Musicly Speaking…If Anyone Is Listening :)

*I am working on a song, almost finished…It’s about themes from the book of Genesis, called “It All Began”. It’s a little different than what I normally write, but I’m kind of interested in how it turns out. I have this idea, although it sounds a bit corny, to write a whole CD of songs just going through big sections at a time of the Bible…trying to give a fresh perspective on major themes…It’ll be a good challenge and I hope I can co-write some of them.
*For now, I don’t have a single singing gig, but I think I will again in the future. I want to improve on piano, guitar, vocals, and writing in this particular season of my life and am doing some things to work toward that goal, I think in preparation for some things to come. I am in a song writing class with Ginny Owens on-line. It’s a little intimidating, but I am really excited about what she is teaching.
*I have about 8 songs that I am hoping to at least roughly record on Garage Band and put on my blog at Only one is on there right now, “While This Story’s Unfolding”. I hope to put songs I wrote during the adoption journey on there in the next couple of weeks: “Conversations”, “To the End”, “Raise Her Child in Peace”, “The Dawn”,  & “For the Second Time”.
*I miss singing and sharing. Ginny’s assignment for us this week was to make up a statement or pick a verse that would help us when we feel discouraged about writing–I think of several things, I have such a hard time being concise: Writing is worth it no matter what becomes of it, because it is a chance to search out the heart of something and draw nearer to the Lord in the process. It’s like Bible study and worship and journaling all wrapped up into one. It matures my heart and clarifies my views on things; makes me work through deeper issues of life. What an extra blessing it is to actually get to communicate these findings with others on the road!


*Today is Selah’s 4th birthday! Wow! What a precious, crazy, unbelievable 4 years. She has brought so much joy and wonder into my life.

*I am sleeping and feel well! This has been an issue for years; I am on medicine that works and I feel like a different person. Just in time to be creative and energetic with my daughters. Thank you, Jesus!
*Yemi is safely and happily home! I still marvel at this miracle, and thank God in absolute relief that the trial of the adoption journey is over. Now, we are just enjoying life together, and she is a fun, cuddly, sweetheart baby.
*Jack has a great job and works a lot at home. He gets to be creative and gets to see his girls!
*This is small, (not really), but it looks like we can have our health insurance go down to something reasonable and not have the usual summer spike. 
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

The Fruit of the What?

Tonight I was reading to Selah the “Sweet Dreams Princess” version of Galatians 5:22, the passage about the Fruit of the Spirit. It was completely going over her head, and after I tried to explain how the Lord helps us to be kind, gentle, and patient, I said to her, “Okay. If the Lord plants love like a seed in your heart, what do you think will grow in your heart and then in your life?” She paused and looked down for a second to think about it, then looked up at me with her hands turned up and said, “Yogurt??”


His Solemn Vow

While we were worshipping on Sunday morning, we were singing about our desire for God to come like the sunrise, finally bringing His justice and mercy for us all, asking Him to rise in the darkness and bring us peace…I loved this imagery (major props to God and Jamie Foster, who wrote the song), and I was just thanking God that this is WHO HE IS!! He IS justice and mercy and light, and He will bring these things to earth in His time (read Isaiah for more!!) I can’t wait. For those around the world in desperate need, I know He is at work through His Church, but I know that true deliverance and freedom is waiting in the wings with the return of Jesus. 

As I was worshipping, this thought came to my mind from the Lord: He said, “I sent My Word”. It was like He was reminding me of a solemn vow He had made to bring justice and compassion, vengeance and peace, restoration and truly, finally, the government on His shoulders. Loving the fatherless, drying every tear, rebuilding the ruins, bringing beauty from ashes. He sent His Word; like a person used to “send word” to their loved ones to say what they’re doing, when they’re coming, what to do in the meantime. He sent His Word: A promise of His character and heart. And this message, this “go ahead of Me and tell them Who I Am, tell them what I am doing”, was embodied in the holy, compassionate, fiery for truth, Son of God. Jesus was God’s Word (John 1). He was a not-so-subtle story of God and all that God represents; He was the Word, the sweet foretelling, sent forth to give hope.
Somehow as we receive Jesus, God’s solemn vow, His message of what is now and what is to come is placed in us…to not-so-subtly show the world. I pray two things for myself: #1 – That I will live to know Jesus more and deeper, because no other goal matters in comparison. This is worthy of all I am and all I do. #2 – That my life (by the power of the Holy Spirit) would show people the heart and plan and character of our great God who is coming for us!!! 
How lovely on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, that OUR GOD REIGNS!

Lots of Pictures!

Hope everyone enjoys the new pictures! I thought Selah’s sidewalk chalk drawings were so great; and seeing our family with Yemi has been wonderful! Everyone is doing really well here although it is louder and busier than ever before; Yemi (9 1/2 months old) is starting to crawl (she’s really good at the army crawl all of a sudden), and is sitting up by herself! Selah (almost 4)  is being an awesome big sis, and we’re all just thrilled that it is spring!!! 

Please Pray

Please pray for this situation with us: The Ethiopian government is concerned because there are so many babies being abandoned and brought into orphanages in the past few months. Apparently, there has been a sharp increase. They have halted all court dates/cases of abandoned babies until further notice in order to look into these concerns. Whatever searching the police have done for parents of abandoned babies must be re-done from what I understand. There are so many families who have already received referrals and were waiting on their court date, and now they are left with the unknown of “until further notice”.  Please intercede! We know what unknowns feel like, and these families just want to know that it IS going to work out. Pray for the peace of the Lord for these families, and that God will give them grace to handle this. Pray for the judges, police, and others involved in Ethiopian government who are doing what they think is best; pray for justice and mercy and for not a day to be lost for these children. Pray for the investigations to go quickly and be resolved in wisdom. Pray for the Lord to move. He is in control and He sets the boundaries; may His will be done. Thank you for praying.

Cry Babies

Wow. What a day! Does anyone else ever feel like their kids and babies are yelling at them all day? Yemi and Selah took turns harassing me today since I woke up. I’m joking, but good grief, it is always something! Everyone is fine, it’s just “Harass Mommy Day” here… You know, the “I didn’t want my apple sauce in this blue bowl” and “whah, whah, whah” but with real tears for no reason (that I can figure out anyway). A new tactic I’m trying (since my natural reaction would be to say things I should not) is to be quiet and make crazy faces. So far, I’ve humored myself, and that’s really all I was going for.

And somebody just brought me pizza.
The day looks up.

Spring Seems Like Sight

I am so thankful for seasons, both literally and figuratively, and WHOA did we just come out of a long winter! I know it’s irrational, but there were times during the winter months, with the horror-film-looking-trees, enveloping grey skies, and icy rainy days that I wondered if spring really was going to ever come back. This year it seemed to especially drag on…all the while, in the same months, our adoption turned from a happy autumn kind of feeling to the dead of winter.

January, February, and March were very stressful and anxious times for us. Yemi had not gained a single pound in 2 or 3 months, and looked very frail in her pictures; this was such a change from her first picture, and we were very concerned. We were assured everything was fine, until one month later, the weekend we did not pass court, we found out that the babies were not doing well at all. They didn’t have the formula they needed; the only reason we got this news (instead of when it was too late) was because a new nurse came into the orphanage and sounded the alarms, by the mercy of God. For a month after that, our babies were on foods given to children who are malnourished or starving. Later, I was to find out that this nurse literally saved ten lives in that orphanage: There is a good chance that Yemi was one of them. During this time of unknowns, having in one hand the promises God had specifically given to us and in the other hand the facts and realities about children in Africa, we simply waited. We spent a lot of time in the Word and in prayer. The Lord was a strong refuge, and we put our hope in Him, learning more and more respect for His wisdom, and more and more trust in that wisdom. But we also lost sleep, cried, stressed, and overate! 
During this time, this song I wrote back in 2003 came to my mind a lot and helped me worship through some of the hard days. Thought I’d share the lyrics today: 
*Your Mercies*
My heart overflows with Your goodness, Lord
My lips will recount the days
where You have come through, where You have rescued
where I’ve stood in awe and sang Your praise;
But when there’s no cloud to lead me, and when there’s no sun that shines
standing alone on this open road, recall to my mind–Heart, listen inside–
*Because of Your love, Your great love
we are not consumed by anything but You
Because of Your compassion, O Lord, we will not fear whatever we may walk through
And every day, every morning, whatever we wake up to
Your mercies are new, Your mercies are new, Your mercies are new…
Winter is like faith to me. And spring seems like sight. 

A True Story of Kingdom Proportions

When we traveled to Ethiopia, there were several other families also adopting from there, and one of these families had a second miracle added to their miracle of adoption that week.  In Addis Ababa, there are many beggars on the streets. Some are children leading blind grandmothers; some are mothers holding small babies in rags. Some are men with deformities or mental illness. All are heartbreaking. All make my mind go to Isaiah, and God’s promises of a new Kingdom and a new King. I mean, I just see who they will be in a matter of seconds when He returns.

So this one family met a little 13 year old girl named “S”. She beckoned to them while they were in a restaurant. They found someone who could translate, and within a few minutes, she had told them her story. She was completely alone on the streets; her father, mother, and siblings had all passed away.  She asked for some food, and they gladly gave it to her; they bought her a new outfit, and she humbly stripped off her old one as they circled around her for privacy. She said, “Don’t give me any money. At night, men grab my throat and steal from me…Just take me home with you; I want you to be my mother.” The family was devastated with love for this girl, and would have adopted her if they legally could have.  That evening, they went to the Samaritan’s Purse office (a ministry of Franklin Graham) and asked if there was anything this organization could do to help her.  Samaritan’s Purse said they would do what they could, even though this in particular wasn’t what they do in Addis, and to ask the girl to come meet with the family at the S.P. office at 9:30 a.m. the next morning.
They spent the night wondering if she would show up–and she did.  Samaritan’s Purse had arranged for “S” to be taken to a Christian orphanage, and this family rode with her to see her new home.  “S” cried and resisted once they got there, because she really wanted to go home with this American family. But “H”, the orphanage founder, begged her to stay. “S” was told that staying at the orphanage was the only way she would be safe and have what she needed. She was assured also that her new American family would take care of her from afar through gifts, any medical costs, anything she needed.
Every update I was given about this story brought me to tears; it was so prophetic and so beautiful and so Jesus. Just so Jesus! Look at the miracles He wants to do through those who have set their heart and soul and mind on Jesus and showing the world who He is! It really hits me that this family wasn’t walking around the city actually looking for someone to help that day; they weren’t on a “fixing people” mission. But #1, they were where God told them to be. They had been called to adopt from Africa, and they followed through no matter the cost. And #2, their hearts were in line with the heart of the Lord, so when the opportunity arose, they knew what to do! They knew they would do their utmost for this child; that was a decision they had made many, many days previously when they settled in their hearts that they would be representatives of this Kingdom coming.
This story is an allegory of a coming King, a King who will come for us orphans, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, a King who will come at the oppressors of the innocent in fiery vengeance. A King who is pent up with compassion and mercy; oh I love Him!
The story isn’t over. The next morning after being in the orphanage all night, “H” led “S” to the Lord. “S” prayed to receive Christ, and not only redemption of her physical life but now her spiritual life, blew this thing into a story of Kingdom proportions.

A Good Day…and Girl Names

We had a great day today! I worked out in the yard with Yemi in the front carrier–she loved it, and it was wonderful to be outside, getting things looking nice for the summer ahead of us. Yemi is doing better; we’re figuring out a few things, like that she wants her bottle first, and then maybe half an hour later will eat her other foods.  She’s been happy so much of the time, but when she is tired or hungry (and I’m trying to keep a schedule so I know what is going on, but still she surprises me) she is really, really unhappy all of a sudden! She has a lot to get used to, and we are taking it slow. I learned with Selah that it is ALL about expectations. If I expect to have to stay calm and be patient as I let their emotions ride out, or if I expect from the start I may not get to do something I planned that day, things just work out a lot better! (And I don’t get as aggravated.) So thankful that we have such a wonderful life that we can be laid back and adjust to whatever happens. For now anyway!

Okay, so, I’ve been thinking today: We know that Selah and Yemi are IT for us 🙂 but I still have all these girl names that I LOVE. So, what else is a blog for but to share? Here we go:
…just to name a few…