Wednesday, February 27, 2013

God's Word is a Lamp

I don't know what I'd do without the WORD of God.  I really don't.  It's my hope, my strength, my song, my prayer.  Because it's God.

I wanted to share a verse that has been on my heart tonight, but then I flipped a page in my Bible and found another to share, and another, and another, etc.  So, tonight, instead of just copying and pasting the entire Bible on here...I will share 3 verses.  And then ask...

What is God teaching you? 
What scripture are you holding on to today? this week? this month? this year?
What truth is becoming alive in your life?

Here's my 3:
1. "But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one." 1 Thessalonians 3:3

2. "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.  Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.  After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you."  1 Peter 5:6-10

3. I can't pick.  I really can't.  So, I guess you just get these 2 tonight.   :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

MercyFound Ministries...

I'm a guest blogger today.  That sounds so important.  Haha!

Check it out...and check out what MercyFound is all about.  They are the organization I've been participating with on their link-up on Fridays!


Monday, February 25, 2013

I need YOUR help!!

As you know, my heart is burdened for the orphans all over the world, and especially in Russia.  I know several of you who share my heart, or who at least understand why my heart would break for these children!

I have exciting news:  YOU can be part of what God wants to do in our community around the issue of the orphan crisis.  I believe that God wants more people to be aware of the crisis and ways in which they can support the orphan.  I realize that not everyone is called to adopt, but I do know that there are so many ways to be involved and to bless an orphan, even when not adopting.

So, we are planning to have an Orphan Care/Adoption Conference on November 1st and 2nd.  It will focus on educating people on the worldwide orphan crisis and how they can get involved, whether it be through adoption, sponsorship, visiting, etc.

When I say "we" I mean a handful of people I go to church with, and maybe a couple others...but we need more help!  We need help planning this event so that many will come and hear all about God's heart for the orphan!  Would you be willing to sit on a planning team to help get this event off the ground?  Would you be willing to share your adoption story on video (adoptees, adoptive parents, birthmoms)?  Would you be willing to come speak and share your expertise at the conferences?

Here are the committees we still have seats available on:
1. Logistics - sound, tech, lights, security, facility plan, etc..
2. Hospitality - food, decorations, greeting, etc.
3. Advertisement & Promotions - just what it sounds like
4. Business/Organization Sponsorships - budget planning, obtain corporate sponsors, etc.
5. Agencies/Organizations - work with agencies that will be speaking and/or will have booths
6. Prayer/Education - planning for prayer up to event, during the event, a prayer area, and the breakout sessions for the weekend.
7. Documentation/Videos - take photos, edit videos prior to event, etc.

Please let me know if you are interested in this event!  You can comment here, or email me at

Thanks for considering being a part of something so BIG!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Week in Review


MercyFound Ministries is hosting a link-up each weekend for us to share our high, low, and lesson learned for the week. It's a great way to stop and reflect, and record what's happening! Before you jump over to join in the fun, here's MY week in review:


Sveta's birthday was this week.  We had so much fun doing all sorts of things.  She got to play with a friend, had an impromptu party at church, went out to lunch, and dinner, and played at a great indoor playground in the area.  Fun was had by all at her family party, and on her birthday.  She's 5.  My little girl is 5. Unreal. 


Lots of things are going on that are just hard.  Plain hard.  They aren't fun...but my prayer continues to be that God be glorified.


God has already won.  He's already defeated the enemy, and He has given me all of the tools I need to stand firm in my faith.  I just have to use them, and trust in Him.  Ephesians 6:10-13 is what I'm memorizing right now...and I'm holding on to these truths!

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against [e]flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm."

Friday, February 8, 2013

525,600 minutes.

1 year.  12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes.

"In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?"

How do you measure a year in the life of a sweet little Russian child who was adopted by her family 1 year ago today.  I can't measure it.  I just can't quantify all that she's learned, been through, experienced.  It's too difficult.

So, instead I will rejoice in the love that she's experienced in this year...and I will pray that she will experience even more in the following years.

A year ago today she flew on an airplane halfway around the world with two strangers that she was told were her Mama and Papa.  She stayed awake over the entire ocean, and colored on a little white and pink pony that she still occasionally sleeps with.  She wore a little sweater dress that won't fit over her head anymore.  She was so brave.  She is so brave.

Last night Barry had her walk out to the car and told her we were on our way.  It was getting dark and when we got outside she was about halfway to the car.  She said, "I was a little bit scared, but I was being brave.  I didn't even cry."  It took me to a year ago.  I imagine that she would have said the same thing if I was able to communicate with her at that point.

And you know what...I would have repeated it back to her. 

A year ago, today, she met her grandparents and some aunts and uncles for the first time.  She met friends that she's kept, and our friends who prayed her home, and who've supported us immensely. 

A year ago, today, she set foot on American soil...and became an American citizen.

A year ago, today, she slept in her own bed, in her own house, for the first time in her life. 

And let me tell you, she's come along way in a year...but more than that...I've seen what God can do in a small year.  In just 525,600 minutes. 

He heals. He changes hearts. He teaches. He loves. He forgives. He is.

And, I'm so grateful that He put Sveta in our lives.  She is a constant reminder of his goodness, faithfulness, and love.  She is a joy and a challenge...and each day she causes me to seek His face more and more.  And I am thankful.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

For His Glory

As I sit to write this, I look around realizing that I could decide to do any number of things while Sveta is resting today...but here I sit.  Ignoring the fact that I need to vacuum (although doing that while a child sleeps is NOT an option), and ignoring the stack of papers that need to be filed, or the ones that I desperately need to find in the files.  They will be there when I am done typing in 10 minutes.  I'll deal with that then.

I just want to share something I'm learning, and I hope it's an encouragement to some.  I am learning (and have been) that there are only so many hours in the day.  I know that sounds silly.  I've known for a while that a day is 24 hours.  But...I really didn't realize how to utilize those hours best until recently.  Everyday is a battle I must fight to make sure that I am using the time well.  Each day I must look at what the objective of the day must be.  Is it the errands, is it cleaning, or time with Sveta, or is it have I given God glory?

I'm trying to make each day first and foremost about God's glory.  In whatever I do, have I done it unto Him?  Or have I just done it?  So, with that in mind...I try to use each day to accomplish tasks that will bring Him glory, and that have a purpose. 

Each day I try to spend time...
enjoying God in His glory.
enjoying and teaching and playing with Sveta...and showing her His glory.
enjoying and learning from my incredible husband.
enjoying a little relaxing time where I can just sit and rest.
and I try to clean a little and cook a little too...because that is serving.  Serving my family and serving my God.

A woman said to me this morning that bringing up children in the love and grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ is one of the highest callings a woman can receive.  And, I would add that I am learning that being a pastor's wife is a high calling as well (as are many others).

But I'm learning to embrace this call.  This spot where I find myself.

So today, I will write on my blog for God's glory.
I will help Sveta make her "S" the same size on top as on the bottom...for His glory.
I will load the dishwasher...for His glory.
I will eat pizza with my little family at Chicago's Pizza to support The Boaz Project for dinner...for His glory...and for His work with orphans.
I will ride in the passenger seat on the way to pizza listening to my love tell me about his day.  I will rejoice when he shares how he was able to share the gospel with someone today...

I will rejoice knowing that he was able to be God's voice.  And I will rejoice knowing that I was His hands: hugging, wiping, folding, stiring, writing, holding.

And it will ALL be for His glory.

Friday, February 1, 2013

My First "Link-Up"


As I mentioned in my previous post, I get to be involved with an incredible NEW orphan ministry.  Which, not much makes me happier!!  I'm thrilled to be part of a link-up today with them (through their blog) where many bloggers and adoptive families can share a high, a low, and a lesson learned from the week.

So, here's my high, low, and lesson learned (although not in that order)...once you've read mine, check out the link above to read more stories from adoptive families!

LOW::  Let's just get this out of the way now!
Our community has suffered a few losses this week, and it's been difficult for many.  The one that hits our family the closest is the death of a police officer who is well known in our town.  The circumstances surrounding his death make it even more difficult for many to handle.  Barry (my husband) has been asked to do the funeral tomorrow, and he feels very honored to be able to be part of a celebration of life.  But, it's my low because it's a hard situation to know how to help him, the family, and others who are affected.  It's also kind of played into my lesson learned...

As I have been praying for how to support Barry effectively, I've also been reading through the book of John. 

Let me give some a pastor, Barry, has many suprise responsibilities I will call them.  Late night visits to the hospital, evening meetings with different people about various things, etc.  This week has been full of unexpected and challenging meetings for him.  As his helper, I want to help, but so often I feel so inadequate.  I make sure his clothes are clean to wear, that he has dinners to eat (except when I get strep in the middle of this week and we eat the same thing 3 meals in a row)...but somehow it doesn't seem like I'm ministering to him, or to any one else enough.

And then...we sat up talking one night about what God was teaching us.  I shared with him about John 3:36 which says, "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.” I found it interesting that the opposite of belief was disobedience, not unbelief.  I looked up the greek words and found that they are different.  Meaning, basically, that the belief creates an action in the person who believes, which is why it isn't simply's the lack of a belief that creates action. 

So, the next night Barry came home and shared about a meeting he had with a student that evening...and he used that verse to explain something to the student about Jesus.  He was so excited, and I was blessed.  My first ministry is to my family...and sometimes I forget that my ministry might be used by Barry to minister to others as well.

HIGH::  Sveta's lived with us for 1 year!
Today marks our first full day as a family together.  A year ago, yesterday, we picked Sveta up from her orphanage forever.  What an incredible feeling.

We didn't do much to mark the occasion (see above with crazy week and a mama who has strep) but we talked about it a few times throughout the day.  Then Barry and I reflected on that day, and our year.  Sveta was so trusting and yet so scared.  She didn't sleep much that first night as she lay in a big bed between us.  I don't think it helped that Barry was sicker than he's ever been...but she would reach over and rub his head (even though she wasn't sure about him yet). She's overcome so much loss, and is a complete joy.  She's a brave, intelligent, beautiful, caring, sweet little girl.  She's blessed us beyond belief in just a short year...and we can't wait to celebrate more years with our Sveta.