Thursday, March 10, 2016

Beauty from within

Beautiful, What does that word truly mean?
According to Wikipedia:
Beautiful, an adjective used to describe things as possessing beauty.
 
For example take flowers, they can be beautiful once they bloom but during the process you might not see the beauty in them quite yet.

Through out my childhood never did I doubt myself & the topic of beauty. Later as I entered my pre-teens I can't tell you how many times the topic came up in Sunday School, Church camp, etc. I grew tired of that topic because at that time I thought I couldn't relate to it. I wish I had remembered those lessons later in life. 

When I entered my mid teens, I was a shy, quiet girl who on the outside might be fine but on the inside was struggling finding myself & fitting in. Part of my struggle I realize now was that I didn't like myself. I had/have terrible skin issues & honestly dreaded looking at myself in the mirror. I don't have a problem with Makeup (I tried it once with my friends) but I just didn't feel the need to mess with it each day. I tried countless products trying to help resolve the terrible skin issues on my face but none of them I liked or was doing anything to help. 

In November of 2014 we started using Essential Oils. After I started using the ART Products above not only did I see a difference in my skin health but also in my emotions I felt about myself.

1 Samuel 16:7
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People Look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."
Like a flower when it's starting to bloom we all tend to judge someone by the outside whether that's skin tone, tattoos, color of hair, differences in abilities, etc. I was disheartened because of what I felt in my heart & I know now I shouldn't have listened to that bad voice. On the outside, I acted as if I didn't have any problems but on the inside my heart was elsewhere. Beauty doesn't lie on the outside it's on the inside that matters. 

Do I still have those moments of self doubt? Of course but I know God has created each of us for a unique plan & purpose in our lives. 
WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE? REMEMBER YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL & created for a PURPOSE!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Two Less Orphans Update:Christian & Creed


Unlike most stories I have shared, this family was a different kind of special. We had met their family just after we moved here. They had already adopted 2 girls but felt called to go back this time for two adorable boys with Down syndrome. 
Since coming home in Sept 2015...
Christian has learned to feed himself, before he didn't know how to hold a spoon.
Creed got to enjoy Birthday cake. 
Both boys doing well & loving life!
With the help of some awesome friends I was able to take a bunch of stuff to our local kids consignment sale & made $331 for their adoption.
It takes a lot of time, hardwork, & Prayer to be able to jump into doing the consignment sale each time but I do know these boys lives were so worth it. Thank you all for your love, support, & Prayers for these boys!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

One Less Orphan Update-Ian

Sometimes it's simple, falling in love with a certain child or family. But then again other times it proves challenging, needing Prayer & thinking over if this is the family you wish to support. For me, it all started with simply asking about a t-shirt fundraiser.
At that time I was just trying to dig myself back into advocating after just being so-so. I was simply just ordering a t-shirt but as I started messaging this awesome new friend of mine something about her just clicked with me. I had seen her working her tail off in the private group we were in to bring home her son & when they started doing the Family warrior program as an official thing deep in my heart I knew who I wanted to help.
They were adopting a precious boy named Ian
Through becoming their family warrior, God really shined his light & love for not just Ians adoption but really brought me through a journey I needed to see again. You can see the wonderful ways God showed up here http://lifesbeautifulbutterflies.blogspot.com/2014/04/when-you-think-no-one-cares.html & here http://lifesbeautifulbutterflies.blogspot.com/2014/04/gods-amazing-ways-to-never-give-up.html God always has a plan even if you don't see it yet!
Since coming home from Bulgaria 18 months ago,
He has beautiful English, recognizes lots of site words, & has gone from a Kindergarden level in Math to testing in the middle of 3rd Grade at the Beginning of the year this year. 
Ian loves making Perler Bead crafts (I enjoyed doing this when I was younger but because of my shaky hands I didn't like it enough to continue it)
He also loves having a dog. 
He is such a great brother to his siblings
I had the joy & pleasure getting to meet them this past summer in VA at the RR reunion. It was a bummer not to get a picture with Ian but I enjoyed getting to know them in person & finally meeting this sweet new friend of mine.

And I'm passing along this message from Brooke cause I think the adoptive families appreciate your support as much as I love seeing you support them. From Brooke:
We are so blessed to call Ian son, brother, grandson. He is Loved & a cherished member of our family. I can't imagine our lives without him. I will be forever greatful to my friend who shared his picture on FB, & our Bulgarian attorney who never stopped fighting for Ian or our family, and for everyone like you who came alongside us to help move the mountain of finances that stood between us & our son. 
 
From me to all my friends-I can't quite recall the fundraisers were but please know helping them meant the world to not only Ian but me too. A special thank you to my friend who was touched by their story & played a huge role into their adoption.

YOU MADE THE DIFFERENCE TO THIS ONE, THANK YOU!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

One Less Orphan Update:Allie

Honest to goodness, "Maria" was not who I had planned on helping. I had seen her & thought she was precious but little did I know how God had weaved the messy thread that broke my heart to be a blessing to this sweet girl. I wrote about how I had to make the hardest decision here http://lifesbeautifulbutterflies.blogspot.com/2014/08/break-my-heart-for-what-breaks-his.html
I was thrilled when the Cox family stepped forward to adopt her & as much as it was hard knowing that some of the funds raised originally for another girl, one I had fought so hard to find her family who still is stuck in her country due to the adoption ban I knew their had to be Beauty from ashes somewhere even if I was hurting in the midst. 
At age 12 when "Maria" now Allie came home she only weighed 33 lbs.
Though you were not the girl my friends & I rallied together to help the events that played part of your future God knew you were the one who would get to experience unconditional love. I still pray someday that girl will still get to be you but in the meantime we celebrate the joy of seeing you doing well in your family.
Since coming home...
Sitting in a restaurant in the airport after arriving in America
You love to Learn
You enjoy swimming with your family
Your getting to experience Holidays such as 4th of July & Christmas
While my friends supported MANY THINGS that played a small part in this little girls adoption & 2 other orphans one of my favorite days was my 21st Birthday that will always be dear to my heart http://lifesbeautifulbutterflies.blogspot.com/2013/02/feb-4th-2013-night-i-will-always-cherish.html
I want to thank my friends, without you again though the path may change it took the love you showed me leading up to that day & throughout my 21st Birthday to help be a part of Allies future. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

One Less Orphan Update:Boden

I first found about a "Lost Boy" named "Heath" through my friend Julias blog http://covenantbuilders.blogspot.com/2010/10/recalled-to-life.html
Somehow I just knew I couldn't just do nothing. In January 2011 I Launched The Lost get Found Giveaway on my blog to help "Heath" & another orphan. He Started out with $630 in his grant before the Giveaway, & raised $2,114.80 during the Giveaway. In 2012 everyone rallied together for Heath to get his grant fully funded & we all waited til this day in 2013 when his family committed to him http://lifesbeautifulbutterflies.blogspot.com/2013/03/power-of-prayer.html & then late into 2013 "Heath" now Boden was with his Forever Family.
Now since coming home

He loves Chocolate, Music, piggy back rides, & the blow dryer.
I just can't imagine where he would have ended up otherwise. THANK YOU ALL FOR HELPING BODEN FIND HIS FOREVER FAMILY!!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

One Less Orphan Update:Quinton

Back in 2010, their was a little boy with the sad eyes that struck a special place in my heart. I became his Christmas warrior to help him reach his angel tree goal and/or find a family http://myblessedlifejourney.blogspot.com/2010/10/christmas-warrior-for-quinton.html


As you all know Quinton found a family rather quickly after I started advocating for him. http://myblessedlifejourney.blogspot.com/2010/11/quinton-has-found-his-forever-family.html But still I knew I would do whatever I could do to help his family. Little by Little with the support of awesome friends I know made the difference to him. What drew me to him was we shared a Birthday so naturally in 2011 when he was having his first Birthday (and last as an orphan!) I just had to include him in my Birthday party http://lifesbeautifulbutterflies.blogspot.com/2011/02/party-in-honor-of-quinton.html

My friends took home those jars & they gathered their change!
In March I did the Just Between Friends kids consignment sale that ended up raising $171 for Quinton. And in May/June did a yard sale for them & another family which did well.

Since coming home in July 2011 from Ukraine...
He is now a running, jumping, smiling,laughing,loving,mischief magnet! He loves to ride the four wheeler with his pawpaw,play trucks with his Daddy, & watch Disney Jr.
Without your support who knows where Quinton might have ended up & I certainly would have never gotten the chance to meet him twice!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

When your Heart feels like it's about to break all over again

I had planned to blog more when Angel Tree was going but it just didn't happen. I know most who will read this either know me or already have seen my posts via fb & IG but felt like I needed to share my heart here. Let's go back to the wonderful moment of joy when Sasha had reached her goal, a miracle like it was before in 2014. I was over the moon excited & as 2016 began I was ready for a year with no heartache, a fresh start from 2015 with loosing my Mamaw & pretty sure our doggy we have had a long time. 
Then like the crashing storms of a wave, on January 7th it was announced Sasha was critically ill & no longer available for adoption. I lost it, & took some time off social media. I knew she was sick but didn't realize it was this major. My time away brought me to a new place & realizing it was time to do my fighting in prayer on her behalf. So I'm asking anyone who reads this will you please pray for a miracle for Sasha?
Her grant has been gifted to another little girl who needs a family.
This is what I shared on my Fb (edited a bit) not too long after coming back from my break: 
I have had a few days with just with no posting or advocating much for orphans. I have spent time in Prayer, pleading on behalf of a little girl who has my heart right now who is ill. I will be Honest, It's been tough. (still is a bit!) I really took it hard with the 2 girls who still have my heart country shut down to adoption. I have shared here how much I hurt with the girls & How I didn't feel like I could handle anything more. When I signed up to be a Angel Tree warrior after the ban then again when I saw Sasha I didn't want to risk feeling that deep pain again. Some people might ask why do I feel that way if their not family to me? Just like the Girls felt like daughters to me Sasha I felt that too.
This is what I wrote just recently:
Their have been many times I have 2nd guessed or doubted what I was doing.
4 years ago I launched The Lost Get Found Giveaway out of an unexpected blessing of an American Girl doll that somehow got found in our garage as we were preparing to move. I thought it was crazy how we never realized that their was a brand new doll that never got returned. 3 years ago this same timing God laid it on my heart to try to raise $21,000 for orphans by doing my $21 for 21 campaign for my 21st Birthday. Both fundraisers recently appeared in my timehop app & I guess I always need that reminder that even through the trials I shouldn't doubt or 2nd guess cause this is what I'm meant to do. 

I know I still will have those moments of doubt, if I should continue to have my heart broken for the least of these. But if not me than who? He didn't say this road would be clear of troubles so I keep my eyes set on him & keep traveling on this beautiful road & passion I discovered about 6 years ago. As we sang at church on Sunday "It is well with my soul".