This is Not Our Home

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Just recently Mike and I attended more Foster parent training focused on trauma.  The trainer had us all participate in an exercise to help us to better understand the loss that children in care have endured.  She gave us each five blank index cards and instructed the class to write one thing that is important to us on each card.  Some wrote individual names I grouped my people which might have been cheating a bit.  As I began to write God was my first card.  Next I wrote husband, kids, extended family, and then friends.   Not one material thing popped in my head as to what is truly important to me.   So for the next step our trainer asked us to give up one card and lay it upside down on the table in front of us.   As much as I love my friends that was the card I gave up.   Then the next part of this exercise I watched as the trainer went around to each person and took all but one card.   Everyone reacted with “aww you are mean!!”, there were a lot of sighs, gasps, and sad faces.  As I watched this process I just kept saying/praying “Just please don’t take my God!!”.

Guess what card I had left?  Yes it was my God card.  I think I was the only one smiling in the bunch.  The reason for the smile was that it is God who has given me everyone and everything in my life.  Without God the creator my sweet husband, precious children, all family members and friends would not have ever been.  I would not be.  They are His to give and His to take.  Everything on this earth is His.  No matter what I do or how hard I work to earn something.  It is God’s.

This point is driving home even deeper with me as our country and our world continues to be hit by natural disasters and wars.  Right now so many people in the great state of Texas have lost family, livelihoods, and homes.   We do not know from one second to the next what turns our life journey will make.  We are to love and cherish all that has been given in the time that we have been given.  Each moment is a gift of God’s.

So that brings us to this next step in our journey of Foster care.  We now have our home on the market.  As we have stepped into stories and lives of two children so far in our journey the reality of how much of me these kids need has really hit hard.   As I have evaluated the hours I work and our finances God placed the question on my heart.  “What are you really working for?”  I can spend my life making very little impact on this world keeping my own little world maintained.  Or I can work less maintaining my own little world and spend more time making a greater impact in the world we live in.   Life is about people and relationships.  In my fast paced job there is very little forever impact made.  To provide love and safety to a broken young person and their family that can last forever.   People need our time, our love, our encouragement, our hugs, our smiles, our true heart felt concern and help.  People do not have changed lives for the better by me having a nice home.  So we press on looking forward to the great things God is going to do.  We press on as God plans for our life path to cross the life path of others.  I pray God will use us to bring Him glory and point the world to His love and true healing He gives us through Jesus!!

Hebrews 13:14 “For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.”

What is Beauty?

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Reaching my fourth decade now in life I have come to the realization that as women “beauty” and its definition will be thrown at us from every angle our entire life. There is a new thing going around Face Book to post five pictures that make you feel beautiful. There is a stubborn part of me saying “I do not like any pictures of me and I really just don’t want to!” My wedding day I felt beautiful, I felt beautiful when my children were born (even though completely “water logged”), I felt beautiful while breast feeding them in the rocking chair in their bedroom, I feel beautiful with my family, I feel beautiful on a quiet morning reading my Bible and sipping my coffee, I feel beautiful when a patient remembers my name and says “thank you”, I feel beautiful when what I do or say makes someone laugh, I feel beautiful writing, and I feel beautiful taking a quiet walk in the beautiful surroundings of God’s creation. Each time I see a picture of myself I think “ewww is that what I look like?” When I look in the mirror it is not the same as what I see the camera reflecting (cameras must always get my bad side). God created us exactly the way He wanted us. Everything He made is “good” and beautiful. The bible says in Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Growing up I struggled with having a big nose. I definitely still don’t “love” it. It serves its purpose to provide filtered moistened air to my lungs. It sticks out plenty to get sunburned and produce freckles. Just yesterday I wacked the bridge of my nose with my locker at work and saw a few stars. Note to self; “step back from the locker when opening it”. Early on I came to the acceptance that it is the nose God gave me and any other nose would look out of place on my face. As a kid I was a fan of Michael Jackson. He was a handsome guy before any plastic surgery. Quite frankly by the time he died at age fifty he looked like an alien life form from all the plastic surgery. Nothing is ever as beautiful as in its original God created form. A ninety year old woman who has taken care of herself, but allowed the natural aging process to happen is very beautiful.

1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

Wearing fun things and having fun hair is ok, but should not define us. We should not allow the media to define what it is we need to be beautiful. This must be where my “selfie” conviction comes into play. What do I want the world to see? Do I want it to be my physical appearance or the beauty God created within my life and my soul?