Category Archives: Uncategorized

Letter to the Lost One

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In a world filled with hate and anger, where Christians are becoming increasingly more the “enemy”, where wrong is right and right is wrong, in that world- our world- God’s light can shine the brightest. This letter is for those who feel rejected, neglected, unloved, abused, and confused. This is for the agnostic, atheist, and unbeliever. This is for those who have been put down, glared at, or ignored by a “Christian”. This letter is for you.

 

Dear Lost One,

     First of all, I want to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry if I have ever made you feel unloved, uncared for or less than enough. Please know that it was never intentional. Christians are not perfect. Yes, we serve a perfect God and it is my personal goal to be as much like Him as I can be on this earth. But, I make mistakes. I get caught up in my own life and sometimes forget about the lost world around me. So, I’m sorry if you ever needed God’s love and I didn’t show it to you.

     Second of all, I want you to please listen closely when I say, You are so loved. Whether you believe in God or not, no matter what you’ve been told or taught, no matter what is in your past. You. Are. Loved. Unconditionally. Irrevocably. So much that a Man died for you.

     There is so much negativity that surrounds Christianity. There are people out there that claim to be Christians, but don’t act like it to the lost world. Yes, there are hypocrites in churches and they need God just as much as the rest of us. I’m sorry that this confuses you, because, yes, it is confusing. While God has placed Christians in the world to be a light for Him, we are not meant to be placed on a pedestal or looked upon for salvation. Like I said before, we make mistakes because we are human. We will disappoint you, but Jesus never will. You can only look to God for your salvation. Only in God can you find what your soul is longing for. Only your Creator can satisfy the emptiness in your life. So, please, look to Him. 

     If you doubt God’s existence, there’s probably not a lot that I can say to change your mind. I could tell you all the “scientific facts” and try to argue the Bible with you. But, I could never convince you to believe in God if your heart isn’t ready to believe. All I can tell you is what God has personally done in my life. God saved me when I was fourteen years old. Not because my parents told me I needed to be saved.  But, because I saw in my own life how much I needed a Savior. I could see that my life was heading for destruction; a road that I didn’t want to go down. God rescued me from the mess that my life could’ve been. That was over 10 years ago and I need God more now than I did then. If my parents, my pastor, my husband, and all the Christians in my life that I serve the Lord with decided today that they didn’t want to have anything to do with God, I would still live for Him. That’s how much I need Him and can’t imagine a life without Him. I tell you all of this in hopes that you will realize that thing you are looking for to fill the void in your life is God. You can try to fill it with things in this world, you can try to push God away, but He will still be there, offering you His love. Only He can fill that emptiness. So, please, let Him.

    I could list you the benefits there are of serving the Lord, because there are so many. But, I don’t think this post could hold all of them. Just know, when you give your life to God, He will bless you more than you could ever imagine. Life will not be easy. It will not be perfect. You will still have difficult times. But, at least you will have God there to help you.

There’s an old hymn, written by Will Thompson, that says,

    “Softly and tenderly, Jesus is calling; calling for you and for me. See on the portals He’s waiting and watching, watching for you and for me. Come home. Come home. You who are weary, come home. Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling. Calling, O sinner, come home.”

      Those words so perfectly describe the sweet and precious love of God. He’s not waiting to beat you over the head and remind you of every mistake. He’s waiting to lovingly welcome you and remove all of the burdens that have been weighing you down.

     I’ve thought so many times, if you don’t choose God, then you are choosing death. If you committed a crime and were offered the choice between life or death, who would choose death? But that’s what you’re doing if you are choosing not to serve God- you are choosing the death penalty. So, please, chrecite-i5v171oose life today. 

     I’ve said all I know to say. So, I’m closing this letter with a reminder: You are loved. I love you. I don’t hate you. I’m not against you. You’re soul means so much to me, because it’s so precious to God. Most importantly, God loves you. Whether you like it or not, He died for you. Whether you believe it or not, He longs for a relationship with you. He doesn’t care what you are now. He just sees what you can be in Him.

     To the one who is confused, God is the answer. To the one who doesn’t believe, what do you have to lose?  To the one who feels unloved, You. Are. So. Loved. 

In God’s love,

 Emily

For When You Just Can’t

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For some reason, I’m expected to get out of bed every morning, get dressed, look somewhat presentable, and go to work. Then, when I get to work, I’m expected to, get this, WORK! And, not only that, I’m expected to be good at it. Well, last week was one of those weeks where I just couldn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and I’m super thankful for it. I work for wonderful people that are like family and most of the time, I really enjoy going to work. But, after 4 months of not one single night of uninterrupted sleep, my adrenaline had finally run out. I felt (and probably looked) like a zombie and my attitude wasn’t the greatest either. Not to mention, it was one of the busiest and most stressful weeks of the year. Also, at home, we have a sweet angel that is starting to teethe. So, you know what that means- even less sleep and even more screaming. Throw a few doctor appointments in the mix and I was just done.  By the end of the week, I was one emotional, exhausted, overwhelmed, on-the-brink-of-a-panic-attack momma. I could feel the stress building inside of me and I knew that I wasn’t being the best wife and mother that God wanted me to be. I was at the end of my rope…I just couldn’t do what was expected of me anymore. I hit my breaking point.recite-120pan5

 

Now, I know that I’m not the first woman to have hit this wall. We have so much pressure and responsibility placed on our life. How can we not break at some point? And, what are we supposed to do when that happens? Thankfully, I have a merciful God and a loving husband that helped me realize what I need to do. So, I’ll share with you what I learned and hope that it helps you out when you just can’t.

 

  1. It’s okay. When I first started feeling overwhelmed, I felt really guilty. I kept thinking, This is what I prayed for. I wanted these wonderful children and this job. I wanted a busy, fulfilled life. So, the exhaustion, I thought, You asked for it! Yes, it comes with the territory of being a busy, working wife and mother. But, it’s okay to admit that you’re tired and overwhelmed. It doesn’t mean that you love your life any less. It just means you’re human, not superwoman.
  2. Cry it out. When I finally reached my breaking point, I just felt like crying. It came like a flood. I sat in my office at work and just cried and cried. It felt good to just let it all out, instead of bottling it in and trying to pretend I was okay. Sometimes, you just have to let it all out. Go somewhere by yourself and just cry. Trust me. It helps.
  3. Ask for help. This one is tough for me. I like to think I can do everything by myself. I always thought it showed weakness to ask for help. However, it’s a sign of strength. It shows that you realize that you can’t do it all on your own. Most of the time, at least in my life, I’ve realized there are people who are ready and willing to help. They’re just waiting to be asked. So, go ahead, ask for a little help. Ask your hubby to take the kids to daycare one morning. Ask your mom to watch them for an hour while you run to the store. Ask your co-worker to help with that project at work. It will seriously save your sanity.
  4. Stop. I feel like I’m constantly going. Even when my body isn’t physically moving, my brain is reviewing everything I need to get done. I don’t think my mind, body or soul is ever in a full state of rest. Again, I’ve felt guilty to just sit and do nothing when there are things to be done. However, sometimes you just need to stop going and just relax. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes each day. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband who realizes when I get really overwhelmed and steps in to save the day. He told me the other day, “Take time for yourself, PLEASE. You need it. Go shopping. Go home and take a nap. Go for a drive. I don’t care, just do what you need to do to feel better.” Well, I decided to take him up on that offer. I let him pick up the girls from daycare and I went home early and did nothing. I tried really hard not to feel guilty about the loads of laundry or the dishes in the sink. I knew how much I needed that time to just rest and how it would benefit not just to me, but my husband and kids as well.
  5. Pray and Meditate. There is no greater form of relaxation than praying and meditating upon God’s word. Just a few minutes a day can calm your mind, body and spirit. According to thehealthsite.com, a clinical study was done to see how praying affects a persons’ mood. Their study proved that daily prayer and meditation lowers stress levels, reduces anxiety disorders, helps you deal with your emotions, makes you happier, is good for your heart and helps you live longer. So, there are many physical benefits of praying daily! There are also spiritual ones, such as, drawing closer to God, learning more about His character, hiding His word in your heart and punching the ol’ devil in the face. So, during your 10 minutes a day, use this time to say a prayer and read God’s Word. It’s the greatest way to spend your time. Below are some Scriptures that I’ve found to be “stress-relievers” and good ones to meditate on.

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

“For thus saith the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15

“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

“Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.” Psalm 116:7

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

 

My prayer is that you will be able to take time for yourself to rest and recharge. It’s so much more beneficial to those around us when we can take a little time for ourselves. You’re not being selfish or lazy, you’re being human. If you feel like you CAN’T today, I’m praying for you. Take some time to do the things I mentioned and whatever else you need to do, so you CAN tomorrow.

 

Blessings,

Emily

The Uncomfortable Zone

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I imagined an area surrounding me. I called it my “comfort zone”. This is the area I felt safe, happy, and, well, comfortable. I enjoyed life in my changeless routine. Day in and day out my introverted lifestyle was working for me. I thought to myself, God can use me right here in my comfort zone. He knows that I’m shy and not a good people person. He wouldn’t want me to do anything I’m not comfortable with. So, with those thoughts supporting me, I set up camp in my comfort zone. It worked just fine for a while. I actually really enjoyed it. Each day, I strived to be the best I could be for the Lord. Things were going really well…for a while. But, once you get too comfortable, then you start getting lazy. That’s what happened to me. I noticed my walk with the Lord wasn’t as strong as it used to me. I didn’t have the same passion that I used to have. My changeless routine became comfortable complacency.

One day, in an almost audible voice, I heard God say, “It’s time to move out of your comfort zone. Whatever makes you uncomfortable, do that.” With a deer-in-the-headlights look, I replied, “What was that? Let me make sure I heard You right. You want me to move out of my comfortable little area that I’ve enjoyed for so long? And do things that me UN-comfortable? But, Lord, You know that I like the comfort this spot brings me. It’s brought me this far. Why break the cycle?” Yet, the Lord continuously chided with me, “It’s time to move out of the comfort zone.” So, with a hesitant heart, I said, “Yes, Lord. I’m willing to do what You want me to do. Just show me how.”

Little things started happening that started bringing me out of my comfort Comfort Zonezone. My two best friends that I was comfortable with more than anyone else moved 3,000 miles away. Who would I hang out with? I’ll have to make new friends? *gulp* Then, my pastor asked me if I would be the lead piano player at church. Before, I was just the keyboard player. No one really listens to the keyboard player. I was just there for backup. I could control the volume and play only what I really felt comfortable with. But, ME be the lead piano player? Everyone would notice when I make mistakes. They would hear every note I play. This definitely made me uncomfortable. But, I, hesitantly, said “Yes”. *gulp* Then, I came into contact with a wonderful, Christian lady who works closely with foster children in our area. My husband and I were already talking about adopting and had even talked to a couple of adoption agencies. But, the Lord clearly showed us that wasn’t the way to go. This lady kept telling us about the foster children in our area and the desperate need for foster parents. I talked to her for about 2 months and asked her a million questions. I began thinking, How could I be a foster parent? It’s too hard. I’d have to deal with so many people, including bio parents. That sounds way to uncomfortable. What would I say to them? All these doubts came pouring into my mind. Yet, the Lord kept saying, “Get out of your comfort zone. This is where I need you.” So, after much prayer, my husband and I said, “Yes” and began the process. *gulp*

I’m still working on completely moving out of my comfort zone. But, I feel like I’m about 3/4 of the way out. There’s still things that come up that make me want to curl up in my comfort zone and hide. But, I’ve realized that when I do the things for the Lord that make me uncomfortable, I see Him work through me more.

The very first time we met one of our foster kids’ bio mom (I’ll call her Kay) I was so extremely nervous. I didn’t know what to say to her or how she’d react to us. We met at the DHS office and the caseworker put us all in a room ALONE together for about 15 minutes. At first, it was so awkward. I avoided eye contact and just kept looking down at my phone. Kay kept staring at us with a look that could kill. I was so uncomfortable. But, Kay’s mom started asking us questions and we all began to loosen up. At the end of the meeting, my wonderful, extroverted, Christian husband, asked if he could pray with everyone. Caseworkers, DHS supervisor, bio family, everyone. They said that was okay and he said a prayer for each person in that room. My heart was filled with such gratitude that the Lord gave me an extroverted husband who is not afraid to be what the Lord wants him to be. Because of him following the Lord’s leading, the relationship with the bio family has been much smoother. The next time I saw the bio mom she gave me a HUG!  After that, at the next court hearing, in the middle of the courthouse, my wonderful husband asked the bio family if he could pray over the hearing. We all gathered hands and prayed right there.

I’m not saying any of this to lift us up in any way. Trust me. In my comfort zone, I probably wouldn’t have even gone to that first meeting, let alone, pray with everyone. But, over the last couple of years, the Lord has worked to move me out of my comfort zone and into my uncomfortable zone for this purpose. He knew that I was too comfy where I was and I wouldn’t be able to do the things that we’ve had to do.

I’ll end with this thought from A.W. Tozer, “When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it resolves a great deal of anxiety.” That’s once consolation that I’ve had through this whole “move” is that it’s making me more like Jesus. That’s all that matters to me in this world and I would move to the moon if that’s what He wanted me to do.

I encourage you, if you’re stuck in comfortable complacency, move out! Ask the Lord where He wants to take you and be willing to go there.

I have to admit, I kind of like the view from my uncomfortable zone.

 

Blessings,

Emily

 

 

How Fostering Has Changed Me

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We have been on this wonderful journey of being foster parents for almost 3 months now. I can honestly say that it has already changed my life in so many ways. It has opened my eyes to so many things and opened my heart to so much more. Here are a few ways being a foster parent has changed my world:

  1. My eyes have been opened to the need. When we first started talking/praying about becoming foster parents, we didn’t realize how many children are in care. Especially in our area, there are about 900 kids that stay in the foster care system on average. There are only about 100 foster homes. That means that A LOT of kids are having to go to the Children’s Shelter, sleep in DHS offices, and get put in to overloaded foster homes. I’m so thankful God pointed us in this direction. When I think that we only have 2 out of those 900 kids, it doesn’t seem like much. But, thankfully they aren’t somewhere dangerous and we have the opportunity to give them a safe, warm, loving home. If more people would see the NEED and actually answer the call, God would faithfully provide the strength. I’m praying more people realize this.
  2. I see what I could’ve been. I’ve always felt strongly that if the Lord didn’t save me when He did, my life would be a wretched mess or I’d be dead. I know the Lord graciously rescued me from the damage that sin could’ve brought upon my life.  When I see and hear what our babies’ bio moms are doing with their lives, I think “That could’ve been me”. I could’ve so easily ended up in the same situation had it not been the Lord breaking me down and saving my soul when He did. Fostering has taught me to have compassion on these women, because I see what I could’ve been in them. And, I see that all they need is God. I pray that, somehow, I can show them Him.
  3. I’ve gotten stronger. Not physically (well, maybe a little from carrying around a couple of 12 lb. babies). But, I’ve gotten stronger in the Lord. I’ve found my source of strength is in Him and I’ve had to tap into that more than a few times. When I think I just can’t do this anymore and I can’t face whatever lies ahead,  the Lord gives me a verse or a song or a sermon, and it just carries me through. There is nothing easy about being a foster parent and that has become more obvious to me in recent days. So, that’s why I’m really thankful for this verse from 2 Corinthians 12:9: “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. ” So very true.
  4. I pray more. This is kind of a given. There’s a bajillon more things to pray about now that we’ve added a couple of sweet babies to our life. In the middle of the night, when one of them isn’t feeling well, I’m crying out to the Lord to touch their little body. I pray for upcoming court hearings, doctor appointments, visits with mom, etc. Sometimes, my heart hurts and I just cry with no words. However it comes out, there’s definitely an increase in my prayer life since becoming a foster parent.
  5. I’m becoming more patient. Well, this is still a work in progress. But, I feel like I’m doing much better! There is just so much waiting that comes with fostering. Waiting for the next court hearing, waiting to hear from caseworkers, waiting…waiting…waiting… I’ve never liked waiting for anything and it is still difficult for me at times. But, the Lord is helping me day by day. I never asked for patience, but I guess the Lord thought I needed more of it! He’s definitely teaching me patience through this experience.
  6. I’ve had to get out of my head. This one has been the hardest change for me. I’m such a planner and try to figure everything out on my own. I don’t like it when I don’t know what is going on. When I don’t have a plan, I start thinking of all the ways things could go wrong. I think up all the worst scenarios and end up feeling really down and out of control. It’s something I’ve had to work on for a long time because it does cause me to not completely trust in God. I foolishly think that I know best and try to work out my own plans. I’m constantly having to remind myself that “my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).” In my heart, I know the Lord has a perfect plan for my life, but my head wants to know that plan right now. This past Sunday, my pastor preached a sermon that really hit home. He used this scripture in 2 Chronicles 20:17, “Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you”.  One of things that he said was, “Stop trying to fight this battle on your own. Get out of the way. Be still. Let God work.” I had been trying so hard to figure things out on my own. When you are foster parent, you sometimes forget that these kids aren’t “yours”. Sometimes we start planning vacations, birthdays, holidays, etc. Then I think, we may not still have them then. And, I get a little depressed. My pastor’s sermon was a reminder that God has this all under control. I don’t need to jump ahead of Him. I just need to be still and let Him work in His way and time.

 

All in all, I feel like being a foster parent has changed me for the better. It has grown my relationship with the Lord and taught me things about myself. One thing that I’ll always be thankful for throughout this whole process, is that God does not change. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever. We can always count on Him.

 

Blessings,

Emily

The Better Coat

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“Delight thyself also in the Lord and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Psalm 37:4

In 2012, this Scripture really came to light for me. I was having a discussion with my friend about this verse and she was telling me how the Lord was wanting to know the true desires of her heart- spiritual, emotional, physical- all of it. That really stuck with me and I began thinking about my desires. Not just my wants, or what I’d like to attain some day. But the deep, personal desires in the depths of my heart. I spent a lot of time praying, thinking and examining my heart to see what those desires were. This was very serious to me and I did not take it lightly at all. After much contemplation, I realized what my longings were. Along with some spiritual, personal desires, I had the longing to be a mother. Some way, somehow, I wanted to be a mom and I let the Lord know that. Little did I know, that this verse and my desire would lead me on the journey that I’m on now. But, it was not an easy process.

Once I discovered my desires, I began to question what it means to “delight” in the Lord. I asked my parents, googled the meaning of “delight”, searched the scriptures, and even tried to look up “how to delight in the Lord”. Silliness had me thinking it was a quick answer and then I would magically receive my deepest desires. Like if I rubbed the bottle the right way, the genie would pop out and grant me three wishes. This went on for months as I struggled with what “delighting in the Lord” means. Months went on and I was still not a mother. I started to become frustrated with the Lord. I knew I loved God and tried to serve Him to the best of my abilities. So, I couldn’t understand why my desires were not being fulfilled. I became desperate. I became broken. I became helpless. And that’s when I found myself at the feet of my Savior. That’s when I discovered true delight in my Love.

There’s no way for me to really tell you what it means to delight yourself in the Lord than with this analogy. Imagine you have a coat. You’ve had it for a while, but now it has some holes and it’s dirty. You’ve been through a lot and that coat has always been there to keep you warm. It’s your comfort zone. It makes you feel safe. You love this coat & you love the idea of it. You love imagining yourself in it years from now and how it’s still keeping you warm in your safe little life. Then the Lord comes along and offers you a brand new coat. It’s clean, your favorite color and has no holes. But, there’s one requirement. You have to take off your old dingy coat, completely forsake it, and put on the Lord’s brand new one. That’s tough. You’ve never seen this coat before. You don’t know if it will keep you warm the same way the old one does. Yet, the Lord lovingly presses you to take what He is offering. At first, you’re very hesitant. You say, “It’s ok, Lord, I’m happy with what I have.” You spend time with the Lord from a distance because you just aren’t sure about that new coat He has. After awhile though, you start to find that coat a little more appealing. Maybe your coat isn’t all that great. So, you start spending more time with God and this new coat, while still wearing your old one, of course. You begin to see that the Lord’s coat does seem a lot better. The dirty one with holes doesn’t seem as appealing now as the new one that your Best Friend is trying to give you. So, you finally make that decision. In reckless abandonment, you take off your old, stinky, dirty coat that has comforted you for so long. And, in confidence you put on the Lord’s brand new coat He’s holding out for you. And, guess what? It feels a million times better and you don’t even remember what that old coat looked like.

That’s what delighting in the Lord is to me- abandoning everything that I’ve clung to for so long and plunging into the depths of what the Heavenly Father has for me. The more I’ve spent with the Lord, the more the desires of my heart have changed. Yes, the Lord granted the longing of my heart to be a mother. It was not in the way that I first envisioned. I clung to the idea, that old coat, of how I thought my life should play out for so long. Then, in brokenness, I finally gave it all up to God and He fulfilled my desires above and beyond what I could’ve ever asked for.

One thing I learned on my journey of delighting in the Lord- He will never disappoint you. He longs to go on your journey with you. He wants you to discover Him. He delights in you. The desire of His heart is for you to know Him.

So, trust me when I say, take off that old coat. It’s not worth hanging onto. The Lord has a much better one. You just have to take it.

Blessings,

Emily

What Foster Parents Need to Know About “Inside Out”

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If you haven’t seen the movie, “Inside Out”, I highly recommend that you watch it! It’s a very cute movie for kids, yet it has some deep messages about feelings, memories and emotions that parents (especially foster parents) can relate to. I found a review from a fellow foster parent on her blog “Foster2Forever” and recommend you read it. She describes it perfectly!

 

Check it out here: 

http://foster2forever.com/2015/06/inside-out-movie-review.html

 

 

Blessings, 

Emily

Blessed Times Two

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I’m thankful for SO many things this Thanksgiving! But, I’m especially thankful for the 2 sweet little girls that we get to share the holidays with this year!! So blessed!!

Blessed Times Two

I’m thankful for God
Guiding us on our new quest.
I’m thankful for “Hello’s”
To our new little guests.

I’m thankful for our girls,
Sweet angels they are.
I’m thankful for the love,
Overwhelming my heart.

I’m thankful for morning,
And when they cry in the night.
When they need me to feed them
And hold them just right.

I’m thankful for cuddles
And kisses galore.
I’m thankful for smiles,
And playing on the floor.

I’m thankful for hands,
Though tiny they may be.
Grabbing hold of my finger,
Trusting I’ll never leave.

I’m thankful for clothes-
They just look so cute!
I’m thankful for dresses,
Bows & Tu-tu’s!

I’m thankful they’re ours,
At least for a while.
I’d do anything in the world,
To see their sweet smiles.

I’m so thankful for girls,
Our sweet little crew.
I’ve been blessed beyond measure,
I’ve been blessed times two!

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!

Emily

Omniscient God

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Omniscient God

So, the Lord taught me a lesson this week. I was fretting about our future, our baby angels’ futures, what’s going to happen to them, what’s going to happen to us, etc. The enemy had gotten a hold of my mind and was throwing doubt where faith used to be. I could feel my heart weakening as I tried to regain control of this situation from God. Through this whole fostering process, I constantly have to remind myself that God is in control. He sees the future, the beginning and the end, and He will not do anything outside of His perfect plan. But, when doubt starts to creep in, I begin questioning God’s plan. I start asking Him, “Why are You allowing this to happen?” or “Don’t You know that’s not good for the babies?” I’m completely humbled when I think of how ignorant that is to question the Almighty God & that’s exactly what He taught me this week. He led me to this verse in 1 Samuel 2:2-3, “There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God. Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”

The part that really stepped on my toes was, “Talk no more exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth.” Yikes! I was arrogantly questioning God’s ways. Thankfully, my Heavenly Father lovingly chastises me and reminds me continuously that He is in control. I’m thankful that He truly IS in control, especially when I feel out of control. I felt the Lord kept telling me, “I AM Omniscient. I AM all-knowing. I AM in control of this situation.” So, I decided to look up the word “Omniscient”, just to be sure I knew exactly what He was talking about.  And, this is what it means:

having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or  understanding; perceiving all things

He was reminding me that HE IS completely aware of my situation. He hasn’t forgotten me. He’s still got this under control. Praise Jesus.

unknown future

Here’s a few more Scriptures the Lord led me to that are a good reminder of His all-knowing character. I pray they will be an encouragement to you in whatever you may be facing today. Remember, even when you feel out of control, God is ALWAYS in control.

 

“… before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” Isaiah 43:10

 

“…I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:16

 

“Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel;  I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.” Isaiah 48:17

 

“Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” Jeremiah 23:23-24

 

“Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” Jeremiah 32:27

 

“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.” Psalm 34:15

 

“The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” Proverbs 15:3

 

“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8

 

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.” Romans 11:33-36

 

And one of my favorite verses…

“Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” Isaiah 46:10

God’s richest blessings,

Emily

My Silent Prayer

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My Silent Prayer

Today was kind of hard. One of our little angels had her first 4-hour visit with mom in the mom’s home. I’m always nervous on the day of visits because I don’t really know what is going on. After every visit, baby girl comes back fussy, she doesn’t make eye contact with me and she just wants me to hold her for a couple of hours until she eventually falls asleep. I know she needs that time with her mom, but it’s so hard for me to see her upset like that. She is only two months old, but I think these visits bring back unpleasant memories.

I pray for these precious angels on a daily basis, but many times they are silent prayers. Oftentimes, I feel like I’m lacking the right words when I come before the Heavenly Father. When I pray for them, I really try to move myself out of the way. But, how do you pray for the Lord’s will when you really want YOUR will to be done? How do you honestly pray for what’s best for them when you feel like YOU know what’s best?  Sometimes, I’m just left silently pouring out my heart to the Lord. No words needed. Just my soul desperately crying out for His intervention.

I wrote this prayer/poem a couple of years ago when my mom was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian cancer. I still pray this prayer many times in many different situations. I’ve learned that even when we don’t know what to say, God hears our silent cries and is faithful to send the needed peace, comfort and strength. So incredibly thankful for that today. Speechless

I’m speechless as I come before You
The world around me rushes on.
I’m so weak and tired, Lord,
But, I know that You are strong.

As, I bow my head before You,
My heart burdened from the load,
I know that You alone are mighty,
To guide me down this unknown road.

The way seems rough & rocky,
With some unforeseen twists & curves;
Yet, I know that You’ll gently carry me
And calm my fretful nerves.

As I pray, my mouth is empty,
Yet my heart has much to say.
Tears come streaming down my face,
And You gently wipe them away.

You see each tear, hear each prayer,
Though silent they may be.
The very desires, cries of my heart,
Are remembered by You, my King.

Though long may be the wait,
And rough may be the ride.
I’ll continue on in confidence,
Assured that You’re by my side.

“I’ll wait patiently on the Lord”
He who shows me, “great & mighty things”.
Because as I’ve learned in Sunday School,
It’s not over ‘til the trumpet rings.

There’s still healing to be claimed,
Still miracles to be done.
Still battles to be fought,
Still victories to be won!

There’s still a King on His throne,
Still a God so mighty & great!
There’s still power in the blood,
There’s still Jesus- He’s never late.

“Be Still” you softly speak to my soul,
My words today are very few.
As I walk along this unknown path,
Lord, I’ll lift my silent prayer to You.

God’s richest blessings,

Emily

7 Things I’ve Learned About Fostering

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Well, this is officially the first post of my new blog. So, thank you for stopping by to check it out!

My husband & I opened our home to foster children on 10/9/15. So far, we have had 4 baby girls come through our home (2 of which are still with us). It’s already been more emotional than I could’ve imagined, but we’ve also learned a lot. If you’re thinking about fostering, or maybe you are a foster parent, hopefully this will be helpful!

  1. Fostering is exhausting -Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically. It’s just draining. Yes, I’m sure being a brand, spankin’ new mom has something to do with it as well. But, when you add in all of the court dates, parental visits, doctor appointments, new daycare, teaching this child a routine, and the unknown of what’s going to happen, it really weighs on you in every aspect.
  2. Fostering takes a lot of prayer. No wait, that’s an understatement. Insert a grander work for “a lot” and multiply it by 1,000 and that’s how much prayer it takes. Not even kidding. I don’t know how people go through this process without the Lord. Several nights I have laid in bed praying for strength, protection, wisdom, guidance, future court hearings, the birth family, these precious foster babies in our home, the other foster children that don’t have a bed for the night, other foster families- the list goes on & on. Justin & I alone require so much strength and help from the Lord that it keeps us praying continuously.
  3. Fostering requires a lot of support. I’m sure there are families that have done this one their own, with no help from family or friends. Kudos to you. However, for us, we rely heavily on help from our families, pastor, friends, co-workers, etc. Not even just physical help, but really the encouraging words mean more than anything. When someone says, “We are here if you need you anything”, “We are praying for you”, or “You’re doing a great job”, those words are like gold to me. If I’m having a rough day, they just encourage and lift my spirit. We really couldn’t do this without the support of our friends and family.
  4. Fostering is a different kind of parenting. We knew this going into it that these children are not “ours” entirely. Of course, we love them as if they are completely and entirely ours, but they did have a life before they came to our home. We have only had babies so far, all under the age of 6 months. Thankfully, we’ve been able to create bonds with them quickly and easily. However, we did miss out on the first few weeks of their life. We don’t know exactly how much they weighed when they were born or what all they may have experienced at home before they came to us. People give us tips, which we greatly appreciate, but sometimes it doesn’t work the same with foster children because they’re experiencing something totally different. They may have not known before what it’s like to sleep in a crib, to get fed when they’re hungry, to be kissed and cuddled, to have their needs met instantly, or just to feel loved and protected. Another difference, there are only a handful of people that can legally babysit our children. They had to be fingerprinted, background checked and fill out gobs of paperwork, just to possibly get to watch our children for a few hours one day. Also, we may not let you hold our baby for awhile, because we are still trying to create a bond with them. We will be the one’s to feed them, change their diaper and put them to sleep for the first couple of months. We want them to understand what it’s like to have consistency and normalcy because they’ve never experienced that before. We want them to learn to trust us as their caregivers and not have to wonder what bed they’ll sleep in tonight or who;s going to feed them and if they’ll get fed. If we can teach them to EXPECT that trust and loyalty, hopefully that will carry over to when they do go back home and they will continue to expect that from their birth parents. So, to make a long story short, foster parenting is quite different than regular parenting.
  5. Fostering requires patience. Here I go speaking in understatements again! I have never been a very patient person. I’m very strong-willed and when I get something in my head, I do everything I can to get it accomplished as quickly as possible. So, needless to say, patience is something I haven’t quite mastered yet! Thankfully, my husband is a wonderfully patient man who is able to calm me down and level me out. So, when it came to going through the fostering process, I relied on him a lot to remind me of our goals and keep me on track!  Anyways, enough about my amazing husband!  😉  With becoming foster parents, there’s so much paperwork, classes, home visits, background checks, meetings- and that’s just before you get a child. Thankfully, our process of becoming foster parents from our very first meeting to the day our house was opened was exactly 4 months- which is not long at all! We had wonderful people working hard on our behalf and I’m SO thankful for that! But let me tell you, those 4 months felt like 4 years! And, now that we have children, we are learning to work with caseworkers, attorneys, the birth parents, CASA workers, doctors, and daycare workers. We are all trying to correspond our schedules to make sure the child is taken care of. Sometimes, we don’t get all of the information we’d like or sometimes we find out about something at the last minute. Sometimes, it feels like we are just waiting until the next court hearing or the next visit to see what’s going to happen. While learning how this whole process works does require a lot of patience, we have, so far, worked with wonderful people who have made everything flow so much smoother!
  6. Fostering has a negative connotation. This actually really surprised me. Thankfully, no one has been negative about it to our face. But, I guess now that I am a foster parent, I hear more negative comments on the news or social media. I’ve heard comments such as, “It would be better for the child to be aborted than to go from foster home to foster home” and “Foster parents are just in it for the money.”  The first one makes me gasp in horror. I know several foster families who are all wonderful people that have selflessly opened their homes to these children. While I’m sure there are some homes that are not good, the majority, I believe, are welcomed havens to these precious children. While it is so unfortunate that these children are put into this predicament in the first place, what a blessing it is that these “strangers” were willing to open their homes to them. I’m not saying this to lift us up in any way. I’m saying this out of respect for all of the wonderful foster families I know that have seen dozens of kids come through their home and have given them a safe, loving place to stay, even if it is just for a few nights. Now, the second comment makes me laugh hysterically. Oh my, trust me, no foster parent is “in this for the money” (or at least none that I know of). What little money you do receive, is literally spent entirely on the child. The board payments we receive barely cover the babies normal expenses (diapers, wipes, formula, clothes, etc.) and I know I’ve spent way more because I just can’t keep myself from buying these adorable little girl outfits they have these days!
  7. Fostering is SO rewarding. To be honest, I first went into this whole thing a little selfishly. I just wanted a little baby to hug and kiss on. But, as we went through our training and heard some of the things these kids go through, I truly felt humbled that God would choose me to do this. Now that we have two precious angels, I wake up every morning feeling so incredibly blessed to be a part of their lives. If/When they go back home, they will always and forever have a piece of my heart. I love seeing them smile, hearing them laugh, watching them grow, and seeing them get excited when I walk into the room. Just to have the opportunity to love them, even if it’s only for a while, is the greatest thing I could ever do with my life.  Being a foster parent definitely comes with its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

God’s richest blessings,

Emily