Tuesday, August 20, 2013

until my heart sings.

i'm not sure why the hard days come.
but they do.

and they are meaningful.
every hard day.
an eternal weight of glory.

read His word.
preach it.
until your heart heart sings.
You're enough. 
{John Piper}


Monday, July 22, 2013

prayers change.

i wasn't planning on jotting anything down this evening.
but man my heart is full.
my prayers have changed.
i used to thank God for all my blessings.
these days i pray that he takes them all and uses them somehow.
i used to casually thank him for another day to breathe.
now i thank him for daily taking my breath away.
i've always thanked him for a warm bed, a roof and never feeling hungry.
these days i thank him for those things and through tears ask Him to show me who to offer a warm bed, a roof, and a hot meal.
i have always thanked Him for a husband that loves his family and works hard to provide for us.
these days i pray my husband always puts Him first even if it costs us the comforts we have become accustomed too.

at night i used to kneel by the beds of my babies and pray for their hearts to be protected and for their daily safety...
tonight i pray that God will break their hearts and
that they will live a life of wreckless abandon for Him.

prayers change when your heart changes.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Folly's smile.

i am excited to share how God answered my prayer.
i left off with an uneasy heart.
and a direct prayer.

the next day was crazy for us.
the kids had VBS.
swim lessons.
audiologist appointment.

i had about 30 minutes to squeeze in a workout.
it was leg day.
it's almost impossible to get through leg day in 30 minutes.
so i was on a mission.

i should share that i have been intentional about being kind to people while working out.
i would prefer to wear my headphones and not make eye contact.
i don't want advice.
girls get a lot of advice if you work out with the "manly" weights.
so like i said, i prefer to hide under my headphones and ignore people.
however, i am aware that God has me here.
in this neighborhood.
at that specific gym.
surrounded by everyday people that might not know who He is.
and if He lives inside me---it's not an option to hide out.
i could stop here and tell you about a couple of great conversations.
but then i'll get tired of typing.
and i want you to know how God answered this specific prayer.

on my way inside the gym i made my mind up i was hiding under the headphones.
there was a time crunch.
i wanted that workout.
and i finished that workout.
i couldn't walk the next day, but that is beside the point.
i grabbed a drink of water and turned to head out the door.
that's when i saw him.

actually i couldn't miss him
he was walking straight towards me.
biggest smile you have ever seen.
skin black as coal.
his hand was extended.

i shook it.
and he started apologizing.
he was sorry he hadn't recognized me.
i told him that was just fine cause i don't think we had ever met.
so i introduced myself.
now i am smiling, because his smile is so big.
we had a conversation.
his name was Folly.
he is from africa.
he had a french accent.
we chit chatted and when our conversation came to an end.
i told him it was awesome to meet him.
that we were adopting from africa.
he said,
adopting? like children?
i said yes.
where in africa?
the congo.
his smile faded.
he became very serious.
he said,
the people of the congo need help,
the children need your help.
you are doing a good thing.
i froze.
because you remember the prayer i prayed just last night, right?
i simply said---
Folly, God just used you to answer my prayer.
his smile came back.

i will never forget Folly's smile.
and i'll never forget how that smile faded at the mention of the Congo.
and to think my plan was to hide under my headphones.

Many are the plans of a mans heart, but it is the Lords purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

...the CONGO it is!

Monday, July 8, 2013


my God is patient.

we are adopting.
from the congo.
i have been hesitant to share our story.
holding it close.
international adoption is complicated.
adoption is complicated when coupled with poverty.
questions i never dreamed of asking.
have been asked.

i ran across a blog the other day.
she had wrote a post about the 10 things to expect with international adoption.
number 10 stated >>spiritual warfare.

i laughed out loud and had to share with myLove.
she stated:
you can be sure of this--everything that can break, will break.
myLove has taken our dishwasher apart 15 times.
the day before he had to replace his rear brakes--they were just replaced last year.
so we laughed.
and began discussing what had been on our hearts.

i should probably share i never dreamed we would ever adopt.
it is clear this is what God is asking us to do.
we looked into foster care.
had some good discussions.
and both felt like God was moving us to adopt internationally.
so we moved forward.
and landed on the Congo.

my heart has been uneasy.
knowing God is stirring something deep.
myLove stated the obvious about our concerns.
it's fear.
i went to bed that night and prayed a very direct, specific prayer.
i asked God to give me confirmation.
i promised obedience.
my soul needed settled--
i needed a sign.

i serve a patient God.
a God that doesn't shake his head.
roll his eyes.
or groan in frustration.
there was no--
if i have to tell you one more time.
instead he answered with a contagious smile.

...and i can't wait to share it with you!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

dishes, laundry---and poop.

i wish i could tell you i love my job.
i love my kids.
adore them in fact.

that is why i don't quit.
but i want to. 
many days i dream of doing something great.
maybe not even something great.
i just dream of doing something.
other than well mom stuff.
there are no thank yous with mom stuff.
no raises.
often what accompanies mom stuff is whining, crying, complaining...poop.
then there are the outsiders.
who believe you are living the dream.
or taking advantage of the dream.
who knows.
i've learned to shrug off the opinions of others.
knowing that the majority of those with their comments could in no way do this job.
so i internally smile at their silliness.

i'm slowly coming around.
realizing God has put me here.
lately i have been able to see this so clearly.
decisions i have once regretted.
He was in every one of them.
His purpose was to get me here.
in this exact place.
longing for more of Him.

God often comes to us in our "boring" days, veiled in the most ordinary of circumstances.  In fact, "ordinary" is often the disguise of the divine.   If we are constantly anticipating a grandiose event to accompany the times when we encounter Him or hear His voice, we will miss out on many intimate moments in our relationship with God.  The mundane, the routine, the commonplace--these are often the contexts in which He will reveal Himself to humanity.

Today's tasks---even the most mundane of them--are often preparation for tomorrow's calling.
 {Priscilla Shirer}

those moments when you see His grace.
the grace that has you on your knees.
eyeballs raining.
those moments are priceless.

the last words my mom spoke to me were---
"sis, you are a good mom"
you see, debbie knew her babies.
she knew i was not confident in my ability as a mother.
God knew this.
so He put me here.
and all along He was preparing me.
for His calling.
i am a mom.
to two beautiful babies.
and I have another on the way.
much like my other two.
i don't know boy or girl.
what he or she will look like.
but there is a seed.
it was not planted in my belly.
instead He placed it in my heart
and it is real.
i'm not sure how it will play out.
when our new littleLove will show up.
but i do know that God is good.
He works through the mundane, the routine, the commonplace.
dishes, laundry ---and poop.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

missed conversations.

i struggle with being lonely.
there are just days, regardless of who is around me that I feel alone.
and really it's just the missed conversations.
i miss talking to my mom.
i miss sharing the good stuff with her.
i miss hashing out the bad.
i miss her advice.
i miss her frustrations.
i miss her excitement.

she would be excited.
we would have already hashed out all the hard questions.
she would have already found my heart in the mess of it all.
we would have moved on.
she would be calling me everyday---asking what's the next step.
she would have told all her friends---and shared their responses.
she would be giving advice.

she would have cared.
she always cared.
even if she didn't fully understand.
so today, i am lonely for all the missed conversations.
the ones that friends can't replace.
the ones that family don't care to have.

i don't know how heaven works.
but i do know this---
one day there will be no missed conversations.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

thou shalt not steal.

this story I am about to share has just in the last few days started to become funny.
trust me.
the day was not funny.
our sweet girl a few weeks ago stole a sucker.
from the Family Christian book store.
not only did she steal the sucker.
she told a couple good lies to cover it up.
i of course did not buy either of them.
we don't have suckers with bible verses on them in our pantry.
she of course had to go back to the store with her half eaten sucker.

i made it very clear she was going to take the responsibility.
i was not going to tell her what to say.
she walked up to the counter with her own money in hand.
"umm, i took this sucker from your store, i'm very sorry, will you please forgive me"
the lady behind the counter was of course gracious.
she extended forgiveness and went on to tell Ri that she did a very brave thing.
admitting when we do wrong is the hard part.
she donated a $5 teddy bear to an orphan and added a little note with it to send.
to say i was disappointed was an understatement.

here's the hard part.
i now have a relationship with Jesus.
i have learned that through this relationship he will speak to you.
that day the holy spirit showed up and it was pretty clear.
here is the gist of what he shared.
she is no different than you.
really the only thing that separates the two of you is that you have the money to buy that sucker.
according to the world that is enough.
but you should not be living according to the worlds standards.
you should be living according to mine.
how often do you justify purchases because you have money in the bank--
when i have told you to feed those who have no food.
to clothe the poor.
how long did you justify tithing only 3% of what i have given to you---
when my word clearly states 10%.
you are no different from her.
you are stealing from my kingdom.
my heart ached.

it's no wonder Jesus refers to us as children.
much like my child i asked for forgiveness.
i am quickly becoming grossly aware that He has the same expectations of me-
 that I have of my own kids.
single-minded obedience.
a quick yes sir followed by an action.
the truth is Jesus is not complicated.
he extends oceans of grace for the sinful human heart.
he forgave me because he knows.
his only expectation is that i search for him in the mess of life.
and be obedient to his word.