Tuesday, August 30, 2011


While this last week was spent reuniting with my husband and saying goodbyes to his family... and 3 of the most amazing brothers anyone could ever ask for... We were dealing with hurricane Irene.... seeing so many trees were ripped up and torn apart... things that you thought were firmly rooted. Crazy. We certainly can choose, unlike a tree, what winds we allow to uproot us... and what winds we do not. And if I'm going to be broken... I'm praying it's from His amazing, hurricane-like love blowing all over me...

He is jealous for me
loves like a hurricane
I am a tree
bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy

When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
I realize just how beautiful you are
and how great your affections are for me...

oh... how he loves us...

We are His portion and He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by grace in His eyes
If grace is an ocean, we're all sinking

So heaven meets earth with a sloppy wet kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest
I don't have time to maintain these regrets
When I think about...

The way he loves us...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A twist on birth order...

This post should be proof that my mind is ALL.OVER.THE.PLACE. ;)

The other day, my mom and I were talking about all the many transitions the kids are going through... and while there is certainly some "kick back" from each of them in their own way, ultimately they are doing amazing under the circumstances. This conversation led into how hard transitions can be, etc.

This reflection upon our adoption transition period somehow moved to birth order issues. If you are a prospective adoptive parent, or an adoptive parent... guaranteed it is something that you have thought about. Some say you should "NEVER" break birth order... some say you shouldn't think twice about it. I fall somewhere in the middle... just so ya know. I think a family must consider and weigh all factors very carefully. It's been a topic around our house for a bit, because we have moved from the "we would never break birth order" camp to the "under the right circumstances I would do it without doubt" camp. Neither here nor there... but that's been the conversation.

The twist is this... what I realized while recounting with my mom is that I never thought about how breaking the birth order of the child being adopted should require the same attention. While I noticed certain behaviors, I didn't necessarily attribute it to "birth order" per say. While E had no bio siblings... He was the oldest in the orphanage... in the area that he spent almost all his time in. He then came into our family as the youngest. This was a tough transition for him. He was used to calling the shots... being the leader... and then we had 2 dominant children stacked right on top of him. It was tough. I probably didn't give it much thought at the time, but now it is something I'm certainly thinking about.

So often times we think about "OUR" situation... "OUR" current family... and how "WE" will be impacted by the change, when it comes to breaking birth order. However, it's probably wise for us to really consider both sides of the coin on this one. For some reason, once I had that thought, I was able to muster up more compassion for the things that drive me crazy about the behaviors related to this. It's not only hard to have your world change, but to change your position in the world is tough, too. And anything to help us become more aware and emotionally available for our kiddos, the better. Just something to think about.

This random thought brought to you by...

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the 12th mile....

2 years ago, before my 30th birthday, I decided I would do something I've never done before. I trained and ran a half-marathon! Believe it or not, back in the day I was pretty athletic... but let's just say that part of me has come and gone. Nevertheless... 2 years ago= half-marathon.

When you are training, you never actually run the entire 13.1 miles. I ran 11 miles on my last long run before the race. I was told that the "runner's high" would have kicked in and the last 2 miles would be a cinch. a.cinch. it WAS.NOT.

Day of the race... nervous, but excited. Starting... good to go. Mile 4... too many hills. Mile 7... saw my family... awesome. Mile 10... ok... I can do this. Mile 12= DEATH. I hit quite the Wall. Was certain I might not even make it to the end. ha. kinda thought... this could be the end!

So... why recall that now? Well... I'm in the middle of my 12th mile. Shane has been gone for almost 4 weeks now. One week to go. The rush of emptying a house is over. I'm sitting here staring at a loft full of 10- half unpacked suitcases with things strung out everywhere. It's 10 pm and I still hear voices coming from the one room we are all 4 sleeping in. (yes, that feeling you are having is jealousy... don't be alarmed) I'm finishing my 27th day of bedtimes, bath times, etc... alone. While my parents are around... the kids want me. I get that. AND... We started homeschooling this week. Yes... yes we did. I know that sounds insane... but honestly we were all craving the routine... and it's helped everyone. But... this momma is tired. My mind vacillates between molasses and tornadic like conditions. If I owe you a call, an email, or a returned message... just keep trying! (OH MY WORD... I JUST REMEMBER I FORGOT TO CALL SOMEONE RIGHT BACK TONIGHT! KRISTEN PENNINGTON IM SORRY!) That wasn't for effect... that was real time there. haha.

So... thus... the 12th mile.

I'm learning what it is like to live in His grace... to extend His grace... and to run a race that's way more difficult than 13.1. Honestly, I'm not sure if I'm doing it well. I want to walk in it WITH grace... shining HIS light... but some days it just feels like I'm barely putting one foot in front of the other. It's looking sloppy girls. (and a couple of boys)

Don't be too concerned... I finished that half-marathon alive... and fully expect the Lord to show off again in this one. Just know that if you see anything resembling ANY kind of sanity... goodness... etc... it certainly isn't coming from me... but HIM.

Pressing on... and honestly craving Zambia like never before. (not that I think it is going to be any easier... but living in your calling is quite joyous... and being TOGETHER certainly makes any load lighter)

"Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining for what lies ahead. I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
Philip. 3:13-14


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Help our program in Zambia Wednesday!!!

I do promise, that VERY soon, I am going to get back to "real" blogging! I have had so many things to process that honestly, I think it is easier to just delay. ha.

BUT, this post is something that is clearly close to my heart... and I would LOVE for each one of you to go and VOTE! Kids Caring 4 Kids is an amazing ministry that has a chance to win some very valuable awards! They partner with us, LifeSong Zambia, to help fund our projects and love on our kids. If they win these amazing awards.... $30,000 would go to help our kids in Zambia!!!!!!! ok... let's let that sink in for a second. $30,000!!! So... let's make it viral people!

What's not awesome about that alone? However, LifeSong has sweetened the deal! You can win some great stuff... including the grand prize: A FREE TRIP FOR 2 to Arizona to attend TOGETHER FOR ADOPTION!!! say it with me: "ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!" So... get on that voting... share about it... blog about it... facebook about it... call in your favors. ;)


Read more about how to get entered here....

Vote here....

Learn about Kids Caring for Kids here...


Monday, August 15, 2011

kinda ready to be there...

Since Shane has been in Zambia, part of my heart feels home... Only a few more weeks!

(Some of our kids at the school)

(The farm workers cooking their lunch right outside our house gate)

Sorry for the stinky photo quality... The Mr. left the camera with me so this is from a phone... :/

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Give some love... and a chance to win a nice camera!! TODAY ONLY!!

While I've certainly had limited access to the internet... that is changing now because I've figure out the technical side of life. ha!

I wanted to SQUEEZE in this post... and hopefully we can all rally around my friend Lara...
She's one of my roomies at the Created for Care conference (of whom I will certainly miss next year!) ... I've seen and heard her heart being transformed from taking a huge step of faith and entering the adoption process... to completely stretching herself into the unknown... into what is honestly, the hard stuff. I'm so honored to watch God move in their family's life... and I'd love it if you would scoot over and check out her "virtual shower" here... and there's some sweet stuff in it for you too! TODAY is the last day!! So DON'T Delay!! This is about bringing home a child who God has clearly hand picked for them... and them for him. So... without further adieu... scoot on over and be generous! ;)


Thursday, August 11, 2011

When you experience the Body of Christ....

So often, we hear negative things about the Church. Some words I’ve heard are: hypocritical, judgmental, self-righteous , or even self-contained or absorbed. I’m not saying that isn’t true of some people… or all of us at any given moment… Overall… there “should” be something powerful when you encounter the body of Christ at work. I find myself reflecting on the past few weeks and coming up completely overwhelmed… humbled… and in awe of how Great our God’s love is for us.

Since Shane has been in Zambia, I have seen MANY people… all from different places of worship… making up “The Body of Christ.” My burdens have been beared and shared… and WELL CARED FOR. Here’s a list of some of the things that we experienced as a family:

· *Having a friend come and finish laying flooring in our house so our renters/friends could move in to a completed house. He worked several evenings and HOURS of work…. I felt so helpless, but God allowed me to see this isn’t about ME or THEM but about all of our mutual love for HIM.

· Having friends show up to pack our bags and organize our stuff

· Friends being willing to run errands and pick things up for me.

· * Friends who come and say “I have a couple of hours, what can I do?” And they end up vacuuming our van, or CLEANING MY TOILETS!?!?!?! (You know I’m feeling really vulnerable when I let someone do that… lol)

· *Friends that will come and pick up my kids and feed them lunch, let them play, and go swimming while I clean and get things done at home.

· *Friends who check my car to make sure it’s ready for a long journey, or offer to mow my yard, or come and fix the fence and other odds and ends that need to be done.

· *Friends who bring my kids super fun, HUGE bags of individually wrapped treats for the coming airplane ride!

· Friends who just text and say “How can I pray for you today?”

· Friends who let me cry with them… and pray with me on the really hard days.

· *Friends who come and pack my vehicle like it’s a tetris game… in 107 degree heat…

· *Friends who want to know… “What can I do while you are in Zambia? For you? For the children there?” They want us to know we are not alone on this journey.

Seriously? How could you experience this, and NOT know the love that the Father has for you… to see that love for HIM is the common bond… the motivating factor… When the Body of Christ works together to love others as He loves us… it’s a powerful experience. It’s powerful to be a part of… and it’s powerful to be a recipient of it. I LOVE my Texas friends like family… thank you for being Christ to us… Looking forward to working with you in a powerful way to love on my 210 + 3. :)

(on a side note, we did make it to TN! It’s been quite the adjustment, but all is well! I do not have internet besides my phone at the house, so you can envision me sitting outside of the only McDonalds in town mooching off their wifi just to post a blog… )


Saturday, August 6, 2011

a little miracle...

Well, I hope you aren't expecting anything heart-warming or moving... BUT to me... this is a little miracle...

When You can fit this:

Into this:

It classifies as a little miracle!

Tomorrow I start the drive... away from my home... and to family. I will hopefully do better at blogging, since the heavy labor is now over. :) Love to all...