& Designs (Kitchen Island)

John Taylor recently built this kitchen island for a friend that happens to be a kitchen designer.  This island was not for one of her clients though.  It was for HER!  I know they are enjoying it so much.  I wanted to keep it for myself.  :)  She is using it in the center of her kitchen, but it was designed so that she could push it against the wall and use it as a buffet when entertaining.


 To see more of my talented hubby’s creations, visit his webstie at Kiwi Wood Werks.

We don’t mind if you pin or use our images, but please give Kiwi Wood Werks & Designs credit and please link back to the KWW’s post.  Thank you!

© Kiwi Wood Werks & Designs



Why it’s important to surrender our children

Can we really look to God and tell Him that if we don’t trust Him with something, He can take it away?  Trusting Him makes our lives a whole lot simpler, but can you honestly say that?  I can maybe say that about material possessions — my computer, our house, our car — but when it comes to our children…..

I struggled with this in the past and didn’t even realize I was struggling with it.  It was my children for goodness sakes!  Sometimes it’s hard to put your marriage before them, much less totally 100% hand over control of their lives.  Its seems so silly as I type this.  Hello….He only created them in our inner most parts of our wombs! That right there is a miracle in itself!  Imagine a tiny ball of knitting yarn and above that 4 other balls representing our children’s grandparents.  He gently tugged on the strings and pulled them down from each grandparents and from us and knitted our children’s DNA together so perfectly.

Imagine that!  He actually created these human beings inside us by weaving just the right strands together.  He’s just the creator of the entire universe and breathed a whole line of planets in one single breath.  But, our children!  Yes, thanks God, we got this!  Who are we kidding?  We watch them running off to play a mere 20 yards from us and please tell me I’m not the only one who wants to get right beside them because they are little kids….we can’t trust that they know what’s best for them!  But, do we know what’s best for them….

Here’s the thing that we too often forget.  They aren’t ours anyway.  They are His.  Everything is His.  He is mindful of who He chooses to place these children with and the fact that He’s blessed us with such amazing children must say something about what He thinks of John Taylor and I.  Same goes for you.  He loves us SO much that He gave His only son to die for our sins.  He loves us so much that He chose us and blessed us with the name mommy (and daddy).

As I look at these miniature versions of John Taylor and I, I can’t help but feel overwhelmed with thankfulness.  No one knows them like I do.  But, God does.  Not only does He knows them better than anyone, He knows what’s best for them.  Better than we do.  It makes sense….as God’s children, it’s so hard to surrender every detail of our lives.  As parents, it’s hard to surrender our children’s lives to Him.  We have dreams and visions for their lives.  We tend to go to God with our wish lists for our children and if God would only do that for us, it would make our lives so much easier.  But, God never said it would be easy.  He just said it would be worth it.

We write, print, post, and paint the verse all over when our children are born…”Every good and perfect gift comes from above”.   It’s one of those verses that so greatly surrounds the birth of a child that we forget to really meditate on the words.  As cliché as it sounds, every good and perfect gift DOES come from above.  We didn’t make our children.  God did.  Not only that, HE is the AUTHOR of their faith.  Nothing we do or don’t do can control things.  This should take such a load off us, right?  Well, if I can’t be in control, what CAN I do?

I read this quote this morning: “Lots of people want to leave a better planet for our children.  I wish more of them wanted to leave better children for our planet”.   There is nothing we can do to control the world, but we can be obedient to God’s Word when it comes to loving, growing, teaching, parenting our children that HE blessed us with and entrusted us with.  He may be the author of their faith, but we are their helpmates and leaders, guided by our Father in Heaven.  His Word equips us with everything we need to know about steering their hearts in the right direction.

I heard the most amazing message last night by Pastor Willie George (also known as Gospel Bill).  It was the perfect message to tie into this post, which I have been working on since December.  He spoke of so many miracles in the Bible that God performed and how we in the natural partner with God in the supernatural to make miracles happen.  When Jesus turned water into wine, He asked them to gather all the water pots.  When He turned one small vessel of oil into many, He commanded her to get all her neighbor’s empty pots.  When He turned a few loaves and fish into enough food for 5,000, He asked them to get the people in groups of 50 to create order so they could be fed.  These were all simple commands that man could do in the natural.  HE was the one that worked in the SUPERnatural.  God doesn’t asks us to heal people, He just asks us to lay hands on them and pray for them.  Whew.  What a relief.  😉  God doesn’t command us to control every detail of our children’s lives, He only asks us to do what WE can do in the natural.

I’m starting a series tomorrow on Praying for our children.  It’s based on the family prayer book by Sylvia Gunter.  I will be posting from that book as well as a few other resources.  I hope you will join me in creating this new vision for our children.  I can share my story better than any other and I think this shows best just why it’s so crucial that we surrender our children….

We were told that our son had severe developmental delays when he was younger.  Not only that, but that he would more than likely need a special educator when he got to school age.  About the time I started this post, I wiped our memory verse chalkboard clean with a wet rag to write a new verse.  I left it on the floor to dry and left the room.  I returned to find my son who has a language delay, who can not read or spell and can barely write his own name doing this….

Some may chalk it up to a good memory, or even a photographic memory, considering he had NO idea what he wrote when I asked him.  I know otherwise.  I know it was God just sending me confirmation to grow my faith in trusting Him.  I let go a little bit, He works a lot.  So, I smiled and hung the chalkboard back on the wall.  Afterall, what a perfect verse to remind me to have faith that I AND our son can do all things through Christ.

So, in a nutshell, why is it so important that we surrender our children’s lives to Him?  So He may work in them and so He may use them as He intended to use them.  Not to mention bless them beyond anything we could ever imagine or buy.

{images by Becca Tomlinson, taken in downtown historic Charleston — to see all images from our shoot with Becca, visit the post on her website here}

Meet Daniel!

Friends, today I would like to introduce to another child that lives in The Ark House in China!  Meet Daniel!  If there is one child that puts a smile on my face when I look at his picture and read about him, it’s Daniel!  Look at the joy that just radiates off his face!  He is so happy and precious!  Daniel is 5 years old and when I think about him, I think about my own 5 year old.  His foster mom tells me he has lots of energy and loves to play with the babies in the house.  That sounds just like my 5 year old and just makes me smile.  :)  I can look in his eyes in the picture below and see so much joy and at the same time my heart aches that he doesn’t have a forever family….yet.  I’m so glad he lives at The Ark House and gets the love, encouragement, prayers, nutrition, and attention he needs and deserves.

The name Daniel means “worshipper of God”.  Daniel is hebrew for “judge”.  When you put these two together….”God is my judge”.  I just love these  meanings.  When I think of “Daniel”, I think of a strong man of God and I know this little b0y will one day be just that.  I can’t think of a more perfect name for him to grow into.

Daniel’s foster parents rely completely on donations and have 13 other children living under the same roof as Daniel.  It costs them around $87 per week.  This includes his vegetables, meat, rice, fruit, bread, noodles/cereal, hygiene and caregiver/nanny that helps take care of him.

This joyful, active little boy currently has NO sponsors and has been living at The Ark House for exactly a year.  Friends, the cost to sponsor this child is ONLY $40 per month.  That’s all!  Let’s help spread the word and fill up Daniel’s rainbow with 7 Rainbow Sponsors!!!!

Click HERE to visit The Ark House’s blog and sponsor Daniel!

On behalf of Daniel, his foster parents, and all the other children at The Ark House…

God bless you!