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The Unexpected


So many times I have sat in front of this screen willing the words to come and white blank would stare right back at me. So much life has been lived…lessons learned…therapies…gaps in communication…college visits made…a wedding…Madam Blueberry up and down the mountain and all around. We’ve had some growing pains too.

July found me in the halls of Vanderbilt seeing and orthopedic surgeon for prolonged hip pain. It was a straight forward decision. The hip was too far gone for anything less invasive than a brand spankin’ new one. His earliest available was in mid October which wasn’t quite what I was hoping for.  The scheduler noticed my hesitation and said, ‘I just got a cancellation. How does August 3 sound?’Not quite what I was expecting.

So, ten days later I was the mother of the groom (Luke) walking down the aisle with none other accessory than my handy dandy walker with tennis balls.  What a fashion statement! It was quite the festive time with family and friends. Ahem…may I say that pain killers are a marvelous invention;) used in the appropriate context, of course. Rebekah joined our family officially and we couldn’t be more delighted.


The tree house has sat for several years with no progress because we were stumped by the roof leaking. Fast forward to late spring and plans are being drawn, and…hhhmmm wonder if we could add a loft here, etc.?  You get the idea, right? Well what you see now is certainly not the small, rustic treehouse/apartment we originally envisioned. Oh my gracious! There’s that crazy unexpected again. Wonder how God wants to use it???


In a few hours I will sit my body down in my assigned seat on Alaskan Air/Delta bound for the Orient again. In my luggage are clothes, toys, books for the purpose of easing the transition of a new son into our family. Some of you understand why we choose to welcome yet another one into our home.  Others of you perhaps think we are crazy off our rockers (haha…some days we are:) To be quite frank, we did not seek this and yet God was working while we were completely clueless. I put an inquiry into our agency about an infant boy in November 2012 with a heart ailment.  There was never a response so we went about the good works God has created for us to do never thinking another thought about LSman. In God’s GOOD time while we were in cardiac ICU with Esther recovering from open heart surgery, the phone rang. His file and paperwork had landed in our agency’s lap. I was like Sarah in the Old Testament…I burst out laughing…truly! Talk about unexpected.

Slowly we wrote that with quiet joy and steadfast hearts we would accept LSman into our family. Here is our sweet little 4 year old man

Malacai ShiMan Risley




  1. philipkapi says:

    So excited for this new adventure God is leading you on!!

  2. Debbie Sauer says:

    How wonderful! Hope you are well. Blessings

  3. Caren says:


  4. Novella Long says:

    This was such an encouragement to read. Praises for a successful surgery, and prayers for your recovery, Mrs. Risley! Also prayers for your family and little Malacai. Much love for you all!

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