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Blessed Beyond...

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He told us that God wanted to "bless us in huge ways."  He continued to say, "I'm not just talking about blessing your youth ministry, or even this mission trip, but he wants to bless you beyond what you can imagine in something you've been praying for in your home."  "He" was a Youth Pastor of one of my friends from Honduras, whom I had just met about an hour before he spoke those words.

There have been very few times that someone has spoken prophetically to me and I didn't walk away feeling like I was questioning everything they said.  This was one of those moments.  I felt as though God was speaking through this man directly to Nate and I.  I walked away feeling confident that God was up to something, and while I had no idea what, he was going to do something seriously awesome.  That happened on August 16th.

Fast forward to this past Thursday, September 21, just a little over a month later.  Nate and I both received a phone call from our s…

A Generosity That Humbles Us...

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The other day, I was working at my desk, attempting to tackle the never ending list of things to do, when one of my teens dropped by to visit me after school.  He had texted me to see if I was there, and after responding, "yes," he was flying through the door, carrying one piece of pumpkin cake in one hand a Tupperware container in the other.  Now it's important to first know, it's not rare for this kid to visit me, and when he does, he usually roots through my snacks and drinks, grabs a seat on my couch, and I often quiz him on his Spanish.  So when I noticed he was only carrying one slice of pumpkin bread, and obviously didn't bring me one, I immediately let him know how I felt about that.  Within a few seconds, he was trying to hand me over  half of his, offering to go get a piece for me at his house, and attempting to dig himself out of hole he had found himself in.

After we joked around about his decision to ruin my day by eating one of the best things abou…

Pink Frosting Celebrations...

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This morning Biruk looked at me and said, "Mommy...I wish my sister was home.  That way she could play with me and I wouldn't have to keep asking you to play!"  I smiled at him and said, "Me too, buddy.  Me too."

You would think that your second time adopting would be so much easier than the first, but that just doesn't seem to be the case.  Sure, you have a better idea of what it means to really "wait," you have one leg up on creative fundraising ideas, you've honed the "skill" of completing paperwork like a champ, and checking emails for new "updates" becomes part of the daily routine.

But...at the end of the day, you are here and your child is somewhere on the other side of the world and there is nothing "easy" about that.

I want to be the one to tuck her in at night, to read stories to her, to have dance parties and eat ice cream until our bellies ache, to remind her that she's loved and she's safe, t…

A Prayer for Our Little One...

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Mother's Day has always brought a bunch of different emotions for me.  From skipping Mother's Day because the infertility journey was just too difficult, to honoring my own mother who continues to be rock solid encourager in my life, to being "expectant" with a baby who I had just met for a brief few moments living on the other side of the world, to celebrating my very first Mother's Day as an adoptive Mom, I feel like each year brings something different for me, and this year is no different.

Yesterday, as I was running along the beach, I couldn't help but think about the fact that in many ways, I am again in the "expecting" stage of adoption, as we were recently matched with our little one from India.  While I'm not carrying a child in my belly, she is already deeply embedded in my heart, which makes this Mama wish she could speed the process up a bit, especially on this Mother's Day.   Nevertheless, I've learned in my years of waitin…

Companionship in Suffering...

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Several weeks ago, our Lead Pastor asked if I would like to preach at the Maundy Thursday Service.  While I was excited to have the opportunity to preach, I knew from the start it would be a challenge for me.  The thought of focusing on one of Jesus' most difficult nights in his journey didn't necessarily thrill me, and preaching on The Garden of Gethsemane had suffering written all over it.  I've never really loved suffering...but then again, who does?  I guess it's because when I allow my eyes to see it, something breaks inside of my soul in a way that I'm not really sure what to do at times.

It happened the first time I stepped foot in a government run girls orphanage in Honduras, one that housed teenagers who had been abused, neglected and abandoned.

It happened when I stood in the middle of a city dump in the Dominican Republic and watched human beings not only rummage through our garbage, but then attempt to live in it.

It happened when I sat at the bedside …

Longing for Community...

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A couple of weeks ago I returned from a trip to Honduras.  It was probably my 15th time being there, but for some reason, the transition back home was harder than it's been on trips in the past.  Maybe it is was fact that we went from 95 degree weather to 20 degree weather in a matter of 24 hours and I just couldn't handle it.  Maybe it was the reminder that my third cup of Espresso Americano in a matter of 1 hour would be the last for another 6 months.  Or maybe it was just because I had felt a deep sense of community during those 10 days.

I felt community as we sat around the table eating meals together, sharing our stories.  I felt it as we stayed up into the late hours playing games, laughing together, and living "stress free."  I felt is as we served together, ministering to over 1200 kids.  I felt is as we debriefed each night, creating space and time to speak words of encouragement, and to speak about what God was teaching each of us.  I felt it as we shared …

The God of Impossibilities...

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I'm amazed that Mary said yes.  I found myself sitting in church this morning wondering if I would have done the same.  Would I have said yes?  If the angel would have appeared in my bedroom at the age of 14 or 15, would I have had the courage to say yes?  I want to say I would, but the reality is, even at 37 years of age, "saying yes" to God is sometimes like taking this blind leap of faith in hopes that in the end a parachute will appear (as our Pastor described it to us this morning).  I guess that's what really strikes me most about Mary.  She didn't just say yes.  She said it with a confidence.  She said it as though she knew a little about this God who could do the impossible.

Sometimes I wish that the things that God asked us to do felt a little more like jumping off the first step and a little less like jumping out of an airplane...wondering if the parachute really works.

Last Thursday, Nate and I found ourselves on a conference call with our social work…