Yes, Jesus loves me

If our rocking chair had a odometer attached, I wonder what it would read. How many miles I have rocked on this emotional marathon of parenting and foster care.

Tonight I sat back in it's familiar soft embrace, with a little girl who is spunky and scrappy and has stolen my heart. She moved in last Sunday. We pray she will be ours forever.

She snuggled against me wrapped up in her blanket, drinking her evening bottle with heavy eyes.

Jesus loves me, this I know 
For the Bible tells me so.

My mind wanders as I sing the familiar words. I think about all the babies I have loved and rocked in this chair.

I think about the ones we loved fiercely and grieved their leaving so deeply it felt like a death. A private, uncomfortable grief that no one quite knows how to comfort you through. I miss them, our five boys - their absence weighs on me still. I start to count the years and wonder if little D is in preschool this year. Did he have his first day of school? How did it go? Was he brave an…

His grace really is enough - an update on our fostering journey

Sitting in the safety of my living room with dear friends gathered around me, my jumbled, teary answer to the simple and sincere question came bubbling out.
"Where are you guys with fostering?" For months they've heard my angst. The tug of war between my heart, my head, and God's call. We are four years in to this fostering journey, believe it or not, and it's time for our biannual license renewal. As this season of paperwork and trainings (trying to smash the last of our 40 hours of required training into an already full calendar) loomed, my heart and head were in full out revolt. And I had a lot of valid reasons.

This summer, chronic back pain I had been experiencing for years came crashing in on me and it was fairly debilitating for a season. After chiropractic and orthopaedic and physical therapy appointments I still wasn't feeling strong enough for the physical demands of caring for a baby.
"Clearly," I thought, "we should be done fostering…

Count the Cost

Perhaps you and your spouse have thought about adoption or foster care for years.

Maybe it's a brand new thought but it keeps coming up everywhere, seemingly out of the blue.

Your church might have recently spotlighted the orphan crisis and uncomfortable thoughts keep needling their way into your mind.

Suddenly it seems that there are billboards about foster care and adoption everywhere you go, adoptive families who keep crossing paths with your life, common threads in conversation, in radio programming, in blog posts.

You hear the phrase, "Not everyone is called to adopt and foster," and you heave a sigh of relief. Perhaps God is calling to to be a support family, to intercede for orphans in prayer, to raise awareness. Or perhaps, perhaps, God is nudging your heart that He is leading your family to step into the hard places of foster care and adoption, and you're running scared.

My husband NP and I were those people running scared for a long time. And then God made…

Why you shouldn't homeschool your kids.

As leaves fill the trees, graduation parties fill the squares on our May calendar, and thoughts of summer vacation fill our minds... questions about homeschooling tend to fill my conversations this time of year.

Homeschooling is a fantastic fit for our family. We love it, our kids thrive with it, and I am so grateful for the privilege of teaching them. I love the intensive time of discipleship and relationship building it gives us and the intentional way we can engage life together as a family.

Will we homeschool all the way through? I don't know. We are confident God will guide us step by step.

Would we do this again? Absolutely.

Could you homeschool, if that's what God is calling your family to do? No doubt.

But should you homeschool? I don't know. I can't answer that for you.

What I can tell you is that fear isn't a good reason to do [or not do] anything.

Are you considering homeschooling out of fear? Or are you considering homeschooling because you believe God m…

This one's for you, Mama.

This one's for you, Mama.

For you when weariness wakes up with you - when sleep is fleeting, eyes are heavy, no coffee strong enough.

For you when tantrums rage and you cry hidden tears of frustration and exhaustion.

For you when you read the news headlines and look at your precious ones and fear lurks at the edges.

For you when children stretch tall and hormones rage and doors slam and every emotion possible somehow shares the same ten minutes.

For you when no one can find their shoes.
Matthew 19:13-15 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When He had placed His hands on them, He went on from there. Familiar verses... but linger a moment with me, Mama.

Some days our work feels small, unimportant, unworthy of notice. That's how the disciples saw these mothers wi…

A morning prayer for less

I mentioned before that I started "quickly" reading through Matthew in September. Yep, still in Matthew. Still marvelling at Jesus. At His Kingship. At His kingdom. His kingdom is so opposite of our natural inclinations.

You want to save your life? You'll lose it.
Lose your life for My sake - and you'll find it.
You want to be great? Humble yourself; come like a child.

The more we deny and empty ourselves of self, the more we experience the reality of His kingdom, His Kingship, in our lives.

So today as I begin my morning - looking out at the frosty grass touched by the Creator's ice-tipped paintbrush, at birds fluttering here and there, each one seen and known by its Maker - I ponder. What if today I became less? What if this day, and everyday, this was my prayer:
More of You
Less of me
In all I do
All I see
I sink low
To lift You high
Because You live
Today I die. Be great in my life today, Lord. Be lifted higher. I'm at your feet, King Jesus - forgive me for snea…

Growing up in Babylon

Reading news headlines brings back memories. Thoughts of water park trips, the feeling of dropping at dizzying speeds through twists and turns of slides with names like The Toilet Bowl. The thrill, the moments of breathless panic, the utter exhaustion.

It makes me want to hold my breath - this downward, ever faster, desperate pull of our world. Huddle the kids close. Strap lifejackets on tight. I don't want them caught in the undertow and pulled to the deep.

As culture degrades, politics divide, social media dishes depravity and broken identity, how do we help them find their footing? How do we prepare them to stay afloat in the deep, not try to isolate them on the shore?

Today we finished the last page in Long Story Short. As we have journeyed through the lives of Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah - men growing up and living for God through exile in pagan Babylon - the truths they held close, truths that inspired faithful lives in an unfaithful land, ring out loud and clear.

Better than a …