The ballet and a Battle and Fear and God

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The ballet. It's full of beauty and talent and art.

This Saturday, we honored our Christmas tradition of seeing the Nutcracker ballet. It was beautiful and artistic and full of talent as always, but this weekend it was different.

When tragedy strikes, even those things which are beautiful often become clouded by fear.

Tonight I sit at my desk in my new office in our new house, and none of those "new things" matter.

What does matter are the 2 post it notes stuck to my desk written on by my 5 year old kindergartener. Earlier tonight, she was playing "school" with her uncle Matt.

These past few days have made me look at scribbled on post-it notes in a whole new light. I have looked at my children differently this weekend, as I'm sure you have too.

If you're like me, it happened to you. You imagined it for a moment. You let the scenario creep into your mind as you placed yourself in the shoes of those parents who waited for children who never came back.

I can't even write it without tears falling from my eyes. It's too much. Too much for anyone to imagine let alone live through. And with the brutal reality of this past week's shooting, comes fear.

I have read many of your posts on facebook and twitter. Posts of fear.

Fear is the sword with which the devil fights. He uses fear to creep into our minds and our lives, and he attempts and often succeeds at controlling us through fear.

Interestingly enough, do you know what the #1 command in the Bible is?

Do not fear.

Fear not.

Be not afraid.

He says it over and over and over again.

It's not just a suggestion. It is a command. His greatest command to us. Yet we live intimately with fear, cherishing it so much that we often can't shake it.

Do not be afraid is a command that most of us have a hard time abiding by.

I recently worked through a bible study by Beth Moore over the book of Esther. It was an incredible study. But there was one video session that has literally changed my life, and it was all about fear. That lesson is where these thoughts gain their strength.

When I think about the events of last week, I can't keep my mind from wandering to the "what ifs." What if it had been here? What if it had been someone I know? What if it had been one of mine?

What if?

Fear lives through the what ifs that often overtake our minds.

Those worst case scenarios that we allow to consume our thoughts....that's where fear lives, and that's where the devil wins.

There has been a lot of talk about home schooling since the shooting. Is it what we should do? Is it what the Lord commands us to do? Many would say yes.

I'm not here to debate public or private school vs homeschooling. I honestly don't know what's right. But I do know without a doubt that what is right for one family may not be right for another.

But after a school shooting like this, everything in me wants to wrap my children up warm and snug in my bed and never let them leave me.

But the reality is, tragedy happens.

It happens in schools, in movie theaters, and even at the grocery store.

The thought of one of those tragedies is enough to make you want to lock your kids up in your house forever and never let them leave. But thinking about the reality of them all together is enough to push any of us over the edge and beg for Jesus to return to save us from our own fear.

If we let it, fear can consume us.

In Beth's session on fear, she talks about taking your "what ifs" aka your worst fears and pushing through them all the way to the end.

For example, this weekend, I have had to work through this one many times....(please note, this is not an easy read).

What if I waited for her to come running into my arms and she didn't come back? (I am now sitting at my desk sobbing. And I'm sorry if you are too, but I want you to read the rest of this.)

Beth explains that she had a moment with the holy spirit when she was consumed by fear...by those what ifs, and the holy spirit lead her to work through it like this. (And obviously I have no idea what this would be like. I can only imagine....and that is torture enough, but hopefully this resonates with someone tonight.)

So what if that were me?

Then what?

Well, then I would lose it. I would probably scream and sob and they would have to put me on some kind of medication. I would be in shock. I wouldn't know what to do. I would hate everyone and everything, and I would be mad at God.

Then what?

I would grieve. I would mourn. I wouldn't want to get out of bed. I would still be mad and hate the world. I'd feel like I had nothing to live for anymore.

Then what?

Then eventually I'd have to be a momma to my other babies. I would have to talk to them. I would have to explain things. I would try to do it well, but I would cry. I would cry and cry and cry.

Then what?

I think I would get tired of crying. I think I would get tired of feeling. I would probably battle depression.

Then what?

I guess eventually I'd have to talk to God about it. I would open my bible and lay my face on it and sob. I would wish it were someone else. I would ask Him why it had to be us.

Then what?

Then what?

Then what?

I don't really know what. I can't walk through what it would feel like. I don't know what, but I do know who.

If my greatest fear were to become reality, then GOD.

Then God.

I don't know what else or who else, but I know God. And I know my God. And I know life is not fair. I also know we were not made for this world. This is just a moment for us. "We are but a mist that appears for a little while then vanishes." (James 5:14)

But if my greatest fear becomes reality, then my God will take care of me.

We can't just trust Him to make sure our greatest fears don't come true....We have to learn to trust Him no matter what.

And if my worst fears come true.....then GOD.

Then God, then God, then God.

He tells us not to fear. He tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us.

I know that if I were ever to lose a child, I would probably feel like he had left me and forsaken me. But I know this, He will not leave or forsake those grieving parents. Believers or not, he will chase after them in an effort to comfort them and bring them peace.

I understand so very little about His plan. He has this all worked out you know? And in the end, the good guy wins.

I have to remind myself of this promise often when I let fear creep into my soul....It is a promise to all believers found in Isaiah 43. It is so much a favorite of mine that it fell open to this page as I cried those tears of sorrow and pain tonight over children that will never feel sorrow or pain ever again as they stand at the feet of Jesus tonight.


Israel’s Only Savior
1But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cushand Seba in your stead.
4Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from the ends of the earth—
7everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory,
whom I formed and made.”



May you win the battle over fear tonight. If ____________, then God.













The beginning of something new

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I've got a sweet little guy snuggled up on my chest for the night. My hubby is out at Wal-mart buying a new TV for our bedroom (Merry Christmas babe!), and my other 2 littles are snuggled up in their new rooms.

We did it! We moved. It wasn't across the country like I thought. It was just 3 miles north. But oh, how it feels like home.

I can't really explain it. My babies sleep good here. We sleep good here. It is just us. And it feels good.

I loved our other house. And when we moved in 3 years ago, we thought it would be our 20 year home. We didn't know the Lord would grow our business the way he did, and grow our hearts into wanting more babies. We didn't really know anything then. (And we still don't know anything for the record.)


But I do love it here. We see turkey everyday.


This is our backyard. We have 3 1/2 acres and a creek back there. (There will be a pool soon enough!)

Here are the turkey in the front yard.


Luke and I saw 3 deer in the backyard one morning.

It's just like a little slice of heaven.

It's a mess. Don't get me wrong....I have had a moment everyday since we moved in of being completely overwhelmed.....moving is absolutely crazy. I'm ready for everything to be in it's place and for us to be settled. I want to get back to work and to some kind of normalcy and schedule. I know it's going to take a bit of time. That's okay.

I can't wait to host here. Christmas is going to be a blast. There is so much room for the kids to run and play. And we finally have a house big enough to comfortably host the Dalke clan!

My kids are already exploring. Daddy took them on an adventure exploring the creek yesterday. Oh, the adventures they'll have back there!

What can I say? Life is good. I'm beginning to see the end of the moving madness approaching. And life will go on.

It's not what I thought it would be, but it's still the beginning of something new. And I can't wait to see what happens next.

It's always an adventure.....

Chasing Peace

Sunday, December 2, 2012

I've lived in this city for over 20 years now. It's where I met my husband, where I birthed my children, and where I fell in love with the Lord.

It's where I've met great friends, and where I met myself. It's where I overcame my fear, got my first real job, and where I grew a business that changed our lives.

We've lived in this house for almost 4 years now. And oh, if these walls could talk.

Inside the walls of this house we have learned that money doesn't make you happy but love does. We've learned how to work together and how to work apart. We've learned what it's like to serve because we felt led to. We've learned that we're not always right.

We've learned that living for the Lord doesn't always make sense to the world (or to us for that matter). We've learned that babies sometimes come.....and then go.

We've known love, pain, fear, chaos, and peace within these walls.

And next week, we'll hand the keys to someone else and move on.

I thought I knew exactly what this would look like.

I thought I had it all figured out.

And on October 31st, everything changed.

With Brian asleep on the hospital couch and a new baby boy asleep in my arms, I found that no matter what I did, sleep wouldn't come.

I kept asking myself and the Lord, what on earth we were doing. Why now? Why California? Why now?

I couldn't wrap my head around it.

What seemed like a solid plan only hours before suddenly seemed like the worst idea we'd ever had.

And 2 days later on our way home from the hospital with the newest addition to our family, I asked him the question, "What are you thinking about California?"  I couldn't hold it in any longer. I thought I might explode if I didn't get it out.

I had prayed unceasingly while we welcomed visitor after visitor into our hospital room. "Lord, do you really want us to leave all this right now?"

Neither of us were sure anymore. And before I knew it, I was looking at local real estate and so was Brian (we just weren't talking about it). I thought that maybe I was running away from what I felt the lord called us to do, and I didn't want to be a coward.

Neither of us knew why we were moving to California. We just felt the Lord leading us there. And suddenly (with no warning at all) I felt like I was flipped around and instructed to run the other way with no explanation at all.

You see, we had already sold our house (thanks to a knock on the door that I believed was an answer to a prayer), so if we wanted to stay here, we had to find a new house and quick.

A few days later, with tears barely able to contain themselves in my eyes, we made a decision to stay here, and just like that, peace overflowed my soul. I knew it was right (just like I knew moving to Cali was right only days before).

What do I know really?

Nothing.

Nothing except that this is a journey.

Tonight I ran the streets of my neighborhood and thought about all the prayer and worship and questioning and searching I had done on those streets. The Lord used running to change me into someone different.

It was on those streets that I feel in love with my savior, that I learned how to overcome fear, that I really became me.

In mere days, we will walk away from the walls where we have been changed, away from the streets that made us different, and into a new adventure.

It's not near the adventure that I thought it would be. It's not across the country. It's not as uncertain. But it will be an adventure none the less.

I still don't know where we'll be or what we'll be doing in a year. That's just the life you live when you let the Lord be in charge. But I have a pretty good feeling that we'll be here for a while longer.

I don't know why. I don't know why He sold our house with nothing more than a knock on the door from strangers. I was so sure at the time that that knock was all about us.

But the more I pray about it, the more I believe that it had nothing to do with us, and more to do with 2 people on the other side of the door.

They are not strangers anymore. They are becoming our friends, and for that, I am grateful.

Now we're moving 3 miles instead of 1,300 miles. And I still don't know why. What I do know is that surrounding this move is nothing but peace. And if there is anything I will chase after, it is peace.

Awaiting what's next.......


They Say a Baby Changes Everything

Sunday, November 4, 2012

You would think that baby #3 wouldn't change too much. Especially after being a family of 6 while we had 2 foster babies, I didn't think that our sweet baby boy would change too much.

But today I find myself thinking that everything is changing. I have this uncontrollable desire to write (something that I realize I have desperately missed for the past couple months). I want to run. I want to cook. I want to re-decorate.

And in the mist of all the things I want to do, I find myself questioning everything I've ever done and all the decisions I've ever made.



They say having a baby changes everything.

And maybe he is changing everything.

I am so in love. He is perfect and snuggly and everything we ever could have asked for.

But with him comes fear and passion and a yearning. A yearning to be more and do more. A crazy desire to fling my bible wide open and not take my nose out of it until it all makes sense. I want to sit on the back porch with my hubby, drink red wine, and talk life and love and babies and the future.



They say having a baby changes everything.

And maybe it does. Maybe he will change everything I know the other 2 did. Why would he be any different?

So in love tonight......

Where have I been?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I think it's a good question since I have taken off from writing for a considerable amount of time now. It's been too long honestly.

There are things that my soul wants to do. One of them is run {which I am not doing at all at the moment since this child inside me is quite uncomfortable to even walk with} and the other is write.

There are times that I feel like I'll burst at the seams if I don't do one of the two.

For so long, so much of me and my life was lived day by day right here. Part of me does not miss that at all. But there is this other part that yearns to re-live things here on the screen.

I read once that what makes a good story is simply the desire for the reader to want to know what's coming next.

I feel like I'm stuck in the middle of a good story, and I'm the one wanting to know what's coming next.

I think the last time we talked, we had randomly had someone knock on our front door asking if we would be interested in selling our house.

This knock came on the same day that I spent in prayer asking the Lord to knock my stubborn soul in the head with a sign of sorts that I wouldn't be able to deny. And then came the knock on the door.

Who does that? Who randomly asks someone with no sign in their yard if they're interested in selling their house? (Well, technically my husband has done that, but besides him...who does that?)

It was an answer to a prayer. It was a knock that swept away my doubts about moving. It was timely and almost humorous. And it was exactly what I needed.

This entire decision to move to California has been a complete test of my faith. I can't deny that it's where we're supposed to be. I can't tell you why (which makes it more difficult to explain), but I can't deny my peace in our decision.

{Side note}: Man I feel better with my hands on these keys!

moving on......

We have since been back to California to look for houses. Our timing is less than convenient to say the least. We looked at real estate in the middle of September, and we can't close until December. It's not exactly good timing. And with the newest addition to the Dalke family coming in late October or early November, we really won't have another chance to go back again.

We did find 3 houses that we like. Two that we love. One that just felt like home to both of us.

We made an offer on two houses. One of them has really become our 3rd choice and since being home, I've felt weird about it for some reason. But we made an offer because it is a short sale, and we were able to put in the first offer.

But we also made an offer on the house that we both felt was "the one." It's hard to become attached to a house like that because we don't really know if it's what the Lord has for us or not (even though part of me believes that it is).

I walked the property while Brian talked to the neighbor (and the 22 horses that she boards which is kind of cool) and prayed. I just prayed. I honestly didn't know what else to do. I feel a little helpless in all of this. With our timing, there really isn't much that I can physically do to swing things in our favor.

My heart so obviously felt at home in this place, and the only thing I knew to do was the Lord over and over and over again if this is what He has for us.

It's not perfect by any means. But I can't explain the way it made me feel the moment we walked in the door. Home. It just felt like home.

It's a ranch style house on 5 acres with a ting little pool in the front yard (so random, I know). There is literally a door in almost every room (because why would there not be? It's southern California people....of course there are a million ways to get outside).


The entire house has been gutted and remodeled. And there is a 1,000 square foot guest house. Yes! A guest house.....so you can all come stay! (Not all at once.....I'll come up with a calendar or something.)

Plus, there is plenty of space for Brian to plant a vineyard or citrus trees or whatever we want. There is plenty of space to entertain, and we could eventually host all sorts of things like leadership retreats, women's retreats, weddings possibly, plus all our family whenever they want to come......who knows....the possibilites are endless. It's sort of like a dream. And honestly, if it works out, it will have to be God orchestrating it all.

When we made the original offer, we found out there was actually already another offer on the house that was basically very similar to our offer. The other offer had been in for 2 weeks but they hadn't accepted yet. It was a full price offer (just like ours) with a closing date at the end of the year (very close to our desired closing date), but they needed the investors who own the property to carry an $85,000 loan because they can only get approved for a certain amount.

Our offer was a full price offer that would close on December 10th.

The investors decided that our offer really wasn't "better." I told Brian that if it was supposed to be our house....if it really was the house He had prepared for us, then it would work out.

We got a call later that day saying that the investors had talked and thought that maybe they would rather have an offer of more than full price (which we were willing to pay). They thought that that would put them in a better position since they wouldn't have to carry a loan like they were going to have to with the other offer.

I start to think that maybe this is the Lord working in our favor......

We offer more than full price, and then we wait.

And we wait.

And they decide that they're not sure which offer they want to take.

One of the problems with California real estate is that the buyer is extremely protected and can walk away at any point. The people with the other offer decided that they could move their closing date up to 30 days from now (but they still need the investors to carry a portion of their loan).  And the investors would rather have our more than full price offer, but they're afraid that we'll walk before December, and then they'll be kicking themselves when they could have sold the house in October.

So we wait.

And I let go of control.

And I give it up to the Lord. I honestly don't know if that's where He wants us or not.

When our offer was denied the 1st time, we quickly moved on and started talking about our 2nd choice. Believing that maybe that's where he wanted us.

My heart is still in the 1st house. Our 1st choice. The one that just felt like home.

Everything in me wants to know where we're going. I want to know what's next. What happens next?

I've never in my life let go of control like this. But that's where we are, and where we've been.

Where have we been? Seeking. Praying. Giving up control.

And this is where we'll wait for what's next.

Promising to keep you updated.......


Music for a Mission

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wow it feels weird to log on here. It's been over a week. And honestly, it's been nice.

We've been going to bed early. Getting into the routine of having a kiddo in kindergarten. Brian's been cooking a lot. I've been reading before bed....it's been nice.

I told Brian the other day that I've been missing this. I'm missing getting into my own head and processing what's going on. Plus, I feel like I've missed some important moments....like the 1st day of kindergarten. I need this to remember.

I guess I'm thinking that I need to schedule a time at least 3 days a week to sit and write. I feel like I need it. I've got to get in the habit of doing it in the morning and not at the end of the day when I'm exhausted.

Anyways, I say all that to tell you that I want you to come over tomorrow night!

Yeah, I'm dead serious. If you live in the OKC area, you are invited. : )

My sister is organizing a backyard benefit to raise money for our friend, Whittney Coby to go to Haiti on a mission trip.

We're going to have live music, worship, and a silent auction with all proceeds benefiting Whittney's trip. We also have tanks to sell. $20 each with all profit helping to fund Whitt's trip in September.

That's my handsome brother-in-law so wonderfully modeling the tanks....you know you want one.


We have some great auction items put together for you to bid on that I know you'll love! Plus, it'll be a night of great friends and music.

So what do you think? 

Come on over tomorrow night and hang with us in the backyard. Bring a lawn chair and some bug spray : ). All ages are welcome. We'd love to have you! 7:00-9:00

If you don't live in the area or can't make it tomorrow night but would like to donate to Whittney's mission trip to Haiti, you can do so by going clicking here

If you need our address, please email me at allisondalke@gmail.com. 

We hope you can join us for a night of music and celebration in the Dalke backyard from 7:00-9:00 on Sunday, August 26th. 


Tonight I Write for Me

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Tonight I sit in front of this computer for no other reason except that I want to.

I considered finding some sort of journaling software so I could keep writing everyday but not have to do it for anyone else. But then I realized that the only other person I ever wrote for was really the Lord. He called me to write everyday, and on the days when I felt like I didn't want to, the commitment I made to Him was the only thing that kept me writing.

Now I can simply write when I want to.

Like I said last night, I really have fallen in love with writing here everyday. It has become our story in print, and since my memory is horrible and I can barely remember what I ate for lunch....what did I eat for lunch?.....I cherish those words.

Today, the random people who knocked on our door wanting to look at our house came back to see it again. They loved it. Their parents loved it. Their kids loved it.

Brian talked to them about timing and told them that we really wouldn't be willing to move until the beginning of December. There are a few reasons with the main one being us having a baby in November.

We thought that surely this would deter them since they have someone wanting to buy their house. But no, their parents said they could move in with them for a couple months and save some money, and they seemed to think that was a great idea.

They also asked if they could have a week to think about it and get back to us. Of course, we said yes. We're obviously not in any hurry since there isn't even a sign in our yard.

Until then we're simply praying. Praying that the Lord would make all this clear to us. That we would have no doubts that it's Him calling us.

I have an incredible amount of peace about it all. I have lived in this city for exactly ten years now, and I never thought that I would move. But, what I've learned is that I'm not always right, and somehow, the Lord always knows more about the future than I do.

I have been studying the book of Esther for quite some time now (a couple months, I guess) and it has quickly become my favorite book of the Bible. And one of the things I love about it is the notion that we were each placed on this Earth in the right time and place to do something that only we can do in a time that is unique to us.

I know that sounds crazy and is almost too much to think about, but I don't believe we're all just randomly here to live and die. I believe that each of us has a unique God given purpose that only we can fulfill.

Am I sure of mine?

Not 100%. But the more I examine my life and my experiences and the challenges I've had to face, the more I know that as long as I am seeking God and truly surrendering my life to His plan, and not my own, then it will all work its way towards the purpose He has for me.

I've decided that it's kind of fun living a life surrendered to Him. You just never know what will come your way or who will knock on your door.

Day 365

Well, I certainly didn't expect to be up this late tonight. It's 1 a.m. and I'm indulging on roasted peanuts and lemon lime Perrier water. I know I'm living large.

{This is your fair warning that this post is sure to be anti-climactic.}

I have been cleaning since 10 a.m. this morning. We found out that the random people who knocked on our door Thursday night wanting to possibly buy our house, want to come see it again. Tomorrow. At 5:00. 

So I went on an insane cleaning out binge today. And I'm still not done. Those suitcases are still unpacked on my bedroom floor. I'll get to them. No worries. 

Thanks to my momma's help, there is a place for everything and everything is in its place. I don't know why she always gets suckered into cleaning out with me. But she's a good sport and she never complains. 

I went so overboard today that I even vacuumed closets, and not like regular clothes closets, but like the coat closet and my Scentsy closet. 

Part of me wanted to stop myself mid-day and just give it all up. I thought that maybe I was trying too hard. But then it occurred to me that I am open and okay with whatever happens tomorrow. 

If these people want to buy our house, do we have a plan? Not exactly. There is a house in Temecula, California, that we've done some negotiating on. But I have no idea what the timing would look like. I simply don't know. We'll cross that bridge when it comes. If it comes. 

What if they decide they don't want to buy this house? Then what? Do we put our house on the market? (Since it's insanely clean.) Do we wait it out? I don't know. 

I have been praying so hard and nearly unceasingly since we started seriously considering a move to California, that I've finally given it up and given it all over to God. I told Him the other night that if He really wanted us there, He would have to make it obvious. 

A knock on the door is pretty obvious. As my father-in-law said, "I don't know if God gets any more blunt than that." I don't either. 

It's almost funny. 

So tomorrow will be good. Just like everyday is. I'm sure to be a little worn out, but my house is crazy clean and that always makes this girl feel good. 

By the way, don't think this is goodbye. I think we're far from goodbye. There are too many good stories left to tell. I'm sure of it. A brand new adventure is beginning as this year of writing ends. I could never leave you out of the excitement. 

I don't know that I'll write here everyday. But I will write here often. My love for words on a page (or in this case a screen) have blossomed over the past year. I can't imagine my life without this. 

So tonight, the real adventure begins. 

Thanks for tagging along for the ride. It was quite the journey wasn't it? 

.....day 365 of a year of writing.....



What I've Learned.....365 Days Later

Friday, August 10, 2012

Tomorrow will be the 365th day of my writing journey.

It was a journey that I set out on simply because the Lord asked me to. And exactly one year later, I sit in front of the keys a very different person. 

I often wonder why the Lord would have me turn this "blog" into a personal journal....a day to day of our life and love. I often think that it was more for me than for anyone else. I have changed not only because of the words I have written but simply because I had to write them in the first place. 

I've had to pray. I've had to seek Him. I've had to question myself and every decision I've made over the past year. 

I don't know what He intended for you to see. Maybe it was one story, one day, one instance. 

Maybe it was me at my worst or me at my best. I don't know. 

I do know that there have been highs and lows. There have been hard days and there have been simply beautiful days. 

And through the process of it, 365 days later, I have fallen in love with the daily act of writing. Our story has leaked onto these pages in a very real and raw way with little editing and little time to consider or rewrite the words for the screen. Often written late at night at the end of a long day, the words you saw here were simply a reflection of my heart and my soul. Sometimes they were impressive. Other times they were not. 

Strangely enough, I am not looking towards tomorrow as another check on the list. I'm not even excited that it's over. I have come so accustomed to coming here everyday to share my soul, that I'm not sure I can stop. Yes, there have been many, many nights when it has been a burden, a mere obligation. But there have been many more nights when it has been nothing short of therapy. 

Sometimes, I wish this were some super cool blog that was insightful and thought out and informative and helpful. But it was never meant to be that. It was simply meant to be our story on a screen lived authentically for others to see. 

As I think back over all the stories and pictures that grace these pages, I can't help but smile. I'm so glad that I did, that I stuck it out and finished the race. 

And even though this daily writing journey may be coming to a close, I know that our journey with obedience to the Lord is really just beginning. 

I have begun to look at our life as one big adventure. I don't really know where we'll be or what we'll be doing a year from now, and I am perfectly okay with that. As long as we're seeking after the Lord and following Him wherever He may lead us, I know that the story will turn out good. 

I honestly feel like one small chapter is closing and another, much bigger chapter, is opening with blank pages to be filled. 

There is so much more story to be written. 

How do I thank you for walking this journey with me? There have been tears shed and laughter shared for sure. But you have read on as devoted followers. You have become so much a part of our lives. You come up to us at events and on trips to tell us that you've been reading and following. And I am always humbled and honored that the Lord would use someone like me to reach so many people. I know that He has used my words to touch each of you in the right moment at the right time. 

Not everything has moved you. I'm sure lots of it has nearly bored you to tears. But I know the Lord has had His hand on the things you have read and the ways you have been touched and I am so grateful that it was not all in vain. 

Regardless of how long you've been along for the ride or what brought you here, thank you. Thank you for being a safe place. Thank you for challenging me. Thank you for encouraging me. I am different 365 days later because of you. 

.....day 364 of a year of writing.....

Who Does That?

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Someone knocked on our front door tonight and told us they might be interested in buying our house.

Really? Who does that?

Well, who does that besides my husband? He knocked on a door when we were looking for houses in Piedmont a while ago. But, I don't think normal people do that.

Brian invited the guy in and showed him around. Then, his wife came in and they got the grand tour.

Please note that our house is a mess. We have been home from our latest travels for over a week now, and we still have two suitcases in our bedroom full of clothes. Oh well.

It turns out that this couple had looked at our house when it was on the market 3 1/2 years ago when we bought it. They loved it, but couldn't afford it at the time. They have friends in the neighborhood and would love to live here. As an added bonus, they think we have the prettiest house in the neighborhood.

The random guy at the door came almost in the same moment in which I was asking the Lord for mega signs that couldn't be ignored. And then someone randomly knocks on our door asking if we'd be interested in selling it. Really?

It's almost humorous. It's one of the things I love about the extremely relational God we serve. He knows us and knows what we need. It really made me want to throw my head up towards heaven and say, "Seriously?"

It's a rather interesting twist in our plans for the future. I asked for things I couldn't deny. I wanted and want His hand all over any decision we make to move anywhere. And yes, I'm being extremely stubborn right now and basically asking Him to lay it all out. If that's what you want....make it happen. I will go in faith, but I need to know that it's the Lord calling.

Right now, the Lord is making some advances. It will be interesting to see what comes of it all. Stay tuned? I guess that's all you can do. I guess that's all I can do. Stay tuned.

.....day 363 of a year of writing.....

Something New

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

We went car shopping today. Boy, oh boy.

I used to drive a Volvo......that I was in love with. When we decided to become foster parents, we knew we needed something with a third row. The Tahoe was our answer to needing more space.

And, I don't love my Tahoe. It's not even close to love. It's really not practical for us. There is no storage behind the third row at all. It doesn't really work for us and really won't work once we have a baby in tow that will need baby stuff like a stroller and diaper bag and all the "stuff" babies need.

The only thing that works for us in the Tahoe are the bucket seats in the second row that allow Addison to get to the third row easily. Other than that, I'm not a fan. There is no place to change a diaper. I know that sounds crazy, but it's important to a momma with a baby.

I don't know what the best answer is. We are considering a few things....a Ford Explorer,


a Ford Flex (that's Brian's pick).....I think it looks like a lunch box
a Toyota Sequoia

A Honda Pilot 


Possibly even a....dare I say it?....a van....like a
Honda Odyssey (which apparently you can put a spoiler on to make it seem cooler)

It's so hard to make a decision. I feel like I may have to drive a million cars to find one that I like. Don't I sound picky? 

There are just certain things that I care about as a momma.....like space to change a diaper, room for a stroller when the third row is in use, easy access to the third row (where I wouldn't have to move a car seat from the second row). Plus, I want something safe that drives well and will last. 

Oh goodness.....finding something new is often tough....I'll keep you updated on the search. It should be interesting. 

Do you have any advice to offer? Thanks for all your comments on Facebook. It's so much fun to see everyone's suggestions. 

.....day 362 of a year of writing.....


I Heart the Olympics

How I love the Olympics! But, they are making me so very tired! I can't help but watch the late night coverage of all the events in London.

All this late night cheering has made this momma tired. I love the Olympics, but I will also be happy when they're over.

I hate that I can't see it all. I don't want to miss any of it.

Anyone else have that problem?

My personal favorites....gymnastics (of course), diving, swimming, track and field, and sand volleyball. But honestly, I'll watch any of it.


Sorry for the really awful picture. But I figured since I haven't posted pics in a while, you might need a picture. So here's my view from the couch while watching Ali Raisman's medal ceremony for her gold medal win on the floor. Clear as mud, isn't it?

Hope you too are enjoying the Olympics....even if they are keeping you up until all hours of the night.

.....day 361 of a year of writing.....

Timing

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'm learning that the Lord's timing is always perfect. Always.

When we try to get our hands involved and do things our way, that is usually when things don't turn out the way we think they should. But when we surrender and allow the Lord to work things out in His timing, things seem to fall into place.

This has happened in our lives so many times in the past, and I feel like the Lord is telling us again to simply let Him work things out in His time. So I am. I'm in 100% surrender mode.

Whatever you want us to do. Wherever you want us to go. Whoever you want me to be. However you want us to serve You.....that's exactly what we'll do.

I am in a place of utter joy. Peace. I am not discontent (and believe me, I have been there in the past). I'm simply enjoying being who we are.

But, there is part of me that knows the Lord is ready to make us uncomfortable. We're riding in this beautiful peace of comfort and stability with the sense that there is stretching to be done just around the corner.

I don't know if I'm explaining it right or not. I'm so tired (blame it on growing a person if you want to) that I sometimes can't say the things I want to in the right way. Plus, trying to keep up with an Olympic schedule of TV watching that keeps me up far too late at night, is wearing on me.

I guess I just want to say that I'm sitting in this place of peace being fully content with the notion that change is coming.

His timing is always perfect. I am definitely becoming more and more aware of that.

For a little more on timing, put in such beautifully grateful words, check out my friend Rachel's blog. Click here to read the story of God's timing even in the event of a fire. Her home burned to the ground just two days before she wrote this post, and I'm inspired by her total trust in the Lord's timing.

May you be blessed by and in His timing tonight.

.....day 360 of a year of writing.....

To donate to the Cobb family, click here.  


Naps and Homemade Pasta

Sunday, August 5, 2012

So, I'm basically functioning like a newborn these past couple of days. I have had a nap for three days in a row. I feel like all I do is sleep and eat.

I guess I'm blaming it on the heat and the way our house is closed off to all sources of light in an attempt to save precious energy and keep our house cool.

It also probably boils down to the fact that I'm not exercising. I know that's bad, and I know I said I was going to walk everyday, but it's simply too hot. It's not cool enough before the sun comes up or after it goes down. And our treadmill lives in our garage, which works well during most months of the year, but not right now.

On top of all that, Brian has been making homemade pasta. He has cooked every night since we came home from our trip to Vegas/California, and he's good at it.

Today while Luke and I were napping, Addy and Daddy made more homemade pasta. Tonight it's basil and olive oil pasta with a homemade Alfredo sauce and lemon pepper shrimp. Yumm.


I guess what I'm saying is that with all this cooking and napping, I am going to have to start walking again. My goodness.

Nothing to complain about here (except the insane heat).

Speaking of heat, here's the update on the Cobb family:
A group of people will be meeting at their home at 7:00 on Monday morning to go through what is left of their storage shed. They need as many people as possible to help so that they can get through it all before it gets too hot.

If you'd like more information about helping, please email me at allisondalke@gmail.com and I'll give you the specifics of where to show up.

You can still donate to the Cobbs at http://www.indiegogo.com/blessings. Thank you for your generosity in advance.

.....day 359 of a year of writing.....

A Week Away

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I really don't want to write tonight. That's all I can think about as I sit in front of the keys.

Sometimes I just don't. I get tired of sharing my heart every once in a while.

I also keep thinking about how close I am to fulfilling my commitment to write everyday for a year. It's been hard. There have been days that I wanted to quit. It's only a week away now.

I know I'll keep writing. It just probably won't be every single day. I guess we'll see. It's weird how it has just become something I do. It's like second nature now. I am interested to see what I'll write about and how often once the year is up.

Addison told me that we can't do much tomorrow because she has big plans tomorrow. She needs to write in her journal, read her Bible, and work on her computer. I think she's turning into her momma.

We are praying for rain here. There are fires everywhere, it seems like, in Oklahoma. Please keep those in harm's way in your prayers.

Update on the Cobb family:
If you would like to donate to the Cobb family who lost everything in a fire yesterday, they are in need of gift cards or money. They did have insurance, but won't see that money for a little while. We are trying to raise $5,000 for the family to get started again.

You can easily donate online at http://www.indiegogo.com/blessings?c=home. Please share the link if you'd like to. Anything you can give will be greatly appreciated.

.....day 358 of a year of writing.....

When There is Nothing Left....

Friday, August 3, 2012

I start typing tonight with a heavy heart that is somehow full of hope. Our dear friends, Tony and Rachel Cobb and their two children, Tobin who is five, and Caroline who is three, lost their home and everything in it today in an Oklahoma fire.
Rachel is a stay-at-home mom and Scentsy Superstar Consultant and Tony is the youth pastor at our church, Lifechurch.tv in Edmond.



My first reaction was utter disbelief. You just don't think anything like that is ever going to happen, especially to people you know and love.

But my second reaction was one of hope and faith. I know that the Lord has just been given the biggest opportunity to show off for this family. Their babies are going to see God do things that they may never have witnessed in a lifetime.

I think my heart of hope came from a beautiful prayer I read in my quiet time this morning. I'm studying the book of Nehemiah and have been struck by the beauty of this prayer of thanksgiving and reminders of the promises the Lord has made to us and all the great miracles He has performed for us. If you have a few minutes, click here to read it. It's not long. I promise. And it's beautiful.

The most beautiful part is that it's the Lord's promise to us as believers. No matter how far we stray. No matter what we do wrong, He is compassionate and merciful, and He will not forget us. He has proven that time and time again to us through our ancestors. He is always faithful to us.

Then the more I prayed for the Cobbs and their situation, the more the Lord continued to put this promise on my heart and mind:

But now, this is what the Lord says—
He who created you, Jacob,
He who formed you, Israel:
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cusht and Seba in your stead.
4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
nations in exchange for your life.
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
6 I will say to the north, 'Give them up!'
and to the south, 'Do not hold them back.'
Bring My sons from afar
and My daughters from the ends of the earth—
7 everyone who is called by My name,
whom I created for My glory,
whom I formed and made. Isaiah 43:1-7
This is the Lord's promise not only for the Cobbs but for each of us as believers. You are His. His is with you! He loves you and He will defend you! 
Just as He will defend the Cobb family. 

This is a great opportunity for us to show this incredible family the love of Christ. If you can donate anything, it would be greatly appreciated. Money, clothes, resources, etc. They literally have nothing. 
Tobin, their son, wears a 5/6 and Caroline, their sweet princess, wears a 3T. I also know that Rachel and Tony will need clothes but I'm not sure what sizes they need. I'll update on Facebook as I learn more. 
If you live in the Oklahoma City area, there will be a group collecting donations on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. at the Stars and Stripes Park west of the baseball fields. Call or text 496-5891 if you can't find them. If you would like to send money or items via the mail, please email me at allisondalke@gmail.com. Anything or any amount will be a blessing to this family. 
Let's be the hands and feet of Christ. If you can't give in a monetary way or through donations, please consider sending the Cobbs a message of encouragement via facebook. 
Thankful for so much tonight.....

.....day 357 of a year of writing.....


More on Moving....

Thursday, August 2, 2012


I’ve been wearing this ring that says, Be true to your dreams.

And I have lots of dreams. Write a book; have babies; give my kids an amazingly fun childhood; serve the Lord; be, don’t do. If you’ve been following for a while, you may have noticed that we have struggled with where we should live and where we should raise our family.

I have been praying a lot about dreams and about our family and the kind of childhood I want my children to have.

Right now I’m sick of saying, “It’s too hot to go outside.” I’m sick of staying up late so they can ride their bikes when it is cooler. I’m just tired of it.

I know it’s just weather, but I can’t help but ask myself hard questions because of that intolerable weather.

Questions like: Why do we have to be here? What are the things that we love about where we live? What would I change about where we live if I could?

In the midst of all this praying and house searching and seeking the Lord on what we should do, I’ve started to ask myself what’s holding us back.

Brian and I are both in love with southern California. We love the people, the environment, the mountains, the vineyards, the avocados, and most importantly, the weather.

On our trip this week, we looked at houses, at schools, at churches, and at possibilities.

And everything in me wants to be true to my dream.

I realize that there are huge disadvantages about living away from your family. I know that. And in our current situation, the only thing that would keep us in Oklahoma now is our family.

In the same breath, we are in a position financially where we have the ability to fly out my mom or my dad whenever we need or want to.

Most of our family has been so incredibly blessed by Scentsy that plane tickets to California to stay once or twice a year would be no big deal.

The hesitation?

I don’t want to disappoint anyone.  In the same breath, I know that my children would thrive in California. They would absolutely love every bit of it.

I want to move. I do. Every bit of me does. Thanks for chiming in yesterday. Your words of encouragement are exactly that....encouraging. 

.....day 356 of a year of writing..... 

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