Sunday, January 9, 2011

Raising our Right Hands I need to apologize. I have not blogged in months...months. Not because I haven't wanted to and not because I don't enjoy putting all my crazy thoughts down on paper. Honestly, I just took a break...not intentional at first...but after a few months I just let time go by. So, first off I looked back at the last time I blogged and I need to thank those of you who prayed for my sweet Noah when he was so sick. So much has changed and happened in our family's life that I am just thankful and don't really know where to start.

Judah started pre-kindergarten. He is playing on his first official basketball team. His first tooth is about to fall out. And his adoption in the US became official!!!! That boy just melts my heart.
Emma Lynn is halfway through her kindergarten year. I want to freeze these days because they are going by to quickly. Her teacher is absolutely one of my favorite people in the world and I have just enjoyed being in her classroom as sweet Emma Lynn smiles from ear to ear as she learns with those dimples getting bigger and bigger each day.
Bella is getting older. She isn't as into princesses anymore which makes my heart mourn a little. She loves to sing and dance. And out of the four I think she will be my horseback rider. She loves to just brush Charlotte, the pony. And Bella's joy for life still abounds.
And big second grader!!! His feet are almost as big as mine. He played football and basketball....loves to read and play his games...and Ryan is teaching him to play the guitar. Sometimes I just look at him and can not believe how old he is.

During these past few months...the highlight for our Judah would be going to court in the US. It is a day I don't think I will never forget for the rest of my life. And one of my favorite parts was when the judge asked Ryan and I to raise our right hand to swear that we would care for and protect Judah all of his days...the other three kids also raised their right hands to swear as well. And I think it just hit me....they have been a part of Judah's story the whole time and they also want to care and protect him. Recently, a dear friend and gifted pastor needed some information about adoption for a sermon so he messaged me and asked me a few questions. Here is a little bit of my response to him.

Here are some words...nothing profound but hope it helps. is honestly hard for me to even put words to the word..somehow they just don't do justice. It hits me out of the blue just the sheer realization that this child that I love and care for so much that is laughing out loud at Tom and Jerry (his favorite) while eating a yogurt would most likely be starving to death or probably a child soldier in a few years if he were still in Africa...if the Lord hadn't picked him to be in our family. And yet he did pick him and there are so many others who will die...but he picked him. And because he is our son our lives will never be the same. Tragedy he lived our tragedy. His joys are our joys. His milestones are our milestones. He truly is part of our family. And Judah changed the fabric of our family for the better. Adoption is now part of the other three...they get it...they hope to adopt one day...even at their young ages they get it.

During the adoption process I secretly wondered if I would love him the same. And the beauty is that I absolutely love him the same...God has made each one of our children so different in their own precious way and Judah is no exception. I love his laugh...his ability to make a friend everywhere he goes...his pure joy that makes me want to be a better mom. And I do wonder what did his birth mother look like...was she sick...dying...did she just hope someone would find him that could take better care of him? These are questions I am sure he will ask one day...and I pray that when that time comes he will have a peace and understanding that God chose have a family that can support, love, and adore him. He had nothing from three weeks on...nothing...just someone who found him abandoned took him to the hospital but still didn't want him. It is such a picture of how he chooses us...long before we can even come to an understanding...and it makes the reality that I had nothing...nothing to do with HIm picking me to draw me to makes it so matter of out of my hands yet my response has to be (not that it always is) complete and utter thankfulness.

I hope to blog more often this semester....but I have learned not to promise anything. :) Here are a few pictures from this past semester. For those of you who are in the process of adopting...know that it is hard...harder than you think...but worth it. From the mouth of my friend Jay the gifted pastor...Judah is worth it.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I think as the new school year begins this is the word that is on my heart.


[uh-bahyd] Show IPA
verb, a·bode or a·bid·ed, a·bid·ing.
–verb (used without object)
to remain; continue; stay: Abide with me.
to have one's abode; dwell; reside: to abide in a smallScottish village.
to continue in a particular condition, attitude, relationship,etc.; last.
My favorite of these definitions is the stay...abide with me. My precious four little ones are going off to school. Noah 2nd grade...Bella 1st grade...Emma Lynn kindergarten...and Judah will go three days a week to pre-k!!!! This is kind of hard on a momma who has had a child next to her leg for eight years...eight years. For the past two years some went to school but I rotated the days of the youngest so they each had one-on-one time with me. Don't get me wrong, I am very excited to have three whole days all to the reality is starting to sink in. Eight years has gone by too fast.
And then I hear the words...Abide with me.
I am reminding myself that maybe the Lord has carved out these days for me to remain near stay close...maybe it is a gift of time to reside and return to my first Maker.
(I typed those words last Wednesday night. I would need them by Thursday.)

On Thursday, Noah woke up and his eye was swollen. I thought probably allergies but decided to take him into the doctor just in case. I am so thankful I did. The doctor explained that he actually had an infection in his eye and that we really had to watch it. When infections are in the eye they can spread behind the eye and then to the brain quickly. I watched him like a mother hen all day. By the time evening rolled around, his eye was completely swollen looked like someone had punched him hard. I sent a picture to my dear dear cousin who is a pediatrician and his response was to take him to the ER...IMMEDIATELY. Ryan and I sat most of the night with him while he received an antibiotic IV. There aren't words to describe sitting by your son in the hospital...holding his hand...stroking his face...telling him everything will be okay...while at the same time you are crying out to God for everything to be okay. As we big football playing eight year old son just wept. He wept because he was scared...he wept from the pain...he wept because he is old enough to understand. He is the one out of my four who doesn't really like for mom to rock him...or hold him...or kiss his face all over anymore. Yet, Thursday night he was just clinging to me while I just kept embracing him...fear was written all over his face.
Abide...Lindsey...abide...abide with me.
The IV stopped the infection before it reached his loss of meningitis. By Saturday night his eye looked almost normal. On Sunday morning his eye looked completely normal. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord. Sunday night he told me his leg hurt a little and he showed me the spot that hurt. It was just a normal looking bug bite so I put some cream on it and didn't think another thing about it. The next morning his bite was swollen to the size of the palm of my hand...back to the doctor. By evening it was twice as big with streaks running up his leg. Today, Tuesday, we left the doctor yet again. It seems his leg and his eye have no connection. It appears and we are still walking through this...that he has gotten bit by a brown recluse spider. The streaks appear to be the venom and not another infection.
Abide...Lindsey...abide...abide with me.
Please pray for Noah. Pray that whether this is a bite or an infection that it would be made crystal clear to the doctors. And pray that the medication will work quickly.

O Lord, help me to dwell with me to remain and stay with you...regardless of the circumstances. Help me to abide.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Father's Day

Summer is officially here and we are loving it! Loving having Ryan home...loving no schedule...loving swimming...just loving it! Can I just tell you that Judah has no fear when it comes to being in the water! He does the water slide. Jumps off the diving board. He is our little water bug. And he does EVERYTHING with that famous grin of his or laughing the best laugh I truly have ever heard. He has added so much to our lives that I get tears in my eyes just thinking of what it would be like if we hadn't followed the Lord's prompting. And he gets to celebrate Father's Day because HE HAS A FATHER!!!!!
Last week Ryan and I attended a dinner in honor of Katie Davis and her ministry Amazima. I have blogged about her before. The twenty-two year old who is living in Uganda as a missionary and HAS ADOPTED FOURTEEN CHILDREN by herself. The Lord is using her to be His hands and His feet to so many who do not have a father to celebrate. Amazima Ministries operates a sponsorship program for over 400 orphaned children. These children are provided an education, medical care, and three meals a day. Once a week they are also provided Bible and health training. This program also goes into the Masese commmunity...Uganda's poorest and most displaced people...the slums...the worst love, feed, and take care of many. Katie also teaches women without any means of income how to make paper necklaces that are sold here in the United States. Amazima is a ministry that is touching lives for Jesus.
I must admit that I needed to attend that dinner. I have been to Katie's home in Uganda. I have fed those children who are so hungry waiting in line. I have looked into their eyes and seen the desperation. I have helped fill bags of flour and rice to give each child to take to their families so that they might have dinner. But, I needed to attend that dinner. I needed to attend that dinner because I so easily forget. I need to be reminded DAILY of how much that I have. I need to be reminded DAILY how I to am supposed to care for the least of these. I need to be reminded DAILY how many children there are in this world without mommy's or daddy's. I need to be reminded DAILY that my son...was abandoned. I need to be reminded DAILY that I am called to pray and to care for the husbandless and the fatherless.
Judah has enriched all of our lives. Adoption has enriched my life. And God used Katie Davis and Amazima ministries to lead me to Uganda where we would find our Judah. But, now I have seen Uganda....I have witnessed the people....the children...the hurting...the diseased...the orphans and I needed a reminder. Loving His people does not stop just because Judah is home. There are millions of orphans who need a daddy to celebrate on Father's Day. And today I honor my wonderful husband for being such an amazing daddy. And today I stand in awe of my Heavenly Father, and of his Son, our Savior.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Our Home

Spring is by far my favorite season. It is just so evident how He makes all things He is making me new. I have not gotten the chance to blog in a long time. Partly because my life has been full. Partly because in the newness that He is creating...I just needed to "be".
A lot has changed since the last blog. First of all...the kids and I have moved back to Nashville!!!!! And the last reason I have not blogged is that I did not want the world to know that my husband was not with us...but he GRADUATES FROM SEMINARY ON FRIDAY!!!! He is coming here tomorrow and then as a family we will go back to St. Louis for the big day. I am so proud of that man. He has juggled so much while being a full time seminary student, working at our church, and loving our family well. The time at Covenant flew by but was filled with many friends, memories, and teaching that I don't think will ever leave us....seminary just seems to be that way.

In the meantime...I have been busy trying to make our new house into a home. We had to sell a house...find a a house...and move all during a short period of time. Picture this...on a Wednesday, my two friends drove by a house that was going to be put up for auction on that Saturday. They called me and said that they had found our new home. Our old home in Nashville was just that, a home...full of neighbors...full of kids...full of laughter and love...and we hoped we would never move. But, after the adoption it became clear we had outgrown it. So the Lord had/has something else in store. We went to the auction and what we experienced was only the other answer. This house is minutes from the church with lots of land...our farm house. the auction I was a little in shock at the amount of work that was going to be needed and a little in shock at the sheer beauty of the property. And before the auction began we looked out in the crowd and thought there was no way we would end up with the home. The auctioneer husband bid...another bidder husband bid again....going once...going twice...NO ONE ELSE a third of appraisal! The realtor and I were left standing and tears were rolling down both our faces.

I need to back husband had been praying for months and months and months that the home that the Lord had for us would have land so that we could have tons and tons of people over all the time for ministry....that our home would be a haven for youth....for families....for strangers. That swarms of people would feel welcome all the time to come over and just "be". That is his heart...that is my heart. Hospitality is our joy and honor. soon as the kids and I moved in...I began the work. (well myself and LOTS of help) Not a toilet worked...yet they were full...yuck. Not an appliance worked...but my uncle happened to have an extra set of appliances in my grandmother's garage...I am not kidding. Most of the walls were painted black...not really my style. Everyday I had to laugh as to what would happen day it was the railing totally falling over...then another no air....and yet I have LOVED it! We look out onto seven acres....with a horse barn....and a wrap around porch. It is beautiful and we know it is a gift. But, now it is only a house.

On Saturday May 5, 2010 devastation hit Nashville. The flood that hit our community was and still is a MONUMENTAL LOSS. Many...more than many...have lost everything....everything. It is hard to even comprehend the loss that some are facing. When you go into these areas to help it is mind boggling. The debris, the smell, the sheer number is hard to even wrap your head around what is before you. And for so many it was not the stuff that mattered it was what made their house a home that mattered. The things that you can not put a price tag on hurt so much to pictures, children's drawings, sentimental trinkets. Those were all lost...some even lost their lives. It looked like something out of a movie....but these were and are real people dealing with pain and hurt.

The flood has brought the community together in an incredible way. People volunteering round the clock....tearing out dry wall, making trips to the dump, cooking meals, doing laundry, donating to relief funds, hugging someone who just needs to cry. This is community. It has made me proud of Nashvillians and thankful for many who have come to help from around the country. I heard something at church today that has stuck in my mind. "For those who have witnessed the homes that lost can testify that only the foundation remained...and yet it brings us back to the question. Where does our foundation remain?" Where does my foundation remain? My foundation remains with my Savior Jesus Christ. That is really all that matters.

For months I prayed for the new family that would live in our old home that I loved so much. The home where I rocked my babies...the home where I was restored. The woman buying my home was a missionary with her husband. They were missionaries in Africa. Africa of all heart. He was killed in Africa. I have never met her nor do I know her. But, my prayer for that home was...Lord Jesus bring the family you have chosen for a time of restoration. I will continue to pray for her until she is truly home in heaven with her Maker and her husband.

What makes a house a home is the messiness of living. The playing, the laughing, the crying, and the praying. Our new house did not flood. And right now it is still a house. But, last week there were fourteen kids running around...riding Barbie jeeps...eating goldfish...building Lego castles. And this week four high school sophomore boys came by just to check in and play with my little ones. Well...maybe my husband is coming back tomorrow to not a house but a home.

Please continue to join me in prayer for the thousands who lost their homes because of the flood.
Psalm 40:1-3
I waited patiently on the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sweet Dreams

The past few weeks have been so busy....good busy, but busy! First of all, Judah is doing amazing...I am blown away at the Lord's faithfulness. That little boy brings a joy to my heart in his special little way... especially if you ask him how much we love him...he opens his arms wide and that famous smile comes across his face. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE HIM!!! The girls turned five and six last week...and we celebrated with a pink princess ball! So it is official...we have a seven, six, five, and four year old....but I would not have it any other way! I think with the celebration of their birthdays, I have just been trying to take them all in. I do not want to miss the sweetness of these days that are passing much too quickly.
I found a cd from years ago...a song that was out when I was pregnant with Noah. This song I kept in my car and sang it to him over and over when he was just a tiny little thing. a song can bring back so many memories and emotions.
When Noah was a few weeks old we found out that he had some severe heart problems. At three little weeks he was diagnosed with Wolf Parkinson's White Syndrome (highly elevated heartbeat). He stayed in ICU for a week until his little heart was regulated. Then they moved him to a room...weeks later we could bring our son home again but with some stipulations. We had to carry a stethoscope with us at all times and wear a stop watch. This stop watch would go off every few hours to remind us to give him his medicine...even in the middle of the night. We continued this routine for the first year of his precious life. After he turned one, he had a surgery to try and "shock" his heart...the surgery went wonderfully and we could stop the medicine completely. Years later you would not even know that God gave him a special heart. There are times when he will have an episode...we keep an oximeter (a machine that tells us his heart rate and oxygen levels) with us...and it is usually not a big deal. Most of the time it does not even cross my mind. That first year I prayed and prayed for his little I rarely do...just when he is playing really hard or on days that he throws up. That is the way his body responds and the quickest way I can tell something might not be right. Well...last Thursday he threw up. Those old fears crept in...the praying for his heart began. And that was the day when I found the CD that I had sang to him so many times years before. We listened to it together. It is funny because back then I had no idea how many times I would actually read Goodnight Moon...not only to Noah...but to three more. Back then I had no idea how many times he would actually pretend to be Peter Pan or Superman. And back then I had no idea how many matchbox cars would be lined up...ramped...or found all over my house. But God knew all of these things. That first year of Noah's life was unbelievably wonderful. And there were days I was terrified his heart was going to go into overdrive. But after awhile...I just had to trust that my Maker had him. I look back over his seven and a half years and I am so grateful that I did not spend every day worrying when the next episode was going to happen.
I think that is what the Lord is trying to teach me. Judah spent so many years without us...but not without Him. It has not even been two months and Judah truly feels like a part of our family. If you are considering adopting...or if you are on the fence wondering about the what ifs...listen to the Lord's prompting. There is no way of knowing what lies ahead and there is no way of knowing what happened in the past...but there are so many children who need someone to take a chance on them. Try as I might, I could not have changed God's plans for Noah's heart. And I cannot erase all that has happened in Judah's life. But, God has created us for each other ...and our little man is in God's hands...along with his brother and sisters.
Sweet dreams to my seven, six, five, and four year olds!

"Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)"

Dragon tales and the "water is wide"
Pirate's sail and lost boys fly
Fish bite moonbeams every night
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

The rocket racer's all tuckered out
Superman's in pajamas on the couch
Goodnight moon, will find the mouse
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

God bless mommy and match box cars
God bless dad and thanks for the stars
God hears "Amen," wherever we are
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams