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Putting on our Camo…

What is a girl to do when it’s camouflage day…and they say “no pink camo”…green only. I mean…some times a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do! SOOO…Loo-bear and I got out the sewing machine and whipped out a little ditty…

How fun is that? And I wish I could take the design credit–but momma got THIS book for Christmas from Nana and me likey the EASY patterns and absolutely fun designs…You can buy one HERE on Amazon.

They sang “I’m in the Lord’s army” among other songs in the school musical, and I’ll have to share some of that action when I download the video. LOVE having these two just 14 months apart!

SOOOO…that was Tuesday night! (Oh by the way–if you buy the book we did add the additional sash to the skirt just for a little added somethin’:). So easy to make…and ALL the kids helped–even Frankie baby.

THEN last night—tornados came through the South–quite close to us but with most of the devestation taking place in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa. Being from Alabama and having so many friends and family in the Tuscaloosa and Birmingham area–I’ve seen pictures ALL day of the devestation of so many. I have heard heartbreaking stories of loss…of not only homes but also loved ones. PLEASE keep these families in your prayers as they put their lives back together.

David Platt’s church in Birmingham is busy organizing a relief effort. You can join the efforts of Church of Brook Hills by going HERE to learn more how to give or go. We have DEAR friends on staff with Navigators in Tuscaloosa. They were out of town, and they are safe–and I know in the weeks ahead they will be sharing with us opportunities to help those around them.

One thing times like these remind me of is that NEEDS ARE EVERYWHERE. And I love what Bob Goff says in one of his recent posts on getting engaged. “One of the ways that I make things matter to me is to move from merely learning about something to finding a way to engage it on my own terms. For example, if someone asks what I think about capital punishment, instead of reciting the party line and parroting someone else’s thoughts, I think of a teenager named Kevin in a prison accused of a capital crime. If the topic is same sex attraction, I think of a dear friend who is gay. Now, instead of talking about an issue, I’m talking about a person; someone who matters to me. I think that Jesus wired us that way so that we’d remember. And it’s not about just being politically correct, it’s about being just plain correct. We need to make our faith; our love story; our very own.”

In order to get ENGAGED not only in conversation…but ENGAGED in serving–we must make it our own and bring it home in our hearts. I think about the tornado in Alabama where so many friends and family live. My city–for some reason–was not touched by the tornado. Now, I can move on my merry way–OR I can ENGAGE by bringing it home. By thinking of dear friends and family and reaching out to anyone I know who knows specific areas of need…and ENGAGE because now it’s personal. AND…I must say for the record–it’s NOT ABOUT MAKING IT ABOUT US–BUT ABOUT GOING THERE WITH OTHERS AND DOING LIFE TOGETHER.

I got a comment on my blog earlier today regarding my earlier Zambia post. It came from a writer in California who does not KNOW me–who is not really engaged in my life. And by incredible technology commenters IP addresses are embedded in every comment you make on a blog–I can see he has only visited my blog ONCE–yet he felt compelled to make a pretty hurtful comment about our work in Zambia. A good friend, reminded me not to throw my pearls to the pigs–and this was MUCH needed Biblical advice to hear. We must stay our course to what we know in our hearts the Lord has called us to and not let others tear us down or discourage us while we follow Him.

BUT…for this instance, I dig what Bob Goff wrote in his post “How to Pick a Fight” post. (An incredible post about fighting for what God calls you to fight for–no matter what.) Now, I’m not going to pick a fight–because if YOU are a REGULAR reader and/or friend–you know that’s not me. BUT…I WILL stand up for orphans and widows–and no matter where they are…they are God’s children…and they DESERVE TO BE FOUGHT FOR!!!

I couldn’t say it better myself, so I’ll let Goff say it for me…”It’s easier to pick an opinion than it is to pick a fight. It’s also easier to pick an organization or a jersey and identify with that fight than it is to actually pick your own; commit to it; call it out and take a swing. Picking a fight isn’t neat either. It’s messy. It’s time consuming. It’s painful. It’s costly. Stated differently, it’s what many of us should be all about as followers of Jesus.

The comment left said that I post what I post for my own sake. To bring glory to me–and that I make him sick that I go to Africa when there are thousands of kids here who need help.

YES–there are thousands of children here who also need help–and I am, ever so thankful for my precious friends who just picked up and moved to inner city Atlanta to not only SERVE but to also LIVE. Families like the Stanley family who we have the joy of doing life locally with who serve with Vision Atlanta. Or families in our fellowship group that have just picked up their families to move downtown themselves. I’m thankful to be a part of a church wtih a pastor allowing us to start a foster care ministry and challenge others to serve with us…the two years we have spent trying to start a foster care ministry in our local church. We each have different callings–and we must follow where the Lord leads us! This is NOT about us–and to tell you the truth…it’s not really about them either…but about HIM and bringing glory to Him by following HIM where ever He leads our family in ministry–whether it’s around the corner or around the world (and if it WERE about me–I can promise I wouldn’t go around the world to do ministry and leave my children to do it…but *I* don’t get to choose where *I* am called…and I’m so thankful it is NOT about me.)

For us–the Lord has led us to Zambia to serve. I write about it on my blog–not to receive the glory…because honestly I don’t do much these days other than chase my 4 babies and it’s TIME for me to return to where I believe the Lord called us to serve 4 years ago. I write about it–because this IS my life–and its personal–and through my writing many of my precious friends have learned about Wiphan and it’s become personal to them too. (It’s also my blog–so I guess if it’s about my life–I can write about my life…and I apologize to readers like “JOHN” who disapprove of where, how and who we serve…but really–it’s not ME he should be upset with–but I guess God…since it was His calling on our lives…we just go follow.) And just as children down town deserve to be loved and fought for–children in EVERY country deserve to be loved and fought for. AND this is one fight I will always pick.

Why did we adopt from Ethiopia? Because our son was there–God knew it…and He put Ethiopia on our hearts. Why do we serve in Zambia? Because there are 450 children there–that God loves and He knew our friends and family had gifts that He gave us to be used their for HIS glory. I truly believe the Lord has given each of us different gifts and different desires to be used for HIS glory–and those gifts and desires that align with His Word are part of the story He wrote just for us to live out.

Foster care or adoption. Domestic or international. Opening your home to the homeless or 10 little giggling girls that need to be loved on. Whatever He calls us to–we must follow with gusto and let the Lord be our strength. We should encourage other believers in our different callings–and be very careful not to be unkind to the calling GOD HAS GIVEN them. (When hurtful things are said–we can be pretty sure it’s not from a brother or sister in Christ–and once again see the reality how we do live in a hurting world.) We should expect hardship–and hurtful things to be said as we follow. I guess I’m just fortunate to not have hard things said so often–which tells me I probably need to listen a bit more and maybe more radically follow. That also being said, I just want to thank those of you who have been on this journey of life with us–and always leave words of kindness and encouragement. I welcome the other comments too…but just don’t be alarmed if I fight for things back that I feel are worth fighting for;).

Hope ya’ll have a great night…I’m down for the count in more ways than one tonight;)


Amy @ Filled with Praise - April 29, 2011 - 10:08 am


Love your thoughts. God knows your heart. Don’t let someone else bring you down.
Love ya,

kristi johnson - April 29, 2011 - 11:01 am

ya gotta ignore the CRAZIES of the world 🙂 They are satan in disguise…and sadly, they dont’ even know it half of the time!! stay strong my friend!!! kj

Leah - April 29, 2011 - 11:36 am

Having a blog and writing about our lives always open us up to opinions and criticisms. I personally never feel the need to address them. Especially when it’s obvious that the person came by 1 time. . . and probably with the intent on being hurtful.

You and God knows what’s in your heart. . . and that is what is important. I’ve had people say, “but there is so much need here.” And what I say is this. . . “Try to fill that need.” Because the people I hear it from are people doing nothing. I felt called to Ethiopia, and I’ll never regret that decision. It doesn’t mean I don’t see the need here. I see the need EVERYWHERE, and I’m doing what I personally can.

Okay, this got long. . . You know who you are, and you know who you want to get all the glory. . . and that is what’s important. 🙂

Sandi - April 29, 2011 - 12:15 pm

OK so THIS is why the Lord laid Isaiah 50-58 on my heart late last night after a much needed movie night with the girls! Sometimes sin & guilt in people’s hearts causes them to judge but God will work on others through your example as long as you stay focused on what is right. God is convicting that gentleman’s heart about something & it hurts so he lashed out. It’s okay & it is meant to be for him to work through his own pain to “understanding”. I will be praying for you both that God will fill him with peace & that you will remember that GOD USES YOU AS A LIGHT so darkness will only be FLEETING when it touches you. I have a very close family member who doesn’t understand why I feel the need to “help LOCAL families who have NOTHING” & boy she just doesn’t understand why Africa, Holeta, orphans & Wiphan are important to me. “Giving to others” to her is “TAKING from my own KIDS”. I call it “PASSING THE BLESSINGS ON” yet she calls it “a SIN to deprive my children”(as she drips in diamonds). My kids have a very, very nice life. Yet the devil knows that her judgement hurts so he makes it happen often, but that’s what being a “stranger to this world” is all about. That means you are doing something right girl! Fabulous job!!!!!
Isaiah 51:7-58 Do not fear the reproach of men or be terrified because of their insults…I HAVE PUT MY WORDS IN YOUR MOUTH and covered you with the shadow of my hand…CLOTHE YOURSELF WITH STRENGTH…MY UNFAILING LOVE FOR YOU WILL NOT BE SHAKEN NOR MY COVENANT OF PEACE BE REMOVED…All your sons will be taught by the Lord and great will be your children’s peace…you will refute every tongue that accuses you…Let HIM turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon…do away with malicious talk, and IF YOU SPEND YOURSELVES IN BEHALF OF THE HUNGRY AND SATISFY THE NEEDS OF THE OPPRESSED, THEN YOUR LIGHT WILL RISE IN DARKNESS…I have seen HIS ways, but I will heal HIM; I will guide HIM & restore comfort to HIM.
(God is at work here!)

Amanda B. - April 29, 2011 - 3:45 pm

Hi Andrea! I have been following your blog for awhile since we have started feeling God’s call to adoption. Just wanted to give you a positive comment in light of the thoughtless one from “John”. You have been a regular source of encouragement for me as we go through this process. God is using your personal reflections to encourage and help many! I am one! Thanking God for your heart and faithfulness to His call in your life!

Allie - April 29, 2011 - 7:55 pm

I have been reading your blog for sometime now. I love how your heart overflows with the love of Christ. I have been checking frequently for post 5 of the best years of your life….did I miss it?

Rory Cookman - April 29, 2011 - 8:18 pm

I second all these comments. Keep fighting the good fight!:)

marci - April 29, 2011 - 8:46 pm

Sweet Andrea, Sigh, I read this and thought …I wish I knew scripture better…more quickly…easier to find…So, I knew which I wanted to say to this blog but, not sure how I would find it…I walk over to flip through my Bible and Sweet Jesus has me open the page to the EXACT scripture on my heart to share and affirm you…Spiritual Gifts 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 it says it all ! Each of us have been given a gift …all are the work of one and the same Spirit and He gives them to each person just as He determines!
It is God’s will for you to hear His call. I get goosebumps to see our sweet Lord working in your family and your heart. Carry On for it is for His glory ! P.S. The Lord equips me and I feel like He smiles that it still brings tears to my eyes!

Lauren - April 30, 2011 - 12:23 pm

LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’ve had some really hurtful comments left on my blog over the last couple years (thankfully only a couple) but after crying in my keyboard I came to the same realization you did — must be doing something right!! Satan must HATE it!! haha Then it just made me more passionate to keep on going!

Thanks for sharing the links where we can help out. I’m praying for all my fellow southerners today. We were grateful to only endure tornado watches and storms…. I’m just heartbroken for those who weren’t so lucky. God be with them.

Lauren - April 30, 2011 - 12:23 pm

PS – your children are adorable and your sewing skills are amazing!! 🙂

Kim - May 1, 2011 - 12:34 am

I just love your blog AND your heart.. so keep doing exactly what you’re doing!

Deborah - May 1, 2011 - 7:45 am

Hi Andrea,
First, Love the skirt. I don’t sew, YET, but I think I’ll get the book and learn.

Secondly, you and your blog have been such an inspiration to me. I see my life changing (trying to follow Gods plan for me) and you have been a great source of encouragement to me. I actually feel sorry for “John” because he obviously blind to your heart and more importantly God’s heart. Isaiah 51:7-58 (posted a few comments above) speaks directly to this situation.

Hurtful comments don’t always come from strangers. As I learn more and try to follow God’s plan for me, I feel the looks and hear the comments from family and friends who don’t understand.

Amie Wagner - May 1, 2011 - 11:46 pm

Andrea, our service this morning was about hearing God’s whispers and sure enough, He spoke to me through your words tonight. Yes, the Lord has given us different gifts to be used for his glory for sure! Just imagine how many others have been impacted by what you have shared on your blog & how happy this must make Him! This was my response when I had someone make a similar statement to me: We are all human, love knows no boundaries and neither should our compassion. God does not favor Americans in need over the poor, needy & hungry in other parts of the world. Instead of judging others that are doing something positive in the world, we should look within and get involved in helping in whatever way our heart leads us.

Debb - May 2, 2011 - 12:23 am

Hello, dear friend. First, let me just tell you that your creativity is endless! I bought a friend’s sewing machine at her yard sale before moving. Hoping one day I will learn how to sew! 🙂 Secondly, I am so HAPPY to see that you covered yourself with God’s armor! Let the enemy’s darts and arrows continue to bounce right off of that armor! You are covered in Christ! You are walking His very path set before you. Keep walking this direction that you know is lead by our Heavenly Father! Keep believing in who you are in Christ and in the direction He has pointed you! God is using you in many many ways, so of course the enemy will use others to try to thwart God’s plan for your life. Keep on keeping on! Don’t look back. Keep your eyes on Him. He will continue to direct your paths. And I will enjoy continuing to follow you, watching where He takes you! Your family is beautiful and I enjoy getting to “know” them. Isaac is a reminder to me of God’s faithfulness. Your faith is inspiring. Keep looking UP, my friend, and allow no one the ability to distract that divine focus………….Blessings to you!……………..

Debb - May 2, 2011 - 12:25 am

P.S…..SOOOOOO GLAD you are safe from the tornado too! God is GOOD! Our church is sending some people down and more will follow in the near future! *HUGS*