Friday, October 30, 2015

7 Things I Learned in October

We’re settled in as a family of five and things are are going well. So well, I can’t believe we’re at the end of October. Maybe more people makes time go faster ... okay, probably not. Even so, here are tidbits from my month ...

1. More Gilmore Girls is coming!

Specifically, four 90-minute episodes on Netflix in 2016. Whoo-hoo! You can find all kinds of articles on Google, but here’s the first one I read when the news hit social media.

2. My baby girl is petite but strong.

She’s measuring in the 25th percentile in both height and weight, but she also likes to be on her belly and hold her head up. I can’t believe she’ll be six weeks old tomorrow!

3. A little glue can help a head wound well.

I don’t mean Elmer’s, although the surgical glue seemed about the same! Ben tripped at the playground during Fall Break and landed face-first on the ground … and apparently on a rock that punctured his head. (Yes, this is his second rock-induced injury, if you’re keeping track.)

4. The 62nd of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses is my favorite: “The true treasure of the Church is the Most Holy Gospel of the glory and the grace of God.”

I read through all of the 95 statements, propositions and questions that Luther wrote, thus prompting the Protestant Reformation, because I was organizing an activity for Reformation Day – which happens to be today at my kids’ school.

5. The Marketside BBQ Chopped Salad from Walmart is amazing.

So amazing, I went in Walmart, which I usually avoid, JUST FOR THE SALAD. And AFTER I already grocery shopped across the street at Kroger. I may be obsessed. I just wish I could order the salad online …

6. Thanksgiving is just as good a month early.

We have a tradition celebrating Thanksgiving with three other families. (If you’ve read my ebook, I talk about this tradition and these people in there.) Well, unfortunately, one of those families is moving, so we celebrated early. I’m so glad we did. Sure, Thanksgiving comes officially in November, but giving thanks is good any time of the year. And the turkey, dressing, green beans, jalapeno corn, rolls, cheesecake, and strawberry cake tasted as good as ever.

(And, no, I did not make the turkey this year. Praise God!)

7. Political sign stakes can effectively double as hot dog roasters.

I learned this because I suggested it to Greg earlier this month when we decided to have an impromptu hot dog roast for dinner with friends and didn’t have an wire hangers. It worked well, which I can say confidently based on the tastiness of the end result.

Tell me about your October. How did you spend it? What did you learn?

I'm linking up with Emily Freeman for my favorite monthly recaps. Read other Things I Learned posts ::

{2013} JuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovember
{2014} JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Place to Stand {a #ThreeWordWednesday post}

Blogging and building a platform often go hand in hand. Sometimes success is judged on the numbers, like the amount of likes and shares of how many times a post was viewed.

But God is showing me how having a platform isn’t about attracting the masses, but rather it’s about standing on his promises in whatever he’s called me to do.

My platform may be small and local. It probably looks nothing like yours. And that’s okay. In fact, that’s how it’s supposed to be. We each have our part to play, our place to stand. That’s how God is best made known anyway.

I’ve seen pictures of writer friends at conferences. I’ve been invited to gather with like-minded people who write for a contributors’ site in which I’m involved. I’ve hoped to meet people from the Internet in real life or visit the ones I’ve already met.

But God keeps telling me to stay.

He’s showed me where I’m supposed to be. And, yes, I like it here, even though this was never my plan. Here is where my husband and I are together. Here is with my three kids. Here is with my local church, my kids’ school, and friends who are like family. Here is with an adoption community I believe God has called me to help lead.

I like to travel. I like connecting with people I already love. And I like conferences. But sometimes saying no to good things opens the door for God to do great things. {Tweet that.}

And that’s what I want, so I’m saying yes to what God has made clear is my place to be.

For this season in my life, here is my platform. Yes, it looks more like a messy kitchen and chaotic mini van than a stage with pretty lights. My husband and children are my neighbors. My conversations with other adoptive mommas happen on Facebook, in texts, around tables. My service happens in my local community and my kids’ school hallways.

These are the yeses I have no doubts about. And right here is the kind of platform I’m ready to stand on.

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Strong and Kind {review & giveaway}

I’ve long said I want to raise independent kids who love Jesus.

And that’s true.

Sort of.

I want to raise kids who love Jesus. But I don’t want them to be so independent they miss the point of following Jesus – to glorify God – and fail to notice others around him. This is what I thought about as I read “Strong and Kind” by Korie Robertson.

Strong and kind are the characteristics she wants her kids to exhibit. She discusses these and other admirable traits in the book. And I’m revising my statement.

I want to raise kids are compassionate and joyful – and love Jesus, of course.

In her book, Korie reminded me that while being intentional with a couple traits is a good parenting plan, ultimately raising someone who follows Jesus means there will be evidence of many traits that tend to overlap anyway.

I appreciated Korie’s family-first approach to living in community and using that environment to shape who children become. She spends the first part of the book sharing about the importance of good character with many personal examples. The second section is devoted to identifying the character traits you want to see in your children. Finally, the third part offers advice on how to parent kids of character.

Strong and Kind” isn’t a how-to book, but it is a resource with much encouragement, Biblical foundation, and real-life stories.

ABOUT THE BOOK :: In her new book “Strong and Kind: And Other Important Character Traits Your Child Needs to Succeed,” Korie Robertson argues that developing good character in our children is the single most important thing we can do to help ensure they lead happy, healthy adult lives.

Robertson explores key traits and what they truly look like in action, asks readers to select the two traits that they hope to see most in their children, and shares hands-on ways for nurturing strength of character. Written with her mother Chrys Howard and featuring stories and wisdom from husband Willie, “Strong and Kind” cuts through the contemporary cacophony of parenting manuals to rediscover, unfold, and embrace the enduring wisdom that has guided the best parents for centuries.

Hardcover; 240 pages; published by Harper Collins Christian Publishing (Oct. 27, 2015). Learn more about the book's website.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR :: Korie Robertson, wife of Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson and star of A&E's beloved series “Duck Dynasty,” is a mother of five a New York Times bestselling author of several books. She is also an in-demand public speaker, Duck Commander executive, founder of boutique Duck and Dressing, and philanthropist, who remains active with a variety of organizations that focus on children, adoption, and foster care. Korie lives with her family in West Monroe, Louisiana.

Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

GIVEAWAY :: And I have a copy for one of you! PLUS an exclusive workbook that’s not sold anywhere. Use the Rafflecopter widget below for various ways to enter to win. This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canadian residents. A winner will be randomly chosen Wednesday, Nov. 4.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Many thanks to Propeller Consulting/FlyBy Promotions for providing me with a copy of this book to review as well as the additional book and workbook for one of you! If you have won a prize from Propeller/FlyBy in the last 30 days or have won this same book from another blog, you’re not eligible to win.

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Monday, October 26, 2015

Love had a plan for us

“When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory.
And I realize just how beautiful You are,
and how great Your affections are for me.

And oh, how He loves us, oh,
oh, how He loves us,
how He loves us all.”

We were singing that song in church and I was holding my sleeping Rachel. Cate was on my right side and Ben was not too far down on my left next to Gran-Gran. Greg sat on the other side of Cate. There I was, in the middle of a row of chairs at church in the middle of the family God created.

Our college friend Amber had been sitting in our row too, but by this moment she had already gone to take of the nursery kids. Behind me sat a couple who has loved my family so well and taught me about how the Bible applies to real life; my best friend and her family with whom so much of my life is intertwined; and other dear friends who have been part of my everyday life the past six years in a way that has changed me for the better. This is community.

Tears welled in my eyes because God did this for me. He gave me these people and orchestrated a story of family that extends beyond my house. This journey has looked nothing like I planned when I stopped taking birth control in December 2004.

Cate’s adoption and then Ben’s adoption followed a hard season of infertility. {Here’s a summary.} And then there was a hard adoption season we didn’t expect. We waited for this third child, not knowing if she was going to come. We believed we were supposed to have a third child but we had met so many closed doors I doubted I was hearing God right.

I heard other people’s stories of heartache as they waited to conceive or adopt. I have waited and was waiting, but I wondered if I was being greedy. I regularly wondered: Was it wrong to desire a third child whom I believed God said he would give when I knew so many other women waiting to become a mom for the first time?

I wrestled with it. But I’ve settled on this: God knows what he’s doing and it’s not my job to control the outcome. {Tweet that.} He gave us our third child, in surprise fashion but in accordance with his faithfulness. And that same God is working in my friends’ lives as they wait and learn and trust and believe.

Love had a plan for us and God has one for you too. {Tweet that.}

All of that got us here. Oh how he loves us. He loved us during the hard days and loves us still when we see some of the plan. Rachel is perfect in our family. She belongs here, just like I belong smack dab in the middle of my people.

In that picture above, our shirts say "Love had a plan for me," which is a line from my favorite Slugs & Bugs' song. Randall Goodgame recently brought Slugs & Bugs back to the Murray area. Hope That Binds hosted the concert as a fundraiser and, y'all, what a joy to have two of my favorite ministries together in one place celebrating families, adoption and the gospel. {You can see all my pictures from the event here.}

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Thursday, October 22, 2015

One month with Rachel

Hello, one month.

Rachel fits so well in our family that it seems like we’ve known her longer than one month. She was officially one month on Monday, but I wanted to wait until I had her current weight and height to share this update. She’s 8 pounds 9 ounces and 21 1/4 inches – that’s up 13 ounces since her two-week check up. Way to grow, baby girl!

We’ve had a love-hate relationship with the pacifier. She loved; we hated it. Well, okay, we didn’t hate the pacifier itself, but we hated how she cried when it fell out just as she fell asleep. Daytime was fine, but evenings were frustrating. So we just stopped during her third week and Rachel seems to have forgiven us for putting them away.

She’s been waking up twice in what I consider the middle of the night, like midnight or 1 a.m. and then again three or so hours later, although last night I fed her at 12:20 a.m. and then Greg fed her at almost five, so the stretches are getting longer! And I’m so grateful my husband shares nighttime feedings. We all like to sleep around here.

Of course, we like to eat too. We’ve eaten well because our friends are still bringing us food. Seriously, multiple times a week someone we love shows up with food. Such a blessing. I’ve been to the grocery a few times for basics and stuff for the kids’ lunches at school, but I’m so thankful most nights I don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner.

Oh and Rachel likes to eat too. She eats fast, although she’s gotten the hang of it and slowed down some. Typically, she takes 3 to 4 ounces every three hours, although she likes to cluster feedings closer together in the evening, which works well for the sleeping scenario. Really the only time she fusses is if she is ready for her bottle and we aren't fast enough or if she needs to burp.

Rachel likes being swaddled with her arms out and being carried in the wrap. She also likes to sleep on her side and I’m thinking she will like sleeping on her belly even more. She sleeps in her crib at night but doesn’t take many naps in there yet!

Cate and Ben still adore her. They don’t like her to cry and like to feed her. Cate likes to help change her clothes and is close to changing some diapers.

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Small Not Insignificant {a #ThreeWordWednesday guest post}

One of my favorite things about blogging is the people I've met along the way. And when I say "met," sometimes I really mean connected with online. That's the story with Jennifer Jackson Linck. She and I originally connected because a mutual writer friend of ours was sharing about her new book that was coming out. Her book is called "Bringing Home the Missing Linck" and it tells her adoption story and the faith journey that happened in her life. We connected and now we're friends too. And we're eagerly awaiting the day to hang out in real life. 

Until then, Jennifer is here on the blog today telling another part of her family's story. This part involves her writing a book, but it's a children's book that she wrote in honor of her son. "Jackson Finds His Voice" is available on Amazon, but, first, welcome Jennifer as she shares here today.

I was driving home from Jackson’s speech therapy appointment when the idea hit me. There was no burning bush or talking donkey, but I knew it was God prompting.

I had always wanted to write a children’s book but I hadn’t thought about that dream in a long time; until that day in the car when I heard Him whisper: Write a book about a little boy on a journey to find his voice.

My 4-year-old son, Jackson, has a speech disorder called Apraxia. He knows what he wants to say, but simply can’t. His brain has a hard time getting the proper message to his mouth, lips, tongue and jaw. The words he wants to say literally get stuck in his brain. He’s been in intense speech therapy since he was 18 months old.

I knew without a doubt I was hearing God correctly. I went inside, put Jackson down for a nap, and wrote the entire first draft of “Jackson Finds His Voice” within an hour.

I wrote the book for Jackson. It’s a tool he can use to share his story as he works towards finding his voice.

I wrote the book for other children with Childhood Apraxia of Speech. I pray it will give them a voice.

I wrote the book to educate others and raise awareness for the speech disorder that’s still foreign to many people.

I felt sure I would have the support of the national Apraxia association, that its leaders would spread the word about my book and help get it into the hands of other families who are on the same journey as we are. So imagine my shock when the executive director informed me that they wouldn’t support my book because its theme was too Christian.

I write about Jackson and the many other kids with Apraxia being fearfully and wonderfully made. I believe to my bones that God has a plan for each of them.

Hearing her dash my dreams left me questioning God.

Did I hear you right, Lord?

How are other families going to know this book is available?

Emily Freeman said it best in her book “Simply Tuesday” ::

“I felt the longing to build something important, and the disappointment that comes when the outcome looks different than I thought.”

Since receiving those harsh words from the director, God has been doing a work in my heart.
He’s reminding me that His ways are not my ways; they are better. He’s teaching me that small does not mean insignificant. {Tweet that.}

“Jesus himself arrived small on earth, but he was not insufficient or lacking in significance. We don’t have to worry that embracing smallness will shrink our impact.”
{Emily Freeman in “Simply Tuesday”}

God continually asks me to pen words and pray they make a difference in one life! And as I’ve released my dream and grabbed hold of His, He’s been faithful to reveal the impact a few words can have.

Jennifer Jackson Linck blogs about everyday life at Bringing Home the Missing Linck. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and son. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Friday, October 16, 2015

{around here}

This week sort of kicked my butt, so, honestly, I'm glad it's Friday. My calendar was busier than it needed be, but there wasn't really anything I could leave off. I had to tell good friends I couldn't hang out a couple times because I didn't have the mental capacity to do anything else. There was a rough night of sleep (or, lack of sleep, rather ...) followed by an excellent night that gave me fresh perspective and helped me feel like a new person.

Ah, real life with a newborn.

Rachel is doing well. She's the perfect addition to our family. She's going to be one month (!) next week, but for now I want to capture some of what's been going on around here ...

WATCHING :: I'm addicted to "Graceland." No, it's not about Elvis. It's about some undercover federal agents (FBI, immigration, DEA ...) who live and work together. I've been watching it in the mornings and afternoons when I'm at home feeding my baby. And I'm going to need season three to be added to Netflix soon, although I think it's airing in real life on USA, because I finished what's on Netflix this morning.

My DVR has also been recording "Quantico," "The Good Wife," "The Blacklist," "Madam Secretary," "Blue Bloods," and "The Wahlburgers." Clearly I have a show type, mostly. And I like Donnie Wahlberg.

READING :: I recently finished "Double Cross" by DiAnn Mills and started "My Southern Journey: True Stories from the Heart of the South" by Rick Bragg. I'm also in the middle of "A Beautiful Exchange" by Megan Nilsen. But, um, I just told you about my current TV addiction, so, well, that's taken away from my time with books.

EATING :: Y'all I have cooked very little since Rachel has been born. But we've eaten well, thanks to our friends who have been bringing us meals. Such a blessing!

EXPLORING :: I went with Ben's class to a field trip to The Homeplace at Land Between the Lakes. It was a perfectly beautiful day and a fun outing. I wore Rachel in a wrap and she slept though most of the morning.

REMEMBERING :: Newborn days (and nights!) can be exhausting but they're sweet. And I know this season won't last for long. I read an excellent post this week about how even when we reach our Promised Land, there can be hard days. And that's okay, especially when we cling to God. While the article is about the author's experience with a move, her words resonated with some of my adoption experiences throughout the years.

STUDYING :: I missed my every-other-week Bible study meeting this week because I just couldn't have another place to be, but I'm working through the Precept study on Covenants. It's been good.

FORGETTING :: I had a training session in Mayfield (about 30 minutes away) for a new continuous glucose monitor that goes with my new insulin pump. But I got there and realized I forgot one of the key components at home. So I did part of the training that day and then went back two days later.

PLANNING :: I somehow decided I needed to make Christmas plans. That was overwhelming for a tired momma who spent way too much time overthinking things, but I think I have a plan.

CREATING :: Scrapbook pages on the Project Life app. I'm printing some 12x12 for the scrapbooks and some 8x8 for Rachel's baby book. I have some paper stuff in progress on my craft table, but making pages from the palm of my hand is much more convenient right now.

So, what have you been up to?

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Faith, Works & Love

“The Bible constantly elevated love over knowledge, mercy over sacrifice. Knowledge is a tricky bedfellow, because it can sometimes shield us from the gospel. Doctrine is tidier terrain than flesh and blood. … Could the highest level of ‘right theology’ involve loving God and people like Jesus suggested?”
{Jen Hatmaker in “For The Love”}

We can give our money and time to so many causes. Those refugees in Syria need help. There are orphans all over the world. Children need sponsored and adopted and fostered and mentored. Wells need to be funded and built. Third-world villages need medical care and access to education. Single moms could benefit from sustainable solutions to their problems. Our neighbors need to be invited in so they can meet Jesus.

We spend so much time acquiring knowledge, waiting for circumstances to be perfectly tidy before we actually do something with what we know. Learning is important. Understanding God’s ways is paramount. But sitting around becoming smarter isn’t worth much if we aren’t out there loving and serving. {Tweet that.}

James reminds us faith without works is dead. Those works don't save us, but they may save someone else. Those works don't determine our identity in God's kingdom, but they can grow God's kingdom.

I can do good work in Jesus' name, but I can't do all the good work. And neither can you.

Facebook is full of good causes. Our friends all promote whatever it is that moves their souls. Hunger. Homelessness. Orphan care. Adoption. Medical aid. Sustainable business opportunities. Life skills. Short-term missions. Long-term missions.

Every single one of those things and so many other causes are important. And we should tell people about them. But they aren't all going to be my things. And my things aren't necessarily going to be yours things.

But when I do my things and you do your things, when we come together with each other, when we open our doors and give our resources, then our small things add up to big things. We make ripples and bring light. We do good works not to save us but to let them see God wants to save them. {Tweet that.}

And we’re going to learn more about God and ourselves in the process, anyway.

I'm linking up with the weekly Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood Gathering

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Rejoice, mourn, show up for #ThreeWordWednesday

Adoption creates a community like no other. I’ve talked before about how my relationships with birth moms are unlike any other relationships I’ve experienced – and more specifically what that looked like this time. And then, hopefully, there is the larger community that comes alongside and embraces the process.

Since Rachel was born Sept. 19, people have showed up at our house, on Facebook, at the bus stop, and in the mail box with kind words, gifts and meals. They’ve wanted to hold Rachel and hear more of our story – how we are doing, how the hospital stay was, what Rachel is like, how Cate and Ben are adjusting.

They have embraced us as a family of five and the process of adoption. They have offered prayers for Rachel’s birth mom, understanding our celebration is just one side of the story.

I’m reminded about when my father-in-law Gary unexpectedly died in April 2010 and our people took care of us. Yes, we were surprised by his death, but we were also pleasantly surprised by how people held us together. Talk about bittersweet.

Greg and I have always believed in doing life with our friends, but those days leading up to the funeral and the ones after, people showed up with their words, meals, help and love.

Birth and death really do rally a community and remind me of Romans 12:15 :: “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”

And now, as I sit here with a newborn baby, I’m reminded about how we shouldn’t limit our showing up to birth and death. {Tweet that.} We should show up on the hard days that don’t make sense, the confusing ones that we can’t solve, the happy ones that leave our belly hurting from all the laughter – and all of the days between.

Speaking of adoption and community, I’ve started an adoption community online. It’s a private Facebook group, where those of us who have adopted or are in the process of doing so gather together to share resources, prayer requests, and adoption happenings.

I’ve long prayed God would use our story to encourage other families and it’s exciting to see that happening. If you or someone you know could benefit from such an adoption group, let me know and I’ll be happy to send an invite to you.

I'm linking up with the weekly Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood Gathering

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Vendetta {a book review}

I started reading “Vendetta” by Lisa Harris in a waiting room and then sat down on the couch in the middle of an ordinary September afternoon because I wanted to read more. I was reminded how a good fiction book is like a mini vacation. The story begins with action as continues on with a good pace from there.

A member of the Tennessee Mission Persons Task Force, Nikki Boyd is pulled between a family crisis, the grief of a long-time friend, and a case that has her attention. The characters are developed well and their stories reminded me how scars and experiences propel us and haunt us – sometimes in the same moment.

Yes, “Vendetta,” which officially releases today, is a fiction book, but it contains truth that matters beyond the pages.

“... sometimes there truly is nothing you can do to change your circumstances. Sometimes all you can do is hold on for dear life and pray that God will help you find a way through the storm. Sometimes he shows you a way to escape, and sometimes he walks through the fire with you. But I'm starting to realize that as much as I've battled with God, nothing that happens here on this earth changes who God is.”

Vendetta” is the first in Harris’ new series The Nikki Boyd Files. And, of course, it ended in a way that resolved the case but has me ready for more of Nikki Boyd’s story.

ABOUT THE BOOK :: From the back cover: No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force. The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after 10 years, is the driving force in her work. When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past. The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels this case has become personal, and she is not the hunter but the hunted.

Paperback. 304 pages. Published Oct. 6, 2016 by Revell.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR :: Lisa Harris is a Christy Award winner and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. The author of nearly 30 books, including “Dangerous Passage,” “Fatal Exchange,” and “Hidden Agenda,” Harris and her family have spent 12 years living as missionaries in southern Africa. They currently live in Mozambique, where Lisa leads a women's ministry and runs a nonprofit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. Learn more at her website or follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Earlier this year, I interviewed Lisa Harris as I was reviewing "Hidden Agenda," the third book in her Southern Crimes series. Check out that post here.

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."