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Friday, January 17, 2014


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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ask, Seek, Knock...Receive

What is that you said?

"For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God." -Deuteronomy 4:24

You are a jealous God? What do you have to be jealous of?

I am not like you. I don't have anything that you haven't given me.

Oh - wait a minute.

I don't have anything that you haven't given me?

I don't have anything that you haven't given me.


I do not have anything that YOU haven't given me!

Yikes!  My home? My husband? My kids? My friends?

My assurance.

Your love! Your grace! Your forgiveness! Your sufficiency! Your redemption!

Should I ask for more? Do I dare? Won't I bother you? What if I ask for the wrong things?

 And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks find, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. - Luke 11:9-10

You want me to ask? You want me to seek you? You want me knock on your door repeatedly and make my requests known to you?

Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.  -Jeremiah 33:3

And he said to them, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; and he will answer from within, 'Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything'? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs." -Luke 11:5-8

The Lord looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God. -Psalm 14:2

Ask. Do not be afraid to ask.  Ask again and again.
Seek. Seek Me, the One who loves you more than any other. I have created you. I know you.
Knock. Let your request be made boldly.
Then, dear child of mine, receive what it is I have for you.

Receive? You have more for me?

 "What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!" -Luke 11:11-13

But Father...sometimes I DO cry out and ask for things from you and you don't answer me!  What then? Where are you? I have heard this. I thought you wanted to give good things to me. So...why don't I have the things I am asking you to give me?

Seek Me. 

 But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search him with all your heart and with all your soul. -Deuteronomy 4:29

I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. -Proverbs 8:17 

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  -Psalm 40:16

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation say continually, "Great is the Lord!" -Matthew 6:33

Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually! -1 Chronicles 16:11

Oh yes, I am beginning to see. Please show me more.

         In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears. - Psalm 18:6

Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. -Jeremiah 29:12-13

But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him
- Psalm 4:3
Thank you for hearing my voice Lord. Thank you for hearing my cries. Give me strength to seek you and your will.  Lead me to your presence where my requests are laid bare before you. Help me to hear your answers to my prayers.

 Thus says the Lord of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. -Zachariah 8:2

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ - by grace you have been saved - and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them." -Ephesians 2:2-10

I think I understand more now Lord. You are not jealous OF me. You are jealous FOR me. You were jealous FOR your people in Zion. Because of your great love for your people, you are jealous for those who belong to you. You will guard and protect what is yours. My best, is not all that I see here on earth; it is even in "the coming ages". 

Help me to seek that which you desire, that which fulfills a picture larger than I can see.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. -2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Friday, September 13, 2013

Book Review: The Rainbow Egg by Linda K. Hendricks, M.D.

Two birds with rainbow feathers. A mom and dad. Mr. and Mrs. Rainbow. Waiting. Longing. Wishing for an egg of their own. 

These two sweet birds want their own chick to raise.  They have a happy home, but no chick to join them.  They try and try but still they have no egg.

One bird. Hope. With a rainbow egg.

She lives alone in the woods and has no nest.  She has a rainbow egg, but no home.  She tries and tries but still has no way to care for the rainbow egg she carries.

"The Rainbow Egg" is a sweet story for families considering adoption or who have adopted. I would say that the story line is sweet for families taking in a baby from a mother who perhaps is young or for some reason is unable to care for her child and decides to offer the child up for adoption to a two-parent home who have the means to provide and care for and love the child. 

Initially, I was not too fond of the book, and neither was my 11 year old daughter.  However, I believe our perceptions are a bit colored when it comes to the idea of adoption because we have just come out of a very challenging season where we cared for 13 different foster children in 15 months. They had been abused and/or severely neglected, and in a couple cases from their adoptive parents. They'd been given up on or hurt by parents who should have been there for them. 

After another look at the book, I can see that it is a sweet story and can be a simple introduction to young family members about the topic of adoption. It is however, one sided and limited in scope. Also, it seemed to be lacking just a little something to make it a really endearing book to me. I can't put my finger on what that is exactly, but I think it seemed to lack something that would help draw out the emotions that come with the thought of leaving your precious baby in the hands of another couple, what can be a very sacrificial and loving act, in some cases.
 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the® <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lyrical Living - "Kings & Queens" by Audio Adrenaline

Lyrical Living - When words and/or music flow beautifully and speak to or from my heart.

The beautiful lyrics of several songs have resonated deeply with me.  Over the last year one shared with me by my brother-in-law spoke of our journey to care for many children in foster care. The song was "Kings and Queens" by the new Audio Adrenaline.  How deeply it connected with me. To this tune I have cried and sung out loudly in praises and pleas.

Little hands, shoeless feet
Lonely eyes looking back at me
Will we leave behind the innocent to grieve
On their own, on the run
When their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons
And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won't let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and be loved

Yes - little eyes. Longing to be loved. I've seen them so many times. Haven't you? Has your heart been tugged to love a child who needs you desperately? Haven't you seen all the pictures of the lonely, the hungry and the hurting child?  I have too.  I heard the drum beating. I knew the promises of God for them. I wanted them to belong and be loved. I wanted to love them. Longed to show the love of Jesus to them. Take care of them. I wanted to be their Savior while I taught them of the Savior.

Wait. What?  (I get annoyed with this phrase, but sometimes it just fits.)

I did...I thought they all wanted love and would be so happy to have me step in and be their Savior.  At the same time I wanted to point them to the Savior. When we stepped out in faith to serve and love foster children, I found out quickly...they...didn't They didn't want what I had to offer. They wanted their mom. They wanted their home.

Wow. Now what?

Phew. Deep breath. A cry out in prayer.

Lord - they are YOUR children.  YOU love them more than I ever could. YOU have a plan and a purpose for them.  YOU desire wholeness and healing in their lives.  YOUR plan looks different than mine.  YOU have a plan for me, and my family, in all of this.  Help us to do YOUR will and serve YOU by serving and loving them - even if they don't want us.

Yeah - that took awhile to really comprehend and it required a new level of completely trusting God in ALL things. In fact, I'm still learning and reminding myself of that very prayer.

Break our hearts once again
Help us to remember when
We were only children hoping for a friend
Won't you look around these are the lives that the world has forgotten
Waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open

If not us who will be like Jesus
To the least of these
If not us tell me who will be like Jesus
Like Jesus to the least of these.

Oh man, those images of children needing so much. Children needing love, needing food and clothes, needing a home, needing a family...needing Jesus and Jesus' people.  It tugged on my heart so deeply. On the heart of a woman who knew she didn't want to bear any more children.  (We had five together in our blended family.) A heart that didn't necessarily want the chaos and the ever present reminder of our human sinful state that comes with raising children, and being responsible for everything in their lives. 

But...What if that's what God wanted from me? What about the giftings he has given me in caring for others? What about that little girl I always wanted to adopt, perhaps from India? Could I ever sing "I want to give you all of me" again if I didn't consider that God might call me to minister to children like these?  This was something that came to mind before we moved. Then we felt called, we moved, and there were very needy and very hurt children in our care. Many of them.

My heart swelled with love for them and longed to help them heal from their hurts and pain. My heart longed for many Christian homes to open their doors to the children of these broken families where abuse and neglect are so prevalent. Even when they didn't want me, I turned to God because I knew He wanted them.  Then their hearts began to change. To heal and to love and be loved.

Yet, in all it wasn't like I'd hoped.  The children needed more than I could give. God gave my husband and I a supernatural grace, particularly through the first few months. That helped. But there were many, many other obstacles too. Obstacles that weren't meant to be overcome, but to be given over.

I  wrestled with "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I wrestled to find balance between work and physical and spiritual rest. Shouldn't I be able to do this better? Why am I so tired, exhausted, stressed out and feeling terribly overburdened? There were many reasons why, some that I am still figuring out. Yet, I still longed to do all things for Him. But, things were out of balance. Even now I am realizing that "all" things also fits into a reality of the design which God made us. That the reality is that we are human and while we are given supernatural strength, grace etc. to accomplish His purposes, in the end, we aren't the all capable, all sufficient God. We are made IN HIS IMAGE, but not AS HIM.  We have limitations that can be stretched, but they are still there. He does not have physical, spiritual or emotional limitations. He is capable of ALL. He is THE ONE we need to look to, to lean on, to trust in. He is the only ONE worthy of imitating.

If not us who will be like Jesus
To the least of these
If not us tell me who will be like Jesus
Like Jesus to the least of these.

And there it is Jesus.  Only one Savior. Him. Jesus.

Not BE Jesus, but LIKE Jesus.  What does that MEAN?

Love, serve, bless, minister, lead TO JESUS. 

To be LIKE Jesus means a willingness to love and serve and help as we lay down our lives for others.  It also means to seek Him first in all things, like Jesus did. He looked to the Father. He trusted the Father.  He cried out to him and sought the Father's will.

To be LIKE Jesus means to trust that His ways look different than our ways.  It means laying down my own thoughts of how things can and should happen and trusting Him with His plan instead. It means, that if you find yourself in a place where what you are "doing" is actually causing pain rather than helping others to heal in pain, you might have to back up and lay it again at the feet of Jesus...and trust Him.

NOW - This is the part that really, really gets me in this song.

Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free shout your name in victory
We will love the least of these

Oh Lord, my hearts cry continues. Boys and girls experiencing the royalty of being a child of God.  That is worth singing out loudly!

Wrapped in your majesty.   Yes, Lord. Your majesty is glorious. Wrap your majestic arms around these hurting children.  Help them to know the joy of being in your presence.

I hurt for those who are hurting and who need your love and mercy. I will still love the least of these.
Yet as I continue a journey to be more of the woman who have designed me to be, I will love the least of these and I will seek YOU in that journey. My methods of carrying out this love and this desire to share YOUR love with them will look different than it did a year ago, but I trust you Father.

Above all, to be LIKE Jesus means that my life points to the Father in Heaven. To our need for a Savior and that that Savior is not me, but IS Jesus.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Lyrical Living

My head and my heart are often full of thoughts and feelings that paint pictures in my mind.

Pictures. Words often turn into pictures.

Sometimes these pictures are beautiful and serene. Sometimes they are bits and pieces that begin to fit together like an intricate and beautiful puzzle. And sometimes...they are just be put together...and to become a beautifully completed puzzle. Kind of like us...being fit together in the King's glorious puzzle.

With all of these images, it seems that the outlet for them is often inadequate. My mouth opens and the beautiful linking phrases and intentions come out in pitiful drops of words that fall dreadfully short of the feeling tied to them, the feelings that are resonating in my soul.

Songs. Music. Prose, and sometimes poetry.

These methods lead to a better flow and expression of what wells up inside me. For me, Lyrical Living means that music, or the flow of words in some form or writing, has either touched me in a way that affects how I live or is something that more thoroughly expresses my heart. 

Sometimes a song is just so much more than a song. Sometimes words are so much more than just words.  They express the picture. They help the pictures to seem more complete and more vibrant somehow. They are beautiful and meaningful.

Somehow, a song I hear or words I see, express my heart deeper and richer than my mouth opened up and just...talking. Some people are great orators.  I am not - unless the Spirit is leading my conversation and then I am amazed at myself, because it's not really myself.

When life seems most profoundly lyrical, it is then that my heart is most deeply moved.  There is a burning fire for my Lord and my Savior.  This fire drives me to a deeper place of knowing my Father in Heaven and trusting Him.

My heart is thankful for the beauty poured forth from others in song and in words.

My heart is thankful for the various means the Lord uses to reach me, love me and draw me closer to Him.

My soul is touched with beautiful images of God's love and mercies, of His might and glory and of the intricate workings He in His sovereignty majestically orchestrates.

My voice is not beautiful in sound, but the heart that pours out praises to Him has beauty beyond compare.   May this always be.  May my living be lyrical and beautiful for the sake of my King.

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;" - Psalm 92:1

"for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy." - Psalm 63:7

Friday, July 19, 2013

Book Review : The 13th Tribe by Robert Liparulo

I joined a blogger program to receive, read and review books. Great. Free books.

I began to read Robert Liparulo's book, "The 13th Tribe".  Great.  Christian Fiction. Suspense. Page turning adventure.

Then I moved and began a season of extreme busyness by taking care of many children.  Great.

But...not so productive when it comes to following through on an agreement to finish a book and review it.

Now I've moved again. Now I can review again.  Now I will review a book I finished months ago.

I chose Robert Liparulo's book because I am a fan of Ted Dekker's and have enjoyed his variety of fiction styles. I especially enjoy the pace of each of his books that keeps you wondering and longing to read more.  If I was a person to stay up all night...I would read his books all night long. Liparulo's book was recommended by Ted Dekker and seemed to be reminiscent of the suspense, intrigue and thought provoking reading I was used to with Dekker.

The 13th Tribe is definitely a page turner and is full of twists and adventure. Through a supernatural tribe of immortal beings that have been around since the time of Moses, the reader is drawn into a familiar path of mortal desires, longings and failures. Lives that were designed to worship God, that were supposed to love and follow Him, took a path that lead them away from the very love they sought.  Their hearts were darkened and unable to see the truths of God right before them. 

I found the story very engaging and intriguing. I was touched by the (mortal and immortal) character's searching for God and reminded of the many who are seeking, but become encumbered by personal desires that overshadow their search. They end up down the wrong path leading them to separation from the one person who can fulfill their deepest need.

Personally, I am a bit uncomfortable with the premise of this immortal tribe coming directly from the Bible because it makes me feel like the author is adding something to the Bible.  I highly doubt it is the author's intent, nevertheless, it gave me some uneasiness.  Yet, I find that the book is not spiritually deep and not intended as a theological allegory, but rather a means to share an interesting story while imparting interesting thought provoking ideas about seeking God and following His path, not our own.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would definitely read another of Liparulo's fiction titles. 

Note: This review is based off of a complementary copy of the book from the Booksneeze program with the intent of reading and reviewing it. 

For now, I rest.

Sometimes you are so tired. So, so, so tired. Sometimes the tiredness is a physical exhaustion from not enough rest over a period of time and/or over-exertion in some form.  Sometimes it's an emotional and mental exhaustion from dealing with life's challenges and the hurt and pain you and and others around you experience.  Sometimes it's a combination of both and it brings you to your knees. Either way, you might be so tired...that as you are half-awake thinking about how tired you are, you grab a bowl.  Then you kind of think, a little, about how you really should get more bowls because there never seems to be enough that are clean. Or maybe you should just clean them.  Then you realize that you are about to pour coffee into that bowl.  Finally, you remember your thoughts about being tired and realize that today is a good day to do very little.

My hand is raised. I admit it. I am tired.  Now that I've admitted it, I have my own multi-step plan for recovery  It began with sleep. It's amazing how our bodies are designed by God to refuel and recharge with simple, restful sleep.  Of course, as I was able to start this program, my body cued me in its deep need for more rest by falling prey to illness yet again. As my lungs and body said, "rest more" I decided it was a good time to continue my recovery plan. My next steps included hours of watching mindless shows, hours of reading heart changing non-fiction ("Trusting God" by Jerry Bridges), and hours of reading laughter-inducing light fiction (a hilarious mystery novel about a gray-haired lady with a curious mind realizing that she was "Invisible" and about using said quality to investigate the mysteries around her). I have also spent hours of soaking in God's word, hours of deep prayer and crying out to God, hours of listening to soothing, inspirational music, hours of listening to sermons about prayer and about who I am in Christ and I have especially enjoyed hours with my youngest children to simply meander through the stores with barely an agenda as we just enjoyed being together.

In a span of almost two weeks now, amongst all of these hours, I have rested and slept more. I have "done" very little. I have planted a few seeds in the garden and pulled a few weeds. I have prepared a few meals, spent time with a few friends, gone out of the home a few times. Most amazingly, for those of you who know me well, I have organized and worked on the last of our unpacking from this large move...only a few hours worth.  

It's been great. 

If you are reading this and don't understand why I am "so tired", please check out one of my previous posts about our move to a ranch and taking care of 13 foster children over the last 15 months.  Or, from what I just said, you can surmise many reasons why I might be tired.

Fulfilling this calling of God, to go somewhere and do something that was so beyond "me", required the grace and strength of God on a daily basis.  Many times we felt that there was nothing else "we" could do and all that could be done was to cry out to God and to trust Him for what was needed.  My recognition for the deep need for Christ and the deep need to trust that He is all who He says He is and that He can do all that He says He can do was greatly felt. I am continuing to learn this in many new ways. 

Our season of intensity has come to a close. God has been abundantly faithful and amazingly gracious during this time of transition.

It was a great adventure. It was amazing and exhausting. It brought me to my knees...prostrate before my Lord.

Now we are home again. Now we are five...again. For now, I rest.   

Friday, April 26, 2013

Got Lice? To RID or Not To RID..that may be your question...

When we received our first foster children, five in one night, we received a whirlwind. The phrase "trial by fire" really doesn't even come close to the multitude of things we dealt with and the obstacles that seemed to continually come up.  It seemed more like "trial by fire...and hurricane...and earthquake."  One of the crazy things we dealt with was lice. Very bad cases of lice in four of the five children. Oy! In addition, we found this out at about 9:30 at night and it kept us up until after 1:00 in the morning after being exhausted from moving and settling in to our new home over the previous few days. I knew I should have stopped unpacking and taken a good nap that day!

When I heard the word "lice", my brain raced for data to comprehend the situation. The most I knew about lice was that in my elementary school years there was an annual check for this and someone stared at your scalp while using a comb to move your hair around. Sometimes, one or two kids went home that day and everyone wondered if they would get "cooties" from them when they returned. Maybe they lived in nasty dirty homes, I thought. Oh, and let's not forget that while growing up I was frequently reminded not to pick up dirty bird feathers because they might carry "lice" the ever elusive bugs I didn't quite understand. But rest assured, they were nasty and no one wanted anyone near them!  

My knowledge of lice today has grown significantly as we had to get rid of these nasty critters in what ended up being six children and three adults, and more than one time. Unfortunately, I became much more familiar with them than I wanted; it even became personal. The first time I had them felt so awfully itchy but the bugs hadn't been found. Then one day I scratched my own head to find one. Later when my husband helped comb my hair and found...too many...I almost fell to the floor sobbing tears of disgust and weariness. For weeks we washed everyone's bed sheets, clothes, towels, pillow cases, mattress covers and anything else they may have come in contact with; we washed in the Sanitary cycle of the washer. My two large tables were stacked over a foot high with laundry to fold on a daily basis.  I didn't know what I was doing and wore myself out doing what I could.  One thing I knew; I did not and would not use RID, or any other chemical treatment.  Despite the fact that I had no medical directive allowing it's use on the children from a physician, I didn't want to use the harsh chemicals directly on the scalp for anyone, let alone these children whose bodies had already been dealing with too many chemicals and malnutrition.  Your skin is your largest organ and putting these chemicals on the scalp of these children was not something I was willing to compromise on!

What to do? The first night we tried apple cider vinegar wash, we combed with a comb borrowed from a neighbor who had dealt with lice, we tried hot ironing and we blow dried hair and we used mayonnaise and olive oil.  Lice was removed from two boys (from the combing), but the two girls still had it...bad. 

We kept combing and combing and combing and finding new tips that seemed to help in the overall crusade against these jumpy critters (yes, they DO jump! I watched them on jump on a pile of JUST CLEANED clothes and almost fell over, again, crying). 

Then, we took in another girl who had been dealing with lice for months and we were told that she had undergone her THIRD chemical treatment, at least.  This last one supposedly started the scurrying escape of over a hundred creepy crawlies.  Hmmm... that's really, really...not good.

So, finally we took steps that eradicated lice from a home with 15 people living in it!  Maybe you are dealing with it now or maybe you know of someone who is.  I'm going to share the steps that we took that I believe contributed to the final HURRAH moment of feeling lice free!  These are all natural methods that we used and I never spent a penny on lice medications or shampoos.

1   COMB, COMB, COMB! We bought lice combs and quite a few of them!
  • Not Recommended:
    • The cheap plastic ones? Don't bother, they break and they don't work.  
    • Robi Electric Comb? Personally, I don't think it's worth the money. Sure it's fun to know that the little critters get zapped when hit by the electricity. But, it kept stopping because of dandruff or other things that got in the way.  Plus, we found the tines to be too short.  It was OK for the boys short hair, but a pain for the girls long hair.
  • Recommended:
    •  A good lice egg and nit comb with metal tines. We have the Nit-Comb which is the gray-blue comb with a long handle. They sold these with shorter tines (shown) and longer tines at a local pharmacy. I haven't seen them at any major retailers.  We also used a kit of two combs and a little brush from Walgreens or Wal-Mart. This was a kit of combs only and no RID. One had smaller tines than the other so we alternated usage to get big bugs and to get tiny sticky eggs.  I've checked online briefly and found one that looks promising called Nit Free Terminator.


2. All the females began pulling hair back tightly into ponytails and/or braids if possible, and then hid the hair under a secured handkerchief head covering.  The reason for this was two-fold. One, keeping our own hair tight and covered prevented new bugs from getting onto our scalp. The tight hair makes it hard for them to hold on, from what I understand. But hey, if there is a handkerchief in the way...all the better right?  The second reason was to keep whatever was still on our heads from getting on anyone, or anything, else.  

3. Wash all towels, clothes and bedding in your Sanitary cycle at home. The hotter the better.

4.  COMB again!

5.  Natural Hair Spray Bug Killer. 

      Recently, I made my own mix of apple cider vinegar with several drops of tea tree oil and a little water in a spray bottle.  I sprayed this onto our hair to kill what wasn't caught by the combs.  My ritual became to spray this prior to combing because the apple cider vinegar is supposed to help loosen eggs and the tea tree oil is supposed to help kill the bugs and growing eggs.   

     You may want to do this outside, if you can, because the cider vinegar is strong smelling. Also, you may want a more watered down option for young children especially if they have had bugs for awhile and have open wounds.  If there are open wounds from the lice eating scalp, or any other reason, the vinegar will burn.   

     Personally, at nighttime I sprayed my hair, combed it through, then pulled it back into a tight bun and sprayed all over again.  With my hair pulled tight I could spray more onto the scalp itself where the bugs would be. Then I used a towel over my pillow to protect the bedding from the oil.

6.  COMB again!

7. Tea Tree oil in shampoo.  I also added tea tree oil in condition and combed this into our hair overnight but it was hard to really work into the scalp for those of us with longer hair.  Recently lice showed up again out of the blue for two of us. We hadn't had it here for months and suddenly it showed up. I switched to the spray at night instead of tea oil conditioner.  If you have a sensitive head, you may want to use the tea tree oil in conditioner option instead of spraying.  Once the hair is pulled back tightly it is easier to work it onto the scalp itself.  I'm not convinced that it is foolproof in killing the bugs, but it does seem to be a very effective part of the solution.  Many people swear by it for prevention as well. I prefer it mixed in a carrier like the spray or shampoo or conditioner.

8. COMB again!

Seriously, we combed as often as we could.  Combing meant having a bowl of water nearby to drown the critters and remove the eggs off the combs.  Sometimes it's hard to identify whether or not you have combed out an egg or if it's dandruff. However, the eggs, which look white on the hair, look like round dark spots between the tines when you hold it up to the light. Grown bugs will be on the comb and you'll want to drown them quickly!

Everyone has different ideas of how to get rid of the bug.  Some may say that I did too much and others too little. This is what I chose to do and it worked.  So, "to RID or not to RID?" For me, I don't believe RID works. More importantly, I believe the chemicals are highly dangerous neurotoxins and don't belong on the scalp or anywhere near me, let alone the children.  

If you should start to feel itchy often at the base of your head or on the crown...have someone check you! 
I chose to NOT RID and still eradicated these nasty things!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Underwood Adventures - God Moved...We Followed

Join us as we experience God's transforming love and grace in the lives of children and families at Legacy Ranch!

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God moved...we followed...

People used to see our "large" family of five children and make comments about how many children we had. They would ask questions like, "Are you done yet?" You know, implying that five is, well, too many.  To this question I would reply, "I don't know what God has in store for us.  Maybe we'll adopt or foster children. Who knows?"   That went on for years.  Somehow...I knew God had something in mind for us.  I thought...maybe adopting a little girl from India? Never did it occur to me that I would be fostering multiple children and that I would have a house full of twelve!
So what happened? How did we get here? Honestly, the only thing I can say is that God many ways, and especially, He moved us.  It was quick, but it was a result of years of preparation. It was God speaking loudly about things I never sought out on my own.  It was Daimeian and I having hearts that had been changing and growing with greater love for our Father and His will for our lives. It was God moving in the hearts of my children.  It was the culmination of a huge vision and a big heart moving Mariah Wilde, someone God put in our path about 12 years ago and then again at the end of 2011. It was God ordaining steps along the way to bring us all together and start a new journey of serving Him through loving and caring for His abused and neglected children.  It is now, our family serving at Mariah's dream ranch for foster children.  It is now our family, serving Him daily and even is our learning to trust and lean on the strength, wisdom, love and peace of our Father in Heaven so that other children can know the of the perfect love of their true Father.
Daimeian and I have always felt that God had something planned for us to take on as a couple, and as a family.  We wondered for years how that would happen and it didn't seem like this foreshadowing of a different life was anywhere near in our future as Daimeian continued to plug away at Dell and we continued to lead and be involved in numerous venues of ministry, homeschooling, child-rearing and living as a family in modern America. There were a few indicators that movement might happen soon. Then - I had a dream.  A short quick vision if you will.  In this dream/vision, I stood in my very EMPTY kitchen...and faced EMPTY walls all around me.  God said, "Go, you're leaving tomorrow."  That's it.  "WOW, that's quick!" was all that came to mind.  Daimeian and I used to talk about the what if's of our future as it pertained to possible calls that God might give us.  Daimeian would ask, "What if God called us to Africa? Would you go?"  My response was, "Uh...I'm not feeling Africa honey."  Honestly, I felt like God had something for us in America that would be a way to serve and minister to others and preach the gospel.  I also believed that it wouldn't look like what we were already doing, or what we knew others were doing.  It would be something different and something God specifically called us to.  Over the 14 years of our marriage, the thoughts of what this would be came to the forefront of my mind on occasion and I took them as an opportunity to check my heart with God.  "Could I leave everything I know and do something else because God asked me to?  Could I trust God to provide financially over a corporate job? Could i act quickly if God wanted me to? Could I trust Him with the details and the provision rather than my own overworked and exhausted brain?"  I had hoped I would when the time came, but I just wasn't so sure.  

Then the call came, and it truly was fast. I knew in about 10 seconds that my life was going to be forever altered and I couldn't go back. It was clear that God was telling me to act and if I didn't, I would be in disobedience to my Father.  It was clear instantly to Daimeian as well.  Doors opened everywhere we looked.  God was moving all around us and it was clear we were supposed to go.  That this was a specific calling for us.  He moved in us and He literally moved us.  Within two months we were trained and moved.  Now, here we are with currently 11 children in the home.  We have 8 foster children in our care currently and have fostered 3 more who are no longer here and have cared for another teen boy who lived with us for some time.  Three of our five children live with us and our oldest is about to move in to be our "manny".  We were maxed out at 12 children in the home a few months ago and had two nannies to assist us through the summer.  A summer that was BY FAR AND AWAY the HARDEST summer I have ever experienced.  It was also a summer of seeing my need for God at a deeper level and on a more consistent basis.  Not that my need changed, but my ability to see how great that need has changed.
My life is dramatically different than I ever thought it would be, or expected. Why? Because God chose to take me places I hadn't planned on. By following in obedience to his leading, I am growing more. I have become more aware of my own selfishness and have seen the blessings of letting go of my desires and trusting them in the hands of my Father. I see His awesomeness more. God laid His life down for mine. As a result I can enjoy His forgiveness and eternity in heaven. How can I live without laying my life down for others so as to make His glory known and hopefully bring others to heaven with me?  I can no longer listen to songs like, "I Want to Live Like That", or "Give Me Your Eyes" or "I Will Follow" without giving of myself for the sake of others, for the sake of Jesus.
Each of us is called to serve and to love Him. He desires us to know Him. to love Him and to share Him with others.  My heart's cry is that all would hear the voice of the Father and respond to Him. That we would recognize His voice and that we would trust His leading.  The rewards of a life laid down for Christ cannot be put into words and it overwhelms me with joy and amazement daily. If you call yourself a follower of Christ, do not wonder why things are happening.  Wonder what God would have you learn during that time and how we wants you to move in the future. 
Seek Him. Draw near to Him. Move when He moves. FOLLOW HIM where he takes you! 

Peace & Healing

Please pray with us for the many children that come through Legacy Ranch. Pray for safety, healing and the Lord's transforming work in the hearts and lives.

Isaiah 40:8-31

Have you not known? Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not faint or grow weary;

his understanding is unsearchable.

29 He gives power to the faint,

and to him who has no might he increases strength.

30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,

and young men shall fall exhausted;

31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;

they shall mount up with wings like eagles;

they shall run and not be weary;

they shall walk and not faint.

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