I Wanna Hold Your Hand


These are the moments.  I can’t seem to capture them quick enough.  These moments remind us why we choose to love the way we do.  This morning as I was helping the girls wake up, I snuggled up in bed next to one whose face was buried in the bedding.  “I want to see your beautiful face!”  She kept it buried.  When I moved on to something else I heard her little voice, “Mom, I want to show you my beautiful face!”  So I came close and she lifted her head, her hair covered her face but I could see her smile.

Every day has something new.  Baby girl is growing up so quickly and developing such a personality, I can’t even take it all in.  Her sweet laugh is addicting.  We always want more of it.  Her attitude, well, that’s a different story.  We’re trying to tame that at the moment.  She’s fearless.  She wants to be just like her sisters and does not believe us when we tell her she can’t do everything they do.

When we walk out of the house in the morning, she makes a dash for the neighbor’s sprinklers.  Why not start your day with a splash?!  It takes all of us to hold her back, but I laugh every time.  She is determined to jump in.


I have to choose some days to be fully present, not be rushed by the clock or a schedule but stop and be intentional.  Mom, can I sit in your lap?  Mom, after school can we maybe go somewhere fun, like a park?  Mom, will you read me a book?  I remind myself that one day I will wish for these moments.

They have such an excitement about them and they relish being loved.  I love to celebrate the good things.  When Prissy is getting dressed, she doesn’t want me to see her until she’s completely finished so I can ooh and aaah over the final result.  “Daddy will say I am toooo cuuute!”   Or when Sissy finishes brushing her teeth and having her hair fixed, she says “I’m a superstar!”

We got a “dear parents” note from school the other day asking us to make sure the girls have on shorts or bloomers under their dress so they aren’t tempted to show everyone their panties.  “we’re trying to teach modesty”   Good luck friends!  I try to teach that every day.  You’re lucky they have panties on.  Dear Jesus help us.

Help us.  That’s my prayer every day.  Help us to live each moment to the fullest, celebrate the good and overcome the bad.  Help us with the things we cannot understand.  Help us with the pain that we can’t control.  Help us with the needs that are before us.  Help us love well.

When we first received the dream and I asked my sister for prayer, she was led to the scripture in Isaiah, 41:13 For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. 

This week I was reminded of these scriptures and others nearby, I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

As I watch our girls navigate life and all the ways that we are privileged to “help” them I imagine the Father that watches me navigating life – and his willingness to help me knows no end.  How often am I trying to conquer life on my own?  What does it look like to trust in his strength and help?

When he called us into this path he didn’t expect us to walk alone.  He clearly spoke of his intentions to help and uphold.  It is up to me to wait for it, to expect it, to embrace it.

If nothing else, the past year has given me a greater understanding into the father-heart of God.  It is beautiful.  He delights in his children and he loves to watch us grow.  Even when we are silly… he smiles.  He longs to be a part of our lives and walk with us through the good and the bad.

How do you view God?  What would it look like to expect his help, his faithfulness, his righteous right hand?  I keep returning to the photo above.  I imagine a loving father, holding my hand and saying do not fear, I am with you and I will help you.  I will not let you fall.  I am good and I love you dearly. 

Friends, do not fear the path God is calling you to.  He is beyond faithful.  He is loving and he wants to be a part of the journey, offering his strength and his help.

Sometimes his help looks like the grace to survive a kid’s tantrum without losing your cool.  Or help looks like a therapist that patiently works with you to incorporate safety and security into a life marked by trauma.  Help may look like financial provision just in the nick of time.  I feel like I’m on a treasure hunt to see how God will help me next.

Your love and support are a provision of God’s help to us.  Thank you for your being a part of his goodness, his glory.  We are praying for this next week and specifically Tuesday.  Please stand with us. We are trusting for big things, many big things.  I can’t wait to see how he moves.  Get excited!

Much Love!

My Story

What Dreams May Come

girls at bay

These are the things dreams are made of.  Dreams I never knew I had.  I have only begun to discover the deeper desires of love, protection and purpose turning into dreams of this life filled with giggles and pink.  I’m in over my head, no doubt.  This picture captures our current dream in many ways.

Friends that have known me forever are trying to grasp where this all came from.  Who am I?  What happened to the girl that said she wasn’t having children?  honey, I feel ya!  My head is spinning too.  There are days that I still wonder what happened.

I can trace it back to three things…

Have you ever seen the movie Despicable Me?  I remember watching this with Daniel some 4 or 5 years ago.  When the three little girls walk into Miss Hattie’s House for Girls (orphanage), approach her desk and the little one asks “Did anyone come to adopt us today?”    Yep, that moment caught my heart.  Sure, it’s an animated movie but deep down I heard the cry of the orphan that longs to belong.  God clearly used this to begin stirring my heart.  I was reminded of the call of believers to look after orphans and widows.

The second thing?  I have a dear friend –  I can’t call her my best friend because she didn’t come to my wedding – but she is dear none-the-less.   {That’s an inside joke}  She experienced incredible pain in her life and as she has shared parts of her own story with me I found myself asking, why wasn’t she protected?  What would life look like if she had known that she was worth protecting?  She had a loving mother and father, don’t get me wrong, but life was hard and pain was real.  Her story stirred in me an intense desire to protect the innocence of children who are so often victims of circumstances that they cannot control.  To swoop in and rescue, to speak words of truth that you are loved, you are worth protecting and you are safe.  Why is that so significant? I didn’t know either until I discovered the significance of knowing it myself.

In 2011 I began a journey into my heart.  A battle.  A process of uncovering the depths of my heart and a growing awareness of God’s incredible love for me.  It’s called the Battle for Your Heart and it has been a 4 year process of uncovering the lies I’ve believed and replacing it with the truth of who God says I am.  In that process I’ve seen the framework of 4 Spiritual Realities:

  1. There is a Larger Story
  2. You have a part to play that is yours and yours alone.  If you don’t find a way, no one will.
  3. Evil is hunting you
  4. There is a Fellowship that desires to protect & propel you into your part

As I have discovered my own deep desires of being loved, protected and safe I can see more clearly why I am motivated to do the same for others.  These have been the cries of my own heart, but I am fortunate to come from a family that provided these in so many ways.  I see how God has crafted my life, my marriage, my family to be a piece of his redeeming love for the children he brings into our lives.

In the four years of battling for my own heart I have seen how to fight for the hearts of others – to bring freedom.  As fear has been unraveled in my life so has my carefully constructed protection of control.  And as control was released I began to see how God was inviting me in to so much more than I could imagine.  My part in his larger love story.  A story that has pursued my heart and pursued the hearts of three little girls that he longs to see know the depths of his love for them.

I am in awe, every day, as I consider the story God has written for me and the way he has moved to position us for this moment.  I can’t help but hope for the happy ending because I can’t imagine it being anything less.  I am fully aware that we are embarking on a path filled with resistance.  But I also know that I have a fellowship, a community that loves me well, supports us and propels us into this story.  You make me brave.

So now we dream.  We dream of the territory God is calling us into.  We dream of the days that we aren’t battling the uncertainty of not knowing where they belong.  We dream in a forever kind of way.

As we wait, as we pray, we remember God’s promise and in his promise there is provision.  He will not leave or forsake us.  We will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  And what dreams may come, he will be faithful – not just to us, but to these girls.  Whether the dream fulfilled looks as we hope or not, he is faithful. Dream with me friend.

Love Does, My Story

In a Forever Kind of Way

The way of surrender ultimately involves hard choices of letting go of what we think we want so we can choose what we truly want, thus following the deep desires the Father has placed within us.   – Women’s Team Equipping Module 1, Reality 2

The way of surrender.  What does that really mean in my life, right now?  I always viewed surrender as giving up, like in a battle.  Recently God has revealed to me that surrender looks like laying down my thoughts for his, my ways for his ways, my desires for his desires.  It isn’t giving up, it’s choosing to let go and trust his goodness.  You have had the chance to watch my journey into surrender.  When I started sharing my story I had no idea I was on this path, I thought I was on a crazy train and needed people to just pray we didn’t crash.  As I look back over the last 7 months I realize that God has been carefully working a plan and all along the way I have moved into the position of surrender.

I shared early on about the dream that a friend had that paved the way for us to say yes to these three precious girls.  In so many ways that dream went against everything I ever planned for my life.  I had to believe that if God went through all that work to get a message to me I should probably give him a chance.  One piece of that dream that I didn’t share, one word that had such huge significance, I left it out because of fear.    Forever.   When she shared her dream she clearly said, forever.  You will be getting twins. Babies. For you to keep.  Forever.

Why am I sharing this now?  Because I’m finally ready.  I have to be honest, the idea of forever was beyond overwhelming.  It is much of what took my breath away that day.  It is the main reason I couldn’t speak for days.  It was pretty much everything I said I would avoid.  Forever.  Commitment.

As Daniel and I have prayed for direction the past few months we have finally taken the step to submit our application for adoption.  This does not mean that the girls are even adoptable.  This means that if our case were to come to the point of adoption, we want to be ready.  Seven months later, almost to the day, I finally surrendered to the idea of forever and we mailed off our application.

I can’t share where things are with the girls but I can always share where we are.  As I was praying yesterday after I had an incredibly frustrating morning getting the girls ready, I cried out to God, “are we doing the right thing?”  Is this really from you?  Or are we going to be those people that accidentally adopted three kids without knowing what we were doing?  In that time I had a clear moment of realizing all the reasons I had for saying no to forever were driven by selfishness, fear and control.   All the reasons I had for saying yes to forever were driven by love, eternal purposes and desires that truly reflect God’s heart.  If I am one day judged for this decision, I would much rather defend desires that reflect God’s heart than try to defend my own selfish heart.  This sealed my deal.  I am all in.  I will not question again if this is right.

As I spent time in my Battle Prep I should not have been surprised by its focus on the way of surrender.  I reflected again on the story of Mary and the angel that came with the word that she would be the mother to the Son of God.  She is the perfect model of surrender.  Her response: “May your word to me be fulfilled.”   That was not my response.  My response was more like, “You have to be kidding me.  God, do you have the right girl?”   It has taken seven pain and joy filled months for me to move from, God, you’re crazy… to God, I see your heart and I surrender.  I wish I was faster, but there were baby steps along the way.

Move out today in humility and courage, knowing that as you respond to God’s desires for your life you too will bring life to many, even to those you may never meet until heaven.   –  Women’s Team Equipping Module 1, Reality 2  (Battle for the Heart)

I share these things because I can’t help but believe that God is stirring your hearts as well.  I don’t think he just picked me for surrender… there are things in all of our lives that seem much bigger than what we had planned and God is calling us to more.  I know it seems scary.  It is incredibly risky.  But I have to believe it is worth it.  You may never fully see the people you will touch as you surrender to God’s call on your life.  Please, don’t hold back.  For your sake.  For my sake. For the sake of those around you. Trust his faithfulness.

I still question if I have what it takes to be the mother these girls need, to survive each day, week, month, years.  I have asked God to show me how he sees me so I can walk more confidently in this place.  As Daniel and I were driving to pick up the girls from school I shared with him the confirmation I had earlier in the day.  He felt led to share with me that he had been praying as well and just really had a sense that I was built for this.  He believes that God has built me for this.  I truly heard the voice of God through him saying, I have created you for this.  Daniel didn’t know what I had prayed that afternoon.  All he knew was to respond to what God had showed him… and it spoke straight to my questioning heart.  Tears filled my eyes as I felt the love of my husband and the love of a heavenly father that spoke through him.

All this to say… we’re all in folks.  We desperately covet your prayers as we continue on this journey of surrender.  We also know that there is the possibility that our move to adoption may not happen.  I have to live with the honesty of our desire and the risk of it not being realized.  I have to trust that God didn’t stir this in my heart just to bring pain.  This was never my plan, I have to believe it is his.  I have to share with you my story, in hopes that it gives you courage, just as Mary did to me.  When God invites us into His Larger Story, it might cost you all that you are, but it is worth it.