Daily Verse

"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from you commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you." Psalm 119:9-11

Why do we try to conform God to our will? Live in His word and know true joy.

"Make me to know your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old."
Psalm 25:4-6

God reveals the truth of our time and all time to us through Scripture.

"The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the tstimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple: the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb."
Psalm 19:7-10

All the laws in all the books in all the libraries of the world are but a footnote to the law of God.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways ackowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
Proverbs 3:5-6

To know and understand God comes not through our intellect, but through the wisdom given to us by the grace of God.

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart."
Proverbs 3:1-3

Don't measure success by society's standards. Use Christ as your measuring stick.

"The the LORD answered Job our of the whirlwind and said: 'Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding, Who determined its measurements - surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? Or who laid its cornerstond...?'"
Job 38:1, 4-6

When we measure God by our limited standards, we attempt to measure the elephant by weighing one strand of its hair.

"Philip said to him, 'Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.' Jesus said to him, 'Have I been with you so lon, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father?'"
John 14:8-9

Christ is God made flesh. If you want to know God, you must draw closer to Jesus.








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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Why we do what we do.

So Satan always has a way of creeping into our home on Sunday mornings...I truly believe he is trying to either A) keep us from church all together or B) get us upset with eachother so that some or all of us arrive at church stewing about that rather than focusing our heart and mind on Christ and the message He is giving us through our pastor.  Either way Satan is fighting us every step of the way to church!

This morning as I was trying to get myself and our 4 littles ready I was listening to Pan...dora on shuffle and a John.Michael.Mon.tgomery song came on that I have heard a million times before.  As I listened to the words I kept thinking of the precious children that have been brought to our home in other ways than through my belly.  I am speaking for our agency adopted children, our foster/adopt child and our foster children (past and current.)

Here are the first two verses of the song "Little Girl" by JMMontgomery

"Her parents never took the young girl to church
Never spoke of his name never read her his word
Two non believers walking lost in this world 
Took their baby with them what a sad little girl
Her daddy drank all day and mommy did drugs
Never wanted to play or give kisses and hugs
She'd watched the TV and sit there on the couch
While her mom fell asleep and her daddy went out
And the drinking and the fighting
Just got worse every night
Behind their couch she'd be hiding
Oh what a sad little life

And like it always does the bad just got worse
With every slap and every curse 
Until her daddy in a drunk rage one night
Used a gun on her mom and then took his life
And some people from the city took the girl far away
To a new Mom and a new Dad 
Kisses and hugs every day!"

Sadly I do not think that many people realize how really severe the problems of today are.  There are thousands of children in our very own country that wake up (on their own) every day...if they are 3 or older they are probably waking up to scavange food for their younger siblings.  They tip toe around their mom and/or dad trying NOT to wake them because they are afraid of WHO or WHAT they will receive when they wake up!  We have had a 2 yr old foster daughter placed just 1 month post her 2nd birthday and already knew to look in the corners of the house for crumbs, climb kitchens counters to find 'the good stuff', and check and change her 1 yr old brothers diaper (not well, but she still tried.)  Her older brothers and sisters were old enough for school, so they were able to get meals when they were at school and they were also able to get a break from having to parent the younger siblings to go to school and try to blend in so they didn't put a spotlight on their parents. But while they were at school the babies were forced to live on their own.  Sometimes there wasn't an adult around, sometimes there was but the partying was more important than feeding or caring for the child.  Life was about survival and it was scary.  There was not love, there was not structure, there was not stability.  This is the story for child after child in the system (and many who are not) in our country.

My husband and I did not 'choose' to be foster parents long term.  We DID decide to get licensed so that we could grow our family when agency adoption wasn't working well for us and I was desperate to be a mother.  In that moment we never really could have known what God had in store for us.  Yes, our first placement was precious adorable little baby boy that we were able to dress and feed and love.  But that little boy quickly had so many doctors appointments that I was hauling our 3 month old baby girl along with to 30-40 appointments a MONTH!!!  He was sick because his birthmom thought there was only way to feel loved by men.  She had babies and was unable to care for them because no one took the time to care for her.  She didn't know how to survive on her own, let alone caring for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th baby she brought into the world by way of getting 'loved' by men.  Sure, that little boy is the CUTEST little blonde haired boy I have EVER seen, and we are blessed that he is permanently calling us Mom and Dad....but even in his short time that his biological mother was responsible for him (pregnancy) she made decisions for herself and against our son that has altered his quality of life forever.  We are unsure if Sunshine will ever leave our home to live on his own...will he be married?  Go to college?  Have children?  We simply do not know.  Non Christian doctors have basically told us our best chance for him is to get on our knees!!   Prayer is something I can do...but I do not know if God will choose to answer these prayers or try to teach us or reach others through my son.  We will see.  We fought for our son...we love our son...and when we FINALLY were able to go to court and legally adopt him that was not the end of our fostering.

No God had a bigger plan...far bigger than we would ever know and probably bigger than we would ever have chosen on our own.  We just received our 'thanks for 8 years of service' certificate at the Foster parent Appreciation Picnic this month, I do not say this for 'congrats' or 'thanks' but for the fact that a decision we made to become parents was fulfilled in just a 2.5 year time after why do we continue.  We continue because God needs people that will love these children, God needs people that can provide stability and structure for these children.  God wants people to teach this precious souls about Him.

God has called us...

We are not 'good people' we are not the 'bleeding hearts' we do not 'love being foster parents' (okay sometimes, in some situations I do.  I can think of at least 3 cases over our years that I have LOVED being involved in) but we do this because God has given us a job to do, God needs us to love these children.

Think about the repercussions of  putting our own 4 kids to bed one night and having them wake up the next day to 2 strange children that came while they slept.  Think about the fact that most of these children come from sad SAD situations similar to what the songs talks, or my example and that they do not just 'fall into place' in the family.  There is fighting, screaming, destruction and crying...what gets me the most is that little child crying for the mother that has been putting her cigarettes out on her little one that is covered in round little burns all over their body.  Crying for the Daddy that has used her as his 'enjoyment' when there was no one else around to fulfill his 'needs.'  How heartbreaking is is that when you offer a bed to a child for the first time in their life, food on a regular basis, toys that look like they are never ending, and love...the child still cries for the people that abuse them because that IS ALL THEY EVER KNEW!!!  But imagine this just for a moment.  Yes when a child comes into my home I buy them clothes...I dress them as if they are my own...and we love and teach them like they are our own...because why should they have second best just because they may only be with us for a short time???  When they are in my home they are treated and taught just like mine...I have 6 kids right now...I do NOT have 4 children and 2 foster children.  The child should not suffer because his/her biological parents need to get some things together in their life.  But please remember, just because they 'look normal' doesn't mean they are.....

God has called us...

I write this to let you in on a isn't us at all.  It is God working through us that allows us to do what we do.  Did you know we have been talked down to by church pastors and leaders because we have foster children in our midst?  Did you know we have not been welcomed in some churches because of our unique family?  Does anyone really want to NOT be wanted or included?  I do not, but neither do these precious children.

God has called love the little children.
God has called father the fatherless.
God has called be a home for the lonely.
God has called adopt and love children that may otherwise not receive those very important things in their lives.

Please pray for us as we continue on this journey that God has paved for us.  It isn't easy, it isn't always fun....but it is where God wants us to be.  Please pray for the children that are not receiving hugs and kisses every day, because they are everywhere and no where at the same time.

God had called us and that is why we do what we do.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It Won't Be Like This For Long...

 It won't be like this for long

One day soon that little girl is gonna be all grown up and gone
And this phase is gonna fly by, so he's trying to hold on
'Cause it won't be like this for long
It won't be like this for long

-Darius Rucker 

 I have spent much time away from my kids lately, not away from my home...but we are preparing for a rummage sale and so Handsome has been taking care of the feeding and the house while I have been cleaning, organazing & pricing items for the sale.  But while I am pricing all these cute tiny outfits and shoes my mind goes back to what seems like yesterday.  Back when they were little...but the truth is there isn't a one of them that have anything really very 'little' about them any more...and that makes this Mama heart both sad at the 'loss' of babyhood and proud of who they are becoming!
 Our little Miss Princess isn't so little any fact when we are not dealing with what seems like teenager attitude and laziness we usually 'catch' her picking up a responsibility with one of the younger ones in the house.  Sure she does still have her fun, but she is Mama's excellent helper.  This girl, I can think back to yesterday (a few yesterdays ago) to when she was little and while she didn't ever really need my help, needed me much more than she does now!!!  Her love of life has always been one of the things that stands out about her...her laugh, her smile and her happy eyes!  She is becoming a beautiful young lady, still rough around the edges...but growing into a young lady and trying to choose God's way for her life

 Our little LoveBug!  She is so amazing to me, the struggles she deals with on a daily basis are overwhelming (at times) to her Mama and yet most days she faces them with a huge smile on her face!  She keeps us all giggling around here.  One of her 'big things' around lately has been trying her hand at doubt the speech therapy is helping...but whenever you ask her a question IF she says YES (usually she says NO) it is actually 'YES, I did!'  Ex: "Are you stinky?" "Yes, I did!" or "Do you like pink?" "Yes, I did!"  She is so precious to me.

 My Sunshine!!!  This kiddo has many obstacles he is working to overcome but his heart is overwhelmingly sweet.  He has been working on his temper lately, working to not throwing tantrums and not screaming out of control.  When he is thinking through things he is a huge helper...he loves to teach the little ones new things (and for the most part they are GOOD).  Sunshine has always enjoys outside play time and taking care of our dogs.

 The Cupcake...this girl screams BIG in every single area.  We are on her 3rd week accident free, as in not even at naps or bed time!  She wants to do everything the big kids do and she is often spouting off orders to anyone who will listen.  It is an interesting feeling as the Mama to my only biological kid.  I see myself in her...never had that before.  It makes me almost harder on her in some ways, because I don't want her to have to struggle through the same mistakes that I did.  She has most guys in her life wrapped around her finger (Papa, Daddy, Brother....) and that is exactly how she wants it.  But then, when the sun goes to bed for the day we get this tender sweet spirit that is very dependent on Mama and Daddy snuggles!
The Bible says children are a gift from God.  Oh how true that is, and how amazing it is that God has chosen these 4 children to allow me to raise them for Him (and the foster babes too!)

While I am reflecting on my 31st birthday I can only imagine what my mom is thinking about her two children, where we are in our lives and where she is in hers.  It makes me think that she probably remembers these days with my brother and I as if they were yesterday and wonders where the time I am with my little ones!  Cherish this time my friends...IT WON'T BE LIKE THIS FOR LONG!!!