Mom on a Mission

Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Happy Birthday Kole!

Happy Birthday Kole! 
“22”
Kole came into the world with more boldness than anyone I’ve ever known.
I was a week overdue and I woke up out of a dead sleep with a contraction that meant business; and I think it was one hour later Kole came flying into the world.

He came boldly.


Nothing has changed for Kole, when he believes in what he is doing and the direction he is going he goes with boldness and fearlessness.

It’s rare to find a person with the boldness that Kole has, that their boldness does not translate into arrogance; Kole has a humility about him that is rare in light of the boldness. 


Kole is bold enough to ask anyone and everyone questions if he needs to understand something. 
 He is bold enough to ask and humble enough to listen.

Kole’s life looks like a failure if you weigh is against the world’s definition of success.
Kole is 22 years old and lives at home and works for his dad.
To the world this looks like lazy failure.
Kole has another kingdom in mind with his life though….Kole is not working to build a kingdom for himself, Kole is working for God’s Kingdom and the the path that the Lord has set him on, is a path that looks crazy to the world, but if you stop long enough to hear Kole’s heart and the convictions and the goals that God has placed in him, you see a man who is following Jesus with humble boldness and is willing to sacrifice his plans and time and talents and give it ALL to the ONE who gave him everything.

Kole is a Kingdom builder,
 and he is learning and growing and submitting to the plan that God has for his life.


One of my favorite character traits about Kole has is that he will easily have the same conversation with the same boldness and passion with the most important person in the room as he will the biggest outcast in any setting on any day. 


I remember when Kole was 4 years old we were getting a yard put in at our house and the landscapers that were working were taking frequent smoke breaks.
  Kole was so upset, not because he thought they were bad, he thought they were so cool and they were his new buddies and he knew smoking was bad for them.
He asked me several times if he could go and let them know that smoking was bad for them. 
 I told him “NO, leave them alone, they don’t need a 4 year old telling them anything."
Kole literally snuck out of the house with his batman cape on so he could help save his new buddies from death by smoking. 
 He told them what he was convicted to tell them and then he came in and told on himself. 

 Kole is super honest and his boldness and conviction may override all fear, but then he has to come clean about it.


I love you Kole and I am so thankful for where you are right now in life,
AND
 the direction you are headed, no matter where it leads you and when you 
GO!


I love that whatever you do, you do it with all your heart, and then when and if, God changes it up, you make the adjustments and GO boldly full steam ahead!

1 Timothy 1:18-19New Living Translation (NLT)

18 Timothy,* (or Kole)* my son, here are my instructions for you, based on the prophetic words spoken about you earlier. May they help you fight well in the Lord’s battles. 19 Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked.
*addition made by Jenay :) , personalized it for Kole.*

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Wife Is Home For A Visit.

Husbands!  I GET IT!!!  Wives STOP IT!!! 
 Stop being mad at your men!!!
I flew my wife in last night and I FINALLY understand how a man feels when he gets home from work.  It's like I couldn't remember how dinner happened.  I couldn't for the life of me remember how the kids get to bed every night.  I honestly forgot that I had kids.  I just sat relaxed and at peace knowing that all the people that happen to be stirring around in the house were happy and fed and clean and clothed.  All was right in the world.  

Wives, what you don't understand is, that it's not that your husband is trying to sit in the chair and fall asleep, it's just that he is at such peace and feels such love that he can't keep his eyes open.

I wanted to just have things in order and have my wife come home to a real oasis, but it just couldn't happen. 
 It was all I could do to get to the airport in one piece.

I brought my wife home and felt such joy in my heart and peace that I immediately headed for the chair and watched the beauty of family and dinner just fall into place, it was AMAZING.
  I sat there, and then when I got out of the chair, I got ready for bed, just me, just got myself in my pajamas and brushed ONLY my own teeth, and said goodnight to everyone and slept like a baby, straight through the whole night,
  I slept so sound and so peacefully.
  It was something I haven't experienced since my wife left.
  I got up this morning, rested and refreshed, and didn't give one instruction to ANYONE...just got in my running clothes and ran out the door.  It was as if I didn't have a care in the whole wide world.

Tomorrow morning I will get in the car in the EARLY EARLY hours with my coffee in hand and I will be amazed that once AGAIN the bags and kids have managed to load themselves in the car.
My bag will even have managed to get packed and in the car.  I will just show up in all my glory and it will be alllllllllllllllllll taken care of.
I will be thankful! 

I will look over at Charsie my wife and think to myself, 
"WOW!!!!  She is a WRECK....I am so glad I have seen to it that I give her this amazing BREAK...she needs it so much more than I thought."

I will watch her drop silent tears of exhaustion and think that she is just so thankful for this vacation that I have agreed to and provided for.


Wives!!!!  Our men LOVE us, they just love us so much and they are so confident at what "gets done" that they don't stress or worry.
Wives!!!!  WE are appreciated, we are LOVED. 


This picture is the moment when my wife was passing the baton to my "wife-in-training".
 Wife-in-training has been doing an amazing job, but we have only been together for 5 years TOTAL, my old wife had 18 years of growing in her wifely ways.  
It takes a long time to train a wife and when you just get thrown in and only have 5 years of training, it's rough.  New marriage is always hard and then you add LOTS AND LOTS of kids right off the bat  and it's really hard.

Honestly, this picture is, is my wife telling my new wife,
 "MOM NEEDS A LOT OF HELP!!!! 
 She can't do this on her own....SHE NEEDS US!!!! 
THE KIDS NEED US, DAD NEEDS US!!! 
You can DO THIS!!!"  


This is a picture that says it all.....this is my husband and wife-in-training, and one of the kids.  
They are TERRIFIED!!!!! 
 They are absolutely TERRIFIED!!!!

They knew this could turn out really really bad!!!! 
They know how I am without my wife.  
WE ALL KNOW I NEED HER!

So when my wife flew in last night for a visit, there was rejoicing because she has come home for a visit, but there was also rejoicing that we have made it! 
 We have made it without my wife and we have survived!!!!
We are going to be OK!!!!! 

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day To My 2 Dads.

Happy Father's Day to my 2 dads!

    My dad!



My dad is a man that brings a presence.  When my dad walks in a room, everyone knows it.
  My dad is large and in charge.
My dad is big and always looks and smells strong and amazing.

My dad is a living testimony of how God is gracious and pursues His children and loves them ferociously.
 My dad has lived a passionate life of all kinds of extremes and God always brings him back to Himself.
  I look at the relationship my dad has had with the Lord in his life and he has lived in total rebellion at times, and he has lived in total submission at times and Jesus
 NEVER NEVER NEVER
 let him go.
 He has loved him the same every single day.
There have been seasons of sweet communion with Jesus and times of harsh discipline and through it all Jesus LOVES my dad and holds him close, and my dad has fallen in love with Jesus over and over again.

This year I have watched my mom and dad sell everything and take a giant leap of faith to just let go of everything familiar and just seek and ask the Lord what is next for them.
 I have seen them live more humbly and with less worldly possessions than I ever have before and yet, I see them with more than I ever have seen them have.

More Love.
    More joy.
 More peace.
  More patience.
More kindness.
More goodness.
More faithfulness.
and
More self-control.

 My dad is a huge planner, by nature, and it has been crazy to watch him just let go of "his" plan and just walk in faith and tackle things as they come and make plans and change plans,
 and constantly look to the Lord for the next step.

My dad has had more than his share of health problems and so many surgeries, over the years....but this last surgery, a few months ago, was planned to be another big heart surgery.
  He came out of there with NOTHING.
  The surgeons did nothing.
  They put a scope in his heart and it looked CLEAN.
The Dr's got to see on the inside what we have witnessed on the inside.
Psalm 51:3-17
For I know my transgressions,

    and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
10 
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right[b] spirit within me.
11 
Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 
Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

    and sinners will return to you.
14 
Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
    God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 
O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.



The other dad in my life is the DAD of my kids.
Charlie.  
He is the DAD of my kids and so many many kids with no dad.
Charlie in Uganda working on Redeemer House.
This is Charlie in Kenya working at an orphanage.
 It seems no matter where we are or what we are doing, my man ends up on his knees.
His outside posture is an outward expression of his heart posture.
 .
He serves, he works, he prays, he is humble.



Psalm 95:6-7 (ESV)

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;

    let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!
For he is our God,
    and we are the people of his pasture,
    and the sheep of his hand.

The phrase that comes to mind when I think of my man is,
 "He is ALWAYS the clean-up guy."
He seems to come in late so many times because I have usually jumped in and thrown every kid we have in the mix and the whole time we are running around like a bunch of crazies, Charlie has been on his knees,
 serving, working, praying,  and humbling himself.

And then when the timing is right and I've worn myself and the kids into exhaustion,
 and we look to our leader on his knees, he
STANDS UP.........HE STANDS STRONG.

  All the humble time on his knees has given him a perspective that nobody else has seen and he is ready to
STAND UP, STAND STRONG
and
CLEAN UP AND FINISH STRONG.
  This has happened in so many situations of our lives throughout the years, and it always throws me for a loop.
I am flipping out and running on high, and he seems to not be seeing or feeling or doing anything, and then he
 STANDS UP and GIVES THE KNEE PERSPECTIVE.

He then gets back on his knees and 
cleans up and finishes strong.

Charlie is always the LAST to leave, last to leave the job, or the party.
  And he doesn't just hang out and leave last, he cleans up, finishes up, and makes sure everything and everyone is in order.

This is my man being the clean up guy last night.
  I was DONE, worn out, finished with kids for the day, so what does a clean up Dad do on Father's Day week-end, he sits in the recliner and puts his 2 youngest to sleep.
He has had a longer day than any of us, and yet he is the last one standing.


Saturday, June 18, 2016

My Testimony.

This is a long 'ole post, and pretty personal.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE hearing other people's story and I LOVE sharing other people's story.  I'm not a huge fan of sharing my own....but I have felt like the Lord wanting me to be vulnerable and to trust Him and share my testimony that I gave several months ago at a ladies breakfast at our church.


I have always struggled with giving my testimony.  I am thankful for my testimony, and I can cover it in about 1 min. if I am just giving the testimony of how I was saved. I was raised in a Christian home and I learned about Jesus from a young age and I wanted to give my life to him and I prayed and asked him into my heart and then when I was about 8 my grandpa baptized me.  I have believed as long as I can remember.

BUT here is the problem…..every single human that has been posed with the question….
“Do you want to ask Jesus in your heart and when you die you can go be in heaven for eternity?”  would say YES!!!!  I didn’t understand what I was saying yes to.
I wanted to go to heaven…but it didn’t really matter if Jesus was there or not.

I believe I was saved even from that young age with all that lack of understanding…because God is God and He is full of grace and mercy.  Jesus has always been a part of my life, but that was it, for a long long time…just a part of MY life, kinda like the cherry on top of my ice cream life.  I went through all the motions and did all the stuff, most of the time, and when I didn't I just asked for forgiveness and moved on.  I didn’t understand the beauty of who Jesus was or what He had really done for me.  I didn't understand the depth of my sin or the beauty of GRACE.
  Heaven definitely sounded better than Hell and I am a people pleaser by nature, and so being a God “pleaser” fell right in line with that.

If I stopped there it would be like stopping into a bunker during war time and saying that the field in front of us is full of green grass and flowers and it is beautiful and a piece of cake…but for those of you that have been out in the "field" or lived more than a few years of life, I bet you aren’t experiencing green pastures and pretty flowers???
Or experiencing rainbows and puppies everyday…..

NOOOOO!  It’s not true…it’s a war zone out there.  There is beauty but there are land mines and dead bodies everywhere.  My  true testimony and any true testimony is the struggle in life and the only way to make it out alive with any LIFE in you is to cling to Jesus…..but there is bombs going off everywhere even with Jesus in our lives.  
We are living in a battle field. And as I see the beauty of who Jesus is more and more…I long to be with him in heaven…not just my loved ones that have passed on before me.

I have learned I need Jesus to be real and alive and active everyday in my life.  I have learned and continue to learn that He is trustworthy and praise worthy and beautiful.


I understood forgiveness to a point I knew I had done wrong and continued to do wrong, and needed forgiveness and was thankful for forgiveness….but again didn’t fully understand and didn’t see the beauty, just saw the mechanics.
  I needed forgiveness and Jesus had what I needed so
 THERE, DONE DEAL. 
I was lacking LOVE and GRATITUDE and AWE for what JESUS had done for me. 

There’s been a couple of “markers” in my life that have absolutely rocked my world and started to open my eyes and my heart to his beauty.   I’m so glad God continues to teach and grow us.  I am a slow growing child.  SLOWWWWWW  toooooo slowwwwwwww. 
As I am maturing I am bummed about the time that I allowed myself to stay immature.  If I had it to do over again…..I would spend the time and invest in getting to know Jesus so much sooner and so much better.  But, I can’t go back, but I can encourage others to hit the ground running, and I think that is why I’m passionate about teaching…..I want people to learn and grow because once you know and you begin to grow you begin to see the beauty of Jesus and you don’t want to just be saved from hell, you want to live your life for Him every day.


A few of the “marks”…kind of like a growth chart….. that have made me grow and begin to open my eyes to the beauty of Jesus is my youngest sister Shauna.  She had a similar childhood to mine, but she began to change in a way I didn't even recognize her…it was so strange…I could hear it in her voice.  We lived apart so we talked on the phone and rarely saw each other….but her voice changed, is the only way I can explain it.  She talked in a way I had never heard from her before.
 I knew whatever had changed her voice….I wanted. 
The only thing I knew to do was get into God’s word because that is what she did….I had been in Bible studies and church my whole life, but I got into HIS WORD for real for myself and I prayed.  God would wake me up for a season between 330am and 400 CONSISTENTLY to spend time with HIM.  I would pray and read and I would not be sleepy it was one of the strangest and sweetest times of my life.  I journaled like a mad person.  He would show me things in His word and it was jumping off the page. 
I soaked myself in His word. 
I read it cover to cover several times in a row.   That is how hungry I was.  
Once I got a taste I couldn’t get enough and still crave His word every single day.
 I go through dryer spells and when that happens it’s me not God that gets dull or dry…but I still hunger for his word even in those times…and that is an appetite that only comes from him… TO HIM BE ALL THE GLORY!!!

The next big marker for me was when Charlie and Lashae went to Uganda on a mission trip.  I had spent most of my life (my “Christian” life) pretty against missions.  I thought they were fine and all, but until everyone in my community and this country were saved….why spend money or time outside of THAT.

God absolutely demolished that thinking.  That is a whole testimony in itself, but l will say that He changed my heart and opened my eyes and I see the beauty of missions.  I see that God could save the whole world in 1 second if he wanted to…He could feed all the hungry people, he could heal all the sick, and he could put all the orphans in families….but I see now, that He has asked us, His people to “GO” and He would be with us.  And when we don’t go or invest in missions in a very personal way…it’s not THEM that’s missing out, it’s US! 
I promise with all my heart…I am a living testimony of this.
God has it totally rigged…we think we are to go and serve and bless others and it’s always US that is BLESSED, and I know every missionary short or long term  that I have ever talked to would say the same thing.

The next huge “marker” for me was adoption.  When we adopted Esther and then Mik, I came to understand in such a hard and real, and live it out kinda way, what my adoption into God’s family is. 
I will sum it up like this…. It’s not a perfect theological analogy…but it’s a good tangible living in my house kinda example….because I didn’t understand MY adoption into God’s family  prior to DOING it in my family.

God sought me out…He did all the work….it cost Him everything and He did it before I even knew Him, He did it when I was totally rebellious to Him and He was patient when I acted like he was not trustworthy.  It is such a process and continues to be with my  adopted kids…they have trouble trusting that there will be food and clothing and shelter EVERY single day and we won’t just up and leave them someday.  The process of watching them learn to trust has taught me a lot about my relationship with God.  I have had to learn to trust Him as my provider and protector, because it doesn’t come natural to me, but despite my lack of trust
HE IS SO FAITHFUL. 

I’m still in the major learning stage of the next 2 markers in my walk with God.
God has me on a major growth spurt right now (and if you know anything about growing…there's always pain in the process…thus the word “growing pains”.  I'm growing in understanding about
 GRACE and FORGIVENESS.

I know it sounds elementary, but seriously God never runs out of ways to teach us new things or old things in new ways.
I have recently come to realize that
Grace is very scary to me.
  I like to live and parent by law.
 I love grace – Grace is what saved me and allows me to stand righteous before God.  Grace is what allows me to live eternally in heaven with my Lord and Saviour.

The biggest thing that scares me about GRACE is that I don’t trust myself or my kids or husband,
I’m scared if we fully understand the freedom and the gift of grace we will go wild – in other words I don’t trust God to be God and to keep us in line using his Holy Spirit in us.

I want to control myself and my kids and I hold the law over all our heads often times.  I constantly remind myself and them the consequences of sin and then maybe the fear will keep us all lined out.  This is a vicious exhausting cycle.

Because I have lived with such fear, I saw my sin and the damage of it pretty minimal and I knew that I had been forgiven and was pretty thankful for that forgiveness, but lacked the passion about God’s GRACE and FORGIVENESS.
 I have seen people that have been lost for a lot longer and experienced the consequences of their sin, and once JESUS changed them, they had such
 GRATITUDE and LOVE for JESUS.
 I wanted the passion and the love without going backwards.

I have been praying that Jesus would be my first love.  He talks in Rev. to the church of Ephesus about all these things they have done right…but they have forgotten their first love

Rev. 2:2 
 I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 

I felt like Jesus was never truly my first love…maybe for a day here and a day there or a church camp week or something…but that can’t eat, can’t sleep, can’t think about anything else kinda love didn’t happen for me until I got into His Word and got to know Jesus personally …and then it was still pretty spotty and mechanical at times.


I have had the same amount of love for people and things in my life as I had for Jesus….I have loved my babies and my hubby (sometimes) and my grand kids and running and food and sleep and all kinds of things to the same extent and sometimes with more passion and commitment than my love for Jesus.
                                                                                               
I had been asking Jesus to make me love him like my first love…because the love that I have for Him has to come from Him.
  I wanted my love for my family to look like hate compared to my love for Jesus like is says in Luke 14:26  and that was just NOT the case.
Luke 14:26 (ESV)
26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters,yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 

I loved Him but I felt locked up and I know there is more to be had…

Awhile back I was listening to a John Piper radio broadcast on the computer and he talked about the story in Luke 7 about the lady that washed Jesus feet with her tears…and then later in the chapter the parable in Luke 7:41-50 and I heard it in a fresh way that ripped my heart into a new found love for HIM.



To sum up the text, in Luke  7:47 it says:
47 Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.

John Piper pointed out that perhaps even the sin that Jesus has spared us from is something to be just as grateful for.


When I heard it put that way……..it’s like my life and all the sin that I committed and could have committed flashed before my very eyes.  I was weak in the knees literally thinking about all the sin that I did and the sin I didn’t do but could have.  I have committed every single sin known to man in my heart…but some (very few) I didn’t act upon, THANKS BE ONLY TO JESUS.
That is GRACE GRACE GRACE and it made me fall in love with my Lord at the kitchen counter like a freaking tidal wave.


1 John 3:15 (ESV)
15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
Matthew 5:27
27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  
  I have hated, which according to scripture is murder… and lusted, which is adultery, and been angry, drunk, I have abandon my whole family I’ve been divorced (in my heart)…and on and on and on…it has all been in my heart and much of this gross sin I have acted on and some he protected me from acting on. 
God protected me from so much, and so many consequence, and HE has FORGIVEN ME and saved me from so many consequences on this earth and also the ultimate consequence of living in hell.
 That’s GRACE!  That’s amazing GRACE!

The same fear and locked up heart that has kept me from acting on some of the sin in my heart has also kept me from living fully alive with commitment and a passion for my Lord and Savior. 
I would only go so far in my sin for fear of what people would think…and I would only go so far in my love for Jesus for fear of what people might think….
God is chipping away at all that.  I'm learning to trust GRACE and love FORGIVENESS and love Jesus with more passion and zeal. 

This is the thing that gets to me…..is it’s a level playing field…..we all have sin, committed and uncommitted sin…we are all full of _ _IT…..if you know what I mean.  

There is enough grace and forgiveness for everyone and JESUS can be ALLLLLLLL of our first love, if we only grasp our desperate NEED for HIM, and give our lives to HIM, He can and He will fill us with HIMSELF.
If He is not our first love, we have settled for a counterfeit love.
BECAUSE
HE  IS LOVE!!!!! 
The more I love Jesus, the LOVE
 of
 my life,
the more LOVE I have to love the loves 
in
 my life.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

God is Super Kind!

Last week was quite challenging for this mama. 
 People were flying out of here like a covey of quail.  Anyone who knows me, knows I like it best when all the chicks are tucked in my nest.  So as I sent people off to their various adventures, Mik,  Esther, me and the 3 littles stayed home and held the fort down. 

 There have once again been some major changes and adjustments, which I know is part of growing a family, and part of life, but when you are raising kids with trauma in their past, any big changes, or small changes, good or bad, are a big trigger to fall into old habits and insecurities.  

So let's just say I'm super glad last week is over.  We were all feeling the results of change and triggers and insecurity.

In all the changes and travels I can't get over how amazingly kind the Lord Jesus is to me and all my kids. 


 All along the way, to their new stomping grounds, Charsie and Jesse had "divine appointments" that made them remember that God was with them the whole way.
 One of the "divine appointments" was a quick stop in Spokane to check out a stroller that Lashae has been trying to find, so she can cart all her sweet babies around at once, and have them strapped down, and outside in the fresh Montana air.



  Lashae found "THE" stroller on craigslist, so Charsie and Jesse agreed to check it out on their way thru.  They met up with the stroller owner and as Charsie jumped out of the pickup she could tell she instantly liked the lady, (it may have had something to do with the fact that she had a "little one" on her hip) and within minutes they discovered they were both Jesus lover's  and both a part of adoptive families. 
They had a great little visit that ended up being a blessing to all!

 Lashae got THE awesome stroller for a great price.
 Charise got encouraged and to meet a new friend.
Jesse got to prove he can drive his big 'ole pickup and trailer downtown Spokane.  :)
And Charlie and I got a date night from a friend we have yet to meet.

  Charsie shared a bit of our family story with the stroller-lady and as they were parting ways, the lady hands Charsie money to give to Charlie and I to go out on a date!

  Being a mom and more specifically an adoptive mom herself, she just knew how crazy it can get and she knew a date would be heavenly.
 It's like when you see service men greet each other...they just know...no words really necessary, just a different kind of knowledge and respect exchanged.
   People that know the amazing blessings and the challenges of adoption have a depth to share that is only shared by experience.

Then, 3 of my guys headed to California to be support and celebrate our friends son's graduation. These friends were met through Redeemer House and will be a forever family on this earth and in heaven, so we may as well, just start celebrating each other's kids here on earth.
  Of course our guys went to be a blessing, and had their own heads blessed off. 

 They then traveled further south to go get refreshed and take a breath of fresh air (even in the smog).



 This race we call life, can get pretty exhausting and sometimes you just have to sprint harder and further to spend a weekend at a rest stop.  
My sis and her hubby and family and church community just loved, encouraged, played games,  counseled, fed and watered my hubby and Kole from their soul to their body in a short 30 hour stay.

Hebrews 12:1-3The Message (MSG)

12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!





Kole then hooked up with a high school buddy, Brady, and they went on to Texas, and got to spend some time with Claiborne. 
 It is amazing how kind God is, and how He will orchestrate the details and relationships and appointments in our lives.
  I am amazed and thankful and blessed as I see the absolute kindness of God play out in the simplest yet profound ways.



  Sometimes we get to be "sent" on a refresher...and sometimes we get to "send". 
 I got to SEND my people, and I received as much joy in return. 

And Luke, of course, soaked in every minute of just hanging with his cousins and being co-pilot (when he was awake) on the drive.
  Luke is easy to be around in all situations, and it was a weekend that needed some ease.

These guys are only 5 weeks apart.  I pray they are always close in life as in age.