From the day I read the news that the Dorothy and Robert were packing up the kids and moving to Colorado, I tried to pretend that I was just imagining it...that it was not true. And so now on the eve of their last Sunday with us at Bethlehem Baptist Church, it is time that I face the facts and rejoice with them as they follow the path God has laid before them...
So here are the Bode ABC's the way I see it:
A-Adoption, of course. Dorothy and Robert have shared their commitment to adoption with every one from the milkman to the mayor. They don't seem to miss an opportunity to speak of our role as Christians to take care of the orphans and widows.
B-Beauty--Dorothy exudes beauty in the life that she leads and in the smile and laugh she so freely shares with anyone...
C-Children--caring for children, and not just the ones that God has entrusted to them--that is what Bodes do. Dorothy takes the time to get to know all the kids around her. She speaks to them by name and shares her love.
D-Dedication--I have been motivated by Dorothy to plow past my comfort zone when taking on a challenge. When Dorothy dedicates herself to a cause, there is no stopping her!
E-Endless Energy...I am sure most of you join me in wondering where she gets the energy to do all that does in a day...and then we remember that she is plugged in to the right Power Source.
F-Friendship..to know that a friend who has 100 others things they could be doing, takes the time to sit with me while one of my children is in the hospital. That is friendship that is held dearly forever..
G-Gospel..The Bodes are the gospel with feet. 26 feet to be exact.
H-Honor..and dignity for those who need us to preserve that for them..Dorothy does that in her actions and deeds..and it does not go unnoticed.
I-Ingenious..managing a 100 year old home with 13+ people in it at any given time, Dorothy has proven has proven her ability to find some of the most ingenious solutions to life's every day problems!
J-Joyful. It's contagious...
K-Karate...if it is something good for the whole family, you will find Dorothy participating in it.
L-Laughter..Dorothy has laughed and cried with me. When our beautiful son passed away, Dorothy was there to support us and pray for us. Her ability to come alongside a friend and celebrate the successes and grieve the losses is so cherished.
M-Mentoring..So many of those who are new on the adoption path have found Dorothy and Robert standing alongside them. What a gift!
N-Nuts! You would have to be nuts to be parenting 11 children 13 and younger!
O-Open and not afraid to share the bad times as well as the good. I can't tell you how many times I have gone to her blog on a day where I needed to hear that there was someone else out there dealing with difficult behaviors or feelings and Dorothy will have shared the same feelings from the depths of her heart. It encourages me to keep going.
P-Passionate. Watch out..Dorothy's passion, like the wind, could blow you over if you are unprepared. The passionate heart that God has given Dorothy has helped to move mountains and yet she maintains the heart of a humble servant through it all.
Q-quick...quick witted, quick on her feet...if she weren't there would be a few less Bode's (because they would have escaped or been run over in a parking lot!)
R-Resolved to make a difference for the lives of those who don't have a voice of their own. Whether it be the orphans, widows, homeless, drug addicted or the disabled, Dorothy freely shares her voice..
S-Spunky. I will miss Dorothy's spunk. I will be able to read it between the lines on urban servant but I will miss the in person spunk that gets me energized to change the system out there.
T-Thankful. I am so thankful that God and his wisdom allowed my family to meet each one of the Bodes. Our lives have been touched in a very special and profound way. We will always know that we have kindred spirits in Colorado.
U-Urban Servant. I love to watch how Bodes take on a need in their community! Now there are some organizational skills like none I have been seen before. When a family was coming to Minnesota with no possessions, Dorothy organized the effort to provide them with all they needed. They are a beacon of light in a community filled with pain and struggle. Amazing.
V-Vital. I can't imagine Bethlehem Baptist Church without them. They welcomed us all as if we were friends for life..from day one...and that is why there are so many of us trying to imagine going to Church without seeing them each week.
W-Welcoming to everyone. Very few people leave an encounter with Dorothy and don't feel her welcoming grace. She made us feel like family the first day we met. And I will be forever grateful for that.
X-eXactly where God wants them to be in life. They are walking the path God has laid before them..He is using them in such a powerful way in this world.
Y-you. Dorothy is not a person who worries a lot about what is best for "me." Her life is about Jesus Christ and about making an impact in this world for Him. Her love and acceptance of others know matter where they are at in their faith journey is evident. Whether you are a blog friend or a local one, Dorothy cares about you and your needs.
Z-zest. Zest is usually a word that you use because their are very few adjectives that start with Z. But in this case, Dorothy exemplies the word zest. A zest for a life of servanthood and love for her Lord shines through her. Anyone who has been touched by that zest will never forget it.
So, Dorothy, Robert, John, Leah, Jesse, Josh, Noel, Lydia, Lilly, Isaac, Joe, Jerry, and Jim, you will always be loved by this family in Minnesota. We will be praying for you and supporting you in anyway we can as you adjust to your new home and community. We will be looking forward to watching the unique ministry that God unfolds before you there. We will miss you greatly..we love you.
For the Martindale Clan
Mark, Julie, Tyler, Aaron, McKenna, Hope, Brennan, Jordan, Kaden, Elijah, Evan, Maisy and baby Ben...