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Archive for February, 2012

The First

As I was emailing back and forth today with Kristin from the Bair Foundation, she wrote some words that made everything sink in that this is reality.  Her words: “I actually have a 13 year old girl I wanted to talk to you about…”  I don’t even have my license and they have a kid waiting for me.  This whole process has all been arbitrary up until this point.  Now it’s real.  I have to start making decisions yes or no to having a kid stay in my house.  I have to get ready.  In the next couple weeks I could be a foster mom; not just a mom in waiting but a mom with a kid and responsibilities and a new life.  I keep wondering what she is like.  This girl they’re asking me to consider.  Is she quiet or rebellious or angry or scared?  Has she had someone around her to talk to her about growing up and what it means to be a woman?  Has anyone ever told her how beautiful she is?  Would I be a good mom for her?  Am I confident and strong enough to model for her good discipline and love?  Am I crazy for thinking I can do this?  I think my parents and sister were really thinking and maybe even hoping this this was just a phase I am going through…that I would drop this new “hobby” like I have sewing and piano lessons and gardening.  Fostering was just another one of my uncompleted projects.  But they are wrong.  This is real.  Very real.  And I am serious about fostering, no matter what it takes.

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Every day I feel like I’m one step closer to my license.  Not just because it’s another day but because each day I feel like I’m accomplishing a little something more, however big or small it may seem.  Last night I finished reading the 200 plus pages of the fostering handbook.  A huge accomplishment.  Some of it was helpful and interesting, other parts of it I just had to meddle through.  All parts of in important, some were just a little more applicable.  I think one of the most helpful pieces of advice through the book was simply to treat these kids like your grandkids.  Granted, I’ve never heard of a 30 year old grandma, but the concept has stuck and I think will be really helpful when I get my first placement.  I can love this child, spend time with her, love her, spoil her, discipline her, but at the end of the day, she is not my kid.  Eventually she will leave my home and end out somewhere else.  This illustration really helps adjust my mindset to what fostering will really be like.  I have the say in a lot of things, but the final say is still not up to me.

But I’m getting myself off track.  Today I had some big news.  Apparently all big news is clouded with a “but”, but here it is.  All my paperwork got sent off to licensing today!!  Every piece of it complete, submitted, turned in.  It feels so much more real now.  But…there’s one catch.  Before I can receive my license, I have to add a hand rail down my back stairs.  I thought of borrowing a truck and showing up at Lowes to purchase some two by fours and build the railing myself, but reason got the better of me and I decided to put into practice one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned through this process.  Ask for help!!  I think it’s a blessing in disguise that my parents are so busy they really don’t have the time or energy to help out.  It has forced me to reach outside of my tiny circle and allow the Body of Christ to be the Body.  

Kim and Lee Perkins came over tonight after our KidSpring introduction to the Pirates series we are starting this week.  They measured and jotted down notes and Saturday some time Lee is coming over to build a railing for me!  I know it’s silly and simple and small, but I think the Body of Christ is such a foreign concept to me that I am deeply moved every time someone reaches out to me.  Doyle Hall is helping me with cars.  Erin is helping me with my heart.  Kim is helping me with my house.  Jane MacLennon is helping me with my job (I start my new position on Thursday!).  My life is completely overwhelming, but today I am overwhelmed in the best sense of the word.  I am literally one step closer to being finished.  Praise God for what He’s teaching me along the way!

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Taking a Sick Day

This weekend I came down with a sore throat and headache and, surprisingly enough, a fever.  I never get fevers, so you can imagine my excitement to actually feel sick AND have the thermometer agree.  So today I’m taking a sick day, which has turned out to be a lot more healing for more than just my throat.  Today is the first day in months that I’ve gotten to sleep in and then have a really good, uninterrupted time with God.  I read through like half of the book of Acts, read a chapter in Beth Moore’s Get Out of that Pit, prayed some scripture out loud without having to worry about strange glances from other people.  I watched some HGTV and planned how I want to redo my cabinets and counter tops and pondered the idea of replacing my carpet with real hard wood floors.  But the tenderest moments I received this morning were the ones where I realized God really is still moving.  I may not have heard Him for the last several weeks, but He’s just as much here as He’s ever been.

Yesterday in the Care room at church a lady named Stacy prayed some bold prayers over my life.  She squeezed my hands and shook them back and forth as she called upon the strength of God and the destruction of the enemy.  She prayed in Jesus’ name and demanded Satan release me from his clutch.  She prayed powerful things over my family and me.  Today there has been some movement.  Tiny steps, but movement nonetheless.  My dad called last night and today and reiterated over and over how I’m his number one priority (tied with mom and Dawn, of course) and how important I am.  I am so burned out and exhausted and felt so alone, but he called to tell me I don’t have to fight this life by myself.  How incredibly reassuring.  And then just now I got a call from church following up to make sure I was doing okay today.  What church the size of NewSpring does that?!  God really is looking out for me!

And just as my soul is beginning to wake up again and get excited about ministry and fostering, I finally heard back from the Bair Foundation on the status of my license.  Everything is complete except receiving references back for Dawn.  Something completely simple to accomplish.  I’m almost finished.  She’s almost finished.  God is just beginning.

Today I’m focusing on the little things; things that maybe even make me smile a little bit.  It’s been a while since I’ve felt true, deep seated joy, so I’m clinging to the sunshine and the green grass and the precious Word of God today.  Little things.  Big things to a soul drained dry.

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Defeated

I should’ve just titled my blog “Melt Downs” because I have enough of them to keep the reading world busy for life.  Tonight I had another one of those moments.  Lately I have just been feeling so defeated.  Crushed.  Discouraged.  Exhausted beyond words.  Like God has just taken this basket called my life and completely upset it.  I feel like all my little parts have been thrown into the air just to see where they all end out when they fall.  So far, I’m not sure they’re falling on mossy ground.  It’s more like rocks.  Thorns.  Weeds.  My life has been completely turned upside down.

Change has never settled well with me.  Oh, I know all the good Christian answers about how you can’t grow without pain and you can’t move forward without change, but tonight I’m just thinking that’s a pile of crap that people tell you because sometimes life is just too darn hard and if you didn’t have those pat answers to go to, we would be destroyed.  I turned 30 this week.  I said goodbye to the life I have known for 29 years.  I don’t know what I was expecting, really.  I know Jesus and David and Joseph and even Beth Moore herself did not start their best years of ministry until their 30s, I guess I just figured when February 12th hit God would open up all these doors that have seemed closed for years.  Right now all I see is the flashing neon light saying “Road Construction Ahead” and I’m bracing myself for a complete re-haul of all that I am.

Today I had to tell my beloved students that I am no longer going to be working in Student Activities.  My great “next step” in this whole world of foster parenting (or maybe it’s just life) is to settle down a little bit.  No more late nights on campus setting up dances and pancake nights and riding mechanical bulls.  I had to say goodbye to a job I absolutely love to pursue more devotedly my calling.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.  I am disappointing people.  Leaving people.  Quitting something that I am really good at and enjoy.

Today I also had to face the harsh reality that my transmission is, in the words of the mechanic, “toast”.  If I didn’t believe the diagnosis when he first gave it to me a couple days ago, getting stuck in the drive through at Panera and having to be pushed by a couple employees sure made me a believer.  Toast.

Today I’ve had to face the ugly monster that is myself and realize over and over again that I do not have it all together.  I strive so hard to live a good life and fall hopelessly short of being Jesus.  I can’t get out of bed.  I have zero motivation to learn.  I am distracted beyond belief.  I am stressed and weary and done.  I cannot do this anymore.  How can I possibly please God?  How can I possibly be a mother?  All my paperwork got turned in yesterday and I am left today with the hurricane of life, barely even able to take care of myself.  What the heck am I thinking?  Today is one of those battles that has completely defeated me.

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