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February on the Farm…

February has brought many things on the farm for our family! Here are just a few highlights I want to remember:)

Freezing cold mornings–waking up to feed the animals. Parker is my faithful morning worker. This kid wakes EVERY morning and feeds the animals without complaint. Things I want to remember about this season…4th grade…sweet heart…I know the day is coming–but I have still never heard him raise his voice at me or his daddy. He has developed a love for reading this year, and he loves homeschool.


We traded in the van of 10 years and got one with more room…so everyone could have a friend. I’m still learning to park!


Our donkey…Donkey HO-TE turned MAD. He started acting like a bull and charging people. And then…he killed our black precious goat. We got rid of him the next day. We gave him back to the seller for free–free as long as he got him in 24 hours…after that–I was considering digging a very large hole. (Animal rights activists…ONLY KIDDING…but at the time–I wasn’t so sure!)

I’m still recovering from the donkey nightmare. It was awful and we saw him take out our precious pet. It was a sad day. We were left with our pet’s twin–who mourned…so we let her stay close by for a few nights. YES…inside;)


Homeschooling in the freezing cold–ready for warm weather. But one day at a time over here…

Did I tell you I got to meet LeCrea? LOVE me some LeCrea! A little C4C love right here…


We are super excited what our friends are doing with LeCrea and others to bring a school to the 5th most dangerous neighborhood in the country–right here in Atlanta on English Avenue. READ ABOUT IT AND JOIN US IN MAKING A DIFFERENCE RIGHT HERE…

Sugar, our goat, was depressed. So we found her a new friend–MEET BOB.

Okay…can you believe yet that THIS is all an ONE MONTH UPDATE?!

Cousin and bestie Emma Loo-Hoo came for a weekend of fun!

We took the kids for a UGA basketball game in Athens…

The kids helped me prep for a rocking Created for Care retreat for the first 450 mommas coming for rest and encouragement.

I really rocked my Bon Jovi look don’t ya think?

Bob started warming up to Sugar…and us…

Laney Loo continued growing in her prank skills. This doesn’t look like a ton of baby powder. BUT once you turn the hair dryer on–TRUST ME. It is something else!

Another year–YEAR 5–of Created for Care serving foster and adoption moms with my sidekicks Christy Elphick and Angie Carley. These two…my heart! Couldn’t do this without them! And certainly wouldn’t without them!


Mom sweet mom came to help Rico Suave with the kids during the February retreat–and she even came by to see how things were going. Thankful for a supportive mama!

My bestie from 7th grade–she’s never missed a C4C retreat…and although she isn’t a foster or adoptive momma…she volunteers EVERY SINGLE RETREAT. LOVE.

And then…there’s my adoptive momma side-kicks…who make me normal. Who I love dearly…and who are sweet gifts in this journey…

We said good-bye last week to our beloved gerbil that lived FIVE weeks under our front porch. He jumped to his death off of the Lego table. Internal bleeding. Rest in peace Spark…

Valentine’s brought a homeschool party–because while I struggle with homeschool…I will never struggle to throw a good party. (Just being honest;)

Craft fun with some of our homeschool besties…

Then one of your children tells you that they think it was their fault the gerbil ran off the Lego table…and he will never be trusted again. So you pray as a momma. And you find yourself in a pet store…buying not 1 but TWO Dwarf Hamsters. The pet guy tells me gerbils often have this fate but hamsters are like velcro–I believe him…and I buy them…and it is good. And I surprise my boy–and I get knocked down. And he names they Nay and Ray–both that mean GRACE. Double Grace. Just because…

And that night as I drive out to see friends…I’m reminded of more grace. On our farm…

A new game from Walmart–QUELF…hysterically funny. But definitely for older elementary and middle school ages…(“All hail to the Chinese Cheese Biscuit!”)

Movie night…with a hamster–ya’ll…I do NOT do rodents…but I do just about anything for my kids;)

And then we got the call. For 2 baby goats whose momma died during kidding. They were pretty fragile when they came…

But they are doing well now and they are 2 weeks old this weekend!IMG_8649

One is blind but preciousIMG_8695

THEN..the ice storm came…

And while that looks pretty–the back pasture…not so much…IMG_8744IMG_8743

And with freezing temps these guys are inside…IMG_8815IMG_8767

READY for warm weather because I’m cleaning A LOT and this is more work than a newborn baby!!

THEN…we were left with a long wait list for February and March foster and adoption mom retreats. And I couldn’t sleep. I knew He was calling me to more. So we are having ANOTHER retreat–just for those moms…just 40…and we are the “Fabulous Forty”…who will be HERE in a few weeks!a1ebf6c5-1101-482b-8cfe-1422b7b8eb82.1.10

Laney had her Daddy-Daughter Dance on Friday!

Saturday the boys left at 5am to volunteer and work the Wiphan WARTHOG Waddle Race for Wiphan’s school in Ndola, Zambia! SILLY FRANK! One too many warthog snouts!IMG_9012_2

THEN Saturday night we celebrated the Chinese New Year with other adoption families. How precious is this bunch all HOME…

And our daily looks a lot like this…


and this…


and this…(this is Georgia checking out the live goat-cam on the Beekman farm in NY)


We start each day together in this season walking through Lent (see my last post if you want to join us!)IMG_9138_2

AND THEN…today–we went to the Compassion Change Tour…And my heart sailed into my throat again–as I entered very real stories…and they joined me. How sweet it is to spend a morning shepherding my children’s hearts into these experiences…




And that’s 3 weeks of our life…with 1 more week to snuggle into February. And I have to say–that what is coming up THIS weekend…I can’t WAIT to share…the most adventurous of ALL! Oh boy–when I said I wanted a life of adventure–I just had no idea. It’s really true–God writes the best stories. Come see us on the farm some time! Life together is the best of all.



The Lent Tree {Bringing the Beauty and Passion of Christ to Your Home}



It is one of the most JOYOUS and SACRED times for our family–and we use the Lent tree to make it come to life.

For those of you wanting to join me in creating a Lent tradition, I have created 5 word documents for you to download and print so that you can walk your children through Lent growing in the knowledge and understanding of God and the Passion of Christ. This activity requires you to find 41 treasures for the 40 days of Lent (a few after to celebrate the resurrections!). EACH day you will have a scripture reading and an ornament that accompanies it. PRIOR to beginning this journey–you will need to go on a mommy scavenger hunt all over town (dollar stores, craft stores, etc) to locate an item for each day. This will be not only an amazing journey for your children BUT ALSO FOR YOU!

OR you can just draw them or let your children draw them! Keep it simple! You can make the ornament together after the reading too! I just gather old sticks to use for our tree–some years we spray paint them some year’s we just use plain old sticks…bringing new life to what is no longer.

If you don’t want to find ornaments or draw them–you can use my friend Laura Kirkland’s drawings–all downloadable for just $10. Just print and laminate! You can reuse them every year and the proceeds go toward their adoption fundraiser! These coordinate with the verses by day PDFs below!


When your children are little–I encourage you to read the scripture before hand and then retell it so they can grasp it according to their age level. As they grow older, they will be able to sit through the entire chapter (or chapters) of reading, and each year you will be amazed at the nuggets the Holy Spirit gives them through each day’s reading.

The list that I used is in each document download. I found these 41 treasures (one day is a “nothing day” as you wait on the resurrection) at Dollar Trees, Hobby Lobby, ebay and some I made myself out of felt when I couldn’t find the ornament recommended. These word documents were created to be printed on shipping labels—so you can easily print them on 2″x4″ labels and stick each label on a ziplock bag to store your ornaments in to remind you the story and verse—as well as to store safely from year to year.

All the work has been done FOR YOU as far as the labels go! Now…you just need to run to the store and buy white shipping labels – 10 per sheet 2 in x 4 in. (I bought Office Max’s offbrand and it matches the download template of Avery 8163). But as long as you purchase the 2″x4″ with 10 on a sheet—this should work!

Lent Days 1-10
Lent Days 11-20
Lent Days 21-30
Lent Days 31-40
He Is Risen Days 41-42

I followed the instructions found in Carol Brazo’s book “No Ordinary Home: The Uncommon Art of Christ-Centered Homemaking” which by the way is a must have in any mommy’s library! Carol Brazo walks you through how to beautifully celebrate the final week of Lent, Holy Week, with your children—and this is SURE to be a memory they will forever hold dear in their hearts as they encounter the Savior this powerful week in an amazing way. My favorite is one of her explanations of how she celebrates Sunday…

“Every Easter Sunday I am the first one up. Mark, like the disciples before him, hears those magical words, “He is risen” from the mouth of a woman. The little girls are awakened by their mama’s cries of joy, “He is risen!” and they in turn wake up their brother. Those first words belong to women. They are our gift and our heritage. And every year, as I hear women cry out their joy, a place deep inside me, inside the female part of me, is resurrected and brought to nerve-tingling life. He is risen! He is risen! Wake up and rejoice!”
On the FIRST day of Lent–you will read the Bible story to your children and your littles will take turns putting the ornaments up on the tree each night. The first ornament: a teeny, tiny mustard seed. Your first scripture reading is short–Matthew 17:20. Short, but not simple. It is about faith. And faith we will need on this journey to the cross.

Matthew 17:20 says, “And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” Oh Lord, will you give my little preschoolers faith for this journey with us. Oh that Your Holy Spirit would teach them and do a miracle in their great big hearts the Lent as we travel the Lent Tree journey together…

Now it sits empty…but in a few hours it will have a mustard seed. If we have faith the size of an itty, bitty mustard seed…then nothing will be impossible for us.

Simple twigs.


Mine are artificial twigs from Hobby Lobby because I use this year round for different things. Some times we add twigs or just use a twig tree…and as we find twigs for our tree–we talk about how these twigs no longer have life–essentially they are dead. But throughout the season, we will add ornaments to them bringing life to our tree just as Jesus Christ offers life to us through the cross.

For those of you without little ones at home or with wee ones too young to understand, consider doing this with your spouse! This is a worshipful way to walk through Lent together, and what fun it could be to treasure hunt each day for that day’s ornament. At the end, you’ll have a precious set to keep in a Hope Chest for that baby you have hoped for or even as a gift to a grandchild. Either way, the Lent Tree isn’t just for families with children. I think adults enjoy it just as much…if not more!

IMPORTANT to read if you are doing the Lent Tree with us! DO NOT do an ornament on Sundays during Lent! There are 40 ornaments—and there are 40 days of fasting between Ash Wednesday and Lent *IF* you don’t count Sundays! SOOO—you will do ornaments Monday through Saturday only following Biblical Lent tradition. “When observing fasting or abstinence during Lent, regard must be paid to the fact that Sundays are Feast Days, so there is no fast or abstinence. The days from Ash Wednesday to the day before Easter Sunday, excluding the Sundays, are forty, corresponding to the number of days Christ spent in the wilderness.” So…technically you fast for 6 days and then Sunday is a Feast day where you get to have what you fasted. Did ya know that??? Lent is a custom not a Biblical requirement–and traditionally you fast for 6 days and on the 7th day you celebrate the resurrection with a Feast day.

Here are some examples of some of the ornaments we found and use year and after year:

The story of Adam and Eve…how sin was brought into the world and how Jesus would cover our sin

The story of Abraham and Sarah…Abraham having to work the land

The story of Isaac…God providing a new sacrifice

It will take some time to find all your ornaments but it will be a fun, interactive way for you to study God’s Word together! It is SO worth the mommy scavenger hunt! I am about to teach 17 sweet ladies in my Sunday school class how to do this–so we’re making it a PJ Party night and I’m dividing up the ornaments so each mom will only need to find 3 each. They will just buy 17 of 3 each and then we’ll come together and share the wealth…and have a really fun girls night that will bless our families for years to come!

Hope this inspires some of you in ways you can invest Eternity into the hearts of your children!!!

Blessings to you!


Removed {foster care}

Praying for foster children in our city, state and country. Sweet foster moms–we can’t WAIT to serve you this weekend. To bring YOU rest. So you may be refreshed. Praying for hope and healing in the hard in your homes. You challenge me…and I hope one day to be a foster mom…but this weekend–we are privileged to bring YOU rest and encouragement for your most sacred, sweet and high calling. Don’t give up!!! Foster moms joining us at C4C, we hope and pray you feel loved and cared for by our Created for Care team this weekend!

Reflections from an adoption momma…

Reflections from this adoption momma today. Adoption has changed me far more than I ever imagined…maybe just as much as the lives of my children. Adoption has changed the way I see both my biological and adopted children–and it has changed the way I value, connect, cherish, discipline and parent all of them. Adoption has divinely ruined me as I have watched the orphan spirit dissolve and be replaced with the spirit of sonship…not all at once but bit by bit…and not just for my children but for me as well. Adoption has taught me that I have more to risk by remaining comfortable than taking risks and opening my hands to whatever the Lord wills for our family. Adoption has erased my logical decision making about college and retirement plans and helped me to live out that family really matters most and the belief that God will meet all of our needs according to His riches and glory. Adoption is a painful, beautiful, refining, redeeming, healing process-not just for my children but for all of us that step foot (willing or unwilling) on this path none of us might have chosen in a perfect world. I’m learning through adoption how much we really all need each other and how for every scrape–He has much more than a bandaid…He has healing in His hands. I can’t imagine my world without adoption–and I’m so blessed to be a mom through it.

Hope for the Hopeless {Keeping Your Eyes Up…}

In a world filled with so much heartbreak, sin and disappointment…THIS…

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

The news.


Everything around us–sometimes–appears…broken.

Isaiah 40: 31…”but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”


Because with the news just today–I feel faint.

A precious Godly couple in Cobb County–whose lives were taken because of…who knows the heart of the one who thought this was an option to sustain him.  Grandparents. Parents. Friends. So much taken for petty change. Their lives were worth so much more. Yet–their children grieve and even say words of forgiveness in just hours of the terrible news.

I see pictures of thousands of orphaned children–and I take a deep breath. Oh my soul. I believe Jeremiah 29:11 is for me–but can I really trust it is for them too? For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

So much feels broken.

I rock my babies–some brought to me through adoption…with layers of things for us to work through. Some days it feels like it might take a lifetime to heal. Maybe it will.

I hop on Facebook to see fellow adoption moms fighting with one another. Yet they were given the call to be healers of the brokenhearted.

I remember back to our own adoption–and a family member of mine with a different calling maybe stirring up hurt on one of my adoption threads saying we (and our friends) shouldn’t be adopting internationally as their were so many waiting children in America. Yet He had led and spoken to our hearts and our response was to follow…HIM.

I drive just 25 miles South and it feels like I’m in Africa again…the poverty just miles away. Fear as I stop at the red-light and I’m met with stares for being in the wrong part of town in a van. I just needed gas. But maybe I’m needed here.


Do not look to the right or the left. Listen to the Lord. In this world you will face many trials…you will see overwhelming sin. BUT–wait upon the Lord.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

2 Corinthians 5:7 “for we walk by faith, not by sight.”

The daughter…speaks forgiveness because Christ has overcome…even the greatest loss she will experience this side of heaven. The mom carrying burdens offers herself as a living sacrifice as she holds up her plate and just keeps her eyes on Jesus…loving with the strength He has given her and trusting HIM to be the healer. The moms and friends on social media–seeing hurtful words–choose to love anyway and keep their eyes on Jesus rather than becoming involved or choosing sides and becoming distracted…because looking to the right or left will do that. The mom closes her ears to the world and what the world thinks she should do–because she’s keeping her eyes up…and listening to Jesus and following Him. The girl at the red-light–she listens to that call…and even if she isn’t called to go right now in her life–she looks for who is and she sends and supports. HE IS WORKING AMONG THE SIN, THE PAIN, THE HEARTBREAK and THE BROKEN.

Galations 6:9 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

1 Peter:6-9 “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Psalm 147:3 “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

John 16:33” I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

And among all that–God’s light SHINES through.

Through Leighanne…I have found a friend on a blog across the country…who inspired her sister to adopt a little girl with Down’s Syndrome. You can’t help but giggle at Leighanne’s top Five. I follow her on Instagram and that little precious one inspires me. And she doesn’t even know it. God SHINES THROUGH.

I watch my precious friend Jennifer Armbruster–a fellow adoption and foster mom–fall in love with birth moms through foster care and love them as big as she does their children. She takes risks in the middle of the brokenness…she gives up much. God SHINES THROUGH.

I read my dear friend Lauren’s words who knows the pain of loss–yet she keeps taking risks and loving outside of herself. God SHINES THROUGH.

I met the Hensley’s through social media and Created for Care…and connected them to Wiphan…and now they sell their home and move their entire family to Zambia to work with Wiphan…with a house full of kids trailing behind them as they go. Sure malaria and other risks will be there waiting. But so will Jesus. God SHINES THROUGH.

I get an invitation from my old roommate to hear about a vision the Lord has given them after they moved to inner city Atlanta. Aside from working full-time for Navigators, they will start a school in the 5th most dangerous neighborhood in the country with the hopes that Peace Prep and the children who attend it will transform this neighborhood in the name of Jesus. God SHINES THROUGH.

 John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

So today. I find myself where I should be…

On my knees for a broken world–but with my EYES UP…




Ready to take the next step…whatever it might be.

Despite the tribulation–hopeful…because He always overcomes.

Hand in hand with my brothers and sisters in Christ not giving up–but ready to run…and worship…to shake my tambourine because I know and believe He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. HE WILL ALWAYS SHINE THROUGH THE DARKNESS. Even for that…He has a perfect plan. 

So rise up.

Look up.

He is there…He is moving.

Fill us Lord Jesus with your sweet power and Spirit. Move in us. Use us for Your glory and Your kingdom come…as on earth as it is in heaven.

I love this poem “Anyway” by Mother Teresa. Because He will shine ANYWAY…being His light bearers–may we do the same.

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.


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