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A Prayer for Our Country

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A Prayer for Our Country

Last week I was sitting in church when we began singing these lyrics . . .

“We call out to dry bones, come alive, come alive!
We call out to dead hearts, come alive!”

At the time I had no idea what our sermon would be about.  However, here is what came to my mind.  At this time in our country’s history, what would happen if we as a church began to cry out to our political leaders and institutions the invitation to come alive and if we called out to God to revive the dead hearts found in the halls of our country’s government institutions?  How would our country change?  This isn’t about a political party or affiliation.  I hope that we are not naive enough to believe that any human party has a corner on the market of Christ-likeness.  This is about realizing the need for us as a church to be about the business of the Kingdom.

One of my religion professors in college once said this, “The Kingdom of Heaven is not a pipe dream.”  In other words, when Jesus entered this world he ushered in the Kingdom of Heaven and while it may not reach completion until we arrive in heaven, that in no way negates the fact that he calls his followers to be about the business of bringing that kingdom here and now.  We are positioned at exactly the time and place that needs the Church.  Needs us to reject the idea that one ideology or political party has all the answers.  Needs us to reject the notion that we have to question each other’s faith if we question their vote.  Needs us to reject the easy path of only listening to those who agree with us.  We need to engage, to listen, to love, and to fight for the Kingdom of Heaven.  It is not a pipe dream and we have a responsibility to work towards its realization on earth.

So, as I sat in my seat and listened to the song I began to pen this prayer.  And as the sermon began I was surprised to find the message was connected to this same topic.  Maybe God was trying to tell me something.  Maybe he’s trying to tell us all.  Will you join with me in praying this over our country?  And will you join me in the fighting to bring about the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth?

Be with our leaders—in each branch of our government
Be with our leaders—in community organizations, churches, and non-profits
Be with our leaders—in town councils, schools, and emergency services
And be with us—the citizens who stand in this divided time

Where there are dry bones and dead hearts, we call out “come alive!”
Where there are hardened hearts, we pray that you would open them with your grace
Where we have closed ourselves off, we pray that you would break our hearts for what breaks your
          heart
Where there is fear that has left us paralyzed or hiding behind closed doors, remind us of your
frequent call to “fear not” and strengthen us in your power
Where there is mistrust and resentment, enable us to risk understanding where others are coming
from

Where there is hurt and past scars, give us the grace to forgive and move forward
Where there is selfishness and greed, reorient us to your kingdom values
Where there is hatred and anger, overpower us with your love and allow us to see our enemies as
your children whom you love with an overwhelming fierceness
Where there is division, fill us with unity, help us to be peacemakers

Help our leaders
Help our churches
Help us
          to be the standard bearers of your image
          to honor you with our words and actions
          to stand for all your children
          to remember who our neighbors are
          to work to bring your kingdom on earth as it is in heaven
Help us, Oh Lord

Kind of a big deal . . . maybe

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It’s hard to manage expectations when you work in the foster care system.  Nothing is certain.  You make plans, but you can’t count on them to work out because so much of your life is placed in the hands of caseworkers and judges and other people you don’t even know.  That being said . . .

Thursday may be a big day for Little Man and I.  He has a new caseworker, and she recently left me a message regarding our court date on Thursday.  She told me that bio mom is ready to sign a conditional surrender, with the stipulations that we send a letter and picture each year.  This condition is fairly normal for foster adoptions.  If this happens it would greatly speed up the process of adoption and help us avoid a long set of court dates to approve a TPR (or termination of parental rights).  She also said it may happen at court on Thursday.

I don’t want to get my hopes up too much, because this could fall apart.  There are a million factors that could get in the way. But, if not . . . this is a big deal, and some really good news.  And after the past few months I’ve had, I could really use some good news in my life.  So let’s all cross our fingers, say our prayers, and wish on stars that this works out this week!

Little Man Turns 3!

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There is so much I need to blog about when it comes to Little Man’s world, but tonight I’m just going to share a few pics of his special birthday! Today was his 3rd birthday. We started out with his favorite breakfast, waffles and bacon, in our dining room surrounded by pics of him. (A tradition I’m stealing from my awesome friend Renee, who has taught me so much about being a good mom!)

Then we went to the park where I supervised a visit with bio mom. Then he went to school while I frantically cleaned, shopped, and decorated. Afterwards I picked him up and took him to swim lessons. Then we came home as he opened his presents from me before friends came over for his party.

We managed to fit about 14 adults and 7 kids in my tiny apartment. It was insane, but he had a lot of fun. And we had the best birthday cake ever- and it was all gluten free! So yummy! Thanks Amy for rocking that cake!

Here’s some photos of our day:

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Kicking and Screaming

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Little Man’s school pictures came in and they’re adorable. I framed one, as well as his Easter Bunny pic. For days now he’s been carrying them around the house and setting them up in whatever room we’re in, like they’re his priceless treasures. Poor guy has probably never seen framed pics of himself before. Today the school pic finally made its way to my dresser. Which is a great place for it right now as I’m listening to him try to tear down the house in his “I don’t want to go to bed” tantrum. Reminds me of his sweet side despite the fact that he’s nearly kicked the door off its frame.

I remember getting the placement call and thinking “Great! He’ll sleep through the night.” Oh, naive foster momma. Bonus: he’s learned that if he stands at my door and screams “owwey” I have to come check.

In other news, mealtime is six degrees of insanity. I may have mentioned before that Little Man used to be fed by having food left out for him in the living room all day. He would graze whenever he wanted. So regular mealtimes are a foreign thing. I’ve finally got him convinced that food stays in the kitchen/dining room, but getting him to sit and eat is an epic battle each time. I have a booster seat high chair with straps, but he prefers to sit in the adult chair. If I let him sit in the adult chair he gets down every 60 seconds or so to go play, bring a toy to the table, or some other craziness. In between getting down he takes bites of food, but mealtimes are never ending. If I put him in the booster with straps he throws a major tantrum, including throwing his plate, cup, silverware, placemat – basically everything within his grasp. And the result is he doesn’t eat a single bite. Augh! I’m worried that he’s not eating enough, but I’m not sure how to solve the problem.

I’ll just take a deep breath and go look at that adorable picture on my dresser.

Here’s one I can show you from Easter:

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And here’s one from the zoo today:
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And here’s what he was up to tonight. He climbed into the dryer because he liked the way his voice sounded inside there. Then he shut the door as far as he could and giggled.
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Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

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It’s been a little over a month since Little Man came into my life. It’s hard to believe, everything has changed so quickly. Going from living on my own to a parent of a toddler has rocked my world. But in an incredibly beautiful way. It’s been hard to keep up to date on here as I juggle parenthood, work, foster appointments, and more. I know, there are lots of busy parents out there, but seriously . . . how many of you can say you have to take your two year old to go visit his lawyer?

Anyway, lots has happened. Mom is now back in the picture and Little Man has begun having visits with her. Simultaneously he has stopped sleeping through the night and now wakes up screaming “No!” and crying for an hour and a half to two hours every night. He has also started hitting more and biting. I found out additional info about his home life before he was placed in foster care, and it was soooo heartbreaking. I sat at my desk and cried as I read about it.

And a lot of fantastic things have happened too. His vocabulary is increasing exponentially. Back in January he was essentially mute, now he is talking all the time and using three word sentences. His speech therapist and case worker are so excited. I am too, of course! His newest sentences is “I love you.” Which isn’t surprising since I say it to him all the time. I don’t think he really understands it though, seeing as how I caught him saying it to the broom too. He is feeling more and more safe and comfortable at home and is acting like a normal two year old, getting into everything!

We’re having lots of fun together! It’s so exciting to experience things with him for the first time, knowing he’s probably never done it before in his life: the zoo, the giant playground, the lake, the indoor playground at the mall, eating in a sit down restaurant . . . It’s all so precious! Once he realized that the zoo had more than one animal he was in heaven. He kept shouting “More, more!” Today I picked up a tricycle for $5 off Craig’s List and he had a blast riding it around the house and helping me plant flowers.

Here’s some photos so you can see just how adorable he is. I wish I could show you him rockin’ his sunglasses and the awesome video of him falling asleep as he’s eating. There are no words for the adorable-ness!

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Spring cleaning in January

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I’ve been living gluten free for about two and a half months now. Back in October I got very ill and despite a week in the hospital and endless tests, the doctors couldn’t diagnose the problem. So I’ve made some radical diet changes in an attempt to find a solution. One of those changes has been going gluten free. Despite the fact that it’s been several months, my pantry was still filled with gluten. I kept thinking if I got a foster kid it might be useful. However my pantry was starting to explode. I wish I’d taken a picture, it was kinda scary. So today I cleaned out all the gluten.

All this came out:

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And this what my pantry looks like now:

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I can finally find things again!