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Monday, March 22, 2010

Time away...

We just returned from our spring break "get away" and for my soul it was like water rushing over a dry desert. This winter has has been COLD, gray, and long. The weather was not perfect (not warm enough for swimming) but the sun was out and we were able to ride bikes, go for strolls, and just be together. The whole trip was a series of "firsts" for Josie Love so we all laughed LOUDLY while watching her explore her new world.

Once again, the child spoke to just about every person that she passed. She had a blast by the pool and on the beach stopping at each and every umbrella to greet each person. Hands on hips, eyes closed, smile broad and head just a shakin...telling everybody exactly what she thought about the waves.
The waves were comic relief alone. She walked to the edge of the water and each time a wave would roll over her feet she would point her finger and scream at the top of her lungs "GO!!! NO! NO! Go AWAY!"
She made a new buddy in my sweet friend Anna Mitchell. I met Anna through Gwen and I stole her for the week.( I have a feeling that Gwen will be adamant that she gets her back once Daisy and Joseph come home.) When I say that she was SUCH A BLESSING, the ENTIRE week, it is an UNDERSTATEMENT. Having an extra set of hands was significant.
Another blessing in my life is Mallory McCullough. She is a TRUE friend to Grace and just blends right in with our family. She always sees the need and meets it. After traveling with us to Uganda, the Lord just connected her heart with Grace's on the orphan crisis. I am so glad that they have each other to dig a little deeper spiritually than most do at their age. AND and another GREAT perk is that my little ones LOVE her! Some days, they'll choose her over me!
Many people stopped to ask about our family. Some apologized before even asking and I quickly affirmed them that it is MY favorite thing to talk about. I had the privilege of sharing my adoption journeys. I absolutely LOVE to tell about how the Lord has changed my heart and life through my desire to care for orphans.
Gwen and I were able to meet with a new friend (Rebekah Wright) for lunch. She is in the process of a domestic adoption. We were able to talk about how during domestic adoption your number one fear in the beginning is the birthmother. By the end of the journey it is the birthmother that your heart aches the most for. We are praying sweet little Caleb home as quickly as possible! It was so neat to see the fire in Rebekah's eyes in hoping to blaze the trail for her community, in bringing light to the great darkness in the orphan crisis. WHAT A BLESSING she was to our hearts!
The only day that was warm enough to spend on the beach was our last day. We were so excited to finally be there that we just let the little ones take their naps in our laps....

I have a prayer request. My sister-in-law is not doing well. Her tumors are growing again. My brother has always been such a pillar of strength. To see his heart hurting in this way makes my ENTIRE body ache. He has given his entire life and heart to discipling people internationally and in the US. The doctors are encouraging their family to go to the beach in the next few weeks for spring break. Please pray for LaneAnn, Tim, Grant, Jessie, Makenzie, and Reed. Pray that the week at the ocean will give them many memories in which to cling in the years to come....


Julie said...

Love these pics! So happy your family got to get away and soak up the sun and enjoy the blessings of family!!

Unknown said...

Suzanne - praising God for your get-away and helpers! looks like a great time was had by all! Makes me so ready for summer!

I just finished reading your brothers blog - wow! I'll be praying for them. The post for men only was beyond brave and beautiful! Sharing it with my husband.

Love and blessings,

Bonner Family said...

What a beautiful family!!! I'm glad you all got to have a great week at the beach just enjoying each other and that sweet Josie Love :)

Stephanie @ It Is Well said...

So glad that y'all had a fun vacation! Such sweet and adorable pictures. :)

I go to school with Grant and have been praying for his(your) family for a while now. I credit him with introducing me to Katie's ministry when he and our class council selected it to be our class ministry. And from there, my passion for orphans has grown by leaps and bounds. Grant has done a ton of awesome stuff here at Cedarville and I can only imagine what the rest of the family is like. :) Anyway, all that to say, they are very much in my prayers, as well as the prayers of many here at Cedarville (and many families of CU students, too).

Renee Click said...

Loved the pictures! And the stories! Sounds like a great trip! Glad you all had a great one!

I'm so sorry about Tim and Lane Ann, my heart aches for them. I will keep them in my prayers!

Take care. Talk to you later!

Shonni said...

I am so sorry about your sister-in-law and pray for healing in Jesus Name.
Looks like a wonderful spring break!

Lisa Kindred said...

What a great family beach picture. Looks like a great time in the sun! So glad you were able to go and enjoy some family time away!!
WE will really pray for your SIL and all she is going thru. So hard..... Glad they get to go and make precious memories together.
Know how much we love and appreciate your example to help spur all of us on. God is alive and at work!!

Love ya all, LIsa

Mrs. McGoo said...

I can never get over how BEAUTIFUL your family is! Wow. :) So glad you got some time away together.

RaVae Erickson said...

I ADORE your new family photo! Its perfect how not everyone is looking at the those real shots of life! :)
And thank you for the short stories and wonderful pictures of all your fun in the sun!


Gina Payne said...

What a beautiful family! Sunshine and a well deserved break looks like exactly what you all needed! God is good! So proud of your girl! :) Love your stories and your posts... you are more of an inspiration than you will ever know... God is speaking and now we are listening! I am meeting Gwen on Friday to get more info on adopting from Uganda! Lots of questions and I am so excited to see what God has planned for us!
Praying for your family-
:) --Gina

Schenk Family Blog said...

Suzanne, you don't know me but I've been following your blog since we are also adopting from Uganada.....your pix just made me cry - so you and your daughter holding your little ones. It give us (my husband and 2 kids (9 &7)) a picture of what it will be like God willing! It's seems such a long way off and my heart is aching to be a mom again to a little one who needs one.....Lord please do not tarry! And blessing to your family - you are beautiful servants of Jesus! Love, Jill Schenk

The McBs said...

beautiful pictures! I LOVE seeing your sweet kids in the sand! We will be praying for your SIL and brother. Keep us posted on that. love to you all...

Tara said...

love your sweet family, many blessings to you all, so glad you got to the beach, love the beach

Anonymous said...

I could "feel" the relaxation for your family through this blog post. I'm always so encouraged by your blog (and Gwen's and Katie's). It's my nightly ritual to see what's happening with all of you :) I'm at your in-law's church, leading the A.D.O.P.T. Ministry and we have some really exciting things happening in our area for adoption and foster care! I just got my first 147 million t-shirt and wear it soooo proudly! Continuing to pray for you and your family!

Anonymous said...

ahhh Look at that chunky monkey!!! she is beautiful!! This entire post just made my week!-Sandy

Shannon Meyer said...

Looks like you all had a great time:) Such a blessing that you allow us all to share in all of Josie's firsts as well. Thank you:)

Mandi said...

oh beautiful life, that glorifies the Lord...thank you again for sharing it with us. My middle son, 4yo, sucks his 2 middle fingers too, when he sleeps. Let me know if you discover a good way to let that go. They are so precious when they do it though, makes 'em look like their old baby faces. :) Praying for your SIL & Aunt Susan (only 50) is in the final stages of metastacized breast cancer, and was just told to do the same thing. 5 sisters in all, gkids and great-gkids are going to try and vacation in May. I covet your prayers.

Amy said...

I love the photos! Beautiful family. The one of Anna holding Caleb made me look twice--it looks like Pray! I will pray for your family. See you all soon, I hope. Love.

Kim said...

Love, Love, Love the photos.
And of course our McCullough connection warms my heart!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Melissa said...

I met Josie Love on a mission trip to Uganda last summer & it makes my heart smile real big to see that little angel in her swimsuit & bucket with her amazing family. God is So good!!


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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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