Gage and John...

Last Sunday, we had a sleepover with Gage. We took him to church - the one he grew up in and always insists is HIS church. He loves that there is a library that you can check out books - not sure what the other attractions are but he is a boy who doesn't like change so going to a church near his home was a big deal for him.

We packed up up crayons and color books and I got to say, he was perfect. He stood the whole time we were singing and now that he can read, even joined it. Once the Church Guy started preaching, Gage was involved in his coloring and stayed that way thru the whole sermon. But before the sermon, the preacher called up a young man who had joined the Marines and was leaving that week, We prayed for the young man and PJ asked for any current or retired Marines to especially take this kid under their wings, Keep him in prayer and maybe even send some encouragement his way.

It was at that time that Gage looked up from his coloring, handed me a piece of paper and told me to write down the Marines name. I did, gave him back the paper and he folded in a few times, put it with his stuff and started coloring again - without missing a beat. His mommy was telling me yesterday that Gage has been praying for this Marine all week. The kids are asked to prayer for themselves and others. Gage found his and now he has his whole family praying for this young Marine.

I don't know how God works but I know it is alot like Gage who I don't understand either. If you had of ask me, I would have said he told you than he was listening to anything going on that morning. After church in the car, he asked about Marines and what exactly they do. It is amazing what we are paying attention to even when those around think otherwise.

I don't know how long John will be on Gage's radar but knowing Gage, it could be while. The young Marine will never know about a 7 year old boy who has his back. I don't understand how God works but I think it is a lot like Gage and John. Actually, this must exactly how He works...

layla grace...

Christie took beautiful pictures that day. Pictures that I will cherish the rest of my life. Not pictures I will walk by and glance at; pictures that will remind me of the last “good” day we had with Layla. The last day she was able to lift her head up without crying. The last day she was able to sit up and read a book. The last day she smiled layla

I heard Layla Grace's Story 2 days ago. Through Stellan's mom, she asked for prayer for this beautiful child and her family. The blog posting tonight included the family photo shoot taken a few days ago. On Twitter, today was her sister Jenna's birthday. Her mom thought she held on for her sister. Tonight Layla Grace's sister told her goodbye and are going to their grandma's house for a couple days.

I had a hardtime sleeping last nigh. Tossing and turning, bad dreams and a fear level that only comes with the dark of night. I thought about Layla Grace. Quite truthfully, I didn't turn my computer on for a long while today. I didn't want to know that she was gone. I thought about her grandmother. Taking care of her 2 granddaughters would certainly be where she was needed but that meant that she too had to say her goodbyes to her granddaughter, knowing the end is near. I can't imagine how strong they have had to be for the girls and for each other.

But it is not just for this family. There are many more who have been told, to say their goodbyes. Even as she watches her own little girl slip away - Layla's mom is praying for other families who are in the same place she and her family find themselves. Stellan was here. He literally died on the table on his way into surgery ...and somehow, he now is cured. Completely and totally. I remember being in this same place with Stellan and while I came to Layla's Story late in the game, it feels the same as Stellan's.

What will tomorrow bring? For Miss Layla Grace, her family, you and me? Where will we be in the things that pain our hearts. You don't have to have a child with terminal cancer in the last hours of life to see you need a Savior. One who won't make the pain go away but will be there to hold your hand when you world falls apart. And if by chance you pull a Stellan, that same Hand is there to pull you up and help you land on your feet. The constant is not the circumstance but the Hand. It always is the Hand...

prodigal son...

The Story of the Prodigal Son may be my very favorite. It is has been running through my head, saturating my thoughts for a few days and shows no signs of leaving soon.

It is true for each of us that either we have felt like the son, the brother or the parent. Maybe you can identify with all three. No matter what your life experience, you know the score.

If you know the Story as the son, you know what it is to eat with pigs. You have scrapped the bottom of the barrel and may still be there. You may have stayed in those conditions for a long time because of pride, or fear. You have lied, squandered and have shown no regard for life, either yours or anyone else's. You get to pick you can head home, it is and always has been up to you.

If you have walked in the shoes of the elder brother, you have known the greatest unfairness man has imagined himself to suffer. Your earlier cousins, Cain and Abel suffered tragically. What is the point? you ask if effort isn't considered and respected. Why must I always be the bigger person? It is just so unfair.

If you can identify as the Parent, you are just trying to save your child. Fair and unfair isn't even part of your thinking process. What parent would not run with open arms and celebrate with the child who has come Home?

It is a Story of redemption.
It is a Story we will all experience during our lifetime.
It is a Story that tells a multi dimensional Story to a one dimensional people.

Don't get stuck in either the son or brother's perspective but go back to the Father. The answer for any understanding lies in the Father's Love. It always does...

forward thinking...

Amazon's dominance of the fledgling e-book market will be relatively short-lived. For while sales of digital books are growing, so too are the devices on which to read them. With Apple's iPad heading to market this spring and a rumored Google tablet some time after that, Amazon is going to have a tough time holding on to the 90 percent share of the e-book market it currently claims.

According to Credit Suisse analyst Spencer Wang, the retailer will likely see its e-book market share slip from 90 percent to 72 percent this year and to 35 percent by 2015

We are by nature a forward thinking people. From wherever our perspective starts, it is our belief that while there may be a few steps backwards, for the majority of the time we expect to keep moving forward. After all, our greatest role model is age. No one has been able to reverse the aging process although a few, with enough money - have made it appear that you can stop and hold the whole process.

Look at our 401K. Before the fall of 2008, who really thought that any one of us could lose that much money so fast? Imagine if your income had the future that Amazon is facing. It is a new way of looking at our future. The times, they are a changing. Constant change is the new normal. In some cases, I think it has been for a long time - we just weren't able to see that.

Still with all that in mind, you have to have a Plan. DH and I talked about his retirement last night again and are looking at Jan 1, 2012. Retirement used to look very far away - not so much now. We have a lot to get done before that date but we are headed that way, cautiously optimistic that it will be doable but well understanding that those plans could change in a heartbeat. Forward thinking with a eye on the Big Picture - it is the only way to live that makes sense right now...

dr D...

Easily the most embarrassing, ridiculous thing I have ever said...

Background though-- when going into a patient's room, I usually ask the accompanying adult or adults how they are related. "Are you mom and dad?" Often they will correct me and say, "I am grandma, and that is my boyfriend." Or something along those lines. Never, ever assume.

So, I was called to a delivery, in broad daylight mind you, of a full term infant whose heart tones were down during labor. By the time I arrived, the mother screamed and pushed one more time, catapulting her son into the ecstasy of breathing air. Crying, pink and beautiful. I cleaned him off and flicked his feet to make him scream. Apgars 8,9. I never give 10's. But that is a story for another day.

Then, I went over to the sweating, out-of-breath woman spread eagle in the hospital bed:

"Congratulations! Are you mom?"

And before the words got past the tips of my teeth, I knew I was a complete idiot. But they sprayed out like silly spray. The Obstetrician, stitching her up at the end of the bed, cocked his head at me, "Really?"

There is no coming back from that.

This is why I love Dr D.
As one on Twitter commented, she is a writer disguised as a doctor.
I can so relate with Foot In Mouth Syndrome,
can't wait for the Next One.
Mine, not hers...

swingset 1.0...

Hello, my name is Keaton Smith. I am calling you today to ask if you would like to take part in the Smith Family Fundraiser. The money that we are trying to raise will go towards a new swing set for your darling grandchildren. We are not asking for just a donation, but are seeking employment to earn money. Do you currently have any unfinished projects around your house that we all could help you complete? We have on staff, three children and two adults. Our family of five are committed to making sure that you are 100% satisfied with our workmanship. If you are not satisfied with our work, we will not accept your payment. We will not accept payment until all of our projects are completed. We are skilled in the following areas: Cleaning, mowing lawns, organizing, painting, heavy lifting, yard work (mowing), dusting, hanging pictures, contact paper installment, computer repair, garage cleaning, and other chores as needed. Picture yourself at a getaway complete with massage and manicure (at your expense of course) while we take care of everything at home. Our availability is very flexible and we travel up to 50 miles. Our main goal is to leave our customers less stressed at the end of their day and to finish those projects that have been waiting to be fixed, leaving you with more time for activities such as skiing, backpacking, and skateboarding. Or perhaps, you will find yourself with enough extra time to pick up a new hobby, such as skydiving. If you are interested, please get back with us with a list of projects you wish us to begin working on as we have to match the job with the appropriate person on staff according to their skill set. Can we count on your participation?

They desperately need a new swing set.
Summer is coming and theirs is past unsafe.
Never underestimate the ability of the human spirit to persevere.
I couldn't get my wallet out fast enough...

This is a big deal. They are all wanting to work for any donations from both of their grandparental units. I have to come up lists for each one, according to their personal abilities. When they are on their swing set this summer, they will each be able to take satisfaction in their own particular contributions to this project.

They already have money in their account for the wonderful idea and presentation. First, a personal phone call with Keaton reading the proposal to me. I was laughing so hard and so proud at the same time Then the written presentation - I like to think they got their talent from me. Popa was almost in tears, he loved it too. I can't wait to have them over and document this fabulous Story for all of us. I am so proud of them, I am bursting at the seams.

It will be a grand day when we bring home the 5 big boxes from Costco and as we help build it, we all will rememeber that is started with the idea that hard work isn't for other people. If you want Something, you need to pony up and be willing to do your part. I am so happy to be a part of such a wonderful project. I will remember this Moment forever, and so will they...

random thoughts...

Miss Wendy has it right. On blog posts, she admits - They all aren't gems. Some days, you have a theme or single focus and somedays, like today - I am all over the place. Admittedly, this is not where I am the most comfortable, but realized that this is also a big part of the Process, so these are a few gems running thru my mind today.

I am thankful that I live in a free country but innocent until proven guilty, is a legal not a moral law.

Should Life imitate the Olympic Games? It doesn't matter what you have done before or after, all that matters is what you do in the Moment.

Maybe we should adopt the theory of the Statute of Limitations for our thought processes for good mental health.

Life is good, life is sweet, life is delicious, except on days it is not.

Wendy, you are so right. They certainly are not all gems but knowing that makes it somehow easier to accept and move on. Good words...

dare to dream...

We spent President's Day out doing unpresidential stuff. First, Princess and the Frog and then a bit of window shopping. I look at this and years from now wonder about Grandma Morgan.

Now that I think about it, Morgan is a very good grandma name. I already can see how she will huddle her little ones together and tell them about her life as a little girl. She will be detailed in telling her tale and will take questions when asked, one at a time. I thought of her and her grandkids today and I hope when they see this, they get a good idea of her character and her capacity to love.

From Grandpa Keaton's point of view, they will see what we all see. Always willing to accept a hug from his sister even in a public place. They will long have known his heart, his gentleness and his love. Definitely his love.

Gage's grandkids will not be surprised that he is not in middle of a sibling love fest. His ability to to love can be overwhelming but is at its best in a one on one basis. When they look at this photo, they will already have experienced his intentness at one of their sleepovers. Or on one of their camping trips.

If you have never thought about your family in an extended fashion, I encourage you to give it a try. It is living in the Moment in a different way. You acknowledge people you will never meet but can love nevertheless. It gets you out of your head and to another Place, deep within yourself. It is a nice time with the freedom to pray for the next generation. A time for every Season and to be able to be apart of it. A time to pray for Love, Wonderment and the Bigger Picture in the freedom that is totally ours...


I don't mind being a temp, she told me. It reminds me of my priorities. StoryPeople.

What an interesting perspective. We are only here for a short time, no matter what your belief system is. That is a cold, hard fact. If you consider yourself, just passing through - it will make a difference how you live your life. If you think, this is all there is, it will also be reflected in every choice you make. I have lived in both camps but associate more closely with the Short Time camp. I am choosing to believe that this is not all there is, there is more coming. When I lived in the other camp, my thoughts and feelings were completely different. A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place. Denial be dammed, press ahead and go for the gusto. GRAB THE GOLDEN RING! You only have this one chance.

Every time we make a choice, what we choose will depend on which camp we most closely resemble. Every time Something Bad happens, how we react - will be determined by our belief that this life is temporary or all there is. I am grateful that I have been able to experience both ways of thinking - it gives me a equal perspective, a more balanced way of living my life. Again, it very rarely gets any better than that.

I heart u...

Stopped at a red light on Valentine's Day, really - does it get any clearer than that?. There could be all kinds of explanations, very good ones. Maybe the Boy got up early and wanted to impress the Girl. Maybe the Girl wanted the world to know how she felt about the Boy. Maybe and just maybe, it had Nothing to do with the Boy or Girl.

What if God's plan for you was pancreatic cancer...Dr Tremper Longman. Got a sampler of small group studies with Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) and assorted guests and less than 5 minutes in, I knew these would be a must to have. Frank discussions about God and the church. Learning to look at Him in a different light with a renewed perspective. Not being able to explain why God anything and being good with that. Realizing that nothing can be explained this side of heaven, that there will be times of sadness mixed with joy. Unexplainable, we do each other a disservice when we try to, when any answer is better than no answer. When you are ashamed that you can explain/defend/protect God. He doesn't need our help - He can speak for himself. The disservice comes when we aren't good with not being able to give firm, specific answers to life's most difficult questions about the what and whys of life.

What I don't know?
why bad things to good people
why pray if it isn't going to affect the outcome
why is God's Story so opposite to what makes sense.

What I do know!
answers to many questions are time delayed, don't waste any more time trying to figure things out that are unfigureoutable (?)
if you are just praying for outcome, you are missing out on the great Joy of just sitting on God's lap.
stories have many twists and turns. not until the story is done, do you see the whole picture. commit to seeing the story through, through the good and the bad, the explainable and the unexplained. Love Out Loud.

Looking forward to learning more and more about less and less. The less I need to know, the more I see. Sometimes, it even comes next to you in the middle of traffic when you least expect it. Eyes open, hearts clear...


Instructions from Gage's teacher, paraphrased - Go home, build your own Valentine Box. There will be a prize for the best one. This is where Real Life shows up very quickly. There is a slideshow of photos I could show you. The small scale model of the house from Up, complete with helium balloons. Or the not so scale doll house covered in Conversation Hearts. If these kids build these boxes themselves, they belong at MIT. Gage LOVED his pirate ship until he walked into class and saw Those Who Wanted To Win At Any Cost. Welcome to Real Life. Someone will always have more than you. Always. Either by ill or air gotten gains and there will always be those who have less. As I was leaving the classroom, I saw one girl whose bag was a simple white lunch bag with her name, H***** ROCKS. I imagine she had some acute Moments that day. The epilogue to this Story - Everyone got a big paper award taped to their box with Someone unique, just about them. Don't know if the teacher is an genius or just got lucky.

It is a retailer's lifeline. With sluggish Christmas sales, they know there is potential goldmine in less than 6 weeks with assorted Valentine sales. From sweets, to flowers and just about anything anyone can purchase to show their undying Love. Add to that all the school parties with Valentine's and snacks and you have yourself a heap of ways to sweeten the Money Pot. When asked what I might expect for the Big Day, the answer was - Anything You Want. He means it, not one to ponder his love for me - I could ask for most anything and get it. He is very good to me.

I don't want anything. I have someone to hug tomorrow morning and there is no price you can put on that. Later in the morning, there will be three more hugs and kisses and that is more than enough for me.

I hope you all feel the Love today. Maybe it won't look exactly like the Hallmark model, make it your own. Maybe a pet or a friend. Be creative. If you lost your Valentine this year, embrace their memory and be thankful for the Love you did have.

No matter how you spend your day, remember it is only 24 hours long and then we all go back to Normal Life. Grab a little chocolate for yourself and find the Love, with the Life you have...

listen carefully...

It started out slowly, then more and more. Sirens in a succession of harmonius wails. Firmly entrenched in my blog reading, slow to notice but then the rising pitch grabs your attention and sounds like a symphony of sirens.They seem to be blasting in HD from all different directions, all at the same time, heading to the same place.

You take a few seconds and then realize, where ever they are going, you will know about on the news at noon. Sounds like all of our city's finest are on their way to save the day. I hope they can.

As I continue to listen for the different pitches and musical riffs, I can tell that fire, ambulance and police cars will soon be emerging on a scene. While ambulance chasing is in my blood in my younger days, now I prefer to drop what I am doing and pray.

I pray for those who needed the help, those giving the help and those on the road, to get out of the way. Seconds count and if help was on it's way to someone in your family, I imagine you would want them to get there as fast as they could,

It is completely quiet now. Quiet and eery.

Did they get there in time? Is everyone alright? Is it my family? Is it one of the responders family?

Yesterday not far from DD's house, a young father picked up his 8 month old baby from his estranged wife for the day. He called her throughout the day, threatening to end his life. Late in the evening, the police did a welfare check and found the father had ended his and his baby's life. May God have mercy on them.

This is the world we live it. Some days are better than others. Most days, it will be Somebody else's turn but Someday, one day - it will be our turn. The call will come and tragedy will knock on our door.

Here's the thing. When it is my turn, I would love to think that there were those who heard the ambulances and responders and started praying immediately for all of us. I would to also think that they continued to pray when it got quiet and scary. Especially then. For all those involved and those who be become involved, involuntarily.

It is still quiet. No repeating sounds of medical rescue heading back to the hospital. I hope that is a good sign. Would love if there was a All Clear noise, Thank you - all is good, Nothing to see here...

Back to my blog reading. So until the next time...and there will be a next time because we live in this world, for now. The noise will continue, the grief will continue and we do what we can...


Religion says, You need to go to church every weekend and on Wednesday night too.
Jesus says, You are the church and wherever you go, I am with you always.
Religion says, You must give at least 10% of your income to church because God needs your money.
Jesus says, I want 100% of your heart and sometimes a portion of that heart lives in your wallet.

Religion says, You need to get yourself cleaned up and put on your Sunday best for God!
Jesus says, God has seen you on the toilet and much worse than that - no need for a show.

Religion says, You don’t have enough faith - you haven’t done enough works - you’ll never be enough.
Jesus says, I am the King of Kings and you are my son or daughter. You are Royalty and that’s plenty..
.Pastor Ryan

If you cruise Pioneer's Woman Cooking site, you have probably seen Pastor Ryan in her kitchen. This man of God with gorgeous tattoos cutting food, is a beautiful thing. His wife and children round him out and keep him sane. His photography is great and he taught me the very best way to cook bacon. For that alone, I will be forever grateful.

If what he says about religion and Jesus is the least bit confusing, you need to hear his words. If you lumps religion and Jesus together, do yourself a favor, STOP IT NOW. Let yesterday be the last time these two were the same thing in your mind and heart. Today is the first day of the rest of your Jesus life - leave religion in the dust, literally.

We all have so much noise around us in the form of what we should do and how we should do it and at times, it makes us dig i with our heels and refuse to do anything. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Don't just take my word for it - ask Him. He will make it Real. While the separating of the two may seem difficult, after you make the intial switch, everything else will fall into place. It will make sense, forever.

No more secondguessing yourself or others. Wrap yourself around Jesus and don't worry about religion. Once you know the difference, the rest is a Journey of growing, loving and more growing.

Now, shake it off and get on with your life. Take a step and prepare to soar...

sometimes, you get lucky...

As I waited for my lunch date yesterday, I pulled out my camera to see if I could make lemonade from lemons. Placed in a booth that was not photo friendly, I decided to make the best of it, certain that I couldn't shoot anything worth keeping. With that attitude and because the only option was to shoot up, I started with the window right next to me.

Trying to see past all the the reasons why it was a lost cause to shoot, all I could see were the the things that would get in the way. Always try to take at least one keeper when at the Brick, just one. I shot a few, trying to shoot around people and room dividers and high chairs. My lunch date showed up and the picture thing left my mind. Forgot about it until I got home.

Went through 5 photos and came to this one. SOOC with a little brightness and sunflare. I was in love. It made my day and changed my attitude. There were even a few others that I didn't see as potential keepers but with a little bit of work, will make the Life folder.

Starting last month, I had designated a photo Life folder. No people, just slices of Life, Reminders of how Life really is versus how I see it sometimes. If it is true that Sometimes you just get lucky, it is also true that Sometimes, you make your own luck but aren't smart enough to know it...

Who Dat?

There isn't a soul alive that doesn't appreciate David and Goliath Story. The Story where the underdog doesn't just squeak by but win BIG.

Most underdog Stories are not instant. There is build up, thee is hype. There is smack talk and predictions of, Ain't never gonna happen. Happened to David, Job and more than a few more. We all have these kind of Stories in our circles of familiarity. We can access them off our human hard drive anytime, anywhere.

Because of all the loss in New Orleans, this win did and will continue to bring victorious Stories to their dinner tables and places of work. There will be dancing in the streets all night long. These times make our hearts fill like they will burst. Maybe it is a silly old football game but the Story is universal and because of that, even the Colts while disappointed, have to admit if they had to lose to someone, the David Saints would be that tea,

Who Dat in your own life? I think about Haiti and truthfully, have little hope that it will ever return to the terrifying state it was in before the earthquake. Today, I am reminded to never give up. There is another Who Dat? right around the corner. Just have to remember that and be ready to let the happiness rip...

natural light...

Light is to photographs what water is to a garden. Without it you have no photograph, as anyone who's tried to coerce a picture out of a low light situation knows.
It seems we can work with the light or against it
. Jefra Starr Lynn

light defines shape and form. Without it you have no picture
Almost 5 years ago. Taking pictures of the kids for Miss M's birth announcement. Had read some photo blogs about natural light, putting people by an open window, It was April and because of the cold weather, we had to shoot inside. We took all kinds of pictures and conbimations that day and it wasn't until I got home and downloaded my SD card, that I understand what they had been talking about. It was a picture of the boys, dressed in their big brother finest and that light falling on them by that window - I immediately fell in love with natural light. It would take a bit more trial and error to know that I never wanted to be a studio photographer and only now do it when forced. Natural light all the way for me, baby.

Now. take it one step farther. Natural light is all around us. In Real Life. If you pay close attention, you can see it all around you. In a different form. A Light of a different sort. I realized that this morning that the Natural Light draws me in. It is the Shiny that I chase. My perception is we all chase Shiny but it looks different to each of us. Shiny can be a negative or positive, we get to choose what we chase and that choice determines whether it is good or bad for us. Can Natural Light be bad? I think not. Natural Dark, definitely but not Light. By nature, dark prefer to stay hidden and loves the cover of invisible. I lived in Natural Dark for the first 20 years of my life and I can tell you, the two are like apples and oranges. Imagine trying to take a photo in Natural Dark?

One of my choices for the year was to start taking more photo journalist type photos. Emotions, laughter, tears, the non-documentary photos. I am still documenting my family's photos - I want the kids to see everything about their lives but I am also going for the Love, the Natural Light, if you will. So far, it has been a wonderful year.

what are you saving?

Who will save book publishing?

What will save the newspapers?

What means 'save'?

If by save you mean, "what will keep things just as they are?" then the answer is nothing will. It's over.

If by save you mean, "who will keep the jobs of the pressmen and the delivery guys and the squadrons of accountants and box makers and transshippers and bookstore buyers and assistant editors and coffee boys," then the answer is still nothing will. Not the Kindle, not the iPad, not an act of Congress.

We need to get past this idea of saving, because the status quo is leaving the building, and quickly. Not just in print of course, but in your industry too.

If you want to know who will save the joy of reading something funny, or the leverage of acting on fresh news or the importance of allowing yourself to be changed by something in a book, then don't worry. It doesn't need saving. In fact, this is the moment when we can figure out how to increase those benefits by a factor of ten, precisely because we don't have to spend a lot of resources on the saving part.
Seth Godin...

So in Real Life, what are you saving? What are you spending lot of resources on that you don't need to? What is sucking up your energy as you hold on to it so obsessively that you feel will kill you if you let go... The truth is just the opposite.

It doesn't need saving...

Wow, don't know about you but there are a few things in my Save folder that need to go. Seth talks about about business and marketing but I got to tell you, he always goes straight to my heart. Thanks again Seth. God works in mysterious ways, never doubt it...

Ballet Idaho...

DD, Miss M and I attended Cinderella, The Short Version last night. It was my first ballet and 45 minutes was just perfect. Unless Miss M goes into professional dance, it will be my first and last ballet. Not my cup of tea but watching all the little girls in the audience, staring at the ballerinas was worth every minute.

Did you know that Cinderella is a rather new ballet and that when it was brought to America from Russia, the Powers That Be decided there were no ugly ballerinas so they cast men in the roles of the Stepsisters. I loved the Stepsisters! I wanted to get their pictures and because the young audience was 1. scared of them and 2. wanted to meet Cinderella, their lost was my gain. Teenage boys in high heels and pink wigs. I couldn't even get Miss M to walk over with me despite the fact that could also have giving out makeup tips.

Too bad I had to wait 58 years to see a ballet. Loved watching their toes and the way Cinderella could position her leg was almost scary. Good thing I knew the Story, without dialogue one could get lost with all the kicks and jumping.

A wonderful time with my girls, I would go anywhere to share that, even the ballet...

The truth is...

NEW YORK - The debate over international adoption, already a bitter one, has intensified in the aftermath of Haiti's earthquake and the arrest of 10 Americans for trying to take children out of the devastated country without permission.

"It was a critical mistake — the Haitian government has been very clear they did not want any children leaving without its express permission," Johnson said Monday. "Maybe the Americans thought they were helping 33 kids, but now there's going to be a much slower process and maybe even a ban on future adoptions — and that would be a tragedy."

Five of the ten people arrested come from a church not far from me. I have passed it hundreds of times on the way to see my kids. I watched it being built on a empty land, brick by brick. I saw its parking lot full and empty. Like most churches, it is only used a few hours a week. You wonder how much trouble they could really get into. Now we know.

When the news first broke, I remember reading an article asking one of the ladies if they had the permission of the Haitian government to take the 33 kids out of the country and her answer was...God told me to do it. Personally, I took that as a NO. When someone feels that God told them to do Something, it can look like Nothing matters but that very fact. It has made more than one do crazy things because of their belief that what God told them to do, no matter what - was the right course of action.

What is the truth? Did God tell them to take 33 kids illegally out of the country to save their physical souls? At least 2 of the kids told them they had parents and they were told they were going to some kind of camp, so they went with them. What does God tell us and when do we do it? When do we start to bend the rules, whether they be those of a country or of a child. When does lying seem to be justified. When was it left to us to cure the world, at any cost? When is stepping out of bounds for God, ok?

My prayers for these 10 people are not to be successful in Haiti. Nor that they are allowed to be martyrs for adoption rights. My prayers for them is to come home, get their heads out of their assumed cause and understand they can't save everybody. Child trafficking is child trafficking. Haiti has enough issues right now without having to deal with child trafficking whether intentions are good or sinister, which they are both having to deal with. We are an impatient people and that has goteen us into trouble, more than once. Justice moves too slow so we take matters into our own hands. God's time is not our time may be one of the hardest concepts for us to grasp. We see so much that needs to be done. The truth is, this side of heaven it will always, always be this way. If you need something to accept and pray about, pray about that...