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Showing posts from 2014

5 Things!

I am blogging tonight for my own benefit, to remind myself of things I already know and to keep my focus where it needs to be. Last week, I had to suddenly retire my Seeing Eye dog, something I wasn't planning to do for another four years. As I am struggling to adjust back to life with a cane, I am sentimental, stressed, and uncertain of my surroundings. My mind keeps replaying old familiar truths, and as I ponder them, they give me strength and courage. So, I am writing them down for myself—and if you are in a place of bewilderment, feel free to read on.  Maybe these words are for you, too.
In college, I was the chaplain for the Collegians Chorale. My main responsibility was to lead in weekly devotionals. I teach biblical lessons the same way I write—creatively, off-the-cuff, and often sprinkled with humor. I don't remember most of what I taught back then, but a few of the lessons God taught me during that time have remained in my heart and mind, and that's where my though…

GO Big for the Little!

I've been thinking a lot lately about the kinds of people God chooses to do his work.
Last weekend, Steve and I went to Kansas City for a day of GO Exchange ambassador training and a night of rodeo at The BIG Event. We learned about how God is at work in the lives of children, mothers, fathers, business owners, executives, and at-risk kids. All I can say about it is “Wow!”

In the room with me were women from all over the country, some homemakers, some in the medical profession, some hairdressers, some designers, some in their twenties, some in their sixties. We were all there to share in a common mission, a common vision, and to “Go big for the little.”

As I sat there, listening to story after story of God's leading, I wondered to myself for a moment, “Exactly how did I end up here?” At the moment, I'm the only Ohio ambassador, and I have no background in fashion, design, or even sales. I haven't yet been to Haiti or Uganda, and my sales certainly aren't …

GO Big or GO Home

Go Big or Go home

I must say, that phrase has taken on new meaning in the Shelton household over the last several months. Remember the post back in January where we were overwhelmed and overburdened? I compared our point in the journey to Moses when he needed Aaron and Hur hold his arms up for him, to help him carry the weight of the staff God commanded him to hold to ensure the Israelites would be victorious against the Amalekites. In January, we were trying with all our might to follow God's calling on our lives, to keep walking the adoption journey, but we were battle weary and weak. I asked for people to pray for us, openly admitting we needed them to come along side, to lift us up in prayer, and to be Aaron and Hur for us.
Apparently, they did.
I decided at that time to step back from fund-raising. All my ideas were starting to sound the same, or like things we'd already done. The boys were in basketball, which would be followed by soccer, and I didn't have the…

Ready, Set, Go Exchange

When is the last time you fell in love? Can you remember the day? The time? I don't mean the kind of love when you discover a new favorite ice cream flavor, but heart-pounding, can't stop thinking about it, invading your sleep, and affecting your ability to concentrate falling in love.

For Steve and me, it was May 1, 2014, 3:30 p.m., at CAFO Orphan Summit in Chicago, Illinois. We skipped the one break-out session we had intended to attend (one on fund raising for adoption) in order to walk around and talk to vendors. The first table we stopped at, the very first one, stole our hearts and set us off in a new direction.

As you know, we've been fund raising for a year and a half to adopt a little girl from Haiti. We've been working diligently to gather up all the necessary documents and get through the home study. To date, we've raised over $17,000.00, just under half of what we need, but that is not actually what this blog post is about.

Our journey has alread…

Confessions of a Crazy

When I first told one of the managers in my office that we were going to adopt internationally, she responded with, “You know you’re crazy, right?” While that wasn’t exactly the reaction I was expecting from her, I understood where she was coming from. After all, what kind of people announce that they are adopting an unknown child into the family, from a third world country, when they already have three boys, active busy lives, a bunch of debt, a three-bedroom house, and a Seeing Eye dog? Well, apparently we do. The “call” came for Steve and I in completely different ways, and in case you don’t know that story, let me revisit that instance for a moment. Trenton was a baby, not even one, when I started feeling tugs to open my heart and home to a child from some undisclosed location. We had championed the cause of others who had heard the call and obeyed it, and supported them with words, with money, with hard work and time at their fundraisers, and with prayer. We did secret fundra…

Stand in the Gap

Just over a week ago, we were invited to an Ethiopian Christmas party being hosted by good friends of ours, their first with their son, Abe, who has been in the States less than six months. I took the time to caution Tyler and Trevor on proper etiquette for an occasion such as this, harkening back to a phrase taught to my college choir just before we left for a European tour. We were warned not to be rude American tourists, not to call things “weird,” or “gross,” but to address uncomfortable situations by thinking, “My that's different; I wonder why they do it that way.” I told the boys to take a similar attitude to this party. We were dressing up a little, because that's what they do in Ethiopia. There would be no gifts. There was a good chance there would be music and perhaps even dancing. And, of course, there would be food made just for the occasion, recipes unlike anything the boys had ever tasted. I told them not to be rude, but to try new things, and that if they …