Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I have seen the actual deaths of two people in my life.

The first was a man that I did not know nor did I ever find out his name.  It was about 12 or 13 years ago and we were at a church softball game.  I was sitting along the 3rd base line and we were finishing watching the game before Daniel's started.  The other team had a hit and a player rounded second on his way to third.  All of a sudden the third baseman fell completely on his back, laid out on the ground. Since he was older everybody ran to him.  Somebody started CPR and somebody else called 911.  I stood up and put my hands on the fence.  He died right there.  

The second person was my Mom. Three years ago today.

It was suppose to be my night to stay with her at Tranquility.  Dad and I had actually picked out her casket and mausoleum that morning knowing that it would be soon.  When I got to the Hospice center the nurse at the desk told me that she didn't think it would be long.  I rushed into her room.  When I walked in my Dad said "I don't think you will be needing your bag for tonight."  She was sitting up with her bed slightly reclined.  Her head was back and she was relaxed.  Her breathing was really labored and her eyes were close.  Dad was holding her hand and I sat on the other side and held her other hand.  The TV was on with no sound.  We sat in silence watching her and listening to her breathing.  Her breaths got farther and farther apart and after about 30 minutes she had her final breath.

There is no label on death.   
There is nothing to describe it when you see somebody you love exit this earth.
There is nothing to describe the process of grief.
There is nothing to change the time that passes.
There is no title.

There is hope.
There is salvation.
There is Jesus Christ.
There is redemption in Him.

I don't know how you label "anniversaries" of somebody dying.  They just remain untitled.  Just like the grief, the pain, the sadness.  Really because everyday afterwards is untitled.  You have to go through things not knowing how but trusting in God who gives us eternal life through our Lord.  This is what God wants.

To be our Hope.
To be our Identity.
To be our Strength.
To be our Promise.
To be our Title.

Our identity has to be in Christ.  If it is not, we are too consumed by everything else.  It is very easy to become consumed in your identity with something else.  To let the identities and titles of this world creep in.  They do, very slowly.  Believe me, I know.  No matter what you are going through you have to abide in Him.  Each day we have should not be titled by this world.  It should be left to be defined by God.  God is Sovereign.  Sometimes that is hard to swallow.  Especially when we do not like the way He is defining our days.  But I don't want to title my days.  I want Him to.  I want to live each day, all day with Him.  

"The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot.  The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.  I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.  I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be unshaken.  Therefore my heart is glad, and whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.  For you will not abandon my soul to Sheoul, or let your holy one see corruption.  You make know to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."  Psalm 16:5-11.

The greatest moment of my Mom's life was when she stepped into eternity to be with God.  For that there is no title.

Here is one of my favorite songs  "Untitled Hymn" by Chris Rice.  This song was very helpful for me during my counseling.

May all of your "Untitled" days be lived for the glory of God.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


Jackpot jack·pot noun
 1.a. The accumulated stakes in a kind of poker that requires one to hold a pair of jacks or better in      order to open the betting.
    b. A cumulative pool in a competition, lottery, or various other games.

 2. A top prize or reward.

We were standing in the checkout line in Target. Daniel and the kids were bagging up our goods. We were buying a backpack and pajamas for the boy we were hosting. He was going back to Ukraine the next day. Understandably he had moped all day long. He knew he had to leave tomorrow and we were all sad.

 We were trying to make the best of it by lightening the mood. We were not very successful. Easy for us to lighten the mood, we were not going back to where he called home. Our home is quite different. He got to be a part of it for four weeks this summer. Language barrier does not cover over feelings. Then again, nobody had to say their feelings, they were written over all of our faces.

Then came the unexpected comment. The check out clerk, looking at the kids, said “What a beautiful family you have.” Of course I said “thank you.” Then she says, “You certainly hit the jackpot with those kids. You have the perfect family.” I paid for our purchase and said, “Yes, yes we do.”

So comes the moment when you hold in the tears. The story of “well actually, one of these is not ours, he is an orphan and tomorrow we are sending him back to an orphanage across the world.” But I did not say that. I just said, “Yes, yes we do.”

Adopting has been a huge topic of conversation in our family for a long time. Daniel and I truly started talking about adoption after the miscarriage of our third child. Then we plummeted into the limited work we could do from our end with LifeSong for Orphans. Always talking, always knowing that we would adopt.

Almost 3 years ago at Christmas we tried to host for the first time. All three children we tried to host had some kind of strange roadblock to hosting. We were not supposed to host. God made that clear. I knew the reason too. My Mom was going to die. My GPa (her Father) died in November and she died in December. God had been telling me for about 6 months that this was going to happen. I am so grateful for the way he prepared and protected.

Adoption talk and work continued. We did not seem to have a green light. About a year and a half ago I started having some major issues—anxiety. It was kind of the beginning to an end of sorts for 35 years with my Mom. It was also the beginning of an incredible period of brokenness in my heart that God had been fleshing out for a long time. Well at least the beginning of my realization of it. So for the past year I have been seeing an incredible Christian counselor to work through my junk. My junk that I feel pressed to write about now because I want to give the glory to God (hence the huge hiatus in my blog—you just thought I was lazy and forgetful—that I am as well.) I find it ironic however; that my last blog post was titled “Small” and that was about a week before it all started.

So I am writing today to let you know that we are going to get our “jackpot.”

We have officially started the adoption process!! In the next week or so a website will be launched with the amazing help of our friends who are gifted in this!!! It will be about adoption, advocating adoption, being the hands and feet of Christ, fundraising for our adoption (and hopefully in the future other’s as well), encouragement, resources, and whatever else God wants it to be. We are incredibly excited about it. We have so many tools to bring glory to God and that is our desire.

Our jackpot is not going to be a cash prize. It is going to be so much more than that. It may be cumulative (more than one child), it will definitely be a prize (even though it is hard), but unforgettably it is going to be a reward. Because in the end, it is not our jackpot, it is God’s. He has brought us here and we have faith He will take us there.

Do we have more brokenness to go through? “Yes, yes we do.”

Do we know that it is going to be really hard? “Yes, yes we do.”

Do we know that we have a lot more flesh to get rid of? “Yes, yes we do.”

Do we know it is not about us? “Yes, yes we do.”

The time has come. The “perfect” family is whatever God wants for us. It is scary and exciting at the same time. We are excited to share it with you. Be on the lookout-----there is a lot more to come…….

 ***due to the sensitive nature of adoption and our relationships in Ukraine, we will not be discussing over media the specific children we are going for.***