Laughing at Me

This afternoon I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things and while I was in the store I noticed two young couples pushing a cart with a baby in it.  I just love babies so as I passed I peeked into the cart hoping to catch a glimpse of the baby.

I could just barely see the top of the baby’s teeny tiny little head sticking out from under the blankets. “Awww! how sweet, a brand new one!” I said. They all looked at me oddly and nobody said anything back to me. Feeling a little bit uncomfortable I just kept moving on down the aisle hoping they didn’t think I was some sort of baby-napper who had plans of stealing their baby.

When I reached the end of the aisle I heard them all burst out laughing.

Suddenly I had a feeling they were laughing at me.

As I continued down the next aisle I could still hear them laughing in the aisle next to me.

Soooo….  as you know I just couldn’t help myself from eavesdropping on their conversation. After all, if they were laughing at me I needed to know what is was they were laughing about.

It wasn’t long before I knew the answer….

The baby wasn’t real!

Yep you guessed it! … The teeny tiny little baby head I’d seen sticking out from under the blanket just so happened to be one of those learning dolls that they use in school to teach teenagers what it’s like to be a parent.

For a moment I felt embarrassed but then suddenly I couldn’t help but laugh at me too 🙂 🙂 🙂

Silly me 😀

I usually consider it a pretty good day if I can make just one person laugh each day.  Today I made 4 people laugh.

Five if I count myself.

I hope it made you laugh too 😀

Have a great day,

Terri Siebert

The Best Day Ever

555045_3927665169877_1602471217_nThis is the day I have waited for all week.  The day I will finally meet my sponsored child Thierry Ridji Macon.

I wait with anticipation, the excitement bubbling up inside me so big I can barely keep it in or stand still. So I pace back and forth hearing he sounds around me feeling as if I’m in some sort of  slow motion moving world… waiting and waiting…

Each sponsor is being called by name.  I watch as they each go up to meet their child.  I stand here for what seems like forever waiting  to hear my name called.    I search each child’s face hoping one of the faces I see is his.

I am so nervous…I wonder is he nervous?

What will I say?  Should I hug him or should I hang back so as not to overwhelm him?

I hear my name being called, the time is finally here! I look up and there he is! My Thierry!  His smile is just the same as in his picture, it is huge and warm and his big beautiful brown eyes are looking at me with love.

I am so excited I hug him, I hug the teacher and I hug the interpreter, I just want to hug everyone!  I am so happy I can’t contain it,  so its hugs all around again and again!

“I am so happy to finally meet you!” I say to him and he replies “I am happy to meet you” (in English by the way).  I ask “how are you today?” he replies I am good how are you?”  “Do you speak English?” I say.  “Yes” he replies.

We continue with a bit of small chit chat and then the interpreter takes over  once Thierry has reached the end of his English.  I can not believe he has learned English for me.  I was so surprised that he had learned enough of my language to speak to me personally for the beginning of our conversation and that brought tears to my eyes at how thoughtful a child he is!

We spent about an hour getting to know each other during which time he gave me a gift.  He gave me a single rose and a pair of sandals. 226572_609408269073405_1207463443_n I know giving me a pair of sandals was really too much for his family to afford yet he brought them anyway and from the look on his face I knew he was excited to give them to me.   When I first saw the sandals they looked really small and I have some pretty big feet.  Though I knew those sandals would be to small I also knew that no matter what those sandals had to fit my feet right now in this moment.  Right beside me was the boy who gave me those sandals and he was waiting with the look of excited anticipation of seeing his gift to me on my feet and there was no way would I ever let him down by seeing that those sandals did not fit.  I said a small prayer in my head and then I began to put on the sandals thinking I would have to squish my feet into them. I took the first sandal and slipped it on my foot…Imagine my surprise when amazingly it fit!  The look on his face when I had both those sandals on my feet was worth everything to me…I could see the joy in his eyes  as he was seeing me wear his gift, pure joy, there is nothing like it in the world.

602819_3927654089600_2114579127_nLater in the day we played soccer on the beach.  He was very good with the soccer ball and told me that he was on a soccer team at school and that his team had won a trophy.  He showed me how to kick the ball around a bit and also how to pick up the soccer ball with my foot.  I just loved kicking the ball back and forth with him.   We did so much today, we swam in the ocean and tried to catch the waves as the rocky bottom of the ocean was stinging my feet but today I did not care and I felt no pain.  After our swim we had lunch together and then we listened to his music.  American music by the way, He likes Justin Tymberlake and Chris Brown.  I loved so much getting a glimpse into his life and knowing what sort of boy he was.

He had the most beautiful kind eyes and the sweetest smile.

He told me he loved me…”Mwen renmen ou” oh the sweetest words… I will never forget how they sounded from him… mwa la ma oo

Today was awesome, no longer was he a picture, he was alive and standing right in front of me.

Sadly it had to come to an end and they came to take him home.  It was way to soon I did not want him to leave.  The boy I had loved all along was even more to me now. I had no idea I could love him more but I do and I did not want to let him go.  It was so hard to let him go, to say goodbye knowing it will be a long time before I will see him again.  Now I know him all to much, I have felt his hugs and I have seen his smile in person.  I do not want to let him go back into the chaos of the city of Port Au Prince while I go back to my quiet life in America. His world seems so unsafe to me.  It was so hard to give him back to God but I had to, his life is here, he does not belong to me, I only got to enjoy him for a short time.  I have to trust that God has him and will take care of him.

I was given a huge gift today, It was such a blessing way more than I feel I deserve.

Something I discovered today was that though this boy and his family had barely any money for material things they still wanted to give me something.  Though it looked on the outside like they gave me a pair of sandals, what I was given was way more than a pair of sandals.  I can never begin to have the words to explain what was given me today but what I do know was that it was love and it was hope,  it was a selfless giving that I never have ever really ever gave of my own self.  They gave me something when it looked as if there was nothing to give but yet they had so very much to give.

As I go back to my life a part of me has been left behind, behind with a boy, behind in the country of Haiti, living a life so different than mine, so far away, yet always he will be so very close.

Thank you God for this special gift you gave me today.  Please watch over Thierry and always let him know he is loved.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7   Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.374456_609407212406844_464276890_n

This Will Make You Smile

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Are you smiling?  I knew you would be 🙂

Letters To my Sponsor

5 Years ago….

Dear Sponsor, 

I wake to my stomach rumbling and calling out the need for food. As I begin to open my eyes I see the sun streaming in the crack of the tarp that hangs over my bed of earth, I am cold.  I can hear my mother outside moving around as she warms a tea over the fire for our breakfast.  She calls my name and I go outside our home made of blue tarp to greet her.  She smiles at me but her eyes seem so very tired.  My brother, sister, mother and I gather around the fire letting it take the chill off our bodies as we reach for each others hands to pray.  We bow our heads and thank God for this lovely day and the warm tea we have for breakfast.  We also thank Him because yesterday we found out I now have you, my sponsor, who I have been praying for you for a very long time.  I am not sure yet what this will mean for me yet but I feel very blessed. I am 10 years old…..

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Today, I am 15 years old…..

Dear Sponsor,

I wake to the sound of my mother calling my name and I open my eyes to see the sun streaming through the crack of the wood of our small home of wood.  We no longer live under a blue tarp.  I notice the sun is shining on the picture I have hanging on the wall.  The picture is of you, my sponsor.  It has been 5 years since God gave you to me and I thank Him for you as I get up smiling. My life has changed so much since I found you. I go to my mother who greets me with a smile, the tiredness in her eyes is still there but the sadness in her eyes seems to have turned into hopefulness and joy now.  My brother, sister, mother and I hold hands as we pray thanks to God for the many blessings he has given us.  All of us children have sponsors now and our lives are so very different than they were 5 years ago.

Since being sponsored, I no longer wake up hungry,  I have clean water to drink and I am no longer sick all the time.  I get to attend school and oh how I love going to school!  I have learned to read and write and I also get to hang out with my friends while I am there. They tell me about Jesus at school and how He loves us all so very much.  We sing songs to him and dance and laugh there. It’s such a fun place to be.

Over the past 5 years you have written me letters and I have saved them all.  I used to think I was ugly and worth nothing but now I know I am beautiful and worth so very much. You have told me how much you love me and most of all you tell me about Jesus and how much He loves me. I also know I can do anything I want to do in life now. I do not have to live in despair or feel unworthy anymore.  I know that all things are possible through Jesus who gives me strength.  My life has been changed forever.  Thank you so very much for being my sponsor, I love you. 

God bless you,

Your sponsored child

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As you know by now September is blog month at Compassion.  The assignment today was to write a letter as if I were a sponsored child to my sponsor. It was very hard to write it because I have never lived how my sponsored children have lived so I do not truly know how life is from their perspective.  I took things that my children have written in letters to me or I have learned from the Compassion website.  One thing I notice in the letters they write me is they always tell me they are praying for me and how God has blessed them, which is something I never expected when I started this journey with them.  I know in the beginning with my first sponsorship I hoped to help a child in need.  I did not know at that time how very much it would also change my life.  I can never begin explain the unexpected blessings I have received from the letters I receive from them.

Sponsoring a child has also has opened my eyes to so much I never ever even knew existed.  Some of these children feel unloved, forgotten and feel like there is not any hope.  Many are not only hungry for food but are also spiritually hungry.  Many are faced with child labor, HIV/AIDS, violence abuse and sex trafficking, many can not read or write. They need someone who will tell them there is hope, that they are loved and that they are worthy. They need someone to tell them about Jesus.   That someone could be YOU.

Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do right; seek justice.  Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow.

For more information or to sponsor a child go to www.Compassion.com

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Who’s Scribbling?

I don’t remember a whole lot about my life before the age of 5 other than I always loved to dance and sing but most of all I loved to draw pictures and color them.

When I was 5 years old as most children in my country do, I headed off to my first day of kindergarten.   I was so excited to be going to school.  I was not a baby anymore and was headed off where the big kids got to go spend their days.  I could not wait to play with the other kids and make whole a bunch of friends.

When my mother took me to my classroom I saw some of the other kids were crying and clinging to their moms but I was not scared at all, I was so happy to be there.  The classroom was full of tables and we each already had a place picked out just for us.  I found my name tag taped to the table marking my seat and I sat down.  It was going to be the best day ever!

Shortly after our mothers left the teacher gave us work to do.  We were to draw a picture of what we did over the summer.  I loved to color so this made me very happy.   I had my brand new cardboard school box filled with crayons, pencils and paste and I could not wait to use them!

I began coloring my masterpiece,  I felt so happy but then something awful happened.   I heard a little girl at our table whisper to the boy sitting next to her; she said “who is scribbling?”  I looked around the table to try to figure out who she was talking about.  “Where was this scribbling person at our table?” I thought to myself.   I did not see anyone scribbling.  Then I saw that same girl who had whispered to the boy and she was pointing at me!   As she pointed she said “It’s her,” with a look of disapproval on her face.

I began looking around the table at the other children, all eyes were on me. I remember the boy next to me scooted his chair away from me making sure the others did not think he was the “scribbler’s” friend.   I looked down at my picture which I had thought was beautiful a few minutes ago.  I also looked around at everyone else’s pictures.  Though I was just a little girl I still can remember the feelings I had inside.  I was so embarrassed as I felt the tears begin running down my face.  I wanted to run and hide but I was stuck there in that classroom at that table in an unfamiliar place and my mother who I always ran to, was not here to protect me.

I think that was the first time in my life I wanted to please other people who were not behaving very nicely.  I was only in kindergarten but in my child mind, I wanted them to think my picture was pretty and I wanted those kids to like me.  I remember looking at my picture wanting to hide it because they made me feel like it was ugly.  I wanted run away go back to my home where my mommy was where everything I did was beautiful and everyone liked me.

I wish I could say that I continued “scribbling” my picture and being myself not caring what the other kids thought, but I did not.  It was actually the beginning of a life of trying to please others.  I was just coloring a picture and some little girl pointed out I was not doing things like everyone else.  It can be really hard the first time you realize you are not like everyone else, even if you are only 5.

I still sometimes as an adult wonder where do those feelings come from?   Why do I have the need to feel that I have to please others .  I think its because we all need approval and we just want others to like us. We don’t want them to think we are odd or different or not smart.  I was reading my Bible the other day and I came across the story of Peter denying Jesus. The night before Jesus was crucified his faithful disciple Peter denied him.  Jesus even warned him he would do it and I do think Peter truly believed he would not do that sort of thing to his friend.

He warns Peter in Mark 14:27-31

  •  “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: ‘I will strike the shepherd,and the sheep will be scattered.’  But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”  Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”  “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.” But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

As you read on farther in Mark we can see it is true Peter did deny Jesus, as shown in 14:66-77

  • While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by.  When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him.  “You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said.  But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.  When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” Again he denied it.  After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”  He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”  Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept

I think that Peter feared for his life here and became afraid. I also think in our own lives we have a lot of reasons for wanting to please other people.  Fear can be a huge reason we try to please others.  We can fear harm to ourselves or just fear of being alone.

I feared others not liking me I also feared being picked on.  But the bottom line is we as people just really do not like it when we feel not liked or unloved.  No matter what the reason it can be scary.

I do believe we were made to please.  But I do not believe it was people we were made to please.  We were made to please one thing and one thing only and that is God.  What God thinks of us is all that ever has and ever will truly matter.

Don’t take me wrong when I say that.  This does not give us permission to go around acting like a jerk.  We should truly care about others and love one another and doing acts of kindness are wonderful.   We all should be nice to one another.  But we should never be who we are not meant to be to please another person.

Being a Christian can be hard sometimes because we have to go out of the box.  We have to say and do things that non believers may think are just plain nuts.  Sometimes even the believers may think we are nuts.   Our friends and family may think we are nuts too and guess what?? They may even not like us.  But if we stay pleasing to God we are on the right path.

Thankfully a lot of things have changed since that day in kindergarten.   We start learning our lessons in life as a young child and sometimes the lessons learned are not the right ones to learn.  Until I sat in that kindergarten classroom it never dawned on my child mind that someone would not like me because I was me. Thankfully now I do know who I need to please.  Something else I noticed along the way is if I just be who God made me to be, most people like me anyway, and if they don’t that’s ok . I also have realized that when I am not trying to please anyone except for God I actually like me too:)

Don’t worry what others think of you and go be who God made you to be.

Gelatians 1:10  Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people?If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. 

Colossians 3:23    Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Thank you for reading and God bless you 🙂

A Game of Cat and Mouse

Mr. KB

Mr. KB

The night before last I woke up at midnight to the feeling that I had a mouse on my back.  I dived out off the bed as fast as I could.  As I was waking up I saw both of my cats sitting on my bed looking at me as if they thought I had lost my mind.  My husband reassured me that I was just having a dream and convinced me to come back to bed.  I do tend to sleep walk, talk and yell out in my sleep quite often so I didn’t think too much more of it and went right back to sleep.

The next morning just as I woke up a friend called.  As I was talking to her on the phone I got out of bed and started down the hall to the kitchen. Just as I stepped out of my bedroom I saw a mouse running down the hall with both of my cats on his tail. Having no time to react I froze and the mouse ran across my foot and I began some sort of howling dancing screaming run leap jump to the center of my bed.  All the while my friend was listening to this on the phone and laughing, my poor cats ran the other way in fright and the mouse went in another bedroom and hid under the bed.  I have never seen a mouse in my house in the whole 12 years I have lived in it so it did not take to long for the horrifying image of the mouse dream I had had the night before to cross my mind.  What are the chances that I would dream I had a mouse on my back and the very next morning see a mouse in my house?  It was no coincidence, I now knew it had to be true…. those cats had brought that mouse up in my bed during the night to play with it. Yuk!

I realize now that was the beginning of not a dream but a real live nightmare.   I knew which room the mouse had went into so I duct taped the bottom of the door so he could not get out and headed to the store to buy mouse traps.  I came home placed 2 traps in the room and duct taped him back into the room.  The next morning I checked the traps and found them empty.  All day long I saw no sign of the mouse and my cats were acting very strange.  Bart our big fraidy cat would not go near the bedroom door of the room the mouse had went in and the brave cat Mr. KB decided that he would run around all day long meowing and pacing.  Finally I went to Home Depot and bought a few more mouse traps then came home put them out and opened the door to the room  I set 5 traps total.  I still never saw the mouse again and by this time was getting pretty frustrated because I wanted the mouse gone by bedtime.  I did not want to have another long night lying awake worrying that I would have a mouse in my bed again.

By the evening I was beginning tell myself that maybe the mouse must have escaped out of my house and was gone.  I was desperately trying convince myself it was true and possibly I was beginning to believe it.

Life went on as usual around my house that evening and I was busy doing other things so I finally forgot about the mouse for a while.  I finished up my evening and decided it was time for bed.  As I was heading down the hall to my bedroom I notice something gross. There sitting in the bedroom doorway was my cat, Mr. KB and along side of him was the mouse laying there… dead.  Mr. KB was meowing as if to say I have a present for you.  I told him he was my hero then I yelled for my husband to do the dirty work of disposing of the dead mouse :D.

Today I was thinking about this whole thing and I am not sure why but I began to think about God and how he does things in his time and not ours.  Just as with the Cat and the mouse, when I tried to take the mouse situation into my own hands nothing happened but when I left it alone my cat took care of it for me.   In my life I am always trying to fix things myself instead of waiting for God.   I am finding when I let it alone and quit trying to fix something I know nothing about God comes in and takes care of it for me.  It’s not always the way I would envision that it would be done, but always done and in a much better way than I would have expected it to turn out.  Though this happens to me quite often it still always takes me by surprise just as the mouse took me by surprise.  I always seem to be walking along and all the sudden I happen upon it to realize it’s already been taken care of.  Just like the cat had the situation with the mouse under control, God always has the situations of my life under control.  I just need to be patient and let things happen the way he intends for them to happen, in his time not mine.

 Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the Lord;he turned to me and heard my cry

Isaiah 40:31– but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Bart

Bart

Spreading His Wings

My son is packing his things.  There seems to be something really wrong with that.  He can’t be moving out yet because just yesterday he moved in.

Wasn’t it just yesterday he came into my life crying at the top of his lungs as he took his first breath?  I really do think it was just yesterday I that I looked into his eyes for the first time as his little hand grabbed onto my finger holding on tightly, letting me know how much he needed me.  I know it was just yesterday that he wobbled across the floor as he took his first steps as we all clapped with excitement.  Just yesterday he was so excited about his first day of kindergarten.  He was going to get to ride the big yellow school bus for the first time, he was so happy.  I remember following the bus to school nervous to let him go, thinking how could my baby be so big already?  I know now I didn’t have a clue then how fast he would grow up and that one day I would  have to let him go off into a bigger world than kindergarten.

The years whizzed by so fast.  I see a blur of things now, I remember him riding his bicycle without the training wheels for the first time as I hid my face trying not to look afraid he would crash, yet not being able to tear my eyes away as he smiled and laughed so full of joy.  Just yesterday I sat in the stands and watched as his little league team won the all star tournament.  His dad was the coach and they both jumped around whooping and hollering it was so fun to see their faces. The years began to fly by so fast that before I knew it he had started Junior high school.  Then only in what felt like a few days later, he started high school, got his drivers license, and went on his first date.  Before I could catch my breath he had graduated High school.

Can it really be true that he has been mine for almost 21 years now?  Can it really be possible that he is the exact same age as his father was when I met him 31 years ago?  I am just amazed at how fast the time flew by.  It seems as if we went from diapers and bottles to cars and girls in just a blink of an eye.  I then blinked a second time and found myself today watching him pack his stuff, getting ready to go off into the world on his own.  I see the excitement in his face and it reminds me of a little boy I once knew.  A little boy who used to get all dressed in his baseball gear hours before it was time to go play his game. The boy who impatiently waited his eyes dancing with excitement asking “is it time to go yet?” every few minutes.

Now he is getting ready again, waiting to go off to play a new game.  I new chapter in his life, one in which mom and dad won’t be taking him to because he is spreading his wings flying off bravely on his own.   Mom and dad will still be here for him but from a different perspective now.  We will be watching him be the man we always knew one day he would become but never expected would arrive so soon.  He is my last child to move out and I have a huge mixture of emotions going on inside of me at the moment.  I feel sad he is moving out but also I feel happy and excited for him heading out on his new adventure.   I know this is the way its supposed to be and that I cant keep him forever, but to me he will always be my little boy.   Though it’s hard for me to let him go I know I must, it’s his time to fly.