A Passion Pause

Are You What You Do The Most Of?

Are YOU what you do the most of?

I mean, if you worry all the time wouldn’t you most likely become a great worrier? And If you drank continuously you’d probably become an Alcoholic. So, It’s also likely if you gossip you’ll become a fantastic gossiper.  And If you complain, boast about yourself, or spend your time Lying….all day or most of the time…..Well, you get the picture right? 

So, what consumes your thoughts?  Your time throughout the day? 

These things can positively mold you or they can negatively impact you and those closest to you.

It can confuse people and turn them away from knowing who you serve!

Only YOU can decide what you’ll become according to what you think of and do the most of.

To live Christ like and be more like Him we have to live consistently and consume ourselves with His words, thoughts and actions.  We can all make a conscious effort to think more Christ Like and do better with Acting Christ like too!

When others see YOU… do they know who YOU serve? 

We can all….Encourage others and become someone full and flowing with encouragement! Comfort those who need it and become a gifted comforter! Pray earnestly and faithfully often and become a prayer warrior! Welcome people into your home and become a person of warm hospitality! Love selflessly and unconditionally and others will see Christ’s love as it becomes a radiant light through you. Be kind, trust worthy and honest and you’ll hold great traits in becoming a dependable friend!   

I do believe we become what we think about or do the most….

So we should choose wisely…with our thoughts….and how we spend our time. 

serving

What will your thoughts and the things you spend time doing make YOU become?

Who do others think YOU Serve?

Truth.Love.Service : The Sweetness of Keepsakes

Today, I am thankful for a drawer that hadn’t been opened in a while….

My mom sent me pictures of a letter she found cleaning out her “keepsake drawer.”  I am pretty sure we all have a “keepsake place.”  You know?  That special place you keep the things you cherish from someone you love.

I too have a keepsake place. A labeled tote for each of my kids.  I add keepsakes to them often. They have all kinds of sweet memories in them….special baby items, pictures, trophies, homemade cards, school and church things, awards, certificates etc. But the things I cherish the MOST in those totes….are the keepsake items that have captured one of their heart changes. Their steps towards God!

There is nothing more special than a spiritual step that our child takes.  At any age or stage in their development it surpasses all the sweet words we receive from them about us.  When a child takes a spiritual step closer to the Lord, it’s a change that occurs in their heart. One that makes this Mamma’s heart proud!  And those heart changed moments… can never be…unchanged!

So the sweetness of what my mom found today, from my brother Bill who just recently passed away, reminded us both of how beautifully special it is to have a keepsake place.  It reassured her of what she already knew about her son because of the life he lived daily, but It was a precious reminder of a step he had taken so many years ago towards God.

I was so thankful to see and read the letter that she had kept in her perfect spot for so many years.  It had been Kept Safe…. Tucked Away….Cherished!  And as I read it for myself, tears rolled down my cheeks.  I knew exactly why she had saved it in her bedside drawer.  I too would have kept it.  It was written 28 years ago, after our family experienced the death of Bills best friend (It happened on Bills Birthday and David was our senior Pastors son) the letter she found expressed a heart change that had occurred in Bill.  It was an absolute keepsake item for any mother.  His relationship with the Lord had grown stronger despite the pain he had gone through during such a great loss.  His prayers increased and his relationship with Christ had also grown.  I pray that through my brother’s death, I too have a strengthened walk and a greater relationship with the Lord.  

Having that letter was definitely….a keepsake to cherish back then.

And today….having it to hold and read….is “A Sweet Keepsake Find!”

I went ahead and retyped the letter (hers has already become worn) and I have added it to my recently new keepsake spot that I have created for my brother. This “keepsake find” was just another one of many ways that God has shown us his Goodness and Grace through death.

It was a reminder for me to continue to cherish the steps my children take in their walk with the Lord and to remember that Every One Of Those Steps Is...“KEEPSAKE” WORTHY!

Today, God used a simple letter to minister to us. It was written to the elders of the church because he was taking the next step in his relationship and commitment to the Lord. He was joining and becoming a member of the church we had grown up in. There is no doubt that the letter will remain special to my parents.  But today, it has become a “Sweet New Keepsake” for me!

The Following was written by: Bill Douglas Baas in 1987 

11047244_1556276421294315_1725059836_n

      I have been going to Third ever since I can remember.  When I think back to the old church I remember how my church friends were those you only saw on Sunday.  I used to look forward to going to church to romp around and play with my buddies in the hallways after morning service. That was then. But now we have a better facility and an opportunity to make many more friends.  Not only Sunday friends, but weekday friends too. Before youth group my Christian attitude and development was weak and slow.  Since youth group I have grown in faith and as a high school freshman many of my friends and I confessed our faith unto the Lord before you all.   I believe it was the fellowship of Christian young people that brought us closer to God and our heartfelt discussions on Christian development that caused us to unite in Christ.

     Now I am a senior and I see a scary road ahead of me. College, work, and freedom in the world.  I pray for success and for help to make the right decisions in life.  I trust the Lord will steer me in the right direction.  This year, my senior year has been my most trying year before the Lord. Christ has put me through the test-How strong am I?  or how willing am I to serve?  As you all know, the Lord took David to be with him. David and I were truly brothers in Christ and we felt it when we were together. We had fun the way fun was meant to be. But now David is gone. I have come closer to God through his death.

      When I pray now my heart opens gladly to talk with God and share my pain and sorrow, just as easily as sharing my happiness and thanksgiving. Before I was concerned with dying but now I have the assurance as to where I’ll go and that’s what it’s all about!  Praise the Lord!

Every heart change and decision our children make in their walk with the Lord is a “keepsake!”

Encourage “keepsake” moments in your child’s life by involving them in church and helping them with their spiritual development. Encourage their relationship with the Lord and create an importance and an involvement for the things of God.

Then……Go Ahead Tuck It Away! So you can Cherish Them Forever! 

Questions were asked…so here’s the answer!

My blog is not strictly about fostering and adoption but I received many questions after my last blog. I thought I’d give some of you a little more insight about us.

My husband and I have fostered 22 beautiful children and have had the amazing opportunity to adopt three. We’ve done everything from respite and emergency removals to transitioning children into other adoptive homes. We have also helped with a reunification of a child back to her biological parents. I’ve worked closely with DSS in our county and the counties that surround us. I have been apart of leading Foster Parent Pride training and doing some Home Studies for prospective Foster Parents. I have not always seen eye to eye on things within the Department of Social Services, but I have always been committed to the hurting children involved in the system. Recruiting, training and mentoring parents quickly became my passion.

Our families lives forever changed when we made the decision to forever change a child’s. We have never been the same since our first call ten years ago. It is something none of us will ever forget. It was our first child placement. With that call came our first opportunity and decision to adopt. Every child that was placed with us over the years was from a different situation and each have had their own struggles. But they have ALL given us the same rewards. Rewards to great to describe….

My husband and I totally believe we were created with a purpose to love those who may seem unlovable to others. We seek guidance from the Lord for every decision and with meeting every child’s specific needs. With every difficulty we have faced we have been greatly blessed! And go figure, we do it to bless the children!  But that’s how our God works! He blesses us ten time more when we are obedient and choose to bless others!

It has never been an easy task. Parenting is difficult no matter what. Adopting doesn’t solve all the problems the child has encountered from his/her circumstances. They have almost always dealt with neglect, abuse or trauma.  But adoption does give “new hope” to a child that is in need of a forever family and home. It is only the beginning. There are many hurdles to overcome no matter what. The separation and loss that they experience is real and needs time to heal.  I believe in being their voice (because they haven’t had one) and not only do they deserve one, but they NEED one.

If you are interested in knowing more about fostering or adoption through your local Department of Social Services, have any questions, or would like me to be praying for you specifically, please go to my FB page (there is a link on this web page) and message me.  

For those of you who are already fostering or have adopted, I would encourage you to seek any available resource to help you parent. I also believe it’s imperative to utilize every resource available to meet the needs of the children you’ve been entrusted to love and care for. 

For encouragement—Some people will never understand your heart and you cannot let negative (about you or the children placed with you) to settle in your mind. Not even for a second. You don’t need their approvals. God has your back. He sees your struggles and he knows your heart. He will never leave you or forsake you.  Keep keeping on. Love and keep loving. And as you do you’ll continue to make the world a better place. 

It may be complicated, but its precious!

Kent and I enjoyed dinner and a movie with McKenzie and Hannah. I couldn’t help but keep smiling at Kent. We were both just soaking up the girls. Without having to say a word to him, I knew his heart was just as warm as mine. They talked about boys, school, music and silly girl things. They giggled, smiled, shared their food and gazed at one another. Hannah is McKenzie’s best friend/sister/like cousin. Their relationship status is best described by saying…it’s complicated, but it’s precious!

They are sister’s by birth and they became “like cousins” at the age of 3 & 5 by the courts decisions to separate them and their 3 other siblings forever. Until their removal they lived in the midst of a storm that was too great for any of them to have thrived. We didn’t understand Gods plan to separate them back then. (it’s been 7 years ago) But we trusted him! We didn’t see how he could possible mend our broken hearts when Hannah (and their oldest sister Crystal) left our home. We thought the loss the siblings would encounter would be to great for them to heal.  But we knew he was faithful! We didn’t fully understand the special role we would have as “Uncle Kent” and “Aunt Sue” to Hannah, after she was adopted by one of our very closest friends. But we still chose to be obedient to him!

The two of them have experienced a true blessing to remain closely connected. They see each other weekly, attend the same church, have regular sleepover’s and spend all holidays and life events together.  They know their story, they embrace their story and they have learned to love their story. I know they will someday use their story for Gods glory! Their lives are precious! The Girls relationship has been beautiful to watch unfold as they’ve grown!  Their bond is just as unique as each of their personalities. They are similar in many ways and also complement one another with their differences. They are both strong, respectful, kind, silly, determined, compassionate girls who are also both true overcomers!

I may be “Mom” to Kenzie and “Aunt Sue” to Hannah, but God made me so much more than that the day he placed them in our lives at the ages of 2 and 4. I have been their advocate, their cheerleader, their prayer warrior, their encourager, their comforter and it’s been super fun to also be known as their clown. We have laughed until we cried and cried until we laughed together. God knew we’d have these moments. He knew that when the courts chose to separate them physically, he would be working on their behalf to keep them together. He makes all things new!

I’ve learned so much about myself through the years of their placement, transition, and adoptions. With it came mending, healing, struggles and still so much more. But we have never faced any of it alone. I’ve also learned that through obedience comes such sweet rewards. Through the “complicated parts” I became stronger, my faith was increased, my passion for hurting children was renewed and it has kept my eyes heaven bound!

I’m thankful for every special moment. Through the giggles at dinner, the shared spoonfuls of ice cream and the sweet talks before bed… when I look at them, I am reminded of what I’ve always known to be true. Every life…is precious! And it’s so precious…to be a part of others lives!