Saturday, August 31, 2013


I'm standing tall on the stained concrete floor, as JJ sings soft and lovely about control...

...and with my emotions, I've cut about a hundred butterflies, and I'm decoupaging away.


"Ooooo, control, it's time to let you go."

Yes, if I could just let control flutter away in the midst of all these colors of wings.

The demand I place upon myself for perfection. 

The guilt I place upon myself for failure.

"Perfection has a price,
but I could not afford to live that life. 
It always ends the same. 
I fight I never win."

She sings it gently, like she's been washed over with the secret.  The secret key to conquering the battle for good.

"I'm letting go of the allusion. 
I'm letting go of the confusion. 
I can't carry it another step. 
I close my eyes and take a breath. 
I'm letting go, letting go...."

I close my eyes.  I can almost grasp this mystery.

Yes, there are moments when His touch seems so real, so healing, and I can almost feel my deep cuts regenerating in His calm, soothing water.

"There were scars before my scars. 
Love written on the hands
that hung the stars. 
Hope living in the blood
that was spilled for me."

And all I have to do is surrender, lay it all down right at the feet of the beautifully Scarred.  Surrender to the Good Shepherd, as He guides me to the spring where the Father wipes away every tear (Rev. 7:17).

"O, control. 
It's time, time to let you go...
control, it's time, time to let you go."

Day 76 Prayer Request

Please pray that our son will see God's love and ours and that it will encourage him after "friends" have torn him down.  Please pray he will see he is worth so much in God's eyes.

Ann (Momma to 6)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Day 75 Prayer Request

Please pray for our son's heart to hear the news of having to move.

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Day 74 Prayer Request

Please pray for a refreshed spirit within this weary body.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lead me on...

"I will run the course of Your commandments,
For You shall enlarge my heart."
Psalm 119:32

Day 73 Prayer Request

Please pray for wisdom and discernment to help my kids in relationships with others and within our family.

Annette (Momma to many)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day 72 Prayer Request

Please pray for God to prepare our children's hearts, and our own, for leaving acreage property.  Please pray He will be our constant Comfort while we process and grieve.

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Place I Didn't Belong

The Warrior Daddy and I noticed a visitor last night on the bathroom wall.
A little friend that probably climbed upon a colorful sleeve, catching a ride to an unexpected place...
...a place he didn't belong.
I looked around for him this morning, without luck, and hoped maybe he had caught a ride right back outside on the sleeve of the Warrior Daddy.
Because it's hard when you find yourself in a world you don't understand.
But, the girls and I spied him again this evening slowly walking across the ceiling.  
And I wondered how frustrated he must feel at that moment, having walked around in circles all day, stopping to rest in unnatural crevices, just trying to find his way back to his normal.  And how last eve and this day must have seemed like forever.
This adoptive Momma knows that feeling.  
I caught the ride of adoption.  I dreamed the dream of being the loving Momma with the normal child who loved right back in return.  I believed my love would be enough to heal her hurtful beginnings.  I just knew I beheld the strength to carry her right through her trauma.
I woke up one day, with 3 broken girls, and realized there were really 4 traumatized females living inside these walls.  Their trauma had invaded my trauma, and my perceived strength had disappeared into a cloud of hopelessness.
I felt kindred to that wandering beetle, walking aimlessly, searching for something ungraspable, feeling lost. 
And when I had walked my last stubborn step on my own, realized I really didn't know where I was emotionally or how I had gotten there, I cried out for His strong hand to rescue.
I was blessed to be part of that special group.  A small group of adoptive mommas, at all different places along the journey, with one thing in common - hurting hearts for a precious challenging child.  The pilot group put together by an adoptive Momma of 3, Momma to 7, whose career as founder and executive director of an adoption agency, along with her own personal experience, led her heart to reach out to another adoptive momma, and write the book.
And this study began my road to healing. 
Relationship is important, and this adoptive calling is too special to walk alone.  Finding myself in a safe place, to share my emotions, grieve my losses, glance deeper into my wounds, was the catalyst I needed to open my heart.  God is working His glorious plan through all this joy and pain.   
He didn't take me out of my new world.  He gently invited me to climb up onto His big strong hand.  He gave me a glimpse of my world through His eyes. 
And I scooted my way right into the middle of His palm, and I've never been the same.
I'm excited to share this journey again with a new group.  Anyone interested? 
For more information about the book, visit 

Day 71 Prayer Request

Please pray that our son will not be so quick to listen to friends but think about his choices before acting.

Ann (Momma to 6)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day 70 Prayer Request

Praise God for the peace He has given letting me know He has all of us in His hands.

Annette (Momma to many)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 69 Prayer Request

Please pray God will make it clear if we need to transition and sell horses and equipment.

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Friday, August 23, 2013

Good Morning

I didn't get much sleep last night.  Which makes for a fun, sunburned, just-run-17-miles, and now sleep deprived day.

The little jiggling woke me at 11:33 last eve.  The little bling jingle of a collar on a barely seven pound, thinks-she's-a-princess fluff ball.  The fluff ball that is supposed to sleep downstairs with her boy.

I determined to ignore, but after what sounded a jingly musical number on the floor three feet from my ears, I arose in hopes of keeping little Faith, Promise, and Joy tucked slumbering uninterrupted.

I glanced over at a peacefully sleeping, with his deaf ear up, Warrior Daddy and felt a twinge of jealousy.

A trip out to trollop under the moonlit sky, do her business, and carried-in-Momma's-arms right back to her boy's bed.  A contented pup.

Or, so I thought.

Another trip out at 1:56.  And after, she felt comfortable enough to hop right up on top of my legs, dance a small jig, circle around eight times and land. 

Another at 4:12.  But this time she lingers long, soaking in the moon's rays and running figure eights around the yard.

This Momma's best light does not shine bright as I'm standing on the deck in my jammies whispering yells, glaring.

At 4:45, I surrendered.

And it's now 6:24 a.m., I've worked out, secretly watched Joy sneak into her sisters' room, successfully removed Joy from her still-asleep-I-hope sisters' room, and I'm typing away on the computer, while a curled up sleeping dog lays at my feet.

But, it looks to be a great morning, with the sun finally peeking out, shining a glow on the trees.


Good morning.  :)

Day 68 Prayer Request

Please pray He will give me renewed strength, energy, and creativity as I tackle sensory issues in this home.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Surviving the Burn

I have a beautiful friend who is always reminding me that we have to do hard things.

About two miles into my long run this morning, those words resonated through my brain, as I realized the heat just might be the obstacle to face down today, not just the 17 miles.

When God called the Warrior Daddy and I to adopt, we knew we were facing hard things.  How would we really afford the cost?  Would our precious birth mom really sign the paperwork, hand over her cherished little one?  Would our friends and family truly accept her?  Would her birth family accept us?  What if she presented mental challenges, as her beautiful birth mom?

And so we put our palms together, bowed our faces down, raised our hands to the One in the lead, and trusted.  The roller coaster we rode seemed intense at times, but, in retrospect, turned out to be one of the greatest faith rides we've ridden so far.  Hard. Yes.  Worth it.  Absolutely.

And when He placed the dream of those magnificent twin girls in our hearts, we believed this time we were prepared.  Special needs challenges, sure.  Beautiful brown skin like their beautiful big sister, definitely.  These weren't obstacles, but gifts He freely gave to our growing family.  This run we had run before, and we were ready. 

Just like the 17 miles I faced this morning - hard, but doable.

So, when the attachment issues started to surface, sensory integration disorder began running our lives, heads started hitting the walls (along with other things), we realized we were participants in a much different race this time.  This race looked very similar, yet the extra heat intensified the challenge.

Like this morning, when the temperature rose much faster than my body could adjust, and the task ahead of me appeared daunting.

Sometimes we do have to do hard things to get to the prize. 

Sometimes we have to walk a little more than we run. 

Sometimes we have to ration the water, thirst a little (or a lot), in order to actually get across the finish line. 

Sometimes we have to text a Warrior Daddy for prayer, and then keep on moving forward. 

Sometimes the heat wins. 
But, I finished.  I survived to face the next long run, and by His grace have some time to recoup. 
And that is the strength of the adoptive momma.  The determination to keep running or walking forward, courageously believing He is ever present, breathing in deep the rest He provides, and facing the next dare straight in the face.
Because the race is hard, intimidating and hot.  But the prize, the prize is so worth the burn.  
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.  You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart."  Jeremiah 29:11-13
"...forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 3:13b-14  

Day 67 Prayer Request

Please pray for guidance for my husband and I in our financial journey and decision making future.

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Day 66 Prayer Request

Please pray for a Momma and her kids as we adjust to a new school schedule.

Ann (Momma to 6)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Do-Ahead Syndrome

I sat on the bedroom floor tonight, trying to dry my hair when the heating element in the hair dryer stopped working.  

My twin girls, with elevated excitement, asked me where I was going.  It is rare to see Momma getting ready in the evening. 

I didn't have an answer. 

Well, I didn't have an answer I wanted to give.  

I have a serious condition; a do-ahead syndrome.  I'm a serial do-ahead-er.  I like my world to run smoothly, remain in my control.  So, I do-ahead almost anything to make the next day easier.    

And today, I was caught by a surprise visit.  Caught un-showered, clad in workout clothes, mid-afternoon.  And although I had accomplished a full day's work of teaching, a couple loads of laundry, knocked down a few small tasks off the list - I allowed the enemy to whisper in my ear and felt the shame of feeling not enough, not put together, not worthy.

And in my distress of feeling unworthy, I rushed through a precious grace kiss of a beautiful sister delivering goodies, and friendship.

So, I vainly, anticipating the scurry of a Wednesday morning, and in my faithful do-ahead style, attempted to get myself somewhat ready this night before, in hopes that tomorrow I will not be caught off guard; caught in another chaotic, not put together moment. 

Classic do-ahead-ing.  Classic me. 

And this dead hair dryer, and my wet hair, are reminding me that a do-ahead-er really doesn't have control. 

He keeps reminding me that living an intentional "parakupto" lifestyle, truly bending down and looking intently into their lives, means I have to surrender control. I can do-ahead and do-ahead, and do-ahead some more.  But, there is always some task to do beyond the current, and my do-ahead-ing just keeps me tumbling forward.  And the tumbling gives way to spinning, and the spinning spins me right out of control, twirling so fast I can't even see them or myself through the dizzy...

...until He puts His hand down to stop me.  Like, killing a blow dryer to grasp my attention right back to Him.

I can do-ahead every detail in desperate attempt to give them the very best, but am I willing to just stop do-ahead-ing and give them my best moments?  Even if in those moments I feel not together, not enough, not worthy? 

Because really, un-showered, dressed in workout clothes, by midafternoon, I had listened to a big sister read an entire book by herself, learned from a big brother how my body takes in more nitrogen than it releases out, watched a twin sister confidently ace her math questions, and observed the other twin sister successfully play house using only pattern blocks.  All grace kisses to my heart, given in love from the One who beckons me to relax, breath in deep each moment, surrender control to Him.

And sitting here with damp hair, I know He is inviting me to scoot closer into His presence, regardless of my appearance.  I don't want to hurry through the important.  I don't want to miss, or rush a single grace kiss again.

Day 65 Prayer Request

Please pray she will believe she is smart and she will gain confidence in her abilities.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Day 64 Prayer Request

Please pray God will prepare my heart and our youngest daughter's heart for preschool.  Going to be hard for both of us to separate!

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Day 63 Prayer Request

Please pray for a new Momma who was adopted herself. Her new little one is a preemie in the hospital.  Please pray God will surround her, give her strength both physically and emotionally, and she will hear His whispers of love.

Mandi (Momma to 4)

Saturday, August 17, 2013

You put my broken heart together.

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." 
Psalm 51:17

artwork by Grace

"The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;"
Isaiah 61:1

Reach out your beautiful hands to Him.  Invite yours to reach right high with you.  He has come and He holds all your hearts tightly in His glorious, healing hands.  He is the One who breaks all the prison bars.  Praise Him!

Day 62 Prayer Request

Please pray for our daughter to set healthy boundaries with children and adults at school.

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Friday, August 16, 2013

Day 61 Prayer Request

Please pray that our son can learn ways to deal with anger over past events instead of taking it out on family members.

Ann (Momma to 6)

Toothpaste Stain

She and I, we sat together on her bed.  She moved her eyes all around, avoiding mine.

"Why did you decide to brush your shorts instead of your teeth?"

I have stopped being shocked by the questions I hear flowing from my mouth.  Surprise is the shock around here these days.

She shakes her head, mutters unheard words. 

I place my hand under her chin, lift her wandering eyes toward mine.  And just before I begin an unwelcome lecture, I glance down at her shorts, and see the spot.

That heart revealed was all the reminder I needed to take a deep breath, bridle my tongue (James 1:26). 

And I am here, blessed by God, visiting her in her trouble (James 1:27).  And she is here, visiting my longing heart, no longer named orphan. 

And He is faithfully purifying me, and teaching me how to remove myself from the world.  

"If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless.  Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."
James 1:26-27 (NKJV) 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Day 60 Prayer Request

Please pray for me as I have many important decisions to make.

Annette (Momma to many)

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Day 59 Prayer Request

Please pray that He will calm my daughter's fear of riding her bike.

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Importance of Respite...

When you're on day 4 of an absent Warrior Daddy, day 7 of a new school year, day 3 of consecutive runs for the week, and you still have (at least) 3 days before the husband returns, 3 days left in the school week, and 2 more hard runs to run for the week...the need for respite takes on fresh importance. 

As much as I'd like to be superwoman in this tired moment, I am comforted by the fact He did not create me, or expect me to do all this on my own.  He created me to need.  He designed me to hold my tired, irritated hands humbly up to Him.  Because He delights in me.

I have 3 needy girls in bed, 1 man-child boy close, about 7 loads of laundry to fold, and lesson plan preparations not quite complete for tomorrow.  But, tonight I surrender, praise Him for His closeness, and pray for sleep.

Tomorrow I have high aspirations of following His example and delighting in them.

Day 58 Prayer Request

Please pray our son will be helped with verbalizing his emotions and self regulation at school.

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Day 57 Prayer Request

Please pray for help for our son to process death and heaven and for God to provide us with the right words to say.

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Sunday, August 11, 2013


I'm not sure when I started collecting.

Somewhere around the time I started painting the tree of hearts.

He started giving when I took the time to notice.  And all those grace kiss hearts...
...they just kept piling up, kissing my soul, showing me Love.

Love is a person (1 John 4:8).  Love is personal.  All these hearts that He keeps revealing, whispering to my soul... 
"You are chosen."  (1 Peter 2:9)
"You are Mine."  (Isaiah 43:1-3) 
"You are family."  (Galatians 3:26)
And I want to share.  I want them to be still enough to see all these grace kiss hearts delivered from Love.

Day 56 Prayer Request

Please pray that our son will make friends at school this year that will encourage him to do right instead of tempt him to do wrong.

Ann (Momma to 6)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Day 55 Prayer Request

Please pray for four sad kids whose Daddy left on a plane today to help their very sick Gramma.  Please pray for a tired Momma too.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Friday, August 9, 2013


"As for me, I will call upon God,
And the LORD shall save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I will pray, and cry aloud,
And He shall hear my voice....
....Cast your burden on the LORD,
and He shall sustain you;
He shall never permit the righteous
to be moved."
Psalm 55:16-17;22 (Bible, NKJV)

Day 54 Prayer Request

Please pray He will bring me the opportunity to pray for a few more adoptive mommas.  Thank you for your prayers. 

Mandi (Momma to 4)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day 53 Prayer Request

Please pray for four sad kids with a dear gramma in the hospital far away. 

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Day 52 Prayer Request

Please pray for healing and continued improvement in health issues and spiritual issues.

Annette (Momma to many)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dead computer....

How do you write a post when your computer dies? 

This is my dilemma today, but He is good and He will provide. 

Thank you for grace.

Please keep checking in each morning, the prayer requests are so important, and will continue. 

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
Romans 8:28

Day 51 Prayer Request

Please pray for all of us as we have dinner with our adoptive children's little brother's adoptive family.   Pray for our witness as the family does not know Jesus.   Pray that the interactions between the siblings will be healthy. 

Ann (Momma to 6)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Day 50 Prayer Request

Please pray for the communication between all of my family.   Please pray we will listen to God and each other. 

Annette (Momma to many)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Day 49 Prayer Request

Please pray I will be able to discern better with my sensory-seekers when their bodies must move, and when I need to teach them control. 

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

August 3rd

And I just love this grace kiss!  How I spend time writing, about the Light.  I walk over to the sink, mid-afternoon, and flip the page of the purple 365 Bible Promises for WOMEN perpetual calendar to August 3.  The sun shines brightly behind, and it reads:

"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.'"
John 8:12 (NRSV Bible)
Yes, You are Jesus!  You are our precious Light!


How do you run for 3 hours without headphones and the musical comfort they bring?

You run with a friend.

This relationship thing, this is what He keeps bringing me back to. 

I am one of those who enjoys my quiet moments.  My most cherished memories of childhood are sitting alone outside, reading, watching the sky, dreaming.  My favorite time of day is the early dawn, sitting on my deck, praising Him.  Even when dating, the Warrior Daddy and I find our favorite moments are spent on the back porch, with coffee, and just the company of the other.

Solitude has been my closest friend for so long. 

Solitude is safe.

Yet, too much solitude does leave me thirsting...for adventure.

He has drawn close, and blessed this family with so many good, good gifts.  A roof over our heads, a bounty of bread, bedrooms full of children (Ps. 113:9).  All such precious, cherished grace.  And my story is not the typical.  My story is blanketed with His glory. 

I have watched in awe as He has transformed a medically fragile one into a strong man-child. 

I have listened with tears streaming as the little girl who smiled silent for so long sang her first song. 

I rode the roller coaster of faith as He placed in my heart the dream of twins, and reached His hand right down, rescued and delivered them right into my arms.

I can stand up in private and yell when I experience His grace kiss, and I'm confident He hears my shout (Psalm 55:16-17), but His glory is not something to bottle up and keep all to myself.

His glory cannot be contained. 

He calls me to proclaim, to share His greatness, His wonderful mercy with boldness. (Psalm 113:1-3)
One grace kiss after another, this is my family's beautifully written story.  And I imagine, your family's story as well.  Because that is what adoption brings to a family's life.  The touch of His love, His great presence delivering presents over and over again.  Through all the hard, the Light glows brightly behind, daring to shine through and reveal His mercy.

"God sets the solitary in families,
He brings out those who are bound into prosperity;
But the rebellious dwell in a dry land." 
Psalm 68:6 (NKJV Bible)
He set the lonely, the solitary, in our homes, creating a family, creating relationship.  He calls those who prefer solitude to step up, take the risk of relationship.  And the adventure begins, unsafe, but held in His glorious hands.

And my life is so much the better for it, because with each relationship risk I take, He reveals another wonderful trait of Himself.  He is transforming me through this relationship adventure.

And, may I boldly say, He is transforming me through praying for you, another momma in an adventure.  Another momma willing to share relationship with me, and a praying family of cheerers, witnessing His glory.

And all this relationship is the mercy rain He pours down on my dry, lonely land.  The rebellious solitary is beginning to believe in the prosperity of relationship.


My grace kiss this week, starting a run under a glorious painted blue and cloud scraped sky, and finishing under His bright shining stars - with a friend. 

Day 48 Prayer Request

Please pray for wisdom as decisions have to be made about school situations.

Annette (Momma to many)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Day 47 Prayer Request

Please pray that we would make the correct curriculum choices for all of our kids to meet their needs this next school year.

Marie (Momma to 4)

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Day 46 Prayer Request

Please pray I will remember her past hurt and not take her blows personally. 

Reagan (Momma to 4)