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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Week 2 ~ Hearing God's Voice... Holy Spirit

So even though we are well into Week 4.... Here's week 2 update that was lost somewhere in internetland never to be found:( Finally was able to sit down and type again....

Ah! Where to start. Week 2 has been seriously sweet. Putting into words all God has done & is doing in our hearts & our children's hearts is tough.

This week we dug in deep to God's word on hearing his voice and discussed the "3 Brothers" aka God, Jesus & Holy Spirit and how Holy Spirit is within us and we have to make ourselves available to Him. It was a week full of some incredible time in worship, the word + intercessory prayer, really learning to seek to hear God's voice in praying for others, as well as hearing God in our personal lives. Ya'll this week rocked my world! I began to seek God in a whole new way. Learning more about hearing god's voice and how better to study His word has altered my time with Him. I am excited about continuing to dig in deep and apply all God is teaching me to my daily life. No longer living life as a convicted sinner but as a converted saint.

A few things that stood out to me this week:

  • The Holy Spirit is our connection to Jesus {Christ In Me}
  • The Holy Spirit is our advocate
  • God is relational & personal
  • The Holy Spirit is the fulfillment of God's new covenant
  • Our emotions are our gift they should NOT be our guide

Have you given all of YOU to the Holy Spirit?

We ended the week with most of our campus volunteering at the Ironman World Championship Triathlon. Where we saw such dedication and inspiration. It was so fun to be a part of it & to even see God working among the workers & competitors. Here's a few pics...

Along the running/biking route
The Finish Line

 And some exciting news...

When we were planning to move here for Discipleship Training School we had said that we would just "make do" with Charlie & Levi attending public school. Taking them out of their school with their amazing teachers was SO hard. We thought, "well it's just 12 weeks it'll be fine." Our expectations were low and we knew nothing about the school here. But we serve a God who is in the details, who loves to surprise us and show us that we should seek him ALWAYS with expectation in ALL things. Not only do the boys get some of the services they recieved in the past but they also get Physical Therapy, One-on-one aides which allows for more inclusion, more one-on-one speech, a therapy dog, therapy ponies, snorkel day with Deep and Beyond from the YWAM campus, and the most exciting part Toby (Charlie's service dog) gets to attend school with his boy!!!! 

Update: Toby spent this past week attending school with his boy & Charlie had 4 great days in a row, was more focused, behavior was better, and the teacher said a marked improvement in his entire day. We were thrilled. Another bonus.... Even Levi's days were better! We are amazed at how having Toby with Charlie over every area of his life has transformed him. Woohoo! Go God!

Toby's first day of school
2nd day of school
 In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. ~Psalm 5:3

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Currently... Dying To Self

You know how we talk about starting fresh every day, taking up our cross, putting our selfishness aside and following Jesus? Yeah, That. Over the past week it has taken on a totally different meaning. Yes, I've felt like I've done this in the past, but there's always something that I've held onto for my own selfish reasons not even realizing that it's not mine to hold onto. It's ALL God! It's ALL about God! All of it! Lord, I pray that you will reveal the areas where I am selfish, help me to be a converted saint & not a convicted sinner, help me, my hubs & my children to hear from you like we never have before & most of all may we bring you glory in it all and lead people to you.

YWAM Week 1:

Family Night with our Trailblazers ~ Games, Food & Campfire Worship
Worship in The Prayer Room
Orientation with our family of 1500+
Where are your passions, dreams, sphere of influence?
Thursday Night Worship


appreciating ~ neighbors who share their extra fans (it's a tad humid here/no AC)

watching ~ my children make new friends from all around the world

reading ~ my bible

laughing ~  when there's 6 people in our 1 bathroom

eating ~ in a huge outdoor cafeteria (Church camp style)

attempting ~ to figure out our new schedule

dreaming ~ of sharing Jesus with people who have never heard the name 'Jesus'

planning ~ to buy stock in sunscreen or full body swimwear 

wondering ~ what God stories I'll be able to tell in 20 years

brainstorming ~ creative things to cook on a griddle & Crock pot since we have no stove/oven

wearing ~ shorts & tank tops

preparing ~ for another day of digging in deeper with God

continuing ~ to die to "SELF" daily so that I can glorify God more

making ~ new friends from Korea, Brazil, Norway, Finland, Hawaii, England, Australia...

remembering ~ when I thought this day would never come

getting ~ rid of more clothes:) Why did I bring all these?

studying ~ my bible

loving ~  our new "Ohana"{Family} All 1500 + of them

wishing ~ my besties were here to experience this

listening ~ to people worshipping outside my window

enjoying ~ the view from my window

hoping ~ I can speak truth into someones life every day

missing ~ my family & friends

praying ~ for a little more energy and cooler days

knowing ~ God has us exactly where He wants us

Some of my favorite quotes from the speakers we've heard this week:

"Where's the safest place to be in the world? Right where God wants you to be."
 ~ Dan Baumann

"There's no heart too hard for God" ~Dan Baumann

"I'd rather move forward and follow God than stand back with my insecurities" 
 ~Dan Baumann

"He is not our Savior unless He is first our Lord." ~ Fred Markert

The word "GO" is said 6000 times in the bible

Saturday, September 27, 2014

The Adventure Begins... YWAM Kona, Hawaii

Alaskan Airlines flight, somewhere over the Pacific Ocean
September 23, 2014

Today was day two of the beginning of our journey from Texas to Kailua Kona, Hawaii where we will spend 12 weeks at Discipleship Training School with YWAM(Youth With A Mission) followed by 10 weeks of Outreach in Uganda with YWAM, followed by a minimum of 3 years in Africa.(exact location TBA) We have been so encouraged over the past months and especially the past couple of weeks as friends and family have held us up, loved us, and spoken so many encouraging words and scripture over us. We pray that we have been the same for all of you. You are all greatly loved and no words can truly express how much you all mean to us.

And for memory sake…
We traveled from Midland, Tx to Seattle, WA with a change of plane at DFW yesterday with 10 people + 32 checked bags + 10 backpacks + 2 guitars + 1 dog kennel + 1 service dog. It was an uneventful day of travel. Seriously;) We picked all the previous mentioned luggage and loaded it into 2 shuttles and headed to our hotel for the night. Super fun! Then because we weren’t exhausted and hungry enough we got on the seatrac at the airport and rode to the end of the line in Downtown Seattle, walked a couple of miles, people watched, saw a beautiful sunset on the bay, ate at the Hard Rock CafĂ© at 9:00pm, bought gum at the City Target, walked to the ‘Gum Wall’, blew bubbles, stuck gum on a famous wall with millions of other pieces of gum (gross), road the seatrac all the way back to the other end, walked to hotel, and finally crashed at 10:30pm which felt like 2am. Ha!

This morning we loaded all of the above mentioned people & items into two shuttles, also known as passenger vans and headed back to the Seattle airport, where we turned in approval for Charlie’s service dog and where 4 amazing Alaskan Airline employees checked 32 bags at NO CHARGE. It saved us almost $1000 and I cried! As I sit on this flight surrounded by my family snoring, talking, reading, and arguing I am so blown away at God’s timing and how he continues to be in all the details. We have been able to share our story with half a dozen people already as we’ve been traveling & pray that they might see just a little bit of Jesus and want more of Him. Thank you again for your continued prayers. This afternoon we’ll turn in our Hi Ya’ll for Aloha.

Next up arrival in Kona and settling into our apartment on the University of Nations campus.

Let the adventure continue…

**The upcoming weeks will be busy & updates on the blog may be few,
you can see quick updates on our

Instagram: @harpers_all_in and @waharper

Facebook: Harper’s All In

Our Apartment, U of N Campus, Kona, HI
September 27th, 2014

We arrived in Kailua Kona, Hawaii around 2:30 on Tuesday. We were greeted by our DTS team cheering as we pulled onto campus. We hit it hard and got unpacked, settled in & picked up some things we needed from Walmart including some extra box fans because it is so humid here right now & we have no AC. Everyone has adjusted well. Jetlag is beginning to disappear and we are learning our way around the campus. It has been amazing here. We are all Ohana (family) and you definitely feel that way. We have met people from all over the world already. There are 44 countries being represented this quarter and it truly is sweet to be in community with people from so many other cultures
The kids spent a few hours at Foundations school orientation followed by a birthday celebration for one of the students and sang in 4 different languages. Emmy said she is going to help her Norwegian friend learn English and hopes to learn a little of her language as well:) We toured the campus, went through orientation and spent time worshiping in the prayer room. Our day concluded with a Luau complete with Hula & Fire Dancers, testimony from Lauren Cunningham the founder of YWAM followed by amazing worship.
Charlie & Levi had their first day at Kahakai Elementary school yesterday where they were welcomed and are looking forward to riding the bus soon.

Please continue to cover us in prayer as we continuing to adjust to life in a new culture & with new schedules. Pray that while we are here people will see Jesus in us, that they will see we are just an ordinary family that loves, argues, serves and wants to bring God glory in all we do.  Pray that God will draw our family closer together as we grow to know Him more.

To know God more & to make Him known...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

25 Days Ya'll - 15 = 10 days!!!!!

Okay Friends! We leave in 10 days. We still need 23 21 more partners at $25 a month. All you last minute people join us! Click the DONATE button to partner with us tax-deductible:) *one-time donations greatly appreciated as well*

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We have been asking for monthly partners to join us as we head off to Discipleship Training with YWAM and then onto full-time missions overseas. {location TBA} We started it HERE, Restarted it HERE, shared "Where We Stand" HERE. We've had 43 people partner with us, but we are still in need of monthly partners. We've tried all kinds of fun ways to get people to be a part of our God Story. Today with 25 days left 'til our departure we're going to do a fun giveaway....

When we get 25 more Partner's at $25 a month
we will give away a beautiful Noonday Collection Necklace
to the 25th person!!! So Fun!

That's just ONE New monthly partner each day until we leave!!!

If you're not a Go-er would you consider being a Send-er? 
It takes ALL of use to fulfill Matthew 28:16-20

Then Jesus came to them and said,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:16-20

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Keeping it real ~ Adoption

Some days are just plan hard. You have this immense love for someone that you did not carry in your womb, but that your heart thinks has been a part of you forever.

Not flesh of my flesh, nor bone of my bone, but still miraculously my own. Never forget for a single minute you didn't grow under my heart but in it. ~ Fleur Conkling Heyliger

In the adoption community I've often heard people say, "Fake it 'til you make it."  It might seem harsh, but loving kids from hard places is sometimes just plain hard. You would die for the child, you can't imagine your life without the child, your passionate about helping them learn, grow & heal, you'll fight for them at ARD meetings, fight for therapies, argue with insurance companies, and educate, educate, educate the community; and then some days you want to flush them down the toilet with the box of wipes they just put in it.

In all honesty I've had to ask God and the child for forgiveness more times than I can even count. It's always a 3 steps forward 5 steps back life with a child from a tough place. Add Special Needs + non-verbal to that & it's all kinds of hard. God never said the 'yes' would be easy, but he did promise it would be worth it. 

It took 3 years for me to realize that a lot of the anger that had built up in my heart was not directly related to the child but from thoughts of his past. And even though I knew I could not change the past, the frustration with this child being abandoned, left to be cared for in an orphanage, and then only 2 days away from a transfer to an adult mental institution when I hugged him for the first time had taken it's toll. I was angry about the neglect, angry for the fear in his eyes, angry because he was seen as nothing. Then the what if's came, followed by the grief of all the children I had left behind. Then one morning as the frustration built over this child's behavior came, I became overwhelmed with the peace that only comes from God. My eyes were opened to all that the enemy was placing in my heart, and I knew that it was time to let it go & move forward with all that God has done for this child. He has been redeemed, he is loved, he is respected, he's a son, a brother, a nephew, and a grandchild. This child I have prayed for is perfect just the way God created him, his story has changed peoples lives, their hearts, and their view on adoption and special needs. His story has overlapped so many other peoples stories and it is beautiful, and messy, and sometimes ugly, but it is his story and we are blessed to be apart of it!

And he is worth it!

If your an adoptive momma who is struggling. I pray that you would trust God to give you the strength every day, that you will not try to be a super mom on your own, and that you will press into God daily. Remember Joy comes in the morning, every day you get to wake up & start over. And if you need a reminder of how far your child & you as a parent have come, go back and watch the videos & look through the photos from when you hugged your child those first times. It will do your heart good. Promise.

 What things have you found that promote healing? How do you refill when your drained? What things do you do to promote bonding?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Noonday Trunk Show ~ TONIGHT!!!!!!

So exciting to hear about the amazing work of Noonday Collection & International Justice Mission and how they are making such a difference. Here's just a little about what they are doing in Rwanda. These two ministries are making a huge impact globally. Watch & Shop to support the amazing women just like us living around the world. #purchasewithapurpose #ijm #noonday

If your in the Midland/Odessa Area
Join us TONIGHT for a Noonday Collection Trunk Show

Come see the beautiful Fall Line designed by artisans all over the world.

See You TONIGHT!!!

Can't make it? 
Click HERE to order online & mark Wendy Harper as hostess:)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Currently... purging, packing & pool hopping

Our 'currently' is looking a little different these days. Between feeding kids, doing laundry, cleaning up messes, entertaining kids, doctor appt, dentist appt, shot appt.'s, & therapies I'm trying to squeeze in figuring out what to pack, what to store & what to get rid of. It's been a bit of a challenge, but it's gettin' done a little at a time. This coming thursday we're having a moving sale so we are gearing up for that this week. If your local & want to join the craziness we could use the help:)

We know that through this past year and especially the last few months that the enemy has not wanted us to follow through with our 'YES' It has not been easy, but there has been no doubt. God has grown us, He has loved us, He has allowed us to see when the enemy is trying to steal & destroy & He has kept us strong. We are beyond excited for this next adventure & we are buckling down and gettin' 'er done. Thank you for your continued prayers as we wrap things up here in our little West Texas town -----> head to discipleship training in Kona, Hawaii -----> and then over the big pond to make our home among the unreached.

And in case you were wondering... This is what pictures really look like:)


appreciating ~  my hard working hubby

watching ~ Jen Hatmaker on HGTV. Ha!

reading ~ Restless by Jennie Allen

laughing ~ at how difficult it is to keep a bag/trunk under the 50lb limit

eating ~ horribly

attempting ~ to exercise more:) 3 out 7 days so far. Gotta start somewhere

dreaming ~ of life across the BIG pond

planning ~ homeschool curriculum

wondering ~ if I'll survive this final yard sale. Ha!

brainstorming ~ OT, PT, Speech ideas

wearing ~ t-shirts everyday!

preparing ~ for a yard sale to part with all our loot

continuing ~ to thank God for His timing

making ~ memories

remembering ~ it's all 'Just Stuff'

getting ~ ready for a Noonday Collection Trunk show TOMORROW night!

studying ~ Hebrews with She Reads Truth

loving ~  sweet notes from sweet friends & sweet strangers

wishing ~ i had a maid, yep! kept this one. Still wishing...

listening ~ to Unspoken's "Walking Away"

enjoying ~ counting down the days

hoping ~ Charlie finds a new addiction. This mama's sick of Barney Songs

missing ~ my trusty sidekick Megan Elkins

praying ~ against the enemy! He will not squelch our JOY as we prepare to move

knowing ~ God's hand is on all this

So proud of this crew & how God is working in each of you!