Make Bold Plans

There have not been any updates on our plans to foster lately because there isn’t really anything to say. We are still in the pre-approval, paper work stage, especially since we are transferring from the county to a private church based foster and adoption organization. The only change is that our girls have stopped asking me when we are going to get a child to stay with us.

Just yesterday I had a conversation with a coworker who also wants to foster or adopt one day. I pointed out that this process is similar to pregnancy in some ways, just no cankles or stretch marks. When I was pregnant, people loved to tell me their horror stories of childbirth and newborn babies. Maybe we all love the look of horror on someone’s face. I don’t know. Some people get really excited when they hear someone is having a baby. Both of these happen on a regular basis to me these days. Lots of family and friends are very excited and think this is great. There are also plenty who bring up their best friend’s sister’s nephew who apparently brought the spawn of Satan to live with his family. I know these stories are meant to be helpful, so I just nod along.

Yes, it is going to be hard sometimes and we are going to get attached to a child who then goes back to their family. I think God prepared me for this back when I was a hospice volunteer. I worried and worried over how sad that was going to be, but now I see God’s hand protecting my heart from totally breaking. For several months, I visited with people just once and didn’t get attached. Then I began sitting with a woman while her daughter ran errands. I was with these sweet ladies for over two years before I quit so I could go back to work. It wasn’t easy saying goodbye to them, but I got through it.

Do I also think about how this is going to affect my children? Of course! I never want them to feel they come in second to another child, but that doesn’t mean we should stop. I worried about this until I saw Lauren’s answer for how she will feel about sharing her parents, which made me cry. “My parents might treat them a little differently but I know they will love me the same.” Her heart is huge at only 11 years old. This is going to be such an adjustment, but our girls know there is nothing that can make us love them less. They are excited to be a part of helping others who need us.

When I look back, I see God’s hand preparing our family. Knowing that we have Him in our corner and seeing Him work everything out gives us a boldness to step out. Life isn’t meant to be easy. If we aren’t doing something that makes us uncomfortable in order to help someone else, we aren’t living life right. If we are listening to outside voices tell us the option we are choosing may not work, we will miss out. And if we listen to the fear that creeps in our minds, others will miss out.

I dare you to be bold!

Linking with Holley Gerth


Age is a Privilege

Nine years ago yesterday was my 30th birthday. Oh how I looked forward to my thirties! I was going to gain wisdom and maybe understand people a little better. I would find saying no easier and I would learn who I am. Overall I would be more comfortable in my skin.

Not everything has gone the way I hoped, but when does life line up with all our wishes? This decade has been mostly good. I feel a bit wiser and more calm about the future. I have discovered more about why I am here and even said no to an opportunity. (That one took until this year!) As I enter the last year of my thirties, I want to see what more I can do and whose life I can touch. Life keeps getting more interesting with age, in my opinion.

With 40 now a year away, I am not dreading my forties. Call me crazy, but I look forward to more years. I have a good life with a family I adore. Old age is not promised to anyone, so I will take any years I can get. Why dread what so many are denied?

My hope is to have as long as I can here on earth and see my girls grow up and maybe even a few grand babies grow up too. I may not be thrilled with wrinkles and gray hairs, but if they come with age, I will take them. Every day of this year in this one life I am given is a privilege.

Linking with Holley Gerth


Be Generous With These

When we think of generosity, we think of money first, right? A generous person gives a lot away. However, I think we limit ourselves when we think this way. Here are other ways to give freely!

Money. While it is not the only way, I still have to mention the most common way to be generous. We can give money to help a neighbor pay a bill or buy them groceries. We can donate our unwanted goods to a charity. There are many things we can do with our money and possessions.

Time. This one ranks up there with money as second known, but there is a reason for that. If each of us would volunteer our time with an issue we are most passionate about, the world would be much kinder and better off.

Patience. Our kids and spouses could use more patience from us. The people in the parking lot around us could use it too. The lady taking too long in the checkout line could use a smile from us better than an eye roll. What’s that? You’d rather give money than be more patient? I hear you, but we can all work on this one.

Forgiveness. Whether or not the person deserves it, we should forgive them sooner rather than later. Holding a grudge is a heavy burden and it steals our joy, not theirs. Carrying bitterness will suck the life out of anyone, so let’s try harder to give forgiveness more freely.

Understanding. The world around us can be so cold and lonely for many. They are struggling in ways we can’t imagine, so let’s try to see the world from their perspective. It isn’t something we do automatically so it takes effort and forethought.

Mercy. Instead of condemning actions, maybe we find a way to see past them to the person. We show them that there is nothing they can do to push us away. No doubt this is difficult, but we all need mercy. Let’s be the ones to give it.

Compassion. Many times, giving monetarily comes from our compassion. We can also show this better to our families and friends. When one of them is hurting, we can reach out and show them we care. We see them in their need. Out of compassion, we can offer our help with a meal, babysitting, driving to appointments, or just by listening.

Love. Over everything, put on love. It is definitely the greatest thing and the most lacking in the world today. If we do anything, it should be to love generously no matter who it is or what they have done. We never know what someone is going through or what our actions can mean to them.

Let’s work on giving like it’s going out of style, because it sure feels like it is. May this list inspire you to think of ways to give more freely!

Linking with Holley Gerth

I Will Use My Gifts

I’m sorry, God. You gave me extra sensitivity to people’s feelings and emotions. What good is that gift if I don’t go out and use it? Feeling sorry for someone can take me to a dark place, but You also gave me a strength I forget I have. You have given me all the equipment I need to help others and be a good influence on their lives, but I can’t do anything by sitting in my house.

My purpose here is not fully known to me, but it won’t be until I go do what I know I can do. I can’t change all the injustices in the world, but I can start in the areas You gave me a passion for. Those will take me to the next ones until all is fully revealed.

Reading posts and the comments on social media is never going to uplift me and give me answers. I am never going to see people fighting there and feel fulfilled. What I need is to shut all that out and focus on You and Your answers. Searching through my experiences, personality, strengths, and weaknesses will tell me more about what I personally can do than a cutting remark from one stranger to another.

Talking about my beliefs without knowing any of the people these ideas affect will not help me learn and grow and know truth. Looking someone in the eyes while I listen to their story will help me find ways I can be useful in this world. There are hurting people all around me if I stop long enough to look. I am sorry for not looking deep enough. I am sorry for taking an “I’m fine” at face value.

I belong in a community that needs my talents and my voice. I should be speaking up for the ones who can’t or are too scared. It has been too long that I have sat silently.

My apology will only take me as far as the actions I now take, and I know that. With Your guidance, I will help those who need me. You are always by my side, and from now on we will go out and love people together.

Linking with Holley Gerth

Embrace Not Being the Best

Growing up with a sister who is really artistic was not easy. When I couldn’t be as good as Elizabeth, I eventually gave up trying. Then there is my 11 year old daughter who has a natural ability as well. A friend once told Lauren, who was 4 years old, that she liked her chalk drawing. That child looked at my friend and said, “I’m an artiste.” Well, OK then. She was so humble! Seeing the creations Lauren makes has made me even more hesitant to draw anything. However, these days, I am giving up perfection and instead trying anyways.

Oh sure, I have several adult coloring books. You know what though? They tend to stress me out! All those small spaces and I have to decide what color to make them? Nope. I gave up on them. If something makes me MORE stressed at the end than at the beginning, it’s not for me.

So after finally deciding I don’t have to be good at drawing, I spent some of my Christmas money on a sketch pad, pencils, and a book* that teaches anyone to draw. I may not have natural talent, but that shouldn’t stop me from finding a way to be creative. No one wants perfection anyways, right? Since I always loved to draw horses as a child, that was my first attempt. I showed it to my husband and to Lauren and got a rather high pitched, “It’s good!” from both.


The other day I did two drawings. The first one of a sailboat did not turn out the way I wanted. I blame the book for making it too difficult and putting too many lines in it. It crossed my mind to erase the whole thing, but I left it in the book. This is going to take time to get better. I am trying to be brave, but I am not brave enough to show it here!

Then I decided to draw the cute panda. It turned out decent. When my husband and younger daughter saw it, they both thought Lauren drew it. Now that is because it was from far away and because she is usually the one drawing, but I will take the compliment.


Sitting with a cup of tea at the sunny kitchen table, listening to Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, I relaxed and focused on sketching. I wasn’t thinking about the future or worrying about whether or not the picture was good enough. Who cares? I was just having a fun time. Life can be fun.

*The book series I am loving is called Draw 50. There are tons of them, and the girls and I are hoping to get a few to share so we can have fun drawing together! You can find these books here.

When we don’t attempt something because we don’t think we will be good at it, we lose. When we quit something we love because we aren’t the best, we lose. Is there something you have been hesitant to try that you think you would like? Jump in and have fun!


Linking with Holley Gerth


Make Everything Sparkle

Will it ever be warm again? Will I ever wear just one layer again? Will I ever wear my flip flops again? These are the questions that plague me as we have missed more days for weather this year than I can count. (Seven, I think?)

Yet snow has a beauty about it. It slows down life, and here in the south, it brings life to a screeching halt. It makes you see the beauty around you. Everything looks new and perfect. I have decided I want to be like snow. I want to make everything around me sparkle and shine.

After being out of school most of this week, that is about all the wisdom I have left. I will leave you with a few pictures of the snow we have had this winter.

Linking with Holley Gerth

No Longer Chasing After the Wind

“I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14)

Scurrying. That was how I was feeling for months. I was a dog chasing its tail. I was looking for something, some feeling, that kept eluding me. What was the point?

Last week, I wrote about how I had been saving money for the fall. Since I don’t know what I will be doing, it made sense to be proactive. A big way I was earning money on the side was by filling out surveys. What started out as fun became work and stress. I would make myself earn a certain amount per day. In spite of all I could have been doing, this became my focus.

At the same time I felt convicted to give away the money I had saved, I also felt like I needed to spend my time better. While it is true that a little bit of money at a time adds up, it is also true that a little time here and there adds up. Once again, I had taken something that isn’t bad to the extreme, and, even worse, I was beating myself up when I didn’t do enough. I think all of us can relate to not feeling enough at times.

For the last few weeks I have been spending more time with Jesus. Saying I want to hear from Him isn’t enough. I need to give Him room to speak and my full attention. When I am filling all my free time with superfluous activities, my mind ping pongs from one topic to another. God gets crowded out all too easily as I make room for things that really don’t matter.

When I put God before these activities, I gain not only wisdom and clarity, but also a heart of peace. Being in tune with God means I pick up more subtle words from Him, and it takes away some of the anxiety of the world.

None of this is simple as I sometimes itch to take control. Saying I surrender to the Creator of the universe day after day is something I may struggle with the rest of my life, but I believe it will be worth it. All the striving and scurrying in the world mean nothing if Jesus isn’t in the middle of my life.

Regrets in this life come easy. One thing I will never regret is spending more time with the One who loves me more than I can ever imagine. The One who never leaves my side. The One who is delighted to see me every time I visit with Him. He smiles and says, “Come into My presence and I will show you what is best.” Yes, that is what I want.

Linking with Holley Gerth