Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Things I want to remember

I just looked at the date on my last post and realized it has been 3 weeks since I have done a blog post. Those 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of celebrations (Gotcha Day and Wedding Anniversary), firsts (football game, day of school, time to really crawl), and change (our word of the year at the Tatum house)!

In the midst of stress and some sadness, I never want to stop noticing and celebrating the beautiful and wonderful gifts of this time in our lives. Here are a few of God's amazing gifts to me at this time (and they will change soon) that I do not want to forget!

Anderson says "pinkle, pinkle little tar" when he sings "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"--it is precious and so funny! A friend heard him sing it today and told me I had to get it on video.

Alex's face lights up when his Dad comes home, and loves spending time with Jeff more and more. It is such an amazing thing to see how God is growing their relationship and how Alex is learning much about being a young man from Jeff.

Aerin is very proud (and so am I) when she picks up her school reading books and can read most of them on her own! This is a HUGE accomplishment for our sweet girl, and I love to see the look on her face when she reads the pages with very few pauses and little "stumbling" over her words.  Last year was a difficult year of reading for her, and we cried many tears together. So, I am beyond proud of how hard she has worked and far she has come. She enjoys reading now (99% of the time) rather than dreading it as she has in the past.

My favorite times together as a family are when all 5 of us somehow find a way to pile onto mine and Jeff's queen size bed and have family prayer/bible/worship time just before bedtime. I wish this happened every night, but it is more like once a week. One night last week, we talked about trusting God and how we know that we can trust Him--what His word says about how He has planned our good (Jeremiah 29:11); that we do not need to worry about our needs being met but should seek His kingdom above all things-He will take care of us (Matthew 6:25-33); and that we are more than conquerors through Christ- nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:28-39). For "extra" fun in school (and family), we learn a traditional hymn each week--listening to it, reading the words, and reading the story of who wrote it and what inspired the writer(s).  Last week's hymn was 'Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus. So, after talking together about trusting God, reading the scriptures, and praying together, we listened to the Casting Crown version of the hymn here. We didn't even watch the video, just turned off the monitor and listened and sang. The kids kept asking us to replay it, and we ended up listening to it 4 times before Dad declared it was time for bed. I am so grateful to God for us being able to share that time together as a family.

There are so many  moments I want to remember, because they all bring me back to the place of gratitude - thanking God for His gifts and realizing that even the hard moments are filled with His grace and marked with His love. Praying that you see and take time to stop and remember some of those grace moments in  your life today.

Loving and Learning,

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

His gifts

Today, I am thankful...

1...for sisters in Christ, who I call friends and whose love for God shines in all they do--willing to go to the hard places to be obedient to their Father and to show love to those around them. I am thankful for their hearts of compassion and their constant example of grace and thanksgiving even in the hard moments.

2...for the strong and steadfast man who God gave me as a husband. He has been a firm place to land for me in the past year, despite all of the craziness and stress in our lives.

3...that there is one little boy in our home today who was not here last year at this time (10 days from now is our Gotcha Day celebration)!

4...for on time deliveries from UPS and FedEx.

5...for our GPS class friends and leaders--we are learning so much from all of them, and are thankful to meet people who have big hearts for both adoption and for the precious children who are in foster care.

Loving and Learning,

Friday, August 5, 2011

Indifference or Action?

This is not the first time I have seen this video. At some point during our adoption of Anderson, I posted it to my adoption blog. God brought it back to me today. I needed to hear it again, and I am thankful. So, here it is again for those of you who need to hear it. Save the link, embed it in your blog, bookmark it--because you will want to hear it more than once.

May our hearts break over the things that break God's heart and may we move to be His hands and feet.

Loving and Learning,

Thursday, August 4, 2011

So much...

 So much I have been given. So much I forget to thank Him for.
So much to say. So much wondering, waiting, working, worrying, and more. 
So much to do I have no time to blog or just to "be".
So much we are experiencing, joy and sadness, trust and uncertainty.
So much is how much He gives His grace each moment of each day.
So grateful and so humbled by His love that holds me,
A love that is greater than any words I can say.

Okay, this is by no means even within the realm of real poetry. W.B. Yeats and Seamus Heaney are two of my favorites, and I imagine this little "verse" (if you can call it that) would make them both squirm at its lack of so many things that make even decent poetry. But I wanted to share it, because it came to my heart. And since I don't really have time to do a full blog post, it is a good filler.

I am so grateful for His love and grace. God sustains me when all around seems to crumble, and when I become my own worst enemy. He is good. His plan is perfect. We trust Him. And I am thankful, even in the midst of change and uncertainty.

"I love you, LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies." Psalm 18:1-3

An old one, but God put it on my playlist today, and I so needed to hear it!

Loving and Learning,

About Me

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I love Jesus Christ, am a seeker of beauty, and am a grateful child of God who would be lost and hopeless were it not for His grace. I am learning to walk in love, see interruptions as divine appointments, and value people and relationships above agendas and results. I pray my life is grace-filled, and brings joy and encouragement to everyone I know and meet. We are a family of 6, built by God through love, birth, and adoption, living in the beauty and the struggle that accompanies parenting kids from hard places. Got questions? Email me at

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