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, November 27, 2016

This week has been a real heart throbber. 
 Feels like our chests have been heavy.

Everyday had something very heavy to walk thru.  

We have prayed for others and we have asked for prayers.

The final blow was so personal and has awakened my heart in a fresh way.

After a rough night with Cellie being sick on Wednesday night, she declined in a huge way on Thanksgiving morning.  Her chest would retract so deep that you could practically see her backbone with every breath.  She would do this up to 68 times in a minute. 
 I was scared and panicked, it happened very fast.
  I prayed hard and fast while Charlie drove hard and fast to get some help.
  We arrived in the E.R. stressed and half dressed. 
Cellie only had a diaper and coat on.  I left the house with the bathtub water running.
  I was running a steamy bath because that usually solves everything in our house. 
 I realized as the water was running that this was beyond a steamy bath.

 The registration lady at the ER asked Cellie's name, and I could NOT remember.....I stood there, and all I could remember was JOY, and I felt none of THAT, so I figured that couldn't be right.
 I finally got her name figured out.
Then the lady asked her date of birth,
 * are you kidding me*
 I absolutely could not recall, I went completely blank.....finally the lady told me that it was 2016 if that helped at all.....oh dear....she had no idea how much that did NOT help.  

We finally got passed that little quiz that I failed, of which felt like it took 30 minutes
when it actually took about 30 seconds, and we headed back to a room.

 Charlie came in from parking the car and took his normal knee posture and tied my shoes for me.  We were a mess.

Things started to get better real quick once the breathing treatment began.  They helped her a ton.  She was diagnosed with croup with a possibility of a couple of different things going on, but was responding well to all the medicine.  She was much better after several treatments and hours but would not stay better for very long, so the Doc decided she needed to be admitted and transferred to another hospital. 
 We got released the next day at 3:33pm and she has been doing great.  
Sassy and bossy as ever.

We missed Thanksgiving, but I can tell you we were giving
 THANKS all thru the day!!

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18English Standard Version (ESV)

17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

I spent the better part of 2 days in the hospital just holding my baby. 
 It was the quietest and stillest  I've been for years. 
Just sat and prayed.
The Lord took our time together to show me some stuff.  We had a little heart to heart pow wow.

I have felt like a bench warmer in my faith for the last year.  I was sidelined, setting out.

As I sat there quiet before the Lord I realized I have been benched. 
 I kept showing up, but I was in the wrong uniform and I was sitting down.

 When I gave my life to Jesus, he had given me armor and I have been wearing shorts and a tank top. 
 He reminded me that this life that I live, is from HIM and for HIM. 
 It's not a game and it's definitely not a spectator sport, it's a battle.  I had traded my armor in for something comfortable and easy and acceptable.  
Armor is heavy and hard and offensive.

Ephesians 6:10-20(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. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; 17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak

When I woke up Friday morning after a pretty sleepless night in the hospital, I was AWAKE!
  I was ready to put on my armor and quit running up and down the court like this life is just an exercise. 
 It's not a game, it's a battle.
It's not a jog it's a race.
  It's not an exercise or a practice drill, it's the real deal.  It's the only shot we have, this is our time, our generation, our chance to do what we were created to do and be who God called us to be.

I felt like I had gotten my little heart to heart pep talk and then sent to the locker room, which looked an awful lot like a hospital room, and I was told to change my clothes and my mindset and come out ready for battle.
I got this picture from my dear friend Patience several weeks ago.  It showed how I have felt coming in and going out of the locker room.

I sent out a battle cry in the form of a text and asked people to pray.  I put on worship music in that locker/hospital room and got my praise on. All the Dr.'s and nurses coming in and out just had to talk over the top of it.  I didn't care. 
  Charlie came up to the room a little later and we prayed and confessed sin and asked the Lord for forgiveness and for help with our lives.  We admitted that we can't do this on our own.  
We didn't want ANYTHING standing in the way of our prayers, we were not holding back.
 We asked GOD to help us, to wake us up to live for HIM.

Romans 11:36 (ESV) 

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

Romans 12:1-2

A Living Sacrifice

12 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to 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.

 This is not a formula or prescription, it's a testimony of God using every piece of our lives to teach us and use us for His glory and purpose on this earth.  No matter how our emergencies and non emergencies play out, it's all part of the testimony of how God speaks to us  and works in our hearts and in our lives every single day.

I am very mindful of the fact that not everyone gets to bring their baby home so soon and as healthy as we did.
  I am very thankful and humbled by God's grace and HIS healing in our lives.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Help Us Lord. We Need You.

I live in a small community, a community that is still a bit like the wild west. 
 We live where kids are "our" kids, we claim them all, and all claim them

  Our kids are wild, they live life on full throttle, running wide open all the time.  
We cheer "our" kids on and cuss them out, all of them, not just our name sake, all of them. 
 We know them, and their parents, and grand parents, and we know where they live and how they live. 

 When we see "our" kids do good, we grab them and squeeze them tight.  
When we see them step out of line, we grab them and squeeze them right.  

Small town people live in big wide and open spaces, and they live and love big and wide open.

Our community is feeling crushed by loss of life and broken bodies.  
Our hearts break for "our" family, friends, and neighbors.

Though many of us have not suffered the loss of a close family member, it hits very close to home.
Many may not have been directly affected by the loss of this loved one, but we are all effected.

 I have seen so many friends posting:
Pray - Prayers - Praying 
We know we need to pray, we know we need God's help,
 but sometimes people have lost so much, they are at a loss for words,
so here's my prayer for my friends:


The hearts you once gave a beat, and the lungs you filled, have been stopped and shattered, beat up and deflated.

We need you Lord, we need your help!

Our faces are on the ground, we are scared to even look up - we are devastated by loss and pain and we feel fear.
God I pray this fear we feel turns to a holy fear,  fear of a powerful and Holy God that gives and takes away.  
Jesus, you promised to send us a comforter, the Holy Spirit, to comfort us.  
We are giving you our broken heart and cashing in on that promise.

 We need you, we need your Comforter to blanket us with your peace.

Lord, we need your help, please keep us from reaching and grasping for all the world's comforts that are only temporary and  will only turn on us, and cause us more pain and suffering.
Holy Spirit we need your comfort!!! 
 Cover us!!

We are flattened, we are helpless, we are hurt and scared.
  While we are down here so low, laying flat on our backs or prostrate on our faces;
 crushed under the weight of grief and suffering,
 come and help us, we need you.

Forgive us for being so arrogant to think we can live even one minute without you.  Forgive us for taking our lives and the lives of our loved ones for granted.  Bring us back to you.
  Show us what to do, we will do anything. 
 We are so scared and full of fear; turn that fear to fear of you, fear that brings awe of you.
 Help us to live in awe of your power and your grace.

How are you so good to give us these hearts that beat and these bodies full of life and then be so cruel to let them break and stop them short?
 We don't get it, and we don't like it.  
We are turning to you, because we need you and we want to believe that you are good.
Help us to see you, and know you, and experience your love and your healing in our hearts and our lives.

We want to be mad because we are hurt, but how can we be mad at you?  
You gave us the very lives that we are grieving for. 
 If it hadn't have been for you, we would have never known the love and joy of life,
 or the crushing pain and devastation of loss. 
 We don't know what to do.  We are turning to you. 
 Help us LORD.

Our Father God,

Help us to remember you are our creator and giver of life. 

 Help us to remember and celebrate the gift of life of the son you gave to a family, friends, and community to enjoy for a solid 15 years.

Help us to remember and give thanks for the gift of sons and daughters.

You gave the world your SON 2000 years ago, that through the life, death and resurrection of your ONE and only SON,
we can enjoy ETERNAL LIFE with YOU.

Help us to turn to you and trust in you with our lives; you gave us our lives and you paid for our sins with the life of your only son so we can live free.
 Help us to live free, free of sin and shame and guilt and pain.

 Help us to see you, and know that you are good and merciful and full of grace.
  We don't understand, and we don't know what to please 

Lamentations 3:16-26 (ESV)

16 He has made my teeth grind on gravel,
    and made me cower in ashes;
17 my soul is bereft of peace;
    I have forgotten what happiness[a] is;
18 so I say, “My endurance has perished;
    so has my hope from the Lord.”
19 Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
    the wormwood and the gall!
20 My soul continually remembers it
    and is bowed down within me.
21 But this I call to mind,
    and therefore I have hope:
22 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;[b]
    his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness.
24 “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
    “therefore I will hope in him.”
25 The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
    to the soul who seeks him.
26 It is good that one should wait quietly
    for the salvation of the Lord.

Again....just so there is no confusion, the loss of life and broken bodies I'm referring to, was not in our family, but a very dear family that is dearly loved by many.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Celebrating Orphan Sunday

Today is Orphan Sunday. 

 I could give a lot of stats about why this day is so important and I wish it would get a lot more attention than it does.....but I decided to just give a piece of our story and why I love Orphan Sunday.
I love orphan Sunday because I have 2 children that were once orphans and now they are a son and a daughter.   

James 1:27(NLT)

27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

 This was the very first time I had ever met Esther.  It was in February of 2011.

  Our lives are forever changed for the better, since meeting this daughter of mine.  This journey has been the messiest hardest work I have ever known.  There are parts of my heart that I had no idea were even there, they were ugly and hard and hidden and dead.  Being given the privilege and responsibility to parent Esther has exposed some things in me that needed healed and changed and also brought to life and used for the glory of God. 
 When you open yourself up in a new way to an "orphan in their distress" it exposes some real truth about what is going on in the heart of all the people involved.

  The circumstances that claim a child as an orphan, however that may have happened, is painful and brokenness and loss across the board.
 The reason I think the verse in James talks about pure religion is visiting the orphans and widows in their distress is because there is nothing that can replace or fix the loss they feel and have experienced. 
 The only healing that can truly be done is the healing work of Jesus in their broken hearts... and that's truly all we can hope for, for ANY of us in this life. 
 Jesus is our only HOPE, we are all orphans in need of adoption by our FATHER.

He told us he would not leave us as orphans, that He would come to us.
  He knew nothing could fix us except HIMSELF.

John 14:18 (ESV) 

18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

 This was the first day we met Mikiyas in May of 2013.

We adopted Mik thru a totally different set of circumstances and process.  But it's the same heart, we are broken people living in a broken world, and some people, especially children that don't have a voice, are usually the victims that suffer the most loss and pain.  We have gotten the blessing and responsibility of parenting this kid and being part of the healing and growing process.

I learn from Mik every single day.  He has a way of communicating that doesn't take very many words.  Mik kinda "gets it" more that most people.  The most beautiful part about Mik, is he has learned the value of forgiveness in his own heart and life more profoundly than anyone I've ever encountered.  He truly knows what it means to forgive and be forgiven.  He lives it  out every day and it has been a life changer for him, for the rest of his life on this earth and for eternity.  I have always said that Mik has more reasons to be angry in life than anyone I know, and yet.....he is not. 
 He is far from perfect but I can't even tell you the growth and healing that has taken place in his life. He has taught me so much and continues to on a daily basis.
Mik also brings a lot of laughter.  He has a great sense of humor and he can make me laugh like nobody else.
 This picture was taken May 2016.

  God has done a mighty work and we have gotten to be the ones blessed to the heart because we said yes to Jesus when he gave us the chance to adopt; and He has BLESSED us beyond anything we could have imagined.

Genesis 32:24-28 (ESV)

24 And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. 25 When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. 26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 28 Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.”

 October 2015.
  I love this picture of Esther and I. 

 We work very hard to figure out how to be the best mom and daughter we can be to one another.  We love each other like crazy and we are both very stubborn and passionate.  We are stubborn enough to hang in there together thru all the stuff that life throws at us. We will never give up on each other, we know at the end of the day, that God put us together and we wouldn't have it any other way. We admire one another, but it has been hard work and continues to be.
   We both blow it a lot, but we always come back knowing that OUR LOVE IS STRONG and love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Peter 4:8 (ESV)

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


We have a different Suburban now, and it seats 9.....we only have 8 peeps in our house right now....I keep telling Charlie we had better fill that seat, there's a lot more kids in this world that need a family and a seat in our suburban.  

Friday, November 4, 2016

Love Your Neighbor As Yourself

A few months ago, when I was in Montana we went to the park to get some energy out before going to the airport to fly home.  I don't dare go to Montana without the little Aunties and Uncle to play with the Grands. So all our visits are filled with lots of kid activities.

We were watching the kids play and they started playing with a couple of cuties there.  One was a pre-teen girl and the other was her baby sister that was the same age as Cellie.  I went over to meet the kids' new friends, and the mama bear of the other girls came out of her car to do the same.  We began to visit and became instant friends,  and  ended up exchanging names and phone numbers, because that's what you do when you are at the park for the same reason. ENERGETIC KIDS!

As we were leaving the park Lashae, Charsie, and I all noticed that the car that our new friend (which I will call Precious to keep her name private) had been sitting in, was in horrible shape, I mean HORRIBLE, the worst horrible you can imagine.  We all commented about how we hate HORRIBLE car issues.


In the next few weeks, God continually brought the horrible car to Lashae's mind.  When she would be praying or worshiping she would think about that mama and her girls and the horrible car.  Car situations and car troubles have been fresh on all our minds as we have been in quite the car swapping / car buying / car wrecking season lately.  Lashae couldn't imagine how that mama felt loading up her sweet girls and driving around in that HORRIBLE car.

So when God keeps bringing situations to mind and laying people on your heart...He usually has an assignment that He is about to accomplish and He is going to use you to do it, if you are willing to listen and obey.

Lashae met Precious and her youngest daughter one more time at the park, in the following weeks.  They visited and let the kids play and got to know each other a little bit better. It was confirmed in Lashae's heart what God was prompting her to do.

Lashae and Chaney took a crazy leap of faith and bought our beautiful new friend a car.  They just trusted that this is what the Bible means when it says to "Love your neighbor as yourself."  Lashae and Chaney had loved themselves enough to get a car that was safe and reliable for their family, so it would make perfect sense to do that for a park neighbor.
Perfect sense in the kingdom of God that is.

Galatians 5:13-14 (ESV)

13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

 We went to buy the car on Saturday while I was there this last time, then on Sunday, Lashae set up a "play date" at the park, so we could visit and let the kids play and
 give Precious her new car!!!!


  It was AWESOME!
 I can't convey the JOY that we all felt to be a part of something so special; God had brought us all together for such a blessed event.


 After the excitement had settled down, we were just enjoying the moment and the sunshine; words were few, as we were all just taking in the goodness of God.  After a few minutes Precious could not contain herself another second and she just sat right down on Lashae's lap.  It was the sweetest thing you have ever seen. We all just burst in laughter. 

We went to the DMV on Monday and got all the paperwork handled and handed the keys and the title over to Precious.  We prayed and blessed our friend and her car and gave God all the praise and glory for all He had done.


God is a blast! He is alive and active, in our lives! He is good! He cares!   He is generous!  He is kind!  He allows His sons and daughters the joy of being a part of all of this when we listen and obey and love HIM and trust HIM to use us to LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR as ourselves.

Acts 2:42-47 (ESV)

42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe[a] came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.