"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~ Matthew 5:8

Monday, February 21, 2011

My God Is A Mighty Fortress

"I love You, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, 
and I am saved from my enemies."
                                                          ~Psalm 18:1-3

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Where DID she learn that?

My youngest sister and her new papa in Russia, November 2010

Yesterday "Oksana" bounded up to me, threw her arms around my neck and kissed me several times, then said lovingly in heavily accented English, "Silly Goose! Silly Goose! I love you! I love you too!" 

Where did she pick up the phrase "Silly goose"??

Oksana is loving and affectionate

I didn't mind the phrase, coming from her. :)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Proverbs 31 Wife... in British Literature?

Picture Credit
In Charles Dickens' book David Copperfield (a wonderful book, by the way), the main character (David) meets up with an old friend from his school days: a bumbling but good-natured fellow nicknamed Traddles. In catching up with his friend, David learns that Traddles has recently married his long-time sweetheart, whom he terms "the dearest girl in the world." This is what he says about her:

“ I am sure that we are two of the happiest people,” returned Traddles. “I admit that, at all events. Bless my soul, when I see her getting up by candlelight on these dark mornings, busying herself in the day’s arrangements, going out to market before the clerks come into the Inn, caring for no weather, devising the most capital little dinners out of the plainest materials, making puddings and pies, keeping everything in it’s right place, always so neat and ornamental herself, sitting up at night with me if it’s ever so late, sweet-tempered an encouraging always, and all for me, I positively some times can’t believe it, Copperfield!”

Sounds a lot like the Proverbs 31 woman to me! I hope that someday my husband will be able speak of me in the same way, that I will make his way brighter and easier; and going a step beyond Traddles' "dear girl", that I will be his helpmeet in serving the Lord.


Friday, February 11, 2011

5 Great Things About Younger Siblings

I am now eleven weeks into having eleven siblings (for more info on our family's adoption, read our blog). I'm so blessed! Here's a list of 5 wonderful things about my younger siblings: there's more, but I'll start with 5. Maybe some of them will sound like your siblings, or maybe there's other ways your younger siblings are a blessing in your life. Feel free to comment and mention them!

1. They make me laugh: often, long and well. Everything from their innocent mispronunciations, to their daily-exhibited creativity, to their acting flair and strong sense of humor keeps life interesting and fun.

2.  They're great for "practicing tenderness": what in the world do I mean by that? I borrow the idea from Eric and Leslie Ludy: all too often I treat my siblings like junk, yet expect to be loving and tender toward my future spouse and kids. But chances are I'm not going to change character the day I get married, so the way I treat those nearest to me now will be true later as well. And I will have the added plus (well, actually it's the most important reason) that Christ tells me that the second commandment is "Love your neighbor as yourself" (Matthew 22: 36-40).

3. They keep me humble as they already surpass me in many areas: whether it be art, sports, or even just strategy games, their talent frequently beats mine soundly. They amaze me!

4. They will always be there for me. Our relationship is not perfect. We have our differences. But no matter how many times I have hurt them, they have forgiven me. And when I grow up and move away, they will not forget me. And when I go through hard times, they will care about me. I intend to do the same for them.

5. They are resilient and joyful! Despite struggles and troubles in their early life before adoption, my 9 younger siblings are resourceful, strong, and happy. Laughter and smiles are abundant in our house. I'm grateful that God has healed them physically, emotionally, and physically.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Video: We Love Because

We Love Because from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

My mom, Lissie and I were talking the other day about some good friends of ours who are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. You can find their blog here: Room For More They became fired up about adoption and orphan care about a year and half ago on Orphan Sunday. Since then, we've watched them through the ups and downs that accompany an international adoption of an older child. We've cried tears of frustration and sadness with them, and jumped up and down for joy with them. They are getting ready to go meet their little girl in just a handful of days now and you can feel the excitement building, not just in their family, but also for us and others close to them!

So we were talking and Lissie made an interesting comment. She said:

"Mr. Nordstrom's passion and zeal for the Gospel has grown since God tugged at his heart about adoption."

Her comment made me pause and think. I definitely had to echo her sentiments upon reflection. His passion - no, not just his, but his whole family's passion for the Gospel - has grown since God placed orphans on their heart. Adoption is such a beautiful picture of what God has done for those who are His children. The Gospel is laced and intertwined with adoption, all the way down to the details. I think this video really helps to show the inseperability of adoption and the Gospel.

~ Tessa

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Video: Beethoven's String Quartet No. 2 Op. 18

Our quartet is about to begin learning this piece before I get married and move away. We thought this was well-played and hope you enjoy it!

~ Tessa

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fragments: Is there anyone out there?

Standing here, looking up,
Empty sky mirrored in my heart;
Is there anyone out there?
Can anyone hear the half-spoken prayers
I pray in the dark?
My weak, frail breath begs for answers.
If God never sleeps,
Why do I not hear replying echoes?
My prayers are soaring higher,
Up into the soulless, empty sky.
They fly past the stars
Into the blackness of awesome galaxies,
Pregnant with hope.
Oh, the piercing light of Your answers!
Even before the prayer leaps
From my lips,
You’re holding my hand.
You leave Your light-years of dying stars,
To help my dying soul.
You uphold my arms of faith
You tell me I am not alone.
You will never betray me,
Your promises are true,
You never deceive,
You love forever:
I am not alone.

~ Tessa