Family Crisis

I have tons of stuff that I wanted to blog about, but it will have to wait.

My father-in-law, who is like a dad to me, had a brain hemorrhage (aneurysm) on Sunday night. He had 7 hours of brain surgery on Monday, and is now recovering in the ICU. I’m spending my days at the hospital while Cupcake is in school and my evenings taking care of the family while Steve hangs out with his parents.

We have a caringbridge site set up for him. If you would like the address, send me an email at mamitaj (at) gmail (dot) com.

Also, on Sunday night, Steve’s younger brother’s wife lost her father. Both grandpas on the same day…that’s tough.

We’d appreciate your prayers.


Blessings to you,



Mountains or Beach?

Note:  This post was written while we were on vacation and never posted, but I really needed to hear it again today.

(Caution…ramble ahead.)

Vacation…mountains or beach?

Well, since you asked…I prefer Hawaii, where the mountains and beaches are all right there.  🙂  But, if I had to choose, I think I would pick mountains.  I love relaxing beach days, but I’m a visual person and the created beauty and grandeur of the mountains are just so breathtaking. 

We’re taking a mixed variety vacation this year.  We drove through the mountains on our way to the beach.  Thursday and Friday, we drove through the Allegheny Mountains in West Virginia and Maryland.  Can I just say, “Dang, that is some beautiful country!”   As we drove up and down through the scenic vistas, I couldn’t help but think about God, and creation, and life.

I was reminded of this verse in Job that we recently studied. 

The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
    its features stand out like those of a garment.  Job 38:14

Those immense,  immovable mountains  were formed when God scrunched them up like fabric.  How hard is it to scrunch fabric?  How hard is it to scrunch rock?  That is the difference between us and God.  He is altogether different than us, powerful beyond measure .   And if we want mountains moved, it will not happen with all of our willpower and a little shovel.  It will only happen if we humbly ask the Creator of the Universe to straighten out the fabric.

Then, I started thinking about how some terrain is meant to be mountainous.  It’s for a reason. 

Our family life has been rocky terrain these last few years.   It required a long, difficult initial ascent – no gorgeous lookouts, just hard work and what seemed to be an endless battle.  Now and then, we would catch glimpses of how far we had come and the magic of what might be coming.  But mostly, it was work.

Then, one day, we looked up and the beauty of who Cupcake really was took our breath away.  I remember the first time I noticed that she was acting like a normal little girl, happily swinging her legs at Burger King – no fear, no survival skills, no anger, just content to be nestled in our family.  It was like a lookout over a quiet village in the mountains!  And I took a snapshot in my brain. 

Of course, after the scenic vista, we headed back down into another valley, life spiraling downward out of control, shadows obscuring the sun.  We felt we had stepped back to where we started, but in reality, we were still at a higher elevation and we were further than we had been before.  After that, more hard work climbing that next mountain, with the reward of another spectacular view in time. 

And so it goes.  This is what it means to adopt a child from hard places.  The energy you expend in the mountains is exponentially higher than on the flatlands, but WOW!  The views are stunning!  You get some fabulous moments.  It’s an adventure.  Adventures, by definition, are full of dangers and unknowns. In the midst of them, it can be downright scary and discouraging.  Sometimes, if feels like we’re never going to see the plains again, but you know what…I like the mountains.  The highs are higher, the lows are lower, but this is what it means to really be alive.   I don’t want to coast along and settle for long stretches of easy and content.  I want to live an adventure and catch a glimpse of how amazing God really is right here on earth.


How about you? 


Blessings to you,


Happy Ninth Birthday, Cupcake!



How can it be?  My baby is NINE!

Happy birthday to my beautiful, spunky, sweet, thoughtful, strong-willed, precious child!  You are loved more than you know.  God has big plans for your life!  Thank you for teaching me so much!  I am a better person for having the privilege of being your mom.  😀


Your smile shines like the sun!

Blessings to you,