Seven Months With Precious Brothers

my favorite thing about being a foster parent_dumas

We said yes and opened our home and our hearts once again seven months ago. This time for two little boys that were ages two and three. They are spunky, cautious but loving, stubborn, confused, hurt, and very silly little boys. They are Gods perfect little gifts who just needed a safe and loving place to grow and to heal.  So, like many times before, we said yes!  Yes, even knowing that a transition one day would be unbearably hard and that the loss would eventually hit us.  Yes, knowing that one day all we would have is the memory of them and that we would miss so much.

A lot has been shared in seven months. Our family has made some special memories as we’ve committed to meeting their every need. Loving and caring for them has been difficult at times, but I’m convinced that living out your life’s passion doesn’t happen easily. God always provides the tools and he gives the right resources, but being obedient and taking on big tasks comes with some hard moments and lots of lessons learned.

Together over the last seven months, we experienced the loss of my husbands (Kent’s) two brothers and we faced some hard sad times. We also shared the fun and happy things that are involved with five different holidays together. (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines and Easter) It was an added bonus that both of the boys were able to celebrate their Birthdays in “Woodward Style”. (Loud and crazy chaos) They also helped in celebrating six of our family member’s birthdays during that time frame. We helped the youngest as he went through two surgeries and got many of his medical needs met. Both of the boys received emotional and developmental assistance to help with their care. We have practiced our patience over and over again…as we’ve taught them both how to communicate their emotions and deal with built up hurt and anger.

Seven months that may have flew on bye but that will never be forgotten. So many things shared within our family of twelve. Over time and with God’s grace we will heal… and we will learn to be a family of ten again.

There will be so many things I (we) will miss…

I’ll miss there little feet running to the table eager to eat anything served.
I’ll miss the excitement in their eyes when they have done well and are praised.
I’ll miss the silly songs, the little dances and the crazy jokes that make no sense.
I’ll miss reminding them to slow down and chew with their mouths closed.
I’ll miss watching paw patrol and power rangers every chance that they got.
I’ll miss the fits that have brought break through and helped in their healing.
I’ll miss teaching the simple things, like water doesn’t hurt and toilets are to pee in.
I’ll miss dodging action figures, LEGO’s and other toys with every step. 
I’ll miss having little clothes in the laundry and many more miss matched socks.  
I’ll miss reading, singing and talking to them about Jesus.
I’ll miss them taking turns and even arguing over whose turn it is to pray.
I’ll miss watching my other children love and adore them.
I’ll miss hearing them say “Mr. Kent will you hold me?” every night before bed.
I’ll miss them learning new things and watching the joy in completing a new task.
I’ll miss covering them up, giving them kisses and hugs and watching them sleep.  

So much to Miss!!!  But I won’t miss Praying for them. I know that God will continue to meet their needs. He has done it before, He will do it again. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  His love is sooooooo much greater than ours for them. 

So, when I miss all of these things and much much more…I will do the only thing that has worked many times before. When my heart aches and my head is full of memories…i will do what always brings me peace…I will PRAY! 

Our God will hear…Our God will protect…Our God will answer!

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I am in LOVE!

Zlove1

I am in Love!

I am in love with today!

Because it’s a gift given, with every breath I take.

I am in Love with my husband!

 Because with every moment shared, I am reminded of two souls that became one.

I am in love with my children!

Because the gift of love with each of them, is one that keeps on giving.

I am in love with my Granddaughter!

Because she reminds me every day, Gods perfect plans maybe different then our own.

I am in love with my parents!

 Because they taught me love can be hard, but nothings is too hard for our God.

I am in love with the Foster children God places with us!

Because every little difference we make in a child’s life, is a big difference to their heavenly father.

I am in love with my friends!

Because we help each other receive blessings, even in the chaos of life.

I am in love with tomorrow!

Because I know who holds all of our tomorrows, in the palm of His hands.

I am in love with my Jesus!

Because He has shown more Love to me, then I could ever repay.

I am in Love!

Because “God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us”.  

1 John 4:11-12

 

“Love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God”. 

1 John 4:7

 

ZLOVE

Are you a Magnum Opus?

YES you are!!!!

To God you are “His Magnum Opus!”  

mag·num o·pus
noun
1.) a large and important work of art, music, or literature, especially one regarded as the most important work of an artist or writer.
2.) a great workespecially :the greatest achievement of an artist or writer
No doubt a writer or artist has a deep passion for what they do. They have an end goal when they start on their work of art. They work on precisely carrying out their plan so someday they fulfill their end goal. Allowing their work to reach its sole purpose.  It takes time, sometimes years…But they move forward, don’t give up and keep focused.
You can read stories written from the heart of an author and you can see artwork from an artist that reflects their passion, dedication and commitment to their work. They strive for the ultimate Magnum Opus.  Each of them have important and even great works, but they strive for and work diligently towards their “greatest achievement.”
When I was much younger, my mom told me “You are God’s Magnum Opus” “You are one of Gods greatest accomplishments” “His most important work.”  That analogy and profound statement has always stuck with me. 
God himself, not only planned me, but he had a sole purpose for my life when he uniquely designed me. He did the same for you. He started working on that beautiful masterpiece in my mother’s womb and is still carrying it out to completion. He is precisely planning on my behalf and working things for my good. He has created each and every life with the same heart and deep passion. He strives for excellence in us.  But he accepts the mistakes and the do-overs that we may need. He never gives up on us. He works diligently on our behalf, as our lives and his masterpiece, continues to unfold. 
Look at your self today with God’s eyes. In your failures, your self-doubt, your disappointments and trials. Remember through all of it, God does not see them the same as we do.  He sees the beautiful in the midst of your ugly and he already knows the  outcome of what he started in you.  He sees you as one of his greatest joys, a prize possession, a work of art…and one of his greatest masterpieces. Embrace that!
Let others know who created you and how special, miraculous and beautiful all life really is.  And then, let YOUR life reflect the wonderful “Magnum Opus” that you are. 

A Passion Pause

When Storms Come

Have you ever been in the middle of a storm? With it raging all around you? Where there is no clarity or feelings of peace? I have. And guess what? It’s been more than once, even more than twice. Let’s just say, I’ve experienced my share of storms…and so will you.

Sometimes the storms we face come on fast and strong, then seem to quickly pass and fade away. When things clear up, our outlook on life is often brighter and we have learned something from our storm to use in our future. Just be careful not to hang onto that last drop of rain, doubting that the storm has really ended or never learning anything from it.

Then at other times, the storm we are in the midst of, intensifies over a period of time and reaches a climax that seems unbearable to us. As the winds howl and things continue to pour down, we can completely loose our focus and even our footing. We try to make sense of our waves of emotions and we rely too much on ourselves to weather the storm out.

Whether it’s a thunder storm that we’ve anticipated and been able to plan for, or the dreaded torrential down pouring that happens without warning in our life…our God remains the same and He has the power to calm all of them! Our anchor has to be secured through Him alone.

If you happen to be in any kind of storm right now (big or little) Remember, that He is the only anchor that will hold. He is sure, certain and safe. He (our anchor and our hope) is steadfast, firm and reliable.

It is not in our own confidence that anchors our soul, but the sure reality and belief that Gods promises for us are true. This is our anchor. And this is what we are to lay hold of when our feet may begin to stumble or wander within our storm.

When we put our trust in Christ, our eternal hope, we can make it through any storm that may come our way.

How do we lay hold of something, when we are drenched in the middle of uncertainty? 

I too am practicing this…but here are 5 things that have helped me in the midst of the many storms I have faced and am still learning from.

1. Read your bible! You have to know without certainty that your hope is in the eternal presence of God.

2. Pray! Ask God to open your mind and heart to hope in Him alone.

3. Remember how much Christ has suffered for you and your hope. (Wow… what an anchor right?)

4. Praise Him throughout the storm no matter what. Give Him praise for His Faithfulness, Strength, Wisdom, Mercy and Grace.

5. Think about other Christians (family & friends) who have weathered their storms holding onto their hope in Jesus. Lift up and encourage others. Share your testimony of faithfulness during and after your own storms.

May I suggest you start here:

Mathew 7:24-27 -Christ our solid rock

Hebrews 6:19 -Hope an anchor for our soul 

Colossians 2:5 -He is with you

Psalm 107:28-31 and Matthew 8:26 -He calmed the storm

Nahum 1:7 -The Lord is good

 

It is what it is…but it really isn’t!

it is what it is

I have definitely said that at times. And in many cases, it has helped me to process whatever it is that has been presented to me or someone I love…a little better.

The easiest way for me to deal with something out of my control is to think “it is what it is.”   

But guess what?  It really isn’t!

It isn’t what has been presented or what I may see it as.  And it never will be!  

It’s completely fine to think “It is what it is” if in our hearts we can know that “it really isn’t.”

Situations beyond my control become a little more bearable and understandable (I didn’t say they were easier) when I take the next step and fully trust God and cling to His eternal hope.  I have learned to accept that God is the only one who sees what really is.

He is the only one who understands all the details of the masterpiece He is creating with our lives. And God uses every “it is what it is” moment that we face. He uses our every pain and our deepest hurts.

When we look to Him we can make more sense out of something that seems so senseless. We can cling to the promise that His plan is far greater for our lives than we could ever comprehend. We can move forward knowing that everything out of our hands is really in the best hands ever! 

His plan is far too complex for any of our knowledge. It is much too beautiful for our eyes to visualize.  Our broken hearts could never grasp how all the pieces will perfectly be mended together one day. How He works things out for our good will always be far beyond what our minds can understand. 

But He is working!

And what IS really ISN’T.

Learn to trust Him with ALL of lifes moments.

Open your heart, mind and soul to Him.

Remember “It is what it is…but it really isn’t.”