Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Living in the tension.

Dawson's MRI results yesterday were: "no change."  This is wonderful news and means no further action for 6 months [unless a new symptom would arise].  We are incredibly thankful and credit, heard-prayer to the "stability" and peace we encountered during the exhausting testing and appointments.  Each of us had a noticable calm in the midst.  Thank you Jesus.

While we are so relieved to get back to life, there's a looming giant still before us.  Unnamed, damage-causing, just sitting there.  This is driving me a bit batty.  I want it named, treated and wrap up this chapter with a big.fat.bow.  Doesn't that sound nice?

We hit the 2 year mark this April.  2 years of watching, waiting, learning, adjusting and in a sense holding our breath, not knowing if something else will suddenly happen [like it already had].  Each skin rash, moment of confusion, stumble or cold makes me jump to conclusions.  Low on Cortisol?  Adrenals not working?  Neurodegeneration?  I run him over to the wall… is he growing?  Hmm… hard to tell… let's try 47 more times.  Then this is repeated about a month or so later - depending on circumstance - cough, red eyes - you never know what will spur this - sometimes even realizing that I haven't had a "moment" makes me have a moment.  *sigh*  Dawson's a great sport about it and somehow knows mommy's just trying to figure it all out.

As the weight of this is squared up anew, I can't help but think of so many living in the tension.  A looming financial situation, a struggling marriage, emerging job change, failing health, wayward child… all of these are very real, present, yet not fixed with a pill overnight or even clear explination.  Tension.  You can feel it, you know it's there, you just don't know what to do with the damn thing.

From what I am gathering this tension can take us one of two places.  Anger at God or fully dependent on God.  Anger seems to be the quicker for me, but rapidly leads me to isolation, sleepless nights and my favorite evil, fear.  Every single thing becomes scary.  People become mean.  Grace is absurd.

The further in my walk with Christ, I seem to be able to quickly recognize the warning signs I'm racing past.

The dependance path is reviewed, once again.

Is God great?  Oh you can see that from the smallest of insects to the peaks of Mt. Shasta.  All of creation is screaming His glorious great hand.

Does God love me?  Yes, so much so that he sent His ONLY Son and made me a co-heir to His eternal riches.  He longs for me to commune daily with Him - not because I have won approval through awesome behaviors [or lack there of] but because of Jesus' awesome behavior and paid penalty for me.  Insane, really.  Love?  Check.

Does He see what is happening down here?  This is the part that makes me weep a bit.  He does.  He does so much that He allows His children to go through hard times to realize their deep longing and need for Him.  You see, God said this life is but a breath… a breath.  Clearly God has a different perspective than we do.  I think He is much more concerned with our eternal home than this momentary affliction.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Dependence on God, yes, that's where there's life and peace.  

I surrender all to Him.

And will need to continue to do that, daily, while living in the tension. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all our family and friends!  

2013 has been an intense year… where to begin?  How do I recap these past 12 months?  

God has been incredibly faithful to teach us, stretch us and draw us closer to Him - Praise the Lord!

At the beginning of 2013 God burdened our hearts to "simplify"… and boy, has that been the theme.  

In January we received a text from sweet friends that they were ready (after 2 years of dreaming) to buy our home!  Justin and I looked at each other, in that moment, and knew why God was telling us to simplify … we would be heading to Africa with our family!

Selling all, dispersing animals to new homes and placing all our belonging into a storage container, we were on our way to Uganda, East Africa with all of our treasures!

Our goals, while there, were to straighten out delinquent paperwork with the ministry we had been part of for 4 years and buy land to build on.

Though it was hard and stretching, on so many levels, we look back and see that God was faithful and now the ministry is in right standing both on the US side and Uganda side!  Praise the Lord!  This was not an easy task and we learned a lot about working with governments and people.  

Although we looked and looked, traveled down some pretty crazy/memorable roads, we did not secure land to buy. We know that God's timing is perfect and we take great comfort in that.  

A week after we booked our tickets to Uganda we received a court date for the adoption of our new son, Deo.  This was something we had been striving towards for a year + - isn't God so good!  We were over-the-moon to think that we would be able to complete the process while in country.  We had known Deo for 4 years and now he was going to be our son!

Our time in Uganda was incredible for our kids.  They learned so much.  Their world view was broadened and their heart for the things of God grew.  We will forever be grateful for those 3 months of learning that no text book or movie could ever teach!

In July we traveled back to the USA and settled here in Southern California.  

Two years ago both Justin and I knew God was calling us to deepen our knowledge of His word.  Now that our lives were "simplified" we knew it was the time to enroll in bible college.  Through a million beautiful circumstances we were lead to Eternity Bible College.  The more we learn about their heart to make disciples, the more we love being here to glean from them.  Justin is planning to take night classes, as he can while being a full-time lineman.  The first question we always get is "what degree is he going for?"  We smile and share that God has called us to learn more about His word and not necessarily a degree for full-time vocation purposes.  We believe each of us is called to make disciples and knowing the truth, learning how to share it well, is what we are each called to do.

The kids are adjusting to So Cal life.  I would never call this transition seamless, for any of us, but one thing I will shout from the roof tops is that God has given us rich friendships down here.  We are incredibly blessed with the people God has surrounded us with here.  Our kids are attending the best school there could possibly be.  We home school Monday and Tuesday and they are on campus W-F.  Justin and I grew up with the headmaster and his family so to have that connection here is a blessing only God could have provided.  Deo is filling in holes he may have had in his education and all of the kids are being exposed to great literature while being discipled in the things of God.  An amazing blessing we did not see coming!

A week after we landed back in the US, Dawson was due for his MRI at Stanford.  We were confident we would continue to see shrinkage of the lesion on his pituitary because he was doing so well and had cut his replacement hormone dosage to a 1/3 of what he was taking before Africa!  To our surprise, it grew.  We were shocked and devastated.  We had to wait 2 weeks to hear from the oncology board that they were comfortable to wait another 6 months.  His next appointment is January 13.  This week the elders of our church prayed for him and anointed him with oil [James 5].  It meant more than words can express, as does all who pray!  We know God is good and we hold fast to His good, good plans He has for each of us!

Oh if I could show you a picture of our hearts from all that has happened this year - you would see a broken mess covered by the faithful hand of a loving Father. 

As we go into the Christmas season I can't help but be in awe of The Hope God sent into this broken world through a young girl.  He lived a life we could not live and payed a debt He did not owe - Oh what a Savior!

May we never forget what the true gift is this season:  


Love to each of you.  

Let's love well in 2014!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Best Day in UG!

We have countless moments and memories I would love to share but this day trumped them all.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Storms in Uganda hold a candle to no other.  

These storms have ministered to my soul more than anything else here.

God created these storms.

They are good.

They are needed.

Storms keep all of creation in complete submission to His power. 

We knowingly stepped into the storm of this ministry we are part of here, a world away from home.

We also knew God asked us to and was making a way.  Now, at this exact time.

It has been nothing less than a time of bracing up under His Wing.  

At times there has been deep confusion.  Fear.  Frustration.  Loss.

We hear it, we see it, we feel the energy in the air.  The window slams against the frame, a metal door comes unlatched.

There is both running to latch things secure and then there is the waiting, watching, listening.  Standing in awe.

In the midst of storms it's hard to see beauty.  Only destruction is felt and seen on every side.   

"How can this possibly be part of Your plan?"

Storms strip down, stir up, remove and expose foundations.

Only foundations built on The Solid Rock will stand.

After He stills, light breaks forth…..

the still is coming….

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

Friday, May 10, 2013


our 7th treasure!


14 little [and big] feet to fill our house.

He fits, just right.

Our two Ugandan treasures.  May their heritage be celebrated.  May family be celebrated even more.

Welcome Deo.  You are loved.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

I told Lil D that I told on him to my friends…...

He laughed and laughed…..