Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Uganda or Bust

As you may have heard by now, 
this girl and I, along with our friend Erin, 
are heading to Uganda in May to serve with Sole Hope
(You can read more about the work Sole Hope is doing and why I think it's so very important here.) 

And we can't wait. 

But first, we've got to sell some t-shirts. 

If I've learned anything in the past few years, 
it's the fundraising is humbling. 

It's hard to put yourself out there and ask people to join you and stand beside you while you step out in faith to do whatever it is you believe you've been called to do. 

I wish you could see Libby's face every time someone places an order. 
It's like you rang our doorbell, looked her in the face, and told her, 
"I believe in you, and I support what you're trying to do."

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times: 
If you wanna make me feel loved, love my littles. 

And you guys are loving us so very well. 

The love has come pouring in from all across the country, 
and I seriously wish I could high five and fist bump each and every one of you. 

I've been to Africa five times. 
And each of those times, 
Libby has begged to come with me. 

But this time? 

This time, she will. 

And it's not too late for you to help us get there. 

Simply head HERE and purchase the shirt you're loving. 

And then imagine me  and Libby happy dancing in the kitchen. 

You only have until next Wednesday, February 15th to place your order. 

So run, don't walk. 

And thank you from the bottom of my mama heart. 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

So I'm taking my daughter to Africa....

As you may have heard by now, 
Libby and I (and our dear friend Erin) are headed to Uganda in May....
and I absolutely can't wait. 

But while I'm over the moon excited and counting the sleeps until we leave, 
I'm sure that a few of you will raise an eyebrow at this news. 

In the six years since I fell in love with a land far, far away, 
I've pretty much heard it all. 

Why would you ever want to go back? 
How can it possibly be safe? 
Why don't you just serve here? 

( I won't even begin to talk about the things people have said in regards to our adoption; 
that's a post for another day.)

While I don't hear remarks like these as often any more, 
(Pretty sure people gave up on trying to convince me not to go back after the second, third, fourth, or fifth times....)
I don't doubt that there are people out there
(maybe even someone reading this now?)
who simply can't understand why I would take my twelve year old daughter across the world. 

Where do I even begin? 
I'm pretty sure I could talk about this for days on end, 
but for your sake,
I'll try to keep it simple. 


Yes, Jesus. 

God has called us to serve. 
He's told us to love our neighbors. 
He's told us to treat others as we would want to be treated.
And I am certain that the word 'neighbors' is limited to the people living next door. 

I want my children to know more than their own towns. 
I want them to see the ways other people live. 
Yes, materially many people we will meet will have less than us. 
But do material things equate happiness? Joy? Quality of life? 
I'm  pretty sure you know my answer. 

By seeing where and how other people live, 
we can better understand and empathize and relate to others. 
We become more aware of what matters. 
Our perspective shifts.
Our hearts stretch just a little bit bigger. 

I mean with all of my heart when I say I fully believe the greatest joy we can experience on this Earth comes from serving others, and if my daughters learn only one lesson from me as their mother, this is the one I hope they learn. 

God has called us to love. 
We are never too young to do that. 
As long as we are capable and able, 
we should serve others whenever and wherever possible.
It's our responsibility as Christians, 
as families, 
and as people. 

I can't wait for my daughter to experience the beauty that is Uganda. 
I can't wait for her to see more of this world that God has created. 
I can't wait for her to step foot in the land I love so dearly. 
I can't wait for to step outside of her comfort zone in the name of serving others. 

So yes, I'm taking my daughter to Africa....
and I absolutely cannot wait. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

2017: Resolutions and My Word for the Year

So clearly I'm a little late to the game, 
but seeing as how it's still technically January and still early in the year, 
I've spent some time thinking about what I want from this year. 

The past three years of my life can be summed up in one little word: 

If I wasn't crying or praying or filling out paperwork then I was fundraising or planning or traveling to Africa. 

The aftermath of that? 
Well, who am I now?
What do I want to do next? 
How can I work towards something that will be as meaningful as that was? 

We don't feel called to adopt again, at least not any time soon. 
And while I would love to buy a one way ticket to the land I love, 
we aren't there yet either. 
And while there is a little something on the horizon (more details to come soon), 
WHAT'S NEXT is still a work in progress. 

Here's what I do know: 

I want this year to matter. 

Adoption (while totally worth it because EVIE) was hard and consuming. 
There are things I pushed aside while spending all that time filling out forms, 
and this year I am playing catch up, which leads me to my word for the year: 


I want to invest more in my family. 

I want to invest more in my body.
(You try being paper pregnant for three years and let me now how well your jeans fit.)

I want to invest more in my friends. 

I want to invest more in my marriage. 

Here are some others things I'm dreaming about for 2017: 

-More reading time and less TV time. 
-More recognizing birthdays and important events in the lives of people I love. 
-More date nights. (Can  I get an AMEN?)
-More time in the Word. 
-More prayer time spent listening and less time spent talking. 
-More intentional memory making for our family. 

What are YOU resolving to do in 2017? 
Do tell. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Eight months home.

Eight months. 

I can't believe she's been home that long. 
It seems like yesterday when I first saw her face.

To say she's amazing would be such an understatement. 
This little girl is so smart, so funny, and so perfectly made for our family. 

She is our little balancer. 
She brings out the best in Libby and plays for hours on end with Hollyn, 
and I just couldn't be more in love with her. 

I know this sounds so rosey, but she fits to seamlessly into our family. 

Her English is amazing. 
She said MIXING last week. 
Such a big word for such a little girl. 
She also asked me why the snowman was wearing a hat, but that's neither here nor there. 

Sharing Christmas with her has been one of my favorite things we've done so far.
Although I must say, have you ever tried explaining all of the Christmas traditions to someone who's completely unfamiliar with our Christmas traditions?
It's actually harder than you may think.

I'd be lying if I said it hasn't be an adjustment;
adding a person of any age to your family requires making some changes.

But at the end of the day, she is one of my best YES's.