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

Anastasia

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}

TexasToUkraine

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”.

Luba

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.

#texastoukraine

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!

ukrainetotexas

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

 

Snow Day in Kiev

This Ukrainian adoption journey has been the greatest adventure one could ever imagine. We have one last appointment at the embassy tomorrow and our nearly decade-long #ukrainetotexas mission will finally be complete

Thanks to limited and patchy wifi I’ve not had an opportunity to blog while in Ukraine. I look forward to sharing the story in its entirety with you soon. I can’t tell you how much it means to feel your prayers and love surround us. Thank you for playing such an important part in bringing our daughter home.

In the meantime, the sisters wanted to shoot some photos in the fresh snow that fell today in Kiev. These two. They are indescribable treasures from heaven. May they continue to grow in grace and beautiful love.

Snow Day in Kiev

~ Justina Dee

Our Thanksgiving {Children’s Edition}

Happy Thanksgiving decorations by my daughter & niece

Thanksgiving decorations by my daughter & niece

The highlight of this year’s Thanksgiving celebration in our home was time spent with my adorable niece and nephews (the best in the whole-wide-world), who came to visit for the weekend. I’d love to share a few of my favorite moments with you!

It was a gorgeous weekend in Houston, Texas, and we started Thanksgiving festivities with delicious crepes made by my brothers.

Our Thanksgiving Breakfast Picnic

Our Thanksgiving Breakfast Picnic

After breakfast was cleaned up, the girls decorated and set the table – all by themselves! I love this picture of my niece, as we were in the process of carrying all the food to the table. Before digging in to our feast, we read the Pilgrim story about the five kernels of corn, represented at each plate around our table.

"Aunt Justina, Look at this HAM!"

“Aunt Justina, look at this HAM!”

I had so much fun with the kiddos throughout the weekend! We decorated gingerbread houses (made with kits from Trader Joes).

Gingerbread Houses

Gingerbread Houses

Icing the gingerbread houses

Icing the gingerbread house

We may have eaten some candy and icing along the way. ;-)

"Our gingerbread house is the best"

“Our gingerbread house is the best”

"No, OURS is the best!"

“No, OURS is the best!”

While taking pictures of our completed masterpieces, my nephew insisted upon sticking his foot in the picture.

One of the houses - and my nephew's foot

One of the houses – and my nephew’s foot

The same nephew wanted to show me his belly button in another shot.

Gingerbread House - and belly button

Gingerbread House – and belly button

The older children played Dutch Blitz for hours on end,

Dutch Blitz

Dutch Blitz

…while the little ones played with toys and climbed the stairs.

The stairs!

The stairs!

Cousins!

Cousins!

On Friday evening we made tin foil dinners. Each of the children did a great job preparing and seasoning their own packets.

Tin Foil Packet Dinners

Tin Foil Packet Dinners

Then we enjoyed the mildly cool evening and ate around the backyard picnic table, by the light of the campfire and our lanterns.

A twilight picnic

A twilight picnic

We followed dinner with S’mores. It was perfect.

Cousin love

Cousin love

The weekend came to an end all too quickly, and we said goodbye to aunts, uncles and cousins until next time! I love Thanksgiving because it begins what I truly believe is the most wonderful time of the year. To close, here is a video made for our grandmothers – of some great moments captured on the backyard swing set. Enjoy!

~ Justina Dee

 

 

Our Ukrainian Adoption {an update}

Our girl

The beautiful girl we’re waiting to bring home forever.

If you had told my newlywed husband and I “When you’ve been married for 20 years you’ll adopt a sixteen year old girl from Ukraine who doesn’t speak English, and looks like your biological daughter”, we would have laughed at you.

But here it is: 2014, and that’s exactly what were doing.

Family Banner - in Russian

“Family” (in Russian)

We always knew we’d adopt someday. And after deciding we would bring home a daughter from Ukraine, we hosted a beautiful nine year old girl who we thought we would one day call our daughter & sister. We were forever changed after sharing an incredible summer with her. We learned a whole lot about this thing called orphan care. We loved her desperately, and still do. But she was not the girl we would bring home forever. I cried when she left. A lot. In fact, our 10 year old daughter & I couldn’t even bear to go into the room she slept in for months after she went back to Ukraine.

But God was preparing our hearts, and writing a story we couldn’t even begin to dream up.

We first saw this photo on our Ukrainian orphan hosting program’s 2013 listing:

Hosting Photo

We saw it again in the 2013 winter hosting. And then, in the summer of 2014, there it was again. This beautiful girl. We couldn’t believe she’d never been adopted. We wondered what her story was. We couldn’t forget about her. We prayed for her. And we marveled at the fact she looked so much like a beautiful girl we knew, named Ioana.

Sadly, we didn’t even entertain the thought of hosting (or adopting!) her, because she was much older than the daughter we imagined bringing home forever.

That all changed one day when my sister called and told me about a dream she had, where she described a girl who “looked like Ioana”. I’ll share the unbelievable God-sized details another time. Our whole family knew without a shadow of doubt that this was the daughter and sister God wanted us to bring home, and we immediately took action to host her for the summer, and even before meeting her, we started the process of her adoption.

Letters sent as we waited to meet our girl...

Letters sent as we waited to meet our girl…

First photo with my future daughter ~ At the airport in New York after her flight from Ukraine

First photo with my future daughter ~ At the airport in New York after her flight from Ukraine

The first sister hug.

The first sister hug while Daddy beams in the background

First night together as a family, in Orlando

First night together as a family, in Orlando

I met our girl when she arrived in NYC in June of 2014. We flew to Orlando, Florida where our family vacationed together at Disneyworld. We then drove home to Texas. When she walked into the room we had prepared for her, she lost her composure for the first time, buried her head in my shoulder and sobbed – overwhelmed by the love of her newfound family.

Our family vacation

From left to right: Myself, our biological daughter, my husband and our Ukrainian daughter

Arriving in Texas!

Arrival in Texas!

The weeks with our girl flew by. We got to know her. She loves M&M’s, french fries and pickles, and she drinks her coffee black with a teaspoon of sugar. She’s passionate and funny. She’s one of the bravest people I’ve ever met. She loves adventure, but she is scared of bridges. :-)

Visiting Daddy at Work

Visiting Daddy at Work

We laughed often. Our Ukrainian girl has a laugh that is loud, and contagious. Many times the laughter was a result of the hilarious things that happened because of our language barrier. We studied hard before she came, and knew enough Russian to communicate on a basic level. She also knew a bit of English. Add Google translate, charades and volumes of expression to the mix, and we were (almost) always able to understand each other.

Bonding as Sisters

Bonding as Sisters

Good times with family

Good Times With Family

Her deepest desire was always to have a family. We learned that her mother left when she was a toddler. Her dad died shortly after her sixth birthday, and she went to the orphanage. She told us about when she cried for days, after a fight with some other orphan girls. Those girls took the only photos she had of her beloved father, and they burned them. How we wished we could have been there to protect her as she grew up.

Sixteenth Birthday

Her Sixteenth Birthday – where family & friends brought 16 birthday cakes for every single birthday we missed with our girl, and we sang “Happy Birthday” and she blew out candles every time

It was an unforgettable summer together. We celebrated our daughter & sister-to-be’s 16th birthday with our incredibly supportive family and friends.

My husband patiently working through one of the hard days with our girl

My husband patiently working through one of the hard days with our girl

Of course the days and moments weren’t all sunshine and roses. Anyone who knows anything about what happens to a child who has spent 10 years in an orphanage can read between the lines of this paragraph and know that there were some very difficult times during her visit. The honeymoon was over after our second week together as a new “family”. I marvel at the way my husband and biological daughter navigated some of the most difficult territory they’d ever encountered throughout those weeks. I grew a whole lot as a mother. But the hard times were not a surprise to us, and we got through them together.

The Day We Said Goodbye

The Tearful Day We Said Goodbye

Our Ukrainian daughter’s hosting program visit came to end in late July. She boarded the airplane and went back to the orphanage where she remains until she legally becomes our daughter, and we bring her home forever. We “talk” with her often, through messages on an Eastern European social media platform.

Before She Boarded the Plane for Kiev

Before She Boarded the Plane for Kiev

We miss her like crazy. We dream every day of when we’ll finally be together again. We pray that God will protect her, strengthen her, and reveal His unending love to her.

Adoption Paperwork

Hours Upon Hours of Adoption Paperwork

The adoption process is coming to a close, as everything has been done on this side of the ocean, and we wait for word from Kiev, Ukraine. As we anticipate the day our daughter’s adoption is finally complete, we know that it is only the beginning, and that there is a long journey ahead as we join hands and walk through the uncharted territory of our unique FOREVER FAMILY story. There will be joy. There will be pain. There’ll be lots of learning, and stretching out of our normal and comfortable places.

But we’ll walk together, because this adoption is what we’ve been called by God to do. He paid the ultimate sacrifice and went to unimaginable lengths to do it for us, and call us His sons and daughters. We’ll continue to look to Him for strength and wisdom at every turn.

Our Family

Our Family

And as I close this post, I want you to know that I am typing through tears. Tears of thankfulness for God’s faithfulness to our family. Tears of missing our girl. But ultimately tears of joy from a heart that is overflowing with the magnitude and beauty of it all. God’s ways are higher and greater than I ever dared imagine. He is gifting us with beautiful daughter whose courage to leave all she knows and say “yes” to a family from Texas who wants to call her ours simply astonishes me, and makes me so proud to be called her “Mama”.

Thank you to everyone who has helped us get to this point of our adoption journey. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we thank God for the part you play in our family’s story.

I look forward to giving you another update again very soon,

Justina Dee

We’re in the final stages of funding our adoption! Click here if you would like to make a donation, through our Crowdrise Fundraiser through the Orphan Care Network.

 

{Body Image} You’re Beautiful When You Lift Up Others

True Beauty | www.lydiaglick.com

Dear daughter, there’s something I want you to know and recognize when it comes to the subject of beauty. The most beautiful women I know are the ones who lift up and encourage the downtrodden around them. In addition, beautiful people are those who create, give and share beauty and love with the world. Beauty is so much more than a beautiful face, it is a beautiful life.

For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. ~ Sam Levenson

It’s so important to see the worth in others. Especially those people who most never notice, and who may not have the strength to see their own purpose and value. Your most difficult experiences in life will bring you to a place of understanding people who desperately need someone to simply care about them. It is in that place that your beauty will shine the brightest. Elisabeth Ross says “The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” She’s right.

Not only is it important that you care for others, it is vital that you share the unique passions, art, ideas and vision that only YOU can to bring to the world around you. Creativity shatters obstacles and breaks down barriers. When people feel trapped in impossible places, it opens their prisons. It brings possibility and hope to bleak situations.

“God created us in His image, and He gave us an imagination with His imprint to create things for His glory!” – Alisa Hope Wagner. 

Dig up and nurture those talents deep inside of you! As you share the creative ideas God has placed within you, beauty will radiate from not only your soul, but from your actions and will spread its gifts to all who encounter them.

“But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.” Madeleine L’Engle

When we lift up others, creatively solve problems and dare to dream big, our perspective changes, our burdens become lighter, and our trivial problems are suddenly not so pressing. We begin to see a picture much bigger than our own tiny selves. And the result? Light pierces the darkness, others are strengthened and encouraged, and you are developing the atmosphere of Jesus who is our great example, and who did this better than anyone else in history.

So dear daughter of mine, fill yourself up with the beauty of Christ. Breathe it in. Look to Him every morning when you wake up. As you dwell in that source all day and every day, you will come to a place where you can see the world through His eyes, and share His radiance, love, light, and beauty everywhere you go. “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; Bind them around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart.” (Proverbs 3:3, NIV)  

By sharing beauty and kindness you will receive favor and feel a satisfaction and fulfillment like no other.  Your beauty will shine like bright stars in the darkest night. And when you lay your head on your pillow at night, you can rest in the peace of Him who created you, and lovingly formed you for a beautiful purpose which is greater and more important than you can ever imagine. 

~ Justina Dee

This is number five of seven posts on self image I’m writing for my daughter. Click here to read one of my favorites! 

Phrases in Pennsylvania Dutch {Lessons from My Amish Family}

My brother & me

My brother & me

I was born into a “New Order Amish” family, and learned to speak both Pennsylvania Dutch and English as a child. The Amish people are fluent speakers of both Pennsylvania Dutch and English. They also have a reading knowledge of High German, which is used in their church services in scripture reading, preaching and worship songs.

My parents on their wedding day

My wonderful parents, on their wedding day

“Pennsylvania Dutch” is actually not “Dutch” at all, but rather, Pennsylvania Deutsch (or German). “Pennsylvania German developed in the eighteenth century as the result of the immigration of approximately 81,000 German-speakers from Central Europe, including Switzerland, to southeastern Pennsylvania. The vast majority (96 percent) of these immigrants were of the Lutheran or German Reformed faith; of the remaining 4 percent, roughly one-half were Mennonites and only a few hundred were Amish. Whatever varieties of German they spoke in Europe, the Amish assimilated to the language of the majority, Pennsylvania German, which resembles most closely the German dialects spoken in the southeastern Palatinate, near the city of Mannheim. The influence of English on Pennsylvania German is often overstated. Only 10 to 15 percent of Pennsylvania German vocabulary is English-derived; its core grammatical structures remain Palatine German.” Anabaptist Studies at Elizabethtown College

Party at Grandma's house! (That's me, on my Grandma Esh's lap.)

Party at Grandma’s house!

Although I don’t speak much Dutch these days, there are a few phrases from my childhood that I still use on a regular basis, when speaking with my daughter. Here are the phrases, for your reading enjoyment! (Note: These words are not spelled technically, but phonetically instead so that you can pronounce them as written. Many thanks to my Daddy Jacob Dienner for his help!)

Playing with my brother

Playing with my brother

Kannscht du Deitsch schvetza?Can you speak Dutch?

Gleh vennigh or gleh bissley – A little bit

Vie gehts? – How are you?

Sittsit unnah - Sit down

Vas is letz? What is wrong?

Vesh die pattiesWash your hands

Tzeit for essahTime to eat

Vas denkscht? - What do you think?

Vas in der velt? - What in the world?

Gutte’ nachtGood night

and my favorite…

Ich liebe dichI love you

Tomorrow I’ll be wrapping up my 31 days of lessons from my Amish family. What a great journey this has been! Thanks so much for sharing the road with me. ~ Justina Dee

Click here to read more posts from my Amish series.

Sources:

The Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College

Links:

Pennsylvania Dutch Phrases 

You Know You’re From Lancaster When…

First video in a series of PA Dutch lessons

Seven Election Day Quizzes {Midterm 2014}

I Voted Sticker 2014 | LydiaGlick.com

You’ve voted, you have the sticker, and now you’re keeping an eye on the 2014 mid-term election results. Here are a few quizzes to test your general knowledge about the great United Sates of America and voting practices around the world. Simply click on the links to get started. Have fun!

How Do People Vote Around the World? 

Who Do You Side With Politically? 

How Much Do You Know About Elections and Voting?

What Is Your Current News & Affairs IQ?

How Well Do You Know Your American History?

Constitutional Knowledge Quiz

Citizenship Quiz for American Government, American History and Civics

 

 

Summary of Thirty-One Amish Days

Buggy Ride | Photo by Julie Lea Waldron

Buggy Ride | Photo by Julie Lea Waldron

These 31 posts have been such a tremendous personal journey for me. I discovered there were many memories, experiences and stories that I had kept to myself, by tucking them away in my brain where I had never shared them with my daughter. The challenge of writing about my family for 31 days was a wonderful way to spark recollections, and be certain that the gift of my treasured heritage is not forgotten.

Amish Sunrise by Julie Lea Waldron

Lancaster County Sunrise | Photo by Julie Lea Waldron

Although no family is perfect, there are so many unique and personal experiences that are significant and meaningful to each of our family histories, and I encourage all my readers to take a similar journey if you haven’t already done so!

Scooter Ride | Photo by Julie Lea Waldron

Scooter Ride | Photo by Julie Lea Waldron

I intend to continue writing about my Amish & Mennonite heritage in the future, these 31 days are only the start! My next adventure along these lines will be sharing treasures from visits to familiar places in one of the most beautiful places on earth; Lancaster County, PA. I’m excited about doing some vlogging (video blogging) along the way.

Photo by Julie Lea Waldron

Photo by Julie Lea Waldron

My deep and sincere thanks to my dear parents Jacob & Kathryn Dienner for their contributions to this series, Julie Lea Waldron for sharing her wonderful Lancaster County street photography, Amish365 for featuring many of my posts on their site, Lehman’s for connecting with me for future projects, and to you, my amazing readers! I’m so thankful for you, and appreciate all your messages and feedback! Also – thank you for sharing these posts with your friends.

Lancaster County Sunset | Photo by Julie Lea Waldron

Lancaster County Sunset | Photo by Julie Lea Waldron

As I bring these 31 Amish Days to a close, I wanted to let you know which posts were the most visited, and which ones were most special to me:

Top posts, in order of popularity:

10 Interesting Amish Foods

7 Things Every Amish Girl Knows How To Do

The Mennonite Game

Joy In the Simple Things

Beyond Buggies & Bonnets

And my favorites, in no particular order:

Patience & Perseverance 

Working Together

The Gift of Song

Joy In the Simple Things

The Habit of Prayer

Thank you so much for sharing this walk through my family’s story with me!

~ Justina Dee

Click here to visit the 31 Days of Lessons From my Amish Family page