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.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Happy Birthday Esther

Esther is 12 today!!!  (23rd of February)

I'm amazed and incredibly thankful that God trusted me to be Esther's mom.  Being her mom for almost 2 years now has been one of the most growing, and challenging and wonderful and blessed experiences of my life.
Charsie and Kennedy and Esther.  Kennedy and Esther have been good friends since day 1.  Kennedy is the daughter of one of our bestest friends and closest neighbors in the world.  When we adopted Esther, they adopted her just the same. 

Parenting Esther and the journey to adopt her has been "the thing" that has drawn me closer to Jesus more than any other experience in my life.  
Parenting Esther, who is an absolute awesome kid, but a kid that has endured much heartache and hardship, has taught me a lot about this world and about myself.
  Most of which I don't like what I've learned.  
  I'm not as patient as I need to be, I'm not as loving as I need to be, and the world is full of evil. 

  I have also learned more about God than I ever knew before.  
 God is totally faithful, and has revealed Himself to me. He has shown me His love and His kindness and His patience in such a real and  personal way.
As I grow and learn I can see a bit more of Him and less of me.

God has used our Esther to open our eyes to things that are hard to see and opened our ears to things that are hard to hear, and we will never be the same. 
 The things we have seen and heard and learned through Esther's adoption, are things we needed to see and hear and learn to grow in our walk with the Lord to learn to love Him more and to learn to love others more.  

Sisters and friends.

We went to dinner to celebrate Esther's birthday, and I sat amazed as I stared into these brown faces and I could see what 
 could bring about in less than 2 years.

All these girls, from Redeemer House Orphanage, now in families within a 15 mile radius, clear across the world from where they started.  
(in more ways than one)

Only God knew what He was doing and we just got to be the blessed ones that got the privilege of being a part of His work. 
 His Blessing!!!

Charlie and I laughed as we sat at dinner and marveled at all that we were looking at and then we were astonished at how PERFECTLY God matched all these families with the kids that He did.  He picked the exact family for each of these beautiful girls and you could see it so plainly. 
 Even with a different skin color we could see the resemblance that each girl had to her family.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

Labor of Love

Charlie and I just got involved on the board of a ministry that we care DEEPLY about.
 We know this ministry we know and love these people. 

We went to our first meeting and it was 8 of the hardest most precious hours I've spent in a LONG time.
  It was a meeting that discussed tough issues and important decisions.

   It was a meeting that was about the body of Christ and serving and vision and relationships and communication and
 and how we do that in a broken world with broken people. 

The hours were hard and frustrating at times and emotional at times, but there was 
 present and

 took a group of people and worked out some tough stuff and gave vision and purpose and unity.

God is love
 and love is what it is all about, and anyone who is invested 100% in loving God and loving people knows that with people comes differences and communication and it's all very hard work. 

I know that most of us would be more comfortable physically working HARD for 8 hours than to WORK through people and relationship stuff for 8 hours.

God called us to LOVE.
 To love God and to Love people!  
Loving God is hard because we get messed up and keep trying to earn it or put it in a formula and it is about a day to day
Loving people is hard because people are messed up.

The beauty of it all is where God and His Word are present (and I can assure there was) and people that are willing to work through it all and keep going to
 God in prayer 
and His Word for guidance

 there is beauty and joy and a body that can love and work together and let God use it in ways that we could never think or imagine on our own.  

I know there were times in the 8 hours that I wanted to be done...kinda like just want to be DONE, but once you push through there is this birth of knowing you are a part of something that is
a work 
 can do and it is all

This kind of work is a

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines!

 This is my man, my Bofriend!! 

 My man that just gets better the older he gets. 

 Now that he is a Grumpa he is even better than ever.

  There is nothing finer than a silver haired cowboy holding a baby. 

 Well, that's my man....he had me at hello, or maybe it was goodbye...because as you know, he has the sexiest wrangler butt I have ever seen.  

We are not romantic AT ALL, but we are definitely in LOVE.  
 He asked me 24 years ago today to marry him.  Of course since I was a senior in high school....we kept it quiet until he asked my dad the week AFTER I graduated.  

Since it is Valentines...I must also mention my dad.  He is the big guy right in the middle.  He has always always always spoiled his girls on Valentines. 
 My dad is a sucker for pretty girls and he has always thought his girls were pretty. 
 He would hardly let us out of the house without our


  To this very day...when I leave the house I can hear him reminding me..."Where is your lipstick and earrings".  My dad has always treated his girls well, and on Valentines he always gives us something cute to sleep in.  All us girls, his 4 daughters and his wife, always get matching jammies.
 (I think he wants us looking cute when we sleep because he is secretly hoping for more grandkids).  Hahahahaha!!!!  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Maubry's Dedication and Moving

 Maubry Ann was dedicated on Sunday. 

 It was a glorious day with a lot of family and friends. 
 Maubry is a very loved baby.
  There are already so many people in her young life that pray for her and love her.  

I think Maubry has a few words for the congregation.

 I am having a range of emotions. 
 Sunday - was a wonderful day of celebration and dedication
 today - was a day of good-byes.

I really stink at good-byes.

  The Bowen family is headed back to Montana.  They have a great job waiting for their arrival.  I'm extremely thankful for the months that God has allowed them to be living with us, and I'm thankful for the job they have in Montana.
  I'm most thankful that they have each other and that they know Jesus and they follow Him and hear Him and He guides and directs them.

I'm SAD though.  I MISS them already!!!  

These 2 little loves have become bestest friends.  It has been such a joy watching them together.  

Philippians 1:3-6

The Message (MSG)

A Love That Will Grow

3-6 Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Psalm 150

English Standard Version (ESV)

Let Everything Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens![a]
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Praise him with trumpet sound;
    praise him with lute and harp!
Praise him with tambourine and dance;
    praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

I have some things to PRAISE the Lord for!!!

  Charlie is working VERY close to home now.  
The timing was all too was just moments before I totally lost my sanity AND it was the same exact day he finished up all he could do where he was currently working.  God's timing is so perfect.

Lashae and Chaney got a great job in Montana.
I'm so thankful that we got to spend the last 7 months with them.
We will miss them a ton, especially my precious Maubry, but I know this is a good move for them, so I am thankful.

Kole is coming home for his Spring Break!!
And he is bringing a friend from school.  I just can't wait to meet him.   I love getting to know my kids' friends.  I hope we don't scare him!

There are many more, but these are my top 3 today!!!!

Just one more....we are going to see Maubry and Chaney and Lashae too (of course :) ) during the kids' Spring Break.


So much to be thankful for!!!!!

Friday, February 1, 2013


Me and my girls.  Oh how blessed I am.

Nay Nay (me) and Grumpa embracing our new roles as grandparents. It's the BEST!!!

My favorite family on the planet!!!!

My awesome boys!!!!
Knowing full well we have another season of "change" coming our way....I'm just LOVING the time we have had in this last season and especially the holidays.  

God is so so so good!!!