Thursday, April 23, 2015

"Hey Wait!! Where's My Name?"

I wanted to share an interesting, 
comical little conversation from the other day.

Understandably many cannot fathom what
life in a large adoptive family looks like.

It is kind of hard to comprehend our family on a day 
to day basis.
Over the years I have had a few questions from 
curious people like:

What do your biological children think of all the siblings?
Was it hard on them growing up?
Do they like having adopted siblings?

Of course, most times they didn't use the 
word "biological" nor were all the questions quite
as polite...but I knew most had hearts that just
couldn't understand at all...

I love that now I can respond with things like,

"Well actually of our five oldest,
all have a heart for adoption....
one has completed two adoptions
and one is fostering, not to mention that that same one
 has given her life
away to care for special needs gems on the 
other side of the world...another 
plans to adopt as soon as they are "old
enough" according to the regs
of the country their heart is drawn to;
one has an "adoption fund" already started
and the last one is totally planning on adoption to
build their family."

So really, it's been a pretty amazing journey.
They get it.
They loved having a large family
gathered from around the world.
And they are each other's best friends.

And so the other day,
in keeping with this whole theme,
I was wearing the shirt pictured here:

It was designed and used as a fundraiser for my
sweet friend, Amy, who is actually in Ch*na at 
the moment bringing home number 8
{the cutest little guy in the universe}.  

The back of the tee is filled with the first and middle names
of treasures gathered lovingly from around the world.

And if I could blow the picture up more, 
one would see these listed about 3/4 of the way down:

Tyler Dwight
Autumn Elizabeth
Liberty Anna
Jubilee Promise
Nehemiah Judson
Isaiah Samuel
Elizabeth Mercy
Elijah Mueller
Ruby Grace

The kids and I have giggled how funny it would be if one of the big ones 
were out and about and standing in line and were to suddenly see 
the back of someone in front of them and be like, 

"Hey wait!! That's my name on your shirt!"  

Anyway, Graham happened to be behind me one day when he and Savannah were
visiting and said, "Wait!! Why isn't my name on that shirt?"  

I started to giggle, 
"Because all of these are the names of treasures that were 
adopted from all over the world!!"

He paused and laughingly asked, 

"What's up with that?? Where's my name?
 I want my name listed with theirs!! 
They are my brothers and sisters!!  
I say she makes another shirt so our names can be listed too!!" 

So the bottom line??

Big brother loves his sibs and would love his name listed with theirs.  
He's so proud of each of them and none of us could imagine life without the other.  

Large adoptive families rock!! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mr. Isaiah

Thank you all for praying for Isaiah.

At every turn we saw God's favor and it was quite
evident that the Lord had prepared the way.  I could
totally tell you guys were praying with us!!

Such a comfort to this mama!!!

The surgery was longer than expected, but
our Isaiah did so well!!

They allowed me to go in to recovery immediately
and he was so funny.  He would open his eyes, raise
his head,  look about with the most puzzled look, lay his head
back down and doze some more.

He didn't say anything.

That puzzled look, with furrowed brow was making
me giggle.  Literally.  I should have gotten a picture.
He was pretty hysterical.

At one point he turned to me and gave me the,
"And who might YOU be?" look.
Maybe cause I was giggling.

They said he was doing so well he could go home
and we ran for the door.

The surgeon said we will know the outcome in two
weeks when he unwraps it in his office.  We are
praying with hopeful expectancy!!

And yes, that's a pair of pajama bottoms as a make-shift
sling on our Mr. Dimples.    My boys are pretty darn clever in my book.  

Multi-purposing at its best.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Brother's Facing Surgery...And What Did Another Do?

Yes, big brother is having surgery today.

At the pre-op  appointment the other day,
I asked what time he could eat until?

Mentioning to the surgeon that we would get up in the night 
and make a big breakfast as long as he was okay with that.

He was.

So while discussing it with Isaiah the idea of me getting up to 
make him breakfast in the middle of the night,
Elijah piped up,
"I want to get up with him so he doesn't
have to be alone."

Nehemiah, bless his pre-teen heart, sheepishly
grinning said, "I will sleep." 

Surprisingly the thought of food
didn't grab his albeit always ravenous heart.
Sleep won.

So in the middle of the night 
I woke Isaiah, who instantly hopped up.

Elijah jumped up too.

And together they made a great big breakfast 
for themselves... 
and giggled as Elijah kept getting shells in the eggs...

They ate and we talked
and then what did they do?

They watched YouTube videos of middle of the 
night scorpion hunts.

Of course they did.

Cause they're boys and they're brothers
and they will do life together.
Nehemiah joined them this morning.


Surgery is today at noon.

Your prayers would be appreciated.

Arthrogryposis is not fun. 

So grateful that Isaiah doesn't walk this road
alone.  Not now.  Not ever.

Family sticks together.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Book: Rescuing Ruby


How can I resist these little guys??

I mean look at them.  

My little treasures gathered at my door several days this 
week to take a peek at mommy.
Daddy had asked them not to bug me
as I was sequestered away on the final thrust to get 
the book done.

And oh my sweet friends...

I am so close I can almost taste it!

I have to tell you something though that 
is totally miraculous!!

So 11 years ago,
when we were pastoring in Virginia,
Dw had the privilege of being the Supervisor for our denomination
over all the churches that were in Virginia and West Virginia.

It was a wonderful time in our lives as we 
had the joy of not only pastoring our church,
but also serving all the churches in those two states.
We made lifelong friends among some of the greatest,
 like Nick and Robin, and Brandon and Betty & Ken
Wright.  Faithfully serving day in and day out.
Believing God for the miraculous!

Anyway, when we were leaving to pastor 
in Colorado we had to resign from Supervising and 
these precious pastors whom we had served, 
gathered for a special time of prayer over us.  

 I will never forget that day,
 as these men moved about freely, back and forth
with prophetic words over Dw and I.

Oh my.   

Their prayers were powerful!

During this anointed prayer time, 
 Pastor Ken, a great man of God, 
came to me and said, 

"I have a word for you. "

He held a pen in his hand.  
He spoke slowly,
thoughtfully, and holding the pen up to me he said,

"One day you will write a book and have it published."

My heart soared!!

I had always, love, love, loved writing,
but had no avenue to write.

Time passed that day as the pastors continued praying
and speaking over us.

From the other end of the group
came a treasured friend and precious man of God,
Pastor Brandon.
He laid his hand on my shoulder and
said, "Linny, I believe that you will write books
that will be published one day.  
*he paused*
Not just one either. 

Oh my!!

There is no way Brandon had heard what Pastor Ken
had spoken.  They were in opposite places as all 
were praying.

It was totally the Lord.

And here it is now friends.

Rescuing Ruby 
is just a day away from being done.

I only have to tweak one part.

My eyes were welling as I worked away
this week, remembering all that happened,
how much of Ruby's story has not been shared,
and how grateful I am that God is 
fulfilling the prophetic words
spoken over my life!!

The first picture I ever saw of Ruby and One year after Ruby's rescue.

Dw did a check on it, 
and it is over 180 pages long!!
I can't believe I wrote all that.
Yippee Jesus!

Almighty God is so faithful.
His promises are true.
And any promise He has given you,
He will keep!!

Ruby loves life!!

Eleven years have passed since 
our two friends gave their word
Rescuing Ruby 
Lord willing,
be printed and ready 
Ruby's 5th birthday,
June 16, 2015. 

I could just bawl with humble joy
the Lord has been so good to us! 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

It's Behind You...

Recently I was faced with a situation I wasn't really looking forward to.  

Okay, so I was actually dreading it.
Like not able to sleep at night kind of dread.

I couldn't avoid it, and it would be a poignant reminder 
of pain and who likes to 
live through pain again, am I right?

Not this chick.

Not at all.

Yet, many times, in my counseling practice I would meet with
 someone who was still plagued by something from their past. It could be 
their own self-induced painful circumstance or it could be something that 
someone else had caused.  Either way, it was their past, yet they somehow 
couldn't manage to get past it.

Of course, it's always easier to see this situation 
in someone else's life, isn't it??

When confronted with the situation recently, I had to consciously remind 
myself regularly that this past situation didn't define me, it could no longer 
affect me, and it would be of no value to dwell on it 
and I definitely spent large doses of time talking to the Lord about it.

And then I happened upon this little saying.

Oh how I love little sayings that zing me right between the eyes!!

True enough.

The stuff behind us is just that.

It's behind us.

Learn from it.

Talk to the Lord about it.

If you need to repent, do it.

If you need to make something right,  to
the best of your ability, do it.

But then put it where it rightfully belongs.

Behind you.

And then move on.

Moving straight ahead.


No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, 
but I focus on this one thing: 
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,
Philippians 3:13

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It Can All Wait...

As Daddy and Liberty were leaving for a meeting
last night the kids questioned,

"Mom, do you want to play Hide-n-Seek with us?"

I stared into their sweet pleading faces as all the 
things that needed tending to flashed through my mind:

the paperwork for medical stuff,
the sorting to better organize one of the cupboards,
the emails that needed to be answered,

They were all staring at me intently, awaiting a response.

And in that instant I knew what the BEST 
thing to do would be.

Allowing my face to break into a grin
I responded enthusiastically, 


All of the "stuff" could wait.

They're growing too fast as it is.

Way, way, way too quickly.

And so we turned out the lights
and ran like wild horses around the house
chasing each other...
diving over chairs,
jumping out of the dark,
screaming with freakish joy!

A bit of the time I carried my camera to catch the most 
candid shots possible.

To preserve the memories

Don't let Ruby's calm demeanor fool you...
She was a wild hooligan and boy does she 
ever know how to squeal!
She loves playing chase!

How about you?

Turned off the "to do" list lately and
just ran through your home chasing your littles??

Do it today!

I just may do it again tonight
it was such giggly fun!

Why not do it tonight?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

A Simple Idea for Saving Money

The other day I mentioned something we have
been doing for many years 
to a friend of ours.

She commented, 

"Wow!! I would have never thought of that!
I'm going to have to do that next year too!"

Having a large family we have worked at figuring
out ways to live in simplicity, make our money stretch
and celebrate the holiday as the Lord desires us to.

So this happens to be one of the ways we
do all that!

Our bigs still laugh about it
and our littles are enjoying it.

But please remember, this is just what we do.

You can do whatever you wish!!

We invite you in to see how we live
as a large family and how we attempt to 
maneuver about in a world that's gone mad
with commercialism. 

 Please be nice.

So here's a little background on why we do
what we do, beside the aspect of saving some money.

We work very hard
{some holidays we are more successful than others}
to focus on the reason we are celebrating.

So it is with Easter.

After all, if there was no Easter,
there would be no point to any of anything 
we do and frankly my life would be 
a complete shamble. 

So for as long as we can remember 
we have chosen to shop AFTER Easter
for the 50% to 75% off candy.

We do not go hog wild.

There are many perks to this!!

One perk is that the kids know the routine
and Easter is really about Easter.

This also means there is no one
whining because they want their candy
and they want it now!!

Actually, no one is even asking when we are going to get
to the candy, because they all know there isn't even 
any in the house!!

On Easter we actually can just simply sit on our back veranda 
and enjoy
the day together without any complications.

Then, when we are able, we shop
and buy a few sale pieces and then we hide their little buckets.

Just a few minutes ago they ran around the house
searching for their hidden bucket.

It may not be for everyone, but this tradition 
has worked really well.

And I imagine, we have saved
beaucoup buckeroos over the years!