Friday, April 20, 2012


Kingdom Come

Ashes, ashes, we fall down
It always feels too soon
But when we walk on golden ground
All will be made new

Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
all will be made new

Life is but a dream at best
Morning's coming soon
Kingdom come will bring us rest
All will be made new


All sorrows and sighs
Will fade away into the night
And all will be made new

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Huge thanks to Heather Hanson of Heather Hanson Photography for the beautiful pics of our girl!

Happy Heart Day!







Monday, January 23, 2012

It all comes down to...

What a year 2012 has been already.

Gemma's been sick, as usual... with hand, foot, and mouth disease especially- nasty, rotten, virus- go away.

Abe has taken on another part time job. He's working evenings too so we have an hour or so together as a family in between my work and his 2nd job. He's so passionate about being out of debt and I am too... I just find myself wishing he were here instead of there. But, it's temporary, and for all the right reasons.

Work has been busy, challenging, exciting, humbling. I've experienced moments of bravery in myself that I didn't have in me before. I've wrestled with a host of challenges... and I've just wrestled.

And then there's that... that still small voice. That rumbling whisper. That earth-shattering hush. The soft- fierce breath of the Holy. I feel like I'm going through a period of refinement. I know I am a wreck of a person- I can be so short-tempered and impatient. I keep wishing I wasn't, I DO try to work on it, I apologize, and then I slip up again. I am impulsive and anxious sometimes- especially when Gemma doesn't sleep or gets a fever. I'm not going to lie- those are not "pretty" moments for me. I flip easily into worry mode, anxiety mode, "help me- I don't know what to do" mode. I overreact and can't take back my emotional explosions. I cry easier than I should, yell more quickly than I should, and become a wife/mama I don't want to be.

And it all comes down to...


James 1:27 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Why now, God? Why now? Why would you stir my heart for the orphans of the world, now? Now, when I'm at my most raw- my most wrecked. Now, when I'm tense or anxious; now, when Gemma is fighting illness after petty illness after petty illness and I can't figure out that they're petty until long after she's in the midst of the next one! Why now, God? What do you want me to do with this stirring? Why such an intense, immediate, shocking, gut-wrenching pull to the 147 million orphans in the world? I'm not good enough to make a difference. I'm not laid back enough to take this on. What do you want from me?

I've always felt a pull towards justice and mercy ministry... always. and most directly towards children. But not. like. this.

It all comes down to...


Psalm 82:3 Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed

I don't know what it means. I don't know what God wants from me- from us. Abe has committed to praying about it and I just continue to read about orphan ministry. I don't know what my place is in all of this but I know that God is moving me somewhere. Adoption? Foster care? Church Orphan Ministry? Adoption/Foster Care Support?

I feel like, as a Christian, it is absolutely irresponsible, and unfaithful to ignore the cause of the orphan in this world. I don't claim to be an expert in the rumblings of the Holy Spirit, but sometimes I just feel it in my gut. Sometimes, I just can't deny God moving me towards something. This is one of those times.

So, really....

it all comes down to....


Matthew 25:35-40 Jesus says, 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

And, if I'm really honest with my emotional, impulsive, anxious, flawed, wrecked self- there's nowhere else I'd rather be than in the midst of the mission of Jesus. I hate feeling like I've watered Him down somehow. It seems as though, when things get under "my control", I seem to leave Jesus on the sideline. I seem to place God on a shelf and say, "I'm just fine here by myself. No crisis. No immediate need, God. Carry on- as You were". If you've been there, right in the heart of God's will for your life, you know, there's nothing sweeter, nothing harder, nothing more heart-breaking or fulfilling than to walk reaching for the robe of the Almighty. Chasing Him- that's where I want to be. I don't know what that means, specifically but something in the realm of serving the least of these- specifically orphans- is rumbling in my spirit. Right now, I just feel like I'm waiting to get on the biggest, most exciting, most terrifying roller coaster and my turn is just around the corner.

That's just where I am. Take it or leave it. No cute pictures of Gemma right now, plenty to come soon as we get our professional Valentine's pictures back from my friend Heather. In the meantime, I'm just sending this out into cyberspace- to those of you who love us and follow this blog to let you know what's on my heart. That's it. like I said. Take it or leave it. I'm done apologizing for not fitting into the mold of the "appropriate" Christian- for being too emotional, dramatic, whatever. If you know the Savior of the World, the Creator of the Universe, you can't just fit Him neatly into a Sunday bulletin. If you really take a chance and let Him into your heart- He'll take over your life... and oh, what a blessed coup that is.


For more info...
Christian Alliance for Orphans:
Amazima Ministries:

Monday, January 16, 2012

Battling Fear... 2012

Starting last year, inspired by Ann Voskamp at, I've started naming my years. Last year was the year of here. And I truly did try to be fully present- soaking up the small moments and the large. Setting aside fears for full absorption of experience. The motivation was to try to relieve some of the anxiety I felt over Gemma's health in the first few months she was born and just enjoy her and my new life as a wife and mama.

I would say that I was more present or at least more aware of my place in situations and experiences because I focused on that theme. It was a successful endeavor but of course, things got in the way, anxiety about her health still remains an ugly monster to fight, and concern for Abe's job still caused me to revert to a longing for the peace that supposedly comes after the storm.

What I'm learning, slowly, and probably will continue to be reminded of until I'm dead, is that the bitter and the sweet exist simultaneously. The fear of her sickness is only cushioned in the awareness of her health- the reality of Abe's seemingly ceaseless job search is only made bearable by the blessing of his current job(s). So, in the midst of striving to be truly present, I must embrace, feel fully, express gratitude during, and experience the bitter times too. It's an ongoing journey, of that I'm certain.

This year, I've decided that the biggest thing I battle is fear. Usually, it takes the form of worry about Gemma. Since she's so small and dependant, I often feel completely alone in care for her. It's totally irrational, Abe is beyond present and involved. I have a loving family and wonderful daycare- friends and a church family who love us all. But, I feel ALONE in my worry. All the time I am concerned, I feel as though I am the only one. I think that may be the biggest rot of worry- the sense that you are alone in your concern. It's much easier to share concern with someone than to feel that you are the only one concerned and thus, the only one responsible for making it okay. I just wish there was some sort of meter or gauge that would tell you how concerned to be about things. I just worry that I'll miss something and since I feel so alone in my worry, I also feel that if I don't look for everything- something could go overlooked and result in something really scary and... it would be MY fault.

Fear comes as a result of a lack of faith- hmmm.... does that sound incredibly harsh? I almost feel bad writing it, but it's true. There are countless times in the Bible that God tells us to not be afraid, have no fear, be fearless. It's so hard to keep that perspective when we see only what's in front of us- this life, this person, this situation. Eternal eyes are fleeting at best. So, I am surrendering this year in faith to God. That I am never alone, never forsaken, never deserted, and never on my own- no matter how scary or unpredictable things may get. I've been praying and thinking a lot about how to battle fear and I've come to a pretty clear direction that my year needs to take. In the book of James 1:5, I've found my "battle cry"-

"If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. "

Because I'm surrendering in faith, this year for me will be the year of "WISDOM". I am CLINGING to the promise that if I ask for wisdom, God will provide it. In every fearful situation, I am committing to pray for wisdom on how to proceed, how concerned to be, the empowerment to follow through on what I feel led to do, and let the rest go. We have a massive group of gifted people surrounding us- doctors, teachers, family, friends, minstry leaders and even though it sometimes feels like it, I am most certainly NOT on my own.

I also have this man beside me who holds my hand, listens to my irrational concerns, tries his hardest to alleviate what he can, and then softly encourages me to give it up to God. It's about time I start listening, huh? This year, when I have a multitude of heavy and life changing decisions on the horizon, I will beg God for His infinite wisdom and actively try to let go of the need to be in charge of it all. Because let's face it, I was never in charge to begin with, right? :)

So, what are you going to focus on this year? Have you considered naming your year? I much prefer it to New Year's resolutions... :) No giving up of chocolate or soda, no disapppointing lack of weight loss... just a constant, prayerful refocusing of the lens through which I view life. But just for the record, I've not missed a day of flossing my teeth since the turn of the year, so there.

Happy New Year!

What I'm reading right now:

Crazy Love by Francis Chan

A Love that Multiplies by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar (knock it off, people.... stop judgin') :)

Couldn't get enough:

Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis and Beth Clark

Choosing to SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope by Mary Beth Chapman

Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way by Shauna Niequist

Feathers from my Nest by Beth Moore

Coming up:

Cold Tangerines by Shauna Niequist

7: An Experimental Mutiny against Excess by Jen Hatmaker