Monday, May 31, 2010

What is a Memorial?

In scripture every time something significant happened they had a stone, an alter, a festival, or a name change. That is how they celebrated in addition to making sacrifices as well.

So on this Memorial Day- I ask you how do you remember Christ? Really- how can we remember our need for HIM? How can we constantly surround ourselves with more of HIM?

So here are some ways in the Wright Home we try to remember Christ.......
We do family devotionals,
we do a family worship,
study scripture on our own (us as parents model this as well as encourage our children who can read to spend time in the Word),
read books that are thought provoking towards the scripture,
try to keep our lives pure from outside influences (tv, or bad language, those pictures that are not of a healthy Christian influence, etc.),
wear modest clothing,
give tithes,
give offerings (yes these are not the same thing),
prayer several times a day,
ask forgiveness of each other when we have done wrong (that goes for everyone in the family not just our children),
we have decorations around our home celebrating our faith,
wear t-shirts with scriptures,
our kitchen cabinets are full of scriptures our children have memorized,
we memorize scriptures together,
we keep each other accountable,
we remind each other of the miracles that have happened in our lives :),
we remind each other of prayers for ourselves and others,
go to church & Sunday school,
we tell others about Christ at camp,
we homeschool specifically to teach our children more about Christ- having complete control over our curriculum is a great asset to bring Christ into all we learn,
we dream together about what our world can look like when we follow Christ (read about evangelists, Christ followers- present & past),
we talk daily of some of you others in blogland and what God is calling you to do,
look into new ministries together to open our minds to what God can do through us if we allow HIM to,
we TRY OUR BEST to remember Christ in ALL WE DO. We are NEVER perfect, but ALWAYS FORGIVEN!

Philippians 3:12- "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do:Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

This scripture is one of my favorites! It reminds me that all of us have growing to do....all of us are not perfect......there is no such thing as a perfect family, perfect church, or perfect life- just a perfect God that we serve. Some day we will have perfect bodies & lives. That is what we are straining for!

So what helps you remember Christ in your homes? What are some things you do together as a family to remember Christ?

Thank God for all the service men and women & families that have protected our right to REMEMBER GOD FREELY- Thank YOU!!!!! You have made sacrifices most of us can't possibly imagine.

Friday, May 28, 2010

One Million Arrows by Julie Ferwerda

As a mommy of 8 adopted children, and my husband and I having over 30 years of combined Christian camping experience- it is easy to see that we LOVE children! So when I received an invitation to read Julie's book I was excited.

As I began to get into the book I realized a truth so powerful it will change the way I look at parenting - FOREVER! As a Christian family we are focused on Christ. I thought, after adopting 8 children that I have a fairly good grasp on Christian parenting. There is this truth though that has found its way into who I really am.

It is so easy for parents to get wrapped up in - doing devotionals with children, teaching them right from wrong, and praying with them. That's good enough right? How about if you really do all you can and some of your children have surrendered their hearts to Christ- is that good enough?

What I got from the book was more than that. Not actual parenting tips of how to potty train, but HOW TO CHANGE THE WORLD! Given clear examples, and ideas Jule points us all to the fact that our children need to be more than just Christians who join the church and one day help with everything at church- NOT that this is bad. Just that there is soooo much more than just thinking that average is ok.

What if we all instead of aiming our arrows - our precious gifts from heaven- at the target and hoping we will get there- AIM DIRECTLY AT THE CENTER OF THE TARGET? What would our world look like? What does this involve. Well for one thing it is NOT passive parenting. It is not something you can squeeze in.

It involves sacrifice, training that takes time, planning, prayer, fasting, more prayer, and patience. It involves making sure your children know what it looks like to MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Letting them have ideas about how God can change the world, supporting them, helping them develop their passions, giving them all the support we can in impacting the world.

Then- let those arrows FLY! By sharpening our children for Christ in such a way as to NOT hold back anything that could be a possibility we let God do with our children as HE KNOWS BEST!

I don't know about you, but I WANT to imagine a world full of children who have been raised with such a passion for Christ, and heart for HIS MINISTRIES, that we CAN TRULY REACH EVERYONE! The great part is our summer camp theme that we picked was - How The Lost Get Found! If that is our true desire then what a great present and future our world has with one million arrows hitting the bull's eye.

The following is an interview with Julie.........

One Million Arrows: Raising Your Children to Change the World
Interview with author Julie Ferwerda
1. The title of your book is, One Million Arrows: What is that all about? The title originated with a man I met in India by the name of Dr. M.A. Thomas. He’s received many national awards in India such as the Mother Theresa Award and the Padma Shri for his humanitarian efforts, especially for his work with orphaned and abandoned children that he started in the 1970s. In the 90s, Dr. Thomas read a verse in the Bible that describes children as a gift and a reward, like sharp arrows in the hands of a mighty warrior (Psalm 127:3-5). He realized that all children, regardless of background and circumstances, should be seen as a gift and a legacy to society because they can make a significant and positive impact in the world if given the proper training and opportunities.
India has as many as 80 million orphans so he set a goal of rescuing one million orphaned and abandoned children, sharpening them with love, education, and spiritual nurturing, and launching them back into society to bring positive change through the power of the Good News about Jesus. To date he has raised over 16,000 orphaned and abandoned children who have become doctors, nurses, teachers, politicians, missionaries, and leaders, and he has planted over 21,000 churches in India and South Asia.
Relating to us…the arrow vision of raising children to be a gift and heritage to their society is for all parents, all countries. So many parents in our culture have lost their vision as to the incredible opportunity we’ve been given to shape—not just tomorrow’s leaders—but today’s leaders and shapers of their peer groups, schools, and communities. But this takes vision and deliberate investment and training. One Million Arrows casts a vision for parents to sharpen and launch our children right now to make a positive impact on society.

2. You mentioned the notion of parents investing in or training their children. Isn’t this what parents already do? Some parents do invest in and train their children to some degree, but there is also a lot of hands-off parenting in our society today, especially in training character development as well as teaching our children how to live for the big-picture—like what were they made to do in this world, what are their unique gifts and abilities, and how can they use them to make a difference now?
We have to train our children to serve others—it doesn’t come naturally. But for many of us, once our kids head into kindergarten, it’s easier to let someone else take over a lot of the training, or to allow our kids to fade into their entertainment-driven culture in their spare time. We need to see parenting as a much bigger opportunity and invitation than that!
I use an illustration in OMA from 9/11 about victims, bystanders, and firemen, the roles people take when lives are at stake. We must teach our children to see themselves as the firemen of this world…the heroes who are willing to set aside their own comforts in order to make a radical difference for others who are suffering or even in danger. There are so many in our world—whether the world around us or the world at large—who need our help and care in order to be saved from terrible circumstances.
I am so encouraged to see a great movement of young people in our world right now who are joining God in His work, coming back to historic levels of competence, purpose, and service for their fellow man. OMA emphasizes helping your kids find what they are passionate about and then training them to use it to serve and positively impact others.
3. Can you give us an example of kids who are using their talents and passions to serve others? Many of these kinds of young people are featured in the book, such as Chloe who is currently majoring in filmmaking in order to positively impact her culture by communicating truths that will spur her peers to make positive choices in life. She’s already received Film Festival awards for her work on the film, “The Enemy God” by (10X Productions), Ivan uses his love for extreme sports to hold events worldwide for sports enthusiasts where he shares a bold Gospel message and then plugs youth into local churches. My oldest daughter Dani uses her love for music and working with kids to impact hundreds of kids during the summer as a Christian camp counselor. These are just a few of many inspiring examples!
4. You have an emphasis in OMA for families to invest in taking care of international orphaned and abandoned children through established organizations. Why is that? Investing in other children is one of the best ways to get your kids hearts interested and engaged in serving and helping others. Also, there are so many children worldwide who are the truest victims and have no means to get out of the gutters of life without help. As mentioned, these kids are currently being rescued and shaped to become spiritual leaders and contributing citizens of their own countries. Our family can make a true difference in the world by impacting lives of these children, which will in turn impact whole villages and cities as they grow up. What a great investment of our time, talents, and money! Many organizations will even allow you to visit the orphanages and ministries you help support.
We love to make it known that all proceeds of OMA go to international orphan ministries.
5. Is this a “how to” parenting book? We do share many principles-based parenting tips from several successful arrow-raising families. But there are already many how-to books on the shelves and I’ve had publishers tell me that parents ask for them but then don’t buy them. That’s because parents need inspiration: “What’s possible through our family if I commit this kind of energy to deliberate parenting? Can our family make a true difference in the world?” The major emphasis in OMA is inspirational aspect of parenting—casting a vision of the exciting ways your family can plug in to make a difference.
6. Is there any place parents can go after reading the book for more inspiration and guidance? We are currently developing our website ( as a community where parents can share testimonies as well as spiritual training helps. We are also adding many resources on our site such as unique orphan ministries to consider getting involved in, suggested books and resources, daily spiritual training helps, and stories of young people around the world who are making a difference.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Thoughts on a movie review & money..........

So I have been thinking .....last night we watched the movie The Ultimate Gift. It is a good movie about what really matters. You know a movie that has a moral. Although it is not a perfect movie....... I like it. The thing is the young main character is a spoiled brat- way tooo much money for his own good. Which makes him very shallow, and all of his friends are really shallow. In the end he ends up learning how it feels to actually work, make friends, find out who he is, etc. I love the part where he is finally given his inheritance and what does he do with one million dollars- he gives it away! YEAH! To build a home, church, and employment center for those with children who are really ill. Then he ends up getting even more (one billion dollars) money because they realize he has become a new person. Someone who cares about others and can change the world with his wealth.

The reason this has me thinking a lot is because.......well when I was a kid & let's be honest a few years ago even. If you would have said what would you do with a million or even a billion dollars I would have said........ give away a lot to some great ministries......keep some so we could live off of it (not work any more).......give some to my parents so they can live comfortably too.

Well, I have to say my heart has been ripped open and changed. In a good way. I no longer wish to have an easy life without work. That is a silly notion we have created in our world that DOES NOT LEAD TO HAPPINESS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sitting on a big fat cash stack will never bring you what you really want. Just like this young man it should be our honor to work. It should be our joy to put in hard labor in return for a fair wage.

Then it hit me.....I mean we give a fair amount away every month.......isn't that enough? In my mind- NO! In fact that is the part about being in debt right now I HATE! I don't like not being able to give more. I don't like the feeling of owing money on anything. It drives me nuts! Do we still give- ABSOLUTELY!

The thing is if you asked me now- what would you do with bucket loads of money- my answer would be to see how much fun I could have giving it all away. I don't lack for anything- why would I want money? I would cry happy tears as I would be able to provide sooo many families with the means to adopt!!!! I would love to give to many other Christian organizations that support the needy, poor, those that need to see Christ.

So I am just wondering - what do you give to?

We give to some amazing ministries, but I always love to hear about more- because there are many out there.

So our list:
our home church
our camp ministry
Answers In Genesis
American Family Association
and others randomly- like to other adoptions, the orphanage where Jonathan was, 147million,, those who need help for gas money, etc.

So what are your favorite organizations to give to, and what would you do with a million dollars?

Monday, May 17, 2010

Joanna has taken over the blog- beware :)

All right....I have taken over this blog because I wanted to tell you all a few things about life here in the Wright Home :) So check out my cute pics & enjoy! First off we have me chillin' you know with my nano IPOD.......
Then we have me getting ready to go help daddy in the camp kitchen.
OK so a shout out to all in my family from right here in the good ol' US of A!
And of course a shout out to my daddy who talks funny because he is from the UK- love you daddy. And all the people at church love hearing you read scripture so it must be cool to talk like you do.
And of course a shout out to my big brother from Ethiopia. He is so cute- but of course NOT as cute as I am- right?
So let's break it down. I have a lot of people ask- How's it going? It's going great! I have 9 other people to love on me all the time. I get picked up whenever I want. I get hugs - at least a million a day & kisses too! I love to eat- mommy tells me I am growing way too much, but hey- a lady has to grow up if she wants to do all those fun things I see my siblings doing.
I am thinking that staying awake all night - well isn't as great as I once thought it was. Mommy & Daddy make better play mates when they have had at least a few hours sleep. So I am thinking this whole sleeping more at night is a good idea.
Yep, this is the life. Daddy is talking about me on the phone to grandma & grandpa from England. I am loved all over the world. Notice the whole hold my burb cloth in his arm technique?
Yep- this is the life for me- looking cute and adorable.
I mean- I am soo cute! Awwwwww..........this is what it means to be made in God's image - right?
OK so here is my photo shoot with some of mommy's clothes from when she was younger. Thought I would give them a try- to see if I look even better than she did. Notice the milk coming out of the corner of my mouth.....I am one satisfied baby :)
We have this cute kitty number going on......
Here I am telling mom- what is this? Really you used to wear this? We have to talk!
This is me posing- very adorable- I know.
Not really getting into this outfit much, but the shoes are cute.
How many times should you have your picture taken in one day? I mean can that flashy thing hurt you in some way. I don't want to ruin my delicate skin.
Like this one because my toes are free. I am living in Louisiana you know!
This dress is cute.
Comfy sleepwear is fun to model
Proves my cuteness factor!
Awww....daddy come on- put me back on your shoulder where I belong.
Yes, my favorite milk time with Lipids and ARA and DHA (whatever that is). I don't really care, but it has this yummy flavor that I just love. To all the babes out there you should try it. I recommend it- give it 5 snaps up baby!
Here is Sarah feeding me. I love my little cuddle U- cute fashionable & comfortable.
I love having not only mommy & daddy, but 7 others who take care of my every whim! Who says those that have more children don't have enough time to spend with the new baby. I think I must be one of the most spoiled babies in the world.
Chillin' with my mama
Love the shoulder look.
Cuddled in a ball position is sooooo comfy.
Being next to daddy- priceless!
And for my final 2 poses.....what do you think of this hat? Too big? Cute enough? Does it scream out- I am the best baby ever?
Yeah, just had to pose a little more. This modeling is tough work. So glad to know that all of my fans out there will be checking out my latest work.

A few more things about me: My hair is like soft curly silk, my skin is smooth and dreamy, I smell like cute baby, I want to be held all the time, I love being in my sling with mommy, being kissed & cuddled by my fam, drinking milk is great, and the best part is- BEING IN A HOME THAT LOVES ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks mom & dad & siblings. If it weren't for you I wouldn't have a home.

So think about that when you say- oh we couldn't possibly take in another child, or I don't have the time, or we don't have the room, or I don't have enough money, or any other things. If you can't take in another child- then pray for others hearts to be opened. Pray for others to give generously so families can take in more children. Pray that God will send families for the other 147 MILLION ORPHANS IN THIS WORLD.

That is my dream- to let the world know there are so many other cuties that NEED LOVE & A FAMILY!

So I'm out for now I have a date with mommy & daddy chill time- enjoy & God Bless You All!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Whew- a long week..........

How much cuteness can there be in the world? I mean really......
We have missed you pool time- ahhhhhhh.....
She is way too grown up for her own good!
Still laugh at his life jacket every time!

Baby in the baby float. Not to worry....I moved her- after I took this shot of her sleeping in it. Had to have her in on the fun too!
Oh yeah- you are all jealous now. Back off he's mine!

Does her face just emulate CRAZY or what?

No idea what he is doing????

THIS IS HOW I HAVE FELT THIS LAST WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!! This is why I have not posted for a while!

OK- so pre summer time for us working at a camp & retreat center = A LOT OF PROJECTS THAT HAD TO BE DONE & NOT ENOUGH TIME IN THE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Then just for some extra fun we had to at the last minute fill out a BEAST of a form for the government for the camp that only tooookkkkk waaaayyyyyy TOO MANY HOURS!!!!!!!!!! YIKES!!!!!!!!!!! I think the government needs to just for fun, every once in a while, throw in a fun question like- what is your shoe size or what is your favorite color- or what is your favorite ice cream flavor. What fun question would you put on a government form???

So this past week I have felt like I am drowning in "too much to do" pile of nasty. I got sick and went to the ER in the middle of the night. We have a board meeting tomorrow and things to do for that. We have had retreats every weekend for the last few months................and my brain hurts. These things do NOT upset me. It happens every year. We have been directors for almost 11 years now. The part that I don't like are things that throw me for a huge loop - like the extra government form. Which made my world go nuts...... and I had to miss out on a lot of hours with my kids- which throws my body chemistry off- NO LIE for real. It is a need to be with my children!!!! On top of that Jason had to do a lot as well- so our children....well.....spent a lot of time outside playing and playing inside - with not a lot from us. So SORRY MY BABES!!!! Yes we have talked to our children and apologized for it. They do know and realize that it is very temporary. That they do matter more than work to us :)

So today- we spent some time at the pool together!!!!!!!! YEAH! Now this next week- more time with children = a less stressed mommy :) Still lots to do, but more manageable.

I am passionate about this next week being better for time with my children & husband and continuing to seek God in Word & Prayer daily! What are you hoping to accomplish this next week?

Pray with me for this upcoming summer- for the campers that are coming! For hearts to be opened, and for God to transform them into NEW CREATIONS!!!!!

May you all Be Blessed as you enjoy your weekend :)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Prayer For Many Kinds of Mothers

Mother's Day- a day to celebrate Mothers of course. But my thoughts today go to so many that feel a lot of pain on this day. I can't help it my heart has changed so much over the years, and God has opened my eyes. So what am I talking about today?

Mothers who have lost a child to death, endless fertility treatments that don't work, or failed adoptions. Children lost in the womb, before they could adopt them (like our Hannah Grace), those who were only a few days, and those who were 18 or 55. It doesn't matter what age you loose your child- IT HURTS! For those who have had a failed adoption (like our Naomi Caroline) due to politics of another country or our own, or to those who have held a child only to hear that the biological mom will indeed keep her child. To those Mothers- I pray HEALING over you!

Mothers who are on their own. You know the single mom's who may never even hear Happy Mother's Day (because there is no terrific dad who helps them to make a home made card or their children are too young). Or maybe they have to work that day just so her children can eat. I pray STRENGTH over you!

Mothers who are separated from their children right now on this special day. Anyone who has a child or has adopted knows that the hardest time not to be with them is a holiday. To those mommy's who see pictures of their children, but they are waiting in another country. To those who have bravely sent their child into a branch in the military or to the mission field- and their hearts ache to hold them. For mothers who have parted ways with their children for various reasons- of rebellion, differences, divorce, etc. I pray PEACE over you!

Mother's who struggle daily with being a mommy. Maybe it is because you don't have support from your husband, your family, maybe you live a ways away from anyone. Maybe you have moved recently and don't know anyone in your community. For those with children with special needs or children hanging on by a thread in the hospital. For those who feel like they know the hospital better than their own home. For those who have a child with special needs who work endlessly every day just to try to understand them and their world. I pray ENDLESS LOVE over you!

Mothers who have made a beautiful decision to give their child- a home that is stable, love, food, chances to do many things in life they couldn't provide. To them- I have no real words. I stand in awe of you. Whatever the situation- you - you have made my life what it is today. You have given me a gift there is no way I could ever repay. You have done something that is unselfish to the point of being beyond what my brain can comprehend. I pray JOY over you!

Mothers who wake up every morning with or without strength to do what they know needs to be done. The ones that get up extra early to make their child's favorite breakfast before sending them off to school and going to work. For those that search for just the right gift for that special occasion because they love their child so much- even when that means they will go without something they wanted to get. For the mommies who are also their child's favorite teacher that spend countless hours doing school with them. For those that give those extra hugs, kisses, and cuddles...the ones that drive endless hours to see their child in track meets, plays, concerts, and so much more. To those that brave circumstances of all kinds to show love to the same children the don't remember to say Thank You. I pray the many BLESSINGS OF MOTHERHOOD over you!

You see my eyes have been opened to so many that experience the GREATEST LOVE & the GREATEST PAIN from being a mother. How can one glorious calling be so confused with so many emotions? How can this one thing that is sooo important in life be so hard and so wonderful all at the same time.

This is a mystery only God our FATHER knows. Only HE can comprehend our hearts as we grieve and gain perfect bliss from the same source. Thank YOU GOD for this wonderful journey called Motherhood. Thank you for the many people we get to share it with. Thank you for giving us all the healing, strength, peace, endless love, joy, all included in the BLESSINGS of MOTHERHOOD!

Happy Mother's Day!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Sarah Joy Wright!

Happy Birthday Sarah Joy Wright- 6 years old today!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Strawberry Shortcake & her friend Blueberry Muffin (bring back memories anyone?), and the ambulance next to it because Sarah keeps saying she wants to be an EMT. Just like mommy (I volunteered when I was teaching).
How cute?
For Sarah it is important STILL to remind her that we will always love her NO MATTER WHAT! If you have ever had attachment issues- you know what I mean :) WE DO!!!!!! Forever baby girl LOVE YOU!
Here is her cake- upside down pineapple cake - by her request. Tasted oh so yummy!!! Haven't had it in a loooonnnnnggg time.
See that huge smile on her face!

Could you resist this smile???
EXCITEMENT!!!! A day just for her! YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!
This again is Joanna's excitement at the dinner table....
She can literally sleep in ANY position! WOW!

We had a great day with our beautiful Princess JOY!!! That is really who she is.....sometimes it doesn't always show, but we know that is who God created her to be. We pray it over her life all the time. She has a free spirit, and it is sweet.....

Today she sang her "made up the words and music" songs to me. I LOVED IT! It reminded me that all the hard things we have endured with her- God has started to heal. It blesses and amazes my soul! She is one of our children that smiles 99% of the time. Her eyes show me LIFE! They show me her heart- it is bright and beaming. God has chosen her for something AMAZING & I can't wait to see it unfold! She also has a very determined side ( her mommy maybe a bit too much??).

So my Birthday wish for Sarah would just be for continued healing for her heart that has suffered sooooo much in her short life. That God would clearly guider her to be the young lady she should be. Pray with us for this sweet soul that God has chosen to Bless us with.

**This is a teaser for a book I am reading which just reminds me more and more of my calling as a parent and how important it is!