Of Stella … and Links

Oh, friends, you continue to midwife this child who is more than just her storyThank you. 

You shared her story in your space.  You lifted up His name. You called it to your tribe’s attention. (You made it fun!) And you prayed. You are still praying!

And He moved. He is still moving.

To date, just under $15,000 has been raised for the Wilkerson’s adoption, for Stella to come home!

All the while, the fundraising continues.

Two high school girls in Virginia have made it their class project to raise money for Stella’s adoption. Today, just hours ago, they shared her story with their whole school at chapel. (Really, they shared His story with their whole school at chapel.)

And two stylists at their salons in Columbus, Ohio have made it their Christmas offering to sow ALL OF THEIR CASH TIPS between now and New Years towards this little girl’s homecoming. Talk about the kind of giving that your pocket-book feels!

 

Oh, the lengths He goes to to retrieve just one lost sheep.

 

 

Friends, this is His story. Stella’s story is His, for glory.

 

 

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I don’t have to reach far for my favorite Christmas Album. We love it year-round. I can’t get enough of these songs that lift His name.

And this musician’s wife (who we are blessed to call friends), has written two posts that speak His words over the orphan-heart. “It is an honor to know him” what a phrase to speak over the child, fatherless, who has mastered push-back.

 

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This is our second year with this particular Jesse Tree Advent Devotional for our children. A season that, for years, we dismissed — because we just couldn’t get our minds around how to wade through the world’s interpretation of it and find gold — is being revived as we walk it out with them. Little hearts find safety in the cadence of seasons and this one, in particular, introduces His holy wonder that every child craves. Squeals were heard all throughout our house today as they spotted early-signs of our “Jesse Tree” that we’ll begin piecing together tomorrow.

While I type, upstairs, he is uploading these daily readings for advent downstairs. Hard to recommend something I haven’t yet read, though I must say I’m giddy to start it in just a few days. Big hearts need His wonder, too.

 

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And a new (to us) book that’s circulating between me and Nate (and back again). This book has meat — the good stuff, about the upside down life of following Him and the joy of going lower.

 

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Have you seen this? Oh my.  “…that we would be people who cannot stop worshiping the Lamb who is worthy. That through the hard and the struggle and the moments that just seem so hopeless we would cling to the hope that He’s already won and our only response would be adoration and praise.” 

Amen.

Adoration is spilling forth all over African soil.

 

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Finally, I’m writing over here and if you click over and scroll down you’ll find another prayer-page printable — one I pray for my family and for myself out of Isaiah 61. Mandie Joy has created these prayer pages from the chicken-scratch in my moleskin journal and I am loving her work.

I fold up a prayer-page and tuck it into the pocket of my running shorts to pray during my cool-down or slide them into a plastic sleeve (because everything around here just might need a plastic sleeve to stay clean :)) to prop next to the kitchen sink or atop the laundry pile. These little tools are helping me give minute-pockets of my day towards looking up — minutes that might otherwise be wasted.

Our lives are won in the minutes.

 

Photos compliments of Mandie Joy. This girl has also set us up on instagram. Friends, it took several sittings for me to know exactly what that means and I still don’t quite get it … except, that you can now find updates and useful graphics on Instagram @everybitterthingissweet. We have just started rolling out S-T-R-E-N-G-T-H-E-N images — letter by letter, how cool! Mandie keeps me in the 21st century.
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