Saturday, November 29, 2014

so very thankful!

i am thankful for a God who loves us...
and for the gift of time He continues to lavish on us!
this holiday season i am focusing on not taking a moment of it for granted :)

i am so thankful for the ability to travel to Guatemala to make new friends...

i am so thankful for those new friends that have a piece of our hearts...

i am thankful for longtime friends we have been blessed with...

i am thankful for laughter around the table...

i am so thankful for food on the table...

and someone to cook it...

and i am incredibly thankful for lots of people to hug through the day...

thankful, thankful, thankful!
some days are better than others...
whether a good day or bad one, i am thankful for them all!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

the joy of seeing that they get it...

we are the family that has more issues and counselors than you can count on one hand.
i spend more than a few hours in varying principals offices in a week.
we are constantly in the spotlight (and not a positive one).
we come in a pack and we are chaotic and noisy.
yep, you know who we are :)

there have been times that not only have i doubted we would arrive at graduation from HS,
or movement to the next grade, but i have doubted arriving to a new dawning of the day. 
we are, have been and will continue to be a mess.

How thankful i am that i serve a God that "messes" are His specialty.  

i have clung to the verse over the years from Proverbs 22:6:
"Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old
he will not depart from it."

all the tears, frustration, crazy creative discipline, prayer,
prayer meetings and counseling sessions are all cherished 

all the mornings, afternoons and evenings of dragging them along 
to serve others as they rolled eyes, fussed and complained
are also funny memories now...
as i look into the lives of our growing children. 

perfect?  are you kidding?  
good behavior? depends on the day.
attitude?  constant struggle!
developing into their own person?  absolutely!
 and i continue to cling to the verse :)

i don't know what happens tomorrow, and i don't need to,
because honestly all i can hold on to is the present, which is today.

and for today it is fun to watch them choose to follow in some passions of our heart.  

i find joy following jordyn as God grows her up an ocean away as 
she serves the children of Guatemala with an open heart and attentive ear.

i find joy watching skyler as she chooses to use her gifts to give to others...
and seek to know Him more as she serves. 

i find joy sitting in morning prayer time and watching each of our kids as they are
working through their own belief system.
some have had longer to watch and be actively involved in serving others, prayer and
 talks about the Lord and are now choosing their own way.
others don't have as much time under their belt, so we continue to train!

we all live life each day as an example to watching eyes and impressionable hearts! 
some of what i've taught, i wish i could take back.
other things, i'm grateful they grabbed hold of!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

letting go.. is never easy!

dropping my 18 year old at the airport this am was hard.
not because she is not ready... because she is... not because it was early... although it was...
but because it was time to let go!
letting go is hard, especially to something i hold dear...
even if its time :)

jordan is a gift.  a gift given by God the Father.  
a gift never intended for me to keep, but to raise up in His ways...
and then to let go, so He could take her further than i ever could. 

she has landed in guatemala and her new life journey has begun.  
watch for updates at
please keep her in your prayers as she seeks to know Him more!

Friday, October 10, 2014

learning to love well...

i constantly think about what i want to be when i grow up...
and i find that most often... my answers look alot like my children. 
as messed up, confused and frustrating as they can be...
i couldn't be more proud of them. 

we are one year and a half behind our last adoption 
and it is beginning to feel a little settled again. 
everyone (including me) is learning how to love one another...
in the way that speaks to them.

this kind of love can be overwhelming, because,
 it often doesn't feel normal and comes at a cost.
it is taxing, tiring and down right hard at times...
but it is worth it. 

the last few months have ran together...

in august... all eight went in 4 different directions.
patrick to back to birmingham southern
jordan preparing for her internship in guatemala
5 to private school
and one to public school:

 and skyler turned 15 and started driving:

then jordan and i traveled with a group to Haiti to love on the babies:

in september stephen turned 15:

 and jordan decided God was leading her to mississippi college after guatemala:

and now its october and emily just turned 13:

 and jordan leaves tomorrow for her internship!

in each and every situation and life circumstance...
loving has looked different. 
we haven't done it perfect, or in some cases even great,
however, we did do it!

we have loved the best we know how...
the only way we know how...

with time and presence...
laughter and tears...
joy and sorrow...
chocolate and caffeine...
hugs and kisses...
lots of counseling...
Holding onto to Jesus day by day! 

we still have lots to learn...
but we are willing students :)


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Stop It!

is tomorrow really august... stop it!
is next week the start up of another school year... stop it!
is fall weather and football around the corner... stop it!
had any of these thoughts lately... me too... so to both of us... stop it!

biblically we are told that we are "a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes."
so why is it that i am so surprised when time flashes by? i don't know but i am.

as we sat and talked to our three youngest last night about the rules of phones,
i couldn't help wonder where the year had gone!
this time last year our entire house was in an uproar...
we were all frustrated with language barriers,
private space issues, teenage drama, cultural walls...
and i will drop the list there (you get the gist).
and now we are talking phone etiquette... stop it!

last summer, God graced us with two new daughters.
the summer before that, He graced us with two sons.
and this year He graced us with an amazing group of encourager's,
supporters and co-laborers to help those in situations like theirs
find a different home setting at the end of long days.

true, it has been a whirlwind the last few years...
what others might consider chaos, we have learned to refer to as our life.
we figure God orchestrated it, so we can withstand it :)

so just for a quick update since i think i blinked and the days jumped from May to July...

Jordan graduated:

the girls never tire of having their picture made:

we always travel with a guest (usually several):

we've made new friends:

we've celebrated with old friends:

and we've made incredible memories... to be passed thru the generations...

while time passes by quickly and we never fail to make incredible memories,
there is also something else we feel compelled, as a family of believers, to never fail to do...
"never become weary of doing good", "do good to all people",
and "do to others what you would have them do to you".

transparently i have to say there was a period in my life that 
i perceived these biblical commands as sort of an idea more than a command. 
that was... until God in His sovereignty introduced me to others 
that lived by these commands much more than talked of these commands. 
and i was hooked. i wanted to be more like the Jesus i saw in them!

i could hear my insides screaming... that's it... stop it!
stop wasted movement and wasted time...
stop wasted conversation and wasted resources!
i am sure this doesn't speak to you... but for me,
i have wasted so much... and quite honestly i really don't want to anymore.
i want to go to bed at night completely spent on what matters most...

i want to run harder, love deeper and give more than ever before...
because that is what Jesus did!
i want to cast away judgment about who deserves or doesn't deserve...
because that is what Jesus did!
i want to rid of trivial conversations and talk of life transformation, 
because that is what Jesus did!
i want to give my will, wandering and way to the Father,
because that is what Jesus did!
and my greatest desire is to be more like Jesus!.

while i still have so much to learn and so far to go...
there is one thing i am absolutely sure of... others must be placed before my comforts...
because if this weren't true there wouldn't be a CROSS in Jesus' story

while my days run together and i certainly don't have time to blog much,
i have put all i have and am into investing in people.
and i just have to say, it is AMAZING!

while days of tutoring, doctors, orthodontists, counseling, sporting events
and full time ministry can become overwhelming, they are never unbearable...
because through Him who gives me strength, i can do all things!

how about you?  are there things that should or could be stopped...
so others could learn through you about His love?

putting your all at His feet and letting Him orchestrate your days,
regardless of how uncomfortable they can get... is absolutely worth it...
that is what Jesus did!

Friday, May 9, 2014


you know i've honestly never quite understood negativity.
but even more so after i began traveling extensively.
here in the reality we live in, there is always help...
we just have to figure out where it is and how we get to it.

there is:
no one too far gone...
no one not good enough...
no one beneath our help...
no one unworthy of our time...

as i look into the faces of the treasures God has given us...
 my heart breaks at a deeper level...
the apparent level of my unconscious selfishness
(well let's be realistic, somewhere in there i am aware)
continues to bubble to the surface.

choosing to enter into their life journey with them...
has FOREVER changed mine.
its changed how we spend time, resources, energies,
and even who we spend them with.  

as we see our family grow together, pray together,
cry together, laugh together and learn together...
God changes us!

the past few years have been the hardest,
yet most rewarding we've ever been through. 
as we have learned about our treasures pasts...
it has made us plummet deeper into the crisis
of many women and youth in our sphere, 
 believing to our core that 

as i look at these pictures i celebrate the smiles
and remember every time someone said it was impossible...
every time someone sneered...
or simply wasn't interested at all...

women and children all over the place 
need God's people to believe
that NO ONE IS UNWORTHY of our time!

as i face my busy day today preparing for 
mothers day weekend...
it brings me to think of those that could use 
some encouragement as they are not facing the
same kind of weekend!

maybe in our excess we could reach out to them to share...
i believe without a doubt that is what Jesus would do!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Second Chances...

i don't have to read far in the Bible to understand that
God is a God of second chances.  

as i was studying in God's story through the life of Joshua today,
i was reviewing my notes when i read these words...
"Our failures do not define our future, our God does."

as the truth echoed through my head, tears formed in my eyes.
God is so gracious and good!

there is not another that has failed more than me. 
i lived many years in the pit, ruled by lies...
but my God in His goodness raised me up from the pit and
cloaked me in white robes!


as if that were not enough;  as undeserving as i am...
He said i will still use you!
This weekend He allowed me to watch on the front row
as all of our remaining treasures entered the waters 
clothed in white robes and proclaimed 

 I am so grateful for a Father who does not give up on us!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Helping Haiti...

 i just had the priviledge of traveling to Guatemala and then to Haiti
with the most amazing group of volunteers to Haiti...
we are committed to continuing to lend a hand.  

 Trips scheduled this year:

August - Haiti
November (beg) - Guatemala
November (end)  - Haiti

you are invited!

i hope you will consider praying about whether you should join us!

they need you...

we need you!!

would love the privilege of serving the Lord alongside of you!