Strange Family Adventures | May 2022

May 2 FAB FOUR | Grateful for these friends for so many reasons! The Lord blessed us with them at just the right time 3 years ago. Thankful for their gospel accountability and encouragement!

So thankful we got to spend the day playing golf together to support @NCCSEagles. #Strangemetz #NameThatTune #MemphisForever

May 5 CLASS OF 2022 | These @NCCSEagles Seniors have my heart! Today was Senior Chapel which includes the annual tradition of announcing your college choice by wearing a shirt from your new school. Our seniors led us in worship, shared some helpful…and laughable…advice, pointed us to Jesus through a variety of speakers, and reminded us of God’s faithfulness through the years. Gosh…it goes fast. The seniors also prayed over the junior class and their leadership of our Upper School next year. I’m very grateful for each of these amazing young men and women. First picture looks great and second picture shows what we really love about them! #GoEagles #WeAreNCCS #NCCSFamily #ClassOf2022 📷 @instaclarks

May 6 8 YEARS AGO | We woke up early Tuesday morning and were all super excited about going to pick up Eli. Tuesday, May 6, 2014 was Eli’s official GOTCHA DAY! When we arrived at the Hilawe Children’s home, you could definitely tell that it was a big day. There was a film crew and a photographer taking pictures of us exiting the van and they continued videoing and shooting photos the entire time we were there. The farewell ceremony at the children’s home was truly a treasure. The people at Hilawe were so happy for Eli and they pulled out all the stops for the celebration. One of the social workers was so thoughtful to video the whole thing with our camera so we will be able to show Eli what a special ceremony this was.

They started by having a time of prayer over all of us. The director of the children’s home prayed in Amaric and then Clint prayed in English. They put some fingerpaint on Eli’s right hand to make a handprint so that people at the children’s home could remember him and pray for him. After that, they presented us a huge loaf of bread for us to cut together. It was similar to cutting a wedding cake and everyone was served a piece. The next item was a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony complete with popcorn. They also served us cokes and brought little chocolates…which totally thrilled Emma! Emma was wonderful throughout the ceremony as she realized this was a very special time for her brother. She kept herself busy giving Eli kisses and making sure he was having a good time.

After the Embassy that afternoon we headed back to the hotel and got ready for naps. Emma insisted on climbing in the crib to sleep by Eli so he wouldn’t be scared. We got some precious pictures of the two of them snuggling together. We pray that they will always be very close and that Emma will always look out for her baby brother. Once naps were over, we played on the playground at the hotel and then ate dinner at the gazebo restaurant by the pool. Eli ate a ton of rice and some chicken. He is a great eater and did a great job at dinner! Emma could hardly eat anything she was so excited to finally have her brother!

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May 7 BUB’S RUN | We had a great time celebrating the life and impact of Kelson Loveland @NCCSEagles this morning. His sweet family started this race last year and it was such a blessing to see the way the race has grown! It’s become a way to remember a precious son and to raise funds for a great cause. We had tons of volunteers, awesome music from the Academy Singers, and an extra surprise of a rainbow over the start line for the last race. The 5K, 1K, and Tot Trot all brought lots of smiles and we hope to see everyone back next year! #GoEagles #WeAreNCCS #NCCSFamily

May 7 ACWORTH BASEBALL | Grateful for another wonderful season of @acworthbaseball! The playoffs wrapped up today for the Acworth Dodgers and my favorite #2 learned a lot and had so much fun this season. I’m grateful for a great baseball organization in our town. We love cheering on our Eli and his teammates. Thankful for great coaches who have good perspective on coaching 9 and 10 year olds 😂💪🏽. #7000days

May 8 HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY | Single momming is not for the faint of heart…and particularly when you are talking about raising the Abel three! 😂 Let’s just say that we often went out of our way to make things more adventurous than they probably had to be! There was no shortage of laughter and fun…or wooden spoons as appropriately needed. In each season of life, we’ve always been able to count on Mom to be there with encouragement and support. She somehow found a way to be present at everything for all three of us. That’s no easy feat when all three of us played multiple sports at different schools and had a variety of interests and commitments outside of school. She worked hard to make ends meet to ensure we had everything we needed as well as most of what we wanted…at great sacrifice to herself. Mom gave some of the best years of her life to us completely and we are all better for it. Happy Mother’s Day to the best of the best! #Grateful #MomsAreTheBest

May 9 POWDER PUFF FOOTBALL | No bones were broken. We defended the honor of the seniors by beating the juniors. We are in need of at least 12 subs tomorrow because the purple team is down for the count 😂 Lots of laughter and a great time was had by all! Thank you @NCCSEagles Upper School Student Government for putting on a great event and special thanks to our awesome refs: Coach Parker, Coach Bitner, Mr. Arnold, and Jack. #TheseAreTheDays #WheresTheAdvil

#GoEagles #WeAreNCCS #NCCSFamily

May 15 WE LOVE ACWORTH | Sights and Sounds from my evening walk through our city. Walking sets my heart and my mind on things above (Colossians 3:2). The sights this evening included a really fun group at the park and the lake enjoying each other’s company in the midst of God’s creation.

Grateful for the privilege of walking and dreaming big dreams. It’s graduation week and the Lord has been so good to share the Class of 2022 with us at @NCCSEagles. They are easy to celebrate.

#WeLoveAcworth #FlyHighEagles


Eagles Win! Eagles Win! Eagles Win!

@NCCSEagles @NCCSAthletics #NobodyBetter

May 18 MY EAGLE | A lot of my posts are about other people’s kids and it is a joy to cheer them on! Today I got to cheer on my favorite 7th grade Eagle.

A few years ago, Emma came to me to let me know she wanted to try to do everything she can to support @NCCSEagles sports during middle school. Our family loves sports and how the Lord can use those experiences to help mold and shape hearts and minds.

She set a goal for herself to play softball each fall, tennis in between fall and winter sports, basketball in the winter, and soccer in the spring. Rather than the traditional Tri-Letter award, she has played four sports each year for the first three years of middle school. She LOVES being an Eagle and we are so grateful for @NCCSAthletics and the way our Coaches pour into her life. We pray she is always a great teammate, has great sportsmanship, and uses her gifts to honor the Lord.

#GoEagles #WeAreNCCS #NCCSFamily #7000days

May 21 GRADUATION | The Lord is so gracious to give us even the tiniest glimpses of where He is working. I’m so grateful for the goodness of God recognized in and through the @NCCSEagles Class of 2022. These guys and girls have my heart! 🤍

“The world is starving for a yearning love, a love that remembers instead of forsakes. A love that isn’t tied to our loveliness. A love that gets down under our messiness. A love that is bigger than the enveloping darkness we might be walking through even today. A love of which even the very best human romances is the faintest of whispers.” – @daneortlund, Gentle and Lowly

May 21 SUMMERTIME | Burgers on the grill. Walking to get ice cream. Seeing friends on the way there and the way home. Reading on the porch. A slow night at home for the first time in a while. Savoring the moments. Summertime is here! #7000days #WelcomeToAcworth 😎

May 22 ENGINEER | My handsome husband is tired of raking up magnolia tree leaves. So…he got out the blower and is attempting to blow off the rest of the loose leaves. #ThatsMyEngineer 😂😂 #HesTheBest

May 24 SO PROUD | I love these guys. I’m so proud of our @NCCSEagles Baseball team. We came up short in the State Championship tonight, but we will be back. It’s been quite the ride this season cheering these guys on. I’m thankful for their coaches and the way they’ve invested to build godly men who will be amazing husbands and fathers one day. This was a special season. #ProudToBeAnEagle #GoEagles #WeAreNCCS #NCCSFamily

May 25 GRATEFUL | First Day > Last Day

Emma 7th grade

Eli 3rd grade

The Lord is gracious and kind. We are so grateful for the incredible partnership our family enjoys with @NCCSEagles! So many teachers, coaches, arts directors, staff members, older students, and alums have invested in our kids this year and the Lord has used each of them in so many ways to point our kids to Jesus!

“The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy!” Psalm 126:3

Also, Emma happens to be wearing the same pair of tennis shoes. Eli has gone through 37 pairs of shoes this year. 😂

May 28 WALK IN TRUTH | It’s crazy to think it’s already been a week since the graduation of the @NCCSEagles Class of 2022. Also hard to comprehend that Emma has one more year of middle school and Eli has one more year of lower school. Having the joy of watching our two grow and 17 years of NCCS Graduations reminds me that there is really only one prayer for all of these kids that God has loaned to me. I pray that they will walk in truth. That means following Christ and seeking Him first above all things.

God is faithful. He is working.


May 29 WE REMEMBER | Grateful for the opportunity worship with @nsckennesaw as we hang out with friends in the mountains this weekend. Luke 22 is the story of the Passover meal. “We remember so we don’t forget.” – @mikelinch #TheLordsSupper

May 30 SUMMERTIME | I love the moment that the tires hit the gravel. Time to unwind. Great food. Lots of laughs. Nowhere to be. Strolling around town. Naps on the porch. Games. More laughs. Lots of reminders that God created us to “BE” (Psalm 46:10), not to always “DO”. Uninterrupted conversations. Campfires. Movie night. Church on the big screen. Nine year old pool sharks. Reading. More laughs. Dreaming of the future.

God is faithful. So grateful for precious time with family and friends who have become family.

May 30 WOODLANDS | Over 20 years ago, I visited @woodlandscamp for the first time. I was in student ministry and we took our youth group for a weekend retreat. @clintstrange32 and I were dating and he joined us to help on the retreat. All these years later, we are so grateful our own kids have the privilege of going to Woodlands to learn more about Jesus and to spend a week worshipping and playing hard with camp friends.

As we dropped off Eli today (Emma goes later in the summer), we found ourselves so excited about what God has in store for our little guy this week. We will miss him terribly, but love catching pics on the camp website. Thank you @bigjonestes for keeping your YES on the table for investing in kids for the sake of the gospel! Praying for another UNFORGETTABLE week at camp! #7000days

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