Sunday, March 17, 2013


Have you ever felt unlovable? I know I have! I can be unlovable, unbearable & quite cranky at times. I'm blessed with the reassurance that my Heavenly Father loves me at ALL times. Blessed assurance!

Lately my heart is broken thinking of all the people, especially children,  that feel they are unlovable & not worthy of love or a safe place to call home.

I easily take my many blessings for granted: having loved ones near (MANY loved ones- friends & family), having a safe home to live in, having enough $ to care for our needs & some wants, having a church family that we love dearly, a safe community, friendly neighbors, #1- knowing the love of the one who gave his life for me & you!

Imagine the life of a child in the foster care system or orphanage. To no fault of their own they've been taken away from the only world they've ever known to live in a completely foreign environment. Some of the children get visits from loved ones, some never do. Some are put into loving homes where their needs are tended to, some are put into sub-par standards, others are put into homes of torment & abuse. Orphanages & large children's homes have too many children & the child can feel isolated & alone in the midst of many other children getting shuffled about or worse yet never being allowed to get out of bed/crib. Many young children in orphanages do not know how to walk at 2/3/4 years of age because they've been confined to bed for their entire existence.

Do you think they feel lovable? Loved?

Now picture someone has shown up to "rescue" you, to take you home & make you part of their family. As a child Joy, fear, excitement grip you at the news. You make the move, try to adjust, try to "fit in". Then the family decides they don't want you any more. This happens  ALL the time:(
I'm just unlovable is ingrained more deeply now...

I know I talk about foster care & adoption a lot- sorry. God has placed this on my heart so heavily I feel I have to share or else I'll crumple under the weight that has been laid on my heart. Would you please pray & ask God if he would have you step up to care for 1 child that needs a family, a safe place, a place to learn they are lovable? If you don't know the starfish story please look it up & read it. If you look up the number of children in need of families you'll feel like you are on a beach surrounded by millions of starfish- needing someone to take the step to help them.

John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
A beautiful picture of our rescue. We all need rescued. Will you follow Jesus' lead in adoption?


Have you ever been in the midst of a briarpatch? We can all get caught up in life's briar patches, physically, emotionally & spiritually. I feel I'm in the thick of a mental/emotional briar patch & amazingly enough I was sent a free copy of "The Briarpatch Gospel. Fearlessly following Jesus into the Thorny Places" by Shayne Wheeler, published by Tyndale.

I enjoyed the book & the way the author was sincere about life & how God uses the briar patches to shape us to be more like Him.

Shayne Wheeler challenges readers to love EVERYONE the way Jesus loved & cared for those around him. Sometimes I (we) pick out some to be "outcasts" or those we don't deem as worthy but if we're truly honest none of us are worthy! We all fall short of the glory of God. Sin has fractured every human soul. Romans 3:23; 5:12; 1 John 1:10

This book helped to solidify that we are all broken by sin & we can't judge someone else's sin with more condemnation than any other sin.

Does God have you  in a thorny place today? In a waiting place? Thank God for the opportunity to be where you are today & pray he reveal to you what he wants you to learn from this. God is good!

I'd recommend The Briarpatch Gospel to you, it will help stretch you into Christ's likeness.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Break my heart for what breaks yours

Incredible song!! If you pray this prayer be prepared for a broken heart. Long ago God put children on my heart-children in need of love, in need of a family. But as the years have passed the ache has grown stronger. MILLIONS of children in our world NEED a family! MILLIONS!! Can you even fathom that number?

I'm so blessed to know so many that have already adopted, & those in the process of adoption. God is so patient. I do love to hear adoption stories where God perfectly matches families- How he amazingly provides the funds needed for the adoption process. God is SO GOOD ALL the time! Even in the waiting time. Adoption stories are FULL of waiting time. So often we (I) get anxious in the waiting time of life. My one word for 2013 is Faith! I'm going to lean on faith and trust God has a reason for the waiting time. Faith that God will bring to fruition what he wants in our family in His timing.

Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. Hebrews 11:1

the rest of the passage: 2-3 For by it the men of old gained approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are invisible...
6 And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Thankful for an awesome God, fabulous family, amazing friends and His perfect plan.

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Help

For a Christmas grab bag I bought The Help along with popcorn stuff- my poor brother in law, Mat, chose the gift and we found out he really didn't like the movie. Matt of course asked him what the best line was- my brother-in-law just shrugged his shoulders. Matt was so enthused when he said "Eat my s$#!". I felt sorry that he was stuck with a movie he didn't like and I love the movie so I swapped him gifts. (Matt is my husband and Mat is my brother in law. Mat is married to Sara- to funny, right?)

As a family we sat down and watched the movie, again. If you haven't seen the movie I'd recommend it. So the movie is based in the 60's but as I was watching it I started thinking about my grandmother- while she grew up in the 1940's and 50's she had a black woman take care of her. (( I'm saying black woman because she was black, she wasn't African American-she wasn't from Africa. If this is wrong please correct me but I do not mean it in any negative way at all- it was the color of her skin)) My mind was racing to think of her name. My grandmother would light up when she was talking about the wonderful lady that cared for her!

I sent messages out to my mom, aunt and uncle asking if they remembered her name. I was pretty sure her name was Minnie but I didn't want to throw that out there- you know once someone mentions a name that's all you can think of, at least that's my problem. My aunt responded that she had a book of stories that my grandmother had written down!! What?!?!? How sweet is that!?

Last night we had our family Christmas party because it was postponed due to last week's blizzard. Anyways, my aunt brought this little book and I couldn't put it down!

I read the story of Minnie. Because everything had to be ironed my great grandmother hired help, Minnie. Minnie was born into a slave family in Alabama on a cotton farm. She would tell stories of helping her mom in the fields and stomping on and killing the insects that would destroy the cotton plants, with her bare feet at a very young age. Minnie got married and had a baby, her baby died shortly after birth. Minnie decided she wanted to move to Iowa- she thought moving North would mean a better life. Her husband didn't want to move, so she traveled by herself.

My grandma said Minnie would take care of her, as well as iron. My grandmother wrote about going to Minnie's home- which was in a segregated part of Des Moines. She said it was then that she realized that Minnie spoke differently around her friends than she did while working. They went to a tent revival with shouting, praising and a few people fainting. Grandma Sue seemed to adore Minnie. My grandmother said she kept in contact with Minnie until her 3rd child was born.

Reading more of my grandmother's stories reminded me of how different the world was 70 years ago! My grandmother spoke of a wonderful party she was invited to- she wore a beautiful silver gown, a coin purse with money for a cab, and "a pound of her mother's make up". She rode in the cab all be herself- at the age of 8! It's crazy how things change in such a short time.

 I'm glad we don't have slavery around, at least in the U.S., at least of the type of slavery we had back then. Now I pray for those in slavery around the world. Those in bondage everywhere. The sexual slavery going on today breaks my heart.

Well, there you go. I wanted this written down for future reference. I need to keep track of these wonderful history lessons. I wish I had grandparents around to ask more about their lives. Life was so different!

The End of 2012

2012 in Review

The first 7 months of 2012 were spent in Miami, Florida- caring for the most amazing kids alongside the most amazing women (as well as a few stellar men- and of course my most amazing hubby)! I remember the kids begging to stay up late last year for New Years Eve- NO WAY- I can no longer make it til midnight! 

Last January we spent 2 weeks in Iowa and the weather was nice- I remember walking around Pella in jeans and a sweater! Taylor and I didn't miss our annual date to winter jam- Thank God for working that out! We look forward to that every year! The closest Winter Jam to us in Florida was a 4 hour drive! Taylor stayed in Iowa when we headed back south- She was going on another vacation with her grandma Cindy! They hit up Mardi Gras on their way South!

February 2012 was a fun month! We actually had visitors!!!!!!!!! I was thrilled! Taylor had her braces taken off right before our visitors arrived & Matt and Taylor even kept it a secret from me that they were taking them off that day! Valentines Day was spent with Cassie, Kevin, Madisyn, and Tyson Barr (My sister-in-law and her family) in Bonita Springs. We had a great time at the beach and then eating at The Fish House! On the 15th one of the sweet girls in our home turned 5! On the 22nd my mom, brother and sister-in-law arrived for a week long visit! We hit up several different beaches and eateries around the Miami area. We stayed in a rental house over the weekend, where we danced our hearts out on the x-box:) Family time is so good for the soul!

March- We spent Spring Break at Word of Life camp in Shady Hills, Florida with most of the kids off campus that were 6 and older. My cabin had 11 girls and myself- it was a blast! So many fun memories! Kids did crafts, a zipline, swimming, silly songs and most of my 11 had their hair french braided one day! Once we were back in Miami we went over to Marco Island to spend a day with Eric, Jess and the Witt clan:) And a happy and sad note we said good bye to Jeramiah, a 2 year old we had cared for the past year. His grandparents adopted him and his brother- they now live in New Jersey. He will one day be in the NBA!

April- spending my 2nd birthday out of Iowa (who knew having a birthday away from family would be so difficult?).The 2nd Trinity of the house celebrated her 10th birthday. I was able to celebrate 2 wonderful women's birthdays this month: Sabine and Nikki! These ladies feel like family now and I miss them! The day after my birthday the organization we worked for tried moving in a teenager coming from psych ward into our home with 14 other children- I went mama bear crazy on a few people and apologized later for my attitude but not for sticking up for the rights of the children.

May- again we were back in Iowa and I was REALLY wanting to move back! I was able to help the Colyer's move into their new home, take the girls to Reiman Gardens with friends and run 2 5k races. We had a blast! While us girls were in Iowa Matt was caring for 3 new children, 3 children that didn't speak a word of English and were always allowed to behave as crazy as they wished! By the time we got back to Florida the kids behavior had improved dramatically and I hadn't been told we had new children until I got home!

June- we had 2 more kids go home! This was a happy reunion:) Our girls took the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in Florida and they thought that was funny. One of our kids was checked into the mental hospital for help. Summer camp started- which always brought sweet volunteers from all over the U.S.! We would have several young ladies join us for dinner daily. For our wedding anniversary the 4 of us went to eat at Serendipity- of course we had to try the frozen hot chocolate-YUM! 

July- we found out God was moving us back to Iowa! Telling the kids was so difficult but again God is so good! God gave comforting scripture for all of us. On July 27th we packed up a Penske truck, said good bye and headed north.

August/September- We were blessed to stay at Matt's mom's home until we finalized the purchase of our home. We kept busy buying household goods from Craigslist. On Sept 27th we closed on our new home, I cleaned all day and then spoke at the Agape pregnancy center's banquet that night.

October- walking in the Race for the Cure with my mom (a cancer survivor) was a highlight! 

November- Taylor turned 14 and got her permit! I attended my first Hearts at Home conference and had a great time with the ladies from our church. With Ethos (young adults group at church) we traveled to Chicago to pack Boxes of Love (thanksgiving dinner food) and deliver them to families in need. 1/2 the group helped a lady move:) Thanksgiving morning was spent at Hope ministries- the rest of the day with family.

December- Trinity's 11th Birthday, Christmas celebrations and missing those amazing kids and wonderful women back in Miami!

Our year in review. My one word for 2013 is Faith- I'll post more about that later:) 

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I've thought a lot about babies lately. There are different reactions for everyone to an announcement of an expected arival. Mostly we all get excited about a new little one's expected arrival. There are times when a woman finds out she is expecting and the initial reaction is not excitement or joy.

I am SO excited to be attending the banquet for Agape Pregnancy Center on September 27th! These amazing women that work there get to help women and men deal with all the emotions associated with the brand new news that they are expecting and help them wade through all those feelings and thoughts racing through their minds. Agape goes over in detail ALL options and their pros and cons. They do it all in a biblical context, which I LOVE!

If you or someone you know has been looking for a biblically sound place in Des Moines to donate your time, talent or money to I'd HIGHLY recommend Agape. If you would like more information on Agape I would love to have you attend the banquet with me to learn more, or I'd love to do coffee and talk more.

This place has already touched so many lives and I can't wait to see what God has in store for the years to come!

Time flies

Almost 7 weeks have gone by since we moved back to Iowa! In 16 days we move into our new home, God willing. My heart has been the heaviest it's ever been this past 7 weeks. We've had the amazing privilege of working with children going through astounding things, things no person- especially children, should go through! My hearts cries out to God to comfort ALL the children of the world that are going through such difficult times.

Children fighting cancer. Children left with no one to care for them. Children beat. Children used as sex slaves. Children that see/hear things they should never, ever witness. Children torn from their families. Children forced to work very hard jobs with little to no food and sleep. Children pulled from their homes by the LRA and forced to kill family members and friends, to carry soldiers supplies while not getting the basics needed to survive themselves. Children left to find food in dumpsters or landfills. Children that desperately want to know they are loved but find confirmation lacking. The list goes on and on.

Lord, show us how we can help.

7 weeks ago we left 11 children and 5 amazing women at House 23. Since then 2 of the kids moved home with extended family: the newborn went to live with grandparents, our tenacious 5 year old turning 6 moved with an auntie after living at His House for almost 3 years! All the children's stories are written on my heart and  I pray God continues to work amazing things out in their little lives.

I yearn everyday to see these precious little ones and catch up with the AMAZING 5 that are caring for them! Now they have 14 children they are caring for!! Please join me in prayer that those 5 continue to be strengthened to do the job God has set before them.

As my heart has been extremely heavy it has also been rejoicing. I rejoice in knowing I'm right where God wants me to be, that I'm surrounded by awesome family & friends. I spend Sunday mornings with tears streaming down my face because I'm so overwhelmed by Our Amazing God! God is working in the lives of everyone- it's evident when we stop and look for it.

Please join me in prayer for the children of the world.