Tuesday, December 30, 2008

our move.

we are now near brooke...just a few miles down the road! grateful. we will spend Christmas w/her tomorrow....it didn't work out today.

i wanted to express to our "wooley" folks just how much i appreciate them. their kindness to brooke and our family is too deep in words to express. thank you so much for the investment! i'm know it does not go un-noticed, even now!
you are loved and have a special place in my heart.

Monday, December 29, 2008


when i look up "inspire" in the dictionary, i see words like: influence, impel, motivate, affect. My 11-year old daughter has inspired me me in numerous ways. she has a mind of a 18 month old, the voice of a babbling baby, and the heart of a princess, compelling me to dream further than i would have ever imagined.
i did not think i could ever relate to a child w/special needs. however, she has forced me out of my comfort zone to reach out to those who see with a different perspective. brooke has encouraged me to believe that God is able and the she is capable. brooke has influenced me to love unconditionally without regrets. with enthusiasm and laughter she gives awkward kisses and hugs for no reason at all. looking in her eyes i am driven to keep searching for answers about her until i know the reason behind her smiles. brooke has inspired me to dive into hope. because of therapy, brooke gains new words on a somewhat regular basis, making what before seemed out of reach : reachable. a new word such as "book" may be easy for a 20-month old, but when brooke says it, it is amazing! with this new perspective she has given me, simple words have become something i celebrate. brooke has taught me to appreciate the baby steps no matter how small or trivial they may seem.
daily i'm exposed to an unknown world, a new idea, and a challenging adventure. brooke gives me a vision that cannot be described with words. because of that, i am motivated by faith, hope, and, more importantly, love...to continue pressing forward in an experience others may call hopeless. she has taught me it really is the simple things after all.

Friday, December 26, 2008


My close friend Robin wrote something to me the other day i just have to share (w/her permission):

"Every Christmas my faith is inspired and my heart revived by some aspect of the coming of Christ. I ask each year for God to let me enter the scence in a new way. This year I have pondered the swaddling of His tiny body.

When my children were born my sister in law who is a doctor taught me the art of swaddling. To swaddle a baby, as most moms know, you take great care to tuck the blanket perfectly around the tiny arms and legs recreating the security of the womb. The arms and legs can no longer flail about in the new found freedom created by birth.

I wonder how the coldness of this world felt to Christ as he entered the manger scene. I wonder how the blankets felt around His little arms and legs. Called away from the constant swaddling of heaven to be wrapped in the grasp of those who would provide Him "less than" love for 30 years. How long did it take Jesus, the person, to recognize the difference in the unhindered love of the heavenly realm and the hindered love of this world? to experience the inadequacies of a mom's embrace compared to that of Abba?

I am so thankful that in the midst of a world of "less than" that God is faithful to swaddle us and remind us of "more than". I pray that this year we allow Him to swaddle us, in times of insecurity, celebration, anger, misunderstanding or any other challenge of living away from Home. To think about Jesus swaddled in the manger reminds me of why God came as a baby... to remind us that He desires to wrap us in His love and provide all that we need."

wow! powerful words i thought. there were many things i thought of when i read this...but to keep this about Brooke, i thought of the Lord swaddling her...and it just brought much comfort! There is NOTHING like being touched by God; futhermore, swaddled.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Just a word

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas....
"isn't it amazing the way He came....no crown, no thrown, no big parade", just a manager...in an old town. O come let us adore Him.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

you have NO idea...

I'm a bit lonely and it seems selfish to even say that when Brooke will be spending Christmas without us. Lonely?! I don't know what she thinks...maybe sometimes i do not want to know. However, i'd love to know what she thinks about a Christmas tree, baby Jesus, Christmas lights and wrapped presents everywhere, Chrismas songs and different types of food only to be shared this season. I wonder.

This is a "tender" time for me and in a lot of ways. recently it hit me...I've always thought Brooke needs me....and yes, she does...but i think the thing i've thought mostly about is just how much i am in need of her. I want her for Christmas...nothing else.

I cannot wait to be near you sweetie! I'm so thankful that "Jesus has got you".


i love this picutre! Psalms 107 has held such deep meaning to me in the past few weeks, and seeing this picture the other day I had to share. i could go in more detail...but for this one, i'm just going to leave alone. For the scripture itself expresses exactly where i am. Trusting God in the midst of the storm is allowing me to experience for tough lessons. My storm is by far over, yet, w/the promise of this verse I'm hanging on!
(thanks danielle-you have NO idea)

Monday, December 15, 2008


needing to be quiet for awhile. we are busy packing, seeing family and friends...and just needing some alone time with the Lord to process all what is going on in my world. I'll share updates when i get some breathing room.

Jeremiah 29.11

Saturday, December 13, 2008


brooke, i wish i knew what you really wanted for Christmas.

Monday, December 08, 2008


webster expresses the word enough this way...

"enough : occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations synonyms...sufficient."

in my car i have a little sign that says "dani, I AM enough"! This statement came to me at a difficult moment and it remains there today as a reminder that He is enough. There can be no one like Him, He is sufficient...as as "web" puts it, He is fully able to meet demands, needs, or even, yes, expectations. i'm finding myself at a point where not only am I reading this statement over and over again, i need Him to implant it in my brain!

I do know He is enough. He has proven that to me in the past...but somedays it's harder to see than others.

I know too, He is enough for Brooke...meeting every need she has that I, as a mother, cannot provide or give her. Trusting comes in to play with this...so i guess it boils down to this one question...

"dani, will you trust me, knowing I AM enough for you"? ouch!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

God storms

as the weeks dwindle down til we get down to mobile I feel as if i were in a storm. A close friend of mine calls it a "God storm" where it's something you just cannot explain or express to anyone. I have more thoughts on this God Storm i'm in...mostly emotional whirlwind.

Storms, if you know me, i just love! they bring change, newness, destruction (not so fun), but mostly intense change. The intensity is here and coming...leaving, loving, losing, liberty, and letting go being a few....whatever the case God is in it...and i'm walking in faith thru this storm as He walks with me thru it. I've been staying in Psalms 107....great comfort.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

just a story...

there is so much i want to share in this post but decided to share a story that i recently read that brought much encouragement to me:

"I once hear the story of a mother who brought a crippled boy w/a hunched back into her home as a companion for her own son. She warned her son to be very careful not to refer to the other boys' deformity, since this was a sensitive matter to him. And she encouraged him to play with his new friend as if he were a normal child. But after listening to her son play with him for a few minutes, she heard him ask his companion. "Do you know what this is on your back?" The crippled boy was embarrassed, hesitated a moment, but before he could respond, his friend answered him by saying, "It is the box that holds your wings, and someday God is going to break it open, and you will fly away to be an angel."

This picture (which someone recently gave us) reminds me of this story in regards to brooke, knowing one day--as she sees Jesus....this will be her response to HIM.

Friday, December 05, 2008


Brooke has had many doctor appointments this week...checking out everything under the sun! As far as i know she has done well, some anxiety-but to be expected. She'll be getting a haircut soon. (hum, wish i could be a fly on the wall for that one). I'm thankful--over the years where we live here a dear friend, Erin, would come to our house and play w/her as she cut her hair. Thank you Erin for your patience w/Brooke over all these years. You will be missed...in more ways than just that.

We will not be spending Christmas w/Brooke which saddens my heart. However, on the 29th I'll get to see her and take her some things she might enjoy.

I miss you baby-Jesus has got you!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

so, why are we moving?

It should be no surprise to know we wanted to be closer to brooke. after all 6 hours away is DISTANCE. and tough distance it is. Oct. 21 i went to see Sara Groves in concert. Sara is one of my favorite Christian songwriters and singers. So i went, not knowing anything except to just listen, be still, and worship. it was much more than that for me. this was just not your usual concert. they were allowing the public to know something that i was somewhat unaware of...sexual trafficking in various countries/villages. i was blown away by the stories, rescue stories, stories of suffering, pain, ministry opportunities. during the concert a verse was read that captured my heart. Is. 1. 17 "learn to do good, seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow". just that verse alone spoke volumes to me as i sat there soaking in every word. i could not stop thinking..."Lord, what can i do, i can't even leave the state (b/c of brooke), what can i do to minister, help, comfort, support, etc..." we sang "rescue the perishing"....and once again the words to that song tug at the core of my heart and gave me a deeper compassion for a cause that was going un-noticed in some respects. i left the concert burdened. now that i've been in recovery (from various sufferings in my my own life) for a good while now, i too desire to reach out to those that are hurting, suffering, broken. it only added to the fire as i left this concert and heard what i heard.

i got up the next morning reading the text again to soak it all in. i went to my bible study (Bible Study Fellowship) and sat there with only this on my mind.....rescue, plead, defend, help, plead...i left bible study that morning with the intentions of calling the Alabama Baptist Children's Home. i did, but the one in Birmingham...they might have something. NOTHING. i was encouraged to call the other 2 facilities. It took me 30 minutes to call the Mobile campus. They put me on the phone with the director. with a few things on my mind i shared w/him and then asked him if they had any openings for houseparents. his response was music to my ears. "dani, as of TODAY we are in need of houseparents". i responded with 'you have got to be kidding me"! we talked more and i got off the phone to pick it right back up again to talk to bill. He knew nothing about what the Lord had spoken to me about (for i got home late from the concert and we started our day very early). i shared with him what i just wrote to you about and he was amazed! he then said.."dani, tell me again what passage you read. I shared with him the verse and my heart's cry. it was then he told me he had read the same verse in his quiet time that morning! oh my! this started a trickling of thoughts and wonder. the director asked us to send in our info/resume'....so since i had not worked in 8 years (8 years ago we were houseparents in Memphis at the Tn. Baptist Children's home for troubled teens for 3 years), i went up to the church to write it up. i walked in the door and when i did i saw a magazine on the table near the office. (HOME LIFE) . in big bold letters at the bottom of the page was written "Orphans Matter to God". okay, really God, are you kiddin' me. we sent in our information not really knowing the outcome.

at church the following sunday...we sang our usual songs and then he asked us to turn to so and so #....guess what song "rescue the perishing". wow!!! with gladness in my heart and confirmation i sang to the Lord. Bill, a couple of days later called and talked with the director and shared his experience with the children's home....him (bill) being a foster child and his sisters growing up in the children's home that we worked at. We then learned that Mr. Smith (director) wants to interview us at our house so, he came. the conversation could have not gone any better.

on monday afternoon bill gets a weird phone call. his caller ID says "8"....he could not get to the phone, but he tried to call back after his phone call. no one picked up! he called again...and still no one.well, in biblical days, the #8 means "new beginnings"...it was just another cloud per say of what the Lord is saying. Our obedience in taking this position has many blessings, one we are so close to Brooke (just about 5 miles from her house. we will work 12 days and are off 4...during the day we can see Brooke (while everyone is at school). and of course we can get her on our 4 days off...to spend the night etc...God has made a way--and this is all about HIM....nothing about me. grateful...just grateful! there are many years to make up...and i'm thrilled to be there w/her.

of course my heart is grieving over the loss of the friendships He has established. being on staff at a church leaving behind girls I've discipled over the years...but seeing Brooke's face and establishing my relationship with my daughter is just precious to me. we are up for a challenge, "culture shock" is what i call it...but walking under the fire and the clouds how could i not follow, how could we not walk under the shadow of the Almighty? there is not a safer place to be...bitter-sweet, you bet! even as tears flow now, ugh!...i just have no other words. our last day at our church is Dec. 14...and after Christmas we will move. I'm a bit overwhelmed to say the least. I call this our "cloud and fire" story, because the Lord's hand was all in it, just as He lead the Israelites so He lead us.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

our plans

serveral have asked what are plans are towards the move to Mobile...here they are:

Bill's last Sunday-December 14
Pack, Pack, Pack-December 15-22
Get truck-28
On the road/move in-29
Start new Job-Jan 1, 2009

there ya have it. i'll be sharing more later of how in the world we got to Mobile and just how close we will be to Brooke.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


what a dreary day here in northern Alabama! it doesn't help my melancholic personality. on days like this i think of jumping in the bed w/brooke watching her favorite eposides of Dora the Explorer. I miss you sweetie and look forward in being near your neck of the woods and we can explore all we want!

Friday, November 28, 2008


Just wanted to say a big thanks to The Learning Tree staff for a wonderful Thanksgiving Meal. The food was great and it was so good to be there w/Brooke. I hope you all had time to be w/your family during the holiday. Thank you for taking care of Brooke during this season it sure does not go un-noticed! Thanks to you Jennifer, for all you do to keep everything running smoothly.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

something is missing

tears flow because i know you are there and i am here. i miss you baby! something is missing.
it was great to be w/you at Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


we had some good moments tonight with brooke. went shoppin to get her a few things and took her to chick-fi-la. there were personal moments w/just brooke that I just captured and took in. She brings me joy. We will have Thanksgiving dinner w/her tomorrow at her school and i look forward in being w/my family as I'm thankful for them!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

repeated Hope:

this is from a journal entry from earlier this year....it seemed appropriate to share again today:

I have been exposed to hope. Hope. For so long I have lost sight of this…and took matters in my own hands. This caused me even more harm, pain, anxiety, panic attacks, and etc… But now, I have been re-exposed to hope, if you will. It almost makes me want to take a picture, find an old darkroom and develop what I captured. Your hope God has become alive to me in the depths of my slumber. I have realized the strong fog of selfishness I’ve been under. I have seen that suffering effects more than just plain owe me. However, it is now through my suffering that You reveal hope to me. It has strength, beauty, compassion, courage, love, patience and more than I could ever write down at the moment. I buried hope long ago and surely lost perspective of it. Now, it warms my heart, sings in my ear, and embraces me when I have no one to embrace. The journey for me is just now beginning. (Jeremiah 29:11).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

thanksgiving plans

we will be traveling down to see brooke on wednesday and thursday this week. since we still cannot take her on an overnight visit, we will just take her out for the afternoon on wednesday and meet them at her school for Thanksgiving lunch.

I'm so excited to be in her world.

Just recently a dear friend of mine where talking about "being" with others. There's just something about hanging out with people you know and love; no expecatations, no nothing...just "being" with them.
I mentioned in the conversation that of our Lord. So many times we go to Him...asking, pleading, etc...and we don't just sit and "be" with the Lord. What if though...we just did that, just sat and listened, and were just with Him...not expecting anything at all...BUT when He shares something w/us, when He gives us comfort from His word, when He showers His blessings and goodness as we sit in His Presence..then, my friend.....that is the EXTRA, the unexpected.....and there is NOTHING like it.

I go to Brooke w/no expectations except to be with her...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

confusing question

How can my heart be SO full to move extremely close to Brooke; and yet so empty in leaving some dear and precious friends? This is where i am at...amongst the boxes, cleaning, packing, and the tears.

Friday, November 21, 2008


happy birthday, daddy! i love you....brooke.

changes: all around

We heard some good changes with Brooke today.

Her Instructional Analyst wrote me this: "I was over there for several hours training the staff on her new PCIP. Brooke was in such a great mood. Her roomate walked up to her and grabbed her hand and they ran off to the bedrooms (which I followed to keep them in supervision, but just looked through the door crack so they wouldn't see me) and they were running around being so happy together. They ran from one room to the next laughing and following each other. They looked like 2 little girls at a slumber party! It was so cute. Her roomate kept giving Brooke hugs and Brooke did not push her away. She smiled and laughed. The whole time I was there, Brooke was in a fantastic, playful mood. She did not display any problem behaviors. I have seen such a positive change in her and can't wait to get really rolling on these new skills we are teaching her. I think she is going to learn so quickly!"

To hear these things are just wonderful news to a mom who is 6 hours away from a hug or just a look in the eye. It makes me smile. I'm excited to move closer to her in the next several weeks...hearing that she is making friends gladens my heart...knowing i'll be leaving my friends here soon grieves my heart as well. Yes, there are changes--all around.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

just grateful!

"Praise the Lord, o my soul; all my intermost being, praise His Holy name. Praise the Lord, o my soul, and forget not all His benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion. who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." ps. 103-1-5

I'm grateful today...for many things!
First, that the Lord has restored my soul from depression and who has healed my diseases. It's a great thing to be in recovery! I'm grateful that the Lord has removed my sin as far as the east/west, who forgives me 70 x 7, who has redeemed my life from the pit; and what i pit i was in! I'm grateful He crowns me w/lovingkindness and compassion and renews youth to me.
Secondly, i'm grateful Brooke is in a safe place (ps.91). The Lord has brought her underneath His shade tree, and in just weeks we will be underneath that same tree as hers (when we move into her area)!
Thirdly, I'm grateful for a body of believers from our church that has ministered to us as we have ministered to them. For dear friends that have stood beside me in the strongest storms of my life. For praying me thru the rough moments....moments i'm sure will continue to encounter me. I'm grateful for the love the Lord has bestowed on me thru them and i'm eternally grateful to be alive and well today!

what are you grateful for?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Here is a report from Brooke's nurse at the LT.....(she went to the eye doctor today). I'm so grateful for the Learning Tree. Thank all you guys who help Brooke out...what an impact you are making in a life.

"Brooke went to eye doctor today. Eyes were dilated and examined. No need for glasses all was “normal” according to ophthalmologist. Brooke did well. She did even much better than the initial appointment we took her on. There was a long wait today (2+ hours) and she waited well. She was scared with the MD examination and with the drops to dilate eyes, but overall did very well. "(nurse report)

Monday, November 17, 2008

our move

We are moving! It is bitter-sweet to leave. words cannot express all that fills my heart.

So, with that i say---we are coming Brooke! We are all coming closer to you.
More information will be shared later.

Friday, November 14, 2008


fall is by far one of my favorite seasons. however, i did not enjoy raking the leaves for the boys to just destroy the pile i had made. oh well....you only live once, right? and i am sure i did the same thing when my dad raked leaves too. fall. it brings change. change brings life. newness. a breath of fresh air almost. I'm all about change! Just like a good storm rolling in...

we are all going thru a change as brooke remains far from us...wishing now i could look into her eyes, jump in the bed w/her--only for her to push me out, watch dora (over and over again). But I cannot. however, i remain confident. confident that the change in all our lives will only bring about newness--and breaths of fresh air. come Lord Jesus...change us...for i know that in some small way you rake up the leaves of goodness, riches, blessings in our life...and we get the chance to jump in them if we desire to do so. Let the jumping begin!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

our tuesday.

i could not upload our pictures...will try again tomorrow. brooke's IEP went really well. It was good to see brooke and just hold her in my arms. we took her to McDonalds on monday...we enjoyed being w/her. She looks great....and it was just precious to see her. the pictures are coming.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

latest info

i'm so excited to see brooke on monday. i called last night to see how she was doing...it was good to hear a good report. she is adjusting at her house just fine. at school (where more demands are placed on her) she is having some behavior problems; to be expected. Bill and i will take her to get something to eat on monday and tuesday we will have her IEP meeting to establish some goals. i miss her face. her smile. her touch...even sometimes it's a grab!

this is a busy weekend for me. i'm thankful to be involved in a womans conference...then to a dear friends baby shower.

i'll have much more to share/with new pictures on our return.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

the distance.

the distance is always difficult. i'm ready to give you a hug brooke. I'll talk to you tomorrow. i love you!

Friday, October 31, 2008


resting in the Lord is where i am "camped out" at today. Resting...not in a sense of laying in my hammock, or laying on the couch, or sleeping all day; but being assured, acknowledging, dwelling, finding habitation in His Presence, His character, His ways, His attributes...HIM. He is the I AM...there is nothing else. so i rest.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

great verse...

this verse has stayed w/me for a long time now and wanted to share: Exodus 2.23 says the Israelities groaned and cried out to the Lord. I love this....how many times i have done this and cried out to the Lord in my time of need, or just acknowledgement. What's even better about this passage is the Lords response. Verse 24 says "God heard their groaning and he remembered His covenant, so God looked on them and was concerned about them". What a great God I serve. In Psalms it says that he is the maker of the eye, does He not see, He is the maker of the ear, does He not hear?

thank you Lord, that you hear my hearts cry, my groaning, my pain and you hear..remember...look...and are concerned with me.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

i woke up...

at 2 am with you on my mind...and just cannot go back to sleep. i miss you and cannot wait to see you soon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

my friday

Now, as we got brooke moved and i've had time to just get back to the daily stuff. while we were there i just went thru the motions... everything is sinking in now and i miss her and long to see her.

she went to the doctor yesterday just for a check up. all is well. she will have other doctor appointments soon to check out everything else. I wanted to be w/her. however, we were well informed on the visit and how she did. thank you katy for all you do! you are amazing.

i'll be going down on Nov. 10-11. We will be doing her IEP (Individual Education Plan). i'm excited to see her on both days. I'll be scouting out a place we can stay for Thanksgiving.

If you know me well enough, you'll know I have a picture-mind. Last night i walked into our garage where we have our 11 golden retriever puppies in a gated fence (to keep them from the cold air). outside the gate on a pillow Trudy, momma dog, was laying next to the fence and all the puppies were asleep next to her; yet the fence was keeping them apart. (this is for nursing purposes). I just stood there dumb founded b/c it reminded me of me and brooke. Not separated by a fence but miles. the puppies knew their momma was there so they got as close as they could to her. precious! If i could, i'd be there too, Brooke. Yet, God has you in a safe place and so i trust that He is leaning against you tonight....for with Him, there is NO separation! I'm leaning hard on Jesus too.

this weekend we will take it easy and rest. the next few weekends are filled up. it'll be nice to just be. I'm praying for you baby!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

the web of possiblity

Tuesday morning i got the boys off to school and driving into my driveway i noticed something white-ish dangling from a branch off the tree. interesting. i bundled up (it's cold in the morning), and cautiously walked over to see a spider web. crazy! this guy was amazing. he had so artistically spun from the ground to the tree limb his web, his home....suspending itself in mid-air. i was amazed. (i took pictures, but they did not turn out).

this little guy reminded me of something i need to be constantly reminded of. NOTHING is impossible for my God. personally, i'm in bit of a dilemma in my life right now....but seeing this little guy made me re-consider my situation/circumstance. With God, all things are possible.

Brooke, baby, Jesus has got you! Know that nothing is impossible with Him. I know you are a bit nervous, maybe scared, afraid, lonely, tired, and uncertain about things around you. But if i could whisper in your ear tonight so that you would understand i would tell you that nothing is impossible for God. Somehow though, i think you already are aware of that....and i'm just learning the lesson. i miss you tonight!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sunday, October 19, 2008


i've been out of town (again)...so i haven't gotten to post as i would like...or send pictures as i said i would. they will come. computer is slow at home.

recently i got the chance to stay in a castle on a hill. it was very enchanting. I was reminded of the reason castles were built...the fortress they portrayed and the strongholds they were for so many in danger or just for protection. i was reminded this week that the Lord has put me and Brooke in a very safe place...a place of protection. I was reminded of Psalms 71. 3 "be My habitation...My Rock and my Fortress". The Lord has been my Rock this week. It goes w/o saying that i'm so proud of Brooke's bravery...being placed with complete strangers...her courage speaks volumes to me. The Lord has been her Fortress as well.

the castle...some may call it imaginary...I call it God's Presence.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

full update

transitions are hard any way you look at them, are they not? I'm grateful for the transition that has taken place with brooke. it will take her some time to get adjusted to new faces, new names, new places, her new bedroom, her new house, and her new school. her staff has gone over the top meeting her needs as we cannot be with her as we would like. tuesday we took the day off and just rested--knowing brooke needed to get to know her surroundings at the LT. Wednesday we had a meeting that gave us much information for the direction the staff would like to take brooke and what we (as her parents) would like to transpire. I have been very impressed with the LT. Today on our way out, we stopped by to see brooke. The next time we get to see her (as a family) will be for Thanksgiving. I'll be traveling down for a meeting before then. We are hoping to see her as much as we possibly can.
This is a very stressful time for brooke. would you pray, as those that work with her, that she would sense a peacefullness. I'll be sending pictures in my next entry of our time w/her. Thank you for your concern, love, prayers. God has been good...I'm confident in this!

Monday, October 13, 2008

long day

it has been a very long day. the void that is in my heart tonight as i'm about to go to bed is heavy...yet fully aware the Lord has her and is resting with her tonight. i'll share more when we arrive back in town for our service is not well.


brooke's move today was very smooth. she is now adjusting to her new school at the learning tree. we do not have internet access to share pictures or express details. please continue to pray for this transition that is affecting our whole family. i will have more information to share on thursday. thank you for your prayers. (shared by cherie, dani's sister).

Sunday, October 12, 2008

door of Hope

my dear friend Robin and i were talking early this week about a passage of scripture that has NOT left me. "I am now going to allure her and lead her into the wilderness to speak tenderly to her" (Hosea 2.14). Michael Card, song-writer and author, says that it is in while we are in the wilderness that is where our worship is. It goes on to say in Hosea i will give her the door of HOPE. Hope just happens to be my favorite word in Bible...this alone "allured" me to this passage years ago.
Brooke and i will both be going into the wilderness this week (not leaving out the rest of our family). In this wilderness I'm asking the Lord to speak tenderly to Brooke. To speak kindly to her. To affirm her. To give her a door of hope. To assure her.

I love you Brooke. Jesus has got you, baby. He has me too. For this...I'm eternally grateful...our doors await us.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


it's been a tough few day for me, to be honest. i'm hurting...and the distance that will be between brooke and our family is difficult. i'm confident the Lord has her...and the entrustment. I'm grateful that I serve a God, Jesus Christ that goes before us...knows our circumstances, and is intimately acquainted with our ways. so with this i say, even though....yet, i will praise....in fact, i have to praise! He is enough...and i'm in that moment with Him. it is the safest place to be as uncomfortable as it may seem.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Monday, October 06, 2008


it's momma....
i miss you, but will get to see you on Monday. We will drive down to Mobile to your new school. The Lord has His hand on you baby. Your daddy, josiah and ethan, and momma love you so much. I am praying for you. May His shade cover you and protect you as you go throughout your day. Don't be afraid, for He alone is with you.--momma

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Joy is given...

read this a couple of days ago and was encouraged with these words by amy carmichael:

Sorrow is one of the things that are lent, not given. A thing that is lent may be taken away; a thing that is given is not taken away. Joy is given; sorrow is lent. we are not our own, we are bought with a price, "and our sorrow is not our our own", is it lent to us for just a little while (sometimes i wonder what "a little while really means) that we may use it for eternal purposes. then it will be taken away and everlasting joy will be our Father's gift to us, and the Lord God will wipe all tears from off all faces. so, let us use this "lent" thing to draw us nearer to the heart of Him Who was once a Man of Sorrow (He is not that now, but He does not forget the feeling of sorrow). Let us use it to make us more tender with others, as He was when on earth and is still, for He is touched with the feelings of our infirmities.

i say no more....

(this is a picture of amy)
to learn more about amy carmichael and her ministry go to:

Thursday, October 02, 2008

being still....

while i wait on the Lord. Comfort brooke Lord during this transition. Comfort us as more and more distance comes between us. Heal us Lord....we need your touch.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

what i'm learning....

my intimacy with the Lord is greater than my circumstances, pain, or suffering. i will not give up being bold for Christ...for one person or for my present circumstance.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


brooke will NOT move on the 6th to Mobile...but she will move on the 13th of October.

i've been thinking on this statement a friend said to me...all day long. thought i'd share:

"it is hard for man to recognize the total depravity of his own flesh unless he were to journey closely, deeply, faithfully, and trustingly with the Lord God most high."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008


first off...Happy Birthday tomorrow to my precious sister!

I have a dear friend in Scotland....Julie. Her son, James is autistic. i met her thru the internet. I'm grateful for her dear friendship over the years we have known one another. there is nothing....nothing like talking to another mom who knows the ends and outs about autism. in a moment of distress she emailed something i had to share:

" I guess God pretty much hates autism too. One thing we will definitely NOT find in Heaven, thankfully. And there we will REALLY hear our kids sing.

Can you imagine how much MORE special it will be for them, even than for us, since the reality they have known so far has been so confusing.........................when it all becomes clear AND AMAZING AT THE SAME TIME - how big will that be for them??!!" thanks julie...i love you and i hope to meet you this side of Heaven.

Trust...the simplicity of it all.
Why the maze we go through?
Letting go...the liberty of it all.
Why the entaglement of holding on?
Security...the assurance of it all.
Why the instability we pursue?

september visit

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

in the nile

If you have never had the opportunity for in-depth Bible study, let me suggest Bible Study Fellowship (http://www.bsfinternational.org/). I talk about it in my book, Little by Little. Tremendous and rich study of specific books of the Bible. I have been involved in BSF on and off for 9 years. Our study in "The Life of Moses", (which covers several books of the Old Testament) started up a couple of weeks ago for us. i won't go into the details of how BSF works; however, i will tell you, as you allow the Holy Spirit to speak, it will change your life as it has mine throughout the years.

Today was no different. We are in chapter 2 of Exodus. It was just 10 verses that captured a picture i'll never forget. (if you have the time, read them). If you remember with me...Moses was born and 3 months later was placed in a basket in the Nile. As Moses' sister watches him go down the Nile, Pharaoh's daughter was bathing and sees the basket with Moses inside. Later we see he was cared for by a nurse and nursed by 'a baby's mother'. Shelter. Protective. Sovereign. these are just a couple of words i see God is in this passage. As our teaching leader taught on this passage I felt almost crippled and gripped by each verse and word spoken. For this is what the Lord taught me:

as you know Brooke will be going to another facility in a couple of weeks. this means brooke being with people i haven't even met, being in a different city than us, being raised in a house different from ours, and basically...being away from me-her mother; furthermore, her family. as i sat there today God allowed me to see not Moses in that basket floating down the Nile, but Brooke. He said. ..."dani, put brooke in the basket...and let her float down the Nile", i have her protected..trust me, those that will get her will care for her...will you trust me? She will get everything she needs, just trust me". then, in the midst of all this our teaching leader shares "the Lord neither slumbers/sleeps"...which is my brooke passage Psalms 121. i leaned over to a friend of mine who knows me and brooke, and i said to her...that is from Ps. 121..that is my brooke passage! about that time...our teaching leader says "that is a passage i believe from ps. 121." Hah...! oh my!

I walked away praying, "oh Lord, i want to be faithful, faithful to trust You, faithful to believe what You say, You will do." This Word from the Lord came at a time that was never-the-less perfect, but isn't that the way the Lord works...as a friend of mine says, it's not about time for Him...it's His timing. Today will stay with me for a long time...He knew what i needed...and He gives what we need. I'm grateful for His voice...still, small, quiet voice that shakes and rattles my world.

Brooke, honey, you are safe! For there are no better hands than His...and that is where you are!

Monday, September 22, 2008

nothing like it

today our dog, Trudy (golden retriever), had 12 puppies! it was amazing! this hasn't been the first time I've seen puppies being born...but today when she had them i noticed something that made me consider something. right after the puppy is born (eyes still closed), she smells the mommy and goes to find nourishment and comfort. i just think that is just the coolest thing...the instincts they have amaze me and there is nothing like it.

on Friday i walked into brooke's classroom, after not seeing her for a few weeks, our eyes met, and she got up to come to me...I'd say to find nourishment (in some fashion) and comfort. Let me just say, there is nothing like it. nothing like being in a room with lots of commotion and fixing your eyes on something that will in someway bring you comfort or love.

the same with Jesus...scripture says 'let us fix our eyes on Jesus" (Hebrews). His eyes, His touch bring nourishment, yes, and comfort...and let me say....there is nothing like it!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


we recently had a meeting to decide when brooke will be moving to the Learning Tree....Oct. 6. I'll be driving down to get her and then continuing on to Mobile. I would ask that you would pray for brooke. Changes for her are hard and it brings much anxiety. there will be alot of changes for her in the next few months. some changes will be hard for her as she learns a different approach in learning, new people, and surroundings. My prayer has been and will always be for her Psalms 121. Join me, if you would, in praying this passage over her...and for her.

i'm thrilled she will be coming home for a home visit (probably one of her last, considering we will just have a visits w/her down there due to travel time). I'll get her on thrusday and take her back on saturday. It'll be good to have her home!

God is good and has been good to lead us back to The Learning Tree. God is good to lead us, period!

Friday, September 19, 2008

dearest brooke,

i know today was hard for you. i wish i were laying beside you while you sleep. i love you baby!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

learning that...

He is enough!


Yesterday was difficult for some reason....i missed Brooke so much. Her little face kept popping in my mind, every little thing reminded me of her. Every morning during my time with Jesus I read "Streams in the Desert". Yesterdays reading was very appropriate for my sadness. I wanted to share what i read because in it is a small word I think we overlook...at least I do. It's bringing me into a new awareness when my lament is just too much.

"perhaps the circumstance causing my sorrows will not be removed and my situation will remain the same (we believe this is true in our case), but IF Christ is brought INTO my grief and gloom as my Lord and Master, He will "surround me with songs of deliverance" (ps. 32.7) To see Him and to be sure that His wisdom and power never fail and His love never changes, to know that even His most distressing dealings with me are for my deepest spiritual gain, is to be able to say in the midst of sorrow, pain, and loss, 'The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, my the name of the Lord be praised'" (job 1.21)

Into, as if you didn't guess, is the word i was speaking of. In Michael Cards book, "A Sacred Sorrow", says it perfectly when he writes, " The true answer for a lament of disease is not ultimately a cure. The real solution for a lament of financial distress is never money. The answer is always found in the Presence of God. It is rarely what we ask for, but it is always what we ultimately need."

Holy Spirit, thank You for Your Presence You give...for comfort, guidance, healing, just a touch, a word spoken that never ceases/fades. I'm grateful for the gift. The Presence of God is what i desire...and, yes, what i ultimately need.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


i recently started a study in exodus. this is one of my favorites in the Old Testament. I've only gotten to chapter one and i've been encouraged with these thoughts...what God says, He does. All throughout scripture we find this to be a fact. He does what He says! Funny thing about this is not all the time do we get to "see" what He does. however, what He asks us is to just trust that it will happen. Another funny thing is, yes, sometimes we do get to see what He does and what a wonder!
I'm not sure why Brooke is autistic...however, i do know i need, have to, depend on, rely one, reach out to, search for, embrace the God who is working on my behalf. Furthermore, who is working on Brooke's behalf. What He says....He will do it. Trust, the simplicity of it all-if you really think about it.

(btw, for the ladies i got a chance to worship with recently, and you know who you are, I love you! I only hope the Lord captures your heart as you walk worthy of Him, that you come to understand and know the love that will never let you go, even as we try to push it away at times, that you grasp the wisdom of His word, that you seek to praise in every circumstance of your life no matter how hard or how easy it may be. He is with you...butterflies go out to you!)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

a sacred sorrow

i've been reading this book, A Sacred Sorrow, lately. there have serveral things that have jumped off the page w/me, here is one of those quotes:
"We are all tempted to lose hope, to let go. We all face the
enemies of disease and death. The terrible truth is we are, all of us, alone but for the One who waits on the other side of lament.
He offers not solutions, but only His Presence. He bids us to give voice to our confusion and disappointment, even as His own Word gave them a human, flesh-and-blood voice. We might discover as well that even as we cry our to God, we are crying out with God."
I find myself today wrapped up in these words, wrapped up in His arms, His embrace, His Presence, His word. There is nothing that can satisfy our deepest need except Jesus and Jesus alone.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

the move

as some of you know already, brooke will be moving to another facility. we are not walking on uncommon ground. the facility she will be attending will be The Learning Tree where she was before Glenwood. meetings will start next week, and the move will happen whenever we get everything in line. I have already visited the facility and her caregivers. we are anticipating only good things as we move forward. whenever i know something more permanent i will post it.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Saturday, September 06, 2008

gotta love it!

i just love hearing Josiah (our oldest son) pray for Brooke.
It is the sweetest sound that daily rings in my ears.
Ya gotta love it!