Thursday, February 25, 2010

my bug

This kid amazes me. The others did too & still do. But I tell Lee & other people all the time that I am not sure what the Lord has in store for her, but she seems to be equipped with a strength that is....i don't know, just more than it should be for a young toddler. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe lots of kids are just like others have very distinct qualities, but there's something different with her. Not better - i'm not saying better by any means....just a strength within her. And she is the snuggliest sweetest little thing. An eadearing quality for a child ho is often described as a "pistol".
I love my bug.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

mighty to save

A friend, Dan Owens, caught the moments of Sarah's homecoming on video.

For those of you who have been following....thought you might enjoy

Friday, February 19, 2010


God has had us on an incredible journey...well forever, really....but specifically in these last several months. I spoke with a friend the other day & she described remembering one of the best times in her life as a time that was also the hardest. I don't think that is always the case. I think the willingness to grow through it is what allows for that. Not always....but that's what I think.

I remember the story of the little girl watching a butterfly struggling to get out of a coccoon & to help she got some scissors & "helped" him out. But the butterfly is made so that when it pushes its way through the coccoon the process is what allows his wings to spread so that he can actually fly. The little girl cutting the coccoon actually prevented the butterfly from flying at all.

I used to work in a children's hospital - my dad used to always say, "i don't understand how you can do that every day." He's a softy. :) Full of compassion & the idea of watching people suffer day in & day out was more than he could bear. I loved it. Not the watching of people suffer part. That part was hard. I have come to learn that suffering, pain & death are a part of life. But to be present with people in those moments.....that's a gift. I learned so much during those days. I fear those circumstances coming into my happy little world, but I also know that by never encountering them I would stay a caterpillar forever....or stay in the coccoon forever...and we are meant to fly.

We have been practicing a Bible verse with the kids...Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to help you & not to harm you plans to give you hope & a good future. I don't pretend to understand it - there's so much suffering in the world that I choose not to speak for God. But I believe Him. I believe Him because when I start to doubt Him I realize it is because I am defining his goodness with my comfort or another's comfort...down here on earth....rather than from the perspective that we are supposed to keep. The one where we believe in eternity. And like being present with those families - it's like they learned a secret because of those really really hard times. And they have a message to share. The Bible is the same way. There are people who desperately want to tell us something for our best interest. They know something that we don't, and often we turn away. Choose to think that it's too imposing, too inconvenient, too .... irrelevant.

I listen to songs - well, some songs - knowing that the words were often times inspired by something that is very important to them. I try to hear the passion they want to share with me.

I believe that He has a plan.

I believe that He sees where I can be. Where my kids can be. Our very best.

That we are being prepared for something we don't know. Like a coach pushes a football player that he sees great potential in.

I think we all have great potential.

And the gift of free-will means we can reach that potential...or not. But it never means that there's not a plan.

And I think there is more than one way to get from point A to point B.

I don't think it is necessarily that I live in a particular city or that I work a particular job or live in a particular neighborhood.

I think the process of the heart is bigger than that. And I believe that is where God's kingdom reigns. In our hearts. So when I find myself in those hard situations that I wish would just go away. Confrontation. Being misunderstood. Sickness. I think I am supposed to lean in.

Not so that the circumstances will go away. But so that He can gently work on my heart. He can show me that impatience or that anger....or right now....that need for surrender. He can show me that that impatience or that anger are actually expressions of the fact that I have put a whole lot of trust in the things of this world. The opinions of others. The need to be approved of. When all along the words He has told me are that He is all I need.

He's got me in a fire. He's refining me.

He's asked us to step out in faith.....and we are. And with each step I am shown my weaknesses...and in that I find His great strength.

And if we count the cost of this world......well, what's the point?

You may have been following the Levy's adoption story - their story is amazing. Their lives scream love. Sacrificial, selfless, merciful, abandoned love. And as I have followed their journey, I have learned of other's this one....this is the Coors family.

This family has a story to tell.....everyone has a story to tell....some are better than others....this one is pretty great.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

home home home

They're Home! They're Home!! We went to the airport to see Amy & Court introduce their newest family member to their family & friends. It was overwhelming to witness. It was surreal. My sweet big girl looked at me with eyes that said much more than her young mind is able to articulate. She looked like she might burst into tears or explode all together & she fell into me with an awkward laugh that,I'm pretty sure, she gets from me. She laughed & said, "They're home!" And my boy kept pointed & saying, "yuk (look) der's Sarah & Ammy. dey right dere." We have prayed faithfully for this family & it was amazing to be live in person for a very personal homecoming. A rescue. A changed life. All of them, actually. And all of us. Changed.
Things are put in a little more appropriate perspective right now seeing a family give so much to rescue a little girl who truly had to be rescued. She's beautiful. She's wonderful. She's a leader. She is so so smart & so so strong.
It's been an emotional day & I am sure I am rambling....I have pictures, but I want to give the Levy's a chance to post their story in photos before i go stealing their spotlight :).
So for now, i'm off to bed. Hope to sign on tomorrow with something...maybe just some updated pictures for the family members of mine that still check in here from time to time :).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sarah Levy

Well, it looks like Amy & Sarah are coming home - we've missed Amy & have been ready to meet Sarah for a while now!!! Against all odds & a lot of prayer....they should be here tomorrow. If anyone wants to head to the airport to welcome them - the details are here & if you would like to help in any way to ease this transition shoot me an email

Monday, February 15, 2010

the beginning.....

Our good friend Heath has found herself in Tanzania for a while now. She was there once & felt that "tug," pulling her back there. She went back & found herself as a guardian to a little girl, Neema. She actually chose to believe in the picture the Lord may be painting in her life. She gets that there is a bigger story that is not about her. So she is gathering children & putting them in homes together under the mothering of a widow, who also needs a's a win-win. These kids are safer and able to understand love & family & even get an education that may not have been possible before. The hope is that they will take the skills they learn back to their villages & help others. I'm so proud of her.
This is the beginning.
And if you want to join the story......go here to her blog where you can meet Heath & these remarkable kids. Join this story - sponsor this precious new girl who has been brought out of a horrible situation into a place of hope.

(picture borrowed from Takes A Whole Village blog)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

some snow pics

Just a few pictures from our fun in the snow....or more like their fun in the snow....b/c I'm not equipped with the clothes necessary to fully enjoy the snow. So if I'm honest, I don't really enjoy the snow in clothes that simply don't keep me warm the snow. But we all had a blast & I made sure that the indoor activites were making up for the fact that i was not wrapping socks & ziplock bags around my hands to throw snowballs. I would run out in spurts & say things like "there. that's how you make a snowman - now keep doing that & I'll get your cocoa ready. inside." and then I would scurry back in the house.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

she got her hairs cut

I'll was really emotional for me. I still don't know why.....I mean, it's hair. But there are a whole lot of other things that i get hung up on in this world that are just as silly, if not sillier, than a hair cut. I think it's more the change that was hard. I keep telling her to stop all this growing :). It is happening WAY too fast for me. But whether I like it or not, she's growing.....they all's a fact I better shape my business around. I better make sure I am taking care of those important things intended just for today...knowing that tomorrow is just around the corner.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

#62. Being slightly less nice than Mormons.

I read this blog called Stuff Christians Like - it's funny, it's real & the author hits really hard issues from time to time in a funny way. Which is disarming. All of the big "white elephants" that people don't always feel comfortable saying outloud b/c it's "politically incorrect" or "socially unacceptable" he says...outloud....with a pretty large audience. And I love it. I love being able to talka bout the hard things without crying & slamming doors & damaged relationships. This was one he mentioned today. There are alot of people in my life that might say they would rather not think about God or Jesus because of the way people who claim to believe in Him act....
What do you think?
#62. Being slightly less nice than Mormons.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sunday rest

Two thirds of the kids were sick this past Sunday & I won the coin toss, so the well child & I trotted off to church. It was kind of nice just sitting alone - one of the benefits of attending a huge church - it can be easy to not be seen when needed. And I needed a little "solitude." The comforts were what I was craving.....a hot cup o coffee, great worship & some good convicting words....preferably from Andy Stanley this morning....just needing normalcy & comfort.
When I learned we had a guest pastor I kind of fell on the inside. Just not what I "wanted" this morning. Maybe I was wanting to go a little brain dead...I don't know. But I feel like I can hear Andy's words easily. I don't have to work to figure out what he's trying to say all the time. He challenges me, don't get me wrong....but because I have been listening to him for so long it's like hearing from an old friend. I trust him. So my defenses can fall a little. I don't know this guy. I don't want to absorb his words half-heartedly. So my antenna will have to go up to really listen.

Well, he was great. He was what I needed to hear. God is fun like that - reminding me from time to time that He can actually speak through other people. :) John Ortberg is his name....turns out he's written a lot of books so a lot of other people may know who he is.....not me.
And a friend send me an excerpt from his sermon today......the words I needed to hear I'll share John Ortberg's words from Sunday am with you....
God knows exactly what you need to grow…what relationships, what problems, what experiences, what groups, what teachings, what learnings. God knows just what will help every human being on earth grow, and His desire is for it never to become routine, never to be dull, and it will never look the same as anybody else.
You think about how differently God treats all of His children.
God had Abraham take a walk, Elijah take a nap, Joshua take a lap, Adam take the rap. God gave Moses a 40-year time out, He gave David a harp and a dance. He gave Paul a pen and a scroll. He wrestled with Jacob, argued with Job, whispered to Elijah, warned Cain, and comforted Hagar.He gave Aaron an altar, Miriam a song, Gideon a fleece, Peter a name, Elisha a mantle. Jesus was stern with the rich, young ruler, tender with the woman caught in adultery, challenging with the disciples, blistering with the scribes, gentle with the children, gracious with the thief on the cross.
God never grows two people the same way. God is hand-crafter, not a mass-producer.
You are God’s workmanship. His plan to grow you up will not look exactly like His plan for anybody else, but He knows exactly what you need. So, our prayer on this one is, “God, how do You want me to grow?"

It's always comforting to remember that I am not on a conveyer belt being asked to look like the expectations of even good people around me. And what an important truth to be reminded of as we raise these children....each uniquely made for a purpose....bigger than us.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

please pray & pass it on

Please pray for God & common sense to prevail here.
These sweet friends of mine have legal guardianship of a little girl who is in great need of medical care that the US can offer her. For whatever reason, & I won't pretend to understand the legal speak of it all, the US embassy has stopped issuing visas. So, they have a child who is their legal responsibility & they cannot bring her home. This can change, there doesn't seem to be hope for that....but there is always hope - there is a meeting tomorrow - my guess is it will be around the midnight -3am eastern time window so if you find yourself awake please pray for these families....all of them, but specifically the Levys.

the daily temper tantrum

So I had the privaledge of being with our friends as they dedicated their sweet baby girl at our church a week or so ago. & the way our church does baby dedication takes the parents through an exercise of prioritzing marriage & also thinking through now the character traits you hope your child will walk out the door with in 18 years. One of the things these parents mentioned was the hope that their daughter have a sense of gratitude. That she not walk through life feeling a sense of entitlement. That word always strikes something in me. I get what they're talking about. I agree with them. And I see the ugly monster of entitlement rising up in me all. the. time.
We have 2 friends (Troy & Mary and Amy, Sarah & Court)on 2 very different journeys in 2 different parts of the world.
Their stories make me see even more clearly how I have come to believe that I deserve many things. It's so easy to put the idea of people without clean water or food or a myriad of things we have total access to in the back of our if on some far away distant planet...for someone else to think about. And I have been praying lately for it not to all seem so far away. Which has made me just a little more sensitive of my sense of entitlement......for instance...
I feel like I deserve, whether I approach it that way or not I realize my belief that I deserve these things as soon as I am inconvenienced of not having them for even a short period of time....
*good, strong water pressure in my shower
*the people driving around me to yield to my right of way
*'proper' service when at a restaurant
*for target to have what I need when I need it
*to enjoy the food I eat
*to have dessert
*to have a healthy family
*to live a long life
*to live in the house I want to live in
*to have clothes that let me feel good about myself in the environment I'm in
*for the guy in the line in front of me at Starbucks to move up just 6 more inches so that I can place my order - there is actually a lot more wrapped up in that one statement
*medicine to fix whatever is ailing me not just right now, but yesterday

.....and the list goes on & on & on & reading their stories has been a humbling experience for me. We all have it. We all get bent out of shape when something doesn't go our way. Which I think keeps me, (I'm not going to speak for you but my guess is that maybe you, too) from truly knowing how to walk the way Jesus asked me to. How can I "lay down my life" if I am so wrapped up in expecting things to be a way that I "deserve" them to be?
So what are the things you feel "entitled to"? And if there's nothing - then a word of advice on how to keep mine at bay would be helpful.
I listened to a sermon a few months ago about submitting to one another......and how to practice to art of submission. He mentioned going to a hot lunch spot at 1130 . Stand in line for 30 minutes......and then walk to the back of the line. That one visual, I think, is a helpful one.
And I can't say that I have improved.....I have just been slapped in the face every time my blood pressure rises or I raise my voice for simply not getting my way. And then I hear the voice in my head...the one that says these words to my children on an almost daily basis...."are you having a hard time because you are not getting your way?"
That would be me.

Monday, February 1, 2010


I actually have pictures, stories & thoughts swirling around my head....and I'll get to that. But for NOW - our good friends are in Calcutta....and following their story is important......I hope you enjoy reading for yoursleves.