Saturday, December 24, 2011

I'm thankful for the Savior.

To help us keep our eye on the ball this year, we decided to copy a story I found at the church bookstore about a family who put a piece of straw in a manger as they did kind acts through the month. So, Jess made a manger with the kids (it's sooo cute) and they have put straw inside it anonymously for their acts of service, as their gift to the Savior. Just having the little wooden manger under the tree helped me remember the Savior more this Holiday.

And, on that note, I want to share my love for the Savior and Heavenly Father. As a little girl I loved Happily Ever Afters, and as a teen I spent a lot of time searching for the source of true Happily Ever Afters. Then when I was 16, I met a friend and her sweet family from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I can remember learning about their belief that Heavenly Father is a loving father, who's greatest joy is us and helping guide us on our way back to live with Him after this life is done. The moment I learned this, inside I felt it's truth, because I had an imperfect mortal mother here on earth that loved me so much. I've always felt like I could come to her with any wrongs and she would still be crazy about me, and would gently help me find the right way.

I learned that Jesus is God's son just like I'm God's daughter. That in the preEarth life, Heavenly Father presented His wonderful plan for us to go to Earth, get a body like Him, gain experience, and have free agency to choose. But, this would lead to mistakes and sin, and we would need a Savior that could pay for these sins, so we could return to live as an eternal family in Heaven with our Heavenly Parents and each other.

When I was younger each Sunday I attended a little white Baptist church with a neighbor. They taught me wonderful things about God and Jesus, including He atoned for our sins. But, I never understood what this really meant until recent years. Now I can understand that He not only atoned for our sins, but He also had to carry each pain, suffering, and heartache that would come to us.

As I imagine what it would feel like to know every sad heart ache, suffering, and sin that Kyanne, Bridgey, Fin or Rusty who I love with all my heart, I can understand why the Savior knows us best, and loves us most. I can understand why the sheer weight of such a burden caused Him, part God, to bleed from every pore, and, call out to His father using the intimate form of Father, Abba (Like we say Papa, or Daddy in our language), asking if there was any other way [Mark 14:34-36 ].

 34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch.
 35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour   might pass from him.
 36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

I'm thankful for the Savior, I'm thankful for His love and sacrafice, especially when he felt as it was so awful "even unto death", and so awful that even though He knew that's what He came to earth to do, and still asked Heavenly Father if there was another way, but He still finished, because He loves each one of us, and when we are all done with this earth, He wants to see and hug each one of us. I really believe this.
I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Our friend Natasha. Her STory.

When Jess or I first tell people about our charity, the most common response is, "That happens here?" And, the next question is: "How?"

Below is our friend Natasha telling her own story. Natasha was the all American teen, Cheerleader, honor roll, mom, dad and little brother at home. Her traffickers went to such length to abduct her, that they not only gave her their business card asking her to call if she was interested in becoming a make-up artist, but then had her meet them at an office building where they interviewed her and let her know that there were so many applicants she may not get the job. Three weeks later they called to inform her she had got the job and needed to get her travel documents in order and tell her family.

Natasha Herzig (middle)
After being kidnapped and forcefully exploited day after day, her traffickers required her to call home every few months to let her parents know how she was doing and where she currently was traveling for her work as a "make-artist".

The story of how she got out and what she's done with her life since to help others is inspiring and empowering. We feel priveleged to know her and have her advising us in matters of Child Rescue. Here's her story:  NATASHA's Story

Friday, December 2, 2011

A video of Baby Mia now, for Jessica, Jacob's Mommy.

Many of you followed the story of sweet "Baby Mia", my friends baby girl who needed a heart transplant 3 years ago. With so many prayers and donations sent in behalf of her, I thought there would be many that would love to see this tender video. It was made for Jessica, the mommy of Jacob who gave his heart to Mia. I just sobbed as I watched these beautiful babies. Here is a link to the Mcdonald family blog as well for more updates.

For Jessica from Lilly McDowell on Vimeo.