Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Plight of an Orphan

Shivering and cold and no place to call home... That literally is a two way statement because whether they are on the streets abandoned or find themselves in orphanages and foster homes, they are shivering and cold inside and still don't truly have a place to call home. 
Right now, our son we have been working diligently to adopt, seemingly has a home, but he really doesn't. He's another name, another number in the swarm of an international system. 
Every time someone or something grows dear to him, the stark reality is that it's not really his treasure to keep. 

He stands alone, defenseless in a world that doesn't care for him. Sadly he can't even turn to the Church in his tears. He's turned away coldly. 
Imagine a boy, I know him personally, he is begging inwardly to just be heard. For someone to care. 
He and his little sister still have each other but even then they aren't each other's treasures to keep, because this little boy ages out of the system in less than 11 months and he will be torn from his sister. Yes, she will still most likely be adoptable. 

Why cannot God's  people reach out and rescue these children? The millions of sweet ones just like them? Why cannot God's people reach out in support of a rescue mission? Or are we perhaps not Gods people anyway? 
God never lives contrary to His own nature. He rescues, He restores. He mends, heals. He loves, holds, cares. He cares deeply. He cares so much that He willingly died and gave everything to support rescue missions of abandoned children.

Satan had his own wicked plan for the Church. I will quietly slip in and start petty divisions. I will start quarrels among them. I will keep them so busy and deplete them of their energy so that they are too weak to rescue. 
I will subtly bind them in lust until it's all consuming sickness overtakes them. I will support a zeal within them to lay up their own prosperity. As satan deliberately continues his plot he whispers, "I will allow the once in awhile humanitarian within the corridors of Church to reach out in a pompous display and feel good about himself for doing it" but, and with his wicked laugh as he quotes Scripture, "he will have his reward" and he rubs his filthy hands together in glee that it won't be a heavenly one.

Sad...sad...sad...heart wrenching sad..
If we are the Body why aren't our hands reaching? Why aren't we breaking the jaws of the wolf pack and rescuing these sweet and precious lambs from their clutch? Why aren't we gathering these sweet young lambs and holding them in the security and protection of our care? Why aren't our tears falling for them?

 Tears are precious to Jesus. What if we could actually see the hidden power in tears. As they splash unbidden to the ground at our feet and there become a pathway for us to walk, that hidden trail toward rescue? Wow, it's amazing. It takes tears to wash away the scales from our eyes. Yet through the blurred vision of our tears, we actually distinctly see the children to rescue. We see their value and worth to a great big awesome God, their very own Creator. Our tears fall as that magnificent waterfall and there behind it's beautiful cascade, is true treasure~it's where the hidden heart of God is revealed. 

I choose the tears. I choose to turn these precious children's crying into glorious song. Thank you sweet Jesus. 
Many an alter call whether in my own back porch or in an indoor sanctuary, found my heart kneeling before a really big God and giving Him my little "insignificant". His eyes glistening with that unshed father tear gaze and He gave me the gift of Himself. I looked up through my tears to find His precious ones splashing on me, to find that my tears were really His own. Washing me, growing me into more of His image. 

You see, Jesus wants us to have that teary gaze that miraculously pushes out all selfishness, all what people call reality, all the wrong voices, till we see clearly only Jesus. Jesus in the widow, Jesus in the orphan, Jesus in our brother and sister, Jesus in our neighbor, Jesus in the homeless, the alcoholic, the abused, the broken. It never ceases to amaze me that it's always been the overlooked ones who catches that heavenly gaze of Jesus. They don't make it to our in-home bulletin boards and newspapers, but they are splashed all over heaven's headlines. 
Lord, I want to everyday see on the other side of the waterfall. And I need that teary   vision wherein the true nature of Your heart is revealed. 

With all this, I will hasten to say that I am honored to personally see the true bride of Christ~the Church at work, rescuing, being the hands and feet of Christ. And it gives me hope, strength, and courage as it deepens my resolve that truly Christ heartbeat is still here on this earth.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Lattes or Lullabies

am surrounded by several of my littles. A few are playing with their Lego sets, building.. That's what I do day in and day out. I am a mommy builder. The next generation builder. :) 
One little, our only princess little, is perched up in the overstuffed chair with mommy. :) She has her fuzzy blanket and she's taking in the morning around her. 
My oldest, not so little, has for the past several hours been reading and diving into his Bible and journal. 

These are wonderful years! These years of child raising has been pressing me into Jesus probably more than any years I will ever live! 

Lattes or lullabies...I hope it has sparked your interest, because immediately when the title came to me last week, I was quite eager for the joy to explore it and share it with you!!

I guess you could say that in reality, I have been an explorer of richly cultivated motherhood for the past 16 years. I remember the day I raced outside in delighted joy to share the exciting news with Mike that we are going to have a baby!! I was 22 at the time. Wow, I was young!! ;) ( Now, you do not need to stress over the Math. ;) )

I set out to learn something that I didn't know how to do when I started and that was counter cross stitch! I wanted to make something for my baby. I guess looking back I needed something, you could say, to pour my bursting love into!! 

I would spend my days keeping our home fires burning, daydreaming mommy and baby-hood dreams, taking lunch to where Miked worked. I would come home to our charming little cottage and settle into our recliner with the little bib I was counter-cross stitching. Perfect picture, huh?! ;)

Well, the cottage was charming because we filled it with love and created our atmosphere of coziness. :) And those are sweet years as I look back...

In the hustle and bustle and sometimes overwhelming years of mommy-hood, I could tend to forget how when our eldest was little and couldn't make messes, I would especially scatter his little toys around in the living room. ;) I wanted to experience every aspect of this great calling!!! I wanted to see child-clutter! 
Believe me, that aspect of mommy-hood has become an every single day living reality now!! ;) 
I no longer have to actually try to find a mess, or make a dreamy mess~I have all the messes I will ever need right at my fingertips every day! ;) Now instead, I pour over my DIY charts and try to work on a keeper one for actually living a day in and day out clutter free life! And when I am tempted to believe that will never happen, I keep the vision of beauty and coziness always in front of me. We do experience smooth and clutter free days till along comes something to tip our well balanced scales off kilter. :) ) And then as I am able, I work at setting the scales right again. 

Now over 15 years into my parenting, I am not so threatened at the seemingly "swimming against the tide syndrome" and that is because I have tasted our many years of effort and hard work coming back to bless and strengthen me for the years ahead as we raise every single little one to adulthood and maturity. Our eldest son, has gained a love for beauty. If he is wanting to chill out in a particular room, he will put that room into beauty and order if it needs it before he settles into it. And sometimes he will even tackle the whole living area! And needless to say, but I want to say it anyway, I love it that he's caught what his daddy and I have been trying to instill in him all these years!! A love for neatness and the beauty that surrounds it. Warmth comes from beautiful and neat surroundings. The luscious glow of candles to soft music also adds to the richness of beauty.  

In our normal everyday I seek to establish a love and an eye for beauty in our kiddos... We have our cleanup time, where every one is putting away our clutter i.e. toys, books, a coffee cup, a pair or usually one lonely shoe! ;) After running the vacuum over the carpet and taking a cloth and Meyers over some surfaces and as we finish and settle into our own pursuits and hobbies, I will ask the kiddos which way they like it the most. ;) Can you guess which way they will always choose?!
The "before" with all its chaotic clutter? Or the "after" with its glow of warmth as everything is beautiful and orderly again? They even love taking their own before and after pictures for fun and to enjoy their accomplishment of the room where they are whipping out some cleanup! They've made fast motion pictures of tiding up times and laugh as it looks like we are zooming through the room, grabbing this and that on a very quick run~haha!  ;)

Mike and I have tasted many different seasons together in our parenthood and many times through the years we share our smiles of amusement and remind each other again how we work well together as a team. :) There's been times of loneliness and confusion for us in life. Times of doubt if we're doing life right. Many voices pulling us one way, but it's been born deep within our hearts a pressing pursuit to move the opposite way. Trusting in the assurance that God was indeed pointing us to something beautiful. Something filled with His strength and passion born out of His own heart. Something that actually works.
We learned to turn more to each other and together turning to Jesus, amidst the loneliness, Church confusion, and frustrations.
I would see discouraging moms on fb say they need a "Target fix" and they would leave their "hard" days and browse the stores. 
Sometimes during the stresses of life, I wished I could flee to a Target for awhile but I lived a distance from any department store and really didn't have the money to go anyway. Now as I look back I realize that was one of my greatest blessings in disguise! I stayed home and God would point me to His ability to give me joy filled mommy-hood, even in difficult seasons. The difficulty didn't necessarily stem from my kiddos, but also from other circumstances that if I didn't surrender those moments to Jesus it threatened to steal my joy and it would trickle over into my mommy-hood day. 
So instead of window shopping at Target, I had the honor of gazing upon the little people who depended on me. They depended on me for their food and wellbeing, but also for making playtime dreams come true. We would pack a little basket lunch, brew some iced tea and head off into the wilderness (our own 5 acres of prairie land! ;) But we had so much fun!). ;)
When I tucked them in at night, my mommy heart flooded with joy, pride, and peace and I had no regrets that I couldn't put life on hold for a few hours. I instead was granted the gift of spending those hours with my kiddos!!! 

"Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come." Proverbs 31:25

Fast forward now....;) 
Much has changed in our life in this last year and a half. We've moved clear across the United States on faith, our schedule had been turned upside down, but God has been showing us how to live in His fullness in even that! Even living on the edge of town, and having more activities we're investing in is a big change. Now on the the brink of our life changing yet again, we look ahead to bringing the two children we're adopting home. While we're preparing for and anticipating M and M's arrival, Mike has blessed me with my own little coffee shop quiet time of refreshment. It is so sweet of him. This time to sit in a charming quiet coffee shop; to sip a delicious and comforting drink while writing in my journal or reading my Bible. This time set apart for blogging, all with the backdrop of soft music is a gift I receive. I know he desires me to enjoy it and to look forward to it and I do. 
But the beauty is that this isn't time off that I take while I'm here. It's a gift I'm treasuring from my Mike for this season. And I don't dread when it's time to go home and start my mommy day. I anticipate it and look forward to it! 

"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all." Proverbs 31:26-29

I never knew that someday right in the middle of my child raising I would get to sit in a coffee shop once every single week and sip whichever flavor of frozen or hot coffee that I want, savoring just me and Jesus. But one thing I do know is I am completely "all in" in my mommy-hood. And even as I relish coming to this quiet getaway, neither my happiness nor my joy depends on it. 

It's quite ironic, but there were seasons where I would have grabbed this opportunity as a lifeline, but instead I grabbed Jesus! 

"Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." Proverbs 31:30

And I have no regrets. I am so delighted that Jesus taught me so lovingly through the years to go to Him to be filled (a time in;)) and not some earthly enjoyment for a time out. 

"Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates." Proverbs 31:31

 And since then, my life has been full. 
Full of joy, full of sweet memories, full of learning to know Him more, full of rich joy-filled mommy-hood, full of love and adoration for my Mike. My Papa God taught me a long time ago that it is neither the things I have nor the things I don't have that will make my joy complete. 
And I'm yearning...for even more of Him. For more rich memorable times with my Mike and our kiddos. And these are yearnings He will continue to fill and yet continue to replace with more of these same yearnings!! He is definitely faithful! :) I love it!! Pastor recently added in his sermon that if we are wanting more of Jesus than that means He's pursuing us~yes!!!

Lattes or lullabies? My latte is delicious this morning. (btw, I am at the coffee shop now!) 😉 But I would always choose the lullabies if I had to choose between them! ;) 

For this season my Mike has whisked me out the door and has given me not a time out,  just a different cozy nook to remain full. :) It's only a different place to continue what I've been doing all these years at our own house~getting up very early to let God fill and nurture my soul in the quietness of His truth. I just get the delight of doing it here at my favorite little coffee shop.
Changing seasons are filled with their own variable beauties. I want to enjoy each one to the fullest. 

Lattes or lullabies.... one blossoms something beautiful, rich and eternal in it's value in a child's life, and the other is just a delicious and simple earthly delight
....and sometimes I share a latte with all my lullabies. 

Happy birthday to our South American son M!! 
Would you consider giving a gift of any amount in celebration of his birthday today?! 
You will see the donate button near the top of this page on the right side.
 Your gift will be used to bring him home!! We also invite you to leave a comment below and we will share it with him on his Skype birthday party this Friday!! 
Oh thank you so much!!!


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Mommyhood Wonderment & Mug Exchange

The house is quiet of all the pitter patter of feet, the joyful commotion of toys and playing, one instrument or another in use (oh my, sometimes I have to remind myself when I think the music is just noise on top of play noise, the great benefits of it someday in our kiddos!!  ;)) 

Today,  we had such a relaxing day as a family. It's so important that with everything that is standing by so ready to eat up and disrupt our time as a family, to be intentional of where are we at in life and where exactly are we headed and see if it's actually leading to where we have mapped out to end up!!
I am a mommy that by now am "supposed" to be completely strung out as these child rearing years were "supposed" to wring me dry of my laughter, simple delights and especially my joy. But the amazing thing is, it's not that way!! ;)

I absolutely love being a mommy and it keeps my joy full and flowing over!! Don't get me wrong, I have seasons that are busier than others..I even have seasons where the world appears upside down ( or at least our schedule does!! ;)) 

I have heard mommy's exclaim, "I don't have time for a bath anymore!" It does not have to be that way though. ;) The above photo is one that I captured the other week as I laid out a beautiful backdrop for myself a lovely hot soak! It was complete with candles, iced tea, and the soul-inspiring story of the Book of Nehemiah! (It was the dramatized King James Version found on our Bible-is app. Our family loves it!)  I find it of great importance for intrinsic joy-filled mothering to keep myself filled with my Jesus! To take the time to nurture and care for my body, mind, and soul. I believe for a mommy to keep oneself refreshed and Spiritually filled, allowing Jesus to build our strength in order serve our families fully, is quite different from the selfish "pamper me, look out for me." That mentality holds our self close, and is inward in it's focus rather than outward. 

Today's moms describe kids as pulling their hair out. And, I experience many moments where I feel that I have no elasticity left! ;) Where two children want me at once. ;) Our children deserve our best. Our very best. One thing I notice is sometimes it's easier to give others outside my home, my best and let myself succumb to whatever mood I am in in the moment when I am with my little family. But God has definitely grew me in this area and continues to point me to true beauty of 24/7 joy-filled mommyhood and He's promised it can be mine!! I love it! And I really do live in the wonder of joy in abundance!! And its so amazing that as I lay myself and my wants at the feet of Jesus, He in turn, abundantly fills and blesses me to overflowing riches of His grace and so many delights!!

He constantly through life has been faithful to show me the two sides. He shows me, "Okay, this is what the world is saying......  And this is how I have created it to be......" Wow~I have found the rich beauty in God's way. The confusion is gone and the artificial slips through my hands as sand...and what I look upon instead, Is something exquisitely rare is in its place..

I have been delighting in mommyhood for 15+ years now, and the lush beauty is so real and vibrant for me as I mommy God's way!!

Now to change the subject! (Ask my family, I am very good at that!! ;)

Recently, I participated in a coffee mug exchange from the lovely blog, The Enchanting Rose. Stephanie is a Christian mommy who is passionate for Jesus and I anticipate our growing friendship! Normally I would send a mug gift package to a new friend, and someone entirely different would send me a mug gift package, therefore I would make two new friends. There is even an opportunity to be matched with someone in another Country! Isn't that simply delightful?! 

Due to a story all its own, Stephanie and I exchanged gifts together as everyone was already most likely matched out. Thank you, to Stephanie, for gifting me with the privilege of your friendship through our mug exchange!! Below are the lovely photos of our gifts! 

      The lovely card Stephanie made! And a whole
       bag of coffee. :)

       The owl mug, journal, and journal marker.

     A sample of all the beauty that arrived at our door, by Stephanie!!

Aren't these simply lovely gifts?! It may seem amusing to you, but I am a "love everything to be perfectly lovely" kind of person and so I am saving this beautiful apron by Stephanie for our family's Christmas cookie bake!! I absolutely love the color red! I love the color brown! Can you imagine my delight at this apron?! 
My coffee mug and dish, coffee, and journal, I have enjoyed so much already!! My littles absolutely love my gift set and I have delighted in serving them sweet treats with it as well!! :)
The lovely decorative pillow Stephanie made graces our livingroom. ;) Aren't country pillows fun?!
I love the adorable journal/book marker. I love to journal in the early morning and this one will continue to capture, written in my own hand, a legacy of my mommy love and deeply rooted faith in our precious Jesus, for my children. Oh, thank you, Stephanie!!

Everything was wrapped so beautifully in white tissue paper and decorated with sprigs of cinnamon, acorns, ribbons, and flowers!! 

Thank you, Stephanie, and God bless you!! I value your friendship!!! 

This gift box of gifts, were my gifts to Stephanie and I had the greatest delight choosing each one!! I even discovered how lovely a store the "Tea and Spice Exchange" is!! So the box was complimented with a mountain extracted tea and tea strainer. The book Set Apart Motherhood, by Leslie Ludy, I would encourage for every mommy! The little green package is some soap from World Market, that I absolutely could not resist to add to the box~isn't it adorable?! Love Hobby Lobby for room decor and so added in some of that! Also Hobby Lobby is a great place to shop and support for for their Biblical stand in their business. Also a great place to find decor with a sprinkling of Scripture and inspiration.(That's essentially what I had in mind for Stephanie!) But these decorative balls were perfect! The mug, found at Peir One, I thought was oh so lovely! This is a mug and/or tea cup exchange that I participated in, and I thought this delicately feminine cup could fit the description of both!! And finally, I love presenting gifts in something beautiful and/or useful such as baskets, trays, or this time around~this simply lovely decorative box! 
So skip on over to Stephanie's Blog  and say, "Hi" and peek at all the gifts!! And if you are here, from Stephanie's blog, "Welcome!!!" Feel free to leave a comment and please come back often!! 

Monday, September 21, 2015

The True Story of My Inheritance~Sharing the Details Openly

As I sit here in our family room, facing the mountains, the wind is strong and gusty...I love the sound of it through the open windows. It draws my whole self toward the coziness of our house, of home, of belonging. It carries with it a comfortingness. Little Joshua somehow thought that 4:30ish was this mornings wake time. :) So when I decided to get up, turn on the coffee pot to reheat some coffee, I gathered my precious little bundle close and we made our way to our family room and snuggled in our overstuffed chair facing the mountains and the twinkling lights. And to the still dark outdoors, to the sound of wind, while wrapped in his fuzzy blanket in his mama's love and arms, little guy slipped back to his sweet baby dreams. 
He's sound asleep now in his darling cradle, not a hand me down (although I love the things that grow more precious when they've been passed along from one little love to another down through the years, but this little cradle was purchased especially for this sweet gift that God entrusted us with.)

I absolutely love the pursuit of God. I love that He doesn't just figure that I've went about as far as I'm gonna go with Him. If He didn't keep pursuing me, then yep, I probably would have found that suitable enough resting spot, and I most likely would have placed my soldier's sword against a nearby tree, nestled down and well, I don't know what else...

But God, has over and over and over again, pressed me on, just a little more and then a little bit more~that's the story of my life right there. My life has experienced many seasons...some where I balked the little bit more, others where my feet barely hit the ground and I loved the intentional pressing on and in to my Jesus! 
I have this one journal that I pick it up and jot in every couple years.. Then I have my journals that I keep filling up. Well the first journal mentioned was started during the season of the greatest calling out time of my life.. As the years go by, I go back and read through it. It's like watching my life on a time-lapse video. There are deep moments of seeking, of finding. Moments of courage, of fear, of joy cupped with sorrow, of bravery and defeat, of tears, and more tears. I see myself mud-streaked and battle worn.  Those precious, oh those precious moments where I stood with tilted face, battle clothes tattered, and in victory let the falling rain clean me. I tasted the raindrops as they washed down over me. I was refreshed, reinvigorated. I was more in love with my Kingly Captain Papa than ever before.

Each minute of every year has somehow left it's mark on me...my stripes and bars. I have gazed into the face of the One I have loved the most and I have had to choose really who's side I was on..I could not be effective in the duty required of me if my heart was not solidly a part of it.
In life as God has continued to grow me, I saw Christians who at one time were passionate, lose their fire. They were bone weary and discouraged. And I saw hurting souls in the Church. My dad, having the army experience that he did, would often say that the Church is the only ones who would leave their hurting behind in a battle. How true that was. 

The people that defined the Church, for most of my life, were the hurting but never healing, the stumbling and never living above sin, the self-righteous (who evidently weren't living above sin either!), The lukewarm which God has promised to spew out of His mouth someday, the ignorant, the deaf and the blind, and the small piece of the sincere...
That piece has been attacked more than sin was attacked. The sincere of the Church were known as the problem ones because they refused to settle with the mess all around them. They refused to "cooperate" and just go with the lousey flow of things. They have allowed Christ to press, to melt them down, to press, to melt down and to make pure. And with every pressing and melting down, their faith and determination to be all in for Christ has set them apart. They were forced to acknowledge what they didn't want to acknowledge, but Truth required it.

Wow, by now, some of you may be shaking your head and saying, "Yep, that's why I walked away from it all. That's why I don't even believe in God anymore..."

But today I taste Heaven and I savor the delicious and the nutritiousness of it. And when Heaven comes down to earth and wraps itself around you, I can barely describe it. I am still graciously clothed in humanity. I still feel pain and sadness sometimes. I still am prone to get hurt etc. and have to take those feelings and lay them at the precious feet of my Jesus and leave them there. But this place I find myself in, I don't care that the world doesn't understand me. I mean I kind of wish they would, because they have this mindset that I am living in some kind of religious bondage, when in reality everyday I taste joy, every day I know I would never give this up. 

I have absolutely zero desire to exchange my life for another's. I am an adult, I'm not forced to live for Christ, I could cash in and seek what some call pleasures. The Bible even says sin is pleasureable, but only for awhile..

I don't live for Christ out of fear of hell anymore.

I don't live for Christ to get in some self-righteous league anymore~Yep done that! 

I don't live for Christ so as to not dishonor or hurt my parents who brought me up to love God. Neither of my parents are even here anymore.

I don't live for Christ so I can see my parents and my brother in Heaven.

Now you're really wondering why I live for Christ, huh? ;) I mean, when I was a little girl going to Church, I thought it was so boring and I could not figure out why any adult would go since they didn't have to. 

I live for Jesus every single day because I truly love Him as no other. He's given me my sweetheart guy for my earthly love and to share and do life with. I love that!! 
He's given me six beautiful kids who I delight in mothering!! 
But He, a long long time ago, gave me His love by giving His own life in a cruel death. My face passed before Him as He hung there. His eyes shimmered with love. He was the very essence of nobility and honor. He was strength and courage. He was despised and rejected, yet He stood firm. He was a worm and no man, yet He conquered. He rose just as He said He would do admidst all Satan's attempts to foul it all up. He rose victoriously~just as He promised!!

  The grave couldn't hold Him, Satan could not defeat Him.

He is faithfulness..He spoke it, lived it, walked it, died embracing it, and rose in it!!

So now what? Satan can't mess with Him, so he's messing with you. 

E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Jesus has ever promised is true. And when He says we can have abundant life in Him, we can. I taste it a lot. And God keeps pressing me, keeps on daily pressing me. He stretches His arm out and points to victorious 24/7 rejoicing joy-filled mommyhood and says that it can be mine. And you know what? I believe Him! There may be a whole lot more melting down and pressing in ahead for me, but I truly trust my Jesus. I trust Him more than anyone. The joy that
clothes me, the joy that makes me whoop and leap, and causes my children's laughter to fall as rain (precious!) is for real and it is all because of Jesus!! 

It doesn't matter what satan tried to do in my life through pain or hardship that he hoped would ruin me, I don't have to remember it anymore. Because Jesus came and gave me the choice to let my old Miriam die, so He could give me a new Miriam. 

And that's why it's hard to explain to someone, because death truly brings life. And when you look back, the dying really was nothing compared to the every day joy-filled, laughter flowing, living!!!! And I definitely have been the abundant receiver as I handed my death clothes in to Jesus (and all that stuff that I thought I really needed for happiness. It can be compared at eating McDonald's food. It seems to fill, but never sticks with you long! Btw, I don't eat there anymore!)

Jesus, adopted me as His royal daughter and has supplied me with an armoire of the most beautiful clothes and all the accessories of a princess!! It's just learning how to embrace them as a real princess. Kind of like a story of a baby princess or prince kidnapped at birth and after they were restored to their Royal Family they had to be taught how to actually live in all this Royalty. How to graciously exercise in confidence in their new position. It was all there, but unless they were guided through it, it would remain foreign to them. 

I have everything in Christ and He is faithfully and patiently walking with me in joyfilled discovery of how to exercise it, to walk confidently in it!!

I have, with the grace of a true princess, and in honor of my created royal bloodline, received my inheritance in Christ!! 

It's yours too. Satan robbed you from all this. Don't let him mess with you any longer, lie to you any longer. Jesus is Your REAL Father and He's holding out His Kingly arms to embrace you.
He's eager to show your His storehouse. He's longing to share life with you! 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Return of Honor


I just love our Rocky Mountains...we are not native to this beautiful country, but claim such joy in living here.   
Just two days ago though, as we drove past a creek surrounded by thick foilage of trees, it reminded me our our Myakka City (which in reality is not a city at all, but a small country town) in Florida and I felt a twinge of...(fill in the blank. ;)) 

For me, the key to joyfilled mothering has always been connected with how my morning starts out. The rising with God's chirpy winged creatures, witnessing the burst of a sunrise, and relishing the quiet Presence of my Jesus. His faithfulness as my Kingly Papa to lay out a princess wardrobe for me, consisting of everything I would need that day. The royal clothing (in its finest of quality) of peace, joy, and a longing for more of my Jesus, has graced my life in the early morning and it has spilt over into my day as bubbling as a mountain brook. 

As an outflow of that, our homes become a sanctuary, a haven from earthly storms. Our marriages thrive and our children are secure in this nurturing sweetness. They grow up confident of who they are, in Christ. And they stand tall, anchored in something much more noble than any of their own self could muster. 

In our homes that Christ builds, little girls bask in the sweetness of giggles, and nurture those around them, creating and spilling beauty everywhere about them. Our little girl loves to pick any little flowers she finds growing outside, and she skips about the house finding her little green vase and filling it with water and her treasured flowers. She loves to seek out our "extra" decor that is tucked away for future use, and she decorates the house. We fondly say that our little Alaythia is a rose among strong oaks  (her brothers ;) ). She has a softening effect with her little girlishness, frills, and love for pink. A fascinating daintiness that God designed in His female creations. 

Our boys grow up into young men who will stand true and loyal to something. And that "something" is a clincher right there. That "something" can be sin and selfishness when they become adults, or in our home that God builds, they can be taught to protect others and defend Truth. 
When young men stand for Truth there will be those that will call them cowards. But really they are head and shoulders above those that would scoff. Why? Because they are willing to stand honorably, to spend their strength and their lives for others. The honor and integrity they live by is internally as important as nutrition and exercise is to their physical bodies.  

Oh for honor to be brought back where young ladies use their God given purpose to nurture their families, to create beauty and to add strength to their homes. 
For young men to again be protectors of their loved ones and defenders of Truth, instead of the sin we see running rampant where the only thing they seem to be protecting and defending are their own private sinful indulgences. " He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy." Proverbs 28:13 Sometimes I think we've reduced satan that he's nothing more than a stuffed toy puppy that let's out an occasional bark. Instead of the controlling tyrant that he is if we let him in and think we can cuddle him.

Probably most of us long for the return of Honor instead of the lousy counterfeit we seem to embrace as the new normal. The tragic thing is, even in my generation, it isn't a new normal, it is the only normal we've mostly ever known! I actually feel a sweetness and sadness when I see an older couple. There is such wisdom and strong Truth-filled values that they have lived their whole life by, and I feel such a sense of loss to loose that generation. Unless we carry truth high shedding light on what is for real "the real" we will not produce anything of strength for anymore generations. 

Our girls will not be princesses and our boys princes. Any beauty and nobility that those two titles hold will be lost!! 

They only thing, the absolutely only thing that gives hope is that the Bible is the living and breathing voice of God, never growing old. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."(John 1:14).  He is our only hope and with the Truth-filled proclamation of that and letting that govern all our decisions, we can have the return of our princesses and princes! The grand mixture of beauty and honor!!

          "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him." Proverbs 30:5

I am choosing today to keep my trust anchored in Jesus!!

*Just a reminder of our adoption and especially for those that have been following it and looking for an update. ;) Our paperwork will soon be on it's way to translation and South America. The kiddos and us still get the priviledge to Skype regularly. That is such a huge blessing!! We are expectant of things progressing rather quickly once the paperwork reaches it's Country and is approved. We still desire your prayer partnership with us in these remaining stages and as we raise the rest of the needed funds. Also most importantly, please keep the kiddos in prayer. If you desire to join with us, we are praying as a family for healing to be taking place right now in their precious lives, right where they are. And for a smooth transition. Thank you!! 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

PhD in Mommyhood

The rich coral glow across the landscape, the cheery, chirpy music of God's sweet little winged creatures. And the magnificent Rockies towering strong and handsome, making the perfect backdrop to all our outdoor fun, or those cozy family times in our family room looking through all these picture windows!  ;)

Every time my soul feels like it's so filled with happiness that it will burst, The Holy Spirit reminds me that it's truly the abundant life of Christ within! Then admidst all these "happy" feelings, I rememeber that the definition of happiness is something that is based on happenings and that through the years and even now there are times when the current "happenings" aren't  inclined to bring "happiness", but I still felt this "burst" and it's called "joy". 

When I contemplate whether what I feel is happiness or joy,  I realize, that what I'm feeling doesn't necessarily have anything to do with my natural circumstances, but rather everything to do with the realization of a Great, Big, Papa God who truly loves me and my little family sooo much!!!

This morning, I am really thankful and anticipating that it's a brandnew day, and God has given me every provision to be the best mommy ever in the lives of our sweet kiddos!! I can be 100% intentional as I interact with them, as I truly take the time to listen to them, as I fully absorb and allow it to be forever stamped on my memory~their smiles and giggles, their laughter and full of life moments!! 

Mommyhood is a beautiful time and so far every season has had it's unique memorable memories. We anticipate our tomorrow's with our kids and they are truly a real joy to share life with!! It's a delight for us mommies to create an atmosphere in our home of neatness, coziness, and attractive order~an outflow of an uncluttered heart. My desire is to keep my heart pure, lovely, unselfish, and in return, I can love my little family unselfishly and fully. 

To me, the importance in life is not CEO status or the next degree attained, it's winning the hearts and trust of the precious kiddos that God has entrusted to us! It's teaching them through simplicity to treasure life and live to their full God-given potential. 

That whatever their hands find to do, to do it with all their might and that to do everything as unto their Lord. Talk about success, when all is done as unto Christ and not limited by some human standard in excellence, they will truly excell. And what is important to Christ will become important to them as well!! 

Isn't this exciting?! And we find that Christ is behind it all, equipping, empowering, (and if you really want to look at it through an earthly kind of way~Christ is handing out the degrees~PhD (Parenting  His Design)! ;)

My life occupation is important to me. I don't have an earthly supervisor standing by ready to promote me to the next office. But I have 5 trusting children who long to always know they are loved and valued by me. They need me to encourage them in their full potential, to gently press them toward an academic challenge, to remain trusting as they test their limit of understanding and ability, and to assure them that God has called them each to His own special gifting and then to invest prayer into their lives, encouragement and provide the education for them to fulfill whatever occupation and gifting God is building them for!

I don't take this lightly.. Motherhood is a beautiful and important calling and I look trustingly to my Kingly Father, to actually do the work, but when I stop and ponder it, He chooses to use us, as parents, to carry out what in reality He is really doing. And we taste fully the joy and involvement of child raising with all it's importance, delights, and challenges. And when our children look at us with giggles and love, and eyes filled with trust, I know I have been handed this "gift" the "honors" even though it really was all because of Christ!!

Because we are in Christ, we share of the fruit that He produces in our children, we share in their abundant life found only in Him. And I truly cannot think of anything more beautiful then this!!

Even in the challenging moments, that have a way of nudging us parents into our prayer closet, we taste of the fullness of Christ and His wisdom.

                  We are reminded in this Easter season that He already IS the Conqueror!! 

     God bless you, fill you with His wisdom, and His outpouring of delight in your mommyhood!!
God also bless you as you celebrate this Easter and spend the day delighting in your family and in Him!! I am excited as I have a special Easter surprise in the planning for our kiddos for Sunday!! ;)
Also today we get to Skype with our sweet South American kiddos too!! It is an honor to love them. And we are excited to celebrate Easter with them today!!   


    If you desire to partner with us in our adoption of M and M, there is a donation button on the top right of this page that will go directly to, "Bringing M and M Home!!" God bless you and we say, "Thank you" from all of us!!

Friday, March 27, 2015

For These Children We Prayed

(This blog was actually written in the Colorado summer of 2014. ) 

Yesterday we experienced one of those days that will forever be etched in our place called, " Fond Memories". We celebrated our South American sweet princess' birthday! Her radiant love for the Lord is evident in her life and we stand back in awe and amazement of the work God is doing in our sweet South American kiddos lives!! We see the Hand of God moving ahead and preparing these kids future with Him. And dare we, in faith, also say, that God is preparing them for our family. At first we were uncertain of an older child adoption and we wanted to back away from it...you know, that situation in life that you feel it would be better all around if you could just not know it existed? Well that is how it began for us...  

First God called us to adopt...we felt the calling. It was fine. I honestly figured that Mike and I would be grey and wise and our biological kids would all be at least youth age. Maybe that's why Mike is already showing a lot of grey hair! ;) But the older and wiser and all our kids in their youth age..well God's plan is different than what we planned. 

A few years later, Mike was like, "Why wait till we raise our kids? Why not adopt now and raise them with our kids?" That idea took some getting used to...and as the years passed, our hearts grew bigger..and I guess looking back we did grow older and a bit wiser! (All to the glory of God!)

I think the earliest written recording we have of our call to adopt is in 2005. As some years crawled along and others sped by, we began to pray literally for these kid(s) that were ours. We had no idea who they were and how to find them. No real idea where to start. And absolutely no $30,000 to pay for them. 

The urgency to adopt began to deepen with the years but our pocketbook didn't..and finally our reason to not pursue adoption right now, was not valid in our God's eyes. He knew what we didn't, that all He needed was our "yes" and He would faithfully do the rest.

I love how God moves us along kind of at levels. Once He started the wheels of us becoming an adoptable family we found ourself immediately presented with the who and where! And as often the case, we were tested in even this....the age was an 8 yr old little girl from America. I happened to recieve the call from the agency and after the gentleman explained this little girl to me and her story, I knew in my heart we could never say yes. 

Or could we?????

I have to laugh a little as I write this because God takes the "Or could we" moments and builds from there! We knew we must pray instead of coming out and refusing....so we prayed...we each had our separate request that God fulfill so we'd know...BUT God isn't bound to our request and He gave us peace in that. After sometime, and even tho' we did not feel equipped in ourselves, we knew God was, so we began the steps toward making this little angel of a girl our daughter. 
We were one of several families that stepped forward.  It was a dissolved adoption case and God laid it on Mike's heart to pray for reconciliation for this child and her adopted family that was giving her up. After questioning the agency about the chance of that, Mike was told that pretty well everyone involved felt that the adoption being dissolved was for the best...

After waiting for the child's family to choose one of several families' profiles we got word that this child's family decided to take her back and work toward reconciliation. Our faith was increased!!! So even tho' we felt a heart attachment to a little girl we never met, we knew to trust God in all of this.. And God so lovingly used this child to teach and stretch us a lot! Also stretching us toward older child adoption.

So now what? We then expressed our desire to adopt internationally and this agency only has the one Country in South America. So our "where" was easily enough decided!! We jumped on an international orphan host program just in time for the due date and prepared for a child to stay with us. It was encouraged that we could become familiar with the Culture and Country we would be adopting from. 

We asked for the youngest little girl possible, but we stood firm in our resolve that we would not put God in a box. So if it was a boy or a bit older of a child we gave room for that. We prayed that God would orchestrate things so that the child we hosted could be the same one we would adopt...

The agency tried to get us a younger child but it wasn't going to be easy.. We were told that a little child could be adopted if their older brother or sister were being adopted also...okay, we are willing to host two kids, but the absolute youngest possible..oh my, that just gave God ALOT of room to work!!! ;)

As it held out, we would be hosting two much older than what we first expected children.... One option was; one little girl, and the other option was one little girl ( the same age as the other ) and also her older brother.

We found ourselves with several more "Or could we??!" situations and true enough God built on them. As long as we don't say a resounding no and shutting the door on our Lord ( and even then He's quite capable of carrying out His will!!) He takes our insecurities and and we find rest in Him, He takes our weakness and empowers us. He takes our willingness and creates something oh so lovely and beautiful because it has His handprints all over it and not ours!!

So yes, the same two previous kids that we hosted over Christmas, the same two that were by far much older than we ever originally set out for, is the same two adorable ones that we are pursuing adoption of~and we are excited!!! 

How could we adopt two much older ones, you might be asking... Remember back....way, way back......we'd been praying for our child(ren) and these we believe our the ones we've prayed for....and they were much much younger than...we just dudn't know yet who they were..seriously, our life has had a serious amount of testing through the years. We believe it was teaching us, preparing us, to walk this road in complete trust and faith without wavering in a big Almighty God! Our God!!! 


(This blog was written in the summer of this year- 2014.. We are currently continuing in the journey to bring these kiddos home..we would love your prayer support. Also if you feel led to give, there is a donate button on this page and we thank you and bless you in advance for your gift of any amount. God is continuing His awesome work in the lives of these kiddos and in our life as we work toward bringing them home. Great is His faithfulness!!)


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Every Day Living in the Glow of Our Happily Ever After

A few months ago, we celebrated our 18 years of marriage!! Eighteen years on our way to forever together. ;) Topics and advice on a great marriage are plentiful today and as we heard of the different "marriage boosters" down through the years, we've had to share smiles at the humour we found in some of them! 

One particular one was that to add spice to your marriage and to keep it growing, a marriage author suggested that you buy a new sheet set once a week or month! I was thinking that after awhile even Mike wouldn't know which one is the "new" one with the collection of sheet sets that would be around our house!! ;)

The topic of marriage is of great importance. Selfishness between two adults is so often clearly evident.   
The brokenness in families is so sad. I especially am touched with sadness when I hear of another separation or divorce. It truly is the children that get the raw part of the deal. They become subjected to now two moms and two dads, all because their real mommy and daddy tried to escape the pain of healing, of forgiveness and the pain of saying no to their own selfishness.

But one cannot truly escape pain or consequences to their desicions...so now the parents still walk thro' pain and take the children thro' the pain with them.

I know a couple who became the best of friends and truly their hearts were touched beautifully by the other. After close to 2 years of being in a sweet relationship, they married. As they embarked with all their dreams that would carry them to forever together, it was altogether lovely till...

That's the clincher right there...that moment we find ourself in a place we really wasn't prepared for...probably most of us haven't truly been nurtured in the Word of God and first really and truly given our whole self to Jesus completely before we began on the journey of marriage. When we present Jesus with the throne of our heart and ask Him to reside there, we actually live outside of ourself and that has a beautiful way of creating room to love others as He loves them. It creates within us the beautiful spirit of giving, serving, nurturing and that is divine marriage material to build a lovely home!!

Contrary, if Christ is not central in our life, who is? Sadly, we are. And that my friend, is in large, the answer for the crumbling marriages..selfishness is holding ourself close and it offers no room to truly hold another close. Yes, for seemingly a season perhaps, but it's not rock to build upon..the sand castle we've built for ourselves eventually dissolves when the rains come and ultimately we begin to nurture #1 ( ourself) and we demand our happiness to be met and we find our marriages falling apart.
This couple, I am writing of is Mike and I. It was only after letting Jesus take the central position in our lives and home that our love began to flourish, and this fairytale dreamer that I always was, truly began to see the golden sweetness of everyday living a happily ever after.

I truly believe most marriages can heal.. But we've heard the lie for so long that it isn't possible and we find ourselves believing that over the Voice of Truth. If we had not walked the painful and confusing path of our marriage falling apart, and our dreams with it, I would have no idea what some are walking through. And I realize every story is different, with different degrees of pain, but I still believe that one of the Names of Christ is "Healer" and He is able to turn around what we can't and take what satan meant for evil in our lives and create something oh so lovely with it!!!

Mike and I are excited to be enjoying life together and when the bumps come, we trust God to guide us through them, and He is faithful!!! And life is truly filled with joy and beauty. Don't let satan convince you that you will only be happy looking out for yourself. Trust me, when two people are looking out for the other, nurturing and protecting the other, the effect is astounding in its beauty and preciousness!!! ;)

It is as crisp and fresh as the mornings dew..it is as exhilerating as those moments when we find ourselves surrounded by nature as we breath in its refreshing and soul thrilling beauty!! The security and faithfulness reminds me of a strong oak tree...able to stand tall, strong and glorious in the sunshine and in the storms!!! This is real and it is ours to enjoy in Christ!!


                                      Everything Christ touches is altogether lovely!!!


                         "I loved you yesterday, I love you still. I always have and I always will."

And I believe deep down in most of us the love for our husband/wife never really died. It was smothered underneath a whole lot of lies, for a season...

And if we allow Christ the central place in both of our hearts we truly experience a tiny sweet piece of Heaven right here on earth!! :)

To read a bit more about God working His wonders in our marriage you may want to read the post titled, "Rekindled Love". 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

I Believe!!

I was reminded and freshly inspired while reading in Luke chapter 5:4-7. At Jesus beckoning to Simon, to launch the fishing boat out to sea and to cast the nets, I found Simon's response interesting. He was full of respect, as he said, "Master, we have toiled all the night,and have taken nothing: nevertheless at thy word I will let down the net. " 

What Simon couldn't even begin to imagine, was truly already accomplished in Jesus. Before his astonishing eyes, the nets became so full that they needed the assistance from another fishing boat! 

I just found this whole account amazing indeed!! There have truly been times in my life where God beckoned me further into the great deep.. Even promising me through Scripture and worship the blessing that awaits. I have seriously on occasion said, "Okay, Lord, this is what the world around me is saying...but this is what You are saying.." 

Finding myself at this spiritual crossroads and the need to choose. It was impossible to stay standing in that one spot, cause had I not chosen, my silence would have proved my choice. There is no middle ground to stand on.   

And sadly, sometimes in trying to convince our loved ones and friends around us only bring the sad realization that we are humanly in this one alone. Even saying, "This is what the Word of God says and I choose to believe it" has brought condemnation from even so called Christians as they have responded, "That is a very scary place to be". 

I have sometimes seriously doubted my own ears and hearing... Playing the conversation over and over in my mind, I've had to think that surely they didn't just say that!!

The difference is in believing what we literally can't see, because it really doesn't matter, cause our heart is so full of trust to our loving Saviour. When times have made it difficult to believe something that I knew to be true based solely upon Scripture, I have had to ask myself, how if I don't believe "this" how can I believe anything at all? How can I believe in salvation or even heaven then? 

About 1 1/2 years or more ago, God took my faith to a much larger degree.. I wanted to believe all of Scripture with my whole heart, but being sensitive in my nature, there were just certain things that kept me from shouting freely, "I believe!!" So I tiptoed around those verses. I desperately wanted freedom in my spirit in even those verses, but I just couldn't get past the oblivious of what I "could" see to the seemingly impossible promise that scripture was saying.

After being spiritually boosted and stretched at a weekend conference, and after crying all weekend at the preciousness, I returned home. I had heard and seen so much that contradicted every lying argument that had secretly taken root somewhere along the way in my heart.

I began right away to allow the Holy Spirit to combat every temptation of satan to get me to doubt, by saying out loud in reference to my God and scripture, "I believe". And I would not let my sensitive nature wash me in doubt as to whether or not I was lying because in reality, I didn't have anymore to go on than before other than what scripture says even though the world seemed to prove otherwise.

I stood confidently in my position in Christ and kept confirming to myself, "It doesn't matter if I really think it could be true or not ( by what my eyes see or my experience tells me)  scripture says it and I believe scripture so I know it's true." Before I even realized what was happening, my spiritual boat was filled to overflowing with fishes! I tasted such freedom in Christ. I drove to a private country road and stood in the road with only God, myself, and the cattle for my witnesses  as I shouted, " I believe!!"

That belief in Christ has made some difficult decisions in my life conquerable in Him!! It hasn't made others understand me any better, but it really doesn't matter, because what I am living in everyday, the joy, the life giving exuberance, I wouldn't trade! 

When we live our lives completely surrendered to God, is only then, when we taste of the most beautiful life. It's not bondage as some think, it's freedom! We are free to live, literally dance!, the biggest smiles threaten to cover our whole face! It radiates and pours from us from every fiber. Our intimacy and friendship with our spouse, our relationships in child raising, our visiting with the cashier at the grocery store, our attitude just because someone pulled out in front of us or took our parking spot, ;) all changes! Because what we live in every single day has nothing to do with the external and yet everything in the external is affected! Amazing, isn't it?! ;) ;)

Then I look at what the world calls freedom...and I shake my head and am bewildered that they could possibly think for a moment that I'd trade what I call freedom for theirs. 

Just last night I kissed my sweetheart goodbye and blessed him again that he's such a good man...remembering that not all men are good men. The cheating "while their away" on their spouses.. Freedom?? Not the kind I ever want Mike and I to experience. 

When he puts his arms around me and I know in my heart that I am the only one, my most intimate heart of hearts is bonded with his securely for life. 

And as much as I would stand and testify from the top of the highest mountain that what I taste is freedom~it can only be convinced in a person's soul as they first surrender to the God of this freedom..    Only then He opens up His treasure chest full of the rarest of riches!! :):) 

And they all truly becomes ours, in Him!! 

"I (Jesus) am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. "
 I believe!!!!

For more on this subject feel free to check out the post titled, "The Joy of the Lord is my Strength". I am a bit more specific on how fear cripples. But you won't be left hanging there. Jesus has a full measure of life and beauty in Him to offer!!