Friday, February 26, 2010

Thin Places - a memoir

We can learn a lot from each other when it comes to this business of living. Sharing experiences, the good and the bad, help us know we are not alone and allow us to learn from mistakes. Even better (in my opinion) are the stories which evidence the life-changing work of a God who invests in the lives of mere mortals.

I think that is part of the reason I loved reading Mary DeMuth's newest release and memoir, Thin Places.

Mary is bravely honest in this beautifully written story of life. Parts of her story are really hard to read, and hard to understand. But at the same time, God's hand prints are all over the pages in wonderfully personal ways.

If you have ever experienced the trauma of sexual abuse I think you would benefit from this book. It is a hard part of Mary's story, but I also think through the telling it can bring healing and hope to others who have walked that path.

Thin Places is a story of redemption. It is evidence of a God who pursues his children and makes them holy. It is a story that takes an honest look at challenges all of us can relate to as we try to walk like Christ did.

Mary is a gifted writer who challenged me in the best way through her words and life.

I hope you will take some time to find a copy of Thin Places and relish the reading of it. I know you will be glad you did!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gold Medal Fare!

She told me our meal that night was even better than Pancakes and Waffles.

Based on the dinner scale at our house, that placed Chicken Roll ups in gold medal positioning (yes I am experiencing Olympic overload!).

If you are looking for kid-friendly fare that is easy to make, I'd invite you to give this scale topping meal a try:

Chicken Roll ups

2 large cans of canned chicken, or 2 cups of baked and shredded chicken breasts
2 tubes of refrigerated crescent rolls
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Mix cream of chicken soup, milk and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese in pan. Heat til just boiling.

Pour 1/2 of mixture into a 9x13 pan.

Unwrap crescent rolls. Tear apart at perforations. Take each triangle, fill with chicken and shredded cheddar, roll-up and place in pan. Once all 16 crescent rolls are filled, wrapped and placed in dish pour remaining soup mixture over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until crescent rolls are browned on top.

Enjoy! For more kid-friendly, quick and easy recipes, head on over to Genny's at!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Waiting

I feel antsy and restless, unsettled.

I know many of you who read this blog have experienced this feeling. The knowing you have a child on the other side of the world that you can't go get.

I feel an obsessive compulsive need to stay near my laptop, just in case my computer dings with news or additional instructions from our agency. The desire to do something, even immigration paperwork, is strong. The hope that somehow our file will move through the system faster than any file ever before sending us to China in record time can't help but creep into my thoughts and prayers.

Three to five months is not a long time. I have friends who have had to wait so much longer, but on this side of the waiting, it feels like an eternity and I find myself secretly wishing the time away.

It takes too much effort to learn from, even *gasp* relish, the waiting. My head whispers the positives of the next few months, the lessons that could be learned... but my heart shouts back, "YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND!"

Thankfully, I hear another whisper from the One my soul loves, "Patience child, my timing is best." and in my heart I know He's right. And, for the moment, I turn away from the laptop and get back to the living that is going on around me.

The waiting can be a hard thing to unwrap. I am learning it is an exercise of trust in the One who holds time in His hands. That doesn't make it easy, but it does bring peace and purpose and miraculously makes the waiting worthwhile.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Care Package

Today I have been preparing a special package to send to a little girl on the other side of the world. A package to let her know we care, filled with trinkets: a stuffed dog, a new outfit, and a photo album. A disposable camera that will hopefully be used to capture parts of her life now. A gift for her foster mom and the director of her orphanage.

Small gifts, crammed into a shoe box with love.

But there is so much more I want to send her; things that can't be contained in a box, intangibles, things I want her to internalize in her soul.

I want her two-year old heart to know that her family is waiting for her and even though at first it will feel like we are stealing her away from everything that is familiar and known, soon she will feel at home.

I want her to know that even though we can never identify with the incredible loss she has faced in her short life, we will be there to walk beside her as she deals with it, to love her and help in any way we can.

I want her to know that we are no where close to a perfect family. That we will make mistakes and our journey together will not always be smooth. BUT, we are a family and we will navigate the bumps together. She belongs to us and we will not let her go.

I want her to know that she is not alone, and never has been. I want to introduce her to my Jesus who loves her more than me. Who was with her when she was born. Who was with her when she was abandoned. Who was with her in her orphanage and in her foster home. Who will be with her when she is thrust into the unknown, but loving, arms of us.

There are so many things I want to send her, so much I want her to know. But for now I must be content to send a small shoebox crammed with trinkets and pray that Jesus will whisper the rest to her small heart as we wait to bring her home.

Friday, February 19, 2010


I am so excited to share our news with you!

On February 2, we were introduced to the beautiful face of our daughter Suhn. She is two years old (about one month younger than Sean!) and has slight cerebral palsy. We will hopefully be traveling to get her in 3 - 4 months! We cannot wait!

I'll share more later, for now I am just excited to show off my sweet baby girl!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Snow Day

A break in routine. Stuck at home.

Pulling out board games.
Pulling out snowsuits and boots. Hats and gloves.

Filling the snow with footprints and snow angels... signs of life.

Piling on the sofa. Books at our side. Snuggling. Sharing a story.

I'm sure the less than idyllic moments will also find us.

Whining, fighting, crying.

Moments of Impatience?

Even so, I am looking forward to unwrapping this day.

A snow day, at home.

Question: How do you spend your snow days? Do you have any fun "snow day" projects to share?

Monday, February 08, 2010


Are Mondays ever hard for you?

Today feels hard to me. Hard to get back into the swing of things.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays I feel the momentum building. Thursday and Friday things are in full swing. Saturday and Sunday bring a change of pace. But Mondays feel like starting from scratch and sometimes, probably most times, it is hard for me to get moving, to build the momentum up again.

Most Mondays I try to get to the gym, that usually helps. Then I force myself to do something. Pick-up a room, unpack, clean the kitchen. But tasks feel harder to complete and the pull to climb back into bed is always stronger on Mondays.

Am I alone in this?

If not (please someone say they can relate), How do you cope with Mondays?

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Unwrapping the Power of Words

There are many words I say in a day that I hope my kids will remember. Words I hope seep through their skin, into their little souls. Words that remind them they are loved or ask them to think before they speak. Words that encourage them to be responsible and work hard.

Sometimes I see the words making an impact. Most of the time they seem to ricochet off into no man's land. Sometimes they boomerang right back, making their mark on me instead.

There are also the words I hope they forget. Words laced with a tone of harshness and impatience that are better left unsaid. Words that push grace aside, leaving her discarded and forgotten.

If only I had the discipline to guard my words with the diligence of a soldier. According to James, that would make me the perfect man (3:2). Thankfully, even when I trample grace, she picks herself up and finds me. Through forgiveness she works healing.

But even though grace covers much, the mark of words, both good and bad remains, reminding me to be careful what I say.

"A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!" James 3:5 (The Message)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Parents Say Funny Things Too!

Kids say funny things. The way my kids process the world and the questions they ask (i.e. Are Disney World and Florida friends?) bring many smiles to my day.

Sometimes parents say funny things too.

Last night one of my kids was trying to figure out how to shoot a foam dart gun. She couldn't. She whined. Lacking patience, I said the first thing that came to mind:

If you can't figure it out, just give up!

A friend overheard my words and began to laugh. Once I realized what I had said, I laughed too. The child left the room slightly confused, mulling over the "wise"words of her mother.

Parents can say funny things, but somehow, I don't think our kids find us that amusing.

Have you ever let words slip that left you thinking, "Did I just say that?"