Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tate Nation

I love my family so much and this past weekend was the first time we were all together in 4 months! So of course it gave the perfect opportunity for a family picture, plus there are two more little Tatertots to add to the mix!

from left to right: Jonathan, Eden, Caroline holding baby Elise, Allie Grace, Brian, my dad and mom, me, Tim, Jordan, and Chris holding little Shepherd.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Renovation Transformation

I'm a sucker for for movies that show total transformations. The movies like "My Fair Lady" or "Princess Diaries" where the main character has a total transformation in her life. 

I love to see the change. 

It's the beauty of a spring after a long winter.

Or the sun shining after weeks of rain.

And happiness after a great sorrow.

My brother and his wife have been experiencing quite a lot of changes in their life in the past couple of weeks. This past weekend they celebrated 4 years of marriage, but over half of that time has been extremely tough for them. After losing two daughters, they now have an absolutely beautiful son.

To add to their excitement, they closed on their very first place this past Friday but before they can move in, they need to make a renovation transformation.

My job today was to rip out the old outdated wallpaper. Just like the satisfaction the watching transformations take place on the screen, there's something as equally wonderful about ripping apart something that is old.

Piece by piece, I've been stripping away the old yellowed paper, while I envision how the place will look. The old is wiped away and it will be transformed into something fresh, new, and beautiful.

I can only imagine the excitement that Jesus has over our own transformations.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."
2 Corinthians 5:17

The Bibles says that he takes delight in his people. The excitement that I am feeling is only a vague comparison to the way that God views us!

He wants restoration and renovation in our own lives. He paid the ultimate price with his own death, so that he could see that transformation take place in our own lives.

Because of his death, he is able to look at our shabby, messed up lives and see beauty instead.


All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Continued Blessings

Today has truly been an awesome day! I am so excited that my brother and sister-in-law have met their funds to bring home their new baby boy!

But first, if  you don't know their story, let me share a little of their backstory:

The past few years have been tough for them. Two and a half years ago, they were excitedly preparing for the arrival of their first baby. At the 20 week appointment, they found out she was a girl and were thrilled with the news.

A week later, their world came crashing down when they got a call from the doctor who had been looking over their ultrasounds. He wasn't sure what was the matter, but the baby appeared to have a genetic disorder, maybe Down syndrome, a heart defect, or perhaps a brain abnormality. 

The next several months were a series of tests and doctors visits. Each one left them a little more discouraged that the last. Ellie was born full term, but only lived for 20 minutes.

Watching my brother carry a tiny casket to bury his daughter was devastating. No words can be said to comfort grieving parents who have to go home to an empty house with small reminders of the baby they would never get to hold.

The doctors told them that it was a fluke. A unnamed, unheard of genetic disorder. If they wanted to have kids in the future, they would have no problems.

A year and a half later, they were again excited to find out that they would be bringing another baby girl into the world. They were nervous as they went in for their 20 week appointment, but the doctors told them everything would be ok, so they had nothing to fear. At least that's what they kept telling themselves, but very quickly, they found out that something was wrong. In fact, their second child had the same unheard of genetic disorder. 

With heart wrenching pain, Jordan carried Elsie another 20 weeks. She went into labor late Christmas night and two days later delivered Elsie. 


The past five months have been spent diving into the world of adoption. From the home studies, loads of paperwork and building a portfolio to present to birth mothers its been busy. Then the waiting and anticipation of being presented and not chosen time after time.

Finally, last week Jordan and Chris got matched with a child. "I really have a good feeling about this one." She told me last week, but then had to wait all day long to find out whether the birth mom would choose them. Finally, around 8:00pm they had their answer - "She wants you to be the parents!"

I wish I could say that they journey ends happily there, but there are still so many tiny details that add up. At that point(last week) Chris and Jordan had been doing crowd fund raising, and had only reach around $16,000 of their $25,000 goal. Yesterday, they were both overwhelmed with the last minute paperwork, finger printing and documents that had to be overnighted. On top of everything, they found out that they were going to need around $5000 more than they originally thought.

What had seemed like an impossibility yesterday, became a reality today. I kept watching and refreshing my computer screen all day. It truly was a miracle to see all of the funds steadily come in today. They have surpassed their goal, and will be able to bring home their son this weekend!

I want to thank everyone who has been a part of this incredible journey. I cannot wait to be a part of this little boys life and share the stories with him someday. God is SO good!

Follow Jordan's blog here:

Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Roadblocks are inevitable.

The World often sees a small straight line to get from point A to point B, but God plans most often include a crazy, round about way of getting to the destination. Others may even find it crazy and wonder why we don't take the shorter route.

The longer route most likely will be filled with turns. We might get lost and most definitely will be late to our destination.

The other day I was following my GPS. It lead me down a road that had a large sign that read


There were no detour signs. No indication of which way to go, I only knew that I couldn't go forward. The path that my roadmap indicated, the one that I wanted to take had ended.

I knew that going forward would be the quickest way to my destination, but had I gone that way, it would have lead me to destruction.

I had to turn off from the way that was indicated. My GPS kept telling me to turn around. Make a U-Turn and Go Back!

The road I was supposed to take had looked fine, at least for a while it did. But what I couldn't see clearly at first glance was the missing bridge. From every appearance the road looked great except that it was abruptly lacking a necessary section.

We can't always see that the bridge is out and often fight against going the longer route. Growth in our lives doesn't come in the persistence of going the shorter route.

In our lives, often we're told to "Just keep pushing forward." "Don't give up, if you work hard enough you can reach you're goal." But this isn't right. Continuing to drive when the road is clearly close, would be detrimental.

When we try to continue along the shorter path, we miss what God really has for use. It may be a more scenic route, and to be sure, there will be steep hills, potholes and windy roads. We may even hit dead and and have to turn around(which happened to me several times while trying to navigate my way back to the road I wanted to get to).

It's the roadblocks and windy roads that build our character. Through them we must trust Him in following a new path. Maybe not the one marked  out on the map, but He will take us to the right destination.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross,scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:1-2