I wrote this about a year ago and so much has changed in this last year, but friends, this remains the same…

I am enough.

Why is it that this statement can be so hard to believe sometimes? There’s always something else, someone else, another load, another project.

Can I be honest with you? We’ve been living out of our dryer for over a week. If I would have told you this last year it would have had 10 excuses attached to the end of that confession. Attempts at justifying my “less than” actions, or “lack of actions.”

I had folding laundry on my list of to-do’s today and welp, it didn’t get done. What I’m not telling you is the things that have taken importance in this last week or so.

If I count my success based on what’s not done, I’ll never be enough.

Sisters, you are enough.

Our girls are 10 months apart. We had our baby for a week before our 14 month old came into our home. Everyone encouraged me to get the girls on the same napping schedule. I quickly learned that this didn’t work for me. I’d rather stagger their naps so I could give them all my attention for a little bit of the day. This being said, normally a portion of their nap does fall at the same time. Today, our baby didn’t fall right to sleep so I laid on the bed with her and we “talked.” When she finally fell asleep she was holding onto my finger. My scheduled time to get things done quickly went out the window.

I was right where I needed to be.

I want to soak in those moments.

I am enough because of what I AM doing.

I encourage you, sweet sisters, to remember what it is you are accomplishing. I’d rather have a wrinkle in my shirt and the memory of her dimpled hand holding onto mine, than to not have had that moment with her today.

That moment of nothingness is teaching her tiny little soul attachment, connection, and love. How can that not be enough? Find your sufficiency in the Father – in the Truth.

We all have these moments where we feel less than. In these moments I encourage you to see where you are moving, where you are succeeding, where you are enough.

The Lord made you perfect for your husband and children. He knew your strengths and weaknesses before He designed your family. Look at yourself through their eyes.

To both my husband and my children I am enough.

With Christ I am enough.

Now I just have to believe it and stop listening to the lies of the devil. The devil has nothing on the Father. Don’t let him win! Fill your soul with the Truth and be confident in the knowledge that the work you do for your family makes you enough, sweet mama. Honestly, no matter how much you do there is always going to be more. If you’re constantly reaching for total completion you’ll be missing so many beautiful moments in this life – moments that God has you in for just the right reasons.

“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” 

2 Corinthians 3:5 (ESV)

He Loves Our Broken Whole Again

“Come sit down,” my husband said for the 26th time that night. It was nearing midnight and I was anxiously peering out the peephole of our front door. How could he be so calm in a moment like this?! We were about to meet our first child and he wants me to sit down! He has a way with rationality. Apparently the car won’t actually pull into our driveway any faster if I’m looking out the peephole or sitting on the couch. Anyways, at the door I stood.

The car eventually pulled into our driveway and two Officers of Social Services carried a car seat with a newborn baby girl out into the night and straight into our hearts. My life was about to change in ways I didn’t yet understand.

I made a “deal” with God, you see. I would love any child He brings into our lives unconditionally and He would protect me from the “heartbreak” of a relationship with birthparents.

Yeah – right.

We had Baby A for approximately 21 minutes when the CPS officer handed me the phone number for Baby A’s mom and told me she’s expecting a call tonight. I’m sure he noticed the obvious deer in headlights look on my face so he gently told me, “she’s scared too.”

I have this sign hanging above the window in our kitchen that reads, “If God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it.”

Well I did make that call to reassure Baby A’s mom that she was here and she’d be taken care of. A short 3 days later I found myself walking into my very first visit holding Baby A in my arms and handing her to her mom for her scheduled visitation. I monitored that visit and would continue to monitor for the rest of the time Baby A was in our home.

God refined my heart through this hard experience.

It’s doesn’t take much work to take the easy road. Profound, I know.

Where I thought I’d rather save myself the pain of knowing Baby A’s mom I would have lost the experience of creating an irreplaceable relationship with a girl that now looks up to me as a mom. I learned it wasn’t about me, but was about them – not about what I would lose, but what they would gain. This is a lesson that stretches far beyond foster care, although I’ve had the difficult opportunity to learn this lesson more than a couple times as a foster mom.

So often we jump to our own conclusion about how things should go – how they’ll work best. This can be so dangerous for ourselves, and ultimately for our faith.

God doesn’t promise us a life without pain, He just promises to walk through the pain with us.

Sometimes those painful moments are the most refining moments.

I’d be lying if I said that forming a relationship with Baby A’s family was easy. It took more patience than I had, more work then I expected, and in all honesty, she didn’t really like me at first. God pushed me to stick it out. A short five months later I knew why. I had formed an amazing relationship with this family and on a Thursday night at 7pm, Ryan and I drove to the same parking lot we had met every week for five months and handed Baby A to her mom for the last time. We all cried and one mom drove home with the baby she worked to get back while the other mom drove home with an empty car seat.

Ryan and I drove home in silence that night and, as expected, we were hurting. It was a bittersweet hurt. We were so happy for this family but we were, once again, childless and left without control of these feelings of loss. We raised and loved this baby as our own and she was now gone. The human side of me felt this loss deep in my bones.

Foster care is not about us. It’s about giving to others in their time of need. This being said, you pour 110% of your heart and soul into these kids and, if you are able, into their family. In the end it goes one of two ways – adoption or reunification. As much as we loved Baby A we also loved her mom and rooted for and supported this mama’s efforts during the entire 5 months.

I love our kids fiercely, but this love isn’t even close to the love the Father has for His children. He loves Baby A more than I ever could have. He loves her family, and He loves the mama that handed that baby girl over that night.

He loves my broken heart whole again.

In my weakness and in my sadness, He loves me and carries me through.  

Sisters, He mends our broken heart.

Three weeks later, my phone rang again and we said a prayer over the newest little life in our home. As I rocked the newest precious babe to sleep that night I was reminded that He is the Healer of brokenness. Through brokenness, Minnie came into our lives and we’ll love her without bounds, regardless of what tomorrow might bring. Hopefully, that love will teach her of the love of Christ – the love of the only one that will never, ever, fail her.

He is good. Always.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Moving In

Happy New Year! We were excited to spend the holidays in our new home this year. We finally moved in at the beginning of October and welcomed settling in with open arms. As fun as this last year or so has been, we were more than ready to make this house our home.

We bought our lot in February of 2016 after a long search around Nashville and the surrounding cities. I never wanted to build again but we fell in love with the area we chose and loved the neighborhood so build again we did!

After spending the summer watching the walls of the house we’d soon call home go up, we were so thankful to make it to the end! We closed the second week of October and finally unpacked the boxes that had been stored for the last year! We couldn’t believe a whole year had gone by since we moved from CA to TN.

So here she is. The home we will bring our babies home to, that will see laughter and some tears, that will host holidays and welcome us home after long days at work. We absolutely love our new community and couldn’t be happier that these walls will hold our most precious family moments.

Hope y’all are having a Happy New Year and if you’re anywhere in the Nashville area… keep warm!