09 April 2013

Life, death, and foster children

LIFE
My family came to visit this last weekend.  I cleaned their dogs' teeth, we discovered some delicious new restaurants (The Olive Cafe and Coley's Bistro), and they helped me in the yard.  My parents are such a great support to me especially now that I'm an adult.   How do I even begin to say thank you and communicate how grateful I am to their ever loving guidance and support? 


This weekend, we just spent time doing life together.   After we wore ourselves out playing in the dirt, we sat on our patio reading and studying.  Dad read a book on his iphone, Chase worked on writing a paper, Mom studied her Spanish lesson, and I read "Personal Finance for Dummies."  Yeah...that sounds like a great book for weekend reading, but I'm a new grad married to a graduate student...and we're doing our best to make ends meet and plan for the future.  I just want to be a good steward of what money we do have by tithing, saving, and spending frugally.  I'd also like to start a retirement account soon...since it's a goal of mine to not be a burden financially on my children when I'm old and decrepit (God willing).  You have to start saving young! 



Spring is my favorite time of the year!  It's so full of hope...so full of joy!  Flower are amazing...each year they bloom and grow...lifting their colorful petals to the heavens.  At the end of the season, they die and in death return nutrients and seeds to the soil for the next generation.   A beautiful and colorful life that provides for the next generation....
 



Luigi didn't really spend his weekend at my house pondering the short life of flowers or planting vegetables.  He really just wanted me to throw his ball so he could catch it between his sparkly, white teeth. When you're a dog, it's the little things that count.




DEATH

My grandfather passed away this afternoon.  He was in his mid-90s and has been ready to join the lord in heaven for some years now.  He was a humble carpenter/farmer who worked hard to raise his 4 boys with my Nannie.   That side of my family so incredibly closely knit!  What a blessing they are to me! What a blessing it has been knowing my Grandpa!  So many stories...so many memories.  I really can't communicate all the thoughts running through my head now as they run from joy, grief, and gratefulness.   As a Christian, I have faith that this is the beginning of something even better!  I'll be heading down to Arkansas to go his funeral this weekend.


FOSTER CHILDREN
Chase and I have been called to do this. While we prepared to make a positive impact in the next generation, we said goodbye to a beloved family member today. We have great family that raised us and continues to support us.   We've been asked by numerous people..why?  Why are you going to do this to yourself?  You know that you will be challenged and you will be hurt... You know you'll have to love the children that enter your home, nurture them, tend their emotional wounds...and send them back, possibly to the very people that hurt or neglected them?  All I can say is that we've been called.   What better way to show Christ's love for us than to provide for his children?  What better way to demonstrate Christ's forgiveness than to help a struggling parent get back on their feet?  What better way to show Christ's grace than to love that parent as well?  Yes it will be hard...yes we will be hurt... BUT what task worth doing is easy?  As Christians we are called to provide for "the least of these."  We are called to care for the orphans and the widows.   The Crossing Church said it better than I ever could during their Compassion Sunday Sermon.  It's worth listening to :)

Ways you can help....

  • Foster/Adopt (we used Great Circle as our licensing agency)
  • Respite Care - respite care provides time off (usually 1 weekend or less) for current foster parents.  The licensing requirements are less stringent.  Basically you just have to get some background checks and have a home walk through.  The state pays you for this service and it's a great way to help foster families!
  • Babysitting - Foster parents need baby sitters too!  
  • The Central Missouri Foster Care and Adoption Association - This website has a ton of ideas on how you can help without actually taking a child into your home.  They take donations and volunteers.  They help with providing continuing education to foster/adoptive parents, school supplies, mentors for teenagers, and food for foster families.
  • Hope Chest for Kids - This is another program that helps provide supplies and support to families with foster children.   The song in the background makes me cry (Somewhere out there).
 
 
I know not everyone is called to foster or adopt, but you can still help the children!
 
 
Lastly, I've had a hymn in my head all day, The Hymn of Promise:
In a bulb there is a flower; in a seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
 

 
Peace and Love, y'all! 
 
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