Some of My 2013 Favorites … and an Update on My Favorite Story

Unbeknownst to her, as she sleeps in the place she’s known as home for most all of her life, a cradle is being built for her state-side. You have held this child with your prayers. You have demonstrated His heart for her with your actions.

In my inbox this December came notices from families whose gift under the tree helped grow a new branch in that child’s family tree. And those hair stylists in Columbus, Ohio who — for six weeks — gave their cash tips towards Stella’s homecoming? Well, just one of them raised $1331 in that time.

God is alive in this story.

(And we’re still raising funds! The Wilkerson’s are over half-way towards the estimated amount they’ll need to cover all of their adoption expenses. If you felt a nudge to give or to share with others and ask them to give, but haven’t yet, there is still time.)

Wilkerson Family 2012-19[1]

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For those who read my theme of this new year, here is a practical way I am walking it out. As one who is seeking to not just cram adoration into the sparse empty minutes of my day, but to create a rhythm — a cadence — around adoring God, daily tools like this one below only help the process.


Chair

 

The key for me is to see this habit (that continues to feel new to me, no matter how many months or years I have under my belt practicing it) as a way of training my eyes and my mind to look up.

Because all of life is about perspective.

And His perspective changes everything.

Screen with hole

So, here you have it.

One verse a day, tied to one characteristic of Him, with space to put His Word in your own words. I slide this into a plastic sleeve and carry it with me over bathroom vanity and kitchen sink and quiet minutes while children color and dress-up dolls and read. I practice looking up so that each day it feels a little more like my norm to have my mind and my thoughts centered around His mind and His thoughts. (Read here and the links within for more on adoration.)

31DaysofAdorationJanuary1-15 31DaysofAdorationJanuary16-31

Thank you Mandie Joy, for making this look a lot better than the chicken-scratch in my moleskine journal.

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“shaping her soul should not require hurry or bustle or modeled irritation at the busyness of the world. It required love, and love expressed tangibly through time…”  I read this one mama’s story and soaked it all up as I have prayed through what I want my home to feel like in this new year.

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Thanks to My Bible Plans I’ve created a customized Bible reading plan for covering portions of the Bible this year. If this runs in sync with my life, I’ll still call it a success if it takes me three years. Nonetheless, I have a plan!

For those of you open to inheriting another’s plan and not necessarily customizing your own, here’s another favorite resource, a little more slick if you’re wanting to deploy all your gadgets towards this effort. (Ones like me who have trouble closing windows and installing updates, you might want to stick with the first link ;)).

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Those of you on instagram have seen the uber-creative work of my friend, Mandie Joy. Now here’s your chance to take her art into your home. Check out her store and sow into the work of her heart to foster the fatherless. I love what this woman creates.

(And midwestern families, she is coming our way in February! If you want to hire her up for a photo shoot, fill out an inquiry.)

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And baby Adam? This one child’s life has so many layers of Him. Read. Cry. Share.

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Now turn on your tea pot, grab your computer and sit by the fire for this one. We had the honor of watching this unfold, up close, while in Uganda as our Lily waited for us alongside Mikisa Mae. His heart for His children bleeds all over this little one  and her mama who put fear behind her and pursued Him. It’s worth watching every minute.

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Finally, in light of a new year and new habits and new desires to start fresh, here are three more prayer guides whose edges are getting worn over this way.

STRENGTHEN RESTORATION STRENGTHENkids (1)

 

(As I consider continuing to take this habit of winning back my minutes in prayer from my moleskine journal to an electronic format for others to share, would you kindly send me your feedback on these prayer guides, including the new adoration prayer sheet?  Send thoughts to sara@everybitterthingissweet.com.)

Photos compliments of Mandie Joy.

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