"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

matthew 28:19-20

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mmmmm the sweet beginnings of fall

Well, it's that time of the year again....


For the past two years, my family and I have sold pumpkin rolls in order to raise support for Eli and I in some way--mainly adoption costs and transitional costs back to the U.S..  As we continue to sell pumpkin rolls in the years to come, each batch of monetary support will go to a purpose for the Kingdom.  This year, we are selling pumpkin rolls for three reasons!

  1. Pumpkin rolls are delicious and perfect for the fall holidays!
  2. To help with general overwhelming costs this past year--doctor's appointments that were unexpectedly high, costs related to vehicles, etc.
  3. To tuck away until a trip to Zambia becomes a possibility.  That could be as early as August next year, or the August after that, but we are trusting the Lord to provide for us. I don't know exactly what that trip will look like, seeing that we won't be heading back until we have funds available, but I know a very strong desire of my heart is for Eli and I to serve his birth country of Zambia, especially the remainder of Eli's biological family, together.

If you'd like a pumpkin roll for your holiday, please go to this link http://goo.gl/0q3szz and submit an order form! If you want to donate but you do not want a pumpkin roll, that's fine too! :) Just fill out the form and type "zero" in the quantity.

How blessed we are to have such support in this place.  Beyond thankful for each of you who have prayed for and loved on us. :) Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Two years...

Today is a pretty awesome day!   Two years ago, on August 7th, 2012, Elijah David came home for the first time!  And boy what a mess I was! :)

Last year on Eli's Gotcha Day, I wrote an entry with 12 awesome pictures of Eli displaying his transformation from Day 1 to Day 365!  So this year I'll do the same.  However, before I let you see the pictures, let me just tell you about my beautiful, precious son. He melts my heart.

Elijah is Energetic.  Never does he skip a beat. Whether he's been swimming all day, playing at the park, or running errands with me, he always seems to have energy!  He's especially energetic when he is able to have sugar. One time we were celebrating a birthday party and he had ice cream at 8 pm. Ohhh man, he was running in circles around the kitchen screaming and laughing. Boy oh boy.

Elijah is Light.  Not only is he light hearted in his demeanor, but he's a bright bright light to others.  So many people stop and just look at him.  He catches your eye.  He's a LIGHT in the darkness.

Elijah is Intelligent. When Eli came home, he knew only his native tongue. He and I would struggle just to comprehend each other.  But in 2 short years, my sweet boy has become fluent in English! He is eager to learn, always in wonder, always in question, and picks things up so easily.  He's a smart smart boy. (He would tell you he's big, strong, and smart because he eats his vegetables--thank you Gammy for drilling that into his mind!)

Elijah is Just like any other almost 6 year old boy.  He loves to eat--boy does he love to eat.  He loves to make noises all the time, and will play the Avengers until the sun goes down.  He dresses up in Captain America and Iron Man costumes, cries when he bleeds, laughs when someone makes a "poot" sound, and just sees the world with all possibilities.

Elijah is Anointed. That boy has the power to heal, the gift of prophecy, and an unshakable faith. He is chosen. Chosen for things I can't even wrap my mind around. Jesus chose my son. Jesus is his daddy, and he leads and guides his little boy.  It's unbelievably beautiful when he lays hands on you and you are healed. Amen. Amen. Jesus pour your power on my son. Anoint him to the fullest capacity.

Elijah is Hilarious.  This sweet boy will make the most hilarious faces. He'll belly laugh at his own jokes. He makes me laugh when he dances without fear. He will act out a movie with his toys as it plays. He will tickle me when I'm not prepared.  He's just the best.

My boy may exhaust me at times. He may frustrate me at times. He may push every button he can push.  He may try to sneak in candy at times. He may get that mischievous smile at times. He may whine and moan and groan when he doesn't get his way.


This boy melts my heart. He is so perfectly paired with me.  He is the only thing that holds me together sometimes.  He literally can smile at me with the most genuine smile and I am moved to the heart of Jesus.  He means what he says.  He makes me desire be a better mother.  He tells me I'm beautiful all the time.  He loves me.  He blesses our family with his humor and his love.

He may not be perfect in behavior, but he is the perfect fit in our little family.

My sugar babe.

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

 February 2014

March 2014

 April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

 July 2014

 August 2014

I fall more and more in love this boy every day.  

My sugar babe, HAPPY 2 YEARS!!!

"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers" 
Malachi 4:5-6

Friday, July 11, 2014

To Spare.

This morning Eli slept until 10:20.  A record. Sure he was up until 11 last night, but the fact that the small ounce of sun that trickled through the blackout curtains did not bother him is a miracle :).

Unlike him, I awoke this morning delighted. Delighted because for once this summer, I woke up before him. I immediately got in the word and just rested with my coffee, with the quiet of the house, and with the presence of my King resting with me. After some much needed journalling and sitting quiet before his throne, I approached the Word.

I've been reading in 1 Samuel about David and Saul.  I'm in chapter 24 today. David has run many times to get away from Saul.  At this specific moment in the Word, David has taken refuge in a cave in the Desert of En Gedi. Saul, in pursuit of David, came to the same cave without realizing David and his men were in there. He went in alone and David had an opportunity to kill him.  His men even said, "This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, 'I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish'" (vs. 4). David approached Saul's robe and cut a corner off, then he was stunned at what he did. He refused to do more and went back to his men even rebuking what they told him.

As Saul left the cave, David came out and called to him. He spoke a little and then said, "And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. As the old saying goes, 'From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you" (vs 13). Saul came back and said, "You are more righteous than I" (vs. 17). He continues, "When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you treated me today" (vs. 19). They separated and went on their way.

This morning I'm just stunned by this.  Stunned that this man, who has fled and fled and fled from his enemy could still stand before him and spare his life.


I love that word.

--to refrain from harming or destroying; leave uninjured; forbear to punish, hurt, or destroy.
--to deal gently or leniently with: show consideration for.
--to save from strain, discomfort, embarrassment.

To spare someone is not just about refraining from destroying them. It's also about dealing gently with someone or saving them from embarrassment.

David spared Saul. His enemy.

He spared his life. He spared him from embarrassment. He spared him from an uncomfortable situation. He spared him from any harm whatsoever. And he claimed that the LORD would bring justice.

I'm thinking this morning at all the times I have been embarrassed or uncomfortable or hurt. Many times in the opportunity to spare those against me, did I?  If I did, did I spare them with the most blameless and upright heart? Or did I spare them with frustration, with anger, with obligation?  If I'm honest, sometimes I 'forgive' someone but out of obligation. I spare their reputation because gossip is not of Jesus. But I can't say that my heart is totally pure of bitterness.

And I wonder, if given the opportunity, how often would we spare our enemy? How often would we just let the Lord handle it instead of placing our hands in the mix of it all? Do we trust him to see our situation and spare us from shame? Do we trust him to bring justice in the most unjust situations?

My Savior, who adores every ounce of me, has spared me. He's spared my life with the MOST PURE heart. I'm grateful this morning that he knows all, and yet, still spares. He sees my sin, and yet still spares.

What a beautiful life we could lead if we let the one who has spared us bring the justice.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sometimes, we just don't understand

Today I heard some news that just wasn't the best to hear. A very very dear friend of mine is in a tough situation. She is called to a life of obedience that many never experience. She aches for justice. She aches for the lost. She aches for the orphan. And today, I got some news. To keep specifics confidential, I will not share that news.

I sit here tonight completely confused. Sitting before the throne of Jesus wondering why. WHY? I ache for justice for HER. I ache for FAVOR for HER.

And I sit. Waiting. So far from being able to sit beside her. Hold her hand. And believe for the impossible sitting next to her. Instead, I wait, in the living room of my home in America. In a home of comfort. With loved ones so close.

And she sits. Weeping. Alone.

Come Jesus. Just Come.

I write this entry to my blog because I'm asking for financial help. I'm asking for prayers. I know it may seem so weird to give to something that you don't understand--that you don't even really know. But I will tell you, this sweet friend of mine is standing for the orphaned. She's standing for the injustice in this world. And she needs help. She needs a miracle. If you are willing to give either prayerfully or financially, please write me an email.  (mmalnar08@gmail.com)

My heart is just heavy tonight. So so heavy.

Jesus. Come.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Vacation Blessings

A couple months ago I was approached by a married couple with incredible news.  After eating an excellent dinner and enjoying wonderful conversation, the husband calmly began to ask about my summer plans.  I went through a couple ideas I had put in place and basically said the rest was up for grabs.  I know this man well, and he doesn't ask multiple questions without purpose.  Once he set back in his chair thinking, I said, "Ok, I'm guessing you have something you want to say about my summer plans, because you wouldn't be asking multiple questions unless you have an idea."  To my complete and utter shock, this man nonchalantly asked, "So.... what if I knew a guy who wanted to send you and Eli to Disneyland?  How would you feel about that?"

Yes. My mouth dropped open and I froze for a few seconds.

"DISNEYLAND???.... Like California DISNEYLAND?? Well..... that... would be... amazing, "was my reply.  He then began to spill out this amazing blessing that this man wanted to bless us with.  A vacation. A full out vacation for our little family.  I couldn't believe it.  I finally replied, "Well, wow, yes, I mean YES of COURSE we would love to go!!"  He quickly bounced back, "Well...I know a guy who wants to send you both to Disneyland.  You pick the dates and we'll handle travel, hotel, everything.  The park tickets are in my truck."

Wow.  Yes, Jesus just used this INCREDIBLE family to give us a vacation.  Glory. Beauty. Awe.

A few months later, on June 6th, Eli and I began to pack for our vacation.  He knew we were going somewhere, but didn't know where.  It was a "surprise". :)  We board the plane giddy for an adventure. Fly west and land in LAX a few hours later.  My sis and her daughter decided to book a trip out there at the same time so that we could experience something new together!  We took a few days to travel around the city, visit Universal Studies, and finally ended at our hotel room right across the street from Disneyland.  I was THRILLED.  Once Eli knew where we were going, he bounced and bounced and bounced on the bed with excitement.  We rattled off all the Disney characters we were going to see over the next 2 days.  He was squealing with joy.

We rode rides, shook hands and took pictures with characters, walked a lot, enjoyed some good food, and crashed the latest we possibly could on the last night (midnight).  We experienced every piece of that place and enjoyed all of it.  Some of my favorite things Eli kept saying were "MOMMA... IS THIS FOR REAL????"  and "MOMMA I SAW PETER PAN, and and and CAPTAIN HOOK and and and SHMEEEEEEE"  and "MOMMA LOOK... THERE'S MICKEY and GOOFY!!!" I LOVED riding rides next to him. He's never ridden on roller coasters before so it was quite the experience!  He laughed SO much. My niece was such a joy for him as well. They played and rode rides together too.

At the end of the vacation, we boarded the plane to head back home.  It was a long day of travel. I just kept thinking, wow. Wow. Did we really just get to do that together? Did that really just happen?

And all because of one family, who have the most generous of hearts.

See, our Heavenly Father sees what we need WAY before we ever need it.  He KNEW how much we would need that vacation at the end of this school year. He KNEW that we could not afford it, YET he provided. The cool thing is that he used so many people to complete this process.  I'm just reminded tonight, on this Father's Day, that God the Father is just the best daddy anyone can ask for. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He is the provider. And NOTHING is too big for him.

Happy Daddy's Day to my Heavenly Father.

Ready for Takeoff!!

Finally made it!! In the car with my niece Kyla and my sis Jen

Santa Monica Pier, awesome and packed!

Much exhaustion after a long day.


Yummy Farmer's Market

First roller coaster experience!! He hit me in the face a couple times :)

Much calmer, It's a Small World boat ride.

One-on-one with THOR!

Coolest hats ever.

Waving at characters in the parade.

Splash Mountain!! Gonna get WET!

Face painting on a hot day :)

10:45 p.m. and still riding rides!! No.Big.Deal

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

We will cry out, Hallelujah.

So Jesus is just here tonight. In my house. In my heart. He's just here. And he's just so still. I recently found this song on my iTunes that I didn't realize I had. What a find it was. Sons and Daughters: Poor and Powerless.  There is something about soft, still worship music that rocks me to the core. My spirit yearns for Jesus as my husband, my comforter, right now...

School ends tomorrow. And the last couple of days have probably been the hardest I have had since I landed in July last year.  When things get sticky or somewhat uncomfortable for me in life, I usually run to any distraction. Laying out with friends, out to dinner, movies, books, work....name it. I know that Jesus is the only satisfaction in ANY time--uncomfortable or not--but sometimes I don't really want to face the situation.  I want a distraction. Tonight, however, my heart just yearns for him. I want to be victorious.  I want to feel of worth. I want to be strong.  And, He is the only constant one. He is the only one who is just always here.

Camp LIFE started this week in Zambia. And my heart is just so yearning to be in that place. To listen to the roar of children's voices praising Jesus' Holy Name. To watch the American's just pour out unconditional love to all 10 of their children. To stand beside the staff believing for miracles. To pray with volunteers who are just worn down physically but on fire spiritually.  How I just miss that place. I miss those kids, volunteers, and staff members. My heart is just rejoicing with them in this moment--as they are able to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

So far away. So distanced from the face to face. Still believing in the miracles.

A few nuggets floating in my mind tonight as I rest at Jesus' feet:

How unworthy I feel to walk in the shoes Jesus has placed me in; yet, I am the ONLY one he has chosen to walk down this specific path.
I am made for the nations.
I am set apart.
Eli is set apart.
My words, not matter how much doubt I have, are FULL of power.
Believing in the impossible is what I'm made to do.

Isn't it amazing that our King will take us the way we are. Broken, hurting, sinful, angry, frustrated, unforgiving...

He takes us the way we are. And he molds.

Poor and Powerless:

All the poor and powerless
And all the lost and lonely
All the thieves will come confess
And know that You are holy
And know that You are holy

And all will sing out
And we will cry out
All the hearts who are content
And all who feel unworthy
And all who hurt with nothing left
Will know that You are holy

And all will sing out
And we will cry out

Shout it
Go on and scream it from the mountains
Go on and tell it to the masses
That He is God
We will sing out
And we will cry out

Jesus mold me... refine me tonight.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The light at the end of the tunnel

Today marks a very very special day in my heart. In fact, it's probably one of the most unique days in my entire life.  Two years ago today, I met my son Eli and said yes to Jesus in pursuit of the adoption.

May 16, 2012.  The day was breathtaking, unforgettable and one of the best I've ever had.  The first hug. The first look in his eyes. The first laugh together. The first time to play soccer. The first discussion we ever had--both not having any idea what the other was saying. :) The first time I looked at him and said, "YOU, Elijah, are my son."

What an outrageous life transformation we have endured together.

Today also marks the light at the end of the tunnel.  Three weeks from today is the last day of school for the 2013-2014 school year.   An ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR has passed. Woah.  Part of me feels like it's flown by and the other part of me feels like it has taken forever.

I remember reading this blog last year about how moms are the most incredibly school moms in August, September, October, November, but as January continues to April, exhaustion kicks in.  The perfectly put together backpack with the signed behavior log and the most nutritional snack ever becomes a half-zipped bag with a crumpled behavior log and some rice crispy treats.  I totally get that now. I got all the way to Eli's school the other day and he was about to jump out of the car when he said, "Uh Oh." Of course my heart started pounding just a little harder.  I looked back quickly and said "WHAT WHAT??" He said, "Mommy...I forgot my shoes." Oh man. HOW did he get dressed, have breakfast, brush his teeth, get in the car, and drive all the way to school and I didn't even realize he didn't have shoes on. Wow. It's definitely May. Exhaustion has kicked in, and my mind is just a bit fuzzy. :)

As summer approaches, dreams of rest, relaxation, swimming, traveling, and reading are in reach. Jesus is just so amazing too. He knows me so much more than I do.  He has blessed us with several amazing opportunities this summer and all without any of my own attempts.  I am such a humble and blessed daughter of the King.

3 more weeks....

The countdown begins! :)