Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Have you ever listened, I mean really listened, to the lyrics of Dara MacLean's song, Wanted?  It brought me to tears the first time I heard it, and it still has the same effect on me.
It speaks of the Father's love for each of us, but it is a crucial message to those very dear to my heart, those who struggle with the lies, loneliness and trauma of their past ~ the orphan.

From the day you were born 
And took your first breath 
You opened your eyes and in came the light 
He was watching you 
But all of your life you couldn't shake the lies in your head 
Saying you're a mistake 
Oh but you were made 
By a God who knows your name 
He doesn't make mistakes 

You are wanted 
To every broken heart, He stands with open arms 
You are wanted 
To every searching soul, look to the rising sun 
If you're lonely, hurting, gone too far 
To the outcast you come as you are 
For you, you are wanted, you, you are wanted 
You, you are wanted, you, you are wanted 

Let this be the day that joy takes the place 
Of all of the years that shame tried to steal away 
He is calling you 
Lift your eyes to see His face 
Come run into the arms of grace 


You, you have been marked 
You're set apart 
And He calls you His 
So you don't have to search 
Don't have to look for where you belong 

You are wanted

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nine Years Ago...

...we received three pictures and a translated file.  
All this, just 11 months after God awakened our hearts to the orphan.
Our hearts haven't been the same since, praise HIM!

This tiny little girl was placed in our arms.

And we were smitten.

Kayden Faith, we have watched you grow...

And blossom.

The biggest blessing so far is when God called you to salvation, and you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior!

You are growing into a beautiful young lady!
Nine years ago your world was turned upside down and you lost everything, including the status of 'orphan.'  We gained a precious daughter, and God showed us the picture of spiritual adoption through your physical adoption.  

Kayden Faith, your life has changed ours forever!

Watch the video HERE!

Monday, September 9, 2013

But I don't have time for...

What are all the things you don't have time for?

Exercise?  Good food choices?

Oh.my.word, me either!

But, I certainly don't have time for ~

Please don't hear me say that exercise and good eating habits will eliminate the possibility of ill health.  Not.saying.that.  Also, don't think I sit around worrying about whether I might wake up tomorrow with some mysterious illness.  Nope.  Don't have time for that.

Here's what I DO have time for regarding my health:
* Meal planning
* Reasonable exercise
* Packed family lunches v. drive-thru
* Grabbing fresh fruit v. unwrapping the goody-goodness called oatmeal creme pie
* Setting an example for my children

Let me break it down.

*Meal planning ~
This takes about an hour or two each week when I use my family's favorite recipes.  It takes a bit longer when I'm in a rut and hop on one of my favorite websites with free menus like Make Dinners Easy and search for new ideas.  I choose a main dish, then add the sides.  I don't assign meals to a certain day of the week because we roll spontaneous flexible.  I make a list of 10 to 12 meals, including sides, special meals or snacks needed for the week's events, and then prepare my shopping list.

*Reasonable exercise
Now this is a doozy.  I.am.tired.  I have a billion reasons why I don't have time for this, including ten of the most adorable peeps still in the nest.  BUT the truth is, I don't have time NOT to exercise!  In this life God has given me one body.  I had no idea He would give us the invitation to s.t.a.r.t adding to our family through adoption when we were well.into.our.forties.  This body is tired.  But I praise God every day that I CAN get out of bed and move.  I am also reminded that this body is a temple.  I am so far from perfect, but I really do want to treat my body as the temple it is.

I have to make a choice every.single.day to get my rear out of bed and do this.  A while back, around 4:30 a.m.-ish, as we were starting Insanity, hubby said, "We're old.  Shouldn't we be doing something different...like walking?" Whateva!  Truth is, hubby and I have to do a lot of things intentionally these days.  For instance, many weeks our Treasures have several doctor's appointments, and we are both self-employed, so what might be 'ideal' for one family is not possible for ours.  Occasionally we both get to attend the visits, but most often, only one of us takes the 'patient' and the 'tag-alongs' while the other works.  No paid vacation, medical leave or mileage reimbursement here :)  We just do what we need to do.

And that really got me to thinking.  What would either of us do without the other?  Don't-even-wanna-think-it!  But seriously, what if one of us became ill?  I never lose sight of the fact that God knows the number of our days.  He is the One who led us down an amazing and unexpected path, slightly out of the norm, and He is in control.  I don't worry about what tomorrow will bring.  I do want to steward what He has given me.  

So, what do we do?  Hubby and I work out together.  We cut ourselves some slack when we just don't get it done!  We encourage each other.  We laugh at each other.  We push each other.  Right now we are fighting our way through Insanity.  Let me tell you, Shaun T is kicking our tail!  This is an extreme workout and is not for beginners, so it's not for everyone.  The average workout is 35-42 minutes, *and add a few for passing out - just.kidding!!!!*  Out of 24 hours.  That includes warm-up, stretching and cool down!  
Insanity's not for you?  Think of how far you could walk in 42 minutes.  Even if you didn't go anywhere, on the treadmill.  And we get to do this at home - bonus!  Also, we get to do it while the kids are sleeping...because they have been our harshest critics:  Ya' know, our shoes aren't right, we aren't doing the same thing as the video, our shorts are baggy, yadayadayada.  But for a couple of 'old folks' we are having fun.

Here's another thing:
*Packed family lunches v. drive-thru
Although ours are more this size: :)
As our family grew, I started packing snacks for sports events because we couldn't afford to buy them.  Then I started packing meals.  Two reasons:  costs less, and I get to choose what we eat.  The hardest part of this is taking the time to plan.  But it is so doable.  I pack meals for our doctor's appointments as well, especially the ones that are hours away.  Many of y'all are so much more creative than I am, so you could make this like a treat.  I am still working on that.

*Grabbing fresh fruit v. other goodies
Okay, I like a creme pie as much as the next guy, but I want to make sure there are always healthy options in the house.  Although I do keep some empty calorie foods around for occasional quick kids' snacks, I also have easy-to-eat nutritious foods available such as chunked cantaloupe and watermelon, grapes, bananas, apples, applesauce, cheese sticks, almonds and yogurt.

*Setting an example for my children
This is so important to me.  Our children can only eat what we provide.  They can only learn from what we do.  I'm not talking about pressuring my kids to be 'skinny minnies' or constantly acting like the food police.  They are smart enough to see what is important to us.  It's up to us to set the tone.

I have 11 children who will one day be husbands, wives, and parents to my grandchildren.  My priorities today will influence their choices today and in the future.

I would like to encourage you as well!  A baby step forward is a step in the right direction.   

A hero to me is the person who gets off the couch and takes the first step!!!

How can I encourage YOU?
How can I pray for YOU?
Leave a comment or email me!

To HIM be glory!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

If He's 25...

...I'm gonna have to get over being 39 ;-)

He likes Star Wars...almost as much as he likes VW!  But not nearly as much as he likes Caitlin :)
Kuyler, I remember the day you were born.  I was overjoyed to be your mom, and I am proud of the young man you've become.  God is so very good!!!
Happy birthday, son!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Philippines Trip - Picture Preview...

I've been wanting to write a lengthy post about Kolton's recent trip to the Philippines and the awesome work that God did through these four men.
But most things lengthy get nixed from my schedule, so in lieu of that, I'm posting a short preview of the 'before' and 'after', hopefully with a meaningful post to follow...

The A Team!

To give perspective, here is the church 'before' shot.  The floor is gravel with rebar, and the walls are cinder block.

And here is the 'after' shot!  Concrete floor with tile and finished walls!
To Him be glory!!!

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