Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Date rides

I'm telling ya. The things we have done this year have been so heart impacting and even as crazy as it all has been, it is the most I have felt alive and living the spirit on fire as God intended. When we have down time between the crazy, I relish it so much more. But then I'm ready to jump back in again.

The best part...we didn't over think it all. We didn't ponder for years or even months...we just said YES God. My fly by the seat personality LOVES that! Thankful engineer hubs has been able to jump since usually he is the planner. It has grown us and taught us.

Remember that dirtbike hubs got last month?  It has been a huge blessing. Dates are the best. Just us out riding like when we were in high school. I really feel those moments more frequently is what keep us together and thriving through the crazy! Weather is getting cool and we will have to switch to other dates but having two tweens we trust whom our kids enjoy make all the difference too. It's hard finding it but well worth the effort. I'm thankful for the season of soley staying home with my littles but I'm also thankful for the older growing and me being able to have a few hrs here and there away.

So I tell you mamas who can't imagine leaving your littles for a date...it's ok. Don't.  This is a season and someday it will shift and you will feel more comfortable with their age and caretakers and mommyhood. Date nights will then be enjoyable and connecting. Every single mom is different so don't feel pushed by society's standards. Let your God given heart tell you when your ready. In the end, I'm so glad I did.

Friday, October 10, 2014

It's not Supposed to be Convenient

The safe families fundraiser really wrecked my heart. I tore down some walls I was building after our first hosting experience. 

We had fun, ate good food and raised money for a good cause! It was a good turnout!! So thankful two families from our church came. ♡

 I heard a story of a mom who used safe families for her son. It was tear jerking. It helped me relate more to the dad we hosted for. With men you don't always see the emotion, we had conversation daily but it was all about physical of the kids. I never really heard their story. Everyone has one and every one is important. Sometimes we get so caught up in the situation we forget the deep hidden hurts. She spilled her heart, her heart in her story. She told the impact it made on her and the faith she gained through it. Hearing thr emotions just really brought more perspective, less irritation I felt with all the factors we dealt with in this hosting. I'm ready for the next.

Another host family got up and spoke, only they had 3 other families and their parents be apart of the hosting experience. I think that is where we lacked. We had prayer support but really I had one other host mom to text with the last week we had the kids. Support and connection just wasn't there since we are new to the area, our church home is 45min away and we don't know many host families. Just having someone to chat with who understands hosting and foster care is huge. I exchanged numbers with another host mom (the one who had before hosted the two girls we had) and that made me feel more prepared. She had similar feelings I had regaurding the situation but she also being a foster mom helped me see things a bit differently.

But what impacted most was what the one host mom said..."This isn't supposed to be convenient... If we are the one constant in that little girls life then that's a good thing." They have had this child many times, even emergency texts that said please pick her up...and they did. It is sacrafice and it isn't always easy or pretty, but it is good.

And so we wait to see if we get a call. We don't know when. We do still have some boundaries on what we feel we can handle. But they are not as strict as my last blog post..God opens hearts and then the doors open and we simply do. I love this quote by Bob Goff...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Being brave...an IG shop

Reading a new book. Oh how I love books that God speaks straight to the heart! Love love love them! Annie Downs new book Let's all be Brave inspires. It pulls me out and tells me to jump. It picksup where Bob Goffs LOVE DOES stops...

And so I started an Instagram shop. I will have instasales and sell items as I create.  The proceeds will then be donated to causes near and dear to my heart...adoptions, sick kiddos, kidney and organ donation sites, food pantries,  local families in need of help, safe families... with God the possibilities are endless!! So find me @graspingwhimsyshop and follow all the new creations and maybe buy something now and then. Share with friends and help us being a blessing and show #lovedoes to others ♡

Monday, October 6, 2014

Safe Families First Hosting Story

Our hosting is over. It is a mixture of relief, thankfulness and yet some hesitation. I am going to be real here, not sugar coat it like I could being a few days away from the situation. I know reading real helped me in hosting and I hope this helps others.

I know some more things now than I knew about the family before we hosted their children. In hindsight I would of said no to the hosting. And yet I think God protected us so we would host them. We did what He asked. We showed love and care.

I feel the physical care of two kids 9 months apart under 18mo (plus the 12 week old we babysit few days a week) was so taxing. I had barley any energy  left to share emptional love. I prayed and hoped that doing was enough. That presence was enough. That safety, security and a house of positive environment was enough.

The SF girls needed to keep going to daycare so they could have some consistency and the dad could keep their spots. I was thankful for the daytime with just my girls but the runs were exhausting.  My girls hated it. We homeschool and so have alot of flexibility in our days. Early mornings and specific pickup time we almost missed a few times...stressful!

I confess that I was highly irritated by the constant sickness that brought on bedding changes and baths daily and that got my own kids sick. I confess that I was frustrated that the 18mo had dietary restrictions that made it so hard to figure out what to feed her. I admit that I could of prayed more and could of loved more with more snuggles and more joyful words. I knew the daycare runs would be out of our norm. I didn't know how much I would dread them.

The first week of sleeping was a little rough.  The next few weeks we got rhythm down and the bedtime was pretty much a breeze. I approached sleep differently than the dad. He was very specific in many of his requests for care for his girls which warmed my heart that he cares. And yet it made my job more difficult. I could not follow his schedules and ways since our home and the environment is completely different. And I have my own kids. We do rock, snuggle and give bottles and sit in rooms till asleep if kids cry. Comfort and safety is what those kids needed. Not structure here.

Daily phone calls from dad was heartwarming but hard for me.  I dreaded them for two reasons...1) I'm not a phone talker, written word or in person is my forte. 2) I felt under the microscope a little. Asked so many detailed questions and told what I could do better. I know he had hard time letting go and so acknowledged that. I can't imagine. Still was tough.

Please don't take this wrong. I am so glad he cares and I am so very picky about my girls care. However when someone is voluntary caring for your kids and your in a crisis there needs to be some blind trust. The job of the volunteer is to love and care for your children and there needs to be freedom to do as needed in the different environment. Transitions are always hard for kids and no matter how one tries to keep a schedule of someone else in a different home there will always be a transition coming into it and  one once home. Pressure to follow his requests just made it more of a struggle.

Thankfulness and blessings happened here too. Thankfulness the dad brought all main itmes the girls needed, we only had to buy few supplies and borrow a few baby items here and there. The  SF girls went home for the weekends so we had our time as family for few days in between.

The blessings are I was able to share with the social worker the delays one child has and so I hope they will get her the early help she needs. Blessings were the daycare teachers saw improvment while they were in our home. Blessings were I got to show my thanks to those daycare teachers daily as I remember what that job was like pre my own kids! Blessings were the quiet moments of snuggling those girls and the laughter that came from them while playing with my kids. Blessings was how my girls stepped up and helped and loved even through the hard times. Blessings are I learned to enjoy the stage of life I am in with my older girls. To not desire to find something bigger than what I am doing in our daily lives to serve God. If it is for us, He will bring it and it will be apparent...just as the kidney donation and Safe Families.

I feel we are where we are supposed to be...occasionally offering our home and love to SF kids, snuggling our 12 week old babysitting gig, doing our homeschool and experiencing our city, and donating our handmade items or the proceeds from their sales to charities near and dear to our hearts...including some other people's adoptions, Safe families and a few orphanages.

So yes, we will host again. We need some space between, we have some specific questions we will ask next time and also will stick with some specific requests...a few being 1 child and  no daycare. But we know even in the sacrafice it is worth it. It builds character in us all and shows #lovedoes. And it is temporary.  We can do tough stuff in Christ. HE IS ENOUGH.

( I have permission to share this story without names and with non face photos)

Monday, September 29, 2014

Safe Families Adventure Begins

Wow. It's been almost a month since I blogged here...want to know why?????

We started our first hosting with Safe Families. We got the call one day and had a few hours to decided if we would take the children. Now you may ask why wouldn't we? Isn't that why we went through all the homestudy and training and fbi checks months before?


But we had said 1 child under age 2. This call was 2 kids 18mo and 9mo for 3 weeks. It was alot to take into consideration.  And also in these weeks we would start our 12 week old babysnuggling gig we had comitted to 6weeks before. Alot at one time! In addition to homeschooling our girls. After some chatting, prayer and consulting our close friends and worship team at church...we said yes.

We jumped and hoped God would meet us there. And it has been tough and He has been enough. We are almost done with our 3 weeks and as it wraps up I really feel different than I thought I would. God really is in this Love Does stuff...More on that and hosting details to come...

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Grasping whimsy...what's in a name?

If you noticed here or in IG that my name has changed you are very observant!  ;-)

I'm going through a transformation of sorts in my inside and outside life.

I want to live my life in whimsy, not take things to seriously, enjoy the life God gave me. Forgive often and over and over, be less offended and less hurt, be more kind and giving and love as God does, no strings attatched, no matter if not loved in return. 

Whimsy means a playful or amusing quality : a sense of humor or playfulness. (Websters dictionary)

I read in Bob Goffs book "Love Does" all about whimsy and loving. It's all over that book. I found some quotes below but really go read the book you won't be sorry you did! As it impacted my heart and desire for whimsy.

And this has inspired the change. The change in so many ways...inside and out.

My husband lives whimsy often. He makes me laugh and be playful.  His career is stressful often yet he still finds a way to be joyful and whimsy at home and at work. I love that! And the girls they get whimsy!   They live it every day all day and I want to embrace it, take hold and never ever let go. Just because we grow older doesn't mean we need to loose that! We can choose to grasp it!

Name change means so much to me. I see the significance of biblical name changes. It is freeing to have a fresh start! God gave me this name. He orchestrates it all. He knew the previous name while great and God honoring, wasn't what He was trying to tell me to live...sharing God stories is part of our life and a wonderful part. But it propelled me to seek out more "to do" to find a plan...not live joyful and present and whimsy...

Grasping whimsy is the life God meant for us in the garden, sharing with Him walking with Him. It is how Jesus enjoyed life on this earth even in the trials and hardships and responsibilities.  He loved just being with people, enjoying the food and drink and beauty God laid out in this land, he loved people no matter what they did to him. He was filled with Joy and childlike  whimsy. 

I'm choosing to grasp whimsy and keep grasping it. To make the choice over and over and over. Life is short. I want to have lived the best life God gave me, have loved those around me with all I've got and enjoy the journey. In Christ filled whimsy I can do that. ♡

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor day and life...

We have had a great weekend! Pastor preached on something my heart so needed yeaterday and I feel back on track again. Love ALWAYS wins! Holding hope forever! He is the God of miricles and I can choose to be filled with and give love. Period. 

I loved this quote from Mother Teresa as it goes so well with what Pastor preached...some chalk art girls and I are working on too...photos below.

Hubs and I were blessed with 3 hr date riding the super moto sat morning. Girls had their first drop off bday party at friends we know well. It's so great having them be older! I'm loving it!! We held our friends new babe after church yesterday. She was in nicu two weeks. So thankful she is home and doing great! Im enjoying occasional baby snuggles from friend's babes but thankful those days are done for us! Two months ago I wasn't sure as out of the blue adoption was hefty on my heart due to a specific situation that ended up not needing us... God has other plans for us!! And I am thankful for that now!

Labor Day is upon us today and guess what is my hubs doing...manual labor! He is fence building. Quite the maniac too as he got 9 post holes dug by hand in under 3 hrs!  It's going to go quick now.  We think we are leaving the back to the woods open for now and maybe doing a black chain link there later so it doesn't cover our view.

Girls took Lucky cat out on leash. She loved it and was so natural with it. And then they tried last night, almost dark and she freaked,got out of the harness. I was about in tears thinking girls might loose two cats in one weekend....but thankfully she came right to me. She was just scared. Might try again in daytime and see if that was difference. Spoiled cat!!

That's all from this small midwestern city home. Enjoy your time with your loved ones. We never know when today may be last one...love others even in the tough moments...God is so much bigger than our circumstances. ♡ HAPPY HAPPY Labor day!