Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Great Adventure

Last year around this time you beat me to the punch in expressing love, joy, appreciation and gratefulness to God for our marriage. Tomorrow morning will make 12 years for us. When we said yes to one another before God and witnesses August 7th, 1999, little did we know all the other things we would be saying "yes" and "no" to as a result of God's gracious leading. I remember August 9th of '98, hearing you, and then John Lockler and wondering, is it her. Indeed it was and it is.

I love the woman you were and I love all the more the woman you have become and are becoming. Such a beautiful picture of transformation you are, and you continue to be, praise God. Not that either of us has already attained it, but forgetting what lies behind, and pressing toward what lies ahead, we strive to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus laid hold of us, namely we look heavenward to the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

When, by His grace we have considered Him, He has taken us places we never imagined we would go, and by His grace I can only imagine that He will take us places we have yet to see. I love how God is conforming you into the image of Jesus, the very thing you were predestined for before the foundation of the world. I love how your chief allegiance is to Christ and his Kingdom, and how you really do want his will to be done and for his Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. I love how you love and care for me and our children, and the vulnerable children of the world; how you you laugh at the days to come and how you care for this home through consistent labors of love and through the gifts He has put in you. I love your outward appearance, but I won't say anything saucy about how hot you are in this post because you don't like that sort of talk on the web, and I love that about you too!

I love how you love things that God says he loves and I love how you are concerned for people and issues that His word tells us concern him, and must concern his people. I love how you cannot help but testify about what you have seen and heard. I love how what you have seen and heard impacts you for His glory, and for people's joy. I love the way that you think. I love the way that you smell. You still surpass them all, and you always will. I love the three children He has given us so far, and I love that He has given them to us. I pray, with you that He graciously grants us another. I pray that our heart for the world grows more like his as the years go by, and I pray that if, by his grace, we grow old, that we will be like the palms of Psalm 92, "still bearing fruit in old age, full of sap and green, declaring the uprightness of God." I thank God that you are Laura Bowers and I praise Him for this great adventure that continues. This is a little old school, compared to your song last year, but you know that a guy who catches alligators and chases elk will think Dancing in the Mine Fields is a Great Adventure. I still love you, and I love you more than I did then. Thank you Laura, may He give us 48 more!

Saturday, July 30, 2011


I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And by His love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in Me.”

John Newton

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Praying today for those of you waiting for word from Rwanda.
My heart aches for you.
My heart aches for the waiting children of Rwanda
I am so sorry.
I know it all seems to be shaky.
There are no words really...there is only Jesus.
Praying today that He would be the firm ground beneath your feet.
He cannot and will not be shaken.
He is the only solid foundation.
He is enough.
He can bear your grief and questions.
He is worthy of our worship...even in this.

"Job arose, rent his robe, and shaved his head, and fell upon his face" (1:20). The sobs of grief and pain are not the sign of unbelief. Job knows nothing of a flippant, insensitive, superficial "Praise God anyhow" response to suffering. The magnificence of his worship is because it was in grief, not because it replaced grief. Let your tears flow freely when your calamity comes. And let the rest of us weep with those who weep." John Piper

Weeping with you today and asking for Him to move the mountains.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Some thoughts on attachment:
1. it is hard work
2. it is tiring work
3. it is extremely humbling
4. it is sin revealing (!)
5. it is worthwhile
6. it is SO REWARDING!

I have not blogged much about our "attachment plan" or what steps we have taken to make sure that Jeb is bonding and adjusting well. As we read/researched before he came home we found that there was not much (relatively) written as compared to information for toddler/ older child adoption. We implemented a few "strategies" that seem to be paying off/ working.

I think the biggest one of these is that we committed that no one except Chase and I would feed/bathe/diaper Jeb for an indefinite period of time. We want him to know that we are his mom and dad. We meet his needs. Maddie has given him the occasional bottle (maybe 4-5 since we have been home in the last 7 weeks). I honestly think this is one of the most important steps we have taken and we are seeing the results in a sweet boy who now prefers mom and dad to any other adult, who will reach out of someone else's arms for us.

The second thing we have done is not let Jeb "cry it out" to sleep. (A big, huge change for us as compared to when our first two kids were infants). I know there are multiple opinions even in the adoption world about this, but it was a not a difficult decision for our hearts to make. Yes, we believe that Jeb was absolutely loved and loved well at Home of Hope. But the sheer worker to child ratio indicated to us that we needed to parent Jeb differently in this area. When we first came home Jeb was a great sleeper- 12 hours straight- no fussing, no waking up. Well...things they are a changing! I would still call him a good sleeper, but he takes longer to go down and wakes up during the night and earlier. We are actually taking these as positive steps. He is learning to let his needs be known. This momma is tired, but I have a sweet boy who KNOWS who his momma is :)

The third thing has been that we are sticking close to home. I think this has been somewhat difficult for our two bigger kids this summer. Not as many days with friends or at the pool, etc. But honestly, what is more important? That my two kids who have been loved and known a "family" since DAY ONE of their lives have the same "summer" experience they always have, or that Jeb make healthy bonds and attachment that will impact the rest of his life? I did not limit enough those first few weeks home. In hindsight, I think Jeb was a bit overwhelmed. I began to notice that on busy days with lots of errands, or lots of people around, or a restaurant, he would not make eye contact as well by the end of the day. We are getting out a little more these days. We go to church on Sundays (Jeb stays with us) and we try to "do something" with friends, etc once a week. Balancing the needs of all three is not easy, but our big kids are learning a great lesson on being selfless!

All of these things have been great for OUR family. That does not mean that they would work for every family. God is big enough to lead each adoptive family on the right path for them! I just wanted to share, because I wish that I had read more opinions/what worked for other people before we came home! And we realize that all of it, every positive step forward in attachment with Jeb is all grace- all a gift from Him!