Monday, January 17, 2011


Today, I took my brothers and sisters to the park. My black brothers and sisters, and my white ones. There were no signs that said some of us had to stay out because of the shade of skin on our bodies. Nobody tried to stop us, nobody called us names. Dr. King's dream was realized a little today in my life. Just a simple act of freedom that I take for granted, was a merely a dream 50 years ago. I am indescribably grateful that Dr. King and so many others deemed it a dream worth fighting for.

I am beyond thankful for the work God has done in so many hearts because of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and others who spoke out for the oppressed, despite persecution. My life in the South with four African siblings would look so much different had they not been so courageous. To think that I could have missed out on most of the biggest blessings of my life due to the amount of melanin in their skin breaks my heart. It's shameful to think that such a thin layer of substance can create so much dissension among those who are meant to be brothers. And yet, despite the depraved nature of man's heart that would choose to see color as a distinction of value, God came for us in love and chose to offer us forgiveness. He brought justice to our sin through His Son, rather than us. What a merciful God.

My heart is full of thankfulness that God has brought us from segregated bus seats and water fountains, to integrated families, government and Churches. Praise God.

(phone pictures from the  glorious park visit this afternoon.)

May we always see the people of this world the way God sees them. May we always look at the heart of a man, rather than the appearance. May we always do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Out with 2010, In with 2011.

2010 was such a beautiful year for me.
Not because everything went according to the way I thought it should have, or because there were only fun times to be had and never any troubles. Quite the contrary. It was a wonderful year for me because it was so completely not the way I thought it would be.

 I feel like I aged about 5 years in 2010, but in the best of ways. God proved Himself to be so faithful to me everysingleday.  I felt God loving me so deeply in the midst of  the chaotic parts. I felt Him guarding my heart and protecting me. I felt Him giving me the courage to stand for Him, and I felt Him nudging me over every proverbial cliff in my life. He gave me the courage to jump, and then caught me every time. This year I fell in love with my Jesus so much more. I began to know Him so much better than I ever have before. He held my hand and walked me through the year with such abundant grace that I .just.couldn't. keep from loving Him.

I wouldn't trade 2010 for all the tea in China.

I am so excited to see what God is going to do in 2011. I am so thankful that even though I have no clue what this year holds, I know the One who holds it... and He is trustworthy. He is not held within the boundaries of our dates or plans. He is the same, year, after year, after year, and He is good. I choose to trust Him with 2011. It'll be an adventure, no doubt.

My New Years Resolutions:

Follow Jesus in faith, wherever He leads me. He knows what's up, even when I don't.

Study God's word more diligently.

Love others fully, even when its not easy.

Engage my culture for the plight of the orphan in ways that I haven't before.

Improve my Spanish skills.

Give sacrificially.

Improve Taekwondo skills.

View others as more important than myself.

Share the Gospel more.

Read more.

Run more.

Help Mom finish writing her book by caring for the Littles.

Serve God wholeheartedly wherever He has me.

brief overview:

At the start of the year, I was a mere junior in high school that was studying the Industrial Revolution and reading Charles Dickens. I started driving myself places, which was so lovely and convenient. Started preparing a group of young people to go to Uganda in the summer for a missions trip.

God called me to speak up for the orphans He's taken me to meet around the world. Surrendered my freaking-out-heart to His will and watched Him move mountains. I am so grateful for the opportunities He's given me to speak up for His glory and for His heart. What a blessing.

I began to love Taekwondo more and more.

Traveled to Uganda where God spoke volumes to my heart about His world, His people, and His plans for my life. God began preparing my heart to move out of state to work with orphan care ministries.

Got a new brother! God performed 10,000 miracles and Solomon had a 24 hour notice that he was coming to live in America.
No way. I'm still in shock and its January.

Solomon and I went to Precept Ministries International's Boot Camp in TN and had a fantastic time.

Spent all of July and August having friends visit, traveling with friends, traveling with family, and staffing at different camps.

Solomon saw the ocean for the first time ever!

One of the boys' many experiments/ grand ideas/ projects this summer was :

They created a butterfly conservatory in our kitchen and we had butterflies flying everywhere. It was pretty impressive. They would spend hours catching, drawing, reading about, and watching them. I was impressed.
I started my last legitimate semester of high school in the fall! Took classes at SEBTS and learned SO much. I'm so thankful for the time I had there.

Mom went out of town and I had the Littles. The Twinnettes saw Tinkerbell's latest movie and were obsessed with the idea of catching a fairy. Well, late night Target runs can make wishes come true for little girls who put little tissue box houses in gardens. :)

Utter joy! :)

Had fun friends come to town for fall break and met "old" friends in person!

Traveled to TN with Mom and the Twinettes for a girls weekend to work through some plans for the future.

Traveled to Hershey, PA with the family for the Mid-Atlantic Orphan Summit.

Spent such a fun Thanksgiving and Christmas with my whole family.

 I then headed off to Florida for New Years! My sweet friends, Bradley and Kirk, got hitched! It was a blast of a week and their wedding was beautiful...a wedding deserving of its own post. :)

So thankful for 2010 and the memories, lessons, and friends that came with it!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Merry Christmas. Feliz Navidad. Melkam Gena. Happy Birthday to Jesus. Sheng Dan Kuai Le.

The most beautiful story ever written. A Holy God - Creator and judge of the Universe- came to us, an unholy people who chose to reject His love and His perfect ways. He chose to redeem us and make us His children while we were still His enemies and wanted nothing to do with Him. 
 He chose to send His son as a baby into a world full of evil. He chose to come to us, not as a mighty King, but as a baby, born in the most humble of places.

He walked among us, healed us, loved us, taught us. God knew we could not save ourselves. He is Just, and He is Merciful. He chose to pour out His overwhelming wrath of our sin and wickedness upon His one and only Son, so that we might be saved through Him.

Jesus bore God's wrath over my sin so that I could be washed as white as snow. He died for us, but He rose victoriously from death on that glorious third day, conquering sin and death forever. 

Because of Jesus, I have been completely forgiven. God looks at me and sees only the blood of my beautiful Savior who washed me clean, not who I was without Him. Because of Jesus, we can each have a relationship with the Holy God of the universe. Because of Jesus, an unworthy people, can be called children of God, living in victory over sin, and with the promise of eternal life with Him in heaven.
 Because of Jesus, God offers all of us a free gift of Salvation. Of Redemption. Of Peace with Him.
This is the Miracle of Christmas.
Emmanuel: God with us. God with me. Every single day.


   Solomon's first Christmas ornament! We gave it to him via skype last year and it hung on our tree, just desperately hoping that he would be here one day to hang it himself. Praise the Lord, He was here to do it this Christmas!

                                                                      Mmm...even more classic.

For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6

               The fireplace has witnessed a few affects of adoption as well.
                          Dear Santa, we need a bigger mantle next year.

                                       Raleigh had it's first White Christmas in 63 years. My heart nearly exploded with joy.

This was about the time she decided she would really like some hot cocoa.

Why yes, we did utilize the Yule Log channel on our TV. Our Christmas tree refused to drink water this year so it probably would burst into flames if we used the real deal. The Yule Log channel was such a wonderful idea.

                                                     My newest brother!

Kiki, African Snow Princess.

                                                      Jackpot Present: A huge Dora the Explorer doll house and castle with 10,345 people.

It was SUCH a beautiful Christmas. It was filled with thanksgiving to the Lord, love, and tons of fun. I am so grateful for Jesus, the most tremendous gift that I, and the world, was ever given. He is my love, my best friend, my redeemer, my everything. {And His birthday is a pretty fun deal around these here parts.}

                                                         My sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.
                                            Oh praise the One, who paid my debt, and raised this life up from the dead!

Photos courtesy of Melissa.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sweet Friends of 2010