Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Down For Whatever!

"Hey guys..." I yelled.

"Let's take a funny picture that looks like we're barely surviving without mommy and that all you guys do is EAT!"


Z-Dogg is in the sink with a colander on his head and spaghetti dripping off his glasses... NO QUESTIONS ASKED!

Mebbie is grasping her Lucky Charms box and looking sugary marshamallow comatose!

Meron passes out on the counter with the Honey Nut Cheerios in her hand while gripping the Apple Cider Vinegar!

These guys are down for whatever with me!

And I love it!

And listen...

It ain't too far from the real truth!

All jokes aside - we're surviving with Mommy gone - but I have washed 600 trillion dishes and cooked 4 bazillion meals.

But with this crew? I'd do it over and over and over again... cuz they're the best!

Take your time Mommy... we can do this!

Thanks goofballs - for playing along with your wacko daddy!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Reading Camp Warrior

School starts here in Colorado in exactly 3 weeks.

Yes... 3 weeks!

And that means Z-Dogg will be the 'hood's newest first grader.

This summer he got invited to be part of a reading bootcamp - to prep him to be extraordinary in first grade when it comes to reading.

So this morning we got up early while his sisters snoozed away - walked through the typical pre-school morning prep - and then headed out the door for the first day of reading camp.

He was stoked about it - and I know he's gonna put his best foot forward.

Take no prisoners, Zechie... read, read, READ!!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Created in Christ Jesus to Do Good Works...

Okay - in all seriousness - and no offense to anybody (truly) - this is my favorite mall group bible study crew ever.

Only thing missing was mommy!

When we made the decision to pull out of Awana a while back (for several reasons) we collectively said "We're gonna make a real effort to get something in place to help us work at studying and remembering scripture."

We've just been super slow to launch...

But we changed that today!

With a steady rain pouring down - the time was ripe to grab our bible, our journals and hit Starbucks to kick off our first family memory verse!

We chose Ephesians 2:10 because... well... it just speaks so much truth to our souls.

Truth we desperately need in these weird, odd, freaky, scary hateful times we live in.

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
Simple. To the point. Perfect and true.

We are God's workmanship...

We took some time to all write it down in our journals and kinda pray about it and come up with what we thought it meant.

And then we jumped in and started having a conversation.

These guys were HUNGRY for it man!

The conversation was so good as we dove into what they thought the words meant ("what is workmanship?" and "what does unmerited mean?" [we saw it in a footnote]) and what they thought the application of this verse was for them individually and us as a family.

Honestly - I was kinda blown away by it all!

I mean... I'll stop short of calling it "church" cuz ya know last time I did that I got dragged through the mud for 8 months by "church leadership" so... oh heck... no I won't...

This was the BEST Church we could have had today!

Yeah... I said it.

Take that - silly "leaders"

Even Z-Dogg got in on it and spent a good chunk of time copying the verse down in his journal!

We wrapped it up with each of us reading the verse out loud and then closed in prayer.

We committed to working all week together to try and recite it every day and lock it in to our memory and our hearts!

I am so proud of these guys - my favorite little crew of bible study folks.

Not only were they willing and engaged - they were the ones pushing it!

Lord... work in us and draw us near so we may bring honor and glory to You in all we say and all we do...

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Daddy... do you know my birthmother?

I never know when the questions might come from these three right here - but I know they exist - right there under the surface - looking for an opening to come out and get some insight.

And while I may not know when they're coming - I know they MATTER - so I have prayed for YEARS about them - asking God's words to flow through me when they do come.

And last night... they came.

We were driving - all in the van - and conversations about race, strength, all these goofballs had overcome in their lives already - gave the questions just the little crack they needed to come flooding out...

"Daddy... tell me again about how that police officer named me?"


"Daddy... you okay?"

No. I mean yes... but no.

I couldn't talk from the lump in my throat and the single tear rolling down my cheek.

Meron saw it.

"Awww Daddy... it's okay..." she said.

Their stories are so hard. So raw. So real. So full of redemption, grace and His undying love.

They get me every single time.

But it didn't stop there...

"Daddy... what happened to my birth father? And how many Ethiopian brothers and sisters do I have?"

No pain in their voices - just curiosity.

More tears. I'm weak in this space.

I'll admit it... when the Holy Spirit is present - I find myself weeping.

And the Holy Spirit was all kinds of present.

Answers through tears... more discussions.

Some laughter. Some more tears.

Then a small voice from the far back seat of the van...

"Daddy... did you know MY birth mother?"

These kids are some of the strongest human beings I have ever, ever met.

Their stories are theirs and theirs alone - to share or not to share... at their pace. In their own time.

But I'll tell ya this... I'll never stop telling them how beautiful their stories are and how full of God's love they are.

Just HOW loved by their Creator that they are.

We pulled into the garage and the girls hopped out and headed in.

I saw Z-Dogg was moving slow while wiping his glasses and then I heard the sobs...

I snatched him up and hugged him and said:

"Bubba... what is it? You can tell me anything..."

And he whispered in my ears through deep, chest heaving sobs:

"I just wish I had gotten to know my brother Brighton."


More tears on my cheeks. Me too, Zechie... me too.

Adoption is beautiful. Like - to the core - beautiful.

But it ain't always easy.

I fully believe it's a redemption plan He built for a fallen world - so I lean on Him with full faith when these hard questions arise.

And I do my best to point to the beauty in the brokenness of it all.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Ewwww. I'm stuck between two dark people...

The girls have been regular swimmers at the YMCA this summer and they LOVE it. They're really a couple of fish.

But when they came out of the locker room today after my quick treadmill run - something seemed off.

"How was swimming?" I asked 'em...

Meron was quick to respond:

"It was great except for the girl who made a racist comment about us."
Whoa... pump the brakes...


She went on to explain that about 20 minutes in to swimming, they climbed out to get in line for the slide - and a girl was in between Mebbie and Meron. This girl looked at them both - then turned and looked right at Mebbie and said:

"Ewwww. I'm stuck between two dark people."

It was all I could do to maintain my composure.

"Take me to her," I said.

They tried but we couldn't find her - it looked like her and her mom had left.

I shared the details with the front desk - but with little they could do - we left to head home.

Meron was MAD.

Mebbie was HURT.

Zechie was UPSET that somebody hurt his sisters.

And me? Well I was waffling between wanting to cry at the shameful place our country has become and wanting to punch things.

And in it all... here is why I love my crew so much.

We jumped in the van and had THE ABSOLUTE BEST conversation ever.

Real stuff. Tears. Anger. Authenticity.

I know my kids' feelings well because they feel free and safe to share them.

And they know their daddy ain't taking crap from anybody when it comes to them.

When I posted earlier this year after we had some similar comments during an incident at the school - I had some people argue pretty strongly that "racism wasn't any worse these days." That it's "not just against black or brown people." All kinds of disgusting white privilege arguments.

I wish they knew how stupid they sound.

The leaders of our country have empowered and awakened a sleeping giant called racism. They have given it the confidence to remove its "hood" and be loud and proud with the hate and superior white privilege complex that is running rampant in our country these days.

And if you don't see it - you are willfully ignorant.

Ultimately - this girl here is who i was most concerned with. She was quiet as we headed out to grab dinner... close to tears it seemed.

We chatted a lot - and when I asked her how it made her feel she said:
"Why would she say that? She made me feel so less and so not worth anything..."
Tonight - after we watched a movie as a whole crew (and I fell asleep in between my beautiful brown children - no "ewww" involved)... I made the signs up there and showed them to Mebbie.

"What do you think?" I asked her.

"It's perfect daddy," she said. "And it's true. I AM stronger than that."

And she is. All of them are.

I stand in awe of all they have overcome and all they continue to stare down and do it with grace and humility and strength.

Some people are like "Dude... Tymm... yo talk about race and racism a lot..."

And to that I say: "Yep. And I'll keep talking til it's no longer a relevant subject with anything left to talk about..."

And P.S.A. for anybody inclined to show their true self to my kids, my self or my family in any manner... we're calling folks like you out. So stop being racists.

Racism still sucks...

Thursday, July 12, 2018

There She Goes Again...

Pajamas on and everybody snoozing as we head back from Denver at midnight can only mean one thing...

We just dropped mommy off for the first flight of her trip to Ethiopia!

10 years of going to Ethiopia annually (multiple times a year) and we're still going strong!

Will you join us in covering Laura in prayer as she travels and as she is in-country hanging with some of the best humans on the planet?

And this crew right here - we miss mommy BIG TIME when she's gone.

But we couldn't be any more proud of her and the heart she has for Ethiopia and people all over!

We can't wait to hear all about the kids, our friends and how the new school is coming along!

Godspeed, mommy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Always and Forever...

Just a little reminder that this here statement?

It's the truth... always and forever!

Seems like now more than ever - we need to declare this and declare it LOUDLY and BOLDLY - as our country seems to have lost its ever-loving mind!

And while this may be one of the first posts without the goofballs in it... it was worth it to drive home the point of where we stand as a family.

Wanna show where you stand too?

My friend Tasha sells these shirts over here: www.yepracismsucks.com

So go scoop ya one or two of your own!

I know our whole family is gonna get some here soon...

I get lots of head nods, hand shakes and "Yep, it sure does" comments when I wear this around town.

So let's keep the conversation going because...

Always and Forever... RACISM SUCKS.