Monday, June 9, 2014

hello there

Hello there.  Well, I just fell off for a bit.  No excuses.  Except very, very sleepy.  Still sleepy but I want to keep up a tiny bit with our pictures and happenings so here is a burst for you.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

and on today we did this...

I am to full up to put anything into words.  So here is a link for ya of the day we met our sweet Paulina Katherine, one year ago today.  Such joy.

Meeting Our Sweetie

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

a year ago today

Exactly one year ago today, we walked into an appointment with the SDA of Ukraine, listened to a vast amount of Russian spoken between our facilitator and the ministry official, and then we were dealt a heart crushing blow when told we could not adopt Paulina, and should just go home.  

"In the Lord’s hand the king’s heart is a stream of water

    that he channels toward all who please him."

Proverbs 21:1

Within 48 hours, God did what only He can do.  He changed the hearts and minds of men.  He worked a miracle.  And He forever changed our lives.
Upon being asked by the king what god would rescue them when he threw them into the fire,
"Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.
Daniel 3:16-18

This time in our lives is hardly expressible to us.  It fills up the deepest parts of us.  Our walks with Jesus, our faith, our love for Paulina.   It is just too much to speak into words.  We are beyond thankful for our God who gave us such a beautiful gift.  

For more of our time in Ukraine, check out the Paulina page and follow those links.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

one very beautiful little word

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.

All have turned away,

    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”
 “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
     ruin and misery mark their ways,
 and the way of peace they do not know.”
     There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.


But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.  There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.  God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunishedhe did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.

Romans 3:11-26

what a very beautiful little word.  
We are the "not even one".  we are the ones who "turned away".  We know no way of peace and we have no fear of God.  

God has made His righteousness known; freely justified us through faith.  Jesus has has redeemed our lives from the pit.    
from death to life.  despair to hope.  slavery to freedom.  darkness to light.

He is so, so good.  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

as the darkness settles in

As I sit, the thunder is booming and the rain is coming.  Darkness settles over us for the night and all things in our home slow to a stop.  I have spent these days of Lent in the Gospel accounts of the last week of the life of Jesus.  It is weighty and glorious wrapped together as one and, if I am honest, I don't always know what to do with it all.  Luke tells us, as Christ drew His final breath:

"darkness came over the whole land...for the sun stopped shining"

I know what comes next.  Yet I think I will sit here for a bit, with no sun, just darkness.  I will draw as near as I can to Jesus in His suffering, longing to know Him more, longing to love Him more, longing to be filled more deeply by my Savior who has mostly amazingly redeemed my soul.  

He is so, so good.

Monday, April 7, 2014

ladies, let's all look up and smile at one another

Have you (and I know you have) ever been walking through the grocery store, the hallways of church, the school parking lot, and seen someone you know and done one of the following: 

1. Lower your head and pretend you didn't see them?
2. Find their gaze and still act as if you don't know them?

I know the answer is yes.  Why in the world do we do this?  Are we all just really mean people?  Must this mean that we are actually really more important than the one we pass by?  I'm gonna go out on a limb and say a big no.  Instead, let me offer my personal experience reasons.  Why do we do this?  Fear and insecurity.  Generally 1,000 thoughts/concerns/comments/questions run through my mind in this situation.  I'm sure she doesn't remember me, I'm not cool enough to say hello, she surely doesn't want to speak to me, I look a mess, I'm terrible at small talk, she has better people to be friends with, I just don't make the cut.  And on.  And on.  I'm afraid.  Like crazy. 
I believe I'm not important enough to be remembered and I'm so insecure that I won't allow myself to find out if it is true.  

I just spent the weekend with some incredibly lovely ladies from my church and I had such a sweet time with the group in my cabin discussing and sharing our hearts on what comparison and criticism does to us.  It paralyzes us.  Comparison paralyzes.  When the truth is we are all women, in need of and seeking the same Jesus, longing to get rid of sins and find ourselves more in obedient step with God.  And we could use each other.  I mean we really need each other.    We are not chained to the lies that Satan sneaks into our thoughts.  We have been set free.  Let's call the lie by name and fight it.  For the sake of the gospel and the glory of God and for the edification and beauty of the community of women God has given each of us.  

This here just scratches the surface but for now let me encourage this among us women...

Let's all look up and smile at one another.  

Speak by name.  Lift your arms to embrace, your words to encourage and prayer, and your joy to fight off the lies that entangle each one of us.  You, my friends, are worth it to me.  Let's consider the value of one another and walk with our heads high and our hearts open.  I commit to remembering you, knowing you, and covering you with the love of Christ in me.  

Will you?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

some Scripture for this week

"The Son is the image of the invisible God, 
the firstborn over all creation. 
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant."
Colossians 1:15-23

This is the Gospel.  It's sometimes grips me in ways that are too deep for words.  He has made me holy.  Taken me from death and freed me from all accusation.  He has reconciled me.  I'm sitting here for the week, dwelling in this truth and letting it wash over me.  Who He is, who I am, what He has done, and who I am in Him.  He draws me to worship, He is so so good.