Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My New View on Drama

 I just realized....I guess I am a drama queen. 
 I did not grow up a drama queen and I don't like the title drama queen.  I have spent most of my life steering away from drama.  I was never good at the whole drama stuff in school,
 I didn't deal with it...I would just duck out....or in other words
 "skip it" (like skip school all together) 
when the drama got too much for me.  
I didn't want to be a part of it. 
 There are certain kinds of drama I will still run for the hills away from.    

But, what I have learned in the last couple of years and last couple of
 "drama scenes or  dramatic situations"
 in my life, is
 People are dying, people are hurting, people have messy lives because
  We live in a battlefield, and battle is DRAMATIC.
  Satan is alive and well on this planet and we are called to take up our cross and follow 

Matthew 16:24-25

English Standard Version (ESV)

Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

I am pretty sure when Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow Him, He didn't mean to tell us to get our smooth sanded, well polished, bedazzled cross and load it in the back of our big comfy 1 ton pickup and drive it around with the air conditioning on while drinking our latte.

His cross was bloody and sweaty and heavy and tear stained. 
 I'm pretty sure that was the picture He had in mind.

1 Peter 5:6-9
English Standard Version (ESV)
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.

Verses 6 and 7 are so wonderful and then comes the drama in verses 8 and 9. 

Life has been dramatic since the beginning of time.  I'm sure when Noah built the ark and it began to rain and EVERYONE was drowning around the ark, he wasn't thinking,
 "This will  make a darling nursery scene someday."

  He must have been a  big, bawling, smelly sweaty mess.

When Esther and Charsie were drowning a few weeks ago, I didn't take the time to
 if I should get involved or not,...I ran out there like a crazed woman screaming at the top of my lungs. 
 When we see people drowning in life or in Spirit, we need to get dramatic.
  We need to come a running with our voices raised and jump in the water and it will be a 
mess and loud,
 and the waters will get muddied for a time. 
 Peoples pain is real and suffering is dramatic, but we have our 
we have to jump in and

Some drama will not bring Glory to God.
I'm talking about the drama that can bring Glory to God, by getting in over my head, and getting excited and dramatic about people's lives to help them, and to draw us both closer to Jesus. 
 I'm willing to get excited or dramatic about loving God and loving people. 
 I'm not going to steer away from this kind of drama  and  I'm not going to apologize for or be ashamed of it.  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Belated Mother's and Father's Day.

Mother's Day and Father's Day (belated)

I'm giving a big shout out to the mothers and the fathers.  Charlie and I are blessed to have many great examples of godly mothers and fathers.   We were both raised in Christian homes. 
 I can't think of a bigger blessing than that fact. 
It's great to have a good family on this earth but it doesn't compare to knowing we have an eternal family that we will be with for 
 Those of us who are blessed enough to have our earthly family also be part of our ETERNAL family are beyond blessed!!!

I am in the middle of doing a Bible study that deals with family and generations and roles of the family.  And then at church, on Father's Day our pastor preached about the same thing. 
 I love when the Lord just confirms over and over what He is teaching me.
  In this study, I am in the week where I am dissecting family roots to break any 
"generational curses"
 that may be keeping a family in bondage. 
 I am prompted to remember and learn all the ways that family fails or has "issues", 
and to take heart that  we have a big enough God to heal and to break any curse or bondage. 
I am also prompted to list the wonderful things that have been passed down from generation to generation.

Exodus 20:5-6

The Message (MSG)
4-6 No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I amGod, your God, and I’m a most jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents pass on to them to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation of those who hate me. But I’m unswervingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.

John 16:33

English Standard Version (ESV)

33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

 And here's the truth...if you don't have 
"family issues" don't have family. ha!
...and if you don't have family you have
 "abandonment issues". 
Either are going to have some issues, and please rejoice when it IS 
"family issues".
 Here's the thing, family is made up of people and people are flawed. 
 But here's the best part,
 as a child of God and as a parent;
God is our Heavenly Father, and
God is a PERFECT and HOLY GOD and He has it all covered. 
 He heals and restores and provides anywhere we have been failed or fail. 
 Oh the joy this brings to my heart. 
 I'm going to get it wrong a million more times and God is going to cover it a million more times.  PRAISE HIM!!!

Happy Father's Day DAD.
3 of my favorite most vivid memories that I am the most thankful for!!
1.)  My dad was the person that led me to the Lord.  It was after a Sunday night service at church and I was all in a yank because I was not allowed to take communion. When he tucked me in that explained "Salvation" to me and he prayed with me.  I was very young but I remember it like it was yesterday.  Of course I grew up in a Pentecostal church, so I got saved every week after that...haha..but THAT was just to remind ME what God already knew was a DONE deal. 
 I was HIS from that first night forward. 
2.)  I remember coming out of my room after being tucked in one night when I was pretty young.  I had read something in the Bible that I didn't understand, and I was pretty upset, my Dad took the time to tell me to pray before I opened God's Word, and ask the Lord to help me understand His Word. 
 That is a practice I still do to this very day.  THANKS DAD!!!!

3.)  My Dad taught me to be generous.  My Dad has always given generously to his family and to those around him.  I have been the recipient of his generosity and also I have learned to be generous and there is blessings on both sides of that gift.  THANKS DAD!!!!

Happy Mother's Day MOM  (I know it was last month, but I'm combining the 2 for this post).  :)
3 of my favorite things that my Mom has taught me by her example.
1.)  My mom has taught me to be a wife and a mother.  My mom has been a very faithful wife.  My mom and dad have not had an easy life, they have owned many businesses and that alone makes life challenging.  My mom has stood by my dad and been his helper through the good and the bad.  My mom has been faithful to her family and has worked her head off and her heart out for all of us.
2.)  My mom has taught me the importance of family and friends.  My mom has always been the one to bring the family together and make family vacations and celebrations a priority.  These times bring many valuable memories of my childhood and also to my adult life.
3.)  My mom has taught me how to present myself well. 
 *This one is still a struggle* 
 She taught me to "fix up", and how to talk to people and to listen.  My mom  knows how to act like a lady and she tried with everything in her to pass that down to us girls...and I can't imagine how I would look and act if it wasn't for her constant efforts.  THANKS MOM!

Happy Father's Day to My Man!!!

Psalm 103:13

English Standard Version (ESV)
As a father shows compassion to his children,

    so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.

I want to say thank you to my man for being the greatest father to our 8 kids (so far..hehe).  He is beyond amazing to our family. 
He always has room to give more.
More time, more love, more discipleship, more effort, more work, more grace, more food. 
 My man is the father to 8 and a father figure to many more.  He is providing for, and mentoring and loving on several more kids across the world.  He never turns away a kid in need.  
We have 2 kids that have been fatherless for a time in their lives and he now calls them his own.  They have his name and hopefully someday they will look a little more like him.  :) character.  
Being the father to the fatherless to kids from many nations is

James 1:27

English Standard Version (ESV)
27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. 

I can't do a post about parents without mentioning Charlie's folks. 
 They are the BEST. 
 I love them dearly. 
 They are a constant support and love to this family. 
 They ALWAYS encourage us no matter what crazy turn our lives take or hair brain ideas we come up with.
They accept us and love us without condition!!!
They are examples to us in every way, but the most important way is that they love God and they love people.

Monday, June 10, 2013


Some of the moms from Luke and Esther’s class thought it would be fun to treat the kids to an afternoon  at the lake to celebrate their last day of school.  It was such a beautiful day and the kids were having a blast.  Charsie and Esther decided to swim out to the floating platform that designated the swimming area.  Many of the other kids had done it several times throughout the day already. 

As Esther and Charsie headed out I yelled to them, “Are you sure that is a good idea?”  I knew Esther was not an experienced swimmer at all.  Charsie yelled back that they were both doing just fine.  Charsie had taught Esther how to swim the first summer she was here, but it was just in our little yard pool. As I watched them swim away Esther was swimming beautifully.  Here’s the thing;  Esther is as strong as a horse and has athletic ability that is crazy amazing, BUT she does not know how to float or tread water.


She is like a sprinter.  It’s all good for a few seconds and then that is all she has.
As they got about halfway out there, something just didn’t look quite right.  It looked like they were playing and splashing each other.  All we could really see were the silhouettes of their heads and then their arms were just flailing around instead of “swimming”.  Lashae and I stood on the shore with the babies and I yelled out, “Are you OK?”  They didn’t respond and it was hard to see what was going on, all we could see was their heads bobbing up and down. 
  Pretty soon, Charsie yelled out, “HELP”.
Praise God, Charsie had just read an article the week before that said drowning does not look like drowning, and people do not usually call for help because they are spending all their energy gasping for air when they can get it.  Charsie recalled that article and used her precious breath to yell for help.
Esther had gotten tired and panicked and grabbed ahold of Charsie and was pulling her under, over and over again.  When Charsie yelled for help, she was already getting dizzy from lack of air.
I heard her, even though I don’t remember hearing her, but Lashae said I bolted the minute we heard “HELP”.  As I jumped in I was  yelling at Charsie the whole time, “Get away from her”, because I know that drowning people take others down with them, which is exactly what Esther was doing.
  Charsie broke away.  I got within arm’s length of Esther and she was coming up less and less often and barely high enough to gasp for air.  When I got to her I screamed, “STOP MOVING”.  
I knew if she got her hands on me, she would pull me down.  She is so strong.  
She looked at me like I have never seen anybody look at me, and she went dead still.  Her eyes looked right into my soul as if she had NO choice but to trust me, and she begged me with her eyes to help her.  I grabbed her face and kept her up above the water, as she laid there as still as could be.  I had yelled for a life jacket and Lashae heard me, and sent  Luke, and he got out there just moments after I reached Esther and had a life jacket to lay her on.  
We were both too exhausted to make it back without that help.  As I looked towards the shore for the first time, I could see the army of moms fully clothed coming to the rescue.  I can’t tell you how amazing it felt to know that my kids were out there fighting for their lives and every mom around came running with no questions or hesitation to do whatever they could to help.

It gives me the chills to even remember. 
  One of the mamas brought a noodle and I gotta tell ya, every bit of flotation was appreciated.  We were tired even though it all happened in just a few short minutes. 

But more that any piece of flotation the support and reassurance that I felt was incredible.  It makes me teary when I think about it.

 In the end, we were all fine.   We were a bit shaken up, but we are so grateful for how it turned out.   We finished the day playing, a bit more subdued, but enjoying the day and being extra grateful.  We have taken a few days to process it, as it happened so fast, and I get a bit choked up when I think about now.

I’m so thankful for God’s provision and protection to allow for things to turn out the way they did.


Charsie had read an article that saved her and Esther’s life, and she recalled it at the moment she needed it. 
  *God’s Provision*

Lashae and I heard Charsie yell for help. 
  *God’s Protection*

I was right there and I’m a pretty decent swimmer.
  *God’s Provision*

Charsie and Esther could hear my instructions in the midst of utter chaos and panic. 
  *My loud bossy yelling became a blessing* ha!  *Only God*

Esther heard me and trusted me and obeyed my instruction.  ON THE SPOT!!!  *God’s protection*  And I have to add, Esther has trust issues because of all that has gone on in her life, and that girl had a serious choice to make, and she trusted me, and that has been an incredible breakthrough for her and I.  *God’s Grace.*

 Lashae kept a cool head and alerted the other moms, and sent Luke out with a life vest.  She also kept the babies safe on shore, because once things were a tiny bit under control, I yelled in my own panic, 
 because I could see all the awesome mommies coming to the rescue and I remembered all the babies left on shore. 
  In my right mind I know these moms would never leave the little ones in danger, but I was not in my right mind at that moment. 

Praising God over and over and over again for all that He did for us that day.


One of the things that God keeps bringing to mind is: Psalms 46:10  Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted  among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

When we are drowning and flailing around in life, God tells us to be still.
  When Esther stopped flailing and grabbing I could help her, but she had to be still first.  
This is such a picture of how God is with us.  He is right there ready to help us, but we have to stop trying to save ourselves and pulling other people down with us and just

Thank you Lashae, and Jill, and Shonna, and Denise for your willingness to love me and my kiddos and for jumping in with EVERYTHING at a moments notice to HELP!!!!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ephesians 6:10-13

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

One of satan's favorite tools is discouragement.
Many times when we step out in faith there is this very real war that rages and it is called spiritual warfare.

Good news though:  God WINS!!!

 He is always faithful, but we live on a very fallen world with a very real enemy that hates us.

Charlie fell on the job,  and hooked his arm on a hangar and tore the crap out of his armpit.
He had to get multiple stitches right in his armpit. 

It would have been easy to get discouraged when you are bleeding all over the job and having to spend your hard earned money to go sew up your aching armpit.

But Charlie was getting ready to go, I threw our adoption medical form that has been needing to get done at Charlie and said...."Hey, if Dr. doesn't mind have him fill this out as well and it will save you a visit and it will get one more mark off the adoption "to do list".

Guess what????  Our Dr. , the coolest Dr. in the world, he stayed late to stitch Charlie in the clinic to save us a hospital visit and threw in an adoption physical to boot.

Now if that is not God turning ALL things for the good, I don't know what is.  We have laughed our heads off at the whole thing.  Charlie had a good overdue visit with Dr. and a stitched arm, and medical paperwork complete...I would say that was a productive end to everyone's day.   :)

Romans 8:28

English Standard Version (ESV)
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] forthose who are called according to his purpose.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


As I was needing confirmation from God a few weeks ago...which is nothing new.  He knows I'm one of His really needy children that constantly needs His direction confirmed in many ways.  He is so faithful and patient with me and He speaks to me and reassures me and reminds me of His word and His love over and over again. 


So I was having my regular "freak out" conversation with Him when we learned about our newest addition.  We felt like God was leading us to bring him into our family but I wanted to make 100% sure.  Even though this family addition happened so fast, we do not take the lives of people and especially the lives of our family lightly.  
These decisions are life changing for everyone involved and we can't do it without knowing it is God's plan and not ours.

I was asking God....

"Why him, why us, why now?"

God does not always answer the WHY question, but He spoke very clearly to my heart about the Good Samaritan Parable.

I read it over and over and have meditated on it, and it is just what I needed to know. 
 That it was God that brought us to our boy and He put him in front of us and we get to do everything we can to help him and love on him.

That's all I needed. 
 Now when things get hard and they will and they do...I just remember; 
God has this.
We just get to be a part  of something He is doing and that gives me peace and reassurance.

Luke 10:25-37

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii[a] and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

We came across a hurt child and we get to bind up his wounds.
  We have brought him into our home, and we are going to take care of him.  We get to be the ones to show him mercy and ultimately show him the love of Jesus.


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Why? Because Reece Says So.

Here is how the dinner conversation went last night:

Somehow...........the subject of "old" came up. 
 We were talking about age and like an idiot I asked if I was old. (I think I just needed a little affirmation ya know) and  Reece, who was sitting the closest to me looked me dead in the eye and said straight up,
 "Ummmm yah mom, look at your face",

 he was just being straight with me and honest as Reece can be.

Pointing out what is apparently so obvious to everyone else.  haha 
 So I did what I usually do in awkward situations which is to  throw Charlie under the bus. 
 This is not only my first line of defense in most uncomfortable situations, it is also involving the subject that I love to point out most often.... and THAT is,

 Charlie is WAYYYYYYY older than me.  :)

So I say, "Well is dad old?",
 Reece looks at me and just shakes his head like I'm clueless, 
and then Mikiyas pipes up and says, 

"Dad is not old, he is STRONG".

  Reece is nodding in obvious agreement the whole time.  
So now apparently I'm old and weak.
 Thanks Reece.  You rock buddy.  :)

In order to change the subject, I decide to ask Mikiyas about his life in Ethiopia. 
 We are trying to get to know our latest addition. 
 As  I'm asking pretty general questions, just trying to get a feel for his life before us,  Reece holds up his hand as if to declare a  new law, and says, 

 "That's it, he is staying here forever".  

If Reece says it.....I believe it!!!!!  

The kid just knows how to speak his mind and it's usually the truth. 
 At least the truth according to Reece.