Friday, June 14, 2013


Last night David, Megan and I traveled all night and I had the middle of the night shift to drive. David was sleeping and Megan was singing her heart out as I quieted my soul. My life is busy and each day I carve out time to spend with God but last night I had literally hours to be still (not completely quiet because remember Megan was singing) and spend some time with God.

We have a question we ask in our family often and it is simply, "How is your heart?" Last night in the stillness I had time to search my heart with God. I had time to share with Him my heart- Yes, I know He knows my heart but it was such an amazing time of me pouring it all out to Him. He knows my desires, He sees my heart, He deeply cares about each need that concerns me. He sees how I always want things to work my way and at my pace.

 I quieted my soul and He revealed to me that so often I only half trust Him. I trust Him and I want to follow Him in all I do but sometimes I want to walk ahead of Him. It is usually on the path that He has set out for me but often I am several steps ahead of where He wants me to be in the process as if I can take control and do His plan in my own timing. I spend a good bit of time in confessing to Him for my lack of willingness to truly wait on Him.

I thought over the actives of my life and where I find myself in each of them. How I often miss out on greater blessings by jumping ahead whether it is in caring for one of our adopted children and wanting results, wanting an answer to a prayer that I have been praying, being involved in caring for the least of these, a relationship to be different, or desiring a need be met for one of my children. So often I know the path that He is calling me to but I struggle waiting for His perfect timing.

I never want to be found guilty of being behind or lazy when it comes to what He is calling me to. I often feel that when He is asking something of me or revealing something to me and I want to jump in and start the process. There are times that this is indeed what He wants me to do and then there are times that He is asking me to trust Him in my waiting for His timing. He wants my soul to wait for Him.

I have never been good at waiting! You would think that after completing two adoptions (one which felt like forever) that I would have developed a good bit of patience but that is just not the case. I struggle with this and it is a deep struggle. The mom in me is a fixer and so when I see something that needs to be tended to or something that I know God is doing I want to jump in and help it along. More times than not I am ahead of Him and find myself doing things in my own strength until I slow down enough to realize that ONLY when I wait on Him am I able to do His will completely. When I rush ahead things get messy.

I read this morning in Psalms 130:5-6 "I wait for The Lord, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for The Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning."

I thought about the last repeated phrase- "More than the watchmen wait for the morning." I know that the watchmen would wait up high on towers all night protecting their city. Each night (much like I found myself as I drove last night) they couldn't wait for the sun to rise for the night to be over and be finished with the task at hand of watching over the city while it was dark. I thought about how there was nothing the watchmen could do to make morning come sooner no matter how hard they might try. How they longed for the moments to pass and for daybreak to come with the rising of the sun.

 I thought back to when my kids were little and how there was nothing longer than a night with a sick child. The hours seem to pass so slowly as I longed for morning. Those long sleepless nights would always be followed by a morning where I would call first thing and make a plan to get them to the doctor. There was not much I could do during the night other than hold tightly to them and pray for morning to come quickly.

I feel the same when God is asking me to wait. It is especially hard when I know that in my own strength I could make progress- not real progress but progress in my own strength. It gives me a false sense of strength and so often I find myself jumping in. I long to be at the place where my soul waits for The Lord more that the watchmen for the morning. I long to have my soul to wait for The Lord more than I longed for morning to break when I was a young mom within a sick child.

I feel that in the past few months God has called to me to several things and has been revealing several things to me and my flesh wants to jump right in and control the situations but instead I am choosing to have my soul wait for Him. It is a raging battle but a battle worth fighting so that I will be  in step with Him. Not one step ahead or one step behind. Each of these situations and callings are precious to Him and I don't want to get in the way of the blessing of having my soul wait, watch and jump in when He calls.

What about you? Maybe you struggle with not stepping when He calls you to action. Maybe fear keeps you from taking action when He is asking that of you. Maybe you are like me and find yourself trying to move ahead in things that He has called you to before He wants you to jump in. Do you trust Him and His timing in your relationships (or lack there of), your job, your finances, your ministry?

Praying we will have Souls that are willing and waiting to follow Him! Excited for the journey ahead-

Monday, June 10, 2013


This weekend was full of fun at our house as we celebrated Megan's graduation. It was a busy weekend with not much time for me to process what was really taking place and I am sure that was just how it needed to be. Today however I had a few hours alone in the car and the reality of this past weekend became very real. As I was driving the song "Daughters" by John Mayer came on the radio. I found myself crying as I sang along:
Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

I reflected on the good days where I was the mom I desired to be and looked back at those moments that I wish I could replay where I was not. I thought about the days of rocking my sweet first born and the days of teaching her to read. The moments where I held her as she cried because others had hurt her feelings or left her out. The hard days of her trying to be all grown up yet feeling like a little girl who just wanted to play. The moments where I was frustrated by her rolling her eyes or having to ask her for the millionth time to pick up after herself. The nights of butterfly kisses and being tucked in just right after we read devotions. The talks about growing up. Us crying together when she saw other friends walking down a path that she knew she did not want to walk. A semester of her being here at home with me as her teacher. The college visits where she was more stressed out than I was if that was even possible.  Each memory seemed to lead to another.

Then I thought of her today. She decided that for Lemi's birthday she wanted to spend a day alone with him. She planned a very special day that would be full of first for him. She decided that a day at Carowinds riding rides and playing at the water park would be a place that they could make some fun memories and so she made it happen. I am sure that today has been one of the best days of Lemi's life and Megan helped to create that fun for him.

This morning as I  watched her pack a backpack full of snacks, towels and tickets that she purchased I found myself in awe of what an amazing lady she has become. This surely didn't happen overnight yet to me as her mom it seems as if it did. I then thought about my Kaylee who is currently in Florida serving a large group of kids this week. I thought about the excitement and anticipation she has had the past few weeks to get to camp to serve and love on kids.

As I sang along to John Mayer today I thought about those words- Father, be good to your daughters. Daughter's will love like you do. I thought of the amazing father that my girls have and how he has taught them to love so well. How he has always made the time to be present in their lives and put their needs before his own. He has loved me in front of them in a way that they know what a man's love should look like. Today I reread the letter that David wrote to Megan on her sixteenth birthday ( and I realized that my girls were loving others because they were first loved and loved well.

I thought about the years ahead for both of them and how much too soon they will fall in love. (It really as amazed me that I see other girls seek the love and attention of boys my girls are content to wait.) As a mom I know that four guys have some pretty big shoes to fill when it comes to stepping in and loving my girls well. David has set the bar high and for that I am so thankful. This is only because he was loved first- With a father's love.

I know that God willing my girls long to be mothers one day and I know that just as this song says, "Girls become lovers that turn into mothers."  I pray that God's love has poured from my life into the lives of my girls. I long for the day that I get to watch them pour this great love into their own children. I am in awe that God has used me to raise two amazing girls and I know that they are who they are because of His great love for them. He filled in the gaps in my weaknesses, He has protected them from harm, and He loves them more than I do.

It is a bitter-sweet feeling to watch my girls at this stage of the journey. I know that Megan is stepping from one season of life into another and Kaylee is right behind her. A season where some of the biggest decisions of her life will be made- She will decide on a career, she will find a very best friend who will become her husband, and she will trust the Lord as she steps into places that He has set out for her. I am thrilled to watch it all unfold but there is a longing in my heart to have one more night where my five year old and four year old giggly girls give me butterfly kisses as I tuck them in just right.........Trusting Him with them again tonight and praying for the men and children that will be added to our family in the years ahead. Thankful that he saw fit for me to mother these amazing young ladies.

Happy early Father's Day David- Thanks for being an amazing example of Christ love to our girls!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

And the very hairs on your head are all numbered............

Time after time I am amazed by God's goodness. It looks like after years of Him caring for me I would not be surprised  by His deep and personal love for me. The past few weeks in a very real way I have learned again what it is like for God to know me, love me and provide for me in a deep and personal way. I have hesitated writing this blog but I was reminded today looking at a photo of two precious orphans who this week have a home, that when we share God's story lived out in us God can use it to change the hearts and lives of others and so I will share how God has loved me so personally the past few days.

The past few years have been a huge change for our family adding three children in less than two and a half years. When a family goes from a family to six to a family of nine many sacrifices are made. Thankfully we have all willingly made the adjustments and sacrifices for our family to grow and God has blessed us on this journey. Just when we got use to adding two children God pressed in on us to add another and in our family we knew that this addition would mean more sacrifice for each of us. Emotionally, physically, and financially we knew as a family when Lemi came home life would adjust once again. We were all eight willing and the sacrifices looked different for each of us.

This is not a woe is me and I would never want it to sound that way but financially having a family of nine on a pastor's salary doesn't really make sense or add up. I knew that when our family grew to nine I was going to have to once again figure out where we could make some changes financially for our family. There were several  areas we knew we needed to cut back.

One day while in the car I remember very clearly knowing that a sacrifice that I needed to make was the money that I spent on having my hair cut. I remember a small wrestling with God because when Tia and Garrett came home I made a choice to find someone who could cut my hair cheaper than my favorite guy (still miss you JD).   This day in the car I remember feeling that God was asking me to sacrifice having my hair done at all. I reminded God that day that my hair is a real mess if it is not taken care of well. I reminded Him that when He made me He gave me a TON of hair. I also reminded Him that I had already found someone cheaper and I was spreading the appointments way out. I know it seems somewhat weird but in my car that day I told God that I would trust Him and that when Lemi came home I would give up hair cuts and color.  I knew that this is what He was asking me to sacrifice.

Several weeks ago I got a note from a distant friend online that I had been entered into a Mother's Day contest at Valeria spa where I could raise money for a charity of my choice and if I raised the most money the spa would match the giving up to $2500. I knew right away that Garrett's Heart would be my charity and I went to work trying to raise some funding to help our extended family and friends on the island. Long story short in just a few days more than $4500 was raised. I won the contest and over $7,000 was donated to Garrett's heart. I was once again blown away by God's goodness to provide for those we love so much in Ethiopia.

Along with the $2500 given by the spa to the winning charity, the spa was also giving $500 a month in spa services to the Mother's Day winner for eight months in a row. I literally found myself weeping that for eight months not only had God provided as many hair cuts as I want but free shampoo, conditioner, manicures, pedicures, and anything else that is available at a spa. I went last week for the first haircut that I have had in months and sat crying as she was cutting my hair. I shared with the hairdresser my story. The story of a God that loves me beyond anything that I can actually comprehend. A God that sees the sacrifice of a mom and provides so much more than she deserves. A God that created my heart and knew that I was more than willing to sacrifice whatever He was asking of me to provide a home for our son. Did God owe me anything for my sacrifice? Absolutely not! Does He love me with a love more abundant than I can understand? Yes! I am still amazed that the smallest details of my life He cares about. He provided more than I could have ever dreamed or even imagined.

What is He asking you to sacrifice? Don't miss out on what He has ahead for you by holding on to what you think is important- Our God can do more than you can comprehend when you follow Him.

 "What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. 30 And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows." Matthew 10