"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Looks like Team Kallevig is gonna be evened out! Baby #8 is gonna be a boy. All boy-you could tell right away! :-)
This isn't a really great picture as he was super active the whole time. It was kind of neat to see him throw a fist or foot and then be able to feel it!
Daddy has to get work on names now. He gets the honor of naming the boys, while I get the girls. Guess I will have to keep saving that girl name I have...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Posting a link to a blog. Though it was written to grandparents, I think it is a good read to all friends and family of kids who are adopted or in foster care. Not all of them have severe RAD, but due to their past traumas and moves and who knows what else, there are factors and issues that mom and dad have to deal with that you won't know about. And they don't necessarily need your good intentions-of helpful advice or spoiling their kids; it's often scary enough to seek out someone who you think will just be a listening ear. We love all our kids; but yes, we do need to treat some of them differently.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The question was, “what did you do here and what is your take on coming back?” Hmm.

(now before anyone (moms) gets their nightie in a knot, we’re not talking about doing anything, so relax. Really. This is all part of our processing)

We’ve been back in the States for about a year and a half now. We’re back where we started from in many ways. How does that feel? I don’t know, whatever I guess, just different. People are different, relationships are different, life is…it is what it is and we live in it now.
As soon as we got back to the States I was already looking to go back, with who, how, etc. We found some great fits-just weren’t led down those roads. Why would we even want to go back? I don’t know-loved the lifestyle, loved the people, loved seeing God have to work in ways bigger than us. It was stressful, but exciting and enjoyable too. I suppose I didn’t realize how badly hurt Brian was at the time because he hid it fairly well when he needed to and I was focusing on me and the kids too. At some point, maybe 4-5 months back, it became important for me to know if we would ever do it again. Not because we had some big opportunity, but just because I needed to feel we were open to God doing whatever He wanted with us again. I really felt like I was in that place, but I found out Brian wasn’t there yet. And that’s okay. But yes, it is very hard when you and your spouse are at different places, especially in areas of faith and consequently for us, areas of hurts.
I guess at some point, I just accepted that we never would go out quite so far on a limb again in that way. At least not in this decade, or maybe a few more to come. And it saddened me, but it was where we were/are as a family.
And then this question came. What does it mean? Why now, again? No idea, but of course I let my imagination go for a bit. What if? I love working through the logistics in my mind of it, I just enjoy that. But really, I don’t think that is the main reason why I would still jump on the next plane. Because before that could happen anyway, there is that dreaded period of time where you put yourself out there for others to judge you, reject you, or accept you and what God’s call is for you at this time. And in no way, shape or form would I choose to go through that again for myself, by my own choice just ‘cuz I wanted to. I would have to KNOW it was God calling. I think what I think about-get excited about-more than anything is the prospect of seeing God do something REALLY. BIG. again. I want to see God show up in all the ways He did before. I want to feel used by God again. I know, I know-He uses me every day in my family and that is an important ministry too. I suppose maybe I am not content in seeing God in the little day to day stuff anymore and I know I should be. Maybe there was pride before, “look at all God is doing for/with/through us.” Or maybe that is the lie of the enemy too. I don’t know. I feel I am having a hard time being content with life here, because things are so different than before we left, and then they are so different from being over there. Life just seems to be in and out, the mundane. I guess maybe I just haven’t been able to see what “now” is for the way I have in the past. Makes me wish all the more for Jesus to come back and set up His kingdom on earth!

So what is the answer to the question? Maybe it’s not about going back at all, maybe it is, I have no idea. Maybe it’s just about what the answer could be- the asking again to evaluate where we are now that we are a little further removed than the last time.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

It seems we are continuously reminded that we have changed a lot, and not just Kelly and I but the kids also.
We understand that most people do not understand where we have come from and what we have been through and how that affects the lens that we view life through. It is not that it is good or bad-it is just different. But it can be hard for people to accept and understand. Things that are a big deal for many just are not for us anymore and vice-a-versa. The way we talk about things, the way we think about things, the way things come out…it can just be different. For Kel and I we get it- but for the older kids it can be kind of confusing, because they like us are now using a different lens. And as 12-14 yr olds I am not sure that they understand that just as sometimes they can’t see and understand things through other people’s lenses, those other people don’t necessarily understand that they (our kids) can’t be looked at and understood by their own lenses either. You know the saying, “kids say the darnedest things…” well, our kids filters are just different. The kids have seen so much and dealt with so much more than most kids here just ever have to (especially at their age). It is not that it is good or bad or that we want it to be an excuse, but it is an explanation. I am sad at times that the kids have had to go through so much so young but at the same time I am not. PARADOX. I think most people conveniently forget that there are many different lenses to look at life through. And I think that is good (different lenses). Because God put us in places to develop that lens and He uses us all. Where I can be effective because of my lens, you may not be.
An example: there were a number of small children that Mariah took care of and a couple of weeks ago we got word that one of them (Peoples) drowned after church on a Sunday morning. Mariah took it very hard, she loved Peoples. Every Sunday Mariah had Peoples on one side and his little sister Memory on the other side and she had her arms around both. Mariah has a gift with children and it is from God. She took Peoples’ death very hard. She has been thinking about death lately (I am sure a lot more than most kids her age). She has been questioning God and WHY this happened because it does not make sense. And you know what? It doesn’t, and for a 12yr old, it really is hard. I commend her, she gets that life sucks sometimes but you have to go on. She gets that sometimes it feels like you can’t do anything about what is going around you (I do too sometimes!). But it does not mean you cannot question God or get to be angry with Him or that sometimes what you’re thinking comes out in ways that don’t make sense. She understands that God can take it. That is one thing that we have tried to teach them but I think we have modeled for them more. The farther I get away from our time in Africa the more I realize that we will never get away from it, it is a part of us. It has changed us in more ways than we realize; some for the better, so I am not sure about yet. But it is who we are now, like it or not. Our eyes have been open to areas/things that at times I wish they would not have been (because it would be easier if they would still be close). But they have been opened and we cannot go back even if we wanted to, even though we try at times. I wonder how God is going to use this/us now, where we are, especially when it just feels like we have come back full circle and for what?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

So it’s obvious that things we’ve written and posted aren’t always on the most “uplifting” end. Instead we often write the struggles, questions, doubts, confessions, heartache…the realities of life, some the results of what we could call a “devastation with God.” (One that of course we figured we be waaayyy over a long time ago.)
Everything we do is supposed to, in the long run, bring glory to God. Are we doing that anymore? I guess did we ever has to be answered first! I think we brought glory to God through our honesty about struggles and hardships and steadfast faith in Him when He was doing things that we (and you) knew could only be happening because of His hand. I can read back in the last four years and see that. But are we still doing it? It seems there is more “nothingness of life” than their used to be for us. Have I lost my faith in God? No. Do I still trust that ultimately He is in control and knows what He is doing? Yes. Have I liked it very much? Not always. Am I supposed to all the time? No, I don’t think so-at least not right in the moment. It seems when you are stuck in something, all you see is the wall around you-hopefully you aren’t seeing more mud falling in. You are just hoping to stay where you are without slipping any further. And you know the way out, but it’s a little harder to (want to) reach up your hand for the help this time around.
We are still walking out our faith; we’re still called to obey. I think it is just feels harder right now. I personally am not very good at pretending-don’t like it, takes too much energy. So I can’t put on a happy face and tell you “we’re doing great” and things are going wonderful when they aren’t. Things are just “fine.” Every decision to do- well, anything-can and often does seem a struggle for various reasons; it’s like there are so many more sides that I see to everything now. Some good, some bad, some just are.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

I am reposting this from Rob's blog. I am doing a little editing to highlight a few of the points I want to consider. If you want to read the whole unedited thing, go here.

This letter was emailed to a pastor friend of mine. He was given permission to share it and it so resonated with my spirit and what my soul feels, I asked for permission and was also given permission to publish it. I hope it impacts you too………
I was thinking about today’s message a lot, and wanted to share a story with you.
A few years back I was doing special music in a church in Indiana. The night before the church, and our family, had attended a very good concert. That night, as I lay in bed trying to relax and settle down, all my misgivings kept rearing their ugly heads. The concert we’d been to was soooo good, and there was no way I could compete. I was sure I’d look like a totally untalented novice. I wanted to cancel! But as I lay there arguing with God, He said something that’s stuck with me ever since. He reminded me that His purposes may or may not be the same as mine. What was my purpose? Well, to glorify Him, of course. Naturally, I wanted to do that with excellence and come out looking like a shining star in the process. Oh, wait … did I just say that? HA! He told me that night that I don’t need to worry about results, I just need to be obedient. He’ll fulfill His will, which may not look at all like mine, but it will be GOOD. (whether I see it or not) Maybe, just maybe, the only reason I was there was to completely mess up … and maybe through that, someone else would see and have HOPE that they could be imperfect, too, and still serve Him.
This lesson has served me well through the years. How FREEING to no longer worry about the results of our obedience! Who cares if the ministry “fails”? Who cares if we fall flat on our face? If we’re called to do it, that’s all we need to attend to! We can’t see the big picture …we have no idea what He could be doing through our supposed “mess ups”.

Someone once said to Brian, "God won't take us this far to let us fail." Really? Fail (mess up) in whose eyes? The world's or God's? There are plenty of times were we have seen (the world say that) people "mess up" and the result--the ALL of the good things that God works out is even more glory for God.
As you can imagine, this hits us in a way that maybe you can't understand; or maybe everyone I can, I don't know. What if...

A few years after this, the position as worship leader at Grace opened up. Honestly, I had NO experience. I’d never played an instrument. I’d sung some, rather poorly. Yet I felt called to submit a resume. I obliged, completely certain that God’s purpose was something OTHER than to put me in that position. On our music director’s last day, she showed me a D chord on the keyboard. Now keep in mind, I’d never played keyboard. I couldn’t even read bass clef! (still can’t, actually) Two weeks later I started leading services, on keyboard. About another month in, and I was officially offered the position, which I held for almost 6 years and from which was blessed immensly. And listen — I honestly had NO thought of actually getting this job … I only submitted that resume in obedience, thinking that maybe God wanted me to update it for some other reason. I obeyed, He worked, there was a need, He equipped me to respond. If I hadn’t been willing to obey in faith, imagine all I’d have missed out on? I know He would have found another … but I’m so glad I was given the opportunity!
The point is, when we learn to surrender our own purposes and simply obey, who knows the amazing good He might bring out of our lives?
I Peter 1:18-19 (one of my FAVORITE verses) says, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”
I don’t want an empty life, I want a meaningful one.

And if we are truthful, it is really hard to get back to this point.

It is my prayer that this letter also did something inside of you! There are suffering people right now that are waiting right now for you. What’s your answer?

Honestly, I don't know. It feels a lot harder to say this time.