Hanes Beefy T/short
You would think that after all these years of miracle after miracle, I would never doubt God again...........well, you would think. This journey I am on is a direct effect of a miracle! Months ago I felt God was calling me to come to Honduras again this December. The question, as usual, is, "God, am I hearing You......or am I hearing me while hoping it is You?". As much as I long to be here in Honduras, I want what God wants. If I come because of me.......then I am here for purely selfish reasons. If God brings me, then I know that He has a job for me to do!
Chris and I talked about it and we decided that if God wanted me to come.....HE and He alone would provide. We did not want to "make" it work. My prayer was that if it be His Will, God would provide financially through jobs coming my way that were over and beyond what my present jobs are. I prayed, and prayed and prayed for Gods Will. I felt so strongly that He was going to provide that I even kept a suitcase out half packed.......I was not going to be caught lacking in faith! I even thought at one point I had the answer, but that answer came at a cost and we would have had to make the way.....and my very wise husband reminded me of our prayer. I am thankful he did.
As we waited and waited, I still had faith I was coming.......and yet it was starting to wain. Was I just hearing my own voice.......did I want to come so badly that I had forgotten how to hear God? In all of this, even more was going on. As most people who know me know, we have been trying to get our son Rene (A citizen of Honduras) home with us through getting his Student Visa. One day I will share the whole miracle of this when the process is complete! Things were moving.....big time here with this process! Two years of working on getting the paperwork we needed had finally started coming together!!!!! Everything was falling into place and if God brought me here, I could bring the paperwork myself! Yet, God had not provided a way at this point. I am not going to lie, I was getting a bit down. I still had faith.........however it was rocky.
Exactly two weeks before I would leave, God gave me a start......a small yet beautiful start! I have a friend that I have been cutting his hair for 31 years now and I was there cutting his hair. When I went to leave, he handed me 100.00! I looked at him like he had lost his mind, and he told me to put it towards my trip. I giggled and thanked him from the bottom of my heart. I told him that it was not looking likely, but I was going to go home and put it in my Honduras Fund.
On Monday I was going with my sister to meet our mom and dad in Nashville to see our youngest sister and her husband while he attended a Conference. I was riding in the car and had to deal with some setbacks we had trying to get the I-20 for Renes Student Visa. After an hour or so I had it all complete and ready for the Immigration services at UGA. I sat back in relief, and that is when the avalanch came! God did have a plan!
My phone rang, and a beautiful voice was on the other side of the line. The conversation went a bit like this:
Friend: Hey Lorri, I have a question. My Father-in-law needs someone to clean his house once per month out in Dunwoody. He has a Visiting Angel that cleans it generally throughout the week, but we need it deep cleaned once a month. We have a cleaning service that does this, but they have ticked me off for the last time and I wanted to give you first opportunity.
Me: (after I picked my jaw up off the floorboard) Do you mind if I ask how much it pays? (it is an hour plus from my home)
Friend: Sure, it pays ________ amount per month. (The amount is not important, lets just suffice it to say that it is worth my time and travel)
Me: (after I once again pick my jaw up off the floor board) SURE!!!!!! I would be glad to!!!!!! Thank you soooooooo much!
We worked out the particulars and I told her how this might possibly help me get to Honduras! She was amazed at the timing....as was I! I was going to get to clean his house the day before I left......and again shortly after I get back!
I called Chris at this point with hope beyond hope! With this in mind, I was not even prepared for what was to come! When I told Chris about the job, his words were.....and I quote, "Well, it looks like God is providing.....looks like we need to buy your ticket!" Once again, I had to pick my jaw up off the floorboard! Tears filled my eyes and God was not even finished yet! Because this was not a normal mission trip I was able to buy my own ticket because part of why I was coming was to work on legal issues we face with Rene as we work to get all we need for him to come. I had been daily looking up dates, and let me just say, there was no doubt for the dates I was supposed to come. This particular combination of dates was the least expensive by at least 200.00. Chris went on to buy my ticket and we had heard that if you fly out of Birmingham, the tickets are cheaper. Now how crazy is that? Well, it may be crazy to drive from Atlanta to Birmingham to fly back to Atlanta.......but 270.00 less made it far less crazy! As he went to purchase the ticket, somehow one of us brought up sky miles. I had been collecting them for some time with no idea of how to use them or even know what they were worth. He told me to hold on while he called his dad to find out. I truly was not prepared for the call that was soon coming my way! When I answered the phone, this is what I heard:
Chris: Well, you are not going to believe this, but with your sky miles.....the ticket was just 352.00!
Me: (Tears and stunned so much I almost could not find words) Are you kidding me???????????
Just with the job, the haircut........and the skymiles........GOD MADE THE WAY!
Now keep in mind, lodging and food and incidentals........God just kept providing! With my new job being ongoing, all funds for it will pay the rest! (Work bounus the hubby gets helps too!) Oh, God also provided another house for me to clean as well! This alone is crazy because house cleaning is probably the job I like the least......but God has given me joy in it! He may have just wanted to see how much I really wanted to go! Hehehe!
Since being here in Honduras, I have had so many emotional moments. Just the fact that I am here and how God brought me, I sit in tears. The tears just well up in my eyes and roll down my face, for no other reason than I am in Awe of my God and how He shows His love for me!!!!!! May God bless you all!!!!
I am not sure what it is about me that is so different than most, but I absolutely adore having a room along the road side of the mission! In the evenings it is generally not too active, with the exception of Saturday night. On Saturday nights the air is filled with loud voices, laughter, loud music and mototaxis zipping up and down the road with distinguishable sound of the diesel trucks and cars sprinkled in. BUT.....the morning time, IS my happy time!
Usually around 4:00 am I start to rouse around with a tiny bit of consciousness as I listen with a huge smile on my face with my eyes still closed to the beautiful chorus of what seems like hundreds of rooster voices! At this point I will slip in and out of slumber and rouse each time a new voice is added to the choir. In days of old when I would come, there was this sound that took me years to nail down.....but this sound was one that brought me so much comfort, joy and an unexplainable peace to my heart! Whhht, whhht, whhht, whhht......every morning this sound would start coming down the street. I eventually found that this sound was created by an old straw broom, whisking its way up and down the streets, cleaning the debris from the day before. I do not know why this beautiful sound was such music to my ears, but it always gave my heart a peace that I can hardly explain. Sadly, my morning chorus has been missing my favorite player for years now.....but my daily choral performance is still so beautiful!
There is a new player to the chorus now, and I absolutely adore it! Growing up in the earlier days of television there was one show I just could not miss. The Andy Griffith show was my show! I loved everything about that show! Andy, Barney, Aunt Bee, and the cutest of them all, Opie! As much as I loved this show, it was the opening that drew me in! Am I the only one who was utterly mesmerized by that mans whistling?! I love whistling! It ushers me into a time of old country folks sittin around just whittlin and whistlin! Yes, my good ole country roots and southern draw just popped onto your page here! Did I happen to mention that I LOVE TO HEAR WHISTLING?! Pure unadulterated tones, pushing between perfectly pursed lips resulting in clear, joyful sounds jumping all around to create utter pleasure in my heart and soul! Wow.....how odd does this sound, but this is me! Now we have a whistler added to the chorus! This whistler has one of the purest tones I have ever heard! He whistles and then speaks with a smooth deep voice, greeting those outside with his beautiful, happy voice.....and then back to whistling his happy tune while walking to and fro.
Now add in another beautiful sound.....the sound of horse hooves methodically clomping on the concrete streets! These hooves give an undeniable beat to my chorus for a few minutes! By now the roosters have calmed but the birds of the air now join in with whistles, tweets, chirps and calls!
Time to add in the rush trucks, cars, motorcycles and mototaxis! These are sporadic but they add to the chorus! Buenos días, hola, and other morning platitudes start ringing in the air. Oh how beautiful the Spanish language is! My chorus is missing my favorite part at this point, but soon it will arrive! Happy children running up and down the streets with precious laughter ringing out as they play! Sometimes you hear angry voices but usually they are joyful! Oh wait.....here is a sound I missed! The sounds of women's heels clicking on the concrete as they start to head out for the day!
I totally realize some may be reading this while thinking, " She has totally lost her mind!" That is perfectly ok! God created each of us differently and one mans gold is another mans garbage. Some may read this and they may call it noise pollution.....I fully understand. For me though, this is my happy place! The beeping of the horns, the dogs talking to each other all across the city....kids laughing, crying and playing....these bring me joy! On a side note.....when I am at home.....my dogs drive me crazy because I don't want them to bother the neighbors....just to be honest....hehehe! For now though, God has given me a sweet gift, and I will relish and absorb this blessing every single day I am here!
Hello Everyone! I know it has been such a long time since I have written, and I thank everyone who has taken the time to read any or all of the things I have posted. I have gone through some interesting and very diverse times in my life this last few years. I found myself unable to sit and write because I believe God was more interested in teaching me and refining me than He was in giving me a spotlight.
As most of you know, I am a very passionate person. My heart has taken some bumps and bruises that God needed to heal, as He taught me what is really important. I have been guilty in the past of writing things with a righteous indignation and I apologize if I have hurt anyone in the process. My heart is a heart of love.....the kind of love that can only come from God. I have been humbled.....and I am thankful. I have learned.....and I am thankful. I found out that people often see things through different filters and from different perspectives.......and I am thankful that God revealed this to me. My life may be and open book, but not everyone is where I am and I need to be careful to understand that it takes time for some to feel comfortable sharing their lives with others.........oh how I am thankful that God has been teaching me these things!
Today is the day I am jumping back in, but this time I am going to be ever mindful to watch my words...........to consider different mindsets............and to love, even if love is not shown to me. My desire is to listen to God, and share what He lays on my heart in a way that will encourage, inspire, and lift up those who may stumble across my path. I will always strive to stay true to the Word of God and not compromise myself or my convictions..........and I will always strive to continue in love and with compassion.
I have found myself in a place of great adventure with God! He has SHOWN me what true Faith really is. He has shown me HOW to live this life of Faith! Please don't get me wrong.....I still find myself struggling from time to time....BUT GOD! I am hoping to share some of the things God has shown me and to share some of the literal adventures He has graciously thrust me into! There is a new section called Good Samaritan. This section will be my outlet for all things related to Good Samaritan Baptist Mission. I will post my adventures, the needs, children who need sponsoring and so on. It is a New Day for me and changes to this site are coming. I will have trial and error until I get it just right, so please be patient with me.
Finally, I want each of you who read this to know........although I will be writing about my adventures, this is not about me. I have spent way too many years focused on me and I want people to see GOD! I want people to see that JESUS is why I am who I am! If God touches you from something I write, it is because HE had me write it for you and everyone else who benefits from it! My desire is to be used by God for HIS glory and HIS honor! I am human.......I will fail......I am sorry. BUT GOD is GOD and He can use me even when I fail!
May God bless you all!
As most of you who follow me know, I have been on a grand adventure to loose weight. Although I wish I could report that I am further along in the process, I am proud to say that I am now 22 pounds down from when I started and 30 pounds down from the day Chelsea got married! So much has happened during this time, but all I can say is that God is so good! Up until just before Christmas, I was die hard sticking to the plan. The Christmas holiday is here and although I have not totally blown it......I have not stuck to my plan in hard core fashion! I have been steady in walking and although not all of my workouts show up in FB.......I am getting anywhere from 2.5-4 miles accomplished at least 3-4 days per week! I have improved from a 20 minute mile to around a 12-13 minute mile! I may not win any races........but I am winning the battle! So much is going on right now and I want to ask for your prayers! God has been revealing bits and pieces of His Will for our lives concerning Rene, our son from Honduras. One day I will tell you some of the things that God has shown us, but for now I just want to covet your prayers. It is our desire to make Rene a legally permanent part of our family. It is also our desire to bring him here to be with us........FOREVER! We have many mountains that we need God to move and I am ever so thankful for a Mountain Moving God! I also want to say that Rene is a huge part of me being motivated. He is so active and it makes it so much easier to be motivated when he is inspiring us in his sweet subtle way! On Christmas Day, Chris, Chelsea, Rene and I went to walk at Felker park. Chris made it 1.2 miles......Chelsea and I walked 2.5 miles.......and Rene, well he ran 7! We all sat in awe as we watched him pass by. We would have walked further buy my heel was not cooperating and a bout with accidental glutening of myself made this walking journey end sooner than later! I am so thankful for each journey I am on and I thank God for His incredible help in each step of each journey! I am going to post a side by side picture below and I hope that you can see a difference. Not huge, but I will take it!!! May God bless you all and I will try to loose quickly so I can post another positive update soon! Oh, and thank you for your prayers.......we need them!
Today is the first day I have felt that I could share what God is doing in my life. Fear of failure and fear of disappointing others as well as myself has so many times held me back and kept me from doing what I have always known was best for me in many aspects of my life. I have struggled with pride and with discipline......or a lack thereof. I do believe that God has led me and used me despite myself, but now I am ready to do it HIS way, not my own.
So, over the last few months of desperately asking God to help me.......I have finally listened and He has led! As most of you who see me on fb may have noticed, I have been setting my feet to the pavement and started walking again! I want to take you back to 21 years ago. 21 years ago I had one of the greatest blessings in my life, Chelsea was born and completed our beautiful family! With our first two children I was able to loose most of my weight, but when I had Chelsea, I just managed to gain weight. My weight kept going up and up. Over the last 21 years I have lost the same 20 pounds over and over and over again because each time I lost......I ended up gaining back more. This past year I was going to try my best to loose weight for the wedding of Chelsea and Christian.........and I managed to gain to my highest weight ever. How could I keep failing over and over again? Why was it that when I would exercise my tail off and loose some weight I would be so exhausted that I could not keep up? When you exercise and loose weight you are supposed to gain energy.........gain strength........and yet, I would be more exhausted than ever before. After seeing myself in the Wedding pictures all I felt was that I was an embarrassment to my family. I know that I am not, but that is how I felt. I would sit and watch the extreme weight loss show and wonder why I could not do what they were doing? I would be inspired.....start......and fail. Over and over again. I would beg God to help me.......and then fail. I wanted to do programs that others were doing but because of gluten or artificial sweeteners......I could not. Then, God sent me a friend who was trying to help me with Devon and helping him with his issues. Kathy Barden messaged me and told me what she was doing to help with her family. Little did I know that very soon I would meet someone who understood the problems I was having and she shared her struggle with energy issues and health problems. There were so many parallels! For many years I have studied and looked into natural ways of getting help, but I was to afraid to delve in and fail. Ruth Hardy, through sharing her testimony gave me hope that I could find the help I needed! That night I became a member of the doTerra family. I am not writing this in any way to try and build a business......I am writing this because for the first time in 21 years I have hope......I have energy.....I have my answer that God placed so tenderly in my lap! When Ruth started her journey it actually started with a supplement package that the company sells. I have tried so many before.......to no avail. Others were helped, but not me. Great products have passed my way but for whatever reason they were not all that my body needed. I have to tell you, I had my doubts, but by golly......I had to try. Three months ago I started taking these supplements. At the time I started taking them, I had some blood work and it was not promising at all. My cholesterol was high as well as my A1C. I started taking them slowly to build up and some days I would forget to take them. Although I did not feel like I was progressing at times......when I did not take them, I found out they were working better than I knew they were because I would be dragging! I started getting more and more energy, but nothing huge yet. I went to the Dr. for more bloodwork and although not all was great, the Dr. looked at me and asked, "Did I put you on Cholesterol Medicine?" I just laughed and said, well no you did not, but here is what I have been doing! This was three weeks ago. I had already given up all drinks but water or hot tea with no sugar........and all refined sugar, but my A1C was needing to be delt with. I started working with our Care Here clinic through Walton EMC to get more help. I now am working with a Nurse, Dietitian and Exercise consultant over the phone to hold me accountable. Now I have to get real......I hate it with every ounce of my being! I have cried more tears because it HURTS dying to self! It HURTS being honest about every bite you place in your mouth! It HURTS knowing that what once gave you comfort is now a part of your past......even though what was giving you comfort was killing you slowly. My life and my identity has been my ability to bring others joy through what brought me comfort, and now my comfort is gone. BUT GOD! Last Saturday God gave me a beautiful opportunity to walk in a 5k to support and honor my daughter-in-law, Tammy Stacy. It was a walk to raise money and awareness for Melanoma Cancer. When I signed up for this walk I had no idea the journey God was going to have me on at this time. I was so ready to fail because I was afraid I was going to be the last person crossing the line. Oh me of little faith. Over and over I kept telling people I was probably going to be the person coming in just before the ambulance. Three days before the race I walked my first mile in over a year. It actually went pretty good......and I was shocked. Race day came and the doubt set in again. Little did I know that on that day, God would place another special person in my path. It just so happened that Ray, a young man who grew up in our youth group, was there at the race too! Tammy and her mom are runners but I told them not to worry about me......I would be there eventually! Ray was so sweet and he walked with me and encouraged me the whole way.......as well as blocked the police lights by walking in front of me so vertigo would not set in. Let me just tell you, not only did I NOT come in last........I made it over the finish line in 1 hour and 44 seconds! Guess what......I was not dying! I had energy! I have not felt this.........EVER! I also invested in a fitbit which is a tool to count my steps and work on that competitive part of me........and it is working too! How could this be????? Two days ago, I found myself in trouble. Real hunger hit me and I was not prepared......and I felt I had failed. I ate too much because my body felt it was going to explode out of my skin. I was in tears mad at myself for failing. All I could see was that I had failed again. In steps another angel that God has given me for this process........she is my Nurse and her name is Susan. Our time to talk fell right as I was in Kroger buying food for dinner. Through tears I told her of my failure and you know what, she did not see me as a failure. I told her that even though I failed, I had worked hard to fail on healthier food. I had eaten a lower fat humus and organic healthier corn chips with sprouted amaranth, chia and something else.......plain yogurt with blueberries and almonds. With joy she said, "Lorri, you did not fail! You worked hard to lessen the impact of eating more than you were allotted! You did GREAT!" I have heard things like this over and over from others, but this day.......I finally saw myself as NOT A FAILURE! God has surrounded me with wonderfully encouraging husband, family and friends.......a wonderfully supportive Dr. and Nurse as health coaches.......incredible supplements that have not only given me energy, but for the first time in my life I am wanting to exercise......which also includes 300 swings a day with my kettle bell.......I finally hit 300 swings today! I feel good! I feel strong........and most of all, I feel loved by my Heavenly Father who did not give up on ME! He gave me what I needed in EVERY aspect of this journey! Today..........I finally knew that THIS TIME I WILL SUCCEED! I will be coming back here to the blog to give updates, which by the way.......I have now lost 18 pounds since the wedding.......only 114 to go! Below I am posting the picture of me at the wedding........next May......I am expecting a whole new look! I love you all and thank you for loving and supporting me!