yvonnedowns yvonnedowns

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Yvonne Downs 

When friends are family of the heart.

These five share a treasured friendship. What a gift the Schulers are to the Downs. We cherish you!

Lives change around the table. Intentional conversation. Looking into each other's eyes. Listening. Sharing honestly..."when the Jesus in me meets the Jesus in you". If God is real, then how does that affect my every breath?

Who will you invite to coffee? Who can you have over for chocolate chip cookies and open your Bible with?... and give Jesus to in the normal day to day?

#ifgathering2017 #ifcoarsegold #smallthingswell #joysofstetsoncourt

Beautiful moments that change our lives!

Yesterday Julianne and Avery entered into a lifetime marriage covenant!

It was a joy to witness their love expressed and promises made before the LORD, our Covenant Making, Covenant Keeping God, and celebrate with family.

Brian, what a gift to celebrate our 24th anniversary ushering our youngest daughter into a life of being a picture of Christ and the Church to the world.

#beautifulphotobomber

Disney World with the Downs Family! Grateful for the sweetness of building memories together with people I love so much!

Seeing this "first" through the eyes of Stephen and John is cherished by me.

#turkeylegsbringjoy
#downsfamilydisney2016
#timewithkyisagift
#brianyouareawesome
#missingash
#averyandjuheresoon

Two years ago, today, Brian met his new sons and I was reunited with them, but for the first time as their mom.

It was sacred and indescribable, when, before my eyes I witnessed the beginnings of restoration from pain and brokenness.

The 3 hour ride I sat in wonder as we held our newest precious children, only communicating with smiles and touch...stopping along the way to grab chicken on a stick, not knowing what the days ahead would hold but believing God each step of the way because He was and is and will always be faithful.

LOVE.

It goes beyond language and color. There is a heart language between parent and child that bridges the gap of Lusoga and English.

LOVE.

We know Jesus more because of these joyfilled sons.

But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

His matchless love compels us to love.

Today is a big deal in the Downs Home. We celebrate and remember Christ in it all!

We are family because the LORD gave us to one another and because YOU prayed for, gave generously, cheered on, walked with, and welcomed all of us into your hearts and lives!

One year ago today we sat before a judge who declared Stephen and John have full rights of sons of the Downs family.

We cut a covenant as we signed our full names on the page that that held their new names.

Grace. Adoption is a gift.

Stephen drew this a couple of days ago. We were sitting together coloring in the evening and of all things he could draw this is what he chose.

I'm not sure he, or we, can fully grasp the significance of wholeness, the continued healing of deep pain, this picture holds.

Family. Those are beautiful and weighty words.

Hands held. We are not in this alone but walk together in Christ through the highs and lows and mundane.

The sun. Jesus is the Light of the World. Such brilliance. Joy. Warmth. Beauty.

A rainbow. God's promise. He keeps covenant. We are in His family forever!

Hearts. We live in the love of Jesus and get to give Him to all people!

John is a citizen of the United States of America as of today!

What a privilege. What a responsibility.

He is a citizen of heaven, too, and loves His King deeply. He has full rights in the Kingdom of God!

We celebrate together!

Tears pooled in my eyes as I reflected on the kindness of the LORD as I watched our son with his hand raised and speaking an oath for the good of our country and amazed with how God has used this young man already to share the love of Jesus with Americans.

When Stephen's paperwork comes in, he will be a citizen, as well.

ENGAGED to be married! Our daughter, Julianne said, "Yes" to marrying Avery Austin!

Brian and I are thrilled for the two of you. We believe that you will paint a beautiful picture of Christ and the Church to a world who desperately needs the Savior. We love how the Creator has fashioned you both uniquely to give Jesus to people!

We love you and are excited to watch you make a marriage covenant in the months to come!

#joysofstetsoncourt

Just in case your Saturday needs some sunshine. I can't help but smile when I see them. Chocolate cowboys.

AND these two will be sharing the GOSPEL and ADOPTION in the family of God and in the Downs family at a Bethany Christian Services Fundraiser Dinner on September 29th. We'd love to have you join us and hear their hearts and how you can support this wonderful organization!

#joysofstetsoncourt
#theboysofstetson

I never would have guessed that grace would come to us in the form of 2 HORSES!

But grace has packaged itself this way. I love to adore our tender LORD with how He creatively and lavishly loves us.

Julianne's love for horses was birthed in the years where pain and suffering were her constant companion.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think living in the sweet community of Coarsegold would become our reality.

Never could I have imagined we would have swapped houses with a godly family with whom we wish we were actually neighbors.

When we moved to the foothills we had no idea the Healer would heal Julianne's whole person layer by layer.

Such grace.

This morning as I took this picture with Spinner and Ju and Stephen and John and Zander, my heart felt like the sun, about to burst over the mountain in the fullness of a new day.

God is faithful today and God was faithful when we didn't know if Julianne would ever get better. We will worship Him in it all! He is worthy.

The picture on the right is taken from our bedroom window. How kind the Lord is!

#joysofstetsoncourt #brianyouareawesome

John Mpandu Downs we celebrate you! Happy 12th birthday! Only the 2nd birthday you've known you had and you continue to teach me significant life lessons.

On a day that we can designate that it's "all about me", you do the opposite, you SERVE others with delight...you cut your purple birthday cake and served each person first, then only to take the last piece. (Right picture)

I never want to stop learning from you. You proclaim Christ to me.

John, the Cowboy Super Hero!

2 hours of his cape blowing in the breeze on the back of Bobbie, his horse. Precious sight.

I desire that he always feels freedom to soar just as God created him to do!