Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Influence of Hope

Though many people I know are wonderful and inspiring, today I want to share with you about a woman who has truly blessed and influenced my life. Her name is Tami Webb, and though she has so many amazing traits, her compassion, optimism and faith truly stand out.

The Webbs have been friends with my family since they moved here from Ohio 8 ½ years ago. We met though church and homeschooling, and we stayed in touch especially because my siblings and I were close in age to some of their kids.

Something that always stuck out about Tami was her remarkable kindness and compassion. She always includes everyone around her, and she has a very tender heart. I believe this was a huge reason she and her husband decided to become foster parents. Though they had three boys of their own, they opened their loving home to the children in the foster system about five years ago. They first wanted to adopt a girl, because Tami had always wanted a daughter. However, all the girls they fostered they were never able to adopt for one reason or another.

But though this was frustrating, Tami stayed optimistic—the second point I wanted to make about her. Even though her heart broke every time a foster child was moved to a new home, Tami kept smiling and giving love to everyone around her. Pretty soon the Webbs realized there was a huge need for homes for special needs children, and they decided they were meant to help meet that need. Tami's compassion and optimism only grew, despite all the discouraging prospects that come with children with special needs. Two of the little boys she loves have stories that especially illustrate Tami's compassion and optimism.

About three years ago they received Jason, a little red head infant who has the one of the most severe case of down syndrome in Michigan. The doctors did not expect much of him, saying he would never walk and probably would never be able to respond to much, because his mental handicap was so great. However, he has more than thrived under Tami's loving care and continual optimism—he now loves playing games like “the itsy bitsy spider” and “patty cake,” giving kisses and high fives, and in the past month this little 3 ½ year old has accomplished a true miracle—he has begun to walk using a walker!

Another amazing testament to Tami's optimism is the story of another little boy, Aiden. Aiden came to their home about a year ago when he was only a few months old. One day after he had been with them a month or two, he took an unusually long nap. When they went up to check on him, he had turned blue and wasn't breathing! Thankfully they were able to get him to the ER in time, but he has been different ever since. It turns out he has some sort of mitochondrial disease, and now he no longer makes eye contact (sometimes he acts like he is blind) and barely responds to anything. He cannot sit up or talk or do much more than move his arms, and has had a lot of trouble breathing. However, this sad state has only made Tami more compassionate and she has remained optimistic despite his monthly (sometimes weekly) visits to the doctor and ER. In fact, she has such hope for him and his future, and such love for this little boy, that they are currently in the process to adopt Aiden.

However, what really keeps Tami going is her Christian faith, and it is so evident in everything she does. Tami credits all of her optimism and compassion to Christ, the source of her hope and strength to continue on. She is a true example of giving her burdens and worries to God and continuing on with the hope that he will use her to bless the special little children in her life. Her and her husband started a church in Paw Paw last January, and has been a huge support by leading the children's ministry and a women's prayer group, (in addition to caring for and homeschooling all her children!). She inspires me to give my all to Christ, because she has so many more things to worry about than I do and yet she is still so positive in everything she does—from the ready smile she always gives anyone she sees to the little things like a continual flow of optimistic and even joyful status updates on facebook!

Tami is an amazing woman of faith, who shows compassion and optimism in everything she does. She is a huge encouragement to me and I really love her. I am so grateful that I am going to get to know her even more in the future, because she is going to be my mother-in-law!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thankful Thoughts


I am so crazy thankful that Peter came to my church today. His family started a church in a town nearby, so he's usually really busy there, but they spared him for me and I was SO blessed. I can't wait to be able to go to church with him every week. It felt different, but good, and I can't wait until its normal!

I'm also thankful Hannah let me carpool w/ her to the Iglesia. I really like talking with her on the way there and back--love you girl!


Oh Monday. Lets see...I'm thankful my impromtu speech went well. Oh! I'm so happy Peter came to visit me during my break! I love him so much.

I'm also so glad the Castle premire was yesterday. Love these actors: Nathan Fillion, Molly C. Quinn, and Stana Katic! Yay!


Yesterday I was very thankful for Emily who did a lot of online research for me whenever I called her. It is amazing the connections we have now! I grab my cell phone (and cell phones have only been around publicly for about 25ish years), call Emily, who sits down at the computer and within 30 seconds has googled what I need (thats only been around 12 years), and then I was able to do what I needed to do way faster that finding a phonebook Thank God for amazing sisters and crazy technology!

What are you thankful for this week?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Thankful Things

Guess what? It's Gratitude Time!

I am thankful that this Friday I was able to spend a good amount of time hanging out with my lovely sister Emily! I'm so glad we have been blessed with a good friendship and I love her so much. I am also thankful that Peter texted me a lot today! I love having my new phone and how much easier it is to stay connected now. Praise Jesus for the blessings of technology!

I am also thankful that Hannah Ailes made me a sweet hobo bag. I have used it everyday since she made it! Love it! Find her and buy her stuff, because it (and more importantly, she) is amazing!!

I was so glad I spent much of today with Peter. Though it was a tough decision, I gave up something that I wanted to do to be with him and I think it was the right choice. I am so thankful for his musical talents--the worship time we had together was so good! Thank you for meeting with us, Jesus!

I finished my Bus. Law HW a day early! WOW! Yay! Haven't done that yet this semester! Praise God! (If only org. behavior, history, small business, and public speaking hw was done...lol)

Hope you have been thinking of what you are thankful for, too. :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gratitude Journal

I heard of this a while ago, and the idea hasn't really left my mind. Keeping a Gratitude or Praise Journal--a journal where you write down things you are thankful for, things that blessed you, prayers that were answered, etc. I have been going back and forth on if I should make this be online or in a book at home, but as I was thinking about it, thankfulness spreads joy and can be contagious, so I think I am going to do it here. I am debating about putting real people's names up here for various reasons, but if I do, its not because I want anything more from you or that I am ever coming from a manipulative standpoint, I was simply blessed by you. :) Also, if you and I did something and I don't mention it here, it certainly does not mean you didn't bless me or give me something to be thankful about! The purpose of this is to get me focusing on something I can be thankful for in small steps--this is supposed to be as far from guilt or shame as possible. I want this totally focused on the ways God has blessed me and hopefully that can encourage both of us!

Yesterday I was really blessed by Peter coming and picking me up from school, even though it was late. It was so good to see him and really gave me something to look forward to, It also made me feel so valued that even after a long day he'd literally go the extra mile(s) for me. <3

Yesterday I also ran into Corey at Valley, and we had a great talk. I was totally encouraged by how smoothly it went and how honest we were. It was simple (aka non-complicated and drama free) and blessed.

Today I met Cait for coffee and though we talked about a lot of stuff that could have been stressful, it totally wasn't. I left feeling hopeful about her future and mine and ours as friends. It really had the flavor of "God is Good" no matter what the circumstances are.

Today Lindsay and I had a great little chat on the phone and I was reminded again of how awesome she is and how much I love her. Our friendship is worth soooo much... thank you Jesus!

Just writing out how I was able to see/talk to so many of the people I love was so encouraging right now, especially when I feel somewhat overwhelmed by school and work ie life and responsibilities! Thank you God for good friends!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


This has the potential to be my life...

I think I'm busy. Yeah...

Prayers are mucho appricatied!

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