How do people do 365-day photography challenges?  19 days has stretchhhhhhhed my creativity and excitement.

I feel pretty much done here, folks.  But I somehow feel I’m on the team, and can’t let the team down.

When I got married, my husband brought prehistoric plants from his mother to our home.  When we had a bunch of little kids, I forgot to water them, and they started dying.  He finally took them to the shop, where they thrive on little more than wood dust.  ( The story is much longer, like when he asked me if I was killing them on purpose, but I won’t bore you with the rest.)

Several years ago, my friend told me succulents were hardy (and oh, so cute!).  I bought some on clearance one summer, and they aren’t exactly thriving, but they ain’t dead, neither.







Today I did paperwork alllllllll afternoon.  At 4:30, I escaped outside into the 50 degree (!) weather just before the sun went down for one of the shortest days of the year.  I almost missed it.

The only thing wrong with a micro lens is not being able to pick one picture for the DPP.  Pity, that.








Morning diversion.




I try to walk in the mornings to clear my head and pray before the day starts.  The temperatures and the wildflowers this week have been perfect.  Add fresh dew, and I can’t stop myself from trying to capture the magic.

We have had our foster baby for five months now.  I have been wrestling with God about what is best for her.  It is natural for mamas to be protective of their kids, and want them to be happy.  Sometimes we tend to think we are our little one’s saviors, and it is up to us to make sure our kids’ names are written in the Book of Life.

When I was telling my pastor about how hard it is not to have any control over Baby’s future (or the future of any of my biological children, for that matter), he said we tend to pray good things for our kids.  But he has started praying for the best thing:  that his kids’ faith would be greater than his own.  This statement went straight to the heart of my struggle.

No matter where Baby ends up in a permanent home, do I not believe God can call her to himself there?  Does she have to be with me in order to be saved (and safe and happy?).  No.  Therefore, God has been merciful in showing me how to loosen my grip on this precious life, as I ask him to hold her tightly.  I pray her faith would be greater than mine, and that his name would be glorified through her.

Loosening my grip helps me think about the role I play in this dear little person’s life.  I am her advocate, as my friend keeps telling me.  I need to make sure all the people involved in her case are informed, and aware of the problems surrounding her.  You assume they know things they don’t.  I am learning that a ward of the state needs someone to be a voice for them, and I am that voice.  I need to keep learning as much as I can to make sure this child is treated with justice and mercy.

God isn’t only taking care of the least of these through us, but growing the hearts of my family as well.  My youngest daughter didn’t have much to say about the baby when she came to live with us, besides pointing out how horrible her soy-milk spit up smelled (she had a point).    Now my youngest is responsible for making up a baby song (all of our kids had a made-up song we sang to them to cheer them up when they were sad).  She got up with the baby early one morning this month.  When I got up and saw her feeding the baby, I was shocked.  I asked her what was up, and she simply stated, “Someone had to do it.  You always get up.”  Then she handed me the baby, and went back to bed.  She now wants to hold her, and takes great joy from Baby’s newest developments (eating her first solid food the last 2 weeks has been a hoot).  I can almost see our family’s hearts growing, as our love for this baby permanently alters us for the good.  God uses humble things to do his mighty work.

So I am thankful.  Thankful for this little one I have the privilege of loving, caring for and praying for today.  And thankful for how he is molding and shaping our lives through her, even though knowing this is temporary is oh, so hard.