Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Choosing faith through tough times

Today, I am in a tough season, again.  How about you?

I mean really tough. It feels like everything is collapsing. It feels really hard to walk through and I wish someone who has gone before me could give me some pointers.

God is asking me, again, to trust Him and Him alone. He wants me, and you, to rely on Him and Him alone.

Friday, July 25, 2014

His hand upon my back {FMF: Finish}

I have spent so many years looking ahead to the finish line while too often dismissing the runners around me, the people in the bleachers, the beauty in the field and the purpose of the race.

When I became a foster mom to many I was in a whole new race. This time I felt a hand upon my back continually me moving me forward.  I was forced to notice all things around me because it was all part of one big picture.

God spoke to me louder. He nudged me farther and he kept me going through His strength and grace.

That hand upon my back often made me think of Dory from Finding Nemo. To me it said, "Just keep going, just keep going."

I wanted to see the finish line but I had no idea where or when it was attainable. God was reshaping my heart to focus on the here and now.  When His hand keeps moving you forward, you aren't likely to get stuck on the sidelines.

So I ran, day after day. There was no way I could do it on my own strength. I would have never thought I could do it and I look back now and think, wow, I can't believe what we did. But for God...

Here's the thing, I ran in a race God placed me in for His purposes.  He blinded me to anything other than the race I was in, which was huge.  His spirit ushered me in and through the whole thing.  His power was the greatest energy boost anyone could ever experience.

It was His race. My part was to be a willing participant.  He used that to take me where he wanted to take me.

When I kept begging for a finish, when I was crying, overwhelmed and oh so tired, His hand upon my back didn't let go.  He didn't stop the race until He was ready to.

At the same time, He had me in training. It was more clear than ever that I could not finish well without complete reliance on Him.  Desperately, I needed his hand to stay upon my back so that the work he'd called us to could be finished at His finish line.

Then he released his hand.  He opened my eyes to greater things.

Now I can see greater beauty in every step of every race. Now I see more in those around me. Now I can see His purposes as more trustworthy than my limited sight. They shape my heart and the way I run new races.

Now I see His power as a lifeline to keep the runner in the race. 


Welcome to post for FIVE MINUTE FRIDAYS with Lisa Jo Baker!

About 5 Minute Fridays:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat. No editing. No backtracking. No overthinking. {Well, I try. I admit to some edits, but try to be minimal.}

2. Link back to Lisa Jo's site:

3. Visit the person before you and leave a comment to encourage them. {A must.}

Five Minute Friday

Sharing with Lisha Epperson on #GiveMeGrace,

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Polarized vision

Chugga Dude, my 11 year old son, was banned from game time today because he's been going well beyond the time allotted for him.  He was pretty upset at first, but calmed down and understood the repercussions. He accepted them.

However, children are creative.  He found a way to not really have game time. His alternative solution wasn't quite what I had in mind. When I said game time, I meant screen time. That's not what he heard from me.

I'm frequently reminded of how clear my words need to be to communicate the right intent.

Friday, July 18, 2014

So the heart may bloom {FMF: Bloom}

Do you know how much work it is to garden?

Let me put it this way, do you know how much work it takes to prepare, plant, cultivate and tend to a garden so that it will thrive and flowers will bloom abundantly?

I consider myself an occasional gardener. I'll probably be an older lady with numerous plants, veggies, herbs to take care of.  But, right now? There are a lot of weeds.  There are fire ant mounds, my tomato plant is dying for an unknown reason and the garden is far from pretty to look at.

Despite a good amount of rain and good weather, relatively speaking for us central Texans, the garden I have attempted to care for is not thriving well.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Let's talk writing

Dear friend,

I would love to sit down and visit with each of you. I know it's not possible, but let's imagine today that we are doing just that. Pick your favorite restaurant or coffee shop and let's imagine we are sitting together for a bit. Let's talk writing.

Since I'm unable to hear from you first, I'll begin.  After I'm done sharing a few things would you respond? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below!

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked by the spunky Jen Daugherty to participate in a blog hop.  At first, my visual mind imagined leap frog. That's just the way my brain connects things in weird ways.

Thankfully I was wrong. And, you can be glad. I'm not hopping over anyone. After several kids, are you kidding?!

In this blog hop bloggers answer four questions about writing.  Then, they introduce three more bloggers. It has a familiar feel to me as the  #BlogitForward link share that I've been working on. For #BlogitForward we linkup up to three favorite posts other bloggers have written and share via social media w/ the tag.  Yes! Let's pay it forward with encouragement to three blogs ahead of you!

So, guess what, now that we are sitting together, we have friends joining us!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

#BlogitForward Linkup No. 4

Every 2 weeks I am hosting a different kind of linkup. In this linkup, we share posts we have read versus posts we have written.  Let's encourage each other and share up to 3 of our favorite reads here!

Then, via social media, share those three and as many more as you want!  Just add the tag #BlogitForward so we can find each other!

Learn more about #BlogitForward by clicking hereYou will also find archived linkups and the current live linkup.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

A call to prayer for the future of foster care

Friends - this is about to get real. This post is more than my experiences or my journey.  This is a plea for prayer.

I'm considering a few follow up posts which will share some nitty gritty hard truths with regards to foster care.  They will also cover a few of the overwhelming truths of God that supersede the hard facts of suffering.

Little children, you are from God and have overcome them,
for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

And friends - the power of God is far stronger than the work of the enemy. Do not forget that.

I remind myself - Jo - do not forget He is stronger!

Friday, July 11, 2014

The day he called out to Jesus {Guest Post: My Freshly Brewed Life}

Cry out to Jesus.

July 5th, 2013.  It was one month after we moved back home. It was the day after our large 4th of July party. It was the day the kids left.

These five we'd cared for over the last fifteen months were moving to a new home. I was unable to continue caring for them. It all hurt.

The enemy threatened to tell me that our efforts were all for naught.  Was it really worth giving up so much to be a foster mom if you can't continue?

Monday, July 7, 2014

A prayer for you and me

I have a question for you.

Is there something you are walking through right now that seems too challenging?

Do you know God is bigger than this "thing", but dang, it's tough?  Walking through it is just hard.

I know that feeling well.  

My heart knows that God is bigger than the challenges I face.  Yet, sometimes I feel really doggone tired and wish someone would just stand next to me and say, "I know this is hard. Let's pray together."

Or maybe, they would share a scripture or word of encouragement with me, something that God has put on their hearts to share. 

Is it just me? Or, is it you too?

Friday, July 4, 2014

Breathe and Exhale {FMF: Exhale}

Five Minute Friday on

Time for a Five Minute Friday post. I don't always write on the prompt as it depends on what else I am working on. I love the community that gathers together though. We tweet, write, encourage and pray. We connect.

Today, I need to get the writing juices flowing. This exercise forces uninterrupted thought flow.  It really gives you an insight as to how my mind works because it is the words that pour out of me in those five minutes.