Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Foster Care & your bio kids

When we started talking to our family & friends about the possibility of becoming foster parents a question was always asked in regards to Olivia, Alex & Addison.
"Why would you do that to your kids?"
"How are you going to foster with your own kids?'
"How do they feel about it"


To be honest, that first question was asked more than once and every time it's asked I have to keep my arm from releasing the full force I'm feeling inside. But the truth is foster care in so many aspects is not a positive thing.
God did not design us to have our children taken & he did not design for siblings to be torn apart. 
This is not His design, but it happens. A LOT.

I tweeted out that today I was going to write about foster care because when you have been severely neglecting your blog you have to force yourself to sit & write. 

Question : How do you help your bio littles understand that a placement can be short or long term? 
For Alex & Olivia, who are 7 years old, we can sit them down and explain, but the easiest way for them to understand has been to experience. We are currently in our longest placement so far, 5 weeks. They've only had to adjust after respit and 2 short placements. When you step into foster care you learn early on this is a road set up for heartbreak. Your children will not be exempt from this. Trust God. He has your heart in His hands along with your bio children. 

Question 2: How do you introduce your foster children when people ask "are they all yours?" 
This one can be a little tricky, with your family & friends you can share that they are your foster children, but legally, people outside don't get that same advantage. Also when children come into your home your heart does this crazy thing where it falls in love with children you did not carry or birth or nurse or scold or...... You fall in love. So in your heart & with that paperwork it says for this season yes they are all yours. 

"If only for a short time" -The Odd Life of Timothy Green

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Easter is for lovers

It's been heavy.
It's been mournful.
Thinking of the events that took place and why.
The extra emotions that make us feel all the feelings.
But Sunday is coming.
(And for us it's Saturday night)
And I cannot help but be crying joyful for the lives that will change.
That this story we go over every year isn't just a story.
It's real & it changes lives.
It sets people free.
It redeems relationships.
It shouts LOVE in the most major way.
And I cannot wait tonight to celebrate with the new believers.
To cry with them.
It's too easy for people to look at a church building with negative feelings, but tonight & tomorrow morning there will be those people walking in, trying once more. Having shaky faith that maybe this time it will be different. Friends, let's show them the love. Let's wrap them up & let them hear without fear, without shame that they are loved. That He died for them. That forgiveness & freedom is for them.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Refresh Monday

God does care about your past. So often we here the phrase "God doesn't care about your past" goes along with "only God can judge me" But I believe He does care about my past and your past. He cares about the storms you've gone through. He cares about the shoes you've had to walk in. He cares about the pains you should have never had to deal with. He cares about the struggles. He cares because He can use anything that satan means for evil and make it good. He can take those pains and use them for His glory. He does care. He cares when you royally screw up your marriage and when you choose your body over your baby and when you have choose drugs over your family. He cares because He wants to use those trials for His good. To show His goodness in repairing your marriage, to give redemption to the baby now in heaven & to prove that He can heal an addicted individual.

Don't hide from your past. Don't hide from your mistakes. God sees them & He forgives you. Not only does He forgive you but He is the only person who will never throw those bad choices in your face. He will not use them to get ahead in an argument. He loves you more than that. 

He does care about your past. He sees it & He sees how it can be used for good. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

An update on JOY

At the beginning of the year the whole world, or at least that's how it feels, pick a word. A word they feel led to focus on. Two years ago my word was grace and last year my word was hope. This year I choose joy. I choose it because too often instead of looking at the joy in situations I would fold my arms, pout & sit in the negativity of a situation. I wasn't even trying to look for the joy. Finding joy in the every day can be much harder than can be expected, but He reminds me to find the joy & to live it boldly.

:::Where I am being reminded to find joy:::

When I have to drive back home to take that forgotten lunch box back to school.

When washing dishes by hand because our dishwasher is still broke. Washing dishes by hand for a family of 7 can at times feel too overwhelming, but the silver lining is that it is a time I can slow down and really have a conversation with Jesus.

When I'm in the car with our teen girl jamming to music that I have sworn off, because that's when she's most her self. Seeing her smile that big makes my heart happy.

When I am desperate for sleep, I pour another cup of coffee and do life.

When we are in the car driving downtown wondering why they couldn't have scheduled these appointments at the children's 15 minutes away, I find joy, in being stuck in that car, when she talks most openly.

When I feel tested I am reminded to find joy in this crazy life because I know Jesus is in work in my life.

When I seriously wonder how I am going to handle the heartbreak that will come in the next 6-12 months, I am reminded I am the lucky one, I got to bring them into our home & gosh if we have not taken full advantage to spoil with our love the best we can. 

I find joy in people of the internet when I post something like this picture and people remind me of who God is

How are you doing with your word for 2014? 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Sometimes I can't share my story

Blog land started becoming so much more beautiful when people really started sharing their stories. The storms they've walked through, the seasons they are in, the fears about the future. So much has been about sharing your story without fear. Sharing your story and ignore the naysayers. Share your story & others will so get where you are at or where you've been.

But sometimes sharing the story you are currently living gets a little grey area. For me, most of my current story I cannot share. Because my story right now is so much their story. For two children I fell in love with the moment they showed up in that red car packed with their belongings. That everyday I fall more in love & everyday I have to remind myself and prepare my heart for the time when they step out our door. 

Fostercare is many things, but sharing their story is not something for me to share. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Refresh Monday

And this week it's actually on Monday. Today I want to share something my pastor shared at church yesterday that reminded me I'm not here to pick at the things people are doing wrong. But to love hard. Even when it's hard. To love hard to the non christians and the christians. You know how sometimes it's easier to love friends or strangers over family I think sometimes we can do that with our christian brothers & sisters. We forget that everyone is a sinner. That everyone has their big & little struggles.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

He loves YOU

Yes, I know it isn't Monday, it's a few days late but here's a little inspiration for your Thursday that just so happens to be called Refresh Monday.

Just in case you forgot He loves you more than you could ever imagine. More than you love that cup of coffee or that little one with blonde curls. He loves you when you aborted that baby & when you told that white lie. He loves you when you feel like every day has failure written all over it. He loves you more than water on the earth. He loves you, He loves you, He loves you!!