Today, Orphan Sunday, I join many others in remembering + praying for so many children who are parentless.

I’m so thankful.

So thankful for all who dedicate time and service to forgotten ones via foster care, missions, acts of love, + so much more.

So thankful for the children who will never again carry the label orphan because of adoption.

So thankful that God is writing an amazing story through the life of our son, who doesn’t have our physical features but so surely has captured our hearts.

So thankful that through loss, there can be redemption. Thankful that there is beauty in the ashes. That a parentless child can join a family — forever.

So thankful that when the world says it’s impossible, God says it can be better than you can fathom.

Today, be encouraged that there is hope in a dark world.

Be encouraged that though the orphan statistics are deep + wide, even the life of one, down the street or across the globe, is worth more than many sparrows.

If you consider yourself devoted to Jesus, be encouraged that God can and will use you to be the hands + feet to the orphan…when you say yes. No matter who you are, no matter where you are, what your income level is or where your theology or political ideology places you, God is waiting for you to enter into the suffering + redemption of lives, which includes orphan care. He is calling you.

Can you hear it?

I pray for you as you open yourselves up to an amazing, supernatural narrative — that God’s great love for the orphan will echo in your lives as well.

  • God is vested, deeply and personally, in the plight of the orphan (i.e. Dt 10:18; Ps 68:5-6). 
  • He calls His people to join Him in this, bringing to each parentless child the love of Jesus Christ in both word and deed (Is 1:17; James 1:27; Mt. 10:42; Mt. 25:40).
  • Most importantly, the Gospel itself is the story of God’s rescue and adoption of us. On Orphan Sunday, the Church is reminded of this beautiful truth and urged to act upon it. 

Maybe circumstances are not leading you to adoption, but if you hear those whispers, those soft indications and inklings that there is something more, please be encouraged and know that I would love to talk with you + join you in your journey.

Because I know from experience, God uses those who the world says, ‘Really? Them? But How?’’.

I know because I’ve tasted it.

May your surrender to his Kingdom result in the sweetest story worth living.

I know it will.

an easy + real way to help.

Statistics and numbers and pictures of sad + lonely children can overwhelm us. We feel disconnected. We know that the multitude of orphans is sad and it’s wrong and it’s not what God intended, but we feel a disconnect. A void. How could we possibly help? How do we do more than put a band-aid on the hurt?

I’ve recently been introduced to the story of sweet Esther in Uganda. She is a little one with special needs who has been waiting awhile for a forever-family to love her…and God has come through in a big way! I am also excited because the family happens to live in Iowa. (Represent!)

I heard someone say this, and I think it’s 100 percent true:

"Really the difference between ordinary and extraordinary is just saying yes."


It only takes a few yes moments for God to work in amazing ways in our ordinary lives. Please consider spreading the word + maybe donating a few bucks to very tangibly help this little girl get the care she needs + the love God has always intended for her. You can do so here. (And in the meanwhile, be eligible for sweet swag, including an iPad, custom clothes, artisan jewlery, etc!)

Here are the deets from another blog:

who is ready to help Esther HOME with the dad, mom & siblings that already
love her so much?!  they just returned home to iowa & will return for Esther’s court date
 in just a couple weeks.  you don’t know who Esther is?  you can read about her on my blog
by clicking her tag at the bottom of this post. you can follow her family’s journey here.
the short version is that Esther is a little girl that has lived in Clayton’s former orphanage
for 3 years where she arrived weighing little more than a newborn at age 3. she has waited
and waited and God has finally brought her forever family.  she is so loved & cherished
by them.  of course, adoption is expensive [especially when it is moving so quick] and in
order for the family to pay for the adoption expenses and to properly prepare things
for some of Esther’s special needs, let’s help Esther’s adoption fund!

a glad surrender.

A friend sent me today’s post from A Glad Surrender, a lent blog + devotional by Cornerstone Church in Ames. What a simple + poignant reminder that adoption can reflect the gospel. (Yes, those are the hands of my awesome husband and son.)

"Pure and undefiled religions before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world." James 1:27

Perhaps the most amazing part of the good news of Jesus Christ is that we are not merely forgiven, but we are adopted into the family of God. If we imagine a child in an orphanage who has given up all hope of being adopted by a family and then suddenly finds out that she has been adopted not just by a family, but by a loving father who has a wonderful family and also happens to be the king, we get a partial glimpse of the reality that has happened for each one of us.
A wonderful picture of how we can respond to God’s love is being played out at Cornerstone right now as many families are adopting children both domestically and from abroad. There are many more still in need of homes. Each child is an opportunity for a family to try to reflect the love God has shown us in adopting us.
Starter Prayer: Father, thank you for adopting us into your wonderful family. We pray that you would continue to raise up Christian families to adopt children in need of a home. We pray that you would help us, as a church family to support them and all the parents who are trying to raise their children to love and obey you.

There is a Joseph-size hole in my heart. An emptiness that will only be filled when my baby is home. But while I am broken, I am also full.

My heart is filled with a joy that comes from a compassionate husband, selfless friends and generous family. But most importantly, my heart brims with an overwhelming, overflowing joy from the love of a Heavenly Father who orchestrates things far greater than I can imagine. A Heavenly Father who knows what it’s like to ache with love for a child. A Heavenly Father who created love. Who is love.

So on this Valentine’s Day, my heart is simultaneously experiencing an infinite sadness and joy.

Sadness that I won’t be there to wipe my son’s tears when he is scared. To rock him and hold him on my chest until he falls asleep when he’s tired. To cuddle his chubby little body and listen to his babble when he wakes up. To hold a warm bottle and hear the sounds of him gobbling it down when he’s hungry. To sprinkle snowy baby powder over his soft mocha skin. To kiss his chubby cheeks and sing off key to him. To be his mommy.

And at the same time, I have a joy that transcends all understanding. A joy because I have an awesome God who already let me experience all of the above — a gift a lot of adoptive parents don’t receive. A joy because Joseph is an unfathomable gift. A joy because, some day, I will get to be Joseph’s mommy. Forever.

You probably already know this, but I thought I’d make an offical blog announcement, too: I’m going to be a mommy! The hubster and I are adoping a 4-month-old baby boy. His name is Joseph and we could not be more excited. We are traveling to west Africa to visit him in February and we are praying for him to come home soon.

Learn more about Joseph at our adoption website.

to be orphaned + enslaved.

howtobeagoodchristian:

We are all born orphans. Every person alive was born fatherless, setting out on a journey to find a father whom we were created to know. To make matters worse, we are also all born into slavery. Not a physical bondage, but bondage to sin and despair. This is the sad reality of humanity, and a…