Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday Tunes: Glorious Unfolding

Lay your head down tonight
Take a rest from the fight
Don't try to figure it out
Just listen to what I'm whispering to your heart
'Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it's just not true
There's so much of the story that's still yet to unfold

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You've just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

God's plan from the start
For this world and your heart
Has been to show His glory and His grace
Forever revealing the depth and the beauty of
His unfailing love
And the story has only begun

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You've just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

We were made to run through fields of forever
Singing songs to our Savior andKing
So let us remember this life we're living
Is just the beginning of the beginning

Of this glorious unfolding
We will watch and see and we will be amazed
If we just keep on believing the story is so far from over
And hold on to every promise God has made to us
We'll see the glorious unfolding

Just watch and see (unfolding)
This is just the beginning of the beginning (unfolding)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Tuesday Tunes

I miss the loud chaos of having eight kids.

The peace and quiet is my favorite.

I want to jump in the car and go get all eight of them and bring them back home.

Let's get rid of the 12 passenger van because we are never having kids.

Just the two of us - it's perfect.

I want kids.

Let's try adoption again.

I'm never adopting again.

Let's just have a baby the old fashion way.

Oh wait.  We tried that.  It didn't work.

These are just a few of the ever changing thoughts than run through my head lately.  If you ask how I'm doing I'll give you the standard "I'm good" or "I'm okay".  That's simply easier than trying to explain that my feelings changed in the amount of time it took you to ask me how I was doing.

I have moments where I'm perfectly fine and life feels normal.

And in the same breath I can have a moment that causes me to break down in a full on ugly cry.

Lately the ugly cry comes from not knowing God's plan.

Bringing our eight children into our home and loving them was what God called us to do.  Andrew and I still believe that.  Yet it didn't work out the way we thought it would.

My low moments come from not understanding why having children has to be so hard for us.  They come from not understanding how God is working in all of this, but knowing that He is working.

This morning I heard a song on the radio as I drove to work.  It's a song that I've heard a hundred times, but this morning it spoke to me in a new way.

I may not be skilled to understand God's plan, but He lives.  He always has and always will.

He is always there for me.

I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed what God has planned
I only know at his right hand
Stands one who is my Savior

I take him at his word and deed
Christ died to save me this I read
And in my heart I find the need
Of him to be my Savior

That he would leave his place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You called it strange so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

My Savior loves
My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God he was
My God he is
My God he's always gonna be

Yes living, dying let me bring
My strength my Solace from the Spring
That he who lives to be my king
Once died to be my Savior

That he would leave his place on high
And come for sinful man to die
You called it strange, so once did I
Before I knew my Savior

My Savior loves
My Savior lives
My Savior's always there for me
My God he was
My God he is
My God he's always gonna be

Friday, September 18, 2015

Five on Friday

I've been in a rut with blogging lately.  I don't feel up to blogging about the heaviness that is a failed adoption, but it seems wrong to blog about nothingness as if the failed adoption never happened.

The nothingness is easier though so in an attempt to get back into this whole blogging thing I decided to link up with some fun ladies for Five on Friday.


Andrew had to go out of town earlier this week for work.  I took this trip of his as an opportunity to sweet talk my momma and daddy into cooking dinner for me and my brother and his family.  It didn't take much sweet talking.  It was nice to spend an evening with them.


I have an obsession with subscription.  I've never actually signed up for one, but I've started the process more times than I can count.  You know...Stitch Fix, Bark Box, Birch Box...and on and on and on.  This past week my best friend sent me info about one that was new to me.

You get a cute little bag with 5 beauty products each month.  When you sign up you take a little  beauty quiz to help guide them in what products to send you.  And the best part?  It's only $10/month.  I cannot wait to get my first bag.


I just finished the first two books in the Angel Walking series by Karen Kingsbury.  There are two books in the series that are not out yet.  The third book will be out in April.  Finishing the second book was a strong reminder why I don't read books in a series until the whole series is out.  Cliffhangers are not my friend!


I've already started thinking about our Christmas card for the year.  I was looking at different ones on Etsy the other day and I found this one...

I sent it to Andrew and told him I thought it would be fun to do a "fancy" card this year.  His response?  "I look better than that every day.

Oh I do love how he makes me laugh.


Andrew and I are headed to Fayetteville tomorrow to watch the hogs play and I couldn't be more excited!  I just hope tomorrow's game turns out a bit differently than last Saturday's game.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Missing the Chaos

Our Precious Eight,
    For twenty nine days God allowed us to be a big loud family of ten.  In some ways those were the longest twenty nine days of my life, but at the same time those twenty nine days weren't nearly long enough.
    I'm sitting here wishing things could have been different.  This big house is all to quiet today.  I miss the crazy chaos.  I miss those moments all piled up in bed, watching dad have tickle fights with you.  I miss football games in the yard - the weather is perfect for a game today.  I miss cooking meals for you and sitting around the dinner table listening to your favorite moments from the day.
   I wonder if those twenty-nine days were enough.  Were they enough for you to know how much I love you?  Were they enough for Dad and I show to you how much Jesus loves you?  Were they enough to let you know you are valued, each and every one of you?
   It breaks my heart to know that I may never see you or hear your voices again.  It's not how I wanted the story to end.  I believe with everything that Dad and I did exactly what God wanted us to do with each step.  I trust in the truth that is Jeremiah 29:11 - God has a plan for each of us and it's for good, not to harm us.
   H, A, N, S, M, K, A, and S, I love each and every one of you more than you will ever know.  I wanted more than anything to be your mom, to have you has my beautiful sons and daughters - all of you.  No matter what the future holds for each of you and for Dad and I, know we love you.  We want the best for you.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

A Week Later

It's been just over a week since our children left our home.

It has not been an easy week.

Like with so many other things, Andrew and I are complete opposites when it comes to how we grieve and attempt to move on.

I'm thankful God has allowed us to be aware of this fact.  Despite our differences we've been able to grieve together rather than pulling apart from each other.

We started this journey last fall and so many people have joined us in prayer along the way.

People we know, people we've only met a few times, and people we've never met.

They have carried us through each day with their prayers.

They have stood in the gap for us.

Their prayers, your prayers, are the only way we've made it through the past week.

Thank you.

We still have rough moments.

We still shed tears.

But God is healing our hearts.

He has been faithful to remind us that He is with us.


He called us to adoption and we obeyed.

It may not have ended the way we hoped, but He is still in control.

God is on the throne.

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Dream

This post is by Andrew...

A dream...
God gave Elaina and I a dream a long time ago. A house full of kids. Life. Noise. Family. A dream.
For years we tried to conceive. It was not to be. Doctors said it was "unexplained infertility." When they said those words all I could hear was Seinfeld saying "That wasn't the tube or the circle." There has to be a reason, an explanation, a cause, a purpose... You see, we have this dream.
We never had peace about pursing IUI, IVF, etc... We were moved to adopt. As we wavered, friends and strangers would appear and bring us back to adoption. It was inescapable. I felt like I'd end up in the belly of a fish if I turned away from it one more time. As we submitted to it, we had peace. It was our reason, our explanation, our cause, our purpose... You see, we have this dream.
I love the Fall. The colors. The cool mornings and crisp afternoons. The clothes. The college football. The last few rounds of golf. It was in the Fall that we took our first steps of obedience. It was in the Fall that we took our first glimpse of our children's photo. It was in the Fall that we found hope and a path forward. We gathered info, filled out forms, scheduled training... We planned and calculated. You see, we have this dream.
Fall became Winter and training was done. Winter bowed to Spring and home studies were conducted. Finally Summer arrived and we were approved. We were a licensed adoptive home in the State of Arkansas. We met our children's adoption specialist the same day. We questioned her and devoured every detail she gave about the children. Morsels of hope. Food for longing hearts. You see, we have this dream.
About a month later we met our children. Another month passed and they spent their first night in our home. A house full of kids. Life. Noise. Family. A dream.
Another month has now passed and we find ourselves in a place we never thought we be. Disrupted. It's the system's way of saying a failed placement. Our children simply are not ready to function in a non-institutional environment. Our love and effort were not enough. The last month has been challenging but full of good. A blessing. A gift. A dream.
The process of accepting that we could not safely proceed is the hardest thing Elaina and I have ever had to do. We love our children too much to continue on the trajectory we were on. We had to find a safe way to land. We love them and always will. We will be here for them for the rest of their lives. We simply cannot be their mother and father. Yesterday DHS checked the kids out of school and drove them away. Away from us. We've gone from nervousness and fear to brokenness. We hurt for our children. We long for them. We know they're full of fear. They're searching for answers just like we are. We mourn.
To quote the fictional Moonlight Graham, "It was like coming THIS CLOSE to your dreams... then watch them brush past you like strangers in a crowd."
So. Here we are. Looking for a reason. An explanation. A cause. A purpose. How can we function? How can we proceed? You see, we have this dream.
Our hope and our peace is from the Lord and in the Lord. We know He is our source and the source for our children. Our lives are His. Our plans are His. Our dream is His.
Today is His day, and He is good to us all.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Our First Family Road Trip

Before the children ever moved in we planned a road trip for the first weekend they were all home.

We were going to Oklahoma City to visit with Jill and Alex and to do some back to school shopping at the outlet mall during tax free weekend.

All week we wondered if we would be able to make the trip or if it would be too much.

Thursday morning rolled around and it seemed to be one thing after another.

Andrew looked at me and said, "We can't do this."

I completely agreed but oh how I didn't want to.

He had to be in OKC on Friday for work.

Even if we didn't join him, he was going.

It's not what this momma wanted.

We told a few of the kids we weren't going.

They were heartbroken.

And then Andrew and I decided, wise or not, we were doing this.

We had a family meeting and just broke it down for the kids.

Andrew told them he had to be there regardless and they could join him or not join him.  It was their decision.

He told them if they couldn't get along in the van he would turn it around and come home.

We were determined to have a great weekend together.

So Thursday afternoon, several hours after we had planned to leave, all ten of us loaded up in Big Blue for a 5.5 hour drive to OKC.

And we made it.

A mini vacation is exactly what we needed.

Our kids stayed off of social media and didn't talk to boyfriends/girlfriends all weekend.

We simply spent time together as a family.

Sure there was an occasional argument and the occasional frustration, but show me a family who doesn't experience that.

Our children got to meet Aunt Jill, Uncle Alex, Amelia, and Sydney.

It makes my heart swell with joy to see my kids playing with their cousins.

I've missed these two girls.

We could not have been more thankful for Jill & Alex's hospitality.  It's no small feat hosting ten loud people for a few days.  They took good care of us and loved on us well.

They even helped us do back to school shopping.

We got home late Sunday evening.  

We were exhausted.

I was thankful.

I was thankful for a weekend together, time with our family, and for the sweet memories we made.

I was thankful we decided to go for it even when everything in us told us to just stay home.