Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Today on Make a Difference "Monday," I need you to know how WE have been changed by foster care. It easy for others to praise us and thank us for all that we've done for our three kids but the truth is, our three little kids - this whole journey, has completely changed our lives - my entire family's and mine. I have grown to know the Lord in new ways . I have felt His supernatural strength in ways I hadn't encountered before. I have experienced Him loving through me - when I was too weak to do it on my own. I have seen my own sin and selfishness quite clearly and I have also felt His great mercy.
Because of you, His body, I have felt the Hands and Feet of Jesus in ways I never had experienced before becoming foster parents. I love my kids so much - I am beyond blessed that the Lord saw fit to bring them into our family forever but please don't praise us. You surely can celebrate with us, thanking Him and pray for kids all around our nation - over 400,000 of them who have been hurt and broken and need to feel the hands and feet of Jesus in their lives - through you and me.
He is calling you to make a difference in the lives of others. How? I don't know but I challenge and implore you to listen to Him and follow Him wherever He leads!
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Sometimes I think that I need to have it all together and then present myself to God as a person worthy of fighting for this cause. But the reality is that if I held myself to this standard, I would never make it. I would never be ready and I would never find the time to reach out and help someone else because I would be too focused on trying to get myself together first. My confidence would be in me, instead of my competence in God. I was reminded of this when I came across this verse this morning:
“Such confidence as this is ours through
Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim
anything for ourselves, but our competence
comes from God. He has made us competent
as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the
letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:4-6, emphasis mine)
Are you a foster parent experiencing trials or dealing with old wounds and scars? As painful as it may be to go through, does it help you relate to the wounded children that enter your home? They too have wounds and scars. They too are fallen and in need of a savior, just like you and me. Are you placing your trust in God and allowing Him to work through you?
I am praying that as an advocate and a foster parent that I
can learn to place my confidence in Jesus.
That I will continue to daily recognize my desperate need for my Savior. I am praying that even in my weakness and with everything that has happened to me in my journey of life, that I can teach the foster
children in my home the Good News. There are children and families suffering and
the answer isn’t perfect people. The
answer comes from worn hands that know and understand the healing power of
“And I want you to know, my dear
brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped
to spread the Good News.” Philippians 1:12
“For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.” Psalm 57:10
“For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.” Psalm 57:10
Monday, July 23, 2012
“We just got home a little bit ago. I am shaking, speechless, and the tears are flowing. My home looks so beautiful. The impact of being gone and coming home to see this is almost unbelievable. I just don’t know how to say thank you enough. No one has ever done anything like this for us. Please know it means so much. I hope this program continues to do these awesome things for others too. I will never forget everyone’s kindness.”
Saturday, July 21, 2012
This is what TFI is about - connecting the Body to the Need!!
Thank you Jesus for allowing us to be a part of Your work! We want to make You more famous!
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
One of the teachers of our class was a foster parent for 21 years, taking in over 400 children. We were so blessed to hear her wisdom that comes through experience. Nevertheless, almost every time we left class to go home, I was filled with fear....fear of this, fear of that, fear of a whole list of things!
Early one morning, I left home for a run and time to talk with God...actually more of a wrestling in my heart and mind. My thoughts were more along the lines of: we aren't equipped, we are both stressed out keeping up with life now, we aren't investing enough time and energy into our three girls, and on and on. It boiled down to this one nagging thought: why would anyone in their “right” mind pursue something that they know ahead of time is going to be very difficult.
When I walked through the door after my run, I ripped off the paper on my flip calendar to see what the Bible verse of the day, and it was Mark 8:35 “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.”
The fact is we were called by Jesus to give up everything. His call is to come and take up the cross. It is a call to radical faith. Jesus is calling us to be willing to suffer anything and forsake everything for the sake of the gospel. His call is for total surrender. His call means realizing that His power is made perfect in our weakness, that when we are weak we are also strong (2 Cor. 12:9-10).
About six months ago, in a room of around 20 women, a friend asked for prayer for a little 6 year old girl named Briana that was living in a meth house and no one wanted her. That night I tossed and turned all night thinking about little Briana and praying for her, asking God to help her find a forever Godly family to love and cherish her.
And so my friends, it boils down to one simple question: do we care? Do we care that children are starving, abused, neglected and mistreated? And if we care, let us act, by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Forgotten Advocate: Prescott, AZ
Find current needs needs in Prescott, AZ
Monday, July 16, 2012
"Last night at midnight three precious little beauties showed up on my doorstep. They each had with them a blanket, a stuffed animal, and a book bag....their Journey Bags of course. I kept waiting for more, anything more, but nothing came. The investigator told me that yes indeed this was all they had. Our 5 year old had come with shoes which were so bad they had to be thrown away, one of our two year olds had no shoes, the other two year old had two left shoes. When I asked about getting anything out of the home the investigator said it just wasn't going to be possible. The kids had nothing. There worldly possessions consisted of Journey Bags. As I stared at those bags I began to cry. What if no one took the time to fill those bags and deliver them? What would our children have then. Absolutely nothing. Nothing to claim as their own, nothing to protect or cherish. Thank you for all you do. Thank you for my kiddos' Journey Bags."
For everyone of you who took time to organize a journey bag drive or bought items to put inside. For each one of you who wrote notes and prayed over these bags. For those of you who loaded up your vehicle and dropped off these bags at agencies all across the nation, this email is for you! Thank you for being the Hands and Feet of Jesus!
To learn more about Journey Bags or any of our other initiatives, click here.
Friday, July 13, 2012
I was talking with Baby J's social worker, and she was asking various questions about how things were going, and I remarked, "You know, foster parenting is one of the most unnatural things you can do."
"What do you mean?" she asked.
My heart's response:
In this season, I am his mother, her mother. I've agreed to care with my whole being, as I do any of the sons I've birthed. I choose to love, when I know my heart will be broken, when I know there is another, dreaming of holding this child, of singing him to sleep. Of one more chance...
I set his schedule to have it thrown out the window for worthy time with his real family. I wake up, desperate for my Savior because I know part of me will die, will grieve, will dream of a tiny face and fingers I may never see again. But I have promised to care for him as I would my own, so he is worth every moment of that grief.
I haven't blogged the last month, especially about our ministry. I wish I could capture where we've been, but I can promise there are places of me that have been to the shadowlands and back.
Jamie has led us through beautifully heartbreaking decisions that have crystallized my longing for Jesus. We've tasted death, sorrow, and pure annoyances, all within the month, and in sincerity, it's pushed me just over the edge of the cliff.
We packed Baby J's bags, wept and wailed our tears, said our goodbyes, only to have him stay once again. A natural momma's response would realize we may need to shy away from the shadowlands. But I'm not a natural momma, and we're unnatural. We're not of this world, so we walk our family right back into the shadowlands, deep inside the forest.
Jamie's heard me weep one too many times that I just don't feel this is making a difference. My narcissistic self wants satisfaction. Can we not do the ministry, but still claim the comfort?
He held me. And he walked me back to the shadows, where we love when it's not natural. When our body is screaming to brace itself, and our souls are aching for walls of protection.
He whispers to me to look, to listen...
And I see her momma hold my hand and tell me she has someone believing in her for the first time.
I hear myself telling her once again that I failed to give her the grace that has been given to me.
I listen as she comes down to the floor beside me and hear her say, "I forgive you. I just want your love."
I watch myself cradle a baby I love to the ends of the earth, and know that he will take part of my soul that no other child will have. So, I give it.
I see my husband love when it is not easy to love, and I see him seeking the face of his Savior.
I hear my oldest say we're the luckiest family in the world to have this calling, even when it's not fun.
And I hear myself say yes to Momma as she asks if we will be there by her side to do this with her, to keep believing with her when all is said and done.
My jealousy rises, my soul leaps in my throat, my hands grasp for comfort, and I surrender to the one who surrendered all for me, who gave the most unnatural thing possible. He knows where I am more than I do. He grieved as he led His child to slaughter. He care for this orphaned, rebellious child and made me His own, and He entered the shadowlands with me, and then He grafted the eternity of home in my heart so that I could face the unnatural here on earth.
Jamie and I have been foster parents for 18 months and have cared for
children in that time period. Five of these have been long term. In addition
to our three spunky biological sons (8, 6, and 4), we currently
have two daughters who have lived with us for over a year, and a son who has lived with us for nine months. Our hearts in foster parenting are to be present and engage with our children's families, so that the gospel can seep through our wretchedness, allowing them to see grace and to know it is not the end of their stories. My own blog is www.thishighcalling.blogspot.com.
Friday, July 6, 2012
After our third child was born, Mike and I made a decision--if God called us to have any more children, we would adopt.
After several years of prayer, we knew our calling: foster and adopt a local child. We have now been licensed foster parents for over two years. So, how many kids now live in our home? Three--the same three we've always had. Here we sit, our family of five, and wonder if we chose the right path. Used the right agency. Made the right decision.
Billboards screamed "Foster Kids are Our Kids!" The tears welled, my heart ached, but the phone didn't ring. The goal of being a child's forever family remained nonexistent.
How could God call us to something and not use us? But, you see, God has used us--for while no one else lives here right now, we have had the opportunity to foster four children. Temporary placements--not our plan, but each time that was the outcome. Four lives that forever changed our inward focus on self. Four lives that very likely will play a role in what vocations my children pursue. Four lives for whom we continue to pray. Not one, but four.
Wednesday, July 4, 2012
CLICK HERE to see more pictures from this project and find out how you can get involved in serving the foster care community in Champaign county visit: