Three Decades – Held Together by Grace


Today Russ and I are celebrating three decades of marriage. I am profoundly thankful for the life God has given us and the way He continues to work in our lives. More than anything, we want to honor Jesus with our marriage, and while we falter and fail on a regular basis, we pull one another up and press on.

In honor of today, I’m quickly sharing 30 things I’m thankful for in our lives.

giving thanks #1341 – 1370

10,958 days of faithfulness

adventures from WA to NY to CO to ID

Russ’ commitment to me and our children

high school graduation from rival high schools, college together

engaged at 18, married at 20

Hannah born in our little apartment in downtown Seattle

moving to NY

driving across the country

a pregnancy test on the way

graduate student housing – and cinder block walls

Mary Katherine born, followed by Noah, then Samuel

picking strawberries with our toddlers

hiking with friends, a baby always on Russ’ back

youth hostels on Cape Cod

three car seats wedged in the back seat

outgrowing our Subaru and buying a big, old station wagon – four car seats

driving west and moving to CO

Russ caring for me in sickness and health

Isaiah born, probably our last

Annarose born, surely our last

moving closer to family – Idaho

Sunshine born, definitely our last

God taking us on the greatest adventure of our lives

the children God gave us through adoption, drawn to us from Ethiopia

all 13 of us wedged into our house on the hill

Whidbey Island memories

Sunday dinners – gathering around our dining room table

Russ – solid as a rock for me

Jesus – holding us together when we didn’t have the strength to do it on our own

til death do us part

There is so much more I could write this morning, but the day is up and running, VBS, wedding tasks, and celebrating our anniversary with our kids tonight.

What a life!







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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Alex
    June 9, 2014

    Congratulations Lisa and Russ!!! Your thirty things are beautiful! *tears* Thank you so much for sharing! We haven't even made it to the ten year mark yet. We have so much to learn (from people like you!).

  2. Erika
    June 9, 2014

    Happy Anniversary

  3. Alyssa
    June 9, 2014

    Congratulations! May you have many more grace filled years! Enjoy your week fo celebrating!

  4. Joelle
    June 9, 2014

    I remember celebrating with you after a pregnancy test on the way to NY. So glad for fond memories of the times we've had to enjoy our growing families together and glad for the cousin bond our kids have developed.

  5. Angela
    June 9, 2014

    congratulations to you both!! It is a huge thing, I am only learning but have 17 years together with my husband!

  6. adventisthomemaker
    June 9, 2014

    Beautiful thoughts! Happy anniversary!!

  7. MommaFoster
    June 9, 2014

    Wow! That's so wonderful! Congratulations Lisa and Russ!

  8. Jessica
    June 10, 2014

    Congratulations, what a wonderful list of blessings!

  9. DFNY
    June 10, 2014

    Congratulations to you both! What a beautiful list…nice way of summarizing so many blessings. Here's to many more years of wedded bliss!


  10. Mary Andrews
    June 10, 2014

    You, Russ and your family are a blessing to all of us and role models for the grandchildren in our family. A toast to you and all you and Russ stand for. Bravo to thrity years….and many more to come. We celebrate with you . Love you. Dad and Mom

  11. Heidi
    June 12, 2014

    Congratulations. I'm thankful for your example.


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