Favorite Things Monday: Unorthodox Crazy and Celebrations

Monday came with a wild and crazy to-do list. But first things first. There are Favorite Things to talk about.

It is, as my husband calls it “unorthodox crazy” season in the Ortiz home. We may have a normal crazy but there is a rhythm to it. The last…however long this has been, has been outside our normal rhythm. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We got one more week to go. We got this! Then it’s date night. Thank the good Lord, date night is coming!

I don’t think there was a single normal day all week last week. The weekend was full! Complete with a soccer tournament for our Bruisers and a freakish and dumb late April cold front. We are already back to warm and normal, looking at summer knowing it’s gonna be a hot one. I don’t even care. That cold was LAME!

This week has me in the final bit of message prep for Sunday and the home stretch of unorthodox crazy. We are Team Ortiz. We got this!

Last week brought adoption celebrations and the end of a long, hard and scary road. It was an incredible joy to stand behind the Kopetic’s as Emerie officially joined their family.

I know that not every prayer for an adoption is answered the way we want. I know that it is an incredibly difficult and hard fought road. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to have a child in your home, to love and fight for them and then have them leave. Those of you in foster care are the real MVP. You put your feelings aside and love big because that child needs it. Whether it is for a day, six weeks or 2 years… you decide that them being safe and loved in your home is greater than what it costs you to love them.

I can tell you that if the Kopetic’s hadn’t had the opportunity to adopt Emerie, we would have grieved hard with them. The two years of praying for this little girl and her family wouldn’t have been wasted and we would continue to pray for this little girl and trust her life in the hands of the God who formed her and created her and calls her.

We are overwhelmed and grateful for the outcome. We got to celebrate her life and her official new family.

There was no wasting time. She was legally adopted on Wednesday and her family had her dedicated on Sunday. That goes down as one of my favorite moments. Ray had me pray and while that was surprising, I was so glad I got to. As I was praying for this family, the little miracle we had been praying for reached over and laid her little hand on mine mid-prayer.

And I lost it. That was so special.

There are a lot of things I don’t have an answer for. There is a lot of pain that I can’t explain. Then sometimes, we get a giant reminder of how God builds a family. I don’t just mean for this family, but how this has affected our whole church family. Because “it is amazing what God can do with a family if we let Him”. He showed off this week and we are forever marked by it.

 

 

 

Favorite Things Monday: Post Easter Edition

This is why I never miss a Monday. I miss one week, ONE LITTLE WEEK, and I had to go back to look at what I wrote a whole two weeks ago. Why? Because it has been 14 days and what feels like a year. It’s been a bit crazy. The kind of crazy where Ray and I quit mentioning that it has been a busy week and just call it a season. That season? It’s called “spring”, apparently. Summer is coming. I make no promises.

It’s all a giant whirlwind. Easter Sunday has come and gone. We celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus every week. It’s what we live in light of and because of, every day. What makes Easter Sunday so special? Churches around the world celebrate it on the same day. There is a unique level of unity on Easter Sunday. As believers, we always have reason to celebrate. There is always a reason to hope in the face life. When life feels like on giant Friday…the grief, the loss, pain, the inability to see beyond the horror in front of you, the confusion… we remember that there are Friday’s…but Sunday is always coming.

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This week, we managed to take a deep breath in the midst of all the crazy. I have totally gotten over how crazy it makes me sound. A good Saturday morning run is the best way to start a Saturday. Friends, running, good conversation or silence because you are still half asleep…it doesn’t matter, I am always grateful.

Then Saturday lunch happened. A few weren’t able to make it and some last minute but the scheduled time to celebrate Erica was good for all of us. Good food, great friends and a couple of hours on a Saturday together was a combo that I swear makes me a better person. The second picture is from Easter Sunday, after service. I love these people!IMG_1887 IMG_1917

 

We got to celebrate Mark and Kathryne this weekend A beautiful outdoor wedding…and the cutest little flower girl you have ever seen. We loved the chance to see and catch up with people we love but don’t get to see anywhere near as often as we would like. And can we talk about how beautiful Kathryne is? Seriously.

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I love how the little one was all dolled up on Friday, than ran all over the soccer field the next morning. I don’t deny it. I absolute adore the combination of fancy and athlete. #Bruisers

Lastly…and certainly not least. These people should have their own post. It’s been one of the hardest months for some of our favorite people. When you have known people for as long as we have known Tracy and Anthony, you see the details. I have seen them hurt and tired, discouraged and overwhelmed. I say that to say, I have seen them walk hard roads before. I have seen them hold on to Jesus and we have rejoiced at just how good and faithful our God is. 13 years of life with these people and this season is unlike anything I have seen them walk. Our dear friend and youth pastor has been in a whole lot of pain and his incredible wife ready for answers and to have her husband back. We are grateful that Anthony was able to be at church on Easter Sunday.

Pray for our Kendig’s!

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Anthony has a neurologist appointment on Wednesday. His original appointment wouldn’t have been for another week. That folks, is way too long to have to wait in the pain he has been in. We know that God is in the business of miracles. With their ER visit alone, they were given more answers than most get in that short amount of time. We ask that you join us in praying for them.

 

Ending out this post with the reminder of Easter. That there are Friday’s and sometimes they seem to last a whole lot longer than we imagined. Do not lose hope. Sunday is coming!

 

 

 

 

Favorite Things Monday: Bossy Bossy Edition

I have expressed my bossy feelings here before. Certain worship songs make me super bossy. This week was one full of all sorts of reasons to be bossy. I knew when I saw the words “new album by Rita Springer” I was totally done for. I was right. The timing was perfect. I needed some fighting worship music for this week.

As a church family we had one giant prayer answered. It has been a giant, heart gripping, desperate, prayer covered, only God can kind of long road. We have been relieved, lost hope in systems and have watched God’s favor. We have wondered, feared, prayed and when there was nothing to do but pray we prayed some more. One family invited us in for every step of the journey and we all got to see God move because they invited us in. That means that I laughed, threw my head back and cried and thanked Jesus when my phone went off last week. It’s amazing how God knits a church family. Never underestimate it.

As a church family, we are praying for our dear friend. We are thanking God for clear test results but there is a huge question mark hanging. We are grateful there was nothing to find, but we want our friend back to healthy. We have prayed and prayed and we continue to do just that.

These are just two examples. We can get lost in the weight of life so easily. It’s hard. It’s really really hard.The weight is real. The pain is real. It has been a week all across the board.

I am constantly reminded how God works in these crazy suddenly moments. It often feels like the road to suddenly is a long one. Sometimes it’s not but when the road seems long, I know that I, like most people need the reminder.

So back to the music. I needed a bossy worship anthem. I rested in the fact that every battle is the Lord’s. He fights for me, defends me, is my security and my hope.