Monday, September 29, 2014

My Pampered Feet - A Guest Post By My Husband Buck

Okay, I will be honest. Being a guy, pampered is probably not the way that most people would describe my feet.  I don’t get pedicures, I stand on them most of the day, and then idea of someone rubbing them gives me the creeps.  And according to most people, while I would say my feet are just manly, many people would refer to them as gross. 

But my feet should be thankful.  I let them breathe in the summer, I keep them bundled up in the winter, I wash them at least once a day, and they always have the right pair of shoes for the occasion.

This is especially true when I run.  I have been a runner for about 8 years now, and in that time I have learned the difference the right pair of running shoes makes, for performance as well as for health and comfort.  In fact it has become routine that the first thing I do when preparing for a race is go find that perfect pair of shoes.  Yet for my upcoming race many people will go to the complete opposite end of the spectrum. Many will run with no shoes at all.  But this isn’t without purpose.  In fact it is for one of the highest purposes possible, meeting the needs of others.

You see on October 4, 2014 I will be running in the Shoesfor Orphan Souls 5k put on by Buckner International.  For 15 years Buckner International has been collecting new pairs of shoes to take to areas around the world where they serve.  In that time they have provided over 3 million shoes in 76 different countries. You can find out more about what they are accomplishing here

Why does all of this matter? It matters for two reasons. The number one reason being that there are people in the world who do not have something as simple as shoes for their feet. And because of this they not only live with all kinds of discomfort, but they also leave themselves exposed to all kinds of diseases.  This isn’t right.  And I am thankful that someone is stepping up to do something about this and that I can be a part of that in some small way.

But the other thing is that we need to be reminded of the things we take for granted.  Like I said, my feet are blessed. But guess what, yours are too. Whether you get a pedicure every week or wear sandals all the time your feet and in turn you are blessed.  Too often we take for granted the little blessings in life or even take on a woe is me attitude because we do not have enough. For example, thinking we do not have the right amount or the right kind of shoes.  But instead we should daily be thankful for how blessed we are in comparison to the world around us, and look for ways to share our abundance so others can be blessed as well. Instead of complaining and thinking of ourselves let’s look for ways to care for others and meet their needs big and small. And donating a new pair of shoes might just be the perfect way to start. 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Family and Friends

So blame it on pregnancy, on the fact I cannot remember the last time I slept through the night,  or on the rain, but this weekend I had some time to do some thinking, thinking about our family and friends.

Six years ago when Buck and I were planning our wedding I never would have imagined just where God would bring us.  I had big dreams-I was going to change the world.  I had great friends, a family who supported me and was marrying into a family that adored me (I mean that had accepted me in as their family).  I knew that God designed us for others and that we needed other people to help us truly understand God's love for us.  But I don't think I got it completely-just how important  those relationships are to me.

Fast forward to now….six years later, 5 years of marriage, new friendships, old ones lost or made stronger, loss of family members, 8 foster kids, 2 adoptions, a baby on the way, and the list goes on…

I am grateful for the people God has placed in my life, who our on this journey with me.  I would not be who I am without them.  We could not do what we do without them.  I can see how each person who took time to invest in me has shaped me.  The list is long, I am blessed.  Some of you I wished I met earlier in my life.  So where am I going with this….

This weekend at our church was parent dedication.  The pastor asked all the friends and family of ours to stand up and come to the front to pray with us.  I was overwhelmed with the sea of people who stood up to pray with us.  People of all ages, from all walks of life who invest in not only us but in our kids.  As I reflected on it I couldn't help but be overjoyed to know our kids have all of them to be a part of their journey, of helping them become who they are to be.  Buck and I realize we can't do it all for them, they will need others.  For every person there I could think of some that could not be there and I think my kids are covered….covered in love, covered in prayer, covered with people to have fun with, people to cheer them on.

 And that was it.  You ask what do you mean by it? It was the first time I looked at us and saw a family. It felt real!  I have been asked many times when did you first feel like their mom, or how does it feel to be an adoptive parent.  I never have had a great answer for this because we love every child who comes through our home.  But yesterday, I was not an adoptive mom, I was not a member of a transracial family, I was not foster mom…we were a family.  I look forward to seeing how each of you will play a role in our kids life, whether you are to teach Niki to love reading, how to accessorize her outfit, how to love people, how to throw a softball--- or teach James how to keep a wicked beat on the drum, how to slide into home, how to be a friend.  What a journey it will be and thankful God brought us on this journey with our people!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Summer's over

Can it really be September?  I feel like I woke up and my summer was gone.  And what a summer we had. To give you a recap (a quick one I promise) it went something like this....

In May we adopted James as seen in our last post.  One week later, yep that's right a week later we find out that I am pregnant.  We then leave for Pennsylvania to visit Buck's dad.  Several trips to and from  Longview to visit friends and family, swimming lessons, Niki's birthday, a niece being born, Camp Buckner,  sending off some of my favorite people to college  and that brings us to now.

September brings changes for our family.  But to tell you the truth we are always going through changes!  Buck has began a new job at Sunnyvale ISD. We were both sad to leave Mesquite ISD (Poteet specifically) but this has been a great move for him.  He loves his job and the people have been so encouraging and love on our family.  I am still getting use to having to wear blue and yellow instead of green but I am sure it will come natural soon.

Also with new baby Baskin on his/her way in February we have decided to take a break from foster care placements for a while.  We are staying on as a respite family so we can help out when needed.  And though I miss having  placements in our home, it has been a nice time to settle in as a family of four and prepare for the newest forever member of our family to arrive.

With all the new and change in our lives it has had me thinking about what changes do I need to make in myself to make me a better wife, mom, friend, etc.  I am always thankful that we have the opportunity to change and grow.  As we enter (soon) fall it reminds me of getting rid of the things that might need go and make room for the new.  So I challenge you to join the Baskin's in making the changes and being ready for new whether that means letting go of bad relationships, changing jobs, or finding a place where you can serve ( I suggest serving at Buckner but there are many things you can do). I will leave you with this, some lyrics from a song I use to sing as a kid but the words make more sense to me now than then.

He's still working on me
To make me what I need to be
It took him just a week to make the moon and stars
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient He must be
'Cause He's still workin' on me

There really ought to be a sign upon my heart
Don't judge him yet, there's an unfinished part
But I'll be better just according to His plan
Fashioned by the Master's loving hands

He's still working on me
To make me what I need to be
It took him just a week to make the moon and stars
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient He must be
'Cause He's still workin' on me

In the mirror of His word
Reflections that I see
Makes me wonder why He never gave up on me
But He loves me as I am and helps me when I pray
Remember He's the potter, I'm the clay