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We are a family of 10, who love God and each other with all our hearts!


Thursday, October 29, 2015


Twenty two years ago I was a kid thinking I had an idea of what I was heading for.  Give birth, bring home a baby and voila I am a mom.

But birth was truly and unabashedly labor and the pain of doing this "natural" thing made clear the curse of Genesis 3.  There were concerns and labor and suffering dragged on for over ten hours.  The time arrived and many many health care professionals were on hand to ensure that the first air she breathed was clean.

And then she breathed, and I will never be the same.  For at that moment a life entered the world of humanity.  At that moment part of me was born, and until we all one day walk with Jesus, I cling to the promise that He loves her more than I; but, at times I am not sure that is possible.

To carry a child and give birth is by far the greatest gift God gave me apart from my salvation and the love of my husband.  That is the saddest part of the feminist movement - the stealing of the gift of femininity.  I can do something so beyond what any man can ever dream.  I give life.  And in my weaker vessel, I do more than any man could ever accomplish.

So to her who was my first, I pray she will one day be the joyful mother of many.  To the one who at 2 years old lined up the jelly jars in the grocery cart then rocked them to sleep because she  has always loved babies, I beg the Lord to surround her with the gift of motherhood.

Until then I counsel and pray, talk and pray; laugh with and pray for because these are rough waters we are treading, and He who made us promises only His love.

To the girl who taught me that this side of heaven I will never again live fully for myself - I love you. Because at the moment of your birth 22 years ago a love so amazing poured over me.  A love that is God given because the love makes me want to hold you here, but powerfully compels me to let you go.  A love that gives me the smallest taste of what it means, "God gave His only Son."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Fifteen years ago today I became a boy mom.  I had been a girl mom for 5 years, and if you are a mom of both you might understand just what that meant to my family.  A home of pink and yellow and light teal added bold blues and vibrant reds.  A home of baby dolls and strollers added toy guns and army men.  And more importantly, a home of Fisher Price Doll House Families added Thomas the Tank Engines and Legos.  Oh my word the Legos - who knew?

So he came and he brought adventure.  He had frustrations rather than tears.  He showed us sling shots and super heroes, and he played with everyone.  He was the dad in every baby doll scenario and the husband for every dream wedding.  He was a pastor, a lawyer, bad guy or good.  He was Pa for the Little House stories, and the Lone Ranger on a broom stick horse.

 He introduced us to scouting and merit badges; we learned how much more boys eat and how much less they pack.  He is a wonderful younger brother, but I think he is an even better older one.  For the two girls and one boy who came later, he is an incredible hero.  For them he is Captain America and Thor all roles up into one.  For hours playing Legos and letting them tear up Legos; for the days of dressing up with everyone and pretending scouts, for the forts and ball games, for slumber parties with giggly younger siblings - he is my hero as well.

Today he is taller than I, stronger than I, and certainly has more muscles than I. But when he sits in our school room, and I try to teach him English and Math and History and Science and the Word, I see he is merely a boy.  The world looks scary to me for him.  The depravity seems to be coming out like fire ants when I kick a mound.  I want to hear him at the top of the steps playing Legos; I want to watch him hiking in the woods with his little sisters and brothers.  I don't want him to go out and slay the giants.  And yet, that is my purpose - to train him, to give him a home as a refuge, but not a hiding place.  For our God has chosen us to live in "such a time as this."

The little boy I rocked and nursed and carried in a backpack is growing quickly into a man.

He will always be my baby though.

Last week we walked down the street, and he held my hand.  I will treasure that memory always. So today, as he stands on the precipice of manhood; I will hug him and savor that his younger siblings give him Legos in hopes that he would play with them again.  I will pray that he will always "call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised and will be saved from his enemies." Psalm 18.

Happy 15th!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Restaurants and Homes

What would happen if you showed up to eat at a wonderful restaurant with your family, and found that you were all going to eat at different places?  "Mom, you can go eat in the kitchen with the Chef, just stand at the counter and visit.  Dad you can sit right over here, we have a place where you can keep on working on that big sale while eating.  

Kids we have 3 different rooms for you!  Your favorite game is on in room one, room two has internet access and movies are showing in room three.  I am sure you expect better when your family eats out; why is eating at home so different?

I think The Table Matters.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


The Family Meal Table.  Since my husband and I have been married, we have enjoyed a simple thing almost everyday, three times a day - we eat together.  Over the years we have added 8 people who also eat with us.  Over our life together we have extended our table to many families including 8 children who lived with us for a week while their mother healed from a life threatening event.  Our largest number coming in at a family of 15!  We add on two or three extra tables, turn corners in our house and feast together.  Over the last few months, I have begun to become more aware that this small thing, while fundamental to a society, is now an anomaly.

Anthony Daniels a doctor in Birmingham, England, recently spoke for Hillsdale College.  He made this observance, "These homes (the poor and families of prisoners he worked with) had no means of cooking a meal, or any evidence of a meal ever having been cooked beyond the use of a microwave. [...]  Many homes do not even have a dining table.  Needless to say, this pattern is concentrated in the lower reaches of society where so elementary but fundamental a means of socialization is now unknown."  (Imprimis, Hillsdale College).

My husband and I were also recently at the local county jail to have our fingerprints made for foster care.  While there we met a lovely young lady who had recently graduated from college.  She was being fingerprinted for her job in the headstart program.  We asked her what she would be doing, and she listed some basic tasks that in the past a mother would have performed.  The most interesting thing, however, was that she would be sitting down to eat a meal with the children everyday.  She was responsible for teaching these kids a foundational part of a society.  She was doing what parents should be doing.  But these parents don't know how, and even our government has begun to see that this is a problem that needs healing.

My husband pointed out more importantly that all the church loves to talk of communion and feasting with the Lord, but we are missing a crucial part of the equation - the knowledge of why sitting at a meal would be a thing to be desired.  If you must have a Bible in someone's language, you must make sure you are speaking his language.  How silly to think we can tell someone how wonderful the Lord's Supper is or how the Lord spreads a banqueting table for us when that someone may not not have ever eaten a joyous meal at a table.

Let us realize that in our homes we have a beautiful opportunity to live the gospel already in our schedule.  Three times a day we can feast with our spouses, children, neighbors, friends, and strangers.  Let us come to the Family Meal Table and feast on the Gospel.  Let us find this place of healing.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

High Calling

We are heading to a wedding shower for a very close friend.  My little girls are so excited.  Their best friends will be there, and when you are 9 and 11, best friends are a very good thing.  Still my little Sarah asked, "Will I be able to play with them or talk to them?"  It was another Ah ha moment in motherhood.  They don't know... they need me.  That is my job.  To take them to wedding showers, to show them  how to change baby diapers, to fix hair and teach them to read.  To cook and bake, to be a good friend.  To love Jesus.  This is my high calling.  Praise be to God I am surrounded by other Moms who know it is theirs as well.  Thank you Lord for friends that little girls come to wedding showers and weddings because these are the moments of life that make beauty.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


He is my baby.  My kids know it, and I admit it.  It is different caring for the one you know is your last.  When you grasp how quickly it all passes, you just want to hold them a little extra.  When my oldest was 5, I had three year old twins, a 2 year old and a nursing baby.  Life was busy and sometimes I did not get to hold my babies as much as I would now.  So I take extra pictures of him because I know that 5 is a precious age that it will be gone in a heartbeat.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Our Pillar cut for a Palace

Not many 19 year old girls can bring over 200 people together for a night of films, family and fellowship, but this one can.  This girl who made me a mother, humbles me with her ability.  How did the baby I held become this amazing woman?

God gives us grace in many ways.  Certainly our salvation, but daily earthly grace has been poured out on Duane and me with the children whom the LORD has given me are signs from the LORD Of Hosts (Isaiah 8:18).

For this night, Michael has bathed in prayer.  It is your night, and we are all so proud of you and so excited.  You are (one of) our pillars cut for a palace, and we are blessed beyond measure.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Rejoicing from a Distance

Coming face to face with God's sovereignty is where the testing of our faith is. 

I have friends who have faced hard Providences.  Pain and suffering from the hand of God.  Friends who have had their homes completely wiped away by tornadoes.  Friends who have buried a beloved husband and father in the midst of unbelievable loss. 

I have friends with a child so disabled, she will never live without constant care.  I have friends with 8 children who buried a mom and less than one year later buried one of the children.

I have had a friend survive a terrible medical emergency with a very pre-mature baby, but also with the loss of hearing.  And I have seen my friends bury babies not meant for an earthly life. 

My Providences  have not been so hard, but for now where I am they are a raw wound waiting on the first layer of healing.  My Providences has been 5 babies in heaven.  One buried in my own backyard.

My little boy will wear his boots without socks and rub a terrible blister.  For awhile it is too painful to touch, but eventually it will heal, unless he wears those same boots without socks.  Then the wound opens up all over again.

My wound is healing, but sometimes when my good friends are rejoicing over baby #10, it is like those boots.  I have to start the healing all over again.

So to the two of you waiting on a little one.  I am "rejoicing with you who rejoice", but for awhile I may do the rejoicing from a distance.  For that I ask for grace.

Monday, October 29, 2012


For some reason, October 29th is always busy.  For some reason, my first born always shares her birthday with an "event".  A "missionary of questionable personality", a miscarriage, a family struggling with missing their mommy.  This year she shared it with a newborn baby - a child for us to care for - if for only a little while (but hopefully not)!

Still she made me a Mommy.  She changed my world.  She changed my world view.  She rocked our world.  We grew up.  The world was no longer about us! 

She is as wonderful at home as she seems to you when you meet her.  She is the most wonderful big sister,  a blessing to our family. 

We kid her: there will be a day that she will take the man she loves to SAMS and try to buy in bulk.  Maybe he too will be from a big family and understand.  For now we take her to SAMS, and we grasp for the few years, the few moments we have left before she spreads her wings to fly.

Daddy and I don't like to think about the day she walks down an aisle, but that is what we want for her.  We want her to know the blessing that they have all been to us. 

For now I will enjoy her every moment.  Much as I did when it was just the three of us running errands together, swimming, walking Clancy.  It was fun then, but it is far more fun now.  For she would not be who she is if it were not for all of the other ones.  They all make us a family.  They all felt her pain today when her birthday was a let down.  They all scurried to make a dinner, cake, presents and bring her laughter. 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my precious first!

Monday, September 3, 2012


What does a big family do all summer?  That was the question a friend posed to me at the beginning of the summer.

Have a book published.

Make 5 movies


Host a Christian Film Festival with 250 people in attendance.

Encourage 2 girls to compete in a Bible Bee


Get our home Foster Care Ready finishing 30 hours of training...

Garden and can salsa


Grow awesome sunflowers

Support chik-fil-a


Raise butterflies

Live Laugh and Love


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