Monday, April 22, 2013


Devotional we wrote for Buckner for foster care month (may). They will run it in their magazine next month.

One of the most important lessons we have learned in the Christian life is that we are not created to do life alone.  God has designed us of course to have relationships with him but also to have relationships with others.  This can be difficult to grasp, the idea that our relationship with God is not enough, but it is true.  If you look in Genesis2:18, everything is perfect, sin has not yet entered the world, and Adam has perfect fellowship with God.  But God says something very interesting, “It is not good for man to be alone…”  God knew that we needed relationships with others along with our relationship with him because that is the way that He designed.

This fact has become vital for us as foster parents.  There is no way that we can continue to do what we do, and live out this calling that God has placed on our lives without the support of others.  Be it a difficult child or a failed adoption, we need loving encouragement of friends, family, caseworkers, agencies, fellow foster parents, and anyone else we can find so we can continue on this challenging and rewarding journey.  We believe this now more than ever having dealt with multiple situations that did not go as we had hoped.  We were not really sure how we would pick up and carry on. But so many people around us, including Buckner were there to lift us up and we were able to carry on because of the clear picture of Christian community we saw in our lives.

But there is something else we need to consider.  The children who come into our home are the same way.  At the point that they are placed with us they are very likely at the loneliest point in their lives.  And while we often think of their needs we often forget about what Mother Teresa referred to as the greatest need in the world, loneliness.  We must ensure that we do everything in our power to meet this need for the children in our home through getting them involved in activities, helping them meet friends in our area, keeping them in connected with family as much as is allowable and appropriate, and most of all through the loving, nurturing relationship that we ourselves build with them.  Because just as we cannot carry on in this often difficult journey of life alone, neither can the kids from hard places who we have been called to love.  

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Over the past few weeks I have been praying and asking God for normal.  I wanted to feel normal.  I wanted to be able to go places and not worry if the child with us is going to have a melt down...I want children who like me (our current placement could take or leave me)...I want school to be easy for the children in our home...I don't want to have to explain to others why we do things differently...I don't want to have to answer to everyone for every move we make (CPS, foster care workers, etc)...I want normal!

Yesterday as I picked up our little one from school and his teachers were telling me that he had a rough day.  And when we say rough we mean rough- hitting, screaming, then complete shut down. I got in the car and began to pray (which I have to do in situations like this before we decide to discipline); I prayed that God would teach me how to discipline so that one day we could have a normal day.

And as God always does he reminded me what I really wanted.  I wasn't asking for normal, I was asking for easy.  All those things I wanted were easy and made life less difficult.  But easy isn't normal.  What should be normal is that we are compassionate towards others, that we love people where they are but spur them on to greatness (especially little ones) and we do life together with others.  When you do all these things it's not easy but it should be what's normal for us to do (no matter if it's easy or not).

When you look at our past two years in foster care and just in life in general the right thing was almost always not the easy thing.  As I prayed for many different situations I always felt God was saying no.  I even told someone the other day, I just want God to say yes to one of my prayers-when it is my turn?  However today I am grateful life isn't easy (that our family doesn't look or do things the "normal" way).  It's a constant reminder that we need God and that I must take my ideas of normal and throw them out the window.  The healing process isn't pretty and I have to be in constant compassion mode.

And as I was reminded of this my anger was gone, my voice was no longer mad, and the rage I felt as I heard what he had done at school was gone....I saw him as God sees him and was thankful to be apart of his healing process.  I'll take that over normal any day!