burns a love that will not be extinguished. It survives any situation and lives through any circumstance. It will not allow itself to be quenched, for that would heap insult on the LOVE it lives in response to. "

Monday, November 16, 2009

Answer HINDS FEET IN HIGH PLACES...The question was "What is your favorite book?"

I have loved Hannah Hurnard's allegory HINDS FEET IN HIGH PLACES for many (many ) years. It is the story of a young girl, named Much Afraid in her journey to walk with the Shepherd and to grow her relationship with Him. The Shepherd gives her two companions for her journey: Sorrow and Suffering. Much Afraid is sure that these two will never be of any help to her on any journey! As the young girl with the crippled feet and twisted deformed mouth begins her journey and her relatives and fellow village people come out to discourage her, Much Afraid learns that songs she's learned from the Shepherd help to keep her focus away from her relatives the Fearings, from the discouraging Pride and Resentment and a host of others who would fight to keep her in the Valley of Humiliation which was her home.The Shepherd tells her at one point that she sould become a singer so that the words of the village people and relatives won't have such a strong impact upon her.Those words were such a strong message to me as a young person, that I too began to sing. I have been singing ever since: singing for my Lord! The journey continues to the High Places where the Shpeherd has promised Much Afraid that she one day will have feet like the deer: like HIS. Far from the end of the story, the arrival in the High Places is the beginning of a new adventure, BACK to the Valley. I am reading this book again for the x -number dozenth time and loving it a if I'd never read it
Amazon offers a large number of copies and versions of HINDS FEET. There is a children's study version which I have used for a nightly study for our children. It too is fabulous and I recommend HINDS FEET to everyone !

MckLinky Blog Hop

Saturday, November 14, 2009

There's an old hymn called " Send Refreshing"......

It isn't one of the songs God led me to for this week's Worship service, but after the long week, I was feeling a bit dried as I sought the Lord for direction and for Holy Spirit refreshing over ME and over leading Praise and Worship this coming Sunday. God is so faithful and yesterday He sent such a refreshing in my spirit! As I began to seek again, what He wanted me to find, HE just unfolded it before me:page after page. Nothing I had not looked at all week already, but just like God's mercies, the music was ALL "new (every morning") least Friday morning for sure! Praying over each song, and who would be with me this week to minister in music, I had a strong sense of peace and anticipation over our Saturday morning practice.
(This post was written in two parts, but as I read them, it is so cool to see how God moved and answered prayer in His very faithful way! )
Music practice was wonderful today! I had really prayed over it coz last week I came away very dissatisfired and disappointed with some things that I just didn't know what to do with. Praise God for His faithfulness this week. Even though I didn't have all the music put together as soon as I would have preferred, God led where HE wnated me to go, and today's fellowship and practice showed that OF was "So sweet to trust in Jesus!!" Looking forward to tomorrow morning when we lead our congregation in what God gave and what we have prepared (studied to show ourselves approved!!) to serve HIm in worship!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sleepy ramblings...about a blessed life!

This has been a long week: busy, full, exhausting, blessed, rich, another birthday week, some news from Liberia, watching Baby Charlie all week, shock and dismay at the events on Fort Hood, disappointment at people's reaction to that attack, saddened for a whole new group of families needing God's comfort and my prayers, praising God that son in law Jon has a new job, celebrating that 4 years ago Esther and I traveled to Cambodia to complete the adoptions of Leah and Rachel, and found ourselves nose deep in the fight of our lives to bring our Isaiah, the girls' bio brother, home. We celebrated Esther's 15th birthday in Cambodia, and thanks to the Kings' Birthday celebration that week as well, we had fireworks for Esther's birthday! This year we celebrated Esther's 19th b-day with chicken and dumplings and the first pumpkin pies of the 2009 fall season week , a week full of memories........... A poignant memory from the night aside from enjoying Esther 's birthday was given to me by Gideon. This guy HATES to have his photo taken, acts like MR TOUGH GUY often so that people will not see what a soft hearted marshmallow he is inside. Baby Charlie was unhappy about something, was unable to fall asleep and stay asleep. We passed him around and none of us were successful at getting him to calm down or fall asleep: UNTIL Gideon!! HE held that tiny baby so tenderly, bounced and danced him in a two -step all around the dining room, LET ME TAKE A LOT OF PHOTOS in which he was SMILING and making no effort to hide the fact,got Charlie to sleep for a great nap, and in general totally blessed my Mamma heart!!!!!!!!!!
NOT a week with much time to write or to download and publish the photos I intended to post. I am quite honestly VERY TIRED. It is wonderful to have a Grand baby. Charlie is wonderful. Charlie also has a temper and a pair of lungs which help him generate a decibel level over which I can not be heard a mere 6 feet away. Figuring out which issue has Charlie angry is challenging, especially if I am not successful at least 15 seconds BEFORE that issue presents. I have not had a baby in my life for 7 1/2 years, and Naomi was 5 months when she came home with us from Vietnam. She was NOT a screamer. I am out of practice at caring for a newborn, particularly when trying to home school 6 children. Our of practice on THAT score goes back 15 1/2 years to Baby Jael ,and I had 5 home schoolers.
The Consulate at the Embassy in Liberia called me and I was very satisfied with our conversation. He needed information about our case so that he could ask informed questions of the Ministry of Health officials for us, and I needed some kind of idea as far as what to expect of the visa process at the Embassy once we get to that step in Daniel's adoption. We spoke about our Junior and Diamoh's adoptions and the future of adoptions for those many children still waiting for their processes to be completed. Nothing there to hang any hope on: its still "yes there is progress, but not much."
Last night, after cleaning up after dinner and trying rather unsuccessfully to complete my Praise and Worship music preparations, I sat down on the sofa to watch a basketball game with the boys. I was so sleepy that I fell asleep on the sofa. I woke up, I guess about 1:30, I'm not sure. Being a creature of habit, when I realized I was on the sofa, my first thoughts went to where my glasses were...I didn't know..........and that the cell phones were not on their chargers for the night, that the TV was still on and was louder than I wanted to try to ignore, I had not processed the milk from the evening goat milking, and that I had no idea where the remote control was to kill the TV.
DILEMMA: get up, put things in order, go upstairs to bed and guarantee that I would not be able to fall back to sleep
choose to ignore the nagging sensation that I had NOT shut down the house for the night, choose to ignore the phones and my glasses' location ,and the milk, and hope to stay asleep on the sofa: something I hate to do.
Interesting mind battle for sure.
For one of the few times in my life, the apathy of sleepiness won out over the need to be orderly. When I awoke this morning, my glasses were right next to me, safe and sound, so were the cell phones.Not sure I felt rested enough to really start a new day, but here we are at 10 PM and I am still coherent. Spent a challenging day with Baby Charlie and home schooling and then a great afternoon shopping with Jael for winter clothes. SO fun that our tastes are so nearly identical! WE don't wear the same things, but we definitely LIKE the same things.
I am blessed, life is wonderful. For the first time in my life that I can remember, I appreciate sleep. I used to say that sleep was what I did when I couldn't think of anything else to do. Now I know sleep is a pretty good concept...I still never seem to need more than 5-6 hours, but I recognize that I need it.
I am singing "Lord Reign in Me Again" as I wrap up this day..."my one desire, Lord my only aim is that You reign in me again!! You are the Lord of ALL I am.........."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day, a day to honor and to say "Thanks"

I found this photo on MOVE AMERICA FORWARD's web page. It was too poignant not to share.
I have this photo at the bottom of my blog page. This is my 26 year old son , Caleb, a two tour WAR ON TERRORISM Veteran, completing his second tour of duty right now and due to be home for Christmas.
Our soldiers have given SO much, they endure so much, and most of the hardships they endure , they will never mention to anyone: its "in the line of duty". We complain far too easily if we have to carry a sack of groceries or a feed sack a bit farther than we'd like. Our soldiers wear 75 pounds or so of body armor before they even pick up what they are going to carry. We complain quickly if our air conditioning isn't keeping our homes a chilly arctic temperature. Our soldiers, in the light of day are in the aforementioned body armor, in temperatures which exceed 120 degrees and are thankful for tepid water in a "camel" drinking jug. And since the desert is, as my husband is fond of saying, "A cold place where the sun shines," when the sun goes down and the temp drops 60 or more degrees during the darkness of night, our soldiers remember their furnaces and wood stoves at home and are thankful their families are warm. I have sent dozens of those little "hot hands" packet over to our guys to tuck into their socks at night, their gloves, and to warm their boots in preparation for the next day of patrols. Not quite a blazing fire, but a bit of warmth from home.
"Happy Veteran's Day" is not an expression I'm using, but THANK YOU VETERANS is.
Thanks Dad Smith, now deceased, WWII Vet Jimmy, now deceased, Vietnam War Vet,
Brent, former Drill Sgt, Maj. Scott Hagerty, many time combat vet, KIA June 2008, SFC Toby Meister, KIA December 2006, two tour Veteran,
CHARLIE, two tour Vet, GIDEON, diabled Vet:one tour, CALEB, two tours: STAY SAFE, COME HOME NEXT MONTH!, JON, one tour Vet :Marines; JOSHUA, multi-tour civilian contractor Vet, HOME SAFE LAST MONTH!! My list goes on and on. You too have a list. Make sure you tell "Your Vets" and their families a deep Thank You today. When you are out and about today, look at people. ASK THEM if they are a Veteran. Thank them!!! They will never ask for a thank you, but they'll be glad you took the time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blog Hop question

I am really having fun reading all of your responses! THANK YOU for stopping by and for sharing a little of your selves with me and everyone else who visits here! Please come visit Smithsoup again soon?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Where would you most like to vist for the first time, or again?

Ok my Blog Hop question this week to you who are reading this post is: WHERE would you most like to visit, either for the first time or again? WHY?
I would love to go back to Venice, Italy because I have not been there in more than a generation's time. I loved Venice and went there easily more than 50 times when I lived in Italy! It was the most filthy -awful, richly historic,incredibly romantic city that I have ever seen! Or, Maybe its Lake Fanny Hooe and Copper Harbor Michigan in the very tip top of the UP: perhaps the most beautiful and peaceful place I have ever been in the whole world! Your turn!!! I hope you'll take a moment to share a comment.

MckLinky Blog Hop

Birthday party Fun: the Pink and Purple Rumpus!

Naomi in the "Birthday seat"
Rachel in the "Birthday seat"
Jael did an awesome job of hostessing the gym studio birthday party for Naomi and Rachel! Wewere so blessed to have friends come down from Ponca City, an hour north, Abby, Landis, and Hannah Riggs and mom, Michelle from south of OKC, even more than an hour away as local friends and family too. The children (and the adults, to include Charlie and Hannah's husband Jon) had a blast playing on all the gymnastics equipment, tossing a 10 pound medicine ball back and forth, climbing the long ropes which hung from the ceiling, trampolines, ball pits, swings, a huge slide, competition sized mats for tumbling and romping. I wanted to open the party with my favorite line from one of my favorite children's book: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE..."and now, let the WILD RUMPUS START!!" but the kids were rumpusssssing before I could utter a word. They played until our Hostess ushered everyone upstaris for cup cakes with ice cream, salty snacks and beverages, and for the opening of gifts. FUN FUN FUN!!!! Al lthe "girly" pink and purple snacks and gifts opened, the boys especially were eager to get back to the business of rumpussing. Photos were a bit challenging in parts of the gym because of lighting, and dark complected children, (and I know NOTHING of editing and lightening up photos) but from all indications, a great time was had by all. Michelle and kiddos came back to our house for hot dog and beans for supper, Malachi showed up with a copy of Narnia 2, and what little energy the children had left was spent lounging and concentrating on the movie.
this party was particularly cool because every family in attendance was not only bio-fam, but had foster, and adopted children, "step" children (which I prefer to call "grafted in" heretofore, and even a family VERY interested in adoption who had unofficially adopted an older widow as "Gramma". Our guests were also quite inter national in origins as well...USA of course, but from Bangladesh, Liberia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Vietnam, Cambodia and Guam .
NOT A FIGHT broke out, not a squabble or "territorial dispute" not an injury was incurred either and considering we had over 32 people together who aged from 3 to
50's all playing together, I think that is an impressive statistic. It was so fun to see older kids showing the younger ones how to do different challenges and to see everyone cheering all the others on. It was maybe the most fun birthday party we've done, ever!! Thanks to all who came and made the girl's party so very special for them!!!
Here comes Birthday Cupcakes.1/2 iced in pink for Rachel and 1/2 iced in purple for Naomi! This was as many kids as we could get into one small room and one camera screen while the photographer and subjects were in the same room
Blow out those candles girl!!

Abby climbing up and over a padded wall. HARD WORK!
This slide is best experienced when sitting on a piece of carpeting (provided) to prevent foot drag. The kids had a blast climbing to the top so they could "launch". Winston and Uriah were sure they were "goooona die" but when they pushed off, discovered a new delight!


Abby Riggs' little brother Landis tries out the donut ring. This thing is SO fun to get in side of and have someone roll you around!!Abby is holding onto the side of the donut

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A promise.......

of a post and photos tomorrow. This weekend, with having Baby Charlie with us on Friday, our boys' first basketball game of the season Friday night, (with Malachi as coach too) and then Saturday: having a birthday party for Naomi and Rachel (which included a total of 36 people!)Praise and Worship team practice at church, house cleaning, "a little laundry" cup cake baking and decorating, and very welcome company from out of town. Of course church on Sunday ,having my mom over , and then Charlie and I had a date to go to the OKC Thunder NBA basektball game tonight. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh, FULL WEEKEND for sure! Great weekend on all counts but I am sleepy, and ready for bed. Dont' let me forget to mildly amuse you with my photo and written suggestion to the Veggie Tales folks for a new character either: "Edna the Egggplant", who is based off of an eggplant we picked out of tour garden yesterday. This small siezed eggplant has a "pointy nose" growing out of it which gives it he appearace of the "Wicked Witch of the West " straight out of Wizard of Oz! Just wait, I am serious!!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Praying for Fort Hood

I was totally stunned when I heard the news that a person or persons, had gone on a shooting spree at Ft Hood, Texas killing somewhere near 12 people and wounding maybe 30.This was so troubling to me. WHO would shoot their OWN at a military base ?? The answer to that question was rather frightening and didn't set well with me at all. As more bits of news came out, I had a few more answers, but they didn't help me any at all. I am not going to jump to a conslusion, but I have my opinions and they are very troubling.
OH how I am praying for the families of those who were killed or wounded in this terrible , horrific act of terrorism against our soldiers.
Caleb is serving with soldiers from the 1st Cav at Ft Hood. His replacements ...those guys who are coming next so that he can come home, are at Ft Hood. They are now among the dead and the wounded. It is a fact of war-life that your soldier may be among the injured or killed in this theatre of battle. It is NOT anticipated that a soldier should die at his home base , and certainly not at the hands of someone considered to be "one of their own".This is worse than war; Father God please have mercy! Give me Your heart as I analyze what I have heard, give me Your eyes to see beyond this day, flood me with Your love to react today and in days beyond........

someone shared this, I read it, I really liked it, I'm sharing it too

"Jesus, help me to use my mouth today to bring life rather than death. This won't mean playing make believe, but it will mean believing the gospel is true and powerful enough to enable me to conflict redemptively rather than destructively, and bring encouragement rather than flattery. So very Amen, I pray. "
quote from Scotty Smith, pastor in Franklin Tennessee at Christ Community (PCA) Church
I "became a fan" of his on FaceBook. You might go check him out as he shares scriptures and quotes from contemporary folk who also support scripture in the thoughts they share............

I have learned that faith means trusting in advance what will only make sense in reverse." Philip Yancey

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

emailing with the Consulate

I received quick courteous responses to my emails from yesterday. Slightly conflicting bits of information perhaps with what I have gleaned from other sources, but he asked for a good time to call and speak with me. THAT I feel is a very good thing! We continue to pray fervently for a completed ad option and for those "booked but not bought" yet tickets to be for the REAL travel dates!

Naomi and Rachel coz they are awesome too!!

As I planted my 150 tulip bulbs the other day the girls painted pumpkins. I love days like this!!

more baby Charlie, coz he's so awesome!

You think I like my "job" ??!!

Naomi took photos for me!

Playing in the bouncey, UNCLE DANIEL'S bouncey seat to be exact!

Auntie Naomi lovin' on her little nephew! They were having a good conversation here.

I don't think there can ever be too many Baby Charlie photos, and I don't think I've shared any of Pappa Charlie with his namesake.
YES, that is a cigar case that the Charlies are playing with. It seemed to amuse them both!

After a good cigar (case) with Pappa Charlie, Baby Charlie retired to Leah's room with Jael to study. It didn't last long.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

From Hannah's facebook status.............................

Hannah Toves is so happy she has such a great mom and that that great mom is such a wonderful grammy !!!!!

Is this not what life as a mom is ALL about!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where is Linda?? Hiding out under her Grammy hat, that's where!!

And let me tell y'all, the Grammy hat is a big big hat! Hannah had to start back to work on Monday so we are caring for Charlie for her. Charlie as I have shared with some friends is a high maintenance kind of guy. Hannah says he has her high maintenance make-up AND his daddy's temper. My observation has been that Charlie is quite fine until he is not. At that point, he is angry if the person giving care (or closest to him at the moment of "the point") has not anticipated 30 full seconds before Charlie that a NEED CHANGE is about to transpire. Charlie does not understnad that if he is asleep we have no idea that he is going to wake up at "x" second, much less if he will be awakening because the temperature of his pee has awakened him (it does) and caused him to be angry, or if he is awakening hungry, which he may or may not be, or if he just wants his binky "re-plugged" so he can retrun to sleep. Since it takes a few second to assess these issues, one can be about guaranteed that whatever did NOT get done will be what Charlie wanted and he is therefore, angry.
He is so precious, we all love him passionately, we understand that our house is not his house. We empathize with him that his world changed drastically yesterday from visitng Grammy's house for a few hours with Mommy to being left BY Mommy.We all know that I am not Hannah laying on the couch with him watching Rachel Ray until the two of them take a morning nap together. NONE of us watch Rachel Ray , for babysitting or any other morning reason. We watch goats, horses, chickens, eggs, milk, check to see if the cat has caught a new mouse, we eat breakfast and we do school. Charlie is not interested in our pre-existing conditions. To a baby's way of thinking I am sure, HE is the pre-existing condition.
Today is a lot better than yesterday; it is. This does not change the fact that my precious beautiful grandson is most definitely an obvious blend of his parent's genetics! The kids have been wonderful and so patient with him, and his scremaing jags. Naomi is a great bottle-fixer, Leah is super in taking turns with me in holding, bouncing and rocking Charlie. Noah takes his turns holding Charlie too, but they are for sure, shorter turns. Hannah has come at lunch time to spend lunch with Charlie and I can tell he likes that. We will all figure out how best to care for Charlie AND get our regular stuff done too, but yesterday and today were definitely HOME EC and FAMILY/ LIFE SCIENCE!!
Charlie is smiling once in a while this week; that is a very fun thing. He likes his swing and his classical music...........until he doesn't..............Oh , he does not like that he just woke up and I am on the computer 6 feet away...........
Putting my Grammy hat back on!!! (so to speak..................
Loving Charlie!!!