family fall 2016

family fall 2016

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The great suggestion.... or commission?!

Matthew 28:16-20
  "Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

It's called "The Great Commission" but I so often find myself replacing it with the word "suggestion". Take a look at their definitions from the dictionary....  quite different. Commitment versus Advice. Advice leaves the option to turn it down. COMMITMENT does not. Advice leaves room for wiggle. Commitment is ALL or NOTHING.

com·mis·sion (N): the act of COMMITTING or giving in charge.

sug·ges·tion (N): something suggested, as a piece of ADVICE.

So I challenge you tonight as I challenge myself. What type of person are you. 
One stumbling over a suggestion or 
running after a commitment?

Acts 1:8
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Where is your Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and ends of the earth?
Because of HIS grace,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


          Meet the girls of our community group (minus one :( we were missing this night). We started meeting along with our hubbys in September of last year and meet 3/4 weeks of every month. Two weeks are spent as time in the Word or hearing the stories He has created in each couple's lives. The last week is dedicated to a night of fellowship and getting to know one another on a deeper level. Ten months of this chapter in our lives have been/ are in Nashville. I knew very few people moving here so we made a committment  that we would plug into some type of community no matter how long we would be staying in Nashville. The week after we were home from our honeymoon; we met a couple at church who had been married the same day as us and shortly thereafter we found ourselves in this community group. These girls have made it so incredibly easy to "be all here." The group has been a safe place for us to go and talk about life and the messyness of it. I am so thankful for each of the women and men in this group and will forever remember their accountability and community in our first year of marriage.

          I want to challenge whoever is reading this to find a community group. The dynamics will look different for different people. But married, single, old, young, whoever... find a "smaller" group where you feel safe to be YOU! I know it is common for boys and men to have a harder time finding strong friendships but this is a great way to build FAITHFUL relationships. No matter how long you will be planted in a walk of life; I encourage you to find community. We were never intended to walk this life alone and the Lord can teach us elements of HIS character through others. If you are having a hard time finding a group, start one on your own! Open your home. Allow people to listen and be there when life is good AND when life is really hard.  We will meet with these sweet people until the day we move but they will always share a spot in our heart. And... I am praying for our next community group! You should too!


Monday, April 11, 2011

And so the fundraising begins... :)

My sweet sisters/ mentors Gwen and Suzanne are letting us fund raise for OUR adoption through their organization 147 Million Orphans. If you haven't read their incredible story, please go here!! We have stuff for mom, dad, and kiddies! I have included pictures of all the fabulous gear we are selling! I would love to give you the gear in person but if you are far from us; we will ship it and just charge the flat shipping cost.  Each purchase comes with a tag explaining the significance behind them which also makes them  excellent gifts! If you are interested in getting anything, please email me at 
Each of you has an irreplaceable role in this adoption process and we are forever grateful for your support!!

The purpose of these items is 2 fold:
1. Helps bring two baby girls home
2. Brings orphan awareness  every time you wear it

Ugandan Magazine Bead Necklaces- $20
The Karamojong women of Uganda create these beautiful necklaces by hand and from re-cycled paper … Our goal is to help these women maintain sustainable income for their families!

Women's "Fancy Feed One" Baseball Tee- $35
Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL


Unisex Brown 147 tee- $20
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL


Women's flower tee- $20
Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL


Front zoomed in

YOUTH red short sleeve tee- $20
Sizes: Youth XS, S, L

Toddler faded green 147 shirt- $20
Sizes: 2T, 3T, 4T
p.s. these shirts are so soft and yummy!

Pink toddler 147 Tee- $20
Sizes: 2T, 3T, 4T

Make a bold statement with these 147 million orphan silicone cuffs! - $10

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Jumping in

        I have written this is my head hundreds of times over the last few weeks. I wanted it to sound exactly right and then I sat back and thought about who I wanted to impress. I wanted to make it look like we had it all together and knew exactly where this was going and that our decisions have been clear.... BUT the truth is we are MESSY and IN PROCESS but... but... we are IN PROCESS with the ONE whose HEART is ADOPTION! We ARE taking steps to bring home two little darlings from Ghana!! This may be no surprise to some. Many people respond with "of course you are, you stayed in an orphanage in Ghana; how could you not bring one back?" And while it is true that is was a very emotional experience for us both; it was also extremely FULL of challenges and brokenness. I found myself cowering away from the "title" of orphan. I wondered why it bothered me so much to call these children "orphans" when I has used that word hundreds of times before... and then it hit me.... I KNEW their NAMES and their FACES and I held their BODIES, and gave them MEDICINE and I heard their PRAYERS to their Creator. The title of "orphan" burned so deeply because these kids were so much more than the circumstances they found themselves in. Halfway through our trip, the Lord whispered to Jeremy... "Move in. You ARE to be an earthly father to one of these children." It was SIMPLE but oh so CLEAR. (Notice the "one" child Jeremy heard.... later as this process goes along and we gain custody of the girls, I will tell you their stories and how that one turned into TWO).  As we laid in bed with red dirt stains still on our feet, the Lord confirmed in us both that this beautiful place would FOREVER be a part of us. Jeremy didn't have to do a lot of convincing for me.... that may be an understatement.... I LONG TO BE A MOTHER to a child who has no one to call Mom.

     While we were in Ghana, we briefly researched the adoption process to just see what it entailed. The only thing our research led to was questions and discouragement..... minimum of 25 years old.... 21 years older than the child.... Lord, we thought you said MOVE IN?? and HE did but HE also gave us this word the next morning through the Jesus Calling devotion...(January 6)

"I AM ABLE to do far beyond all that you ask or imagine. Come to me with positive expectations, knowing that there is no limit to what I can accomplish. Ask My Spirit to control your mind, so that you can think great thoughts of Me. Do not be discouraged by the fact that many of your prayers are yet unanswered. Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark. The more extreme your circumstances, the more likely you are to see My POWER and GLORY at work in the situation. Instead of letting difficulties draw you into worrying, try to view them as setting the scene for My glorious intervention. Keep your eyes and your mind wide open to all that I am doing in your life."

o.k. God! was pretty much our response that morning. An overwhelming peace washed over us. Notice, what He did NOT say.... HE didn't say this would be on our timeline or that this will be easy... In fact, it may be EXTREME! Immediately after returning from Ghana, I was plagued with some terrible nightmares. I went night after night waking up terrified and unable to go back to sleep. After talking to a sweet mentor and fellow adoptive momma of 6, she said let the "spritual warfare" begin, girl, you are following the heart of God. Did you expect Satan to like it?" Well...  :) After confiding in my small group of girls, I had warriors praying for my nightmares... and to date... they have not returned. PRAISE Jesus!! 

 After returning home I had my momma play devil's advocate and tell me all the reasons not to do this... (for those who dont' know, my mom and step-dad have adopted 3 kids from Guatemala and I am one of nine children in a mixed family). These are some of the things she came up with...

1. our age
2. married for only 7 months at this point, need time for US
3. both in school with an intention for Jeremy to go back to school for possibly 4 more years!
4. desire to travel the world and go on more mission trips (the idea that it's harder with children)
5. money (or lack of according to the world's standards)

and at the end of it the overwhelming thought in our head was yes, BUT we can't come up with ONE biblical reason. And that was that.... We jumped in 110% and never looked back.

So....where are we today?? We have completed our application process and we are working on our homestudy paperwork and an online adoption class :) more learning, but this time I can't get enough!!! We are looking for a house in Knoxville and praying for wisdom as we put down offers. It is one thing to consider a home for two people and a whole different thing for 4 :) AHH!!! I can't wait to hear those little feet running down the hall, see their artwork decorate my fridge, and feed those little mouths!!

Jeremy graduates from college on MAY 13th and we will be moving back to Knoxville shortly after. Jeremy will work on the business side with my dad this summer and most likely start the MBA/JD program at UT in August. I will be completing my final clinical hours in Knoxville from May to July and will graduate from nurse practitioner school in August!!

Prayer requests:
~for the girls :)
~wisdom, clarity, and direction from the ONE who gives us life

~strength to finish school out strong
~that whoever touches our adoption process would be filled with favor from the Lord and that worldly guidelines and policies would not overcome the POWER of our JESUS!
~ a possible future nurse practitioner job for me and that I would be planted wherever I am supposed to be

Please walk this journey with us. We can't do it alone!