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my journey

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Recently I was trying to check out and reschedule appointments at the pediatrician’s office with my two littles. We had to have a bit of discussion about the shot record and rescheduling due to court dates, so it was apparent I was not your average parent. One little was crying, wanting another sucker because the color I had chosen wasn’t good enough. The other one, the highly contagious one, kept walking off and touching everything as I continued to reign them back in. Obviously, we were holding up the line. Finally, I glanced at the patient lady behind me and said, I am so sorry. she kindly said, “it’s okay, I am just impressed you are a foster mom.” she smiled and moved to another window. I was grateful for her flexibility, but as the day went on, the word impressed kept nagging at my soul.

Impressed, no, please don’t be impressed. I realize the woman was trying to be comforting or encouraging, but the last thing I wanted her to be was impressed. The very thought of people being impressed by my simple, obedient act of being a foster parent is what has kept me relatively quiet on social media and this blog (until now) about my new normal. The last thing I want is a spotlight on me when the children and their stories and struggles deserve all the attention. So, I began to think about what I wish non-foster parents were instead of impressed.

Instead of being impressed – be informed.

Before I entered this faith journey, I was clueless about the staggering statistics involved in foster care. As I looked at the needs of Alabama, I was reminded that these are not kids halfway around the world; these are children within a day’s driving distance of me. Want to learn about the numbers involving foster care in your state? Check out this interactive map at the Christian Alliance for orphans websiteinteractive map.

This graphic that has impacted me most is another powerful one (below) from the Christian alliance for orphans. The top number is the number of foster children in each state. The bottom number is the number of churches, not people in churches, churches in each state.

Knowledge leads to power, conviction, and action. What will you do now that you have come face to face with the staggering statistics of children right in your backyard?

Instead of being impressed, be involved.
i love the quote that not everyone can be a foster parents, but everyone can do something to help a foster child/child. this couldn’t be more true. maybe you weren’t called to be a foster parents or maybe you can only foster a limited number of children. that doesn’t mean you have to stop being involved with helping them. did you know most foster children move to their foster home with all of their belonging in a garbage bag?

Instead of being impressed, be an encouragement.
There is no way I would have made it without the many encouragers God has put in my life. Now that I am not actively fostering, I try to do what I can for those who are. So maybe you aren’t called to foster kids in your home, but you can do something. First, you can pick a foster family to encourage and support with meals, supplies, and babysitting. Second, you can pray for and encourage overworked and underpaid social workers. You can volunteer to be a CASA, Court Appointed Special Advocate. You can go through training to be a respite home for fostering families. Finally, you can buy Christmas and birthday gifts for children in foster care. You, we, can do something.

I am so thankful that not one of these children is a surprise to God. He has equipped His body of believers. The question is, will we just be impressed by those that serve as foster parents, or will we roll up our pants and jump in the trenches with them?

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This article is from my latest post from Gospel@Center.

I am an off-the-charts extrovert, so I was thrilled with social media when it came out. More ways to connect with people, what could be greater?

I refuse to believe I am getting older and crabbier. I would like to think I am getting wiser, but these days social media is on my last nerve. (Seriously, if i didn’t need Facebook for work, it would be the first to go. I already deleted the app from my phone.) We could debate all day the negatives and benefits of social media, but what I would love to see stop is the pointing of fingers at younger generations, blaming them for using this medium immaturely. Are the younger generations perfect with social media? Absolutely not, but I have to caution all of us who blame bad behavior on the young to pause and take a hard look at the fruit of our social media. From where my profiles sit, it is Gen X (that’s me) and up that may need a lesson in social media manners.

So maybe before we pass the blame, we need to not just set a Christ-Centered example, but boldly set the standard for how believers interact on social media. What would our social media profiles and posts look like if we sifted them through a Gospel-centered filter? I have come up with a list of checks I hope to use in the future before I hit “post”. Close friends of mine, you are welcome to hold me accountable.

So as you take a look at this list, let me know what I missed and comment below.

  • Is the post really for the glory of God, or for my glory?
  • Would I make these bold statements in person?
  • Is the post/picture a cop-out response for meeting with someone and working out our differences one-on-one?
  • Does this post build up the Body of Christ or tear it down in front of a world of unbelievers?
  • Is there a hurtful truth I are trying to disguise with a light-hearted jab?
  • Is my posting, sharing, and commenting really necessary with the greater good in mind?
  • Is my post an authentic representation of a life of a prone-to-wander sinner saved by grace, or do I paint a picture of a false reality I long for people to see?
  • Have I checked to see if the article, new story, and/or information I am sharing is indeed true?
  • Would I speak to that person in person that I just friended?
  • When people look at my profiles and posts, do they see Jesus?

If you saw anything I missed, feel free to add your additions to this list in the comments section.

Freedomi am continually awed by God’s Word and how the way in which He worked over 2,000 years ago still applies to my life today. these ancient words are what hit me afresh this morning.

moses answered the people, “do not be afraid. stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. the egyptians you see today you will never see again. the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
exodus 14:13-14

the Israelites were being set free, but in front of them stood yet another obstacle – the red sea. after countless miracles and mercies through the plagues, the Israelites reached yet another point where their actions could not rescue them. God brought them to this place so He could bring about great deliverance and receive all the glory.

we have all been at a place where we feel bound, confused, and unable to control the outcome. when i am there, my first reaction is to flee, fight, or put one foot in front of the other just trying to make a way. so many times i believe my faith is proven through “doing.” truth is, in my strength, i bring no more to my hemmed-in circumstances than the Israelites brought to the edge of the red sea.

sometimes my biggest “step” of faith is one to stand firm, be still, and allow God to do what i simply cannot.

just as the Israelites couldn’t imagine the scene of the red sea parting before them, we can’t imagine the details of what God is working out for our good and ultimately His glory. so i am going to quit trying to figure things out. moment by moment i long to stand firm, be still, and look to the Lord who fights for me. through surrender and rest in Him, may i catch a glimpse of His worth as He receives all the glory.

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plain and simple, it was sin. i had spewed from the mouth once again and while i felt entitled at the time, after i felt awful. after the outburst that was riddled with pride i kept asking myself, where did that come from? i was speaking to the Lord from my heart and He eventually spoke right back. it was bitterness. this quick lash from the tongue was connected to some deep seeded bitterness and it needed to be dealt with immediately.

so today i sat down in a time of confession and acknowledged i was wrong. i admitted that something i was holding on to really had a hold on me. i thought it was empowering, but really it was ugly. as i talked to God about it, i knew that saying i had “no filter” was no excuse. i literally wrote the following words in my journal and then the Lord’s answer left me swimming in His grace:

“break and open up the bitter root with Your Word and with Your grace.” 

FullSizeRenderthen as i opened to today’s daily light verses, i was simply blown away. i had to read them aloud. i was sitting in my comfy chair and He chose to lavish love and grace once again on my dirty heart.

so, i thought maybe i wasn’t the only one that needed to be reminded of the freedom found in His grace today. here are the verses. how do they impact you today?

“but may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” 1 peter 5:10

“then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”” exodus 33:19

“then He is gracious to him, and says, ‘deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom’;” job 33:24

“being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed,” romans 3:24-25

“for the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” john 1:17

 “for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” ephesians 2:8

“to timothy, a true son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 timothy 1:2

“but to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” ephesians 4:7

“as each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 peter 4:10

“but He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’” james 4:6

“but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. to Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2 peter 3:18

grace



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