resurrection Sunday

Sunday, March 31, 2013

It doesn’t matter how many years have passed since I first viewed this video, this remains my favorite piece on resurrection.

he isn’t here
there is nothing to fear
and nothing can ever be the same again
we are living in a world in the midst of rescue
with endless unexpected possibilities

 

Resurrection: Rob Bell from Rob Bell on Vimeo.

the one where we are called

Thursday, March 28, 2013

But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words you have heard from me in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit, who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.
2 Timothy 1:12-13

In my small group, we are starting a new study about saying yes to God. We talked about whether or not we all believed we have a story. I clearly believe that’s true, but I remember too well a time in my life when I thought my story wasn’t worthy. Wasn’t interesting enough. Wasn’t transformative enough. Wasn’t as good as that other person’s story.

One of the things God’s been teaching me lately is that my story is given to me by Him. He’s given it to me with trust; He’s given it to me to preach. Who am I to devalue or diminish what He’s given me to share?

…He who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son to me, in order that I might preach Him among the Gentiles…
Galatians 1:15

The thing that scares me when I write and shuts me up when I speak in person, the thing that I dance around frequently – it’s that I simply am called to share my story, regardless of how I feel about it.

And so are you.

I hedge because I don’t want the telling of my story to make anyone else feel like their story is less. I know we live a fairly unusual life. ‘Radical’, if you will. I don’t want anyone who hears my story to think that I believe that all people’s lives need to look like ours or that they need to make similar choices in order to truly say ‘yes’ to God or live in radical obedience to Him. This calling to sacrificial living, which I believe is supported over and over again in Scripture, does not look the same for everyone.

Sometimes we get so caught up in what we think is important in our own human view. If you grew up in church, it probably is being ‘called to the ministry’, which nearly always means something that gives you a title in a church or something that causes you to draw your paycheck or financial support from church people. Or we look at people who are world-travellers, working for NPOs in far-off lands, trying to make a difference in poverty-stricken nations, ending slavery around the world. For some of us, it’s going to look like AmeriCorps or military service or foster care or anything that we deem as more noble than other professions and jobs. Radical, sacrificial living, in our heads, never looks like a bank teller or a corporate manager or a salesman or a stay-at-home mom.

The thing that I always want to gloss over when I share my story is that I believe we are all called to radical, sacrificial living. For some of us, that does look like missionary work, NPO work, AmeriCorps, foster care, and all those other things that draw certain people into public advocacy positions. But for most of us, it looks like getting up in the morning and giving your life in radical obedience to God right where you are. Living sacrificially and spending your life in pursuit of something greater than yourself as a insurance adjuster, as a retail clerk, as a stay-at-home mom, as a computer technician.

 

What can we bring to the Lord? What kind of offerings should we give him? Should we bow before God with offerings of yearling calves? Should we offer him thousands of rams and ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Should we sacrifice our firstborn children to pay for our sins?
Micah 6:6-7

In Micah, the people of Israel, living under a true system of physical sacrifice, were asking the same questions we are: What does radical sacrifice and obedience look like? Is it sacrificing not just one, but a thousand rams? Is it not just offering a bit of our best olive oil, but 10,000 rivers of olive oil instead? What about sacrificing our first-born children? Will that be radical enough?

God says to them that ridiculously over-the-top sacrifices are not what He’s after. He’s after the most basic of things.

No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah 6:8

Do what is right.
Love mercy.
Walk humbly with God.

We can do that right where we are.
That’s the radical thing that makes our stories worth sharing.

The everyday faithfulness of a life lived in pursuit of our Savior is a story worth telling. Sometimes our stories seem a bit more dramatic. Sometimes they seem very routine. I believe with all my heart that every single one of us is called to share, regardless of how we view our stories. In the end, it’s not about us at all – our stories are about God. They’re about His goodness and faithfulness, how He brings beauty from ashes and joy from mourning, and sometimes they’re even about how we can’t see the joy and the beauty, but we’re just stuck in the middle of the hard and mundane, extraordinarily painful and completely ordinary. All of it is about Him. That’s something worth sharing.

What about you? Have you struggled with this unworthiness thing when it comes to sharing our stories? What does radical obedience look like in your life? What makes you afraid to share that with others?

holy week, wednesday

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

saturday music: lent, week 7

Saturday, March 23, 2013

There is no song that has gotten more play on my itunes than this one over the past three months. I just cannot stop listening to it.

“Then, after doing all those things, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your old men will dream dreams, and your young men will see visions. In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants – men and women alike.”
Joel 2:28-29

Wake up. Stand up. Hands up.

friday five: steubenville

Friday, March 22, 2013

When a community responds to injustice together, there are a lot more options for the marginalized and abused.” – Shane Claiborne

Everybody was writing about Steubenville this week, and there were many articles that just flat out made me mad. Here’s three of the ones that made me think without infuriating me:

Steubenville High School football players found guilty of raping 16-year-old girl - Dan Wetzel: A culture of arrogance created a group mindset of debauchery and disrespect, of misplaced manhood and lost morality.

After Steubenville: 25 Things our Sons Need to Know about Manhood - Ann Voskamp: Son. When the prevailing thinking is boys will be boys — girls will be garbage. And that is never the heart of God.

Dianna Anderson on Rape Culture and Victim Blaming - Rachel Held Evans' blog: Rape culture is the idea that we live in a culture that condones and endorses rape.

The other side of this story was that was just so horrifying to me is ho the victim’s friends turned on her. Paraphrasing some of the quotes I read: ‘oh, she drinks all the time. oh, she’s a liar. oh, this isn’t the boys’ fault – look at our skanky friend.’

Ladies, can we teach our daughters to live a better story than this one? Sure, women need to protect themselves, but if they don’t, that doesn’t mean they deserve to be raped and victimized again and again in the media and amongst their friends. I want my daughters to respect themselves enough that they don’t view themselves solely in relationship to men. I want my daughters to have self-worth, to have a voice, to have friends they can trust. That’s work that starts right now.

Telling our Daughter (and Sisters) They Have a Voice - Sarah Markley: Begin to whisper into your baby-girl’s ears that the words she will someday speak are important. Rock your too-big kindergartener on your lap for a moment and say to her that her words matter. Tell your twelve-year-old to write the novel that has been burning a hole in her heart.  And encourage your sisters to speak out, to use the words that they have and to not be afraid of what will come out when they open their mouths.

ShePonders: Mean Words - Kelley Nikondeha for shelovesmagazine.com:
Together we are fighting against injustice in its infancy. We refuse to let mean words marginalize the playground … or anywhere else our sons and daughters roam.

still saying goodbye

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Since we’ve sent Baby D home, we’ve been to visit twice. I’ve been able to write about it zero times until today. It’s been much harder than I anticipated. I’m not sure what I expected, but it definitely wasn’t all of this complicated, painful emotion.

We are fortunate to maintain contact with the relatives he lives with. I think it’s likely he will end up calling them Mom and Dad for most of his life given how the case seems to be going. We both (the relatives and us) felt it important that he maintain some contact with us. We don’t want him to believe that we abandoned him. We want him to fully transition to a new family allegiance and new living situation without the trauma that comes from a complete displacement and abandonment. Not that I’m imagining this will be trauma-free; it’s already not been that. I am hopeful, however, that it will be better than what it could’ve been if we would’ve dropped him off and had no contact ever again.

The first time we went to see him, it was two weeks after we had dropped him off. He unexpectedly (at least WE didn’t expect it), but obviously, thought that we were there to take him home. He giggled. He threw stuff at me. He acted out in little, almost unnoticeable baby ways, but I saw. He was mad. We had not picked him up in time. When we got ready to go, he refused to be put down. He waved goodbye to everyone he had been living with. When Wendell saw what was happening, he hustled the rest of the kids out of the door to the car. I gave him to his new family; he was crying, trying to tell them bye-bye. I left him crying in their arms, trying to hold it together myself so the kids wouldn’t see me lose it right there. Niah especially struggled with this visit. She cried, had to be forced into the carseat, and it became a little traumatic for everybody else in the process. She was the one who was too little to truly understand, the one who had been trying to cheer the rest of us up in the previous two weeks since he’d left.

The second time we went to visit, it was better. Just me and the littles. He was so happy to see us. Hugs and kisses all around, giggles galore. He showed us his toys and his table and his kitty-cat and his baby sister. He didn’t cry when we left. We said bye-bye, and he looked a bit confused still, but he was more at ease.

My goal to visit at least one more time, next time hopefully at a park where the kids can all play together outdoors without the weird tension of being in someone else’s home, uncertain with the roles we all now play in one another’s lives.

In the meantime, we live through pictures on facebook. Each one a sharp pain to my heart, a literal taking of my breath – another reaction I didn’t expect. I wanted to get updates, assumed it would make me feel better that he was doing well. Those things are true, but I vastly underestimated how painful that all would be. This little boy who used to be sort-of, kind-of, very much mine is now sort-of, kind-of, very much someone else’s. It hurts more than I anticipated, and it feels more successful than I imagined. Bittersweet. That’s the ongoing tune to this foster care song.

teaching my boys to be men in light of Steubenville

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Steubenville reminds me tonight of the sobering responsibility I have when I raise my boys to be men. Real men. Not the testosterone-overloaded, aggressive, MMA aficionado, gun-toting, sports junkie kind of real man and definitely not the ‘boys will be boys’ kind of man, because that’s exactly that kind of attitude that gets us into Steubenville types of problems. Instead, I want to raise the kind of real man who takes responsibility, who lives with integrity, who respects himself and others, who stands up for what’s right even when it’s painful, who loves even when it’s hard. Those kind of men. This kind of parenting is hard and scary. It takes bravery and commitment and prayer and grace.

I want my boys to make strong, responsible choices. The teenage brain isn’t fully developed, so no matter how annoying they find us, I promise my boys that we will be helping them to make appropriate decisions until it is. I can’t promise that they’ll listen to everything we say. I can’t guarantee they won’t sneak out and try stuff we have not permitted. I can promise that if my boys are out at 3 in the morning, we will also be out – hunting them down. If my boys sneak out, break the law, make poor choices…well, I’m just praying with all my heart that they get caught.

I want my boys to know that when people say ‘boys will be boys’, what that really mean is that girls are garbage. (many thanks to Ann Voskamp for succinctly stating that truth) I want my sons to respect women, to treat them not like lesser beings but like equals, worthy of every bit of love and respect they can give them, because that’s the way God treats us all. I don’t care how skimpily dressed their homecoming dates are, that does not give them an excuse to touch them. I don’t even care how provocatively a girl may be acting towards them, they may not automatically consider that an invitation. I want my boys to know that they alone are responsible for their thoughts and actions towards women. I want them to know that they are strong enough to make the right choices, that they are not slaves to their hormones or to the culture that allows, encourages, and then tries to cover up bad behavior. They are responsible to God, not their friends, for their choices, and He has equipped them with everything they need to make the right ones.

I want my boys to know what sex is. That it’s not just about intercourse. I want them to respect themselves and women enough to realize that sex is precious and holy and important enough to protect. I want them to know it’s not just about virginity. It’s about respect and love and whole-heartedness and integrity and holiness and honoring themselves and others because we are all created in the very image of God.

I want them to know what rape is. That it’s not only about force and overt violence. That it’s not just about strangers attacking women in the park at night. Even though all of those things are true in some instances, I want them to know that rape most often is committed by someone who knows the victim. I want them to know that the image of a screaming girl being forced into a sex act isn’t what typically occurs. It’ll probably look more like coercion than violence. It may look an awful lot like someone is drunk or drugged, like someone is sleeping, like someone is ‘like a dead body’ (to borrow the horrific words of the Steubenville perpetrators). It might not look or feel like a violent movie rape scene at all.

I want them to know what consent means. I want them to know that just because there wasn’t an enthusiastic ‘no’ involved does NOT mean there was a ‘yes’. I want them to know that it is never, ever ok to have sex with a woman under the influence, whether or not they think she’s giving consent. I want them to know that if they happen to be in a situation where initial consent is revoked, that means STOP. It’s not beyond their power to do so, no matter how heated the moment. They are not slaves to their passions.

I want my boys to stand up and speak up. I want them to reject a culture of silence that allows perpetrators to continue on with and escape consequences of their behavior. I want them to call out injustice, inappropriateness (no matter how benign it seems), and rape when they see it. I want them to think first about protecting the victim before they protect the abuser, even if it’s their buddy. I want them to reject a culture of shaming women whether it be by victim-blaming – she shouldn’t have been dressed that way, acted that way, drank so much, been in that place, etc. – or by the newer oppression that is at their fingertips so easily with social media. Instead of taking a picture, I want them to take that vulnerable girl to safety. Even if no one else is willing to do it.

Above all else, I want my boys, my sweet little boys who still love their mama and mostly believe what she says, to know that I will love them no matter what they do. I want them to know that their choices do not determine who they are. They will make mistakes. I pray it’s never one of this magnitude, but even if it is, that doesn’t change who they are. Who they are is a person created in the image of God. A loved child of the King. No choice can take away that identity, and no place is too far to come back home back again.

revelation

Monday, March 18, 2013

I am typically more of a ‘general revelation’ type of person. In fact, if you’ve spoken to me in the past about how to know if God is speaking to you, I’ve probably given you three or four things – 1) study the Bible, 2) listen to godly advice, 3) look at how the circumstances are playing out and 4) pay attention to the inner peace God will give you regarding a situation.

So it’s a bit unusual when I write today that that scary, weird, amazingly wonderful weekend at Created to Connect, God spoke a WORD straight to me. It just usually doesn’t happen to me that way. If you’re not a follower of Jesus, fair warning: this is gonna sound a bit odd. Actually, if you are a follower of Jesus, it might still sound odd.

Even while I share this, I know that I’m not quite ready to go public with what I feel God’s been telling me. Not out of fear, but more out of a sense of preciousness. Like the truths that I’m turning over in my heart need to be held close for awhile longer. Which just makes this a whole tantalizing tease of a post, yes? The thing that I just wanted to record is this: God is speaking to me. I know it with everything in my being.

Here’s the audience participation part, though…do you think God speaks to you? Have you ever had an experience where you knew it was Him, speaking directly to you? Or is usually a accumulation of different things that you feel are leading you towards what God is saying? I’m definitely not saying one is preferable over the other – I’m just curious to know other’s experiences with this.

If you don’t believe in God or even if you do, but you don’t think He’s active in your daily life, does it weird you out to think of people ‘hearing something directly from God’? I can imagine this sounds crazy-cakes to some of you. I’m eager to hear your perspective too.

saturday music: lent, week 5

Saturday, March 16, 2013

lake lanierLast Saturday, I took a walk over to the edge of the island our lodge was located on. Lake Lanier is near Atlanta, Georgia, and it was huge and beautiful. Everywhere else was kind of brown and gross because it is winter-dry there, but this view, with the breeze against my face and the sound of the waves (from boats, this isn’t the actual ocean) against the shore, was spectacular.

 

This was the song singing in my soul:

friday five: created for care

Friday, March 15, 2013

I’m not actually ready to talk about everything that happened to me and in me last weekend, but I don’t want too much time to pass before I wrote about some of the things that I loved about my weekend away.

1) The pajamas: I went determined that I wasn’t going to buy the pajamas for the ‘pajama party’ sessions. They were expensive, and I’m just not that girl, you know? I was sucked in by the supposed length of them, because I have a terrible time getting pajama pants long enough for  me. These ones are definitely long enough. I’ve washed and dried them, and I’m still rolling them at the waist. The thing I underestimated was the effect they’d have on my psyche. Something about seeing the logo and the bible verse in the mirror and every time I look down at the shirt…there is just something triggered in my brain. Rest. Peace. Hope. It’s the oddest thing. I guess it’s not completely strange; I have a few pieces of jewelry that trigger an emotional response in me just by the mere act of putting them on. This is the first time it’s ever happened to me with clothing though. Anybody else have this thing? Or am I just weird?

2) The main sessions: Sitting in a room with 450 other adoptive moms was enough in and of itself. I typically thrive on diversity, but while there was plenty of religious, ethnic, and personal diversity at this retreat, there was just something spectacular about worshiping with all those women whose hearts beat the same way as mine. It was a gift.

3) No children: I flew alone. I went to the bathroom alone. I read my books alone. I went on a hike alone. I slept all night – alone. (Well, not quite alone, but we shared a king-sized bed, so it’s virtually like sleeping alone.) I TOOK A SHOWER with no little person banging on the door, coming in unannounced, or asking if they could brush their teeth since I was in the shower anyway. Sweet bliss.

4) The food: Since I have not traditionally been a women’s conference kind of gal, I am uninitiated into food typically served at said conferences. I’ve attended my fair share of other conferences, however, and the food is usually a Chik-fil-A box. Which is fine and all, but this food was ridiculously good. Salads, lean meats, four different vegetable sides at each meal…even the mid-afternoon snacks were healthy – veggie and fruit trays, nuts, etc. The only thing I didn’t love was the desserts. I just wanted a piece of cheesecake. There was no cheesecake.

5) This isn’t really something I loved, but have you been to Atlanta? There are so. many. churches. and they are HUGE. Is there a single person in Atlanta that doesn’t go to church? I thought there were a lot of churches when I moved to the Dallas area, but good grief. DFW has nothing on Atlanta. My northern-raised self isn’t quite sure what to do with that. I have mixed emotions…

the past weekend

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

This past weekend? The one where I did the really hard thing that I didn’t want to do? I’m afraid it’s changed my life a bit, and I don’t know if it’s good or bad or what it all is, except I know this one thing: I am still scared.

I went to a conference for adoptive moms. Alone. Literally alone. Lest you think this was not a big deal, I remind you of 1) my introvert tendencies and 2)a woman I had only met online picked me up at the airport, and later that night I met another woman that I shared a bed with for the weekend. Weird, right? It was a Big Deal.

Overheard the first afternoon: “Erin?? Hi!!! I’m so and so….wait. So you AREN’T the Erin I’m sleeping with tonight. Sorry!”

Now, maybe this doesn’t seem odd to you. Maybe people all over the world are going to conferences all the time and rooming with people they don’t know. I just have never heard of them until this weekend.

There’s some Stuff that I’m working through from this past weekend. That much is fact. I won’t be able to write about that for a bit, probably. It’s gonna take me some time.

But there is also Rest. Even though I was up too late and too early every day. Even though I went alone which was a bit anxiety inducing, to say the least. There was rest. Sitting in a room with 450 other adoptive moms was just…restful. I didn’t need to explain anything. No one told me they “didn’t think they could ever do THAT.” No one second-guessed my parenting decisions and questions and insecurities and fears. Everyone KNEW. I can’t even describe what kind of weight was lifted off of my shoulders for the whole weekend. It was easy. It was restful, and that’s something I haven’t experienced for a long, long time. I am so grateful for the opportunity to go, the push from my husband to actually purchase the registration, and that pesky little word of the year that I chose. Yes. The scary and the peaceful. The anxiety and the relief. It’s just YES.

saturday music: lent, week 3

Saturday, March 9, 2013

There is no song at all that is impacting me more at this moment than this one:

five on friday

Friday, March 8, 2013

Five things I’m loving (or not so much: see number 5) this Friday:

1) My new Le Creuset dutch oven: It’s embarrassing to tell you much I coveted this particular item. I’ve had it on my wish list for years now. Unfortunately, people are unlikely to buy me a $250-$275 piece of cookware, no matter how much they love me. HOWEVER, last week, I found several on clearance at Marshall’s for something like 80% off. So I snagged this blue one right here, and I am really more excited about it than I should probably be. I’ve made a beef roast and french onion chicken in it so far…Beef Bourguignon awaits…

2) Date night: Last Friday night was date night. It was spectacularly lovely. We don’t go out that often – on purpose, actually, because we would prefer to do something nice less often rather than Chipotle more often. We went to our local small-ish city that is trying its best to bring in some downtown life. It was First Friday, which is a more spectacular event in larger cities, but we enjoyed our small-town life. The local shops (all 4 of them) went all out with a small art show, glass blowing demonstrations, free drinks and hor d'oeuvres, a make-and-take printing press demo, and a true speakeasy in the back of one of the shops. It was tiny, fun, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Check out your local town – do they have a first friday event? It might be more fun than you think.

3) The 17-Day Diet: My dad’s heart issues combined with our terrible eating habits that have progressively gotten worse over a few stressful months led us to try something new. The first part of this diet is really just a detox, but the principles in it are definitely just healthy eating habits that everyone should have. You will not find any disagreement in the medical and scientific world regarding this type of eating: your diet should mostly be lean meat and vegetables. (Or just vegetables and some protein substitutes if you’re a vegetarian.) Few carbs. Few sugars. Little dairy. Very few fatty meats. You’re not prohibited from anything, just encouraged to change your diet to a more healthy one. I feel so much better since we’ve been doing this. It allows for some ‘cheats’, and that’s what I always look for in a diet. If there is no joy in your food, then you’re doing it wrong. Also, my heartburn went away. My Tums budget thanks me.

4) Zion - Hillsong United: This is the best worship album I’ve heard in a very, very long time. I was a bit concerned prior to the release because a big part of Hillsong United’s appeal is their live album setting. The energy, the community aspect of those recordings is invaluable. This album far surpassed my expectations. There are really unique, intimate moments that wouldn’t have been attained with a live recording. It’s a beautiful recording, and my children seem to be just as in love with it as I am.

5) Yes: In keeping with my word of the year, I said yes to something that I never thought I would. I leave today to do a huge thing (at least for me), and I am really  kind of terrified. Sick to the stomach scared. But I think I was supposed to say yes, and I did, and I’m going, and…and…we’ll see. Pray for me, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

help wanted

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

NFCM07 LOGOTwo days after Baby D went home, Children’s Services was calling again. Well, it was a ‘hypothetical’ call from our very favorite caseworker. Totally not fair, guys. I go into a near depression every time we have to say no to any placement, and to use friendship leverage against us…well, totally not fair.

We had to say no. It was hard, as always. It was extra hard because this was a week-old-baby with a case that was likely to move immediately to adoption, and I can’t even tell you how good that sounds after months and months of praying for Baby D’s mom and dad, going to multiple visits per week, enduring 3-hour team meetings, and all the stuff that goes along with fostering. But we’re not ready. Our kids aren’t ready, even if they don’t know it. (We didn’t ask them. They would’ve all said yes with no hesitation, and we don’t need that kind of guilt.) It wasn’t the right time. It wasn’t the right child for us.

They called again this week. For the same baby. They haven’t found a home yet. Our county needs foster parents, and it's not just where we live – nationwide, foster parents are in desperate need. I will be the first person to tell you that not everyone should do this. That is for sure. It doesn’t mean that people who choose to foster are better or more noble or more capable than those who don’t, it’s just an honest reflection that different families are called and gifted in different ways. This might not be for you, but I would be remiss if I didn’t call you to consider it. Please consider it. There might be a child out there who desperately needs you to step into his or her life and make a difference. There might be a family out there that needs you to take a integral role in their restoration. There might be a caseworker out there that needs a caring, committed family to work with so that they don’t lose hope. This might be the very thing that your family is called to do. The very place where your family is gifted to help.

This isn’t the post I set out to write, quite honestly. But these are the words on my heart tonight. Think about it. What are the reasons you’re too scared, too unwilling?

Is it hard? Umm. I think you’ll know what I say about that. It is probably the hardest thing you will ever do. Don’t think that because you’ll get an older child, the hard baby-toddler work will be over. The work with an older child is deeper and harder than you can imagine. Don’t think that because you get a newborn, the damage won’t already have been done. The primal wound of separating a mother from her child has lifelong consequences for both, no matter the age. It. is. Hard.

Is it inconvenient? Absolutely. Your life and your home will now be somewhat controlled by the state. You agree to their terms, not the other way around. You might have to change how your household functions. You might have to change the physical make-up of your home. Your schedule will now be dominated by visits and meetings and therapy appointments and the sheer amount of time it takes to parent a traumatized child.

Is it financially worth it? Don’t let anyone fool you. The people who are doing this for the money are deluding themselves. It’s not very much money. The extra helps, but we have yet to break even when we add a child to our family.

Is it safe? Not even a little. If you have children already, they will be exposed to things that you would never dream of normally. They will be hurt again and again. You will exposed to things you’ve only read about. You will be hurt again and again. It is not safe at all.

But is it worth it? Every single moment.

The moment when you snuggle a child close to comfort them on the night when their whole world has turned upside down.
The moment when you just sit beside their bed for hours because to touch them would be an absolute violation and induce even more fear into a little body that is already stiff with stress and grief.
The moment you begin to understand the absolute horror that the children in your home have lived through.
The moment you give encouragement to a mama who is doing her very best to love her children, even though she has no earthly idea of how to do that in a healthy way.
The moment a little boy asks, after three months in your home with no answers and end in site, if you’re his mama, and you have no idea what to say.
The moment you tell another little boy that he is home forever. The moment you meet your daughter’s father for the first and last time.

All of that. It’s worth it.

Every moment of every day we’ve done this has been worth it. It’s what we were made to do. Maybe it’s what you’re made to do too?

 

If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, google your state’s name + foster care, and you’ll be directed to a number of agencies, both state and private that can help you get started. If you live here, just contact me – I have lots of recommendations based on our experiences on how to begin this journey.

saturday music: lent, week 2

Saturday, March 2, 2013

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