Monday, July 21, 2014

Never too old or too young... to be used by our Lord...


I have to share with you about....
something amazing...
someone amazing...
who is allowing an amazing AWESOME GOD to work through her to do 
amazing things for HIM!!!

Here is our sweet precious missionary friend Emma... 
(Can't help but smile at the two of them... as Louis was handing over our gift of a chicken to Emma for being such a great host... good times trying to make sure that thing didn't get loose in the van filled with our Go Team last January... oh the laughter:)


Talk about a photo that screams... MIRACULOUS!!!  EVERY SINGLE  time I look at the following picture , I catch my breath and my heart is overwhelmed my the miraculous power of God to heal and work in people's lives... Oh, how He loves the orphan and us all!

Here is Emma with her sister Ruby on the day they discovered her at the orphanage... Extremely sick and only weighing 6lbs at a year... Can you imagine, 6 lbs. at a year?  

The second picture is of ruby a year later... At that point she had been adopted, was Emma's sister and had clearly put on a few very healthy pounds:):) praise God!!!



Emma's Parents remember Emma telling them she was going to be a missionary to Uganda at the tender age of 6 and even caught her on video saying that very thing at her 8th birthday... 

Can you imagine your kids saying that at 6 or 8 years old???
And what I love about her family is that they never discouraged or doubted her... but only sought to have her follow whatever the Lord might call her to do... 
Again... amazing!!!

(As a mom to a 17 year who feels the Lord calling him to missions... my heart is already being tugged at... Ultimately, I want him to follow the Lord's calling wherever that might be... but my human side says, "Lord, ... if it is your will... ... not too far away... but your will be done:):)"
(Here is part of our team from January with Emma, some of her staff, and our driver before we left to come home)

Well Emma's dreams and the Lord's plans for her life are finally being fulfilled:)
God is so good and to see Him work through her in Uganda is so inspiring... 
Did I mention she is only 20?
(We are NEVER too old or too young to do the Lord's work:)

Last week her home for special needs orphans opened it doors and was filled with 11 boys... 
The opening of the Gem Foundation has been long in the works...

But now there are many kids to be loved on, cared for, and provided for in the walls of that home.

Please considering checking out her website

www.thegemfoundation.com

to see the amazing kids at the home...
to see the work the Lord is doing through one young humble WILLING servant...
to know how to better pray for Emma and her ministry...

And who knows maybe the Lord will touch your heart to maybe help the gem foundation in some way as they care for the special needs treasures in Uganda...


(Emma, in January at the Christmas party that our Go Team hosted for over 70 kids from 3 different orphanages) 

The Love of Jesus shines right out of her... I love it... and her!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Road tripping... again... and again... and again...


This has been the summer of the road trip:)
Here are the kids on the way to Texas a few weeks back for Grandma and Grandpa's 50th party... (Levi is always caught with his food up:)



Chilling with friends in the pool... Chicken fights commence:)!!


This past weekend we buzzed down to Indiana for Louis to photograph a wedding for my cousin's child... While there we hit the local mud pit pig wrestling competition at the county fair...  Let me just say, "HILARIOUS~!"



Anna and Jo taking in all that the greased pig wrestling match offers... It was pretty funny!


Levi loved watching... He didn't want to leave:)


One quick shot edited literally in the car on the way home from the wedding at 2:00 am for an arrival home of 2:30am... Just in time to get Louis back before the 4am youth group trip to South Dakota departure...


What a beautiful wedding and couple!:)  Such a blessing to spend time with extended family we love so dearly!  Congrats Alyssa and Max!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I want the Holy Spirit to continually remind me....


The other day... it hit me... something had caused me to in a moment of frustration with other's frustration... not to fully see my very busy, noisy littles as the miracles and blessings that they TRULY are... and my heart was literally broken by it...


I have lived in dark days of grief and sorrow and not knowing if the Lord would bless us with another child... I have lived literally with an ache in my arms longing for them to be filled...

and FILLED THEY HAVE BEEN, only by the grace and goodness of the Lord and I do not, even for the shortest fleeting moment EVER want to not fully take in the HUGE miracle and gift that they are in my life...
EVERY SINGLE MOMENT A MIRACLE... and I mean that wholeheartedly... MIRACLES right FROM THE HAND OF GOD INTO MY LIFE....


In those moments, I want the Holy Spirit to continually remind me that He will equip me for the task of raising these amazing miracles... 

He has given us these gifts with all the hootspa, strong will, determination, and wonderful caring personality traits that they possess, and He can more than provide us with the stamina, creativity, and determination to pour into their lives to the very fullest! :)


In those moments I want the Holy Spirit to continually remind me that our God is a mountain moving God who has the power unite strangers to breath life back into frozen embryos... embryos that had been frozen for 5 years to work a living breathing healing joyfilled miracle in our family...


In those moments I want the Lord to continually remind me of the odds that some of our kids have beaten in the womb, in their early months of life that show me the miraculous power of God to heal and spare our children of some possible very difficult life circumstances... 

Their healthy lives are truly a Gift from God...
In those moments I want the Holy Spirit to continually remind me that these days while the messes might be BIG and the noise level  GREAT... these years truly are so very short and I  don't want to take one moment for granted...


In those moments, I want the Holy Spirit to continually remind of the amazing sacrifice their birth parents took part in to grow them for months and months, and then hand them over and make them mine... (Still TOTALLY unbelievable to me!)


In those moments I want the Holy Spirit to continually remind me that I as a mom am the thermostat of the home creating the temperature at which we operate everyday... There is power in the words I choose and the actions that I take... 

I want to train these little babes to grow into all that God has planned for them to grow into as little warriors for Him...


In those moments I want the Holy Spirit to continually remind me that being a mom is a HUGE privilege and honor with even greater joys and rewards...  Hugs from mustached 5 year old girls, slobbery kisses from dark skinned one year olds, and hilarious laughs given by the constant excitement and joy for life by amazing 3 year olds...  

Who could not be filled with joy over the opportunity to experience that ALL DAY LONG:) 

In those moments I want the Holy Spirit to continually remind me that...

Truly, I live for an audience of ONE... I want to do my best to be respectful and honoring of others but I don't ever want to let their frustration ever rub off on me and even for a moment to change how I see my kids... I live to please HIM first and foremost... 

That I am forgiven for the mistakes I make each and every day....

That His mercies are new every single morning... and I can be filled with His grace to overflowing that His grace might flow right to each of these amazing gifts God has given me...

That I can take EVERY thought captive and make a quick change in attitude when needed:)...

That I can trust Him with their future... 
Never would I have dreamed that we would have the opportunity to adopt 3 kids in 2 1/2 years or that it could even be near possible... 

I didn't know my future... But the future God had planned was exceedingly and abundantly more than I could have thought or imagined...



Monday, July 7, 2014

A little 4th fun...

Never would I have guessed when these guys were little munchkins, the fun and closeness that the Lord would give them in the gift of their cousins... Such a blessing and gift...


The cousins at the 4th of July parade all ready to grab their share of candy that is far too abundantly doled out :)
(Sorry for the so so photos taken with my cell:)

The teens attempting to stand on the "party tube":)



Wahoo!!!  They got it... but not for long:)  They had so much fun on that thing:)


What a gift to live close enough again to be able to share holiday fun at the cabin with all the extended family...

The trip was short for the kids and I while Greg stayed home to preach but we were still thankful to have the chance to...
  • share special times with cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents...
  • get in a couple of runs with my sister and brother...
  • Actually get some adult mom discussion while the Little's hit the sack, while pretty much everyone else went to the fireworks display... 
  • share in the memories that the bigger kids make at the fireworks show as they literally, year after year, dodge the falling semi burning debris (no lie... last year it fell in a baby stroller directly behind them and started smoldering on a baby blanket, thankfully the mom just had picked up the baby...) This is one intense fireworks show... hence the reason I don't really mind staying home with the little ones:)
  • hours of fun for the little guys playing in the sand down by the lake...
  •  tubing for hours on Fence Lake...
  • witness 2 bald eagles coming from 2 different directions right at the same time and landing in the tree right above the pier... so majectic and beautiful... what a display of God's glory and beautiful creation!
Thankful for parents who are gracious in sharing their home away from home with all of us and so very thankful that we are able to have the time to get away for a short time to enjoy the beauty of the northwoods:)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Another blessed 50th:)

Greg's Parents before the big party to celebrate 50 years of marriage:)

The whole Hintz side of the family minus Meaghan who is serving up at camp... We missed her:)


Jojo feeding his sweet little cousin Emerson... Oh she is a little dolly... we all wanted to eat her up!:)


Hopie and Emerson's big sister Payton nursing their injuries... 2 peas in a pod those 2:)


All the extended family cousins... It was a real treat to get to visit with some of Greg's cousins that we hadn't seen in years... Being quite a distance from each other and even though the visit is shorter than we had hoped... special memories were made...

Love this girl... my precious friend Ryane... I am so thankful for the gift that God has given me in her and the friendship we share...

The boys with great granny... doesn't she look great for 90??:)


What a blessing to be able to celebrate another marriage of 50 years... Seriously, I don't think all that many people have both parents celebrating 50 years of marriage at all... let alone in the same year.  

We feel so blessed that they both stuck it out in the touch/difficult times and honored the gift of marriage by sticking with it. What an example for Greg and I, our kids and so many others. 

We were so thankful that Greg safely arrived from Haiti yesterday and that the kids and I safely arrived from the long drive down to be able to be a part of such a special day for Greg's parents. 

Baby Emerson's baptism tomorrow and we hit the road for home.... too short of a visit... too long of a drive:(

Great food, great company, great reason for a celebration... So thankful to our great God!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Mission to Haiti!

So last week amidst the company visiting my G hopped on a plane for Haiti...

Internet access has been sketchy, phone conversation brief and easily lost, but I am so thankful for the few minutes of phone conversation with G, and for Jeff, a friend also along on the trip who has updated Facebook:). Yay for just being able to see G's face.... and it doesn't hurt to see a precious little pumpkin like this one pictured below, in his arms... Isn't she a doll??




The whole Haiti team... Three members from St. Peter along with some others from Palatine and Normal Illinois:).  The kids and I, on the road to Houston, were just praying a little bit ago for God to do a mighty work in and through them all as they serve the people of Haiti!!



Here is G hanging out in a rural village with some of the locals... No foreigners/white folk had ever been to their village... How amazing is that? 

I know that besides the main missions of the team, that our St. Peter crew was hoping to make some connections and start to build relationships for further service in the future...

I have been praying for The Lord to clearly direct their steps to the place He may have for Our church to connect... 

And where there is a great need... Personally I can't help but hope there is some sort of orphanage connection:) 

Friday, June 20, 2014

THE CREW HITS THE WINDY CITY...

Levi and His buddy Jackson eating pretzels on the way into town on the train... 
Levi was so excited about the train... so cute!


Most of my kids in front of the bean in Millennium Park... What a cool structure... 




Hitting Giordanos for Chicago Style pizza:)  
(As you can see, Levi is less than thrilled with the photo op:)


Jojo in front of the John Hancock Tower


2 of the little guys passed out cold in Crate and Barrel as we waited out some of the store... exhausted from a busy day around town...


This is most of us in our make shift parkas hitting the windy city in the rain.  Our goal was to hopefully make it to the fireworks on Navy Pier... and that we did:)


Anna in front of the city skyline while the fireworks were just getting started.  
Seriously, we love Chicago... there is so much to see and let the kids do...

 We saw all of Millennium park, the magnificent mile, navy pier, lots of stores, and loads of really neat architecture...

We had a really nice time ... we are worn out tonight, but it was well worth it!