If tomorrow doesn’t come {a God sized dreams post}

  When you send your 3rd graders to school with a kiss and a lunch packed with love, you expect them to return home to you at the end of the day. But sometimes they don't. When your 8th grader complains of pain in his hip, you expect to give him some ibuprofen and for it to get better. But sometimes it won't. When God lays a dream on your heart, you expect for there to always be time to accomplish it, to dream with Him, to pursue all He has. But sometimes there isn't. Tomorrow may not come for me, for you, for anyone.  All we have is today. The riskiest thing about my God sized dreams would be to not pursue them.  Even if I just take a baby step towards those dreams each day, that is something. It counts.  It matters. Small steps add up to great distances. I … [Read more...]

About that extra 21st chromosome

Today is World Down Syndrome Day. Just typing that makes me smile.  My life has been blessed by knowing several people with an extra 21st chromosome. Each one has brought joy to my life, especially Shawn. Shawn has taught me A LOT in the three years I've known him. Like the joy of turning up the music {despite the fact that his favorite is Justin Bieber} and dancing crazy-like in the car.  That going over bumps in the road is hysterically funny.  That ice cream cures all.   That playing fetch with my mini schnauzer, Chloe is a great way to spend three hours on a Sunday afternoon. I love how God shows off.  What the world views as a mutation, a genetic abnormality, is the perfect blend to create the most loving group of people I've ever had the pleasure to know. Do you know … [Read more...]

An Anecdote of Fear and Angels

When I realized that the only parking available was in a several story parking garage, I felt sick to my stomach.  Parking garages and I do not get along.  I feel like the top of any vehicle I am in is going to be shorn off or that the entire thing is going to collapse on {just} me at any given moment. Irrational? Yes. Something I fear anyway? Absolutely. The venue for the Allume conference in Harrisburg, PA was nice, tucked in a busy but quaint feeling city. A city with parking garages. My usual behavior in a parking garage is to simply close my eyes until the vehicle is parked.  However, when you are the driver that tactic doesn't work so well.  As I pulled in to the parking garage {and I really didn't have a choice because it was a narrow road and there were people behind me … [Read more...]

When manna isn’t a miracle anymore

Discontent can eat a hole in your soul. For me, it started with a strong desire to replace our couch. Now, in my defense, our couch is twelve years old and a hand-me-down.  {and for the record I don't think there is anything wrong with buying new furniture}. Lately, its age and the wear and tear that three boys can have on a piece of furniture has begun to show.  Places where the stuffing is coming out and one too many flips off the back have stretched out the cushions. I have complained, I have coveted and I have window shopped. I had myself convinced that I needed, and even deserved, a new couch. Friday, my Mr. Fix It hubby was off from work and he fixed all the things that had been bothering me about the couch. He sewed up the ripped places and reinforced the weak places and … [Read more...]

Favorite Bible Promises

I am busy with a new writing project {never has God laid something on my heart as clear as what I am working on right now and I can't wait to share it with y'all! Pray for me, please}. When I am working on a specific project, I go through my old journals and prayer books for inspiration and ideas.  While I was doing that I found some favorite promises God makes in the Bible {I call them promises because His Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11) and I take Him at His Word}.  I don't want to neglect the blog while I am working on this new project so I decided to share these Scriptures with you, in the hopes that they will speak fresh into your life as well. The first promise that I hold to, especially in dark and trying times, comes from the book of Isaiah as well.  Isaiah 43:2 to be … [Read more...]

Grateful not proud

Our country is the world, our countrymen are all mankind.  We love the land of our nativity, only as we love all other lands.  The interests, rights, and liberties of American citizens are no more dear to us than are those of the whole human race.  Hence we can allow no appeal to patriotism, to revenge any national insult or injury.  ~William Lloyd Garrison, Declaration of Sentiments, Boston Peace Conference, 1838 I am beyond grateful to live in a country where I am free. Free to worship my God without fear of persecution. Free to raise my children according to what my husband and I believe. Free to be a woman who can pursue higher education and have an identity separate from my husband. Free. I am grateful that God chose America to be my homeland.  But, pride of country is a … [Read more...]

Airing the dirty laundry

Has God ever prompted you to do something and you whispered back at Him {in your head of course, because out loud would make you seem crazy} "come again?  Lord, there is no way I can do that"? Oh, it's just me? Usually when I have that type of conversation with God, it isn't long before I acquiesce.  Such was the case this weekend. Our area was hit by a terrible storm that no one was expecting.  We have friends who had trees fall on their homes, people injured from falling tree limbs and debris, closed roads and thousands without electricity.  To top it off, it was over 100 degrees this weekend. I was so thankful that we had power {heat and Melissa do NOT mix}.  Saturday morning, God prompted me to invite {via facebook and texts to friends} those without power to come over to our … [Read more...]

May is…for moments and memories and miracles

May is National Foster Care Month. This thirty one day month contains Mother's Day as well. A day both bitter and sweet. Then, there is tomorrow. May 22nd.  The day, sixteen years ago, I physically became a mother. May brings a mixed bag of feelings to this heart of mine. A desperation to help, heal and hold foster children across the country {and orphans across the world} that need and deserve a mama. A desire to connect with my own mother while understanding relationships take the effort of two. A deep gratitude for the child that saved me from myself. and each amazing, beautiful, unique child God has gifted me with since. A profound sense of surprise at the joy that being a "Mimi" brings. And, a thrilling heart song of joy that God can take the mess of me and produce … [Read more...]

Reaching for God sized dreams

Sometimes I feel bad for dreaming, for letting my mind wander to what could be. Then I remember that the desires of my heart can always be conformed to His heart if I relinquish them. There's nothing wrong with dreaming, so long as you turn the dreams over to the will of God. I dream of.... ~ adopting more children, preferably from foster care or children with special needs from overseas ~ traveling to Greece and Italy ~ owning a spot {cottage, house, condo, umbrella} on the beach--any white sand with the ocean lapping at my heels will do   ~ more time to spend with those I love ~ living close to my brothers {Florida bound one day is what I hope to be} ~ keeping my house clean for more than a few days at a time {is that even possible with four kids, especially if dream number one … [Read more...]

I don’t want to forget

A little reminder pops up on my phone. Don't forget to read your 40 days of Lent Bible reading plan. I don't want to forget but I do. I forget to eat breakfast.  I forget to pick up my contact lenses.  I forget to speak uplifting words to my husband and children. The first step in remembering those things is to remember the first thing. Time in the Word, communing with my Father. When I forget that, everything else tends to go awry. This week, as we approach Easter Sunday, may I not forget, may you not forget, the incredible sacrifice made when God became man and paid the penalty so that death will never have the victory over anyone who believes. and the counting of gifts continues {excerpted from my gratitude/Joy Dare journal, quickly approaching 600 gifts} ~ a pretty manicure for … [Read more...]

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