Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Kadi Lael!

2 years ago Kadi Lael Vaughn entered the world...She is a joy to our family...A perfect mix of girly and spunky...We are crazy about her!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Please pray for my dad!

Many of you are aware that this past Saturday was a landmark day for our family. We gathered around my dad with tears, with full hearts, placed our hands on him and his team-mates and cried out to the God of our lives to be His shield as he makes his way into a unknown territory to us...but one that is close to the heart of our Father. I copied pieces of an email sent by my mom to give you a view of our heart's cry...

"I feel that most of you are aware that Morton left yesterday for the country of Sudan along with a great team of men. . (There are several African brothers meeting them in Kenya leaders from Zambia, Ghana and Kenya). They plan to go into Sudan on Tuesday.

This trip is different from any Africa trip that our family has been a part of. I am sure you are somewhat aware of the situation in the country of Sudan. Over the past few months we have been made more aware. This email is coming to you on behalf of our family and all the families involved in this trip. The men on this trip did not approach this trip casually. Many meetings, planning and much prayer have transpired over the past six or seven months. The family prayer time last Tuesday evening was both a challenge and a blessing.

They will fly into Sudan. Their destination is in the north. It is the rainy season in Sudan. The (dirt) roads to the north are impassable . They will have to go in small planes. It is like I told a friend on Saturday night, If I did not know the Lord well I would be so afraid.

They go with the heavy call of the Lord on their hearts. They are going up close to some of the most harassed and helpless of our time. They are going into the middle of ones who are living & dying without hope. They are going into a nation that is not anxious to make anything easy for Christians. They are going to a nation that desperately needs Jesus.

As they go in to spy out the land, to sense if doors are cracked open enough to go and mission and minister in someway, pray for them to go under the blanket of our Lords protection. Pray for them to have both the eyes and the same spirit that God gave Joshua and Caleb. Oh, we pray that they comeback with good reports of great work that we can do for our Lord. May they come back with an excitement and vision that others cannot help join.

I know I do not need to tell you how to pray...but you also know that I can't help but lay out a few things that are on my heart!

Pray for safety but so much more than safety. Pray for eyes to see and ears to hear and courage to act.
Pray for them to be wise at every turn and for fear to have no foothold...unless it is direction from the Lord to change direction....again...may the Spirit of the Lord be so strong and heavy that they make no mistake about direction.
Pray boldly whatever the Lord puts on your hearts to pray.

As family spokesperson, I say you are receiving this email because we know you pray, but more importantly we know the God to whom you pray. We boldly ask for your prayers on behalf of our husbands, fathers, grandfathers and sons. We ask you to boldly pray for the nation of Sudan.

Pray for God to give you a burden for Sudan. If He gives you the burden He will empower you to carry the burden and to act for Him.

We love you dearly.

suzyj for all the j. offspring"

A friend asked me yesterday if I felt scared...I think more than scared I feel pensive...eager to see what the Lord will do, thinking a lot about how I long for His will to match mine. Fear creeps in every once in awhile, but rather than gripping my heart, I feel it clairifying my thoughts, causing me to cry out to the Lord about things that matter rather than the things that too often claim my thought process. Through the years I am ashamed to admit I have prayed casually for the people of Sudan. Lately, they are heavy on my heart...I am longing that the God we serve will make a way, that His kingdom would advance through a cup of cold water, through much needed food and medical supplies, that His Presence would be made known to a people who cry out for relief. I continue to pray Psalm 20 over my dad and the other men who have gone and over the nation they have gone to...

"God answer you on this day,
The name God-of-Jacob put you out of harm's reach,
Send reinforcements from Holy Hill,
Dispatch from Zion fresh supplies,
Exclaim over your offerings,
Celebrate your sacrifices,
Give you what your heart desires,
Accomplish your plans.
When you win, we plan to raise the roof
and lead the parade with our banners.
May all your wishes come true!
That clinches it—help's coming, an answer's on the way,
everything's going to work out.
See those people polishing their chariots,
and those others grooming their horses?
But we're making garlands for God our God.
The chariots will rust, those horses pull up lame—
and we'll be on our feet, standing tall.
Make the king a winner, God;
the day we call, give us your answer."

May it be Lord, May it be.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Payton is 5!

5 years ago today our hearts became exposed to the world...5 years ago today we welcomed our first son. We knew that we loved this child while he was in the womb, but when he entered the world, when we heard his first cry, when we looked into his eyes...something broke in us that could never be repaired...Our hearts broke wide open with love that could not be contained...We have been crazy about him ever since.

He is so animated while at the same time being so serious. He makes us crazy by correcting our English when we are trying to discipline him. He makes us laugh with his expressions...the first thing he said this morning was, "just look at me...I thought I was going to be an adult today and nothing even happened, I am still just a kid, I don't know if I am really 5 or not." He loves his family with an unswerving loyalty even at this young age. He feels free to discipline his brother while at the same time begging us not to. He is very particular about his hair...for that matter his look altogether...he does not get the part of his brother that is comfortable wearing whatever he puts on and tries to have discussions with his brother to change his mind. He loves his dad and begs him to take him to work with him. He melts his mom's heart by saying multiple times a day how proud he is of me. He loves puzzles, he loves math, he loves trying to catch rattlesnakes. He would much rather be at the ranch on a four wheeler than anywhere.He, too, loves his cousins, for that matter all of his relatives. He can bring tears to my eyes rather quickly by looking out the window as we drive by the assisited living home where my grandmother lived (before she went to Heaven) and saying, "Man- I miss Mom-o." I love how he calls all of his friends "one of his best." I love, love, love, when he is doing his chores and I hear him singing praises to the Lord at the top of his lungs...

There are of course many things that we are continuing to work on with our "Pate"...he often feels a bit too comfortable objecting when someone is trying to correct him. He would prefer that everyone allow him to run his life without questions or comments, unless of course you have a word of praise for him. But my goodness...line up every child in the world and his parents are still running at top speed to make sure we get to pick him first. All the things that make him- him...make us proud to call him ours. We could not do without a one of them. We cherish every moment we have with him....knowing that a lifetime will still feel too short. We love deeper because he is ours, we laugh harder because he is ours, We are closer to the Lord because he is ours. May the Lord be praised for this life, for these 5 years of sheer greatness...and may the Lord continue to heap His gifts upon this child...we look to Him to reveal His plans for our boy. Thank you Lord!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Benjamin is 3!

Oh how we love this child! Benjamin is the perfect mix of tender, tough and pure hilariousness. We have never seen anyone like him. He is constantly going for a laugh...always wanting to make people smile...He is quick to offer his love...quick to offer his opinion...and quick to steal people's hearts.

I remember when he was about 3 months old telling my mom, Benjamin has something in his eyes that lets me know he has a bit more spunk than your average bear. Little did I know his eyes spoke volumes of the truth. Benjamin is eager to test boundaries, on a daily basis he demands that the rules be laid out again. Benjamin has yet to grasp why when he wants something it does not happen immediately. Benjamin has the ability to bring entire restaurants into awed silence as he screams, lays prostrate and demands that he be allowed to run into the parking lot without anyone holding his hand. He loves talking on the phone. He loves his Precious. He is wild about his cousins and lists them off each night to the Lord from Florida to DC to local. He loves to sword fight with his dad. He can say cheeeeeese for a photographer for at least 30 minutes without ever taking a breath, all the while never really smiling. He is crazy about his brother...unless that brother happens to laugh or smile when Benjamin is feeling somber...then we are launched into the age -old sibling argument of, "He is laughing at me..." which has the ability to last longer than this mother can handle. He loves quesadillas from Taco Bueno and a chocolate chip cookies from Starbucks. He is quick to tell anyone that his favorite place to go is either the ranch or Wal-mart. Benjamin wants to talk himself to sleep...which often means he will come and find someone to talk to...We've had many late night conversations that are treasures to me...others have been lost in the grogginess of life that surrounds me at 1 AM.

Oh how we love him...the parts that melt our hearts, the parts that make us sweat through our clothes in public, the parts that need correcting, the parts that bring tears of joy to our eyes...because all of those little traits combine to make the son we love. We tell him all the time the Lord placed him in our family and we could not be more thankful. We anticipate great things for this little man. We celebrate him with great joy all the while raising our hands in thankfulness to the giver of this good gift...only HE could give a gift so sweet. May His name be praised for the life of our Benjamin!

Benj on his new Diego scooter that his brother picked out for him for his birthday...He said its all he is ever wanted!