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Maddie’s senior prom.

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I missed Maddie’s prom last year when I went to visit my oldest daughter in Indiana.  This year I tried to redeem myself by taking LOTS OF PICTURES.  I’m thankful Maddie was a gamer and balanced on those high-heeled shoes out in the field.  She aerated the lawn with them, too.

I have realized how important it is to be present for my kids.  They don’t ask for much-Maddie didn’t need help getting ready, and I didn’t need to prepare anything.  She just wanted me to be there to see the process, the finished product, and celebrate the moment with her before she went off to dinner and dancing with her friends.  And I gladly did it.  What made it even better was listening to her favorite comedian and belly laughing while trying to paint the stairwell.  I’m thankful I didn’t roll down the stairs.

Love you, MP!

 

March 13: Fresh.

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Best definition of fresh:  the way kids smell when they come in from playing outside.

March 12: Tells a story.

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I gave this picture to my husband a decade ago?  I wanted  him to know I would do it all over again, because it hasn’t been easy.

Our pastor asked us if we would tell our story to the congregation.  I am all about sharing what God has done in our lives, because it is good to remember.  But when it comes down to it, it is difficult to shine a light on our brokenness, and consider all the people that have been affected by it.

When I was a young woman, I had my story planned out – it was a story with no attachments, a lot of money, and complete independence.  Then I met my future husband.  Then I got pregnant.  Then my story changed, and He started revealing His story to me.  I am so thankful God wrenched my plans from me, and what I thought I was giving up, wasn’t worth having.

“8Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.”  Philippians 3:8-11

 

March 10: Sign.

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One sign of warmer weather:  the indoor cat is out.

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March 9: Round.

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March 4: Smile.

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If you know Marcus at all, you can hear the deep, rumbling laugh that accompanied this smile.

March 2: Look down.

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When we were first given this church, I remember looking inside and being disappointed by the decor:  white paint over paneling, and bright orange-red seat cushions.

Now when I look inside our church, I see the bride of Christ, and she is beautiful.

March 1: Light

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My camera is collecting dust except for projects I have to shoot.

I mentioned a photo project to my oldest daughter, who assumed a “mention” meant I was planning on it.

So here I am.  If I can do something fun with my daughter who lives over 600 miles away, then let’s do this thing!

This picture was taken yesterday, when my third daughter was trying to tie a scarf before school.  She isn’t a morning person, and the scarf wasn’t cooperating.  Hence, the scowl.

I love you too, honey.

 

{1 Photo – 31 Days} Photo Challenge

February 26, 2014

in Photo Challenge 2014

March 2014 {1 Photo} Challenge - I Heart Faces

Why we should do foster care again. Even though it’s nuts.

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On a day in November, just shy of her first birthday, our foster baby’s great aunt came to our house to take baby home.  It was quick, but not painless.

Our hearts were broken, just like we knew they would be.  But they are steadily mending, like we knew they would, too.  Baby’s aunt has called to tell us she is doing well, and she even sent some pictures.  This does our hearts tremendous good.  But…it is still difficult to think about loving a child again who isn’t legally mine, because my heart doesn’t know the difference.  A friend expressed it well, when she said her heart needed a switch.

As I have processed the why’s of engaging the broken foster care system, I have come up with the following:

We live in a broken world, of which the foster care system is a part.  God calls us to be his restorative agents of the broken things.  We are not equipped to do this emotionally, physically or mentally.  But He equips us.  He loves us and these kids.  Our hope is in Him, not the system.  When we pray over these precious children we are stewards of for a short (or sometimes longer) time, we believe our Father hears us, and is already working in their lives.  Furthermore, we are unable to love the moms and dads of these kids on our own.  But God gives us love and compassion for them, too.  I am amazed to see God changing my heart as I pray for our baby’s biological parents – that I feel grief for them, and hope God restores their lives, too.

As we all know, when we think we are sacrificing and helping someone else, God is usually helping us more than we could imagine.  When baby departed, she left expanded hearts in all our family members (and church members, too).  My kids, who didn’t necessarily love babies, loved her.  And we are all better for it.

Even though we don’t consider ourselves racist, we have had to admit we don’t understand what it is like to be a minority.  When my husband walked into a gym with a lovely brown baby to watch our daughter’s volleyball games, he felt the heavy weight of stares.  And it made him even more protective and loving towards that baby to know she would grow up feeling those stares sometimes, too.

Finally, baby’s caseworker wrote me about baby’s adjustment to her new home:

I am so glad that baby had the care that you and your family gave to her…..a big part of the reason that she has adjusted as well as she apparently has is because your family gave her a very stable, loving, nurturing nine and a half months of care.  She was, and remains, a very well adjusted little girl which has enabled her to make a smooth transition to where she is now.

When we left your house with baby, the aunt was feeling horrible because she saw how hard it was for baby to leave your family.  She said “you know this is a little bit right but it’s also a little bit wrong.”  And I don’t think she could have said anything more true.

Someday I may publish her picture, so you can see the little person who changed our lives.  But for now, be certain she is not a faceless statistic.  She is known and loved.

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