Sunday, January 9, 2022


{after a few years hiatus, I decided to just write when inspiration strikes, so here ya go!}

Our pastor preached on these verses this morning (with my picture above) and it was such a good reminder of who God is - and what our response in worship should be! The illustrations of an iceberg and the Grand Canyon were used in the sermon, but Hampton leaned over to me and said, “more like Mammoth cave”. And it was like a "mic drop" in my brain! Perfect.

The Mammoth cave system has over 400 miles of excavated, explores caves & tunnels. It’s the largest cave system in the world. AND YET - experts estimate that there are 600+ more miles of undiscovered, uncharted caves & tunnels in that system alone! There's SO much more than meets the eye, so much that is completely unsearchable, unknowable.

In the same way, the depth of the riches & wisdom & knowledge of God are SO MUCH MORE than what we see. What comfort! What joy! What peace!!

Knowing what I know about God, what He's done & who He has revealed Himself to be - then, reflecting on how much I don't know leads me to AWE and worship and faith. HE IS SO MUCH BIGGER. HIS WAYS ARE SO MUCH HIGHER. He is infinitely MORE than what we can even imagine.

For further study: (from our pastor) Daniel 2:20-22, Job, Revelation 5:11-14; also Isaiah 55:8-9, Ephesians 3:20-21

Friday, October 12, 2018

say her name

Part of our morning routine is changing the date on our menu planning calendar board...this morning as Luke moved the slider over, I casually mentioned that it was his biggest sister's birthday in heaven and she was celebrating with Jesus today.

He asked, "what's her name?"

It was such a simple and profound question. We've talked about our girls before, but Luke is finally getting to the age of starting to understand these more complex matters of life and death. And it makes my heart swell with joy to hear him say her name.

"Her name is Joanna...she lives with Jesus now."
"my sister, Joanna" (and some more complicated conversation followed...)

Saying her name out loud and hearing others say it reminds me that she LIVED. She had a short, abundant, beautiful life and then was swept away for eternity with her King.

Happy Birthday, sweet Joanna!

Friday, February 9, 2018

emotional days...

Feeling emotional today for a number of reasons, so I decided to write about it. Certain times of the year can be more sentimental or emotional than others and sometimes those emotions sneak up on me and hit me hard. 

This morning I read Isaiah 10:5-34. Check it out for yourself. Not exactly the most inspirational passage. But it does teach us something incredible about God. He is sovereign and He is powerful and He is in control. Nothing happens without God moving or approving. And this gives me comfort on an emotional day when this broken, sinful world and the consequences of that sin are affecting everyone - big or small, black or white, young or old. 

Everyone feels the effects of sin in the world. Sickness, natural disasters, drought, famine, war, oppression, the list goes on and on...and it can be frustrating and lead to bitter, angry thoughts. Or it can remind us of our own personal sin (the list is long here, as well) and draw us closer to the God who forgives, the God who created, the God who loves, the God who gives. 

God gives us so much in this broken world. The beauty that we see around us in nature, the blessings of parenthood and marriage, so many gifts and talents for service and worship. We are infinitely blessed with His wisdom and love and grace and mercy.

Today is an emotional day, maybe you’ve had those too. Don’t let it take over who you are. Don’t let it define you. Remember your identity in Christ. Remember who He is.

Because this world is broken, find your peace, your rest, your joy, your satisfaction, in Christ alone. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Saying YES to #3

Did you guess by the title??

We are amazed and surprised and so blessed to announce that we are adopting a baby girl! Yes, another baby. Yes, another newborn. Yes, a girl. Yes, yes, yes.

In Part 2 of Seth's story, I mentioned being obedient to God and saying yes when we felt His peace. That's what we are doing here. It's an absolute step of faith and desire to be obedient in response to God's amazing grace and mercy in our lives.

Let me answer the big question:
**WHY NOW? Why would we adopt another newborn baby at this time, right after adopting Seth?

We are saying YES to this baby girl because that's what we feel led by God to do. We don't feel obligated, we feel peace. We don't feel like we are "rescuing her", we feel like she is part of God's plan to rescue us from ourselves, from our natural bent towards selfishness and self-centered living. God knew about this baby, just like He knew Joanna, Rita, Luke, and Seth - before they were born, when they were being fearfully and wonderfully made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth (Psalm 139).

Baby girl's birthmother requested us specifically. Her birthmother is Luke's birthmother. Yep, Baby Girl is Luke's birthsister. And that's an amazing reason for us to say yes - to give Luke a link to his birth family, to provide opportunities to minister to this birthmother, to give another baby a loving home with her very own brother.

Some facts about adoption #3:
   *Baby Girl was born on July 13 (Hampton's birthday, so cool!), don't know birth weight yet
   *Our social worker told us about Baby Girl on Friday, July 17
   *We prayed and talked to a couple of advisors/mentors in our lives, then we said YES on Saturday
   *Baby Girl is currently staying with the same foster family that had Luke for a few weeks before we adopted him (such a great connection with their family!!)
   *We are waiting on paperwork and hoping placement will happen this week!
   *If you haven't figured it out by all of the "Baby Girl" references, we do NOT have a name yet :)

You may be thinking: those McClendons are CRAZY. Nope, just normal people following Jesus.

You may be thinking: how are they going to handle three kids under three years old? With lots of prayer, and many humble calls to family and friends.

You may be thinking: Wow, they are going to have their hands full! Yep, hands full of AWESOME.

Seriously, guys. We are so BLESSED. We have always wanted a big family, and we have always wanted to adopt. God is doing such a work in our lives through these "crazy" circumstances. However, we pray that when the world sees our family, they don't see "crazy" - they see the gospel.

To truly understand what God has done for us is to understand 
the heart of adoption. As believers in Christ, as followers of Jesus, 
we are adopted into His family. 

"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of ADOPTION as sons, by whom we cry, 'Abba! Father!' The spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs - heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him." ~Romans 8:14-17

Friday, July 24, 2015

Picture Story

God really does amaze me all the time. Not just in the big stuff, but in the everyday-look-at-My-sovereignty-and-LOVE-and-GRACE stuff. He is so good.

Here are some pictures of Seth!

Our first meeting!

Getting to know Daddy!

"Cute as a Bug!" Even with an ng tube and monitors!

Posing in his sleep

First day without ng tube (first day WITH g-tube)

Discharge Day! Thanks T family for driving us from the hospital!

Big brother, meet little bother!

"I'm going to be an awesome, awesome, awesome big brother!"

"What?? I can't get in the swimming pool with my big brother??!!"

"I'm thinking about becoming a doctor, just like Daddy."

Maybe not.

Swinging outdoors!
"Oh Hi mom! Just having a little tummy time here."


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