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To make you smile {And a reminder of HOPE through disappointment}

Okay–first…wanna see what life is REALLY like at our house?! I mean, we aren’t right by any means–but we sure have fun. I couldn’t find my little Flip video there for a bit but I’ve taken snippets of life here lately–and these are just funny things I always want to remember…

We built a playset years ago at our old house, and we’ve been in the home we are in now for about 3 years. We did NOT want to put together another one by ourselves–so yesterday a playset company came and built a clubhouse and seperate swingset while the kids were in school. They set the ends of each piece in concrete, so when the kids did get home they just had to look at it and drool! We had dinner last night at a friends house SO that helped ward off temptation a bit–but when we got home and I found the concrete was dry–ALTHOUGH it was past bed time, I just couldn’t resist letting the older two break it in. They were so excited…silly excited…and this is one of the memories I will cherish. Oh to be a kid again!

Okay–and this next one is too funny, so I have to post it on a larger scale;). This is just typical us. We aren’t right–but we have fun:). And there is JOY here…and lots of laughter. LOVE my crew…here’s their karate interpretations…they came up with this out of no where today…

I figured we might as well make their karate chops useful and put them to work with some cookin’ tonight…(Yummy recipe from the Wiphan cookbook!)

Okay, are you bored with us YET?

WELL…we have officially given up TV (our whole family…kids even agreed on it) for Lent…and although we used to do NO TV well–after Isaac came home I really needed cartoons for the older kids while I calmed Isaac for naps. It became a habit to watch cartoons after school, and it was honestly a nice break for me to check email and such. Only problem–it was time that I could be hanging with my kiddos and investing in them. SO…off goes the TV and back to things like “Go Fish”…and they think it’s funny to say “Go Piggy” some times too… {40 days of no TV for us…and I’m excited about it in a weird but good way}

LAST BUT NOT LEAST…THIS is what happens when your kids get your Flip camera and you DON’T KNOW IT! The funny thing about this one is that this reminds me of RICH! {The apple never falls far from the tree!} Love this little nut saying, “Let’s do this thing!” SOOO something his daddy would say before he does something crazy!

Sooo…those are my sweet memories from the last 24 hours at our house…a few I just want to remember–a reminder how the day-in-day-out can be so sweet and even FUN!

The season of Lent…

For those of you doing the Lent Tree with your families (or those of you who would like to…it’s NOT too late)–remember that during Lent Sunday’s are days of rest–so the ornaments are set up to have your own personal time and even share things you are learning during your week together…so the 40 ornaments will take you right up to Easter if you skip Sundays. I am sending my last year’s ornaments to a sweet mom who needs some extra hugs right now–so I am putting another set for our family last minute…SO IT’S POSSIBLE! And guess what the first day was today??? THE MUSTARD SEED! Oh, how beautiful to open up the season of Lent with our family focusing on the mustard seed!

The mustard seed? What does the Bible say about it?


This Lent season, Jesus wants us to seek Him. To have faith. In Matthew, he says, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

Are you going through a time of question? Of doubt? Of uncertainty?

Stop looking at the problem. My daughter, look to ME. Things are not always what they appear. And if you have faith the size of a mustard see, I can do wonders through your faith. Trust me. Take a deep breath and trust me.

I have been praying about the children of Ethiopia with the news of MOWA slowing down adoptions–which would leave thousands of little ones in institutions to grow up. I do believe the Lord is in this–and OVER this. I’m sure there are many families wondering, “Lord, that was your voice I heard…right? You did call me here. Didn’t you?”

As I prayed, “What is your heart Lord? What would you want those feeling this way to know? What would you want others dealing with disappointment, fear, sadness, uncertainty…what would you want them to know…to hear right now?”

I prayed…and every so softly but strong all the same…


I didn’t have time to read as I was running out the door to carpool for the children and then straight to an 18 month checkup for my Isaac. I asked the Lord all the way as it poured down raid, “Lazarus? What do you want to teach us about Lazarus?”

{Now side note story–we have NOT been to the pediatrician since Isaac started walking. IMAGINE the cheers he got walking in and waving to the staff. “And they said he might never walk!” I beamed! Clapping. Cheers. And this momma whipped away a tear. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed…I will move mountains. We waited for the doctor to come in, and proudly–I got to say YES to almost every 18 month milestone. The pediatrician once again was in awe of the gains–and Isaac showed him all his tricks…all the while–this mom melted and fell in love with her son even more. My pediatrician does a beautiful job reminding me of how far Isaac has come and what a miracle he is. And that breaks me to think about all the children like him who would THRIVE if placed in a family. It was a good day…and encouraged this mom’s heart!}

Lazarus…I couldn’t wait to get home and read…but of course the above video craziness happened first–and finally after all was quiet…I read. If you are going through a time of uncertainty, disappointment, sadness, unknown…just asking “LORD, what are you up to?! You are in this RIGHT?” Read on…

Bear with me–you have to read the whole chapter. But before you do–ask the Lord to prepare your heart and reveal what He wants you to see…

John 11:1-45

Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that he was sick, He then stayed two days longer in the place where He was. Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”

The disciples said to Him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone You, and are You going there again?”

Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. “But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”

This He said, and after that He said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I go, so that I may awaken him out of sleep.”

The disciples then said to Him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”

Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that He was speaking of literal sleep. So Jesus then said to them plainly, “Lazarus is dead, and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, so that you may believe; but let us go to him.”

Therefore Thomas, who is called Didymus, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.”

So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days. Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off; and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary, to console them concerning their brother. Martha therefore, when she heard that Jesus was coming, went to meet Him, but Mary stayed at the house.

Martha then said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”

She said to Him, “Yes, Lord; I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.”

When she had said this, she went away and called Mary her sister, saying secretly, “The Teacher is here and is calling for you.”

And when she heard it, she got up quickly and was coming to Him. Now Jesus had not yet come into the village, but was still in the place where Martha met Him. Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and consoling her, when they saw that Mary got up quickly and went out, they followed her, supposing that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Therefore, when Mary came where Jesus was, she saw Him, and fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and was troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”

Jesus wept.

So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!”

But some of them said, “Could not this man, who opened the eyes of the blind man, have kept this man also from dying?”

So Jesus, again being deeply moved within, came to the tomb. Now it was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.

Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there will be a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”

So they removed the stone Then Jesus raised His eyes, and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. I knew that You always hear Me; but because of the people standing around I said it, so that they may believe that You sent Me.”

When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth.”

The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

Therefore many of the Jews who came to Mary, and saw what He had done, believed in Him.

Some truths to share about HOPE in, during and after disappointment…

*It will not always make sense–AT FIRST. But this is not for our glory–but for HIS GLORY. REST in Him and trust He works all things to the good of those who call upon His name. What is happening is happening so that “the Son of God may be glorified by it”

*We must follow and trust Him through the trial–even if it means dying to ourselves and surrendering EVERYTHING to Him. Thomas said, “Let us also go, so that we may die with Him.” Thomas followed Christ at all costs. Many years ago I stood at Thomas’s tomb in India–and his life alone is such a testament to obedience in all circumstances…and to this day–God receives the glory. Oh…for that to be our story!

*Things are not always what they seem. His ways are not our ways–they are much higher and glorious! Jesus said to Martha, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” Martha believed–whole heartedly she did. But she needed mustard seed faith…to believe Him for the impossible…and trust Him to do great things among that impossible.

*Although it may FEEL like the Lord isn’t in your circumstance–He is. Mary couldn’t help herself. When she finally spoke with Jesus she just had to say it, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” But because of Lazarus’s death–MANY believed when they saw Him raised. Our God of raising Lazarus…this God of miracles–is YOUR God…and He still performs miracles today!!!

*It is okay to grieve. Grieving does not mean you do not have faith. You can grieve and trust the Lord to come through–your heart may be broken…and as you cry out, “I trust you Lord” He hears you…and He weeps with you. The crowd was confused as they saw Jesus, Himself, weep. Jesus wept…not only for his love of Lazarus but at seeing Mary and Martha’s broken hearts.

*If you believe, YOU WILL SEE THE GLORY OF GOD. That is HIS promise. Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” It may not be in your timing. And this miracle didn’t happen in Mary or Martha’s timing either. BUT He did receive the glory in it! And their hearts rejoiced.

*God will use you even in your time of dispair as you call out to Him to bring others closer to Him. Those who saw God work in this hard circumstance came to faith in Jesus through it. God was glorified. And WHO was it that came to believe? The very ones who came to mourn with Mary and console her during this time of pain. Never underestimate how God might even be using you now–as you open up and share your heart with others…what you are going through and how God is carrying you.

Nikki - March 10, 2011 - 8:41 am

Thank you for letting God speak through you today… you know I needed it! -Nikki

Lara - March 10, 2011 - 8:48 am

Love all that crazy! I have an old family hashbrown caserole recipe that my family calls “funeral potatoes” because at any funeral it is a guarantee that those potatoes will be served! And you are BRAVE giving up the tube. My 4 year old is a bit of a cartoon junkie and it can be a real fight to keep the cartoons to minimum.

emily v - March 10, 2011 - 8:52 am

Great word Andrea! He is the author of all HOPE! As I have been praying for and over the situation, I too have been reminded that God is sovereign over this…There is such peace in that!

Carrie - March 10, 2011 - 10:19 am

Thank you so much for this post! How I needed to be reminded of those truths about hope!!

Missy - March 10, 2011 - 12:36 pm

Thank you so much for listening to the Lord and sharing these words from God. They fill my heart with hope and encouragement during this time. -Missy

Alison - March 10, 2011 - 1:38 pm

Oh, Andrea! I love this post! So cool b/c those truths are exactly what God has been teaching me through this time…I have to surrender everything to Hi. Even my daughter!! I love her so much, but I love HIM more and want Him to be glorified on every step of our journey to Caroline Faith!

Alison - March 10, 2011 - 1:38 pm

Meant to write…surrender everything to Him!!! 🙂

Jill - March 10, 2011 - 5:32 pm

What great truth…I needed to hear this today! I’m so thankful we serve a God who works out everything for HIS glory…even in the middle of a painful journey, when we don’t understand, He is working out His perfect plan and allows us the opportunity to experience Him in a rich way through it all!

Kirsten Gregoire - March 10, 2011 - 11:55 pm

Thank you so much for your insight and your encouragement through this verse. We only JUST began the adoption process a few short weeks ago, but strangely have a weird peace about all that is going on. We know God is bigger than our circumstances and that nothing that is happening right now is a surprise to Him!!!

Caytie Hirschberg - March 11, 2011 - 12:03 am

What a beautiful reminder! For He is able to do more then we could possibly imagine! Our trust should be completely in Him and nothing else! thank you for sharing this message and reminding us of our need to trust in Him in all things!

love ITY’s happy visit! enjoyed the videos of your kiddos…soo cute:)

Megan - March 11, 2011 - 2:44 am

Thank you SO much for this….I needed to hear/read these words today. You often find those bits in scripture that I seem to miss and I LOVE reading what you get out of it. This has been a bleak week, but I am so HOPEFUL that things will all work out. There have been too many miracles in our little T’s story already that I believe He can and WILL knock my socks off once again.

Mama Zen - March 11, 2011 - 1:26 pm

This is so uplifting! Thank you!