Thursday, September 22, 2011


That's the song I feel like singing every time I look out a window or pull into the place we live now. There are trees and rolling meadowy-type stuff, and 5-6 different playgrounds for the boys to play on. There are horses and cows and goats. There are a couple of ponds and woods with trails to explore. It's amazing. I never knew how much I wanted to live in wide open spaces (key the Dixie Chicks song) until we got here. Now I don't know how I'll ever go back!

We L-O-V-E it here, if you can't tell. And what I mentioned above really isn't the biggest draw. It's the kids. Our four girls are amazing, courageous young women, and we are so blessed to be a family with them now. I have lost track of how many times God has clearly, obviously shown up and sewn our now-large family together. Three of the girls call me mom, and I have had deep, really wonderful conversations with all of them. They are funny, silly, smart, talented girls, and I love being their mama.

Some of the high points of our two weeks with them so far: a mini prank war with the teen boys cottage, which consisted of us depositing a large, headless Santa Claus in their front yard, and on another night, carrying lawn chairs to their backyard to serenade them with our personal rendition of "Kumbaya." (They started it by ringing our doorbell and running last week). Another high point: our family meetings - we have them once a week, and we share about our week, talk about anything that needs to be addressed, and talk about what we're thankful for and what we're stressed about. I provide a yummy dessert - everyone is a fan. We have also sat out on our back deck in our rocking porch chairs all together a couple of different times in the cooler night air and just chatted. One time, one of the guys who works here rode past in a golf cart and said, "If you guys here a gun shot, that's just me shooting at skunks." HA! Dinner is also pretty awesome - we talk and laugh and fellowship, and afterwards we turn on some music, crank it up, and the entire family does chores for about 30 minutes. This past Sunday me and the girls laid around and watched movies (we go to church on Saturday night) in the afternoon while the boys took naps, and that was so restful and fun. A final warm fuzzy for me is watching our boys and our girls interact. They really do love each other already. They play together, and the girls are SO helpful - buckling and unbuckling the boys from the van, chasing them around, taking them outside, building train tracks together, watching them in stores, etc. Like I said, warm fuzzies :).

Every night Michael and I go to our room to talk and catch up about the day, and pretty much every night we talk about how blessed we are to be here, and how amazing this is. God's hand of blessing is on this place. We are privileged to be a part of the work here.

I'm writing about all of the wonderful things. Of course there are hard things, too. There are more emotions to handle, more wisdom to plead for so that God can give me the right words to say, almost NO free time (I think this will get better once we are really, truly settled in and we're no longer doing so many first time things that come with moving in and joining a family together), lots of paperwork, more errands to run, kids to pick up from school (carpooling has been a HUGE help), new schedules, having to be more intentional to spend time with B and J, and knowing that even then, there is only so much of me to go around (I pray for God to give them all that they need, and for Him to fill in the gaps that I may miss while doing this - I know He will), etc. So yes, there are hard things, frustrating things, sad things, etc., but they just don't begin to compare to the beauty of being right where God wants us to be.

Our Open House is this weekend from 9:00am - 2:00pm. Feel free to stop by - the campus and all of the houses are open to whoever, and Spring Creek is catering lunch for everyone! Thank you all for your prayers and love for us! I'll keep updating as much as I am able!

Monday, September 5, 2011


We have had so many wonderful people come out to help us make our new house feel like a home, and it really does, in only a few short days.

On move in day, we had seven guys and four ladies come out to help pack, unpack, organize, clean, store, and move things around. Amazing. It all went SO quickly because we had so much help. Most of the people are friends or neighbors of ours from our class at church, but three of them were a family I used to baby sit for back when I was in middle school! Crazy and so wonderful the way things come full circle. The same family came back out to the house today to mow our lawn, weed eat, edge our grass, sweep up, and empty out some plant pots to get ready for fall. This was a HUGE blessing because our lawn now consists of about an acre of land, and will probably take Michael 2-3 hours to do each time. It was pretty overgrown, so it took three people that long to do it this time. We are SO thankful for all of these people who have been the hands and feet of Jesus to us this weekend - so generous with their time and energy.

Being here is amazing. I can't describe it. Michael and I were talking about it today, and the best comparison I can make is when you go shoe shopping and you try on a dozen different pairs of uncomfortable shoes that pinch and rub and don't fit right, then you finally find the pair that hug and cradle your foot just right, that look fabulous, and feel fabulous, and belong to you the moment you try them on. That's how being here is. We are exactly where we are supposed to be.

Our boys and the girls get along SO well, and Bennett misses them and talks about them when they are gone. Even Jasper talks about them, and lights up when he sees them. I have bonded really well with the girls so far, and am excited about what is to come.

We go on walks in the evenings. We're on a working ranch with horses, pigs, goats and cows, and there are 5-6 different playgrounds spread throughout the campus. This makes for an amazing daily adventure for our boys. We are already in love with where we are, and our hearts are overflowing.

I look back at where I was just two months ago, and how I was feeling, and I am amazed at how faithful the Lord is, and how He brings us out of dry seasons and renews our spirits just when we need Him to. His timing really is perfect, and in the meantime, His grace really is sufficient.

When I get a minute to breathe, I'll post some pictures of our new place.