It’s Easier to Say No



Things are good here in our little family. They’re not perfect, not necessarily easy—I mean, we do have a toddler who is testing the limits of her independence and the sincerity of our words everyday—but things are good. Really good. We love our daughter to the moon and back. We have a good rhythm and rhyme, the three of us. Any gut-level desires to parent a child have been satisfied by our dear girl. We could be done adding to our family. It would be easy.

As I consider taking the plunge into foster parenting again, it feels completely differently this time. Last time it was just Jason and me. Why not? we reasoned. We didn’t have a good reason to say no.

This time around we have our precious little one to consider. Her safety. Her feelings. Her parental attention. It would be so easy to say no this time. No, we can’t bring strangers, little aliens, into our home again. This time we could use our daughter as an excuse. We would be justified. We have our daughter to look out for and those other kids are not our problem.

As I rocked my daughter last night, I looked down at her sweet little face and deep, brown eyes and told her for the millionth time how much I love her, what a wonderful gift she is, how special she is and how thankful I am to be her Mommy. And then I remembered… It would have been easy to say no to her call, too. It would have been easier to go on as just the two of us, me and Jason, and never have to step out into the dark unknown of foster parenting.

We could have said no and we would have missed out one of the greatest blessings in our lives.

Our home is not physically ready for us to reopen as foster parents. The “next kids” room is not assembled yet and we still need some safety locks installed in the kitchen and medical/cleaning products closet. But mentally I’m getting ready to say YES.

Yearly Goals


We’re 4 days into the new year and many people have already made resolutions … and some may have already broken their self-vows. A few years ago Jason and I heard about a successful couple from our neighborhood who write out their goals and a gameplan together every year, rather than New Years Resolutions.

At the start of 2010, Jason and I decided to give this a try. He’s very goal oriented and I’m very visual so together we sat down with a little hardback journal and wrote out goals. Our goals for 2010 included a list of home projects and repairs we wanted to complete:

– finish master bathroom renovation – check!

– pergola roof – moved to 2011’s list

– fence around garden – moved to 2011’s list

– install garbage disposal – fell off the priority wagon

– get new tires for our car – check!

– fix car windows that won’t stay up – check!

– refinish nightstand table – fell off the priority wagon

A second list included 2010 financial goals. We listed 4 areas and target amounts we wanted to save for each purpose. We hit 2 of the goals and came halfway to the other 2 goals.

I also made some goals for myself in four personal areas: home, career, family and spiritual. My goals included things like rework my home office, expand the number of designs in my Etsy shop, help more with the gardening and composting more, and stop obsessively planning (AKA worrying).

We’re really pleased how things have turned out this past year, both in terms of meeting goals and in unexpected, unplanned blessings. It has not been an easy year for many people and I know a lot of our Nashville friends are more than ready to forget 2010.

I love the start of a new year and the excitement and potential of a fresh start! Last weekend while Jason and I were driving to Branson, Missouri for New Years (where he was playing), we wrote our goals for 2011. I’ll tell you about them tomorrow.