Friday, December 31, 2010

One Year Ago

One year ago today I dropped my husband off at the airport for the 2nd mission to the Philippines.  This mission was very different than the first.  They were preparing the orphanage for children to arrive.  Building, painting, buying supplies, meeting families of the children God had selected to live at WHY.

Wesley Home for Youth, the prayer
While there, NINE children were taken off of the streets and out of the dumpsite.  NINE children moved from horrendous conditions of neglect, starvation and abuse to Wesley Home for Youth.

Wesley Home for Youth, the prayer answered

During 2010 WHY has grown to support 14 children, with the potential for more as more sponsors are added.  It is amazing to see the work of God's hand and exciting to know that more lies ahead.

Will you make 2011 the year you join us on this journey.  There are so many ways to be involved -- being a monthly sponsor, being a part of the upcoming mission team, donating time, services, or resources to help with fundraisers, using your talents to make things that can be given in the dumpsite, _____ (fill in the blank).  Let us know how you want to be involved.  There is room for you!

Happy Birthday WHY!

Thankful, Sheryl

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Resolutions Anyone?

Do you set New Year's Resolutions?  I typically don't since I never seem to keep them.  But with the beginning of 2011 I will instead set some goals; to spend more time in God's word, to be healthier, to continue to become more organized and make my home a nicer place.

I have one goal that I could use your help with - 214 pillowcase dresses.  How many will you make for our mission?  One, twenty-one, fifty-one?  So easy to make that I taught myself to sew making these dresses.  Seriously, anyone can do it!  If you will join me please email me for more information.  Dresses need to completed and shipped by mid-May -- that gives you almost 6 months!  Winter is a great time to get some sewing done.  Sooo, ladies dust off those machines and let's do it together!

Below are several tutorials, all with the same basic dress.  Choose the one that suits you best.

 I will update the Project Pillowcase page as dresses are completed/shipped to let you know our progress. Thanks to each of you!

Thankful, Sheryl

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Giving at Christmas

Today we are blessed with words from my sweet friend Amanda.  She has such a way of getting a point across.

Giving at Christmas…Why?

It seems a common theme we hear every year at about this time—giving gifts at Christmas. It is a sweet tradition to buy gifts for our children and family members. The joy on their faces on Christmas morning makes the planning, saving, and wrapping completely worth it. This Christmas, I’ve been focusing on what I’m thankful for. My husband just finished his time in the Army and we have been experiencing the dreaded unemployment. The last couple of months, I have been half-jokingly saying that everyone can forget about getting gifts from us this year. Cards would have to do. Knowing that our income would be seriously limited, I decided to try to be thankful for what we do have rather than be bitter about what we could have. As I was reading in my daily Bible lesson today, the focus was on Psalm 136. The challenge: Add ten things to the list that I am thankful for because of God’s loving-kindness. Can you do that? I know we are challenged to things like this all the time, especially around Thanksgiving. However, I encourage you to truly spend some time with this one. Truly focus on God’s loving-kindness to you, his beloved, and meditate on this poem.

 My God, I love Thee;

Not because I hope for Heaven thereby

Not yet because who love Thee not must die eternally.

Thou, O my Jesus, Thou didst me upon the cross embrace;

For me didst bear the nails, and spear, and manifold disgrace.

Why, then why, O blessed Jesus Christ,

Should I not love Thee well?

Not for the hope of winning heaven or of escaping hell;

Nor with the hope of gaining aught,

Not seeking a reward: But as Thyself hast loved me, O everloving Lord!

Even so I love Thee, and will love, and in Thy praise will sing;

Solely because Thou art my God, and my Eternal King.

-Frances Xavier

My one year-old and I were in Belk today. She has a fascination with Christmas trees and “wights!” so, we stopped at the tree by the door. I noticed that it wasn’t covered in ornaments, but rather with slips of paper that said “Be a Santa to a Senior”. I have always had a special place in my heart for senior citizens, so this struck deep within me. I was reading each card. They had the person’s name, age, and wish list. Fairly soon, I came across one for a sweet lady who is 89. Instead of a wish list, she had written that she would like “prayers”. That’s all. Just prayers. What wisdom, simplicity, and love are in that one expression of gratitude to Jesus Christ. We pray to our Maker, the Giver of life because He alone is God. He loves his creation so deeply—enough that He sent His son to save us so that we can spend eternity with Him.

Here’s the problem: a huge chunk of the world’s population are needy. They need the basics like socks, shoes, coats, food, shelter, and even water. Why do we restrict our giving to our equally-well-off family members? I could post picture after picture of starving kids in Africa, Haiti, the Philippines, and even the nooks and crannies of the Appalachian Mountains—right here next to us. I don’t feel that I need to because we’ve all seen them and know of what I speak. Perhaps we get desensitized by it all. Buying gifts for our family members is a beautiful thing, but buying gifts for less privileged strangers is a worthy cause and a self-sacrificial act. My prayer is that we as a Christian body would open our hearts back up to these needs and pour our resources into them as an act of worship and thankfulness to our great King. He loves the little children, all the children of the world.


Thanks to Amanda for this challenge!  How easy it is to get caught up in all the gift giving and forget about God's loving-kindness and giving back what He has given to us, love.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How about positive?

I have recently been teaching lessons in my computer lab about Cyberbullying.  As part of the lesson I have been encouraging my 3rd-5th grade students to be positive.  Think positive, speak positive, compliment, etc.  I would've thought this would be no big deal, but they actually enjoy giving compliments to their classmates and teachers. 

But time after time it is amazing to see how difficult it is for them to change their mind set.  Our world is so extremely negative, so surrounded with throughts of ourselves only, rushing around....  Sometimes even making eye contact and smiling at someone in Walmart is tough. 

So how about positive? 
Show some patience to the cashier who is doing her best to quickly process customers.
Strike up a positive and encouraging converstaion with the person next to you in line.
Let someone with only a couple of items go in front of you.

All of these are simple jestures of kindness, but you have to take the time to notice.

Thankful, Sheryl