Jesus Knows How To Party

This is the 1st Monday in 2016 I have had solo.  Snow days and holidays and sick kids have ruled all my Mondays so far, but today the sun is shining, spring is totally in the air and my mind is in a full on whirl of thoughts and feelings.

Yesterday we partied.  And we partied hard.  Our current littlest turned 2 last week.  We’re not a party for every birthday family, but our littlest’s momma asked if I had been thinking about her birthday and so the ball started rolling in the party direction.

Her actual birthday felt weighty.  I felt a deep sadness that we were the ones greeting her on her official birthday morning.  I felt sad we were the ones celebrating early that morning with donuts and candles and singing.  I felt sad videoing the whole thing and then texting it to her mom.  I felt like we were robbing everyone.  I thought Josh Kelley and I might tight embrace and sob together once the singing silenced and mouths we’re full of delicious donuts.  And yet I know we are robbing no one.  I know we are just treating her how we would want our children to be treated if the roles were reversed.

Foster care is hard.  We are not foster-to-adopt.  The state of Tennessee was loud and clear when we went to our first meeting that if we were in this aiming to adopt we needed to leave and find an alternate route.  Reunification is the goal whenever possible.  Adoption is beautiful and has added sons to our family and God has used it to stitch our family together just right, but our hearts are now heavy for birthparents and how we can help keep families together…how can we stand in the gap during hard times and foster care is the direction we headed.

Yesterday our family and our littlest’s family gathered together at our house and celebrated her sweet 2 years on this planet.  They have not been your typical, ideal 2 years, but I absolutely, without a doubt believe God has been in every last detail of her story.  She is His child, just like the rest of us.  It felt like my senses were heightened yesterday.  I felt like God allowed me to see and experience so many sweet moments He orchestrated.  I believe Jesus was the main guest at our party.

It wasn’t fancy or extra special.  There were minimal decorations and no party favors.  There was Dominos pizza and salad.  Grapes and carrots.  Mini sprites and pink lemonade.  Cookies, cookies and more cookies.  And then there were two sets of families who a year ago had no clue who the others were.  Here’s where my heart and mind just want to puddle right up.  I am INSANELY proud of these people.  Not just our extended family, but littlest’s family too.  Everyone involved…coming from both sides…could have chosen fear of the unknown and could have chosen to keep to themselves.  Everyone could have done the bare minimum and have still gotten by just like that.  No one had to reach beyond themselves or widen their circle.  But that’s NOT what everyone did.

I beam with pride on behalf of Josh’s parents and our brothers, sisters, nieces and nephews.  This family who congregated at our house yesterday and hugged necks and gushed over our littlest and brought presents and kind words and who ate and sang happy birthday and made conversation and who are cheering her momma and daddy on and who are praying over them and praying for reunification.  It’s just love.  Love, love and more love.

I beam with pride on behalf of her Mom and Dad and their families.  This is no easy road.  This is no road someone wishes for or dreams up, but they are taking it in stride and doing the best they can and they LOVE their daughter.  They didn’t have to widen their circle.  They didn’t have to let us in.  They didn’t have to link arms with us.  They didn’t have to become family, but they chose to and I am incredibly thankful and honored they welcomed us in.

I watched as my sister-in-law Katy rushed in our house…solo parenting, a bit frazzled and running a little late for the party with all her kiddos.  She could have just stayed at home.  She could have sat this party out, but she didn’t.  I answered texts about what size clothing our littlest is currently in and today she wore the cutest new dress to school from Josh’s sister.  I watched Harper and my nieces playing with our littlest’s girl cousin who came to the party.  They didn’t know each other, but they didn’t miss a beat and welcomed each other right in.  Legos are universal 🙂  I listened as Josh’s dad had everything in their car ready to go home and said “I’m going to run back in and tell them bye.” referring to her mom and dad.  I watched Josh’s mom hug both her momma and daddy so sweetly.  I listened to what seemed like the loudest Happy Birthday song I’ve ever heard…a choir of voices looking on while her momma and daddy held her tight and smiled the biggest smiles and blew out those two candles….everyone snapping pictures like crazy paparazzi.  I watched one of our nieces riding on the seesaw in our back yard with our littlest’s dad and I thought to myself “This is it.  This is it.”  I can back every ministry group and sign up for every Bible study offered and teach Bible journaling classes and go to church on Sunday and so on and so on, but if my every day life does not scream Jesus’ love to those around me then I am nothing.  Living this every day life with a love of Jesus…with a passion to show His love to everyone we encounter is crucial.

Today I am just flat out grateful and honored for this journey and these people who are in this with us.  It’s easy to feel so unworthy of this calling because man, we get to know some of the best people around…new and old…and witness some of the best things Jesus offers when we simply choose to love like He did.

Happy Monday.

A Break

First a bit of housekeeping.  January’s Bible journaling class has 6 spots left.  You can read all the details HERE.  I was talking to my cousin Rebecca yesterday about Bible journaling and it just makes me all kinds of crazy excited.  I simply love this class because I love reading the Bible now…total game changer…which is insane-o-town for someone who has never been a Bible reader before like myself.  And how fun is this, Rebecca lives in Memphis, so I might be coming to Memphis to teach a class!!!!  Let me know if anyone is interested.

Also, Debora Guy…I know you want to come to January’s class and I’m looking for you my lady.  For some reason all your emails are bouncing back and I never want someone to think I’m ignoring their emails…ever 🙂  Email me at pitterpatterart at gmail dot com  

I am open for orders.  Winter break has been a long one, but all 5 children will exit the house Wednesday morning for some sort of school/MDO and I will be singing all the hallelujahs and getting to work on current orders.  I would insert all the praise hand emojis here if my computer had emojis.  Message me HERE if you would like to place a custom order.

We are still putting together our Swaziland team.  You can read more details HERE.  I would love for you to join us.  It is going to be one amazing trip and I can barely contain my excitement.  If you’re interested or have any questions let me know.

Alright…housekeeping done.

So foster care is hard.  I toyed with a million different ways to say that, but what it all comes down to is simply that…it’s hard.  Is it rewarding and amazing and beautiful and God-relying…a resounding yes to all of the above, and so much more, but it’s also crazy hard and sometimes the hard just wins and over shadows all the goodness.  I don’t like this part about the whole thing or about myself.  I don’t like when some days I’m pretty much toast because of exhaustion and sadness and the high demands.  I don’t like when some days I just feel down and out and choose not to see the joy and the hope.  That’s the ugly part of my heart.  It’s hard to do the right thing…more often the wrong route is so much easier…so it’s a constant battle to choose right…and to take the harder path.

And sometimes you just have to break away from the whole the thing to re-set.  This past weekend Josh Kelley booked us two nights at Montgomery Bell State Park.  We even lined up family to keep our current littlest because speaking of hard, almost 2-year-olds are hard y’all.  She is completely loved, but she is completely a firecracker too 🙂  Plus swimming and hiking and biking didn’t sound too pleasant with a small child who could do none of those things.

So off we went and it was a great break.  Josh, Hudson and Solomon hit up a mountain bike course.  There was swimming in the weirdest, indoor, terrarium pool ever…people had literally etched their names in the pool algae.

Solomon’s faces have now gone from weird to diabolical…like he’s a master mind taking over the world one photo at a time.

We played tons of games.  We all hiked and Amon killed it…dude keeps up.  They created outdoor hideaways.  Josh Kelley made 1000 fires in the outdoor fireplace.

We ate yummy food and cooked smores in the microwave when Josh Kelley’s fire wasn’t quite cutting it.  We watched movies in bed on cable TV…oh em gee.  We rode bikes around and around and around our cabin loop.  It was just right.

And when we went to pick our littlest up she squealed with delight and then held onto Josh’s mom a little bit longer.  She’s 1 of 5 at our house…and she spent the whole weekend apparently soaking up all the solo attention.  Yes, a break was good for everyone.

School is in session tomorrow and our regular routine is on the horizon.  I can totally see it.  Cheers.

Happy Tuesday.

On Not Saying Goodbye

Our kindness advent led us to the library yesterday.  The kids made bookmarks and then left them in books on the library shelves in the kids area.  We added this activity last year and the kids were quick to add this one again this year when they were narrowing down our kindness for this December.  In the past I’ve been ahead of the game a bit…getting them to prepare the day before, but this year we’re kind of doing most everything the same day.  This has actually made things better in my opinion…somewhat slower and easier.  So yesterday after school they crafted all their bookmarks…paper, stickers, markers, pompoms, hole punch and ribbons…and then we headed to the library after dinner.  The pompoms were in heavy rotation and there was one hot glue gun casualty, but we all survived.

Today we are taking cookies to the fire and police department down our street.  This is when all those boxes of Otis Spunkmeyer cookies we purchased to support our school come in handy.

And tomorrow we are taking a special treat to a Salvation Army bell ringer.


It’s been almost 3 weeks since we took our foster daughter home.  Over the past weeks our family has done a lot of talking about our role as a foster family.  I’ve done a lot of thought processing and thinking about all those big feelings.  Lots of friends and family have asked how we’re doing and the truth is we’re doing good.  We’ve gotten to see her and her parents several times.  Babysitting and snuggles in church.  There’s even a sleepover planned for this week which we’re all super excited about.

When I received the official word she would be going home I immediately broke down into tears and proceeded to cry on and off the entire day.  This completely surprised me because I felt like we had gone to great lengths to continually remind ourselves and our kiddos of what the goal at hand was and that was reunification.  I had lots of feelings that popped up like “Well now what about us?  What are we to do now?”  I kind of felt like someone owed us a shoulder to cry on or something.  I was thinking about myself and how I felt instead of them and how they felt.  I realized how selfish I was being…real honest feelings for sure, but selfish ones.  From the beginning…before she was even placed in our home…our entire family had been praying for reunification.  I cannot even count the number of prayers I heard come from our children’s mouths asking God to allow her to go home.  And in my moments of “what about me” I was missing the miracle.

Over the 10 months we formed a relationship and deep love for her parents and we all so wanted them to succeed…to flourish…to make it.  We were their #1 cheerleaders because everyone deserves to have someone cheering them on and telling them they can absolutely do it!  I told our kids what an honor and privilege we have getting to see God answer a prayer in the manner in which we had been petitioning Him for over a year.  We were seeing Him bring about restoration and redemption in only a way He could and we got front row seats.

We moved from feelings of “what about us and our feelings” to a manner of “wow, look what God has done.”  And it was quite amazing to move between those two big emotions.  We miss her for sure and we still pray for her and her family everyday.  We still talk about her daily.  We didn’t want it to be a “goodbye, so long and good luck” moment, but a “you can do this, we’re not going anywhere and we’re here for you” moment.

When we all loaded up in the car…all 7 of us…to take her home that night, Josh Kelley and I had already prepped everyone for a quick drop off.  A non-intrusive drop off.  I tend to be the person who would want to go in and unpack all her things and have “my moment” with her, but Josh had reminded me we needed to respect their space and their moment with her.  They had worked so hard and she was theirs.  And he was right.

Being a foster parent has taught me a great deal of putting myself in the other person’s shoes…it’s constantly on the brain when you are caring for someone else’s child and you know they are missing the moments you are having with their kiddo.  I know we have so much to learn still, but we’ve definitely learned how important it is to be respectful of the other party involved.  They are real people with real hurts and struggles and hurdles to overcome just like us.  They are no different than us at all and we are all in this together.

So now we wait.  We are back on the list and already praying for the next sweet kid and their family who we’ll get the privilege of meeting and loving on like crazy.

Happy Wednesday.

On Friday…

I have been dying to sit down and type out so many thoughts from last Friday and over the weekend.  So many many thoughts and probably far too many for one post.  Friday and Saturday was the Made South Holiday Market.  This was technically my first show other than this tiny booth I had some 7ish years ago at a church where I knew hardly anyone and sold not one thing…it was just as sad and lonely as it sounds 🙂  So Friday was a big day in so many ways, but one was my first show and I have to say it was crazy fun.  It was so good and so fun and I smiled and laughed and gave out hugs like candy.  It was really really great.  So great it made me want to do more shows, but I am in full on recovery mode first because a 2-day show wore me out…like for realz.  And it probably had something to do with pouring myself out for the entire month prior to the show and a lot of big emotions so everything caught up to me Saturday night.

Josh Kelley was the amazing mastermind behind my setup.  He did all the background work and I just made away…makers gonna make, am I right?!?!?  When I stepped back to look at the final set up it made me just want to cry because it was everything I dreamed up in my head.  It was so pretty and white and colorful and dreamy to me…just what I was going for.  When people would ask about the set up I loved it because I got to brag on ole’ Josh Kelley.  Dude is quiet and humble and doesn’t get the props he deserves for much so I loved bragging on him….and especially when he was there and people raved about him to his face.  Made me beam.

I sold lots of things, but definitely over made.  I’m having a big sale this week of all my leftovers, but after I posted on Instagram some pictures, things have been being snatched up which I totally love.  Keep your eyes peeled this week for goodies just in time for Christmas…buntings, word towels, burp cloths, some prints, canvases and key fobs.  If you just cannot wait for the sale shoot me an email.

I definitely learned a thing or two.  1)  278 key fobs is waaaaaaaayyyy to many key fobs.  Hahahahaha.  Thankful for all you crazy good customers who have been buying them up.  And 2)  Burp cloths are not show material.  I think I sold three.  Three lonely little burp cloths out of like 100.  Okay, not 100, but 21. Surprise…I’m having a burp cloth sale!!!!!!!!!!!  Please buy burp cloths or

Dear All My Friends,

Birth or adopt more babies and I will gift you with personalized burp cloths forever and ever amen.

Love, Laura

My favorite part of the show hands down were the people.  I was sandwiched between Prohibition Popcorn and Salemtown Board Company and we had the best time.  Crazy good people who are kind and funny and making amazing products which knock your flippin’ socks off.  I told my brother I was ticked he put me next to the Prohibition Popcorn people because I have a major love affair with popcorn.  I am shocked I only bought two bags…one of which I did not share at all and ate in its entirety while having a 15 minute conversation.  Do not get between me and my popcorn.  This stuff is insanely delicious.

The Salemtown Board guys were too fun and kind.  We laughed so hard and just had a great time together.  They hand make all their skateboards which…who does that?!?!?!  And they are ridiculously beautiful boards.  Within an hour of setup on the first day I had already purchased a shirt from them for my nephew Coop who skateboards.  They also higher at risk youth and help provide jobs in the community.  Well, yeah, I’m all in!

I met so many new people and blog readers and also saw lots of sweet people I already know and love.  It was so fun laughing and chatting with new people I just met.  I of course provided plenty of awkward moments and told embarrassing things about myself…it’s just what I do…a gift really.  I told anyone who would listen all about Ngungwane and even invited several complete strangers to come with us…including one lady’s sister who wasn’t even present.  Again, it’s a gift you guys..don’t ask how I do it 🙂

My brother and SIL, Chris and Kim, did a killer job on executing this thing.  I mean #attentiontodetail  It was the big and small things, but what I really loved were the small things like providing lunch for all the vendors and sending my niece McKinley around with a wagon full of free snacks for the vendors.  It was all so well done and put together and everyone knew it and voiced it and rightly so!

I also stepped up my profesh level by using a square reader for the first time ever.  Oh man.  That was a tad nerve wreaking and it didn’t help to fully voice my nerves and joke about my “professionalism” while trying to take people’s money via credit/bank card payment.  I didn’t exactly give off a “you should feel completely comfortable while I swipe this card which takes money directly out of your bank account and puts into mine” vibe.  But alas, I didn’t botch anything up too bad.

The most popular item in my booth I thought were the tea towels.  I had fabric printed with some of my Maw-maw and Mom’s recipes and some with my Bible journaling pages then turned them into tea towels.  I was pretty smitten with how they turned out and I think people dig a backstory about things…and I’m not one to pass up telling someone why they were so special to me.  Maybe the love behind them convinced people to purchase because I have zero left.  Right on!

And Friday was 4 years since we lost Mom and that night after I got home from the show we all loaded up in the car together…all 7 of us…and took our littlest home for good.  We drove away just the 6 of us.  Lots of thought processing still going on with that, but what completely struck me was God’s goodness and mercy and redemption in my life on so many levels and in so many ways I never even dreamed.  That’s what He does right…the unimaginable…the things we never even dared to dream about.  Geez.  Makes me all joyful weepy just typing it out.

So in conclusion…it was a big, emotional and crazy good weekend.  Thanksgiving is coming and we sure do have a lot to be thankful for.

Happy Monday!

What A Day

All the kids were out of the house today which meant I accomplished a massive to-do list.  Orders and emails and all those little things which just pile up and a Target trip solo…which was like a slice of heaven even if I was purchasing things like dishwasher tablets…and the scheduling of 5000 appointments for our littlest.  Maybe not 5000, but it sure does feel like it.  Foster care is crazy amazing, but equally crazy exhausting trying to keep up with everything…it semi consumes us…and makes us lose our mind when all the working parts of foster care are just not working quite right…so many moving parts.  It’s a process for sure.  We’re learning patience and passion.  We’re learning when to listen and when to fight.  We’re learning what we already knew…that family is worth fighting for.  It’s been a day.  I need a cookie 🙂

We’ve only been in this foster care gig for just shy of a year so far…I kind of can’t believe it’s already been that long…and I’m still learning so many, many things.  I did want to share a little foster care tip today though.  We always choose to celebrate our littlest parents’ on their special days.  I know this isn’t always an option for everyone, but it is for us, so it works great.  We made a special canvas for her mom on Mother’s day along with some yummy chocolate and a card.

 And for Father’s Day we made her dad the sweetest Chatbook of all the pictures of his little girl in the time she’s been with us.  This is my new favorite gift.  Chatbooks are crazy, crazy easy to put together (computer or app…I used the app on my phone), really reasonably priced and he loved it.  Her mom just gushed about it and her birthday is coming up soon, so I ordered her a new one today.  I’m thankful for pictures to document this time with her not only for us, but for her parents too.  I try and always think about how I would feel to be on the flip side of this situation and how desperately I would want to be included in my kids’ life and see what all I was missing.

Check out Chatbooks and use my code to get your first book free.

And here’s some recent work.  I am open for orders so if you would like to place an order send me a message HERE.

Name pillows

10×10 canvases

6×6 canvas

 Hope you guys had a great day…possibly quite productive too 🙂

Happy Wednesday!

They Shine

When we chose to become foster parents we both really weren’t sure what this new journey would look like.  There were a lot of what ifs and even more nervous unknowns and still are.  I think all the training in the world doesn’t really prepare you, but being thrust head on begins to do the trick.  We’re still learning how to love and how to play our role well and Christ like.

We love adoption.  God used adoption to stitch our family together.  It’s beautiful, but also heart breaking and loss filled.  Everyday we are learning more and more about how to parent all of our kids, but even more the questions which come and will keep coming from Solomon and Amon.

We believe adoption is not the answer to the orphan crisis in our world.  We do however believe one of the greatest forms of orphan care is family preservation…coming along side families and helping keep the family system in tact…preventing a child from becoming orphaned in the first place.  Obviously this is not always an option, but we want to do our part in this family care.  So becoming foster parents became our new role.

Going into this role has not been easy.  It is overwhelming and hard, but I whole heartedly believe in standing for family.  We’re currently past the 6 month mark with our current littlest being in our home.  It’s wildly difficult navigating all the ins and outs and communication and scheduling.  She has regular visitations, but we also meet her parents often outside of those visitations on our own.  I know this isn’t for everyone and isn’t always an option either, but it works for us.  We want them to see her as much as they can.  We want her to know without a doubt who they are and their role in her life…they gave her life.

Every 3rd or 4th of July…depending on where it falls in the week…for 5 years now we meet up with family and friends at Josh’s parents house for a yummy dinner and then load up and head over to go canoeing on a local lake.  We paddle out a ways and all gather together in the middle of the lake to watch a big local fireworks display.  The fireworks are so loud they shake the canoes and we’ve even had pieces of ash sprinkle on our heads before.  It’s one of our favorite traditions.

This year we invited our littlest parents to join us.  And they came.  They are always so excited to see her.  This was their first time being around a big group of our family and friends.  We know stigmas can come with foster care…we are always a bit wary about certain things people say…or judgements they choose to share with us.  What I am so dang proud of is our friends and family who just love.  No judgements.  No harsh words.  Just acceptance.  Just big love.  As we all gathered at Josh’s parents house that night and began eating I wanted to gather everyone up in a giant dog pile and just gush out all my emotions.  There was food and laughter and your everyday conversations.  I heard countless “She’s beautiful” and “We sure love ya’lls girl” and many more sweet sentiments voiced to her parents.  It was as if we all had known each other for a lifetime.  Josh’s parents and everyone else just welcomed them right in and never looked back.

Then we loaded up and headed for the lake.  Glow sticks started cracking.  Kids started getting their late night wild hairs.  Everyone picked out their paddles and life jackets.  Then I watched as one by one canoes made their way onto the water.  A watery substance continued to well up in my eye balls because of the sweetest canoe holding little one, her momma, daddy and our friend Susan.  It was like they were old friends.  Laughter continued late into the night and everyone loved the fireworks as always.  Then we paddled back, exchanged big hugs and everyone headed home.  Despite leaving for Africa the very next day I could not stop thinking about the night we had just had.  I couldn’t get past God’s goodness and mercy and grace.  His desire to redeem.  His redemptive ways and love.

We’re so proud of her parents.  They are working hard.  This process is taxing and can take a toll on your spirit if you let it.  Little one is loved something fierce.  I’m also proud of our family and friends.  We know this big endeavor could have been awkward, but boy did everyone just shine.  Never will anything speak louder than love in action…acceptance and kindness and words which say “everyone’s welcomed”.  This is the good stuff…the stuff which I think thrills God’s heart.  Everyone on the inside because He irradiated the margins and lines and turns out, there is no outside after all.  Crazy thankful and blessed and honored we get a front row seat in this journey.  It’s a good seat to have.

Happy Wednesday.

Foster Care: So How’s It Going?

I get this question a lot.  I get emails about it a lot.  I should ask Josh Kelley if he gets asked this too. When I think about this new whirlwind we are in honestly it’s just an honor and also hard.  There is so much to this foster parent/foster family gig.

We got a phone call early in the morning just the other day about a little boy who needed placement.  Our home was not approved for a little boy his age due to lack of space so we had to say no.  We’ve had to do this before.  Sometimes when they are looking for a home they don’t see what the social worker has or has not approved you for.  I thought about this kid all day.  Finally I asked Josh to call back and check on him.  They had worked out a placement and I breathed a little easier.  It’s not easy when you are given such personal and sacred details to someones life…especially when they are a small child’s which involves such loss in a moments notice.

Then there’s the emails and scheduling of visitations and doctors appointments and documentation and training (which we are of course behind on) and meetings and court dates and throw in all your other regular day life stuff and the rest of your family.  Some days it’s really hard to keep up and to keep everything straight.  Some days there is no treading water, just drowning.  But you guys, we are all quite in love with this little girl, but also her family.  They are beautiful people.  There is a friendship now and mutual respect.  There are texts and face timing in between visitations.  We are their #1 cheerleaders because they deserve someone cheering them on in such a noble fight they are fighting.  They love their girl madly and it’s something amazing and humbling to watch.

And then there are our hearts.  And our kids hearts.  I know our days are becoming shorter and shorter so we make sure we keep talking about how we will all miss her like crazy, but how thrilled we will be when she gets to go home.  We talk about it all the time.  We pray for it.  Want to bring me to tears, just let me hear sweet Hudson asking God again “Please God help _____ to get to go home soon to her mommy and daddy.”  I am a lost cause every.single.time I hear these words from our kids’ mouths.  They know the goal.  We know the goal.  We’ve talked about it from the beginning, but that doesn’t mean it will make the transition any easier.  Harper says all the time “I’m going to miss her so much.” but her momma promises we will get to babysit and help out whenever they need it.  We’ve all got our hopes set on it.

I think a lot about this quote by Francis Chan from You and me Forever:

“Sometimes people are paralyzed by fear of failure.  They are so afraid they might do the wrong thing that they do nothing.  We need to learn to err on the side of action, because we tend to default to negligence.  So many won’t do anything unless they hear a voice from heaven telling them precisely what to do.  Why not default to action until you hear a voice from heaven telling you to wait?”

When I think about our family leading up to becoming a foster family…we would have missed this.  We would have missed this blessing.  We would have missed this opportunity to love and be loved.  We would have missed out on meeting this crazy amazing family.  We would have missed Jesus.  We thought so many things like we don’t have enough room, we need to move first, we’ve already got 4 kids, we don’t have the time, we’re stretched too thin, etc etc etc.  God is so good at proving us wrong…that truly His plans are best and when we think we just can’t He certainly can.

I read this article last night and it made me weepy.

“What grace that in fostering we have the opportunity to directly address the severe vulnerabilities of children in our community, experience a transformation of our minds, and gain access to a deep and profound joy – both in ourselves and in the children for whom we have the privilege of caring.”

I can’t get over what a privilege this really is.  Yes it’s hard and complicated some days, but geez what an honor…what a gift God is giving us…to love on this kiddo and her family and try and help the family unit stay intact.  I don’t know if I’ll ever understand it all, but I don’t think this is a fight we’re soon to give up on.

Happy Friday!


I arrived at the court house early this morning before 8am, snagged a seat and then waited.  Around lunch time they re-scheduled our hearing.  4 hours of waiting.  Being a foster parent requires so much flexibility and patience and understating.  Sometimes it’s easy to think people should be more considerate of our time and our life.  I mean, there were only a 1000 other things I could have been doing…needed to be doing, but there I was.  And it was actually right where I needed to be.

I watched another family as we waited.  I observed the mom and the foster parent.  Later when they had finished and the foster parent was leaving with the kiddo, I watched the momma closely.  I watched her eyes follow them all the way out while she had to stay behind.  I wanted to grab her and hug her and tell her “You are ENOUGH!!!  You can do this.  God created you and you matter.  He makes a way when there seems like there isn’t one.  He is the Hope in what feels utterly hopeless.  Your story matters.  Your love for that sweet child matters.  You can do this!”

I constantly hear all these horror stories about DCS and foster parents and so many people use private agencies instead of the state, but I’m here to tell you, they need people who are willing to stand in the gap and fight right along side each other for these kids and moms and dads.  I feel so much hope and the world seems so good and right and sure when our team gets together…everyone fighting for this family together.  There are so many checks and balances in place.  Plans being made and executed.  Sure information is missed sometimes and people forget things, but were all human and I love each person we are working with because they are all fighting for the same thing and unity…solidarity…can turn strangers into family in no time.

It’s easy for me to cast judgment.  It’s easy to think I know what’s best, but in Luke Jesus says, “Why do you call me good?  No one is good except God alone.”  Jesus says that.  It is a verse that seriously blows my mind.  Think about it.  NO ONE IS GOOD EXCEPT GOD ALONE.  No one.  So anything or anyone who seems good, is really God working through that person or situation.  God uses us for His good…we’re not the good ones.  I know I tend to totem pole sins ranking them in order of “the worst of the worst” to the “that’s not so bad”.  And of course, my sins aren’t nearly that bad.  I would never do _____.  I’m strictly a bottom of the sin totem pole kind of gal.  Oh, my sinners heart.  I’m not good at all and my sin is just like my neighbors.  He puts us all on the same team and erases all those margins we created and walls we built up.  He reminds us love should prevail and we are actually all brothers and sisters through Him.  We need each other and sometimes that means fighting right along side one another and reminding each other “You are enough!”

I still get weepy about all of this because honestly I feel completely incapable of just about everything.  This week has been kind of a doozy and Satan loves it.  We’re committed to a life that isn’t ours though.  With every decision that comes our way we have to ask ourselves how Jesus would handle it.  He lived a relentlessly giving, completely selfless life and as a sinner who is a hot mess and fights my flesh every single day, day after day to make the right choices is hard and I fail a lot.  This week has been the constant reminder that yes, I am incapable, but God is absolutely 100% capable…all the time.  He does not waver.  He is steady and firm.  So day after day, He helps us fight to hand over this life to Him…fight to make the decisions He would make.  And every day we see and understand more and more the value in love and unity and solidarity with one another.