Once upon a time....

Flash back to 1999, we were a family of four. Happy in our new roomy house and comfortable in our ways. A few years later, the Lord blessed us with an additional little package, little boy #3. Now we were a family of five and sure that would be the end. As time moved on, so did we. The Lord used the time that passed to open our eyes to His will. Several years ago, Bob and I individually heard the call to adoption. It has been a long "pregnancy", but during this incubation time, the Lord has brought us to where He wants us to be. Spring 2010, we traveled to Ethiopia where two little angels were waiting for the Lord's timing - to become our children. Now we are home and can't imagine life any differently! What a blessing to be in His will.

Galatians 4:5 says "God sent Christ to buy freedom for us, who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as his very own children." We are just following his model. A Perfect picture of salvation.

Thursday, January 17, 2013


Moving means changes… lots of them!  We moved to a different state which meant finding new doctors, dentists, and vision specialists.  One kid getting glasses, four more getting check-ups!  We knew Alex needed an updated vision check and possibly a new prescription.  A few months back, his glasses had been “tweaked” and therefore didn’t fit “right”, which meant he just didn’t wear them.  At his vision exam, the truth came out… along with the natural consequences.  His vision had gotten worse in one eye due to the lack of correction.  In other words, the glasses which were made to correct his vision had not been utilized and his ability to see had deteriorated.  He ended up with a drastically different new prescription.

My vision is like that.  Not in a physical sense, but definitely in a spiritual sense.  When my spiritual vision gets “tweaked”, my vision deteriorates.  What in the world are you talking about, Audra?!  What is this spiritual vision?? 
~ Seeing beyond the physical.  Seeing the hurt in the eyes when someone says that they are “fine”. 

~ Seeing the wanting for affection in the overly rambunctious child. 

~ Looking into the eyes of a loved one and seeing the little flecks of color that went unnoticed for days….weeks….years!  Unnoticed because I haven’t taken the time to stop and LOOK! 

~ Finding a broken item, shattered on the floor and seeing the “broken” child who longs to reverse time and make it all better…but lashes out instead, with hurtful words and accusations. 

Sometimes I see with my head and not my heart.  The result?  Deterioration!  You know what I’m talking about.  That downward spiral into frustration and anger.  The stream of words flowing out of the mouth and into ears and hearts not equipped to handle such an onslaught.  Seeing only the physical, Only what is right in front of me, is evidence of vision that desperately needs correction!

Spiritual correction??? She’s off her rocker!  It’s not as hard, or weird, as it sounds.  God didn’t intend for us to go through life with blurry vision.  Running ragged, so hurried that we don’t see those around us …. frustration and anger…. you get the idea.  How do I achieve spiritual correction?? 
S L O W  D O W N….
(And the real clincher….)
The Greek word, eucharisteo, means Giving Thanks.  The root, charis, means grace.  But, it also holds the derivitave of charis, the Greek, chara, which means JOY!  Giving Thanks results in JOY!  Not happiness.  Happiness is fleeting, based on circumstance.  JOY represents a condition of the heart.  JOY is that glow that happens in the midst of ANY circumstance.  That ability to go on with a heart that has been reinforced with HIS strength. 

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks IN all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“WHOA!” you say.  What about the yucky stuff?  What about the hard times!  Death, pain, illness, hurt!  I recently went through a VERY long night with one of my children who was hurting and there was NOTHING I could do about it.  That night, I was struggling with this very verse.  I have been trying to be “thankful in all circumstances” and was really wrestling with the concept of being thankful for my child’s pain….  Then it hit me.  IN all circumstances!  …not FOR all circumstances.  I have heard and said this verse many times, but this lightbulb could have lit up the whole town!   Being a word-smith, I began to make my own expanded version….
Rejoice (in the LORD, recalling the blessings ALREADY given), PRAY, and
give thanks:
the circumstances!  THIS is God’s plan for you (He made it possible through Jesus)!
(The Audra Version! )

THAT I can do!  Let the thanking begin!  I have started my own list of thanks… (Thank you Ann VosKamp for sharing your journey in the book, One Thousand Gifts).  Need a challenge that will bring JOY and perspective?  Start your own list.  READ the book! 
Sometimes we need adjustments to help our human, fleshy eyes “see”.  It doesn’t come naturally and just as remembering to put on your physical glasses to physically see, we have to choose to put on our glasses of thankfulness and “see” with His eyes.


  1. Thanks for sharing your heart, Audra. What a perfect (and possibly needed, ahem) way to start my morning!
    Annie P

  2. Totally adorable....not to mention brilliant!

  3. So inspiring. Just what I needed today. Thank you for this post, Audra.


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