Monday, August 29

Blue Plate Legacy {Guest Post}

Good morning, friends! Today we are so excited to once again have a guest post from Sue Moore Donaldson. Sue has taught us so much about hospitality and her love of welcoming others in is contagious! We know you will love her as much as we do. Here's more from Sue:

I have a Blue-Plate Legacy. Not a legacy my mother got from her mom, but one she passed down to me in spades.

Mom loved pretty dishes. Every Sunday we’d ask, “Mom, which china do you want to use – Grandma’s or yours?” She’d say, “How about grandma’s – pretty dishes are meant to be used!”

I got Mom’s pretty-dishes-DNA. She had two china cabinets. I have one and am holding (so far). She’d say to us girls: “Now tell me—what dishes do you want after I die.” Morbid? Maybe, but we liked to please and would wander through her cupboards and drawers and lay claim to a treasure or two—just to make her happy. (Read: just to make her stop asking!)

Mom gifted me early with a This-Will-Be-Yours-Someday present when she handed me the Blue Plate Special – a glass sandwich platter with etched designs.

Tuesday, August 23

A Family's Unexpected Redemption

We arrived in Tulsa on a Thursday evening just a few short weeks ago. We were there to see Jasmine’s birth Aunts Haddie and Mary, Mary’s husband Thomas, and their children, Trae and Harper. We greeted them in the hotel lobby, then decided to go out to a local restaurant for dinner. As we sat and visited, shared about life and familiarized ourselves even more with one another, time
seemed to stop. It wasn’t until a worker kindly came and told us that they needed to close the restaurant that we realized everyone else had left and it was late. We went back to the hotel and sat in the lobby to visit for a while longer until the kids got too tired. We made plans to swim the next morning and, as we got off the elevator to go to our room, I was excited for what the weekend might hold, not yet knowing the profound effect it would not only have on my daughter Jasmine, but on me as well.

Jasmine is adopted and her birth mother passed away this last winter. We went to the funeral and made connections with many in her family. Since that time, we’ve exchanged letters and pictures, messages and Skype calls. When her Aunt Haddie mentioned they’d be having a stateside wedding reception in Tulsa, I told her to let us know the details, we’d love to try to make it.

Monday, July 18

No, We Didn't Disappear Off the Face of the Planet

Happy Monday, friends!

You may have noticed that it's been a little quiet around TRE lately. That's because of some news we shared on our Facebook account recently:

It has been a little quiet around TRE lately and we can FINALLY tell you all why! After 4 years of writing, several hundred blog posts, two self-published books, and months of talking to a publisher, last week a dream came true when we signed a contract with Tyndale House Publishers to write a devotional for them!! We are so excited and thankful for this opportunity! We'll be sharing more details soon and letting you know of some fun things happening at TRE this summer! Thanks for supporting us friends, and if we could offer you any encouragement today, it would be don't quit chasing your dreams! ‪#‎girlswhotry‬

We've been working on this devotional for several months now, and we can honestly say that for as much as we love it,  we've been pouring all our creativity into it and haven't had much left for other blogs or outside writing. But we promise that when the summer's over and our book is wrapping up the roughdraft stage, we'll return!

In the meantime, you can keep in touch with us via our Facebook. Thanks for all your love and encouragement!

Kristin, Kendra & Julie

Wednesday, May 25

Finding a Firm Foundation for your Feet {Guest Post}

“I would be happy to follow my husband anywhere in the world,” she said from the other side of the room.

I couldn’t believe I had heard her correctly, especially as I had just bared my heart to the husbands and wives of the church small group we had recently joined.

I had told them I was finding it hard to settle into our relocation with my husband’s job, three thousand miles away from home.

Tears welled up in my eyes. I felt miserable before I spoke; now I felt even worse. I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me. Most of all, I wanted to go home.

Then anger rose inside of me; I pushed it down. Anyway, no one seemed to notice my distress. The conversation continued as if nothing had happened. But I sat hating myself and loathing her for being so confident and not understanding how I felt.

Why couldn’t I embrace my new situation? I wondered.

Why did it take so much effort to explore unfamiliar surroundings? Why couldn’t I pluck up the courage to take my two-month-old baby to the playground and make new friends?

Monday, May 2

Do It Afraid

This past weekend, my daughter had dance try-outs for the competition teams at the studio she attends. As I watched her get into line with 70 or so other little girls her age, all dressed in black leotards with their hair pulled tight into buns, then scurry into a closed room where they would be judged, I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous and excited for her.

At just 7 years old, Jasmine already has a lot of dreams and things she’s passionate about and, as her parent, I want to support her. I see gifting and a drive to accomplish things at a young age I was never bold enough to do. But even with all her personality, she confided in me that she’s nervous: What if she doesn’t make the team?

And, boy oh boy, do I know how she feels. Fear has always played a big part in my life and often -- too often -- my decisions.

Monday, April 25

Walking with the Prodigal {Guest Post}

Hello dear friends! We are so excited to once again have our friend Stephanie sharing honestly about her experience with her adopted child. We were touched last fall when Stephanie shared her story of "How Foster Care Wrecked My Life" and we know you will be blessed by reading her story of what it's like to love our kids through the good and the hard.  

It has been three years ago this month that we brought our teenaged foster daughter into our home. I wish I could sit down with each of you and share with you the journey we have been on. It has been a journey of pride and humility, desperation and fulfillment, joy and sorrow. It has been a journey of soaring on the wings of optimism and wallowing in the valley of defeat. We had no idea how to parent a teenager with a traumatic past. BUT GOD (don’t you love those words?) knew exactly what HE was doing. 

We adopted our precious girl 11 months after she came to live with us. We poured our love into her as much and as often as we knew how. We knew she had spent 15 years without the love and structure of a Christian home. We were constantly on our knees and before the throne for mercy and help as we sought the best way to love and discipline with grace. We love her just as fiercely as our biological children. In our hearts, there is no difference.