Thursday, February 17, 2011

Let Me Tell You....!

Ever read it?  Well....let me tell you.......

It started with waking up to this:


Then I realized that I didn't have time to get this:

Terribly sad.  Especially on the dreariest of days.

At work, my most angelic lovie greeted me with a big smooshy hug.  And then did this:

I know, I know...I don't cry over them...

Which caused her to do this:

Although, at least she had clothes on, unlike this sad little lady.

Things seemed okay, until random acts of hatred started popping up.  Like this: 

I hate this.  HATE it.  Can't we just all love eachother and be happy?

Which inevitably created tons of this:

Yes, they were really this upset.  No exaggeration.

And all of those things added up always equal this:

Don't be deceived by the smallness of the photo.   It was not small.

Then I read this:

"When I am consumed by my problems-stressed out about my life, my family, and my job-I actually convey the belief that I think the circumstances are more important than God's command to always rejoice."   -- Francis Chan

"Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say, rejoice! Everyone should see how unselfish you are. The Lord is very near."  -  Philippians 4:4

Hear that, Alexander?  I heard it - loud & clear!

One Thing I Know For Sure:  Rejoicing is a choice.  Choose it today!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

He Hears the Cry of the Orphan

Remember little Masha.....?
The little lovie that we cried out to God for, just a few weeks ago??

Well, rumor has it, she is no longer an orphan.  She has a family...and I can't stop rejoicing! 
Thank you LORD!! 

One Thing I Know For Sure:  God is so good.  So so good. 

Monday, February 14, 2011


Happy Valentines Day - kind of a fun 'holiday', isn't it?  Being a preschool teacher, I take full joy in the little things - passing out Valentines with handwritten names barely legible, practicing how to draw a heart (not an easy task for a 3 year old!), hugs that say "I love you - thanks for taking care of me", and even enjoying pink strawberry milk.  Nothing better.  This is what they know of love.  It's the warm fuzzies of life. 

But, is that love?

Sure, maybe in it's purest, simplest form.  But the love I'm after is so much more complex.  The love I'm looking for is so much more than hugs and strawberry milk.  It might not even be possible to fully comprehend.

"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us!"  Romans 5: 7-9

Amazing!  While I was still filthy, enjoying my sin - Christ laid down His life for ME.  He loves me that much.  Can you grasp that?  Can you fully understand that?  I can't.  I won't.  It's too deep - to wide - to full for my small human brain to know.

On this day of love...would you just sit - quietly - and listen?  Would you just be still and thank God for the ways that He loves us?  The ways that He loves you?

One Thing I Know For Sure: All ya' need is love

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Step Toward Legacy

Today, I learned what a legacy really looks like.  Ever seen one?  You would know it, if you did.

I looked up the definition, and it was so completely unimpressive.  Maybe that's because a true legacy is so much more than a few words from a dictionary.  It's a lifetime of love, faithfulness, and generosity.  A lifetime.  I don't know about you, but I'm 26 - and I can't say I've done anything 'well' for the entire span of my short lifetime.  A legacy is 'getting it right' - throughout your entire lifetime.  Consistency.  Determination.  Mistakes?  Absolutely.  But the good far outweighs the bad.  The gentleness far outweighs the anger.  The love far outweighs the bitterness, when you're leaving a legacy. 

I attended a funeral homecoming today.  A pastor - father - husband - son - everyone's best friend - everyone's favorite brother - gentle counselor -  constant encourager.  The list could go on.  I know, everyone says nice things at funerals.  But this was so much more than 'nice things'.  This was lives changed - transformed!  This man poured into people in a way that is so uncommon in our world of texting/emails/facebook (dare I say...blogs...?!).  This man loved in a way that other people don't - or can't.  He cared for people in a way that seems impossible.  He sacrificed things that most people just aren't willing to sacrifice.

How is it possible for one man to love - care - give - so much?

It's not.  

This man was special - yes.  But what made him special, was his connection to his Creator.  He had the 'inside scoop' because he was a friend to the Most High God. 

As I sat through this homecoming, I thought of my own life.  It's short (so far) - I'm young, I know.  But what could I be doing differently now, that could affect my legacy?  What could I change?  What MUST I change? 

I need to be more available - more obedient - more trusting - more generous - oh Lord.  I have so much to work on.  Do you ever feel overwhelmed at what God may be calling you to do?  Do you ever feel scared?  "Now, God?  Me?  You want me to do THIS?  Are you sure, Lord??".  A legacy says 'yes' to God.  A legacy moves on with grace.  A legacy forgets about what people say, and focuses on what God says. 

A legacy.

What will my legacy look like?  I have no idea - but it involves taking a step.  One step from wherever I'm at.   One step. 

One Thing I Know For Sure:  The first step is always the hardest. 

Monday, February 07, 2011


I'm one of those people.  I read a book, and the whole time I'm reading I cannot enjoy it unless I'm trying to figure out the ending.  I do everything short of reading the last chapter (I do know people crazy enough to actually read the last chapter first. Strange, I know).  I watch a movie, and I can't focus on the current scene because my mind is spinning to figure out the ending before it comes (honest confession: I like to must figure it out before Jake does!).  Usually, my assumptions are pretty accurate.  I may just be super smart ( laughter, please), or it may just be that there are no real surprises in life.  Ever heard the quote "no such thing as an original idea"?  

Don't you just long for a true surprise?

Don't you just long for something refreshing to pop into your life, unexpectedly? I have a treat for YOU!  You must, must MUST read the following blog, from an incredible mommy to 7 kiddos.  This particular blog entry is about one of her Down Syndrome sweeties from Eastern Europe.  Be prepared to be totally amazed - surprised, even!  No excuses, now - I'm giving you 3 ways to find her entry, and even a super short blog entry of my own (you should know that a short blog entry is not an easy task for me...)!  Go!  Read!  Allow God to surprise you!

One Thing I Know For Sure:  I did not see this one coming....our Amazing God totally surprised me.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

I Love Organization...too much?


I can finally enjoy being at the computer again.  You don't even want to know where our computer was before...I will just tell you that it involved an old leather couch (old, but extremely comfy) and a delapitated rattan trunk (which was very stylish when we first got married...).  But now - after much waiting (a word I hate love...)....Our 'home office' area is complete - and oh so organized.......

You might not believe this, but we actually have a slot for each pencil, each paperclip.  Okay, maybe not.  But it's a good idea....I think I'll get right on that.  I LOVE organization.  I LOVE looking at storage containers.  I LOVE drawer organizers.  Love to be organized.  It makes me feel like I'm in control.  Do I have a problem?  Maybe. 

But with all the organization, I just want to be at the computer all the time!!  So, (thanks to this wonderfully timed snow day) I've added a few pages @ the top of this blog - one about my own adoption, and another with some of my favorite photos.  Nothing of award-winning quality here - just some fun.  So, enjoy!

One Thing I Know For Sure: When Jake gets home from work today, he will say "WHAT did you do all day?!" and I will say "But Jake...we have a home office!!!!"

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Masha Needs Us

For those of you that follow other blogs on a regular basis, you'll know all about Masha.  Forgive me for repeating information that you may have already read today.  For everyone else - please don't read on to say "ohh...look at that poor girl.  that's too bad".  Don't read on only for the sake of reading.  It doesn't have to be this way. 

Masha.  Sweet Masha.  Never met her.  I've only seen one photo.....

 More about Masha

Not exactly what you'd consider a 'princess'?  Crossed eyes - shaved head.  I wonder what God sees when he looks at her...

Masha is in a 'baby house' in Eastern Europe.  Once these 'babies' reach a certain age, they are transferred to a mental institution.  Here, they receive little care - they're left to defend themselves. These 'babies' will most likely be placed in an institution with full grown adults. 

Masha needs a miracle. 

A family adopting another child from Masha's baby house just heard that she will be transferred to the institution within the next week or so.  No, Lord!  It can't be, that this sweet baby doesn't have a family to save her. 

What can I do??  I can't adopt her now.  I can't go fight with the orphanage directors to keep her there.  I don't even have tons of blog followers to cry out to.  I have no connections...

But wait.  I guess I do have one connection.  A pretty powerful one.  I have a connection to the Most High God.  The One who created Masha.  The One (only one?) who loves her so deeply.  The One who sees her as she really is - a beautiful child of God.  At the risk of sounding 'too spiritual' - would you cry out to Him with me?  Would you trust Him with me?  Not in a little bit, after you check your email.  Right now.  Yes - NOW.  Now is the time to plead on Masha's behalf. 

Lord - You know Your sweet girl, Masha.  You knit her together in her mother's womb.  We know that she's not a mistake - she's a treasure.  We are crying out to You, Lord!  Move in a powerful, mighty way in Masha's life.  Bring a family forward for her!  Save her from a life of hopelessness!  We know You are indeed mighty to save...Lord right now, speak to Masha's mommy and daddy.  Open their eyes to the beauty of this child.  Show them Masha as YOU see her, not as the world sees her!!  Save her, Lord!  We are praying all these things believing that You CAN save her!  Knowing that You can!  Trusting that You will!  Do it, Lord!  AMEN!!

All this talk about "Masha" makes me think of my sweet Aunt "Marsha".  She's a gem - and brings so much joy to our family.  She came to our family as a foster child - her family didn't value her.  They didn't know what a blessing she was.  If they only knew what they'd be missing out on!  She sees the world in a different way.  She knows something we never will.  Her laugh - infectious.  Her heart - overflowing.

Here she is on her 50th Birthday....just a few weeks ago....

This was her reaction when she realized she had just walked in on her 'surprise' 50th Birthday Party

I wonder how her life might be different if my great grandma hadn't agreed to get out of her comfort zone - take in one more foster child - knowing full well that she would be caring for Marsha for the rest of her life.

One Thing I Know For Sure: Marsha got her it's Masha's turn. 

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