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Showing posts from 2013

3 Christmases

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My foster children have been with us for 3 Christmases now and they are STILL foster children. When we brought these children into our home, they sent us adoption paperwork after 3 months because they were certain that was where the case was going. Over 2 years later, we are almost in the exact same spot as we were then. Would I do it again if I knew then what I know now? Without a doubt, YES. If I can assure that these children are safe, loved and well cared for, I would do it for 10 years. They are worth it. HE is worth it. I have peace that God will bring closure soon and that it will be in the best interest of the children. I look forward to sharing the stories of the angels God has placed within this case and how even in the midst of adversity, He was fighting for our family and these children. To quote my 6 year old today, "You can always trust God. He keeps His promises."

"And since you are so special,  God wanted to put you in just the right home... Where you w…

Choosing to say "Yes."

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I'm re-reading Kisses from Katie and have to share this quote because it is so true for us and for so many others that God uses in mighty ways.

"Sometimes, the everyday routine of my life feels so normal to me. At other times the idea of raising all these children seems like quite a daunting task. I realize that since I have chosen an unusual path it is easier for outsiders to look at my life and come to the conclusion that it is something extraordinary. That I am courageous. That I am strong. That I am special. But I am just a plain girl from Tennessee. Broken in many ways, sinful and inadequate. Common and simple with nothing special about me. Nothing special except I choose to say "yes." "Yes" to the things God asks of me and "yes" to the people He places in front of me. You can too. I am just an ordinary person. An ordinary person serving an extraordinary God." - Katie Davis

You Shouldn't Become a Foster Parent

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You shouldn't become a foster parent if:You're doing this for you. This isn't something you do to make yourself feel better. You won't get much appreciation for it, even from people who you'd think would appreciate you. Our family does it for Him, to share our incredible blessings with the "least of these," the less fortunate, the needy, the poor. I look around at everyone we grew up with, associate with for the most part. We are all so incredibly blessed. We were born in the U.S.A. We have garages where we put our cars that our immensely nicer than millions of people's homes all over the world. Why have we been blessed so much? Is it to sit in our comfort, while others starve to death? Is it to have an elliptical in our guest room while a 4 year old sits in a shelter during the holidays? 1 John 3:17 says, "If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?&q…

Great idea... modified. (Cheap, easy & HEALTHY dryer sheets.)

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I saw a post about homemade dryer sheets and thought "What a great idea, except for the whole carcinogens and fabric softener part." I thought for those who are health conscious and who are sensitive to chemicals or who have children sensitive to chemicals, I thought I'd share this easy modification. (In bold)

"WHAT YOU NEED:
1 Container with an airtight lid (grabbed out of my pantry)
 - No change
4 sponges cut in half ($1.00 for a 4pk at the dollar store) - Leave sponges whole, less likely to fall apart.
1 cup of your favorite fabric softener - Replace softener with white vinegar and fill to top of  container.
2 cups water - Water is unnecessary, no need to dilute vinegar. 
10 drops essential oil - my favorites are tea tree oil and peppermint oil mixed together

WHAT TO DO:

Mix the water and fabric softener into a plastic container.  - Pour vinegar in the container and add essential oils..
Add the cut sponges so they can soak in the mixture. - Add sponges.
When ready to use, …

Court this week...

I'd really appreciate prayer for 3 of my littles and that decisions made this week are in their best interest. I ask for prayer for peace for everyone involved. May the Lord be glorified through it all.

"But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."Exodus 9:16

"Do what it says."

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Sitting on the porch this morning watching the kids play, I focused on memorizing the first chapter of James. I am very close to this goal and I've noticed that God will stop me on specific verses that he wants me to meditate on. Today, it is James 1: 21, "Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you." I must have repeated it 10 times before stopping to think about how it applies to my life right now. 3 years ago, we stopped listening to all secular music and that decision has played a big part in my growing faith. I don't doubt that others can have strong walks with Christ and listen to secular music, but for me, to constantly have songs of praise filling my house and my thoughts, brings me back to Him constantly during the chaos of my days. We also trimmed down the shows/movies we watch to shows that do not include cursing, sex, violence, etc... mainly PG is what we watch over h…

Joy comes in the morning...

Oh my. Sweet Joy left yesterday morning after 7 days and 8 nights to be exact. I use the word "sweet" very loosely. Bless her heart. With some placements, things get easier the longer they stay, but then there are those that only get harder with every second of every day. Time seemed to stand still these last few days with Joy. The fit throwing, the fearless climbing on everything, the name calling, the sleepless nights with my husband having to sleep on the couch... The last morning she woke me up by hitting me as hard as she could on my chest. I about had a meltdown. I promise I tried. I tried so hard. I even found other foster families to take her because the worker "couldn't." The kids fondness for Joy deteriorated as the days went on as well and they were all asking for her to leave, which made the decision a little bit easier. For now, she has been placed with a foster family who has no other children and the mom is a teacher, so I am hoping and praying t…

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7....8?

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This week started off seemingly simple. The hubs and I sat down Sunday evening and made our first ever weekly meal plan and he went to the grocery store to buy supplies. Monday follows the schedule seamlessly. Our girls went to Kindergarten, our sibling set went to visits and I was in heaven with ONLY 3 kids for 7 hours. I spent the time reading my Bible, drinking coffee, journaling, doing 3 loads of dishes... I was feeling very productive when my cell phone rang at 7pm that evening, immediately followed by a text message and my home phone ringing. Yikes. Clearly, someone was trying to get a hold of me. It was, shockingly, the Dept. of Human Services. "Hi, I just got your name specifically from our regional director and we have a 3 year old little girl who we need to place. We know that you are at 7 already, but you have already been approved for one more by my boss. I have never been told to call someone specific before, so do you think that you are up for it?" Um. Okay. O…

My vision, my legacy, my Chazown...

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Seth and I have been given so many different passions and gifts and I think we just might be on the verge of figuring out God's next step. Growing our family from 5 to 9 was definitely a big one, but it still doesn't encompass all of our past experiences and training, so I know that this is just the beginning. I don't know all the details yet, but I'm so excited and hopeful that the Lord is going to bring this to pass. Let me brainstorm and share with you what God has laid on my heart.

First thing, back in the day, Seth managed a very popular Gold's Gym for around 4 years. He has tons of knowledge about how to start a gym, run one and make it profitable. Because of this, we have prayerfully decided to open one in our new town. We have received incredible feedback and have no doubt that it will be successful. We are finishing up financing details right now, but are hopeful that we will open within 6 months. With the profits from this, we plan to support local and i…

Crappy Foster Mama

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OH fellow foster parents, I am at a place where I need to vent and "fantasize" about what life would be like without all the extra drama from this journey we decided to undertake. Bear with me while I blog it out and pretend to give up.

Dear world,

I know that I have been a hardcore foster care advocate for over two years now, but it appears that I am too selfish and prideful to follow through. Sure, I've given it a really good try and have loved these children like my own for 20 months, but they're just not worth the invasion of privacy, the unknowns about the future and the continued persecution we have faced from other parties involved. The court dates that we anxiously await for 90 days consistently end with the beginning of another 90 days of waiting. Having to ask for permission, only to receive a curt reply, to spend my money and time to go get their haircut has pushed me over the edge. So, I've just decided to send them off with someone or somewhere else. I…

I had 9 children for 2 days.

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Last week, DHS called asking if we could take emergency placement of two children for 5 days. They were aware that we had 7 children already, but had no other options. 5 days seemed doable and my kids were so excited about having new playmates for a little while. I CAN'T say no. I just can't do it. I have never said no to a child. So, I said, "Yes." An hour later, I had 9 kids. These babies had just turned 1 and 2. So the roll call was 7 months, 1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 5, 5, and 7. They played well enough together during the day, but then bedtime came. Our guests had a TERRIBLE time falling and staying asleep. They woke up constantly crying and screaming frantically for their mommy. It absolutely broke my heart imagining how scared and confused these babies were. I know that this is very common behavior for foster children when they are first placed somewhere, but I was hopeful that I would be able to comfort them. When I realized that this would likely continue every night …

How serving at church radically changed my life - twice.

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I was reflecting back this morning and thinking of all the little choices that I have made with the Holy Spirit's prompting that changed my life the most. Two of those choices were directly connected with deciding to take a step out of my comfort zone and serve in the church. Let me tell you about the first time...

I have attended Life Church now for over 12 years. One evening after a Saturday night service, I felt a strong urge to go sign up to serve in the nursery. Being single at the time, I thought, "Well, you never know, I might meet my future husband." The woman in charge asked me where and when I wanted to serve and I just rolled the dice, saying, "Wherever you need me." The next Saturday I met the people I'd be serving with every week, one was a nice, cute, college aged guy wearing a Third Day shirt. I immediately clicked with him and we began talking. I paired my first name with his last name in my head within the first 5 minutes of the conversatio…

To those who doubt

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God is doing great things right now! Satan is very aware of this and is trying to attack us in many ways. The birth father of our newest foster child has been slandering our family in front of the children at visits and alleging that we are mistreating the children somehow. He thinks something "fishy" is going on over here and that he wishes that he could put cameras in our house. (You know, because we're the ones whose parenting is under scrutiny right now.) He is claiming that he will go to a lawyer because "no one can take care of 7 kids." I thought of letting him know how many incredible friends I have that take of 6 or more children with great success, but it's not our impeccable parenting skills that enable us to parent this many children. It is OUR GOD, Jesus Christ, the Creator of all things, the One who has called us to this enables us daily! I know that I doubted my ability to parent even 4 children, but with each addition, God gave me more love, …

Now is the time.

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2 1/2 years ago God opened our eyes to the foster care crisis in this country and called us to become foster parents. Since then, Seth and I have both been loud and persistent advocates for foster children, trying to recruit foster parents everywhere we go. When Seth was unemployed 18 months ago, we prayed that God would lead him to a job where he could support our family while also doing what he was called to do, creating foster care awareness and recruiting foster parents. It didn't happen then and we were confused. I remember reading this devotional and it spoke directly to our situation.

"Moses saw the oppression of his people and felt certain that he was the one to deliver them, and in the righteous indignation of his own spirit he started to right their wrongs. After he launched his first strike for God and for what was right, God allowed Moses to be driven into empty discouragement, sending him into the desert to feed sheep for forty years. At the end of that time, God…

What if...

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Our family lives in Oklahoma and if you've been watching the news over the past 7 days, you've seen that Moore, Oklahoma was hit by a devastatingly big tornado. Lives were lost and thousands of homes were destroyed. There are many people in our state who have lost everything. What happened after the tornadoes hit and what is continuing to happen is in my opinion, a Church revival. Local churches are being the Hands and Feet of Christ and have completely stepped up to help these families who have lost everything. It is incredible to see. I have never been prouder of my state and Christ's church.

What if I told you that in Oklahoma there are close to 10,000 children who have lost everything? These children had to leave their house, their parents, possibly siblings and become a ward of the state, a foster child. Can we respond in the same way? Please? Can churches work together and post things on facebook about the needs of these children, birth parents and foster families? No…

Looking back...

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God has really done a lot in my life this past month. He has drawn me closer to Him, He has opened my eyes and broken my heart even more for the things of this world that break His. He is moving in our life in a big way and if you've followed our family for long, you know that when God calls us to something, it's usually pretty crazy. :) I am excited to take small steps of obedience right now to prepare us to take big ones in the future. In regards to our foster care journey, I've really surrendered to God's will for our sibling set of 3, like REALLY surrendered. I have been confronted by my biggest fear and found God is there with me giving me peace. We have court again in a month and we've been told for the 3rd or 4th time now that we will know more about permanency planning afterwards. The kids will have been in the system for 2 YEARS this August. I think that is nuts, but apparently that is pretty common. I really don't know how people do this without Chri…

Bad news = peace?

We got some news the other day about our case regarding our sibling set of 3. It is unexpected and not in the best interest of the children, in my opinion. The strangest thing about it though is that the Lord has filled me with peace ever since. Many times, when I would stew on the possibility of this happening over the past 15 months, I was filled with anxiety and worry. Now that I am almost face to face with my greatest fear regarding this case, the Lord has given me peace and faith that He knows best. So now, I have learned that when He says, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself..." He is saying that He will provide me with the peace and strength I will need on THAT day if it should come. If I worry about it beforehand, I am only showing Him my lack of faith, which is insulting to Him.

I am focusing on enjoying every day and trying not to mourn them while they are still here. Nothing is final yet and I am confident that God will pr…

My mini "aspiring foster mama"

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My precious Maggie had so much fun today playing "foster mama" with her baby dolls. I love her heart so much. It reminded me of my favorite quote by Steven Furtick... 
"I don’t want to raise good boys and girls. I want to raise great men and women who will do great things for a great God. I’m not raising my kids to survive the world. I’m raising them to change it." -Steven Furtick


Pressing On...

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I have 7 children right now. Wow. It doesn't even seem real to me when I say it out loud  In case you're unaware of their ages, let me tell you... 6, 5, 5, 3, 2, 1, and 7 weeks. Yeah, I'm pretty busy. I've wanted to blog, but we've been dealing with some things that have prevented me from sharing my feelings publicly. Most times, I feel like I need to show this super joyful stay-at-home foster mom who is homeschooling her children while memorizing Bible verses and spending quality time with all said children, but that is not the case most days.  I have had a hard time these past few months. The constant contact with DHS, CASA, and birth parents is really wearing me ragged. If you can even begin to imagine taking care of 7 kids and on top of that having to remember to document everything, have your house always "ready" for an unannounced visit by a caseworker, making sure you don't say anything that could be taken out of context and used to slander yo…