Sunday, September 19, 2021

An introvert learning to live in an extrovert world

 Hey y’all, it’s been two months since I blogged, and it’s certainly not for a lack of life happening! 

In that time we’ve completed sweet corn harvest and are trying to sell the business. Although, my farmer keeps hinting that if we just let the soil rest a year we can come back and plant 🌽 

We’ve been blessed to help renovate a church campus, which is such a God story! In fact, today we celebrated Open Door Church’s third birthday in the new auditorium πŸ™Œ

We’ve completed junior high fast pitch πŸ₯Ž (whew πŸ₯΅ πŸ’¨)

We are enjoying Friday Night Lights again.

I’m blessed to lead a women’s morning small group πŸ“– 

And there’s the continual weekly round of appointments and ordinary life. 

Here it is, mid September, and I’m wondering how that can be.  But I digress.

This year has been good to me. Not perfect, not spectacular, but certainly good. I’ve shared my 2020 saga, so I’m not going into that again, but I’m amazed how the Lord has walked me through the flames and continues to refine me.

He’s allowed me to enter into new friendships and build upon and restore old ones. He’s given me the courage to be me. Every.single.imperfect part of me. 

I’m still on my journey to healing, and it looks far different from what I expected, but I’m here for it! I want instantaneous, smooth changes. But I suppose those don’t always stick. So I’m a constant work in progress, battling the desires of my flesh 

I admit I’m a socially awkward introvert with a stubborn streak and need for control. Only the Lord can deal with that mess! He’s allowing me to listen more and talk less, ask more questions, relish differences, embrace changes, serve with my hands and heart, celebrate the wins of others, laugh more, cherish what is really important - the things of eternal value, while living in a broken and temporary world. 

That’s the thing, friend. This world is not our home. We are merely sojourners. But we can have an impact!

Whose life could be changed by you living out your God-given purpose? 

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

What it’s all about


At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”

Two weeks ago, these three little guys answered the Lord’s call to surrender their lives to Christ! Their citizenship has been changed once before, but now they are eternally citizens of heaven!

It’s been such a joy watching them become “new” in Christ and hearing their understanding of what Jesus has done for them. 




The boys wanted to proclaim their faith, demonstrating through the washing of water, the cleansing that Jesus has done in their hearts ♥️ 

We are so thankful for the servants who share and teach the gospel! If you haven’t surrendered your life to Christ, friend, I urge you to do so. After all, that’s what it’s all about!

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 

John 14:18

*Photo cred: Amanda Rappa* 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

Get Off the Fence

 Yesterday I made a social media post that really got me thinking. Funny how that happens: we post a thing and then reflect. 

*An oldie but goody because these beautiful people right here taught me so much*♥️

Anyway, as I was saying, the summary of the post was an {empty} room filled with all the people who have the right to discourage, challenge, hurt and even mock you.

 Unless they pay your bills, love your family more than you, are in control of your destiny, have inspired your dreams and ambitions, given you specific gifts and talents (thank YOU, Father!), they don’t have the right to influence you. 

Easier said than done, I know! Yes, I really know! Our flesh longs for approval. We tend to want to go with the flow rather than swim upstream. 

I’m not talking about becoming abrasive and unwavering in our stance all the time, because who likes a know-it-all?!?  I’m also not talking about having the last word or vindicating yourself. Time will tell your story, and God is just.

I’m encouraging you to live out your God-given purposes in confidence! The confidence given you because you are a child of God, because you commune with Him, because you read and meditate on His Word, because you hear His voice and because He equips you for every good work He has called you to! 

Most of us, when uncertain or lacking confidence, will seek approval and applause as a sign that we’re moving in the right direction and we can carry on. 

A few thoughts:

*The mainstream isn’t always the way.

*Some people don’t want you to win 🀷‍♀️ 

          -Are they jealous?

          -Are they comparing?

          -Are they naturally critical/negative?

          -Are they afraid of how your moving forward will affect them?

          -Are they stuck?

          -Are they lost?

*Some people just won’t cheer for you. 

*Some people won’t understand. 

*Some people have all the answers πŸ˜‰

*Some people just aren’t your people. 

As believers, we must remember that the gate is narrow, which should be our clue that we’ll be swimming upstream, that as we strive to show humanity love and truth, many won’t understand or follow. 

BUT that doesn’t diminish the passion or purpose God has given us to do what He’s called us to!

I used to tell our youth group all the time: Know what you believe and why you believe it! 

If you know that πŸ‘†, stand for it! 

Personally, I’m a recovering people pleaser, and there are lots of things I’ve been riding the fence on, for fear of criticism, doubt, being misunderstood, lack of confidence, imperfection…you name it! Everybody has an opinion on my passions:




*Raising a million kids 

Upon reflection, I realize I’ve tiptoed around these things. But this is the life God has given me, and I am accountable to HIM.

What has God made you passionate about that you’re holding back?

You don’t need my permission, but I’m encouraging you to GO FOR IT!

He’s given you one amazing life this side of heaven! Nobody gains by your fear, friend. 

In the end, MORE OF HIM, less of me!

Monday, May 17, 2021

Beginnings and Endings

 The last week of school is always crazy, isn’t it?  But this year was next level with baccalaureate on Wednesday, Kaeleb’s 8th graduation Thursday and Kayden’s senior graduation Friday!

We survived!!  In fact, we thrived!  

I’m especially grateful this year for the Lord awakening dry bones in me and that I could have clean pressed clothes for 12 people for 3 nights in a row, plan a party and enjoy every minute of it. 

How about some pics!

Congratulations, Kaeleb Jon! You are now a 9th grader, and we are so proud of you!

I’m keeping this photo because Keagan’s expression πŸ˜‚
And because 9th grade boys 😎
Hmmm, too cool for the camera. 

You mamas know that once they enter high school times flies, so I’m trying not to blink!

This girl! She’s got a bright future ahead, and she’s launched with a firm foundation in the Lord! We’re so proud of her accomplishment as Valedictorian, and so blessed by all the scholarships she received to attend OSU!  

We snuck in a couple of four gen pics ♥️
🌸Alaina, Kenzie, Mama and Grandma 🌸
πŸ’™Miles, Kuyler, Mama and GrandmaπŸ’™
Cherished memories. 

When Kayden told me she wanted a charcuterie board for her party, I might have panicked for a minute πŸ˜‰ But then I started making lists, went shopping and called in Kenzie and her creativity!  She did a beautiful job πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰

As we begin our summer break, I’m aware that some students never entered the classroom this year. We were very fortunate to finish strong, after a bit of a rough start. 

*Note to self* We will have a graduation every year for the next 9 years, but won’t have double grads till 2024 and beyond 😎

Monday, May 10, 2021


Y’all, what a week we have ahead of us! 

But I am so very grateful, and I’d love to share with you!
So this week one of our Treasures turns 15; we celebrate an 8th grade graduate and a senior valedictorian graduate! It has occurred to me how quickly time passes and seasons change. Our high school graduate was 14 months old when she joined our family, and I never dreamed I’d blink and we’d be here!

*There will be pictures.  Lots of pictures!πŸ˜‚*

But I digress. I really want to share just how grateful I am for all that God is doing! While you won’t find any unicorns and rainbows here, if you could take a look into my heart, hopefully you could see an amazing work that only our Father could accomplish. I’m going to spare you the recap and instead skip right to the present!

Have you ever found yourself in a space of negativity and criticism, toward yourself and others? Just me???

I know when I’m in that space it’s because I’ve neglected several important disciplines. Some of the things that help me get back on track are:

* Daily intentional time in God’s Word

* Prayer

* Keeping a gratitude journal

* Listening to biblically sound podcasts (currently Stirring Faith) 

* Limiting my free time (that will be happening naturally in 3 days with the end of school!)

* Connecting with godly friends 

* STOP comparing myself to others 

I really want to hone in on the last point - comparison. If this is you, PLEASE STOP IT NOW! 

You are fearfully, wonderfully and uniquely made by a loving Father who has plans for your life that are beyond anything you can even imagine.  (Psalm 139:13-16)

Look, I can’t, for the life of me, take IG worthy photos! But that doesn’t make me less than or less loved by God!

I don’t always prepare the healthy meals I intend for my family, but guess what? No less loved!

I struggle with being an extreme introvert, but I’m loved no less! 

The list goes on and on, as I’m sure yours does too  but friend, I want you to hear this loud and clear: God’s love for you is unconditional!! (1 John 3:1).  We have different gifts, talents and personalities, and we aren’t meant to compare to or be like anyone else!

It’s time we learn to shrug off those things we are struggling in comparison and rejoice in the gifts we have. God is most glorified when we use them for His glory. And when that’s our goal, we don’t have time to compare, and we can enjoy the peace that comes with gratitude ♥️


Friday, April 23, 2021

Don’t Go Alone


What is God calling you to?

A move? A new job? Adoption? Leaning into Him?

Before I continue, if you’d allow me to pray for you, please leave a comment or send me a message!

Whatever journey you’re on, don’t go alone, friend. 

Let me warn you that when God calls you to something big, not everyone will be encouraging. Some will doubt, some will criticize, some will gossip, some will assume facts, some will call you crazy 😜, some will fall away, some will say nothing to you but plenty to your friends. Speaking from experience as everything I mentioned has happened to us.  I’ve heard that some people think we live in a huge house (πŸ˜†πŸ˜œ 12 people, 2000 sf)! And that the govt pays us to adopt! Just gonna dispel that one right now - *quite the contrary so please read note below.   

Those aren’t your people. 

Your people are the ones who know your journey doesn’t make less of them. They realize love is multiplied, not divided. They’ll hold your hand in the valley and on the mountaintop. They pray for you. They encourage you. They don’t feel the need  to play the devil’s advocate because they know you’ve thought about, prayed about, considered every possible outcome. They’re willing to ask you questions and listen to understand. They will speak life and truth into you. They’ll cry and laugh with you. 

Tighten your circle if you must because life is too short for nonsense. And God is too good to miss! 

I want to talk to my friends who have or are considering adoption.  Don’t go alone! Don’t be surprised by those who scorn you, but know that God has a tribe for you. Let me tell you some of the blessings from our growing tribe as we’ve journeyed through adoption over the last 17 years πŸ’œ

🌸 Other adoptive parents

🌸 Church family

🌸 Friends near and far 

🌸 Educators willing to listen 

🌸 A solid adoption agency 

* Private and international adoption is costly with government, paperwork and immigration fees. Here are some of the ways we’ve funded those fees:

πŸ™ Adoption grants offered by non-profits and individuals

πŸ™ Creating gifts for sale

πŸ™ Garage sales

πŸ™ Online auctions 

πŸ™ Spaghetti dinners (there’s a testimony there!!)

πŸ™ Selling household items 

πŸ™ Praying

πŸ™ Understanding that all we have is only ours to steward and giving back cheerfully 

I know I’ve forgotten a lot, but the point is that when God calls us to something far beyond ourselves, He makes the way!  So step out, even in fear, and follow His lead. 

Thursday, April 15, 2021


I wanted to write a post about being transformed ... but that seemed like it was either past tense or already completed. 

 Instead, it seems fitting to speak of the process of transforming. 

First, I want to thank those of you who reached out in encouragement and those of you who dared to be vulnerable with me and share your struggles! It helps so much when we are not only allowed the space of vulnerability, but when we know we are heard and not alone ♥️ Let me say that again:


I’m in a better place than I’ve been in over a year, and I want that for you too if you’re struggling  

The most significant keys to my transforming have been:

🌸 Faith. While mine never waivered , I know some folks struggle or begin to question theirs while in the trenches. My issue was simply not having the ability to look ahead to better days.

🌸 Supportive spouse. My guy is pretty amazing, and I’ve tested him nearly to the breaking point, but he has remained supportive and loving {mostly}. Don’t think it’s been easy or even natural for him, but one thing that’s helped is me being honest and vulnerable with him. When I tried shrugging off my struggles, it broke the lines of communication.

🌸 Doing it afraid! While I flat-out refused to participate in some things, I eventually realized there were things I needed to do to begin healing.! I lacked confidence; I feared judgment, and it was super uncomfortable. But sometimes the first step is to stop thinking and start doing.

🌸 Prioritizing. One of my biggest struggles in anxiety and depression has been overwhelm! You know, like waking up in such mental chaos that I didn’t know what to do first. This takes a little planning and a lot of prioritizing. The first thing I need is time alone with the Lord. He is my Rock and Redeemer, my Help in times of trouble, my Sustainer, and He has never left me!

🌸 Seeking help. Especially as mamas, we tend to care for everyone else, which I’m all about, but I’d lost the ability to care for myself or even recognize that I needed help. Please hear me when I tell you that I’m NOT talking about the movement of self-care, self-love, self-gratifying me-ism. That doesn’t work for long! I’m talking about simple but essential things like restful sleep, proper nutrition, movement, laughter, stress management, and even conversation and connection with friends and family. As strange as it sounds, I needed someone to remind me of the importance of these things.

🌸 Having a desire and willingness to do whatever it takes. I’m all in! In truth, I know it’s a marathon and not a sprint, a journey that lasts a lifetime, and I’ve accepted and embraced that. I get to make choices every day, and I’m aware there will be either results or consequences to each one. 

Thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable as I’m transforming. And remember, friend, 


To GOD be all glory!

Monday, April 5, 2021


 Today I’m reflecting on healing. It seems appropriate as we celebrate Resurrection Day - the day our Savior rose again, conquering death once and for all!  But not before paying the ultimate price for my sin, your sin, all sin, being scorned, beaten and ultimately murdered on the cross, where even the Father had to turn away momentarily at the sight of the sin of the world.

This same Jesus who offers us the one and only way to eternal life with the Father, also gives us the hope to live abundantly on the daily. 

I’m sharing my journey, though embarrassing and humbling, in the hopes that God will give even one of you a flicker of light in the darkness. Disclaimer: I’ve never been a harm to myself or anyone else. If you are there, friend, I urge you to seek help immediately. 

I’ve already shared that in reflection, I can see mid 2017 as the beginning of a depression that would cause us to seek help in December of 2020. 

Why 2017? This part of our story is very sensitive, and many won’t understand.  I’m not even sure it’s related to my depression, but I know it dealt a blow to my spirit. 

In June 2017 we submitted paperwork to adopt a sweet little guy from China, and in July China enforced policies that led to their denial of our request based solely on the size of our family.  In our hearts, he was our son. We tried again in December and again the next year, to no avail. We know that God is sovereign, even when we don’t understand.  

I can look back and see my demeanor change gradually, and my emotions become flat.  By December of 2019 I’d become robotic, doing what needed to be done, but lacking joy and purpose.  Then there was 2020, and I retreated completely. 

Somehow during this season I completely lost confidence, I didn’t want to go anywhere, and I lost who I was, as a wife, a mom, a business owner, and a person. 

Because many of our children and the children we have fostered come from traumatic places, my husband has been following Dr. Daniel Amen for a while, and in December of 2020 he encouraged me to schedule an appointment with the newly opened Amen Clinic in Dallas. 

In desperation, I did! And immediately my anxiety caused me to doubt the decision and the investment, so I almost canceled - but I didn’t. 

In anticipation of the visit, I noticed a spark of hope that hadn’t been there for a few years. It was enough to get me up and back into my Bible every morning, and that was a big deal for me. 

My SPECT scans were on December 28 and 29, 2020, and my labs were drawn December 31. I got the results of all my tests in my first zoom appointment with my amazing Dr. Brush on January 20, 2021, and that’s when things really started moving forward!

Dr. Brush formulated a plan that I could implement immediately. My brain scans were indicative of either head trauma and/or depression, and both were true for me since I’d had 2 falls on my head (involving a horse πŸ˜‚) as a child. 

In a nutshell, my plan includes natural supplements for brain health and to increase DHEA, gradually starting an exercise regime to increase blood flow and build strength, practice prayer and gratitude, establish a good sleep environment to improve restful sleep, remove sugar, decrease caffeine intake, journaling, and start counseling. 

I was so motivated to change that these steps have been fairly easy to implement (except the sugar which I’ve learned is my addiction, but it really messes with my brain and body). 

Now I’m two and a half months into my plan, and I’m so excited about my progress!  There is hope, friend! I wake up motivated (not overwhelmed), ready to tackle the day, serve my husband and family, glorify the Lord, and recognize the triggers I either need to confront or avoid altogether. I’m still working on my physical health because my first priority has been spiritual and mental health. As I’ve gradually started reconnecting with friends and clients, I’ve realized that I really am happiest when I’m helping others. It’s reassuring to me that I’m not as selfish as I’ve felt over the last few years!! 

Looking back, I was in a darker place than I even realized. I don’t ever want to go back, and I’m so thankful I have the tools to move forward. I’m not suggesting everyone who’s looking for a solution needs to follow the same path, but I am so encouraging you to do something because you are worth it! You are valuable. There isn’t another you ♥️

I’m forever grateful for my Father’s grace and love, and for the patience and grace of my husband and all our Krew, big and small. I wasn’t always kind; I wasn’t always interested, but I knew there was a way out! This journey is ongoing and will probably last my lifetime. I have a ways to go, especially in rebuilding confidence, and ultimately that comes through my identity in Christ! 

Thank You, Lord, for making the way!!

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