Your Day Is Coming

Today, this very moment, I am the busy mom of many. I am trying to get myself together this morning before I wake the kids and prepare myself for the onslaught of activity and noise. I will likely have to raise my voice to be heard above the din. (In case you are wondering, din is a loud confusing mixture of noises that last for a long time and boy, does it describe my life.)

Today, this very day, I will likely speak with one of my teen daughters concerning her attitude and with my other daughter concerning her bossiness. I will most likely have to remind one son to keep on task and another to keep his hands to himself. I will surely pray hard as I attempt to teach my son with dyslexia his reading lesson. Oh, and let’s not forget the grown children. I’ll most certainly be cautioning and encouraging them. 

My life is full to the point of me trying to catch my breath and maintain my sanity at times and the reason why? These children. The ones I asked God to give me. My answers to prayer. They have filled my empty arms. They have stretched me and challenged me. I am stronger and wiser. I am exhausted and spent. I am their mother and it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It is the greatest thing I’ve ever done. 

Even as I look for my courage to face my overwhelming day  I am remembering those who are still waiting. I am praying for those who will wrap their arms around each other and at times around themselves to try to cope with the terrible time of waiting for those arms to be filled with a child, their child, their very own child.

Your day is coming. Your path will be different than mine. Your disappointments may be many. Your waiting may seem unbearable. Your plight may seem hopeless. Your plan may be altered. Your hope may be almost diminished. But, I assure you, your day is coming. 

So, take courage if you are still waiting. Your day is coming. And when it does, I’ll be rejoicing with you.  And if your day has already come, seize the day and embrace every moment of your miracle.

So Loved 

Yesterday my five youngest children and I made a one-day, out-of-town road trip and I was the driver. It was a very beautiful and happy day spent with lots of folks we love. 


Naturally, on the drive home I was doing a lot of thinking and pondering. Things like, never ever give up on the possibilities of what God’s love can accomplish. His love is the most powerful force on earth and can change situations, people’s hearts and the direction of a person’s life. I needed that reminder. Maybe you did too. 

Another truth that is stamped on my heart was verified yesterday. There’s an old adage that says you can’t pick your family. I’d like to firmly disagree. Yes you can. Marriage is a perfect example. A choice to be family is made. Adoption is another example. A choice to become family is made. But there are other examples as well when no judge declares anything at all. Instead hearts declare belonging to one another because we so love them. 

You may not can choose who you are related to by blood, but you do get to choose your family. I’ve chosen well. Not only by marriage and adoption, but also by relationship. By caring and loving and praying and connecting and communicating and hoping and helping and sometimes the biding of time, by so loving them. 


During the next few weeks I will be in four different states visiting family. I will see two dozen family members. I am blood related to less than half of those, only nine to be exact. And yet, they are all my family. 

How can that be? I’ll tell you clearly how. Because love trumps blood, love trumps hate, love trumps differences,  love trumps distances, love trumps circumstances and love even trumps the law of the land sometimes. Relationships are formed when commitment is made, time is invested and choices are lived out. I so love them. 

Today I am loving the beauty of love. The choices we make, the lives we live, the paths we walk and yes, oh yes, the families we have!

Below is a photo of a few of my most beloved family members. I don’t share a single drop of blood with any of them. What we do share is love and let me assure you I so love them!


Below is another photo. This one is a photo of my mother and sister with whom I share blood. Guess what? We are family, not because of blood but because of relationship, precious memories, laughter and the bonds of love! I so love them. 


I can’t conclude my thoughts without adding this. The MOST important family decision you can ever make will be to become a part of the family of God. Choosing to be adopted into His family, as His child, joint-heirs with Jesus Christ will be the most life-altering decision you ever make. You know why? Because of love, once again, because of love. He so loves us. 

Confessions of a Momma with Too Many Children

We are an #xlfamily and I am a #momofmany. If you’ve been around me for very long, I’ve likely proudly showed you their pictures and expected you to guffaw over their wonderfulness. Most of the time that’s just the reaction I get but sometimes the reaction to our family with so many children is that we are a family with too many children. 

Some folks are concerned.  You know, concerned that I’ll wear myself down, concerned that my husband will work without being able to get ahead. Or concerned that the kids will somehow be neglected by being a part of such a big brood. Sometimes, that particular concern stems from their own childhood. 

Other folks are just critical. They’re critical of any choice that is different from their own. Critical of how many you parent, how you educate, discipline, and maybe even what you believe. Bless their hearts, as we are known to say here in the south. 


It’s okay, I get it. We aren’t your average family and more than once I’ve referred to myself as the old lady in the shoe who didn’t know what to do. But, what you may see as chaos, I see as… well, okay, I see as chaos too. But, I see it as more than that. 

I see it as living large and loving large. I see it as an opportunity to grow a family that is forged together not by blood but instead by love. I see it as opportunity to grow spiritually, emotionally and even physically stronger. I see it as an opportunity to leave a legacy of faith and by doing so, influence many more people than I could ever do on my own. 


So, here’s my confession as a momma of too many children. 

  1. I’m not always available to every child every moment they might like me to be. But, someone is. There’s always a partner to play a game or help with a difficult task. 
  2. I’m not superwoman. I get tired, irritable, frustrated and aggravated. I don’t ‘do it all’. I let somethings slide. I don’t dust nearly as often as I should. 
  3. I’m not enough for my very large family. Because I’m not, I encourage them to also rely on each other and build strong relationships with extended family members. Most importantly, I teach them to invest in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m not enough, but it’s ok because I don’t have to be. 
  4. Our kids don’t get the very same things that kids in smaller families may get. We don’t do exactly the same things, go the exact same places, take the same trips, drive the same cars or wear the same clothes. But, guess what, we celebrate the gifts of each other, work and play hard together and make do with what we have. I like to think I’m nurturing a rare commodity in this day and time. It’s called contentment. 
  5. I’m a little late starting my ‘dream career’ of writing because I have been so busy the last two decades raising kids. But, it’s okay, because this life I’ve lived as a mom of too many children has given me a LOT to write about. 


All in all, I can honestly say I wouldn’t want to live any other way. Sure, I would like less laundry, less dirty dishes and many times less noise. But I don’t want less of us and if we are too loud, too much or too different than what you might be used too, I’d like to invite you to set aside your concerns and criticisms. Instead consider how many hugs have been given, prayers answered and how much laughter this mom of too many children experiences each and every day. 

Release Day! Take 2!

My second book is published and ready to be ordered and read as of December 1, 2016. I had hoped to have it done months ago, but I’ve done the very best I could as a #momofmany. It has NOT been easy. But it has also been a beautiful experience and if I do say so myself, it is a story with merit. 


Tessie and Hank’s story continues in Unplanned Twists and as they face new challenges they once again rely on faith and family to make it through. It is my hope that this book will give you hope. During uncertain times, we need a place where we can withstand the storms of life. That place is hope. 

Hope proclaims that tomorrow is another day and our future is not written in stone and that when we are afraid, we are never alone. Hope says we don’t have to be afraid of the deep things of God. We can dive in because hope floats. 


One of the most terrifying moments of the book is when the family faces a tornado, hence ‘Unplanned Twists’. But, that isn’t the only twist. Tessie also has to confront her fear of answering a calling into a new area of ministry. She is reminded that there are many hurting souls and much opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those we encounter. 


My daughter and I were talking one day about the new book and the cover design. She’s only 15 but also an aspiring writer and a budding talent with her sketches. She drew this for me of what she thought Tessie looked like. I used it as is on the cover of Unplanned Twists. 

She is so proud of her beautiful drawing and I am so proud of my beautiful daughter. The first six years of her life were filled with darkness. She has chosen to embrace the light of love and hope through her own faith. The little sassy Emily in the story is inspired by her. 

This book was dedicated to my beautiful mother and grandmother whom I credit for loving me so extravagantly that it could not help but to flow over into the lives around me. I must also give my editor, Audrey Braxton Pitt; she went far above what would be expected with her insights and skills. She was such an encouragement and particularly enjoys working with #indieauthors .


If by any chance you are local, please consider yourself invited to an Author Expo that I’m helping to organize on December 10, 2016. Not only will this be my official book signing for the new book, I’ll be joined by more than a dozen other Alabama authors who will also be signing and selling their books. 

Chelsea General Store is hosting us in combination with their Christmas Open-house. It’s going to be a great day of music, fun, food and shopping. 


If you aren’t able to join us, you can still get your copy of either of my books at http://www.Amazon.com by typing my name in the search window. 


And please, pretty please, after you’ve read the books, task a moment and post a review on Amazon. That truly makes a difference. It not only encourages me, it influences others who may be considering trying this new author. As I said earlier, I know I’m just a small minnow in the vast ocean of published books, but hey, at least I’m in the pond. 

Every Child, Even Those

I’m thankful for a lot today and every day. But, when I really think about it, it’s the children in my life that I’m most thankful for and here’s why. They have given so much to me. I am a better person because of the children in my life.  

I am thankful for every child I have ever held in my arms, led in prayer, bandaged their boo-boos, tended their broken hearts, told a story to, opened my home to, braided or clipped their hair, read the Bible to, cried a tear over, said hello to and yes, even those I had to say goodbye to. 

I am thankful for every child that needed me for a season, that needed me forever, that needed me to bathe them, nurture them, listen to them, dress them and yes, even for the ones who need me to change their dirty diapers or clean up their messes in the kitchen or in life. 


I am thankful for every child that has blessed me by allowing me to love them, raise them, advise them, write about them, pray for them and yes, even those who don’t remember who I am because they were so young when they knew me. 

I am thankful for every child who has made me laugh at silly antics and corny jokes, who made me proud, who gave me courage and yes, even those who stretched me beyond myself so that I leaned heavily upon the Lord and therefore, in the end strengthened me. 


I am thankful for every foster child, my adopted children, my nieces and nephews, my my Sunday School students, youth in crisis and yes even the ones I claim as my own because I choose to. 

I believe that children are our greatest gift, our most precious resource and our best opportunity to impact the world and leave it a better place. So, today, I am thankful for all the children who will face tomorrows that I can only imagine, achieve things that will astound and surpass, and be better than necessary because they know how to love generously and live large.


Children are not all that matter of course, but to me they should be one of the most important matters. Whether they are an infant, an adolescent, a teen or yes, even a young adult, they are worth our time, our energies, our efforts. They are worth it when they disappoint us, stumble along the way or go a different direction than we expected. They are worth loving, opening your heart to, listening to, and encouraging.  Thank you Lord for the children that have been in my life! 

The Adoption Option

Seven years ago this very day, September 13, 2009,  we stood before a judge and adopted a sibling group of three, our two daughters and our youngest son. It was a Friday the 13th that would alter our lives forever as a judge declared what our hearts had already decided. We were a family! 

This wasn’t our first adoption day, this would be our fourth. It was an unusual experience for us because our county was celebrating national adoption month and we were one of several families to adopt that day. The atmosphere was festive!



Having previously adopted our first four sons, we became a family of nine. Love surely can take you places you never imagined you would go. Love surely can stretch you beyond yourself. Love surely can forge a family together with the spirit of adoption. 


Adoption is a legal commitment and it is binding and it changes the status of those adopting and those being adopted. They are united together by the authority of the law. 

Adoption is an emotional commitment and it is binding and it changes the status of those adopting and those being adopted. They are united together by the authority of love. 

Adoption is a spiritual commitment and it is binding and it changes the status of those adopting and those being adopted. They are united together by the authority of the Spirit of God. 


Adoption is not possible for everyone, but adoption is full of beautiful possibilities. Could this be an option for your family?


Take time to explore the possibilities. Don’t assume you aren’t qualified. Ask some questions, get some facts and explore the option of adoption. Did you know that foster-adoption is close to cost free? Did you know that over 100,000 children have their parental rights terminated and are available for adoption in the United States? Did you know that you don’t have to adopt an infant to gain a child, a real child, an older child who also chooses you? 

Four of our seven children were considered older child adoptions and I can give personal testimony that it can work! It has a special beauty because they are a part of the decision process. You choose each other. 

It is NOT easy, often not simple, and sometimes frustrating. But, just like pregnancy and parenting a child you birthed, adoption is worth all of the struggle, all of the effort and even heartache. Adoption is an option. 

When is Thanksgiving Day?

Did you know that today is Thanksgiving? No, not here in America. But our northern neighbors are celebrating their national day of thankfulness today.  We will celebrate ours in six weeks with just as much abandon as they do today. 


When I mentioned to my children (whom I homeschool) that Canada was celebrating Thanksgiving today they were astounded. ‘We thought that was just for Americans.’ Never say something like that to a homeschooling momma. There will be consequences. 

That response led to a day of studying how other cultures (yes there are more than Canada and the U.S.A.) celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s really quite interesting. Did you know that during World War II the Americans and Filipinos celebrated Thanksgiving in secret while the Japanese occupied the Philippines?

The common theme for all Thanksgiving days is of course thankfulness. All forms of the celebration began as a way to express thankfulness for the bounty of the harvest. There are some feasts that even pre-date Christianity such as the Saxons who celebrated by giving the first sheath of corn to their fertility gods. When Christianity arrived in Britain, the thankfulness continued. 

As for me and my Christian household, we celebrate with a heart of thankfulness for far more than a good harvest. Our family has a lot to be thankful for and I bet yours does as well. At the top of our list would be that we are a family. You see our family was not formed like most. Our family was formed by determination, extraordinary circumstances, answered prayer, hurting hearts in the process of being healed and then finally forged together in the fiery trials of  battles fought and won. And who are we thankful to for this miracle of family? We are thankful to God, Jehovah, Yahweh, our Heavenly Father, the creator of this universe, the one who sent Jesus to redeem us.


The truth is, every day and every season is a good day to be thankful. Thankfulness is good for the heart and soul of every human being no matter where they live or what they believe. 

Today and every day I will be thankful. Let me tell you a few reasons, just a few, for there are many. 

1. I am thankful that after a dozen years of infertility God answered my prayer and began to fill my heart and empty arms with an amazing number of lives. We fostered for fifteen years, adopted seven of those and continue to have living relationships with many others. Because of this astounding opportunity for love I am thankful. 


2. I am thankful for this season of life where I am being given opportunities to write. It wouldn’t be happening without the support of my family and friends who encourage me and help me in countless ways. I am so happy to see my fiction books in print and especially happy to have the opportunity to write articles about adoption with the hope of informing and inspiring others about this beautiful way to form a family. 


3. I am thankful for my faith. Believing that God is who He is and that I am not on my own in this life, is a great source of strength. Believing that this life is not all there is and the end of this life is only the beginning of eternity, is a great source of comfort. Believing that I am a small part of something much bigger than me, is a great source of inspiration.