Saturday, December 10, 2016

New Chapter

Hey everyone!

Thank you so much for following our blog and the adventure we've been on. Here's a link to our newest chapter and it's exciting!

much love,
the petersons

Monday, September 12, 2016


So people, I don't even want to know how long its been since I wrote last. Let's just say it's been a while. Life can get crazy and it got away from me, but honestly it's more than that.

Somehow I bought into silence.

I bought into the 'you have nothing to say' and 'you sound stupid' and 'you feel too much'.

All the lies silence loves to spread.

Silence spreads conformity and uses comparison to get you to listen. Silence loves perfection and tells you that anything less isn't worth bringing to the table.

I've been pretty wrapped up in silence. Wrapped up in the not good enoughs and the never gonna get theres.

I've felt His push though.

To not listen, to not agree, to keep writing. No matter how imperfect or messy it might be. To not care what anyone may say or think. To let go of silence and perfection and self-judgment.

And I wish I could say that I listened.

I've had times where I've been quick to hear and quick to obey, but not this time.

Agreeing with silence is easy. It requires no courage or strength.

 I've hid because it's easy.

Then today.

He did as he does.

I asked him "What are you trying to do?" and he said " I'm trying to get you to move."


I saw in my mind a picture of me glued to the ground like a heavy rock and I saw God trying to push me, but I refused to budge.


And that's where I've been.
Refusing to budge.
Too scared to fail, to not be enough, to look like an idiot,

But then I saw myself running, leaping, jumping and charging forward without fear.

And there it is. Again. A choice. I get to decide.

Deuteronomy 30:19 says "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!"

What is it that I want?

Is it to work with the one who writes destiny on my life or is it to go my own way and cower in fear?

Really the only thing that he requires from me is a "yes."

It doesn't have to be brave or bold or full of confidence. It just has to be said. Yes.

So tonight after months of refusing I say God forgive me. For my pride and fear and apathy. I say yes God. You know my heart. My yes is for you. Take it and make something beautiful.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Rocks of Guilt

China is on my mind a lot.

It's a strange part of my identity and I'm not sure where it fits.

For me it's a piece of my identity, but for my children it's who they are. 

China is their America.

Caleb, our sweet little 5 year old literally mentions China everyday, even after a year and three months. 

I don't know how to process that. I want to fix it and somehow make it a happy thing that we left China.......

I can't do that though. 

We have been so blessed to be able to be apart of the homeschool co-op here at the (YWAM) base. Sydney has a teacher that is getting trained in how to debrief children who have lived overseas or who have experienced massive amounts of change/loss (like all YWAM kids do). This week she did a grief and loss time during class. 

Sydney's teacher took the kids through something where they could identify where they were in the process of grief and gave them language to put words to those emotions.

She described different places like Reality Mountain, Fog of Confusion. Swamp of Sadness, Volcano of Anger, Fearful Forest, Rocks of Guilt, Hills of Change, Desert of Loneliness and Springs of New Hope. 

Amazing language to give to kids and maybe good language for adults too......  

I think the best thing Sydney's teacher did was give the kids permission to be sad.

She encouraged us parents that this was an open door for us to talk with our kids about this stuff and to help them process the journey that they're on. 

When Sydney came home for lunch it was the perfect opportunity to talk with her. Matt and I started asking questions about how her time had gone. Her teacher had told us that she felt like she was at the Volcano of Anger. As we talked and asked her why she felt like she was in that place she started to cry. It was quiet tears that fell and she was trying so hard to hold them in. 

And then she told us "I'm angry that we left China and I'm angry it was so sudden. I was happy there, I didn't want to leave."


I had to hold back full on weeping. 

We were shocked. We had no idea that she felt this way. And this was coming from the kid that tells me everything. 

I felt so heartbroken for her and I felt heartbroken for us.  

Because, as we told her, leaving was sudden for even the adults in the family. We were shocked that we weren't going back and we didn't really know that untill we were in the States.

We talked with our baby, we held her, and we cried over the losses that we were all feeling. 

I've taken a very people-pleasing approach to healing. In my mind I've thought if people get it or understand than I'm worthy of ____________. 

When it comes to cross-cultural transition most people don't get it and after a year and three months most people would think 'time to move on, right??'. 

Well I've thought that I moved on, even though every time my babies talk about China it pricks my heart. I really thought that I had it under control until my sweet Sydney had those quiet tears running down her cheeks. It brought all my own grief to the surface. 

Whether I feel worthy to process it or not, it's there. 

It is so much easier to keep all the yuck buried. Facing it means I have to face those Rocks of Guilt that I carry. 

So much guilt, or really it might be more like Shame. 

I could go into that more, but I don't think I'm ready. 

I wonder where God is in all of this. What does he see, what does he know, what does he think? Is he disappointed in me?

If I were to ask Sydney that question, she would confidently say 'He's not disappointed in you'.

And she would be so right. I know He wants to take those Rocks of Guilt off my hands, but right now I don't know how to let him do that.

But, I know that the story doesn't end here. 

When we were talking to Sydney and while trying not to let the tears overtake me I took her face in my hands and I looked into her eyes and I said "Sydney, God has a purpose for you here in America". 

I know that Jesus is saying the same thing to me. 

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


It's amazing the difference a day makes.

Yesterday was a horrible day for me. I felt like garbage the whole day. I had to tell my beloved Chiropractors that I wouldn't be seeing them anymore. It's been 4 months of 2 to 3 appointments per week and my pain still persists. Probably not a big deal to a few successful guys that I would walk away, but to me it felt like defeat.

That was just one of the things that had me down yesterday.

I think as women we all have those days and really who are you kidding men, you have those days too, the days when you just feel unseen. Not cared about. Your whole person comes under attack. You start to feel like you have no friends and that you have nothing to offer this world. Everything feels like it's crumbling.

On top of your body having issues and 4 of your 5 children down with fevers and coughs, but maybe those are just my personal issues......

Yea, that was me yesterday. Everything was getting me down. I felt depressed.

That was my full perspective and my feelings weren't letting me look past that even though I knew it was total crap.

Reality check. I have a really good life.

But, I had a bad day.

Last night after the day was done I went out with a friend, I had arranged this despite how sorry I was feeling for myself. Miracles still happen people!

It's amazing how connection is really the thing we all long for on hard days.

When I look at my problems they were all linked to feeling alone.

We all have those moments, or months or years, when we feel alone. Mother Teresa said "Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted are the most terrible poverty."

We've all been there, we've all felt the feeling of loneliness. It's an awful feeling.

The truth though is that there are very few of us that are actually alone. There are A LOT of us that FEEL alone, but very few of us that actually are.

Today I had a friend call and ask to come for coffee.

Oh my heart, be still!

This is my absolute love language. Sitting with a friend, drinking coffee and connecting. I felt so loved.

Really though, who wouldn't feel loved by that?

We all long for connection, but we all have those days where we feel absolutely the opposite; alone, unwanted, unneeded, completely not connected to anyone or anything. This is the greatest poverty.

And what do we do when we feel this great void inside of us......we wallow.....we wallow in our deep feelings of loneliness.

And we wait for someone to reach out.

Ok, at least that's what I do.

Like someone should just KNOW what I'm feeling...they should sense my pain....telepathically.....

But really all I have to do is send a text. 'Coffee?'

If it doesn't work for someone, well then just keep moving down the list and maybe the list ends at your grandma, but what if your grandma was feeling even lonelier than you??

Here's the thing we HAVE to preach to ourselves night and ready for this.......REACH OUT!!!!!

Someone today is feeling alone. Someone is hurting, Someone is waiting.

And I am preaching to myself when I say this: STOP waiting for someone to come to you!!! GO TO THEM!

Do it forcefully if you must because we all need connection.

I had a friend in China that was so lonely she thought she would die. So she just started showing up at her friends house every Tuesday.That's takes some serious guts! But guess what, it became a thing and it was a blessing to her and to her friend.

Outside of air, food and water, relationship is the only other thing that no human being can live without.

So today I want to encourage you to do something courageous...reach out. It takes courage, but you are brave and you bring life and love when you step out and send that 'coffee?' text or even take it one step farther and CALL THE PERSON!! Whoa!!! That's a revolutionary thought!!

I am 100% in this with you and I intend to make my husband read this so that he can shove it in my face the next time I try to cry and say I have no friends or that my life is falling apart. For reals. I have friends people. Lot's of them. I just gotta woman-up and put myself out there.

So if you feel alone, I get it, we all do, but tomorrow is a new day and it can make all the difference.

Monday, February 29, 2016

He Doesn't Compare

I shared this week about the journey I am on to find emotional healing, but I am also pursuing physical healing.

It's hard for me to share that because I always compare my pain to others and often disqualify myself. I feel like I'm whining when I see people suffering from cancer or other debilitating illnesses.

Here's the thing though, life was NEVER meant to be compared!


God does not compare our journey to others. Our pain, our struggles, our dreams and visions; they are all our own. Each thing unique.

So I'm sharing from a place that is MY journey. Not to be compared.

I've struggled with joint problems since I became a CNA (certified nurses assistant) out of high school. I injured my shoulder lifting a man wrong. It was a significant injury that required physical therapy.

Well being the intelligent teenager I was, I stopped the PT after about a month. My shoulder has bothered me ever since.

Well after my second pregnancy I started running. I loved it! I was training for a half marathon in China with my sister-in-law when I tripped and fell and injured my knee.

It seemed like scrapes and bruises until I tried to run again.

No luck. It caused me too much pain.

I haven't been able to run since that fall.

Well my hips always bothered me when I ran, but when you run or exercise pain is kinda part of the gig, so I thought no big deal.

After we came back from China I started to have really bad hip pain on one side. It sucked to be in such constant pain.

We were in transition though and I didn't want to go to the effort of finding a doctor and then move and have to start all over again. So I waited.

When we got to the Springs I had to figure out what direction to go with my hip and getting the pain under control. I considered different options and talked to different people and finally decided to try the chiropractor.

The chiropractors I ended up going to did x-rays.

What they found was that my hips were 16mm. seperated. Meaning one was lower than the other and they were also tilting in different directions.

They gave me a game plan. I needed to wear a heel lift and I needed 6 months to a year of seeing them to try to correct this problem with my hips.

These chiropractors are Christians. Three amazing men that love Jesus. I love them and all the staff that work at this office, they are all wonderful people.

But I've been seeing them for 5 months and I haven't seen much of a difference in my pain.

Today I sat down with my Dr. and had a frank conversation. It went like this "This isn't working!"

He heard me out and was so kind and concerned telling me that this is not normal and that they want to do whatever they can to make this better. He took another x-ray. He told me that I probably have tendonitis or bursitis and that they're gonna figure out a different plan to help me get better.

Well I left feeling hopeful, but really at the same time I feel soo discouraged.

There is nothing like your body not working or causing you pain to make you turn to God and say "Really?" "Why?" or "Why don't you just fix this?!"

It's hard, frustrating and challenging to trust God when healing doesn't seem to be coming.

I'm 32 years old and a lot of times I feel like my body acts more like it's 80.

I don't know where this ends or if it ever ends outside of Heaven, but it's doing a good job of revealing my heart.

I'm sick of being in pain. It leaves me feeling so discouraged.

But I have to ask myself, does my Daddy care about me? Does he see me? Does he know me?

And sometimes I feel like the answer is NO. No he doesn't care, no he doesn't see, no he doesn't know, but those feelings are all big, fat, ugly lies.

The truth is that he hasn't left me. He does care, he does know, he does see.

And even though this may be a very small problem compared to the pain that many other people feel, he doesn't compare me or my pain to anyone else.

He sees me, he knows me and he cares and regardless of what the future holds he'll never leave me.

If you're the praying type, I would so appreciate any prayers that you send my way regarding this hip of mine.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Through the Muck and Mire

I've been pursuing healing.

I've known for many years that I needed to do this. 

When God brought us back from China one of the things he said to me was that it was going to be a time of healing. 

The thought of healing felt overwhelming and vague. 

I think the biggest thing I felt was "who can I trust with this?" 

There's a million counselors out there and a million different methods and thoughts on how it should be done. It felt so overwhelming. 

Thankfully this was something that God said was going to happen, so he was more concerned about making it happen than I was. 

Our first week in Colorado Springs we met an amazing couple that invited us to their church. We went and fell in love. Then there was a women's bible study I went to. I met a beautiful blonde there that said she wanted to hang out. While we were hanging out she shared about healing that she had found through the amazing woman that ran the bible study. 

Some people like to call these things coincidence. I call them divine intervention.

Another thing I had worried about was how I was going to afford this healing that I needed. Well as it turns out with this woman you paid what you could afford. 

It seemed clear that God was trying to show me something. 

It's funny though how much courage it takes to bite the bullet of healing. It took me about four months after knowing this information to make an appointment.

I think the hardest thing about walking towards healing is the fear that the pain will never go away. Wondering if it's all a waste to believe that the dead things inside of me could ever come back to life again.  

I don't need to go into details of what I've walked through. Most of us have walked through a lot of unbelievable things. Some of these things came from the choices that others made and some came from our own choices, but we've been hurt. And it turns out that the pain has become our norm. It's become like a heavy blanket wrapped around our shoulders. We've become used to the comfort of it, even if it hurts, it's familiar. 

It's not easy writing these things. It's a present vulnerability. I'm sure a lot of people would argue that it's way too personal to put out there for the whole world to know. That I'm oversharing. And maybe I am. 

But I think what I really want is for people to see YOU'RE NOT ALONE. Whatever personal struggle you are battling. We're all there. We're all trying to find our way through the muck and mire . 

This phrase is so profound for me because a couple Sundays ago I was at Church trying my best to worship when God gave me such a clear picture of him carrying me through a swamp, or in other words carrying me through the muck and mire.

 The verse that God has been speaking to me day and night is Exodus 14:14 "The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

I recently had a beautiful woman pray over me and the word she got for me was Fighter. I'm a fighter. I am not good at letting others fight for me, I'm not good at letting God fight for me. 

But I believe that is his very intention - to fight for me. To fight for my freedom, to fight for my joy, to fight for my destiny. 

Regardless of my feelings I believe that he will carry me through this swamp. He won't get tired and set me down half way through. 

Phil. 1:6 
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his good work until it is finally finished on the day that Christ Jesus returns. 

So if you're on a similar journey, stop and ask him to pick you up and carry you through your own muck and mire. 

He will fight for you.  

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Nothing is Wasted

As I laid in my bed tonight my mind raced with all kinds of thoughts from the day, thoughts for tomorrow and thoughts from the past......

Sometimes at night old junk finds its way in. Old pain. Old regrets.

Disappointments, the woulda, shoulda, coulda's.......Failure.

The "why didn't I's" and the "why didn't they's".

It's so crazy how long we carry these things around.

Such a heavy load.

My husband said this week "We are allergic to failure."

Is there a human on earth that has never failed, faltered, or screwed it all up?

We've all felt the pain of failure and yet we hate it soo much.

We beat ourselves up and we beat up others over these mistakes. These broken pieces can cause such distraction in our lives.

So tonight, a story.

A few years ago we fostered a couple precious babies. Even though it was only a few years ago it feels 100% accurate to say that we were young and dumb.....

We had a 6 year old, two 4 year olds and a 1 year old and we took in twin 2 year olds...... if you do the math that's 6 kids under 6 and 3 of them were in the baby-toddler world.

Yea.....interesting decision....I know.

We prayed about this decision. We talked to others about this decision. We felt sure we were doing the right thing.

Well to make a long story short, these little twins were traumatized, they had been newly abandoned and were going through what we can only imagine as hell.

We were not prepared for this trauma.

These little babies were in the worst kind of heart pain a person, little or not, can go through. That pain and despair came out for us to handle, but try as we did, we just couldn't handle it.

We should have handled it.

We should have known.

We should have been ready....

but we weren't.

We were an absolute mess.

We were sleep deprived, clueless and helpless to give these babies what they needed.

 And we had 4 other LITTLE kids that needed us.

"What were we thinking" must have crossed my mind a thousand times a day.

To make matters worse, in the middle of this chaotic situation I got pregnant.... go figure!

Anyone that knows me, knows that I have absolutely horrible pregnancies. Horrible, horrible, horrible!

So you can just imagine how that went over......

It felt like the world was coming to an end. It was the worst, hardest, most painful time in our lives.

And Matt would agree and that's saying something......

We were in over our heads.

We had signed up to be heroes, but instead were getting the beating of a lifetime.

We called our friends and said we can't do this anymore, you have to move the kids to another family.

It completely killed us to say those words.

The twin angels were with us for 6 months. We loved them as our own and our hearts broke when they left.

Really, I don't think our hearts ever got put back together.

We were shattered.

Shattered by our failure. Shattered by the pain. Shattered by disappointment.

We had prayed. We had sought counsel and yet here we were picking up the pieces of a mess I can't describe.

It was the mess of broken hearts.

There is a verse in 1 Corinthians 15:58  that says

Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].

Nothing is wasted when you do it for Jesus and really because we serve a God that redeems everything and makes everything new, nothing is wasted, period! 

I still lay in bed at night thinking about the pain and choices of the journey we walked. 

If feels messed up to me, even after those beautiful babies were adopted together into a beautiful christian home. They are thriving, they are loved and they are chosen ........

and even then, my heart hurts. 

God is present in failure. He is present in shame. He is present in weakness. He is present in mistakes. He is present in brokenness. 

I don't get to tie this up with a bow and he's present in that. 

Because nothing is wasted. It all comes out beautiful and redeemed and made new.......

it's not the end.

Nothing is wasted.