Ethiopian Adoptions - Ways to Help

We love to look back from time to time at pictures and videos of our earlier days as a family (which, consequently, began to grow just eight years ago!).  It's easy to forget what life was like those first days, weeks, and months at home.  Some of you may not realize, or perhaps have forgotten like we sometimes do, that none of our children spoke English!  When Eyasu (a.k.a. Joshua) arrived, he began learning English from his Ukrainian siblings who themselves spoke a broken Russian-English language with a Mississippi accent.  You never knew what would come out of Joshua's mouth (still don't - ha!).  Here's a favorite clip of those earlier days...      As you may be aware, there are currently delays in the adoption process in Ethiopia.  Thirty families have already passed court and over 200 families are currently in the middle of their adoption process.  Here are some easy action steps to advocate on behalf of the fatherless in Ethiopia and their forever families:

* As…

Blog Repost

Here is a blog I wrote some time ago that was recently posted on the SEBTS Women's Life webpage.  You can read additional posts from some others ladies here. Tune My Heart to Sing Thy Grace: Worship as ObedienceOne of my favorite hymns is Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.  The hymn writer beautifully pens this anthem of grace and call to praise of the One whose streams of mercy are never ceasing. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing Tune my heart to sing Thy grace; Streams of mercy, never ceasing, Call for songs of loudest praise. Teach me some melodious sonnet, Sung by flaming tongues above. Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it, Mount of Thy redeeming love. Sadly, we often sing this hymn, and others, mindlessly.  Who is this Fount of Every Blessing?  Why do we need to have our hearts tuned to sing His grace? Worship is so much more than singing songs on Sunday.  Worship is a lifestyle of obedience.  Paul reminds us of the work of the cross in 2 Corinthians 5:14-15, “For the love of…

Seven Decades: Dad's Surprise Birthday

"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are." 1 John 3:1

Does not your heart leap at the very thought of that - to be called children of God?!.   Each time I encounter this verse I am awestruck by the reality that our Holy God has loved us so much that, though we were yet sinners, He sent His Son to live the life we couldn't possibly live, to die the death we absolutely should have died, and to defeat our greatest enemies (sin and death) once and for all in order that we may be called His child and therefore coheirs with Christ! This amazing reality is that which unfolds throughout the entire storyline of Scripture - one beautiful picture of redeeming love.  What grace!  What glorious grace!

One of God's gracious gifts to me has been the gift of a loving, generous, and faithful earthly father.  I am grateful for the gift of a dad who has taught me much about our Heavenly Father and faithfully modeled so ma…

Eight Years Ago...

The following verse sprung forth out of the inner recesses my heart and collided with this gracious truth regarding the providential mercies of our Creator:
"The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps." Proverbs 16:9
My heart was in pursuit of entering motherhood with one, maybe two children.  But God...(one of my favorite transitions throughout scripture)... revealed:
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9
On April 8, 2009, we sat in a Ukrainian government office petitioning to adopt one to two children between the ages of 0 to 4.  Forty-five minutes into our one hour meeting they laid these pictures before us and posed the question,
"Would you consider four?"

Two days later we sat in the orphanage director's office in Zaporizhia, Ukraine and these…

To blog or not to blog, that is the question...

Thankfully, my pondering is a bit lighter than that of Shakespeare's Hamlet.  The last blog post I managed to put together was nearly eight months ago!  Can it be?  I suppose turning forty had something to do with wanting to hit the pause button, to freeze time, to be still and reflect.  Alas, the days kept moving along at a pace that at times seemed too quick to remain in step.  So here I sit, considering what to share, whether to continue sharing through this platform, and the possible frequency at which to share.  Meanwhile, I'll reenter the bloggersphere with a few experiences gone by...

"We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." Hebrews 6:19-20
Sister tats: In honor of my baby sister's birthday last August, we four girls decided (perhaps a little spontaneously) to get…

Hele on to Hawaii

This post is primarily intended for our extended family to enjoy a few glimpses from our recent trip to Oahu, Hawaii as a family.  I spent four formative years of my life growing up there.  Tony and I had had the privilege to visit a couple occasions years ago before children.  With my 40th birthday around the corner, we saved up frequent flyer miles, hotel points, and the like in order to afford the opportunity to share this place with them.  What a gift.  We are grateful.  Hope you enjoy.

Breakthrough: Dealing with Guilt and Shame

The other evening an opportunity presented itself for an uninterrupted discussion with one of my children.  What began with one objective in mind, which was to debrief a new movie they had gotten to go see with grandma who was in town, turned into a tearful conversation of their personal dealing with guilt and shame.  The Lord in his kindness gave much grace to navigate what was in many ways, a heart breaking exchange... (Where does the time go? They have all grown so much since this picture was taken?!.) A Time for Everything3 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2  a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3  a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4  a time to weep, and a time to laugh;