I Trust in You

05/02/2016

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Our family is entering into a season of faith-stretching with our third baby coming in two months and some work transitions and changes that have been…challenging. This song has been really speaking to me lately.

“Trust In You” by Lauren Daigle

Letting go of every single dream
I lay each one down at Your feet
Every moment of my wandering
Never changes what You see

I’ve tried to win this war I confess
My hands are weary I need Your rest
Mighty Warrior, King of the fight
No matter what I face, You’re by my side

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

Truth is, You know what tomorrow brings
There’s not a day ahead You have not seen
So, in all things be my life and breath
I want what You want Lord and nothing less

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

You are my strength and comfort
You are my steady hand
You are my firm foundation; the rock on which I stand

Your ways are always higher
Your plans are always good
There’s not a place where I’ll go, You’ve not already stood

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move
When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through
When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You
I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

I will trust in You!
I will trust in You!
I will trust in You!

I’m also digging into God’s Word as we traverse this valley. Yesterday I read Psalm 84 and these verses really stuck out to me: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts you.” (Psalm 84:11-12) God’s promises for us are abundant. I know He has good plans for us, He will not leave us. He knows our every need. Jehovah-jireh; The LORD will provide. I have never seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging for bread. Children are a blessing, an inheritance and a reward. He withholds no good thing from us. Father gives good gifts to his children. Blessed is the one who trusts in Him.

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At The Master’s Feet

09/04/2014

As of yesterday, four of our six hens are laying eggs. I’m hoping now that we’re up to 3-4 a day we’ll have enough to share with family and friends. August brought a lot of long, hot days and I tried to let the girls out of their run to roam the backyard for a bit everyday. We don’t let them out all the time because they’ll eat all our plants and poop all over everything if we don’t supervise or limit the time. But they love to run and flap their wings and roll around in the mulch to take dust baths (necessary to keep cool and shake pests off their skin). Plus, I love to interact with them. They’ll come up to the back door to look into the living room and sometimes my favorite girl Sunny S.U. will even knock on the window with her beak to say hello.

One humid afternoon I took a container of blueberries out to share with my hens. (I like to thank them for all their fresh eggs!) Once the girls realized I had treats, they started to gather around. Most of the birds are afraid to get too close to me. I like to make them put in a little effort to get the treat so I’ll extend my arm as far as I can to offer a berry. A couple of the girls will snatch the berry and jump back to check it out and then gobble it down, not getting close enough for me to touch them. The three youngest birds won’t even get that close. They’ll scratch around the garden, barely paying attention to the berry frenzy the others are enjoying. Because I’m generous and I want them to learn to trust me, I throw a few treats to the most fearful ones, too. I have to practically pelt them with the blueberries in order for them to notice and enjoy the gift.

Then there is Sunny. Buff Orpingtons are known to be friendly chickens but I’m amazed at how different she is than the others. She’s never been afraid of me. While I was sitting on the steps throwing berries out to the distant ones, I realized she was standing quietly right by my feet. She wasn’t scared. She wasn’t impatient or greedy, pecking at my stash or me, as they sometimes do. I can reach down and pet her soft feathers and she’s never backs away. She was peaceful and content to stand by me and wait for any treats I might offer. I have six birds but my sweet, faithful Sunny got half of the berries.

I had a revelation that afternoon about Father God. He delights in His children and loves to give out blessings and good things. So often we’re afraid to get close to Him so we act like we don’t care. We’re content to scratch in the dirt for our own treats, ignorant to the fact that He’s freely giving out better options if we’ll only look at Him. Then other times we get the confidence (or desperation) to get close and snag a gift or a blessing but then jump back again, into a safe distance. I wonder what it would be like if we would really sit at His feet without any reservations, not because we’re greedy or desperate, but because we simply like to be close to Him. And undoubtedly, the ones who sit loyally at His feet will get more of the goodness.

I wanna sit at your feet
Drink from the cup in your hand.
Lay back against you and breath, feel your heart beat
This love is so deep, it’s more than I can stand.
I melt in your peace, it’s overwhelming

(From “The More I Seek You” written by Zach Neese in 1999)

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A Sun and Shield

08/14/2014

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“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.”

PSALM 84:11

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Faith

08/04/2014

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My faith is what motivates my actions. By faith in Jesus Christ, I am adopted into the family of God, a daughter of the most High King, just as if born by blood. By faith I stepped out into the dark, unknown of foster care believing that God would take my feeble, insufficient attempts to make a difference and turn it into something so much greater than I could ever do. I love because He first loved me. I serve as if I’m serving Him:

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ … ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matthew 25:34-36, 40)

Foster care and adoption have stretched me (ouch!) and grown my faith more than anything ever had before. I’ve never had to rely so heavily on faith to get through day-by-day challenges, grief, sorrow and unknowns as I have the past three years. It’s been the hardest thing and the most rewarding thing. For brief moments I’ve had the privilege of feeling the weight of God’s broken heart for His hurting people—it’s a crushing weight and those instances have made me very thankful He carries it for us. My life used to be pretty comfortable and relatively easy. Sometimes I miss those days. But when I look back at how much I’ve learned about the character of God, His heart, His love for His children… I wouldn’t trade that for a trouble-free life. Knowing what I know now, I can never go back.

I wrote this a few months ago for an adoption share on Instagram and I wanted to share it here. 


“God doesn’t call us to be comfortable…”

07/01/2014

“But God doesn’t call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we’ll be in trouble if He doesn’t come through.” — Francis Chan from Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God

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(You’re welcome to share, pin, use this graphic but please keep the tiny watermark in the corner that credits the creator of the graphic.)

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Pain is No Measure of His Faithfulness

06/09/2014

"Pain is no measure of His faithfulness / He withholds no good thing from us" - "Open My Hands" by Sara Groves

When I was struggling with anger, grief and justice recently, a thoughtful friend shared an encouraging note along with this song “Open My Hands” by Sara Groves. It spoke deeply to my soul, especially the two lines above. I hope it encourages you. Psalm 84:11 says For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

“Open My Hands” by Sara Groves

I believe in a blessing I don’t understand
I’ve seen rain fall on wicked and the just
Rain is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I believe in a peace that flows deeper than pain
That broken find healing in love
Pain is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me

I believe in a fountain that will never dry
Though I’ve thirsted and didn’t have enough
Thirst is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me
No good thing from us
No good thing from us
He withholds no good thing from us

I will open my hands, will open my heart
I will open my hands, will open my heart
I am nodding my head an emphatic yes
To all that You have for me

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All of the Feelings

04/23/2014

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I have the best community. Seriously, the best. So many people have been praying for our family and were anxiously waiting for news about the custody decision for Ali’s little sister. When I got the news first thing Monday morning, I sent the first texts with trembling hands. It was so much to process and wrap my brain around. I was dreading telling everyone who was waiting with us…because I knew it would open up a flood of texts, emails, phone calls, conversations…support. I just didn’t know if I was ready for all of that. How silly to think that way. I’m tremendously thankful for the tender words I’ve gotten from everyone, including you: my online community. Some of my very closest friends I have never met face-to-face.

The follow up question to my sharing of the news was what I was dreading: “How are you feeling?” I just don’t know. It’s cliché but the best answer: I’m feeling all of the feelings. I actually appreciated the “You doing okay?” question better because it’s more manageable. Yes. I’m doing okay. I will be okay. Then a dear friend (the kind of friend who will just hug you and let you cry) who invited us over for dinner and/or to drop Ali off for dinner so Jason and I could talk—I can’t even express how much that means to me.

After the initial shock, the first thing I felt was relief that the waiting was over. We’ve been waiting, putting our lives on hold in some ways, for 8 months. It’s been a long and exhausting fight. The last 10 days of the wait between the trial and the phone call were the most difficult.

Then I imagined her current caregiver—who I’ll now just refer to as her mom—getting the phone call at work on Monday morning just like I did. I imagined her weeping with relief and joy that the baby she loves so deeply and has poured her life into the past 7 months is with her for good (most likely…permanent custody is a tricky matter). I felt joy for her. And joy for baby girl who will go about her day just like any other day without any disruption.

But the grief and loss of the sibling relationship—a real, living-in-the-same-household-everyday sibling relationship—is intense. I feel the weight of it for my daughter who doesn’t really understand it all yet. She prays at night, “Thank you for baby [Trust] to come here and be with us.” She’s going to keep praying it every night and I’m going to have to keep reminding her everyday that it’s over; she’s not coming here to be live with us. Ali has had so much loss in her life already—both girls have—and I had hoped we could alleviate that one for them.

I won’t unpack all of my emotions here but suffice it to say I have disappointment, anger, frustration, confusion, grief, hope, trust, love… and it’s changing by the minute. I know that God has a good plan for our family and for baby Trust. I’ve never doubted that for a minute. I know He could have moved her to us. I believe that one day we’ll look back and it will make more sense.

This journey was not all a waste of time, money and energy. I can think of three significant, very personal things that God has taught me through this process. I know our involvement also sped up certain parts of the case that led to faster permanency for baby Trust. And now we have the confidence to look our daughter in the eyes when she asks, “Why didn’t you try to get my sister?” and we can answer her, “We did everything we could do.” When I hold her and dry her tears, I’ll cry too because I’m familiar with sorrow and I’m acquainted with grief, just like the One who holds me now and dries my tears.


The Wait is Over

04/21/2014

The wait is over. We did not get the news we were hoping for. I’m devastated for our daughter and her little sister and what this means for their future—visits a few times a year rather than spending everyday together. But I also have peace knowing that littlest sister is deeply loved and wanted where she’s living. I trust that God has a plan and it’s a good one. I have a lot to process and I need some time to do so. Please forgive me in advance if I don’t respond for a little while as I’m letting go of 8 months of praying, hoping, fighting, phone calls, letters, hearings, trials, research, preparations…


There’s an Anchor for my Soul

04/16/2014

There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say “It is well”

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near
When this darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

And I hear the voice of many angels sing,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
And I hear the cry of every longing heart,
“Worthy is the Lamb”
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[Chorus:]
And I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles’ wings
Before my God fall on my knees
And rise
I will rise

 “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin

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My dear friend Leslie sent me this bracelet. I’m so thankful for my Anchor, and for this lovely reminder that He’s got this—every this.


Trust and Wait

09/18/2013

I want to write from the heart, to pour out and sort out all that’s swirling around in my mind, but blogging requires a balancing act between public life and private life that’s tricky to manage. Perhaps it’s especially tricky as a foster parent, because a child in state custody is never legally mine and their stories are not mine to share. I say all that because I have a lot of heavy stuff going on in my heart and my head and I don’t know what, if any of it, to share here. The complexity of that stuff makes writing a blog post about sewing a toddler purse or making a peanut butter pie seem terribly superficial.

Here are a few random bullet points from my brain swirl:

• On Thursday we started getting placement calls again out of the blue. I was under the impression we were on hold status because we hadn’t gotten any calls since…well, since May 3 when Buzz arrived. I had a discussion about that with the third placement worker and she said she would be glad to make a note on our file that we’re not available until the end of October, when Buzz’s 90-day home visit trial period is over. Placement workers are the sweetest people working for DCS and they have one of the most discouraging jobs. All three of the placements we were called about—4 kids in total—were under the age of 2. That’s extremely rare in our county. I’m sure they were able to find homes for them but it’s still heart breaking to say no. If it were November I would have said yes to any of them. I’m now officially hoping for a baby next time after mentally imagining saying yes to each of those placement calls.

• I called back the sweet placement worker on Friday morning to clarify that we would make an exception to the hold status for any previous foster kids or their biological family members.

• On Saturday morning Ali and I met Buzz and his mom for breakfast. It was the first time we had seen them since the beginning of August when they were reunited. It was also Buzz’s 3rd birthday. I’m so glad we could celebrate with them. I got the impression his mom has had to close their world in so tight that they really don’t see many family and friends. Both kids ask about each other a lot. Apparently Buzz asks to see pictures of “Mama and Ali”…it really means a lot to me that his mom told me that because I was afraid it was hurting her that he calls me Mama. He calls her Mommy, thankfully, so he has a different name for each of us. Buzz was quite nervous when we walked into the IHOP. I’m sure it stirred up a mess of emotions. We both assured him that he was going home with his mom and we were just visiting because Ali and I miss him. (Jason too but he’s traveling.) He was pretty quiet through breakfast. It looks and sounds like they’re doing great. I’m so proud of them both! We all got hugs when we said goodbye and tentatively made plans to get together again next month. I’m blessed to get to keep in touch with them. We’re certainly not required to but we both just want to keep in touch. I love that!

• I keep coming back to the word trust, over and over again. Trust. With all of the unknowns. WIth all of the maybes. With all of the secret hopes. With all of the dreams for the future. WIth all of the worries about situations and individuals way outside of my control. With all of the confusion and mess. TRUST. I started looking up Bible verses related to trust on Sunday afternoon. “Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5. That verse has been popping up in my head for several weeks. And the follow up to trust is wait. Be patient. Wait. Trust.

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