One million “thank you’s”

Just a short three years ago our lives looked quite a bit different. We had one beautiful miracle baby and were unsure if God had anymore children in our future. Then in August 2014 we were whisked away to Utah to meet our daughter Amelia. In June 2016 our son, Arden, beat all the odds and arrive via csection with his fist up fighting! And then two weeks ago we made another trip to Utah to bring home our daughter Ashlynn, and bio sibling to Amelia. Words can’t even express how we feel right now! Besides tired, yes we are very tired. But the blessing of our kids out weigh our need for sleep. And we have a lot of coffee. 

A few months ago when the idea of Ashlynn wasn’t even in our minds I had a dream. In my dream I was inside a bank and was taken to a secret room. Inside that room the Bank Owner gave me a credit card and said, “it is activated.”  That was it and I woke up. I knew this dream had something to do with finances but I wasn’t sure what area in our life it was referring too, until now.  

When we received the call for Ashlynn we had no idea how we would do this financially. God told us not to worry so we moved forward with a shakey Yes. We knew how much this was going to cost and knew it was no small task for man, but for God it was easy. Since then we have been blessed with donantions ranging from $1-$5000 for the adoption. All making a huge impact in our lives. Everyone helping our child come home. We have been completely covered and blessed by everyone of your “Yes’s” to God. He sees you and is very proud of you and what we have all done here. Every share, like, encouraging word and time spent organizing was seen and heard by us and God. We feel/felt so much love. A million thank you’s. 

Now as I sit with this precious two week old on my chest reflecting on that dream. Knowing full well God knew what was coming our way and wanted me to know He had it covered. He sure did! His amazing children listened and followed through big time. It gives me so much hope and faith in Gods amazing love and plan for our lives. This girl is a true testament to God’s provision for our lives. He loves us so much.

We could not have done this with your amazing generosity so we thank you over and over a Million times. Thank you. 

I compiled a few photos of our time in Utah and the first few days of Ashlynn’s life, click on link below. 


Bringing Home Another Ohm

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Number Three

Ben got ready for bed just like any other night.  He brushed his teeth, washed his face, turned the fan on and climbed into bed.  The fleece sheets were comfort to his cold toes.  His wife laid there next to him, already asleep and the dog was curled up in the curve of her knees.  Their breathing was soothing and it helped steady his own.  Ben laid there listening to silence,  yet his mind was full of prayers crying out to God.  The prayers consisted of adoration, desire, thankfulness and crying out for an abundance of His glory.  He laid there uttering under his breath as his eyes became heavy.  Suddenly, there was a man standing next to him, looking down at Ben in anticipation.  Ben was unable to move yet there was a peace that surrounded him in a cloud and he knew this man was sent from God.  “I am here to inform you and give you a warning of what is to come.”  Ben couldn’t speak, he only nodded in acceptance.  The man continued.

“I have been sent by God to tell you that you are number three.  God revealed your face and name to me in a vision so that I could come to you.  The one before me came to me just like this and reveled to me the plans of the Lord and told me that I am number two.  After the man left, my mouth was opened and a white fire ball flew into my mouth.  Then, I fell asleep for three days.  During that time, the Lord downloaded his plans for my life.  When I awoke I began throwing up.  It was not vomit that hit the floor but a thousands small frogs.  They jumped around the room aimlessly before finding a hiding place.  I cannot say anymore except this, have faith and be courageous.  Goodbye.”

Ben laid there, alone.  The man vanished into the cloud that surrounded him.  Static lighting began flashing like a summer lighting storm, random and harmless.  Through the cloud a bright light began to descend on him, pausing to hover over him for a few seconds.  Then, the light flew with force down into the palm of Ben’s right hand.  He fell asleep for three days.  The Lord’s voice filled his soul as he slept.

“Ben.  I love you so much son, more than you can ever imagine.  I am so proud of you and the man you are desiring to become.  Your love for people and gentleness will move many.  That is why I have chosen you to be number three.  There are 10 of you that will change the world and I am calling you to New York and Chicago. I will tell more when it’s time.  Go and tell number four.”

When Ben awoke the cloud was gone.  He looked down at his right hand, it was laying flat on the bed, palm facing up.  A tingling sensation began to form in the center.  Ben began to wiggle his fingers, as he thought his hand must be asleep.  Then a warmth filled his heart, exploding through his arteries.   It traveled across his chest, down his arm and into fingertips.  Suddenly, his palm split open and a cloud of small flying gnats flew out of his right hand and swarmed the air above him.  Ben laid there still and quiet, watching in amazement and in anticipation, then they flew out the unopened window in unison.  Ben looked down at his hand and a light began to pierce through the open wound, healing the opening right before his eyes.  There was no sign of a scar or physical change in his hand.  But strangely, Ben felt an intense power that wasn’t there before.   He knew what he was suppose to do, he knew who he was suppose to see and where he had go.  He sat up in bed, armed and ready to go serve the Lord.  He looked down next to him and his wife was laying there, asleep, just as before.  No time had passed in this world.  Ben let out of sigh, not of relief but exhaustion and contemplation.  He laid back down, closed his eyes and began to pray.

Dream Series: Amy Soden

As you stand in the middle of the aisle, gazing at the shelves, staring at you in the face is a beautiful picture of a crystal clear lake, surrounded by wonderful fall colored leaves that are reflecting on the water.  The colors and beauty of this picture pull you into a trance and you stand there in the aisle debating with yourself.  It is a 1000 piece puzzle, the one with the microscopic pieces that never seem to find a place together or they find a hiding spot on your dining room floor never to be found again. Optimistically, you decide to buy it and plan to do it over a long wintery weekend at home.  “This will be a fun project” you convince yourself and head up to the counter.  The weekend comes and you pull out the puzzle.  The first thing you do is open the box and pour out all the pieces.  Set the box up so you can see the beautiful picture and begin to flip all the pieces over.  Once every single piece is turned over you stop, dead in your tracks, and stare at ALL THE TINY PIECES!!!  “What did I get myself into?”  If you are like me, you would’ve anxiously walked away and grabbed a cup of coffee and decide to take a short break to see what was on HGTV.  You know the rest to that story, an hour later you are sitting on your couch planning out a complete kitchen renovation, not including the puzzle!  If you want to get anything done during the day you would have to have the remote in hand, ready to push the power button as soon as the show is over.  Otherwise, if you wait just 30 seconds you are already hooked on the next episode and the puzzle becomes yesterday’s news.  With all those tiny pieces you are frustrated at how long it will take & unable to see the bigger picture.

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When I interviewed Amy I could see how God was creating this bigger picture, piece by piece.  Amy grew up in New Jersey, right outside of Philly.  One day, as she was looking at a map of the United States she laid her hand over the midwest area and said, “I don’t want to ever live anywhere under here!”  You know what happens when you say things like that right?!  Well, Amy made a spur of a moment moved to Chicago area just 1 year after making that statement!  She has been out here for 9 years now and has fallen in love with her new home.  Amy works at Compassion Mobile Experience as a tour Manager.  She is on the road for 3-5 weeks at a time and then home for one.  She works with a marketing company based out of Kentucky and represents Compassion as they bring the Experience across the U.S.  She is in a different city each week in hopes of connecting children with a sponsor.  Compassion is one of the highest rated non-profits according to Charity Navigator.  If you would like to learn more about Compassion please check them out HERE!about-compassion-experience-1

That is a dream job in itself but Amy has a bigger dream.  When I asked her about her dream this is what she said:

“For quite some time I felt as if there was a nudging, a stirring, of something to come. It just wasn’t quite a vision until this summer…when I was in the Nevada desert…stuck in the most beautiful and calm traffic jam one could ever be in! Seriously! It was a perfect sunny/partly cloudy, just the right temp and breeze, beautiful landscaped day to drive 22 miles in 4 hours. All of a sudden, in the stillness, this vision came to me.”

I love when God takes moments like these to speak to us.  It is as if he creates these moments just for us, to get us to slow down so he can have some alone time with us to talk.  It’s our job to see these moments and listen and open our hearts.  In that stillness, God showed Amy a vision, a snap shot of what He sees/hopes for her life.

Her dream? She says, “Some day, I want to open up a quality childcare center in a hurting neighborhood.”amy soden1

She would love for this childcare center to be on a sliding scale payment system that also offers parenting & vocational training or guidance.  She wants this center to invest in the community, starting at the youngest generation.  She would love to work alongside the local churches, but not necessarily in a church.

“My vision is to start this at the ground level at birth and preschool age. Start from birth with instilling value and vision and a future into the hearts and minds of kids and we may very well change a community, a city, a country, the world.”

Wow!  Doesn’t that just get you!?  I get goosebumps all over my body when I think about these children she will be raising up to change the world.  If we want to change the world we have to teach the children how be bold and not settle.  It is all about moving through the generations and little by little we will see that change.  Once piece at time.  She spent nearly 12 years in both the traditional childcare center aspect, as well as residential childcare for foster children.  She felt burnt out and eventually left that field, thinking she would never come back.  But she says,  “Thinking through this vision, and my experiences, as well as my degrees, I can see how it all matches up and completely makes sense” God is working through her life one piece at a time so that eventually we can all see this beautiful picture he has created.

I went on to ask Amy about what is standing in her way of this dream.  I love her response.

“Self doubt, though honestly at this point I believe this vision will become reality. But I’m human. And female. So self doubt, those lies, are always there. If this is something that could bring hope and break a cycle of poverty than I know the road will be bumpy because any thing worth fighting for is a battle-but it’s winnable. Good triumphs over evil. Always.
And money. It will take money to do this. Lots of funding. At this point that isn’t even a focus. But it will be. And it will be huge. But attainable.”

I love her faith.  Yes, there is doubt but she is not going to let that stand in her way of breaking a cycle and making a change.  She is going to take this dream one puzzle piece at a time and she has faith that she will see the finished product, a beautiful crystal clear lake with autumn trees reflecting in the sunlight!  She knows that it is going to take hard work and through that hard work God will do some amazing things.  P-583420-CAPMgQ1IDu-1

A dream like this doesn’t happen on its own, she needs your help.  Please be praying for her and this dream God has given her.  Pray she has the patience and perseverance to see this through and bring people into her life that will walk alongside of her!  She plans to bring this dream to life in the Chicago Land area, if you or anyone you know have any resources to help Amy, please let me know.

Keep working that puzzle.

When

Dream Series: Alivia

Have you ever asked a child what they want to be when they grow up?  Of course, right?  They usually answer with something like this, firefighter, police officer, teacher, doctor or even princess.  They choose occupations that they see as heroic, cool or magical.  They choose something based on someone they look up to or a dream they have.  Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were a child?  I clearly remember wanting to work at McDonalds as a kid!  I loved going there, I love the play area and I loved how they made me feel when I went there.  I wanted to work there so that I could eat their food all the time & organize the birthday parties.  Remember having birthday parties at McDonalds?  They were so exciting and fun!  Recently, I asked Alivia if I could interview her about what she dreamed of doing when she got older!  Her face lit up and with excitement, she agreed!

I begin with the most basic question, and like her father, I did receive a basic answer.

“What is your name?”

She sings…”Allllliiiiiivvviiiiiia”

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Alivia is a very social young girl, and if she isn’t talking she is singing.  She has been this way since day one.  She loves everyone she meets and wants to know everything about them.  She loves to sing, dance and put on shows where ever there is an imaginary stage.  Her sense of humor will surprise you and you may think you are talking to a much older child.  It is as some would say, “she is an old soul,” she has wisdom about people far beyond my understanding and she truly cares for people from the bottom of her heart.  Her faith in Jesus surpassing my own & she is one of the miracles I have witnessed in my lifetime.  That leads us into the next question:

“Do you believe in Jesus?”

“Yeaaaaaaaaa”(still in her singing voice)

“Why?”

“Because I love Him and He died on the cross for us.”

I love how straight forward she is, there is no hesitation, she loves him and this is why!  I go on to ask her about the dreams she has for her life.  She first began with saying she wanted to live in our house forever.  I changed my question and asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up.  She answered saying she wanted to be on the Disney Channel, but not when she grows up, she wants to be on there soon!  And then after that she would like to get married and have 21 kids!  “We will marry lots of times!”, she says!  I couldn’t help but chuckle at that and I quickly went on with the interview!

“How will you reach your dream of being on the Disney Channel”

“I am going to make everyone like me and be like the kids that record themselves on there and do the things they do.”

“Is there anything that might keep you from reaching your dream?”

“nope.”

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Don’t you just love kids?  I love how they have no fear, and there is no backup plan.  There is nothing standing in the way of their dream because they believe with their whole heart that it will happen.  God calls us to be like the children, to have childlike faith.  This is what that kind of faith looks like.  And he said:  “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3).  God wants us to enter into the promise land.  He has amazing things awaiting us, we just have to knock down those walls.  Take hold of this faith and believe there is nothing in your way of Gods promise on your life.  You can make those walls crumble with a little bit of faith.  Believe it with your whole heart, have no fear and no back up plan.  “Here is what I am commanding you to do.  Be strong and brave.  Do no be terrified.  Do no lose hope.  I am the Lord your God.  I will be with you everywhere you go.” (Joshua 1:9)  So choose today to make that change from adult-like faith to a childlike faith.  Get rid of the fear and anxiety that life has pressed upon you and bring forth the hope and faith that only comes from God, because when you have God on your side you can do anything.

Dream Interview Series: Adam

We recently celebrated the wonderful life of a legend. What made this man a legend? He had a dream. A dream that probably kept him up at night. A dream that started long before he was old enough to voice his longing to make a difference, a change. A dream created in the root of his soul. It was a dream that seemed impossible at the time. A dream that either shook people to their core or inspired ones to drop everything and go after that very same dream. Have you ever thought where we might be today if Martin Luther King jr. gave up or let obstacles stand in his way? I have and I’m so thankful for this man and his courage to fight after his dream. He didn’t let anyone stand in his way. This act of courage ultimately cost him his life but as I sit here rocking my beautiful daughter I see how his dream was reach and it moved and blessed many.

Do you have one of these dreams? The kind that keeps you up at night or wakes you with the first ray of sunshine that hits the earth? One that may seem impossible to reach? My desire is to know your dreams and voice them to everyone, so that myself and others can be praying you through these dreams. I am going to interview people on my blog and do just that. These could be people I know or people I just met in a cafe.
My very first interviewee? My husband, Adam. He is a very good sport and loves to support my crazy ideas. He is my best friend. The fuel to my flame, the cream in my coffee and the almond icing on my homemade cake. He makes my life better, peaceful, more joyful, helps me slow down and keeps me going. I’m so thankful for him. He answered my questions as he sat on his old black army tub that once carried his army belongings but now was the home to our precious Christmas decorations.  The tub had been there for weeks taking up space in our small cozy living room, I almost started charging it rent! Anyway, this man took me by surprise. I would’ve bet I could answer these questions for him but I learned so much about this man in that short 10 minutes. I began with the most simplest of questions and I almost didn’t ask it, but I’m glad I did.

What is your name?
“Adam Robert Ohm the 2nd, from the 3rd prestinct.” 
Oh boy…what did I get myself into?
What do you do for a living? 
“Distributed Sales Manager for a Global chemical company. Largest in the United States.”
Yes, he is important! 🙂 
I went on to ask him about his lifelong dream. He told me that his dream is to own multiple businesses that fuel his deeper longing, to be the founder of a ministry that spreads the Love of God to all the nations. He doesn’t know what, when or where yet but he has a good foundation for the who and why. 
“I want to pursue this dream with 100% honesty, I want to be honest in who this dream is for and that I’m not running toward the dream for all the wrong reasons.”
This dream is for all Gods people, to share with them the love and grace that bought us all out of the deepest place.
What obstacles might be standing in your way?
He began to list a few:
-lack of confidence
-distraction
-questions I can’t answer
-selfishness
Sound familiar? These are lies and they only come from the one that comes to steal,kill and destroy. He doesn’t want us to reach our dreams.  He wants us to give up so that those dreams are never played out, so he can see us fail. He loves that. I say “NO!” I am going to fight back. I am going to fight and make the impossible possible.
One way to fight through these lies is the power of prayer. So I asked Adam one final question:
How can myself and the readers be praying for you?
“Pray that I not always go with my instinct, because sometimes my first instinct is to go with what the world thinks of me and I base my decisions on that. Pray that I can think things through, through a different lens of that of the world. Gods lens.”
I pray we all can do that! Martin Luther King Jr. defiantly looked through a different lens of that of the world. He saw a different kind of world.
“I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls.”-MLK
Go look at the world from Gods lens today!