Looking back, looking forward

Another year comes to an end, sometimes I swear that the years go by faster and faster spinning like a carousel ride, making me a bit dizzy as they pass.
 This year was one of marveling in God's faithfulness over and over. 

 In January last year we began praying that God would show us who our next child would be.   We began praying about options for adoption and trusting that the Lord would make our next steps clear.  
This year we saw the face of our new son and stepped out to claim him.  
This year we trusted that we would one day hold him, despite all the logical odds stacked against us.  
This year we fasted and prayed when faced with what looked like impossible dead ends and despairing odds...and we rejoiced and prayed when those walls miraculously came crashing down before us.  

This is the year that we finally made our foster daughter our forever daughter. 

This is the year my little sister came home from Haiti to join her new family.
We grew together as a family.   We met many new people and made lots of new friends.  We enjoyed spending our first full year as part of our new church family.  
The year was not without tears and heartache but with each trial God has been ever close.  
As we approached Christmas our year took on a more somber, reflective mood as we watched the world around us suffer.  The images of innocent life being brutally lost were broadcast across our television screens and conflicted with the images of a festive twinkling lights and brightly wrapped packages.
 As we sang Christmas carols and lit our Christmas eve candles my Grandpa breathed his last breath on this earth and went to his eternal home. He died just a few hours before Christmas day.  I can imagine that no festive celebration we have here could ever compare to being in the very presence of our risen King, the babe that was born.  I can almost hear his strong tenor rising among the heavenly hosts singing "holy holy holy".
 We begin our year by mourning his loss and celebrating his full life.    It reminds us how quickly this life passes us by, and how important it is we use our fleeting days for something of eternal significance.   One year he's a young boy working in the farm, the next he's the husband of a beautiful bride, a few more new years pass and he has a house full if kids, then he blinks and they're gone, grandkids, seeding times and harvest, holidays and birthdays, then last breath.  Life is but a vapor.  Here..and then so quickly gone.

As we look ahead to 2013 our biggest focus is coming up soon.  The day we will meet our new son and finally bring him home.   Just 25 more days and we'll be in China.   I can't even express how excited I am!  I can't believe that we're at this finishing line in the adoption process.  This whole year, every month, every single day, has been one of journeying our way to Elijah.   It's so amazing that we get to start our new year by bringing him home!

Best wishes, and hopes that all of you, family, friends, and faithful readers would truly know and rest in God's goodness, in the coming year. 

..and for your listening pleasure, a song with a familiar tune and very powerful words.
All Glory Be To Christ - by Kings Kaleidoscope
Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing,
All glory be to Christ!

His will be done
His kingdom come
On earth as is above
Who is Himself our daily bread
Praise Him the Lord of love

Let living water satisfy
The thirsty without price
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing,
All glory be to Christ!

When on the day the great I Am
The faithful and the true
The Lamb who was for sinners slain
Is making all things new.

Behold our God shall live with us
And be our steadfast light
And we shall ere his people be
All glory be to Christ!

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing,
All glory be to Christ!


from Joy Has Dawned, released 27 November 2012
Words by Dustin Kensrue, arrangment by Kings Kaleidoscope / © Dead Bird Theology (ASCAP), It’s All About Jesus Music (ASCAP)


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our home to yours.
...and for your festive pleasure a song from an album that's been playing on my ipod all season.  

Kings Kaleidoscope - Joy has Dawned.

Joy has dawned upon the world,
Promised from creation:
God's salvation now unfurled,
Hope for every nation.
Not with fanfares from above,
Not with scenes of glory.
But a humble gift of love:
Jesus born of Mary.
Sounds of wonder fill the sky
With the songs of angels,
As the mighty Prince of Life
Shelters in a stable.
Hands that set each star in place,
Shaped the earth in darkness,
Cling now to a mother's breast,
Vulnerable and helpless.
Shepherds bow before the Lamb,
Gazing at the glory;
Gifts of men from distant lands
Prophesy the story.
Gold, a King is born today,
Incense, God is with us,
Myrrh, His death will make a way,
And by His blood He'll win us.
Son of Adam, Son of heaven,
Given as a ransom,
Reconciling God and man,
Christ our mighty Champion.
What a Savior, what a Friend,
What a glorious mystery:
Once a babe in Bethlehem,
Now the Lord of history.


Jingle bells, jingle bells..

Dashing through the snow
In a one-horse open sleigh
O'er the fields we go
Laughing all the way

Bells on bobtail ring
Making spirits bright
What fun it is to ride and sing
A sleighing song tonight!

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.

Now the ground is white
Go it while you're young,
Take the girls tonight
and sing this sleighing song;

Just get a bob-tailed bay
two forty as his speed
Hitch him to an open sleigh
and crack! You'll take the lead.

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
Jingle all the way.
Oh! what fun it is to ride
In a one-horse open sleigh.


Goodbye Mexico, Hello Canada!

This is a quick post because the trip home is kind of a blur to me right now.   A fuzzy recollection of rest stops, fast food burgers, miles and miles of desert, and sleeping in cheap motels.  

We had a good drive home though.  We drove up through Mexicali and had no troubles at the border this year.  

Then we wound our way up the remote eastern edge of California.
No mans land...you can drive for hours it seems without any signs of life. 
Just when we were cotton pickin' tired of seeing the same dessert scenery...
we saw cotton pickers.
Something probably only a fellow farmer can appreciate.  

We made it home in record time of 3 loooong days.
  The kids traveled great, seasoned professional road trippers. 

The most miserable part was that it was slowly getting colder...and colder...and colder each time we got out of our car.  We had to trade in the flip flops on day two, and pull out the winter coats on day three. 

I don't have a picture of our roads coming through Alberta and Saskatchewan but they were nasty.  Very slick and covered in snow.   It made us feel like really dumb birds flying the wrong direction!

Home sweet home.  Lots of unpacking to do inside the house....and -20 degrees outside. 


Goodbye Beach

We've been home in Canada for nearly two weeks now and I need to get this blog caught up.  I just can't bare to move on without posting every last wonderful morsel of our trip.

This was our third and final day living on the beach in San Felipe.  
We knew time was short and we were determined to suck the marrow out of the day....that's kind of a gross expression...but you get the point.

We soaked it up.

and spent the entire day doing this..

and this...

...and lots of this..

"smile for the camera Cece"

Running to meet big brother.

These two are little love birds.

An amazing few days, with my favorite people,

at a beautiful location. 

Life is good. 

Goodbye San Felipe....it's time to go home.