Sunday, April 26, 2015


I have been mulling over this topic for a while now. I wasn't really sure how to approach it and I was having trouble organizing my thoughts, so I finally decided that perhaps my brain waves in their raw form were necessary to convey my message. Recently, my husband and I were beginning to tell a family member about our decision to become foster parents and eventually adoptive parents as the Lord leads us. This person's response was no more then a couple blinks and then, "Ok.......why??". I was completely caught off guard. The question is valid and simple enough but my brain just froze. It went into overdrive and then crashed within seconds. Naturally my mouth flooded with a million reasons why...because the Bible commands us...because I saw from experience the good...because it's right...because we are helping children...because we want to make a difference...because we have the means...because why not?? But before these things came spilling out in incredulous fervor my heart stopped me and turned my focus inward. Why?? The check list of justifiable reasons that I was clicking through were just that; justifications. Justification in it's nature is not a cause or reason, it is defense. It is a resume of qualifications. In our flesh we are constantly under pressure to prove ourselves. I think especially in the world of "Church-ianity" it becomes a need to be spiritual and anointed. To appear legit. God chose me for reasons x,y, and z please see attached references. To speak "christianese" and quote scripture. To give a well thought out speech of inspiration and adoration. We desperately seek approval and applause from our family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, strangers at the grocery store. Why is that? Do we trust God so little? Do we trust Him at all? How feeble and helpless are we that can't begin to fathom that God's awesome love for us is enough. If we lived our lives truly knowing deep into the nuclei of each cell in our body that we are loved without condition, how differently would we think, feel, act, love, breathe? We wouldn't need the approval of grandma, and Mr. Jones, and Pastor Bill, and the lady at the deli counter. Not because we "don't care what anyone thinks", because that is a purely selfish and self preserving statement, but because we would already know we were loved before and we will be loved after by the One who created it all. By the One who already died.


Earth shattering. 


Although I may take one step forward in living loved and a hundred steps back again (at least), I can cling to the hope that God can use my weak and fearful flesh because He already has. So now, when someone asks me why we are taking this path I will have an answer resting peacefully on my tongue. 


"No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39

Monday, April 13, 2015

Clocks and Sweat

Time, it never likes to cooperate nicely does it? It just flits by, on purpose, out of spite. RUDE.
Honestly though, no matter how hard we try to be organized and plan time is always there as God's quiet constant reminder that our attempts at control are just adorable.
This reality came barreling down on me as I realized that our foster care training begins in a few short weeks and I desperately needed to iron out our childcare. You see, we don't have either sets of grandparents near by, and so finding any kind of trustworthy and affordable childcare for three littles can be very difficult, let alone for 11 weeks straight! I was feeling burdened and worried that I wasn't going to be able to clear this hurdle, especially since we had already had to push back our training after we weren't able to lock down childcare for the initial session.
So as I was wiping my brow in worry making contacts and asking for help I was praying fervently, while simultaneously sinking into doubt. Complicated enough for ya? If this is what we are called to do and meant to do then why are there so many obstacles? Why wouldn't He make our path clear? Maybe this isn't what we are supposed to be doing. Maybe this is all my own vanity and need for self importance. What do I do??

Yes, whiny baby.

 Thank goodness I am loved by a King that just pats my head like I have done many times to my own children as they fret over a broken potato chip. There there. If you only knew what is to come. This thought can be disconcerting. But, also beautifully reassuring. Just as I know I will be there for my babies as they over come obstacles much larger and more heart wrenching then broken chips, I know God will be there with me through trials in ways that dwarf my futile attempts at Love. God doesn't mark out a landing strip for me with lovely pressed instructions waiting on the sides. I'm glad. I grow in my need for Him and I notice His embrace more when I don't know what to do or where to go. My wobbly steps are the opportunity for Jesus to catch me just as the wobble turns into a face plant. For that I can only be thankful. 

So of course, to pat my tender head the Lord came through and I was able to find childcare for all 11 weeks of training.
I have renewed confidence in our path, and I am so grateful that our most immediate need has been met. Now to get through the classes themselves!

March on, friends. 

"I will instruct you and teach in the way which you should go: I will counsel you with My eye upon you." Psalms 32:8

Monday, April 6, 2015

Paperwork Peaks

We have finally finished the last of our paperwork, and can I just say...HOLY BANANAS. My hand is cramped and limp from writing, and my brain is feeling quite overloaded. While I completely understand the necessity of the task I must admit I am taken aback at the emotional detail! My dear husband at one point exclaimed, "What is this? eHarmony??" Ha! Certainly feels that way. It's not that the questions are terribly invasive, it's more that it forces you to consider yourself, your family, your marriage, and your life in a way you probably never have before. How does your family express happiness, frustration, disappointment, love, etc. etc. I wanted to write something like, "I don't know, like most regular people? We smile when we are happy and we cry when we are sad?" Of course I did not respond that way and indeed did think about it at length and respond appropriately. While the exercise does force you to take the time to evaluate your life it can also trip you up because above all you want to be honest, but on the other hand you don't want to sound like a lunatic! But I suppose all I can do is be completely honest and leave the rest to God! As if this entire venture isn't His anyway, but you know we in our flesh love to pretend we have an idea of what is going on. Silly earth dwellers!

The other part of the questionnaire that threw me a little was the section concerning religion. Perhaps this was short sighted of me, but I had never considered the thought of fostering a child from a different religion. That one was a tough one for me and took me a while to pen. We are a Christian family and our faith defines our relationships and certainly our parenting. Naturally, the old "WWJD" mantra came to mind, and (surprise surprise) I had no idea! Jesus asks us to love unconditionally as He loves us. I could absolutely love a child of a different religion, of that I am sure. But the question goes further and asks about raising the child according to his/her religious practices. Would doing so contradict my own beliefs? How would I explain this to my other children? What happens if this child becomes available for adoption? So many questions. So many unknowns. In the end we decided that for our family it would be best to submit that we feel most comfortable taking in a child with parents that have either no religious preference, or Christian preferences. We have to trust that God will work out the rest. If we believe that God is sovereign, that can only mean he is sovereign over everything, or sovereign over nothing. His sovereignty cannot be fragmented. For me, this is a comfort because I know my life is only a tapestry weaved out of faith, relationships, and obedience by the Creator, and I am blessed enough to be considered a thread.

"The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps."
Proverbs 16:9