I am thankful:

Truly overwhelmed in the very best way tonight. Humbled. Blessed.

Today Zoe (10) and Sawyer (8) chose to make their public profession of faith through the covenant of baptism.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” (3 John 1:4) Every child is special. Every baptism is cause for great rejoicing.

The Lord really spoke to me about these two leading up to this day.

Everybody pretty much knows Sawyer’s story. He’s a walking miracle in every way. We never dared dream he’d live to see his FIRST BIRTHDAY, let alone grow up to be an incredible 8 year old with a heart for Jesus and make his own solid decision to follow the Lord.

Not as many people know about our Zoe. Our quiet mouse. Our brown eyed girl. She’s a little mystery. Lots of struggles. Lots of sweetness. We met Zoe as a sickly, completely non-verbal, terrified 18 month old that had been in foster care for more than half her life. She immediately attached herself to Carson Grace’s and wouldn’t allow her to put her down. Like EVER. Carson had a rug burn rash on her hip for weeks! Within days of Zoe’s arrival in our home, she began to respond to and mimic the simple sign language I taught her, and within months she was a healthy, happy little girl, presumably for the first time in her life.

Zoe is a walking miracle in every way. And to see her make the conscious decision that she wants to follow Jesus melts my heart.

The gravity of what happened today has really given me pause. I look at these two beautiful children, and realize how purposefully Satan pursued them. He actively sought to rob them of their very lives before they even began. He must have known that God had a remarkable purpose and plan for each of them, so he tried to steal them away.

But he failed.

Zoe and Sawyer belong to Jesus.

I think about the rumble that tore through the heavens as the saints and angels rejoiced and their lives were SEALED.

I think of Uncle Alan, who spend his birthday (which JUST HAPPENED to be today) with Jesus. We missed him terribly today, but I know EXACTLY how loud he was singing “Happy Birthday to MEEEE” when his niece and nephew came up out of that water. Nobody loved their birthday more than Alan, and I know he was THRILLED to share his earthly birthday with their spiritual one.

I think about my friend, my Brother, who baptized my children, his first time “officiating” in that way. A life changing moment for all three.

I think about Zoe’s sweet camp counselor who prayed with her and led her to accept Christ, and who joined us for her special day. Zoe has made such an impact on her.

I think of Sawyer’s oncologist, and back to the day when she voiced her honest questions and skepticism about faith, and Sawyer’s simple response, “There is an order to all things.” And I know he has made such a remarkable impact on her already, AND SHE HAS NO IDEA HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE PRAYING FOR HER because of him.

I think about all the chains that have broken, and the sting of death stolen because of what Jesus did for us, for them, and I marvel at the impact this day will have on the lives of countless others over the years.

I am so honored to get to be their mom, and now their sister in Christ.

Thanks for giving thanks with me.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity…”” (Jeremiah 29:11-14)

February 3, 2019

Bear and Chewy (Sawyer) at the chilly softball game

~ for deep conversations with Sawyer: Sawyer:”Who gave you that pillow?”  

Me: “My Aunt.”  

Sawyer: “You mean your mom?” 

“No, my aunt.”  

“So she’s your different kind of mom?”  

“No, she’s my aunt.”  

“Oh, so your aunt is your grandma?” 

“No. My aunt is my aunt.” 

“Oh, Ok!”

(Sawyer is also VERY excited that the “Brown Hog” did not see his shadow yesterday, because it means Spring is coming. And he knows my birthday is coming up, since it is “Feb-loo-ary.”) Oh how this boy keeps me laughing!

~ for the wonderful privilege to speak at MomTalk, a bi-monthly lunch for GCS moms. I got to talk to the other moms about the importance of sharing our stories with one another, finding our common threads, and encouraging each other through our trials. They encouraged me so much!

 ~for Carson Grace’s first softball game. She and her teammates had a great game, and it was fun to cheer for her. Now I will say, the combo of 40° weather, brisk wind, 6 whiny kids, and a non-leash-trained puppy were not ideal. Hoping for nicer weather for the rest of the season.

~ for Zoe having a great time celebrating the 100th day of school. She ate her tasty necklace of 100 Fruit loops, and the class did lots of fun activities.


~ for a thrilling lesson on the letter “F” for Sawyer and his JrK friends: petting a real live FALCON!


~ for our sweet new friend, Bear. He is just a love. All the kiddos can’t get enough of his wet puppy kisses and his fuzzy puppy paws. And I love him, despite cleaning up puppy messes every 7 minutes.  Potty training a puppy is NO JOKE. Haven’t done this in 13 years. Thankfully he’s a very sweet boy and seems to be a pretty quick learner. 


~ for new mercies every morning. I know I say that a lot. But I say it a lot because I NEED it a lot. This week my patience ran thinner than thin. We are all in various stages of a little annoying cold, puppy training is incessant, the kids have been AT each other constantly over anything and everything…it’s just so easy to default to irritation, which is exactly what I did. I’m not proud of my responses or my tone. But Jesus extends His unwarranted grace to me; allowing me to extend that same grace to my children.  And every day really is a new day!  So thankful to have a fresh opportunity to try again each morning. Thank You Lord for do-overs!  Anybody else need a good, old-fashioned do-over?

~ and for the BEST NEWS OF ALL!  Today our sweet Sam-girl was baptized!!!!  She asked Jesus into her heart several months ago, and since then, she has been eagerly anticipating her baptism, but has been forced to wait due to various illnesses and schedules not coordinating. So this was a long-awaited event!  What a blessing to see this beautiful girl answer the prompting of the Holy Spirit, make the personal decision to follow Jesus, and then publicly share this commitment in front of her church at the age of 11!  So wonderful that our daughter is now our sister in Christ!  And it was made even more special because we had so many people with us to celebrate: aunts and uncles, grandparents and cousins, all together to share in her joy because she is so loved. What a beautiful picture of the redemptive love of Abba Father. God is just so GOOD, y’all!


Thank you for giving thanks with me.  In the highs and the lows, in the trials and in the mundane…the blessings are there if we train our eyes to see.  But it is a discipline. Our natural inclination is always to look and to gravitate downward.  LOOK UP!  Give thanks!  Let’s love one another well this week.

“Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 AMPC