This and that.

The highlight of our week ... our new 10 passenger van!
We prayed for this vehicle one year ago, asking the Lord to provide a way for us to have more space for our ever-increasing-in-physical-stature family, and to use the extra seats for foster children, orphans, or anyone else who needs care.
On Tuesday, March 14, He answered that prayer!
And, He chose to use my incredibly generous step-dad to bless us with this wonderful gift.
Not only are we excited to use it and enjoy it as a family, we can't wait to see how the Lord uses it to serve others and use it for Kingdom work.
❤ Thank you, Bill! We will forever appreciate your kindness toward our family. ❤

March 14 was also the anniversary of the day our son Matthew was delivered.
I woke up to seven bouquets of flowers lovingly selected by Dennis, each one representing our seven children ... the six we enjoy every day, and the son who has never known anything but the splendors of heaven.
While the pain and sadness of that day no longer overwhelm me, I am thankful my husband honors the life of our son.
Just because the world does not get to meet the babies lost in miscarriage and stillbirth does not mean their lives were not significant, did not make an impact, or should be forgotten. Every life is precious because every life is created by the hand of an amazing God who chooses the number of our days. Whether that life lives 99 years, 18 months, one day, or ten weeks in utero - it matters. The value of life cannot be measured by human standards. Known by millions, or known by two ... each person makes a difference. Especially to those who love them.
If you know someone who has lost a child through miscarriage, sickness, death - acknowledge that life. A card, a text, a flower, or a date for coffee will encourage the heart of the parent(s) more than you can imagine. Why? Because someone remembered their child was real - wanted - valuable - and precious.
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Psalm 139

~~~ Ironically, the night before Matthew's due date, I was fretting over the lives of the ducklings in our incubator. Seven are gone, five remain.
The candling is not clear like it was last time, the shells are different, I cannot distinguish a healthy embryo from a deceased embryo so I don't know which to remove before they explode (blech), and will be bummed if none of them hatch.
I searched the internet for help, but to no avail. Like anything, the responses are divided. "Give the eggs more time just in case they are fine," or "Get rid of it immediately before it explodes and infects the other eggs!" So frustrating.
Finally, after an hour of research, I climbed in bed and said, "Lord, You created these eggs, so their lives are up to You! Please spare three of them for Josiah, Isaiah, and Ellie. But if You don't it's okay. I have to let it go and trust You with Your own creation."
So now, we wait. And within the next ten days, we will know His plan!

When you ask your teenage son, who weight lifts seven days a week, to do an activity with his younger siblings ... this is what you get!
He made them run up and down the block to warm up first, set up a circuit, and pushed them through it for 45 minutes.
And - they loved it!
My idea of 'activity' looks like tossing a ball, playing Monopoly, or taking a leisurely walk.
Luke's version? PAIN. Go figure.

~~~ Tommorrow we have an Orphan Care event! It's Parent Night.
A group of us (I have some wonderful volunteers!) take care of 32 children while the parents enjoy three hours of fellowship to talk, share struggles, encourage one another, and support one another through the highs and lows of the fost/adopt world.
Their lives, their families, their daily routines, and their struggles are unique, and they need time to engage with those who "get it."
It is such a blessing and a joy to watch these families love and serve one another.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 
I Thessalonians 5:11

~~~ Happy Friday, everyone!
Enjoy your weekend, and remember that there is no better place to bring your hopes, your fears, your struggles, and your pain than to the feet of Jesus. You don't need to get 'cleaned up' for Him. You just need to COME. As you are. And let Him take care of the rest.

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