I knew this “series” if you will would take me a long time. it’s soul work. I’m working on part 3, but for now. catch up on part 1 then read this
His Promises part 2.
Before I go into what God told me during the “date with God” at Created for Care, can I just recap you of what He told me during this time in 2012? God spoke to me about brokenness being restored. I talked about that here. and then I got a tattoo. but I still really didn’t know what it meant. Then God spoke to me almost 1 year later + revealed WHY he laid that on my heart. So, maybe I”m almost a year late in posting this story, but apparently these things take time to really fully reveal themselves to me.
back to 2013. date with God.
Ok wait, I lied. a little more back tracking. August 8, 2012 I was walking the streets of Korah, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Typical day for me that summer while I was living with a missionary family and working with a ministry there. In my visits to this community over the years, I had developed quite a few relationships. One of them is with one of the prophet-ess in the village, Mulu. I had been to her house many times in the past 2 years, and had the honor of praying for her daughter, Mercy and loving on her little boy whom she adopted, Yepsura. I knew Mulu was a woman of great faith and persistent prayer and I had asked her a time or two if she would pray for healing for my endometriosis. The summer before I was in Ethiopia, I was talking to Jenna + Lana at home and they told me we were going to pray that God would HEAL me. Wow, seriously what a concept. Why had I never thought over the years that I should be asking God for that, believing and having faith that He indeed could heal my broken body.
I wanted to have big faith, like I’ve said before, so I wanted her to plea to God on my behalf for my healing. I had asked Mulu several times that summer + the timing had never been right. On August 8th, the timing was right. I asked her, through a translator, if she would pray for me. God is so sweet, in that my bestie Jenna was actually with me in Korah that day [on a mission trip] AND I had “randomly” brought my video camera. best friend + video camera = amazing proof of this once in a lifetime prayer session. Tiba, the translator, Jenna, Mulu and I all went into the room where a group of 20ish Mission Ethiopia ladies were working. Mulu had me tell the ladies, through Tiba, what was wrong and how they could pray for me. I nervously tried to tell them about my endometriosis in a way they could understand, and pleaded with them as mothers to pray for God to heal me and open my womb.
It had to have been at least 20 minutes of praying before we said amen. Mostly in Amharic, their native language, and even though I don’t know exactly what words were offered to God that morning, I knew in my spirit. I felt the prayers. These women all had their small children with them, as they often do when they work, and at the beginning of the prayer session they were all hunkered by their mamas, and towards the end of the prayer time, they were all huddled by me. Yall, at this point, camp + asher were not mine yet. It was a beautiful picture to me, of how God sees me. Well, just simply that he does in fact see me! After the praying, Mulu said she had a word for me. We opened up my bible, and read from Luke 1. “And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God. And Mary said, “behold, I am the servant of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word” I have 8-8-12 Mission ET/Mulu prayer written in pink next to those verses in my bible.
I walked away from the dirty streets of Korah that day renewed. I walked away with a new hope. A reminder that NOTHING is impossible with God.
a little visual. this is Mulu! although this picture was about a year later, going through my istagram I remembered that even a year later they prayed for me!
this is me + jenna from that trip :)
and tiba. the translator extrodinare.
ok, I promise. His Promises 3 will actually talk about my date with God. the goal is to write it before THIS years date with God in in two weekends…
they are watching you.
they are watching every move you make.
this sweet girl, this 2 year old, when I was telling a friend the other day what she loves to do…it sounded awfully familiar….. she likes to drink coffee, talk on the phone, do her “bible study”, play at the computer, journal, unload the dish washer, sweep the floors, change the laundry, put on makeup and brush her hair….I mean, I wonder where she get’s that from?
they are watching. she’s watching every move I make and even though she’s only 2, my actions are speaking louder than my words. when she wants to come sit beside me at the kitchen table when I’m working, she grabs a piece of paper and a pen and says “bible study”. melt. my. heart. she loves to write and draw and create. she loves to help me around the house. she loves to help her brother, baby her brother, help him along. she’s a little mama.
it’s convicting you know? it makes me think twice about how I spend my time when I’m around her.
am I on the phone too much?
what does it say to her when my Instagram is more important than her?
am I being a godly example to her in the words I say or how I speak to people?
the dogs….we have two dogs and yall, they annoy the crap outta me sometimes. poor things, they used to be my babies and I swore I would not be that person that had a kid and all of a sudden abandoned their puppies but…no it’s not that bad, but I hear my kids so many times yelling at the dogs, “NO ELI!” ”GO AWAY MILLY!” I mean…I try to teach them not to say NO so much, but how can they learn when I’m always shouting no to the dogs? THE DOGS???
There really isn’t an ending to this. this will go on forever. I still watch my mom, and I still pay attention to every word she says and how she says it. as parents we have such influence over our child’s lives.
let’s influence well!
happy birthday to you our asher girl. strong, independent, beautiful two year old. you bring such light to our lives. you were exactly what our family needed, and I’m so thankful that your daddy prayed fervently for a daughter before we knew you. God sure did know that when we were nearing the end of our 2 year adoption process that YOU would be the greatest surprise and gift we could ever ask for. You are the best sister, little mama, and the most generous with your kisses. You exude love and kindness. You are also not afraid to tell me what you think, or encourage your brother to do something that might be out of his comfort zone. You are already my little helper around the house, and it’s precious to see you want to do every single little thing I do. Today we went and bought you your very own art supplies so you could write and draw to your hearts content.
I hope you always dream, sister.
I pray that you watch your mama + daddy be brave with their dreams and follow.
I pray you know Jesus as a young age and are a LIGHT in this dark world.
happy birthday asher! we sure do all love you!
I can’t believe this was the first day we met you.
[photos by Alison Holcomb]
and since then we’ve watched you transform…
[your first birthday]
gotcha day 2013
photo by helen bryd
happy birthday pretty girl!
I stumbled out of bed at almost midnight with eyes half open to write this Tuesday night. when you all of a sudden learn about what it means to be “self aware” and you start to ask God the hard questions, like asking Him to search your heart and show you what the heck you are running FROM….well let’s just say it keeps you up at night. I leave for Uganda in 14 days. 14 days. I talk about it so casually, like it’s something I do all the time [which, it is my 4th visit in less than 3 years] but it’s not casual. I have stuff to do to get ready, if you know what I mean. I’ve been so busy getting everything “in order” for my March. My march is insane, yall. I go to Created for Care on a Friday, then it’s over Sunday and Logan picks me up on our way to Atlanta and we meet up with the #bloghope team that night and leave Monday for Uganda for 10 days. Then I get home from Uganda late on a Thursday night, and exactly a week later I hit the road again for Hope Spoken. So you could say I have a lot of “stuff” to work out. but what God was showing me tonight, is I have a lot of stuff to work out. if you know what I mean. heart stuff.
so it’s scary, asking the questions, being aware of the things that are keeping me from full freedom, being aware of the things I’m running from. it’s already keeping me up at night. but I know there are lots of heart issues me + God need to work through before this next month. I feel it, I know it’s going to be big. it’s going to be life changing. and I want to be ready for it: mind, body and soul. [that sounded cheesy].
it’s weird because I’ve been to Africa so many times that I no longer have such a long list of things to prepare. I already have my shots, my yellow fever card, my passport, my left over not-yet-expired malaria meds and sleeping aid. I have a wide variety of long skirts to chose from, and an arsenal of kleenex, hand sanitizer and mini shampoo. I don’t need that much more stuff to prepare for this trip. but I need to do a lot of heart work. I need to ask god to search my heart. I need to take time to just be still and sit with my father and ask him to reveal these things to me. to speak and sing his song over me. to tell me how much he loves me. to show me the things that get in the way of my relationship with him – so I can get rid of them. so i can stop acting “fine” and walk worthy of the calling I’ve received. that’s been my prayer.
that’s what’s on my heart this friday. what’s on your hearts friends?
ps – are you following http://bloghope.org/? go meet all of my amazing blogger teammates!
and make sure you entered yesterday’s $50 Noonday gift card giveaway on the #blogtrain…and follow it to McCall’s blog today!
and ride it, choo choo! no? ok. well anyway! did you know the Noonday Collection spring line launches TODAY!??? welcome to DAY 1 of the Noonday Ambassador blog train!!! I am so honored to get to be the launching pad for this amazing 40 days of giveaways + stories from amazing ambassadors from all over the country! My sweet friend McCall started this fun tradition, and she will be taking the baton tomorrow, so make sure to check out her blog then here.
I am really excited to not only be giving away a $50 Noonday gift card [for you to purchase online anything your heart desires, anytime!] but I’m even more honored and excited to tell you how YOU can be part of bringing a sweet boy home to his family in Texas from China. That’s right. Did you know that adoption is part of Noonday’s DNA? Noonday Collection actually started as an adoption fundraiser, and founder Jessica Honegger quickly realized God had other plans that included starting this business! I’ve watched Noonday be a huge part of her sweet Jack’s story through the years and am proud to say Noonday is a huge part of our adoption story as well. I was introduced to Noonday + Jessica the very same day God spoke to my husbands heart and we said YES to adoption. Back then, Jessica was traveling around our great state doing all the trunk shows herself and I begged her to send me a box of samples because my good friends wanted to host an adoption show for me. Oh, what’s this adoption trunk show thing about? well I”m so glad you asked…
isn’t’ that amazing? not only does the adoptive family get 10% cash towards their adoption, but their friends have a chance to come and support them in a fun new way! Adoption trunk shows are a “win-win-win” as I like to say, the artisans win!, the adoptive family wins!, and YOU win! There are several ways YOU can get involved in this.
1. you can host an adoption show for a family in your community – if you don’t know who the local ambassador is, fill out this quick form online and someone will contact you.
2. if there isn’t an ambassador in your area, why don’t you think about joining our world changing team? find out more here. This is what I did! after my friends generously hosted an adoption show for me, I was hooked and the ambassador program was just getting off the ground. I had the chance for the 2 years we were in the process of adopting, to raise a a good chunk of our adoption expenses through the commission I earned being an ambassador! [and amazing friends STILL hosting adoption shows for me!]
3. attend an adoption show! or purchase online! From now until May 1st, I am going to match the 10% that Noonday gives for adoptive families for trunk shows and help our good friends the Stephans with their adoption expenses of their boy in China! [me + some girls started this campaign//read more about their story here] so anytime you shop online, know that 10% of your sale will go towards making this family of 4 to a family of 5…
watching my sweet friend Sarah pray, research, and connect with other people to get new ideas of how to fundraise I’ve decided to start something new on the blog! The 3rd Thursday of every month, I’m going to feature a company/group that is working to help adoptive families fundraise! I will also after this month host a linkup, where adoptive families can link their fundraisers and hopefully connect with other families and help get the word out about their fundraisers and come up with new ideas! I have the next 4-5 months lined up, but if you would like to submit your company, please email me at wynne[dot]elder[at]gmail[dot]com!
Ok friends! go enter to win a $50 Noonday Collection gift card and dream about what you would purchase if you won! and how YOU can be a part of helping bring kids HOME through an adoption trunk show! ready..set..GO! http://wynneelder.noondaycollection.com/ and be sure to visit McCall’s blog tomorrow!
oh hi Casey! thanks for modeling some of my favorite pieces in our new spring line. the earrings, bracelets, scarf and necklaces she’s wearing are some of my FAVES!
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