Posted in celebrating life, enjoying life, Hi, We're New Here, JOY, living in their world, roadtrip!, sisterhood, thankful and grateful

Road Trip!!!

We had an opportunity to head to South Africa for a few days while getting a car rack installed on our vehicle. We took a few days to play and gather supplies after the car work was done before we returned to Mozambique. Here’s some of our adventure.

I love that despite having a bed for each girl, there in our little cottage, our ladies chose to share a big sister sleep-over each night. Their little hearts are beautiful. No one could be left out.


We went ahead and got our hair trimmed while there in South Africa. I usually trim everyone’s hair while we’re here in Mozambique, but the girls enjoyed the spoiling.

Eden REALLY enjoyed the hair washing part.


The girls enjoyed the opportunity to play in restaurant play areas while we waited on our food. Honestly it was insane some of these play areas for the kids and they absolutely had a blast.

We even went to an indoor splash pad.

And burned crazy amounts of energy at a trampoline park.


We had some really yummy “American” food.


And while it was an utter blast, I love that my girls could not wait to come home to their backyard, their bikes, their friends and their Mozambique. It was a beautiful time as a family to appreciate the blessing of more “Western World fun” while still appreciating the richness of life here amid the more simple. I love that my girls were really able to embrace that well; rejoicing in both places and having family conversations about the value of the two worlds we live in. And all of our hearts were full to the max as we turned down our street to return home here in Mozambique.

God has truly blessed us to the uttermost.

We are beyond grateful.


Thanks for the fun, South Africa!




Posted in BRAVO, celebrating life, JOY, living in their world, Overwhelmingly Thankful

At Last!!!

After 3 months of sleeping on mattresses on the floor, today we celebrate having a fully assembled room for our little ladies. That’s right, THE BUNKBEDS ARE DONE!!!!

(Peek-a-boo, Eden!)

And naturally you’re dying to see how the whole space came together, right? Well, that’s why we made you this video. πŸ™‚

We are beyond ecstatic to see some of the final HUGE pieces of the house come together, like THESE AWESOME NEW BUNKBEDS!!!!!

πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Posted in BRAVO, celebrating life, JOY, my heart, the Oldest, willing hands

And Then We Have a Nine Year Old!


This amazing little girl turned NINE yesterday surrounded by our adopted overseas family.

The children’s department made much of our birthday girl throughout the day

and then there was much rejoicing as she enjoyed a piece of ice cream cake in the evening among friends.

She had counted down the days and her radiant smile throughout the day was nothing but contagious.



I could not be more proud of you. Your heart is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. How you gently care for the little ones that flock around you is just amazing to watch. Your kindness, your gentleness. You see even the smallest ones and long for all to be included. You graciously listen when others just pass on by and you are always willing to offer your arms to help embrace another. Your laugh is contagious and your joy radiates. How you go out of your way to speak well of others, even if they have not been kind to you. How you see the best in people. How you long to honor others in speech and actions. I am just so incredibly blessed to get to be your Mom.

Thank you for daring to embrace people from other cultures, even when it’s messy and hard. Thank you for daring to listen to others when you are not sure if they will stop to listen to you. Thank you for being so willing to offer reckless abandonment hugs to any and all who will receive them.

You lead your sisters so beautifully well. You care for the inner hearts of people, even when it costs you time and tears. You just love so incredibly well, holding nothing back and offering all that you have. You are such an example to me, Rachael, and you encourage me so by just being you.

So here’s to a wonderful year ahead, my dear Rachael. I absolutely thrill at the opportunity to watch you grow and take flight in our Lord. Oh how awesome it is to get to cheer you on as your beautiful heart grows in the Lord.

I just adore you so, Rachael. Happy, happy ninth birthday, Love. And thanks for letting me still call you my baby. =)



Β P.S. Stop telling people you only have 4 more years until you’re a teenager. Mommy’s heart can’t take it. πŸ˜‰Β 



Happy 9 years, sweet Rachael. You are an absolute blessing to our little pack of foreigners.


Posted in Crossing Cultures, God's heart, Hope, JOY, my heart, Overwhelmingly Thankful

But For All Eternity


There’s no Christmas lights on houses. No tinsle. Not even Christmas trees. There’s no discounted decorations. No Christmas music playing in stores. No desirable presents to buy and wrap for expectant kids. There’s no sledding. No cold winter walks. No snow. Nothing that points to a familiar Western Christmas scene. Nothing here that even points toward the Christmas season.

That’s what it’s like to live in the seed-planting phase on the mission field. Where Christmas doesn’t even seem to exist. (Kind of like the first Christmas, I would imagine.) The “first feet on the ground”. We are literally two of a small handful of Christians swimming up a stream of 100,000+ people. When Matt and I stood up in church to receive communion with the other baptized believers in the church, we stood alone with a visiting pastor. In a congregation of about twenty (and that was on a good day!), we stood alone as baptized believers in our city.

‘Ok then, let’s get started!’

It’s the proclamation phase. The proclamation of the Good News to those inside of the church building because clearly there is much to be certain of in a foundation of the very basics. And the standing on the figurative street corner outside of the church calling out from the depths of your toes to a passing sea of faces.

“Noel, Noel! Come and see what GOD has done!”


It’s not just some story. A folktale. A feel good slice of religion for the weak.

It is a piercing light that breaks through the suffocating darkness surrounding us all. It is a promise of a God-man who stepped out of his place of honor into the filth and terror of this world.

This God-man who humbled Himself into the form of a needy babe that we could have the opportunity to be reconciled to a God we, as all of humanity,Β were actively, and still are, choosing to deny.

It’s a God-man that steps into the middle of egos, desperation, pride, selfishness, manipulation, corruption, hate, abuse, assumed self-sufficiency, deception, and a whole host of all our dirty laundry. The God-man that comes for the purpose of stretching out His arms to take the gut-wrenching blows in our place.




The Light of the World given for us!”


He didn’t just leave us in the middle of our unraveling chaos.

No, beloved, instead –

Come. And see what God has done!”


May His Good News sweep through this home, this community, and this world,Β  breaking the Light of Hope into the hearts of those surrounding all of us.

It’s a story that changes absolutely everything. Not just for a season, but for all eternity.


“The story of AMAZING LOVE!

The Light of the World, given for us.”

May we never be the same.



Posted in BRAVO, Crossing Cultures, JOY, living in their world, Mozambique

Last Day

Today was the last day of school for Rachael and Abi at the local Portuguese school. These girls rocked out their year with excellent grades (some of the highest in their class) and the casual learning curve of 100% of school being in a foreign language they didn’t even know how to say hello in eleven months ago.

So before I put one uniform away in the memory box and gave away their old uniforms and books to others, I got one picture of their utter joy amidst a year of accomplishments.

Well done, Rachael and Abi! Daddy and I are beyond proud of your endurance and hard work and we are so excited to celebrate being back on the same schedule again. We made it, ladies!!! And you all blew us out of the water with your wonderful selves again this year. Let’s celebrate with our normal Friday pizza and movie night and a night of No Homework for the first time in a long, long time (yes, I too will never forget how you guys had homework every night).

Yay, my delightful loves, WE MADE IT!!!!!!

(Did you catch that ankle friendship bracelet in the above picture, Aunt Jes? It’s still going strong over a year later. She never takes it off. =) – You are so loved. )