Thursday, March 31, 2011

My Montage 3/31/11 at

The miracle of connecting...How sweet it is when this happens with Andrew. He and Cate were playing a game and Andrew would follow the claps that Cate did first. You can tell Andrew loved it.

Tangled ...and some character building

I took the girls to see the movie Tangled when it came out months ago. I actually loved the movie and we have waited for it to come out to rent for all of us to watch as a family. This afternoon we are watching it and we will follow up with some more discussion later. I started the movie with all the girls sharing about what they hope to find in their prospective mate...we have talked lots about these issues and have chosen to walk towards courtship instead of "dating". So we like to not use the terms  boy friend/girl friend. After they shared we talked about these character traits and got the boys opinion on them....All to cultivate some character building towards more positive and godly relationships . As well as to get our children thinking not just about how one looks but to look deeper. Using this movie as a tool to jump off into more discussions like this tonite during Bible.

Taste and See that He is Good....

Taste and see that I am good. The more intimately you experience Me, the more convinced you become of My goodness. I am the Living One who see you and longs to participate in your life. I am training you to find Me in each moment and to be a channel of My loving Presence. Sometimes My blessings come to you in mysterious ways : through pain and trouble. At such times you can know My goodness only through your trust in Me. Understanding will fail you, but trust will keep you close to Me.

Thank Me for the gift of Peace, a gift  of such immense proportions that you cannot fathom its depth or breadth. When I appeared to My disciples after the resurrection, it was Peace that I communicated first of all. I knew this was their deepest need : to calm their fears and clear their minds. I also speak Peace to you, for I know your anxious thoughts. Listen to Me! Tune out other voices, so that you can hear Me more clearly. I designed you to dwell in Peace all day. Draw near to Me ; receive My Peace.


This picture of Andrew was taken over a year ago ( early March) . He had been home only a little over 2 months and was still taking all of his nourishment from bottles. He was comforted by the bottle that had fed him all of his 5 yrs before. We can not even imagine eating like that- table food run thru the blender with added liquids..It even smelled nasty but to Andrew it was food and comfort. We tried for the next months to get him to taste and see that other ways and other consistency were good...but only until he was forced to accept the spoon and his willingness to allow us to give him a food that was much thicker did he let us feed him with a spoon . This happened 10 months later...he still controls the parameters of how and he has to suck his thumb while the spoon is in his mouth...He does not chew or bite yet. Isn't this how we are with the God ? Whatever we are comfortable with we allow Him into...Whatever terms we set up and parameters we box him into .. He is allowed to be in our lives...May I encourage you to Taste and see that He is good.

The pictures of Ava show how a child looks first at her food and is tenative about trying the new food...boy again we are just like that...I guess you can say it is human nature to have trouble trusting in what we can not see or have ever tasted before...We need to just Taste and see that He is good.....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Woo Hoo for Olivia as she turned 19

Olivia is now 19...woo hoo ! I love these pictures of her because of her huge, radiant smile. She is still a soft and gentle spirit that is discovering her full potential. She is a beautiful and loving sister,daughter, who purposely chooses to be in the background of life but she is noticed for her precious spirit of simplicity. We love you Olivia.

He is taking care of me....

I am taking care of you. Trust Me at all times. Trust Me in all circumstances. Trust Me with all your heart. When you are weary and everything seems to be going wrong, you can still utter these four words: " I trust You, Jesus." By doing so, you release matters into My control, and you fall back into the security of My everlasting arms.

Before you arise from your bed in the morning, I have already arranged the events of your day. Every day provides many opportunities for you to learn My ways and grow closer to Me. Signs of My Presence brighten even the dullest day when you have eyes that really see. Search for Me as for hidden treasure. I will be found by you.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not into your own understanding.....Proverbs 3:5


I have shared before how much a dove like the one in the  pictures above encouraged me. They remind me of the ever presence of the Holy Spirit..that came down even when Jesus was baptised. They are found all around our property...sometimes in the strangest places like this fountain we have on the deck...They often rest on our roof , or trees . They will "welcome" me home when I walk by our Peace Garden to go into our front door....They are one of the signs of His presence and they do brighten my days...I search for them sometimes as well as other signs of the Lord's presence and they do give me a peace.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stop trying to work things out before their time.....

Stop trying to work things out before their times have come. Accept the limitations of living one day at a time. When something comes to your attention, ask Me whether or not it is part of today's agenda. If it isn't release it into My care and go on about today's duties. When you follow this practice, there will be a beautiful simplicity about your life: a time for everything, and everything in its time.

A life lived close to Me is not complicated or cluttered. When your focus is on My Presence, many things that once troubled you lose their power over you. Though the world around you is messy and confusing, remember that I have overcome the world. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have Peace.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.


I never would have thought we would not have our children home from Ghana by now. We started with our adoption in April ( when we heard about this little girl with a tumor in her cheek). We shared about her to our medical team at the craniofacial team at Johns Hopkins to be able to first give some advice to people who were trying to help this little girl get some medical care. We were not even looking to adopt so soon after bringing home our very special needs son, Andrew, and Gracie from Bulgaria...but we felt called to her as we have many of the children the Lord has given to us.....Our in country coordinator checked with the authorities to see about adoption and he approached her mom who was very interested in getting care for her daughter even if it meant giving her up...( Many doctors felt she had Burkitts lymphoma , a common cancer in Africa ). It would require on going medical care for her to maybe be given life even. Well after being deep in the process for months and having all of our dossier over in Ghana the mom changed her mind....and we accept that fact painfully knowing the little girl's prognosis is not good. We moved on to other children who needed a loving family...and we were given a total of 15 in reality but more firmly 13 referrals that we made a decision to adopt or not to adopt...only one sibling group did we decide not to adopt and the last 3 we chose are the ones that finally we were able to...Now emotionally when I am shared a child's picture and some information I can't help but to begin the bonding process...I will not lie this experience in Ghana has been the hardest to accept emotionally. It is for several reasons some of which I will share in more detail later....after our children finally make it home. We have struggled with working in a program that is a pioneer program for our agency, as well as getting caught in a very busy person's life. We fianlly traveled in Oct. and honestly that helped to get our process more firmed up in Ghana....We have had an amazing USCIS officer who communicated with us and approved us quickly for both our I600a and our I600...We have always gotten our US documents in record time to Kofi in Ghana ( our in country coordinator). We even were able to get our USCIS docs to Kofi and the embassy in record time ( early Jan.). Since Jan. our process has slowed to a snails pace for many reasons...some because of a supposed passport change that required more money from us ( first time in all of our adoptions this has ever happened- being asked for addtional money) to get the process done...we  were told in weeks time and in reality that has not happened. Kofi has not even been able to get our all of our passports submitted so they can even begin to process them...and we need the kid's passport for the embassy to issue the visas . Then we wait for that appointment to be "granted" by the embassy which is known for not being supportive of adoptions in the first the process that in other countries took a week at most, has delayed by mnohts our ability to bring home our children who are legally our kids...crazy place to find myself in and one I can not when I read my devotions this am I smile. I have a peace that has come over me with this adoption. He is in control and eventually we will bring Stella, Stephen and Annabel ( Selah, Isaiah, and Lila Joy ) home.....

Monday, March 28, 2011

A NaNa tatoo....and Happy heart sprinkles

It is not a surprise that this little one, Ava has her NaNa's heart...When I was getting ready to leave for NC to visit Jenn's family she would cry. I would talk to her and say I will be back Sat. nite...She would smile and be fine for a few minutes and then I would see her laying on the couch just crying quietly to herself..I said, " I will bring you back a surprise"...She was fine for awhile and again she was sad....So I shared one of my shirts and sprayed my perfume on it and gave her a tatoo :) I talked to mommy and asked her not to wash it off until I came home. So Ava got my NaNa tatoo to look at and remind her anytime when she needed to think of me....Boy she sure warms my heart.

Now when ever she leaves our house to go home with Daddy and Mommy she often wants to sleep over...and has a unhappy heart. So I have special sprinkles in my pantry to help....they really do work too. I just sprinkle a few on her tongue and it is amazing how quickly they work... in no time she is smiling and laughing and ready to go out the door :)

I am a God who gives and gives....

I am a God who gives and gives and gives. When I died for you on the cross, I held back nothing. I poured out My life like a drink offering, Because giving is inherent in My nature, I search for people who are able to recieve in full measure. To increase your intimacy with Me, the two traits you need the most are receptivity and attentiveness. Receptivity is opening up your innermost being to be filled with My abundant riches. Attentiveness is directing your gaze to Me: searching for Me in all our moments. It is possible to stay your mind on Me, as the prophet Isaiah wrote. Through such attentiveness you reciece a glorious gift: My perfect Peace.

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3


These pictures were taken on my b-day last fall. Paul and I were getting ready to travel to Ghana. We are standing behind the cross seat that Cate had made for me. The group picture shows the abundance of children the Lord has blessed Paul and I with...Yes, Lord you are a giver...I pray that I may always remain attentive and receptive to your spirit.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Be Still and Love the things He loves....

Be still in My Presence, even though countless tasks clamor for your attention. Nothing is as important as spending time with Me. While you wait in My Presence, I do My best work within you : transforming you by the renewing of your mind. If you skimp on this time with Me, you may plunge headlong into the wrong activities, missing the richness of what I have planned for you.

Do not seek Me primarily for what I can give you. Remember that I, the Giver, am infinitely greater than any gift I might impart to you. Though I delight in blessing My children, I am deepley grieved when My blessings become idols in their hearts. Anything can be an idol if it distracts you from Me as your First Love. When I am the ultimate Desire of your heart, you are safe from the danger of idolatry. As you wait in My Presence, enjoy the greatest gift of all : Christ in you, the hope of glory !

Rev. 2 : 4,  Romans 12: 2


Boy sometimes for me this is hard to do...Be Still....I can think of a million things I need to be doing from the moment my feet hit the ground in the am to the time I lay my head down at nite :) I have made it a sort of "habit"- done routinely without even thinking about having to do it- My devotions . I do 2 devotions in the am and then return at nite to another one. I also journal usually before bed. Sometimes I am even blessed with some time in the middle of the afternoon to return to my time with the Lord and I feel so much better when I have spent the time with Him...but to be honest it does not happen alot and I want to make it more. I, along time ago started to incorporate my very busy,and intense life into a life lived by worshiping the Lord almost continually thru my day....I can find so many things the Lord is teaching me thru my children's emotions and struggles...even though the children often are the very ones adding the negative issues to my day ( if I let them) . I have made it a priority to choose to live in such a way that no one can take the joy of my salvation away even if I don't get to spend the precious time away from the hectic life I often live ... I can now find peace in the midst of the chaos...I can return to my times in my devotions or longer studies and prayer times in the middle of a crisis... it has become second nature and I am so thankful to the Lord for teaching me how important it is to spend time " sitting in His lap " and feeling His love and peace thru my life.

I am not very patient...especially when it comes to children. He continually works on my character in this area...One suggestion I would share that helps me get "thru" the moments when I wanted something else to happen or for it to have happened yesterday is to seek His joy...I will look in the face of the child before me, I can smell the sweet puppy breath of our puppies, I love the color He created in nature...the flowers, even the diff. shades of green, or the rough browns of the bark on the trees- all these appeal to my sense of who God is....I find joy in little things, things that don't cost money necessarily and I have learned to rejoice in the small areas of my life so when I am not feeling patient about another area my joy which has then become His Joy- abounds in me and my heart soars. I can then pray not for what He can give me or do for me but for His Presence to come more fully into my life...For His Glory to be revealed in the life I am living for Him. To be able to connect with my Savior and Lord in a way that is more pure and love...Love the things He loves.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Waiting on Him in hopeful anticipation....

Waiting on Me means directing your attention to Me in hopeful anticipation of what I will do. It entails trusting Me with every fiber of your being, instead of trying to figure things out yourself. Waiting on Me is the way I designed you to stay conscious of Me as you go about your daily duties.

I have promised many blessings to those who wait on Me: renewed strength, living above one's circumstances, resurgence of hope, awareness of My continual Presence. Waiting on Me enables you to glorify Me by living in deep dependence on Me, ready to do My will. It helps you to enjoy Me ; in My presence is fullness of Joy.

Isaiah 40:31 ...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Celebrating Eli's day of birth

Thursday nite we celebrated Eli's 4th b-day. He was the man for the nite and enjoyed his time greatly. He was sitiing all around the little girls and my oh my he had a dandy time in the middle of the table with all of the girls :) He got to help announce to the rest of the party that they were having a girl or sister....Earlier that day the kids helped Jenn make his cupcakes. I think for his first b-day in America he had the grandest day ever...and we all are so thankful for his sweet and precious life. Happy Birthday Eli !

Friday, March 25, 2011

I am so thankful for these "Grand" babies and for another healthy, Hambrick ......

If you can't tell I am in NC visiting Jenn, Jeremiah and my 3 "grand" babies ...and I am having a grand time just being with them. I am so thankful for the times I get to come for visits. They  brighten my day up with their sweet and precious smiles and sometime in July or August we will welcome another new Hambrick ....I was able to go with them yesterday when she had her sonogram to find out if she is having a boy or girl. How precious to watch the baby in a mother's womb...protected from the harsh reality of life outside. There baby is healthy and we found out that Ella will have a sister. I secretly was pulling for a girl - mostly for Ella. I never had a sister and always wanted to have a sister....I think the relationship between sisters can be a special connection....and we are all looking forward to loving on yet another precious life given to our family.

Cultivate a thankful heart....I am trying to Lord

Let thankfulness temper all your thoughts. A thankful mind-set keeps you in touch with Me. I hate it when My children grumble, casually despising My sovereignty. Thankfulness is a safeguard against this deadly sin. Furthermore, a grateful attitude becomes a grid through which you perceive life. Gratitude enables you to see the Light of My Presence shining on all your circumstances. Cultivate a thankful heart, for this glorifies Me and fills you with Joy.


I have to admit I am struggling with a thankful heart this am.. We got some not very positive news from AAC our adoption agency about the inability of our in country coordinator, Kofi to be able to get the remaining 2 kids passports submitted. We have to have the Ghana passport for our embassy exit visit. We were asked for an extra amount of money in Feb. to be able to process the kids passports and in reality it has not happened as we were told. Now it looks like it will be 2 months from the time Kofi is able to submit our kids passports ( however the one he got done from the Feb. time was done in weeks - so what has happened since then ????) Then because the embassy in Ghana does not do things like the previous embassies we have done adoptions it could be many more months until we get the appt. for the exit interview and another few weeks or months until they grant it.....So last nite and this am I woke up grumbling....and then I came to this in my devotions :) Please pray for my heart and for this process in Ghana. I have about reached the end of my rope with this adoption. I have waited way longer to bring my kids home before for our last adoption from is just the little surprises I am not to happy about with this adoption. I pray for my joy to return and for my trust in the process to come back. It is a lonely and not a place I like to be.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

No one, no circumstance can take this from you.....

This is a time in your life when you must learn to let go: of loved ones, of possessions, of control. In order to let go of something that is precious to you, you need to rest in My Presence, where you are complete.Take time to bask in the Light of My Love. As you relax more and more, your grasping hand gradually opens up, releasing your prized possession in My care. You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through awareness of My continual Presence. The One who never leaves you is the same One who never changes : I am the same yesterday, today and forever. As you release more and more things into My care, remember that I never let go of your hand, Herein lies your security, which no one and no circumstance can take from you.

Isaiah 41:13 For I am the Lord , your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.


I have experienced many times in my life when I needed this reasurrance from the Lord. I have believed in him since I was a child...trusting came easier then. As I moved into adult trials it came harder at times and sometimes not...always when I was not spending enough time basking in His word and with Him in prayer my security slipped but never left. Funny how you can think you have walked so far away from Him ...but when you return back.... He was there all along right beside you.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A God that delights in your prayers and details of your life...

I am a God of both intricate detail and overflowing abundance. When you entrust the details of your life to Me,you are surprised by how thouroughly I answer your petitions. I take pleasure in hearing your prayers, so feel free to bring Me all your requests. The more you pray, the more answers you can receive. Best of all, your faith is strengthened as you see how precisely I respond to your specific prayers.

Because I am infinite in all My ways, you need not fear that I will run out of resources. Abundance is at the very heart of who I am. Come to Me in joyful expectation of receiving all you need-- and sometimes much more! I delight in showering blessings on my beloved children. Come to me with open hands and heart, ready to receive all I have for you.


This today does not mean we always " get" just what we want but we always have with the Lord all we need. If you have not first received His life giving salvation than I pray you will choose and be showered with the blessing of salvation and then the assurance that He is always with you and actually delights in your prayers and details of your life...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tears of Joy, Redemption and Forgiveness Shared last nite.....

I have shared before that we try to do Bible every nite as a family. Most nites we do come together to read a Bible story, or go thru a devotional and pray. We also talk thru any issues or praises that we have experienced in the day. Right now we are reading from this book and it is actually very good and we have had some great discussions because of how the stories are presented. They either give us a diff. perspective or share a fact that causes us to discuss the story more in depth. For instance we read the story about Cain and Abel. After Cain murdered his brother Abel God punished him telling him he was to wander homeless for the rest of his days. Cain in response to God said, " ....You are sending me to certain death. If strangers find me, wandering hungry and helpless, they're bound to kll me. " The question we brought up was if Adam and Eve had Cain and Abel and they were the first family....then where did the " strangers" come from ? Since there were not that many people on the earth at this time it made us think....
The nite before I asked the kids to answer this question for their journal and then share it with us last nite, " What did you do with my son , Jesus ?" From that question Isaac had a special time with the Lord helped by Naty...visit her blog for her perspective :) .
During our Bible time last nite Isaac shared about his rededicating his life to Jesus and he started to cry sweet and precious tears of joy about it. Then Josiah's hand went up and he shared how he wants to start a fresh and begin again . ( He has been struggling for awhile with lying ) and he started to shed tears of redemption and then Cate asked to share. She had gotten in trouble earlier today and said some mean things and she apologized and she to was in tears of forgiveness... which made many of us now cry. It was actually a very precious time when the Holy Spirit came in a very real way to our family during our Bible time. This does not happen every time or even frequently but when it does there is no doubt how sweet our time of sharing and praying and reading the Word together is blessed by the presence of the Lord in such a moving way. I encourage other families to try to meet and do some Bible time as often as you can...It is not just a memory making experience for us . It often is life changing and moving us towards a closer walk with Jesus.

Rejoice and be thankful ...trusting Me

Psalm 9 : 10 Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord have never forsaken those who seek you.

Rejoice and be thankful ! As you walk with Me through this day, practice trusting and thanking Me all along the way. Trust is the channel through which My Peace flows into you. Thankfulness lifts you up above your circumstances.

I do My greatest works through people with grateful, trusting hearts. Rather than planning and evaluating, practice trusting and thanking Me continually. This is a pardigm shift that will revolutionize your life.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Singing HIS Song

Trust Me and don't be afraid, for I am your Strength and Song. Think what it means to have Me as your Strength. I spoke the universe into existence ; My Power is absolutely unlimited ! Human weakness, consecrated to Me, is like a magnet, drawing My Power into your neediness, However, fear can block the flow of My Strength into you. Instead of trying to fight your fears, concentrate on trusting Me. When you relate to Me in confindent trust, there is no limit to how much I can strengthen you.

Remember that I am also your Song. I want to share My Joy, living in conscious awareness of My Presence. Rejoice as we journey together toward heaven ; join Me in singing My song.

Isaiah 12 : 2 -3

------------------------This is from my devotion, Jesus Calling. What song are you able to sing today ?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring has sprung and so has spring fever....

Today the first day of Spring...aahh long awaited time here. It is a bit cooler than it has been but we have enjoyed it. Our flowers are coming up. We are outside as much as we can and sitting on our back porch ( a favorite of mine) ranks at the top today. It is warmer and very peaceful on the porch...aahh I can imagine the next few months. Thisis my favorite time of year.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Two brand new trampolines up and ready for fun !

We replaced our 2 trampolines today with new ones. The kids worked hard all afternoon and not only did the pool cover but put up 2 trampolines. They will be outside jumping till dark for sure until we make them come in .