Deep Waters

I'm reading through the Old Testament right now and I'm in Isaiah. I read it a few years back, but read a scripture yesterday that gave me goosebumps and gratitude once again for God's sovereignty.

A few weeks before the fire last year, I colored a scripture page to hang above Judah's head. It read, "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you..." Isaiah 43:2. I chose this one as a reminder for myself, that when I thought about losing Judah, God would be with me through the deep waters of that trial. So every time I went to get him out of his crib, I would be reminded of this promise. I never thought to look up the scripture in my Bible. I just assumed that was all there was to it. I didn't know how pertinent the second half of that scripture would be to our future.

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn yo…

Refined by the fire. Take two.

"These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." 1 Peter 1:7
My last post on January 14th ended with what now seems like an invitation to more trials:

"I jotted down a few goals for this next year, but they can all be summed up into one. I pray that at the end of 2017, I will be more like Jesus than I am today. I don't know what trials I will have to joyfully endure to meet that goal, but I know that He will be there with me every step of the way. Happy New Year friends."

On January 26, Seth and I woke up to our phones going crazy with messages and phone calls from friends that our old house was once again on fire, "engulfed in flames" and "burned to the ground." It was…

2016 - Year in Review

I think it's safe to say that 2016 was our most eventful year to date. That's saying a lot looking back at the past 5 years especially.

On January 27, we finalized the adoption of our 8th child. God provided everything we needed and more through our family, friends and church.

The next few months were filled with minimal sleep, buckets of tears and multiple days saying "goodbye" to Judah. He had so many brushes with death. Twice his shunt malfunctioned and we were told that we could lose him within hours. He refused to eat for 3 straight days at one point, had multiple respiratory viruses that we were afraid would turn into pneumonia.

The scariest two days were when we put him on a medication for hypertonia and he reacted horribly to it and began seizing uncontrollably, throwing up almost constantly. I planned his funeral every time we had a scare. By the time June rolled around, I felt like I couldn't take much more of the rollercoaster. Just when I thought l…

Christmas 2016

Except for a few of us being sick, we had a great Christmas. Gingerbread houses were decorated, over 70 presents were wrapped and squeals of joy were had by all. As I edited all the pictures, I had a mixture of feelings. Thankfulness for God's incredible providence, joy from the memories we made in this new, yet temporary house and sadness thinking about how this time next year, we might be somewhere else. We strive to hold onto things loosely, so that if God asks us to give them up, we can do it with minimal hesitation. Admittedly though, it's tough living without a sense of permanence, but it's part of the sanctification process that the Lord is taking us through right now. We are grateful for these trials, because through them, we are becoming more like Him.

"For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come..." Hebrews 13:14
I am proud to share that even before we could mention it on Christmas morning, 3 of our children a…

My First Year as a Special Needs Mom

I've been hesitant to take the title of "Special Needs Mom" this past year. Maybe because we CHOSE to adopt a severely disabled child or because for many months, Judah's behavior was somewhat age-appropriate and it wasn't obvious to anyone else that he was disabled. I haven't walked the path of many mamas who have to constantly fight with their insurance company or advocate for therapy or special equipment or spend weeks in the hospital. I am so thankful for that, because honestly, I don't know how we would have managed with our 7 older children. When God called us to this, I didn't know what it would look like, I just trusted that He would work it all out and He most definitely has.

Currently, Judah is weighing around 13 pounds at 15 months old. He has 4 teeth and working on a few more. His diet will consist solely of formula until he is 2. His new specialty feeding bottles are great and he averages 5-6oz each feeding when he's not teething. His…

God is Faithful

"To the faithful You show Yourself faithful..." 2 Sam. 22:26a
I read this scripture this morning as I finished up 2 Samuel and it rested heavily on me. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we have strived to trust in the Lord and glorify Him this past year no matter what trial we encountered and HE has rewarded us greatly. Truly, there are no words that can express our gratitude and awe of what God has done over the past few weeks.

Earlier this year, my mom's side of the family began planning a family reunion in Florida. We prayed that if it was the Lord's will, He would provide a way for us to go. It did not come and we saw the Lord's wisdom in that as the date for the reunion came closer. We lost our home in a fire just one week before the reunion happened. Had we attempted to go at that time, we would have had to cancel all of our plans and lost who knows how much money.

Less than 6 months later, we received an incredibly generous and anonymous offer to send our …