Monday, July 29, 2013


Brad from One Flesh Marriage shares with us for this month's Marriage Monday post. Be encouraged in your prayer life today! Read more posts from our Marriage Monday series and bless your children!

You will be encouraged in your marriage as adoptive/foster parents at Hope at Home 2013, September 27-28. Find out more details and to Register Today-- it will be a wonderful time of connection and help for your parenting journey!

From Brad:
Men are notoriously bad communicators. Most men would love to get their point across with as few words as possible. Then we go to church and are told that we need to “pray without ceasing”? Communicate, with God, without stopping? Really? Is that even possible?

Prayer is a conversation with our Father. It is our connection. As a history buff I have often thought about how difficult it would have been to have a strong relationship with another person when the only option was writing letters. But if we don’t pray, the only communication we have with our Abba father is his letter to us. 
In my relationship with our father I have discovered four different types of prayer. All are important and happen at different times and ways.

Prayers of Desperation

This is in-the-moment lifting up prayers about immediate issues, questions, or problems, seeking God’s guiding hand. This is something that I have been in the habit of for a long time, and how I pray most frequently. More often than not, I simply ask, “Lord, I have no idea what to say or do, give me direction."

Prayers of Conversation

These are longer, more in depth prayers where both talking, and more importantly, listening happens. For me, I periodically will take a pen and journal, disappear to somewhere quiet and listen, lifting up my thoughts, plans, concerns and weakness, listening for God’s whispers in response. 
I really enjoy these get away times, and cherish the things that I have learned when I remember to take the time to get my head out of the day to day, and just sit and listen. Unfortunately, it is all too easy to allow life or crisis' crowd out these times.

Prayers of Everyday

These are the prayers for the everyday things that go on all the time, for the lives of your family, the daily conversation about what is going on with God. This is where the conversation with God is supposed to happen. Of course you don’t need to go around your day muttering to yourself, or asking God to help you pick out your morning cereal. That isn’t what "pray without ceasing" means anyway. All this verse means is that you carry God with you all day. 

Prayers Together

Many couples do not pray together. Maybe they say something over their food, but they don’t take time to actually stop and pray together about and for each other. Why? Because it is way too intimate! Yes, you heard me right; I think most couples don’t pray because it is too intimate. 
How do you start this type of upstairs communication? Well, it simply requires one person to grab the other and say, “Can we pray together?” Will it be uncomfortable at first? Yes, I am sure that it will, because it is so intimate. As you get more and more comfortable talking to God together you will find that it does amazing things to draw you together!
Do you pray together regularly? If so how did you make it a habit?
If you don’t pray together why not?
Share with us in the comments!

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Lots going on these days at Hope at Home as we gear up for H@HKids! August 10. 
And Hope at Home 2013, conference for adoptive, foster and waiting parents is September 27-28. We would love to see you in Atlanta as we spend time being refreshed and equipped to parent our children!

From Beth:
We talk a lot about our children's identity at Hope at Home, but today I want to talk about me and you. Who am I? Who are you? And maybe a more fitting question--Who do you think you are? How do we define ourselves? 

A few years ago I heard a sermon by Joseph Prince that inspired me to think again about my identity. And I am learning that I am definitely a better mother and wife when I walk in my true identity! Far from being selfish to think about myself, I am loving and serving my family best when I am aware of this truth I am about to share with you.

So, check this out--Jesus loved all of his disciples equally, right? Right. But then we see this phrase multiple times, "the disciple whom Jesus loved." What do we make of that?! It was John himself who was writing this-- about himself! Apparently he referred to himself this way, even including it in his own telling of the story of Jesus. How bold! How wonderfully brazen! Some might even call him arrogant. 

I Am the Mother Jesus Loves!

It would be like me writing on this blog or on our Facebook page saying, “Hello. I am Beth Templeton-- I am the mother Jesus loves!” What would I have to be thinking about myself to say or write such a thing?! 

I think it is actually pretty wonderful that this phrase is only used in John’s gospel. No one else refers to him as that. I love that about him. I am intrigued!

John was more conscious of Jesus’ love for him than his own love for Jesus. So much so that clearly that became his identity--'the one Jesus loved.' We sing of our love for God every Sunday, and when things are going well we may even boast of it. For most of us reading this blog, we see adoption as beautiful expression of our love for God. And indeed, it is! There is nothing wrong with displaying our love for God. I SO want my life to be a display of love! 

But what I learned from this teaching about John is that when I focus not on my own love (which is so often weak and performance-based), but rather focus on God’s love for me, I become free and empowered to serve and love. 

When I focus on God’s love for me, I find that I can go the long haul and make it through the difficult times. I am immovable. I may be shaken by my children's behavior or my concerns for their future, but like John, I am not moved because I am defined by the perfect and eternal Love of the God of Love.
Our love then becomes not primarily a WORK of service, but rather a RESPONSE to the revelation of God's love. 

What is Love?

I love a good definition! God defines love very clearly through John,
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
We love Him, because He first loved us. (4:19) 
When we are conscious of God’s love for us, we end up able to love Him and others more! John, in defining himself as the one Jesus loved, was then perfectly positioned in the place of intimacy with the Lord. He was the one at the foot of the cross; he was the one Jesus asked to take care of His mother.

Seeing myself as the mother who Jesus loves empowers me to serve Him way beyond my natural capacity, because I am accessing the supernatural love of God.

Boasting of Love

How often do we live out our lives more like Peter rather than John? Peter boasted of his own love for Jesus, didn’t he? Remember what happened? Jesus says,
“But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.” Peter answered and said to Him, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.”...
Peter said to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” (Matthew 26:31-35)
Peter's declaration, his identity, was, “I am the one who loves the Lord.” Peter ended up denying Jesus, and was so deeply distraught by this denial that he was not able to be there for him in the end as John was. 

I believe that the key to me loving my children through every stage of their lives is found in this-- not that I love my children, but that God loves me. 

Who do I think I am? 

I am the mother that Jesus loves!
I love what my friend and fellow adoptive mother, Kelly Raudenbush, shared on her blog, My Overthinking (check it out--she is a treasure!) She even had a talented friend design these graphics boldly declaring this identity so that we would be reminded to be like John, thinking of ourselves as the beloved of God. 

And so are you my friends. Let's say it out loud; it is a declaration of identity that will change the way you love!

Register Now for Hope at Home 2013!

Monday, July 22, 2013


Enjoy this encouraging word from our friend Tana. I {Beth} never come to the end of my need to be reminded that "the story is not over" and that God is actually busy doing a good work in our family, even when it feels like we have stalled and no progress has been made. Reading this brief post will stir you once again shake off any weariness as you receive strength in Jesus. 

Also, don't forget to REGISTER NOW for HOPE AT HOME 2013. We are so looking forward to our time together in September!

H@HKids! is coming up August 10. Register your children, ages 4-12 now. We have limited spaces for this unique event, so take a look at what we have planned-- it's a wonderful opportunity for your children to draw close their Father God and hear what He has to say about them. 

From Tana:

It can be so hard to wait! We love our children (adopted and otherwise) so very much, that we want to see results right now. We want our loving homes and awe-inspiring parenting skills to erase early trauma, change undesirable behavior, and heal broken hearts. We know that only our Father can really do those things, so we pray for miracles. Sometimes, those miracles happen immediately (thank you, Jesus). More often, we must keep loving, keep praying, keep turning our faces and theirs towards Jesus, keep forgiving rejection (it really isn’t personal), and so on, and so on.

Galatians 6:9 says, 
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”
Don't be discouraged excellent parents, if you're not seeing radical overnight changes. Take heart, for in due season, you will reap.

Even better, Psalm 126:5-6 says, 
Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest. 
I know that many of you have planted in tears- who wouldn’t, when faced with the realities that some of our children lived through before they were ours? It’s heartbreaking, but don’t give up. I know how exhausting it can be to continue doing good work when it looks like good results are improbable at best, but don’t give up. In due season, you will reap, and when you do, it will be with shouts of joy and singing!

Father God, today I stir myself once again to trust this good work you are doing in me, in my child, and in my family. I come to You knowing that because I am in You and You are in me, I am a patient and persevering parent. Holy Spirit, would You help me today to shake off weariness in well-doing, and put on  joy in this process of parenting. Amen. 

P.S.  We sang the song Take Heart, at church yesterday-- take the time to listen, and read the words below. I hope it encourages you as it does me! For it is true dear friends, in all that we are dealing with right now, HE HAS OVERCOME. 

There is a light
It burns brighter than the sun
He steals the night
And casts no shadow
There is hope
Should oceans rise and mountains fall
He never fails

So take heart
Let His love lead us through the night
Hold on to hope
And take courage again

In death by love
The fallen world was overcome
He wears the scars of our freedom
In His Name
All our fears are swept away
He never fails

All our troubles
And all our tears
God our hope
He has overcome

All our failure
And all our fear
God our love
He has overcome
All our heartache
And all our pain
God our healer
He has overcome

All our burdens
And all our shame
God our freedom
He has overcome

All our troubles
And all our tears
God our hope
He has overcome

All our failures
And all our fear
God our love
He has overcome

God our justice
God our grace
God our freedom
He has overcome

God our refuge
God our strength
God is with us
He has overcome

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Register Now for Hope at Home 2013!
September 27-28, Atlanta, Georgia
From Susan: 
My husband told me the story of a new friend....a musician friend, Grady Shuman, who sits down and writes a question he has for God, and then writes down the answer he senses God giving him and puts it on a blog!  Tons of followers in a very short time.  Why is this?  Our souls are so so so deeply famished for and delight in the voice of God! 

So, today, I thought I would take a different approach.  I will write down a question I sense God is asking me every day,
  Susan, what will you wear today? 
Of course I am not thinking of whether I will wear the black-and-white dress or the navy-pants-with-bright-green-top,  even though I often spend considerable time figuring out the literal answer to this question. We are way too concerned with what we look like on the outside.

Instead, I sense God asking us, "what will you wear today?" in a figurative-character-attitude-perspective kind of way. We have tons of choices in this figurative category. We can pick from the drab side of the closet--sadness, fear, worry, anxiety, bitterness, hopelessness, despair, indifference, judgement. Or we can pick from the bright side of the closet-- joy, hope, love, encouragement, faith, peace, compassion. 

So, God asks us, every morning, 
What will  you wear today? 

He doesn't ask, "Do you want to wear the same uniform that those around you are wearing?" 

He asks, instead, "Do you want to pick your clothes from the heavenly wardrobe?" Seriously, we have this option before us every day! And our children have it too! They don't know they have it, but we can tell them!!! We can print out these bible verses to show them and then sit down together and draw our wardrobe and pick our outfit for the day. Here are the choices!

1. You are dressed in your new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator with his label on it.  (Col 3:9) 

2. So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God-picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place,quick to forgive an offense.  forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love.  It's your basic, all-purpose garment.  Never be without it. (Col 3:12) 

3. You are famous, God, for welcoming God seekers, for decking us out in delight.  (Ps 5:11).

Some of you have heard me tell the story of how every year I spend several hours for several days with the Lord in the summer, asking Him to show me one verse I can pray for each of our children and for me and Brian. Then every day for that next year I pray the verses the Lord gives me for each member of my family. I share these verses with the children and we talk about them together. Each child then draws a picture of their verse for me to laminate and tape on the side of the refrigerator, as a reminder to pray. One year Anya chose #2 above and drew a closet with lots of brightly colored dresses, each with a word-label painted on it. The pink one was compassion, the purple one was kindness, the green one, humility. And now, every time I read that verse, I remember Anya's picture. And boy, did God ever do wonders to put those amazing qualities from her wardrobe right inside of her, as she "picked her clothes" that year.

So, today, since good teachers always repeat the main message, and since God is a Good Teacher, let's listen one last time to His question: 

What will you wear today?

As I have been listening to this question this week and praying about being "decked out with delight" (#3 above) rather than "donned with despair," guess what?  Others are noticing and asking me their own question, "How do you do it?"
I answer, "Do what?"  And they say, "Stay cheerful and positive and kind in these hard circumstances?" Of course, I am thinking, it's my wardrobe!  But usually I say, "You know, we have a choice of the attitudes we will reflect, every day. And I, for one, want my attitude to be one of caring for the people around me. It's our purpose, you know - loving God and loving people." So today, and every day, Lord, make us the kind of people who listen to your questions and then choose from the heavenly multiple choice answer bank! Amen.

And the wonderful thing is, if we are choosing from heaven's wardrobe, every option: a) compassion 
b) kindness, c) humility, d) quiet strength, and e) discipline, is a good one!  

And I will close with saying - You look great today! You are decked out with delight!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

H@HKIDS! 2013

If you've been following us on Facebook (if you aren't then don't be left out! Click HERE and Like us for ongoing updates and encouragement) then you may have read that we are planning something really exciting and, as far as we know, quite unique for your children-- H@HKids!

Hope at Home Kids (H@HKids!) is an idea God gave us a few years ago as we were meeting to talk and pray about how we can best bring the strengths and gifts God has given us to this community of adoptive and foster parents, people who we truly love in the Lord. We began to imagine what a gift it would be to parents if we created a place where we could join the voices of parents in speaking the Love of God and Identity in Christ to their children. Being adopted or fostered, or being a biological child whose world has radically expanded and changed through adoption or fostering, is a unique reality-- and we are so excited to have the opportunity to walk alongside, to rejoice with and to love on these children, our children.

Identity and the Truth About Lies

Our focus this year on Identity and The Truth About Lies is one with eternal impact. Have you heard Matthew West's song, Child of the One True King? Our H@HKids! Team is excited to walk together with our children as we all hear more from God about who we are in Him, and let go of any lies about our identity that we have believed. This is good stuff! 

Parenting is a Team Sport!

In our church community we love to say that parenting is a team sport. I don't know about you, but the Hillis' and the Templetons have leaned heavily on others to walk with us through the joys and struggles of hearing the call to adopt, waiting for our children to come home, making those huge and significant adjustments for our families as a whole and for each individual in the family once they come home, facing some of the deep issues that so often come with children from a hard past...... You could add to this list I bet!

Hope at Home would love nothing better than to be part of your team as you go through the wonderful process of transforming an orphan into a Son or Daughter.

"Date With God" for Your Children!!

Those of you moms who have been to Created for Care know what this amazing time is that we call a "Date With God." What you may not know is that Jenni Means regularly sets up this time of encounter with the children in our children's church. I've asked Jenni to share more with you: 
Your children will have the opportunity to have a special "Date" with their Heavenly Father. Similar to the idea of dates with Mom or Dad, the purpose of the Date with God is to give children of all ages a chance to focus on their Heavenly Father and experience His love for them.  The children will encounter God as they move through various stations set up around the room.  Painting, sculpting, spending quiet time, looking in the Bible, drawing in a group collage are just some of the stations where they will can express their conversations with the Lord.  Everywhere we have held these interactive times, children experienced a fresh revelation of God's love for them personally.
Doesn't that sound like something you would want for your children?

Hearing Older Adopted Kids' Testimonies

A significant part of our H@HKids team are some pretty neat folks-- older adopted kids and their siblings. These are young adults (mostly college age) who know what it's like to be adopted or to receive a new sibling into their family and into their world. All have a testimony to share of God's work in their lives and all are really really excited to be able to spend time with your children. Your children will hear some of these testimonies and will get to spend some time having fun and connecting with them. We also have an adoptive grandmother, and adoptive parents on the team. And our worship team for H@HKids is led by a bio daughter from an adoptive family-- Beth's daughter, Emma. How cool is that?!
An adoptee from Russia prays for a precious adopted girl at last year's H@HKids!

Check out the Adopted Children and Biological Children Stories on our blog to read about some of the awesome young people who will be serving your children.
So, if you can make to Atlanta on August 10th, plan to have a Date with your Spouse while your children have a Date with God! 
Check In begins at 12:30 pm and the program runs from 1:00-5:00pm. Cost is $5/child with a $20/family maximum.
It is going to be a Fun Night!

We have limited space. So, Register your children Now!

Monday, July 8, 2013


Friends, register now for 
Hope at Home 2013 
September 27-28, Atlanta, Georgia

From Beth:
When my child walked out the door, angry and determined, I heard the Lord whisper in my spirit, 
This child is HEMMED IN BY LOVE. 
What a wonderful thing to hear! And it is true, I have seen it over and over in our family-- God is faithful to His plan of adoption. 
Walk with me through Psalm 23 and let's enjoy who He is to us and to our children-- it is just amazing! (Psalm 23, AMP)

The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack.

~The covenant-keeping God reveals Himself to me as MY shepherd. It's a personal thing; a relationship thing. He knows me.
~Jesus meets all of my needs. In the context of relationship with Him, I know that my needs are met. Wow! I have some needs as a mother-- big time-- and I have seen that this is true. 
I am not in lack, because I am in Him.

He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.

~Oh how I love the rest of God. I am learning how to let Jesus lead me to these places of rest. I am learning that there are still waters for me as a mother at any given moment in my day.
~Whatever my destination, when I follow His lead I find the nourishment I need in order to love my children and in turn nourish them. 
~How kind of the Lord to shepherd me to places of rest and nourishment. He could lead me anywhere-- He is the LORD! But He makes it clear that He has a direction He wants to take me in the midst of whatever situation I am in. 

He refreshes and restores my life (my self).

~I confess that I have felt weary at times as an adoptive mother. Have you? Oh how thankful I am that God restores me along the way. What a wonderful gift He gives me, for I have need of it--"to bring back to a state of health, soundness, or vigor." Ask Him, friends, if you are in need of restoration today. He has already made it clear that this is what He does!
~He is restoring our children who have experienced the destruction and brokenness inherent in relinquishment, rejection (perceived and real), neglect, and abuse.This is what He does. This is who He is. Restorer. 

He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him—not for my earning it, but] for His name’s sake.

~Which parenting approach should I take with this child? What is going on beneath this behavior-- is it adoption related, an attachment issue? What is the best schooling choice for this child? Does she need therapy? etc, etc, etc! Oh how I love it that God leads me in the right path! 
~And He does this not based on my strength as a mother, or whether I have kept up with my quiet times this week. No, He leads me for the honor of His name. He has declared He is my shepherd, and He is going to lead me based on His declared identity. Now that is worth a Hallelujah!!
~He goes before me. There is no place in this adoption journey that my good shepherd has not walked into ahead of me. He is already there waiting for me, for He leads me.
It is the Lord Who goes before you; He will [march] with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you; [let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not, neither become broken [in spirit—depressed, dismayed, and unnerved with alarm]. (Deuteronomy 31:8 AMP)

 Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me.

~God is with me. God is love. His perfect love casts out fear. Stephen and I have had to walk with some of our children through some very dark times. Deep valleys of trauma, fear, anger, rage, confusion, detachment-- they have threatened to consume us. Even though I have walked in these shadows, I do not have to fear. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!
 There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! (1 John 4:18 AMP)
~He fights for me. I never anticipated the vulnerability I would experience as a mother. That I would need protection never occurred to me. I have experienced God wielding His rod to fend off the attacks of the enemy against me and my children. Again, I must stop and say "Thank You!" 
~To be comforted by Father God in the dark times of life is to know love.  

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. 

~I love everything about this! God Himself is serving up a feast for me. If the Creator God is preparing this meal, you can be guaranteed that it is gourmet and lavish. On my worst day, when the issues we are facing are overwhelming and have the appearance of hopelessness, when evidence of the enemy's work glares at me, God is beckoning me over to enjoy a party. Abundant provision, lavish and delicious, is mine. Right where the enemy can see. Oh how this must anger him! I love it! 
Oh, how great is Your goodness, Which You have laid up for those who fear You, Which You have prepared for those who trust in You... You shall hide them in the secret place of Your presence..." (Psalm 31:19-20a NKJV)
~I am anointed by God Himself to mother my children. He has called me, and He knew exactly what He was getting into when He did! I live this life consecrated and empowered, effective to do that which God has called me to. Truth!
~When God is the one providing, there is always overflow. There is always more than enough, left-overs to share with others. 

Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life. 

~God has my back. Not only does He go ahead of me, leading me in right paths, He follows behind me. When I get to the end of any given day, I can often look back and see where I have messed up-- missed an opportunity to love a child, or harshly reacted to an incident, or made a wrong choice-- but God tells me that He follows behind me, cleaning up and setting right with His unfailing love, disinfecting with goodness and mercy.
~God has made a covenant promise to be my shepherd, so surely He will follow up His word with the action of love that will never fail. So much in this journey is unexpected I have found. It is so very good to rest the weight of my hope on a sure thing!

And through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.

~God is in this with me forever-- for the whole length of my days. The story is not over yet, and the ending for me and for my children is set. I will dwell with Him. I do dwell with Him. He is my Home.
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. (Philippians 1:6 AMP)
Wonderful and Good Shepherd, Thank You. Thank You for these truths of your tender care for us and for our children. Thank You that You have Hemmed Us In with Your Love, Going Before and Following Behind.
Spirit of God, teach us and teach each one of our children to know You as you have revealed Yourself in Psalm 23. Amen

Thursday, July 4, 2013


From Beth:
Recently I wrote a post about Fighting, and now I'm talking about Destruction. You are probably getting a bit concerned! But just like the post on fighting was about the Good fight of faith that we are called to fight on our child's behalf, this post is about the Beauty that can be found in destruction. 
 There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides the heavens to help you... The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say, “DESTROY!” Then Israel shall dwell in safety... Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord! The shield of your help and the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, and you shall tread down their high places.Deuteronomy 33:26-29

Faces of the Enemy

Are you loving this as much as I am?! There are times as a parent when I see that I am called to take a stand and command destruction-- the destruction of those things that threaten to diminish the freedom that belongs to my child in Christ. Over the years since we first brought our children home we have seen the ugly face of the enemy revealed. An enemy that would take advantage of a precious child in a vulnerable position not of his own making, a child in need of a family and of safety and love. Maybe you have dealt with some of these faces of the enemy too in your home, an enemy whose expressed purpose is to steal, to kill and to destroy. (John 10:10) These faces look a lot like rejection, a victim mentality, fear, anxiety, a lack of healthy bonding. 

You know those verses in Psalms that speak of destruction of enemies? I used to be uncomfortable with those. They just didn't fit into my nice Christian world; I didn't relate. But I find myself quite comfortable with verses like "in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies, and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul" (143:12) these days. I see clearly now that it is indeed God's steadfast love that motivates the destruction of those things that attack my soul and oppose the work of God in our family-- in  my children. Oh yes, I am quite comfortable with this! Bring it on I say. I am not a theologian and my understanding of these things is limited, but I do find that when I read these verses and think of the enemies that so many orphans and adopted children face, I can add my Amen to the call for destruction.

Bring It On!

What I am so captivated with I think is that the enemy is not the only one bent on destruction; our Amazing Awesome God is the best destroyer ever! He is Radiant in Splendor and Majesty and the hills melt like wax before Him. (Psalm 97:5) Oh He is Mighty to Save, our Mighty Rock. Dear ones, maybe some of you are face to face with the results of the enemy's destruction as you are raising your child. There is good news for you and for me. God has not left us without recourse. He has given us weapons of destruction far more effective than any weapon the enemy has used or will use. 
And these weapons of destruction are strange in their effect--when we use them the result is nothing like the ugly wounds we would expect a weapon to leave. The result is a beautiful thing: wholeness, life, and health. This is a glorious destruction!

For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, we demolish arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

Powerful Words of Life

Do you see these words of life? How like our God to turn something upside down and use it for His glorious purpose! Words like overthrow, destruction, demolish and captivity are turned on their heads. They morph from words that we associate with pain and trouble to become Words of Life, beautiful and powerful. 

So, I find that I am all about destruction these days. I join my voice in agreement with my Father God and proclaim, DESTROY! Will you join me?

Lord God, even now we shout destroy to the works of the enemy in our precious children's lives. We call for the destruction of everything that would raise itself up above the truth of Your Love at work in them and in our families. Thank You for the authority we have as believers and parents to release the Beautiful Destruction of all that is not of You in our homes. We set our children apart to live unhindered by any destruction that has come as the result of being relinquished, rejected, abandoned and unloved in their past. For indeed, who is like those who are saved by the Lord and who dwell in safety?! Let it be as You have said Lord God.

Wouldn't you like to join us at HOPE AT HOME 2013

September 27-28 in Atlanta, GA, where you will have many opportunities to join with other parents of faith to command the destruction of the work of the enemy in your child's life and to believe God for His amazing restoration work?!  We have a team of believers who are preparing and training to pray with you throughout the conference. I know for Stephen and me, being able to pray with others over some of the issues we have faced as adoptive parents has been a key in our parenting. 

(This post was first published in the summer of 2012.)

Monday, July 1, 2013


From Susan:

You Are Welcome!

We are starting already to anticipate the blessings sure to come of the week end many of us will enjoy together at the third Hope at Home Conference, September 27-28.  Our Hope at Home Team is so looking forward to giving a smile and love and a warm hug to everyone who walks through our doors! We are excited at the wide variety of walks of life that you will represent…adoptive parents, foster parents, waiting parents, friends and others called to encourage those who are caring for the children of the world – those children who are so loved by their heavenly Father.

Signing Up!

So, we want to describe what you will be signing up for, with the hopes that you will join us! You will be signing up for sharing a week end with others who have felt a call to give and receive God’s love for God’s children. You will be signing up to be welcomed with loving arms by others who share your call, passion, hopes, dreams, struggles, testimonies, prayers, and joys. You, who spend your lives caring for others, will be signing up to be cared for yourselves, in a way that will equip you to return home and be strengthened to enjoy and care for your children.  

Food for Life, Strength for Life

Our time together at Hope at Hope 2013 reminds me of a familiar picture we have all seen. It is the simple sketch of the man with a fishing pole, with the caption,“Give a man a fish and you feed him today; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”  

I would love to have a picture that says, instead, 
Hold that hand and you strengthen that person for today; place their hand in God’s, and you strengthen them for a lifetime!  
It is what I think of when I read I Samuel 23:16. Jonathan first helps place David’s hand in God’s, “Jonathan rose and went to David and strengthened his hand in God.” 
Then, 7 chapters and many challenges later, David is equipped to access the needed strength for the life that lay before him, on his own:  “David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” (I Sam 30:6).  

Growing in Love

And the simple truth is that we expect that together we will grow in the height, depth, length and breadth of the love of Christ for us, in a way that directly influences our ability to love our children well, not so much in response to how well they love or appreciate or please us, but rather in response to how well our Father has lavished His own love upon us and upon them! 
We go forth to Rest in Lavish Love. With Real Families, Real Help, Real Hope!
We can’t wait to see you!