Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings {Amish Family Recipes}

Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings | LydiaGlick.com

As a little girl I watched my mama make my favorite apple dessert, Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings, using the recipe from her worn copy of the Mennonite Community Cookbook. The Granny Smith apples enclosed in a delicate, flaky crust, bathed in scrumptious, buttery, brown sugar sauce and topped off with cream, equals perfection. Naturally, I’ve chosen to share this favorite recipe of mine with my girls, and with you, here on 31 days of Amish Family Recipes!

Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings | LydiaGlick.com

Begin with a half-dozen green apples. This is the perfect opportunity to use some you’ve just picked from a local orchard! My favorite spot to pick apples, is the lovely Weaver’s Orchard, in Morgantown, PA, which is where my Grandpa’s farm is located.

Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings | LydiaGlick.com

To begin making this delicious dessert, core and peel the apples, keeping them whole. I loved watching my mama perform this step when I was a little girl. She made it look effortless! Although the recipe doesn’t call for it, I immediately brush my cored apples with lemon juice, to prevent them from browning.

Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings | LydiaGlick.com

Next it’s time to make the pastry crust. I use all-natural coconut oil shortening and sea salt combined with non-bleached organic flour, non-aluminum baking powder and farm-fresh milk. Resist the urge to over-handle this dough, as it will be flakier if handling is kept to a minimum.

Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings | LydiaGlick.com

I always enjoy rolling out this soft crust, cutting it into six pieces and placing the cored apples on top.

Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings | LydiaGlick.com

Now it’s time to fill the apple centers with brown sugar and sprinkle them with cinnamon. I use dark brown sugar, as it gives the Apple dumplings a rich flavor. I live just outside of Houston, TX, so I like to use Imperial Sugar, because it’s local – and, of course delicious!

Next, make the sauce, using brown sugar, cinnamon, water, butter.

Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings | LydiaGlick.com

Finally, wrap the dumplings by folding the edges toward the center and gently pressing the pastry together. Place in greased baking pan (I like to use my stoneware piece), and pour the brown sugar sauce over top. It’s time to bake the Apple dumplings!

Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings | LydiaGlick.com

After baking at 375 for 35-40 minutes, the Apple dumplings are ready to eat. They’re delicious served fresh and warm, with cream, milk, or vanilla ice cream!

Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings {Amish Family Recipes}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 6-10 servings

Old-fashioned Apple Dumplings {Amish Family Recipes}


  • 6 medium-sized apples
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Sauce: 2 cups brown sugar (I use dark brown)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg, optional (I use both)


  1. Pare and core apples. Leave whole.
  2. To make pastry, sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
  3. Cut in shortening until particles are about the size of peas.
  4. Sprinkle milk over mixture and press together lightly, working dough only long enough to hold together.
  5. Roll dough as for pastry (or pie crust thickness) and cut into 6 squares and place an apple on each.
  6. Fill cavity in apple with sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Pat dough around Apple to cover it completely.
  8. Fasten edges securely on top of Apple.
  9. Place dumplings 1 inch apart in a greased baking pan.
  10. Pour over them the sauce made as follows:
  11. Combine brown sugar, water and spices.
  12. Cook for 5 minutes, remove from heat and add butter.
  13. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.
  14. Baste occasionally during baking.
  15. Serve hot with rich milk or cream.


Source: Mrs. Forrest Ogburn; Mrs. U. Grant Weaver, Mrs. James Bauman; Mennonite Community Cookbook

Chow-Chow {Amish Family Recipes}

Chow Chow Recipe | LydiaGlick.com | Amish Family Recipes

Some of my favorite foodie-memories are of the specialty canned goods and preserves my grandmothers and mother made. There’s one item that is particularly “Amish”, as I’ve never seen it anywhere but in the Amish-Mennonite community; and that is Chow Chow. What in the world is “Chow Chow”? It’s a relish of sorts, made with a variety of vegetables, vinegar, sugar and seasonings. The flavors are traditionally sweet and sour, but some cooks like to make a spicy variety! It is usually served as a side dish with traditional Amish meals, and brings a sweet and tangy flavor to the menu. There are many wonderful recipes to be found including raw and fermented, but today I am sharing one from the Mennonite Community Cookbook, first published in 1950.

Chow Chow Recipe | LydiaGlick.com | Amish Family Recipes

Begin the process by washing and chopping your vegetables to the desired size.

Chow Chow Recipe | LydiaGlick.com | Amish Family Recipes

Amish cooks use ingredients fresh from their garden. As with all traditional and simple recipes, the taste will always be best when using the freshest produce possible.

Chow Chow Recipe | LydiaGlick.com | Amish Family Recipes

My grandmother used not only green beans in her Chow Chow, but Lima beans, yellow wax beans and kidney beans as well. Yum, yum! As a small child, I helped her chop and mix the vegetables in her large, antique crock.

Chow Chow Recipe | LydiaGlick.com | Amish Family Recipes

After chopping the vegetables, cook them briefly. I combine the vegetables that require a longer time to cook in one pot, (such as lima beans, cauliflower and green beans) and the ones that cook quickly (onions, peppers and cucumbers) in another. All the vegetables should retain their crunchy texture, and only be cooked for a few minutes. Although the recipe does not call for it, I add a small amount of sea salt to the water while cooking them.

Chow Chow Recipe | LydiaGlick.com | Amish Family Recipes

While your vegetables are heating, combine the vinegar and seasonings, and cook together until the mixture comes to a boil. (I like to use apple cider vinegar and raw sugar.)

Chow Chow Recipe | LydiaGlick.com | Amish Family Recipes

Combine all the vegetables and mix together gently. Pack into jars, then distribute the boiling liquid you’ve prepared evenly into each one. Be sure to clean the tops of your jars so they can seal properly.

Chow Chow Recipe | LydiaGlick.com | Amish Family Recipes

Place prepared lids on jars, and lower into your canner. Bring water to a boil.

Chow Chow Recipe | LydiaGlick.com | Amish Family Recipes

My dear great-aunt Anna has a cookbook called “The Esh Family Cookbook”. I follow her canning directions Chow Chow, and cold pack my chow chow for 5 minutes after the water starts to boil.

Chow Chow Recipe | LydiaGlick.com | Amish Family Recipes

(This photo shows Chow Chow in one of my Grandma Esh’s delightful serving bowls.)

Place the jars on a shelf where everyone can enjoy their simple beauty as a work of kitchen-art, and enjoy this German sweet and sour delight! My grandmother always served her Chow Chow in beautiful dishes, no matter the occasion.

Chow-Chow {Amish Family Recipes}

Yield: 4 Quarts

Chow-Chow {Amish Family Recipes}


  • 1 quart cucumbers, diced
  • 1 quart string beans
  • 1 quart Lima beans
  • 1 quart corn
  • 1 pint celery
  • 1 pint green peppers
  • 1 pint red peppers
  • 1 cup small onions
  • 1 Tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 quart vinegar


  1. Chop vegetables the desired size and cook separately.
  2. Cook until tender, not soft.
  3. Drain cooked vegetables and mix together.
  4. Combine sugar, mustard and vinegar.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Add mixed vegetables to hot liquid and bring to a boiling point.
  7. Put into hot jars and seal.


Recipe source; Mrs. Olive Bergey, Souderton, PA. ; Mennonite Community Cookbook

Chicken and Corn Soup with Rivels {Amish Family Recipe}

Chicken and Corn Soup #amishfamilyrecipes #lydiaglick

Few things say “comfort” in this autumn season, as beautifully as a bowl of homemade soup. I’ve decided to begin these 31 days of Amish Family recipes with this simple, delicious Chicken and Corn Soup recipe, from The Mennonite Community Cookbook. Its light broth is the perfect base for the juicy chicken, fresh corn, sweet onions, tender celery and of course; “rivels”, or dumplings, that together make up a bowl-full of yumminess our entire family loves.

The recipe is straightforward, and requires no seasonings other than salt and pepper. The savor comes instead from fresh ingredients, which this recipe allows to shine! For optimal taste, it’s important to buy your chicken and vegetables from a local source, where they’ve just recently been gathered and harvested.

The familiar flavors of this soup instantly take me back to fond memories of times when we gathered around my grandmother’s table in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. My mother also made amazing Chicken and Corn Soup, with fresh sweet corn from the garden, and tasty, home-raised chickens. I know your family and friends will enjoy eating this soup together too!

Chicken and Corn Soup #amishfamilyrecipes #lydiaglick

To begin, simply rinse a whole chicken, place in large pot, and cover with cool water.

Chicken and Corn Soup #amishfamilyrecipes #lydiaglick

After the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan, strain the broth, and place broth back in pan.

Chicken and Corn Soup #amishfamilyrecipes #lydiaglick

Add corn, bring to a gentle boil, then reduce to a simmer.

Chicken and Corn Soup #amishfamilyrecipes #lydiaglick

Chop chicken, celery and onion into desired sizes. Although some cooks like to dice the vegetables into fine pieces, I like to keep them larger so those who don’t care for celery or onion can easily pick it out and give it to someone else at the table who loves them! (Namely, me. 😉 )

Chicken and Corn Soup #amishfamilyrecipes #lydiaglick

Add celery and onion to pot, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook at a gentle simmer while you prepare your rivels.

Chicken and Corn Soup #amishfamilyrecipes #lydiaglick

Combine milk, flour and egg in bowl, to make your rivels. (AKA, dumplings.)

Chicken and Corn Soup #amishfamilyrecipes #lydiaglick

Cut with two forks, a pastry cutter, or your hands until small pieces form together.

Chicken and Corn Soup #amishfamilyrecipes #lydiaglick

Bring soup back to a gentle boil. Slowly add rivels, stirring gently. (If you don’t have time to make rivels, simply use noodles – or opt for a gluten-free version and forego the rivels and pasta altogether!) Finally, add the chopped chicken. Cook for 5-10 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally. And there you have it! Your delectable soup is ready to serve.

Chicken and Corn Soup #amishfamilyrecipes #lydiaglick

Chicken and Corn Soup with Rivels

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: Serves 10

Chicken and Corn Soup with Rivels


  • Soup: 1, 4-5 pound chicken
  • 4 quarts cold water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery and leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • 2 hard boiled eggs (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Rivels (Dumplings) 1 cup flour *note; I use 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt *note; original recipe does not call for salt in the rivels


  1. Soup: Cook chicken 1 - 1 1/2 hours, or until it is tender, adding salt 30 minutes before it is done.
  2. Remove chicken and strain broth through a fine sieve.
  3. Take meat from bones and cut in bite sized pieces. Set aside.
  4. Add corn to broth and bring to boil. Add chopped onions, celery and season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce to simmer.
  5. (While soup simmers for 10-15 minutes, assemble rivels. | Rivels: Combine flour, egg, milk and 1/4 teaspoon salt in bowl. Rub this mixture together with forks until the size of peas, and drop into boiling soup.
  6. 5-10 minutes before serving, add rivels, then add chicken and optional chopped boiled eggs. Cover and cook gently for 5 minutes. Serves 10. "This is delicious!"


Recipe Source: Mrs. B. L. Bucher, Dallastown, PA; Ruth Slaymaker, Leola, PA. - The Mennonite Community Cookbook


Becoming a Woman of Worship and Prayer {#MissionWomanhood}


What is worship?

www.lydiaglick.com #missionwomanhoodDefinition of “WORSHIP”, taken from Webster’s 1828 Dictionary:

1. To adore; to pay divine honors to; to reverence with supreme respect and veneration.

Thou shalt worship no other God. Exodus 34:14.

2. To respect; to honor; to treat with civil reverence.

3. To honor with extravagant love and extreme submission; as a lover.

We all worship something (or elevate the importance of some one or something, and hold it in high regard). We were created to worship, and it’s something that comes naturally to us. Most girls and women worship celebrities, beauty, relationships, expectations, ideals, ourselves, education, career, security, money, social status, fashion, boys & men, and even family to some degree. We begin to worship something when we set our attention on it often, and it begins to become the primary affection and focus of our lives.

The problem with placing too much importance in any of the above mentioned things is that they can never satisfy the deepest longings of your soul. Although many of these things are important and even wonderful, at some point every one of them will never fail to disappoint you, and let you down. Although they may give you temporary feelings of happiness, in and of themselves they will never bring you complete joy.

The only place you will find the kind of joy that stands the tests of time, difficult circumstances, change, and even persecution, is worshipping God.

Some things to think about:

  • Do you believe in God?
  • Do you have a relationship with God?
  • How can you worship a God you don’t know?
  • How can you know a God you never talk to?

If you believe in God, you will have a desire to know God. And as you learn to know God, you can’t help but worship him. When you continually talk to God (pray), you will begin to know Him more and more. And it will result in more intimate and powerful prayers and more beautiful and meaningful worship of Jesus.

Learning to worship and pray to God:

Becoming a woman of prayer and worship doesn’t mean you must become a nun, be the best and loudest singer at church on Sunday mornings, or say specific prayers over and over again. It simply requires a conscious effort to make both worship and prayer a part of your normal, everyday rhythms.

If you want to know God you need to talk to him. That’s called prayer. When you know more about God, you will be amazed by who He is, and what He’s done. Acknowledging those things is called worship.

Make worship and prayer part of everything. Start your day with prayer. End your day with prayer. And pray for everything in between. Worship God while you are lying in your bed, by singing a song right then and there, or bursting into song while you’re cleaning your room, washing the dishes or driving down the road with your family. You can even whistle a tune to Jesus while you’re grocery shopping!

Worship and prayer are as simple as whispering “Thank you, Jesus”, when you see a blessing He has given to you, or remember something He has done for you, and “God, please help me” when you need Him in any circumstance throughout the day or night.

Pray and worship alone, with your family, and with your friends. What if you don’t feel like it? What if it feels awkward? What if you don’t sound like a pastor, or worship leader? Pray and worship anyway! Just as anything else in life, it becomes more natural and less intimidating when we practice it often.

Step out and be the one who initiates prayer at home, when you’re with your friends, when you’re at school and even while you’re out in public places like the mall. Be known as the girl who prays! Be known as the woman who worships Jesus with every part of her life! Let worship and prayer become part of your identity.

Things that have helped me most, in learning how to worship and pray:

  • Reading the Psalms in my Bible.
  • Spending countless hours of time with friends in the prayer room who know how to pray and worship, and have taught me how to do the same, and studying the lives of those who worship and pray.
  • Using The Lord’s Prayer as a guide for my prayers. (As you say the Lord’s Prayer, pause after each portion and personalize it.)
  • Worshipping God through His Word. (Use passages in the Bible that talk about God, read those verses aloud and pray them back to God – adding your own worshipful words to them.
  • Using prayers in the Bible as a starting place for your own prayers. (Click here for a resource I use.)
  • Setting aside time in the day to worship and adore God, not asking Him for anything, simply meditating on who He is, and what He has done – and then thanking Him and praising Him.
  • Setting aside time in the day to pray and intercede for others, and keeping a prayer journal to help me remember who to pray for, and record answers to specific prayers.
  • Listening to praise and worship music.
  • Reading books about worship and prayer, and learning all I can about the subject.

You can tell what someone worships by the way they live their life and the things they talk about. You can tell who someone regularly talks to, by the words that come out of their mouth and their actions that follow. My desire for you daughter, is that you will be a worshipper of our beloved Jesus, and a woman who knows and talks to her God. And in turn that your worship and prayer overflow into every crevice of your life, making each moment a beautiful offering to Him, the One who is forever worthy of all your affection, who will always be faithful and true, and the One who loves you more than you can ever imagine.


Learn to Love God’s Word {#MissionWomanhood}


Dear daughter of mine,

There is one thing you can do that will make a more significant impact in your life as a woman than anything else in the world:

Read and learn to love God’s Word. There’s no greater treasure that’s been given to you than your Bible. It is God’s letter to you. When you read it you will begin to understand His indescribable love for you. It is God’s life manual for you. When you read His words, He will open the eyes of your heart to the perfect plan He has lovingly designed for your life.

If you spend time in church and around Christians you’ll hear much talk about reading and studying your Bible. It’s a large book so it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused about where to begin. Please don’t let the thousands of bible studies, reading methods, devotional books, online bibles, bible apps on your phone, audio bibles and every other imaginable bible resource keep you doing this simple, simple thing:

Pick up your Bible, open the pages and read it. Every. Single. Day. 

Why? God’s Word is the single most important thing that will sustain you through every minute, day, year and season of your life. His Word will give you light and comfort when you walk through dark valleys, sustain you in the hardest times, teach you what to do in every possible life circumstance, give you wisdom for the most complex situations imaginable, show you how to follow Jesus, and (most importantly) your bible will help you learn to know and love God.

As time goes on I know that you will have access to many wonderful resources that will help study your bible, and I encourage you to use them. But for now, I simply want to share with you five primary ways I’ve grown familiar with God’s word over the years. These are things that have helped me learn to love and know God’s word, and I know they will help you to do the same.

  • Follow a one-year reading plan for your Bible. You can purchase a “One Year Bible” which makes it very simple to read through your bible in a year’s time, or you can follow a printed plan and use the bible you already own. Either way, this is an excellent way to become familiar with God’s word, and it will help you develop the habit and discipline of reading it every day. Decide on a time that works well for you, and stick with it. Read your bible every day, and don’t feel guilty when you miss a day. Just start back up again, right where you left off.
  • Read through the Psalms and Proverbs monthly. This is my personal favorite! There are 150 chapters in the book of Psalms and 31 chapters in the book of Proverbs, so it is very simple to read through the entire book of Psalms and Proverbs every month. Here’s how it’s done: On the first day of the month, read Psalm 1, 31, 61, 91 and 121. On the second day Psalm 2, 32, 62, 92 and 122 – and so on. When a month has thirty-one days, read the longest Psalm: chapter 119, on the 31st. And as for the book of Proverbs: read Proverbs 1 on the first day, 2 on the second day, and so on.
  • Write in your bible. As you read the Word, underline, highlight and/or circle words, verses and passages that stand out to you. If a question or revelation about something you’re reading comes to mind, make note of it in the margin of your bible. Take your bible with you to church and do the same thing while you’re following along your pastor’s teaching. Also be sure to write the date beside the main passage your pastor is preaching from, so that if you ever want to access the podcast of that sermon you can find it easily. As you continue to read through your Bible over the years, you will treasure the notes you left for yourself!
  • Pray before you read your bible. Here’s a simple prayer from John Piper that will help you prepare your heart as you read God’s word. You can write in the front of your bible to help you remember it:

Incline my heart to you, not to prideful gain or any false motive.
Open my eyes to behold wonderful things in your Word.
Unite my heart to fear your name.
Satisfy me with your steadfast love.

  • Write down verses that are special to you. As you read through your bible on a regular basis you will come across verses that make an impression on your heart. When this happens, don’t let that verse fall to the wayside never to be remembered again. Do one of two things: Keep a journal where you write these special verses down, or keep a little box with index cards handy, and write each of these verses on a card (with the date), and put it in the box. Over the years, this special, personal collection of verses will become one of your greatest treasures, and you can pull it out and read through the verses any time you need encouragement.

Remember there are people in other areas of the world who don’t have the privilege of having a Bible. Never take reading it for granted. It is a precious gift in your hands. Don’t complain about not feeling, knowing or hearing God if you’re not willing to read His word. It may seem boring, ancient, and dry at first, but as you make time to read it, you will grow to understand that it is so much more than just words on a page. God’s word is alive and active and when you spend time in the pages, and meditate on the words inside, I promise it will change your life.

I love you,


~ Justina Dee


John Piper’s Letter to a 13-Year Old Asking How to Go Deeper in Bible Study

Daily Bible Reading Plan via Desiring God & ESV.org



beYOUtiful {bathroom wall makeover}

beYOUtiful #lydiaglick #missionwomanhood


As I’m traveling this “journey to womanhood” with my daughters I decided to do a quick makeover on their bathroom wall. They spend a lot of time in that room, so it’s the perfect place to put up some important reminders for them from their mama!

I used things we already had in our crafting closet to make it, so it cost me nothing but a little time.

Supplies needed:

  • Scrapbook paper
  • White Annie Sloan chalk paint
  • Washi tape

Quotes used:

  • “I love you always” ~ Jesus
  • Be brave today
  • You are my sunshine
  • She believed she could, so she did
  • Hello, you are amazing!
  • beYOUtiful
  • Adventure awaits you!
  • I love you to the moon and back
  • Songbird spread your wings, fly and sing

I love to encourage my girls. And I hope this inspires you to cheer your kiddos on today! It’s a tough world out there, and they need our constant love and support.

~ Justina Dee


Seek God First {#missionwomanhood}

One Thing #lydiaglick #missionwomanhood

Daughters of mine,

Womanhood is a vast adventure and there are countless opinions and ideas about what it means to be a woman. I want to teach you some of the lessons I’ve learned and things I’ve come to understand. I’ve learned these lessons through watching women I admire and strive to emulate, through painful mistakes, misplaced hopes & dreams, and the school of life. Most of all I’ve learned them as a result of my relationship with Christ.

That is why we’re beginning our “40 Lessons in Womanhood” with this: SEEK GOD FIRST. It’s the most important thing you will do in your entire life. Everything else pales in comparison to the joy and fulfillment of knowing God.

When your deepest and primary desire is to know and see Jesus, the path for your life will fall into place. Knowing God doesn’t mean your circumstances will be easy, but a relationship with Him will result in a life that is meaningful, and brings about the beautiful and purposeful destiny that God designed for you.

As a daughter of God, you must decide that the one thing you will place ahead of anything else in your life is to seek after God and live in His presence. Of course we know that God is everywhere. And He promises that He is always with us. But to know His beauty and His matchless love in a tangible way, we must continually set our mind, heart and affections on God.

So, how does a girl go about seeking after God? Here are three ways to begin: (these three steps are modifications from a John Piper article referenced below.)

1. First, you must make a conscious choice to seek Him, and set your mind on Him – as you read your Bible, spend time with other people who reflect His character, and as you enjoy the beauty of His creation.

2. Next, you must avoid things that dull your sensitivity to hearing, seeing, understanding and knowing God. Start your morning with prayer, and during that time ask God to open your eyes and reveal himself to you. Continue with that heart as you go about your day. If there are things that cause you to feel distant from God, RUN from them!

3. Pride is a massive roadblock in our lives, and causes us to turn away from God instead of seeking after Him. When you feel yourself reaching a position of not needing or wanting God to be involved in any area of your life you can be sure you are not walking in humility. Ask God to change your heart.

In closing, here’s a quote that I love very much. Please carry this with you for the rest of your life:

The great promise to those who seek the Lord is that he will be found. “If you seek him, he will be found by you” (1 Chronicles 28:9). And when he is found, there is great reward. “Whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). God himself is our greatest reward. And when we have him, we have everything. Therefore, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!” ~ John Piper

As your mother, my deepest longing is that you will seek after and know Jesus. There is no greater treasure to me, or measure of successful womanhood, than seeing you walk in the knowledge and fullness of His immeasurable love for you.

Verses to meditate on:

Chronicles 22:19a”Now set your mind and heart to seek the Lord your God” 1 Chronicles 22:19a

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:1-2

Related Song: 

Cory Asbury, My Beloved 


My main source of reference for this post is this incredible, beautifully written article: John Piper’s “What Does It Mean to Seek the Lord”. Please take time to read it, I know it will encourage you! 

Read more about the #MissionWomanhood series here



Stories // Anastasia

The day she joined our family forever!

The day she joined our family forever!

I’m so excited to share a beautiful video about our adoption journey, created by Petro Studios, Church Project’s Story Team, and The Orphan Care Network. As you watch this 6 minute film, please remember that there are an estimated 153 million children worldwide in need of families, and think about what role you could play in bringing them home.

Our story would not look the same without the countless prayers, gifts and support of our family, friends, church, community and even people we’ve never met. This film is not simply about Anastasia, our family or TOCN, but instead demonstrates what can happen when people dare to believe they can make a difference, and (instead of sitting idly by) invest into the lives of those they love. The community around us partnered with our dream of bringing Anastasia home. Through their actions, God’s will is being done in our family. To Him be the glory!

~ Justina Dee

Read more about our adoption journey here: She’s Finally Home : Our Ukrainian Adoption Journey & Timeline

Click here to connect with The Orphan Care Network


Five Ways to Pray for Adopted Children and Their Adoptive Siblings

Forever Sisters #lydiaglick

Forever Sisters

As everyone knows, adoption brings with it a multitude of changes to the pre-adoption rhythms of a home. Our family’s adoption story is still young, but I can say with confidence that we have experienced the power of a multitude of prayers on our behalf, and my husband and I see God at work in the hearts and lives of our children.

There are countless ways to pray for adoptive families and I feel it’s important to share at least a few practical things to begin praying for any children you know who are experiencing the transitions that take place during the initial stage of adoption, when your child is finally home.

If you have any resources or insight that would help others know how to pray for adoptive families, please feel free to share them in the comment section below!

Anastasia #lydiaglick


How to Pray for an Adopted Child:

1. That they would see and know the great hope and love of Jesus and choose to make Him the Lord of their life. Ephesians 1:17-19

2. That they would be healed from all wounds of their past and see their new identity  – not as an orphan but as the child of a forever family who is demonstrating a picture of our Heavenly Father’s love for them. And that they would understand the promises of a future filled with hope and purpose as a child of God. Romans 8:15-16

3. For grace & courage in the massive transition to an entirely new life, culture, family, friends, values, rules, language, church, school and relationships. Deuteronomy 31:6

4. That they would learn put their trust in God, that through His kindness and beautiful light, the barriers and walls would crumble and they would feel safe and unafraid to communicate their hurts, fears and pain (as well as dreams, desires and feelings) with their new family, teachers and mentors.  Psalm 36:7-9

5. That God would give them a new heart and a teachable spirit, and for new and healthy patterns to be established in their heart and mind.  Ezekiel 36:26-29

Alexa #lydiaglick

Alexa Kathryn

How to Pray for an Adoptive Sibling

1. That they would grow in their knowledge of the love of Jesus and gain deeper understanding of the infinite love and grace He has for them – in such great capacity to in turn extend His love and grace to their new sibling. Ephesians 3:16-19

2. That they would be confident in their identity and established place in the family and as a child of God – in spite of any turmoil, less time with parents or changes to the pre-adoption family and household routines. Ephesians 1:17-19

3. That they would stand firm on the rock of God’s word, for protection from the enemy, and rest in God’s faithfulness. Also that every moment of their day would be directed by Christ’s love and plan for their life. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

4. That God would give them insight and understanding of their new sibling’s scarred history, complex personality, God-given strengths and any weaknesses, so they will not simply endure the difficult days, but instead be triumphant in their opportunities to be a tangible reflection of Jesus to their new sibling. Phil. 1:9-11

5. Mature patience, an unwavering spirit and unconditional love for their new sibling, as well as wisdom to grasp the beauty of their missional and Christ-like role in embracing a new sibling who doesn’t yet fall into the “normal” role or picture our community and society portray for brothers and sisters. Colossians 1:9-12

~ Justina Dee

She’s Finally Home! {Our Ukrainian Adoption Journey & Timeline}


Every adoption story is beautiful, redemptive and unique. Throughout the next weeks I’ll be blogging about events and things that transpired in the years, months, weeks and moments leading to the unforgettable day our daughter finally joined our family forever. Before I do that, I wanted to share the overview of our #UkraineToTexas timeline & adoption story:

1993: Even before we married we talked of adoption and knew that someday we would bring children home who (although they weren’t biologically ours) were destined to be in our family.

1995: We celebrated a beautiful, storybook wedding in March of 1995. As a young married woman I struggled with and grieved over my infertility issues. Whether we had biological children some day or not, my husband and I never doubted that we would adopt, and continued to have conversations about what that looked like for us.

2001-2002: After seven years of marriage, many doctor visits, surgery for endometriosis and still no pregnancy, our adoption plans began in earnest, and we began to research domestic adoption agencies, with the prospects of bringing home a toddler.

2003: Adoption plans came to a halt when we were married eight years and a miracle happened. My deep desire to become a mother came to pass when I became pregnant God and gave us a beautiful and perfect daughter! She is a gift from Heaven – a delight to us and many others. As soon as she could begin to grasp the concept of adoption, we explained to her that she would have an adopted brother or sister someday.

2005: When our daughter was two, those adoption plans were dusted off and things began in earnest. We began to pray regularly, and seek God regarding His plans for our adoption.

2006: During my devotions early on the morning of June 25, 2006, I had a vision of a little girl in a blue barrel. I knew two things: she was our future daughter, and she was somewhere in Eastern Europe. We began to pray for her – that God would protect and keep her, reveal His love to her, bring people into her life to show Jesus to her, and bring her home to us some day.

2010: We visited the Together For Adoption conference in Austin, TX, with our pastor Jason Johnson, and a group of adoption minded families from our church. During that conference God confirmed to us that the girl we were praying for was in Ukraine, and we began looking at agencies who could facilitate our adoption from that country.

Adoption plans were put on hold when a close family member experienced a serious illness.

2013: We knew we had to get this adoption process back on track. We asked family and friends if they knew anyone who had adopted from Ukraine. My aunt Rachel connected us with friends of hers at Ukrainian Resource Center. We decided to host nine-year old Luba that summer, through the program they had in place. We had a life changing summer with Luba, and desperately wanted to adopt her. But she did not want to leave Ukraine, and chose to stay at the orphanage instead of coming to a new family in America. (Insert our heartbreak here.) Our family was greatly affected during Luba’s time with us, and we had a completely new understanding of this thing called “Orphan Care”.


We continued to pray for our future daughter.

2014: Our family’s adoption plans began in earnest. We decided to host another girl, but were having considerable difficulty during our family’s deliberations of who that girl should be. We were not planning to host or adopt anyone older than our biological daughter who was then ten years old, until another miraculous dream (this time from my sister in Virginia) confirmed that God had chosen (then 15 year old) Anastasia for our family. We immediately began the adoption process (even before she came to visit) and began communicating with her via a dear friend who served children at her school in Ukraine.

Our family vacation

In the summer of 2014 Anastasia came to America for a six-week hosting program trip, facilitated by Ukrainian Resource Center. Meeting her for the first time was an incredible experience. We shared a memorable summer with her, and celebrated her sixteenth birthday with family and friends. She had to go back to the orphanage in Ukraine until adoption paperwork was complete, and left in late July.

Adoption Paperwork

We finally received our notice from Ukraine’s State Department of Adoption that our appointment date was on December 15th of 2014, and we made a one week trip to Ukraine in mid-December. We returned to America to wait for our formal adoption court date.


2015: Word of our court date came in early January, and we traveled back a second time to formally adopt Anastasia on January 15, 2015, in a small courtroom inside a run down ex-Soviet government building in South East Ukraine.

Adoption Day

We arrived home with our daughter on February 7, 2015, one month before our twentieth wedding anniversary.

As for what’s happening now: We know this is just the beginning, we’re settling into our new “normal”, and we look forward to the rest of the story God has written for our family!


Thank you for the love, prayers, financial support and countless other ways you’ve blessed and served our family over the years. You are part of this story, and it would not look the same without you.

~ Justina Dee