chosen and madly loved

Hey, friends. I hope you’re all doing so well and are blessed in every way.

It’s been a while since I’ve shared here. The last few months have been a season of the Father’s richest blessings. A purposeful time of laying low, pausing to remember what matters the most to me in this life, letting go and holding close, making beautiful memories through the holiday season, focusing on my most precious family, and pouring so much love and time into our beautiful new addition to our family.

Yes, God has been so, so good to us. Truly, sometimes I just don’t even know how to express our gratitude for this journey that, by His unfathomable grace, we get to walk every single day.

Way back in 2006, while we were in China adopting our beautiful Hannah-Claire, God changed us from the inside out. The things that were once so important to us, instantaneously felt so meaningless.  The things that we once held onto for dear life, all of a sudden felt utterly trivial. Life took on new meaning and purpose that day they placed a sweet three-year-old girl, who suddenly was no longer an orphan, into our arms.

And through our tears and our gratitude and with hearts shattered into a million pieces for the countless orphans who had touched us so deeply and moved us in a way we had never experienced, we prayed a prayer that day and we meant it with everything that we had.

“If ever you call us again, Lord, our answer will be yes.”

Yes…even when it makes zero sense to the rest of the world. We live to please One!

Yes…even when life is already busy.

Yes…even when it’s not in our perfect timing. He is always right on time.

Yes…when in spite of our innumerable shortcomings and failures and feelings of inadequacy, He would still choose to use our willing hearts.

Because a whispered, sincere, life-changing “yes” prayed with faith so much smaller than a mustard seed can change everything–for us and for them.

Last summer, when we least expected it, the Lord blessed us with a precious, most amazing gift from heaven.

She’s the youngest blessing in the Salem house and is an absolute delight. She is deeply loved and so very treasured and has filled our home with endless chatter, giggles, hugs and joy indescribable. She’s the darling little sister whom God knew Harper needed–inseparable, joyful, playful, and so precious together.

This month she finally became Hunter Lillian Salem and no words can ever express our love and thankfulness for this child. She just makes life so much sweeter and lovelier.

Her past in His hands. Her future in His hands. Hearts in His hands. She is loved and prayed for by many, and we feel honored to be a part of her unfolding story. He makes all things beautiful in His time.

Grateful for grace.

Grateful for new tender mercies every morning.

Grateful for the absolute honor and the privilege that it is to be their mom.