Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Growing Family

As God brought our hearts together as a family to pursue adopting Katie and Christopher several years ago, He has brought us together again with a desire to be a forever family for Anya, Tanya, and Ruslan.

We met Anya and Tanya last summer (2012) through an international hosting program for orphans.  After investing 5 weeks pouring into them, we were gripped with the desire to bring them "home".

For years Anya has prayed for a family, and now God is answering that prayer.  Just as we desired that all may see God clearly through our adoption of Katie and Christopher, we desire that all see the incomprehensible glory of God in what He has now called our family to:  being a forever family for three orphans.

We are now in Eastern Europe to complete the adoption.  Prior to leaving the U.S., I asked Katie if she was excited about her new sisters and brother coming home.  She said she was "happy, but kind of sad."
"Why are you kind of sad?"
"Because all the other kids at the orphanage still need a family."

If you would like to follow the work God is doing for Anya, Tanya, and Ruslan, please go to:

To God be the glory!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


This weekend went...Unplugged.

To start with, my irritation with that mind-numbing box for selling "soft-sin" that sat in my living room finally put me over the top. Now it's in our basement...Unplugged.

No more "baby-sitter" with a cord. We didn't let the t.v. be on that often prior to this weekend, but now it sits in the "dungeon" with its twin and all its technical partners.

To be honest, it's really hard to define, but what we do notice is that our kids (& ourselves) seek God more fervently, love each other more sincerely, and have a lot more self-control when the tube is dark. I truly believe that, for all of its beneficial uses, too often it becomes a conduit for selling selfish thoughts & impatience. And our family benefits from its silence. We'll keep "Tubey" around a while longer, but for now we'll let him rest peacefully.

Secondly, my "Not today" got Unplugged.

Take Jaden, Kellen, & Sage turkey hunting? Well, "Yes, today". We dressed in camo, drove through a creek, ate candy bars, talked about our Great God, army crawled in the dirt, hid behind sagebrush and little cedar trees, made turkey calls, and, oh, yeah, saw some turkeys. What a blast!

Add to that some frisbee, dodgeball, cuddling, Mountain Dew, drum circles, dancing, praying, conversations about our Awesome Lord, and lots of laughing.

"Not today"...Unplugged.

Thirdly, worship Unplugged.

Just two voices, a guitar, a djembe, & a sermon on our need for Jesus. Simple. Like our relationship with God should be...Simple. No PhD required. No multi-media effect required. No coffee kiosk required. No special Bible required. Really there are only two requirements: "...sincerity and truth." (Joshua 24:14)

God gave us a plethera of good things (including t.v.) to enhance our experience of trusting and serving Him, but every now and then the "good things" seem to distract our eyes and interests from the One who gave them to us.

So...have I gone Amish? Are we trading our minivan in for a horse and buggy?

I'd be lying to say that it doesn't seem appealing from time to time, but the Unplugged version of life reminded us this weekend that "All of life, comes down to just One thing. That's to know You, O', Jesus!, & make You known."

Maybe we should Unplug more often...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Let there be Light...

"Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you." (Is. 60:1-2)

God, may every day be about You and Your glory. May Your everlasting light shine.

The Light has come, indeed. And it will never leave...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Night Lights Out...(O Sacred Head, Now Wounded)

"He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.'

'Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed."
'All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:3-6)

And the lights went out...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Isn't she bright, and cute, and cheerful?!? Yeah...this is what I would like to feel like! (I think my hubby and kids would like that too!) However, today, this is a little more accurate...

It is just one of those days when it is difficult to be loving and encouraging. I am quick to snap, easy to become irritable, and looking to pick an argument! I just want to be grumpy!

Unfortunately, the grumpiness is oozing out of me and infecting all the innocent bystanders--my husband and kids!

I need an attitude adjustment.

I tried dice.

I vented...nada.

I took a cat nap...still grumpy!

I think during these times, it is easy to believe the lies of this world...I can't control my emotions...I deserve to be grumpy...I can't help how I respond when my hormones are out of's all about me...

I am reading a great book right now called Lies Women Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It has been reminding me of my need to renew my mind (my thinking) by the Word of God. So, I went to my backpack (which is still unpacked from the hospital) and pulled out this book. I referred to some of the truths that counter these lies that I'm believing. Here is one that just happened to catch my eye...

There is no excuse for ungodly attitudes, responses, or behavior.

Ummm....maybe I shouldn't have gotten this book out after all. But I keep reading, and I turn to 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 in the Bible...

Now may the God of peace make you holy in every way, and may your whole
spirit and soul and body be kept blameless until that day when our Lord Jesus
Christ comes again. God, who calls you, is faithful; he will do this.

Although I feel like I want to cling to grumpiness right now, my heart's desire is to be holy and blameless before God.

So, I am making a decision to choose a right attitude, a right response, and a right behavior--and I sense God's prompting me to begin this change of heart by publicly asking Todd's forgiveness...

Todd I love you! Will you forgive me for being argumentative, rude, and grumpy?

It's amazing how God works. The truth truly sets us free. I think I can see the sunshine starting to peek out!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Good Night

It's pretty tough to look at one of your precious ones when their hooked up to all sorts of hospital contraptions. You can't even hold them as cuddly as you want. You know that they are less than comfortable, but you know that those contraptions are helping them to improve their condition.

As a dad, I typically respond to illness in my children with frustration and anger. Not so much anger that spills over toward my children, but anger that I feel helpless to "fix" what is wrong. I've had great difficulty trusting God with the health of my kids. I know intellectually that He is more than Sufficient and Capable, and I choose to believe that. I know experientially that He is Sovereign over ALL things, and I choose to believe that. But there is difficulty in living that belief out.

I'm thankful that God continues to be just as Sufficient, just as Capable, & just as Sovereign no matter how I'm feeling or what I'm believing. He just IS. Malachi 3:6 says, "For I AM the LORD, I do not change..." Amen.

As it all relates to Katie, she is doing well. She should be able to come back home tomorrow morning. I can't wait. I hate leaving her hospital room knowing that I won't wake up and see her. I can only "visit" her.

For those parents who have a routine of hospital visitations and stays, I pray that God surrounds and protects your family, and that He provides you with encouragement and refreshment at just the right times.

I am hopeful and excited that tomorrow I will tell Katie "Goodnight. Sleep in the knowledge of the presence of God.", then kiss her, lay her down in her bed with her idea of a pillow, and know that she is home. That will be followed by a "Daddy, ada pease?" Then I'll get the water, and she'll say, "Taint-yu, Daddy."

Then I will know that it is a Good Night.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Back to the hospital...

Since arriving home with our family, Katie has flourished beyond our expectations. Sometimes I catch myself smiling and just watching her interact with her brothers and sister.

Everything from her physical motor skills to her health to her verbal communication has really blown us away. We are so thankful at how God has allowed her to blossom. So much personality in such a small package.

However, it seems that we keep revisiting ear infections. She has basically spent most of her life suffering from an ear infection or trying to recover from one(or two). As a result, the fluid and pressure in her ears is not able to drain properly. Well, this week we are hoping that those problems will be taken care of.

Thanks to a well organized and thorough team of doctors here in Billings, we were able to coordinate for Katie to have a "simple" procedure done in which she will have tubes put in to relieve pressure and fluid. Of course, by now you know, there is not much related to Katie's healthcare that is "simple".

Normally, the procedure would take less than half a day including the prep and observation/recovery time. In Katie's case, she will go in this afternoon to begin prep which will include an IV and a blood transfusion (courtesy of an unknown selfless volunteer who donated their own time and blood- Thank you). That will make up most of today. She will stay overnight, then wake up in the morning for the procedure. She will remain in the hospital for obeservation and recovery until Wednesday if all goes according to plan.

She seems to be doing very well today, which is a great sign. We are praying for God to strengthen her body for the procedure, protect her during the procedure and recovery from it, and for God to bless the doctors with success in all of their hard work. There are multiple variables (too numerous to mention) that the doctors have had to account for to keep Katie from as many risks as possible with her sickle cell. Thank you to them from our family for their dilligence, thoroughness, and humility.

Pray with us on her and her doctors' behalf. Thank Him with us also for bringing Katie to the one place in the world where she would have everything she needed. Just as God had prepared our family to receive Christopher and Katie, he also prepared our community both spiritually, physically and intellectually. Even before Katie made it to MT, God was training some of the doctors and hospital staff in treating a patient with sickle cell. He also brought into our lives folks whom have been a tremendous asset in making sure that she gets proper treatments (which are often quite different than the norm).

God is always Good. He is always Sovereign. He is always Omnipotent. He is never surprised. We rest in our Father and Lord. He is our Sufficiency. There is none who love our little Katie more than Him. So, while we pray on her behalf, we pray not with worry, but with trust in the One who heals merely with His Word.

James 5:16-18