Little Wonders

I dropped this young lady off at camp last Saturday and it sure was hard to leave her. I love her so much.

Tell y’all a quick story— when Casey was pregnant with Norah we went in for a sonogram, and in true Layman fashion we took Quinten and Trinity with us. It was a special time and a season of prayer for our then family of 4. Like many couples, we’d gone through some miscarriages and we were really hopeful for this baby girl. As the sonogram was being done on her belly, we were all huddled around Casey and then it happened. We saw little Norah come up on the screen. As we got our first look at our new family member, the song Little Wonders by Rob Thomas was playing on the radio there in the Dr’s office. I vividly remember telling Quinten and Trinity “listen to the words of this song” as it was so appropriate for the occasion. Here’s part of the lyrics

🎵 Our lives are made,

In these small hours

These little wonders

These twists and turns of fate…

Time falls away but these small hours, these little wonders

Still remain🎵

Fast forward to yesterday, on the long drive up to her camp, I was letting Norah DJ. One of the songs she played — Little Wonders 😊 She knows the story. And she knows how much that song means to me because she knows how much SHE means to me.

Today when I dropped her off I gave her a series of hugs and we both teared up just a bit. Two weeks. I’m glad she gets to do things like this. But I’m sure gonna miss her. She’s becoming a young lady but she will always be my Little Wonder.

#DadLife #mygirl #littlewonders

Growing Up On The Rez

Cool side by side from Navajo Rez VBS. Left is Trinity at age 10 getting VBS crafts ready. Right is her helping lead VBS crafts this year at age 20. She’s standing within just a few feet of the exact same spot. Trinity was 4 and Q was 6 the first time we took a summer VBS trip to the Rez. Phoebe and Norah don’t remember a summer without the Rez and Luka made his first trip last week. Between those summer trips, November trips, and other visits, my kids have done a lot of growing up on the Rez. And in a way, we have too. Like so many things, several years ago we set out to teach but ended up mostly learning. If there’s anything we’ve definitely learned in the last 16 years or so, it’s that we still have A LOT to learn! But here are just a few of the lessons our Navajo brothers and sisters have taught us over the years.

  1. Jesus speaks powerfully through every language
  2. Church is the people not the building (or the revival tent)
  3. Laughter is a universal language
  4. It’s easier to share the gospel when you’re also sharing life
  5. Our creator is way more creative than we give Him credit for
  6. Skin color and cultural differences are no match for Jesus Christ
  7. A different way of doing things isn’t a wrong way
  8. Quiet waters run deep
  9. Simply traveling a long ways is a good way to let someone know you care
  10. Listening, learning, and understanding are an absolute must for all involved in sustainable cross cultural partnerships

Like I said, these are just a few of the many lessons, growth is a glorious part of a journey that I’m so glad we’re still on!

The God Who Sings

The LORD your God…he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. – Zephaniah 3:17

I’ve got a high spirited, temperamental 1 year old little boy. Sometimes he gets so worked up over some hurt he’s feeling and there’s no way he can sooth himself. When that happens about the only way I can calm him is to hold him. And if holding him doesn’t work, I sing to him. Right into his little ear. It’s like he feels love through the singing. It calms him like nothing else can.

When the Bible says that God quiets us by his love with loud singing, I imagine it’s something like what I’m doing with my little man. We’re a temperamental people. Full of hurts and frustrations. We can’t sooth ourselves. By faith in Christ I have access to a singing Father, who picks me up and quiets my anxious heart and mind with his love.

Keep lookin’ up, friends. And rest well. We have a loving God who sings.



Rebecca Egger took this picture for us back in November. But today we share it as an official family picture because today Luka James Layman was adopted as an official member of our family. There are a lot of glorious details to the story but I’ll keep it short — God is good and He knew that this was our son before we did. He saw fit for this to be a reality and we are beyond thankful.

We named him Luka James Layman.

•Luka — I first affectionately called him “Luka the boy wonder” within the first few days he was born. His little infant body had miraculously overcome A LOT and I very naturally equated that to the young Dallas Mavs superstar, Luka Doncic 🐴 🏀 😂 I later learned that Luka is derived from the Latin word “lux” which means LIGHT. And this little man has brought SO MUCH LIGHT to our lives. ‘Luka’ — it’s even more appropriate than I’d originally thought.

•James — The middle name of his older brother Q, and comes from Casey’s dad’s first name, James Vineyard, who was a willing and joyful dad to Casey, when he didn’t have to be. Again, so appropriate.

•Layman — our family name. Which, ironically means “a person who is not a member of the clergy (professional ministry)” It’s a name for a common, informal, untrained person. Man that is us! 🙂 Our prayer is that in joining our family, Luka James is joining the ranks of a group of nobodies who live to tell everyone about the one true Somebody, Jesus Christ. All glory to HIM!

We love y’all and thank you so much for all your support! We’re not done fostering either 😳😜

Foster parent guidelines ask that we not share pictures of kids. You’ve seen some pics of the back of Lukas head, some of him in sunglasses, and a few side profiles, but we have an entire year + of pictures of him with us. We put together a 7 min video. I know it’s long, but we’re making up for whole year! 😆 We had to put the video to music because we love music and each of the songs are significant to us and his life. I’m not sure how long the video will

be up because **we don’t own the rights to any of the music** So while you can, if you’d like, click the link below.

Something I love

Several things I love about this picture, including my daughter on the free throw line. But after I took this picture I noticed something else I love, the flag 🇺🇸 up in the right corner. I love who and what that flag represents—Americans and our freedom. I love my country. I know we’re far from perfect. But just as none of us as individuals want to be assessed solely on our worst days, it’s not fair to judge our country as whole by our worst days. I’d like all of us to look ahead with optimism for our country—with faith, hope and love, knowing a gracious, good and loving God is in control.
When I look at the flag I think of our men and women who serve in the military, and other brave, sacrificial, hard working people of faith. People who love God, enjoy freedom and want to help others. I feel like I get to see the spirit of America in people every day, and I love it! Again, not perfect people, but people I’m blessed to share life with.
So even amid everything that’s transpired, I’m sorry to go all Lee Greenwood on y’all, but I’ll STILL 🎶proudly stand up next to you and defend her still today. Cos’ there ain’t no doubt I love this land. God bless the USA🎶🇺🇸 🇺🇸 🇺🇸