Wednesday, July 22, 2009

classic lewis

on love...
There is no safe investment.  To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.  If you want to be sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal.  Wrap it up carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But in the casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless - it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."

The Four Loves

Monday, July 20, 2009

38 reasons

Matthias, my dear husband of 15 years, celebrated his 38th birthday this past week.

IMG_4834Here are - you guessed it - 38 reasons, in no particular order, of why I love him and thank God for him.

1.  He married me.

2.  He has a lot of zeal and passion for God and His glory.

3.  He is the best father I know.  I know every wife probably says this on her blog, but really, he can do and does do everything and anything for his children.

4.  He is a gifted preacher...this is what first drew me to him.  Nope, it wasn't his short shorts and tube socks.

5.  He has a love for children and more specifically - he wants to see the next generation and future generations serve the Lord.

6.  He was willing to pray about adopting children.  And, eventually, in really no time at all, he had the faith to pursue two adoptions at two different times!

7.  He has a great sense of humor.  No one laughs louder at himself than he does.

8.  He finally gave in and is now wearing flip flops.

9.  He loves to clean and he especially loves to vacuum.

10.  He has watched "Pride and Prejudice" (the long BBC one), "Anne of Green Gables", "Emma", and "Little Women" with me more times than I can count.

11.  He is not embarrassed to dance like Michael Jackson around the house and even in front of people.

12.  He is very generous when it comes to my purchase of good, theological books.

13.  He loves to sing and worship the Lord.

14.  He listens to me read portions of books that I am enjoying.

15.  He makes a great pot of coffee.

16.  He loves hot weather and loves to sit in the sun.  I like that too.

17.  He was willing to pray about us becoming foster parents.  And eventually, in really no time at all, we were taking classes and we've had two children join our family for 14 months and counting.

18.  He is very cute and has only gotten better looking as he's gotten older!

19.  He does not indulge my quarrelsome nature.  This is annoying when I want to argue but I am thankful he is not like me in this.

20.  He lets me pick out all of his clothes for him.

21.  He can put just about any baby to sleep with his amazing rocking skills.

22.  He can defend Sylvester Stallone's acting ability in the Rocky series like no one else on this planet.

23.  He admits his weaknesses.

24.  He is quick to repent.  Much quicker than me.

25.  He loves the church that he pastors.  He loves the people and he loves what God has called him to do for this season.

26.  He is a self-starter and go-getter.  I love his ambition.

27.  He is always willing to give me time out of the house without the kids.

28.  He is easy to cook for and appreciates a nice, hot meal.

29.  He has gorgeous blue eyes.

30.  He loves to read.

31.  He believes that God answers prayer and he often prays for things that I can't imagine ever actually happening.

32.  He is willing to listen and consider various crazy ideas and adventures I conjure up for us.

33.  He does great impressions of people.

34.  He is a skilled musician: singing, piano and drums!

35.  He has a heart for the singles of our church and enjoys including them into our family life.

36.  He has a really firm stomach when he sucks in real deep (Matt requested that this be part of the list that he spied on!).

37.  He lets me do the decorating and he trusts my taste in things, even if he's a little nervous at first.

38.  He is committed to his walk with the Lord and is a great model for me and the kids.

Happy birthday, Babe!

ocean city pics

Stephen, Abbie & I had the privilege of joining my sister and her family for a few days at Ocean City, Maryland.  Seeing my kids play with their cousins was the greatest!  Here are a few shots to enjoy!




adopted for life: the priority of adoption for christian families & churches

Wow.  I'm only on the third chapter of this book, but my heart is gripped already.  I woke up, compelled to share this quote and to write it in my journal.
The universe was meant to be a home - where the image-bearers of God rule and serve under their Father.  It was all to be ours.  The primeval insurrection in the garden, though, turned the universe into an orphanage - the heirs were gone, done in by their appetites.  A serpent now holds the cosmos in captivity, driving along the deposed rulers as his slaves.  The whole universe is now an orphanage.

But then there's Jesus.

When we were still orphans, Christ became a substitute orphan for us.  Though he was a son, he took on the humiliation of a slave and the horror of death (Phil.2:6-8).  Jesus walked to that far country with us, even to the depths of the hog pen that we'd made our home, and hung on a tree abandoned by his Father in our place.

Only he could do this because only he, the one sinless human, didn't have the cosmic blackmail against him that the Accuser can call up for all of us.  The Lord Christ simply announces that "the ruler of this world is coming.  He has no claim on me" (john 14:30).

As both an adoptive mother and foster mom, this book brings special significance into my life.  But author Russell Moore challenges all of us who name the name of Christ when he says, "The gospel of Jesus Christ means our families and churches ought to be at the forefront of the adoption of orphans close to home and around the world."

My prayer from the start of the introduction provided by C.J. Mahaney has been this:

Lord, use  this book as a tool in the hands of believers everywhere to make a difference in the lives of orphans.  May we not first think that someone else ought to care for the fatherless, but may we consider how You might be calling us to play our part - for the sake of Your glory and Your gospel.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


As I was sitting in a courtroom in downtown Bel Air, awaiting my case, I jotted down the following little thoughts.
Heart pounding deep inside

Hands sweating

Thoughts swirling inside my chaotic head

Stopping, breathing

Remembering my God

Talking to my soul

Choosing to trust in His sovereign care

At rest.

As I thought about my case and what I wanted as the resolution, I penned the following:

It's not about winning.

It's about honoring Jesus.

How easy to find my thoughts somewhere nestled between the two

Arguments are understandable, obtainable, within our control in as much as we can form our thoughts and make our points

Honoring Jesus means surrendering myself,

my arguments,

my views,

my perspectives,

my desires,

and choosing to trust in Jesus as my defense.

God was kind in answering our specific prayers for our court hearing.  We are able to take our foster children on vacation with us for two weeks and we are thrilled about that.  Yet beyond receiving the answer I so desperately wanted to hear from the judge's mouth, I am so thankful that God met me as I sat alone and waited.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

from mourning to joy

IMG_4711After Spot's embarrassing shenanigans on Saturday, we decided we'd let him go into the wild.  Clearly he was looking for a suitable mate.  Smart turtle.

Leaving Shamrock Park, we headed to Winters Run to set our little guy free.

Abbie was crying the entire way, full of grief that she would no longer have her turtle to play with.  Up front in the van, I tried to explain to Matt how a little 8-year old girl can actually get attached to a turtle after only a few days.  I was the same way when I was a little kid.  Our baby was mourning.  It was probably her first loss in life.  That's a big deal for a kid.

It all quickly changed, and her mourning turned into joy, when I surprised her with the news that Daddy said that she could have a hamster!  Those of you that know Matt and his dislike toward all things rodent-like, and actually most pets in general, will know that the Spirit of God was at work in moving Matt's heart to say YES to a little dwarf hamster.


see spot?

IMG_4709The date was Saturday, July 4th.   Turtle Derby Day.   Spot had been training for this.  The kids were excited and nervous about the race.  Even Diamonte (2), woke up screaming out, "Durtle Race Day...Durtle Race Day!"

Matt and I loaded up the kids and our hopeful winner, Spot, into the minivan.

Our destination:  Shamrock Park.

We arrived to find ourselves among a huge crowd of proud turtle owners - over a hundred actually.  After officially registering Spot, we waited for his number to be called:  56C.  Stephen felt pressured to win, as if he had some control over what our speedy friend might do.  Abbie was just full of smiles and living in the moment.

Friends and family gathered around ring 3 with anticipation, as the circular metal gate was lifted and a bunch of turtles started moving to the outside of the circle to claim victory.  I admit that it was impossible to see which turtle was Spot, but one thing did stand out:  there was one turtle that decided to mount another turtle as opposed to racing.  I actually felt sorry for the owner of that creature.

I was screaming "Go Spot...Go Spot" and once it was clear that a small box turtle was the winner, I looked to see where the kids went to pick up Spot, figuring that he had to be pretty close to the finish line.  Turns out that our beloved Spot was the turtle that mounted another turtle!   As my friend Allyson commented, "Clearly Spot had higher priorities than winning a race."

I had hoped to entitle this blog entry, "See Spot Run" or "See Spot Go" or even "See Spot Win".  Oh well...I guess I need to settle with "See Spot?"

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

meet spot, again

Here are some new pics of the hopeful winner of Bel Air's Turtle Derby!




movin' on up

IMG_4687Diamonte just keeps movin' up!

First there was the big fancy high chair that practically feeds kids for you...

then there was the small booster seat...

and now it's counter seating for our big boy.

He is quite happy as he has officially joined the ranks of Stephen and Abbie!