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.