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Freedom | Identity Now Found Blog

How Is Your Foundation?

Yesterday we (finally!) had some repair work done on our foundation. With the shifting Texas soil and now-decomposing tree roots under the house, the back of the house has gradually been sinking. So, out came the men with the tools and shovels and goodness knows what else for most of the day. It was loud and definitely unsettling as I stood in the kitchen feeling the ground move beneath my feet.

Once they left, we were able to shut doors we haven’t been able to shut in a long time, things were cleaned up outside, but inside there are quite a few cracks that will need some patching and a little repainting.

I got to thinking about how there are often times in my walk with God that I have to go back to my foundation: to the basics of Who He is and who He says I am. I will find myself looking around the walls of my heart noticing that things aren’t working as well as they used to…there are a few cracks that indicate some shifting beneath my feet. Maybe I’m getting easily angered and snapping at my kiddos with a harsh tone. Maybe I’m not as patient as I usually am. Maybe I’m worried about all the things I “need” to accomplish.

Whatever the indicators are, inevitably they remind me to stop and take a look at my foundation. Who is God? Do I really believe that He’s sovereign and fully in control? Do I really believe that He loves me without condition? Who am I? Am I walking in the truth of my identity in Christ? Am I following the guiding Voice of the Holy Spirit? Am I trusting in my Father to take care of my needs?

It takes time and intentionality to stop and ask these kinds of questions. And often it feels uncomfortable and unsettling.  But without the asking, the foundation will continue to sink as I keep on denying the true problem. Any “patching up” I do is in vain if I haven’t worked on the foundation first. It will have to be done over and over again as the cracks get bigger.

But, if I fix the foundation first: trusting in Who God is and walking in who He declares I am…then the patching up will be done with the confidence that this will be lasting change. How can I possibly be patient with three individual kids declaring their individual needs at the same time if I’m not walking like Christ? I just don’t have it in me to do it on my own. But once I habitually walk in that secure relationship with God, trusting in His love and forgiveness, patience (and the fullness of the character of Christ) will be an overflow in my life as opposed to something I have to muster up.

How’s your foundation doing these days?

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Now Found Blog

Vote vs. Action

Vote vs. Action

In the wake of the recent elections, I have to look back at how all elections are portrayed. Its almost like the Armageddon preachers on the side of the street. The end is near, the end is near, but haven’t we heard that in every election? And why is it that we only hear about this every four years? Do we truly believe that a vote is more powerful than action? Do we believe that voting is our only action?

Although I am a Christian in this nation I do not believe that I live in a Christian nation. I live in a republic, full of all kinds of people, which makes us a blended nation. With that said, I do not find in the Bible that America is or was God’s chosen land, and believe it our not we are not His original chosen people. Yes I know Christians are grafted onto the tree, through the grace and majesty of our Lord, but that doesn’t mean the same thing.

So what am I trying to get at? In Luke when Jesus its calling His disciples, they not only had to express with their voices that they would follow, but also had to get into action. Imagine this: after Saul gets knocked off his rocker and finds Jesus, he turns his name to Paul and simply votes that Jesus is Lord. He doesn’t go throughout the land testifying that the disciples he once was hunting down to kill, were correct in their faith. He doesn’t end up writing two thirds of the New Testament. Would Christianity have survived?

I was listening to Pandora yesterday on my Matthew West channel and this song came on talking about this same thing. The question posed in the song is: why doesn’t God do something about the world, all the evil, sin and hatred, about the starving children, about the orphans and widows? The answer is in the chorus, “He did, He created you.”

When I was lost, I hated Christians much like Paul did when he was Saul. I, like him, strove to murder them, only I wanted to murder their faith, trying to tear apart their faith with science and logic. Ironically that is how Christ found me, but that’s a different story. Part of the reason I had that anger towards Christians is because so many talked with their lips, voted against me in their elections, voted against me with their judgments, picketed their hatred of sin, while sinning themselves, hypocrites.

But one man, one of the Found, not just a Christian by birth, not just a Christian by church, but someone who had conversations with Jesus, someone who loved others, who instead of just voting his convictions and faith, acted on them. He was honest with his struggles and didn’t present himself as perfect. And he was always ready to act at the prompting of the Holy Spirit, Who told him to go buy me a Bible when I needed it most. It was that Bible that I was reading when I became saved. Jesus found me weeping on my bed, reading His word in Matthew in June of 2002, greatly because a man chose loving over judging, helping instead of watching, action over simply voting.

What is the Holy Spirit saying to you?

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Adopt | Foster Now Found Blog

Overflowing Love

It has been a month of go-go-go for our family, as I’m sure it’s been for yours. Yes, we had Thanksgiving, but truthfully that was the simplest day of the month for us. I mentioned back in September that we were undergoing the licensing process to become foster parents. Well, at the end of October, we received our license and just a few days later, we got a call that made a wonderful new change to our family!

God has blessed us so much in this process! Yes, making the change from two to three kids is an adjustment, but any parent can tell you that. It has been for me a time of quite literally trusting God with this day alone. Trusting him with the things that absolutely must be done today to give me the strength to endure. And, especially trusting Him with the things that are not necessary for today and can wait…trusting that the world will not implode if I put off laundry for one day.

In fostering, I am amazed at how our territory of influence has grown. We have a list of people all new to us that we will now see on a regular basis. No longer are we in our “comfy” church friends and family only bubble. We have government workers and doctors, social workers and receptionists, biological family members, volunteers, case managers, attorneys and so many more who we now have the privilege of meeting. And in listening to the guiding voice of the Holy Spirit, in time we can have those moments to speak into lives that otherwise might never have known the love of God.

What a beautiful thing it is to remember that none of this is about me. Not the middle of the night diaper changes…not the bottle washing…not the appointments…nothing. It is about the love that God has poured out over us that we get to pass on to a little one who needs love right now. It’s not about the accolades from others who are proud of us. It’s not about facing the doubt that different people share as they wonder why we’re doing this.

It is about one more open door. It is about being open to God leading us through this day, equipping us for right now. It is about giving. And in giving, we have received so much in return! We have received slobbery baby kisses and the opportunity to see our bio kids smother this one in love. We’ve received a wonderful compliment from a CPS worker who said it was such a pleasure to see foster parents enjoy being foster parents. In remembering that this is not about us, God has given us a peace each day where we don’t have to live in fear of wondering where this precious one will end up. We are a chapter in this life. God knows the end. And for now, He has entrusted this gift to us.

Will we have this little one forever as our own? We just don’t know yet. That isn’t important right now. Today is the day the Lord has made. He will equip us for today and we will trust Him with tomorrow. But the giving of love today, we trust, will not be in vain. Giving love to another never returns void.

 

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. There is such an incredible need for foster and adoptive families! I challenge you, rather than just giving an immediate excuse as to why this doesn’t apply to you, to sit with God and your spouse and pray about God’s heart for children who need a temporary safe place or a forever family. Ask Him how you can be a part of this incredible opportunity to love on some amazing kiddos. There are so many ways…become a foster/adoptive family, volunteer as a CASA worker, volunteer as a respite worker, take a meal to a family who is fostering or newly adopted, watch bio kids for the parents who are getting licensed, donate clothes and other baby or kid items to a closet benefiting foster/adoptive families and pray, pray, pray for those families…there are nearly endless ways to help. We couldn’t have done it without the help we received and we are so very thankful to each and every person who has freely given their time to help us get to this place.

You may also like: Room for One More and THE Question Everyone Asks

 

If you’re a foster/adoptive family or are considering it, visit Chosen Ones!  God brings special families together and this amazing ministry provides support and encouragement to make these families successful.  They have immensely blessed us in our journey and I can’t imagine having walked this road without them!

Categories
Adopt | Foster Now Found Blog

Room for One More

Pixabay-baby shoes-505471_1280

Years ago, Steve and I discussed our shared vision for adoption. I haven’t included this in my bio or posted anything about this subject up until now, I suppose, because this is still an “in the works” heart’s desire. But in the midst of our preparations for our lives to change, I felt a need to share our heart for foster care and adoption.

We get the question “Why?” a lot…sometimes in words, but usually just through people’s eyes.

Why go through the hassle to open your home to kids you don’t know, possibly face danger or hostility and be inconvenienced like that?

Why, when you have two amazing kids already…why do you want more?

Why, when you’re homeschooling and your schedule is already so full?

Why, when you aren’t overflowing with wealth and have to watch your spending very carefully?

There’s some truth in those honest questions: it won’t be convenient…we are content with the kids we have…our schedule is full…we are very prudent with our finances and don’t often get “extras.” But when God spoke to us, His voice of invitation trumped all the objections.

He gave us a desire years ago for a house full of kids…not really a specific number, just a bunch. He also gave us a clear vision statement for our family: There is always room in our home and our hearts for just one more.

One more child…one more friend…one more family member…one more son or daughter-in-law…one more grandchild…one more person who is searching or lonely…one more.

So, where are we at in this process right now? We are at a place where we are unable (aside from a healing miracle from God) to have more biological kiddos. We have kids who are amazing helpers and love babies, who are intelligent and caring. We have completed the classes, the required reading, most of the forms. We have a few hoops to jump through before we are certified to be foster parents, as our agency assures themselves of the safety of our home and the character and readiness of our family.

The kids ask several days a week, “When will a baby come?” And I reply, “Soon…just a few weeks…whenever we’ve finished our requirements and God says ‘It’s time.'” Soon…

So, why? Because God has adopted us. He is willing to deal with our messes and be inconvenienced. He is our Provider and isn’t concerned about what money is or isn’t in the bank at this moment. He knows that kids aren’t a burden in life, but a blessing. He is our Protector and will keep us safe in every situation. He has given us the calling to homeschool our kids as well and He will give us the strength and wisdom to adjust our other commitments as needed. Why? Because He loves us. He has invited us to partner with Him in loving those who have been neglected and abused, forgotten, and cast-off.

“Religion [A spiritual life] that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” James 1:27

Perhaps He is inviting you in some way too. Maybe He’s asking you to say that you are willing to be inconvenienced…to trust more in His power than your own…to set aside the plans you have that make perfect sense by the world’s standards and be open to His plans that are beyond your own logic. Maybe we can turn our “why’s” into “why nots”. Just a thought.

 

You may also like: Overflowing Love and THE Question Everyone Asks

 

If you’re a foster/adoptive family or are considering it, visit Chosen Ones!  God brings special families together and this amazing ministry provides support and encouragement to make these families successful.  They have immensely blessed us in our journey and I can’t imagine having walked this road without them!

 

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