Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Almost Famous

Ok, so not really at all famous whatsoever. But, I did a little review on my My Favorite Things blog on the Mally Bib that Natty is sporting in his birthday pictures below. They contacted me, thanked me for my review and put a link to my page on their site! Yipee! You can view it here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I did this

I got up this morning at 5:30. Put on two cups of coffee, my Mizuno running tights, Brooks Glycerine 6 shoes and a dri-fit tee. I took one look at my bangs and I went back to the closet for a cap. I stood in the kitchen and scarfed down cottage cheese with raspberries and half a protein bar and sipped my coffee and was out the door by 6:00am. It was much colder than I thought it would be, and windy too. I jumped a few metal barriers and into the corrals and ran with 15,000 others for 13.1 miles, through downtown, past the Martin Luther King Center, through Inman Park, Virginia Highlands, Tech Campus and back to Centennial Park. I was rewarded with 3 Publix brand oreo cookies and a mini bagel. I kinda hurt from the waist down, but other than that I feel great! Betty Fallin made a chocolate cake and there are two slices in aluminium foil on my kitchen counter. As soon as the nausea passes I am going to eat them both!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Papa!

Papa deserves a novel or a short story and certainly more than a silly little blog entry. My dad is the most brilliant, amazing, funny human being on earth. He can do anything and knows something about everything. Next time you see him, just ask him. Ask him about how to change the oil in an 84 Peugeot, how to install plumbing, what constellation is in the sky, what kind of rock you are holding, what trees grow in Georgia, what chemical element has the abbreviation Lu, how does electricity work, to define propinquity , but do not ask him if your outfit matches!

Growing up with Carl Davis as a dad was by far one of the greatest gifts I have been given in life. I shared him a lot with other kids, but never knew it. I never really thought about the fact that he spent all day with a bunch of loud, obnoxious kids, but came home ready to play with me. He called me Bean until I was in high school and begged him to stop. He would stand at the bottom of the staircase and yell, "Hey Bean" and when he did this, I knew it was something good. He had brought some reptile home from school or had discovered something unusual in our backyard. I would bound down the stairs and follow close behind him.

We had a farm out in Reed Creek, where they now live. We would often ride out there in the afternoons for Dad to attend to something or another. Or just to check the fish basket (US Army Corps of Engineers, don't check the dock at Crane's Creek). He would stop at this little gas station at the 4-way stop and let me get a coke and a candy bar! This was a very, very big deal. Mama didn't let us have stuff like this. We would get IBC Root Beer if they had it and I would get a Watchamacallit and Dad, a Snickers. The only thing was, I hated the combination of Coke and a candy bar. It's disgusting. The Coke was way too sweet with the chocolate and the Coke was such a new thing, it would make me belch and make my eyes water and I couldn't enjoy the pleasures of chocolate with carbonation in my mouth. I still can't. I guess milk and a candy bar would not have been as much fun. One time we stopped at the Bait Store and got Potato Boats and Bait. They each came in the same type of container. We would walk through the woods and Dad would teach me survival skills and how to live like a Native American, what plants I could eat or not eat, how to identify poison ivy and how to cast a rod and reel.

Carla says we she was little he read Greek Mythology to her. To me, he read Uncle Remus. We would do flips in the backyard. He would lie on his back, with legs bent, feet on the ground and I would run as fast as I could, lunge my hands on his feet, into a front handspring. He would grab my waist as I came up and over and push me up and out and far as he could. I would sail so high, legs and arms flailing. It was so exhilarating and so much fun.

He is absent-minded. Addicted to coffee. His grilled cheese sandwiches are burned on the outside and the cheese so thick it stays cold on the inside. He is deaf in one ear. He replies to most things with a somewhat interested, "Humpf?"

He's the smartest man on the planet and he is 59 today! Oh shoot. I just remembered I forgot to call!!! Shoot! Oh no. It's 11:00! I will call him in the morning. He won't mind. He's also the most laid back man on the planet.

Love you Dad.

A Message from Heidi

Unstoppable Love and a Boat

Greetings from Iris to all our friends and family around the world; blessings, joy and peace. As another wonderful outreach in the north of Mozambique concludes, I want to thank all of our amazing donors once again. Your love for the poor and your remembrance for the downcast, the orphan, and the widow are enormously appreciated. Without your generosity, it would be impossible for us to continue reaching the lost and feeding the hungry. You have a great part of all the fruit from this Iris family.

We have just returned from ministering in some of the northern coastal villages, where a deaf mute was miraculously healed on the first evening. As always, it was a truly awesome experience. Everyone in the village had known this person, so the healing was greeted with widespread excitement, exuberant cheering and clapping. Now the whole village wants to follow Jesus! We stayed at this village overnight, and began our next day fresh at 4:30 am, when the whole village awakened. That morning we held a beautiful wedding at a church in a mud hut. The church family and all the local children sang and danced loudly in celebration of this couple’s union. After that, we went to visit people in their homes and pray for the sick. God continues to do glorious miracles among us!

So many people were hungry for spiritual food, we might almost have forgotten how hungry they were for natural food — but after breakfast we also saw children scraping out the bottom of our pans after the pastors and visitors had eaten. The Lord again put it strongly my heart that love looks like something. So we prepared lunch, and everyone in the village who was hungry came and ate. We left solar-powered audio Bibles and a soccer ball, then we had to leave for another village.

The next village was one we had planted a church in several years ago. The pastor there has been through two training sessions at Iris, and is doing well. No words are enough to thank you all for helping us train these young, motivated Mozambican leaders! We won’t stop until every village and tribe is reached by the unending, bottomless, ceaseless love of Jesus. His love compels us. We have been so blessed by your ongoing generosity — God bless you all! And we ask you to remember us in your prayers. Now I would like to share another story, one that is really close to my heart. In part it is about the boat that took us on our outreach, but it is really about Tenacious Love.

One day my husband, Rolland, was flying me in our little bush plane over a certain area of Mozambique. I noticed that there were no roads at all, but I asked Rolland to take me as low as the plane could possibly go, and when he did I looked down and saw village after village passing below me. And I started sobbing! I was sobbing because there were no roads, and it seemed like there would be no natural way for me to get to those people. I was weeping because I have read the Book, and I know my God — I can’t imagine anyone on this planet not getting the opportunity to know this beautiful Savior! I can’t imagine not doing everything I can to give them the chance. I wept and asked God what I should do. And He said, “get a boat!” So, we began to pray and believe for a boat. For two years I was told again and again how impossible it was to get a boat to Pemba. Likewise, many of you reading this are chosen and called by God for great tasks, but there may be a lot of people telling you why you cannot go, why it is impossible for you to do what God is telling you to. They may try to explain it to you in detail. They may quote books about what they think we cannot do, and what they think God cannot do. I have read those kinds of books. But the Book tells us what we can do! I know my God, and if He says “get a boat,” He means that we should really get a boat. So — we got a boat! The government said that we could not bring it into the country without paying a seventy percent import duty. God provided, and I said, “Here is the money; give me the boat!” No one is going to stop me! Actually, I got really angry at the devil. How could he think he could possibly stop us? When you are in love, you are unstoppable!

It took two years and ten days for the boat to finally get here. On the way, while it was being hauled overland on rough roads, the transporters damaged the hull and put cracks in both the engines! At one point the donors who had paid for the boat came to see us, and it was still just sitting, waiting for repairs, covered in dust and dirt in the backyard of a non-Christian man who owns most of the city. Their investment was not looking very impressive. I thought, “God, this is not what I had planned.” Sometimes it is like that. It looks like your vision is in the camp of someone who doesn’t even know God. It looks like your vision has been captured and carried away. It looks like it is full of dust, covered over, and without any fuel. And yet God says: “Believe what I said! And do not stop!” Love is tenacious. Faith is tenacious. Love doesn’t give up, even when the engines are toast and you have to pay seventy percent duty! Do not stop short of your promise. Do not stop short of your destiny. Do not stop short of His glory. I had to keep searching for somebody to fix that boat, and even some of the people I love most told me repeatedly that it could not be done. Finally, I found a Filipino man who said he could repair it — but it took another year just to get the parts! After that, I was told that the hull was too deep, and I wouldn’t be able to get close to those villages because their coasts were so shallow. So I asked them to get me a dingy. I was told, once again, that this couldn’t be done. For some reason we couldn’t get a dingy in Mozambique. But I was convinced that there surely must be a dingy available somewhere! I had seen them! Someone said to me, “You just don’t stop, do you?” I cannot stop! Everybody needs to know! Every tribe, every nation, every tongue! I am a woman possessed by His heart for the lost. Wholly possessed by the one I am in love with! After another few months, they finally found me a dingy somewhere. And the day we finally took the boat on our first outreach, one of the engines blew. But the other one worked! Of course it would have been nicer to have two. But since we had the one, I told the captain to keep going.

When we got to that first village, by boat and then by dingy, everyone who lived there came running to us. And I was able to tell them that I had come with good news! I shared every word that I knew in their tribal tongue of Makua. They had never heard the name of Jesus before that day. We sat in a little carpenter’s shop, which consisted of a few sticks and a ripped piece of plastic, and shared all about Jesus while some of the villagers made furniture. Everyone came. I shared, I sang, and I gave them some little solar-powered audio New Testaments in Makua. When I asked them who wanted to receive Jesus, they all said yes! What if we had stopped short? What if we had given up? Do not be stopped by difficulty! Never stop short of what God has promised you! He has a destiny for you. A few months later we went back to this little village, and even before I had the chance to get out of the dingy, almost the whole village had run up to me, singing songs and quoting scriptures they had memorized from their solar Bibles! What a joy! God has made Himself known to this village, which had been totally forgotten by the outside world. We are now in the process of building a church and a school there, the first of either that this village has ever seen. What a privilege we have, to share the gospel about Christ Jesus! Oh thank you Jesus! We get to be part of bringing people into His presence! We get to give our little lives. Without Him we are just dry twigs. But He calls us to fruitfulness, to intimacy, and to fearless, tenacious love. Whatever it costs… we count it all joy!
Love and blessings, Heidi Baker

Friday, March 20, 2009

Wix and Stars and Me in my 20's!

So this isn't about you Wix, it's about me. This was four years ago. I look so young! It was taken at "Galey Kaley's" wedding. I just found this picture that I "borrowed" off the wedding photographers website and just had to share. I like dancing with tall men, they make you look teeny tiny. I look 12. I look enamored with Wix, but actually I just knew we were being photographed and wanted to appear more composed that I really was at the time. Wix was a UGA basketball player, is a House member, a cyclist, a Democrat, a Viet Nam vet and an incredible person. He gave me a patch of his division, Americal, during the war that depicts the Southern Cross. The patch is a sky blue shield with the four stars forming the Southern Cross. I have it Scotch taped to my computer monitor until I find a more prominent place to display it, but I look at it every day. I am a star gazer, thanks to Dad, and love the Southern Cross. It was huge across the sky in Mozambique. I loved that you could stare at the sky for only a few minutes and were pretty much guaranteed to see a shooting star. Having been to Viet Nam and seeing the war museum's there I was given a pretty graphic depcition of what the war was like and have huge respect for the men and women who served there. Yet, Wix, despite his political affiliation had already gained my respect. He reads my blog and gives good advice and loves his family. He sits quietly in the back of the House chamber, grumbling about this or that going on in the House, always has pictures of his grandchildren handy and despite his demeanor, surely loves every minute of it.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Weekend in Virginia

I went to Virginia this weekend to visit Mama Deane and a small gathering of Holy Given grads, including Travis and Terra as seen below. Deane's friend, Austin was our tour guide and took us to the aquarium! It rained the entire weekend. But the rain on the roof made for great naps and good conversation by the fire. It was the perfect way to spend a rainy weekend and so, so very good to see each other.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More about Natty

It's my blog and I can do what I want to. I cannot get enough of this face. I love those wet cheeks, that sweet little man playing Sorry! with Papa, and the fact that he still has chocolate up his nose in the last photo (clicking on it enlarges it just the way I like it, where you can see every pixel of his sweet face). I love sometimes that he looks just like my sister, but mostly exactly like his dad. I love his baby talk and how he gets excited and loves to play. I have my own little story about Natty and his arrival and since I poured my heart out about Gracie and Carla on their birthdays, Natty likewise deserves a proper tribute. I will make it short.

While in Mozambique, I had a cell phone. I could send and receive text messages. It notified me by croaking like a frog and would light up and buzz. It was music to my ears. I loved hearing from home. Cyndi Crain, Christine Davis, and Carla would text message me. One day after spending a day up at the Children's Center and playing with a little girl, I sent Carla a text message telling her about her. It had really been one of the greatest days of my life, taking an orphaned child to the beach for ice cream and pushing her on the swing set and singing together. It was just a day of, simply stated, doing what I was made to do and loving on a child who has no parents, but knows she is loved and it was so very fulfilling and sweet. I told Carla how I wanted to bring that little girl home with me, as any of you would. She instantly wrote me back and said she wished too that I could bring her. I know my sister has a HUGE heart for kids and would adopt in a heartbeat. There is seriously no way you can really adopt a child from Moz without having lived there for a long time, etc., but we were just sharing our similar feelings of love for others, her "quiver not being full" as she and Kevin describe it and just our heart for little orphaned children and their sweet, sweet faces. She then wrote, "I understand that you cannot bring her, but I do have a surprise coming...in March". Oh my goodness, Oh my goodness! I knew right away what that meant and I knew right away it was going to be a boy! I have not cried that hard in such a long time. Such tears of JOY and so so so so so so happy. Babies are the greatest news ever! I thought that those days of babies in my sister's home were over and little Carson's sugar would be the last I would get. So the thoughts of another punkin left me so incredibly overjoyed.
That little girl, Paulinha, is pictured here as a flower girl in Brock and Crystalyn's wedding on the beach in Pemba.

The next morning, in class under that big green tent, I was just dying to talk to my sister and hear all about how she was feeling and share my excitement, but could not. I just wanted to TALK about this BABY with someone who would listen. So I prayed. I got serious and quiet and asked God to talk to me about this baby. I wanted to know everything about him and how God felt and for Him to tell me all He knew. So He did. I actually wound up writing down PAGES of notes on things that I felt God was telling me about this new addition to the family. He instantly told me his name would be Joy. I got all confused and thought maybe I was wrong about the sex, but the name was not literal, but a name that depicted what this child would carry. Nathaniel carries Joy. I saw visions of their home and that the atmosphere would change forever because he lived there. I saw that things like depression and sadness could not live in the house anymore, because Joy had moved in.

Now that he is here and as I reflect on this word that God gave me about him, it could not be more true. The month he was born, I was in a horrific deep funk. Getting out of bed, getting dressed, going through life was hard. Going to the hospital, in my red hooded sweatshirt that I had been wearing night and day and day and night, I held that little baby in my hands and I could not be sad. I could not be depressed. I could not look at him and not smile. I watched him about 6 months later, as our Aunt Mary held him on her lap, with only months to live. Nathaniel pulled out all the stops, giggled and cooed and laughed and a scared, tired, dying woman, chuckled back. There is so much power in who we are as human beings. So much power in what we give, in the smiles that we cast and in those that we don't.

Little Nathaniel carries joy wherever he goes. He has instantly become the family mascot and 30 lbs of pure, sweet joy. His brother and sisters,mother and father just delight in him. You can't help but be happy when you are around him. He is a Boy named Joy.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Nathaniel turns 1!

Catherine and Emma Grace made Chocolate Cupcakes for the occasion. Natty went down for a nap around 5:00 and missed his birthday dinner. When he woke up he had his own plate of rice and stewed tomatoes, but would not touch the broccoli casserole. Then came The Cupcake. He had never had one before, nor will he again until next year. I think that Baby Eating pictures are really gross, so these are the mild versions. And of course, he went straight in the tub.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

20 lbs in 12 mos.

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