Sunday, July 23, 2017

Why Do I Do What I Do?

This week, we added a kiddoe to our family for the week. A 9 yr old boy from The Bronx, through the Fresh Air Fund program.

This is our second year as a host family. Last year we had a young girl from a very broken family. It was a long week, tho she was not terribly difficult. It was just a situation that required me to be hypervigilant every second of every day. We invited her back, because of several things that happened during her stay, things that confirmed that we were doing what God called us to do. However, she did not accept our invitation to come back. (I don't know the reason why, but trust God knows that we did our best)

This year, we have an amazing 9 yr old boy. His mom contacted me and we chatted before he arrived. We have been in contact every day via text. He is obviously a well loved, well adjusted child... his presence in our home has not been disruptive in the least bit. He has made friends with my kids, both my boys and girls. They play games for hours. He doesn't fuss or fight (so far) lol

Last week, right before this kiddoe came to stay with us. I was listening to the radio and praying. There was a lot of anxiety in my house as we prepped for him to come stay with us. I was questioning my own judgement, when I heard on the radio.. I am going to paraphrase here "God has given you this gift. STop throwing it away. Stop being embarrassed by it. Stop acting all bashful when someone compliments you on it. Let God show His fully Glory through you".

So the question is raised.. why would I take on another child, specifically a young black man from the The Bronx? Don't I have enough on my plate?

Reality is, God has been revealing that I care too much about what people think. I care too much, when people think there is no way I could possibly parent all these kids in a healthy manner. (Granted I am far from perfect and fail often. I am sure that my kids will all need therapy someday) :) But I feel like I constantly have to prove that I can do it all, alone and well. God has been revealing to me, that this is not what He has given me this gift/talent for.

A talent is something that you are instinctually born with that gives you unique skills and abilities. Talent is set apart from knowledge in that it is not a learned behavior, although it can be strengthened and practiced. The Bible tells us that we are all born with distinct talents and gifts that set us apart from each other. When you discover the talents that God has given you and you use them to glorify Him, you will experience a full life! Our loving Lord wants us to feel whole and complete, and it is through talents that we can find our unique calling in life! Use these Bible verses about talents to encourage yourself and others who are seeking God's plan for their life. (stole this from

So I have been mulling over this.
When I was 16 I became a nanny to two young boys. (that are now college athletes! :) ) When I was a young widow, I started doing foster care. I also opened a licensed daycare in my home. I had a constant string of kids from the local youth center in my home. I did respite for a local program for single moms. I went on to adopt 6 kids. I did all of these things because I LOVED doing them. Not because I needed the money, not because I needed a job, but because this was my passion. I love kids. I love the chaos. I love watching kids experience new things. I really love allowing kids to see the amazing world that God made for us to enjoy. I really love bringing city kids into my home and allowing them to experience the animals, the grass, the wild fun..

This is my gift and my talent. This is who God created me to be.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

So when I have 7 kids running around my house..
My windows and floors are always dirty...
there is never enough food, not matter how much I prepare and they are always hungry an hour later
when they fight and scream and I get discouraged..
when we can't go places because we have to take the wheelchair, and the place isn't accessible..

It doesn't mean I am a failure..
that I shouldn't have so many kids....
It doesn't mean that I should stop serving..
It doesn't mean that I have overextended myself..
It simply means I am having a bad day...

I can thank God for His Gift, so that I can be used for His honor and Glory..
That serving these kiddoes brings me joy
Watching the next generation show the love of Jesus
Watching the next generation get excited about helping new kiddoes experience things that are old hat to them...
watching as MY kids forget that they were once those kids in awe of everything..
that my house is never quiet or lonely..

what is your talent or gift? Are you using it? Are you allowing God to multiply it, to grow it into something big and beautiful, and maybe just a little crazy?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Beach Day

We went to the beach today..
   We don't do birthday parties.. instead we do a family memory day.
           So Elizabeth had a birthday today and she chose to go to the beach.
                It was the perfect kinda day.

Matia asked if we could go to the beach for her birthday. I decided I was ready to try another beach trip. It's been awhile. I don't particularly like hot, sandy beaches. I don't like lugging stuff up and down the beach. But I do enjoy a nice cool day on the beach.

So we decided to go to Slaughter Beach. I remembered that somewhere around 6 years ago we had done a daytrip to Slaughter Beach. Would you believe that despite being extremely directionally challenged and always getting lost, we made it to Slaughter Beach and parked at the same spot we did 6 years ago?

Slaughter Beach is not a nice fancy touristy beach. It is a quiet, dirty, little beach. You park by the fire house.. if you go early, you will have the beach to yourselves. It's not that clean, but it has clean bathrooms. It is handicapped accessible and it is only 2.5 hrs from my house.

We picked up Miss C, my mother's helper. She was excited to join us on our trip. I wanted an extra set of hands to help with Nesiah. I was so thankful for her help. It totally lightened my load.

WE had the most delightful day. The child we were celebrating has had some struggles recently. We are working hard at having healthy relationships.. But today was just the perfect kinda day.

We picked up Miss C at 8:30 am. We never made it to the beach until 11 am. But the beach was empty when we got there. We parked, unloaded and unleashed antsy kids.

The kids had such a  total blast playing in the waves. The water was just perfect and this momma could relax. We had a picnic lunch and dinner packed.  The kids had brought a stack of books, they played catch and football..

I got to sit back with  Nesiah while Miss C played with the kids. Later I got to play with the kids while she sat with Nesiah. I laid down and almost dozed off.. yes, with 6 kids at the beach! I took a long walk down the beach with 3 of my kiddoes. We found horse shoe crabs and lots of fun rocks.

At the end of the day, after we had eaten dinner and everyone was doing one last thing on the beach.. I walked down to the edge of the water, to breath, to pray, to just be.. (you know with 6 kids that doesn't happen very often). I love to see the powerful waves, the beautiful blue skyline and just marvel at our Creator's beautiful design. I imagine heaven will have beautiful waters and skies..There is something about the ocean that is good for the soul.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Jumbled Thoughts...

I have been mulling over a lot in the past couple days..

Do you know that there are actually quite a few stories in the Bible of how God provided for the widows? God used the widows to do his work? They are prominent women that God chose to use for His glory..  As a widow with a lot on her plate at the moment, that has been very comforting.

Lately, I have been mulling over the stuff my kids went through before they came to me. It is their story to tell, not mine.. We live a "normal" life.. a life where we do things like normal people do, we are a little weird maybe? Ha. But reality is, every one of my kids has endured things, seen things, suffered things that I can't even imagine. Some things they remember, some things they don't, some things they heard/felt in the womb, some things they talk about, some things they refuse to talk about, some things fester, some things brew, some things bring healing, some things are best forgotten, some things are best worked through...
 It is my job to discern who needs what and when.. to help them talk through it, walk through it.. I am a matter of fact sorta person. Life is hard. Deal with it. Pray, talk, process and let go. Life is to short to hang on to baggage. Unfortunately each kiddoe has their own personality type and this makes it hard to meet them where they are at..But with wise counsel and lots of Holy Spirit guidance, we are making progress..

All that being said.. I am often in awe of everything my kids have overcome. They are the statistics. They are the kids that were in the system. They are the black kids, that spend their early childhood years abused, homeless, moving from foster home to foster home, older child adoption... Now being raised in a single parent home... They are the kids that should be doing drugs, making babies and in trouble with the authorities. But they are not. They are strong, country kids. They spend their days playing with animals and playing legos. They dream of wild camping adventures, visiting amish relatives, being the next president, being missionaries.. I have put up some strong boundaries. They are going to be happy, carefree children as long as I can possibly let them. They are going to dream big dreams, they are going to be able to be anything they want to be..

 Father's Day.. For some of my children this day is hard. For other's it's a sad reminder.. For others it brings anger.  They hate church on Father's Day.. I used to get them to make their crafts/cards etc.. for their mentors or grandpa. They don't want to do that anymore.. They don't want to do Father's Day.  So.. we won't do Father's Day. We will take the day off, we will talk through their emotions, if we feel motivated we will do something fun, if we don't we will just be home.... some of my kids have birth fathers out there, we know where they are, and we know why they are there.. others have no identified birth fathers.. others we don't know where they are.. Fathers Day seems to bring up birth dad discussions.. One of mine seems to think his lives with the Lone Ranger... He also was quite proudly telling all his friends where his birth dad "lives". SMH
There is sadness cause they wish God would not have taken away Mesh (my late husband, who died before they came to live with me). They wish he was here to be their father.. Some are angry cause momma refuses to look for a new daddy for them. Ha.
There is Jesus in Heaven, who provides and loves them.. He is their father, and they must wait until they get to heaven to have a daddy...

I watch my friends with housefuls fo little ones, fostering, praying for their adoption dates etc..I remember those days. I remember the older wiser foster parents telling me, it only gets harder.. it is true, it has been harder then I ever imagined it would be. But reality is I would not trade all this for all the world. I am so thankful for this journey I am on, I am thankful that I get to parent these kids. I am officially the mother of one teen, another one soon to be a teen. We have been through a lot together, no matter where we go in life, I want to remember the slow days of summer... the summer days where playing with dogs, legos, cats, goats, swimming in the neighbors pool, or at the pool with friends, going to the library, listening to hours and hours of Jonathan Park, and just being home together.....