Fun Fact Friday – April 28, 2017

Another week has flown by … and we are back here on a Friday!

  1. We had a family birthday this week! Now our kids are ages 16, 14, 13, 12, 8, 6, and 4. Whoa.
  2. I feel in my element during this season of my life. Things are often hard and exhausting, but we are exactly where God wants us. It feels good.
  3. Tomorrow night, Papa and I are going to go see a play! My big Christmas gift to him this past year was for tickets to 3 different shows (in 2017) at our local theater. We thoroughly enjoy a good play/musical! I love date night with Papa. It’s the best!
  4. All of our major appliances are white. They are so easy to clean, which is of utmost importance to me!
  5. We have rented our house for almost 8 years. It’s the longest we have lived in any single home.
  6. Though the idea of owning a home again sounds fun and exciting, we are quite content and thoroughly enjoying where we are right now as renters.
  7. This house is a 3-bedroom house, but we have put up various temporary walls using bookshelves, PVC pipes and curtains. It is now a 6 “bedroom” house, hahahaha!
  8. When I wear headphones or earbuds, I like to keep one ear uncovered/open so I can hear what’s going on around me. It feels too isolating if I have both ears blocked. The only time I really like having both ears covered is when I am on an airplane. It’s so nice to block out all of the plane and people noise. haha!
  9. I prefer bolder, stronger colors over soft pastels.
  10. Our kids earn their screen time by getting ready for the day and doing their chores by 9am every morning. If they don’t finish them by 9am, no screen time minutes are earned and they still have to do their chores. (Trying to teach time management with their daily responsibilities.) In addition, unless it’s for school, our kids only have screen time over the weekend, not during the school week. I love not having the TV, gaming devices or tablets on throughout the week (unless it’s school related)! They are a huge distraction for my kids, so we simply set them aside for the 5 weekdays.
  11. One of my very favorite flowers is a hydrangea. It’s not that it’s the most beautiful or fragrant of flowers, but because it reminds me of my mom and my grandma. It’s more of a nostalgic-type flower than one that captivates me with its beauty.

Speaking of flowers, I hope and pray you can enjoy a nice walk where you live and behold the beauty of God’s creation all around you! He is quite the artist.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

To God be the Glory!

Whoa, that was fast

Confession: This post was written in real-time as things unfolded, but it was not posted in real-time. For whatever reason, I have felt the need to delay sharing the posts regarding Munchkin’s permanency. I have wanted to keep them personal for a bit as I processed through various aspects of the process before “going live” with them. Nonetheless, please know that the emotions, thoughts and beliefs I share are still very real from when originally written.


As foster parents, we have the opportunity to attend any and all hearings for each child’s case (who we are caring for at the time). In the 5 1/2 years of serving in foster care, this is not something we have chosen to do. We have opted to simply wait for the update from the caseworker (CW) and/or guardian ad litem (GAL).

There’s always room for doing something new and different.

I went to the latest court hearing for Munchkin’s case, knowing hers is imminently moving toward permanency. This time, I wanted to hear all of the details of the hearing firsthand instead of just getting the summarized version.

Once the hearing began, they made their usual introductions so the court has record of who was present at the time. They included me in those introductions as I sat in the second row of the wooden pews in the courtroom. The Judge, a very kind and gentle man, looked up from his papers at me with a genuine smile and softly said, “I’m sure [Papa] would’ve liked to have been here, too.”

Wait, what?

Does he remember me?
Does he remember us?
Is this a normal or typical comment?

Over 4 years ago, Papa, our children, and I walked into his courtroom for the first time to adopt our amazing little Taz. He doesn’t normally allow children into his courtroom as they can be a bit disruptive, but, Taz’s CW and GAL advocated for our children to be there for his adoption. They knew our children would behave well, and they did exactly that. I still remember hearing the Judge make a comment after the adoption hearing was completed about our children being the most well behaved children he’s had in his courtroom. Music to a Momma’s ears.

With this floating in the back of my mind as he made this comment, I couldn’t help but wonder, does he truly remember us? Did we make a strong enough and lasting impression for him to remember us 4 years later? Maybe? Maybe not? Either way, it seemed like he personally connected with me/us. Whoa.

As the hearing promptly proceeded, Munchkin’s caseworker declared DHS’s policy recommendation for permanency with the extended family. The GAL objected and declared her recommendation for permanency placement with us.

This means we move to a contested hearing.

As they casually discussed the goal of the next hearing and when it would be, they quickly threw out various dates and other lingo I could not follow, until it was all settled. The contested hearing was set. In less than 2 weeks, we will know Munchkin’s future. Did you catch that? LESS THAN TWO WEEKS!

Whoa, that was fast.

I had anticipated a summer date, so this quick turn caught me off guard. Not in a bad way, just in a surprised way. Things are suddenly moving fast. Very fast.

I am grateful.

I desire for Munchkin to truly experience her permanent home as soon as possible. She’s ready to call someone “Mom” and “Dad.” At this time, she calls us “Auntie” and “Uncle” … as she does the extended family members, too. For one of us couples, our titles will change very soon and Munchkin will fully settle into her forever home.

The hearing wrapped up and the caseworker and GAL came over to chat and make sure I understood what all had just happened. The gist, we will know Munchkin’s permanent future in a very short time.

Once the CW and GAL were pulled away into a different conversation or left the room, I gathered my belongings to prepare to leave. As I stood, I looked up at the Judge to find he was already looking at me. I nodded my head with gratitude and mouthed, “thank you.” He nodded in return as a smile spread across his face.

I quietly walked out of the courtroom.

Friends, I do not know what will happen in the coming days and weeks, but I do know the Lord is good. No matter what happens, we can trust Him. If she is adopted by us, praise Him! If she is adopted by her extended family, praise Him! God gets all of the glory. He works in and through us in more ways than we ever thought or imagined. People see Jesus in us. His light shines bright as we continue to love Him, love people, and obey His Word. This doesn’t mean we always get what we want or that things will go smoothly, but we do have full assurance that He is with us … every single step of the way.

To God be the Glory!

Trust: Munchkin’s permanency

Confession: This post was written in real-time, but it was not posted in real-time. This sat in my drafts for a few weeks. I feel it is now time to share it with you. This is my heart: trust.


I awoke this morning extremely early to care for Munchkin’s medical needs and found I could not go back to sleep. There is far too much on my mind.

My heart is heavy. Tears keeping welling up in my eyes and dripping down my cheeks. My emotions are pretty raw, again.

Recently, Papa and I had a team meeting, of sorts, with Munchkin’s extended Family, the Caseworker, and the Guardian Ad Litem (the GAL is Munchkin’s personal lawyer provided by the state). As her case moves toward “permanency” (adoption), the Caseworker arranged for us all to meet and discuss, share, communicate, be open and honest, and simply express where we are at in this process.

A couple within the extended family wants to adopt Munchkin.

We want to adopt Munchkin.

There is so much love for her … yet, there is so much tension. Tension with some of the extended family members (not with the couple who wants to adopt her). We are so blessed to know and get along beautifully with the couple (who want to adopt Munchkin) as we FaceTime every couple of weeks to maintain family connections.

If there is one thing I don’t like, though it’s often inevitable in situations like this, is tension. Things get emotional, angst and stress rises, people get stubborn and frustrated. The very opposite of what we want, which is to be open, happens. People close up, hold on tight, won’t let go, and even shut down.

Closed fists instead of open hands.

After the meeting, it all feels just … yuck.

I honestly don’t know what to do in this situation. I can’t go into details, for privacy sake, but man, this stinks. It hurts and it’s hard.

Throughout this process of moving toward Munchkin’s permanency/adoption, I have had a picture of willingly holding her life in my opened hands, allowing the Lord to keep her here with us or freely remove her from our hands/home to go to her extended family. Earlier this week, I was again picturing this in my mind, when I sensed the Lord urging me to go one step furtherWill I willingly hand her over to the Lord? Not only hold her life with open hands, but will I willingly let her go, giving her into the Lord’s hands, and trusting Him to place her in her permanent home/family?

I didn’t hesitate, in my mind’s eye, to do just that. I gave her to the Lord. I absolutely trust Him with her very life. 100%.

Now, in this tear-filled, heart-wrenching morning, I still trust the Lord. He is continuing to write our story, her story, all of our stories, and I trust that He will do great and amazing things. I don’t know what the outcome will be or who the Judge will ultimately decide to be her mom and dad, but we trust the Lord to show the way.

I am reminded of this beautiful song by Lauren Daigle, Trust in You. The lyrics are so powerful and declare beautifully my heart in this situation. Yes, I will trust in You, Lord! My very favorite line from the song is, “I want what you want Lord and nothing less.” Amen and Amen!

As you may have noticed, a few of my recent posts have been filled with a lot of questions and some big emotions. Even though questions keep arising, emotions intensifying, fears coming and going … God has been and will continue to be the foundation on which we stand. Our faith and trust in His Sovereignty has remained constant. He is carrying us through this, even in the unknown. Papa and I truly trust that God has a plan far greater than we could every comprehend or imagine. He is faithful, my friends, truly faithful.

Lord, keep us humble in this process. Please show us how to love well, even when it’s difficult. Give us eyes to see the brokenness, the hurting, and increase our compassion. We see how so much of the angst and tension is rooted in fear. Pure fear. Oh Lord, let us not respond in fear, but in obedience and love. We want to shine for you, we want to love well, especially in the challenging times. We don’t know what will happen in the future … where Munchkin will live, who will adopt her, or how long the process will take place … but You know. We trust You. Always and forever. I say this with every single ounce of my heart, soul, mind and strength, Lord, may Your perfect will be done. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

To God be the Glory … and may all see His glory … and praise His Holy Name. Amen and Amen.

Fun Fact Friday – April 21, 2017

It’s Fun Fact Friday!

  1. Eight years ago, today, our family made a quick and major move to a new state. It’s amazing how fast time flies.
  2. I still catch myself mentally or verbally saying, “7, we have 7 kids right now!” We ARE crazy (in the most fun, exciting, never-a-dull-moment kind of way)!
  3. When we have a bunch of left-over taco meat from “Taco Tuesday” dinner, I often use it as the base for a batch of chili the next day. The taco seasoning on the meat adds a nice kick and flavor to the chili. If there is any leftover chili, we can then use it for another meal as a topper for a baked potato bar (which is something we rarely do because the chili is typically gone).
  4. Growing up, I recall having 3 dinners we regularly ate together as a family: spaghetti, mac n cheese (with peas and apple sauce), and chicken & noodles (with green beans). Oh, and pizza. We like pizza (take ‘n’ bake).
  5. I did not like onions, garlic, or cashews as a kid. Now, I really enjoy them!
  6. I love the rain.
  7. This is the first week I have ever had a child in the public school system. Drop-offs, pick-ups, lunches, homework, teachers, field trips, etc. This is due to the fact that our new foster placement is enrolled in the local elementary school. It’s a whole new world.
  8. I love homeschooling.
  9. When I am deep in thought (often when I’m emailing, researching or writing), I often stare directly at people. Not to truly see or watch them, but it’s just something I unknowingly do as I think. The kids now recognize “the look” and know that if they start talking to me, I likely won’t be able to truly hear them, even though I am looking right at them. haha!
  10. I wrote these “fun facts” while the kids were not around, so I resorted to staring at a sign above Papa and my bedroom door. It didn’t inspire me in any way, but it did help me to have something to focus on while I processed my thoughts.

I feel caught

This post may be a bit messy, raw, and all over the map as I work though my thoughts in this post. But, please hang in there with me. Sometimes I meander through the thick forest of my mind a bit before I get back into the open field where I can see a bit more clearly.

In a recent post, I shared a little bit of the process for Munchkin’s case. As we move toward a permanency plan, I still find myself struggling to know exactly what to do.

I feel caught.

Something I have learned about myself, is that I tend to lean toward travelling the easy road. Quite honestly, if there is any point of stress or tension, frustration or angst, hindrances or barriers, or if anyone is simply unhappy … I tend to question if what is being done is “right.” Right equals easy, with no resistance, correct? Hmmmmm … yeah, I do realize that is not reality, but it’s what I often think. In fact, some of the very best and “right” things are the most challenging, stressful and difficult to do. Yet, I like making everyone happy (which I understand is not possible), so where does that leave me?


This road is not easy. There is stress, tension, frustration, angst, and pain. I feel caught in the thickets and thorns of the forest.

As I contemplate over and over and over again all that is happening in Munchkin’s case, I find that the most common thread through all of my questioning and confusion is … FEAR. It is paralyzing. I have very real fears about whether we are doing the “right” thing by putting ourselves as an option for adoption. Are we going against the goal of foster care (reunification with family) by not just stepping aside and letting extended family adopt her? I have fears of the extended family hating us if the judge sides with us. I also fear if we will be “good enough” for Munchkin. Fear. Doubt. These are nasty little enemies.

I continue to wrestle and fight them. Caught between my fears and my faith. 

It’s crazy how easily fear can sneak in and take residence. Once I recognize it for what it is, I have to beat it down and kick it to the curb. I must remember WHO GOD IS in all of this. He will strengthen and uphold me with His righteous right hand. He will guide my steps. He will go before me. He will continue to be Sovereign. He will comfort those who mourn. He will continue to be GOOD.

Sometime soon, we will have a contested hearing (more like a trial) where Papa and I (and likely others) will be put on the “witness stand” to testify. We won’t be at the courthouse to discount the family or do any mudslinging, we will simply express our hearts, our lives, our hopes, our dreams, and our experiences with Munchkin. The judge will want to hear what we do to love and care for her, so we will do just that. We will share exactly who we are, just as the extended family will share exactly who they are.

Yes, this is where the rubber meets the road. You see, God has created me to sacrifice myself often. Even as a little girl, I had compassion ooze from my being. It’s easy for me to set aside my own desires and wishes more often than I confess and share them. I feel what people feel, so if I know that something I am doing can cause them heartache … that in and of itself makes my own heart ache. I want to stop their pain and struggle. I’d rather feel the pain instead of them. I don’t know how to find the middle ground and make everyone happy. Reality is, this will not happen in this case. Not everyone will be “happy.” Some will grieve, while others will rejoice. No matter what is decided by the judge, the trajectory of Munchkin’s life will eventually be set. Lives will be changed forever. Tears will be shed. Smiles will be seen. Hugs will be exchanged.

Oh man, this is a going to be hard, probably harder than I may realize or expect.

Yes, my heart remains raw in this process. It is vulnerable and open to possible pain and suffering. I am coming out of the forest. I can see it clearly. This road was not meant to be easy, but, it was meant to be traveled.

Lord, help me to …

… remain open-handed.

… trust.

… fight the fears.

… shush the lies.

… love deeply.

This is a journey that is and will continue to be covered in prayer.

To God be the Glory!

Permanency: Munchkin

This post is shared with a bit of hesitation and heartache, as well as a little anxiety thrown into the mix.

Our little Munchkin is moving toward permanency. This means Munchkin will most likely be adopted in the near-ish future. As her case unfolds, we will find out who the state decides will be adopting her.

Will they approve us, or will they approve her extended family?

We are more than willing and ready, and her family is as well. The courts typically side with family/kin as long as it’s safe and possible. Family is so important, so vital. This means it’s likely not looking favorable in our direction.

My heart hurts.

I don’t want to say goodbye … if it leads to that. I want to hold and love her forever. I want to see her grow up into a beautiful young woman who seeks the Lord and impacts those around her. I want to nurture her and help her develop skills and passions that bring glory to the Lord. I want to teach, train and raise her as our daughter.

I want to hear her call me, “Momma.”

I have waves of feeling (inner) peace about everything, regardless of outcome and circumstances, only to be followed closely by waves of turmoil and questions. Ugh. This is so hard!!!

Yet, in the emotional struggle, we choose to stand firm. We will stand firm in full trust in the Lord. Even when it does not look favorable, we will trust. Even when time is running short, we will trust. Even in the unknown, we will trust.

The Lord has always been faithful. We will continue to rest in who He is and trust Him in this, no matter the outcome.

The biggest question I have is … how much do we fight for her? We want her as our daughter so deeply, but how do we know how to go about this? We have never been in this situation before, so this is new territory.

  • Part of me wants to wait, watch, and see what the Lord will do (praying for a miracle!) …
  • Part of me wants to hold on tight and never let go …
  • Part of me wants to be open-handed and trust God with the outcome (whatever that may be) …
  • Part of me wants to get in the ring, so-to-speak, and fight for her. How “fighting” for her would look, I have no idea. It’s not naturally in me/us to do, so getting pushy or bold before a judge, feels … weird and unnatural.

Lord, show us how to respond and move forward in all of this.

I anticipate these next months will be emotional ones. The future is unknown … but we will continue to remind ourselves of the Truth and of who God is, even when our emotions are all over the map.

He. Is. Sovereign.

Lord, may You prepare the way for Munchkin’s life … wherever that may be …

To God be the Glory!

Fun Fact Friday – April 14, 2017

Sorry to miss Fun Fact Friday last week … but I’m back again! Here are a few fun facts about me, Momma. 🙂

  1. The longer we serve in the foster care system, the deeper my passion grows for all of the people involved in it: children, birth families, caseworkers, GALs (Guardian Ad Litems), Judges, Attorneys, aides, licensing workers, fellow foster families, etc.
  2. I have had more people in the last few months talk, share, and ask questions about foster care than I have had in a long while. I absolutely love it. If you want to connect with me, please feel free to click the “contact me” tab at the top of the page!
  3. I miss drinking coffee on a daily basis.
  4. I do not particularly enjoy eating grass-fed beef (unless it’s ground beef). It truly smells and tastes like I’m eating a cow. Yes, yes, I know that’s exactly what I’m doing … but the gamey taste is a bit much for me.
  5. I do not wear only gold or only silver jewelry. I prefer to wear a combination of the two, if at all possible.
  6. When I was a little girl, I watched 3 movies over and over and over again: Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. My sister and I sang the songs frequently, similar to how it is today with each new Disney movie that is released (Frozen, Tangled, Moana).
  7. Ice skating intimidates me. I always picture myself falling on my booty, on my skate, landing on the back tip of the ice blade. Ouch!!!
  8. I am not coordinated enough in my fingers to play video games these days. I get all confused with the plethora of button options. Now, give me an old school, simple, few buttons, rectangular-shaped gray Nintendo controller and I’m good-to-go.

A sweet addition

As I write this, it is 5am, the house is completely dark. Everyone is sleeping. It is quiet.

I treasure these moments of quiet and solitude. With a house full of children, it is not typically quiet, nor am I often alone. Yet, I adore having a bustling home. Sure, I have a points of hitting my threshold of noise levels, but truly, I am so blessed with a home full of people I love and cherish.

So, why not add more?

Yesterday, I received a call at 8am from a local DHS worker. As the caller’s name displayed on my cell, I knew who it was. She is the caseworker for Munchkin’s case. Naturally, I anticipated an update about her situation.

Surprisingly, this was a call of a different kind.

She saw we were licensed for two foster children and knew we only had one in our home: Munchkin. She let me know there was another precious little girl needing a loving and nurturing home.

I took down the information, as fast as I could write, asked a few questions, and immediately called Papa at work. I conveyed all of the information to him and waited for his initial reaction.

I didn’t have to wait long.

He confidently replied, “This may sound crazy, but I immediately want to say yes.”

Though Papa couldn’t see it, a smile spread across my face as he spoke those words. I had that same feeling and response.

One of the bars we use to gage our answers for possible placements is, “If it’s not a heck yes, it’s a no.” We didn’t have any “no” in us with this call. We did have some questions, but no deal breakers. All of the lights appeared to be green.

But, there is another bar we need to reach to continue to move forward: our children.

With Papa on the speaker phone, I called all 6 of the kids into our bedroom and they piled high on our bed. Whenever there is a spontaneous family “meeting” (of sorts), they often get a bit excited. They know something important is about to be discussed or shared.

Without going into the details of her case, we simply sought their input on welcoming a new little one into our home. Their thoughts, feelings, perspectives and insights are so valuable. After all, we are a foster family, not just foster parents. Everyone is impacted when there is an addition.

Across the board the kids were open and willing. “Let’s do this.” “I want to.” “I’m ok with it.” One gave an “a-ok” sign with his hands. There is always a bit of wonder, nervousness and excitement as the news settles. Change does this. But, overall, they all expressed they are ready to open their hearts up once again and love another child. We have amazing children.

As we continued to discuss what would happen, they did ask 3 specific questions:

  1. “Where will she sleep?”
  2. “How will we fit in the car?”
  3. “Does she have medical needs like Munchkin?”

We addressed each concern quite easily as Papa and I had previously discussed the first two questions and we knew the answer to the third (no known medical needs). It’s interesting to see them respond with practical needs in mind (beds, cars, medical) instead of more abstract needs (emotional, psychological, etc.). We hope and pray this is because they know love is multiplied, not subtracted, when precious little ones come into our home.

Once we all had ample time to share and listen to one another, Papa prayed. I wish I could’ve taken a picture of our beautiful children heaped on the bed, surrounding my phone, listening intently to Papa, as we all prayed together.

We truly are a foster family.

The rest of the day was full of anticipation as we did not know exactly when the new little one would move in with us. I kid you not, the children asked me a couple dozen times throughout the day when she would arrive. “Have you heard anything yet?” “When is she coming?” I do believe they are a wee bit excited. In fact, we all are!

We finally heard later in the day that she would be coming the following afternoon (which is today). We had some extra time to prepare.

Besides those who were at swim practice for the evening, the rest of us did various things to prepare for her arrival. We moved some beds around, purchased some new clothes, and also picked up some adorable new pink and purple bedding for her.

One thing we have experienced, foster children do not always come with a large variety of supplies. They often come with very little of their own personal possessions. Due to their circumstances, it’s also common for them not to experience receiving new items very often, so buying new bedding and new clothes is a simple yet special little way to show our love and care for them. We want them to know right-off-the-bat they are valuable, special, and loved. Hopefully, over time, they will not only know, but will also feel they are valuable, special and loved.

As I finish this post up, the new day is dawning. The sun is rising and spreading its light across the land. Our home will be bustling and active in just a short time from now, and our children will bring their own light and life to the day. We anticipate sweet little one’s arrival on this beautiful day.

Yes, today is going to be a great day.

To God be the Glory!

External vs. Internal Peace

Over the past few days, I’ve been contemplating the concept of peace. More specifically, having internal peace when making difficult external decisions.

I am not one who naturally enjoys or am OK with conflict, angst, arguments or disagreements. I don’t like when it happens. I like things smooth, easy, and everyone gets along and agrees with one another. Yes, I realize this is a bit unrealistic, but I also realize it’s often my hope and desire.

I’m not sure I would label myself as a peacemaker so much as a peacekeeper. There’s a subtle, yet distinct difference between the two. I do my best to please those around me to keep the peace. Don’t ruffle the feathers. Don’t stir the pot. Don’t argue or disagree … keep the peace.

This tendency often bleeds into how I make my decisions in life.

When I have a more difficult decision to make, I naturally feel “peace” when the peace is kept. No divisions. No disagreements. No conflict. No stress. No worry. I definitely prefer things to be … resistant-free.

External peace equals internal peace, right? Hmmmm …

But, is this the kind of peace that comes from the Lord? Or, is it just the easy and passive way out? I like easy. But, I like the Lord’s peace even more!

Most recently, there have been a few difficult decisions and events that have brought about not-so-peaceful feelings and circumstances. Many of them having to do with Munchkin’s case. I’ve been wrestling with what is “right” and not knowing or feeling an overwhelming sense of “peace” in what is happening.

In trying to figure out why my internal peace can be a bit illusive at times, I realized something: I truly do often equate external peace with internal peace. If there is some contention, some disagreements, some strong emotions, or some conflict … I struggle to feel at peace. Without external peace, my inner peace can wane a bit.

I brought this to the Lord because I truly do not want my external circumstances to dictate what I’m feeling internally. It’s hard for me to separate the two, quite honestly.

In desiring to have God’s peace that transcends all understanding settle into the depths of my being, I am having to intentionally submit and give our circumstances to the Lord. It’s OK if not everyone agrees. It’s OK if there is conflict. It’s OK if emotions run high. I will do my very best to live at peace with others as far as it depends on me, but I realize I cannot control how others react, speak, feel, think or do. I can only control myself.

So, as I seek to distinguish and separate external peace and internal peace, I am truly sensing the Lord’s peace settle within me. I can trust Him in the circumstances and in my decisions because I know I am trying to please the Lord, not man.

As I typed that last sentence, I was literally nodding my head with a revelation! That’s when things seem to get muddied the most: when I seek to please man over pleasing the Lord. So interesting! When I know I am seeking to please man externally, my internal peace ebbs and flows, waxes and wanes, comes and goes. Yet, when I seek to please the Lord (both internally and externally), peace abounds, regardless of my circumstances.

Praise Him!!

Until I just typed that all out, I didn’t realize the core root of my struggle boiled down to approval. Am I seeking man’s or God’s? I am immediately reminded of Galations 1:10 … whose approval am I seeking? Who am I trying to please? As Apostle Paul bluntly states, “if I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

I am thoroughly convicted, yet incredibly encouraged.

Oh Lord, thank You for Your Word that exposes, convicts, encourages, rebukes, and teaches. Thank You for showing the root of my struggle with feeling and knowing Your peace within me. Please help me to always seek Your approval with every interaction, word, thought, and decision I make. Help me also to distinguish between temporary, external peace from man, and Your unwavering peace that settles into the core of my very being. Unchanging. Constant. Life-giving. Here I am, Your servant, ready to do Your will. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

To God be the Glory!

Family came to visit!

My sincere apologies, friends. I haven’t been as on top of my writing these past couple of weeks.

I absolutely love writing and sharing my thoughts, ideas, and life with you. There are times I simply need to set my blogging aside for a bit for good and valuable reasons.

These past two weeks, I have been investing in family. That’s a pretty “good and valuable reason” wouldn’t you say? We live approximately 2500 miles away from our extended family, so we do not get to see grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins very often.

Recently, we had the pure joy of having Papa’s parents and his youngest sister visit us for a week!! During that time, I intentionally neglected my emails, my blog, my laundry, and more … because time with family is so very, very short. We try to take advantage of every minute we have with them.

We didn’t do anything crazy, fancy or extreme while they were here, we simply got to “do life” with them. Just BE together. Playing games, chatting, sharing stories, eating, swimming, laughing, enjoying the kids’ activities together and more. We loved every second of it and cherished the memories created. We hope it won’t be too long before we get to see them again.

(Side note: I was finally able to figure out how to easily get photos on the blog – thank you “blogstomp” – so I’ll share a few pictures with you below. Enjoy!)

Praying you have a wonderful week, friends!

To God be the Glory!