the 24/7 bible study

My friend Missy just posted a series about Bible studies.  About how she has been trained to lead them properly and how frustrating is it to sit in a study that someone else is leading and have thoughts flitting through her head like “I would be keeping this discussion on track”  But the point of Missy’s post is not to rant about how she could do it better, but to eventually discuss how God used that train of thought (and a few others) to point her to a basic truth of parenting:

You (the parent) ARE the Bible study for your kids.

Not that you train them up using scripture (though that is wonderful), but that you LIVE OUT LOUD the life that becomes the gospel to your kids.

Go read her posts.  then come back here and we can move forward.

We can all do better at this.  If we teach our kids about caring for others and loving the poor, we can also SHOW them by openly supporting ministries like Compassion International.

If we want our children to not worship the material version of Christmas we can establish homes where presents are given to Jesus by each member of the household and food is delivered by the family to others in need. (or other methods are used to point our children to Christ as the significance of Christmas)

BUT.  We are human.  Ultimately our efforts will fall flat, our energies will flag, our tempers will fray.  It’s a 24/7 job for goodness sake.  There is no down time!

except….your quiet time.

now this is where I’m gonna start preaching at myself

I have tended to look at quiet time as…I’ll admit it…something to squeeze in where ever I can and the first thing to get sluffed off the list if timing gets tight.

Never mind what that says to my child as she watches me, stop a minute and think what that does to my sanity.

If my life is what Ginny “reads” ….

If my life is to become the gospel for her…..

I NEED a break to be with God.

I need time to pour out my heart to the ONLY BEING who could EVER bear up under that kind of 24/7 pressure.

How much do most of us mommies look forward to locking ourselves in the bathroom for a few minutes of privacy?  admit it, we long for it.  We fantasize about spending just 10 minutes without grubby fingers sticking under the door and endless cries of “mommy! brother is sitting on MY side of the living room again”

Face it.  We need God.

It would take a saint to be “ON” for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  And I am NEVER going to be a saint. At least not on my own power.

But God says that I am already a saint.  He says that I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me.  I just have to ask for God’s strength.  God’s patience.  Discernment from the Holy Spirit.  The tools are all there.  I just have to crucify my pride and ask for them.

But I seem to trip up on the whole concept of returning to the throne of grace every morning.

My lazy spirit wants to ask ONCE for this outpouring and have it “stick”. Why can’t I ask once and it be granted forever? there is nothing wrong with God’s grace and provision…it is the instrument (me) that is flawed and makes it essential that I go back to the throne. over and over and over again.

I keep getting in the way of God’s work

Lord, help.  Help me every morning, every minute, every heartbeat.  Help me do more than just give you room to guide me.  Help me to just get out of the way and let you LIVE in me.  Let you course through my very veins.  Inhabit my thoughts.  Speak out of my mouth. Shine out from me.  Make me invisible Lord.  I can not possibly live “good enough” to point Ginny (or anyone else) to you Jesus.  So make me invisible.  Let her see YOU Lord.  Let her see You.


we have a water baby

I already knew Ginny liked the water.  She loves to be held in the bath, tummy up and floated around the tub.  She loves to splash.  She even liked sitting in our neighbor’s little water play mat.  She has never shown the slightest fear of water.

But none of that was a guarantee that she would enjoy an actual pool.

Sunday evening we took her to a birthday party for a friend of ours who is turning seven.  Jessie wanted a pool party in the evening.  from 6 to 9 p.m.    Great!  What a perfect chance to introduce Ginny to the water.   Not too hot.  Not to much sun to worry about.

So we went.  i should probably let the photos tell the rest of the story:

what IS this stuff daddy?

what IS this stuff daddy?

hey mommy, watch this!

hey mommy, watch this!

I can blow bubbles!

I can blow bubbles!

Ginny just ducked her face right into the water.  THAT scared us half to death, let me tell you.  But she was perfectly fine.  We do need to work on blowing bubbles more in the bath.  This child has no fear!

The one thing I hadn’t thought about was that she would be cold after getting out of the water with no sun to warm her up.  Fortunately I had brought a terry cloth sleeper.  So we dried her off, and got her in the sleeper quickly.  She had so much fun.  We are gonna have to figure out how to join up somewhere that has a pool we can use regularly.  Ginny will be 16 for the 2024 Olympics, so we’d better start training now eh?

never orphaned

Just about everyone who reads my blog knows by now that my favorite Bible study leader is Beth Moore.

As I read her blog more and more I am finding that I really enjoy the insights and posts from her daughters as well.

This one in particular from Melissa (who lives here in Atlanta by the way) just blew me away.

click here to read it.

I’ll wait.

back already?

good isn’t it?

I saw the Harry Potter premier last night, got an hour and half of sleep and now I’m at work.  My brain is a disorganized, sleepy jumble.   So if this comes out wrong, I apologize in advance.

I want to take exception to what this post says about Adoption.  Yes I think I know the point is that God’s adoption of us is far more profound than adoption through a human agency can ever be.  The phrasing could have used a little bit of work though as it (inadvertently I’m sure) makes it sounds like human adoption is “merely paperwork”

Nothing could have been farther from the truth, at least for me.  The moment we saw Ginny in the hospital…wow.

ginny on birthdate

If I try to describe it I can only come up with hackneyed phrases.  Things that will make any creative writer cringe.

“felt a shock all the way to the tips of my fingers”

“flooded with love”

“overwhelmed by joy and a strong desire to cry at the same time”


“stopped in my tracks”

“utterly in love at first sight”

and let me tell you there was not much to see.  she was just a little face sticking out of a bundle of blankets.  I didn’t know her yet.  No personality traits had been displayed. But in that instant…

Ginny was instantly real and utterly loved.

us meeting ginny

The gift that her birth parents have given us is overwhelming.  The trust, the risk just blows my mind sometimes.

I do get what Melissa is saying, but based on my personal experience there is nothing “merely” about our adoption experience.

Still, I thank God that He has adopted me (and everyone who accepts His love) in a manner that transcends my understanding.  No matter how much I love Ginny, Jesus loves her more.  and He loves me more.

And neither of us will ever be orphaned.

weird question

so, I’m sitting in a hard wooden pew.

At the funeral of a fine upstanding man of God.  His Granddaughter is one of my dearest friends and we needed to be there for her. But we also respected Grandpa, so it was a no-brainer.

My husband is sitting next to me holding Ginny.  Ginny is quietly sucking on a bottle.

There is a man behind a curtain playing really nice, kinda bluesy versions of some gorgeous old hymns.

The funeral has not yet really started.

Quietly, my husband leans over to me and whispers

“Whose shirt am I wearing?”



It’s not every day you get asked a question like that anywhere, much less at a funeral.

We eventually figured out, based on the white paint that was found on the right sleeve,  and the fact that I have a very Gothic niece who likes mens dress shirts (but only in black), and likes to paint that it must be Ivey’s.

The question then was how did it get into my husband’s closet?

After cudgeling our brains for a while we decided it must have been the day she walked to our house in the pouring rain.  When she arrived at the door she was drenched and water was still sheeting off her, so I sent her around to the basement entrance where I met her with some dry clothes and a towel.   I offered to put her soaked clothing directly into the laundry.

It must have gotten left with us and hung up in Martin’s closet.

mystery solved.

So Trish if you heard whispering and a slight giggle in the back left side of the sanctuary…I’m sorry.

a different way to celebrate the fourth of july

Last year, Fourth of July weekend was a bit of a bummer.  We were dealing with a broken adoption match and the heartbreak was intense.

This year was much different.

in front of the Fargo Airport, thank you Aunt missy for the bow!

in front of the Fargo Airport, thank you Aunt missy for the bow!

We now have Ginny.  Our sweet, loving, adorable girl who has changed our lives.  You would think we would be big into the fireworks and freedom celebrations.  Um, not so much.  First off I don’t know how a 10 month old would react to fireworks noises. I know she loves the lights, but the BOOM-BOOM might be a bit much for her little ears.

So for her first All-American Holiday, Ginny really didn’t have much of a fourth of July weekend.  But she did have a celebratory weekend.  It was actually a wedding weekend.  Our former choir director Phillip, got married on the 4th, so we didn’t do any fireworks per se.  It was a nice wedding though.  Very Lutheran and very Minnesotan.

Oh and we REALLY enjoyed the weather up there in Minnesota.  It’s at least 10 degrees cooler up there than Atlanta.  aaaahhhhh bliss.  Can I spend my Summers in Minnesota from now on, and my Winters in Atlanta?  Such gorgeous weather.  And green hills.  Did you know they raise elk for meat up there?  In pastures.  Just like cows.  I really wanted to stop and get a photo but we were pressed for time.

Also Ginny got to meet an Aunt from her birth family.  We were only 6 hours apart, so Aunt Sherry and Uncle Curt volunteered to drive to meet us.  Ginny certainly knew that she was meeting family, these arms are the only ones (other than mommy and daddy) that she went into willingly all weekend.  It was a amazing.  And Martin and I loved Sherry and Curt.  Really lovely people.

Unlce Curt

Uncle Curt

Aunt Sherry

Aunt Sherry

aren't we all cute?

aren't we all cute?

The whole weekend was wonderful….right up till the night before we had to fly back.

We knew we had a two hour drive to the airport Monday, and we still needed to pack.  But that shouldn’t be a problem.  We figured Ginny would go to sleep soon and we could pack while she slept.

Serious first-time parent error there.

Ginny started getting irritable around 5 or 6 p.m.  Even that failed to warn us of what was coming.

She calmed down a bit and we had dinner with the happy couple till midnight.  Ginny stayed awake through all that.  She clung to Martin and would not go down for sleep.

We needed to get up at 5 a.m. to pack and leave at 7 a.m…… so we really needed her to go down.  At this point Ginny decided that no one really needed any sleep.  She screamed all night.  And she wouldn’t accept comfort from anyone except Martin.  He sang himself hoarse.  We eventually got up, put Ginny in the car and drove to the nearest Wal-Mart (at 2 a.m.) and bought teething tablets, benadryl, ambesol and anything else we could think of that might help.

Ginny eventually nodded off for about 2 hours.  Just long enough for us to get an hour of sleep and get most of the bags packed before she woke up.

Poor thing.  Her first tooth wasn’t this bad.  I think it is because she is getting so many at one time.  Her little mouth is filled with teeth buds.

And no, I don’t have photos of that.  She will hardly let me see inside her mouth right now.  I can’t imagine trying to snap a photo.  So instead you will just have to be contented with photos of Ginny at the wedding.

hungry, hungry, hungry

hungry, hungry, hungry

babies don't have to wait in the recpetion line. lucky them!

babies don't have to wait in the recpetion line. lucky them!

daddy is soooooo much fun to play with

daddy is soooooo much fun to play with

first father-daughter dance. notice the bride and her daddy in the background

first father-daughter dance. notice the bride and her daddy in the background

Ginny dancing with some very important people

Ginny dancing with some very important people

hoofin' it all night long! let's par-tay!!!!

hoofin' it all night long! let's par-tay!!!!