Thursday, June 30, 2016

Super Exciting Day!!!

It is Richie and Lydia's adoption day!
After a long season of waiting on the Lord's good plans and timing,
the day is finally here!
Please pray with us that everything will go super smoothly and successfully,
and that our Lord will bless them abundantly!
Thank you to all of you who have been supporting them all along in this journey!!!
"May He give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed.
We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the Lord grant all your requests."
Psalm 20:4-5
 "As we consider adoption, some will be called to adopt newborns, some to adopt children in orphanages around the world, and some to adopt waiting embryos. All life is precious in God’s eyes. Whatever our individual emphasis may be, let us stand together in protecting and preserving all life."  Laura Godwin of Nightlight Christian Adoptions

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Standing at the Crossroads . . .

Dear Family, Friends, Acquaintances, and Blog Followers,
Thanks so much for your patience, and support as I have stood at the crossroads here for a bit, and taken some time to reflect on the future of our family's public journaling here.  I'm still wrestling with the decision, and am continuing to pray and seek advice.  To those of you who have left comments here or have emailed, thank you so much!  Your thoughtful comments have been so helpful and encouraging! 

In this nearly two weeks of praying about this, the Lord has brought to my mind on two occasions in two different ways Joshua 4:5-7.  (Once in a book I happened to pick-up and read, and then it was the special message at a baby shower we went to on Saturday!)

This is one of the passages in Scripture that speaks to God's request of His people to leave reminders for future generations of His goodness, faithfulness, miracles, presence, protection, provisions, etc.

"And Joshua said to them, “Pass on before the ark of the Lord your God into the midst of the Jordan, and take up each of you a stone upon his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the people of Israel, that this may be a sign among you. When your children ask in time to come, ‘What do those stones mean to you?’ then you shall tell them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. So these stones shall be to the people of Israel a memorial forever.”

I was particularly convicted of this when the Lord spared Joseph and I from certain death nine years ago.  He put in my heart back then to document some of the Big and Small Ways* He has worked in our family's life.  And so I did, resulting in a little book (*name of the book) that we gave to the kids on the one year anniversary and celebration of all He had done in saving our lives.  And I've had this in mind as I started blogging two years later in 2008.  So, this is not a new desire/conviction for me, but feel that the Lord has encouraged me again in continuing to document His wonderful work in our lives for the generations to come.  Leaving a solid reminder in this way of God's providential care in our lives will hopefully pass on our faith in Him, and give hope, inspiration, motivation, encouragement, and strength for their journey with Him. 

I'm also reminded of ALL the scriptures that speak about telling others of all of God's wondrous works!  I definitely feel refocused in this way, to use our blog for giving Him more recognition, thanksgiving and praise.   (I really sense a general conviction about just being simply more thankful to Him for everything in our lives!)

I've heard from many of you who have shared with me your wishes to keep the blog public so that we can keep in touch this way.  We are super honored that you have found the blog to be of some blessing, and you have encouraged us greatly to continue sharing our lives in this way.  We are humbled by your caring and interest in our lives.  And so we are definitely willing to be more "vulnerable" in this way as we continue to write more personal posts. . . knowing how supportive you are (and forgiving with my writing!)  The Lord is also gently reminding me once again that this life and everything I do is not about me and how I feel!  (Although, I am going through a particularly emotional time of life, and do really, really thrive and am greatly spurred on by your words of encouragement!  ;-)  

And lastly, another thing the Lord has brought to my attention (thank you, Rhonda, at the baby shower) is re-focusing on not only documenting all of God's goodness and faithfulness here, but spending more time on "being" living stones (1 Peter 2:5) day-to-day.  I think leaving "memorial stones" here on the blog for future generations should definitely come second to presently being a living stone or testimony of Christ to all those around me.  As our blog title and "Welcome" page suggests, we need to be thinking and praying about "making the most of every opportunity" the Lord gives us everyday to share about Him and serve Him and others in everything we do.  This can make such a difference in the lives of those around us now, and also leave a Godly legacy in our children. 

So, to summarize this time of standing at the crossroads, I think I am at  peace with continuing to journal publicly here,  but with some purposeful re-focusing on more of Him and less of me.  :-)  Not sure yet how this will look, or how different the outcome might be, so we'll take it one-day-at-a-time, trusting the Lord to direct all our steps.  Thanks again for all your support and especially for your prayers!  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Every So Often . . .

I think most Christian bloggers go through this . . . a time of reflection on what their blog is for, why they are blogging, is it time well spent, and is this use of time and the end result pleasing to the Lord?  It does take a lot of time, and so it's good to often consider if this time is honoring to the Lord and serving others in any way.  And lastly, is it of eternal value?

Our blog was started back in 2008 (actually earlier with two other blogs) as an easy, all-in-one-place to post pictures and updates for our family back in Arizona.  It is also a journal for our family, and keepsaking of all our pictures and memories.  I've also hoped that perhaps the Lord would use it to encourage someone toward Christ and Godly living out there in wi-fi land. (It is encouraging to me that folks from all over the world stop by here.)  I've also wanted it to be a public place where we can praise His name and give Him glory.  But the flip-side to being on the internet, is that it is hard for me to share more of the personal things in our journal that are going on in our family.  I'm also not a very good writer, so it's hard for me to express my thoughts and feelings here.  When I do, it feels a bit awkward, and I feel vulnerable and like retreating. 

I'm currently going through another season of ponderings about all of this.  I can see why facebook and other social media sites are so popular with the instant feedback and interaction one receives while sharing their lives with others. And I can see why a family journal maybe needs to not be so public.  I wonder if the public family journal truly is touching anyone, reaching anyone, making a difference for Christ in anyone's lives?   Is the time vs. benefit ratio worth it?  Or should it just be a private journal, with more personal writing about what the Lord is doing in our lives for the family's generations to come?

Okay, I feel like I'm getting too personal, and it's feeling a bit awkward. ;-) So  I think I'll sign-off for now and continue praying about this.  If the journal goes "private" in the near future, at least you'll know why!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Trust in the Lord with All Your Heart . . .

. . . and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

We just got an update from our adoption social worker on the final decision of the state in the placement of the two little ones we have been waiting to welcome into our home. The state has re-decided after reviewing the recent assessment, to keep working with the relatives toward their adoption within the family.  We are happy for these efforts to continue to work with the family, and we continue to pray that that is what is best for the kids. 

But our hearts are feeling a little weary and sad today.  We had been preparing our hearts and home for these two precious souls for three months.  We were told by the state who has been working with the family for a couple years now, that the family was not a good option for the children.  So for all of us, we are SO thankful that we can trust in God's providential plans, and that He is working ALL things together for good.

We absolutely feel called to adopt more orphans.  So it can be confusing to our human minds when He closes a door like this.  But we trust Him.  We know it is He that has given us the calling, the desire and the provisions.  So we will continue to lean not on our own understanding, and continue praying for His good and perfect plans and timing!

"In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;
in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation."
Psalm 5:3

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Happy 21st Birthday, Lydia!

"Those who look to him are radiant . . . "
Psalm 34:5a
We love you, Lydia!
You are such a blessing to all of us!
 Also celebrating four years of marriage and a wonderful promotion at Richie's work!!
Thank you, Lord, for all your blessings!
 After an amazing dinner,
Lydia gave us a farm tour! : -)

 Kyle on top of a nearby hill! ;-)
 Praying for a super blessed year for you and Richie!
 Thank you for such a fun evening, dear Tevises!
We love you all so much!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Seaside Fun! Part III

Thank you so very much, Mr. and Mrs. T., for this amazing stay in Seaside, OR!
You have blessed us beyond measure!

 Wow, strange things happen to Daddy while on vacation! ;-)


 Yes, I know it looks like everyone is ganging up on Kyle in the next few picture.
But, no, you don't need to feel bad for him.
This happened just after he tried to scoop Victoria up to carry throw her into the water!

 And finally, a little  dancing at the beach!

It was a beautiful sunset to end our wonderful stay at the beach!
Thank you, Lord!!!!
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