Monday, August 14, 2017

I Refuse to Remain Silent

It has been too long since the fingertips have tapped these keys. I have tried to live a life of intentionality and that does not permit a lot of time to unload. Now I must bring my intentionality my personal space....and to this public space. There is a heavy load that is being held right now. As the news broke of the movement in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend passions began to rise in all directions throughout our country, throughout our cities, throughout our neighborhoods, our churches, television, social media, faces, hearts. The Alt-Right formed and participated in a highly organized "Unite the Right" rally, that attracted White Supremacists, Neo-nazis the Ku Klux Klan and those in support of the evil by which these groups stand. Men and women stood together spewing hatred like vomit. Violence broke out between protestors and counter-protestors, leaving one woman dead and many injured. Hate breeds hate. White nationalism is hatred. "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other." Matt 6:24 This scripture passage does speak of God and money, but it absolutely applies to race or nationality. If it is our master, if it is what we worship, we cannot love another. If we worship whiteness, we cannot love blackness, brownness or any other color. After the events of the weekend, an eerie hush fell across the nation by the majority.  When our President finally spoke, it was lukewarm and met with scorn. Deitrich Bonhoeffer said “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” I put this quote as my social media status, but I know that is not enough. Those are not my words, although I feel they are perfectly fitting. Silence speaks volumes. I have prayed "God give me ears to hear You, eyes to see You." I am compelled to use my own words which exhibit my true heart. ALL have not been silent. Some have spoken out. The brave of this nation, of our communities, in our church, were willing to take a stand against the hated and evil. My church was a place that allowed the voices and lent our listening ears to those of the minority. One of our pastors Matt Marshall and church members, Alma Hernandez, spoke what was on their collective hearts. There was immense anguish and rage. It was intense and it was painful to hear. But, we listened. We heard.
I have never been so close to this issue as I am now. As I pray that God would draw me closer to Him, I never took into consideration where He was. Where He would draw me. What that would look like. God is not merely in the safe places. He is with the marginalized and the hurting. He is with the oppressed and the lonely. That is where I have found more of God. He has drawn me out of an uncomfortable comfort zone. He has placed me in an unsafe, safe place. I am in a place allowed to have feelings, a place where we are allowed to look different, a place where diversity is welcome and thrives, where we all do not have to agree to love each other, but we do just that. We love each other. We stand beside each other and we bear each others burdens. I stand in opposition to any form of white supremacy and nationalism. I call it evil because it evil. I was made in the image of God just like every other human being on this earth. I am so glad my Jesus was not a white man. Everyone person of color, light or dark or medium, is intrinsically valuable. We cannot give that nor take it away. It is God-given.
As I am challenged to go further than an insignificant, regurgitated quote on social media, I struggle to know what it looks like to stand with those who are being targeted with hate. What can I do? How do I respond appropriately? How do I overcome my own ignorance? How do I let my brothers and sisters of color know that I love them? First, I am listening. I hear your voices. I hear your hurt. I know it is real. I do not have to have mobs carrying torches, flags and signs cast in my direction to know this is painful. It is painful to witness. I refuse to be silent. I refuse to tell anyone to get over it, ignore it, that they are blowing it out of proportion. I have heard these statements. If you have stood by and said nothing, you have said so much already. Stand up and say something. Defend your brother and sister, less you impart power to the enemy. Blow up social media in defense of many. Call evil out. Love your neighbor well.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Splish Splash

Bath time has always been an enjoyment for our kids, and especially for us to watch! Now that Clementine can sit unassisted, she can have a bit more water to splash around in. Still not letting anyone join her just yet. She loves her bath and splashing all around!!


Tuesday, March 28, 2017


She is on the move now! We officially have a crawler.
Sometimes she drags one leg underneath her, but no doubt she is getting to new places now!!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bus #185

Each morning our girl gets ready for school, we wait on her big ride to stop and pick her up. Lottie has the privilege to ride the school bus to and from school each day. We are fortunate to have such a sweet, caring bus-lady that loves Lottie. She has been very patient with us as we learn the bus routines. This is our first go with the public school system and there is much to learn. Lottie also has an assistant that is assigned to her, making sure she gets buckled into her car seat each morning and each afternoon. She also helps assist us in getting her on and off of the bus since Lottie is little and still gaining leg strength. We are very fortunate to have this service. The kids love to gather round in anticipation each afternoon, of seeing big, yellow bus #185 coming down the road and welcoming Lottie home from her day at school. There are many buses that travel our street, but they know which one is hers. All of our kids are just a little jealous that they do not get to ride the bus each day too.  



Sunday, March 12, 2017

First Foods

Clementine got her first taste of real table food. We like to change it up from kid to kid, as long as we keep it healthy. So she got fresh, baked sweet potatoes. She was just like any typical woman when trying something new. When someone else was in control of the situation, she did not love it. But, when allowed to have her own way, she loved it. Sweet potatoes are a winner and we now have a new dinner guest each night. This also means that Jude moves to a big boy chair at the dinner table too. Boy, we are getting crowded. The more the merrier!!

Surprise Second Snow

 What a beautiful surprise to wake up to on a Sunday morning! The kids hoped that it would stay, but before church was over all of the stunning white was gone.  Sometimes God's gifts must be appreciated in the moment.


Saturday, March 11, 2017

Clementine: 8 months

Eight great months!! This little girl has my heart. She is trying to scoot across the floor. She is working on moving from her tummy to a sitting position, but she still gets stuck on her belly and frets. She is clapping and waving, all thanks to daddy. And she still sucks her toes and chews her fingers. We do expect teeth soon  She still nurses 6-7 times a day and twice a night, most nights. Sometimes she stretches her feedings, waking at 2:30, and I get to sleep until 6:00 or 6:30 am afterwards. She is a sweet baby that loves her mama, sometimes a little too much.
Sweet angel, I hope you love your Mama for always, because I will you! 


Friday, March 10, 2017

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Sitting Pretty

Good bye Boppy and good bye pillows! Our littlest lady has been sitting pretty steady for almost a month. We keep her on a folded quilt and we try to stay close by, but she has toppled a few times. She does not love to bump her head. She is learning to be tough. She is content to play with her toys.

Saturday, March 4, 2017


 All one needs is a chainsaw to keep thing interesting. Actually this large pine tree in our backyard has been obstructing the view and a more open feel that we desired for our backyard. Finally Dad decided today was the day to rid ourselves of the eye sore. Well, sort of. He cut it down and we all helped clear the brush to the bonfire pile. "Someone" still has to cut the trunk and branches for burning in our outdoor fire pit (which is still on the project to-do list). This gal is not that "someone". But we sure will enjoy the fires!! We are lucky to have such a brave man in our family who likes to challenge himself daily. "Cut down massive tree by yourself' can be checked off the bucket list, I suppose.

Monday, February 13, 2017


 Monkey, bee and butterfly. He was so proud of his puppets that we even enjoyed a show. He was proud of himself too, asking to take a separate photo with each puppet creation. I love his creativity and his comfort in performing for a crowd. Abe is not self conscious at all. He never shows timidity when speaking before a group, in front of strangers or trying new things that he feels like he may fail before others. I admire his sense of self and his contentment.  

Sunday, February 12, 2017


Abe has been filled with such anticipation to fly his kite. He was given a big, beautiful eagle kite and he wanted so badly to fly it. He asked almost daily "Mom, is it windy enough to fly my kite?" Finally it was a blustery day and we ventured out into our big backyard (that is surrounded my trees, mind you). He ran and ran, dodging highly wooded areas and finally the kite took flight. He tugged and pulled at the kite string as the bird glided overhead. He was so excited. The smile he wore for the rest of the day was worth the soggy feet that we got, trekking around the marshy parts of our backyard. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Clementine: 7 months

Our 7 month old, doll baby is rocking the ponytail now. Her hair is finally long enough and the bald spot has filled in just enough to where the hairstyle fits perfectly. She is sitting all by herself now. She loves to give sugar. She chews her finger and her toes. Still no teeth. She makes the cutest sound like a car driving. She makes it when she is happy or when she is frustrated. She is still nursing 6-7 times a day and twice at night. I am used to it and I no longer feel quite so tired in the mornings. She loves her binkey, requiring it a naptime. Her siblings bring it to her lovingly any time of day though.


Monday, February 6, 2017

You're Not Right About All Of This....And Neither Am I.

It has been a hard few months, right? It has. Tensions are high for one reason or another. It seem like when one hot topic cools off, another one begins to boil over. Along with our opinions, defenses and our feelings. Oh the feelings! The feelings are everywhere and everyone is having them. And, you have probably chosen a side or tend to lean further in one direction than the other on the issues. You may have gone over all of the reasons why all of the things that you believe are right. Of course you're right, or you wouldn't believe it right? Can I be blunt with you? You aren't right. I'm not right, either. We are getting this wrong. ALL OF US. WRONG. SO VERY WRONG.
We are a splintered nation. Unity is endangered, and in many areas unity has not been seen in such a long time that it seems extinct. Imagine that. Unity could be on the verge of extinction. My mind goes to ugly places. Before we get all dramatic and start rambling on about the state of unity in our country and where fault lies...Stop. Many of us have large protective barriers fashioned between us and "the other side", that we cannot even see each other anymore. Behind all of these opinions and reasonings, demands and marches, and all of these social media profiles are real people. We are neighbors, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, daughters, sons, friends. We only see opposition, lines drawn in the sand. Many of us are even daring the other to step over that line. There is so much anger. The truth is the anger is failing us. The real TRUTH is that "Love never fails. 1 Cor. 13:8" " covers a multitude of sins. Prov. 10:12". Lay down your defenses. You cannot love well from behind a shield.
But some of us aren't really trying to love here, are we? Maybe at one point we were. This feels more like hate and we do not even realize it. Or maybe we do. Oh sure, you know when the "other guy" is hating, because you feel it and it offends you. Now look inward. Look at your own heart. Do you hate? Merriam-Webster defines hate as intense hostility and aversion. UMMMMM....have you been on Facebook? Are you reading the news outlets? There are fingers pointing in all directions. Every single one. If you are trying to find the right side, you can't. You won't. There will always be a finger pointing at you. And we all swear we are right. We have our band of brothers that think exactly the same as we do all huddled together in the same corner and we are all doing the same thing. Just to be sure. Some are silent and some are loud. And even that's wrong. So many of us are demanding our own way. Aren't we? We all just want to be heard. I ask you what price are we willing to assure that we are being heard?
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
We are in an extremely vulnerable place. As a nation, very vulnerable. Many eyes across the globe know that we are on the verge of something. As we continue to demand our own way for the sake of love, and dishonor one another in the name of love, the divide deepens. And its our fault. Its not the political parties' fault, its not the church's fault, its the fault of the unchurched or the fault of a different religious group. It's not the liberals' or the conservatives' faults. IT'S NOT EVEN THE CURRENT OR PAST PRESIDENT'S FAULT. It is every single one of us collectively that is causing this estrangement. I am going to get really real for a second. Can I call out my family right now? My family, the church. I feel like I can say some hard things and you might get mad, but we are family and you will get over it and still love me. We aren't standing in the gap. We are breaking down. Our behavior is unbecoming of a bride. We are throwing blows at one another, to our own brothers and sisters, in the name of righteousness. "But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. Gal 5:15. And everyone else is screaming at us too. We are buckling under the pressure to have the answers and we are all coming up with different ones. The answer in Jesus. Not a platform, not a charity, not even a really good moral belief. We are letting this happen by placing our selves above others, some of us even in the name of others. We aren't loving others, if we aren't loving each other. In John 13, Jesus said "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” WOW, just wow! Our love for one another.
We are not being the light in a dark world. We are mimicking the darkness. We have made this about being right. We are so sure we are right. Just like Eve was in the garden. She was sure of herself. An idea had been planted in her mind. And the Word says she evaluated her surrounding intricately. She looked for the good, she did...just like we think we do. "So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate." Gen. 3:6. She was wrong. We are so sure of ourselves. So sure that we are doing good. The truth is hate isn't the opposite of love, self is. Hate is a byproduct of fear. Many of us are afraid. I know I am. We are about the shatter into a million pieces if we aren't careful. Have we forgotten that God is sovereign? He reigns. That is the only thing I am sure of anymore. HE REIGNS ALONE. In prayer I have begged for His wisdom, and His Word says if we lack wisdom, ask Him and He will give it generously. He does not need us to help Him. He needs us to seek Him. On our knees. Humble. Repentant. Would you seek Him with me?
"...if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chron. 7:14 


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Chinese New Year 2017

We welcomed the year of the Rooster in 2017. The rooster represents fidelity and punctuality. I could use a dose of punctuality. We celebrated by making Chinese lanterns and decorating our dining room with the Chinese New Year decorations that we purchased in China. We also celebrated Chinese New Year with our sweet friends, the Autry's. They kindly hosted all of our crew at their home. We had such a nice evening, dining on an array of Chinese foods, creating rooster crafts, and reminiscing on our trips to China, while the kids played together. Their son Kai came home a few months before Lottie did. They are the same age and attend the same school. I love knowing they are growing up together and share a common heritage. It is a comfort that God placed this family in our lives. Our hearts were full.

We just happen to have a giant rooster in our dining room already!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Big Girl School

Lottie started big girl school at Whitehall Pre-K Center. We applied in the fall, where we went in for several assessments to make sure Lottie qualified for the program and to see what services she would need. The assessment process was long, spanning over several days. Then there was a very long meeting with each representative that would be working with our daughter, to develop her IEP, or individual education plan. This is wonderful because Lottie's IEP is tailored specifically to her needs and meeting her own goals. They worked very closely with us, her parents, to develop a plan that made us all comfortable, even allowing us to send our daughter part time this year, to allow further bonding time with her family. Lottie gets hours of classroom time in Ms. Starla's room with other developmentally delayed, three-year old children each week, in addition to physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Lottie has made great strides in the few short weeks that she has gone to Whitehall, even meeting some goals already. She loves school and expresses delight when we tell her it is time to get ready for school. We love the faculty that meets and cares for Lottie while she is at school. We get daily updates in her backpack each day, of the progress she is making and the new things she is learning and achieving. We are so proud of our daughter and the bravery she has shown in being away from us for an entire school day on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays each week. We really had no way of telling how she would react to such a public place without any parent or sibling. I did worry the entire first day, but she loved it!! I do think it helps that they serve her meals at school and breakfast is always waiting for her when she arrives. That is the way to Lottie's heart.