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.

Saturday, June 28, 2014


How can we be so passionate about adoption and yet so sad over the brokenness of adoption at the same time? 
 This was one of the subjects discussed at the orphan conference I went to. 
 I can not get over it in my head.  This is exactly what I have struggled with for a LONG time. 

On one hand we celebrate when a child comes into a forever family and on the other hand we grieve the loss of their birth family.
How can I be so in favor of the exact things I am totally against???

We live in the tension.

 being FOR adoption     


 broken FOR adoption.

There is much in the media about how adoption is hurting people; the kids, and their birth family, and their adoptive family, and there is child trafficking, and  people breaking rules, and on and on........

 These are the cases that are getting the attention of the media.
 The media fails to share the stories of the millions of kids that are wasting away in garbage dumps and orphanages.
They are not talking about the kids that have NO family EVER to be found, or if they are found they want nothing to do with their children.
  These kids have no voice and nobody to give them a voice.   
I have children that would have had a very different life if the Lord had not laid it on our hearts to adopt. 
 I don't say that to give us any credit, it is almighty God that did this. 

  God knows we tried every excuse and reason that it wasn't right for us and then He came in and BROKE US!! 
 He broke our hearts. 
 You can't put a heart back together with "logic" and "more rules" or "more programs", you put it back together with sitting at the feet of Jesus and saying,

 But if we would have said's too hard, too expensive, too risky, too WHATEVER...where would they be, where would our hearts be??

We asked questions and we prayed our ever living guts out, we jumped through all the hoops, and followed all the rules, and hired all the people,  but there is
A LOT of unknown, a LOT of UNANSWERED questions.  
 Things we may never know about our kids' first years.  

I will tell you what it came down to for us......TRUSTING THE LORD!!!  
Begging Him to show us, guide us, and help us.

He is so faithful. 

There is no formula to follow.  
There is a broken system and rules that you must follow, but beyond THAT, every child and situation and circumstance are different. 
 These are LIVES, and no 2 look alike.

When you are talking about obedience in any area to God...I believe it always comes down to
 HIM and YOU.  
An intimate, personal relationship.  
He will NEVER go against His Word, so you start THERE and you stay there, and you PRAY and ask and listen.

So for me...the adoption conversation comes down to this, here's the perfect formula and system we are all looking for:


I thank God EVERY DAY that He did not just LEAVE me, but He sought me out and adopted me into His family.
I praise Jesus for being obedient unto death on a cross to make my adoption possible.
 I'm so glad He didn't put my "culture" or my "birth family" over the fact that I was His and He wanted me in His family.  Even though I didn't look like or act like one of His kids yet.

PS.  I have a great birth family and live in the greatest country on earth...and I still needed adopted by HIM to have eternal life with my heavenly Father.

Ephesians 1:3-6

English Standard Version (ESV)

Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us[a] for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Confession: I Hate Most Fundraisers

Here's another ugly confession:  I pretty much hate fundraisers.  

In my defense,when you have a zillion kids in a zillion activities it can be overwhelming. 
 I don't want people to dread seeing us coming towards them because  we are raising money for (blank)
 The whole truth is that even before I had a zillion kids I hated most fundraisers. 

I am the coaches most dreaded parent that will only let my kids do the MINIMUM to be eligible for their sport or whatever it is they are required to raise money for.  As a result, I usually have too many sunflower seeds in the cupboard or cookie dough in the freezer, because I end up buying whatever the minimum requirement is.  

So, of course when we needed to raise a whole bunch of money to adopt Esther, I asked God MANY MANY times to just send us a check, a big job, ANYTHING but a fundraiser. 
 So, OF COURSE, instead of sending us a check, He gave me an idea for a fundraiser.  

 God used this fundraiser to be a huge huge part of the whole testimony of
 He did so many cool things through so many cool people during that event.  
We were humbled and blessed beyond words, STILL to this very day over a
Living proof that He can use anybody and anything He wants to....especially our weaknesses.
To make a long testimony short, we ended up with our horse trailer given back to us, and new lifetime friends that have been AMAZING mentors to us, out of a horse trailer raffle.
Who would have known?
 Only God!

He used the whole experience to increase our faith and to remind us and show us of His faithfulness.

I am still not a fan of hardly ANY fundraisers.
  I know that is probably a crappy attitude, but it is the truth.

But God! 
 Once in a while I feel STRONGLY that the Lord is nudging me to get on board of a fundraiser, whether a supporter or an organizer. 
 I prefer when He asks me to support, because I know He will provide for everything He is asking me to give, but then when He lays on my heart to organize one, I don't always have the same faith. 
It's easier to believe Him in the privacy of my own checkbook; it's a bit more risky to put myself out there. 

I say ALL that to say, I am as super excited for putting together a 
It's definitely the LORD doing a work in me for me to be seriously excited.

 The run is in conjunction with xHope and Redeemer House RUN 4 ADOPTION in California, and this year all the proceeds from the Powell Butte RUN 4 ADOPTION will go towards bringing 
Eddie Freauff home to his forever family.  

More details coming soon.

Thursday, June 26, 2014


Christians, we have to stop it! 
  We debate and discuss and preach and blog and facebook and all the ways we think people should do, or should not do missions, ministry, church, family, marriage, jobs, raising kids, adoption, sports, and life in general.

Our main job as Christians is to love God and love people and with that as our heart, we will be compelled to go and make disciples.
  The ones that ARE doing this, HOWEVER they are doing it, here or there, to these people or those people, for a week or a lifetime, all over the world or in our yard, we are ALL to just,
cheer one another on like crazy people.

I was laughing to myself thinking of how us Christians today would have responded to Jonah and the testimony of  his mission trip to Nineveh. 
  We would have debated and discussed the effectiveness of being swallowed by a fish and some would say that it was not really cost effective, and that he was not safe or responsible.
   Some would say that Jonah should have just sent money, and started with a smaller fish and worked his way up, and some would say that he should have stayed longer or shorter in the fish and in Ninevah. 
He should have learned the language and the culture before he tried to convert them.  He should have washed off the fish slime before preaching, or maybe he should preach with the fish slime on. 
  And others would have jumped in the ocean hoping to get swallowed by a big fish so they could have the same testimony and ministry as Jonah, thinking that it worked once and so it must be the most effective way to do missions…it must be the “formula” of the day. 

God help us…..we keep looking for the formula…the way to do what God has called us to do…and we keep  forgetting to LOOK to Jesus and just doing what He tells us.

This is what He commanded us to do:

Mark 12:29-31

English Standard Version (ESV)
29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

This is what He commissioned us to do:

Matthew 28:18-20

English Standard Version (ESV)
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

And this is how:

Mark 12:29-31

English Standard Version (ESV)
29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Born and Born Again

Birth and rebirth are my 2 favorite events in the whole world.

They are both incredible miracles from God.

He is the only one that can give life and life eternal.

Psalm 139:13

For you formed my inward parts;
    you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

He knit babies together in their mother’s womb and he also made a way for us to be born again and live eternally with Him. 

1 Peter 1:3-5

The Message (MSG)
3-5 What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.

 Both events are gifts from God and bring about 
that only He can give.

I have had the privilege and honor of attending a few births. 
 Some I was a participant and some I just got to cheer and pray. 
I NEVER will tire of the miracle of watching a baby be born.  

I recently got to witness the miracle of my newest grand baby come into this world.
It is a joy that is beyond words or explanation.

I have been witness and cheerleader to a some 
"born again" 
experiences as well.

John 3:6-7

English Standard Version (ESV)
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’


I'm in awe of what the Lord has done to give us NEW life.

Sometimes we just have to give HIM a big 'ole clap and praise for the great things He has done!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

Fathers have the most amazing calling and title in the world.  For a man to be called father is the biggest honor on this planet, in my opinion.  I realize it comes with a huge amount of responsibility, but also the greatest rewards known to man.   It’s awesome that God would allow His son’s to share in the love and the joy of being a father. 

I think God has an extra tuned-in ear for the prayers of a father because He knows what it's like to be a father.  I know He understands a father’s heart more than we could ever begin to imagine. 

When I think of fathers, I think of sacrifice. 
Sacrifice of themselves;  their time, and energy, and money every single day.

  God sacrificed His only Son because of His great love for us.  There is no greater love than that. 
I know the fathers on this earth all fall short of that sort of perfect love, but I think their love is the closest it gets on this earth to that kind of love.
  The kind of sacrificial love that can do the hardest things, for the greater purpose. 

Father’s that know God and His love are capable of loving with a love that is out of this world.  They love, even  when it hurts or costs them everything and even when they may get nothing in return.

 I have been blessed in my life to be surrounded by some of the best fathers on earth.

  My father is a true father, with a father's love and a love for the Father.
  He has loved sacrificially, and provided generously, and pointed all his children to God the Father.

Happy Father’s day to my dad. 
 Thanks for being such a great father to me and my sisters.

My man is also a father of a bunch of kids and he has a true father’s heart. 
He gives and gives and gives and works his ever-loving head off, but the best thing he does is points his kids to his Father in heaven. 

Happy Father's Day to my man!

My dad and my man are 2 of the best I've ever known.

  They have both made mistakes along the way, but here’s the thing that makes them so great, they love the Lord and they love their kids and love covers any mistakes that are made along the way. 

1 Peter 4:8

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

 These dad’s give their kids the greatest gift they can give; they are Jesus followers and they know who their Father God is.
  They always look to Him and ask for help and also for forgiveness.   
They are covered in love and grace by their Father and they pass it right on to their children. 

The best a father on this earth can do, is pass on the love of the Father.

Happy Father’s Day to my man.  
Thank you for being such an incredible father to our children. 

This is how my man spent his Father's Day weekend. 
 He flew into Billings, Montana and hit the ground running. 

 He built a deck for the Bowen Bunch.

He held his brand new grand baby and then gathered up the rest of his family,
and drove us 14 hours home.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Shawnie Grace

This is who I have had the privilege of spending my week with.
This little family just grew by 8lbs and 9oz of yummy miraculous love.

Introducing:  Shawnie Grace Bowen
   born on June 10, 2014 @ 6:35am

Me, Esther, Maezie and Reece all got to come to Montana for the arrival of our newest family member. 

I am so thankful for this GRAND baby and the opportunity to come and love on her and her big sister and her mommy.
I am in love!!! 

Thank you Lord for the opportunity to come and love on these little loves.

Thank you Charsie for holding the fort down at home.
Thank you Grumpa Chuck for letting me come and play Nay Nay for a few days.

I am BLESSED!!!!!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Stop Acting Like an Orphan

I have orphan behavior. 
 How does an orphan act?
 *I realize this does not apply to's just a bit of my experience and observation of orphans that have been left to fend for themselves.* 

No trust.  Total fear.
Acting out of self preservation and self reliance.

We have a child who is no longer an orphan.
*praise the Lord*
  God has graciously and lovingly placed this child into our family and they are no longer an orphan, no more an orphan than I am.

 But this child can slip back into orphan behaviors sometimes.
What I have come to realize is that I slip into "orphan behavior" with God many times.

I have a family that has always been there for me,  but more importantly I have a 
heavenly Father
who said He will never leave me or forsake me.
  He said He will always provide all that I need.
  He will guide me and tell me when and where to go and He will take care of

 But, I still don't always trust.  I slip into fear, and self-reliance.
  When He gives me things, I only want more.
 I seek His hand and not His face.

 I often try to figure out how I got Him to "give" the time before, so I can do it again.
 As if His goodness depends on me.
It doesn't!!!
He is good and He is GOD no matter what I do.
He is looking for my heart to trust Him....not my behavior to be modified out of selfish desires.
I need to know Him and trust that He is with me; he is completely trustworthy and faithful.

is what I want to say to my child and to myself when we are acting out of fear, rather than trust.
 Jesus said,

John 14:18-20

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

This verse has significantly more meaning now that I understand what an "orphan" acts like.  Many times an orphan that is not cared for by a family during crucial developmental stages will attach to about anything or anybody at the drop of a hat, because of learned behavior, it is survival. 
Their brains tell them, "I will modify my behavior and attach to whatever comes around the corner because I have to look after myself."
 Many times, even after orphans have been adopted into a loving family they have a hard time adjusting to all that being in a family means.

 They will modify behavior and attach (superficially) to anything or anybody except for their family.  The ones that are now providing for them and loving them will be kept at an arms length, or a hearts trust away.

I have noticed, that when things are good, it's really good. If things get really hard, then my child knows where to go in the end.  

in the day to day trust of basic daily things, it can be a struggle.

Isn't this how we treat God so many times, we thank Him, or rather give Him a little fly-by prayer when we are happy and getting what we want, 
 if we are desperate we will turn to Him.

But, I wonder how much we are missing to just enjoy Him and the benefits of being His children EVERYDAY in EVERYDAY situations.

I wonder what life would look like to live in the confidence and freedom of being 
all day everyday.

It has occurred to me so many times that I tend to keep my heart at an arms length from God.

 God has adopted me into His family.

He pursued me and loves me and provides for me and protects me. 
 And yet,  I often times look everywhere, but to Him to do these things on a daily basis.
 I act as if I have to figure it out for myself.

 God is my Father and He is faithful and that is the freedom and security I need to live in every single day.

Ephesians 1:5-6

 In love  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Here's an example of the difference:

Kids that have never had an "orphan" experience and live with trust and security in their family will ask, "What is for dinner?"

A person with "orphan behavior" will say,
 "Are we having dinner tonight?"

  It is a lack of trust....even though EVERY single time that child has been in a family they have gotten dinner...they still question and don't trust that dinner will be provided

I have personally experienced God's faithfulness over and over and over...I have read about it in the Bible, and heard testimony of countless people of God's faithfulness in their lives, and yet, I act as if I don't always know if He will actually come through

 I want to come to the point in my faith and trust with God to ask,
 "What amazing blessing will I get this time?"
"Please just help me if you can or would."

I want to trust and believe that He loves me and will provide for me.  

I want to live and love in that freedom and confidence of who I am in Christ.

I have learned how hurtful it is to see a child not trust because they can't quite embrace what it means to be in a forever family and a cherished and loved child.

I can only imagine how much more my God desires for me to TRUST Him and embrace what it means to be a child of God!  

Romans 8:15For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”