Saturday, November 17, 2012

What are we truly doing?

"The devil does not care how many hospitals we build, any more than he cares how many schools and colleges we put up, if only he can pull our ideas down, and sidetrack us on to anything of any sort except the living of holy, loving, humble lives, and the bringing of men, women, and children to know our Lord Jesus not only as Savior but as Sovereign Lord." Amy Carmichael

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Saturday, August 25, 2012

He carries us

I love the voice of my God. It is so sweet. It gives hope and faith to my tired soul. Deuteronomy 1:29-31, "Then I said to you, 'Do not be in dread or afraid of them. The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you have seen how the Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way that you went until you came to this place.'"

There's been a lot going on around here. Some wonderful and others a terrible reminder of the wickedness of sinful man. Areas of confusion, spiritual attack, time of testing...and then times of great rejoicing and overwhelming thankfulness. No matter what is going on, our God is faithful. Sometimes I have had to tell myself that over and over until I could believe it deeper. 'I believe, help me overcome my unbelief.' Our God carries us. All the way until you come to "this place". Whatever it may hold, wherever it is- it will be good. But so is this- I am being carried. Lord, don't stop until you finish this work in me. I don't ask for deliverance, but to see your glory,your face more visible, to feel your presence sweeter, and to be more given and more used by you. Don't stop until you have done what you desire. I don't want the easy way. I want you. Only you. Oh that my life would show that all I have is you! Make it be! I can't fight this, but you can. I can stand strong on your Word. You are faithful. Faithful to your name. Faithful to your word. Continue to empty me. Teach me. I don't know what to do, but keep my eyes upon you. Rejoice, my soul, you are found in Him. My rescuer. My prince. My beloved. Come Lord. 'As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?' Oh, that I may see you.
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Monday, May 07, 2012

With a heart full of JOY...

We are bursting with joy to announce that we are expecting our fourth child! We are absolutely thrilled! We have been waiting to announce it! Waiting to proclaim it! Waiting to shout it!! We are overfilled with JOY! 
This past November David sat the boys and I down before dinner. He told us it was time to just say “yes” and obey. It was time for us to take the next steps in faith and start the ADOPTION process!! As I write my eyes are full of tears. We have longed for this child with great joy! 
Over the last several years we have been praying and seeking the Lord specifically in regards to a son or a daughter through the means of adoption.  In a spirit of prayer we have sought the Lord through His Word, and now with a heart full of joy we are trusting His leading. He is a prayer-answering God who delights our hearts with the sweetest touches of who He truly is.  We trust Him to meet every need and to provide all the wisdom, strength, and patience that will be so important to us as we go forward. We trust that from Him we truly will receive all that we need. 
After much prayer and asking for specific discernment for our family the Lord has drawn our hearts to the country of Colombia in South America. We want to be completely open to the Holy Spirits moving throughout this process. It could be a long process where God may change our direction. We wholeheartedly trust Him and are desperately dependent on Him. Several months ago the Lord, through a series of events, began to draw our hearts to this beautiful country of Colombia.  As the months and weeks go by, the Lord continues to solidify that we are indeed following Him and this is the path, thus far, that He has for us. Our hearts truly are filled with joy! My sister sent me this sweet picture of a heart around Colombia. We are so blessed with family that I think are about as excited as us! 
At the center of our desire and motivation to adopt is the preciousness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Nothing more. Nothing less. It’s about Him. Not us. Ultimately, not even about him or her. It’s about our God’s heart. It’s about my Father’s kingdom. At the very center, it’s not about children, it’s not about orphans, it’s not about the poor.  It’s about my God. It’s about the Gospel. It’s about God’s Glory,  God’s LOVE, God’s gracious rescuing, His redemption, His grace, His never-ending patience, His ever-increasing preciousness in our hearts.  It's about our deepest desire to be completely "spent" for the Gospel. I just want to be able to look in my Savior's face and know that my life echoes His. That I can truly say, "My life for the Gospel." Aren't those precious words, "My life for the Gospel"? My life for the Gospel.  How I long for it. Deeper. Deeper.  

With our entire being we desire to keep our eyes on Him- not the child, not the process, not the paperwork, not everything that we need to do...we want our eyes simply to be forever set on Him. Several weeks ago I could tell that I was beginning to forsake Him. I was busy doing the things “needed”- good things, things to get our child here with us quicker. But I found myself doing everything except sitting at His feet, my favorite place to be. I was so pre-occupied with what needed to be done that I was simply forgetting Him. Just call me Martha.  As I sought His forgiveness, it was and is such a sweet reminder to me that I must not want anything else or anyone else more than I desire Him. I must not. It also reminded me that my deepest longing is to simply, continually, and habitually be aware of Him- delighting in Him, in His presence, in each moment that I have breath. And when I fail, I must turn my eyes straight back to His face and without hesitation confess to Him my fault. I must acknowledge to Him that I can never do anything differently unless His grace permits me. And then I must fully receive His sweet presence again. Sweet, sweet confession. 

God’s Word is like breath to me. May it be. May it fill me. May it soak me. May it lead me. May it wreck me with the perfect blend of pure joy and sorrow. May it so penetrate my heart that no matter what today brings or tomorrow holds, I will say of the mercies of my God “My heart leaps for JOY!” and because of the richness of my salvation "LET GOD BE EXALTED!"
May we truly see our own filth, our own wretchedness, our own neediness and may we look to the Father and be amazed. His grace. His love. And may we together with Him open up our arms and say, “YES!!”. 
“YES”, Lord Jesus. 
His grace is the sweetest love and the faith He has given, my solid rock. 
2 Corinthians 1:11 “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”
Romans 4:19-21 “He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead...or when he considered the bareness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waiver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.”
Psalm 68  “...Sing to God, sing praises to His name; lift up a song to Him who rides through the deserts; His name is the Lord; exult before Him! Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in His holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity...The Lord gives the Word; the women who announce the news are a great host....Blessed be the Lord who daily bears us up; God is our salvation...Summon your power, O God, the power, O God, by which you have worked for us....behold, He sends out His voice, His mighty voice.”

The boys mailing in the application paperwork. And then last month we went to the post office to mail in the first set of paperwork for the homstudy process!
We have been accepted to work with Lifeline Children's Services out of Birmingham, AL. We are thrilled with this agency. It is gospel centered and soaked in prayer. They have already been such a blessing. We plan to be in the home study process until late summer. Then we will be able to move forward to the next step of bringing our little one HOME.                                                                                

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy."
Psalm 126: 5 

Monday, April 30, 2012

John David is SIX!!!

Pancakes and Bacon! 

He was able to choose anywhere he wanted to go for his birthday lunch....foot long at Sonic! oh yeah:-)

....Alabama bird watching:-)

 J had some lil friends over for a sleep over.....Huddy was the only one that would slow up for a pic. The rest of them were just blurs. Sweet Huddy. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Rivers of Joy

"I am waiting here on the couch. I am crying. And I am praising my God. My Jesus. My Rescuer. I am waiting on the couch to hear how one more precious young guy was saved by God's grace tonight. They are on their way back home with David from Birmingham now. They should be home in about an hour and I am thrilled to see another young man walk into our home A NEW CREATION. REBIRTHED. He has the ONLY thing, the ONLY ONE that is truly worth anything and is perfectly WORTH EVERYTHING!  He has told us for over a year that he was a Christian. He knew all the answers, but we saw little to no fruit. The only fruit we could muster up to see was the way he clung to the other guys and us. We have been praying and asking God and HE HAS ANSWERED. HE HAS ANSWERED. God is ALIVE and ACTIVE. HE IS. He has saved another because He wanted to show His glory in His grace once again. He has saved another because He LOVES, because HE IS LOVE.


Oh Lord, You are my rivers, my fountains,  my oceans of joy. My heart's feasting.

You are the only one worth living for.

i love you."

Nick, Nick, and Carlos. One of these young guys grew up in our church but was never faithful, never saved. The other grew up Catholic. God saved them both this past February 5th! Hallelujah! All three are getting baptized this week, along with two others.  We have such a good, good God! What this picture represents brings so much JOY to our hearts. Pure, crazy JOY. Eyes full of tears JOY. SHOUTS OF PRAISE  JOY. Heart aches of JOY.  Smiles and smiles JOY. UNrestrainable JOY. May we become increasingly aware that we will not always have breath on this earth. We are but a vapor. May we set aside the distractions and glitters of this world and pursue Him wholeheartedly. Our eyes upon our Master, our hearts in a awe of our Savior. Let it be.

With Trip Lee.....thought I'd throw this one in just for fun! Trip Lee, Lecrae.....they have been great blessings. We are thankful. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lil boys....

Just wondering if I can slow up time and enjoy these times of lil boys longer......

God is so faithfully and wonderfully good. J will be six tomorrow. Cannot believe it.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Farm day!

Friends of ours own this farm where they have a therapeutic riding center, Open Gait, for children with special needs. The beauty of the land, the horses, the ministry, the hearts of the workers- it points you to the Master Creator and the Master Lover- it is just captivating.  Some of us moms with young sons enjoyed helping out around the farm last weekend. We shoveled manure, cleaned horse stalls, planted flowers, groomed horses, shined saddles...we had such a great time! Our friends who run this ministry are such a sweet blessing. Their kind and generous heart is so evident. 

                                                                       All the lil helpers!


           Shoveling manure completed and now fresh shavings for the stalls! They worked hard! Cinnamon looks so beautiful peeking through.


                                      The lil boys and their mommy's! Such sweet friendships!

Friday, April 06, 2012


Slimy, Standy, and Swimmy!! John David's African dwarf frogs!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

And a little bit of...

Roll tide!

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Monday, March 19, 2012

He will have pity on me

"Rather, hold yourself in prayer before God like a dumb or paralytic beggar at a rich man's gate." -Brother Lawrence

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Sweet Graham

Had a conversation yesterday with a lady about the joy of investing your lives into children. As we talked our house was full of them... about 16 this week (some being less children and more 'almost men' now.) I was so encouraged by this lady's heart- she was chasing a baby around and had one on the way. We talked about the joy and difficulties of trusting Jesus. We talked about the Gospel. About the Holy Spirit. We talked about transformation. We talked about love and spiritual family. We talked a lot about children. Jesus' arms were open. I want mine to be too.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

We love this ministry and their music. We have their latest CD and the boys and I love to sing along. Right now John David is writing today's scripture and singing along as the songs are blaring on my computer....every once in a while I will look over and watch him sing and write....he giggles and then looks back down at his paper. The little boys are dancing, eating cheerios, and climbing on beds, under beds, and giving "gifts" to each other:-) The proceeds for the CDs go to support the ministry. I was able to see these kids this weekend and the way they worshipped so sincerely and freely was such a blessing. It was so obvious that many of these kids knew Jesus personally and intimately. They knew who they were singing to.

Here's the link:

Friday, March 09, 2012

A lil helper, a whole lot of muscles

I love Aldi. I had four very big helpers. Huddy was stuck on the milk for a while....

I did finally help. :-) Maybe the Lord will allow me to share about this blonde- haired little helper and his family sometime- they have become precious to us. We love the times we have with him and his sister. The gospel can be displayed anywhere. Sharing life. Serving one another. Love. We love little Tony and Madi. And God loves them even more. "For God so loved the world that He gave...." -Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Love life with these lil boys!

The weather was absolutely beautiful today! I love the seasons and the new giggles it brings along with them! Btw- that is a Denver Broncos' Tebow jersey...not auburn...don't worry.

I love the way they love each other! (most of the time at least:-)) You can see their little personalities in this pic- love it.

J is such a joy. He is growing to be such a good follower of a few and at the same time such a good, good leader....


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Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Exodus- Egypt and Jordan, Week 1

I am attempting to put up some pictures from our trip this past November. I wish in some way I could stir in your heart the affections for Christ through these pictures and writings in a similar way that my heart was stirred during this trip. I know that will not be the case, but I trust that our Lord can work through a computer screen too, that He can work and stir through the hands of a girl who is typing away at her computer tonight. I trust that. I trust in His strong and steadfast love for His people. I trust in the steadfast joy of My Savior- that IN Him there IS truly treasures forevermore. I long for Him. More. Deeper. What pure JOY!

The first day we were staying in Cairo and visited the Pyramids. I was excited, but really wanted to get on to the "good stuff"- to get on to the Bible, Biblical places, to walk where Jesus walked- but then our guide made me realize that because of the time period of which the pyramids were made and their enormous size most likely Jesus would have seen the pyramids. This was the first time I had imagined my eyes seeing what my Savior's eyes would have seen while on this earth. Pretty amazing thought.

You may can get a better idea of how big they are from this picture. When we got off the bus, people would sworm all around us, putting these headscarves on us.

Children were rampant with goods they were trying to sell. This was a precious young guy who stuck by my side for a while. His demeanor was different than the rest. I enjoyed attempting to talk with him and loving on him for the short little time we had. I pray that He would see the preciousness of Christ. Throughout the trip I was sweetly reminded that there are kids in need of Jesus everywhere, in need of moms and dads, mentors, disciples that would show and teach them the love and truth of Jesus Christ. We have that honor and privilege- wherever we are.

This is in the area of Marah, the first recorded encampment of the Isrealites after the crossing of the Red Sea. The Isrealites had been traveling for days without finding water and came upon this area with a water supply, but couldn't drink because the water was bitter. The Lord graciously and miraculously provided for His people here in this area, despite their grumbling.

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea
and they went into the Desert of Shur.
For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water.
When they came to Marah, they could not drink
its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.)
So the people grumbled against Moses, saying,
"What are we to drink?"
Then Moses cried out to the LORD,
and the LORD showed him a piece of wood.
He threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.
There the LORD made a decree and a law for them,
and there he tested them.
He said, "If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD
your God and do what is right in his eyes,
if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees,
I will not bring on you any of the diseases
I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you."
Ex 15:22-26

This was the first time we all stopped together and read the Scripture a loud (still in Marah). God's Spirit was felt and cherished here, as God told us through His Word what happened here in this place. I couldn't believe that I was seeing, feeling, smelling, touching the land that God was telling us about as the Holy Scriptures were being read.

It was such an honor to have our guide Osmond lead us. His love for Jesus and knowledge of the Word was evident and life giving.

This is a well also located in the area of Marah. With the Scripture from Exodus, I also imagine the Samaritan woman talking with Jesus in John 4. I am sweetly reminded of Jesus response to His disciples while at a well like this one, "I have food to eat that you know nothing food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest?' I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." Jesus loves people. The harvest is people. The harvest is a woman at a well. The harvest is a young boy down the street. The harvest is a little girl without a mom. The harvest is people. Not a program or a statistic, but people. One by one. Relationships. LOVE. Bitter to sweet. How glad I am that He still does this miracle today. Bitter to sweet. Continue, Jesus. Bitter to sweet.

Mama and I still in the area of Marah. You can see the Suez Canal behind us if you look closely.

This is the traditional location of Elim, where there were 70 palm trees (Exodus 15:26). Our guide said that there is always 70 palm trees in this area- one would die and another would grow in its place.

RED SEA. This picture brings such a smile.

I wonder just how many people did this very thing that day....

This is another group of young boys that we were able to talk with. They lived across the street from the Red Sea and were walking by the shore when they started to talk with us. They asked me why I was there and with a heart full of Joy I was able to tell these young boys about my God. About my Jesus. About my Rescuer. It was such pure joy. They didn't like the name of Jesus, but they heard it. They heard the truth about WHO He is. And they saw and, I trust, FELT the heart of a girl who loved that Name, who cherished that Name, and who knew that Name. Seeds scattered....

This is one of my favorite pictures of all. (above)

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim.
Moses said to Joshua, "Choose some of our men
and go out to fight the Amalekites.
Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill
with the staff of God in my hands."
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered,
and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.

As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning,
but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.
When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and
put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--
one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands
remained steady till sunset.
So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something
to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it,
because I will completely blot out the
memory of Amalek from under heaven."

Moses built an altar and called it The LORD is my Banner.

He said, "For hands were lifted up to the throne of the LORD...
Exodus 17:8-16

Osmond and Daddy

A beautiful beduin 'princess'. Rephidim was one of my favorite stops. We read the Scripture in Exodus 17 and then lifted up our hands together as we sang praises to our King Jesus! This little beduin girl and a couple of boys came out from somewhere there in the miles and miles of desert land. This little girl was enjoying our praises and lingered with our group for a while. I knew I couldn't leave without in some tangible way attempting to express Christ's love to this little girl. I tied my scarf around her neck and whispered in her ear the name of "Jesus" I just kept saying His name over and over again to her "Jesus" "Jesus" "Jesus"

Our guide, Osmond, was such a Godly man. I am reminded of God's Word
"'When you reap the harvest of your land, do not reap to the very edges of your field or gather the gleanings of your harvest. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.'"
Osmond was a great physical example of the outplaying of this verse in this land. I can't help but to picture Boaz and his mercy and kindness to Ruth.

Precious little girl

This was an amazing night. We left the hotel at about midnight and hiked up to the peak of Mt. Sinai. We rode camels half way up the mountain for the ascension. I will never forget the beauty of that night. I had never seen stars like that. I have never conversed with my Lord just like that. I have never enjoyed His presence in that exact same way. No one could see you, no one could really hear you, it was like it was just me and my Lord. It was one of the sweetest nights I have ever had. It was incredible. Over and over again I am reminded of God wooing my heart deeper, more steadfast to Himself during this trip. Over and over did He Romance me. Over and Over He did it. This was one of those sweet times of a presence of Jesus that was so real, so sweet, and so intimate that all I could do was feel my heart groan within me. I will never forget riding up that mountain on a camel. With a huge smile on my face, tears down my cheeks, and an awareness of His presence like never before I gazed upon the stars like I was looking right into His face. His beautiful, beautiful face. I just wonder, just wonder what the pure joy and delight of heaven will be like. One day. One day.
Until then, we must work while it is still day.
We arrived at the top about 5 am. These pictures were taken from the peak of the Mountain as the sun was rising.
Pops at the top of Mt. Sinai.

As the sun was rising higher, the Sinai Mountains looked red. It was beautiful.

i like this camel pic
Back to the hotel in the morning! Some of us got a little beat up, but we did all return!
This bush is in the St. Catherine Monastery. It is thought to be the burning bush through which God spoke to Moses. It is the only bush of it's kind and it cannot be replanted anywhere in the world. Amazing. The monastery, of course, was built around the bush.

Aaron's tomb.

The Lord allowed me to share the reality of who Christ is with a young guy as we walked through Petra. He began to talk about "religion", denouncing Muslim beliefs. We walked and talked about the passage of Scripture in Acts 17 where it refers to the religion of the men of Athens. The above and below pictures show carvings in the rocks where men of this time would place their objects of worship. In Acts 17, Paul notices that there are many objects of worship in Athens but there is one that was called the unknown God. As this young guy and I walked we talked too about this unknown God. I told him about my God. I told him about Jesus. He laughed and said that he didn't want Islam, but he sure didn't want Jesus either.

"Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said:
"Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.
For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship,
I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.
Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you."
Acts 17:23,24

My wonderful parents and me. I am so glad we were able to go on this trip together.

The Treasury at Petra.
I like this description of Petra that I came across:
"Petra is the treasure of ancient world, hidden behind an almost impenetrable barrier of rugged mountains, boasting incomparable scenes that make it the most majestic and imposing ancient site still-standing nowadays.. It has been said "perhaps there is nothing in the world that resembles it", actually, for sure, there is nothing in the world that resembles it. The rock-carved rose-red city of Petra is full of mysterious charm, it was "designed to strike wonder into all who entered it"."
Ancient tombs
I won't tell the whole story here, but God used this little girl to sweetly remind me of His precious gift of grace in my life. He used her to remind me of the depths of my sin and my utter need for Him and His work on the cross. He reminded me of the transformation that is taking place in my own life and in the life of every believer as He takes a horrible mess of a heart and continues to sanctify it to become a beautiful dwelling for Him. He reminded me, through this little girl, the importance and privilege we have to raise our children in the ways and character of Jesus. May we as mothers continue to see the importance of our work:

"And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman
who was deceived and became a sinner.
But women will be saved through childbearing--
if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety."
1 Timothy 2:14, 15

Whether children biologically, adopted, or spiritually- may our hearts truly long for daughters, sons, and families of the Most High! Oh God, grant it. Grant us the grace, the endurance, the strength, and love to mother well.

Romans' road (Petra)

On our way out of Petra. (so much fun getting to ride horse!)
Walking down the street in Jordan with Pops. love this.

This is the Madaba Map, a mosaic tile map made between 542 and 570. It is in the floor of the church of Saint George in Madaba, Jordan. It is the oldest surviving map/depiction of the Holy Land. It is beautiful.

This scene continues to captivate my heart.

Looking over into the promised land from Mt. Nebo.

We arrive in Israel and have a beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea. The next morning was such a sweet time as I walked down to the waters and enjoyed the morning with Jesus beside the Sea.

I was able to Skype with David and the boys when we arrived in Israel! David is such a wonderful husband. This trip was his idea. He initiated it. He made it happen. I am so thankful for him and the way he loves me. I tangibly feel Christ's love through the way he loves me. My Boaz. My prince. My leader. My example.

(I am hoping to share some of the pictures and stories of our time in Israel soon!)