Yesterday marked the 3rd year anniversary of taking James and Jerard into our home.

Anyone who knows me, knows I often think in songs. This song by Nicole Nordeman expresses some of what I would like to convey. I am so thankful for the lessons God is teaching me and each member of our family.

- Lessons on being thankful even in the dark, hard times - - Lessons on Kingdom Living - Building for eternity and not the temporal -Lessons on His faithfulness - ....

James and Jerard are blessings in our lives. It has not been an easy transition for our family - but definitely worth all the struggle. And I'm praying this year we can actually finalize the adoption. Pray with us regarding that whole process.

Send some rain, would You send some rain?
'Cause the earth is dry and needs to drink again
And the sun is high and we are sinking in the shade
Would You send a cloud, thunder long and loud?
Let the sky grow black and send some mercy down
Surely You can see that we are thirsty and afraid
But maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to thirst for You
How to bless the very sun that warms our face
If You never send us rain

Daily bread, give us daily bread
Bless our bodies, keep our children fed
Fill our cups, then fill them up again tonight
Wrap us up and warm us through
Tucked away beneath our sturdy roofs
Let us slumber safe from danger's view this time
Or maybe not, not today
Maybe You'll provide in other ways
And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
A lesson learned to hunger after You
That a starry sky offers a better view if no roof is overhead And if we never taste that bread

Oh, the differences that often are between
What we want and what we really need

So grant us peace, Jesus, grant us peace
Move our hearts to hear a single beat
Between alibis and enemies tonight
Or maybe not, not today
Peace might be another world away
And if that's the case . . .

We'll give thanks to You
With gratitude
For lessons learned in how to trust in You
That we are blessed beyond what we could ever dream
In abundance or in need
And if You never grant us peace

But Jesus, would You please . . .


At the beginning of the new year, many people make a goal to lose weight and get fit. Well, one of my kids wanted me to blog about a major loss I had in 2010 in folowing with that sort of resolution.

It has been my goal for many years to get back to the weight I was when I married. So, turning 50 in 2010, along with a breast cancer scare, gave me the incentive I needed to change my lifestyle. I have switched to a mostly vegetarian diet and through eating healthier and exercising 3 - 5 times a week I lost over 40 pounds!!!!
Now, I continue to exercise and eat healthy, following the Joel Furhman "Eat To Live" program. I feel much better and healthier. Check out his book and website! ( "EAT TO LIVE" is the title of the book. It is an excellent resource on nutrition and recipes)

At the beginning of 2010, close to 170 pounds. I'm holding Jerard. Our
friend, Nancy, is showing off the lechon bread she bought - it looks like
a roasted pig! She brought it for the New Year party last year.

At the end of 2010, back to my marriage weight. On Christmas Day (12/25/10) Mikayla and I were goofing around in the kitchen.

Christmas through the years in the Philippines

2006 - 5 weeks after we arrived in the Philippines





Last Day of 2010

If I were to sum up the primary focus of 2010 in my life and our family's life I would have to say "relationships".

It has been an intense year of rebuilding and restoring relationships that have been stretched and stressed almost to the point of breaking within our family due to cross-cultural stress, the addition of two sweet boys to our family, etc.

God is a God of relationships. He seeks us out. He desires for us to talk to Him. He is passionate about us.
He wants us to model that in our relationships with each other - marriage, parent to child, friend to friend.

I am thankful for the godly counselor He has brought into our lives to help us through some of the tough times we've had this year.
I am thankful for His continual faithfulness and leading.

Romans 8:15
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves,
so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father."

Favourite Quotes from this year by one of my favourite authors

"Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. Every other identity is illusion."
-- Brennan Manning (Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging)

"To live by grace means to acknowledge my whole life story, the light side and the dark. In admitting my shadow side I learn who I am and what God's grace means."
-- Brennan Manning

"If we maintain the open-mindedness of children, we challenge fixed ideas and established structures, including our own. We listen to people in other denominations and religions. We don't find demons in those with whom we disagree. We don't cozy up to people who mouth our jargon. If we are open, we rarely resort to either-or: either creation or evolution, liberty or law, sacred or secular, Beethoven or Madonna. We focus on both-and, fully aware that God's truth cannot be imprisoned in a small definition. "
-- Brennan Manning

I want neither a terrorist spirituality that keeps me in a perpetual state of fright about being in right relationship with my heavenly Father nor a sappy spirituality that portrays God as such a benign teddy bear that there is no aberrant behavior or desire of mine that he will not condone. I want a relationship with the Abba of Jesus, who is infinitely compassionate with my brokenness and at the same time an awesome, incomprehensible, and unwieldy Mystery. "
-- Brennan Manning

Reflecting on 2010 - Fight the Good Fight

Reflecting on the year 2010, this timely blog came in my email from John Piper's ministry,

"The last week of the year is a good time--with God's help--to reflect on the past 12 months, do a little self-assessment, and decide what things to repent of and reach for in the next lap around the sun.

At the end of his first year as pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, John Piper led his people in doing this through his sermon "I Have Kept the Faith."

Below is the conclusion of that sermon. Just plug in "2010" and "2011" where you read "1980" and "1981," and the content is still relevant 30 years later.

So, how did we do in 1980? If 1980 were the whole of our life, could we say with Paul, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness"? My guess is that there are people here who can give three different answers to that question. * One will say, "I fought no fight because I felt no great desire to follow Christ's counsel and trust his promises. Satan and my own flesh got no resistance from me." * Another will say, "I felt some desire to trust Christ and go his way, but whenever a conflict arose, I was defeated every time. I really didn't fight a very good fight." * And a third will say, "Praise God, it was a hard but glorious year. The Word of God came alive for me and helped time and time again to overcome temptation and hold to Christ. It wasn't always easy, but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord." Whichever one of those groups you are in now, remember this: by the grace of God, this day is only a rehearsal of the end. His mercy is opening before you a new life in 1981, and you can enter it and finish as a victorious fighter if you will declare yourself from your heart as one who now renounces Satan's power and self-reliance and who trusts Jesus Christ for all his word."