Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fiery Darts

Yesterday I went to do some weeding in the garden. I had let a plant grow to see what kind of plant it was. It did have flowers....but it had "fiery darts" too. Before I had only seen these "fiery darts" on my pets. They cause sores and fester when they manage to reach their skin. I have pulled many off my hairy dog and seen the red places that are left behind. So, I go after this plant knowing it needs to be destroyed. It's place is on the burn pile. I had seen it before but I was dressed in clothes I did not want the "fiery darts" upon. It was as I expected, my clothes were covered in the poky, sharp, painful pieces from the plant. I chose to leave them on for morning devotion. I wanted the children to see the visible picture of us doing what is right and still have "darts" thrown at us. What a wonderful depiction of our lives as Christians. We try to do God's will and Satan tries to stop us. In truth, I had been stopped from getting rid of the plant before. I was not properly dressed...over dressed more like it. We are to put on the full armour of God. We are to expect "fiery darts".
Many of those working with the hosting program had illness strike their families. Some had flu like problems, some stomach, some vertigo and some just pain. When Satan works that hard to try to stop us from what we are doing, well, I can't wait t see what God does! Due to the pain, from a fall, we did no fundraising this year. We had no offers to help. We chose not to ask for anything. We let the needs be known. Thank you to those that helped!
The fiery darts are still coming. I am having vision problems in one eye. I was painting for someone a few years ago and lost partial vision in my right eye. I think pride prevented me from telling many and hopes that the vision would come back. Our well is not working correctly. Sometimes the water is red with dirt. When the man has time he will come and work on it. Knowing God's ways are perfect. Knowing God allows things to happen for a reason. Knowing the fiery darts will keep coming as long as we try to spread the Gospel and work with orphans.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Getting ready to host

We are getting ready to host orphans. We have painted Amy's room blue. Bye, bye to the "daddy's girl" pink. Some people asked if I would paint is back after they leave. I don't think so... It's not the can of paint but the hours of work to clean out the room. Four boys will be staying in there the next few weeks....I just could not see putting boys in there with pink walls! Some said it would be ok. It is blue now.
Pray for healing for me. It's been hard to walk for a week. Driving hurts. It is frustrating to not be at full strength and getting done all that needs to be done to host. One of my sweet children left the dustpan in the middle of the floor. I slid. Apparently I can still almost do the splits. I felt muscles tear as I went. A slower speed would have been less painful. I keep telling Troy to stretch before doing gymnastics or he will be in pain too.
Ricky has worked out of town for 6 weeks. He did come see us on the weekend. Last weekend he was on a ship and well, we did not see him. Hopefully they will finish soon and he will be home soon. I'm a single parent of 7.
God has really been telling me to "Be still and Know I am God." Ps 46:10 and to in faith "Do whatever God has told you." Gen 31:16b
Hosting is later than expected. Our whole schedule, well it is gone. They arrive after we had things planned. Many will be putting their children in school the last week. We are starting from scratch. Faith God has a plan...I just don't know all of it yet.
My Heavenly Father has a plan. I have faith he will provide for every part of that plan. I have faith all the workers, outings, meals, chaperons, fees and trips will be taken care of by God.
Last year when we hosted we did almost all the meals here at the house. We did not feel we should ask for help with so few children hosted. I think for the whole summer we had 3 meals provided. I felt like many had missed a blessing. Ricky and I truly enjoy the fellowship of meals together as a family.
I bought two beautiful flower pots for the front porch awhile back. One leaked due to a defect. The other did not. I have moved the flower pots into the rain. The one with no holes in it flooded the flowers and most of them died. The other "cracked" pot did great. The flowers are beautiful. Yesterday I cringed as I took a nail and put two holes in the pot that had no cracks. I wanted to give the flowers a chance to live. Water oozed out of the holes. Hopefully the plants will live now. What we see as looking good is not always best. God uses cracked pots to do His will. I am so glad God can use me as imperfect as I am to serve Him. I am often confessing my faults and weaknesses to my Maker in hopes He will make me more like Him.
If your a cracked pot that is willing to join us on the adventure of helping orphans come join us. We are not perfect people here. We are trying to serve God. Obedience brings blessing. Faith makes us strong. God knows the master plan. Blessings!!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's been a year

I have thought about adding to the blog many times. Life is busy and full of excuses.

We have had a great year with the children. Their English is great. They had long school days trying to adjust to our way of doing school. We had lots of fun. There were many learning experiences. God has been faithful to lead us and guide us.

God has been teaching each one in the family different things. It is amazing to see the change in these children. I look forward to seeing continued improvements in their lives, ok and mine. God is not finished with me yet, either.

I have been praying about what we should blog or not. Some of our experiences would bless others.

Blessings from the Holmes

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Different Parts

It always amazes me to hear how God puts things together. I love to hear the stories. I believe God's timing is perfect. He uses different things to keep us in His perfect timing.

John is from India and a pastor at a Christian church in India. He was my nephew's camp counselor a few years ago. My sister in law, Tena, was camp nurse. John came to stay with their family for awhile after camp. My brother and Tena work. We went with John to the zoo. We enjoyed spending time with him. We stayed in touch by email. John and I talked about the work God was doing through us with orphans. Later we talked and John said he felt led to have orphans living in their home. Wow! We had a heart for children in common. John is visiting the U.S. Last night he cooked us an Indian dinner. He told us he had 7 orphans living with them now there are over 20. We enjoyed seeing pictures of his family, church and the children. Then, as we were leaving, he told us that he had used our names in church talking about our working with orphans. Wow! God laying on our hearts to work with orphans had an effect in India. All of those that contributed to that first trip to Ukraine in 07, are joint heirs to a part in this. It is amazing the way God timed our meeting.
"A merry heart doeth good like medicine." Proverbs 17:22
In a time where we had not been seeing much fruit or understanding God's plan, what a awesome blessing that our Heavenly Father saw fit to show us that our work for Him is making a difference. We serve God because we love Him. We love others because He first loved us.
These 2 precious girls, well, they are loving on me lately. These are hugs of wanting comfort, missing us already and knowing we truly care about them. The seeds that were planted this summer....no telling what God will do with them. I hope I hear some of some fruit. But I trust my Heavenly Father knows best and His plan is best.
Yulyia is a dear friend to our family. I met her last summer. Her father in law stopped at a church while they were working. Then he suggested to his son and family they attend the church. We needed a translator last summer. Ricky works with a guy that goes to the church and we have friends there. They told us about her. We called and she came to help. I asked her if I came to her church would she translate for the children. She graciously said yes. She teaches them Sunday School and Wed. night in Ukrainian. God's word in Ukrainian in a small country church in Alabama. Is that not amazing.
The past few days Haley is getting closer to me again. She put up a guard when the girls arrived. Anna was so jealous tonight when I was talking to another little girl her size. She wanted all the attention. So I jump roped with her. (That was a funny sight.) She loved it. Troy and Andrew had the "joy" of serving family by sitting with grandad and cutting grass. They needed to give to others. They went to sleep quickly tonight. They cut the neighbors yard too and worked for 4 hours in the heat.
I was blessed God used me to encourage another homeschool mom tonight. After having a lonely summer I could immediately recognize the symptoms of wanting to talk to an adult. I was also blessed to see a few of my CBS buddies tonight and spend time with them.
"I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase." I Cor 3:6 I don't care which part God uses me for in His work. I just want to be used by God to make a difference in the lives of others.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our island

My island has 9 children living here with me. I teach them to cook, clean and to be kind. My island has poisionous snakes around it. They remind me of the dangers the islanders face off the island. The island can be lonely with 11 of us here most of the time. Much of my time is spent encouraging the islanders to do what is right.

These islanders have come from 4 very different places with very different baggage. Yes, baggage not luggage. Our islanders came with little if anything. The baggage they carry is from their past experiences that weighs on them in their present life. Luggage is a different story. We will be seeking luggage for two of the islanders will be leaving soon. They will return to their sandy place with the big cold buildings and no parents. We hope they take something they have learned with them. We pray God watches over them.

We occasionally venture off the island. Usually it us just the 10 of us that visit other places. Our unusual language gets us noticed off the island. But rarely do others try to communicate with the islanders. We are at times, on an island in public. Nothing is the world matters but the islanders. There is little time to communicate with the outside world. Usually communications received are wanting us to buy something we don't need.
Sometimes we manage to visit refreshing pools. I enjoy these trips as much as the islanders. A time of refreshing is needed after doing the work on the island. Sometimes the trips are costly and we choose to stay on our island instead of paying the price. Other times there are pools opened to us at no charge and include communication and outlets.

I wonder how many islands there are around. How many others have their own island.

I ventured to another island the other day. It was a hard place to go. I knew God wanted me to go. Once I arrived it was God lead. He had some things he needed this neighboring island to hear. After counseling and praying for the islanders I returned to my island.

Another day God brought someone to te edge of the island. They needed a time of refreshing and comfort. It was good to share with the neighboring islander.

One of the islanders leaves every morning to provide for the islanders. He enjoys staying up late to spend time with the islanders. He misses so much being gone to provide for us.

Our island serves many purposes, some are unknown.

Many places do not open doors for island groups of 10 or 11. They feel the tribe is too much trouble. I feel sorry for their loss. Many feel the islanders would be too much to feed. We feed them daily. Yes that's 11 a meal, 3 meals a day, 7 days a week (231 a week) and 4 or so weeks a month (over 924 meals a month). These new islanders are hard to fill. They eat about 2 or so snacks a day in addition to the meals. But the God of the island supplies our needs and stretches His dollars.

Refreshing comes from time spent learning the ways of God, seeking His will and learning his Word. Times without the Word are dry and leave islanders parched and dry and well grumpy. The Word and prayer are needed to make the islanders obedient and joyful.

My island, well it's not perfect. But it is where God has us for now.

Talking to daddy

Daddy...I know you know what I need before I ask you. Thank you. Thank you for your Holy Bible that shows me how to pray. Daddy I know you are in Heaven and the angels sing your praises because you are the best daddy ever, wonderful and loving. Daddy, I want your will in my life (and in the life of my husband and children) here like your will is done in Heaven. Daddy, thank you soooo much for today providing food for us. (It was so much more than we deserved...even if lunch was left overs....it was a blessing not to have to cook!) Daddy forgive my family when we don't do as we should. Thank you for a greatful heart to forgive others quickly and not hold grudges. Daddy, I'm weak (we are) we have had a hard journey here lately, please keep temptations away from us and the devil too. Daddy, I forgive anyone who sinned against me. I want your forgiveness....thank you. Matthew 6:8-14
And daddy, I love you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

God's strength

God led me to a scripture this morning that I have been thinking about. It was in my devotion this morning. I picked it up thinking "What does God have for me today?"
I like the KJ version better: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." Isaiah 55:8
My way would be that every orphan brought here would have a family immediatly fall in love with them and seek after them. That these children would all have a forever home. But my ways are not God's ways. I know my Heavenly Father has a plan. I just do not know what His plan is. I am trying to be obedient in what He called us to do this summer. Parenting 9 kids is a challenge. I have little time to spend one on one with them. I don't feel God called us to adopt the 2 we are hosting. I never felt Him calling us to do this. There are some children my heart longs for in Ukraine. God puts them on my heart to pray for them. I know not their future but I know who holds the future. I know not to question God's plans. I do wonder why sometimes. When in the trenches I remind myself Jesus asked if it was possible to not have to go through the suffering for God to let is pass. Jesus suffered. So I accept that life as a Christian is hard work! If I'm not working hard then what am I doing for my Savior? Jesus did so much for me. Hosting 2 this year adopting 3....some think we are crazy. I think we are being obedient.
"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strenght; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall wank, and not faint." Isaiah 4o:31 When I am weary....God gives me His word to strengthen me. When I admit my weakness He gives me His strength.
"Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10
I pulled out my King James version of the Bible. It was like seeing an old friend. I used it for around 15 years. My mom bought it for me as a gift as I left for a summer mission trip. There are many versions of the Bible out there. At Community Bible Study we use the New International Version. Now at church they use the New American Standard. Just read God's Word.