Tuesday, October 22, 2013

So that just happened...

We are in the process of transferring our foster care license from the county to the state.  It's a long story, but the short version is that for now we are only interested in growing our family through adoption.  It does not mean we are done fostering forever.  It does not mean that we think everyone should stop being foster parents or no one should consider doing it - it is a much needed and beautiful experience!  If you want to hear more (you know I'm always happy to talk foster care and adoption!), feel free to contact me (in person, email, comment, etc...)  Anyhoo - here we are.  Waiting.  =)  A necessary step in the process, I guess!
In other news - some friends just brought home their forever baby!!!  So amazingly excited for them - it's not my story to tell, but they have been through a lot of heartache and even in their joy, I'm sure they are still processing some grief.  It's a blessing that they are willing to share their journey w/us and everyone around them.  Please pray for them as they spend these first days together, allowing God to unite them in a way that DNA can't!  Thank you!
We've been hearing good news for others who have been granted TPR and are headed for adoption, families who are building relationships w/their foster placements and friends who are soon to deliver babies of their own!!  Very exciting =)  I am so thankful I can share in other's joy at a time when I am trying hard not to focus on the boring part of waiting!  This time serves a purpose though, I know that...getting a lot done around the house!  Well, not right now, per se, but....you know what I mean...
To all my friends in foster care - I see you.  I see how you are working every day in a crazy system, just to make a difference in your community.  I see you, the gallons and gallons of love overflowing from your tiny cup, how it never stops and how so few people pour their love into you.  I see you.  I love you.  I am cheering for you, standing behind you and praying for you!!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Respire, aspire, maybe perspire a little and hopefully inspire

If you read my blog or know me, you know I am a notorious list maker.  I make them, lose them, write new ones, compile them, file them, etc...I have written a life list, or a bucket list, of sorts at least 3 times on this blog and yearly goals for a few years in a row.  (You can read them here, here and my 2013 goals here - the second one is really the best.)  A lot of the things on the lists I thought I might actually have a shot at (like adopting) and some of them I may never get to do (like seeing a komodo dragon in the wild) but I put them on there anyway.  That being said, I realized the other day that a handful of my life list items are 'in progress' - I am in some way, shape or form actually doing 3 or more things I didn't think I would ever get the chance to do!  Recently I saw a FB post from a 40 days for Life type of group (can't remember which one) about starting a crisis pregnancy center in my town.  My eyes nearly jumped out of my head - I have always wanted to do something like that, ever since I 'met' Bethany.  She had written about volunteering in one and I put it on my life list b/c I really want to do that too.  I figured it would have to wait until I moved to a bigger city...I was wrong!  Thank God I was wrong!  I have been to a few meetings and we have a board, possible location and funds - more funds than I ever thought possible, thanks to the Teens 4 Life group we have here!  I cannot wait to go to each meeting and I have met some people filled w/compassion and love!  I know God will do great things...I am so grateful for the chance to be a part of it here, now...
...Another thing from my list was to get back to the drama world. I can’t say for certain when, exactly, it was, but I believe it was the summer of 2012 when a pastor from my church came to me and told me about an acting opportunity.  He had been working with a man from another church on a script…immediately intrigued, I told him to keep me posted.  A few weeks went by and I received notice about the auditions.  We were a small group that first night, but we prayed and God directed the steps of a few others to join us.  In spring of 2013, we performed the play for the first time, under my pastor’s direction.  We all felt exhausted afterwards, but sad that it had to end.  The author of the play reminded us that it didn’t have to end!  We have since performed it again and there are contacts being made and at least two more bookings seem forthcoming.  Our goal of performing for many people far and wide no longer seems out of the realm of possibilities…I've designed a website for our merry band of actors and we shall see where this takes us.  It's so exciting to be a part of this, to be doing something I love to shine the light of Jesus into the world!  
One of the things on my goals was to be a part of a women's ministry.  All my life I have had a wide variety of friends, but mostly they were guys.  I just found it to be easier to maintain those relationships - too much drama w/the ladies!!  I'm not a 'girly-girl' either so shopping and makeup and jewelry don't interest me much, but sports and stuff does.  I've managed to keep some very dear friends who are girls close and for that I consider myself blessed, but it's always been a challenge to attend anything women oriented at church.  I have generally steered clear of large gatherings of women!! but then when I did actually go, I started to feel encouraged, loved and happy.  I forced myself to try again and pray about relationships w/women.  The opportunity came up to be one of the 'founding members' if you will of the women's ministry team a woman is starting at our church.  I said yes, wondering if I was biting off more than my emotions could handle, but not a day goes by that I don't think of one of the other women on our team and how she has blessed me w/her friendship!  One night we were getting together to make some decorations for an event...a bunch of us arrived w/supplies and tools, but our fearless leader was not there yet so we didn't know where to start.  We sat talking, laughing, hugging and crying...when our leader came, we got right to work and the talking, laughing, hugging and crying didn't stop!  It didn't feel like work =)  Our hands were busy and so were our hearts.  I had to blink back tears when I thought about how I would feel if I had missed out on all of that, the friendships, the chance to serve others in the church and just to say that I was a part of a team who wanted to share what we had w/other women in the community!  How I had ached for something simple, just friends who could do stuff together every once in a while and actually cared about each other's lives!  And now that I have it, I will fight to keep it!  There are times when I feel like I'm such a goof and I don't fit in or I don't have the newest clothes or whatever kind of crap Satan made me believe all my life - but I kick him in the teeth and go anyway.  So there.  
As for all the other stuff on my list...still working on it.  As you know, we've adopted once already and are on the wait list to do it again.  (Please pray that God hurries...it's hard to wait!!)  I've seen a komodo dragon at a lizard zoo (or something like that), so I'm sort of counting that.  We've visited both Duke University and UNC (more specifically, the basketball courts), but haven't seen a game yet, so we are what - 1/4 of the way there?  I'm slacking in the exercise dept these days, so improvements to my 5K time will have to wait.  Some serious discussions (including price checks!) have been had about the house boat down the Mississippi River, but...trying to decide which items are more of a priority than others.  Buy a house in the country?  Get a new truck and camper?  Go on a super awesome trip down the river?  Go to Europe?  How do you go about deciding???  Apparently I am learning the lesson that you don't.  God opens a window or a door and you just go through it.  Then you write a FB post telling people to stop praying for your life list!  Then you write a blog post of how blessed you are to knock things off your list....

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Playing house

This is performance week!  Three rehearsals and four performances...people get a little crazy and apparently full of the giggles!  I snapped this pic from backstage during the fight scene.  If you haven't seen it and are near Plymouth WI, you should come!  Our goal is to perform this show in various venues and cities, so if you think you'd like to bring us into your community, please email me - I'd be happy to provide the storyline and basis for the show.  I am so privileged to be working with people who have many talents!!  I am tired too, though, so please pray for me, the others and our families.  Right now sickness is taking over...but we press on.  I am grateful I have this opportunity - not only am I fulfilling one of my goals for the year but I feel like I am flirting with one of my bucket list items. So in short, tired but happy.  It's hard to be away from family, but it fills my heart to be around people like me (performer types!), people I have come to count as close friends.  Just the other day I was working on little favors for an event with some of the women from the women's ministry team at church and we talked, laughed, cried and hugged while we worked.  I was only there for 30 minutes but those moments were like buoys for my soul!  So many times in life I feel like I am just playing house, not connecting to real people or stuck in my own issues...the family in the play is plagued with strife, stress, problems etc and they can't seem to find the value in relationships...I am blessed to have some strong relationships in my life!  I praise God for that and for the people by which I am surrounded!


Fall is my favorite season!  I have so many more pictures to share but I'm busy prepping food, going to school/gymnastics/swimming events, and practicing for the play!  And my birthday is coming up!!!  I am looking forward to breakfast at my favorite place (where they do both the prep AND cleanup!) and hopefully lots of hugs from my family I haven't seen in a while.  Hurry up October!  :D