Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Called to foster care

I could write to you about the many weeks and months we've spent sitting across from one another, working out the whispers and messages God has dropped into our hearts, both separately and together.  I could show you my journal pages, hidden from the social media eye but full to the brim of questions, very little answers, and prayer after prayer for the next step for our family. 

I could write ballads by the bucketfuls about the long days and weeks and months of waiting on adoption news.  I could speak for hours about the things that began to get our attention during the silence, needs both here in the U.S. and from afar.  I could give you organizations and ministries by the list, of people hungry for both food and God.  I could tell you how spoiled I feel when our internet doesn't work and I "have" to do something else.  

I could write about entering the new year as a waiting family for adoption and winding through the months of nothing working out, yet everything working out at the same time.  I could paint you a picture of the looks and raised eyebrows Brett and I gave each other as we started to say "Maybe.....?"

I could do so much but for today I will explain it this way.  During these long months of waiting for adoption to happen, my eyes have been opened like they've never been before to the great needs of orphans in the world.  I described it in a journal entry as peeking around a stage curtain.  Whereas I used to fill journals with BIG ideas and dreams all about wanting to be the center stage star, now when I peel the curtain back and look my heart stops in my throat for I am met with the BIG gaze of so many eyes, so many needy people sitting in the seats looking back at me.  I can't forget those eyes and those seats, so many seats filled, if I tried.  I am forever changed. 

It came to our attention throughout all my research on orphan care that foster care is a great need.  We certainly "knew" this before, or so we thought.  We had our doubts and questions but as we began to ask the brave, beautiful, BOLD souls who are actually knee-deep in foster care, we found our questions answered, our confidence doubled and tripled, our calling sure. 

This week we closed the door with our adoption agency and instead, will begin our journey with foster care in December.  We look forward to loving on whomever God places in our home and sharing our journey with you! 

Monday, October 17, 2016

I'm a BraveGirl.

Our rural internet has been down and I have missed occupying this little corner of the web the past few days.  A few weeks back I had a rare, gem of a morning.  I typically don't like to go into details about our morning routine because I've noticed people get really weird sometimes about what your household does vs. mine.  To put it simply, I've found what works for us and that's that.  But I will say in full disclosure this particular morning my girls were asleep past seven.  We had nowhere to go that morning, at least not until later.  I poured my coffee, drank in the silence and breathed deep the intoxicating aroma of morning.  After my usual few sips I noticed something-no one was awake yet.  With an extra bit of pep in my step I started across the house to my craft room but something stopped me in my tracks. 
It was damp and foggy outside, a magical kind of morning.  The painting and crafting would simply have to wait.  The world was just begging to be noticed right outside the front door! 

I quickly pushed my much smaller feet into Brett's big farm boots and went clunking along outside, camera in hand.  When I walked up to the farm fence I noticed the greatest beauty was found inside the pasture.   I quickly slipped my camera strap around my neck and made my way over the fence, secretly praying the neighbors wouldn't notice what I was up to again.  

I suppose from far away the pasture would have looked pretty enough.  But up close, it told a whole different story.  Pretty doesn't even begin to describe it.  Captivating, or mesmerizing is more like it.  

This whole tiny world, all within a few feet on the farm pasture, simply felt alive. 

While I normally drag my feet into fall, eyes still searching the horizon for summer, this particular morning reminded me in no time at all that there is beauty to be had in all the seasons.  The same is true of life.  

This is why I adore photography so much.  It has helped my eyes notice this grand world like I never would have otherwise.  Some people see the camera as a distraction to participating in life.  I see it as a record keeper, a memory holder, a lens through which all of life deems worthy of noticing.

I was asked by a friend of mine to contribute photos to a blog she is a part of called BraveGirl. I thought and prayed about it for a few days, but really as soon as she had asked I thought a giant "yes!" inwardly.  It is this view on life, this gift of seeing what others may not, that I wish to offer as a pleasing act of worship to God.  

So I said "yes".  I am meeting the rest of the BraveGirls this week and soon you'll see my photography on the blog, a small offering of what a big God we serve collectively, together.  

You can check out my BraveGirl profile and why contributing to this blog means so much to me here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

DIY Painted Step

I'm sorta known for not being real organized, or at least it doesn't come naturally to me.  However, when I used to teach I had 28 little souls to keep up with and that taught me a lot about having systems in place and being more organized.  Those lessons transferred to being a mom and especially now that I'm a mom of two.  So all that to say I found myself in the garage last week, looking around at the dirtiness, spiders, and junk wondering "where did all this come from?" My husband usually cleans out the garage, every few months or so. This time it was my turn.  

I got to work cleaning out the whole garage and then giving it a good sweep and vacuum with the shop vac.  After all that my eyes landed on this sad, dirty little step.  We go over it a million times a week, seeing as it's the step that goes from the house to the garage.  I decided I'd paint it. 

A few coats of wild paint later, it looked much happier.  Brett said he felt like he was living in the "My Little Pony" house and I told him his feet would surely thank him every time he stepped on this delight of a step. 

This is our funny life and I wouldn't have it any other way. 
Now go do your feet a favor and paint your own step! :) 

Monday, October 10, 2016

My own Craft Weekend at Meg's!

You guys, I am home from a bucket list weekend! You've heard of Meg's Craft House, right?! Or if you haven't, click on over and take a look.  It is completely dreamy.  Well I've been reading Meg's blog for years.  She hosts her own Craft Weekends and the wait list is crazy long.  I have a friend who has been on the list for FIVE years.  

Within the past year or two Meg has started renting out her Craft House on the weekends she's not hosting Craft Weekend.  A local friend of mine and her group of friends rent it out in the fall and spring and she's invited me several times to go.  I've always said no, because of schedule conflicts or because the girls were too little.  
She asked me to go again and this time I said yes.  I, admittedly, was a nervous wreck! I only knew a couple of people out of the whole group.  But as I was waiting in the parking lot to carpool I looked up and saw a huge rainbow! It felt like a boost of confidence straight from God.  
Everyone was so incredibly nice and fun and easy to be with! We spent the weekend visiting the awesome thrift and antique stores in Newton, Kansas. We also ate good food, watched movies, and crafted! 

This was my first time to sit at a long table full of makers.  Some were sewing, some were painting.  It was wonderful!  I did a few paintings while I was there, read a book, took a ton of photographs, made a weaving, a banner, and a wooden sign.  

Take a peek at how dreamy the Craft House was! 

My banner!

My friend Cheryl even came from Missouri! We met through our blogs several years ago and have always kept in touch.  It was a delight to have her there! She makes these gorgeous bookmarks, as well as key holders, bracelets, signs, and more! I'm going to post her shop soon in a Christmas gift guide.  
This was my little dreamy seat. 

One of the top highlights from the weekend for me was visiting The Mill in Marion, Kansas.  You guys, this was heaven on earth.  I have never seen so many antiques and good junk in one place in my life.  Ever.  It was amazing.  

Outside of the Mill were rows and rows of everything you could imagine.  Someone was burning leaves and it smelled like fall when I walked around here.  The sun was shining and a train went by! Just such a brilliant place. 

Those are train tracks you see behind the building! 
I want this building by the way. Can you even imagine how many fun events I could host in a building like that?!?! ;) 
This is the owner of the Mill.  He was real nice and showed us around some.  He called me "Picture Girl" and wanted me to make sure and photograph these neat crates for my blog.  

That "Slow" sign came home with me! 

This was another place we went called Bearely Makin' It Antiques.  
Another little painting I did! I love this one.  It feels happy to me. 

My cozy sleeping spot.
I have wanted to make a weaving for a couple of years.  So I bought some yarn and just did it.  It looks a little funky and that's exactly why I love it! 

(!!!!) Think I can talk Brett into doing this?

Nah, I didn't think so either. But seriously how fun are these stairs!

This is the beautiful sky and rainbow I saw before the trip started! I even saw a tiny rainbow on my way home too.  It was hard being away from the girls and Brett for so long, I admit.  Still, I am so glad I went! I told my friend I felt "seen, heard, and loved" on this trip.  It was just such a fun group of ladies.  
Of course I had to make sure everyone at home was taken care of while I was gone! I went overboard stacking their clothes, leaving the fridge and freezer stocked, and writing them love notes. 

It was a great weekend but there's truly no place like home! 

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