Daughter


Dear daughter,

Sometimes life is hard. Sometimes you won’t get your own way. Sometimes life feels unfair. 

Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be afraid. Don’t give up. 

God loves you. I love you. Your family loves you. 

Trust in God. 

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Fear

Today is Halloween. Amusingly enough, this morning I had a revelation about FEAR. V and I are off today getting ready for our annual neighborhood candy fest. V was sleeping in, and the boys were getting ready for school. Everything was good, until the boys started getting a little rowdy on the way out the door. I spoke harsh words to them, because I was AFRAID they would wake up V. 

V woke up soon after they left, and I started evaluating myself.  Why would I be AFRAID that the boys would wake up V? The worse that could happen is that I don’t get to drink my coffee in peace. It was then that God revealed to me how many of my actions are motivated by FEAR. 

I clean my house before guests come, because I am AFRAID that they will judge me (not because I want it to be nice for them). I vote for a certain party, because I am AFRAID that the other candidate will win (not because I think the candidate I vote for will necessarily do a good job). I rush to the grocery store to buy groceries, because I am AFRAID the kids won’t have the right things to pack for lunch tomorrow (not because we are really out of food).  I am AFRAID of being late to work, so I yell and rush my family. On and on it goes. 

The world has conditioned us to FEAR. God tells us to love our neighbor.  God tells us not to fear. God tells us He is over elections. God tells us that He will provide all our needs. God tells us that He gives us a Spirit of power, love, and self-control. 

These kiddos deserve better from their mom than actions motivated by FEAR. My actions should be motivated by LOVE. LOVE drives out FEAR. LOVE comes from God revealed through our Lord Jesus Christ.



Death

  
This is D and I after several thousand miles of driving. For D to say hello to many family members and landscapes. For me to say goodbye to my grandmother. For us both to say hello to this new chapter of our lives and goodbye to the old “normal”. Baby sister will be here soon. 

Whoa what a whirlwind trip. God showed up and showed out. Sandstorms, rainstorms, elk, and wildfires. Rainbows in odd places (that’s a whole other blog post). 

Man am I tired. Sometimes you have to go backward to go forward. I’m ready God. I know you have big plans in store. 

   
    
    
 
We were able to sneak some visits with friends and family on the road. This last week taught me to live every moment to it’s fullest. Choose kindness (even if you are tired and don’t feel like it). Life is too short for anything less. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Our family and friends are not guaranteed tomorrow. 

Rest in Peace Hazel Barnett, Lori Westmoreland, and Alex Sullivan. 

Love, like everything else in life, should be a discovery, an adventure, and like most adventures, you don’t know you’re having one until you’re right in the middle of it.

E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭16‬:‭9‬ ESV)

For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. (‭Romans‬ ‭8‬:‭13‬ ESV)

Together

  

Z and I just spent 6 days in the hospital. A nurse commented that he was milking the one-on-one time with his mom. Yes, he was. So was I. 

At times like this I am reminded that he was abandoned on the side of the road in China as an infant. Abandoned by a parent or by parents who were doing the most loving thing they could for him. All his needs were taken care of in China, and for that I am thankful. 

I am also reminded that he had major surgery in China as an infant. By major, I mean spinal surgery. During that time, his mommy was not with him. 

I’m here now little buddy. 

Shirts

  

http://www.booster.com/pursuinglove

If you would like to support us on our journey, please consider buying one of these cool shirts (designed by Mr. Awesome). This is our first fundraiser (hopefully of many). I cannot lie, I am a little nervous. 

The cost of adoption, domestic and international, is high. Money is one part of it. Costs also include time, sanity, and sleep. There are others I may touch on in future posts. Time is in the forefront of my thoughts, as I realize our baby girl is 11 months old today. 

Our adoption, as far a monetary costs go, will be between $35,000 and $40,000. We hope to raise at least half. 

Thank you for considering and following us on this journey. 

Love

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Last week the Christian community started celebrating the season of Advent, or the anticipation of the coming of Christ. We will walk through Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. There are many great tools out there to help really engage you.

Lately though, one of the four pillars of Advent has been on my mind. Love. Mainly because this little fella

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love’s everything. An example of a conversation between Z and myself:

“What’s that?”

“That’s a fire truck.”

“Ooooo, I love that fire truck. Do you love that?”

“Yes Z, I love that.”

Repeat…

What a lesson for this way too busy woman. In this Advent season, and every season, how do I love well? The first lesson is to remember that Jesus is love.

“Love Came Down At Christmas” by Jars of Clay

Love came down at Christmas
Love, a lovely love divine
Love was born at Christmas
Stars and angels gave the sign

Love will be our token
Love be yours, and love be mine
Love from God to all of us
Love for plea and gift a sign

Love for the 10 commandments
Love for the 9 that dress so fine
Love for the 8 that stood at the gate Love for the 7 who went up to Heaven Love for the 6 that never got fixed
Love for the 5 that stayed alive
Love for the 4 that stood at the door Love for the Hebrew children
Love from the little babe, baby

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Secondly, we remember that Love IS!

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but l rejoices with the truth.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part,

but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

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Back to my sweet boy. Am I so busy that I totally miss Jesus around me? The beauty and glory of Him revealed to me in EVERY good thing? The fire trucks, the marshmallows, the chair, the food, the house, the street, the dog, etc.

It is not Thanksgiving, but I still need a supreme dose of Thankfulness and a lot less Hustle and Bustle.

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Merry Christmas if we do not blog again before then!!!

Grace and peace to you and yours,
Lori

Gift

This past weekend, my husband and I ran away to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. It has been a very long time since we have spent some time away and alone. Some friends of ours kept our 3 boys while we were gone.

What a gift. On top of the fact that we have 3 boys, there are some medical issues that hinder leaving them with just “anybody”. “Anybody” would have to be willing and able to perform certain tasks to make sure the boys stay healthy. Our friends willingly stepped up, because they love us and our kids.

Have you ever been given a gift you could not repay? Not just at this time, but ever? It is frustrating, isn’t it? Not to mention humbling. No matter how many times we thank them, it will never be enough.

God did that for us. He loves us (present tense) enough that He sent His only Son to die. He died so we could have a relationship with Him. Forever. No matter how many times I thank Him, it will never be enough. No matter how many “good” things I do, it will never ever be enough.

That is the point, isn’t it?

John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

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