his voice

Oct 9, 2012 by

My heart is spilling over with gratitude today. Gratitude for the goodness of God. Gratitude for His patience with me. Gratitude for His majestic love. Gratitude for His voice.

He has been talking to me. Helping me learn to listen and then to act. Blessing me with His guidance.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to change the world…to make it a happier, brighter, and more peaceful place. I remember as a little girl growing up in our family grocery store how much joy I felt when I helped others get their groceries to the car, or find something they needed in the store, or brought them a smile as they checked out. I remember jumping up and helping others AND having a great time doing it. I remember playing knock-and-run to our neighbors and people in our town who needed our help. I loved it then and I love it now. I love helping people have a brighter day and a more secure tomorrow. In many ways, it is what I was born to do.

As a grown up, this poem sums up my feelings much of the time.

Motherload

Motherhood has ruined me for life.

I want to nurse the world
A continent to a breast.

I want to cut up waffles
For all the third world
Send the dictator to his room
Ground the drug dealers
Wash out the pornographers’
Mouths with soap
And spray organized crime
With Black Flag.

I want to make all the politicians
And all the executives sit on the couch
And memorize the golden rule
And stand up and say it in unison.

I want to grab a bullhorn
And announce to the world 
That barbecues will stop
Until all the litter–all the litter–
Has been picked up.  

Oh, I could fix everything
If they would all just listen to me,
Listen to me,
Listen to me!

I have such illusions of grandeur:
I am a mother

~Carol Lynn Pearson

I am one of those people who would run off to a foreign land and spend my days bandaging wounds, feeding soup, and giving hugs. I would…if I could. And maybe I will someday. But God has called me to labor here in my home as a mother and to nurture these children He has blessed me with. While they are my first priority, those longings to save the world are ever present in my heart. Thus, Make It For Maggie was born. It all started back in 2009 when I first discovered Katie and Amazima. I could not rest until I created a way to be of service to Katie and the children she serves in Uganda. Women from all over the world joined with me in sewing pencil rolls for Katie’s schoolchildren and our family’s fall service project was born. The next year, my friend, Jodie Palmer, created Maggie’s Month and once again, I knew I needed to DO SOMETHING. I could not, NOT do something. Kat and I started brainstorming and Make It For Maggie was born. That first year was amazing. Things came together quickly (in three short weeks) and the outpouring of love from our community was enormous. In 2011, I really didn’t know if I was up to it. I had just been through an incredibly difficult six months with a breast lump and a variety of treatments and finally a lumpectomy that took me two months to recover from. But, Katherine was willing and God spoke to my heart, and with many helping hands we were able to create another wonderful event.

This year, there was no question in either of our minds if we would be doing it again. We are in for the long haul now. So back in August we started working on putting all the details together. By September things were rolling along, but we couldn’t decide on who our recipient should be. We had several excellent nominations and one fairly obvious choice, but as we prayed, we didn’t feel right about any of them. We went on planning, finding teachers, and working on the website, but we could not select our recipient with any amount of peace in our hearts. It was bizarre. In past years we knew exactly who we were working so hard for and had a central purpose driving us. This year, we had to keep working without knowing who all of this was going to bless. More prayers. More pondering. No peace. More work. More teachers. More people asking us over, and over, and over again WHO the recipient would be. More courage to wait until the peace came. More nominations. More prayers. No peace.

This went on for weeks and was a tad unnerving. But, we couldn’t feel right about just selecting someone because they needed our help. We wanted and needed to have confirmation from God that who we were choosing was right.

Registration was supposed to open on Saturday, but on Saturday we still didn’t know who our recipient was. Then, finally, yesterday, the answer came, with power and peace, it came.

I know this is long, but bear with me. It is worth it.

Last Sunday at church, when my heart was breaking over our ward split that would be happening in a few short hours, God spoke to me and told me to ask my friend, Heather, if there was someone at her church (where we meet for iFamily) who needed MIFM’s help. I thought, “Oh, that is a good idea.” But, I didn’t do anything about it. I think I believed I could still solve this whole thing and so even though time was fleeing rapidly, I didn’t call Heather. On Wednesday morning, as I was showering before I went to the temple with Keziah for her first time, I heard God speak to me again. He said “Tracy, someone is adopting children and they need your help.” I thought in my mind “Oh, we don’t do adoptions, we do children with disabilities.” Again, “Tracy, someone is adopting children and they need you.” “Hmmm,” I thought.

Later that day at iFamily, I shared with Heather our inability to feel peaceful about any of our nominations and the prompting God had given me on Sunday to speak to her about it. She told me about a family in her church who has two children with severe disabilities and told me she would find out more about their needs and how MIFM could help them. I thought, “Hmmm, maybe this is our family. I hope Heather finds out more quickly so we can make a decision and move forward.” As I turned to walk away, she kind of mumbled something about another family in their church who were adopting from the DRC. I froze in my tracks and asked her for more information. She couldn’t give me much, but I felt like this might be the answer we had been praying for. I still wasn’t sure and was rather unsettled by the whole thing. I kept thinking, “We don’t do adoptions. This can’t be right…but what if it is?”

But I kept thinking about it. On Thursday I told Kat about it and she wanted more information as well. Friday I left for SLC and our amazing temple trip. Sunday was spent watching General Conference and then working on the MIFM website into the wee hours of the morning. Monday was the last day to decide. We had postponed registration from Saturday to Tuesday in the hopes of having our recipient selected and our registration process smoothed out, but here it was Monday morning and still no recipient we knew was right. I kept pleading with God to teach me, to show me who we needed to select, to show me the path. Nothing. More website work. Finally, I called Kat and said “We must decide.”

And then we knew. We were flooded with peace. We knew we were to select TWO families and that one of them was our obvious choice from up above and the other was the adopting family from Heather’s church. I immediately called Heather and found out more about this family. It turns out that Todd, is the Youth Pastor at their church and is well-loved by many of our friends. It turns out that they have been praying and working for many months to raise the money they need to travel to pick up their sons. It turns out they had just made an awesome movie to share their message and their need. It turns out their seven-year-old son, JT, had just prayed that very morning for God to send them help.

And He did. JT, He did. He sent two crazy mamas who want to alleviate all the suffering in the world, but know they can’t, so instead they spread joy and love and goodness and build a community of people dedicated to changing the world one family at a time.

I can’t even begin to put into words my feelings about this. It is overwhelming to know, clearly know, God led us to this family who has been praying for someone just like us to find them. It is humbling to think of being an instrument in His hands. It is my desire to more fully align my will with His so He can use me more fully to bless His children.

So grateful.

Want to learn more about our recipients for this year? Check them out over at Make It For Maggie, then either click on the Registration button or the Donate button and join us in Changing The World One Family At A Time.

Thank you, God, for teaching me once again whose work this is and how much you love your children.

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make it for maggie wrap-up

Oct 30, 2011 by

make it for maggie wrap-up

Katherine and I are grateful and filled with love for each and every participant in Make It For Maggie. Words cannot do justice to the feelings we have in our hearts after yesterday’s event.

I walked through the day with a smile on my face and oodles of gratitude in my heart at the greatness of soul that was demonstrated by our community. It was a privilege to spend a day learning, serving, and laughing with you.

There were SO many amazing and wonderful and delightful moments throughout the day. Here are just a few of them.

1. Bill and Linda Watts helped us set up chairs and get each room ready for our classes to begin. We couldn’t have been ready on time without them!

2. Charlene walked in with the box of Handout Booklets at just the right time. We gasped when we saw how beautifully they turned out! They are lovely. Thanks to Charlene Hertzberg for her hours of work putting them together! We hope they prove to be useful in the lives of our supporters and they get used and used and used!

3. Several attendees showed up with friends! Yeah for spreading the love!

4. Check-in was super fun (although a little bit of a bottleneck!) because we were able to speak to each person, give lots of hugs, and connect with our attendees.

5. The decorations, table settings, and the whole flow of our lunch together was FABULOUS! Thank you to Kim, Stevie, and Zoie Conder for going the extra mile to make Make It For Maggie run a gazillion times more smoothly than it did last year. Your efforts are greatly appreciated!

6. Liz sang to us at lunch and what can I say…her voice melts me every time. There were many tears throughout the room. Thank you for sharing your heart with us and blessing us with the gift of music.

7. The Silent Auction was a HUGE success! Thank you for your generous support and for bidding at the last minute!

8. Christine Paugas gave Maggie a cute little knitted turtle…wish I had a picture of it because it is adorable!

9. Our classes were thoroughly enjoyed! One participant said “I have been inspired by this group of amazing women. I can’t wait to come back next year!” Yes, we have wonderful teachers!

10. An anonymous and generous donor wrote us a lovely letter and put it in our donation box. Thank you to whomever you are…and may God shower you with blessings!

10. The Bartell family showed up at 5:00 and said “Put us to work! We are here to clean the building.” Woo-hoo!!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

11. When Eric Browning saw that Brian Bartell was the only man putting up tables, he dropped his schedule and got right to work! Thank you Eric!

12. Lots of people put up chairs, swept floors, and got the building put back together! I drove away at 6:39! Yes, only 1 hour and 39 minutes after it ended! Thank YOU to everyone who helped!

13. I received so many wonderful hugs yesterday…and not your average-pat-on-the-back-hugs, but tight squeezes full of love!

14. Another donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, made a very generous last minute donation. She brought Kat and me to tears with her love for the Lear family. Thank you!

15. Melissa Bartell donated money from her Halloween Costume Party…such a fabulous idea! Thank you!

16. Many people brought in door prizes at the last minute and filled our day with fun and lots of winners. A special thank you to my mama, Dorothy, for bringing so many adorable and yummy items! Thank YOU!

17. I was able to snuggle my nephew, Easton, so his overworked mama could attend Jodie’s relationship class. He promptly fell asleep on my shoulder and I was in baby heaven for an hour. Isn’t the sound of a baby breathing in your arms one of the most precious things in the world?

Here are some pictures of our day:

Check-in

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Miss Maggie at lunchtime

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Sharing information about some of our donors

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Picking Door Prize winners

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Lincoln Lear and lil’ guy Damon

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Giving Maggie’s mom, Jodie, money for Maggie’s new Proloquo2Go Communication Program and two Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments. Yippee!!

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Jodie sharing her words of inspiration and gratitude for Make It For Maggie. She showed us some of the blessings that came into Maggie’s life through Maggie’s Month last year.

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Liz singing her heart out and bringing us to tears

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Lunch

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Bill and Linda Watt’s amazing display of preparedness items to use without electricity

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Silent Auction

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Door Prizes

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Making Tea Towels Aprons

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Knitting

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Cosette’s Stewardship Approach to Chores class

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Amy’s Just Add Water class

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Dorothy’s Make It, Take It Wooden Craft Class

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Kim, our amazing luncheon chairman

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Liz’s Green Smoothie Class

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Thank YOU to everyone for making Make It For Maggie a huge success! Thank you for joining with us in Changing The World One Family At A Time. Every single donation from $10 to $500 made a difference and we are humbled to be surrounded by such greatness of spirit.

Please feel our love for you and please spread the word, build the momentum, and join us next year.

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what are you signing up for?

Oct 9, 2011 by

Have you seen the new Make It For Maggie site? Have you seen the classes are up? What are you going to take? Registration will be up soon!

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why i do what i do

Oct 8, 2011 by

Sometimes I wonder what the heck I am thinking when I start a massive project like the 500 Pencil Rolls or Make It For Maggie or any of the other crazy things I do, and then I remind myself I am not crazy, I am trying to bring joy to this world. I am trying to share my bounty with others. I am trying to build families. I am trying to save souls. I am trying to follow my Savior.

It may look crazy on the outside…and trust me, it often feels crazy on the inside…but it isn’t. It is what I feel called to do and feel driven to do. When I saw this sign, it resonated with me. I want a big ‘ol ginormous version of it hanging in my house…maybe I will finally paint a wall for the first time in my life with this on it? Nah, I really won’t, I am too scared to pick up a paintbrush!

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But I do love pondering it and recommitting myself to both believe in the good and to be the good. What other choice is there? Sure, I can focus on the evil, the sadness, and the just plain awfulness of life, but it makes so much more sense to me to focus on the goodness and greatness of God, the connection and courageness of people, and the beauty and blessings of our time here on earth…and I can be part of those things. I can love and serve and give and laugh and be part of creating the good in my life and in my lives of those around me.

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make it for maggie 2011 recipient

Oct 4, 2011 by

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Drumroll

Our 2011 Make It For Maggie Recipient has been selected! Check out this adorable family and join with us in changing the world one family at a time!

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make it for maggie take two

Sep 27, 2011 by

Make It For Maggie is ON! Yes, Kat and I are joining forces again to make a difference in the world. Stay tuned for more information on our recipient, classes offered, location, new website, dates and times, and how you can help.

In the meantime, I need two things from you:

1. A comment here if you would like to be involved. We are actively searching for committee chairs and numerous other volunteers to make this event a huge success.

2. Suggestions for a Make It For Maggie recipient. We are going to have a new recipient each year and divide up the funding between our new recipient and Maggie.

We are tentatively scheduled for October 29th, so keep that date open. As soon as it is confirmed, we will let you know!

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happy birthday mr. presidents

Feb 21, 2011 by

“I love America, yes, I do. I love America through and through.” (Opening line to one of our favorite songs from Take Your Hat Off When the Flag Goes By by Janeen Brady.)

Take Your Hat Off

Yes, I love this land that was established as a bastion of freedom. I pray we will have the education, courage, and skills to return to the days of our constitutionally bound federal republic. I pray for men and women to unite together to recreate a land of freedom. I pray for wisdom in our current leaders. I pray for an end to the nanny-state, an end to entitlement programs, an end to regulations that limit our freedom and create dependency among our citizens.

To celebrate President’s Day, we read Abraham Lincoln by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire. We are going to spend the whole week discussing Washington and Lincoln, freedom and slavery in all its forms, different forms of government, sacrifice, honor, and what it takes to be a truly great leader. My children loved our book for the day and I hope they enjoy our whole week.

Abraham Lincoln

If you like this book, you can check out all the other D’Aulaire treasures…we love their Greek Myths book!

We don’t want to just study the past on this special day. We want to make a difference in the world of today. We want to restore freedom to America. There are many ways to do this. On this day, we are supporting Ron Paul and inviting each of you to do the same.

I love Ron Paul’s vision of what our country could be like in our modern world. I am deeply grateful for his voting record in the United State House of Representatives. Since 1976 every single one of his votes has been in alignment with the Constitution of the United States of America. He is the only legislator with that record. Today, he has organized a Money Bomb…an attempt to raise oodles of donations from the people who support him. If you are one of those people, please join with me in donating today.

Here is his letter to our country:

Dear Supporter,

A great man was born 279 years ago.

George Washington was a freedom fighter, a leader, and one of our greatest Presidents. But, much of General Washington’s greatness was marked not by what he did, but by what he chose not to do.

He could have been a King.

Instead, he stood for Liberty and stepped aside after eight years, allowing our young Republic to grow into the greatest nation in Human history.

2012 offers our movement a tremendous opportunity. Our nation is beset with crippling debt, an out of control federal government, and a foreign policy that weakens our national defense and isolates us from the world.

But with hard work and determination, we can change course and turn our country back toward Liberty and all of its rewards.

Quite frankly, we need to elect a President in 2012 who will do a lot less: less meddling in the economy, less spending, less warrantless ransacking, less bailing out of Wall Street, less inflating, and less foreign aid and overseas intervention.

We need a President who will respect our Constitution, not someone who simply pays lip service to our traditions.

Because I want a President who does so much less, a lot of people ask me if this means I want a weak President.

My answer is “No!” I want a strong President – a President like George Washington.

I want a President strong enough NOT to take power he should not have.

It is no secret that I am weighing my personal political options for 2012, and that I am relying on Liberty PAC to fund my efforts while I make important decisions.

Monday, February 21st, is Presidents’ Day, which celebrates George Washington’s birthday, and we hope to make it one to remember.

On Monday, Liberty PAC will host its first-ever Money Bomb. Please mark it on your calendar and consider contributing. If we all come together and pitch in, we can take our country back from the statists that are stealing our Liberty and shredding our Constitution.

The next few months will be critical to ensuring a successful political operation for the 2012 cycle. I hope you will join me by making this Presidents’ Day, February 21st, truly special.

For Liberty,

Ron Paul

Happy President’s Day to one and all whether you agree with me or not.

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we did it!

Nov 9, 2010 by

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Make It For Maggie was a huge success! Our goal was to raise money for seven dives for Maggie, bring our community together in service, and to help people learn skills and information that will bless their lives.

We did all three!

Through the great generosity of many, many people we were able to raise almost $1700 for Maggie. Isn’t that amazing! I am so blessed to be surrounded by people of goodness, people who are willing to share themselves with others, people who are willing to give and give some more.

The women who came together at Make It For Maggie made new friends, learned new skills, laughed, cried, and loved. It was a wonderful day of delicious food, inspiring classes, huge smiles, gushy hugs, and lots of laughter.

Although we were exhausted by the end of the day, we were also filled with joy from head to toe. I am so glad Kat and I decided to create Make It For Maggie. It was a wonderful experience that has blessed more lives than just Maggie’s.

My favorite parts?

1. Listening to the Laughter Yoga class giggle themselves silly.

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2. Watching my friend Laura teach how to make her signature Mexican tortillas, beans, and salsa.

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3. Listening to everyone have great conversations during dinner.

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4. Mary Beth enjoying a soup so much she demanded to know who made it and what the recipe was.

5. My little sister learning how to get her baby into a sling.

6. The plethora of hugs I received during the day.

7. Kat’s dad doing the jobs of about 50 people and doing them fabulously well.

8. Seeing Anna give Maggie a doll that looks just like Maggie and then seeing Maggie love on that doll for the rest of the time they were here.

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9. Smelling the deliciousness of the essential oils class.

10. Seeing Sarah teach a group of little girls how to knit.

11. Seeing the excitement in everyone’s eyes as they learned about raw foods, sprouting, freezer meals, calendula creme, cracker making, marinara sauce, sewing, and green smoothies.

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12. Drinking Liz’s green smoothie of utter deliciousness mid-afternoon when I needed an energy boost.

13. Eating the best graham cracker of my life – thanks Carol!

14. Watching everyone laugh during the Improv Underground Dinner Show.

15. Watching Liz scream and shake her booty when she was announced as the raffle winner for a Family Photo Shoot by Moments by Tyra Photography (unfortunately all that screaming scared Miss Maggie).

16. Giving Jodie and Maggie a pile of cash to fund Maggie’s treatments and seeing the joy on everyone’s faces as they realized that each of us was part of something amazing.

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Jodie, Maggie, Mary, and Jodie’s mom, Mary Ann, spent the night at our home (along with my mom, Mikelle, and Easton, and Camille, Abigail, and Eve!) and attended church with us. We had so much fun trying on baby carriers, designing options for Maggie to be carried more comfortably, reading books, eating granola and smoothies, coloring my hair, and watching all the children playing together.

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Some firsts for Maggie happened right here in my home! Maggie stood up for several seconds by herself! She sat up by herself! She colored with a marker by herself! These are all new things and I am sure the nine dives she has had so far are the reason why. It is so super-exciting to be a witness to the transformation of Miss Maggie!

Annesley and Maggie…aren’t these two girlies adorable!

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Thank You, Thank You, Thank You! Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. Thank you for sharing your money, your food, your time, and most of all your hearts.

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make it for maggie – breaking news!

Oct 31, 2010 by

If you have been trying to make up your mind or trying to work out your schedule to come to Make It For Maggie, let me put a tickle in your ear…

Two pieces of exciting news!

1. Early Bird Registration has been extended until Monday at midnight! You must email either Kat at pynkhope@gmail.com or Tracy at tracy@wetoatmealkisses.com by Monday night with your class selection. Please mail your check on Monday to Katherine Jensen at 3506 Greenfield Dr., Ammon, ID 83406.

2. We are having a raffle!! Birth Happens is donating Doula Services with a retail value of $400. Anyone, attending or not, can buy raffle tickets by emailing Kat or Tracy how many tickets you want to purchase and sending your money in to Kat. Tickets are $2 each or 3 for $5. If you win, you can use the doula services yourself or give them to your daughter, friend, or other lucky pregnant mama!

Please spread the word about the raffle to help us earn even more money for Miss Maggie.

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