Skip to content

Category Archives: faith

just breathe

The past few years have been a bit of a blur in the newly minted House of Thornton. I’m sure all of you can imagine the chaos of adopting a non-English-speaking almost-3 year old from Ethiopia, getting engaged a week later, and married 10 weeks after that . . . AND THEN quitting one job […]

i heart my job

Auburn Student with “Full Purpose” from Eagle Eye TV on Vimeo.

I heart my brother

  Mack, What you are doing is incredible. I love you. Sincerely, Your amazingly proud big sister

i like adoption

if this doesn’t inspire you, then you deserve coal in your stocking. New Film Premiere – I Like Adoption. from on Vimeo. .

simply elegant

why care?

Why Care? Campaign

we need to talk about injustice

for more information go here

ephraim & caleb’s adoption story

Here’s the video Here’s the prezi

cleared for travel!!!

I just got the email that I’m cleared for travel to go get Ephraim!!! I’m too excited to write anything more right now, but I’ll try to update as the trip unfolds.  Oh man, did my life just get SO MUCH SWEETER!!

let me tell you what God did

I’m still processing this whole thing. The miracle-wonder that happened to our precious little family last week. I know I’ve posted this a few times already, but a few months ago God gave me Romans 4 as a vision of what He was going to do for my family: 13-15That famous promise God gave Abraham—that […]

he’s a keeper

roller coasters, guns, & kids

Last week I watched a new tv show and in one of the first scenes a character came to work with a gun. After the gun’s appearance, several characters casually mention that a gun that appears in the first act, always shows up in the third. So, I guess the beginning of the first act […]

Hello world!

Welp, our family just got a lil’ bigger! World, meet my miracle son, Ephraim.   Hallelujah!  

terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

I hate politics. I hate local politics, I hate national politics, and I hate all of the politics in between. AND I especially hate that politics are standing in between me and my son being able to be a family. I got some bad news today about the police letter that I need in order […]

mix tapes & a bit more about me

A friend and I are in the process of a really interesting dialogue related to planning our futures and as a part of it, I thought I would open up a few more bits of myself to you. Mainly because I want to begin sharing parts of my new journey towards minimalism and share with […]

confide entirely

I came across this quote the other day and it made me stop and think and wonder if the same is true in my life? I’ve given it a good thinking for the past several days and  I’m still not sure.  I think for me the faith part has certainly been a growing and a […]

rugged road

I can’t seem to get this Judee Sill song out of my head tonight. Things appear to be coming together with the adoption, but it was and still is a rugged road, which so reminds me of Addis (see below). For those not connected on Facebook, court did not pass on Monday.  Only 1 of […]

expectant faith

God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life. Psalm 62: 1-2    

morning prayers

I wait expectantly. Sunday Morning Prayers Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2011   His miracles are staggering, his wonders are surprising. His kingdom lasts and lasts, his sovereign rule goes on forever. Daniel 4:3   Just think—you don’t need a thing, you’ve got it all! All God’s gifts are right in front of you as you wait expectantly for our […]

do this, and I will take care of you

Do this, and I will take care of you. This is the promise God revealed to me at the very beginning of this adoption journey in August of 2007. As I walk through today and tomorrow, and the days to come, I will walk in the faith of my faith-father Abraham. I will believe as […]

the best medicine

After such a long, hard, and tearful day yesterday of saying goodbye for now to our children, a bunch of us went to dinner at a restaurant called Yod Abyssinia. The food was great and it was so good to be in a place where we could all relax and ‘just be’ for a minute. […]

conversations, dark chocolate, & authenticity

This is a blog I wrote a long time ago, but never posted because I wasn’t sure how to finish it.  This morning, I think I figured it out. However,  I wanted to keep it in the same context, so just know that the “tonight” I refer to was actually almost a year ago before […]

i believe in miracles

Just as God miraculously makes the sun to rise each morning over this city. Just as He makes the molecules in my body work in a rhythm that gives me life each day. Just as He created the stars and the moon and the heavens above.  Just as he healed the cancer from my father’s […]

today is a hard day

things i carry

This is a passage from the Sermon on the Mount (Message translation) found in Matthew 5. When I did the 40 day fast back in the Summer of 2007 as I prayed through the adoption calling on my life, this passage was the main focus for that time.  I had always heard people say that […]

well, he peed on me

So I guess that’s a good sign that he’s comfortable around me.  Actually when I got home to the guest house, all of the workers were quite excited for me because in Ethiopia it is considered good luck when I child pees on your leg because it means you’re going to have a baby.  At […]


    As I sit here drinking my coffee (kudos to Ethiopia for the black gold that gives me that extra umph every morning) watching the sunrise, it feels just like any other morning. Except that it’s not.  In a few short hours I will get on a bus heading to the Acacia Village and […]

how to change your life: compassion

Today I was blessed to meet two of the kids I sponsor through Compassion International. We first met in January of 2010 when I was here getting Caleb, and I was very fortunate to be able to spend more time with them on this trip. We had a great time getting to know each other […]

welp, it’s a maybe!

Just a quick update because I still have to go pack and try and make it to the airport on time, but the birth mother gave her consent and I’m still waiting on all of the letters to go through (see 50/50). There’s a chance they could be there by my court date on the […]

on faith


Just got an update from my agency and things are still 50/50 as to whether or not the adoption will go through the first stage of court next week. Here are some specific prayer requests of things that need to fall into place in order to get through this process and bring home little man: […]

thirty so far

This past Fall I hit the big 3-0 mark. And while the birthday celebration was with strangers, some of whom would become friends, it was unforgettable to say the least. I was travelling for work and we had just arrived at the Sabi Sands Region of Kruger National Park in South Africa. I couldn’t have dreamed […]

holy moly!

So my brother’s new song got released on iTunes today and is already at #11! If you have .99 cents to spare, here’s the link: SO PROUD OF YOU MACK, AND OF THE WORK YOU GUYS ARE DOING AT ELEVATION!!

immediacy and prayer

do you think he can fly?

these will never cease to be funny and also somewhat sad because I know people that really do think Jesus and Christianity are like this.

one hundred and five

That’s how many days I’ve known Caleb That’s how many days I’ve been his mother Most of the time, we do a lot of really normal stuff together Sometimes we play Sometimes we get dressed Sometimes we bathe Sometimes we eat Sometimes we sleep Sometimes we comfort each other Sometimes we just watch each other […]

live bigger

thoughts on easter

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past few days. About my faith, about my son, and also about how much our lives have changed in the last few months.  I wonder if Caleb feels safe? Does he feel loved? Does he know that he is precious? I hope as I try my best to […]


A dear friend recited this poem at lunch the other day. Poetry and lunch are not usually something that go together in my world, so it was a little breath-taking to have them merge in such a seamless way. It was a very precious moment and I hope I remember it for a very long […]

love of my heart

You are. Photo by Studio A Photography

small things with great love

“We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” -Mother Teresa Photo by Studio A Photography

faithful you will be

This is a song that has meant a lot to me recently. God Who Answers Prayer – Eleva… I can only post the first 30 seconds, but here is a link to iTunes and here are the lyrics: God who answers prayer Sees me in my need Runs to my despair Your promise I believe […]


Hallelujah from Elevation Worship on Vimeo. I’ve always found great comfort in this song. I’m not even sure which part resonates so well with my inner person. Maybe it’s the hopeful sadness? Maybe it’s the acknowledgement that life is sometimes a messy, broken thing? Or maybe it’s that to me, I find hope that other […]

jesus said it, not me

“Risk your life and get more than you ever dreamed of.” Meredith recently sent me this link and I can’t stop thinking about Katie, Amazima, and those children. I have no idea what learning about her will do to my life, but right now I’m open, so we’ll see. I challenge you to read Katie’s […]

a lesson on grief and redemption

Sometimes God asks you for a little. A smile, a kind word, 10%. Other times he asks for a lot. A car, a difficult relationship, a mission trip. And still other times he asks for everything. Reinvent your life, move to Hong Kong, become a parent. For a long time I liked to think that […]


I feel long overdue in posting, but MY GOODNESS, what a whirlwind the past week has been.  We’ve been stateside 4 days and I’m just now starting to feel human again.  My brain and my heart are so full I feel as if they are going to burst at any moment.  I was putting away […]

away we go!!

See you in a few HOURS buddy!!!

So Thankful

make your life count

Please visit HERE to sponsor a child.

christmas gift idea

Sponsor a Compassion kid.


Caleb got moved to the foster home in Addis yesterday. That’s where Mom, Meredith, and I will meet him in January. This move is a pretty big deal for the kids because it’s the first time most of them have been in a car and they’re exposed to all new people in a new place. […]

hello, my name is ______________

This is one of my favorite pictures of my parents who are now (as of last Tuesday) grandparents!!! The first (and only) time I went to Africa, my mom went with me.  About half way through the trip we got the ick.  In what seems to be a trend with me and traveling in underdeveloped […]

his birthday

Mr. Caleb has 5 fingers on each hand and 5 toes on each foot. He also turned 5 months old today. Dang so I get excited when I think about birthday parties and birthday posters (thanks to lou’s mom for that idea), special meals, showing him about giving and loving and laughing.  I can’t wait […]



2 weeks old


Practicing his side shot so he can beat Uncle Mack at hoops.

his name

Brought to you by the country of Ethiopia and the letter C

then and now

Coming back home after this holiday season I was struck with just how very different this homecoming was compared to the one 365 days prior. Then I was dog tired, emotionally spent, and sick as could be. Now I am well-rested, have many more emotional tools in my toolbox, and am healthy as a clam. […]

this i believe

1. my value will never be determined in numbers 2. neither will yours 3. one cannot have too much love 4. one should always celebrate holidays with family (both real and those you collect along the way) 4. sharing a meal is perhaps the best way to get to know someone 5. everybody needs a […]


The Missing Piece

Below is a precious email from my friend Bill.  He died a few years ago from complications from an epileptic seizure. Although I know in my mind he is gone, when I read things like this, part of me likes to pretend he’s still knocking around, wearing his white t-shirt and glasses, and as usual, […]

lectio divina

I’ve recently *read: today* started a new devotional book.  I’m not usually one for reading daily devotionals, but recently *read: the last 12 months* I’ve started feeling a bit unraveled and not quite settled.  Of the few solaces I’ve found, the primary core consisting of reading, meditating on scripture, shopping, drawing, running, and working, scripture […]


trials and grace

“Consider it pure joy my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.” James 1:2-4 (NIV) “Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come […]

juror number 21

Last week I had to report for jury duty.  Having never done it before, I had no idea what to expect. And boy was I caught off guard. The week was full of only criminal trials and they were trying to process 500 of them over the course of the week. That’s right, 500 CRIMINAL […]

august in waterton, alberta

thoughts on life and the future

Awake every day I work, run, write, teach, and try to be more human. Discovering who I’m made to be in this life, what I’m meant to do. My thoughts sometimes race emotions well inside me insecurities. And then I relax simply breathing and loving learning to let go.


Hear ye! Hear ye! The Highlands Running Small Group is kicking off THIS Saturday with a short jaunt around the neighborhood. Meet at the church parking lot at 8 a.m. Requirements: shoes & a smile!


The moon is perfect tonight. Round, white, behind hazy clouds peeking through the trees. I feel as if it’s saying to me, “Come flirt with me, dance with me, imagine, remember. Remember when you were a kid and grownups seemed so big and you seemed so small? Remember when simple things like playing hide and […]

Intentionality & The Social Justice League

First meeting of the season.  We are waking up from our hibernation & are launching the new semester THIS TUESDAY with  . . . wait for it . . . a potluck!  Hooray! 7:00 at the 528. Requirements: Humor and an Open Mind Be there or be circle.

sift as wheat

I just finished reading The Healing Path and am sitting here in the library cafe, having also just finished my lunch, mulling over the last few pages of the book. In the last passage Allender writes about relationships, cleaving to each other as we progress in our stories.  He links this notion of ‘cleaving’ to […]