Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Forever my son

Zac came home and into our family forever over a year and a half ago. He plays and fights with his brother and sister, he gets tucked into bed with stories from mom and dad, he receives love and discipline from his mom and dad just like Hallie and Jacob. In other words, he is our son, plain and simple. So, I was caught off guard this week by some comments he made...

When he was mad about a time-out he said, "I am not your son!"

The next morning while snuggling in bed, "Mommy, do you want to keep me forever?"

On our bike ride last night, "Mommy do you always love me, even when I am bad?"

I figured he knew I loved him and that he will always be my son. His comments made me realize that he still has spent more of his life away from us than with us and that he needs to be reminded more often about my love for him as a mommy despite his actions and attitude.

It made me think about the times I have failed as a child of God and wanted to slink away from Him, wondering if He really still loved me. I am reminded that His love NEVER fails. He ALWAYS loves me. He will NEVER leave me. He is mine and I am His!

Monday, October 26, 2009

So thankful!

116. Honoring and celebrating my very best friend, Ryan. Today he celebrates 35 years of life. Today I celebrate and give thanks for his life intertwined with mine.

117. Willing hearts. My parents give and give and give again...thank you...thank you, Lord.

118. Inspiring creativity from kindred mother's hearts. Thank you Jennie and Jenn for your ideas. (Jenn-I didn't take pictures of the pumpkins we made from apples, but we had fun!)

119. Listening to worship and praise from the lips of someone who has been so far away. He's walking home.

120. Honesty in a safe relationship.

121. Celebrating 96 years of a beautiful, quiet, generous, faith-filled life. Happy Birthday Auntie Lois!

122. A smile that speaks a thousand words of happiness.

123. Her hand reaching out to mine as we walk out of school together.

124. Stopping to see and touch and experience life. We saw a slug on our walk the other day!

125. Working to serve, side by side with my mom. What an inspiration.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Every common bush ablaze with God

The autumn colors are alive in Nebraska right now. The tree in my backyard is bursting with brillant red leaves. This change, this dying only lasts a short time. As I was staring at this lone maple in my backyard I began to see a tree inside the tree.

A tree that held my Lord as He died. The red leaves slowly falling to the ground like His blood.
The blood pooled at the bottom of the cross like the leaves we pile to jump into. The blood I am bathed in and makes me clean.

The dying, His dying didn't last long though. This beautiful tree will, in a short time look lifeless and dead, but there is life waiting for Spring to show itself.

I am so thankful that He has opened my eyes to see Him in nature, in my backyard. Thank you Jesus. I love you.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Zac's Fourth Birthday

We were so blessed to celebrate Zac's birthday with our wonderful family! He chose a zoo party and could not have had more fun being the man of the hour! We are forever grateful for Zac's life, being able to celebrate his life and sharing his life with a generous, loving extended family!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


106. warm blankets, a dark room and kids sleeping in so I can too!

107. children learning and practicing responsibility and independence.

108. A spontaneous kiss and "I love you."

109. "Mama, watch me." His words are like sweet honey to my heart.

110. Tears, talking and victory over spelling words.

111. The kids noticing the brillant colors of autumn.

112. Slowing down, stopping to discover bugs and beads on the ground.

113. Baking with my boy. His eagerness to help.

114. Playing race cars with my boy.

115. Watching his fingers point out letters and pictures of the pages of our book.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Zachary!

Four years ago today you were a hope in my heart. I did not know who you would be and had not yet made a commitment to adopt you, but God knew. He watched as you were born in a small Russian town and watched over you as you began to grow. He knew that we would be celebrating your life today, four years later. What a blessing you have been to us! You are full of energy and fun. You are full of love and one of the best laughs I have ever heard. We love you so much Zachary Pavel! Happy Birthday!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Morning Project

Yesterday we had such a pleasant morning. Everyone was getting along and being calm. Hallie asked me to help her sew a button and then the boys wanted to join in too. So, I taught all three how to sew a button yesterday! I am sure my family is stunned right now considering I am no seamstress.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Picture yourself Lost. Lost in the woods. Lost with nothing but the clothes you are wearing. It's dark even in the daytime because of the tall trees. You hear noises, but don't know what they mean. You question your safety. Fear takes over. It doesn't last for a moment but consumes you. The fears keep your feet from moving. After all, what direction should you go? When the day ends will you have eaten anything? You fear bears and panthers, animals out to devour you. Where will you sleep? If you find a place will it be safe? Will it be comfortable? The fear lingers. It overwhelms your day. Day after day.

A strong person takes a step forward and may or may not find their way out of the forest. A weaker soul gives up, gives in to fear. Is God there with you? Of course He is, but what if no one has ever told you about His presence and power? A few may sense His power in the greatness of the forest, but most will be so overcome with fear that they would never even know to call out to Him for help for guidance.

The best way out of the forest is to have a guide. Someone who knew you were in the thick ,dark forest and decided to go in and get you. Someone who took a risk. Someone prepared with a backpack of tools, a gun, wisdom. Can you imagine the relief in seeing another person, someone to guide you out of the darkness.

These little ones are lost...

There are so many more. Over 700, 000 orphans in Russia alone. How many in America, Africa, India, countries I have never heard of.

No one is on the way to rescue them. Is anyone even praying for them? They are lost. Is God urging you to rescue one of these little ones? Yes, it is risky. Yes, it takes courage. Yes, it means you have to go into the forest. But, if you don't go in to the unknown to save them who will?

God does not call all of us into the same forests. But, how often do we say, "no way" to adoption without prayerfully considering and asking God if it is His plan. Will you at least ask Him today. There are so many lost children waiting for a rescue, maybe from you. Some children will make it through, many with scars from battles barely won and many will not make it out of the forest at all. Does it grieve your heart to consider that? If you feel the burden will you find a way to help the orphans of this world. Pray. Give money. Give your life and your love.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Multitude Monday

98. My daughter singing The Revelation Song with all her heart at church this Sunday.

99. Thanks pouring out of Zac lately. He thanks me for his new gloves, his new shirt, half of a donut...I've got to think that his thankfulness to me will one day transfer to thankfulness to His Creator.

100. My friend, Becca. She is so quick to see God in everything and tell me about it. She always encourages me and her encouraging voicemail message left me with a smile today.

101. Feeling my muscles fatigue from swimming. I'm grateful for the tearing down and building back up stronger than before. Just like my spiritual life.

102. Medicine for my child's cough.

103. A house full of rooms. As my youngest was coughing last night I was able to move him into another bedroom with a comfy bed so he would not wake his brother. I thought of the families with sick children living in a one room shack. I am thankful for my abundance. I don't understand why it has been lavished on me, but I do know I am thankful.

104. Movie night with the kids. Carefree, fun, family moments.

105. Hope restored, renewed.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kid Quote

As Zac was helping me hang up clothes this morning he said, "Mom, can I have some more hookers?" HaHa!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Staying Connected

As my children are getting a little older (almost 4, 5 and 6) I can begin to see how easily it would be to become disconnected from by husband. Busy days, schedules, activities, financial pressures, obligations...all push into the time that was once reserved for connecting with my best friend, my love.

But, the recognition of this dilemma prompts me to grow ever more vigilent about not losing our connection. Our relationship, our love is the most important human relationship I have.

So, this morning he drove me to work, we talked over a quick Starbucks, we kissed before I got out of the car. We connected. It wasn't a day together, but it was a moment to connect, to show and receive love.

For more inspiration on how to preserve the love in your marriage go HERE. If you have any great dating ideas for couples with young kids please post them!

Ecclesiates 4:12 "...for a cord of three strands is not easily broken."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Shifting Sand

Do you know that song? The chorus says, "My faith is like shifting sand, changed by every wave." I used to not like this song because it seemed so weak. Why confess my faithlessness over and over again? Well, today I get it. My faith is weak. One moment it is rock solid, trusting in God's promises and full of hope. The next minute fear, frustration and doubt, not about God existence but about His involvement in particular situations, sneaks into my thought life.

That's when I remember the next line of the song, "So I stand on grace." His grace, mercy and love sustains me, forgives me and renews my mind with thoughts of hope and belief in Him when I take the time to stop stewing about fear and set my mind on Him. It really is a battle in the mind. Where will I direct my thoughts. One great way I have learned to stop fear and start trusting is to use those moments of frustration and fear as a prompt to pray. Commiting the people and concerns I have to the One that can do something about it is the best thing I can do!

I am challenged by this verse from Zephaniah 1:12, "At that time I (God) will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish those who are complacent, who are like wine left in dregs, who think, 'The Lord will do nothing, either good or bad."

When I pray, I pray to a mighty God. Just because I don't see every move He makes doesn't mean that He isn't moving and loving and intimately involved in the lives of all people. It's arrogance to assume I have to know and understand and see evidence of His actions to know He is acting. When I take fear and turn it into a trusting prayer I am commiting my worries to a powerful God. I do not want to be found complacent when God shines His light on my life.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Snapshots of our weekend

96. Jacob (the hulk) learning from his daddy.

97. Silly Zachary creating his own costume. The smile he can bring to my face.

98. Hallie preparing for her Mexico Missions trip. Her ideas about what to teach the children.
"Sin is like mud and dirt, it separates us from God. Sin is hurting others feeling and hurting others. You can hurt people's bodies."