Thursday, July 25, 2013

Less Talk - More Action!

Matthew 8: 1When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” 

I've read that account several times but when I read it two days ago, I perceived it differently. Previously, I've wondered why Jesus didn't want the man to tell anyone. If I had just received healing from a pain-inducing, body crippling disease that marked me as an outcast, you better believe I'd turn into the town's own Henny Penny. So, why the silence? 

Because it wasn't about telling, it was about showing. Does it do any good for me to tell you that I care about you and then spit in your face? What about a man that beats his wife within an inch of her life, then whispers that he loves her as she lay in a pool of her own blood. Certainly, the truth is obvious without words. 

I like how verse four reads in The Message Bible: Jesus said, “Don’t talk about this all over town. Just quietly present your healed body to the priest, along with the appropriate expressions of thanks to God. Your cleansed and grateful life, not your words, will bear witness to what I have done.” 

Our actions bear witness. Our actions reveal the evidence. 
Actions sing from the rooftops what words merely whisper in the cellar. 

Live a life of action, for our actions paint a vivid picture of our heart when words evaporate into nothingness. 

Smile :) donnamusing

Monday, July 22, 2013

"Matt is in Africa! FOR. REAL."

While I've said that phrase several times and keep having this crazy 'Ah-ha!' moment -which I'm sure pales in comparison to that realization running through his own head- the kids and I have stayed busy.

So, what have we done while Dad is away?

Gone swimming.
Sleepovers with Grandparents.
Ordered pizzas and watched movies.
Lots of mommy snuggles.

Reading Harry Potter with my boy.
Reading Anne of Green Gables with my girl.
(If that isn't enough to give you literary whiplash, I don't know what is! With all of Anne's imaginings, I'm certain she never would've imagined Hogwart's!)

Toss Up. My son brutally beat us. He's vicious.
Make Welcome Home cards when Dad had only been gone for one day. No procrastinating here.
A magical lunch in the land of the stone fairies.

Ate peaches while the juice ran down our chins.
Learned to Skype. An essential when dear hubby is on the other side of the Earth.

African tea.
Wear earrings: made in Africa.
Geography lesson. Traced his path on the globe and let the kids repeat it.


Read blogs and Facebook updates just to catch a dust particle of his experiences.
Eat ice cream. (Shhh! Don't tell anyone!)

Teach kids how to trim their own nails. (One more responsibility for them. One less for me.)
Sold stuff on ebay. Bought stuff on ebay. It balances out. ;)
Stay busy.

Sing silly songs and hear my kids laugh.
Remind them to stop laughing twenty minutes later. ;)
Let my 7 year old vacuum with the big vacuum just because she wants to try.

Pseudo make up my bed. (Matt usually does it, he's particular. I'm not. Don't judge.)
Chase my dog (in my socks) because he is hard-headed.
Lowe's Build and Grow.

Visit family I haven't seen in ten years. (Yep, it'll probably be ten more.)
Watch my kids pet calves and snarl their little noses at the smell of manure.
Spend time with my sissy-poo.

Olive Garden.
Barnes & Noble.

Witness a miracle for a friend. Cry. A lot. Happy, sloppy tears.
Feel love from friends just checking on us.

Make clay minions.
Rent the first Despicable Me. (We watched the new one with Dad before he left.)
Eat Brussel Sprouts as a late night snack.

Live. Laugh. Love.

Six days from tomorrow.

:) donnamusing

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Today, my husband along with eleven others, left our small hometown for Gulu, Uganda. This is his first time overseas and his first foreign mission assignment.

He didn't take the call to go lightly. For anyone who knows my home-loving hubby, this is completely outside of his comfort zone. With layovers included, the team will span 42 hours between getting out of bed this morning and resting in Kampala before another 7 hour drive to Gulu. His head will surely meet an airport floor at some point. Not quite as comfortable as our tempur-pedic bed, but at least he has a neck pillow.

Typhoid, Yellow Fever, and Malaria! Oh my! Those are just three of the dangers he is walking into, although, he has prepared with medication and shots against them. He must continue the stomach-upsetting malaria meds four weeks after returning home. Not to mention, he made copies of his yellow fever immunization card because, well, without it, the US will not let him come home.

Our church has lovingly assisted Pugwini village. Last year, a group went to build a piggery for them, providing food and work for the people. Another team went this past May and now, the July team. This group is building a safe house for girls exploited by the war.

I must mention that it is the resources of many that have allowed this work to go forth. People who care about other people that they will never meet. My heart melts at the kindness shown and sent over to a hurt people, looking for hope.

My husband has already started posting updates and I was slightly taken aback by a comment that one of his friends posted. Basically, she said, good for you but what about the people needing help and support in the US?

I do believe that "charity starts at home" but I do not believe that is where it ends.

Part of me wanted to ask, So, what are you doing at home or abroad? I quenched my cynicism.

We have taken part in many home-front opportunities to serve others over the years and at thirty-eight years of age, my husband is just now taking this giant leap of faith to go beyond our borders.

One of my favorite local ministries is Mosaic- a ministry for foster children. Just one of the ways Mosaic blesses children in our local community is providing  "Welcome Bags" to agencies to give out to children when they come into foster care. Our children are all adopted from foster care and we know that when they come into care, it is all too often with only the clothes on their back (sometimes, not even that).

In the end, we are all called to serve others in one way or another and if we were all doing our part (myself, included) what a different world we would live in!
I think about the great commission in Matthew 28:18-20 which includes the words, "all nations" and Acts 1:8 that says, "...into Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the Earth."

For those that Jesus was speaking to, that includes the local area, region, country, and the ends of the Earth or as stated in Matthew, all nations.
So for us, it might sound something like, Heart of Virginia, Eastern United States, North America, and all other nations of the Earth.

Whether you serve soup at a homeless shelter, pay for the person behind you at a cafe, adopt an elderly person to buy groceries for, foster hurting children, or assist those whose homes have been destroyed by a natural disaster. Whether you serve near or far, or everything in between. Whether you bless one life or millions. Go Serve! Go Bless! GO CHANGE THE WORLD!

Smile :) donnamusing

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Celebrations of Life and Love!

Last week was a FULL week. A week of celebrations! We celebrated  my nephew's baby dedication, Independence Day, the wedding of two dear friends, a friend's birthday, and my son's birthday.

My nephew's baby dedication was a time of hope and of blessing. How small and precious he is. His new life brings hope and happiness. His little smile is so joyful and I know the world is a better place with him in it. We celebrated with his mom and dad while praying for his future.

We enjoyed a fun-filled day with Grandparents at Poplar Forest for Independence Day! Complete with a sword swallower, pony rides, dress-up fun, dances for the kids, writing with quills, watching a potter, lace maker, wool spinner, and basket maker. And don't forget the funnel cakes and deep-fried oreos. What started as a completely soggy morning turned out to be a wonderful time for all! The only problem is I wore blue jeans. In a sad attempt, I tried to convert them to shorts. Note to self: on hot days wear shorts, even if it is raining.

Our friends' wedding was simply a dream. With only family and close friends, the attendance ran around forty people. But trust me, just because it was small, doesn't mean a single detail was left out. Every detail held a story. Probably many that I will never know, small secrets for the bride and groom.
The heart of this man and woman captivated us all. I feel certain there was not a dry eye in the place.
And my favorite part of any wedding is watching the groom's face as he patiently awaits his bride, then seeing his expression as she enters the scene.
I won't fully divulge all the beauty of this intimate gathering but I will share this one small detail.
The wedding cake consisted of cupcakes chosen by the bride and groom.
The oreo cupcake chosen by the bride and the raspberry filling chosen by the groom. Both were delicious. (Yes, I had one of each since they had enough for each guest to have one there and pre-packaged ones to take home.)

I experienced the joy of a child's birthday twice. We celebrated with dear friends at Putt-Putt and with our son at FunQuest. If nothing else, these birthdays remind me of how much I'm aging. Just trying to keep up with the kids is a work-out in itself. But the happiness in a child's eyes is so fulfilling. My son is in double digits now! How did that happen? Although, I enjoy watching him grow into a young gentleman. He grows leaps and bounds with each passing year.

So, here is to a week of celebrations! To new life, to childhood, to finding your soulmate. We rejoice with all of our friends and loved ones and wish them all many more happy times to come.

Smile :) donnamusing

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Where Did The Orchard Go?

Recently, while at my GranMa's house, I enjoyed walking down the edge of the field behind her home. When I turned around, I was stricken for a moment with the thought, "Where did the orchard go?"

There was the old shed, her little white house, all of her beautiful flowers, the place where the garden once grew, and no orchard.

Don't get me wrong. It didn't just disappear, it hasn't been there for about half of my life now but in that moment, I missed it and I wanted it there. I wanted to run over and eat too many blackberries straight from the vine. Sneak a bunch of grapes into my palm for later. But most of all, I wanted to see my GranPa standing there with his straw hat explaining to me about his apple tree grafting. Oh, how I would lap up every word if he had been there. 

I had to take some classes in June and each one started with the get-to-know-you type questions. One day, we all shared our name and our favorite childhood food. Mine was anything from my GranMa and GranPa's garden. I promise that my GranMa grew and cooked up the best green beans my tongue ever tasted. But another of my most favorite things was anything I could just pick and eat straight from his orchard. 

My Dad has a photo in his living room, of GranPa in his straw hat and checkered shirt standing in the orchard and that is how I remember him. How I remember that place. How I see it in my mind's eye. 

So, the answer to my question, "Where did the orchard go?" 
It is still there for those of us who look hard enough.

I went there just this morning. I bit into a peach, not one of those store bought ones. A real one. A juicy one, grown in a local orchard. The sweet flavor of Summer carried my mind back to a time and place that lives on inside of me. A place where a little curly-headed girl, along with her sister and cousins listen to stories from a man they love, while nibbling on nature's desserts grown in the orchard.

Smile :) donnamusing