Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas From The It Feels Like Chaos Family

May the miracle that is Christmas surround you and bless you with His love.

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Christmas Gifts that Require No Shopping!

As I finally finish my Christmas shopping just today, my children remind me of the heart of Christmas:

The handmade gifts they've carefully created and lined up under the tree.

"And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, 'Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'"  Matt 18:2-3

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Christmas Elves

My elves have been hard at work!

Adding address labels to Christmas cards:

Making wrapping paper:

A certain 6 year old boy learned how to make paper snowflakes:

The mess of little bits of paper all over the floor, chair, and table did not make me rue the day his first grade teacher taught him this skill, not at all!

And my furry elf was very busy this weekend, too:

Clearly the dog is exhausted from all the work unstuffing her new duck!  But we are enjoying the fake snow effect of the stuffing all over the house.  It adds to the holiday ambiance for sure!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A porch full of packages, an unstuffed duck and other random things

Remember on Monday when I said I had just that morning done most of my Christmas shopping on the Internet?  Well, guess what our front door looked like today:

I texted my husband the picture while he was at work with the message, "Santa came!"

Now, to wrap everything . . .


We celebrated a birthday here on Monday.  Madeline the goldendoodle turned 3 years old!  The new stuffed duck she got for her birthday:

That duck got excellent reviews on Amazon and truly it did survive longer than many stuffed toys Madeline has had, but tonight the duck lost a good amount of stuffing.  I daresay by the end of the weekend it will be just a carcass like all her other animals.

Poor Madeline needs a grooming terribly but when I called the groomer this week to schedule an appointment he politely told me that they were booked until the new year.  What?  Oh, I guess everyone wants a clean, freshly groomed dog for the holidays.

So, guess what we'll be doing this weekend?  Grooming our own dog.  And next year you can bet I'll be making that holiday grooming appointment earlier!


Because my kids might look back at this blog someday when they are grown, here is photographic proof that I was a nice mom.  Their after school snack last Friday:

Hot chocolate AND a homemade (okay home-baked) cookie!!!  That has to erase all the times I nagged you to hang up your coat already!  


And speaking of coats, WHY is it still cold?  We live in an area of the country where 70 degrees days are not uncommon in December and anytime we get really chilly temps, like in the 30s, then it only lasts a couple days and bam, we're back up into the 70s and wearing our flip-flops.

But, we have now had a full 8 days since we were able to wear shorts!  Yesterday before school I told one of my children to get their coat and they looked at me and asked incredulously, "It's STILL cold?!!"  See, it's unusual this cold snap that won't go away.  Of course, I realize my whining about 30 degrees is laughable to many of you who live in the frozen tundra and my winter hat really does go off to you.  I would not survive!


Happy Friday!  If you need me I'll be mailing Christmas cards, grooming my dog, watching the 6 year old's first basketball game, and wrapping presents -- maybe not all at the same time, but if anybody has an app for that, please share!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Prejudice in Preschool?

This happened over a month ago, but honestly I'm just now at a place where I can talk about it.  Please know that this is a very personal, delicate situation and I'm only sharing it with the hope that it will help someone else.

For anyone new to my blog, some backstory.  Our family adopted a 3 year old girl from Ethiopia nearly 2 years ago.  Here is a recent picture of my 4 children:

 We are a multiracial, multicultural family.  We knew/know there will be challenges.  But, for the most part people have been lovely and accepting.

We were not so naive to believe that our youngest daughter would never be discriminated against because of the color of her skin.  But, we didn't expect it to start in preschool!

Our Little Girl came home from preschool, one day saying that another child had told her, "I don't like people with brown skin."

That statement as we drove home from school instantly sucked all the air out of the car for me!

As a white person, you hear of discrimination against other races and it is horrifying and makes you sad.  But, you cannot really understand because you have not lived it.  You begin the process of adopting a black child and you read tons of books, talk to people from a variety of races, read blogs, buy baby dolls and Barbies from every shade, begin hunting for children's books where the main character is black, you learn to do kinky-curly hair, go to a black hair salon, cry over Trayvon's death, and you feel like maybe your eyes have been opened.  Then someone tells your child that they are somehow less than because of the color of their skin.  And it's like a sucker punch.  You realize you had NO IDEA!

So what do you do?

Well, we had some different opinions/emotions here at the It Feels Like Chaos household.  

Little Girl?  She was upset and loudly (because that is how she tells everything) retold the story several times that day. 

Me?  I was sad.  I didn't really think it was prejudice, I mean the kids are 5.  I teach 4 and 5 year olds at our church and I know that is the age, especially it seems in the girls, of the whole, "Yeah, well I'm not inviting you to my birthday party!"  Kids that age begin playing around with including and excluding.  I believe the child who made the comment was just doing that rather than expressing any deep-seated dislike of one particular race.  But, it made me sad that Little Girl now had a reason to think her brown skin was somehow bad.  And I worried she would internalize that feeling and it would stay with her through life.  I also may have told my husband I wanted to move.  We live in a pretty diverse area with people who are originally from China, India, Vietnam, Latin America, Africa, as well as all parts of the U.S., but there is not a high percentage of black people in our community.  And I worry about Little Girl growing up in the minority and sometimes think it would be easier if we moved to a community where my white children were in the minority.

My 10 year old son?  He heard Little Girl telling the story of what the child had said to her.  I asked him, "What would you tell your sister about someone saying that to her?"  His answer surprised me (and also made me a little proud of his protective big brother instincts).  He said, "Maybe I should go pay that child who said that a visit."  I was like, "What would you say to them?"  And he said, "I'd have a speech all written out."

My husband had a similar reaction.  He felt we should let the child's parents and the teachers know what had been said.

I really did not think the answer was to focus on the one child who made the comment because it was a symptom of something bigger.  And there would likely be others.  I thought we should focus on empowering our girl, maybe she could even label it when someone said something like that to her in the future and say, "That is not kind!  That is discrimination!"  And my girl has a big, strong personality so I thought she could handle those words.  And at the very least her words would alert a nearby teacher to what was going on.

Thankfully, we acted on nearly none of our instincts!

Instead, we contacted friends.  We are friends with a black couple who have adopted a white son, so we are sharing the journey of being multiracial families!  My husband has lunch with the man periodically so he emailed him right away and asked, "If it were your daughter, what would you do?"

His answer was, "tell the other kid, 'it's okay, I like everybody.  People with all skin colors are nice.' And walk away.  Tell your daughter that she doesn't have to play with the other kid if she didn't want to.  We'd also tell her that some people may not like her, but that's ok, and that she should like everyone regardless of how they look.  It's a tough conversation she won't fully comprehend for years, but she can understand enough to spare her feelings right now.  Just love on her and let her know she's beautiful and special."

I'm so thankful to have the wisdom of these friends!  And as we were reminded afresh with the eulogies to Nelson Mandela, forgiveness and reconciliation are the best answers.

So, we took our friends' advice and had a sweet conversation with our Little Girl.  But, also . . .

As God would have it (I don't believe in luck or chance), I was signed up to read to my Little Girl's preschool class the very next week!

Can you guess what kind of books I chose to read?


This one is my favorite:

The book describes people as being shades, not colors, things like creamy, ivory, sandy, peach, coffee, cocoa, copper, tan, pink, rose, almond, and bronze.  It has tons of beautiful pictures of children's faces.  The best line in the book is when it says, "Our skin is just our covering, like wrapping paper. And, you can't tell what someone is like from the color of their skin."

I emailed the teacher ahead of time to give her a heads up about what I was going to do and it also conveniently let her know about what had gone on in the classroom without pointing fingers (I didn't tell which child made the comment) and hopefully without seeming like the mom who is always complaining to the teacher about what goes on in the classroom.  The teachers were very supportive of my reading the book and I ended up donating it to the classroom and it is now a permanent fixture in their book corner.

I am also thankful that Little Girl has some great role models in her life who have brown skin.  Her fabulous dance teacher who recently quit teaching school to be a dance teacher full-time, also the owner of the dance studio is a black woman, Little Girl's swim teacher is a black man, and my 6 year old's first grade teacher is black, oh and the President of the United States of America!

Just a quick aside since many white people think it is a respectful term, from what I hear from black people, most don't really like the term "African American".  "Just call me black," one lady told a group of adoptive parents I am a part of.  Unlike my Ethiopian daughter, many black people have never lived in Africa and to say they are "African American" makes them feel somehow less "American" than if we just dropped the "African" part of that.

And now a month later?  My Little Girl considers the child who made the comment her friend.  They play together.

We're learning.  It's painful at times.  But, it is good and we are so grateful for the journey.  God is refining us!

Find more Thankful Thursday here.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Display for Christmas Cards

Not that we've sent our Christmas cards out yet, but other people have.  So it's time for me to put up my Christmas card display.  I have been using the same card display system for the past 5 years and it still works great; the whole family likes seeing the photos of friends and family hanging in our house!  Here's what I do:

Repost from November 3, 2009:

I love displaying the Christmas cards that we get, especially since so many of our friends have little kids and send cards with pictures. It is really fun to have all the cards up in the house, marvel at how much all the kids have grown and changed, and just enjoy all the cute little faces!

But until last year I didn't have a system I really liked for displaying the cards. But then I figured out this system to hang the cards onto 2 doors we have between our living room and breakfast room that we leave open all the time. I bought cheap over-the-door plastic hooks, tied thick ribbon I had on hand around the hook, made a bow and left a long tail hanging down. Then as I got cards in the mail I simply stapled them down the length of the ribbons.

It was so easy to put up initially, easy to add to as more cards came in, not to mention cheap! And we enjoyed looking at it so much it was the last Christmas decoration to come down (possibly even waiting until early February)!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday tips here.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Best Way To Christmas Shop

Today, after the hustle of getting the 3 big kids off to elementary school and Little Girl dropped off at preschool,  I finally had 3 whole hours with all 4 of my kids in school and no appointment or commitments of somewhere I had to be.  This happens rarely.

I had some, okay, a lot, honestly, ALL my Christmas shopping still to do.

So, did I spend the 3 hours driving all over town in the cold and the rain, fighting over parking spots perusing disheveled store shelves, and waiting in lines?  NO WAY!

I came home to my gloriously silent house, poured myself a cup of coffee, sat down on my couch with a cozy blanket, and did 90% of my Christmas shopping right there from my living room!

Oh how I do love the Internet!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Week in Review is too ambitious, how about The Last Two Days in Review?

Kids here were wearing shorts yesterday, it was 80 degrees, and now it is 41 degrees, definitely heavy winter coat weather for us!  I checked the weather last night and the cold front was supposed to come through this evening, but instead it came through around lunchtime.  So, at elementary school pick-up today I was in a group of several moms, all of us in our coats and still huddled against the cold, waiting for the schoolyard gate to open.  And I asked, "Anyone else have kids in there in short-sleeves?"  "Yes!" was the universal reply!


We found this guy smuggled in our house this week.  

The lizard gave my husband quite the surprise as he was perched on the laundry bag I use for cloth napkins and my husband stuck his hand up to put some dirty napkins in the hanging bag and instead touched the lizard!  My husband's scream woke the children we'd already put to bed!


I'm not sure why I assume the lizard is a guy rather than a girl, but it reminds me of a funny conversation I had with my 5 year old daughter this week.  She was talking about a roly-poly bug she found in the backyard and kept referring to it as "he" and "him".  So, I asked her how she knew it was a boy and she told me roly-polys just are boys.  "Really?" I asked, "Well, what about ladybugs?  Are they girls or boys?"  "Girls!"  she replied confidently.  "What about caterpillars?"  I asked.  "Boys," she said.  And trying to trip her up I said, "What about butterflies?"  She quickly said, "They're girls."  In an attempt to refute her logic I said, "But, caterpillars turn into butterflies."  Without missing a beat she gasped, "Ohhhh, the boys turn into girls!" 


Another picture from my camera this week:

I have tons and tons of this type of picture from my precious 3rd child over the years.  He's a builder.  I've often thought I should create a picture book for him with all the photos I have of his creations.  But, it's not yet happened.  Oh, how many projects I'd love to tackle if only I could find the time!


Happy Friday!  Stay warm!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

A Free Toy To Entertain Your Kids For Hours!

This afternoon my 8 year old and 5 year old daughters entertained themselves for over an hour in the backyard making this:

A house out of leaves and dirt!

At least now I know what to get them for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

How To Teach Your Child to Read

My 4th child is learning to read and I am trying a different method than I used with my older 3 children and it is working great!

I wish I'd used this program with my 3rd child as I think it would help him now reading harder books to be better at sounding out long, unfamiliar words he comes across.

The book is Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons.

I'm on lesson 40 right now with my 5 year old pre-kindergarten daughter who was adopted from Ethiopia at age 3 and began speaking English less than 2 years ago.  And get this, SHE IS READING!  Really, really reading! Sentences!  Words like "the" and "fast" and "she" and "feel"!

Honestly, I am truly amazed!  I began this book with Little Girl this year before she goes to kindergarten next year because I was worried reading would be a struggle for her only having been exposed to the English language for 2 years.  And I've watched public kindergarten get harder with more expectations even since my now 5th grader went through to what I saw expected of my son who was in kindergarten last year.  I don't completely agree with the rigor that has been added to kindergarten, but overall our local public school has been excellent for my older 3 kids so I do my best to help my kids rise to the expectations they'll have in kindergarten.  Also, it helps that I LOVE our kindergarten teacher.  The same teacher taught my older 3 kids and I love her teaching style and the way she interacts with the kids. 

Each lesson in this Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons book only takes about 15-20 minutes and really it is a sweet one-on-one time with my Little Girl each afternoon after her preschool and while the big kids are still at school.  She enjoys the lessons and reminds me we need to "work on my reading!"  I got a bunch of those gold, silver, green, blue, and red foil stars and I let her pick a star after she finishes a lesson and put it on a chart we made to show her progress through the lessons.

The lessons can be a little monotonous for you as the parent because the book wants you to follow each step exactly and tells you word for word what to say as you walk your child through the activities.  But, it works and it takes all the thinking out of the deal for you, which is nice when you are frazzled on a busy day!

I like that the book focuses a lot on letter sounds and sounding out words, sight words only get you so far and understanding phonics helps with spelling later.  Also, I like that the book includes a reading comprehension section where the child sounds out words in a short story and then you ask them questions about what they just read.  And there is a writing aspect, too, at the end of each lesson where the child practices 2 different letters.

We are not through with this curriculum, but even if I stopped now at lesson 40, I am a happy customer and believe this is a wonderful method to teach your child to read!

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.

***I was not compensated in any way to endorse this book.  I am an affiliate and will earn a small percentage of the sale should you make a purchase using my link.  I only recommend products I have truly used and loved.***

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Race To Christmas

The race is on. 

Christmas is 23 days away!

Oh, the frenzy!

It ALL must be done and bought and opened and baked and eaten and experienced!

Until the big day is over, chopped down and hauled off, like our Christmas tree at the farm yesterday.

But, wait!

What is Christmas all about?

Matthew 1:21, "She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save his people from their sins."

God sent His Son into the world as a baby to suffer and die for our sins so that we might be saved!

Jesus, the King and Savior of the world was born in a stable and laid in a manger.  What a different scene from the glitz and gild of a department store display!

Each year we as a family are mindful to celebrate the real meaning of Christmas, but this year we're also slowing down, pulling more out of the race, declining some Christmas party invitations, so there will be more time for Christ to fill our Christmas.

"When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy."  Matthew 2:10

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Last Pine Cone Turkey

When my 5 year old daughter brought home a pine cone turkey from preschool last week, very similar to the pine cone turkey one of my 4 children has brought home from preschool at Thanksgiving time for the past 8 years, I sniffled a bit realizing this may be the last one!  The last pine cone turkey!

They don't seem to make them in elementary school, at least not the elementary school my older 3 kids attend and where Little Girl will go next year.

There are so many aspects of raising children that have been mainstays in our life for so many years now, having 4 children one right after the other.  Things like strollers were just part of life, nearly anywhere we went we needed a stroller, the question was just which one -- the single, the double, the jogger?  And then they were gone.  Just like that!  We never use a stroller anymore!

But, the strollers I don't really miss (except occasionally as a place to stash a bag and not have to carry it) -- good riddance, life is easier without you!   The pine cone turkey, however, will be missed!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Can you spell "cornucopia"?

My 3rd grader's spelling words this week:

I love the Thanksgiving themed words, but just being honest here, I had no idea that was how you spelled "cornucopia"!


We got to preschool early one day this week.  I know, I was surprised, too!

Little Girl used the extra few minutes before school started to crawl around exploring every inch of the car.  She found the sunglasses she hadn't seen in months and was delighted!  And now, it's all about the sunglasses!  In fact she insists on wearing them right up to the door of her preschool class and only then will she take them off and hand them to me to "keep safe" while she is at school.

Ever wonder what it would be like living with a rock star?

I think like I kind of know what that feels like.  We certainly have the drama and attitude down, good thing there is all the cute as well!


It's Friday and my house is a mess, so that's all for today.

Happy Friday, Friends!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Grace For Those Days

Originally published November 2012:

It was one of those days.  You know, THOSE days.  The kind where you are just done, DONE by 7pm.  The kind of days as a mother when you see your children less as the precious, adorable gifts that they are, and more as the most annoying people on earth.  The kind of day when there was such a string of frustrating events that you just want to get in bed and pull the covers up over your head, but you can't, because there are four children to put to bed and your husband is working late or out of town.

Somehow we made it through baths and pajamas and teeth brushing and lotion.  I was short with everyone, impatient, and just no fun at all.  Whereas many days I might delight in their stories and antics, today it all just brought irritation.  I could not wait to get them in bed!  But first it was storytime and Little Girl reached to pick a book from the 3rd shelf, the one with the longer books, "No, pick one from the bottom shelf."  I quickly corrected.  The bottom shelf has the board books, the super short, one sentence per page with a total of 8 to 10 pages.  

I read too fast, hastily turned off the light, started her music, and settled Little Girl in my lap with her blanket to rock for a few minutes.  On this night there were no feelings of awe or thankfulness for this little girl who we were desperately trying to bring home from Ethiopia this time last year.  I just wanted her to go to sleep.

I said a very quick prayer and then she asked, "Can I pray?"  I sighed way too audibly.  I mean wasn't it just a stall tactic?  But a very advanced tactic for a 4 year old because who can deny a child who asks to pray?  

"Go ahead" I said wearily.  

And she prays (she used her own name in the place of "Little Girl" but since I don't share my kids real names on this blog, I'm substituting), "Dear God, thank you that Little Girl is so happy in her family."

And suddenly I can't breathe.  God's mercy and grace pouring down.  She prayed thanking God that she is so happy in her family!

"Oh Lord, I don't deserve this!"  Really, I don't.  I deserve her to pray, "God, next time please give me a nicer Mommy."  That's what I deserve.

It's why I cringe when people tell my husband and me how great we are for adopting Little Girl.  Because we are not great.  It is God who is great.  Our Little Girl is thriving despite us.  God did that.  He set her in our family and He is an amazing healer and creator of families!  We fail so many times in so many ways, like on my "choose a book from the short-book shelf" night.  We run out of energy and patience and thankfulness and get caught up in our own selfishness.  But, God?  He is good.  All the time.  Even on THOSE days.  Especially on THOSE days.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Cure for the Uneaten Lunch

There is nothing quite like the experience as a mother of carefully packing a homemade lunch at 7am, sending it off to school with your little darling, and then having the exact same lunch return to you pretty much untouched at 3:15pm to make you feel like your work is in vain!

Over the past 6 years of having a kid in elementary school and now with 3 of them there, all my kids have gone through phases of not eating their lunches.  I've tried everything from polling them about what they would eat in their lunch, to going to eat lunch with them to observe just why they are not eating their lunch (their complaint of not enough time I observed to be just too much talking and playing with their neighbor in the lunchroom and not enough eating!), to even threatening that they were going to have to start buying the cafeteria food for lunch!

Mostly, I have happened upon some combinations of lunches that they will eat and I feel are healthy enough.  But, really nothing has quite addressed the problem as efficiently as our newest solution.

At the beginning of the month, my husband let the kids know it was now their job to clean out their lunchbox in the afternoon or evening.  Before they were just required to put their lunchboxes by the sink and he cleaned them out when he did the dinner dishes.

His motivation was transferring some work to them but the added benefit is best summed up by what my 6 year old said (who is currently my worst not-eating-his-lunch offender), "Now I try to eat all my lunch at school.  Do you know why?  Because that way it makes it easier to clean out my lunchbox!"

Of course!  It is just that simple!  Why didn't we think of this before?!!!

Here's that little guy cleaning out his lunch box before bed:

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.

Monday, November 18, 2013

We Survived Family Pictures!

Every year since my 3 oldest children were 4 years, 2 years, and 5 months old, we've done a family photo session with a professional photographer (so 6 years now), where we meet her at an outside location and she shoots tons of pictures over an hour time period and later sends us electronic copies of the 30-40 best pictures to print and reprint and use however we want forever.

It is not cheap, but even me with my frugal tendencies can say those pictures are SO worth it!

I treasure the really great quality photos of my kids from those professional photographer sessions.  I love that I have captured in beautiful pictures these years when they are growing up so fast!

Just look at them from the 1st session in 2007:

Oh my heart!  Where have my babies gone??

Sadly, two years ago the photographer we'd been using and loved moved over seas.  I half debated flying to Europe to get our family pictures taken because she was just that good and had such a sweet way of interacting with my kids and getting good smiles out of them.

But, happily we did find a wonderful new local photographer who took our pictures last year and again today.  She, too, takes beautiful pictures and makes the sessions pretty stress-free.  She's a mom of 2 kids close to my kids' ages and so she's realistic about what to expect from kids.  I have some stories about those mall photographers and photo sessions with my oldest when he was a toddler -- not good, at all!

Here's a sneak peek from today and our urban shoot in front of some abandoned old businesses (my husband snapped these photos with his phone):

Here the photographer is talking to my 8 year about the pose:

She said, "Give me some sass":
That daughter has to be coached to add the attitude, but Little Girl (my 5 year old daughter) has it built-in and didn't need much coaching, "Wow, she is a natural!"  the photographer commented.

Of course, there was a bit of time she was taking some pictures of the kids and they were getting tired of the whole thing and she was trying to get them hugging each other and one ended up hugging so hard another fell over and there was some fussing.  The photographer just kept snapping pictures saying "how cute" the kids were and I was laughing at the ridiculousness of it and told her, "Good thing there is no audio to these pictures!!"

But we survived another year of family pictures, and I can't wait to see what the photographer captured!

Really the biggest marvel is probably that the photographer survived our family of 6!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Ever eaten your lunch in alphabetical order?

My 8 year old daughter told me one day this week that she got to "eat my lunch in alphabetical order".  I looked at her confused.  She explained, "I ate the carrots first, then pizza, then strawberries, then sugar cookie, and water.  Alphabetical order!"  She was very thankful that I'd packed her a lunch conducive to the ABC order!


I walked in on this happy little scene my 5 year old had set up to read to all her little stuffed friends:


Every Friday I do a "special snack" for the kids after school.  The rest of the week is fruit or granola bars or whatever happens to be around, but on Fridays I plan something a bit special that I know the kids will love.  Last week I was too busy to make anything but did plan ahead enough to grab three bags of popcorn while I was at Trader Joe's, one regular, one cheese, and one kettle corn.  I set up a "Popcorn Bar" for the kids and they LOVED it!   So easy!


In a throw-back to the 1980s, the 10 year old has gotten into the Rubix cute lately.  My husband was quite the Rubix cube expert in his time and has taught the 10 year old some of his tricks to solving the Rubix cube.  Then this week, a 2nd Rubix cube arrived in the mail.  My husband ordered a 2nd one so that he and the 10 year old can have Rubix cube races.  Here's one that happened after the 10 year old's swim practice tonight:

I love the serious face on my son!  My husband won, solving it first in about 5 minutes, but I give the 10 year old just another month or so before he'll be beating his dad!


Happy Friday, Friends!  Try eating a meal in alphabetical order this weekend!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

How God Feels About Orphans

Orphan Sunday was Sunday, November 3rd.  I helped with a few events at our church the last couple weeks related to adoption and caring for orphans.  But, I realized I hadn't posted anything on the blog yet.

Instead of sharing my own views and beliefs regarding orphans, I want to defer to God's words to all of us:

"Learn to do good; Seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow." Isaiah 1:17

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

"When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands." Deuteronomy 24:19

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." Psalm 68:5

"God sets the lonely in families." Psalm 68:6a

“I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you." John 14:18

"To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more." Psalm 10:18

"Your princes are rebels and companions of thieves. Everyone loves a bribe and runs after gifts. They do not bring justice to the fatherless, and the widow's cause does not come to them." Isaiah 1:23

"Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute." Psalm 82:3

"He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing." Deut. 10:18

"And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do." Deut 14:29

"But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless." Pslam 10:14

"The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked." Psalm 146:9

"Do not move the ancient boundary or go into the fields of the fatherless, for their Redeemer is strong; He will plead their case against you." Proverbs 23:10-11

Can we call ourselves followers of God and ignore these verses?

There are 147 million orphans in the world.

"2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians. The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left." from Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis

So what can you do?

Love them, pray for them, visit them, feed them, speak out for them, care for them, provide for them, adopt them.