Tom and Laura Clifton, serving as missionaries with FamilyLife, a ministry of Cru.

On our blog you can read the latest conference quotes, find out about new things happening within FamilyLife, keep updated with our family, find links to helpful sites, and also find out how to join our support team.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Waiting on God

Lessons from my Children

Sometimes I am surprised by the way God uses my children to teach me lessons about Himself.

I must confess that sometimes I get frustrated at my children's response to "wait just a minute" or if I tell them "no". In their impatience or disappointment they show a lack of trust in me as their mom. Don't they know that I love them and I want what is best for them? Sometimes my "no" might be because I have a surprise waiting for them right around the corner or my "no" might be because I know what is best for them. To give in to their demands would mean the best would be spoiled (and they might be too!)

But how often have I treated God the same way? When my prayers go unanswered or God says, "No" to my request, I question if He really knows what is best. Instead of looking at His character I look at my circumstances to determine my joy and contentment. What a mistake!

As we have waited for our house to sell we have been disappointed by 3 low offers. We have also lost the perfect house we made a contingent offer on in Washington. It has been easy to doubt, to question, and to second guess decisions we have made.

During this period of waiting God has been working. He has not been surprised by the low offers we have received. He has not been surprised that the house we wanted got another offer. He has not been surprised that we are still in Arkansas. He has a purpose and a plan in every part of our waiting.

We have seen God's provision in allowing Courtney to finish her sophomore year here in Arkansas. We have been thankful for more time with friends here in this state. God has taught me more about His character and His faithfulness. God has given me time to allow my trust and faith in Him to grow rather than to rely on my circumstances.

I looked up wait in the Merriam -Webster dictionary and here are some of the definitions:

  • to stay in a place of expectation of
  • to look forward to expectantly
  • to be ready and available

That gives me a better idea of what it means to wait upon the Lord...rather than thinking of being deprived it gives a picture of eager expectation.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14

"Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors." Proverbs 8:34

"The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him." Lamentations 3:25

"I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning." Psalm 130:5-6
Now I am looking forward to expectantly to see what God is going to do in our situation and what else He is going to teach me about His character.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Anniversary

Celebrating 22 YearsMarch 21st, 1987

I thought it would be fun to look back over our 22 years together and see the changes through a collection of pictures.

Outside our first "home"...a basement apartment in East WenatcheeCelebrating our first anniversary

A surprise shower celebrating our first home in Wenatchee

A summer ski trip at Mt. Bachelor

A trip to New Zealand to visit friends and celebrate finishing our Master's Degrees. Laura found out she was pregnant right before this trip and was very sick!

Celebrating our 6th Anniversary with a welcome addition~Courtney Beth!

Preparing our hearts to Welcome Jesus~It's almost Christmastime!

Welcome Baby Isaiah!

Tom and Isaiah at Alex & Riann's wedding

A snowy Christmas in 1996

Family Camp at Tall Timber


Welcome Baby Benjamin

All loaded up for our move to Little Rock as we joined staff with FamilyLife

2400 miles later we arrived at our new home...and had our very first meal...a pizza dinner on the floor in our kitchen...all our stuff was still packed away in the truck!

1999 was a Campus Crusade for Christ Staff Training Summer at CSU (Colorado State University). We stopped for a quick tour of the Cliff Dwellers at Mesa Verde.

In July of 2000, we welcomed Josiah to our family!

On the Road Again...

In June of 2001 we traveled to Arizona for the FamilyLife Weekend to Remember Conferences. On our drive home we stopped at Carlsbad Caverns and took a walking tour inside the caves. It was a good experience, even for one who was concerned about being claustrophobic!

2001 was another CSU staff training summer. We drove from Little Rock to Colorado for staff training. We then drove to Washington state to visit family and friends. From there we drove all the way to North Carolina to visit family and then we drove back to Little Rock. Our notebook shows the number of miles we drove for that trip!!! After that Josiah would cry if he even got near our van!

October 2002

Caleb joins the Clifton Family

February, 2003

Fall of 2003

What we are really like...

The Three Amigos

Some of Laura's crazy side of the family at Thanksgiving in Washington following the Weekend to Remember in Bellingham...

2004 Brought Joys and Trials

Courtney and Isaiah both got baptized on Easter Sunday

We welcomed Whitney Grace into our family on October 31st...if only we knew the challenges that God had in store for us...

Courtney finally got to hold the sister that she had prayed for...

Just a few hours after Whitney was born she was in the NICU at Baptist Hospital with respiratory failure. This is her picture before being transfered to Children's Hospital.

Whitney Grace at Children's Hospital. She spent 5 weeks here and it was almost 3 weeks before we could hold her. She had PPHN (Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of a Newborn).

Finally...I get to hold my baby!

5 weeks old and Whitney finally got to come home...with an oxygen tank!

The Clifton Kids at Christmas, December 2004

Fall of 2005


March 21, 2007...celebrating 20 years of marriage. Tom worked the Anchorage, Alaska Weekend to Remember Conferences. I joined Tom to celebrate our anniversary and to help with the conferences.

Tom's parents stayed with our children during the conference. 2007 was another CSU year. We drove to Rocky Mountain National Park and took a hike in the beauty of God's creation.


MaryElise decided to "surprise us all" by arriving 3 1/2 weeks early...while Tom was in Alaska! God provided two special people (Teena and Renee) to help me through labor and delivery. It was an incredible blessing. God is so good!

Tom got home as quickly as possible. He got to meet MaryElise in the NICU. She was doing great but had to spend a few days there before coming home.

MaryElise was only 5 pounds when she was born and very tiny. Here she is next to Whitney's 15 inch doll!

October 2008

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