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What the World Is Looking For...

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The other night, I was sitting in my kitchen with a friend who had just stopped by for a little bit to hang out, when my phone rang.  Preoccupied, I chose not to answer it, figuring if it was that important, the teen would text me too.  About two minutes passed, when all of a sudden I heard this crazy loud knock on my door.  When I opened it, there stood a sophomore boy from my youth group, completely out of breath, with this look of shock on his face.

To be honest, my first thought was, "oh my word...someone died."  That was quickly replaced with, "oh my word...someone's in labor," as that same teenager blurted out, "she's ready!!!  Within a matter of seconds, all my confusion turned into crazy excitement, as I found out "she's ready" actually meant one of our senior high girls who we had been praying for, for about 2 years, had finally decided to give her life to Christ.

The next 15-20 minutes that unfolded would become one of those mom…

Your Life Story is Epic...

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"Your life story is epic."  Those were the words spoken by my Dad's Associate Pastor last night as we celebrated 44 years of my my parents ministry as Pastors.   I still remember at the young age of 4 years old, standing in front of a moving truck, clutching my Cabbage Patch doll with my sisters, bawling my eyes out as I experienced my first move as a Pastor's Kid (or PK as we have come to label ourselves).  I had no idea what the life of a PK really looked like, or what it would ask of us as a family.  All I knew was that my parents were following the call of God in total surrender, and I wasn't sure what that meant.
Fast forward 35 years.  I am now that parent.  I am now that Pastor.
When I was a little kid, I followed my Dad everywhere.  I wanted to be just like him.  If he went to the hospital, I begged him to go with.  If he was going to the office, I wanted to hang out (even if that meant that I sometimes got in trouble...like the time I threw a football t…

Reclaiming My Best Self...

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WARNING...THIS IS LONG, RAW AND HONEST.

This past Wednesday I found myself in a Tattoo Parlor with four friends who watched me get my nosed pierced.  I guess I should clarify to say that I didn't just "find" myself there, and my four friends definitely didn't drag me there.  It was a choice, and one that most people who know me well are still saying, "I can't believe you actually let someone stick a needle through your nose when you are terrified of needles."  Side note, the needle used was pretty large according to my four friends, but I wouldn't have a clue because my eyes were shut so tight.  It may sounds silly, but the little stud in my nose, which is honestly pretty small, represents something so much bigger than one night out with some friends.  It's a symbol of the start to reclaiming my best self, the one that God created me to be.

I'm going to be real, honest and raw with you.  The past couple of years have been really challenging…

Sing Your Hallelujah...

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I decided to give up complaining for Lent.  I made the decision to put a quarter in a jar every time I complained and then I was going to do something with the money I collected.  To be honest, I didn't really have a plan for what I was going to do with the money, because I was hoping there wouldn't be much in the jar, but yesterday I dumped the whole roll in the jar, fully knowing where my heart has been and called it a day (this was to the benefit of my kids who became the recipient of the quarters, because I was too cheap to buy candy to stuff our eggs with...everyone wins, right?).

Truth be told, life can just be draining.  Parenting is hard.  Work in never ending.  We never seem to have enough time in a day.  Marriage is work.  Transitions can kick the life out of you.  Expectations sometimes aren't met.  Disappointments are a real.  Relationships are complicated.  And sometimes, you just find yourself struggling to keep your head above water.  And so you complain.  …

What Matters Most...

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It's been almost 3 months since we've been home with our sweet Madhavi.  It feels like just yesterday, Nate and I were just on a plane to India, staring at each other, wondering what this next chapter of life would bring.  I don't think in those moments we really had any idea what we were getting ourselves into, but we were hopeful that love would prove to be transformational.

Today, we received Madi's certificate of citizenship in the mail and couldn't get over the contrast of the picture on the certificate (which was taken the day we took her out of the orphanage), and the little girl sitting in front of us.  Even Madi, when she looked at the picture, got visibly upset and pushed it away.  A child once full of fear, sadness, and despair, now runs around with her big brother laughing, whispering secrets, and calling your name over and over to show you everything that's a part of her new world.  Love is a pretty powerful thing.

Two weeks ago, I went back to wo…

Come And See What God Has Done...

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Five years ago, Christmas morning, I sat around the dining room table with my family, struggling to choose joy in the midst of an adoption journey that had caused me to question whether we too would have kids sitting around the table one Christmas.  We had already been waiting two years to be matched with a child half way around the world, a child that we believed God had called us to be his forever family.  The match seemed no where's in sight.  That Christmas, if I would have described my life as a tapestry, the only description would have been a pile of messy threads in which I struggled to find a beauty.

Fast forward to this morning, five years later.  We are at the same table, with the same family, but this time with two new blessings that have allowed us to catch a glimpse of this unbelievable tapestry he's been creating of our lives.  The blessings have come from the other side of the world, one from Ethiopia and one from India, two littles who have changed our perspec…

The Messy and The Beautiful...

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"Be strong and courageous...the Lord will be with you wherever you go (Deuteronomy 1:9)."  That verse seemed to be the one God had chosen for me over the past three weeks of my life.  I had read those words over and over in multiple devotionals, been texted those words from several friends, and stumbled on them continually as I started on a journey that would prove to be one that required strength.
God must have a sense of humor, because for both of our adoptions, we were given 1-4 days to prepare to fly across the world to pick up our kiddos (opposed to the typical 2 week notice).  I kind of think it was a good thing, because when you're given 48 hours to buy plane tickets, pack, and get your work covered, there's not a whole lot of time left to worry.  That's what the 17 hour flight is for.
Before we left, our social worker had told us that we should keep our expectations low when it comes to how our day would go in meeting and bringing home our daughter.  I t…