the road less traveled

Linking up with Linny for Memorial Box Monday! (a little late, I know)

This is an oldie, but a goodie. This is the story of how I came to do what I do now.

It was my second year of college that I decided that I wanted to be a Mathematics major and I wanted to teach high school. That was the goal, as soon as it popped into my head I knew it was what I was supposed to do. So I started my math classes and my education classes. Along with the classes came clinicals. I actually ended up doing one of my clinicals at my alma mater high school. Then I did my student teaching there. Then (after graduating) I was hired. Just like that! No interview or anything, it seriously all fell into place.

I taught for two lovely albeit stressful years. About halfway through my first year teaching I felt the Lord impress upon me that I should leave teaching. Leave??? Clearly I hadn't heard him right. I loved teaching, loved the kids, loved coaching swimming. I was first year teacher of the year for Pete's sake (whoever Pete is). This was the right path, the one he had laid out for me.

Or so I thought. I told my husband what I thought the Lord was telling me, and he agreed.

The next week I went on a women's retreat with my church. I was filled with anxiety and worry, as we had just bought our first house and all of my thoughts centered on "how in the world will we make this work financially?" You see, the plan wasn't for me to work full-time again.

I promise the rest of this story is true. In that very same weekend I was offered not one, but two jobs from women in my church. One was taking care of a sweet elderly lady two days a week. The other was tutoring at a christian-based learning center.

How great is our God???

I wouldn't be working full-time and I would be doing things that I LOVE! I am still doing those things today. It will be such a blessing when we get our child(ren) to be able to have a flexible schedule, to spend time with them, and to be able to take them with me for the most part.

Oh the provisions he makes!

happiness is...

...early morning coffee, good book in my hand, blanket over my body. 

goodbye paperwork

Ok, I have some pretty major news!

Eric and I are officially turning in our adoption paperwork on Tuesday! Are you as excited as we are? Probably not, but I can still feel your excitement. Our final steps were to make copies of some financial stuff, take pictures, and get our physicals.

Here comes the not-so-fun part. In our physical we had to have our cholesterol level tested. Mine came back Friday...high. Like way too high for a 5' tall, 108 lb, healthy-eating, exercise-doing, 25 year old. If you don't know my medical history/our whole story you can read it here.

Now in all fairness, it wasn't a fasting cholesterol and it didn't give us the breakdown of HDL, LDL and triglycerides. I go back in three months for that. Now I am asking for prayer. Please pray that this recent health discovery won't affect our adoption process in any way, shape, or form. Right now I don't feel like it will, but it has been such a long and hard process that it's easy for me to dwell on negative.

The other prayer request comes in the form of this: Once we turn in our paperwork I feel utterly and completely like I have no control over the situation anymore. Once it's in we are at the mercy of SC DSS with their homestudy (or home invasion as I have recently begun to think of it as), fire inspection and DHEC inspection. These should be completed within three months of our paperwork, which puts us officially in the category of "waiting family" in November. Here is our updated checklist:

- Application
- SLED authorizations
- Fingerprints
- Discipline Agreement Form
- Financial Agreement Form
- Family History Form
- W-2's and pay stubs
- 14 hours of training
- Disaster Preparedness Plan
- Autobiography
- Medical Report
- Child Factors Checklist
- Openness Checklist
- Birth Certificates
- Marriage License
- Social Security Cards
- Driver's License
- Pictures of home/family
- References
- Fire Inspection
- DHEC Inspection
- Homestudy

Just to clarify thought, Eric and I don't view our child(ren) as a checklist. We know they are living, breathing, beautifully created, loved by God human beings. The checklist is just one of the hoops we have to jump through to give them the loving and nurturing home they so rightly deserve.

I am terrified and excited to say the least. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! (Excuse me, but I just needed to get that out). I am scared of the waiting. I feel like we have been waiting for so long already (two and a half years, actually) that I really can't bear the thought of my kid(s) being out there somewhere not getting the love, the affection, the sturdiness, the security that they so desperately need. I want them. I want them with every single fiber of my being.

Please, please pray that this process would be as quick and painless as possible. That Eric and I would continue to not run ahead of God, and to seek his will, and to believe in His perfect timing. Pray for our future children and their safety and environment. Pray for their birth parents and the decisions that they have/are going to make.

I will be back with more as soon as I can, but for now this is all my heart can bear to pour out.


This Hillsong song was a favorite while we were in Costa Rica. It's a worship song what is great for worshiping without abandon, like a child would. Throwing your arms in the air without caring about what others think. Go on, do it.


I want some pinto!

This is primarily what we ate while we were in Costa Rica. Pinto (or Gallo Pinto) is rice and beans. But it is so much more than that! We ate it everyday at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This year I brought oatmeal packets with me because I thought maybe I would want  a break from all that rice and beans (especially having just come off the Maker's Diet!) but you know what?

I never ate my oatmeal.

I take that as just another sign that I should be living in Costa Rica!

Anyway, here is the key ingredient in said pinto:

I definitely bought a bottle of this loveliness to take with me. Actually I bought 3 bottles. 1 for me, 1 for my friend Sarah, and 1 for my friend Sarah's sister (who used to live there!).

Sarah just happens to have the recipe posted here on her blog...and I just happen to be nice enough to share it with you.

You're welcome.

memorial box monday - missions money

It's time for MBM, which you can read all about here!

You are probably going to get sick of hearing about Costa Rica, if you aren't already. I am not going to apologize though! I really leave a piece of myself there every time I go. This story isn't really about what happened in Costa Rica, but what happened before.

Last year was our first year going, and Eric's first mission trip ever. I had been on several mission trip within the States, none of which were along the same magnitude as Costa Rica though. Obviously since we were going out of the country, the cost of the trip was pricey. (At least for our very modest income.)

We decided this year that we would write support letters, as we had done the year before. However, we had already had some fundraisers within our church to help the entire team, which limited the number of people on our list significantly. We ended up sending about 30 letters, 75% of which were to family.

Then we prayed, and prayed some more because we definitely didn't have the budget for both of us to go on the trip. The thought of me having to stay behind was devastating, but it seemed like a reality for a long time.

We paid the first deposit out of our own pocket because we hadn't received any money yet. We paid for both of us, even though we weren't positive God was saying yes for me to go yet.

The deadline for the second deposit was approaching fast, and we had yet to see much money come in. Then God moved. We went to visit some good friends of ours who live far from us now. After a trip filled with love and laughter we got ready to leave them. Before we did they told us they wanted to give us some money towards Costa Rica and handed us an envelope with a check. We went home, and the next day I opened the check - which just happened to be the exact amount we needed for the next deposit that was due that week! I called my friend to yell at her because surely she had overheard Eric and I discussing our concerns or something...nope. She says my message gave her chills because they had no idea how much we needed, but that God had impressed upon them how much to give.


To make a long story short, after that money started pouring in. The rest of our trip was paid for in about 3 weeks time. Excess money designated for us ended up helping another person afford their trip (I can't imagine the trip without this person now!) We even had a check waiting for us when we got BACK from Costa Rica!

"He replied, 'Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.' "
- Matthew 17:20

cafe oro

I. Love. Coffee.

Hands down, it is my favorite thing to drink. I know, you want to know how I take it. Well when I first started drinking coffee my freshman year of college, I liked it with waaaaay too much french vanilla creamer. I experimented with flavored coffees too. Eventually I traded that in for way too much sugar and a little milk or half and half.

Then I went to Costa Rica the first time.

Our fearless leader warned us that if we weren't coffee drinkers before, we would be once we got home! This definitely applied to my non-coffee drinking husband at the time. (I'm pretty sure he doesn't go more than a day without a cup now.)

Well a coffee that good must be worth trying black, right? Right! The missionaries that we go help have started growing and selling their own coffee. It is, bar none, the best coffee on the planet. This is their Facebook Page where you can read all about how it's grown and why you should support it. (Other than it's deliciousness!)

I still drink my coffee with a little sugar, and sometimes with a splash of milk, but I have definitely evolved in my coffee drinking prowess. As I sit here and drink my Costa Rican coffee now, it is amazing how I am transported by the smell, the taste, the warmth of the cup in my hand, all the way back to the land that I love.

one more powerful

"John answered them all, "I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire."
- Luke 3:16


We sang this song in Costa Rica overlooking the mountains. It takes on a whole new meaning when  you can see so much of what God's made for us. "You're Beautiful" by Phil Wickham.

memorial box monday - confirmation

I am linking up with Linny at A Place Called Simplicity for Memorial Box Monday.

Sorry I wasn't around last time, I was on a mission trip in Costa Rica! This post actually has to do with that trip. Eric and I went for our second Costa Rica trip this year and I know I prayed about specific things that I wanted God to reveal to me.

I wrote in my journal on the mountain overlooking the village of Grano de Oro:
"God, I just want clarity and peace about the adoption."

I honestly don't know why I wrote it. I have felt complete peace about the adoption process since we started in February. So I basically ignored it and went on with the trip.

Towards the last few nights of the trip our fearless leader decided it would be good for our team (of 20) to have a time of prayer and sharing. A few people shared how the trip had changed them and what they learned. Then my husband, the man who is never up for sharing or talking a lot in general, starts to talk about the things God has taught him on this trip. At first he starts talking about work and work-related stress and how God has shown him that yes, it is where he needs to be right now. Then he says he has been praying about our adoption. I knew immediately by the tone of his voice that he had been having doubts, although he never discussed them with me. He says that God has given him clarity and peace about adopting, and he is ready for our child.

Hello??? I wrote those exact words in my journal just a few days before.
We serve an awesome God people.

To top it all off, because God likes to ice the cake sometimes, another team member starts sharing. She met us last year on the trip but we haven't kept in contact. She says that when she started praying for the trip a few weeks before, all she could think of was Eric and I. So she prayed for us, even though she didn't know why. She explained that she tried to pray for others, but God just wouldn't allow it! She didn't know anything about our inability to have kids and our plans to adopt.

Today I thank God for confirmation, and for linking hearts together that wouldn't otherwise have connected.

that time we ate worms

My friend Hali (the blonde) and I were dared to eat a worm while in Costa Rica.
Apparently people don't know us very well.

the one in which i list everything in my brain

Sorry folks, my first post back is going to be a deep one! Costa Rica numero dos was again, a life changing experience. I knew I would never be the same after the first one, but I didn't expect as much out of the second time. God has other plans.

This is one of the pictures of the cross our team built last year on the mountain. It overlooks the entire village of Grano de Oro. 

Timothy Jones, the missionary that we serve when we go to Grano de Oro, spoke on the Gospel of Luke while we were there. Suffice it to say that it was more than incredible. I have notes upon notes in my journal and I plan on sharing some of his thoughts and mine with you over the next few posts.

Today is just an overview of the things I plan on rambling are some quotes and scripture that have been running around in my brain since last week.

"You must humble yourselves and give up your rights. That is Lordship." - TJ

"John answered them all, saying, "I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." - Luke 3:16

"There is too much introspection in our lives. We will be in the same place the next day. Get in your car and cry, then get out and do something." - TJ

"Your unworthiness doesn't mean you can't love someone." - TJ

"A certain moneylender had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  When they could not pay, he cancelled the debt of both. Now which of them will love him more?" Simon answered, "The one, I suppose, for whom he cancelled the larger debt." And he said to him, "You have judged rightly." Then turning toward the woman he said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss my feet.  You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little." And he said to her,  "Your sins are forgiven." Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, "Who is this, who even forgives sins?" And he said to the woman,  "Your faith has saved you; go in peace." - Luke 7:41-50

"Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, desiring to see you." But he answered them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it." - Luke 8:19-21

"Jesus said to him,  "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." - Luke 9:62 

I know it seems like a hodgepodge of stuff right now, but I promise I am going to connect it all. It is absolutely impossible for me to describe the trip to Costa Rica and do it any sort of justice, but it is my goal to try. 

I miss you all terribly!