Monday, January 31, 2011


683. One hour and 17 minutes on the phone with my childhood friend, Jamie.

684. 59 minutes on the phone with a hurting friend, listening.
685. 15 minutes playing Candyland with Zac and his friend, Bullet and Sammy.
686. 40 minutes in the car driving to dance (it was cancelled) and driving home listening to my kids talk about the day at school.
687. Two hours connecting with friends that are safe, wise, encouraging and challenging, Amy and Beth.
688. 5 seconds hugging my grandma.
689. Thirty minutes talking to my mom about my grandma and hearing the peace in her voice.
690. All these moments, breaths, opportunities, experiences, challenges, struggles, relationships being held together by a loving God who promises to will and act according to His good purpose. (Phil 2:13)

Friday, January 28, 2011


682. the adoption process. The pursuit of Melia.

Our good friend, Hannah, opened my eyes to a beautiful spiritual truth about adoption yesterday. She is living with us right now and so she is part of our home study. As a result she had to get up early yesterday to go to the doctor and get a physical before work. She said that when the alarm went off her initial reaction was a grumble, "why so early?" But, God quickly changed her disposition.

She realized how amazing it is that she is part of our pursuit of Melia. There is a young girl in this world, maybe conceived, maybe born, that has no idea of all that is happening to bring her home. The process and the pursuit has begun. She is being prayed for and deeply loved and unless God supernaturally tells her this, she has no idea that she is being pursued. No doubt, she is just doing her best, by God's grace, to survive. God has chosen her for our family. God knows the day and the time He will bring her home to us and He is preparing a place for her here as I write.

Isn't that true of God's pursuit of us to be adopted into his family. He so dearly loves all His children and is preparing a heavenly home for us. This life is part of the journey to our forever family. What a joy to know that these momentary troubles and heartaches are only temporary. He knows the day and the time when our hearts and minds and souls will be ready to go home. And, until that day He sustains us and watches over us. He is always preparing a place for us.

Thank you to all of our friends that have written recommendation letters, for family and friends praying, for watching our kids when we are at adoption classes...Everyone is playing a part in God's plan to bring Melia into her family.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ahhh...Jesus I love you!

672. Seeing my daddy talk with his friends.
673. Seeing my dad's initials carved into the wood of his childhood friend's home. Smile!
674. My mommy's smile.
675. Ryan loving me and my family enough to drive down to Lincoln in two cars.
676. Ryan giving me a cookie and milk for the ride home.
677. Singing to Jesus in the car.
678. Hope stirring in my heart. Believing God and His power.
679. The strength to speak the truth in love.
680. Waking at 7:30 to the smell of coffee being brewed by my hubby.
681. Knowing where the plastic cups are in my friend's house and grabbing one without asking.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When life hurts.

Life can be so full of ugly. But, when we stop to see Him and take time to know Him in the midst of hurt and pain it gives hope. He is watching, loving, not letting go. Watch this to see why I am counting my thanks.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


671. Belly laughing with my family at the kitchen table.

Ryan and I have implemented a no screen time on the Sabbath policy in our house. The kids tend to grumble a little in the morning but by the end of the day we usually have created a lot of fun, together family time and the computer, TV, DSi and Wii have not been missed. (I should say it's usually no screen time morning until after dinner).

So, mid-day today we were looking for something to do around the house and decided to play Right, Center, Left. Ryan and I started teasing the kids about their inability to play the game, then they started teasing us and all the while we were making ridiculously crazy sounds. The mayhem culminated in Zac putting on a show with his hat. We were all laughing so hard by the end of it all.

It makes me smile even writing about it. Here is a little glimpse of our fun...

Check out Ryan's blog for our latest adoption updates.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Family Church

In an effort to be purposeful about growing a servant's heart this year the Lord prompted Ryan and I to start "Horner Family Church" on Wednesday nights.

We have felt a dilemma with Wednesday night church because our kids get to bed so late on church night, but we love the programming that our church offers. So, we decided to take our church's idea about teaching kids to serve and create family church in our home instead.

Ryan found a great book with lots of experiments and Bible lessons and tonight was our first attempt.

What a blessing it was! The Lord gathered us together around our kitchen table and we talked about what happened to Jesus after He was resurrected. We read from Acts about how He told His friends to be His witnesses to the whole world and then he ascended into heaven hidden by a cloud. So, we made mini-clouds and then talked about ways we could be His witness in the world. The kids had great answers and we concluded that our actions and service to others is one way to be a witness for Christ.

So, we put on snowpants, hats and gloves and everyone got a shovel. We dug out the mailbox and then the kids were having so much fun they decided to clear a sidewalk too! What a joy to serve with my kids. When Ryan and I got cold they pushed us to keep shoveling!

We ended with a prayer led by Pastor Zac!

666. Thankful to the Lord Jesus that He overcame the evil one and that He chooses us to be His witnesses to the world.

667. Watching my kids serve with excitement.

668. My husband's spiritual leadership and creativity.

669. The Holy Spirit helping my heart and teaching me how to serve.

670. Our first Family Church!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Moving Right Along

Tomorrow we have our first home study with Holt. Then, the next weekend we attend a parenting class for our adoption of Melia. We are so excited to be moving forward with her adoption. I went through dossier requirements a few nights ago and feel pretty good about where we are with that too.

Melia has become a daily part of our life. Each day the kids pray for her, her caretakers and her well-being. Each day we talk about what we imagine life with four will be like. Each day I imagine having a baby to care for. Dreams, prayers and hopes are like food for my soul. I eagerly await the reality of Melia in our life.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Jacob's Baptism

Eternally thankful...
661. That Jacob accepted Jesus as his Savior.

My contemplative son has made a choice to follow Jesus! I can not tell you how filled up my heart is today! I am thankful for...

662. Grandparents who encourage my childrens' faith and support us as we teach our children about Jesus.
663. A church that teaches young children about salvation and encourages baptism as a response to salvation.
664. A babysitter that faithfully taught and lived out Jesus for our young children.
665. The promised Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, convict and lead my son through all the days of his life.

Jacob has been talking about baptism for a while. We were hesitant to let him be baptized because we wanted him to remember it and have it mean more than getting a cracker and juice at church. After much discussion Jacob finally wrote us a letter that said very simply and very powerfully, "I want to be baptized because I love Jesus."

How beautiful and pure is that? Scripture instructs us to come to Jesus like a child. We are instructed to repent and be baptized. I think adults, including myself, have a tendency to think too hard about these things and find reasons why baptism should wait. But, baptism is an outward sign of a choice to follow Jesus at the time of conversion. I think God gave us this gift so when faith trials come we have a moment and a memory of when he washed us clean and made us new to cling to. Baptism is a response to faith and exactly what Jacob did today.

I have no doubt that life will bring him struggles and temptations but I know that the Lord is in him, guarding and protecting him and that the Lord will work out Jacob's salvation according to His good purpose and plan. (Phil 2:12-13)

So, we have reason to celebrate today. Praise God for his faithfulness to us and our son, Jacob!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Begining the year with thanks!

649. Playing dolls with Hallie.
650. Candyland...again.
651. Leggos with my boys.
652. Playing outside in January.
653. A new Compassion friend from Indonesia.
654. A letter in the mail from GiGi.
655. A phone call from my mom.
656. Zac's saying, "I hate Satan, Herod and spiders!"
657. Jake's silly faces...crossing his eyes. (I will post a picture some time).
658. Hearing someone say, "It's your mini-me" when they see Hallie and I together.
659. Reading books with Zac and his attention span growing.
660. My kids coming home safely from school today.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 The Year to SERVE

One of my favorite bloggers has spent the last several years naming her year. The name is a challenge and an invitation to let God work mightily in her life for His glory.

I have decided to name my year THE YEAR TO SERVE. I have spent much of my time memorizing Philippines and will continue this endeavor into 2011. As I read Philippines I am struck by Paul's joyful service to fellow Christians while in prison for Christ. The verses that stick out to me are Philippines 2:5-8,

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Who, being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made Himself nothing, TAKING THE VERY NATURE OF A SERVANT, being made in human likeness. And, being found in appearance as a man, humbled himself and became obedient to death, even death on a cross."

As I have thought about this year of service, I think that I tend to serve selfishly. But, Jesus made himself nothing. He humbled himself to death. Dying to self and looking for opportunities to serve is my hope for the year. I know that as I die to myself God promises to shield me and carry me on His shoulders (Deuteronomy 33:12).

Lord, I pray for eyes to see those in need in big and small, moment by moment ways. I pray for strength to die to myself and joyfully serve those around me and around the world. I love you and pray that my life would bring you glory and praise. AMEN!