Friday, April 30, 2010

1 More Week- Let the Worrying Begin (or not)

Well I leave for Haiti in one week so this worrier is starting to make her mental list. I know what you are thinking...my worries aren't from God...I should cast all my cares upon Him...Greater is He is who is in me...He who has called me is Faithful...Lay all my cares at His feet. I KNOW!

I am telling myself all those things, but I am leaving the 4 most important people in my life for 10 days. I have already typed Trent up a schedule and reviewed all "my" rules.
I think that is my problem though. Trent (the most capable man I know) is not going to do it like I do. That is probably why the kids like him so much. :) So as much as I need to trust God, I also need to trust this wonderful husband of mine who is more than capable to handle 10 days by himself with my kids.

I will be posting prayer requests for the trip in a few days and I am hoping to be able to post updates while I am there. In the meantime, you can pray that Trent survives all of my preparations.



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

My Mommy FOREVER

I posted this to facebook a few days ago so you may have already seen it. I just wanted to be sure and share it with everyone else. Enjoy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Memorial Box Monday- The first time I heard God's voice/He Has A Plan

So occasionally I participate in the blogger trend- Memorial Box Monday. It is an opportunity to share a time when you saw God move in your life.

This Memorial Box Monday goes way back to when I was applying to PT school. I was a student at Baylor and had sought the advice of my Human Physiology professor to help me prepare for my PT school interview. He had 2 pieces of advice:
1. Don't tell them that you are a Christian. Those UT profs don't care and you are more likely to make them nervous if you mention being a Christian so just leave Jesus out of it.
2. Don't tell them that you are interested in pediatrics. They want students who are well rounded and open minded.

So I headed of to San Antonio and rehearsed for my interview all the way there. When I walked into the school, they sent me down the hall to the professor who would be interviewing me.
I was so nervous that I could have lost my lunch on his shoe.

The first question he asked me was, "Why do you want to be a PT?"
I replied, "Because I really want to help children with disabilities and I am hoping to travel overseas someday to help children in international orphanages."

The next question he asked was, "What are you going to do if you don't get into PT school?"
I replied, "I feel like God has called me to be a PT so I will make whatever improvements I need to and be faithful to apply again the next year"

Then it hit me...

I had been in that interview for less than 5 minutes and I had already (in my nervousness) violated my only 2 pieces of advice. I don't even remember what the other questions were because in my mind I had already blown it.

After the interview, I walked out if his office and turned to exit the building. By the exit there was a bulletin board with the bios of all the professors. I stopped and looked for the one for the man who interviewed me and it said something like this, "Tom Turturro, PT, MDiv. In addition to teaching the pediatric portion of our program, Tom is also a licensed minister."

Right then, I heard God as clear as I have ever heard him say "Ginny you never have to lie about where I have brought you in order to get where I am sending you"
I went to my car and wept at the incredible hand and plans of my God. Tom Turturro not only accepted me into that program but ended up being a spiritual mentor.

He who has started a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Something you may want to be a part of

The Yahoo group for Ruthie's orphanage (that I am a part of) has been paying for 2 full time PTs to work in her orphanage for the last couple of years. This year's fundraiser has not gone as well because of the economy. They just extended it by a few weeks in hopes of making up the difference. I have seen several pictures of the PTs working with the children in the therapy room at the orphanage. My dream would to be able to help these PTs through a short term trip some day. Would you consider giving to being able to keep these guys treating the hundreds of special needs kids there? They are about $2000.00 short, but every $10 gift makes a difference.

Here is the info:

Donations can be made via CCAI (Chinese Children Adoption International) which makes them tax-deductible for US residents.

And, donations can be made via the web, so overseas families can also contribute. >

This is how to donate:
Click on "Make a Donation"
Fill in your desired amount and under "specific project" enter "Chongqing Children's Home.

OR

2. If you are not comfortable donating on line, you can write a > check payable to CCAI and mail it to Marina Contiero, 21 East 22nd Street, Apt 10A, New York, NY > 10010.


Today's Side Note: Ruthie this morning in her dress that she got for Christmas from her Aunt Johnette. Oh and I curled her hair! :)



Friday, April 23, 2010

Service and Obedience

Trent has taken numerous teams overseas for mission trips. When he does, he always takes a few weeks and prepares them for their mission. Since I am not getting any formal training, I asked him the other day what his best piece of advice was and he said, "Don't let anyone out serve you."

I LOVED THAT!

So I decided to take that challenge to heart and start applying it right away. I went to work a few days later with my new attitude and worked my tail off doing everything I could to serve my coworkers and make their load lighter. At the end of the day I felt better leaving work than I had felt in a long time.

A few days later, I went to a different clinic. On the way I prayed that God would use my hands and feet and that I would not let anyone out serve me. Well, it didn't go near as well as I had experienced previously. Another coworker was having a bad day and said something that hurt my feelings right away. The spirit in the room was nothing like I had experienced in the other clinic and suddenly I didn't really feel like out serving anyone after all. I spent that morning looking at the clock and counting down the minutes until I could leave.

Stay with me...

I reflected on those 2 very different experiences in my new found mission and it hit me. My call to serve is a call to live my life after the model that Christ set for me and it is a call to obedience. If we look at the life of Christ, his faithfulness to serve was never circumstantial. We don't see in scripture where Christ wanted to help that one girl but she was kinda rude so he walked on. Likewise, his commands to us aren't circumstantial either. He doesn't say:
Honor your husband- if he says nice things to you
Train your child in the way he should go- if you enjoy his company
Take care of orphans and widows- if you have plenty of money laying around and some spare time on your hands.

No- his commands are not circumstantial at all.

Do you see where I am going with this? The temptation is to serve and be obedient ONLY when it's feels right or is convenient, but that is not what God commanded us. His command is to simply obey- whatever the circumstance. Clearly, I am still working on this. I hope this challenges you to obedience and service in whatever He has called you to also.



Today's Side note (because I always have to include a picture): Ruthie came into Sam's class for his party and when he saw her, he leaned over and kissed her forehead.



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Sam


I want to take just a moment to honor my wonderful middle child. Today is Sam's 5th birthday.
Sam is my lover of life. He is both sweet and funny and has one of those personalities that makes people gravitate toward him.

Those who love him have given him multiple nicknames like Sammy, Sam Bam, Sam the Man, and my personal favorite, Speeder Sam the Good Fighter. I can't wait to see what God does with this little guy. My prayer for him regularly is that God would take Sam's energy and love for life and use it to advance His Kingdom.

Here are a few pictures of my precious boy.






We Have A Winner!!!

I have a winner for my first giveaway! My hope was to help raise awareness for 2 very good causes- Half the Sky and the 3000 Bracelets Campaign. I let Sam draw the name because my big boy turns 5 today!

And the winner is................................







Congrats Jenn! Jenn adopted Karleigh Mei and we actually got to meet her a few weeks ago. Send me an email Jenn with the address where you want me to mail your backpack, etch a sketch, and bracelet!


Monday, April 19, 2010

Joshua's Village

I want to share with you something SUPER COOL that the mission arm of our adoption agency is doing. I received an email today about a plan to create a village for neglected, orphaned, and abandoned special needs children in Haiti called Joshua's Village. The email was sent to me because they are looking to put together a team of PTs, pediatricians, doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and others with expertise in the area of special needs. This team would be traveling to Haiti June 5-12 to go into displacement camps with UNICEF and Heartland Alliance to treat certain children and assess their needs for the Joshua Village.

As you know, I am already going to Haiti May 7-17th. As much as I would love to travel with this team, I don't see how the finances and time away from my family would all come together and be best. I am hoping, however, to be able to do something while I am there to contribute to this team after they return.

Here is where you come in! They still need people to get involved. Here are the basics.

This is a partnership with Safe Water Nexus. Cost to go in June is $1600 which is the same as what I am paying in May.

Working Project Title: Joshua’s Village (own joshuasvillage.com)

Objective: To develop a “village” for abandoned, orphaned and neglected special needs and at-risk children....essentially, for the last and the least of the last and the least.

Essential Elements:
- Teaching hospital
- Playground
- School
- Mission compound
- Housing
- Dining
- Latrines
- Garden
- Farm

Purpose: To provide a desperately needed long term solution for the current struggle to find adequate care for the hundreds and potentially thousands of special needs at-risk children left to fend for themselves in Haiti.

Inspiration: 12-year-old Cerebral Palsy patient Joshua Emmanuel. Found face down on the street next to his mother who was using him to beg for money in the Port au Prince, the staff at Sacred Heart hospital rescued him and saved his life. When the hospital was forced to close because of financial issues, SafewaterNexus was asked to help find Joshua a permanent home where he would be loved and cared for. In a matter of days, SafewaterNexus was able to navigate the complicated red-tape of UNICEF paperwork, vet a special needs children’s home in St. Louis du Nord in Northern Haiti, and arrange for his transportation. Joshua was finally approved and transported to his new home Friday, April 2 by Sacred Heart and SafewaterNexus staff. Joshua had never really known love, and now he’ll never go a day without it for the rest of his life. In light of the smooth process SafewaterNexus was able to develop for Joshua’s long term care, they have been asked by Haitian government and international human rights groups to find housing for other special needs and at-risk children in Haiti. SafewaterNexus has access to a 20-acre piece of property just outside Port au Prince, and has chosen to dedicate this land to answering this massive need.

Distinctives: Will design and construct the project with environmental engineers, and will include solar power and recycled building materials. Will also include a garden and farm to enhance sustainability.

If you are interested or know someone who is, please pass this along and email me at ginnyhenderson@hotmail.com.


Today's Side Note: A dry wet run through
To prepare for the rainy season in Haiti, I decided to go ahead and set up my tent and then hose it down a little to look for leaks. Of course the kids saw this as a chance to play.



Saturday, April 17, 2010

A D.E.A.P Day

There are a lot of things that I don't do well as a mother. One of the biggies is that I have a super hard time putting down MY "projects" to just play with my kids. Lots of days I self justify that if I am in the same room as them, it is alright that I am scrapbooking, cleaning, etc. It is so hard for me to pick up a Wii remote or leggo and block out my "to do" list. So there is the confession.
Here is the resolution.

Jack has these days at school called D.E.A.R (drop everything and read) days. I think that is a really cute acronym so I decided to change it up a bit and have D.E.A.P hours (sorry a whole day is just not realistic yet). D.E.A.P= Drop Everything And Play! Now the business woman in me can see t-shirts and bumper stickers, but that will have to be someone else's project because it is time to D.E.A.P! :)


We had a D.E.A.P moment a few days ago when I spontaneously blew up the sprinkler and let the kids get after it in their clothes. Of course my rule follower, Jack, managed to sneak inside and change into his swimsuit.

Happy D.E.A.Ping






Thursday, April 15, 2010

Part 2 -What is Disability? That little miracle of mine

Can I tell you about my girl and the strides she has made over the last 6 weeks? I started taping her her right elbow (the weaker one) 6 weeks ago. So I am sure you are asking, "why just the right?". Because I am a scientist at heart and that is what we do, we experiment! Before we added taping, she was starting to bend her elbow with the assistance of gravity and some against gravity.

Now she can bend it pretty darn well gravity eliminated and the right arm has caught up with the left. So here are some of the things my little one has done over the last few days:

1. She can now suck her thumb which I am completely OK with because she has to use her muscle to keep it there. She can suck her thumb until she is 10 if she wants to.

2. She can bring her bunny to her face to kiss it. This is a big deal for a girl who LOVES her bunny.

3. She can bring a cup to her mouth. Still a little messy, but we are getting there.

4. She can push the chest piece of her car seat down and pull her arms out of the straps to free herself. Ok not so good but an accomplishment still.

5. She can bring some food to her mouth depending on how long it is.

6. She can climb on the counter and open a kids chewable vitamin "child proof" container for a mid morning snack. So that wasn't so good either but still another accomplishment!

My girl wasn't supposed to be able to do these things because "she doesn't have those muscles"- Whatever! Here is the proof!!






Tuesday, April 13, 2010

What is Disability??


I have been pondering this question for the last few days as I have been watching Jack and Ruthie interact with the world around them. My thoughts are in no way intended to belittle the struggles that people with disabilities face everyday. They are just that- my thoughts.

We we will start with Jack and I will tell you Ruthie's story in a few days. Many of you already know that Jack has a condition called Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia where he is gradually losing the ability to use his legs. We have been praying for his healing and that God would use that to give him a powerful testimony. God hasn't chosen to heal my sweet boy yet, but I am confident he is giving him a testimony and is even teaching me things regularly through him.

At church on Sunday, Trent had a time when he invited anyone to the altar who wanted to pray about a need. I leaned over to Jack and asked if he wanted to go pray for healing. He said "Yes" that he wanted to go and pray for his friend Zackary. Zackary hurt his ankle playing soccer and will be on crutches for 10 days. I told Jack that it was fine to pray for Zack but I was really wondering if he wanted to go and pray for God to heal him (Jack). What happened next brought me to tears because he looked up at me and said "No. I like my legs the way they are. I want to pray for Zack". Next, I watched my sweet boy shuffle his feet and limp to the altar to pray for his friend who would be off crutches before next Sunday.

What makes someone so content with a situation that to others would seem like a nightmare? Jack told me a few days later that he liked his legs because that is how God created him. I think he is satisfied too because he knows that God loves him just the way he is.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Christian Ride

I don't know why so many people use the phrase "the Christian walk". Does your Christian experience feel like a walk or leisurely stroll? When I think about my years as a believer I think of a ride at an amusement park. Specifically, I think of Splash Mountain at Disney World. Let me explain...

I could probably write an entire sermon series on this, but I will try and summarize it here because I have something to share with you at the end. So hang with me.

Sam and I rode Splash Mountain together in December and the first thing I did after we buckled our seat belts is I locked arms with him. That would be my first piece of advise to any new Christian getting ready to venture into the Christian ride- Lock arms with those around you! The Christian ride was never meant to be taken alone.

The great thing about Splash Mountain is that it has so many different variables. You have climbs, free falls, and even moments of scenic peace. This is such a great picture of life as a Christian. There are moments when we can just sit in our seat and enjoy where God has placed us as we look around for a bit. But if your experience is anything like mine, those moments are often short (and frankly you don't get onto Splash Mountain for the scenery- right?).

After your short meeting with peace and tranquility, comes the climb. You know the one. You are on a 45 degree, slow, filled with anticipation (and some fear), climb. My last month has felt very much like that. I have sensed God wanting me to ask the question "What's next?". So I have asked with fear of what the answer might be. I received "nopes" on a number of things like adopting again, foster parenting, and moving. Then one day I was in the shower (where I do my best thinking) and God really laid a vision on my heart of me taking regular short term mission trips overseas to use my PT skills to help orphans and others in need.

Now I am coming to the top of the climb and the fear has become very real because this week I was invited to join a medical mission trip to Haiti in May. When you get to the top of a roller coaster, do you ever get that split second feeling of "Ah well here we go"? That is how I feel in this moment. I have had this entire climb, and waiting on God, to know that my answer could only be a definite yes! How pathetic would it be to get to the top and then climb off?

So next for me will be the thrilling ride of plunging into all that God has for me. Do you want to know what else is true of people who take on the Christian ride and choose to not get off at the top? Think about the people walking off of Splash Mountain as you are walking on. They are soaking wet! You see, you can't say "YES" to the Christian ride, take the plunge, and not look different when you are stepping off! That is one of the parts I am most looking forward to.


Today's Side Note- Ruthie and her partner in crime taking over the neighborhood


Friday, April 9, 2010

It's The Little Things

...that make parenting so special. And if you rush through your day (like I often do), you just might miss those special moments like finding a bath crayon message left just for you.
I love you too Jack.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!


"Because every child, no matter how humble her beginnings, deserves loving care, and a chance at a bright future."- Half The Sky
www.Halfthesky.org


It's my first giveaway and I can't think of a better organization to tell you about through it. Half the Sky is a organization whose mission is "to enrich the lives and enhance the prospects of orphaned children in China who wait to be adopted, and those who will spend their childhood in orphanages." The Foundation is named for the Chinese adage, “Women hold up half the sky,” to denote the fact that the vast majority of healthy babies abandoned in China are girls.

They achieve their mission by sending extra nannies into the orphanages that they sponsor. The Half the Sky nannies in Ruthie's orphanage interacted with her daily and kept a journal with pictures to document her development. These nannies are trained in how to work with special needs children and specifically in how to help children achieve their developmental milestones. You can recognize a Half the Sky orphanage because it is full of vibrant color and lots of ladies holding the babies! We are so thankful that Ruthie's orphanage was sponsored by Half the Sky and we feel certain that this contributed to her easy transition into our family.

Here are some facts on HTS:
*It takes just $300 to take a child through the infant nurture program
*They have programs in 45 orphanages in 21 provinces
*There are currently 6000 children in a Half the Sky program and over 35,000 children have been served since the beginning of their programs.

SO NOW ON TO THE GIVEAWAY!


I am giving away a HTS backpack with a HTS etch-a-sketch toy inside. I am also throwing in a bracelet from the 3,000 Bracelets Campaign to raise money for Isabella's adoption. The drawing will be on April 21st!

So how do you get entries? 1 For each

1. Just leave any comment at the bottom of this post. Be sure and leave your email if I don't already know how to contact you so I can get the package to you if you win!
2. Go read HTS's story here and then tell me what you think in the comment section
3. Advertise this giveaway and HTS on your blog and let me know about it in a comment
4. Become a follower! I just added this to my sidebar and I can't wait to see who you are. All my followers will get an entry
5. Check out the 3000 Bracelets Campaign here and tell me what you think.



Tuesday, April 6, 2010

POCKETS! Woo Hoo

Ruthie discovered the other day that she has pockets! It was so cute to follow her around as she showed everyone her new find.



Watch out Ruthie. If you keep doing that, you might end up showing off more than your pockets!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Memorial Box Monday- He Listens and He Answers!

7 years ago, Trent and I were living in Waco and we decided to sell our first home and build a new one on a great piece of land we found in China Spring. We broke ground in late summer and were told that our house would be complete at the end of December. When it came time to talk about selling our existing home, I panicked. What if our existing home didn't sell before it came time to close on the new one? What if it sold too quickly and we had no place to live? What if we had to come down on our price so much that we wouldn't get what we needed out of our home?

I decided to start praying for a buyer. Any buyer! Trent came home one day and told me that he was praying for a Christian couple who would offer us full price and not want to move in until January. WHAT?!? I was frustrated because placing all those specifics in his prayer request seemed ridiculous to me. After all, lost people need homes too and I was more than happy to sell them mine. :) So we went our own ways with our petitions to God.

A few weeks later our realtor called and said that a couple had contacted her and wanted to come over and talk to us about our home and their situation. We sat down in the sunroom and they told us that they had recently moved to town and had signed a lease to rent an apartment until January. However, they were very interested in our house and didn't want to lose the chance to buy it. So they were going to offer us full price in exchange for letting them close now but not move in until January. Oh and would we be interested in renting back from them for a few months? Turned out they were in a Life Group with some neighbors down the street who had been a part of a church plant from the church Trent worked at.

I about fell out of my chair as Trent was grinning from ear to ear! God has answered his ridiculously specific prayer request. Or was it so ridiculous? I learned a lot that day about God's desire to be involved in every detail of my life. I learned that He loves me so much that He wants to reveal Himself to me by answering my specific prayer requests.

When we pray, we aren't bugging Him. We aren't casting our cares into his giant mailbox that He may or may not get to in time. Instead we are talking to a very personal God who loves to hear from us and reveal Himself to us even through things as simple as the sell of a house.


A Few Photos From Our Easter:






Friday, April 2, 2010

Where is Your Ticket?

A church here in town is having people get tickets for their Easter Sunday service so they can adequately distribute and accommodate the crowds. It is a wonderful problem to have and I rejoice with them that they are having it.

It makes me think though. Where are those people for the other 51 Sundays of the year? Trent thinks that most of them believe that God is real but have not really put their faith in Him and experienced salvation. I wonder how many of them have put their faith in Him and received their "ticket" to heaven, but have chosen to walk a safe life and keep that ticket in their pocket except for days like Easter.

For so many, Easter represents the day they got their "ticket" to heaven and they became "safe" in the afterlife, but for me it represents so much more. It represents the day that my life became no longer my own, the day I chose to live a transformed life, and the day I was blessed with the invitation to live a life so full of adventure that the word "safe" could never be used to describe it.

It seems like every time I trust God and His leadership in my life, the ride becomes even more thrilling and through it I come to a deeper understanding of who He is and who He has called me to be. I have sensed God's call into those adventures many times and I have never regretted taking that step of faith. Interesting enough as we approach Easter, I am currently sensing that God is getting ready to reveal the next chapter in my life. I look forward to telling you more about that in the coming days, but right now I want to end by encouraging you.

Let Easter be more than the day you got your "ticket" to heaven, but ask God to show you what His sacrifice means for you right now. Fight the urge to play safe Christianity and the temptation to fit God into your pocket or the box you have created for Him. Instead ask God to show you all the He has for you and all that He desires from you. I think you might be surprised by how exciting the ride gets from here.


Here are a few pics I took of my crew in their Easter clothes: