📸 cred: https://harleyjayphotography.com I wrote this for an Instagram post for a ministry called Freedom Movement September 2018. It was interesting having only a certain number of letters allowed to fit in the post. I could’ve written many more words … Continue reading
One year ago I got a call about a 21 month old baby girl that needed to be moved from her current foster home. After about 1 minute I knew that she needed to be in my arms. In my … Continue reading
Empty bed, full heart.
Moving forward is hard. But that’s our job. Our job as a foster home is to create a stable loving home that feels like family. That’s what we did. The pain is the proof of that. Words can’t explain what my heart feels like. If you have seen a foster child leave your home you can understand. The pain that I feel is a mixture of pride for a job well done and pain with the loss. The job of loving her well has not been on my and Matts shoulders alone. My sons have shown unconditional love to a hurting little person who has pulled their hair, slapped and punched them, bit them, spit at them, rejected their hugs and kisses and screamed at them. Their resilience and commitment to loving her (and even moving forward to take another placement) shows me so much of what love is. They have reaped the reward as she has learned what love is and reciprocated those kisses, hugs, and I love you’s. They have watched a fighter turn into one who knows love and stability too. If you’ve seen them talk her down from a fit you would know how much they have stolen her heart. Reminding her to take a deep breath to calm herself, reasoning with her, giving her two appropriate choices, telling her they love her forever. I’m so proud of them. My extended family loving her so hard and showing so much grace. My entire church and community close and far, stepping in to shower her with gifts and hand me downs, the offers of babysitting, dinners, and especially the tears, concern, encouragement, and prayers. Thank you all. Job well done. But today I grieve.
For the past almost year I have documented, observed, watched, shared, every detail of this person’s life and now I have no idea how she’s doing. I have no idea what her room looks like or what she ate. I have no idea if she’s crying for me, her dad, or her brothers. I have no idea where she’s going to go to school. Basically I have spent so much time energy, money, thought, heart, loved and fed and loved and held, like I’m supposed to, and now it’s just supposed to end. It’s really strange. Being that I have four boys, it’s also hard to gauge how they’re feeling. I’m sure I will see some behavior issues and the next months with my little guys as a result of their heart not being able to communicate in words how much they miss her besides the occasional, “I wish G___ was still here.” And just when we get that settled down we will probably be ready to introduce a new adventure to our house.
As I drove away with my precious little thing crying for mama dada, my heart shattered into 1 million pieces but I had to stay strong, at least a little strong, for the other four kids in my car. Strong but vulnerable so they can see the loss but feel secure. The four kids that are my forever kids. The four kids that no one can take from me. One of my wise children at age 7 said that Faith is trusting. Today I find that so true. Today I have to have faith that there is a bigger plan from a good Father that I can’t see. A plan that includes her not living with me but still thriving. I pray that this plan includes me being a part of her life as Auntie Mama. A plan where she is a game changer, a voice, and an advocate in a place that I can’t reach. A plan so much bigger than what my heart can see. This is Faith. Thanks for lending your heart to journey with us. Well done and my heart is full from a heart of love. Love that cost me something.
Jeremiah 29:11 MSG I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
The whole Starlight Bethel Album has really been so good for me but this song keeps tearing up my heart.
“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.”James 1:5-8 MSG
This really hit me this morning. I am so glad that I have a plan when I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing! Two weeks ago a couple besties and I had nice cry sesh over a text thread about somethings going on and how we had no idea what we were doing. And the constant questioning whether or not we are failing our children. We were all encouraging eachother in the fact that we are all just trying our best, that we don’t know what we are doing, it’s hard, and that the Lord has enough grace to bless our strengths and cover our shortcomings.
Last week I had a hilarious and so nourishing vent/comedy hour with some of my sisters and mom after a meeting at church. It had been a trying day and the weather was so hot making anything hard harder. As we stood out there in the cool air of the night we all confessed hilarious laugh/crying moments from the day or just motherhood. As we stood out there showing our worst, we all felt so great as we walked away knowing that we are okay, we aren’t failing, and we aren’t the only ones. As I thought about it that’s reason that I started this blog. My life has gone in a different direction by adding foster kids to it so time for this blog has not been possible but my heart for this connection is still there. I know there’s plenty of mom blogs out there but it’s so nice to have a channel to express myself. So I’d like to open up the invitation again to any moms having a laugh it or leave it thoughts to share, victories or disasters, Pinterest fails and DIY domination, whatever it it stirring your heart.
Remember we have someone we can go it when we don’t know what we are doing and your doing a great job!
The hubs said that my blogs start with downer stories but I’m just being real people. But sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes it’s hard to just get out of bed bc it’s early and everyone is sleeping. Sometimes it’s hard to get a shower so you feel human. Sometimes it’s hard to get the dishes done so that it doesn’t look like a cafeteria with nobody working. Sometimes it’s hard have motivation to put away the laundry or even wash it. Sometimes it’s hard to be consistent with the little ones when all you want to do is look away and pretend you didn’t see whatever they did. Sometimes it’s hard to drive to a visit knowing how it will be. Sometimes it’s hard to make all the appointments knowing that I’ll be driving 2 little kids all day. Sometimes it’s hard to not think about how life was before we opened our house-fantasizing how easy it was. But that’s all that was just a fantasy because it was never easy. Sometimes it’s hard to think what will happen if she leaves our home. Sometimes it’s hard just to make it through the day with any patience left. Sometimes it’s hard to have anything left for my hubs or meetings at the end of the day. Sometimes it’s hard to do personal or spiritual growth because I’m so busy or just tired. Sometimes it’s hard to love! Sometimes it’s hard to think of others. Sometimes it’s hard to clean at the same mess you’ve already cleaned up three times in one day. Sometimes it’s hard to know if I’m doing all this well or messing it up. Sometimes just it’s hard period!
So I heard this song today it spoke to my heart to keep fighting. Keep fighting for what is right, for what is true, for love. I want to be fearless in my love for Christ and the knowledge that it IS splashing over to others. I want to be fearless and pushing away the lies they tell me that I’m not good enough, that I will fail my kids or hubs. I want to be fearless in my daily surrender.
Anyway, I guess I am already fearless. I’m guessing you are too. When I choose peace in the midst of chaos, I am fearless. When we purposely walked our family into Foster Love knowing it would be hard and it would be messy and it would hurt – we are fearless. When I choose joy in the midst of stress I am fearless. When I suck it up, make a healthy dinner for my family and clean it up, I am fearless. When I brave the parking lot to try to get a parking space 1 minute before the kids get out of school, I am fearless (ok I’m joking about this one). When I make a new friend when I’m actually almost too tired to talk, I am fearless. When I stand up for all my kids, I’m fearless. When I pray over each of my children at night for protection, guidance, wisdom I am fearless! I carry the love of the ultimate Father and He is love. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love cast out fear…” 1 John 4:18a
It’s time for me and you to own this. I am Fearless because the creator of all of this my friend, my Father, and my comforter. I’m not sure what you believe, you’re entitled to your own opinion but that knowledge is what makes me fearless. “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.”Proverbs 31:25 NLT
I’m an extrovert so I usually love the fast pace of the life that we have. I love all the different experiences my kids get to have as we journey through this life navigating all of the twists and turns but there’s something about an easy-paced-pajama-wearin-chalk drawin-cloudy-Lauryn Hill listening-playin-with-a-box-kind-a-day that makes my heart swell.
Ecclesiastes 3 :1 To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven
There was a text message that I sent to mama friends one morning and it spurred an idea. What if we all shared crazy moments in our days? Would it make us all feel a little more normal? grateful? Would it add some much-needed laughter or even pent-up tears after laughing? Anyway, it seemed like a good idea. Then I logged onto Facebook and saw this…
Seeing this confirmed my thoughts. Let’s share our crazy and get uplifted in the meantime.
This is the text.
Note to self: Never forget how hard it is to be a mom with a bunch of young kids.
The day starts when hubby’s alarm goes off at 5:20am, and then again at 5:30am, and then you wake up hubby. 6:15 baby wakes up let him talk in his crib until you get up at 6:40am. Throw hair in a messy bun. 6:42am start breakfast. 6:50am 16 yr old girl showering in front bathroom + 9-year-old boy pooping in the other=3 year old peeing in kitchen. 6:55am clean up Pee off rug, 2 kitchen towels a child’s apron, pajamas and his mini boxer briefs. 7:02am Ask hubby to change baby’s dirty diaper. 7:03am sweep ants off of my legs 7:04 sweep ants from under the table out the door 7:05am finish getting breakfast hot and then put ice in it to get it cool enough to eat. 7:06am find lunch boxes. 7:07am make lunches. 7:10am listen to boys complain about having melted ice in their oatmeal 7:30am style 2 boys hair. 7:35am clean oatmeal off of the baby, the baby’s hair, the babies chair, the babies bib, pj’s, the ground. 7:38am hubby pep talks me about lowering expectation of what I will accomplish today. He kisses us all. And the babies wave and yell as 2 big boys & hubby go to school. Followed by the teen. 7:40am wonder if the baby actually ate any of the oatmeal. 7:41am 1/2 way clean up breakfast. Put away lunch stuff. 7:43am clean up baby again after sticking his hand in the peanut butter jar.
8:05am 8:12am eat my nice cold breakfast 🙂 8:15am decide to start a blog about it
And some days are just like this!
Watch this video awesome from the ladies at The Girls with Glasses
It pretty much sums up the life of a Mama Living the Dream!
Follow the Mamas on this blog and start using the new hash tag #MamasLivingtheDream on instagram when you have a love it or laugh at it Mama Moment!
Comment at the bottom if you can relate!