Wednesday, April 22, 2015

be brave...

This morning, the organization that supports the orphanage that we plan to go through for our adoption, posted this to their facebook wall along with this picture:
"Did you know that serving the orphan takes an incredible amount of bravery? In many cases you must cross oceans, at times you fight battles you lose and your heart lives with loss, you may love them with fierce devotion when they are unable to love you in return...
You see... loving the neglected takes an amount of courage that does not come naturally....You must empty yourself completely... you may pour yourself into that broken child for what seems like an eternity... only to feel as though your "servanthood" has reaped only piles of sacrifice and no reward...
TAKE HEART. BE BRAVE. The road to restoration is dark, so dark you may not see the turn in the bend... but know it's coming. It's coming."

It touch my heart greatly, as it came across my news feed this morning. I think I would be lying if I said that it wasn't a scary process, because it is. There are so many unknowns, and so many questions... but do we believe that it is worth it? Yes. 

I sometimes wonder if this is how God feels. He has adopted us into his family, instead of leaving us broken and alone... but we don't respond. We don't give back as much, express our love, our joy, or gratitude enough, if at all. But he keeps loving, keeps pouring in to us, but he sees and knows that restoration is possible, even for those such as you and I. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Wait... WHAT?!?!?!

When Josh and I had the call to adopt, we thought we would be starting the process this fall. We said that would give us time to save money for costs, and just get some things in order and not add any more to our crazy life. One thing I've learned very well over the years, is God has a way of shaking up your plans.

It became very clear to us, that we needed to start now. Things almost started falling in to our lap, instead of us pursuing them, and we both knew that this is what we were supposed to do. So, we made the decision to accept the calling to adopt. But, with that, we knew if we were going to adopt, we would have to sell our house.

We went from the end of February and having 7 or 8 months to prepare for adoption, to March 4th and deciding to adopt now, and also somehow sell our house. I know, we just entered a whole new realm of crazy.

We decided to wanted to put our house up for sale in mid April, because we had a lot of projects we needed to get done. We had no idea how we were going to get any of it done, much less, actually keep our house clean enough to show it. Add in planning a community family fun fair/vendor show/fundraiser and my husband working 48-72 hr weeks, and we were tapped. Like, beyond tapped.

I spoke with a friend of mine who is a realtor, and had been asking her a bunch of questions about listing. By Wednesday, March 25th, my house had reached a whole new level of mess. Boxes, clothes, dishes piled high, paint cans strewn about, mess after mess after mess. One of those messes that you hope and pray that no one knocks on your door, or that there isn't an emergency and firefighters have to come into your house kind of things. HORRIBLE. I looked at my house and decided I wanted to crawl into a hole instead of clean because it was so overwhelming.

At 4pm that day, I get a message from my realtor, that says 'So... I have some buyers from the cities who might be interested in your house. (don't freak out, but...) What do you think about letting me do a very informal showing on Saturday morning?'



Oh if she could only have seen my house at that moment.

But what do you say? I mean, here is a chance, and you never know who is going to buy your house, so of course, yes!

I worked endlessly from Wednesday night to Saturday morning. Laundry, dishes, cleaning, painting, you name it. I was up from 5am every day and didn't go to bed until midnight. Clean, clean, scrub, scrub, ect ect ect. My body was crying by Saturday morning... like sobbing... uncontrollably, except I couldn't actually cry, I had no time, nor energy for that.

The house was shown, the people liked it, but no offer was made. Josh and I kept praying, if God called us to adopt, our house was going to have to sell. But now, our listing date was going to have to be pushed back, because there was going to be no way we were going to get some of the big projects done in time. We did show our house to one other couple who had randomly heard about our house and wanted to see it, but we didn't hear anything back, so we assumed neither couple really wanted it, even though we thought they were totally missing out, because we happen to think our house and land are pretty gosh darn awesome.

April 12th comes along. I had gone to church with my 3 boys, and had to talk in front of church, and by the time I got home, I was crabby, and so very tired. I took a two hour nap with Jared, and when I woke up, I find a text message on my phone and a missed call from my realtor. Text message read, 'I just sold your house.'



No. friggin'. way!

Like... really? We never even listed.... and neither couple ever came back for a second look... really??? REALLY?!?!

My first thought? Thank the Lord I do NOT have to keep my house spotlessly clean!!!

Three days later, offer has been signed from the very first couple who looked at our house, and granted everything goes well with inspections, our house is SOLD!

Yep. That is what I call a 'God Thing' right there. 

He calls you to do something = He will make a way. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

pull them in close

As I sit on the floor, surrounded by piles of paperwork, notes, bills, and the like, a sweet little boy comes walking towards me. Remote in hand, cheeky smile on his face, innocence and naughty-ness all rolled up into one chunky toddler face with kissable soft cheeks. He comes closer, and I know what he wants; he wants to be held for all of 5 seconds, before running off to the next thing to get in too. Soon his little feet are standing on a pile of paperwork I've worked hard on, and files I don't really want in more of a mess then they already are.

"No, no." I caution as I try to push him back.
Instant concern crosses his face, he did something wrong. He pushes harder to get to me, messing up my mess more.

"Jared, No, no!" I told him. Tears fill his baby blue eyes, and he pushes harder still to get to me. I hadn't yelled at him, I hadn't hurt him, but his little mind didn't know those things. What he knew was that he was scared, that he had done something wrong, and he wanted his Mommy.

I scooped him up, put him on my lap, and within 5 seconds after getting his reassurance that he was safe, that he was loved, he was off, playing with buttons on the TV and getting in to his brothers things.

(What? Not me Mom, I'm as innocent as can be!)

Why I am telling you this story? I realized that often times, it's harder to push our kids away from us, then it is to draw them close. I know, contrary to what we've heard, but hear me out here.

Kids WANT to be loved. Kids WANT to feel safe. Kids WANT Mommy and Daddy to shower their love on them, and to know them. Kids WANT us, their parents.

I think kids are so forgiving for this reason... they don't want to stay mad at us, and never talk to us. Well, they might for a short while, but at least in their young years, they really want us.

Sometimes we create more of a mess, like I was doing with my son when I was pushing him away, when we try to push them away. Unintentionally, I was pushing my son away because I was concerned about my work, about crumpled papers... how often do we do this in life? How often do we push our kids away because we are talking on the phone, because we are checking our facebook, because we are tired, worn out, working, don't know what we're doing, feel like we will mess up, or are in a bad mood? Are we creating a mess in life, and hurting their feelings when we could take just a minute to pull them in, and reassure them that they are safe, that they are loved?

Yes, my son is still running around being a little stinker, as is his nature, while I blog this. The difference from before? Well, it wasn't that hard to move my papers; my mess was my fault, not his. But more so, he keeps coming up to me with the same cheeky smile, with his innocence and naughty nature shining through those glorious glowing cheeks, wanting just one second of attention and love before getting in to his next mess. And I embrace it... and in turn, there has been a lot of giggling this morning, and far less tears!

Saturday, April 11, 2015


I love to write. I don't get to write as often as I like, and sometimes I feel like I'm not very good at it, but I still like it. I used to blog all the time when I lived overseas, and for awhile when we came home I tried to keep it up, but life happened and this was one of those things that got pushed to the back burner. It wasn't that I never thought of it, or didn't have things that I wanted to write about, but it just never happened... life happened instead.

So here I am... filled with words and emotions, thoughts and ideas, unexpressed for years. I had the opportunity to write this last fall for a friend of mine, and I was excited to start this new journey of story writing. I dug in deep, and tried to experience things the most I could so when I wrote it would come out right. When this opportunity fell through, and not for any bad reason, it was just the way things probably should have been from the beginning, I was left with a bucket load of emotions that had no where to go. Normally they would have been poured into writing, but now, I almost felt like I was choking on them because there was so much there, I had no idea what to do with them.

Now again, I truly believe that this happened for a reason, and it wasn't a bad thing in the end when I look at the big picture. I think going through it, re-lit the fire that had been squelched from the busyness of life, or from the splashed of doubt that came in. I wanted to write. I love writing. I dream of writing. I love imagining, creating, expressing, and painting the world with words and ideas for others to see.

I pray that the 'busy' in life slows down. That stepping back and enjoying the here and the now will be easier. I pray that as our shaken snow globe of a life swirls and whirls around us, we can see the beauty and magic in it from the hand of our creator, and we can appreciate where he ordains the things in our life to land, even if it's not where we wanted it to be. May we forever be in awe of the beauty of his picture, and the stroke of his brush, as he paints this story called life.

Sunday, April 5, 2015


If you've ever come to my house, you may find my choice of decorating to be interesting. I like to see new and old come together. I find joy in old things, usually, far more then I find joy in something new. My house is filled with old books, old furniture, trunks, dishes, and the likes. The older it is, the more beauty I see. 

When I was about 9 years old, I remember one of my parents friends coming over with a pickup truck and he was pulling a wagon. The wagon was filled with boxes and boxes of old books. He was taking them off to dump them somewhere, I can't remember, but he told us if we liked anything we could keep it. Even at my young age, I thought the books were fascinating. I looked for the oldest ones. I had no idea what the story of the book was, or if I would ever read it, but I found it to be beautiful, to be a treasure. 

I'm not entirely sure where this love for old things came from. Probably my mom more so then my dad, granted neither of them find an old book to be anything special to this day. My mom would probably say that this old book has some voodoo something or other going on with it, and my dad would say 'you can't even flip the pages without wrecking it,' and then throw it in the trash. 

But me? Holding something old is a gift, a treasure. Do you realize how many hands this has passed through? How many years it has seen? Can you imagine the adventures this thing, whatever it is, has been on? Can you feel the tears that were spilt as you hold this 100 year old bible, or the lessons learned? Can you imagine the old clothes, and few precious belonging that were packed away in this trunk... maybe holding hand sewn quilts, baby clothes, or a wedding dress? Can you imagine the conversations held while drinking coffee on this coffee table, or the family meals held around this dinner table? How about the life of the man who wrote this book 110 years ago? 

Yes, old things, things that might seem worthless, a waste, ugly, useless, I find them beautiful. 

I'm not totally sure where I'm going with this... Maybe it's that I think that people are so quick to just give up on things, and on people, and they choose not to see the beauty. Some people may see a crappy, worn down barn, that has caved in from heavy snow... I see all the stories of kids playing there, animals birthing there, and farmers working hard. I see wood that is aged by sun and weather, that has seen more days then I can imagine... so to take it, to make something new from the ruins, is an honor. For in my home holds not just a picture frame made from a barn, but history, stories, mystery, and memories of lives lived. 

But the same goes for people. Young or old, people are so quick to throw away the broken, the damaged, the aged. Some may see the crippled, the mentally ill, the elderly, the poor, the abused and the broken, and the orphans, and they give them less value, they don't think they are as capable of as much, or shouldn't be fought for as much. 

But the physically handicapped can still move mountains. 

The mentally ill can still feel, can still love, can still experience touch. 

The elderly have not always been as they are. Once they were just as young as you, and they have seen and experienced far more then you could imagine. They still love, they still grieve, they still feel. 

The poor can still laugh, can be rich in spirit, can give beyond measure. 

The abused and the broken did not choose that, nor are they identified in that. They are people with the hearts of man, with a character, with a hope, and a desire. 

The orphans are precious. They have experienced great loss, whether by a parents choice, horrible circumstance, or by a death, still a loss no one should experience. They did not choose it, nor did they want it. Some may see a number, another burden on society, another kid in the system looking for trouble... I see hope. I see love. I see beauty. I see sons. I see daughters. I see children longing to be loved, to be apart of a family. I see kids wanting to give back, wanting to be more then just another number. 
I see them. I see them. I see them

Old, worn, used, broken, abandoned... all just words to describe something... what if we changed that? What if instead of old we saw the beauty of life and wisdom, of richness money cannot buy?

What if instead of worn we said well loved and well used.

What if instead of broken, we saw something to be made new?

What if of abandoned we said wanted? 

Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength is spent. 
Psalm 71:9