Sunday, November 23, 2014


     Confession: This morning's sermon at church rocked my world...and I can probably say that my world wasn't the only one. *I probably don't even have to mention that I cried...because if you've learned ONE thing from this's that I cry. A lot.* Anywho, we've done a series called Harvest these past few weeks discussing obedience, generosity, and perseverance. Today our pastor talked about perseverance...more specifically, the enemies of perseverance...and selfishly, I felt like he was talking directly to me. Here were the 3 enemies of perseverance that our pastor shared:

     1. Fear- giving up before we even start, fear will hold you back to a life of nothing
          Right off the bat, enemy #1 shook me to my core. You see, we are in the baby stages of the adoption process. Baby, beginning stages. And the journey is going to be long. We know that. It's going to be emotional. We know that. It's going to be financially exhausting. We know that. And despite knowing all of "that," I've still battled fears for the last few days about how in the WORLD we expect this adoption to happen. Thoughts like "What were we thinking?!" creep in and out of my head. Couple that creeping thought with people's reactions when they hear what the international adoption price tag is these days. My fear grows a little more. You can see the look of shock in their eyes when you tell them $40,000 will grow your family. You go a step further and convince yourself they're wondering the same thing that you've often asked yourself. How in the WORLD are we going to pull this off? And these thoughts make me think about giving up. They make me want to give up before we've even started. But God reminds me these thoughts are Satan trying to inch in on the fears I have. Satan wants to pile these self-induced fears into an all-consuming  and paralyzing "I wanna run the other way" fear. The kind of fear that takes you out of the game before you even start.
          So I proceeded to write that second part of my note...."fear will hold you back to a life of nothing." And back on the roller coaster I go as I begin to tear up just THINKING about not following our hearts and His calling to grow our family through adoption. To let fear win and to be left with nothing. Left with nothing but the void and ache in my heart...well that emptiness makes me want to sprint back in the direction of our son or daughter and not ever look back. Fear is with the flesh. Perseverance is with the Lord.

     2. Failure- I didn't write any notes beside this enemy because I know there will be failures in these next few years. Recently, Eric and I experienced a shared failure in our lives...that quite frankly turned out to be a huge blessing. It didn't make a lot of sense at the time and we were discouraged and a little hopeless, but God allowed this failure to happen for a reason. A good reason. Admittedly,  we're still working through some of those discouraging feelings, but our prayer is that we'll continue to find peace and see Him in all our future failures throughout this journey.

     3. Fatigue- Again...piercing words into my soul. God KNEW the thoughts that have been racing inside my head so this enemy didn't need any notes either. But fatigue is going to be a big one. For example, we'll probably begin our home study in the next couple of months (only because some other things have to be approved before we can begin). And we've heard that the home study is pretty much like a full-time job. So naturally, we've heard that fatigue will be yet another enemy in this process. But remember what the sermon was about? Perseverance! So much hope can be found when we let God lead us and when we submit to His will for our lives.

     Our pastor ended his message on Perseverance with this video...  I'll be honest, I spent the first few seconds watching this video, wondering how he was going to tie this in to the sermon. But as you watch for a minute or see that the dancing becomes contagious and people begin running over to join in! Here was our pastor's point. That lone guy? That's Jesus. {Hammer. Nail. Wow.} You see, dancing to the rhythm of Jesus isn't the "norm" in this world. It's not always something that feels natural to us. But as we begin to dance to His rhythm and not our pulls us in. Sure it may feel funny and fearful when you first start out and you're the only one. But then you stay...and you see that there's freedom in this dance and in this rhythm. And then you're joined by a few others who also begin dancing. And then a few more. And before you know it, there's a movement of followers...all dancing in this same rhythm...with freedom and without fear. Friends, we can't quit living to the rhythms of God. We have to keep to the beat of the Almighty Drummer and persevere. Amen.


Monday, November 17, 2014

1 Thessalonians 5:11

"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

     Believe it or not, that verse was first recited by our oldest a few years ago. Our child care giver worked with the kiddos on memory verses that corresponded to each letter of the alphabet. Yeah...she was awesome. We knew our kiddos were in great hands while we were at work...and there isn't a greater feeling that that! Anywho...1 Thessalonians was their "B" verse..."Be kind to one another and build each other up." Our oldest loved to recite this verse at the most opportune times. She definitely understood what was at the core of this verse. And truthfully, I always thought she was an excellent example of this verse because she is such an encourager.

     But then...we were blessed with this little man. And he is ALSO known in our family as the encourager of all encouragers. Today's post is dedicated to our (not so) little boy who can be heard saying the following phrases on any give day...

"Good job building, (to his sister)'re a great builder!"

"I like your coloring,'re a good colorer!"

"Daddy can do it...he's good at that..."

"Here...I can help you!"

"You make the best (fill in the blank with a food item that could have come out of a freezer aisle for all he knows), Mommy!"

     Our little boy is sweet. He is caring. Can he also be a pill? You bet. He's a boy. And he's 3. Those are both descriptions next to the word "pill" in the dictionary...along with words like messy and loud. But honestly, a big part of his personality revolves around doing things for others and using his words to encourage others.

     Just last week, we got his preschool report card. There were several social skills listed on it. Each skill was given a rating between 1 and 4. A rating of "1" meant the skill could not be done...while a "4" meant the skill was demonstrated on his own. Do you know what skill our little boy had one of his highest ratings on? Sharing. Were we surprised? Absolutely not. He's an others-oriented person. He doesn't cry when other kids take toys from him. He probably doesn't like it, but he isn't the kid who throws a fit and kicks and screams. He likes to serve other people. He likes to compliment other people. He's sensitive. *I always tell my husband that he'll make his wife very happy one day!* But truthfully, we can learn so much from our little guy. We can learn about kindness and the impact it makes on someone else's day. Nothing warms your heart more than when a 3 year old tells you you've just made the best cereal ever! Nothing. (I should probably let General Mills and Kellogg take the credit but...I don't. I smile and get all the warm fuzzies.) Our son has a great awareness of how to encourage and lift up those around him. 
     How many times during your day do you have the opportunity to encourage someone else? I often think about my day and reflect on how I have or haven't "built" someone up. And I definitely work in an environment where I could do a whole lotta encouraging! God uses people like you and me (and our little boy) to be that light in someone else's life. So today, I challenge you to go forth and encourage someone in the name of 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Let's shout it from the roof tops!


     We're JUMPING! I had an amazing call with one of our potential agencies today. It was such a bright spot in the beginning of this very long journey. The past few weeks have been discouraging and disappointing as we've fumbled our way through a very busy season of life. Trying to have a meaningful conversation with an agency before 4:30PM (which is when both agencies close) has seemed near impossible! It was also parent-teacher conference week for me at school...and Eric has had an abnormally busy work schedule with early mornings and extra travel. But now, we can prayerfully consider which agency is the best fit for our family. Another bright spot in this week was being blessed by our dear friend who captured these amazing shots for our family announcement! We have seen Him move in both big ways and small ways these past few weeks and we know He will continue to reveal himself to us throughout this journey. We're ready to cross an ocean to become parents again!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

World Adoption Day

November 9, 2014...The first ever World Adoption Day! Today we're celebrating the desire we have to GROW our family through adoption! We have already been blessed by adoption with a beautiful niece and nephew many years ago. We don't yet know the details of our adoption story, but God certainly does! And we are trusting in His plan. In the meantime, our hearts are growing exponentially for the next piece to our family puzzle. In the words of our kiddos..."and all God's people said...AMEN!" Amen.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


     Did you know that November is National Adoption Month? Well, in case you didn't... now you do! Last year, I vividly remember my Instagram feed being consumed by adoption-related posts during the month of November. *This is to be expected when you follow accounts mostly due to their ties with adoption.* But, I remember having the longing in my heart and wondering if there'd ever be a time when I could share my heart for adoption during the month of November.

     Last year wasn't the time...yet. We were still fumbling through our infertility treatments and trying to figure out what His plan might be for our family. He clearly knew, but we didn't. And so...for an entire year...the Lord grew my heart {even more}, and Eric's heart, and our kiddos' hearts...for adoption. Now, here we are in the month of November! And we can begin to share bits and pieces of our story as it unfolds. This is an Instagram Adoption Share hosted by @mixed_beautifully. We probably can't share something for every day because we just aren't very far in the process. BUT I am so thankful for the progress we've made since last year and look forward to sharing bits and pieces of our story.

Day 1: How does adoption impact you? 

     Read my post here that talks about how my heart began to grow for adoption long before Eric and I met each other. I've also begun to focus more on my own adoption as a child of God. On Wednesday nights, I've been attending an adoption class where we've been reading through Russell D. Moore's book called Adopted For Life. It's a great read for anyone. I'm sure I'll be sharing more of this book in weeks to come. 

Day 2: First Step...What was your first step like?

     Scary. As ready as I was to finally begin our adoption journey, that eagerness didn't take away the overwhelming fear that overshadows your every little step. As I've posted before, part of our first step just needed to be a jump! The reality is...we're never going to have enough money and we're never going to be completely "ready" in a process filled with unknowns. If we decide to go with the program we're currently looking into, we won't be bringing home the next piece of our puzzle for another two years...but we feel strongly about bringing home our son or daughter no matter the length of time. I saw this quote by an unknown author that really hit home for what's been on my heart these last couple of weeks...

"I always questioned if I was ready to adopt and then I realized no child was ready to be an orphan."

     Those are some pretty strong words, friends. Equally powerful was this statistic I found via Hope for Orphans. Will you join me in praying for the orphans around the world? Many churches were part of Orphan Sunday today...and it seems like a fitting place to end my post for tonight.