October 23, 2014

Spiritual Check Up

Checking in on your spiritual life is essential to spiritual growth.  I am a work in progress…I am well aware of that.  After reading Interrupted, by Jen Hatmaker, I found myself torn.  Her book is amazing and truly puts to words a lot of my beliefs.  I think the church needs step it up, to evaluate her methods and get back on track.
I am the church.  You are the church.  WE are the church!  So do I have it all together?  Do I have all the answers?  No….that's a big fat NO!  BUT, I am evaluating my own spiritual growth.  God has been  showing me areas that I need to work on.  He is showing me how to get back on track.  It's not always pretty, but being in His will is.
Working in ministry isn't always easy.  It can be tremendously fulfilling, but comes with great responsibility.  I am learning that.  My actions are watched.  My REactions are being watched.  How I deal with conflict is being observed.  My language is heard.  Am I living up to what I am intended to be?  No.  Am I recognizing my faults and trying to get back on track? Yes!
I don't have to be Great because my God is!  But I do need to grow and share His love.  I'm working on improving my part of the church.  Are you?

October 7, 2014

Mom of the Year….HA!

I sooooo don't have it together when it comes to parenting.

I can guarantee that there will be many that don't agree with me on a few of my "great parenting" skills.   But this is how we roll in our house.

First, I feel that my kids need to be independent.  That means they entertain themselves.  I am not here to meet their every need.  If they need to wipe their butt, THEY need to wipe their butt!  If they are thirsty, they know where the cups and water are.  They are arguing, THEY need to work it out!  They need to wake up, dress themselves, groom themselves and feed themselves.  I feel like there has been a transition into hyper parenting in the American culture. I'm not sure where it came from, and I don't think it's healthy.  It creates a sense of entitlement in adolescents and adulthood.  I feel like my job as a mother is to teach my children to ultimately become successful, loving and giving adults.  By allowing them this independence, I feel that they are learning that if they want something to happen, THEY need to make it happen.  And I feel that that is healthy!

This brings me to another touchy subject.  Now, before you freak out, you must know that I live in Europe and on a military instillation.   However, if I lived back in the states, I would probably do the same in the right area.  I let my kids play outside without me!  Yes without me!  My children, ages 10 and 5, play outside…OUTSIDE!  There are guidelines (many) and a means of immediate communication if need be.  But they play outside WITHOUT me!  And they are fine!

My son walks to and from school alone.  On days that I cannot walk Marley all the way, Miles is responsible for his little sister.  It's teaching him to take care of her.  NO, he is not parenting her, but he is learning that being an older brother has responsibilities.  Just this morning, I dropped them both off at the curb of the school, and Miles was responsible for waiting in the Kindergarten line with Marley until a teacher shows up.  I say that with pride.  He is learning responsibility.  Does it always go smooth?  No. But we are trying.

I think it's ridiculous seeing capable children his age, 10 years old, walked by their parent daily the whole 4 blocks to school.  I understand not all children are the same.  Marley is NOT as capable as Miles was at his age.  She is a different child.  But a 10 year old is capable of walking to alone to a school that is 4 blocks away…lol!

Here in Europe, there are children that navigate the public trains as early as maybe 7 years old!  Now we aren't taking it that far, but I'm trying to make a point.

Miles, age 10, is also learning to cook.  He can prepare pancakes and grilled cheese.  I'm not afraid to have him use a knife, he has been trained how to use one.  He also is in charge of all the dishes in our home.  Marley, age 5,  is slowly joining the ranks of independence.  Since she requires a bit more guidance, she helps with peeling carrots and potatoes, and her daily task of making her bed and cleaning her room.

Our American culture of parenting has become so protective and all about hyper parenting and I feel like it's creating a generation of entitled , self absorbed children that expect Mom to clean up there rooms and make their beds when they are in high school.  I wonder if this same hyper parenting is keeping these young adults at home until they are 30?  That is ridiculous!


September 9, 2014

You Can't Stop Me!

Yeah, I'm coming at ya with another controversial topic…deliverance.

If you know me, you know I LOVE missions.  If you follow me on Facebook, you know I have broken a tooth in Uganda, then turned around broke two bones in my foot while living in Germany and then got on a plane to Uganda just four days after getting out of my walking boot.  THEN…this past summer, I dislocated my left ankle and broke three bones in my foot the first day back in Uganda.  The funny thing is, some of the Ugandans said, "Momma, your foot is still paining you?!"  Ha!

So I'm back home in Germany and YES, my foot is STILL paining me!  So, the screws from my first foot surgery need to come out.

What does this have to do with deliverance?  Well let me tell you!  I have a God given calling, and the enemy doesn't like that.  With God's help, I am changing lives.  I am showing the love of Christ all over the world and the enemy has been trying to keep me from doing it for a long time!

Let me back up.  Back in 2006, I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  I couldn't open doors or jars.  I started having chronic pain about two years later.  I was on so many pain relievers, I was eventually diagnosed with Narcolepsy because I couldn't stay awake due to all of the drugs.  Then I was given medication to stay awake.  It was ridiculous!  When we moved to Germany, thru the prayers of many, I was healed.  Serious healing y'all!

Summer of 2013, I traveled to Uganda before my team and on day one I fell and broke my tooth!  Thankfully, there was no major damage and I sported a fancy smile until I got back home to get it repaired.


Then in October of 2013, I fell off a bench at my city's version of Oktoberfest.  Yeah, I was dancing on a bench!  Before you start judging, you get trampled on if you are on the ground!  And it was a cultural experience, ya know?!  So, my team was scheduled to leave over Thanksgiving.  I seriously had NO TIME for a lengthy recovery!  I flew out to Uganda four days after getting out of that boot.

That did not stop me!  I had a team to lead and work to do!  That ankle brace went with me everywhere!  And so did the swelling!

June of 2014, the FIRST day in Uganda, I fall off a step.  A FREAKING 4 INCH STEP!  Immediately, I knew I had done some damage.  I started praying prays of deliverance.  I casted out any spirit that was trying to oppress me.  My husband, kids and Ugandan friends looked on with wide eyes.  I KNEW it was the enemy.  That was not a coincidence.  Long story short, with the help of some missionary friends, we treated my feet with what we had.  See if you can find the boot in these photos…lol!






I came home and got re-xrayed and they said my bones had healed fine.  I knew that, my God is a Healer!

I was just diagnosed with Osteopenia, an early version of Osteoporosis.  I'm 36 y'all!  My bones are breaking because they are fragile!  And the enemy is using that against me.

So I claiming deliverance!  The enemy CAN NOT STOP ME!  I have too much to do!


September 4, 2014

My Take on Evangelism

OH the dreaded E word…..Evangelism.  

As a Christian, we are called to share our faith with others.  But our methods are all different.  As they should be, because we are all gifted in different ways, we are in different environments, our life experiences are different.  Those we are "evangelizing" to also have different experiences.  


Mark 16:15
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation"

This one verse can be interpreted many ways.  What some of my non church going friends hear is, "YOU SINNER….."  I hate that that may be their only experience of someone sharing God's love with them.  WE have to share God's LOVE!  That is how people are reached!  Well that is how I was reached.  

When I rededicated my life to Christ, I was a sinner.  A BIG fat sinner.  I was a party girl.  Thankfully, I had a few Christians that loved me anyways.  When I reached a very low point, they were there.  They didn't judge my sin.  They showed me grace and love.  They modeled what Jesus did…He loved!


Matthew 22:36-40
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Matthew 5:16
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I believe that the best type of Evangelism is being a light.  An example of God's love and grace.  Showing others that we are no greater.  

Matthew 9:36
When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

1 Corinthians 11:1-2

Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.

Ephesians 4:32

32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Hey Christians….You can scream if you want to!  I have a megaphone you can borrow.  You can shame.  You can judge, you can pull out your bible and shove scripture down throats.  But what are you teaching?  What are you gaining?  Rather, who are you pushing away?  

LOVE!!!


Here are some practical ways to sharing your faith:

1. Build authentic relationships with non-Chrisitians
2.Trust the Holy Spirit to do the work of changing hearts
3.Don't just invite people to church...invest in them

Love never fails!

September 2, 2014

Cheers and Tears

Today has been a long awaited day!  Today, after being primarily a stay at home mom for almost TEN years, I am free!  Marley started Kindergarden today.  I thought I would drop her off and run away cheering.  But instead, I held back my alligator tears until I was alone.  I can't believe my baby girl is growing up!

Here is her and me on our first days of kindergarden!

August 25, 2014

Do Something! Visiting Orphans Uganda June 2014 Trip Video

This past team to Uganda was AMAZING!  God brought us all together and ROCKED our worlds.  We were broken!  We served and we loved! As a leader, I love watching the transformation that happens in my team's lives.  Many are seeing need like they have never seen before.  They are changed as God begins to work in them.  THIS, my friends, is only the beginning!


Visiting Orphans June 2014 Uganda Team from elisa hyman on Vimeo.

On this team, we served at Return Ministries, Abide Ministries, My Father's House, Healing Fatith, Sangaalo Baby Home and Sole Hope.

If God is stirring something in you to Do Something, then I urge you…Do Something!  We ARE the change He wants to see in the world.  He uses US!

www.Visitingorphans.org

August 19, 2014

Miles & Marley on a Mission

Miles & Marley on a Mission

Some of my most memorable moments this summer in Uganda, were the times I got to share my love of missions with my children.  Miles and Marley spent almost two months in Africa with me!  First, we met up with Daddy in Ethiopia.  Miles was NOT impressed.  He was disgusted by the animal feces in the road and was freaked out by the abundance of flys.  Oh did he have an awakening ahead!  Marley didn't miss a beat!  She loved everyone one!  The staff of the guest home loved on her, the drivers loved on her, other missionaries loved on her and...her birthmother loved on her!  YES,  we were able to make it happen!





Our next stop was Uganda. We spent about a week doing missions and hanging with our missionary friends the Segner's with Healing Faith, as a family.


And of course, I broke three bones in my foot the first day, so I was kickin' it with my fancy home made walking boot!


Brandon also got to meet our oldest Uganda daughter, Sharon and the baby I named after him!



We explored Jinja one Boda, motorcycle taxi, at a time.  The kids enjoyed finding Americanized food and Ugandan treats like sugar cane and mendozi, a type of Ugandan donut. We went swimming, visited Sangaalo Baby Cottage, Arise and Shine Children's Home, Redeemer Children's Home and spent days with Healing Faith and Sole Hope in the village.  



The kids got much more comfortable around babies!  It's so awesome to see how involved Miles wanted to be.  He WANTED to hold the babies and feed them.  They always sought baby Brandon out! 

The children's homes we visited has many special needs children and both Miles and Marley enjoyed playing with the children and the animals! 





The village days with Healing Faith was full of excited children. Both kids were comfortable roaming around the village picking up ducklings, baby goats, puppies, bunnies, whatever! The village people just laugh at the crazy kids that are intrigued that people live with farm animals.







Miles, the one who wasn't as trilled as I to be going to Uganda, didn't want to leave and keeps asking when we are going back.  Even though he had not quite adjusted to not having the plethora of food choices at his disposal.  He got used to beans and rice and stew.  He made a good friend in Carson, Kari's oldest son.  They loved to roam around and catch lizards and the watch dogs.  They played with the rabbits and turtle.  They loved playing Legos and making loom band bracelets.


Marley did well.  She loved the freedom of roaming, and she loved the animals.  Even after getting bucked by a cow!  One night she got her head stuck in between some bars on the porch.  Oh. My. Word!  The screams that came from her!  After taking out some braids, rubbing her head down with cooking oil and prying the bars with a branch, she was freed only to need Mama's lovin' all night long.  She loved taking basin baths!  The dogs and babies at Kari's were her favorite!





This trip for them was two fold.  One, I wanted them to see what I do when I go to Uganda twice a year.  And two, I wanted to see how they would do as MK's, missionary kids.  They got to see me in action. As expected, Miles did better than Marley around the large crowds.  Marley was more clingy.  She didn't like the kids laughing at her and staring.  They were just curious about this brown child that called me Mommy.  They didn't understand.  They wondered if she was Ugandan.  I was even asked if she knew how to speak English!  Miles did amazing!  He adapted to washing dishes in a basin, to eating the same food over and over again, he loved the bodas, he was flexible.  One day we would be in the village and the next in the baby home.  He roamed around the villages as if it were his own territory.  He picked up babies and fed them like a natural!  I was so proud of him!



They both picked up some language, they saw what Mommy does and they both want to go back!  Mission accomplished!

July 21, 2014

Five Years Ago ...

Five years ago, my phone rang.  Not just the regular ring, but the carefully selected ring that sounded like a slot machine going off.  The ring I chose for our adoption agency.  I had been waiting over THREE YEARS for that ring!  It confused me when it finally happened.  I remember looking at the phone and seeing CHI, our agency, on the caller ID.  I was still confused, or maybe in shock.

I answered with a cautious, "hello?"  The voice on the line said, "Brandon, are you on the line?"  That was it!  I KNEW we were getting our referral for our daughter.  Brandon was at work, and as discussed years before, he knew when that call came he would come home and we would open the email containing our daughters picture together.

It seemed like it took hours for him to get home.  We watched this image come on the computer screen and that was it!  She was ours!


video

July 18, 2014

Legos

Miles ended up collecting about 100 lbs. of Legos!  We loaded them up and flew them to Uganda with us.  After being in Uganda a few weeks, I began learning about a children's home that sounded like a perfect home for the huge box of Legos.  Redeemer House homes about 17 children over 6 years old. Once we arrived, we unloaded legos on the dinning table and the kids went to town.  Miles was a bit shy at first, but soon warmed up.  They created all kinds of things and I know these little Legos will loved on!
 This boy was hit by a boda, motorcycle taxi, just the day before.  We managed to get him to give us a little smile!










A BIG thank you to those who donated!