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Our Evie-Bear is 7!!!

oh, don’t you just want to kiss this face?!?!

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY EVIE BEAR!!!

What a delight you are!! This year has marked a LOT of growth in you, in your spirit, in your faith!!

I have loved watching you overcome so much this year through prayer and hiding God’s word in your heart! You have such a tender spirit and a BIG HEART!! I love watching you love, and laugh, and create.  I love how you tackle things.  I love how you always tell me you love me.  I love that you have a discerning spirit!  I love that you have prayed for your baby brother for years and he came home right in time for your birthday!

I can hardly believe you’re finished with 1st grade…7 years old and such a GIFT TO ALL OF US!! We love you, Evie! You are a delight and a joy to us!!photo 1

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You are LOVED.

Behold…

Behold…

 

And then, there YOU are …right here in the midst of all of this mess. There you are, quietly, consistently, beautifully, lovingly present.

 

The past weeks have felt heavy. Lacking. Inner lacking has been my diagnosis. I have had a weary soul. I have felt vision-limping. Limping behind my husband, my Jesus, my kids, even my own heart. I have felt frustrated and confused, tired and un-inspired. Wondering as I look around where I came from and why. How did I arrive here in this new, strange country? How were we led hear, when I’ve heard nothing? How do we stand on new ground yet again?   How am I settled but so unsettled in soul? How does my husband SEE and HEAR so much hear and I stand numb behind him?

 

The only truth to stand on, to re-build on is JESUS. HE alone is my ROCK and my Foundation…upon that I build again. Here on this earth, these homes, these dwellings, these paths are so temporary. The switchbacks are seemingly endless, the climb intense. But HERE HE IS …Here in this place, we build another temporary dwelling, to put our hands to the Eternal. He is HERE, so we can trust the lasting. We can long for and find beauty. We can find redemptive places and stay there—savoring this undeserved grace. We can get up again, begging to see Him, to behold him wherever He has re-planted our lives.

 

I am a pilgrim. A nomad. Moving. Living. Loving. Moving. Living. Loving.

 

Re-building. Re-planting. Re-orienting. But always, always Redeemed and receiving and re-made and motivated by His love and constancy.

 

This morning I woke to the pounding of these heavy Ugandan rains on my rooftop. I didn’t want to face the day. So I stayed still with the Word…begging for His heart to override my flesh today. The rest with Him was sweet and inspiring for the rising and living and teaching and serving and all that came in my day. I felt His spirit pull the reins a few times inside of myself as I veered off the path of peace He had graced me with today. I saw and was awed by God. In my sweet three year old…in the incredible intricacies of my son’s chameleon, in friendships that were placed here for me, in watching my children play and love these beautiful children right down the street who go home to live in shacks, and mine go home to comfort. I was broken by Dave watching a child die today, by a woman’s story of brokenness, another woman’s story of mercy….

 

But He whispers in it all. I AM. And He is. All of this will be redeemed. All the coming together of beauty and ashes, loss and gain, grieving and dancing. So we fix our eyes and see Him here, and again He is enough, and again He pours in, and I behold His glory, HERE and now. Thank you, Father.

I behold your glory.  And I am awed.

4 years in Africa

4 years in Africa.

 

Ayer-39(Photo Credit–Kelly Powers)

“Never once did we ever walk along.

Never once did you leave us on our own.

YOU are faithful, God you are faithful.”

 

This is my offering today—only worship and awe. Only gratitude that this is what you’ve done in our lives. It’s been messy and beautiful, purposeful and a trust walk. It’s been holding on and letting go. It’s been an adventure and a laying down, a journey and a deeper surrender. It’s been fighting you and releasing to you…it’s been loss, but greater gain. I have held the deepest hurts and fears, as well as the most sacred moments of my life. I have seen you and known you, felt lost and unknown. I have seen heaven reach down, and have been assured of the fleeting nature of this earth. These four years have been my best, my fullest, my deepest and my richest. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am walking a life that I never could have dreamed in a land I didn’t know to pray for, with people you have chosen and aligned my life with…I am awed today, and so deeply grateful.

GOD YOU ARE.

Always.

Enough.

Always

Beautiful

Always

Here.

Always Faithful.

 

Caleb & Flash.

photo 1photo 2photo 3photo 4We had this amazing pet for a few weeks..it was Caleb’s JOY!! They did everything together, including school.

One day…she went into labor.  She laid eggs ALL. DAY. LONG.  Poor girl.

18 eggs…Then she died.

So we are holding her eggs carefully and safely…hoping and waiting to see if any of these 18 will become our new pets!!

oh Selah…HOW ARE YOU 3?!?!

My darling Selah…my “pause”…my “song”…my unexpected gift from Ethiopia…

How have you brought SO much FULLNESS to our lives?

How have you made us laugh? Kept us SO busy?  Taught your daddy and I more patience, a different style, a greater grace and perseverence?  How have you done things none of your siblings before you have ever ventured to do?  How are you so beautifully dependant and yet so BRAVE?  How are you so silly and so deep?  How do you fill me up and wear me out?  My heart overflows for you, for your little life, for what I SEE IN YOU.  I love you sweet Selah.  I celebrate you.  I love your heart, your sweetness, the way you need me, the way you kiss all over my face, the way you dance with total abandon, the way you LOVE your bunnies, the way you YELL, the way you speak, the ways you encourage, the ways you challenge.  I LOVE how you tell me every day, “Mommy, you’re the sweetest.  I love you so much (more than Daddy.)”  I adore you, precious girl.  I’m so thankful you’re in our family and that I am the one chosen to be your mama!!Ayer-52Ayer-51Ayer-49Ayer-47Ayer-45photo 2photo 4photo 1photo 2photo 5photo 3photo 5photo 2photo 4photo 1photo 3photo 3IMG_1841-e1460900234542-768x1024Ayer-6

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