Thursday, February 3, 2011

Can you say, "blessed beyond belief?!

I know, way past time for this update, but can you say “busy as all get out?!”
Lena, Charlie and I arrived in Phoenix on January 20th at 8:32pm to a wonderful greeting of family and friends!  Can you say, "blessed beyond belief?!!!"
We arrived HOME the following afternoon after spending the night with dear friends, Jim and Lori, who had taken excellent care of our dog Jake while we were gone.  Quick stop at Seba’s Western Store for Lena’s first pair of cowgirl boots (knew she would need them immediately upon arrival home because we kept hearing that horses would be her first priority).  Another quick stop to pick up Tucker, our other dog.  He and Mack had spent their time with good friends Kate and Gerry (Kate also their Vet); unfortunately we’d only be picking up Tucker, several days before heading for home we had to make the very difficult decision to put Mack down.  A extremely hard day, missed very much not being able to say that final goodbye to a very special family member… since then life has been moving at mach speed, so both Charlie and I have felt as if we have yet to actually grieve Mack the way we would/should.  So give me just a moment… 
We love you Mack!!  You will forever be our Moo. 
Thank you.
So we are home!!  Just looking at the calendar, we have been home 14 days, we are acclimating, we are adjusting, we are loving Lena!!   Without a doubt she is our daughter, always has been…
Lena has already spent many hours riding the horses; she has claimed Charlie’s horse Rowdy as her own.  :]  The “old guys” Charlie and Tanner (Charlie’s 24 year old semi retired horse) will be joining forces once again.  Lena has also decided she loves ATV riding; she and I will be sharing “a machine”.  She thinks her new room is great and tells us she is having sweet dreams.  Last Sunday was Lena’s second Sunday in church with us, as we sang the closing song, Lena standing between Charlie and I, all of our hands interlocked (Lena’s doing), she began singing the chorus “Glory to God” along with us, I keep thanking God for all the special moments He keeps sprinkling our days with.  Tuesday was Lena’s first day at Wickenburg Christian Academy.  She had a great first day!  Yesterday was her second day; unfortunately Lena felt it important to tell her teacher that there were several things she wasn’t going to be doing.  Well that won’t fly… we’ve had many opportunities in the last 14 days for teachable moments, more last night.  As the days have passed, information is being shared, past experiences, past hurts, a past that for the most part needs to left behind.  Last night she shared more than she’s ever shared.  There is healing that needs to take place in our daughter’s life, no surprise.  She is wise and understands that she has the opportunity to change her future… that some changes will come easily, some will be hard.  I believe she now grasps the truth that Charlie and I are here for her forever, we will not go away, we LOVE her.  We pray soon she will understand that about her Heavenly Father.  
The theme of my days…
“I am the vine: you are the branches.  If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
I have never felt so attached, felt the need to be so attached to “the Vine” as I do now.  I have no doubt that without Christ we would be ill equipped to do what He has asked us to do.  But,
“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God… to them who are called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28
We are witnessing Him work all things together for good right before our very eyes in a powerful way… through our lives and others for a child’s life, our daughter’s life.  Can you say “humbled”…  “In awe”…
“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”  Matthew 19:26
Lena’s first memory verse from school has ministered to all of us in the last 2 days; I know that God is working all things together for good as we remain in Him… 
Can you say, “I love the Lord with all my heart, with all my soul, all my mind (I know not a whole lot of that left), and my strength"?  You know, I can. 
Charlie and I continue to be humbled and amazed by the innumerable ways we have recieved support, we can never thank you enough for all your love, your prayers, and encouragement, for joining us in this most amazing journey, which really is
God’s story of love, God’s story of Lena" 
and which really has only just begun, a story that we are so excited to watch unfold…                                         
Love in Christ forever and ever, Charlie, Judy and Lena

dear friends and neighbors welcome Lena home!! :]

a girl, a horse and her dog, like mother like daughter... :]

braiding Deacon's mane... as Lena would say, I like!  :]

Lena and Rowdy, what's not to love!

new room, new clothes = happy girl!

first day of school, she's ready!
she has the need for speed... look out!!
and in memory of Mack (our Moo), he gave the best dog kisses!!
we love you Moo Moo!!


  1. Beautiful pictures! So glad to hear it's going well!

  2. She looks her age in the off to school picture! It's beautiful- like a chance to be a kid and be released from so many unfair responsibilities that she valiantly handled! Blessings!!!

  3. I don't think I have your email address! I was hoping you could help a friend get in touch with a translator for phone calls to assist them with the kids they hosted. Mine is Her's is Thanks