Sunday, August 16, 2009

Welcome Home: Our families journey to extreme joy

I'm so excited to welcome Kimberley Woodhouse as a guest blogger today. She has had such an impact in our society because her family was selected as an Extreme Make Over TV special. But did you know she is a wonderful writer too? You have to keep reading because she will inspire you! I have a copy of her book to give away today too! All you have to do is comment and give me a way to contact you if your name is chosen as the winner!

Please welcome and enjoy, Kimberley!

In writing this post for Angie’s blog today, I thought about my faith. And how many times I’ve imagined the Lord looking down at me, smiling, and saying, “Oh Kim, let’s grow your faith.” Because even with all He’s done in our lives—from miracle babies, to devastating diagnoses, to brain surgery, to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition showing up with a bus in front of our house—I’m still amazed and surprised at His goodness, grace, mercy, and love every day. I don’t want to be – “Oh ye of little faith” – I want to be – “Oh ye of great faith!” But I still have a long way to go to reach that goal.

I pray you all will take a journey with me through my book Welcome Home. It’s a hard journey, but also a journey filled with joy. I pray that you are blessed beyond measure by His unending love for all of us, and that through laughter and tears you will be able to see without a doubt that His joy cannot be taken away.

Today, I’d like to share a little story with you here…
Faith, Faith, Faith…Just a Little Bit of Faith
Do you remember that song? It's the first thing that popped into my head when I started writing this post. :)

My adorable and creative son, Josh, loves snow. And he calls the snow here in Colorado, "wimpy." But before I go on, there's more to this story...

When Josh was about three years old, and my daughter, Kayla, about twelve months old, we were in southern Arkansas. Josh had been fixated with the idea of snow, and so at bedtime - he did the only logical thing for a three-year-old to do - he prayed for snow.

The next day? It snowed thirteen inches. Yes, in a place where they never get snow - it really snowed! Josh told me that morning, "I got faith, Mommy!"

"You sure do, Josh... you sure do." I laughed, and my heart overflowed with love for my little boy with the faith of a multitude.

A year later, we were in Tennessee visiting my family for Christmas. They didn't have any snow on the ground, so guess what Josh did? You probably guessed it: he prayed for snow.

And do you know what happened next?

Yep. It snowed. A lot.

And the story doesn't end there. The next Christmas we were in South Louisiana. And I mean south, about-to-touch-the-Gulf-of-Mexico, south. They don't even know what real snow is down there... (I'm from there, so I can safely say that without offending anyone.)

But Josh prayed for snow. His little boy heart wanted his family to see the wonder of snow. The next day... we woke up to snow covering the ground.

Soon after, we moved to Alaska. Josh told me that God had a sense of humor, because He sent us to a place where he (Josh) wouldn't need to pray for snow anymore. :)

Now, some of you may be thinking, "All I have to do is pray for what I want, and I'll get it!" Ummm... no. But think with me for a minute about Josh's prayers. Josh didn't just pray for it. He had faith backing it up. A LOT of faith. Untainted by the cynicism of this world. He knew God could do it, and he prayed for it.

Again, just because you pray for something, does not mean it's going to happen - but we do need to pray in faith. Sometimes God answers "no", sometimes "wait", and sometimes "yes." If you were to pray, "Lord, I really need a new job..." but in your mind, you're thinking, "but it won't happen, I'm not good enough for anything else, I'll just be miserable the rest of my life." Are you really praying in faith?

Matthew 17:19-20 says, -Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it shall move; and nothing shall be impossible to you." - (NASB)

Some people, as adults, lose a lot of their faith. Their vision gets tinted with the view from the world, and the ugliness around them. Pessimism and cynicism and negativity seem to reign. But how about we put on that child-like faith? Isn't that what God wants?

Josh prayed for snow. And it snowed. He prayed for his sister when she had brain surgery, he prays every night for our family and friends. His faith is strong. He knows that God may not always answer the way he 'wants' - but he knows that His answer will be the right one. God is good, and HE is God.

Faith, faith, faith... just a little bit of faith.

Overwhelming trials . . . met with overcoming joy.
Kayla Woodhouse is not your typical twelve-year-old. Due to a rare medical disorder, she feels no pain, doesn’t sweat, and needs protective cooling gear just to go outside. With her restrictive lifestyle; countless hospitalizations, including brain surgery; and the resulting mountain of hospital bills, what’s a family to do?

How the Woodhouse family has faced seemingly impossible challenges is a story that has captured the hearts of America. Millions of people have experienced glimpses of their lives on Discovery’s Mystery ER, The Montel Williams Show, and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (recently voted one of the show’s all-time best episodes!).

Now Kayla’s mom, Kimberley, takes readers behind the cameras to reveal their family’s journey as never before told. From medical sleuthing to cross-country moves, from freak fires to battles with insurance companies, Welcome Home proves that truth really is stranger than fiction. This candid life story reveals both success and failure and demonstrates how, even during tough circumstances, to shift your life from heartbreak to extreme joy.

Peak inside the Woodhouse family’s life (and their famous house) with a 16-page photo insert.

Author bio:
Kimberley Woodhouse is a wife, mother, author, and musician with a quick wit and positive outlook despite difficult circumstances. A popular speaker, she’s shared at more than 600 venues across the country. Kimberley and her family's story have garnered national media attention for many years, but most recently her family was chosen for ABC's Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, The Montel Williams Show, and Discovery Health channel’s Mystery ER. Welcome Home: Our Family’s Journey to Extreme Joy, releases from Tyndale House Publishers September first. In addition to her non-fiction, she also writes romantic suspense and children’s books. Kimberley lives, writes, and homeschools in Colorado with her husband and two children in their truly “extreme” home.
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