Tuesday, December 25, 2012

From Us

This is the closest thing I got to a Christmas card this year. It's a little blurry, it's a little busy, and it's a little late. But it's us :)...

So much grace right there.

It hasn't been all feel-good moments and smiles lately, my friends. But it's been great because of how He is working inside these 4 walls. We are learning to love the good stuff AND the hard stuff :).

So from our little family to yours, hope you had an amazing Christmas full of friends, family, and celebrating Jesus!

Hugs and love to you all!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More Than I Can Handle

Last Wednesday as I was fixing lunch for the kiddos, I got a phone call that has permantly changed us. I sat and stared out the patio window as our worker described a placement that she "for some reason felt like she needed to ask us about". Even though it wasn't really what we were waiting for, and even though it was a lot to take in, she said something was "telling her to call us".

It was Him.

Eric and I chatted and prayed and talked of how we weren't sure that this was something we were prepared for. It would be a lot, 8 kids seemed kind of crazy right off the bat, and when on earth would we shower? We thought about all the hard stuff, and we came up with one conclusion: we had no good reason to say no.

The 1st night was mostly what we thought. They came running in and absolutely loved being in a home with lot's of kids. They laughed, and cried a bit at bedtime, and eventually talked of things that should never be on the lips of a 3 or 5yr old. 

I tried to be a trooper, but then all the sudden I was like: Wait. This isn't going to be even a tad easy, is it? I'm not going to be picking up a baby that I can carry in a wrap and bond with immediately like I had planned in my mind, am I? I have to build trust and relationships with these girls who are hurt and confused, don't I? Ok, good feelings are gone.

The first 48 hours was a blur, and by the end of the 3rd night I found myself in the kitchen at 9pm having a meltdown which included the full on ugly cry. Your motherly instinct to love them immediately kicks in when they wrap their sweet arms around your neck, but the underlying stress of the unknowns weighs SO much, it makes your heart ache. I started asking myself, "How can I do this?" and  "How can I love them fearlessly when I have no guarantee of keeping them?"

But this is the thing.

He gives us more than we can handle, and more than we can understand.

I know that goes against the saying "He gives us only what we can handle", but I've never really believed it. Scripture doesn't tell us that. I have learned that He reveals Himself the most when you are trying to carry something that is too big...too intense...too deep. I really believe He gives us things we can't handle so we constantly realize our need for Him.

This season? This tough situation? This love that I feel for them? The underlying fear I have now about losing them? I can't handle it on my own.

I can't. I will face the court dates and all the meetings. I will advocate for my girls and I will stand up for what I know is right. But I need Him to put us on His shoulders and carry us, or we'll never make it through the valleys.

It's only been a week. And all of the sudden, after a wild intro to the system, there is a love surfacing here that only God can give. There are walls breaking down and there are hugs. There are 2 girls that are surely making their way right into our hearts. There are 8 sweet little loves playing duck-duck-goose that reminds me that this whole situation is bigger than we are. And there are many reminders of what called us here in the first place.

6 months ago I said we were ready for anything. But honestly, we could have never been prepared for the journey that He had waiting for us. They say that the girls are here to stay for a good while, that we have a long road ahead (I pray the staying part is true). From my eyes, I feel that there is a 50/50 chance of things going either way. Of course, He already knows what restoration looks like for this situation.

I just pray that He prepares us for what that is.

He sometimes leads us into something that we never expected, but He stays while we find our way. Its been beautiful a midst the uncertainty. He is here in each moment and every detail. And that is what makes me KNOW that we can do this. With Him, I think we'll be ok.

We just love them. It's been a tough transition and it is definitely a tad crazy still. But the beauty that lays right beneath the surface of it all is what makes it totally worth it. They are the best gift we could've received this Christmas, and we are so excited to spend the holiday celebrating Jesus with all 8 of our little loves :).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

We Have Grown

Just wanted to pop in here (for those who didn't see on Facebook), and share that we got a placement last night.

Not going to lie, it is not what we had planned, but it was made clear many different ways that this is what He wants for us. So last night at about 6pm, after a long day of praying and talking, we took in 2 little girls. They are 3 & 5.

We woke up with 6 kids and went to sleep with 8. It was a busy day.

I'm still swimming in a sea of change and the things that transpired yesterday. My mind feels scattered and I can not stop tearing up for some reason. It has been a lot to take in and there is going to be a lot more to process as we transition them into our family, for as long as He'll let us keep them.

But for right now, they are home.

We need your prayers if you feel led to do so. I will be back soon with more details and the best picture I can give you without revealing them completely. We aren't allowed to show their whole face for now, just in case you were wondering :).

They are sweet, they are mourning the past, they are getting lots of love, but like I said above, they are home.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chaos Is My Calling

It really is.

It's been a day. Not awful, but not perfect. I yelled some and laughed some and even thought of crying at one point. You know, the typical emotions of a mother. The holidays are here and the girls have been asking to do some holiday baking. So instead of going to the store alone at night like a rational human being, I decided to take my crew shopping for the items we needed. And when I say shopping, I mean throwing things into the cart at random and just hoping that we have everything when we get home.

I know, planning and organizing shopping trips, I'm GREAT at it.

I rarely take them all to the store anymore by myself, but I suppose I was feeling adventurous today. In this sweet season with lots of little's, my #1 goal in any store is to just survive. I’ve got 2 hanging on the end of the cart, 1 whining, 1 strapped to me in a carrier asleep, and today I actually had 2 that were reenacting a sword fight from a game on the Wii. I can’t make this stuff up. I’m checking my list, and I’m begging them to behave for just a "few more minutes". 
After all, we are in public.

I start to see that my shopping partners have had enough, and I know it’s time to make an exit. I’m asking God for patience, or a magic button to press that will send grandma to the rescue. You’ve been there right??

I announce that we are leaving, and to my surprise, they are equally as upset about leaving as they are about being there in the first place. Strange, aren’t they?
I quickly unloaded our items and prayed to the sweet Lord that we would have the fastest check out lady EVER created. I paid and loaded my bags back in the cart, apologized to the cashier for the chaos that is my life, and started to usher the kids towards the door.
On our way out we passed a mirror, a two way mirror. You know the ones that look like a mirror, but it’s actually a window for the office on the other side? Well the girls had to stop and check it out – they get such a kick out of making funny faces. I tried to explain, “girls, there are people on the other side who can see you acting silly. They are watching you giggle and make those faces.”
But they didn’t care. They’re never afraid of what other people think. A trait that I admire, and need.
As I stood there and watched them laugh, I felt so blessed. The innocence of a child is so refreshing. All of the sudden I felt bad for apologizing for my kids. After all, they were just being kids. Heck, who doesn't want to have a sword fight in the freezer section? At that moment I couldn’t even remember what was frustrating about our shopping trip, or who was fighting over what, or what display was now face down in aisle 9. All I could think was, “I love these little's, and I am so thankful that the Lord picked me to be their mama. I’ll take the chaos over anything, any day.”
You can try to usher an orderly group of kids through the grocery and apologize for them all you want, but I'm beginning to see that there are not a lot of ways to control this much of grace, this many blessings, this amount of gifts. The joy in their sweet spirits is on constant overflow.
I just love that about them. I should have that unshakable joy.

The kids, sometimes I think they're helping Him raise me as I try to raise them.
It’s easy for us mom’s to get stressed out when things get a little crazy. But you know what I keep reminding myself? God made me their mother, I’m doing the best I can, and He will equip me with as much patience & love as I need for all the little loves in my home. That is more than I could ever ask for, actually.
So here’s hoping that we all can find love, patience, and joy in Him today. At a time when utensils are flying across the table, and you have applesauce in your hair – not that that ever happens to me.
Being a mom isn't the least chaotic life, but it is the best life :).

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A List...

Because lists are fun.

And efficient.

And great when you can't form full thoughts. Yes?

- So we've been hanging out here and pulling out more Christmas stuff. The more lights in the house, the better in my opinion. Makes me feel warm and cheerful and like warming up some hot cocoa.

- Lincoln has started closing his eyes when I tell him "No". I think maybe he thinks he disappears or that I can't see him? Either way, its cracking me up while I'm trying to discipline. Little stinker :).

- I am currently hooked on the show Nashville. I actually have started downloading the music from it, and the song "For Your Glory" is so great. Worth your download.

- I appreciate that lots of you are doing Elf On The Shelf, but the pics on the social networking sites are a little over the top, yes? Besides, I have trouble remembering to be the tooth fairy, so I'm pretty sure I wouldn't remember to stage a pillow fight or such for a mischievous elf.

Not to mention that I don't like puppet-ish things, so he freaks me out a little.

- We got matched with a Foster Care worker and she came over last night. So we are officially on the "vacancy list" for a child :). Woohoo!

Although I may have mentioned before that I like a plan and to know whats coming? Yea, not so much a characteristic of the ol' foster care system.

So we wait.

Pray for me. And my patience. And pray for those who live with me while I work on my patience.

- I want to order this from RedLetterWords for the older girls room. Isn't it so great??

  Love that.

- Today the girls were playing "I spy" and it went something like this...

"I spy somethiiiiiing grey."
"Mom's hair!"

Nice. I may go to bed at 9pm these days, and my bladder will never be the same after that last c-section, but the grey hair hasn't shown up yet! Cut me some slack!

- Those girls make me laugh. And smile. Love them.

So that's about all for now. I know, super interesting :).

Hope you all are having a great week!

Monday, December 3, 2012



As you know, 6 months ago we decided to follow a lead we have felt for years and enrolled in foster to adopt classes. We faced some opposition, because I don't know if you know this, but we have 6 children already. We had our share of "What?? Are you guys crazy!?"

And clearly, yes, yes we are. Why do you even have to ask?

But when you feel like God has led you to a place, and then basically yelled "GO!", you just take it all in and move on the best you can.

We were nervous. And we didn't have a lot of extra space, or time, or anything. But we said, "Uhhh, ok, we'll do it!"

I am a normal mom. I get up in the morning and shuffle to the kitchen and fix waffles for my kids. I sat in foster classes and felt sad for these kids and had visions of what our future would look like down this road. And while I took in all the facts and such, I'm not totally sure I was emotionally prepared to look into the face of a hurting child.

Stay with me while I start to cry.

"A" busted through our door on Friday like he was coming home. And in many ways, it was home to him. When you have been removed from multiple homes in your 4yr existence, then any decent place with people who actually want to love you feels like home.

For the first 2 hours he was here he called me, "New Mom."

He was sweet and happy and stuck to my side. He was fine as long as I was in his sight, but if I stepped away, he came looking for me. Because when you have a lot of people leave you in your lifetime, you start to have attachment issues. I'm not going to go into all the sad details like how he wore the gloves his brother gave him almost all weekend, or how he slept at the wrong end of the bed because it scared him when he couldn't see out the bedroom door.

Because I want you to know that this sweet little guy eventually sank right into our busy crew. The madness of his life stopped at our front door. Because as foster parents, you are able to say that the pain and the ugliness stops in your entry way. You can deal with their past, pick up the pieces, and move in a positive direction. 

And somehow, by the grace of God, our big and busy family seemed to be a refuge to this child...
I was blindsided by my emotions and my motherly instinct to take care of this boy that was only with us for a few days.

I was amazed at how he adjusted so quickly, and was just another sweet little 4yr old in our house. They just want to feel part of a family, friends. They just want to feel important and loved, that's all.

I want to tell you that I THOUGHT I was ready. I thought I was prepared and I thought I was strong. We've had the encouragement of great friends and amazing training. But you can be as prepared as you want to be, and when it comes down to it and you are in the midst of it, the only thing you have to rely on is a supernatural strength.

Cause the pain and the past seems so unfair. It makes you want to step out on to the back porch and scream, "What the heck is going on here and WHY??"

And then you may cry a little, because you're desire to love and the urgency to intercede in these babies lives just overwhelms your heart. It's a lot to take in.

But the bottom line is that the only one who can bring redemption and sense to the whole situation is Him.

The weekend went really well. It wasn't all warm and fuzzy feelings, but he was real sweet and played and giggled with our crew. There were signs of pain, and my mommy heart just wants to pick him up and promise him that everything is going to be ok. But you see that's the hardest part, right now I can't promise him anything.

But God. He can. And what we can cling to is that the love we showed him will get tucked away in his little heart for a while.

There were some comments recently that said foster care and adoption were on some of your hearts...but you just aren't sure yet. I know how you feel, cause we have been there, for years. I just want to encourage you to take that first step. Call your county, contact an agency, and see what happens. We decided in the beginning that we would take this one step at a time, pray through each move, and assess how we felt as each page turned. He will reveal His plan for your family, and the bottom line is that the pull in your heart to try it won't go away until you give it a go.

This weekend changed us. Caring for him and saying yes to the madness that is the foster care system is something I couldn't do without His promises. It will never be easy, but I know that He is here in all the tiniest of details, and that He can bring beauty, and hope, and mercy into any situation.

It's hard, but it's SO worth it. Full of redemption and reminders of the gospel that saved all of us. And that's why we would do it again, and again, and again.

So we continue to wait for the kiddo that will be a "permanent" placement for us. Praying for patience and guidance as we move on.

Thankful for your encouragement and prayers, they were felt!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Here We Go


We got a call last week, the same day we caught wind that our license was back, for a respite (meaning he will only be with us for a short time) placement this weekend. And we said, "Uh, sure!"

We haven't even been matched with our Foster Care Worker yet, so this was unexpected. But like I've mentioned before, we have an amazing Case Worker who has walked with us through this, and she has assured us that she will be on the lookout for placements for us till we get matched. Does this all sound like a different language? I'm sorry, stay with me, friends :).

So today, 4yr old "A" will join our crew for a bit. I wish I give you every little detail, it's SO hard for me not to, but I can't. Just do me a favor and go squeeze your babies, because there is a whole lot of ugly going on out there and innocent children are stuck in the middle of it.

Grace, friends. It's all grace that we have the healthy families we do. I will never be able to say that enough.

Someday (soon) we will get that call for a "permanent" placement, but today and for the few days ahead, God is needing us to love on this little guy. And believe me, spoiling from the older sisters flows like wine in this house, so I think he will like it here :).

We would love your prayers as we walk through this first placement with the kiddos. Ideally, I'd love a smooth and easy transition into this journey, especially for the kids.

But just like motherhood in general, I don't think much of this journey is going to be real easy :).

It's one thing to say "we'll take all kids ages 0-5", it's a whole other thing to actually sit and listen to your caseworker tell you what that child is coming from, and what you'll be dealing with. It's hard for me to swallow because he knows what is happening, and he remembers what happened. The mother in me just wants to step in, scoop him up, and move him in. But I can't.

Deep breath in, long exhale out, right?

Again, go squeeze your kids...and your man. It's all grace.

So, here we go. We're going to get our feet wet in this whole journey He has laid out before us. We are ready, and we are super excited to embrace this little guy for the short time God has him with us.

Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

How Many Do You Have?

How many do you want?

How many before you finally lock yourself and a bag of chocolate in your bedroom just to get some peace & quiet?? Oh, you don't do that? Yea, me neither.

Lately I have been peeking back at old posts from back in the day. I keep reading how I really thought we were done having children after Kinley and Raya. Oh how my plans are not His great plans...

Seriously, sometimes I look at him and still can't believe He gave us a boy :).

For real. I am in love with our crew, and am so thankful for the 6+ little loves to share this life with. It is incredible, it's rewarding, and it's a privilege. It's also totally exhausting, and draining, and humbling. And I'm pretty sure that the twitching in my right eye is from the craziness of the children.

But anyway.

I have always been a baby person, I just love them. Every time I pick up a newborn I think my ovaries fire off 100 eggs. I can't help it. It's involuntary, people.

And now, my heart is so pulled towards fostering and adoption - God is always changing things for His purpose. We have put bunk beds and an extra crib up, and we are clearing room for more. I never thought we'd have a family this size. NEVER. But here we are, getting ready for...well, anything.

On a sidenote, I think there should be a book called "What To Expect When You're Expecting The Unexpected". It can be the 2nd book of the series, yes?

So anyway, I'm just curious since I love hearing about other families. I would love to know if anyone is willing to share...
How many kids do you have?
Boys? Girls? Multiples?
Foster Care? Adoption?
How many do you want?

Is this to many questions? Sorry :).

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's Official!

We had a fun Thanksgiving weekend. We put the tree up, and filled the house with Christmas decor and cinnamon candles...and got a great call from our case worker.

This is a picture of Kinley from last year by the tree (a tree that had clearly been vandalized by the children), it still cracks me up...

Because what is funnier than crazy curls and underwear in front of the Christmas tree?? :)

But anyway.

I'm so grateful for these people in my home...I just love long weekends and simple days with them. And we are soaking up our normal life before our new normal starts to take over, which could be any day now because we got our license back from the state!! We are officially Foster (to Adopt) Parents!

Woohoo! We made it! High fives all around!

He has been so faithful to us through this process, and kept confirming our steps even in the face of doubt. We are so, so thankful for His plan. We are excited, and nervous, and about 100 other emotions. We spent a lot of time talking about it with the older kids this weekend...they have so many questions now that we could take a child at any time.

For some reason it all seems so REAL now.

So we are preparing for the unknown, but trusting an all knowing God. And that gives me so much comfort and peace about the future. And by "future" I mean "near future" :).

We'd love any prayers as our family makes this transition to being on call at any moment, and as we (blindly)  prepare for what is to come.

Anyway, that's what we've been up to. Hope you all had such a great Thanksgiving weekend!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More Of Him

I've never been one to jump in front of the camera. Especially as the years pass, and the babies come, and things change.

Besides, the odds of me having a baby on both hips, or yelling at a child who's giving bunny ears, or even sporting some throw-up down the back of my shirt are high. So yea, I don't come running when someone pulls out a camera.

Which is ironic, you know, since I'm a photographer.

But A few weeks back I decided to embark on some family pictures. Afterwards, I laughed on the phone with a friend as I looked at my editing software and said, "but my hair looks flat...and I don't love that sweater...and are those wrinkles by my eyes?? DO I HAVE CROWS FEET!?"

We giggled and cackled like girlfriends do. It's mostly jokes, but we all know those come from deep inside where our insecurities hide and our pride tries to cover them up. It comes from the fact that image is SO important to the world these days and perfect pictures are a must on every social networking site.

I have those bad self image moments like all women have...more than I'd like to admit or talk about, actually. Times when I pick at the woman He made me to be and I decide that I'm not good enough. I think I unknowingly take in a lot more of the world than I realize, and before I know it, I have expectations and doubts and views of myself that really aren't of Him.

So anyway, Ella came up to the table while I was playing with our pictures and said, "Oh my goodness! Mom, I love this picture of just you and I! Can I hang it in my room??"

And my heart melted.

My worldly concerns were busted by the spirit of a child who sees love instead of imperfections. Her face literally lit up when she saw it. I was reminded that she will try to build a positive self image while she watches me live out mine. I have to step up to the plate, it's one thing to tell her about true beauty, but it's another thing to live it out.

Because these little kids don't care how much I ran this week, or if my hair is curled, or even if I've showered. All they care about is that I'm here with them, even if I'm in my favorite sweatpants.

God always gets me in those moments...He uses these kiddos in my life to speak truth all the time.

I started to realize, that picture is more than just me and my oldest babe. It's bigger than my insignificant  insecurities and more important than my doubts. It's our life right now in this very moment.

It's me in this ever changing season of motherhood whether I like what I see or not.

In that picture is my families next generation and even generations of women that came before us who make us who we are.

There's the way my silhouette looks like my mom when I turn my head, and how my eyes are dark just like my Grandma Baker. There is the way Ella's features resemble mine when I was little and how our hair is the same exact texture. There are a million other teeny things in that picture that make up our history and our past...our makeup.

There is beauty.

And I'm not talking about outward appearance, but about the love that I know I felt in that moment when she belly laughed and showed those imperfect 3rd grade teeth. And the image of her safe and nestled right into her mama's arms, and how I felt like I wanted to sit there for hours and listen to everything happening in Ella's world.

There is grace in that picture. And there is so much to be thankful for.

A reminder of where I came from, and how myself nor anyone who knew me in my early years would've guessed I'd be a mother to many. How even in my rebellion God had a promise and a plan of redemption for me. How all my plans to be successful in a different way were foiled by the One who writes our story, and I was instead placed in a small town raising kids and living on love.

There is a mother and a daughter and a sister and a friend. A wife and an oldest child and two gals who love their mamas. There is a connection and a bond inside that picture that is far greater than anything I could pick apart on the outside.

There is a sweetheart, and a mother struggling to set the best example she can for her impressionable girl.

Look at her. Look at me. Look at us.

We're a handful. We've got good and bad issues. And we have a giant amount of love for each other that surpasses all my understanding. That's what that picture tells me now.

Pictures tell a tale, we need more of them together...even when my hair is in a knot and I have no makeup on. Because someday we'll want to look back together and laugh at this crazy season when I was in the trenches of mothering them.

They are my girls. I need them to know how wonderfully and fearfully they are made, and that starts with me.

Thankful for His definition of beauty, and thankful for His reminder that these little girls are always watching...always :).

Friday, November 16, 2012

4 Years Of Sweetness


You girls turn 4 today.

The ones who keep me so busy, the ones who ask me a million questions a day, and the ones who made me a mama to multiple multiples.

Life moves so quickly these days, I just want to turn back the pages and remember all the goodness you have brought to my life...

I blinked and here we are.

You're 4!

My baby girls, my biggest handful, my busiest kiddos. You both challenge me, inspire me, and push me to be a better mommy.

Thank you, loves. I need that push.

You are growing so fast, and I am enjoying my special time with you and your brother when the big girls are at school.

Just the other day I watched you follow each other around the park and do everything the other one was doing...and I had a mommy moment. (You know the ones, those sweet moments.) I watched you take each others hand and head for the slide and my heart couldn't have been more full. I just love you both so deeply.

You have a bond that surpasses most of the worlds understanding, yet you share a home with 2 other little girls that relate to that bond. That is a gift from Him.

I can see you growing every day, but you will always be my babies...

So today, let's throw balloons, eat ice cream for breakfast, and go pick out all the rainbow goodies for your "Over The Rainbow" birthday party. They say I go overboard with birthdays, but God went overboard when He gave us both of you.

Grace, that is what you two are.

Happy 4th Birthday my sweet baby girls. Love you so, so much!

Monday, November 12, 2012

"You're A Friend That Would Help Me Move A Body"

I know, you either are afraid of that title or you remember me mentioning it before. Please, stay with me :).

We had a great weekend. And by great I mean blessed, and refueling, and a deep breath of fresh but crazy air.

Jessica and her crew of 9 met up with us this past summer for the first time. We hung out and confirmed that we lived insanely similar lives, and a wonderful and hilarious friendship was born. Eric and I left that weekend changed. Those 3 days back in June played a giant role in our decision to move forward with our foster to adopt journey that we had talked about for so long. They truly were a voice we needed to hear.

A lot happened in the weeks following that weekend. As we embarked on this new chapter, their family was faced with tragedy. We kept in touch and cheered each other on the best we knew how as we both walked through different seasons.

Because that’s what friends do, right?

They made the drive this past weekend and stayed with us for a few days. We somehow fit all the kids (except 1) in our kids rooms and they giggled and talked until they couldn't keep their sweet eyes open anymore. Us adults sipped wine, played cards, and laughed hysterically till1am.

It was bliss. 

Our lives aren't the same as they were in July, but the same exact friendship was still there.

It was just a refreshing time.

Over a year ago I had the chance to listen to a speaker by the name of Brene Brown. She spoke so boldly and honestly about friendship and being vulnerable - a topic that had been heavy on my heart for quite some time.

I try to offer as much as I can to my girlfriends, and I'm trying my hardest to invest in the ladies that make my life richer. My days of hanging out at the last minute or having an uninterrupted chat on the phone have waved goodbye. 6 (and maybe more) kiddos consume most of my hours - it's crazy, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Although I would like to shower without all the banging on the door. You know, at some point.

At that conference, Brene talked about how everyone needs those few friends that would help you "move a body".Even though it sounded strange at first...and illegal, I was intrigued as to where she was heading with this analogy. I knew immediately who those girls were in my life as her story and reasoning behind that statement unfolded. I felt like God used her to help clarify things that had been on my heart for quite some time, and I felt convicted that I often take those girls for granted while I try to figure out other friendships that are clearly off in a ditch somewhere.

Here is some of the story she told...

"A year or two ago, my good friend called and as soon as I said, “Hello!” she said, “You’re a friend who would move a body.”

I could tell by her voice that she was serious. I lowered my voice and asked, “What does that mean?”

She said that one of her sister’s close friends had called her sister and asked her to help her move her mom. Her mother, who was apparently only invited to visit once a year, struggled with alcoholism. When my sister’s friend came home from work, she was passed out drunk on the sofa. It was 3 o’clock in the afternoon and the kids would be busting through the front door any minute. She called because she physically needed help moving her mother.

I let out a deep sigh and said, “Yes. You could definitely call me.”

Then she said one of the kindest things that anyone has ever said to me.  She explained,

“I’d call you because you would come right away. Give me a hug. Never look judgmental or disapproving or disgusted.

And then you’d say, ‘let’s do this.’

The next day when you saw my mom at the park or the soccer game, you’d be kind and respectful. And most of all, it would never cross my mind to say something to you like, ‘please don’t tell anyone.’ Because you don’t do that.”

I thought about that conversation for days.I thought about how lucky I am to have a couple “move-a-body” friends in my life. I thought about how crazy it is that most of us can steamroll over these friends while we work to win the approval and acceptance of people who really don’t matter in our lives – people whom we’d NEVER call when we were in real struggle."

I just love that story. And I was reminded this weekend to focus and nurture those friendships because they are the ones that are going to be standing next to you during the good, the mundane, and the crazy. Those are the girls that are in it for the long haul - even when they live miles away.

I need to tell those girls how much I love them and how important they are to me more often.

Friends are a gift, and I think that moms need true friendship like they need air. Real friends make you laugh, speak the truth, and encourage you – they’re not supposed to be pulling you down.There is no room in life for toxic friendships, they need to be cut out to make room for those who are encouraging you towards one thing…Him.

It's also a must to have friends where you know that you basically couldn’t say ANYTHING that would shock them. That is the best :).

Those few girls that “get you”, the ones that you laugh out loud with, and the ones that you know you can share your ugliness with? Those are the girls that make life better, richer, easier. Those are kindred spirits, gifts from Him.

Thankful for His perfect picture of friendship. And thankful for Jessica and her beautiful crew and all their reminders of God's sweet grace.

I thought there was so much truth in Brene's words, so I just had to share…again. Love those"move-a-body" gals in my life, praying that I am always that friend back to them.

Hope you all are having a great week!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Keep Praying, And Keep Preparing

Well, we're rounding out another week here. It's been a good one, full of activities and playing with the kids. The weather is so great right now, not too cold. It's just right. Does anyone else love the smell of the Fall/Winter air?? I absolutely love it! I also love hoodies on my sweeties...

Look at that one little curl sticking out there :).

I've been doing a little organizing around the house as well. I sort of went on a cleaning spree...it's like I'm nesting or something. The problem is, I don't know if I'll be nesting for a few weeks, or for a few months, or more. There is no due date this time around.

The other problem is that I really like a plan and control, so I'd prefer to know the exact time frame of this season. But He would prefer that I just listen and trust.

Keep praying, and  keep preparing....keep praying, and keep preparing...I can do this.

I've felt like I need to keep some kind of order around here because our case worker tends to drop by at a moments notice. As in I'm in my pj's, and the kitchen isn't cleaned up from breakfast yet, and then "surprise!" she's here!

We really do love her though. I feel this bond to her because she is such a big part of our new chapter, it's like she's family.

I keep praying for the kids that He's preparing for us and for the bio parents that we will be involved with. I'm asking for strength and compassion a midst a possible ugly situation. I'm praying for constant reminders of how it could be me, or anyone one of us standing in their shoes, its only by grace that its not.

It is ONLY grace that we live in this nice little community, with nice neighbors, and nice schools, and a nice little life. It is grace that we are healthy and thriving instead of chained to things that will ruin our lives. So as much as I want to be so angry at these parents, and believe me, I WILL BE at times, there is also just a lot of sadness when you realize a mothers life is so broken that she can't even take care of her child.

It's kind of like the saying, "There but for the grace of God, go I,"

Grace and redemption. That is what this is all about. That is really what life is all about.

If you can't tell already, my heart is still a tad raw from all of this. I find myself driving along and praying about life with tears running down my face. Which is either God working on my heart, total fear, or a hormonal imbalance. It's likely to be all three, people.

We just have so much.

I guess that's what has been really turning inside of me lately. We have been spending so much time learning and preparing to deal with a whole lot of brokenness, and it kind of makes you realize how put together your simple life really is.

We don't have crazy shopping sprees or extravagant vacations, but we have a whole lot of love and stability inside these walls...and that is really all that matters at the end of the day. So I've been trying to really question myself when I say we "need" something. Because really, we don't have a ton of needs, only wants. We are already rich in all the important areas.

He is showing me that we are full to the brim where it counts. This humble life is the dream. It's here for us to embrace, every crazy moment of it...

And so today I sit and look at that picture and think, "Yep, I think there's room for more."

We know we can't reach every child in our overflowing county. But even if He only let's us reach 1...rescue 1...embrace 1...give hope to 1 family, then it will be worth all the ups and downs of a broken system.

Praying, and preparing. That's all we can do right now :).

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I Have To Show You...

This is such a grainy picture straight from my phone, unfortunately I didn't have time to grab my actual camera and get pics of all the kiddos. But this is my first boy costume for Halloween so I MUST document it.

(Yes, we let the kids trick or treat.)

I don't think I even need to tell you how entertained I was by this.

Our little Police Officer...

Seriously, I laughed over this cute little costume all night!

Oh I love that kid, and all the boyish things that he brings to our family :).

Friday, November 2, 2012

Just Some Words

I told myself I'd be in bed 2 hours ago, but that never happens. The quiet house, the sleeping kiddos, and the fact that I can actually hold the remote, it all makes me want to sit and soak it in for a few hours.

I have stay-up-late-itis. It's a real condition.

(Not really)

We ran some errands today. I took the younger kids to the camera store and to the grocery. I actually got all my stuff to the checkout at the grocery and went to grab my wallet only to find out that I DIDN'T HAVE IT. Don't ya love when you do that??

I took the crew out for ice cream after school - I do it every couple months. I just show up and grab them before they hop on the bus and we go get some goodies. For a moment I feel like the "cool mom".

It's like my 15 minutes of fame.

I also bought a bag of bean bag filler today. And if you've ever done this too, you know where I'm going with this story. These are little pieces of out of control styrofoam, my friends. They hate me. Don't try it...you will regret it. Just buy one that's already filled.

Trying to fill it yourself is unnatural and inhumane. Us normal folk weren't made to fill the bean bags. That needs to be left to the professionals.

So anyway, we spent the evening at home and stayed up a little past bedtime because the girlies don't have school tomorrow (conferences). I watched my recorded episodes of Nashville after bedtime, please don't judge me. I'm a little hooked on the show...and by hooked I mean ADDICTED.

I can't help it, Tami Taylor is back, ya'll!

Tomorrow we are going to soak up the cool but sunny weather and hopefully burn some energy off in the backyard.

I'm off to try and catch a decent nights sleep. This was a lot of rambling, wasn't it??

Till later!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Delight In Him, Delight In Them

The house is finally quiet after a full day of running and laughter and Fall festivities.

Motherhood continues to prove to be a full time job, times 100, just like all those seasoned mothers told me it would be :). Lately, I have heard myself often say, "I can't really get anything done because they are always needing me...they're always on top of me!"

I love that they need me, I would venture to say that that is one of the best feelings as a mother. But it does get kind of hard to juggle everything else at the same time, yes?

The housework has gotten behind, and I have washed the same load of laundry 3 times in the past 2 days. You should see the toys all over the basement floor, the crumbs under my kitchen table, the dishes that are piling up, and the baskets of laundry that are begging to be folded and put away.

You should also see this time consuming gift...

And maybe hear the joy that comes from these kiddos that are so full of life and other things that are so much more important than my sticky kitchen floor.

They may not see how hard I work or how it frustrates my mommy heart that I am falling behind on all things housework, but they do know how much I love them. And that is whats important these days. I like my house, but I love the people in it. So I'm going to take care of them first.

They aren't the interruption, everything else is.

They send me to bed at night pretty worn out. But in that tiredness, I know that I have given all I could to them that day, and I think that is essentially my job. During the day as I think of my to-do list I keep praying, "help me to delight in them, not in a perfect home."

Delight in Him, delight in them. Not in other things that can wait.

It's my motto on these long (but oh so rewarding) mommy days :).

Monday, October 22, 2012

Jealous For Me

He is jealous for me.

I love that song (How He Loves Us), I've been listening to it non stop lately. I'm sure it's clear around these parts that my time to post often like I used to has passed. I want to, but the kids, and the house, and every other detail of our life is keeping me running every single minute. Maybe some weeks will come with five little stories of what we're up to, and some will come with just one.

I like to keep things exciting like that. I'm such a game changer.

(sarcasm, laughter...they are my friends)

But all I can say today is that my heart is clinging to the Lord amidst the ever changing story that is our foster to adopt process. Nothing big has changed, except the fact that our close friends and family have received our reference papers which means that THEY ARE PROCESSING US. Yay!! That little bit of info made me smile.

I've been feeling pulled out of the typical things of my normal day to day existence that tend to make my thinking foggy. I love my laptop, but you know, sometimes you need a breather from the opinion of everyone else on the planet. Because my mind and my heart are only able to process 2 things right now: My family, and my future family.

It's hard to explain, so please bear with me if you've never walked this path. I had to take some things down by our visitation building the other day, and the drive and the scene always stings a little. An area that I used to always avoid at all costs is now a place that hits close to home. Believe me, I know there are worse places in the world to live. I have friends that have adopted out of third world countries, and I know there are other cities worse than the worst streets in our town. But it still hurts to know that she's out there...he's out there...they are out there.

And even though they won't be ours right away, I still have this huge desire to see them, and squeeze them, and love them fearlessly. No matter what the outcome.

Alone and abandoned, or abused and hungry, or growing in a womb that is filled with harm. The list goes on. You may not even want to know some of the things that are happening mere miles from your home. This broken world can be a scary place.

Yesterday I was out running errands and picking some things up at Babies R Us. And yes, I am that woman that goes in there for sippy cups, and comes out wanting another baby. I'm a fool for Johnson's baby soap and newborn diapers. Even the nursing and pumping stuff makes me miss my newborns.

Clearly, I should be on medicine.


There was this blanket that I have wanted for so long that would just keep a new little one SO warm. It doesn't even have to be a baby, a toddler would just snuggle right into it as well. So I picked it up and added it to my cart only to circle back around and put it back. I kept telling myself that I was getting to attached to this feeling in my heart and that I was bordering crazy since I was picking things out for a child I haven't met...and may not keep.

You may have picked up on this, but I am one of those gals who loves the pregnancy thing. I do. The anticipation, the round belly, the feeling of grace literally growing inside of me, it all just overwhelms this girl. But here I am, picking things out, and feeling that same love for a child I'm not carrying for 9 months...a child I don't even know yet. There is this desire inside of me that wants to hold them just as badly as I wanted to hold our biological kids when the doctor delivered them.

That is a God thing going on in my heart.

When I got in the car and started driving I realized, this is God preparing me. This feeling, this aching in my heart is Him rearranging things and making room for me to love beyond what I thought I could. It's Him.

It has taken a situation that is so far out of my realm of comfort to remind me that He is jealous for me. If you aren't totally dependent on Him, He'll gently stir the pot and hand you a situation so you see what you really need to focus on...Him.

I spend SO much time on things that don't matter, friends. I find my worth in the world and what the TV says and what I "should" be doing and from status's on Facebook. I always have to remind myself of what is true. The GREAT news is that He doesn't want you trying to live someone else's story, He wants you to live yours.

I am in a season where I have to silence all outside noise and focus on His plan and His story for us. Because if I look away, I am sure to miss something. He is jealous of my time, of what my heart chases after, and what I let myself be consumed with. And I am really seeing that now so clearly. Thankful that we are loved so much, and praying that we can share even a glimpse of that love with the new little loves He brings through our front door.

But for now, I will wait. And I'll pray for us...and for her...and for him...and for them. Whoever they are. Whoever He's preparing for us.

Happy Monday, friends. Thanks for sticking around for the ramblings :).

Friday, October 19, 2012

I Promise I Won't Start Decorating Yet

But if you know me, you know the holidays will eventually bring out the festive side of me.

I might as well wear ugly Christmas sweaters from late November through January.

So anyway, last night I came across this Christmas pic of my little man from last year...

Is there anything better than baby feet?? And combined with Christmas lights?? It's like hitting the holiday jackpot.

It made me kind of excited for festivities and decorations and MUSIC that are coming soon!

I know, Halloween isn't here yet, I'll try to resist the urge to rush into it :).

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Good Kind Of Busy

The leaves out back are absolutely beautiful.

I've been soaking up the Fall weather these last couple weeks with the kiddos when we are all fever free for a moment. The sickness is still here, Kinley and Raya have high fevers. I'm telling ya, in a houseful of little's, these bugs spread like wildfire! Poor babies! I've been coughed on and dry heaved on and leaned on as the fevers rip through those little bodies. All duties of the mom job.

This past week has been one of those weeks when you feel so out of touch with the rest of the world. I try to catch up on things, but honestly, there just isn't a lot of time outside of the kids. I am full with them...

and full with him...

and hopefully, eventually, full with another one(s) that my heart is so anxious for.

I know, I know, I shouldn't let myself go to that place when we all know that there are no guarantees in foster care. And I know I should guard my heart as we embark on this indefinite foster to adopt journey.

But sometimes putting your heart out there is the only way to fully take in what God is teaching you.

We haven't really overloaded our schedule lately, it just turns out that raising 6 kids keeps me busy a lot of the time. Who knew :)!? Embracing our full house has left little time for other things these days. Me time is rare, but I am thankful for these little gifts that fill my minutes. I see that I am most content when I am wholly invested in the kids and this calling He has for me - not looking for other things to fill me up. This is where I belong right now...this is my season.

Right now I have time to sit on the bathroom floor with a croupy kid while the steam from the shower calms my her cough. I have time for 5 nights of soccer and swim team, and time that my older girls need my attention and direction on a deeper level. I now have priorities that I thought I cared so much about that have taken a back seat to motherhood.

They need me. Way more than I need anything else right now.

Being a mom is a time consuming and selfless calling that we will look back on someday and wish for days where they could be little again. Someday we'll have all the time we could ever hope for (as in, maybe we'll actually pee alone). But right now we're in the foggy season of parenting where you don't remember who got up with who in the middle of the night, and when you wash your hair twice in the shower because you keep forgetting if you've already washed it.

Seriously, I'm low on shampoo.

We're busy, and most days we're left trying to catch our breath, but it's beautiful. Hidden behind a half dozen miracles. Buried under a houseful of laundry and giggles and grace.

Thankful for this full life. Although I'd also be thankful for a mini vacation here and there. For real :).

I'm off for now. Till later, friends!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Trying To Catch My Breath

The short story is we're sick.

That's the long story too.

I am up to my eyeballs in croup, strep, and bottles of Motrin. The girls are sick, and I've been sick. I think that means it's officially Fall over here :).

I've also been in the midst of my busiest photography season to date. Which is good, but crazy. Luckily I have some amazingly sweet people to work with, so the craziness is totally worth it...

So I'm editing and wiping noses and taking temperatures. I am going to keep one of the girls in our room tonight because she is oh so sick. Pray that her high fever comes down...please?

Well, just wanted to check in here in blogland. But I'm off now to go take care of one of my babies.

Back soon!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

(18 Months)

How is that possible?

Can I tell you what I LOVE?? That he could be a big brother at some point - he would be so good at it :).

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

It's A Good Thing

It's a good thing my worth doesn't come from my mothering skills, or my ability to cook all organic meals, or my attempts to raise perfect kids who never throw fits in public.

It's a good thing my worth is in Him.

When the days are long as I try to raise up these sweet kiddos, it's a good thing my worth isn't determined by the amount of laundry that has yet to be put away, or how sticky my kitchen floor is, or whether my bathrooms are sparkling clean.

It's a great thing that my worth is in Him.

It's a good thing my worth doesn't come from other people's opinions or views. My worth isn't found in what the world thinks, and it doesn't come from statistics, social norms, or from what others think I should be doing. My worth isn't affected by my tendency to worry or the times I believe lies that tell me I can't do things He's called us to (we can do all things through Him!).

It's a beautiful thing that my worth comes from Him.

My worth doesn't come from my limited gym time or a size. It doesn't come from how fancy my house is or how beautiful my home decor is. It's not from any one's approval, or from my housekeeping skills, or if I can make it to every class party at school, or if I do fancy crafts everyday with my kiddos.

My worth is from Him.

It's not in things, or in people, or in my efforts. It's in Him.

And that is such grace. Such saving and reassuring grace. Praying He keeps reminding me of that today.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Spending Some Time With My Babies


All went well at our walk through on Friday! Yay! We are now being processed and will most likely not be up for vacancy till mid to late next month. So we wait - which if you've been here long, you know I am such a patient person who LOVES to wait.

Kidding. Patience and I aren't close. But I'm working on that relationship.

It's good that we have some time to just sit and pray and prepare. I have so many emotions stirring on the inside about this whole situation that I think a little down time might do me good.

But other than that good stuff, our days have been filled with a whole lot of normal. It's wonderful. The older girls have had school and I have been loving my time with the younger 3. I have been realizing that this time with just them is so rare and I need to take full advantage of it.

I have to admit that when the school year started I kept thinking to myself, "Oh my word, I will only have 3 at home...I will get so much done!". But Fall activities have been keeping me so busy, and that idea of getting so much done has faded as I've started noticing how much Kinley and Raya are loving having me to themselves for some of the day.

Lincoln loves it too, I assume. But he basically loves everything.

I had visions of a spotless house and a laundry system that is always running perfectly. I even planned on running errands on certain mornings and keeping a set schedule of some sort. But I have started putting my to-do lists and other things on the back burner, and replacing them with early morning cartoons, adventuring out and about, playing doll house, gathering leaves, and jumping on the trampoline with my littlest loves.

Well, they jump on the trampoline. I've had 3 c-sections, so my post baby bladder and I just watch. You understand.

It's been a good reminder to always look for those windows of time to focus on each kid - not view it as time for me to get stuff done that can be done any other time. So we're going to continue learning some preschool stuff, chasing Lincoln around the couch till he giggles so much he has to stop, enjoying Fall, and baking some pumpkin muffins (their favorite).

I love Fall, even though its such a busy season around here. It's still definitely one of my favorite times of the year!

Hope you're all having a great week!

Friday, September 28, 2012

We're Ready

I really think we are.

Right after Lincoln was born I said I'd never add another child to our family. Eventually that new baby-no sleeping-what has happened to my body-will I ever shower again-stage wore off and I returned to normal life.

But still, that distant memory of foster care and adoption that we had laid to rest was still just that, a distant memory. But as you know, God has brought that desire back to life. Last night we officially made Lincolns room roommate ready :)...

I never thought I'd see 2 cribs in one room again. I mean it friends, I stood and stared for a moment. Feels so crazy, yet so normal!

We have been so busy with details and meetings and paperwork that I have had little time to just think about everything. I put the sheet on and got out some blankets and remembered that this most likely will be a bumpy journey. I felt joy as I thought of wrapping and rocking a new addition to our family, and my heart ached a tad as I thought of the potential not so warm and fuzzy outcomes that come along with this calling.

Deep breath in. Just do the next thing, right? One day at a time :).

We are licensed to take 0-18, but for obvious reasons will only be taking children in the 0-5 age group right now - which means that Kinley and Raya will also be up for a new roommate and will be getting bunk beds just like their older sisters. The new bunk bed is still in the works, but the girls are always open to rearranging furniture so that should be easy. Our older 3 are in a room, and the younger 2 girls are together, it's like a permanent slumber party...

What is that you say? That's a lot of pink? Yea, I know.

Rooms are changing, hearts are anxiously awaiting, and God seems to making room for more. Not everyone will understand all of this, but that's ok. We honestly don't understand it sometimes. But God gets it, and that is the only thing our little family needs :).

Wonder who He will put in that crib (or bed). A boy? A girl? I'm sure we will see both come and go - hopefully one will be able to stay down the road.


Sorry for the rambling. Today our caseworker comes for the final walk through of our house, and I tend to ramble when I'm stressed or nervous. We are SO excited to be at this point, but as expected, we're also a tad anxious. If you can, could you pray for peace today as we close this part of the process? I know all is fine, but I'm still a tad on edge :). Thanks, friends.

Feeling so very thankful for His blessings and this journey that He's unfolding. Praying that He is always glorified through this process, and that we cling to His plan and His vision, not ours. That may be hard to do sometimes so feel free to remind me, ok??

Well, I'm off for now. Happy Friday, all!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Baking With My Girls - Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The girls love to cook with me. And baking goodies, well that is their favorite.

They have been begging to pull out our pumpkin recipes, and so we did this past weekend. And just in case there is one of you that missed this recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip cookies on my blog a couple years back, I thought I'd share again.

They are so good. So, SO good.

Baking with the little women is messy, and unorganized, but oh does it make for some great memories - and that is the best part!

We popped our homemade chicken noodle soup in the crockpot before we embarked on the cookies. It's always a hit - healthy, warm on a chilly day, and the kiddos love it...

So anyway. On to the good stuff.

Here is the recipe...

-1 cup of canned (or not canned) Pumpkin. **I actually added the whole can, we really like pumpkin.
-1 cup white Sugar
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1 egg
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons baking powder
-2 teaspoons ground Cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon milk
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Combine, pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Add vanilla and chocolate chips. Stir in.

(I may or may not have mixed everything in the same bowl - completely going against the directions.)

(I'm fearless that way.)

Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and cook at 350 degrees for about 10 min or until lightly brown and firm. (although mine were never really "firm")

And then, throw a party.

Tell your neighbors.

And take them to anyone you want to impress.

Seriously, they are that good! Enjoy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

What I Love...

spending time together...
making room for more...
feeling my heart fall more in love with the thought of a new addition...
filling the patio with sidewalk chalk...
and eating lunch outside...

playing cards and board games...
homemade vegetable soup in the crockpot...
chats with my girlies...
fall recipes that fill the house with spice...
and watching Lincoln carry his froggy cup everywhere...

junping on the trampoline...
feeling that cool breeze...
hoodies on my little's...
swinging for hours...
and letting the 6th have his first ride in the wagon...

I love these days at home with these people :).

Saturday, September 22, 2012

I Promise...

they don't spoil him at all...

Ok, maybe just a tad.

Can't wait to find out who God is going to place in the other side of that wagon :).

Enjoy your weekend, friends!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Go Back

Years ago we talked of a journey that has finally come to pass. Life has been super busy lately.

Good news is that we have our final walk through of the house next week, and then we will be processed, submitted, and put on the vacancy list for a child. For those who are curious, our caseworker says the vacancy part will happen towards the end of October - and then we wait for a call.

Take a deep breath in with me, won't you? Thanks.

I feel like we are standing on the edge of uncertainty. Oh wait, we are.

We're excited and as ready as you can be when you're waiting for a call to come at any moment that says "hey, we have a child for you". We're getting ready to set up another crib in Lincolns room, and while two cribs in one room isn't something new to me, it's just leaving me a tad speechless.

Mainly because usually when I'm setting up a crib, I'm 50 (ok, 60) pounds heavier with ankles that are so swollen they should be in a health study of some kind.

Ah, I kid, and I make myself laugh. It makes the fear seem smaller than it is.

God is expanding here. There's no doubt about it. Sometimes that can be scary, and I'm not gonna lie, our life freaks me out a little.

I toss and turn and I bite my nails and I grow weary of those who judge and keep quiet. The pain of rejection amidst a calling you are certain God's calling you to can be ugly. I know it may seem crazy to some to add more - believe me, I live here. But on the other hand I know deep inside that sometimes a calling isn't the most comfortable thing, and following in obedience may be rough when others are raising their eyebrows.

I have let doubt creep in a lot over the last 2 weeks, just like I would over any calling - whether its a job, or a decision with the kids, or growing our family. So I text my friend yesterday telling her "I felt like giving up", and that "other peoples questions were starting to make me question this journey", and so on and so on. And wouldn't you know, she came back with this...

"Go back to the scriptures that first called you here."

That was it.

Go back. To Him. To His Word. To the truth.

That answer is why I love her so much. We all need a Jessica.

I almost laughed when I read it because it was like being smacked in the face with the truth stick. I easily let the worlds doubts and questions and opinions on how "crazy it must be to have all these kids" get to me. I get that foster care and adoption is hard, but that doesn't change the fact that God has called us to it.

And it also doesn't change the fact that these kids still need to be loved.

When things get rocky the enemy wants us to give up, he doesn't want kids in homes that love Jesus. But God, He has bigger plans that will come with exactly what we need to equip us for our next chapter.

I've been in that quiet place - where you are just fixing meals and wiping noses and dropping kids off at soccer practice - and also quietly growing inside and taking in as much as you can as God consumes your heart with a calling that is straight from Him.

Go back. To His heart and His desires. All the outside stuff doesn't matter. 2 kids, 6 kids, 12 kids - all His plan and His business...cling to that!

So I just wanted to throw that piece of encouragement out there - Go back. So many times, for so many different situations I need to go back to the His original plan and His vision instead of letting the world dictate my thoughts. It's all about Him anyway, right? Right.

I'm off to start into our season o' pumpkin baking with the girls - they've been begging me to bake some goodies and I just treasure these memories with them :). Happy Friday!