Friday, January 28, 2011

The Thrill

So I get a call from my best friend and she says to me, "we need babysitters for Saturday night." I tell her "okay", and wonder what has she signed me up for now? For those of you that know us, you will understand that statement. She then proceeds to tell me that we are going to the Toby Mac and Brandon Heath concert!!! We won a contest from The Fish radio station. It takes a minute for this information to actually sink in and register as I did not recall entering a contest. "I told our story of how God put us together and they picked us" she tells me excitedly. Now I am freaking out a little bit as I go online and check it out. Sure enough, there we are on Lara Scott's page as the winners with the entry Wendy sent in. WOW!! Not only do we have backstage passes to the concert, but we get to have dinner with Lara Scott. JACKPOT!!!

We arrived and got to hang out backstage watching things get ready for the night. Lara Scott and her husband came over and we took pictures and talked, just chillin together. Then they took us in for a meet and greet with the VIP ticket holders. There Toby Mac came out and talked, answered questions and sang a few tunes for all of us. It was time for us to go under the stage and eat dinner together with Lara, her husband and friend as well as the production company. It was great food with lots of choices and good conversation with everyone. I very much enjoyed spending time getting to know them and sharing our stories with them.

As we were leaving, in walked Toby Mac...SO COOL!!! We talked with him for a few, snapped a few pictures and got a couple of autographs for the nephews ;) Yes, I did try to get him to adopt some more kids after I learned he had 5 children, 2 of which were adopted. C'mon, you have met me, you knew I would! It was a very awesome few minutes to spend with him.

We left there and were backstage again and up walked Big Wave Dave with his 2 children. How fun that we also got to meet him again (we went to his graduation from HOPE...well actually we were there for Joe Barsha, but BWD graduated too).

It was time to go in and take our seat for the fabulous show to start!!! The energy and the music from everyone there was incredible. Life changing I would say. Such an experience to be able to rock out, sing, dance, and cheer but then have the artist read from his bible and encourage the unsaved that God has a plan for them. They left me wanting more and I vowed to go to more concerts after that night.

It was not only a lot of fun as two good friends, Alena and Phil, had purchased tickets and were there, but it was inspiring, refreshing and renewing for me. God always lets me know when I am feeling like I can not do anymore that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I felt His presence there, I felt Him speaking to me through the songs, letting me know that I am doing what He is asking and to keep going.

The one song that I felt such a connection to was when Brandon Heath sang the following chorus:

Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the once forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Yes, those words were meant for me. I needed those words on that night, at that moment to remember why I do what I do and what it is really about, because it is not about me or my plans, but about His kingdom and reaching the lost in His name.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes

Do you wonder why you have to,

feel the things that hurt you,

if there's a God who loves you,

where is He now?

Maybe, there are things you can't see

and all those things are happening

to bring a better ending

some day, some how, you'll see, you'll see

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,

that you still have a reason to sing,

'cause the pain you've been feeling,

can't compare to the joy that's coming

so hold on, you got to wait for the light

press on, just fight the good fight

because the pain you've been feeling, it's just the dark before the morning

My friend, you know how this all ends

and you know where you're going,

you just don't know how you get there

so just say a prayer and hold on,

cause there's good who love God,

life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time,

but you'll see the bigger picture

once you feel the way of glory,

all your pain will fade to memory

Would dare you, would you dare, to believe,

that you still have a reason to sing,

'cause the pain you've been feeling,

can't compare to the joy that's coming

com'n, you got to wait for the light

press on, just fight the good fight

because the pain you've been feeling,

it's just the hurt before the healing

the pain you've been feeling,

just the dark before the morning

Ahh....thank you Josh Wilson for putting all those thoughts and feelings to a song. I love it, it helps me remember I am not in charge and all things in His perfect timing and that He does have great things in store for those that love Him.

The other day as we were driving somewhere, my 5 year old foster daughter must have asked me for the 10th time in as many minutes, where we were going. I said to her, honey, do you know how to drive? I didn't think so, all you need to know is that you are with me and that is where you should be. We will get to where we are going when we get there at the right time. I was of course frustrated at that point, but as I spoke, I felt convicted. How many times do I ask God....Where am I going, what is happening next? When will I get there where you want me to be? Wow, almost like He was answering me through my answer to her. Be still my child and know that I am God. Know that if you are with Me, who can be against you?

Yes, the lessons I am learning through this journey He has placed me on. Thank you Lord for this journey you have allowed me to be on!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ahhh...yes, now I remember!

One of the most important lessons I think I have learned on this journey is simply this:

"It is not about me."

That being said, I am human and unfortunately, it is a phrase that is often forgotten in the midst of this thing we call life. Among all the outings, appointments, church services, work, sleep and everything in is lost.

I find myself often sitting back as if I am viewing someone else's life and wondering if "I" am doing enough. Am "I" doing things right? Will "I" make the right decision? The answer to all of them is no if all of them are focused on "I".

John 3:16 - “For God so loved the world. . . .”

We must continually keep our soul open to the fact of God’s creative purpose, and never confuse or cloud it with our own intentions. If we do, God will have to force our intentions aside no matter how much it may hurt. A missionary is created for the purpose of being God’s servant, one in whom God is glorified. Once we realize that it is through the salvation of Jesus Christ that we are made perfectly fit for the purpose of God, we will understand why Jesus Christ is so strict and relentless in His demands. He demands absolute righteousness from His servants, because He has put into them the very nature of God.Beware lest you forget God’s purpose for your life.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Thank you Tory, sorry God.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Well, another school year has started, but this time I have a kindergartner. Seems strange to me...oddly fun and exciting...but yet strange. I guess that is because I never pictured myself having one again. I mean I had life all figured out! My child was grown, I was going to travel with my best friend and do what I wanted to do (emphasis on "I"). Wow, was that plan ever But I know He has a plan for me every step of the way and a reason for why I have the children I do and He knows the lessons I need to learn. Maybe I need to be more like a Kindergartner...

The old saying goes that everything I needed to know I learned in Kindergarten. So trustful at that tender age of our caregivers. We learn to be accepting of others, sharing, caring, how to stand in line and wait your turn, speak nicely to people. At this age, they are such sponges, sucking up everything you say and do wanting to please you. They want to learn more and more and explore with excitement what is around them.

Well, why should I be any different for our Father in heaven? Sometimes we get so lost and tied up in this grown up world that we forget the basics. Isn't that what we learned back in kindergarten? The basics?

Be kind to one another, be accepting of each other. Stand in line and wait your turn, follow directions. Care about others around you. Let your speech be as sweet as pie lest you have to eat your own words...ahh yes the basics.

So next time someone is rude to you, has road rage, or is simply not being nice, remember, you learned the basics. Let your light shine for Him that you may be a beacon of His love for others to see!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Agony and the Ecstasy

Ahh the moment you have been waiting for is here. The children you have been caring for are going to their forever home, either to the parents or a relative or perhaps to strangers willing to adopt. Whatever the case may be, the longer the child has been with you, the harder it is to let them go. This is the day you have been looking forward to for them, and yet, there is this urge to hold onto them.

I would say that one if the most often questions I am asked is "how can you just give them back?" honestly, up until recently, I had no problem giving them back to where it is God had placed them forever. I mean seriously, I have a 21 year old living in my home that I raised by myself, the thought of doing THAT again is NOT appealing. However, I find myself wondering these days why I had such a hard time letting go of the last two. Is is because I had them so long? Or did I miss God's direction? I pray it was because I had them so long, and here is why I believe that to be true.

Even now, as Wendy travels at this moment with her child that she has had for 2 years, I am crying at my desk. These kids become such a part of our lives, that even though she is going to be with a relative where I am sure she will be very happy, and I am happy for her, it hurts my heart. I know those of you that know me, think I do not cry much, and that is true. But these kids...they wrentch my heart out sometimes.

I think part of it is the ones that need us the most, are the hardest to let go of, even in the best of circumstances. They come to us so broken, so emotionally desolate. Like a rose that has been trampled on and crushed under the weight of their parents bad choices. We take them into our lives, teach them, model Godly behavior for them, watch them grow, learn healthy attachments and learn what unconditional love is. When they leave, I believe a small piece of us goes with them.

Why do you keep doing it you ask? Well, I know with all my heart and soul God has asked me to. I want to be obedient to my Savior. I want His will be done, not mine. The more lives I can touch for His kingdom, the better off we will all be.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Coaster Ride

I had a visit from a great friend of mine yesterday. She reminded me of the passion I have for this mission field I am in. I can not tell you what a great breath of fresh air she was to me!

Remember when you were younger and you would ride a new roller coaster? The butterflies you felt wondering what ti was going to be like, would you enjoy it and most of all would you do it again? Well, foster care is kind of like that. There are days I think I am insane and that when my current placements go home, I am DONE! God has such a compassion and treats us with such grace and loving kindness, okay and A LOT of humor. He always sends me the right people, articles, smiles or hugs that melt me into wondering why I would ever think of doing anything else.

It is like a coaster though with the ups and downs the happy and the sad the frustrating and the joyous. That is why I know it takes a village to raise a child. Without the love and support of not only my family, but my friends and my church as well as other churches and foster parents, I could not do this. When the system throws you a curve, you've got them to pull you out of it.

I have a vision for this mission field that I am in, a vision of grandeur where every child lives in a Christian home receiving not only the fundamentals of life, but the fundamentals of eternal life that they can pass on to their parents or guardians or forever families, which ever may be the case for them. A vision where our lights shine so brightly for Christ that those around us in the world can not help but take notice and want to be a part of what is going on at Knott Avenue Christian Church. There they will encounter a support group called The Village and families as well as a church that are committed to the support, recovery and eternal life of each child and family they come in contact with.

C'mon, don't you remember riding that coaster with your eyes squeezed shut, arms straight in the air and mouth wide open screaming for joy? It is safe, the coaster is on the tracks, you don't need to know anything else! Christ is your coaster, He will keep you safe and on the right track through all the ups and downs, turns, hills and valleys. What are you waiting for? Get in!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Didn't see it coming

Sometimes I wonder about my sanity in this foster care world. I mean, now I have a 2 year old, a one year old and a one week old...who signs up for that! It will be an interesting time, no doubt about it.

You may be wondering what time it was that I wondered about my sanity...well the time when you ask yourself, what am I doing and why am I doing it? Is this really part of your plan God, or am I some kind of pathetic foster mom. As I am getting up every 2-3 hours in the middle of the night is when these things occur to me and I think, wow, am I doing His plan or following my own agenda? Sometimes I wonder. From somewhere I feel Him tell me it is right...almost a whisper and I feel peace. I am able to get up in the morning and do what needs to be done. I feel a little tired, but I know that He can carry me through and I take ahold of that and don't let go. As for the why...that is simple, to be the lamp unto their feet as He has called me to do.

So here I sit at my desk wondering again what I was thinking. All I know is that God has a plan and if I keep driving on His road and listening to His directions of where to turn, stop and accelerate, then there is no dead end for me, only my final destination next to Him. Some days, that is all I have to hang on to.....