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    Archive for April 2015

    God's Promise

    Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    These sweet kid's of mine, they're always teaching me a thing or two. They say the most profound things when you least expect it and such was the case this past weekend.

    Sunday evening the littlest and I went to the grocery store. The day had been a mixture of clouds and rain and as we walked out to the car to put the groceries in the vehicle, a big thunderstorm was looming overhead.

    "Hurry mommy, it's going to rain!" She ran to her seat and buckled her little self in and I hurriedly loaded one bag after another.

    We pulled out onto the road no less than two minutes ahead of sky splitting thunder. As we made our way down the road home the rain started pouring down harder and harder. It was as if five gallon buckets were right over us dumping out so hard that we could hardly see.

    And all at once my girl starts laughing. Laughing hysterically from the back I glance at her through the rearview mirror and her eyes are wide with wonder and she's laughing while watching the rain.

    I'm a bit surprised because last year's spring thunderstorms brought nothing but sheer terror to my littles. They were scared to death of the thunder so much that Quinley wouldn't even want to leave the house if she saw dark clouds overhead.

    So I hear this laughter and I'm happy but confused.

    "Mom don't you see," she said. "We don't have to be afraid. Because God promised he would NEVER flood the earth again! So it doesn't matter how much it rains it won't be too much."

    And all at once it was like joy burst forth because she understood that no matter how rainy the day, dark the cloud or cold the wind, it would never ever be too much. God's promises are true so there is no need to be afraid.

    The same is true for me, you and all those who believe.

    It doesn't matter if you're a five year old trying to navigate your way through a thunderstorm on a scary ride home,

    a fifteen year old trying to find out who you really are and what your place is in this world,

    or a fifty year old looking at an empty nest and a new phase of life in the face with more questions than answers.

    You can laugh at the rain and keep your joy through the storm because no matter how dark, how long, or how wet it gets-it will never, ever be too much.

    God's promises are true.

    Grateful

    Tuesday, April 14, 2015

    I'm grateful for this park right beside the library here in our quaint little town. And the creek that runs beside it. And the way that the littlest adores her big brother:)

    I'm grateful for the shock and awe of big bubbles and the preciousness of a five and six year old in their not-so-usual day clothes that I might have had to force on them for church. Or maybe not. Just pitching that out there.


    I'm grateful for this man and what he means to our family. He is my best friend. He is our rock. He is precious and I love him more and more as time goes on.
    I'm grateful for spring days and hay rides and the way that the lake starts to sparkle near noon on a sunny day.

    I'm grateful for fires at night. Smores and snuggles with my little girl.

    Afternoons with a real live princess right in my living room.



    And days at the zoo with good friends just because.

    I'm grateful for bible studies and Beth Moore. For the Word of God and quiet time. For how he speaks into me in those early morning hours.

    And last but certainly not least I'm grateful for true, real, rich and authentic friendships. And the fact that my children are friends with my friends children....well that's just a bonus. A bonus I call a little slice of heaven here on earth.


    The Unexpected Friend

    Wednesday, April 8, 2015

    It was late one Thursday night last fall when I found myself standing in the sporting goods section at Wal-Mart.

    A lot could be said about just that fact alone because trust me, I am the last person you will find out on most week nights. Especially at Wal-Mart and sporting goods?

    Oh my. That is just not my niche but duty calls so there was I.

    The truth is that I was struggling. Not the kind of struggling that involves questions such as which basketball do I buy or the how quickly can I get the least amount of things I need and get out of here kind of struggling-no I was struggling for real.

    When the husband and had I decided to become foster parent's we knew we were called and we knew little else. One of the worst things for this non detail oriented person that I am to deal with, was just the overwhelming amount of information that was presented to us every week.

    Every Tuesday night after a class we would get in our car, look at each other and kind of say.....really? And then before we could make it to the interstate we always came back to the simple fact of WE WERE CALLED THEREFORE WE WILL MARCH FORWARD.

    So that's why I was standing in sporting goods on said Thursday night.

    Our home study was wrapping up and after the kids were in bed I decided to head to Wal-Mart and buy the last finishing touches of safety proofing our home. Tim is a hunter so I needed some gear from sporting goods to secure his hunting equipment.

    I must have looked halfway as confused as I felt because when I went to ask for help I was greeted by a blank stare and the help of a woman who knew way more about this kind of thing than me.

    She warmed up to me after I started talking to her and when I told her why I was there in the first place she got a clouded look on her face.

    "I was raised in foster care," she said. "So I want to thank you for what you're doing."

    An hour later I'd heard about more pain than I ever cared to know existed in the world and I'd made a friend.

    Sometimes all people need is someone to slow down long enough to listen.

    When I asked for her biggest piece of advice she didn't hesitate and said, "Don't ever make any of them eat dog food." She wasn't joking.

    I cried, talked to her some more and kindly thanked her for cheering me on as I had overcome yet another hurdle in the process. I told her I wished her well and tried to share the love of Jesus and went on about my way.

    That was then, this is now.

    For the last two weeks we had the privilege of our first little precious one in our home through foster care. It was ten days of absolute fun. To say that our hearts are prepared to love again and love big would be like saying that the ocean is made of water. Or the sky is blue.

    And when that little one was suddenly out of diapers and baby food one evening and it was after five pm....you guessed it.

    I loaded up the little one and together we headed to Wal Mart.

    A woman on a mission was I and we had our list bought in no time. As I headed from the check out counter to the front door I looked past the big beautiful blue eyes staring at me from the front of the shopping cart and stared straight into the face of my friend from sporting goods.

    I could tell she didn't remember me but I wasn't deterred. "I'm the lady you helped one night when I was struggling with getting everything together for our home study!" I'm sure I was a little overly excited and more than happy to share with her the little guy I was toting along.

    "This is the first sweet one we've had in foster care," I told her. She looked at him and then at me and she said, "I'm so glad it's going well for you ma'am."

    I hugged her tightly and she walked away with big tears in her eyes. The last look I got of her face was like that you'd see on a runner after finishing a marathon. Or someone at the top of Everest.

    It looked a bit like redemption.

    Foster care has already been a blessing to us in so many more ways than one. Loving on a child, well that's not hard for me. That's just what I was born to do; be a mom.

    When you add to that the bonus of encouraging someone along the way? Well, that's also what I live for.

    We go to church every Sunday, attend bible studies through the week and have the best devotion apps on our phones.

    But sometimes its in the oddest aisle at the grocery store that you can encounter the heart of God. I'm so glad I made an unexpected friend.









    Redemption

    Wednesday, April 1, 2015

    Have you ever had the weight of brokenness settle on your shoulders and stay there for a while?

    I bet if you've lived longer than a few years you have.

    And it doesn't sit there like a fluffy comfortable pillow either. It's a hard, heavy, cumbersome sack of a thing and carrying it around is not fun at all.

    It settled on me Tuesday.

    Here's the back story-
    As our first foster experience we were given the opportunity to provide respite care for a sweet couple while they were away working for the Lord. So that meant two weeks with little chubby cheeks to kiss and love on. Every person who knows me knows that when it comes to anything like that, I'm in.

    But the sweet kisses and cuddles and the fact that we even get to do this at all-means that there was at first brokenness somewhere.

    This week of Passover that we're celebrating as we anticipate Sunday and the celebration of the glorious empty tomb....it means that at first there was a whole lot of wrong and a whole lot of hurt for the need of such a price to be paid.

    And I think if we miss the heaviness of the sin that required such a sacrifice-we miss the beauty of the Cross.

    As I sat Tuesday and fed a sweet little man some peas and banana baby food while waiting for his birth family to arrive for a visit, only to sit there a bit longer and longer and finally realize that they weren't coming-I felt the heaviness of the sin infested world we live in settle on my shoulders.

    I looked into big bright blue eyes that don't even understand rejection yet and thought about the circumstances on both ends.

    I wasn't mad, I was hurt.

    Don't be fooled for a minute, but for the grace of God-that could have been me on the other side of the table Tuesday.

    I could have easily been the one struggling, not showing up, not being the person that I need so desperately to be to the family I have around me.

    Because it's not me-I get to see the other side of the spectrum and look straight into the face of the ones that the sin trickles down to and ends up affecting.

    The enemy never sets out for just one. He is in it to kill, steal and destroy whole families.

    And that's where it would end if Jesus hadn't ridden into Jerusalem on a donkey to the shouts of "Hosanna, King of the Jews." and willingly laid his own life down-

    And because he was both God and man you know that although He knew what was required of Him as part of the triune God-head, he felt every lash of the whip with his man flesh that He so gloriously put on to be like us. The sting of the thorns on his head, the spear in his side and the nails in his hands and feet felt just like it would if that were you and I on that cross.

    Deathly.

    He did it so that every bad choice, every wrong move, wrong turn and the weight of the whole world's sins could be atoned for with one drop of His precious blood.

    As I rocked sweet little foster babe yesterday I was more thankful than ever for the precious blood of Jesus.

    I don't want his life to be lived in brokenness-and you know what?

    It's not going to be.

    Because of the cross. Only because of the cross.

    Redemption can come to heal and bring restoration to people in unsafe, unwanted, unhealthy situations because the price of our Lord and Savior paid.

    Sunday I will wake up three precious littles instead of two and walk into the sanctuary to praise my Jesus for the redemption He so graciously gave us.

    It was needed, the sin debt could never be paid without it.

    It wasn't cheap, He suffered beyond human recognition.

    And it isn't wasted now, I hold a sweet new little redeemed by the power of the Cross.