Neighborhood Children + M&M's.

These are some of my neighborhood orphans. The boys' names are Caleb (orange shirt), who has introduced me to "Landon my brother" (waving in the dark shirt) about sixteen times. And over there in the pink shirt and adorable pig tails, well that is Dora. Her older sister Denise chose her name. 20130906-212255.jpg

Last night as Loren and I were getting into the car to head downtown to the Beanery, I saw Caleb bending over that drain, sticking his fingers into that pile of dirt. And he was definitely eating it.

"Caleb! What are you eating?!" His response as he looked up and sprinted across the parking lot to our car was, "DOG POOP!" He was smiling so big. But as he approached me he asked "Hey. Do you have M&M's?"

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On the left is Caleb again (quite the littele tyrant) hauling some baby I had never met into my house.  I was looking around just waiting for the cops to show up yelling "stranger danger." The thing about Caleb is that he brings all of the other neighborhood kids to my door and begs for candy. You cannot see, but to the left of that adorably chubby baby are two more girls. Julia and a girl Loren and I refer to as "that one girl." (I should really learn her name).

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This is Caleb, once again. I had given him some M&M's about 1800 times before this and ran out of them. The day before this photo was taken, I offered him a tomato in replace of M&M's (haha) which he happily took. Biting into it like an apple, he scrunched his face, and then he stated "I dont like potatoes." Oh the joy.

The following day, I arrived home late, was exhausted, and ready for bed. As I got out of the car I dropped all of my groceries because a little tyrant M&M seeking boy was hiding behind my car door and shrieked "DO YOU HAVE M&M'S TODAY?!" I did not, so instead I asked him to help me carry in all my food and I would give him some chocolate chips.

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About a week ago, these precious rugrats were literally waiting outside of my door for us to get home. It was getting DARK. To the left of the stairs is my door. They had piled up about 300 random balls and 3 bikes.

Chilling M&M-lady got home.

The second we rounded the corner into our hall way, the question was asked. No, stated: "Can we have M&M's." It was music to my ears.

How can you resist a bunch of kids who are always running around the parking lot? All day, all night, literally keeping us up with their screaming games until after 10 pm. I am sure they are orphans -- there are never any parents around. Ever. Not even mentioned. It is odd.

I anticipate the question, "DO you have M&M's?" I love it. I love these kids. I have told Caleb about Jesus and I want to just sit with them in a circle and tell them about Noah and the Ark. I dont know why, I just do. I want to give them yummy food and invite them in to make cookies (is that so illegal?).

But seriously people! Do you have precious children running around your life that need a little extra attention?. Maybe some M&M's? Maybe you can make a mark on these precious, most fragile lives that are so fertile. So ready to have some seeds of Life planted.

Maybe you can be remembered as the neighbor who gave them M&M's and shared the best thing ever shared (Jesus. Love). MAYBE, you can give them Jesus so they can give Jesus to others. IMG_5740

PS. Please note this: tonight I made cookies and they (you can't see them all but there were 5) were literally smashed up against our "drive through window" for an hour. It was great. It made my night. And my soul is being refreshed by these vibrant tyrants.

Sometimes You Just Don't Have Money

20130828-144244.jpg Sometimes when you are living and you are alive, you only have $0.16 left over for the last 10 days of the month & that is just the reality of this life. And sometimes, all of the time, that is okay! Because you have faith that God your provider will supply all your needs and you know that you will not die. As we spent the weekend munching on the crumbs of Doritos (not really, there were some half chips), slowly sipping the last ounces of milk (I dont even like milk), and searching the freezer every five minutes, we decided we should ask someone for some food.

First, however, was Sunday. And Sundays mean free coffee and tons of home-baked yummies from our Hospitality Team at Corvallis Church. You should come check us out :). So we went to church and consumed as much as possible (this is a horrible statement), then went home and passed out for about 5 hours. Our wonderful friends Jeff & Kaitlyn were planning on coming over later that evening for our condensed-young marrieds group. They asked if we should do a potluck style evening and Loren and I had to be spitting honest and tell them, "Sure, but you would be better off eating before you come. All we can offer is tea, cold coffee, and eggs with some tomatoes." The little gems they are. See that beautifully colored photo above? That is not even the half of what they brought us!

They even made this delicious dish of deliciousness: squash, potatoes, cheese, onions, olive oil. Just imagine it in your mouth and you will be in heaven. But in all honesty, if we had not been honest in the first place, how would the blessing have come? It is quite humbling to tell your friends you cannot offer them more than an egg and a tomato from your garden (honestly, we could have baked something but we were too lazy)...but it is such a beautiful thing when that humility turns into a bountiful of food. Or better yet, when that humility reminds you that the church is still the church...that the bride of Christ is still alive.

Not only did Jesus bring us food from our friends, but two days later I was given a check for a days worth of work that I have not yet worked. I was payed in advance! Not even asking for it. Can I say provision? What in the world or what in heaven, God is good. And we have no reason to doubt His promises.