Category Archives: WorldVision {sponsoring and relationship}

Adelaide Walks For Water

In honor of Adelaide’s 2nd wheelchair anniversary and International Women’s Day, we are participating in our very first family 6k! 

On May 6th, Adelaide will lead the way in her wheelchair while our entire family walks 6k to raise money and awareness for children all over the world who walk 6k everyday to find dirty, unsafe water. 

Adelaide wants you to join us! You can sign up to walk/run/push a stroller or wheelchair for 6k wherever you are in the world! You can donate toward our fundraising goal! You can commit to praying for the children whose lives will be changed by this walk! 

Have a blessed Wednesday! 

Team Adelaide 

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Darling, Dapper, or Both?

It’s March. We’re nearing what should’ve been the twins’ gender reveal party.

I had several dreams that they were a boy and girl. I had dreams about tandem nursing them. Tandem wearing them. Washing their tiny cloth diapers. And even dreams about homeschooling them. On the last Thursday in January, I had my final dream about them. I had a nightmare that I lost them. That they died. Then, my nightmare came true. Less than a week later.

But I had already bought the most precious sleepers for their Darling, Dapper, or Both? party.



My Pinterest board was full of foxes, monocles, skunks, hairbows, bunnies, bowties, and deer. Their woodland creatures gender reveal party had been coming together splendidly. We had contacted a college friend (former neighbor and all-around sweetest person in the world) to make desserts. One of my best friends was going to help decorate. It was going to be a lovely party with our family and friends.

But I packed up the sleepers the first Thursday in February. Along with all their tiny diapers. And my nursing tops. And anything that would’ve been used by them. I’ve no idea if we will ever open these containers again or pass them on.


And I haven’t been brave enough to delete that idea board. Or any Pinterest board about my 4th pregnancy.

It’s March, and I’ve decided that I’m still going to celebrate Laurence and Flannery’s milestones. It’s part of my healing. This is the most grief I have ever known. But I need to keep moving through it.

No matter what we would’ve learned from that ultrasound, girls or boys or one of each, we live in a place that is safe for both genders to attend school. It’s not a matter of if our kids will attend school, just where. My children can learn at home, at one of our local public schools, at a local private school, or a combination of the three. We get to choose how our boys and girls are educated. Much of the world doesn’t get that choice. And girls have the least options. Many times, girls are not able to attend school at all.

So we bought a bike for a girl.


Many more girls would be able to attend school if walking was replaced with a quicker, less dangerous option. Or if the roundtrip travel time didn’t cut so much into other obligations: work, childcare, chores.

This bike will provide safety on the way to and from classes. She can also better manage her time, which means more opportunities. And more education, safety, and opportunities decrease her chances of becoming a sex slave.

I couldn’t think of a better way to memorialize our children’s gender celebration than to love on somebody with a bicycle. Two wheels. In honor of two babies.

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Because He Gets Clean Water

Our refrigerator is peppered with photos of children we may never meet. We have a basket full of letters and cards. A scrapbook waiting to be filled with drawings from far off places.

And when I am so focused on myself. What am I supposed to be doing with my life? I know I mother. I’m utterly in love with my role as mom. But the Enemy has been swooping in. “You should be doing more.”

And he’s wrong. Of course. But then I also feel the tug, that there’s more than laundry piles and cleaning the same diapers three times a week. And I’m right. Because that loving tug to be God’s hands and feet. That’s the good stuff. That’s worth listening to.

Our newest sponsored child is in an Indian community just starting down the sponsorship path. Everything is brand new to him.

Today, he thanked us for the clean water they are now drinking. And a mosquito net. And a trip to the doctor. And for getting to walk to school. And for soap and toothpaste. And for a birthday kiss from his mom.

And this isn’t a bragtable moment. Please don’t ever think that. We just have money taken from our account every month and we send letters and stickers and drawings and photos. The team in India is working round the clock to bring education and resources to impoverished children and their communities. So I pull them up to the table and beg you to pray for them. And for our children’s teams in Ghana, Malawi, and Burkina Faso.

But I opened the envelope in my air conditioned van. In my clean clothes.  And the Holy Spirit whispered, “See. You are doing it. You don’t always get to see it. When you shop yard sales, and buy marked down protein, and use what you have when you could go buy new…you’re mothering well. And it frees up my resources to help other mothers. They give their children birthday kisses and are thankful for another year.”

This Monday is different. I’m washing the pee sheets again. Still wondering where all my dreams fit in. But I have this realization that God is using me beyond these small walls.

Yes, I raise my children to follow after Him. I plant seeds. Row after row. But He never called me to focus all of me on these three blessings. He doesn’t call me to put on blinders and spend eighteen years just on the ones I physically tuck into bed.

As we pray each night for our friends just waking up, my children learn that they aren’t the Sun. And my children need to learn that they are my treasures. But treasures in clay pots. From dirt. With the breath of God breathed into magnificently designed bodies. Their hands and feet called to be His. Alive for a reason.

I love them. These three little Ballews. But I can’t let them grow up thinking they are my all in all and my focus every waking moment and that I live to wash their socks. They need to grow up knowing that I want more for them than believing the American lie that they are entitled to everything they see. Including a mom who spends all her minutes fawning over them and teaching them what she has learned in her slightly longer life.

So the answer to my question is complicated. My purpose is pointing these children to Jesus and loving them well. But that doesn’t mean I stop doing. Dreaming, creating, following the stirrings in my spirit. Those butterfly moments.

And because he gets clean water, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing now. Still questioning which turns to take, but knowing that all of it is fitting into this mommy’s life puzzle. The bottle-washing pieces joining with the goat-buying pieces. Perfectly snapping together. And showing my kids that they fit into my life’s purpose, but are complemented by pieces of my story we only see in snapshots.


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Five Minute Friday | Send

It’s time again for five minutes of unedited writing. This one is hard to write. So many tears.


Timer is set.

We got a letter today. One of our four sponsored children was released from the program. We have been sending gifts, letters, photos, and unspoken prayers to a little boy sharing our son’s birthday. Two boys on opposite sides of the Earth. The letter from WorldVision explained that our 5-year-old Indian sweetheart is now financially stable. After 3 years under our sponsorship, his parents have managed to actually get out of poverty. Sobs. I couldn’t stop. I was rejoicing and grieving with the same tears. My stomach was heavy and full of butterflies. This little boy who stole our hearts one night on a computer screen is now healthy, stable, and succeeding. He learned to wash his hands, brush his teeth, play with others. Through the local team, we gave him books, clothes, food, animals, solar lanterns, blankets, medicine, a water pump, school supplies, and mosquito nets. We sent him countless toys and random sticker sheets from his Missouri counterpart. We sent birthday parties in five separate envelopes. He sent his handprint. Drawings. Scribbles. Thank yous. Thanked us for meat at dinner. But I am the one who is full of thanks. I am so thankful that God sent him into our lives. Our paths crossed in the middle of my night and his day. I saw him on a bright monitor and knew he was ours. But he never was ours forever and ever. Just for a season. We have prayed for him more than 3000 times and we will continue to pray for him until Jesus returns. And now I need to explain to my Graham that Dishan is happy and healthy and well, and we have a new little boy…just a toddler…who has been sent to us. We will send him gifts and letters and photos, but he will send me a constant reminder through his little handprints that God wants us to be His hands and feet in a world where $35 a month can change the entire course of a child’s life. A child who becomes a part of you.

Time’s up.

Please join me at


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Wordless Wednesday {a three hour naptime}


Thank you, Mema, for taking care of Adelaide while we napped.

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Wordless Wednesday {mail}


‘Rocketship’ care package for our sponsor child in India. We sponsor him through WorldVision.

{Graham even included a story he ‘wrote’ about a rocketship.  I love those letters!}


Letter and paper dolls for our sponsor child in Ghana. We sponsor her through Compassion.


A little care package for Aunt Stephenie. She is getting her Masters at CIU.

{This little work of art is called ‘I LOVE PENS!’}

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