Vegas Strong

A photo my husband took at dinner last month. This city holds a special place in our hearts. Vegas we love you.

 

My heart breaks for those affected by tragic massacre in Las Vegas. We called Las Vegas home for four years, it is the birthplace of our first daughter, the place we started in ministry and marriage. It holds a special place in our hearts. My husband and I sat by the pool at the Mandalay Bay just a month ago, visiting our old stomping grounds and reminiscing about a city with special memories.

I couldn’t stop crying watching the footage. For a moment, I got a glimpse of how terrifying that night was for so many people. In the process of wiping tears, praying for Las Vegas, and looking for ways to show support, there are a few things that bring me comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us the comfort God gives is meant to be shared.

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means. It’s just my personal list of a few things that bring me comfort and hope in light of the tragedy. I hope they will bring you comfort as well.

  1. If you live your life in fear, he takes one more victim.” – These words shared from a counselor to a women at the concert are words not just for her but for many like me, who may be tempted to live fearfully.

2. This video by Pastor Craig Groeschel reminds me of the heart of our Father in heaven.

3. Acts 9:31. It has become my prayer for the churches around our nation. “So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied.” 

During this time where many feel uncertain, I pray for God’s church to rise up in peace and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. For those who are hopeless, searching, and in need of comfort, I pray the Church would be the arms of Jesus wrapped around the hurting. So many churches already are.

What brings you comfort during times like these?

Adoption Update

It’s been awhile since we’ve shared an adoption update, so here it goes!

We’ve received news from our agency we are on the list of approved families in the Philippines. The way our agency works, they seek to find families for children – not children for families. The child’s needs are front and center at all times – and we LOVE that. As they look at a child waiting to be adopted, they look at the child’s personality, history, and needs and ask, “which family would be the best fit for this child?” One day we will receive a call – not they picked a child for us – but they’ve picked us for a child! Once they give us all the information on the child (photos, videos, health history, etc) we have 14 days to decide if we want to move forward and adopt the child. We haven’t received that call yet, but we are trusting God’s timing in it all and excited for the future. 

Many people ask why we chose the Philippines, and it’s a decision we came to after a lot of prayer, research, and discussion with our agency. One day when we know more about our child, we plan on hosting an adoption shower (of sorts), and will explain our decision in more detail to those who have surrounded us with support and love through this process. We are adoption advocates either way; domestic, international, private, or any other means of providing a loving family to a child–the Philippines just happens to be our path right now.

We love answering questions about adoption. Many people fear the cost, but we’ve learned so much about various options we look forward to helping inform other couples who might be curious. If something in your heart tells you adoption may be in your future, reach out! We’d love to chat.

God Bless,

Mel and Brandon

The Best Kind of Friends

After motherhood, I quickly realized friendships were going to look different. With less time on my hands and an adjustment in priorities, I needed to find a way to allow room for life-giving friendships. But it’s hard to build a close circle. It takes years to figure out who stands the test of time and the test of character.

Living in a season of having to prioritize your time differently, forces intentionality in relationships. In addition to being women of character and integrity, there is one verse I hold to tightly when I think of the kind of ladies I want in my inner circle.

Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

I’ll never forget the first time I took my kids to Disneyland. One of the best days ever! We celebrated my daughter’s birthday with a fun family weekend and came back beaming. I expected my friends to be happy for my family, I felt shocked when a couple of them clearly weren’t. That day I realized not all friendships are alike.

Some people know how to stand with you when life gets hard. They will pray for you, stand by your side, check on you daily, and love every minute of it. They thrive helping others go through tough times. A true gem of a friend does all that, but still rejoices when you rejoice. They mourn with you when times are tough and rejoice with you when times are better than ever. On the flip side, some friends only stick around during fair weather. Any sign of tough stuff sends them running.

It takes a special friend who holds your hand in the hospital but also claps their hands when you get a promotion. It’s rare gem who brings brownies before the funeral, and balloons before the book launch. She stands with you in the storm and in the celebration. She sends a text when she notices something’s wrong, and sends a text when she notices something’s right!

We need friends in our lives who know how to go low and high, and we need to be that kind of friend to others. Who are you rejoicing and mourning with today?