Thursday, December 20, 2012

Her first Christmas

Half a world away you spent five years without a family and never hearing of Jesus. Welcome home, Ivy, for your first Christmas. It has been our blessed privilege to bring you into our family and introduce you to Jesus. This family is the place God planned for you, and He planned you for us. Together we all learn what love really is and how much we need a Savior. You teach us as much as we teach you. The beauty is in the redemption--imperfect, hurting, sinful people learning to love. Thank you, God, for rescuing another orphan and bringing her home. And thank you, God, for sending Jesus to rescue each of us from our sinful selves.

"It is not about God making my dreams come true, but about God changing my dreams into HIS dreams for my life. As I go with Him to the hard places, He changes them to the most joyful places I could imagine."  Katie Davis

Ni Hao Yall

Taken with my Nikon D5000

Thursday, December 13, 2012

View from my window

Nine years ago when we moved from our country farmhouse to the desert, I thought this was the ugliest place I had ever seen. I never dreamed I would someday look out my window and see beauty in the dirt and cacti.


How did it change?

The only answer I can come up with is.. when I saturate myself in something I often grow to love it.

The years have made my heart grow fond.

Made me consider what else I love. Living in this world is a battle of the heart. It's easy to fall in love with life here. John Piper put my thoughts into words so well:

"I am wired by nature to love the same toys that the world loves. I start to fit in. I start to love what others love. I start to call earth "home." Before you know it, I am calling luxuries "needs" and using my money just the way unbelievers do. I begin to forget the war. I don't think much about people perishing. Orphans and unreached people drop out of my mind. I stop dreaming about the triumphs of grace. I sink into a secular mind-set that looks first to what man can do, not what God can do. It is a terrible sickness. And I thank God for those who have forced me again and again toward a wartime mind-set."

But our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also wait eagerly for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
-Philippians 3:20

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Many Roads

After intentionally spending the entire summer at home, a few weeks ago we ventured off to oldest daughter's house. Ivy adores her oldest sister and her family so she couldn't wait. One hour in to the 4 1/2 hour drive she exclaimed, "Mommy, this is LONG!" But she did great. It was a peaceful drive listening to Andrew Peterson's music, and comforting to be on the familiar drive again.  I was reminded of the many roads we have traveled.  The last road trip we took with Ivy was when we left her hometown city in China and watched out the window as the life she knew passed her by. And now I turn around see her sitting there on our first American road trip. Many roads, many hopes, many fears, many glimpses of Gods hand directing our path.

My sweet Grand babies let me kiss them more than usual so that was the highlight of the weekend. I was called "Grammie" for the first time which was music to my ears. And by the way, I'm thrilled to announce that Grand baby # 3 is on the way! More blessings.


The remaining days of our fall season have been extra busy. We sold our house and moved a few miles away, a very emotional move for our family. When so much of life is lived in one place it's hard to walk away. The empty walls were screaming at us to stay. A week full of tears and goodbyes.  The new house feels void of memories.  No babies have learned to walk here. No daughters have been married here. No welcome home parties. Nobody has broken their ankle jumping the pool fence. No termites in the couch. The dog hasn't ruined the new floors or jumped through the windows. It's sterile. But not for long.

So, this Thanksgiving season even though I am exhausted and emotional, I am grateful beyond words for Gods grace on my life. There is no better place to be than following Him. We begin another new journey by faith, day by day.

And oh...Ivy's Thanksgiving question: "Can we go back to Grandma's tomorrow and have Thanksgiving again?" I wish, Ivy.

“If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world” C.S. Lewis

Ni Hao Yall

Taken with my Nikon D5000