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We have lived in Romania for 11 years now. We have 6 kids. The twins adoptions were finalized January 2011 and they are official Howertons.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Letter to an Angel

Sometimes as a mother, you have to brag on your children a little bit. I take no credit whatsoever for my oldest son's writing skills. I am no writer. He has had a love of books since he was a toddler and would sit looking at books as a two year old for hours at a time, yes I said hours and I am not exaggerating. Well, his love of reading and books has given him quite the creative mind. Aunt Wanda, a high school English teacher grades his papers and she gave him an A on this paper. He has finished reading the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis and then he was assigned to write his own letter but instead of a head demon writing to a lower class demon he had to write a letter  from a head angel to a lower class angel informing how to influence "his Christian." So, without further adieu here is the letter.

Dear Clarence (Angel Second Class),
 Our King has assigned to you an American Christian male to guard. Because he is a novice to his new found faith in the King, he is unstable and quick to falter. I wish you luck in keeping him safe for the King to use. Remember Clarence, do everything you do for God's glory!

Your Christian, as all young Christians are, is unsure of his priorities. Before coming to know the King, he was a sports addict. The king does not forbid sports, but the Prince told them, "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other." Whenever he begins his day listening to game recaps or spends Sunday evening watching games, remind him of Jesus' words in Matthew 6:19-24. He must be convinced that only God can change Him. Not even you, Clarence, can completely change him.

In your Christian's beginning weeks, he struggled to spend time with God before going to work. He places his job higher than he does God. He does not yet realize that God will take care of him! Somehow he manages to watch pointless TV shows at night, but he convinces himself he doesn't have the time necessary to give God the time He deserves. Remind him that he needs to spend time in God's Word in order to grow. As always, give him a Bible passage to read, try these verses: I Corinthians 3:2-3.

Many times, your Christian will not understand what he is reading in God's Word. You will have to help him many times understand passages. help him to realize the importance of meditation. There are many Bible passages teaching meditation. For instance, show him Psalms 1:1-2. Once he realizes the true value of meditation, he will fully understand what God wants for him in his Christian walk of faith. With God at his side, anything is possible in this man's life.

We are praying for you and your Christian,

Michael the Archangel

Monday, March 10, 2014

A Little Trip

I guess you can assume since I haven't posted much that life has been rather quiet. Sometimes I feel like I just don't have anything important to say so why say anything! I still don't have anything greatly important to say just letting all 3 of my followers know I'm alive and well!
I have been convicted greatly in the area of impacting others lives. We have a group of girls over every Saturday from the children's home. I hesitate to call them orphans because technically they aren't. They have been abandoned for various reasons, some still have contact with their parents others not so much. I have realized that a few hours each Saturday isn't really doing much for them and although not all of them will be able to, we want to let those who can, stay the weekend with us. Thanks to generous people we will be able to buy a bunk bed this week and then we will start having some girls and take it from there. Some of them desperately want a family and have told us they wished we could be their parents (none of them are adoptable). Others in the group have verbalized they are content with the freedom they have at the orphanage and would not want a family. All I can ask is that you be in prayer that we can impact these girls for Christ, that they will know the love the Father has for them, and that we can impact them to not make the same mistake their parents made and leave them without a family.

My next bit of news is exciting for me...I am visiting my family in Greenville for 2 weeks this summer. I am taking Spencer with me. It all came about over a silly little chat with a friend on Facebook and it turned into a trip! My wonderful husband agreed to it and I will be going to a Ladies' Bible conference in Florida for a few days with my friend. I look forward to being refreshed and a small break from normal life. I'm also glad I don't have to make the flight alone, my big teenager, Spencer will be accompanying me (he will be 14 by then). We just hope he doesn't get travel sickness like the last time we went!!

Thank you for reading my ramblings and for being interested in our life here in Romania! Maybe I'll write again in another 3 or 4 months!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Searching for Pumpkins

I decided I wanted to have some pumpkins for decorations this year. We are going to have a fall carnival for the girls from the children's home and the kids from church and I wanted some for my photo booth. Driving to Timisoara, there is a village where people sell goods from the gardens by the road side. I stopped and the little old man had 2 white pumpkins. I asked if they had any more and his wife brought out 2 more. He was surprised I wanted so many and then he asked me if I wanted to have pumpkins to last the whole winter. I told him no, they were for decorations. I'm sure he thought I was crazy....using food for decorations. Then I left the van parked there on the side of the road and ran across the street to look at another big pumpkin. The man came out and asked what I wanted and I told him I was looking for a pretty pumpkin. He looked troubled and asked if his 2 pumpkins by the road weren't pretty. I asked him if he had any orange pumpkins (so far I have only found white ones) and again, he looked like he had never before heard of orange pumpkins, but he did invite me to come look in his garden to see if I saw any pretty ones I liked! Well, I had people in the car so I didn't take the time to do that, but I got 4 white pretty pumpkins and I bought some orange spray paint :-).
I went on to do my errands with 4 pumpkins in the back of the van and I went to get the van washed inside and out and thy guy looked at my pumpkins and laughed and said I would have plenty of pies for the winter! I decided not to tell him they were for decorations. I have just kind of gotten used to being known as the crazy American lady. I'll post pictures of the final products...if they turn out nice that is!!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Winding Scarf

A new etsy account has been set up to sell items I have crocheted. The proceeds will go towards our new multi purpose building. If you are in the market for some pretty scarves, hats, rosettes, or headbands please check out this site: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWindingScarf you can also ask for other colors, everything I have made is not posted in a picture.

A Descriptive Paragraph

My 13 year old, Spencer, had to write a descriptive paragraph about an important person in his life. Here is what he wrote:

     I have alot of important people in my life and I will describe one of them. My mom is a very important person. She has brown hair, blue eyes, is very sarcastic, and loves to crochet. She smells like perfume when she puts  it on. She cooks alot of food and she also cooks my favorite, cookies. She has a nice voice and sings too, but she doesn't sound good when she yells at me. She fells like something nice, I don't know what. My mom is the best mom ever.

I guess I learned from his descriptive paragraph that I should put on perfume and I shouldn't yell at him :-)!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

We Have a Problem

This post is for followers of Christ here in Romania. I know that my blog doesn't have a huge following. Normally, the intent of this blog is for my family and friends to keep up with what is going on in our family but if this post touches just one then it has accomplished something. First, I want to share a verse from Scripture, "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." James 1:27

What we have here is a very specific verse as to what God says is "true religion", basically having a heart for the weakest of the weak in this world. Those who can't fend for themselves. Those who have no one to teach them and raise them. I am talking about the abandoned kids, those left by their earthly parents for one reason or another. The future of Romania is at stake. We have 23 million Romanians in Romania and another 23 million that live somewhere outside of Romania. That means, a lot of people are leaving this country to find a better life elsewhere. It also means that the country is full of a generation of kids who are growing up in orphanages, not being trained and loved and taught about simple things such as manners, how to act around other people, how to treat other people, how to function in society, how to become a productive citizen. Oh, a lot of people feel sorry for them and bring them gifts and candy but these gifts and candy do not help these children in the long run. These children are awkward, they are immature, they are needy, they are lost. They don't understand why they can't go home, they don't understand why no one wants them.

My reason for writing this post is to encourage those of you out there who follow Christ to pray and consider becoming either an adoptive parent or a foster parent. One benefit of being a foster parent is it is a paid job. Now, I think it's important you don't go into it looking at it as only a job, it is very important that a foster parent love the kids they take in and not take in a kid and say, "well, we'll see if this works out, if the child is troublesome I'll just get another one." Let me start by saying, almost all foster kids are troublesome, they have either come from a children's home where they have to be loud and aggressive to get the attention they so desperately want and need or they have bounced around in other foster homes. They need your love and discipline. They need to be taught that it's ok to struggle, it's ok to make mistakes, they need help getting back up again. I just want to encourage all you believers out there, all you who love Christ with all your hearts to consider this, He has a heart for these kids and we (those of us living here in Romania) need to do something about this, the future of Romania is at stake here, these kids are Romania's future. Another good reason for Christians to foster is to see the abandoned kids come to Christ. The goal is for them to see the love of Christ in you and know that their Heavenly Father loves them. Let the Father love these kids through you.

If becoming a foster parent interests you, please contact us, we'd be willing to do whatever we could to help you in this endeavor. We could have a foster parent support group, counseling for troubled kids, help with homework, and Bible studies. We want to see more of these kids get out of the orphanages and into homes, Christian homes where the love of Christ is lived out.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Wholly Committed and Saying Yes to God!

I am doing an online Bible study with proverbs31.org and the study is about saying yes to God! I have been challenged to be wholly committed to Him in all things. I can get caught up with the every day mundane things in life and get in a comfort zone even way over here in Romania! The really interesting thing is, God is really trying to get my attention in this area because during the first week of the Bible study I was at a missionary conference in Germany and the challenge was on God's grace in our lives and how that because of His grace in my life I should reach out with grace to others...I think God is trying to tell me something!! I am learning that I have to be intentional about sharing God's grace with people. I am challenged in the area of seeing and reaching out to the hurting (I am surrounded and can become calloused to seeing this). It started this past weekend when our daughter broke her arm, instead of panicking like I would normally do, I begin to ask God to help me, to find ways to reach out to others. One way was simply hugging another mom who was crying with her little girl in pain, seems small right? Problem is, I am not a hugger :-)!! It was the middle of the night, there was another sick child and mom sleeping in the room, I really couldn't have a conversation with this mom, but a hug, that is quiet and simple and shows you care. I want to be wholly committed, which for me means, looking around me, being aware of God's grace in my life every moment of every day which makes me out of great love for Him want to reach out to others. His mercies are new for me each day, minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, every circumstance, every trial, always!! Because of his mercies to me I can share love with others. It isn't natural for me, I could live in my own little bubble happily taking care of my kids, teaching them ,crocheting, but that is not all God has called me to. He wants me to say yes to Him, be wholly committed which means getting out of that bubble and being aware of what is going on around me not simply running my errands, but running my errands with the intention of seeing who God has for me to minister to. Maybe it's just a smile, maybe it's a word of encouragement, maybe it's money for a train ticket, maybe it's buying someone food, whatever it is if I am just out with the intention of getting my stuff done then I look at the other things as interruptions not a way for me to minister for God. I want to be so near to God that I can't help but see a hurt and ask God if I can help in some way. I want to have His heart, my heart is so dark and empty and cold without Him, but He fills me with light, joy, peace. Because of His light in me I can do these things, I can say yes, I can be wholly committed!

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