Monday, October 24, 2016

Three years

It's been three years since I've been here. I stopped writing here on purpose but now I'm ready to be back, writing bits and pieces to keep a record of our family life.

There's no way to recap three years, nor would I want to. Some things are the same: living and working in the same spots, traditions for holidays and family time and such, homeschooling the kids, et cetera.

Some things are not the same. Billy and I, we've GROWN. In every sense of the word. Grown in confidence, in perspective, through facing hard things head on and letting them change us to become change-influencers in our worlds.

Our family, it's grown too! The biggest change of all is that we added sweet baby N last July through the astonishingly God-touched process of his adoption. We are in relationship with his birthmom (blessing to us all). My hands were the first to touch his body as I got to deliver him and immediately start skin-to-skin and breastfeeding. It's a one-in-a-million story really (babies are miracles, aren't they?). With adoption, we realize that there is a wound in him that he doesn't realize yet. Someday I know he'll have thousands of thoughts and emotions to sort. But today he's extremely loving, affectionate, and energetically happy. I'm soaking that in. Deep. And I pray that our love (and our family and community's big love) and eventually his Heavenly Father's love will lessen the hurt's influence. [I have tons of thoughts on adoption and I'm working those thoughts out experientially, through our story and others'. Sometimes I imagine those thoughts will get set into words here. And if we adopt again, that will grow my perspective too.]

So with this blog...I'm not trying to get a zillion readers or to write for anyone or anything in particular really. Just writing to chronicle. To remember God's faithfulness. To occasionally process out loud. To help my feeble memory in the future and to give my words a place to land.

It's nice to be back.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

State fair

Ferris wheel, bumper cars, art, shaved ice, roller coasters, petting zoo, carousel, stunt show, animals on display, funnel cakes, friends, and family. For the third year (tradition!), we enjoyed ourselves to exhaustion at the state fair last week.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Isaiah 61, Luke 4, and me

Luke 4:14-21

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee, and a report about him went out through all the surrounding country. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."

It's my understanding that because of the oral culture, and because the Jews often memorized huge amounts of their scriptures, quoting the beginning of a passage would immediately bring to each listener the memory of the entirety of the passage. So when Jesus began to quote Isaiah 61, each person in the synagogue would hear the rest of that passage in their mind. Incredibly, he claimed Isaiah 61 was written about him--and that it was fulfilled in him.

Isaiah 61

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,
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor,
       and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
       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.

Jesus transforms ashes, mourning, and despair into beauty, joy, and praise--for the display of his splendor. He has done it in millions of lives--including mine.

My eyes are slowly opening to some of the ways my ashes, mourning, and despair can be used "for the display of his splendor"--and then I can view these same bits of brokenness as beautiful, joyful reasons to praise.

So today I praise God for not only saving me, but for personally working each detail of my life into something beautiful.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Does he even care?

Hava lost Sweetie Pie (baby doll extraordinaire) at the end of our family trip in Mexico. A good cry is had over darling Sweetie Pie from time to time, even though it's been well over a year. Yesterday was one of those sorrowful moments for Hava.

Hava: "Mom, I asked Jesus to bring Sweetie Pie back to me."

Me: "Oh..." (not sure what to say because that would be a straight-up miracle).

Hava: "Even if I have to wait until the end of my life, I would like to have her back."

Me: "Do you think Jesus even cares about little girls?"

Hava looked me straight in the eye and said with total confidence, "Yes, He does care about me."

Me: "Oh, Hava, I'm so glad you know that for sure!"

Do you know that Jesus cares for you? That He cares about what you've lost and your private (even petty) sadness? 

Do you believe that He holds His own in His hands, and no one can snatch us away from Him? Not even ourselves!

Jesus knows Hava's deepest thoughts, needs, fears, and He knows her future.

He knows what is in her heart--and He alone can heal her wounds. I'm so glad she trusts His care!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


There are downsides to homeschooling. For house will never stay clean for more than 2 minutes at a time, and I am the only "bad guy" when it comes to undesirable schoolwork (except the principal, who does get called in from time to time). There are no subs. Some days, more things go wrong than go right.

But, other days are such lovely reminders of why we've chosen homeschooling for our life right now. Last week, the weather was gorgeous. We had a list of schoolwork to complete but the kids had acquired a cardboard box. It was already disassembled, ready for painting. The only thing on their "list" was painting the box. I could tell they wouldn't be able to think about anything else until this pressing need was taken care of. The sun was warm and the breeze was refreshing. So we took the paints onto the grass and took care of business. Schoolwork waited a bit. Patiently, it turns out. 

And my kids were so pleased to create, make a mess, and get a "yes" from Mom. I even sat still in the grass while they worked. To be present in their joy.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Running away from home

If only I could remember every funny, cute, and clever thing my children say. They crack me up every day...and often make me stop to think.

Today I wrote down Hava's reflections right after this little conversation:

(Hava was pensive; poring over the bedtime story book, showing the prodigal son running away from home on one side and him feeding pigs on the opposite side.)

Me: Hava, what are you thinking about?
Hava: Something on this page. What do you think it is?
Me: Pigs?
Hava: No.
Me: Running away from home?
Hava: Yes.
Me: Are you thinking about running away from home?
Hava: Yes. And I’m thinking about my father. (pause) No, not my father. Actually, yes, He is my Father.
Me: What do you mean?
Hava (tearing up): I ran away from my Father but then I decided to come home.
Me (trying not to grin): I’m so glad you decided to come home.
Hava: Me too.

Lately I’ve been reminded of the importance of study in the Christian’s life. Equally essential is to have the softness of a child’s heart who realizes that “I once was lost, but now I’m found. I once was blind, but now I see.”

Sunday, December 9, 2012


David loves the letters on our fridge door. He's forgotten that they sing songs if you put them in the matching contraption. Sorting, naming, and rearranging are his favorite letter pastimes. Tonight, he searched through and found some random letters and announced they were M, O, M.

"M - O - M!  M - O - M!" he sang.

I asked, "What does M, O, M spell?" knowing he can spell the names of his family members.

"Jesus!" was his happy reply and he sped off to another activity.

He's right. I mean, he's wrong, but he's right.

I am the voice of Jesus to this child. This child who adamantly denies that he's ever done anything wrong. I am the hands of Jesus to this child. This child who used to be so "tough" and now cries and whines and just generally needs all of the time. I am the love of Jesus to this child. This child who is going to teach me more about mothering (I just know it) then my other two children combined. I am the truth of Jesus to this child. This child who is going to need plenty of correction, prayer, and caution from his parents.

Despite the fact that I don't always love mothering (for it is messy and inconvenient and exhausting every day), it is a high and holy calling.

A calling I asked for. And mourned when it was delayed with our miscarriage. And many times have grieved and mourned for friends when they cannot seem to achieve this sticky spiritual calling as they desire.

I sometimes suck at mothering. I've never actually considered listing my kids on craigslist but I have considered considering it. I usually forget that a house covered in completed puzzles and stacks of books and hundreds of cut-up paper projects and dirty shoes means my happy family lives here. I correct my kids too much and I don't smile at them as often as I should. I get moody and distracted when they're watching. Sadly, some days I'm portraying too much M - O - M and not so much Jesus.

But I'm growing. Trying to consider what agape love is and how it applies to mothering. Knowing that staying connected to the vine is the only way I can continue to grow and bear much fruit--fruit in their lives especially.

[P.S. Dads are just as important--or probably more important for displaying God to their children. My kids are blessed to have their Daddy!]
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