My baby turns 1 and it's Halloween!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

I'm starting to think I was addicted to social media. I thought I could just walk away, but I catch myself thinking about it throughout the day. It's like the young love of a girl experiencing her 1st break-up. 

I'll be honest and say that I'm wondering if I can really do it for a year. I want to show pictures of my kids on instagram for my friends and family to see. I really, really do. My absence from instagram may not last a year. I'm just gonna throw that out there on day 3. Since I haven't been on instagram, I guess it's time to catch you all up here on the day's happenings. 

Today was Wyatt's 1st birthday. When I think about our life one year ago, it was going in such a very different direction. We are planning on moving to California in December. We tried to buy 3 houses there. None of it ever worked out, and I couldn't understand why our house hunt was coming up empty until a year ago today. 

That sweet baby boy entered the world, and everything changed. You would expect people to say that with baby #1. They tend to do that. Rock worlds. But # 3? I didn't think he would change me like he did. 

I remember lying in the hospital bed the night he was born adoring every perfect feature on his face, and wondering how we would ever make it in California. How could we walk away from our family and friends? How could he grow up without really knowing his cousins? 

Our plans changed that Halloween night. 

And today, I am grateful for that change of heart. There are so many things I love about Oklahoma. Yes, it's a long way from the beach, but it's home. 

Today we surprised Wyatt with a new teepee for his birthday. BElittleyouandme makes the most adorable teepees. Addison helped me fill it with toys and balloons to surprise him. We're pretty sure he likes it. 

We went to our afternoon Gymboree class where Wyatt appropriately received a bubble salute from his teacher Ms. Susan. 

After Gymboree, we headed to lunch at City Bites, and then for a treat at a frozen yogurt shop {which he totally LOVED!} 

We were sure to sing him happy birthday many times and let him know that it was his birthday, but ya know, he's one. At least he'll be able to read this one day and know how much we loved him and tried to make him feel special and adored. 

The afternoon was spent resting and getting ready for trick or treating. Yes, we trick or treat. I know we're weird and homeschool our kids and everything, but we let our kids trick or treat. It's fun for all of us. 

We ate an early dinner. Made a quick stop at the neighbors, and loaded up the expedition with all 3 kids and my sister and brother-in-law and headed to our old neighborhood. It's like the meca of trick or treating. We parked at our old house and even took pictures in the front yard. And no, we didn't tell them we were coming. I told you, we're friends with the people who bought our house. We all ended up trick or treating together. Sorry for not announcing ourselves Robyn and Donnie! Thanks for letting us take over your front yard. 

And this is pretty much how pictures went when we tried to get a picture of the 3 of them. 

Our new neighbors joined us in our old neighborhood for trick or treating (or new neighborhood only has 4 families with small kiddos so we feel blessed to have new neighbors with kids similar in age to ours). And away we went. 

The night ended with me texting pics to our good friends and family so they could see our kids in their costumes (yes, sometimes social media is more efficient), candy sorting, and snuggles and this. 

Happy Halloween friends. 

Day 1 away from Social Media

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Well I did it. A whole day without social media. 

No instagram. No facebook. No twitter. 

I took it all off my phone and honestly it was the most freeing thing I have ever done. How crazy is that?! But it was. I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. 

I'm interested to see where this goes. I can already see the challenges. My bible study uses a facebook group to communicate, but I sent a mass email today instead.....I use facebook and instagram for lots of business stuff, but I guess I'll find other ways to communicate. 

I'm starting to wonder if I was feeling pressure from everything that happens on facebook. There are endless amounts of people who can contact you, message you, poke you, like you...whatever, and often times, that's exactly what was happening. Lots of people messaging me. Me feeling overwhelmed. Me feeling guilty. I'm kind of over it. 

I don't miss facebook. I miss instagram. I miss my pictures being there. (Is that self-centered to say?) I do though. I miss having that documentation of our lives. I'll just have to be more intentional about snapping shots throughout the day and posting them here...especially for our friends and family. 

I am surprised at the feedback. Some of you thought I was crazy. A lot of you understand. I think the understanding speaks volumes. 

Anyways, it's beginning. A journey. A challenge. A new adventure. A life without social media. I can't wait to see how it turns out. 

A year without social media.....

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I have been off for a while. I made a commitment to myself a long time ago to write every single day, but there has been something wrong for a couple weeks. I haven't been able to put my finger on it. I just couldn't nail down what it was. 

So I didn't write. 

It turns out that sometimes the Lord takes away my words so He can plant words in my heart. Words that matter and that may actually make a difference. 

I started wondering, in all my silence, if maybe I just wasn't supposed to write in this season. 

There are lots of reasons I write. One of the main reasons being that I've come to love it. The words on this screen have caused me to reflect and grow and change, and I love that. In addition to that, our days have been documented. The good, the bad, the ugly, the beautiful....all of it, and no one can take that away. The Lord's goodness is beautifully woven through our story, and I can visually see it if I go back and look. Plus I sort of have the absolute worst memory of anyone I know. Words help me remember. 

The longer I prayed about it, I knew it wasn't the writing. There was something that needed to change but it wasn't this. 

This morning the Lord put this crazy idea in my mind while I was getting ready for church. An idea that I thought was crazy and unnecessary and probably wouldn't happen. 

There's no way I could do that. 

It was an idea that became a full fledged mission throughout the day. I kept pulling out my notebook to write words and ideas and questions. 

Questions like: 
Are we looking for someone to want us and like us and even adore us through social media? 
Has social media really just made life more complicated instead of more simple? 
Has social media become an idol but I pretend that it's not?
How much more time would I have if I just walked away from social media? 

And I started wondering if any of those things were true.

The things I think as I browse the newsfeed....are they good things?  Or is there fear and anxiety and doubt and comparison?

There are forms of social media that I like more than others. I'm a lover of instagram. Seriously love it. I only follow people that inspire me or make me want to be better. Facebook pretty much makes me crazy, and I hardly ever tweet. I'v been wrapped up in all of them at some point or another.

But the question I better because of it? Is my family better because of it?

I don't think we are.

I think I'm distracted and disengaged and far too "connected" to the rest of the world.

Isn't social media just a tool that attempts to fulfill our natural desire for community. We do want to be needed and loved and adored, and as women, those desires are innately a part of who God created us to be. But those desires weren't put in our hearts to be falsely filled with masses of followers and likes.

I do it. I check to see how many people "like" something I post. I think we all do if we're honest with ourselves. We want people to like us. Why wouldn't we?

But social media does not create real relationships on most occasions. I can think of less than 3 people who I would call a friend thanks to social media. I know that's something, but how many more would if be if I were choosing to spend my time differently? I can't help but wonder.

Even as I write this, I have been on instagram and scrolled through the newsfeed of facebook. Part of me doesn't want to do this, and another part of me knows I need to.

It's time to draw a line in the sand and walk away.

There's this song by Matt Redman called Wide as the Sky. We sang it at church today. Part of the lyrics say, "let all the other names fade away until there's only you....Jesus take your place. Jesus take your place." Those words rang in my soul as an anthem. I need all the other names to fade away. I need Jesus to take His rightful place in my life. For that to happen, I have to draw a line in the sand, turn, and run the other way.

I am sort of black and white like that. Dramatic. Slightly crazy.

so.....I'm logging off of social media for 1 year.

Go ahead....catch your breath and breathe.

Crazy huh?

But what if it's not such a crazy idea? What if it's the best idea I've had yet?

My kids need my face and my attention and my desires, so I'm being dramatic about it.

I'm walking away from the chorus to learn the sound of my own voice. 

I started making a list today of things I want to do but never seem to have time to do....things like: write more, read, dream, create, take pictures (real ones), grow, change, run, serve, cook, call, build, connect, love, give, save. 

I want to find that which is true and real and tangible. I don't want to compare myself anymore. I don't want to read other people's constant complaints. I want to live and live well. 

So it may be weird but I'm doing it.....1 year completely disconnected from social media. Will it make me different? Most definitely. Will it change me? Absolutely. Do I want to be different and changed? Desperately. 

But here's the deal. If you want to know what's going on with us and this crazy journey, you'll have to follow on the blog. I'm still writing, but I'm not posting on facebook.

There are a couple ways you can follow. You'll find them all to the right of this post. There are basically 3 ways to stay connected. 
  1. Follow by email. You just type your email address in the box just to the right over there. You'll get all the posts delivered to your inbox. 
  2. Follow by bloglovin' which means clicking on the purple plus sign at the top of the right-hand column. I personally use bloglovin' to follow all the blogs I read and find it to be the easiest. 
  3. Or you can click that blue button to the right that says Join this Site. You'll be added to the followers list as well. 
Another note on "following." Isn't it interesting how Jesus tells us to follow Him and we now "follow" all these people on social media? Just an interesting thought as I'm asking you to follow me. 

So that's it. Things are changing around here. There will be challenges. The world is on social media. A lot of my business is done on social media. I'll figure it out. Heck, maybe I'll pick up the phone and call people. But my soul is crying for something different....something richer....something more meaningful. I guess we'll see if I can get there. 

Homeschool Curriculum

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This is the 1st week I feel like we have our feet underneath us in this whole homeschooling thing. 

We had some struggles with phonics { one wanted to do our phonics lessons} we scratched it altogether, and because of that decision, we feel good. 

Everyone keeps asking what curriculum we decided on, and now that we're in the swing of things, I feel like I can confidently stand behind what we've picked out. 

For Reading, we originally went with Saxon Phonics, but each lesson was taking us close to 30 minutes. It was too much for all of us. So we have swept any formal phonics lessons under the rug and we are reading like crazy, and Addison loves it. We are also studying sight words and spelling words each week. 

I found an awesome program called that is very similar to the A.R. program in the schools. Addy can read books, take tests online, and earn points. She is thrilled to read and take tests everyday so much so that her journal entry yesterday read, "I am happy when....I am taking tests." She meant those book tests. We're big fans of Book Adventure, and did I mention it's free. 

For Math, we went with Singapore math. Brian, Addy, and I all love it. Lessons are simple and very well taught, and I like the approach to teaching concepts. It's not all rote memorization. She's learning and understanding concepts. 

For Science, we are using Nancy Larson science. I love this too. Simple while engaging, and I feel like she is already retaining a lot of new information. 

For Geography, I found an awesome curriculum over at called Road Trip USA. We already love this curriculum. It incorporates history and animals into the basic geography study of each state. Plus, Addison is currently learning all 50 states and their capitals thanks to this fun song on youtube. Plus we got to learn about Colorado while we were in Colorado. How fun is that? 

For History, we picked out Mystery of History. I personally want to work through this curriculum because I know I would learn so much! Seriously. It's a study of World History mixed with Bible history. The only problem is that I think Addison isn't ready for it. It has lesson activities for younger, middle, and older students, but I think we may wait 1 more year (or at least until January) before really diving into it, but we absolutely plan on working through it eventually. We are currently using supplements that go along with US history while we study various states in Geography. 

Art has also become a very important part of our curriculum. Addison LOVES art, so we have made a point to make art fun and creative for her. I am using lots and lots of books I bought on amazon as well as ideas from pinterest.  

And that's about it folks. We're cruising along....feeling good. Happy Homeschoolers over here.
{And I never thought I would say that about us!}  

Peeps.....I need 'em

Monday, October 21, 2013

Tonight....a quick post about community. It is so vital people. I mean, even the introvert in me craves community. 

I am having the kind of week where I can't wait to see my women's group walk thru my front door in the morning, and I am happy because I just spent an hour chatting with some incredible leaders on my team. 

There is nothing like community. Nothing. We are called to. We need it. The Bible reminds us that community is what made the early church and what we too are called to.
Acts 2:42
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord's Supper), and to prayer.
Just thankful for an incredible community tonight. That's all. 

When you need to be silent

Sunday, October 20, 2013

I've been intentionally silent for a few days. 

I know that I said I was writing everyday. I usually do. 

I just needed some time to re-group I guess. 

Deciding to homeschool has been sort of a big deal. We've tried to make it not that big of a deal, but it is. We are all adjusting. 

The biggest change we see is in Addison's attitude. We don't have the sass or the talking back nearly as much as we did when she was at school. I don't know why. It's just a very obvious change that makes me happy. 

We are doing our best to get into the groove. It's easier and harder than I thought it would be all at once. It feels right, and I have complete peace about it. 

It's still sort of weird when someone asks her where she goes to school and she says she's homeschooled. It's like that awkward, " guys are those kind of people" moment.  

Yep. We're those kind of people. 

She misses her friends. We're working on getting her super connected to other girls her age. That's important, but that's where I've been. Adjusting. 

Sometimes adjustment is good and necessary and okay. 

I feel like I have my feet underneath me going into this week. I sure do hope so. Regardless, I'll be here. Writing is part of me. Somehow it clawed it's way into my day and my life and my routine and honestly, I'm sort of weird when I don't write. So I'm back. 

The end to a Story About Timing

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

This is end to what I have affectionately started calling "the never ending story." It's a story about timing and trust and lots of grace and a guy named Jesus who can change us all. 

To read part one, click here.

To read part 2, click here.

To read part 3, click here.

To read part 4, click here.

To read part 5, click here.

Less than a month after we found the house we had been looking for, we moved in. It was definitely the Lord's timing and plan because there were lots of little details that had to be worked out that were all beautifully laid out for us. We were able to live in the house for 2 weeks before we officially closed (which we desperately needed to do because we closed on our old house and had to be out!).

And life moved on. We had a newborn and 2 littles, and we found ourselves settling into our forever home. We had (and still have) lots of plans to remodel certain areas of the house, but for the moment, the house was good. 

Christmas came and went. We had our first live tree, and it was huge. Like possibly too huge. It was tough to decorate. And I made sure we got a Christmas tree before we were even unpacked. Christmas was coming and I wanted it to feel like Christmas. 

We weren't hearing much about our foster babies, but what we were hearing about their momma was shocking us. There was word that the case worker was fighting hard to get rights back to the bio mom. We basically thought the case was closed and the babies were going to be adopted. We we wrong. 

It was May when we found out that the babies would be going back to their bio mom. And I was shocked. Utterly shocked. 

Not only was I shocked, I was downright ticked off. I was made at the system, and I was mad at the Lord. 

Why on Earth would He walk us all through something so hard only to have everyone disappointed in the end. I didn't think that there was any way that this was the right decision. 

Then I started to think that maybe this would be the end of it. She would get them back and something would happen (please Lord just let it be a little thing) and then they would be adopted and this nightmare would be over. 

Maybe that's what would happen. 

And my soul wrestled with it. Maybe we should have kept them. Maybe it would be different if we had them still. Who knows? I just felt like I didn't do enough. I was worried that it was somehow my fault that she was getting them back. 

On a Sunday morning at church, I was so mad I could hardly breathe. You know that kind of mad where the pressure rises up in your chest? It was that kind of mad. She was getting them back. 

And I turned my heart away from the Lord. I didn't want to hear it. I didn't want to feel Him. I was so angry, so I turned from him like you turn your head from your spouse when your angry. You pretend to listen, but you're really not. That's where I was with God....going thru the motions, but totally disconnected. 

And in the middle of worship, my mind and soul were flooded with the words below. They were repeating over and over in my head, and I couldn't shake them, so I jotted them down on my notebook....

And then I wrote the words....."okay." 

And with that word, I gave up the fight. I decided to let Him steer again. I decided to trust in whatever crazy plan He was scheming. It was true. They were His babies before they were ever mine. I knew He was crazy about them. His promises are strong. Those babies had so much scripture prayed over them that I was sure He could never forget them. So I let it go. 

In mid August, I saw a picture of those precious babies on facebook with the little girl that would have been their big sister if they would have been adopted. Lunch at Chick-fil-a and 3 smiling kiddos. 

I commented and noticed that the birth mom had commented as well. We weren't friends on facebook, so I sent her a friend request. 

She accepted, so of course I started stalking her feed. And she looked different. Not the strung out looking mom that she was when we had her babies. She was different. 

Her profile picture was a picture of her in the water at our church getting baptized, and on her page....her baptism certificate.

And here I am....the still skeptical one. It all looked good, and she appeared different....but was she? 

Of course I kept up checking on her via facebook, and one day, she posted about struggling with addiction since she was 15 and then hearing something that scared her to death and how she had been sober for the past 14 months and how much loved being a mommy. 

So I messaged her. I told her that I had given up on her. We opened every door for her and have her every opportunity to love her babies and be the mom she should have been, and she fell short every time, so I quit believing in her. I didn't think she could change, and I told her that. 

I told her how mad I was when I found out she was getting them back, and I sent her a picture of the words the Lord had given me that day. 

{I had no idea the work the Lord was already doing at that time.} 

She replied telling me that she understood why I gave up on her and that while we had the babies, she relapsed. When she found out we were giving them up and that they were going to a pre-adoptive home, she knew she had to fight and she had to fight hard. And that's when she started fighting. A fight to overcome addiction. A fight to change. A fight to be someone that no one believes you can be. 

And she fought. 

And I was wrong. I was so wrong about how I thought it would all turn out. I was so wrong about what our God could really do. 

Who knew that us being obedient and saying we would move to California....and being obedient and giving the babies up would make her fight. 

The Lord used the most unique timing and circumstances to change each of us involved. I needed to learn to trust in His timing. Their momma needed to learn to trust in Him for everything. 

I honestly thought that I could help her change.....that I could help her be a good momma. How stupid was I? I couldn't change her. Only Jesus could. And He did it in His timing....His prove His faithfulness. 

She's not perfect. I'm not perfect. We are all far from it. But the Lord is willing to claim us even in our lowest places. He claims us in addiction and sin and pride. He doesn't care what we've done or who we've let down. He fights for us. We are His children. You are His child, even if you don't yet see it, He is fighting for you. And His timing is always perfect. And His healing can only be brought by Him. And He doesn't care about anything except your recognition of love for Him. 

I could never have written that story. This was a story meant to be written by our Heavenly Father. His stories and His timing are always the best. Always.

Breath and Grace

Monday, October 14, 2013

Sometimes we just need time to breathe. Although we're staying in a beautiful cabin surround by God's splendor in the middle of the Rocky Mountains, this has not been that time for a worn down momma. 

I have a few precious and quite moments while the bigs are outside bracing the cold and the little is napping. It's sure to be fleeting, but my heart was yearning for the keys. 

I haven't wanted to write lately. Not at all. Most of you know that I write everyday...until lately. I've missed 3 days this month for no good reason other than I just didn't feel like it. Sometimes when I get uninspired, that happens. It's a obvious cry that I need a little inspiration and recharge in my life. 

Business is good. I'm crazy in love with my husband. Homeschooling is off to a good start overall. But there is something in my soul that's unsettled. 

The devil has definitely been messing with me lately. I'm weary. Raising 3 kids is so very far from easy, and maybe because we're here and off our schedules and away from other people and our normal routine, it seems harder. Brian has been hunting or fishing most of the time we've been here (which was always the plan). This is his annual hunting trip and we decided to come with, knowing full well that we'd be on our own a lot of the time. We may have a little bit of cabin fever. 

Maybe it's just the constant demand of having to help someone all the time. It gets to be a lot. And for a momma who knows she needs alone time, this trip has been especially challenging. 

I know what works for me though. I know I need help. I know I need date nights. I know I need quiet time. I need workout time. I need routine and normalcy. And I guess knowing those things and having those things reaffirmed through this trip is a good thing. 

Sometimes we just need to breathe. 

I wonder if it happens to you too. Do the demands get to be too much sometimes? When I don't create time for me, the demands seem like more than I can bear.

And honestly, I could never do this on my own. I honestly don't know how I would manage without the grace of Christ. There are multiple times in a day when I feel like I can't do i'm not cut out for this. I need more practice. And there where grace finds it's way in. 

In all my attempts at peace and perfection and happiness, I fall short without Christ. But when Jesus is in the picture, there is grace. And grace is not perfection. It's far from it, but it fills in all the gaps and the mistakes and mis-steps and regrets. 

Yes, sometimes I just need some room to breathe and a whole lot of grace. I find it in those tiny people's sweet smiles, in the incredible grace that grant me daily, in the joy of their laughter. And I am incredibly grateful for those sweet moments and for grace. 

The Parenting Do-Over

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I'm gonna be honest. I'm too drained to write the emotional end to our never ending story. I want to do it justice. 

We are currently on vacation in Colorado. We're staying in a great cabin about 20 minutes from Crested Butte. I know I'm on vacation, and I shouldn't be exhausted, but I am. Chasing 3 kiddos around all day by myself is exhausting. 

We're here with Brian for his annual hunting trip. He usually comes on his own with his buddies for a man trip, but this year the man trip didn't work out, so we got invited. 

We're really having a great time. We have no schedule or agenda. We brought school with us, and even did a little catch up today since we got a little behind last week. {Oh the beauty of homeschooling! Learning about Colorado while we're in that's education.} We're snuggling a lot, exploring, reading, playing, and it's all good. 

This weather and the view and the quiet and the complete lack of cell phone reception has been beyond refreshing. 

But none of that makes raising 3 littles easy. There are days that I think I need more practice before we really get going on this parenting thing, and then I look around me, and all 3 of them are here, and it's simply too late for practice. 

But that's where Jesus comes in. Grace is a beautiful thing. There are days that I start over in the middle of the day because I need to and because I can. One of the greatest lessons I have learned from my walk with Christ is "the do-over." I don't always do this parenting thing right, but it doesn't matter. Every morning is new. My kids have so much grace for me. It's a beautiful thing. 

Even on vacation (or maybe it's especially on vacation), there are do-overs. I'm learning to start my do-over sooner. Don't wait until tomorrow. Start over today. 

{Colorado pictures to come know I love these mountains....) 

Part 5 of the never ending story....the part about houses

Friday, October 11, 2013

Just a warning before you read this....this is the story that may never end.....I know I said I would finish it tonight, but it's probably not going to happen. There is still so much more to tell you....and I haven't gotten to the best part yet (it's the part you don't know's the whole reason I'm re-telling this part of our story....and I promise it's good.) Stick around long enough and I'll get to the end. 

To read part 1, click here

To read part 2, click here

To read part 3, click here

To read part 4, click here

This is part 5.....

It was Halloween 2012. I had prayed specifically that I wouldn't have a baby born on Halloween. The Lord is sort of funny like that. After it happened, I realized it was no big deal at all, and it was actually kind of fun. 

On that night, we welcomed baby #3 into our family. Wyatt James Dalke was born happy and healthy. 

But that night, I couldn't sleep. It wasn't him. He was perfect. It was the thought of leaving. 

The calling to move across the country to California that had been so strong and so certain was suddenly gone. His little heart beating against my chest changed everything. I couldn't imagine it anymore. I couldn't see us there. 

But Brian and I had a plan and we had agreed on this. How could I be the one to call it all off? I just started praying. Asking the Lord to make it clear what we were supposed to do (again). 

And our entire hospital stay was overshadowed by my doubt about our next move. What were we going to do? We were supposed to be moving to California in approximately a month, and I couldn't see us there anymore. 

On the way home from the hospital, it came up. It was Brian and me and another tiny life that we were now responsible for. I asked him if he thought we were still doing the right thing. And he hesitated. He wasn't sure anymore either. And his doubt made me feel better. 

That was the end of the conversation, but it wasn't the end of my mind racing. I started looking at real estate in our city. Maybe we could stay here. 

It was a couple days later that Brian opened up the computer to look at real estate locally to find that I had already been looking. And just like that, we knew we had to stay. 

Our decision to stay brought about a very real predicament. We had already sold our house. We were closing in a little more than a month, and we officially had no place to live. 

The hunt was on. We started looking on our own. The problem was, before we started looking at houses in California, we had looked everywhere in our city. We knew (or thought we knew) every neighborhood, every area, every district. We had even seriously considered building. Building was the plan for a while. 

We had looked and looked and looked and could not find what we were looking for. We knew we were up for a challenge. 

We had a newborn, and I made it very clear that since we were staying, I only wanted to move once. Ideally, I would like this to be our last move. Let's find the house, and let's do it in less than 30 days. Sounds like a new plan. 

We basically had a deadline. We knew that we had to find a house by a certain date in order to be able to close in time for us to be out of our house by closing. 

We finally hired a realtor. We knew Brice through Scentsy. His wife was part of our Scentsy team. We knew he would work hard for us, and he did. 

We toted that newborn baby boy through countless homes. Nothing seemed to be turning out. 

We wanted at least an acre, trees, 4+ bedrooms, an office, a dining room, and a playroom. Talk about a high order. We wanted the house that would be big enough for Brian's family at Thanksgiving (we average 30+). It was a lot to ask for. 

Brice took us all around the city. The day we looked at our house, I didn't even want to go see it. It didn't look great in pictures. It had been on and off the market for years. I didn't want to waste our time. But Brian insisted. We were going to look at another house near the area, so we might as well. 

I reluctantly agreed. 

I was immediately in awe of the neighborhood. I had no clue it even existed. It was a gated community with just over a dozen houses. All on 3-5 acre lots. 

The house wasn't what I would call my style. The outside was red brick. The plans were fashioned after 19th century architecture. Huge ceilings, giant doors, and really ugly grape tiles on the backsplash in the kitchen. Really? Who does that? 

The space, the layout, the was all more than we could ask for. It wasn't the kitchen I had hoped for. And some of the details were off, but all those things could be fixed in time. The house was being lived in, so it smelled weird, and someone else's stuff was in it. I was very intrigued, but there were more houses on the list. 

Before the day was over, I was asking if we could go back and see the house with the trees and the land one more time. Brice made it happen, and that 2nd showing was all it took to help me make up my mind. We walked the property line, and I could see Addy and Luke and Wyatt growing up exploring the creek and seeing turkey and deer on a daily basis. 

And with that house, it was officially official. We were staying in Oklahoma.   

To be continued....(more on the babies tomorrow....)

Part 4 of a Story About Timing

Thursday, October 10, 2013

To read part 1 click here

To read part 2 click here

To read part 3 click here

All was going well. We had 3 offers in on 3 houses in California, and we were just waiting. It felt like we were doing exactly what the Lord was calling us to do. 

But as we waited, nothing was happening. We had already sold our house in Edmond thanks to a couple crazy people (who are now our friends) who knocked on our door and asked if we would ever sell it. 

Before we knew it, all 3 houses we made offers on in California were bought out from under us by cash buyers. 

Now what?

Turns out, we have friends that live in the same area we wanted to move in California. They were also moving, and had just bought a house. They were gracious enough to let us rent their old home from them until we could find something. 


It wasn't the ideal situation (to essentially move twice), but it was an answer to prayer for sure. We kept saying that we would just let the Lord work out all the details if we were supposed to be in California. We weren't going to try too hard. If He wanted us there, He would have to make it all happen. 

And it appeared that He was making it happen. 

It seemed crazy that we had friends who were willing to let us stay in their home virtually rent free until we found a place. 

But that's what happened. And that became the plan. We started packing boxes and preparing for a baby to come. 

Telling our families that we were moving was not easy. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. Especially since we were about to have another baby, and we had no clear reason to go. 

That was tough. 

But we moved forward with the plan. 

Then October 31, 2012 rolled around, and the Lord threw us a curveball. We named him Wyatt, and He changed everything. 

To be continued and concluded tomorrow night......(sorry for the never ending story).

This book I'm reading...

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Some of you are waiting for part 4 of our story about timing. 

It's not happening tonight. I'm too tired. It's been a good, but long day. We're 8 days into writing about Jesus for 31 days, and when I flat out say a post is about Jesus, not as many people read it as normal. Interesting. 

I find that really interesting. 

I sort of have this thing for Jesus. I'm crazy about Him and what He did on the cross for me.....for all of us. 

I'm reading this awesome book called Jesus Is by Judah Smith. 

So far, this is my favorite part, and I couldn't agree with it more.....

"I am a Bible person. I don't believe my brain has been functioning long enough to figure out the meaning of life, but the Bible is an amazing, divine, supernatural book that shows us the plan of God. It gives us proper perspective in life. I believe that God used humans to write it, but he guided what they wrote, and everything in it is accurate. 
It doesn't bother me if you don't believe that, so I hope it doesn't bother you that I do believe it."

I have often struggled with religion. I don't like the rules and the differences amongst them. I don't like it when we think we know more than someone else because of our "religion."

Here's what I know. Christianity isn't about rules and guidelines. It's about Christ. It's about a single man.

I know that I have friends that don't believe the same things that I do, and I have many times found myself afraid to talk about what I believe. The above quote from Jesus Is gave me so much perspective.

It doesn't bother me that people don't believe the same things I do, so why should expect them to be bothered by what I believe? (I guess it kind of bothers me....I want everyone to know the truth about Jesus, but I need to stop worrying about all the details. I guess that's what I'm saying.)

I guess I'm just trying to say that if I've never told you or never made it clear (even though I think I have), I believe God's word. I believe the Bible. All of it. I have a lot to learn. I won't even pretend that I know it all. But I know a lot, and I know the things that matter the most.

When it comes to Jesus, it comes down to grace and peace and love and life.

Look for Part 4 of our Story about Timing tomorrow night.....

Part 3 of a Story About Timing

Monday, October 7, 2013

To read part 1, click here.

To read part 2, click here.

So that was it. There was a great family ready and waiting to adopt our babies. They were elated. We were pleased with the way everything was working out, and we thought it was sweet the way the Lord was working out all the details. 

We were praising Him for the way He was making clear the way for these babies. 

We loaded up truckloads of clothes and toys and beds to take to their new home. We ate french toast for dinner on our last night as a family of six. And before I knew it, they were gone. 

But everything went well. They transitioned beautifully. We didn't go see them for a few months. We thought it would be best for everyone. 

And our life moved on. 

We prepared for a baby, and prayed a lot about where the Lord wanted us to be. We went to the Scentsy Family reunion in Las Vegas and then took a plane to California to look at houses. We needed to know if it would feel right. 

And it did. It felt like home. We found a church and a school and several houses that we could see ourselves raising our family in. 

We started to envision life in California. 

But it's not that easy to pick up and move halfway across the country. We weren't moving for "work" or any reason other than we felt like we were being called there. 

And on August 9th, I was in desperation mode. I rarely ever ask the Lord for a sign, but I did it that day. I couldn't stop thinking about the move and what it would mean for our family and how different our life would be if we up and moved to California. 

I spent most of the day in prayer. I wanted a sign. I wanted to know for sure that that was what we were supposed to do. 

And I got my "sign" that very day. It came in the form of a knock on our front door. A nice guy walked up to our home that evening and asked if we had ever thought about selling our house. 

Excuse me....what?

There was no sign in the yard. We hadn't really even decided that we were going to move. One of the biggest obstacles was our house. We had only been in it for 3 years, and we knew we would lose money if we listed it with a relator. We sort of felt stuck. 

And just like that, with a single knock, the Lord affirmed our decision to move. It was like He was clearly asking us to be obedient. "Will you do what I ask you to? Will you go where I ask you to go...even if there isn't a specific reason? Do you trust me?" 

That single knock brought all those questions to the front of our minds. And the answer was yes. Yes we would go. Yes we were willing. We had seen His perfect plan in the lives of our foster babies, and we were willing to do whatever He led us to. 

In September, we traveled to Boise for Scentsy's SuperStar Director Summit. It was the last time I would be allowed to fly, so we decided to hop over to California on our way home and see if we could find a house. 

We had 2 days. We ended up making offers and putting money down on 3 houses. And the plan felt good. 

We had made an agreement to sell our home to the couple who knocked on our door that evening. There were no realtors involved. We did it all ourselves. And it was the easiest and simplest house contract I have ever done. It was the Lord. Plain and simple. 

And there we were. september of 2012. Waiting to hear about 3 offers in California....knowing we sold our home in Oklahoma. Waiting to see what was next....

To be continued...

A story about timing Part 2

Sunday, October 6, 2013

To read the beginning of this story, click here

And I thought I would be the one that helped them. And in a way, we did. We provided a loving and nurturing home for them for 6 months. 

But so much more than me helping them, they helped me. 

They changed me. 

They made me know what it was like to really really love. There was so much risk involved in loving them. And for a while, I held my heart from them. I couldn't fall in love. What about when they left? 

And it was different than I thought it would be. I thought I would love them like I loved my own children. I thought I would want to keep them for always. 

And part of me did. But another part of me knew that the way I loved them was different. 

Those babies created a yearning in me for another baby. I thought I was done. But as I rocked him and snuggled him and began to fall in love with him, I knew I wanted to be pregnant again. 

So while we had "the babies" (as they have been permanently named at our house), we started trying for another one of our own. 

It didn't take long before I was pregnant. Our baby #3 was on the way. 

And all the while, the Lord was doing a huge work in me. He was changing me and challenging me in ways that I didn't even know I could be changed. He was taking my selfishness and anger and fear and doing away with all of it. 

I was no longer afraid. I couldn't be. There was simply no time for that. 

I was learning that I couldn't be angry at these babies because their parents screwed up. It wasn't their fault. 

And I was learning what it was like to truly serve. 

Changed and challenged and different.....I am all those things because of the babies. 

During this entire process, the Lord was planting another wild dream in our heart. 

It was a simple love that was put in our soul for California. It's climate, it's outdoor lifestyle, the beach, the mountains....we fell in love with all of it. 

And before we knew it, we could feel a very clear and obvious tug on our hearts to step out in faith and make a drastic move...A move across the country from Oklahoma to California. 

We had no exact reason. We just felt like we were supposed to go in obedience. 

In the middle of all this, it became very clear that our babies would not be going back to their biological mom and that they should be placed in a pre-adoptive home. And with that decision from the judge, we knew we couldn't keep them much longer. If they were going to be adopted, they needed to be moved as soon as the right family was found. We knew they weren't supposed to be ours. 

It became obvious who they were supposed to belong to. There was a family with a little girl who could have been our babies' older sister. Tow headed and spunky, she was going to fall in love with a little sister and brother. It seemed like the Lord was working everything out perfectly. 

This family couldn't have any other children. They knew our babies before we took them in. It was while we were on vacation and the babies were staying with family (next door to their soon to be pre-adoptive parents) that the dad saw our littles outside playing, walked in the front door of his home and told his wife that those babies were supposed to be theirs. 

It seemed like God's perfect plan was working out perfectly. 

But things aren't always what they seem.....

To be continued....

A story about timing

Friday, October 4, 2013

This is a story about timing and about trust and about faith. It is only part of our story. Many of you know some of it, but very few know the end. It may take me a few days to get to the end, but the end is the best part. 

It started as a thought. Maybe we could. 

Maybe we could open up our home, love someone else, help someone else. Maybe we could. 

And then the call came in the form of scripture. The book of James specifically. And I started to feel the Lord leading us into foster care. 

I felt the tug on my heart long before I responded to it, and then I had to wait for the Lord to move in Brian's spirit. And He did. 

We signed up for a home study and background checks and 27 hours of pre-service training. And before we knew it, there was a phone call. 

I had waited so expectantly for our paperwork to be approved. I knew we would have a baby by Christmas. But the Lord's timing was more than perfect. 

It was February when we got the call that our paperwork was approved, and immediately after that, we had not 1 but 2 babies. 

I couldn't turn down the call. We had loose ties to these babies before they came into our home. When they showed up on the doorstep, they had been in the shelter for 7 days, and my heart immediately melted. 

I will never forget their eyes as they looked up at me while they stood on my front porch with dirty faces and mismatched clothes. 

The worker's arms held the baby boy (1), and that little girl (still a baby herself....not yet 2 years old) stood on her own and reached her sweet little arms up to me immediately. She called me momma in the first five minutes. 

His big blue eyes stole my heart within in moments. I just held him in my arms. So close. Wishing I could have rescued them sooner. Wishing they wouldn't have had to stay in the shelter. 

They came with a grocery sack of clothes that were the wrong sizes and smelled of cigarette smoke. After a few papers were signed, the worker was gone, and we went from 4 to 6. 

And life became different. 

to be continued......

Powered by Blogger · Designed by Pish and Posh Designs