Pushing Pause

The last month of school has all of us in a tizzy.  Add on sickness, and you’ve got one un-fun household.  A few nights ago, we were all at the end of our proverbial ropes. I knew there was a decision to make.  We could either continue to let everything escalate and have a knock-down drag-out where everyone ends up grounded for the rest of their lives OR we could push pause.

We pushed pause.

Plopping down in the floor around the coffee table, I laid out my ‘Anne of Green Gables’ coloring book.  I also pulled out two new ones Aunt B brought with her.  I began to slowly sharpen the triangle-shaped coloring pencils as the girls’ eyes widened.  Astonished, RyAnne asked ‘Are we going to get to color?’.  And I smiled.

The girls joined me in the floor as Josh Groban sang in another language around us.  Slowly chit-chat and giggles began to flow.  “Look, Mommy!  Is mine pretty?”  “Mommy, do you like my rainbow?” “Momma, what colors would look best for her hair?” “Momma, my puppy is SO cute!”  Inbetween the strokes of the pencils and crayons, we were able to catch up with each other and just pause.

How thankful I am that He gave me these four gals who manage to make me laugh til I can’t breathe and drive me insane in the very next instant! How blessed am I that they were willing to join me in coloring on the floor? How grateful I am for the wisdom to push pause.

Going Places

This time last year I would have never imagined driving a motorbike as my main source of transportation!  Our carport is sans car!  Instead, there are tiny pink bicycles and a teal tween bike.  Michael’s second-hand bike has recently appeared and he has enjoyed going to and fro on it!  Our blessed motor bike can carry Michael and all the girls-proof he’s gone Indo on us!  I’m proud of myself for driving with two girls! Ha!  This summer we will be adding another motorbike to the collection from a dear friend following a call to a new home.  Michael is looking forward to having ‘his’ motorbike back.  I’m happy I will be able to actually touch the ground with both feet on the new-to-us bike!  Thank you all for providing us with ways to get around town-to the store, to church, and school.  It makes such a difference and is much faster than walking!!! We’ve included a couple of videos-one of the girls in our neighborhood and one from a motorbike ride in our town!



My Safe-Space, My Mom

As the sun rises this Mother’s Day morning, I am keenly aware my mom is half a world away.  How I ache to be near her, laughing as the grandkids’ craziness makes her giggle.  To see that well-worn apron covering her Sunday best as breakfast turns into a feast fit for kings.  To sit beside her and hold her hand in church; to hear her sing praises to the one true God.  I just want to be near her.

Growing up, wherever Mom was became my safe-space.  She has a beautiful skill of bringing peace to any situation.  I can remember spilling secrets, sobbing, and being silly with her all in the same moment.  Mom was safe.  I knew she would love me regardless.  Looking back, I had no idea the gift she was giving me.  Mom was consistently there.  Yes, sometimes it felt like she was in my space and I would go all teenager and flip out.  But, truth be told, I knew I needed her.  I wanted her to check in on me.  I wanted to hear her wise words-even when I punctuated them with rolling my eyes.  I wanted to see her sitting at my bedside reminding me ‘it is hard to fly with the eagles when you hoot with the owls’ (even though it made me so angry to hear it!). I needed my Mom.  I still do.

She’s the one that I call with good news and fears.  Mom has a way of hearing both what I say and what I don’t. She has always been able to understand my heart and guide me with His wisdom.  I recall laughing because Mom would put a notebook and Bible in the bathroom.  How silly it was that she kept it there, I thought.  I realize now, it was the only place we would not completely barge in on her as we hit our teens.  I remember so many prayers with her after we would talk.  She always took each situation to the throne of God and left it there for Him to solve.

Perhaps that is why she seems to be so peaceful.

She doesn’t try to handle every little thing.  Mom always hands the issue back to Him.  She keeps her shield of faith strong.  She knows the scripture is her weapon and uses it.  Mom rests in His hands.  She is confident He is caring for her and even hands doubt back to Him.  Her faith has witnessed His hand move in mighty ways over and over again.  And she trusts God to do it again.

Being in the Mom-years myself, there are so many things I want to do like my Mom does. I want to be a safe-space for my girls.  I want to hear them and love them for who God created them to be.  I want to love my Michael Joe so well that they want nothing less than a marriage designed by His hands.  I want to encourage and inspire them to go beyond their fears.  I hope to teach them to obey Him in all areas of their lives.

Basically, I want to be just like my Mom.

Raise Our Ebenezer

12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it [a]Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12 (NASB)


In the Old Testament, the prophet Samuel set up a rock and declared it a reminder to the Israelites.  Each time they passed, they would recall the battles God had brought them through.  The Israelites would have a physical reminder of His faithfulness in their journey.  This week, we celebrated our first family-created holiday: Ebenezer Day.  We marked key dates on four stones and stacked them as an altar of remembrance.  With each stone we recounted what brought us to that point.  We created an Ebenezer in our home.

Our first Ebenezer rocks
Ebenezer from above
Elliana’s Salvation Date

As the years pass, I pray we add two more salvation dates to our Ebenezer.  Who knows what else will be added to the testimony?  Our prayer is that as we celebrate Ebenezer Day each year, our witness will be strengthened as we testify of His faithfulness.


h.I.s. love

Tucked into a suitcase came a small package with encouragement for our entire family.  Each girl beamed at the gift inside.  We couldn’t have felt more loved by h.I.s ministries unless they showed up on our doorstep!  The girls love the necklaces and the Littles have shown them off everywhere they went!  Not long after that, we received a loving card and excellent from h.I.s. kids!  Those are now featured with our encouragement display in the kitchen.  We see it every single day!

Thank y’all for loving us so tangibly, as well as for the continued support which meets so many needs.  We love you all SO MUCH!


They’re Coming!

*Aunt B & Aunt Mindy are coming!*

We can’t believe that in a couple of days Aunt B & Aunt Mindy will be sitting at our legacy table eating breakfast!  They head out early Thursday morning from Memphis (Memphis time) and land at almost midnight our time Friday. Please ask for this trip to be a blessing to them and all they meet!  We can’t wait to wrap our arms around them!

A Note A Day

One of the most amazing gifts we’ve ever been given was a box of notes right before we moved overseas.  Inside this unassuming box were 365 individual notes from family, friends, mentors, and encouragers.  As each day has passed, we know that just a note away is a timely reminder of His love and provision.  From quick notes that make us all giggle to family challenges, verses written down months earlier that apply perfectly at that moment, and sweet letters for our hardest moments-this gift from our community has refreshed us in ways we cannot accurately explain.  To each of you who added a note (or notes!) into this gift, thank you immensely.  We plan to go through this box for many more moons and have kept all the notes in order!  Thank y’all for loving us!  I took pics to give a quick sample of the notes we have been blessed with!


Package of Love

Golly Gee!  We were all thrilled to get a surprise package today!  The items inside made us giggle with glee.  Even better was the sweet note to RyAnne.  When someone takes the time to mail a card, send an email, or a package, it is an incredible-tangible reminder of love.  So here’s to chocolate, Starburst, ring pops, and a monkey…AND SILLY PUDDY!!!  Thank you oodles!  We absolutely needed this jolt of happy today! (apologies for the crazy bad movie quality! Still learning about converting and such!)


Because You Said Yes-Reflections on IF:GATHERING 2019

This weekend thirty-some odd women came together to learn about Christ in a living room stuffed to overflowing.  Each seeking something different, but they came.  I saw their smiles, heard their laughter and scribble of pens on paper.  I felt His presence draw near as the tears fell and His name was lifted high.  Together we attended #IF:GATHERING2019.  I wanted to share my late night reflections with you. I know He is not finished with me yet-I am clay in His hands…but, golly, I like Him oodles.  And I trust Him.

Because You Said ‘Yes’

Because you said ‘yes’, there was a gathering to attend, learning to be had, and growth to feel.  Because you said ‘yes’, there were real topics discussed and His Word became clearer. Because you said ‘yes’, the Spirit broke out and we praised Him a billion times.  Because you said ‘yes’, our hearts were shaped and turned as if on a wheel of pottery. We could feel His tender hands scraping away the unnecessary. The prideful. The fear and hesitation.  The comparisons and the shame.

Because you said ‘yes’, we found community-Sisters in the faith.  Because you said ‘yes’, we were emboldened as we saw You revealed in Your Word and one another. Because you said ‘yes’, we know we are wave-walking daughters- encouraged to pursue Him-regardless.  Because you said ‘yes’, we realized we do like Him. And we remembered He loves us, even at the back door in the after.

Because you said ‘yes’, we are ready to walk beside those around us and delve deeper.  To practice community here in practice for Heaven. Because you said ‘yes’ we will take the time to see one another and refuse to let anyone isolate themselves in the moat of loneliness.  Because you said ‘yes’, we will stay in the game and get back up! We will be honest when our edge has become dull and about our gift of half-heart. Because you said ‘yes’, we will seek to serve and not status.  Because you said ‘yes’, we will practice consistency and frequency in our unhurried time with our Saviour. Because you said ‘yes’, real, honest, and beautiful glory-givers are rising up across this Earth in praise to the King of all Kings.  

All because Christ said ‘yes’ first.

He said ‘yes’ and loved us in our broken, wrecked, and beaten selves.  He said ‘yes’ to His Dad and came to live life on this dusty planet. He said ‘yes’ I will show how much we love them to everyone I meet-a woman shunned through no fault of her own to a woman who has created her own prison.  Christ said ‘yes’ to our punishment even as we refused Him again. He still said ‘yes’ as He died-loving us all the more.

Because You said ‘yes’, I will obey You.  I will give all of this in-process pottery on a wheel up to your design.  To find the daughter that You see, Lord, not the one I see. I will say ‘yes’, with courageous fear.  To God be the glory. Yes. YES. Amen.


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