Sunday, December 18, 2011

Oh so busy... photo heavy post! (it's easier to re-cap that way!)

Back in the BEGINNING of November (yes, that's how behind I am at blogging!) our church's orphan care ministry, Abba's Children, hosted it's very first respite event for children within the foster care system! It was a huge success and our prayer is that it blessed the families that we served! Many thanks to all our volunteers and to my co-leaders, Sunny and Rebekah, who poured so much of their time and energy into making this night happen! I would encourage EVERY orphan care ministry to host a night like this as an outreach and service to local foster families!

At the end of November I decided to take the leap of faith and say yes to our church's upcoming trip to Uganda! Since then, I've stood back and watched God do His thing, like He ALWAYS does! In 15 days $2740 towards my goal of $3050 has graciously been taken care of, through the hands and feet of others being used by God!!! I'm still shaking my head in amazement! He is faithful! If you want to be a part of this amazing story God is putting together, and help me reach my $3050 goal, just click on the image above. I would be forever grateful!

The first weekend of December, Abba's Children had it's first annual Christmas social/cookie exchange! I wish I had a picture from the afternoon, but apparently I was too busy socializing! Regardless, a great time was had spent in community with fellow families from our church that have a heart for the least of these! I continue to be amazing at how God is growing this ministry and bringing new families, each with their own story of how God broke their heart for the fatherless and how they want to make a difference in these precious children's lives! I pray that God continues to lead this ministry and bless it in ways I could never imagine! 

In the mix of it all, we've been busy getting stuff done around the house, from yard work (check out my little helper, cutie!)....

To hanging Christmas lights! (Yes, that is Jude on the roof of our house with his daddy! What you can't see in this pictures is the nervous mama behind the camera! I got "cool mom points" that day for letting my boys be boys!)

I also have been busy doing DYI projects inside the house! I managed to replicate a pallet idea I saw on pinterest and made this for our kitchen!

We also made our annual trip to the tree farm to get our Christmas tree! This is a tradition that Joshua and I have done ever since we got married and we're determined to never let die!(Yes, we have talked about what the heck we're going to do when we move to Africa one day and what kind of tree we'll cut down! But it'll happen, rest assured!)

Jude had his very first school performance! It was his Christmas show, and he did great! For an overly shy child, he doesn't seem to mind the stage! He sang ALL the words to the cute songs they sang and did the little hand motions with them and everything! He was thrilled to have my parents come to his school and watch him AND daddy took off of work to be there too! We even got to join him back in his classroom after the show for his Christmas party! 

This past week, I helped host my first school party for Jude's classroom, a Jesus Birthday Party! Call me crazy, but I was all nervous, not knowing exactly what to do (yes, I just said I was nervous to throw a party for a bunch of 4 year old kids! Make fun, go ahead!). Honestly, what it really came down to was not wanting the other mom's to think I did a crap job- which is also ridiculously silly that I care! Clearly I have issues! (o; That being said, I think it turned out pretty cute! I made up some birthday cupcakes with "Happy Birthday Jesus" toppers on them and brought my trusty Jesus Storybook Bible, and read them the "He is Here!" chapter, while they ate their cupcakes and snacks on the floor. The party was complete with the cutest little voices you've ever heard singing Happy Birthday to Jesus and blowing out a candle! Jude and I also made up these cute ornament twig crosses I saw on pinterest for each kid in the class as a gift (and when I say Jude "helped" I mean, he helped pick up the sticks- but I'll take what I can get!

Grams and Uncle James just came in for a Christmas visit from Atlanta! We had such a great time soaking in each others company! They arrived with a carload packed to the ceiling of goodies! Uncle James custom built a crib for Isa... and it's AWESOME!!! The boys put it together while James was in town and I'm simply amazed at the time and love that was put into this bed! Photos to come! Uncle James... this was by far the best Christmas gift you could ever give us! Thank you so much! I just know Isa is going to love it!

Jude and Grams spent some quality time together making a gingerbread house.

While they were in town, they got to join us for Joshua's Club 2412's, 2nd annual Battle of the Bands night! It was a huge success and is seriously such fun! $552.74 was raised toward the sponsorship of a sweet boy in Korah, Ethiopia through Project 61! The students have been sponsoring this precious boy for the past 2 years and this summer, Joshua is taking 8 graduating seniors to meet him! More on that later! (o;

We also celebrated Christmas with Grams and Uncle James while they were here and Uncle Jame scored big with his Star Wars spaceship gift to Jude! I'm just not sure what boy likes playing with it more! (o; I'd also like to mention that we are now the proud owners of our very own iPad, thanks to Grams and Larry! What a fun gift that we're so grateful for! Now, while I'm in Uganda, I can Skype with the hubs! We will get much use out of this gift!
Jude was so sad to see them leave last week! He asked me with tears in his eyes, "Why can't our home be their home?!".... I think he assumes since my family lives near by that all family should live nearby- so sweet!

So that about does it! Busy, right?! Even Harley girl is tuckered out these days! (o;

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Helms Happenings-Uganda Edition (Hilary Style)

Friends and Fam, 
I would like to first start off by saying thank you to each of you who have been faithfully following the story God is writing in our lives over the past two years! What a crazy amazing journey it has been so far! So many of your faces come to mind when I reflect on all the people that God has used to accomplish His work in our lives! Funny how almost two years ago we were certain that saying yes to adoption was the biggest leap of faith ever... little did we know the snowball affect it would have on our souls! God knew. I love that! Truly our journey to Isa is far bigger then we could have ever imagined! I love how one cautious, and even skeptical "YES" to God's call, has left us begging for more of His will in our lives! We are confident that God is equipping us, and growing us, and stretching us, for MORE! An upcoming trip to Uganda for me in February is just one more piece to this God-sized puzzle.

Joshua’s trip to Uganda back in July only confirmed the nudge we felt God was giving us to “GO” to Africa. He came home a changed man. He came home with a deeper passion for the people of Africa. He came home insistent that I go on this next trip! That being said, the business of every day life quickly seeped in after his return. It left me second-guessing whether or not I should go on this upcoming trip in February. Concerns that we would be too close to our referral for Isa have been wiped away with the slow down of movement on our wait list. Worries that we wouldn’t figure out the logistics of childcare for Jude with me gone have also been wiped away and are no longer an issue thanks to family willing to offer help. My other hesitations fears regarding the trip have been given a new perspective as God gently has reminded me that none of my fears are too big for Him to handle! He has cleared what I thought would be obvious roadblocks and paved a way for me to join this team! I have this unique window of opportunity before we bring Isa home to GO and experience for myself what Joshua was adamant I see with my own eyes, and hear with my own ears, and feel with my own heart. This is just another equipping opportunity for our family and the plans God has for us! I trust that God knew all along that I needed to be on this trip.

So, here is the gist of the trip…

I will be joining Preston Trail Community Church this February on their third trip to Uganda! While there, we will be visiting imprisoned children at remain centers (with Sixty Feet), hosting a conference and training Ugandan pastors and their wives (with HesedInternational), and we'll have the opportunity to love on some orphans at a couple local orphanages.

If you would like to know more about these incredible ministries we’ll be working with, check out their websites: (Near and dear to my heart!)

Here is how you how you can be part of the trip! (o;
First and foremost… PLEASE PRAY! Pray for our entire PTCC team, the ministries we’ll be working with, and safety over the entire trip! 

Second, prayerfully consider financially supporting me. (Yes, I know in the past year we have fundraised a mere $28k for our adoption and then $3,300 for Joshua’s trip, and now we’re tackling another $3050 in order for me to go! Uh hum, have I mentioned that Joshua is taking a group of graduated seniors to Ethiopia this summer?!... More on that later, wink wink! Trust me, I know this seems nuts! This is one of the fears/hesitations I talked about earlier, that God is assuring me He is big enough to handle!  He has always been faithful to fund His callings!)

We’ve each been asked to raise $3,050 total for the two-week trip (February 20th-March 2nd).

All donations are tax-deductible and can be made out to Preston Trail Community Church. Feel free to put my name on a sticky note and attach to the check, but please do NOT put my name in the memo for legal purposes. Please mail donations to our home at 8205 Sonnet Dr. McKinney, TX 75071, and we'll personally hand them over to the gal in charge. You can also give online through THIS LINK our church has set up. There is a section where you can "Choose the team member you are supporting" and my name is listed in that drop down section. Let me know if you have any questions! 

Here are our support raising goals/deadlines:

$200 God already provided! Wahoo!

Raise $1500 by 12/15

Raise $2200 by 1/15

Raise $2800 by 2/15

Balance of $3050 by 3/15

I am looking forward to how God will change the lives of those in Africa, our team and you as a supporter! Have I mentioned how grateful we are?!?! Seriously, THANK YOU for your support and prayers!

Much love, 

Hilary Helms

"This is for Sunday"

 God is faithful. It's true. Sometimes this truth sits heavier on my heart than others, and right now it's H-E-A-V-Y!  Joshua got a phone call around 9pm tonight from our neighbor across the street. He asked if we were still up and if he could stop by real quick. The hubs says, "Sure thing, come on over!" I'm busy ironing while watching TV and Joshua answers the door and has him come on in. I do the typical, "Hey, how's it going?" over my shoulder thing, and he says, "Alright" over the noise of the too loud SNL I had recorded and was watching. I nonchalantly look up from my ironing board to see him standing by the couch with Joshua and a piece of paper folded in his hand. He simply handed Joshua the folded check and said, "This is for Sunday." Simple as that. A check for $200. Hmmm... God is faithful. Believe it.

He then proceeded to pull out his iPhone and look up the devotional that his wife had read earlier in the day. He read it out loud to us (love this). He then said his wife felt burdened to make sure we got this check today. Wow. God uses His people to get His work done. 

To my neighbors, thank you! I pray you know my sincerity when I say that! God used you tonight to encourage me in a huge way! May you be blessed richly for your generosity and boldness to act on the nudge of the Holy Spirit!