I laid in bed with my boy and rubbed cuticle cream on his little fingers. He's been chewing his nails down and picking nervously at them for awhile. I'm not sure when it started but I remember the day his teacher mentioned it and I realized it was serious. He's the kind of kid that tries to do his best and do right. If he thinks he's is struggling his little heart worries and then his fingers suffer. I feel helpless. He feels helpless. So, I rubbed cuticle cream in and we talked about how nourishing his hands and fingers would be much better than picking. Seems many of us need more nourishment in our lives rather than picking.
As he laid next to me and fell asleep I thought of all the other mothers before me. Centuries of mothers throughout the whole world have held their babies close and wondered about the life ahead of them. I was once a worrier concerning my babies. When my oldest was little I rarely turned to God for help. One night I gave up. I laid flat on my bed and cried out to God. I couldn't do this mothering gig anymore under the stress. If I didn't worry about something concerning my baby then someone made me worry. It was constant and at every turn. I cried out. He was almost 3 at the time. I couldn't keep worrying like I did about things that would probably never happen. So I prayed.
I became a warrior for my children and not a worrier.
That night I gave my boy back to God. Not in a ceremony at church in a baby dedication but right in my home with a tear soaked pillow. I asked God to be in charge. I would simply do the best I could and He would have to do the rest. I was not sufficient on my own or even with my husband to raise this boy child into a man. He belonged to God. The most important part of him, his soul, belonged to God. I was just the caretaker of this little guy. God knows better than I at all times.
Since that night we have been blessed with 4 more children. I keep them out of the streets, the knives safely put away, the thermostat on the water heater turned down, warm clothes in their closet and blankets on their bed. God provides and I use the provision to do the best I know how to protect them but what about loving them. That's what I'm called to do daily. Love them.
Showing God's love for them is a challenge sometimes. When I'm busy and forget the kiss on the forehead, the hug, the reassuring words then I feel guilty. See! I'm not sufficient. So I pray for them. I think about every mom before me that raised babies with love. Did they worry? Did the regret? What would they do different? Does their heart long to go back to holding their babies once they are grown? Does it hurt when they are gone? It's not just a purpose I serve. I'm deeply attached to my purpose. My babies are so precious to me. Does every mom feel these?
I cry tears over my babies regularly. Mostly they are thankful tears and happy tears. Rarely do I cry over disappointments but this fleeting life does make me wish I could go back. The remembering of their tiny baby bodies and the way they smelled as infants is harder every year. I'm grateful I live in the day and age that I can look back at lots of pictures. However, looking back isn't looking forward.
My prayer today as I hear a toddler squeal and bigger kids pour cereal, I know my oldest is still sleeping and the youngest is still too, I pray for them. I want them to have the qualities of Christ poured into them as the grow to be men and a lady of Christ. I pray they seek to serve him. I pray for protection. I pray for so many things that God is not withholding. I pray for wisdom. I ask God. I simply give them back to Him daily and let Him be sufficient in the many places I am not.
Prayer is part of my strategy as a warrior. Reading God's word and seeking wisdom is another. I refuse to sit and wring my hands with worry when I can pray and fight for them wearing the full armor of God.
Raising them to do the same for themselves is a whole other blog post.
Be a WARRIOR!
Sometimes you have that dream that is different than any you've had in awhile. It's a dream that you seem to remember as a whole even after you been awake. You almost feel as if you could lay down and keep the dream going. These dreams, in my experience, have been meaningful. Like preludes to something that is coming. They usually leave me baffled and confused and searching for answers.
A few nights ago I dreamed a dream I probably won't forget because, well, it was one of those. It wasn't spectacular, it just sticks. Let me tell you about it and what I believe God is trying to show me. Because I know and He knows, I pay attention to these dreams.
Before finding out I was pregnant with any of my 3 sons, I had a dream I was pregnant. Weeks later I found out I was with every one of them it happened. This past week I dreamed again I was pregnant but this time it was different. Not like the others. It was a pregancy no one could see. The baby was breach and as soon as it was turned upright where birthing positions are concerned this tiny baby was suddenly in my arms. When I say tiny, I mean it. He was perfect. We didn't have a name and no one knew he was coming. I'm the midst of it all we were moving into a bigger house. My foster daughter was older and had a completely pink room with 6 extra beds that were empty. Our foster boy had a loft with no ladder yet some how we managed to get up there. It's ceilings were shaped much like his teepee that he currently sleeps in.
I visited each childs room as we were moving in to see if they were all happy. All the while carrying this tiny thing. What was this tiny baby doing here?
Giving birth to a vision can be likened to bringing forth a child.
As I was running today and in the silent cold of nature during this time of year I asked God what this dream was supposed to mean In my spirit I felt it. It is the vision He gave me that I questioned if it were real. He has done this before, put me back on His path with an intervention. The empty beds are significant. The sanctuary for rest away from the world is significant. The safe place is significant. The names brought to mind are significant. In the middle of my run I wished I had written it all down.
See, I spoke my vision out loud to someone Friday night. I always play it off like it's a big 'maybe' but the reality is, God is asking me to be obedient and trust that this vision has a real purpose for His kingdom.
Almost a year ago my husband and I went to look at an old home built in the 20's and has 10 bedrooms. It was a complete mess. That house impregnated our hearts with the seed of a vision. We must find a home like this one in the perfect location for the perfect price of "just about giveaway". We are to renew it and make it safe. We are to add warm comfy beds and a big farmhouse kitchen table that seats many.
Our dream, the legacy we want to leave, is for foster children to have a safe place. I don't know how we are going to make this happen. We trust God knows.
This seed of a vision has to stay put inside of me. It is my duty to keep it safe, to guard it, to nurture it and let it grow until it is ready to be born like a new baby. Only it will then still need tenderness, love, safe keeping, nourishment, discipline,and protection. A small group home for foster children as they wait for a more permanent foster home. Too many children today are living in hotels while they wait. Can you imagine?
I want clean, cozy, private rooms. I want security and peace. I want nourishment and education. God is putting this in my heart. This is a rare vision. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone else with this like mind unless God is moving people. I believe He is equipping women every where, right now, to use our gifts and talents to serve Him. Lift up the widows and love the littles.
I am going to leave this post at that. I'm not sure what will come of this vision. I pray that if I am meant to see it through that God be completely in charge because it's too scary if He's not.
Pray with me please.
For the last 8 years my boys and I have participated in a homemade Advent Calendar. Each night for 25 days in December we do an activity that settles us down and allows me to spend time talking to the boys about Christmas. The house can. be so quite sometimes and so busy the next. I honestly am not the mom who enjoys the crazy life. I like things to feel settled and quite. I like things in their place. This is one of those things that allows my house to feel settled for a minute and having a daily activity like that helps is to feel that all is right with the world. The moment only lasts a little while but I cherish every minute.
Before each day I check our Advent Calendar to find out what the kids will be doing that evening. If I come at the activity prepared, just like I did as a teacher, then it all goes pretty smoothly. Today I cut 12x12" scrapbook paper in half and the cut 1x6" strips and had them ready and waiting.
The thumbprint recipe can be found in my craft blog HomeSpun-Threads.
Someome stole an Instagram picture yesterday and shared it on their Instagram adoption page. It was weird. It was a legit organization. A sweet friend saw it and messaged me, it was one of my youngest son holding our youngest foster baby. A perfectly fine social media picture wear foster care rules are concerned. It was beautiful and enduring but it was swiped. They did not have permission to share my photos so I am reposting them from my business site to my UnveiledMom Instagram site with my logo/watermark. I love sharing our journey and pray that it inspires others to open their hearts and homes. However, stealing images is not okay. Help preserve the integrity of what we are doing to spread awareness by simply asking. I may so no or I may say yes but please swiped no swiping.
I am birth mom to my 3 boys, foster mom to 2 sweet babies, wife to my high school sweet heart, and daughter to my King. I love to write. I am no scholar but I love my Lord and He helps me.