27 May 2013

A New Twist on 1:27 -

I received my first document from the Department of Homeland Security this weekend concerning the adoption. In reality, the information on the document was insignificant. Basically, it was a legal form updating me that the adoption petition had been received and that I would be hearing more information and instructions very soon. However trivial the information, this piece of paper served as a catalyst for my excitement of what the next few months will hold. Reality is setting in, and almost daily I am reminded how unusual the path that God has chosen for me truly is.

Many of you know that I started a ministry 18 months ago named after James 1:27. “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” This truly has been the most rewarding, challenging, exciting, and difficult adventure of my life up to this point. Through the ups and downs, God has exceeded my every expectation concerning 127 Worldwide!!

Recently, I have been reminded of a different 1:27 found in the Bible. 1 Samuel 1:27 “For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him.” Hannah prayed for YEARS to become a mother. She promised to return her child back to God, if God would answer her request. She was faithful and persistent, and God answered her petition by giving her a son, Samuel, which means “God hears.” I have known that I would be a mother since I was a teenager. God has given me so many excellent examples of mothers – especially my own. About a year ago, God confirmed to me that I was to begin the process of adopting two girls from Uganda. I have prayed that God would be clear in his timing and plan for me to become a mom. The document that I received this weekend served as a reminder that God is in the process of granting me my petition that I have consistently made to Him throughout the last few decades. God still hears!

It is almost humorous when I think about the family that I began praying for as a teenager. Never, in a million years, did “my plan” for my family include being a single parent house with a biracial family. BOTH of those terms were virtually foreign to me at that time. As I travel and speak, I often tell people that the life I live is not one that I would have chosen for myself; however, the story that God has written for my life is better than any story that I could have ever written on my own. It’s true. I never could have predicted the amazing adventure that God has scripted just for me. In fact, the most radical step is just around the corner! I am so excited for my girls to come home!

I truly can see the hand of God on my life. He really has worked out everything according to His own plan because there IS a bigger picture that I cannot always see. I am grateful for this process, even though it has been difficult at times. I ask for your diligent prayers during these next few months. Pray for my daughters, who are more than likely alive at this very moment – perhaps living in conditions that we cannot imagine. Please pray for wisdom, discernment, peace, and clarity as the next several months unfold. Pray for the paperwork to be completed smoothly and timely. Pray for the judge’s favor on this situation. Pray that I can go to them quickly. Pray for quick attachment and adjustment for our family. Pray as the Lord leads you.

God Bless you as you continue to surrender to the story that He wants to write for you – there really is no greater adventure on this side of heaven.

If you are interested in making a financial donation towards the adoption, here is the link: Help bring my girls home!!

09 February 2012

Investment opportunity...

I love helping people, and I hate asking people to help me.  Do you know what has been the hardest lesson that I have learned so far in this non-profit start up adventure?  I realize that I can help MORE people and help people BETTER if I will learn how to ask for help, myself.  God is opening doors for amazing ministry for 127, and so here I am - biting the bullet - and asking for help.  I am looking for 127 families, individuals, or churches who would join the 127 Worldwide Team and support us on a monthly basis. Currently, I am about 20% of the way to this goal.  I am asking you to pray about filling one of these 127 slots.  Now, some people automatically think, "We can't spare $100 a month, so we won't even bother."  I am asking you.....what CAN you spare?  If you and I went to Starbucks and I forgot my wallet, I dare say anyone reading this message would buy me a cup of coffee.  Granted, if I pulled this little stunt every month, you might eventually catch on.  So, pray about it.....maybe it is a dollar a week, a dollar a day, five dollars a day, ten dollars a day, one hundred dollars a day.  :)  The thing is, the amount is between you and God......I really have NOTHING to do with it.  There is so much freedom in that!  I have 2 requests.  1.  Please click on the link below to use our secure partner to set up your monthly donation.  2.  If at all possible, can you set up your checking account instead of a debit or credit card?  This is a strong preference, but it is alright if you are unable to do this.  The minimum donation is $5.  God is stretching me through this process, and I am excited to see what He is going to do!

Join the 127 support team today!

02 December 2011


I am excited for the first time since June.  God has given me a vision for a ministry to look after orphans and widows.  Check out the temporary website: http://www.127worldwide.org/.  The ministry is named after James 1:27 which says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  One of the first ways I want to get the word out about 127 is through an initiative called, "Ruthie's Box."

My mother had an infamous box in her dresser drawers. Each paycheck, she would put cash into a cardboard box that was duct taped shut with a small incision in the top which allowed her to make deposits. Perhaps the duct tape tricked her mind into thinking that this cash was off limits to everyday expenditures. The box was for a special need or a rainy day. My mom was very generous with the contents of her box, and she always wanted to have immediate money available as each need arose.

My mother, one of the strongest people that I have ever met, lost a dreadful battle with cancer on August 13, 2011. In the last few days of life, one thing that she reminded us of was, “Don’t forget about my box.” Our family had been planning a vacation for many months, and we were hoping that mom would be able to join us. Unfortunately that was not the way things worked out, but you would never imagine what we found when we opened up the box about a month after she passed away. My mother spent the last months of her life – in the midst of many trials in addition to cancer - stocking up more than $1,100 in her duct tape box!

I have prayed for God to make a way for my mother’s legacy to continue on throughout my life, and I believe that there will be many future opportunities for this. However, the first one that I want to publicize through 127 WorldWide is “Ruthie’s Box.” This will be a special fund that will be used as needs arise within the ministry. This money will not be used for salaries or light bills. Rather, it will be used for necessary purchases that will enhance what God is doing through 127 to look after orphans and widows around the globe. A few examples of these expenses would be web development and maintenance, travel expenses, displays, brochures, business cards, etc. As we are just in the infancy phase of ministry, these necessary purchases can be overwhelming. I am asking that you help to honor the life of Ruthie Fentress by making a contribution to Ruthie’s Box.

Simply make the check out to 127 WorldWide and write “Ruthie’s Box” on the memo line. All donations are potentially tax deductible as 127WW is finalizing their 501c3 tax exempt status with the IRS. Mail all contributions for Ruthie’s Box to 127 Worldwide PO Box 1277, Woodstock, GA 30188.  You can also click on the DONATE BUTTON below.

30 August 2011

Mom's Welcome

Here is what I shared at my mother's funeral.

On behalf of the entire Fentress and Wilson families, I would like to thank you for coming today. Our family has been overwhelmed with cards, meals, and visits during the entire summer. The prayers have come without ceasing from literally all over the world. We have been surrounded by so much love and support, and we are so grateful.

My mother loved people. Your coming here today is a testimony of that love. She loved her students. How appropriate that this is the first day of a new school year in Anderson County. She loved teaching. She loved her church. She taught Sunday school for twenty five years. She loved her friends. Church friends, school friends, Gideon & Auxillary friends. She loved her family. She would have done anything for someone that she loved. My mom loved well.

We truly want to celebrate her legacy today. This side of heaven, we will never know the extent of the seeds that she planted during the time that God allowed her to live on this earth. We believe that her time here was too short, but she definitely made a powerful investment throughout her lifetime. Mom invested in you in some way or you wouldn’t be here today. Maybe she helped you improve your handwriting by making you write, “I will not talk in Mrs. Fentress’ class” 100 times. I did have written here that even Julie and I had to write sentences……but I found out this morning that Julie did NOT have to write sentences. It won’t surprise many of you that I am the daughter that had to write sentences in my mother’s class. Maybe she enriched your life by educating you about the true blessing of Sonic happy hour – Diet Coke with a little bit of Dr. Pepper was her special request. Maybe she taught you history, VBS, Sunday school. My mom loved to help people.

She was grateful for the life that God gave her. Even in her sickness, she brought Glory to God. A few weeks ago, I overheard mom talking to someone on the phone. She was telling them that she had lived a blessed life. She was thankful to God for the life that He had given her. We will grieve. We will long for heaven like never before. However, we will not grieve as those who have no Hope. Mom’s favorite song was Great is thy Faithfulness, and it was HER wish that we all sing that together today. Let’s cling to these words as we remember a life that lived these words out in the flesh.

Thank you for coming today to help us celebrate a life well lived….the life of Ruthie Fentress.

Reality has landed.

On August 13th, one of the greatest women I have ever known (who also happens to be my mother) entered heaven. (obituary of Ruthie Fentress) She was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma in October of 2010 after a battle with breast cancer in 2009. As far as we know, the cancers were completely unrelated. So, without ONE regret, I came home to spend as much time with her as I possibly could.

My grama (mom's mom) also passed away this summer on July 16th. My mom lived on this earth for 28 days without her mother. If I live 28 YEARS without my mom, then I will just be 62. Longevity of life runs in my family. I could even live ANOTHER 28 years without my mom and I will be 90. That is 56 years without my mom on this earth. Now, I know that I could get hit by a bus on my way home today or better yet Jesus could come back in the blink of an eye, but just stay with me for a few moments.

THIS is where my grief is settling in. I am not sad for my mother. As much as she loves our family, she wouldn't want to come back even if she were healthy. Ultimately, our hearts were created to long for heaven. My deepest sadness comes when I try to wrap my brain around how I can begin to grieve the future that I thought I would have with mom. I am still hopeful that a wedding day is in my future (miracles still happen, people!). Even if I never get married, I am pretty sure that adopting children from Africa is in my future. I am in the beginning phases of working with some amazing people to start a non profit ministry helping orphans and widows. How will there be joy in these things without my #1 cheerleader?? I know there WILL be joy, I just don't understand HOW it happens from my current perspective. I miss her so much already, and it has only been 2.5 weeks.

In the next few posts, I am going to attempt to process what God has been teaching me through this time of trial, and I know that this education process is only beginning.

Thanks to each of you for the support and prayers. God Bless you where HE has you on this crazy journey!

04 August 2011

Summer straight from Hades -

I know many of you continue to wonder how my family is doing. Here is an update.

First, I wanted to give an update on my mom. We had two consecutive weekends in the ER in Mid-July. The last ER visit, they did a CAT scan checking for internal bleeding from a biopsy malfunction in Boston. This was June 16, also the same day we learned of the death of her mother (my grama) who was in a car accident mid-June. Mom's scan on that Saturday showed many new growths and rapid increase of original tumors. She could no longer eat solid food because there are many tumors in her intestines obstructing her bowels.

We went through visitation, funeral, and burial of my grandmother with my mom on a completely liquid diet. We buried my grandmother on Monday - and on Tuesday, after visiting with mom's oncologist, we agreed as a family to stop treatments for my mom's cancer. The oncologist actually said there is nothing more that we can do.....miraculous healing is the only option left. We have called in hospice. My heart is broken, but I know God is faithful. I know many of you have been praying, but I ask that you continue to pray for my family during this seemingly unending nightmare.

We are now two weeks into hospice care, and we are very pleased with the nurses, social workers, aides, etc. on the hospice staff. Some days are better than others for her, but mom is comfortable and at peace, for the most part. She has always loved listening to southern gospel music, but it seems moreso the last few weeks she is listening to songs about Heaven. The other day I was getting ready for church and I overheard mom singing, "Great is they Faithfulness" with Bill Gaither on the television. There is my mom....drinking an Ensure shake, eating jello, battling cancer like never before, and singing "strength for today, bright hope for tomorrow, blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside." Obviously, I had to re-apply mascara after this little episode. She really is one of the most amazing people that I have ever met!

If you want to send her a card, she loves to look at them. Feel free to send them to Ruthie Fentress, 1221 Stoneridge Rd, Lawrenceburg KY 40342. God bless you and your family!

You Make Beautiful Things

This song caught my attention on the radio this week. I wanted to share with the two people that actually read my blog. :)


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