Thursday, January 31, 2013

Sleep vs. Ice Cream

Ice cream wins every single time... though sleep crept in for a close second not too long after this!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Beats By Meron

She wanted to listen to some Lecrae on my iPod...

And she was looking mighty cute doing it!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Africa In Her

Mebbie has her African roots deep-seeded in her. More so than Meron. Don't get me wrong - Meron knows where she was born and she loves her some Africa. But with Mebbie - it's a deeper part of her.

Over the weekend she was getting dressed and I heard her rummaging through some boxes in her room. She came out and said:

"Daddy - theres this African shirt in my room. I wish I could wear it."
She had found one of the outfits we had purchased on one of our trips over there and tucked away. It was kinda small... but the look on her face told me we had to try...

We struggled to get it over her head - at one point she even said:
"I don't think it's gonna work Daddy..."
And I heard the disappointment in her tone.

I said "Come on girl - we can get this over this big ole beautiful hair..."

And we pushed and pulled (Meron even helped)... and then it was on. And she was BEAMING.

She wore it all day and as we undressed and climbed into our jammies - she handed me the shirt and said:
"I wish I could wear it to bed. I wish I could wear it all the time."
Sweet girl - I LOVE that you love Africa. We promise to make sure and support that love forever Mebbie...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Celebrating Mommy!

Tonight we got to go have a big ole birthday celebration dinner for the best mommy, wife, friend and person I know!

And true to mommy's fashion - she picked a restaurant that gave FREE dinner to birthday girls (score!)...

She got some serious snuggling from the girls - who were so excited to give her the presents they picked out. From Meron it was a new long sleeve running shirt...

And Mebbie picked her out an extra super dope colorful scarf...

But none of that stuff meant nearly as much to mommy as these hugs did. She couldn't stop.

Happy birthday Laura - I hope you know how much you mean to us - we thank God every single day for you and are blessed to be doing life as part of this team with you!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Mommy's Home!

After a weekend away with friends at a conference to re-energize, rejuvenate and refocus her heart, mind and soul on adoption and orphan care... MOMMY IS BACK HOME!

We are always so excited for her to go to this retreat - but even MORE excited to see her arrive back.

Thank you God for a mommy and best friend who cares about what You care about - and for a weekend to remind me how much she is needed around here!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wigs and His Word

The girls have been nailing their scripture memory lately - I am floored and inspired. All I did was hold up a flash card with a visual of some sort on the front and they dropped knowledge...

This morning - we threw on some wigs - and got busy reciting!

They gut-checked me because I am in a class right now that involves a lot of scripture memorization and I have been less than stellar at it.

Way to go girls!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Time and Wounds and Healing

I don't think it's true what they say about time healing all wounds. I really don't. Oh sure - time heals some wounds. Physical ones heal and go away, some not even leaving a scar. Psychological and emotional ones can take longer but time still does its magic on them.

But what about the ones we prayed for? I mean - longingly poured our hearts out for and asked to have? I don't think time heals those. And maybe it shouldn't.

5 years ago this month our son, Brighton Asher, went home to Heaven. And left a gaping hole in our hearts that precious little can fill. Sure - it gets a little easier to talk about him - but I can still lose it like it was yesterday (ask anybody who was at our 5k race last fall).

But here's the kicker - I ASKED for this. This weight. This pain. This daily struggle I have. Because yes - 5 years ago my son passed away before we could hold him and love on him. But 6 YEARS AGO I spent almost every single one of my runs praying my mind out to God asking Him this, over and over and over:

"God... break my heart for what breaks yours. Break it and then use me..."
I did not expect and could have never have scripted what was to follow.

But the truth is... I don't think I'd change a thing.

Oh sure... I LONG to toss a ball with Brighton, take him running, teach him to ride a bike, throw him up on my shoulders, tickle him, pick him up when he falls, treat him to Yogli Mogli, teach him about God... and it hurts bad - almost daily - to know I'll never do that this side of Heaven.

But the flip side of this - the thing I glimpse every now and then when I let my broken heart sneak out from underneath the weight of a lost son - is that I have gotten to know the nature of God. I have gotten to know Him in ways I couldn't have ever imagined. I've experienced Him in pain and in the sorrow that fills His heart. But mostly in His redemptive healing.

The outcome of a simple and unassuming prayer 6 years ago now has me spending every single January filled with a cornucopia of emotions from pain, confusion and sorrow to happiness, joy and gratefulness.

But mostly... mostly I find myself reflecting on God. My savior. A savior who knows what it's like to lose a son.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chop Chop Chop

Meron went in today for a hair cut... apparently it was pretty needed (says the people around here with hair).

I guess she had told Laura she was worried Daddy wouldn't like it cuz she knows how "daddy likes my long hair."

She couldn't have been more wrong - i LOVE it! She was so excited to show me when I got home. She met me halfway up the stairs and just flung herself off the steps into my arms...

I made sure she knew and understood that her beauty has NOTHING to do with her hair and everything to do with the incredibly gorgeous heart God built her body around.

I also let her know i LOVED her hair.

No matter the style Meron - this daddy will ALWAYS think you and your sister are the most beautiful things on this planet!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Big Advice. Little People. - Session 1

Business and life advice from the little people...

Thanks Mebbie!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

All Ham, Hold The Cheese

I wish I could somehow capture this girl's sense of humor for ya here. She is a complete hoot. A total ham (and she doesn't like cheese...)

Mebbie girl - don't you EVER change! Your smile keeps us laughing almost nonstop...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Call Me Maybe (the Duet)

Meron and Maddie busted out an impromptu duet for us at Christmas this year.
Rock on girls...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sleeping In Class

The other day Laura was using a video on Africa to teach the girls some stuff about gorillas. I came up from my office to find this...


Mid-day snoozer in class? Sign me up!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stay In The Know!

We usually don't talk too awful much about Brighton Their World on here cuz we don't wanna come off pushy, annoying and all that - but wanted to let ya know if ya wanna stay in the know - we're trying to launch our email newsletter this year and be a bit better about communicating! Fill out the form below to stay on our radar!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Off Her Meds

What's got Mebbie smiling so big? That piece of paper - that's what. For the last almost year and a half Mebrate has had to take some medicine with applesauce every morning in front of a state-sanctioned witness. And she has been a TROOPER about it.

See when she first came home - she was testing positive on a skin test for TB - but her chest x-rays were clean as can be. Well - apparently the state health departments don't mess around with that and we realized quick what we would have to do... give Mebbie some medicine once a day - monitored by the state - for over a year.

But today... today we are DONE! And that piece of paper she's holding is our proof! About a month ago I said something to Mebbie about it almost being done - and bless her little heart - she said:

"I am so happy because that stuff tastes so bad."
Here she had been taking it for over a year and had NEVER once complained about it. Such a tough little girl...

Tonight when we announced it was over - her sister who has been a big cheerleader and champion for her by eating plain applesauce with her every morning (way to sacrifice for family there Meron!) proclaimed:
"YAY!! No more health department!"
You can say that again Meron - but I know the ladies working there are gonna miss you guys.

Mebbie was so pumped she had to share it with Clay Bear as well!

Mebrate - we are so proud of how you handled this baby girl! You continue to amaze us day by day!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Whoop! Hair It Is...

Whoop! Hair it is. 'Nuff said...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Getting Schooled

School is in full effect round these parts and it's fun when the girls get to give me updates on what they're learning... last week - it was igloos, ice and all things cold.

They learned that some penguins are 4 feet tall and can weigh 90 pounds (what the...?) and the got to make some edible igloos out of giant marshmallows.

They both gave it all a thumbs up!

Keep up the great work girls - and that includes YOU mommy!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My Crazy Crew

Man... I can't tell ya how much I love this crew...

They are all nutty as can be and fearfully and wonderfully made to be part of this family!

Thanks, God.

Monday, January 14, 2013

This Little Light of His

Can I just brag on our girl Mebbie for a second? I mean seriously - look at that smile. That face. Those eyes.

This is how our baby girl looks 99% of the time! She is always smiling. Always laughing. Always bringing gobs of joy wherever she goes.

She inspires me. She makes me smile. She makes me forget all the stress, the drama, the hardships... all of it.

I'm so, so, so thankful to God that He shared this little light of His with us. You bless us daily Mebbie... you bless us daily!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Our Little Super Hero

Yesterday Meron was gonna go on a series of errands with me and she came out of her room after dressing herself in all black - head to toe. She said:

"You know I like to look fancy!"
And she did, yes... but I thought she looked more like an action hero... black outfit, head to toe. Bright red "hammer weapon.."

Some SERIOUS action hero boots...

a DEAD SERIOUS action figure stare... that when coupled with her action hero super powers...

turned straight up MANIACAL!

I think she was loving the idea of it as she struck poses left and right...

Meron - you'll ALWAYS be a super hero action hero in my book girl!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

ATL Hawks Boogie

Pretty sure Mebbie had a BLAST at her first Hawks game...

Save some energy Mebski Love! There'll be more!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Hoop Dreams

Thanks to some super awesome friends, the girls got to watch their first Atlanta Hawks basketball game from a sweet suite! It was great!

They loved it - they cheered, ate, played and danced their heads off...

And by the time we made it home...

You'd have thought they actually played in the game! They were spent...

Thanks God - for friends who make fun, spontaneous things like this possible!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Won't Stop

My little 4 year old won't stop growing up!

Slow your grow Mebbie!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Face Time

Meron had her very first face time experience the other night...

So what it was from directly across the table! Don't tell her that's not how it's supposed to work...

Well done Meron... well done!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Mommy School

Pardon the low-res phone picture - but had to show the early evening results of mommy-school!

Mommy is working 'em! Get that rest Meron - cuz Mommy ain't letting up!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Bye Bye Ballet

Well - for the time being at least - Meron has hung up the tutus and dance shoes and pulled on the gym leotard. She started her first gymnastics class today and was PUMPED!

there was stretching...

some practice gripping a bar while on the ground...

some practice gripping a bar while OFF the ground!

And even some balance work.

I was driving out of the neighborhood to go run when I passed them coming home. We chatted for a second and she was EXCITED! I called her to continue our conversation and she said:

"You know what I want? I wish you could come sometime."
Oh I will baby girl. I will for sure.

Super proud of you Meron!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Heartbeat

If my heartbeat were to be captured on film... it'd look a little something like this.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A Big and Powerful God

We serve a big and powerful God. It's true. We do. Check it out... 2 years ago I met an incredible man of God in Rwanda named Jean Claude. He taught me a TON about forgiveness and revealed some of God's nature to me through his life and his works.

I started praying for him and his ministry in Rwanda. Last June we took another team back to Rwanda - and though Jean Claude's ministry wasn't on our agenda - I managed to get us a dinner with him just so our team could meet this guy. And we still kept praying for the right hearts to be moved for him.

Today - he sat in my living room with my family - here in America because some hearts on that team weren't just moved to care - but moved to ACT!

We worked with him today to capture the essence of his story and how God has worked in him. Can't wait for the finished product on this one.

After naps for a few of us - we headed out to meet some other members of that June team for dinner. Getting together with mission team members is like falling right back in to relationship with family. It was a great night...

We wrapped it up with some heartfelt prayer in a big ole circle right outside the restaurant doors.

Sometimes - while in the field - I question the time away from my family and whether it is worth it or what God wants and expects from me. Nights like tonight erase ALL doubt from my mind. We were all made for this.

We serve a big and powerful God. Indeed.