Saturday, December 15, 2012


The deer visited this week.
It's always a special moment when I get a glimpse of their camouflaged bodies making their way through our backyard. 
It's a reminder of my daddy. A reminder of how he loved watching deer. Yes, as a hunter, but even more as an admirer.

What I realized this week is that the deer are additionally a reminder to me to be still. To pause. To fully absorb, if even only for a moment, the moment in which I find myself. Observing their every inch. Soaking in each twitch of their tail and turn of their ear as if it were the very last time I would ever lay eyes on them.

Perhaps this was what they also provided for my daddy. 

Today, I wake with an even greater clarity of this need for stillness. 
Today, my heart aches for mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, teachers, students, a community, a country, where everything changed in a moment.

I know this feeling personally.
I understand the thoughts that replay over and over and over in your head considering all the possible alternatives that might have allowed for a different outcome.
I know the questions being asked.
The chaos of emotions.
I know the physical ache that there is no remedy for.
The thoughts of how to move to even force that next breath.
I understand feelings of hopelessness.
And just when the darkness seems it will swallow all, there is a flicker.
A reminder of something more.
A light that will never go out.
A Healer of all hurt.
A Redeemer of all broken.
True Justice. True Love. True Peace.
The One and Only cure for evil.
My Jesus.

And so, I pray.

Romans 8:25-26 "But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."

Friday, November 2, 2012

Preserve FAMILY

I am so thankful to have had the chance to watch this.
So much thoughtful TRUTH.
So much genuine CARE.

Reminding each of us that a child's rights are far greater than just a good education and "safety".

Reminding, or possibly challenging us to think for the first time of an orphanage in a whole new way.....SHORT TERM. TEMPORARY. And most importantly, LAST RESORT.

Children in families....within their own communities when possible.
Just as it is here in the US.

Recognizing that rather than removing vulnerability, orphanages often intensify it.

There ARE other ways to help which are clearly outlined in the video.

May each and every one of us allow our good intentions to always preserve FAMILY.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Refresh & Be Refreshed

"He who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25

A poem from Streams in the Desert...
"When all our hopes are gone,
It is best our hands keep toiling on
For other's sake:
For strength to bear is found in duty done;
And he is best indeed who learns to make
The joy of others cure his own heartache." 

"We are called upon to bury our sorrows not in restful inactivity but in active service." -George Matheson


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Against all hope...

Romans 5:1-8
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 
Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. 
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Gratefully Hopeful, 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


 The children have been learning about pinnipeds in science...and I have been learning just as much right along side them. Pinnipeds are a group of animals that include true seals, sea lions, fur seals and walruses. 
From Wikipedia

There are many interesting characteristics and mannerisms to explore with these animals. Because of their structure, abilities and environment, these types of animals face a unique obstacle when trying to get on land from the water. To do so independently is almost impossible. So, they have to work together, as a team, pushing and pulling as a group to work their heavy, awkward bodies onto the land. This is called hauling-out.

I don't image the act of this being especially graceful or even pretty to watch, but nonetheless, effective. Without this teamwork, many would die. Many would never be able to breed or give birth. They would fall prey to underwater predators, trapped and unable to defend themselves.

Sometimes, this is exactly how it is in a large family too. As we work together as a team, it may not be graceful, it may even be flat out ugly sometimes, but when we push, lean and pull each other up, we can reach our goal. And while the process may sometimes be painful, the prize is always sweet.


Thursday, June 28, 2012


Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 
Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.
Matthew 5:3-12


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Unexpected Blessings!

With the finalization of our long awaited adoption, I expected there to be many things to celebrate! But we have also experienced some unexpected blessings that I want to pause and be grateful for.

Filling out documents and where it requests "relationship to ____" being about to finally put MOTHER. :) Didn't expect that one to make me emotional, but it did! Signing as my sweet child's MOTHER was a confirming milestone that blessed my heart. 

Hearing my sweet child's name paired with our family's last name at a recent to my ears!

Having her say "Mommy" to me as she does hundreds of times a day, but now without that tinge of ache and concern that used to instantly penetrate my heart. Before, when she called me mommy, knowing that was who I was, but also knowing I may not have the lifetime privilege would always cause that knot in my throat that couldn't be swallowed. Not any more!!! I pick her up and squeeze her and kiss her and tell her over and over how much I love her and how that is exactly who I am, her mommy!!! 
I am a blessed and grateful mommy!

Monday, June 4, 2012

"Easy" Adoption?

I've been kind of quiet around here for a while.
Sometimes that's because I don't have a lot to say....and then sometimes it's because I have too much to say. ;)

Trying to find the balance between abrasive and numbly passive can sometimes be a challenge for me. I'm typically a very passionate person about those things dear to my heart, but I've also learned much about my own lacking and need for grace, and therefore want to better extend grace to others as part of my passion. 

Graceful Passion....Passionate it even possible? They seem to somewhat contradict but yet are the perfect combination at the same time. Well, here is my feeble attempt at combining the two.

We recently had the unexpected privilege of adding to our family through adoption. How can adoption be "unexpected" you ask? Well, our journey began as a foster family, with the intent to help heal and reunify families. To play a part by providing a safe place for a child while their family received the help they needed to properly parent. We were naive, yes. But hopeful. Adoption, being something dear to our hearts, was always an open door, but not our sole motivation. As we stepped into the unknown, we were challenged and grown (continuing to grow!) from the beginning preparations and throughout the entire process that led to our adoption. It was not an easy process. But then again, neither was the pregnancy and birth of any of my biological children.

I find the idea that adoption should be easy, almost an insult. Definitely a thief of the joy. Working towards adoption, preparing for the "birth" of my child into my family, was part of the bonding. What made this precious child a part of me. A part of our family. Now don't get me wrong, our child came to us through the most challenging and heart-wrenching of circumstances.....there were moments of our almost 2 year journey that I was sure I wouldn't survive. Moments where I literally cried for deliverance. Again, just as with the physical birth of my children.

God continues to teach me so very much about myself and His plan for my life, and I am humbled and grateful that my children are a significant part of my learning. He speaks so clearly to me through each of them in different ways and different times and frankly, I can't imagine my life without the fullness that they are. I am blessed.

Easy adoption frightens me. Yes, frightens me....straight to my core. 
Being fortunate to have many friends closely connected to the care and service and even adoption of orphans from all around the globe, I am reminded that this is not something to take lightly, never pursue without careful consideration and most certainly not something to expect to be easy.

Easy adoption is not safe for the child.
Easy adoption creates opportunity for evil people to use something very special, meaningful and with pure intent to harm or even profit from others. By using children. Even abusing. By lying, stealing, even at times destroying families. One must approach adoption with not only hearts wide open, but also eyes.

Adopted children will always have different hurdles in life.
I don't say these are hindrances or that the children are limited in any way. Not at all. However, they will have to face the reality of adoption, which in itself can be bittersweet. They will most likely have questions that can at times, be difficult or even impossible to answer. Based on their past circumstances, they may also face other challenges that will require patience and understanding that will likely stretch you both.

But adoption....adoption is a beautiful thing.
It is so clearly of God.
His design to heal brokenness where is should not be.
His design to create beauty from ashes.
The image of His acceptance and pursuit of each of us....which I dare say is never easy.
And for that I praise Him!
And, I humbly thank Him for allowing me this not so easy privilege of being an adoptive mother.

Completely Undeserving,
 Ecclesiastes 3:11 "He has made everything beautiful in its time."

Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Message of Mercy

When Jesus leads us into difficult places, He is promising to serve us there, allowing us the opportunity to fully rely on Him.
Deuteronomy 31:8 "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
When Jesus serves us, we exalt Him by serving others. 
1 Peter 4:10 "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms."

Nothing is more clear to the world of Jesus' love than our love.
Matthew 5: 14-16 "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

1 Corinthians 13:4-8,13 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delighted in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
 Love never fails. 
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

By His Mercy,

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May - National Foster Care Month

Learn More! 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Singing PRAISE!

Isaiah 61

The Year of the LORD’s Favor
 1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
   because the LORD has anointed me
   to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
   to proclaim freedom for the captives
   and release from darkness for the prisoners,
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
   and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
   instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
   instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
   instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
   a planting of the LORD
   for the display of his splendor.

Undeserving & Grateful,

Monday, March 26, 2012

Note to Self...

I am blessed!!! 
My life is FULL of things to be thankful for!

A few of these things...
My husband...who gets me.
My children. ALL 5 of them!
My home, that is comfortable and protective.
My family & friends....far and wide.
Sunny days.
Open windows.
Bare feet.
Bird feeders.
The joy that sewing brings me.
Warm water to wash my hands.
Neosporin. (see #2 for relevance)
My most comfortable bed.
Amazing children! No really, they are amazing!
Fresh air.
Answered prayers. 
Chocolate. Lindt chocolate.
Tissue. It's allergy season after all.
   Plastic toys under my feet. Everywhere I go.
A bathroom audience.
GRACE. Abundantly...regardless of being unworthy of it.
Plastic eggs.
Movie nights.
Jobs finished.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Refreshing Reminders...

So very thankful for reminders and promises such as this...
Matthew 12:18-21
"Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. In his name the nations will put their HOPE."

Praising God that he will see through to the end HIS JUSTICE and it depends on nothing from me! Oh how thankful for his overwhelming mercy that does not break this "bruised reed", but loves me all the same and continues to provide the HOPE I need!

"There is more mercy in HIM than there is sin in me!" - Richard Sims

Encouraging audio message here,


Monday, February 27, 2012


Some days I'm not sure what to think. 
I'm especially curious about the way God works.
It is not our way.
It is far, far greater.
Far more meaningful. Purposeful. Planned.
Every move is with intention.
No accidents.
No surprises.
I find myself fascinated. Puzzled. Curious.
But also, trusting. Waiting. Knowing.

Isaiah 64:8 NIV
"Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, You are the Potter; we are all the work of your hand."

Today, amidst the unknowing, confusing and even at times frustrating, I am eternally grateful to be in His grip!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Always room to learn...

I tell my children this all the time. There is always something new to learn if you are just looking for it. Always. Same is true with prayer. 

Used to, I would pray and think "Why didn't you answer my prayer Lord?". Now, I'm learning to pause and respond more with, "Ok, Lord. So you have something else in mind. It's obviously not what I was thinking was best and I don't fully understand right now, but I trust you. I know you love me. I know your hand is actively guiding my life and the lives of my precious family. Looking forward to seeing what you've got in store. It's gonna be good isn't it!? Way better than I was able to dream! Thank you for loving me so fully in spite of my failings. I love you too."

This, my friends, is not always easy. It's not always my immediate reaction. However, it is where true peace waits. Today, I want to linger there. The longer I linger, the more familiar it becomes, and that is good. Very good.

Monday, January 23, 2012


Today has offered me many reminders to dream. And dream BIG!

It started this morning with a bed piled with my 3 youngest watching an animated movie far to early, as I let their older sisters sleep in from a long day/late night yesterday. As I lay there snug in the middle of the pile, I paused to absorb the moment. To fully soak it in. As I did, I remembered that this wasn't the happily ever after I had imagined for myself. No, it was God's plan that became my life when I gave it over to him. And WOW!!!! It is soooooo much better than anything I could have dreamed! I immediately felt like God whispered to my heart that he wasn't done yet. 

~Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV~
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory!

This verse first spoke to me years ago when I was pregnant with my second child. There were some anxieties tied to the pregnancy, and this verse spoke directly to my heart, by a friend giving a passionate message about God's work in our lives. I have carried this verse closely ever since. I believe it fully! I have witnessed it in my own life over and over. I'm confident that he isn't finished, and that frankly, I have no where near seen his best yet!

He had my sweet boy walk through the room I was in singing the song, "Would you dare, would you dare to believe? That you still have a reason to sing? The pain that you've been feeling can't compare to the joy that's coming...." Ah yes! A beautiful reminder from a precious messenger.

The baby having to wear her new Princess shirt, as in undressing herself to have you put on the shirt she wanted to wear. The message on that shirt just so happen to be, "Daring to Dream". 

A random message across facebook that said, "Dear one, May you walk through this evening with the calm assurance that your life is safe in My Hands. Trust Me. I have everything under control. - God"

While some days my eyes can fog and my heart grow weary, today I am encouraged. Humbled. Careful. Patient. Unknowing of the future, but certain of his hand at work. And with that, he has given me repeated reminders this day to dream! To dream big and watch him blow me away!

Thank you Lord, for lifting my heart today and not only allowing me to dream, but challenging me to.

 Exodus 14:14 - "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ideal vs. Realistic....finding the balance

As a homeschooling mother, this is the time of year I begin planning for the upcoming school year. We school pretty much year round, with our new fiscal year beginning in July after our summer break. This year will be my first year with 4 students and also the first year of "official" education for my youngest most active and spirited child. Which of course makes it all that much more interesting! ;) It also makes me feel an even greater need to be well prepared for our days. My struggle is finding balance. I don't want to create an unrealistic, unattainable idea of the perfect school day or else it will seem as a failure, or at least a disappointment, on the days that we are unable to achieve for whatever reason. Our lives at this stage demand flexibility. So where is the balance? Where do I place the emphasis? How much advanced preparation is necessary? How do we maintain a natural learning environment while still fulfilling the necessary academic requirements? How do I incorporate grades K-8th? And how do I keep it fun for us all?
 I think I cycle through a similar list nearly every year at this time. And the truth is, while we have developed routines and consistencies with curriculum and learning styles, each and every year has been different. The one thing that remains the same....the reason I even entertained the idea of homeschool in the first place....I absolutely LOVE spending my days, every day, with my children! I love watching them learn and being the one that not only encourages that, but first hand experiences those moments when it all comes together. When words come to life. When numbers create traceable rhythm. When storytime and storytelling are a choice greeted with anticipation. When life is learning and learning is life.

So, while we may not achieve that "perfect" day....whatever that may be, we are growing. We are learning. Together. And it is good.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Living a Blessed Life!

From my Streams In The Desert reading this morning...
"This is the blessed life---not anxious to see far down the road nor overly concerned about the next step, not eager to choose the path nor weighted down with the heavy responsibilities of the future, but quietly following the Shepherd, one step at a time."


Monday, January 2, 2012

Where I'll start...

I officially declare this my song as a "foster" mother. 
As a mother period for that matter.
 It's so easy to want to hold back, to be guarded, to try and pretend that perhaps you don't care as deeply as you do. Somehow hoping that this will ease the pain if.... But that's not me. And trying to live as such is only robbing me and my precious family of God's design for my life. So in declaring this "my song", I also declare to give ALL of me. 

1 Corinthians 13:13
"And now these three remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."

Living, hoping, learning to love like Him,