December 16, 2008


Since becoming a mommy, I've had to be a little more creative in the way I spend time in the Word and learning from God. I've started listening to sermons on the computer, because I'm able to do that while feeding, changing, cleaning, etc. Recently I have found great blessing in Francis Chan's teaching, so I thought I'd post the link to his podcast just in case anyone would also like to listen....

So, Here's where to find them...

I hope you find blessing in them too!

December 5, 2008

Projectile Parenting

I have been thrown up on seven times in the last 48 hours. It is gross, it smells really bad, and Mena and I are both running out of laundry due to the 8 changes of clothes we've both been through in the last two days.
What's wrong with her? I'm not sure. Well...I take that back. On Tuesday she had a fever of 104 degrees, and started puking - doctor says it's a virus, wait it out.......thanks. But, she woke up on Wednesday without a fever and apparently feeling just fine. She's thrown up twice since then, but it doesn't seem related to the prior virus. She's completely fine outside of the time she's actually upchucking all over me, and she only throws up when she's taking a bottle. She has a cough, and we're thinking maybe that's the culprit - making her gag. Or maybe she's developed an allergy or something.

All this to say....
Oh, the joys of Parenting.

December 2, 2008

True Compassion

"We are called to play the Good Samaritan on life's roadside....but one day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that a system that produces beggars needs to be repaved. We are called to be the Good Samaritan, but after you lift so many people out of the ditch you start to ask, maybe the whole road to Jericho needs to be repaved."
-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in a sermon at Riverside Church entitled "A Time to Break the Silence"

We need to do more. And by we I mean the church. And by the church I mean you and I. We have come to a place where we fling coins to beggars, but do not venture to sit on the side of the road with them to ask what it is they really need. Why will we not go further? Why won't we do more? Are we afraid? Do we not trust Jesus? Are we too concerned with saving money for our retirement that people right now have to suffer? When do we come to a point that flinging coins is not enough? When are we going to love people like they are our brothers and sisters instead of loving them like we just want one more person to hear our 5 steps to salvation?

In his book "The Irresistible Revolution," Shane Claiborne discusses Matthew 25: 31-45:
When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be assembled before him, and he will separate people one from another like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to dringk? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or naked and clothe you? WHen did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the king will answer them, 'I tell you the truth, just as you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of mine, you did it for me'
Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels! For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a strager and you did not recieve me as a guest, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me. Then they too will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not give you whatever you needed?' Then he will answer them, 'I tell you the truth, just as you did not do it for one of the least of these, you did not do it for me.' And these will depart into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

Jesus sounds pretty serious about this whole serving the poor and disadvantaged thing. But it seems like the first thing that we toss out. Because it makes us uncomfortable? I don't know. But it doesn't sound much like God calls us to a life of comfort.

Rich Mullins delivered a sermon at Wheaton College and said, "Your guys are all into that born again thing, which is great. We do need to be born again, since Jesus said that to a guy named Nicodemus. But if you tell me I have to be born again to enter the kingdom of God, I can tell you that you have to sell everything you have and give it to the poor, becasue Jesus said that to one guy too.....But I guess that's why God invented highlighters, so we can gighlight the parts we like, and ignore the rest."

This is so convicting for me. I don't want an easy Christianity - Jesus didn't serve an easy term on this earth.
Let's think bigger than making a donation. What can we do to TRULY serve our savior and his brothers and sisters? Any ideas?

November 22, 2008

Growing and Changing

Mena is doing so many new things. It seems like she is growing an learning by the second. She's learned how to go up and down the stairs. She's now walking her push toy all over the house. She distinctly calls me MaMaMaMaMa. Eating new table foods is very exciting for her now. Yesterday morning she told Brian "NoNoNo!" when he was trying to wipe off her face. She even has a few new dance moves.
It is such a joy to see her learning and growing. To be honest, at first this felt a little like babysitting. But seeing her changing so much while she is with us makes it so much more.
When Cassandra first came to live with us, she was barely reading at all - having to sound out words like "at" or "it". Now she can read through an entire early reader book, only having to sound out the difficult words. It's amazing.
While this is challenging, it also brings so much joy. It is difficult to constantly block out the worlds mantra - "Look at all you're missing out on." "You're so young, you should be out having fun!" "What are you getting yourself into?" But once I get past these things, knowing that I am being guided by the hands of my creator, there is just so much joy.

November 13, 2008

Just Thoughts.

Things I'm thinking about today:

1. I had to yell at myself "LOOSEN UP!" because I was being a lame mom. No one needs a lame mom. After I did this, we screamed David Crowder songs all the way to school. It was much better that way.

2. Our cat Brit really likes to snuggle me by laying on my neck. Unfortunately, when he stops
snuggling me, my neck smells like cat, and Brian won't kiss me. But I really like snuggling
Brit.... It's a toss up.

3. Honey Nut Spins for breakfast may just be the best breakfast ever.

4. I love spending time with God. I wish it was slightly less interrupted than it is these days. But then I remember, this is what God has for me, he understands the interruptions.

5. I took Cassandra to the dentist this morning to get two cavities out, and she's incredible. I'm a much bigger wuss than she is.

6. Mena is incredibly adorable when she shakes her booty to the music. She has rhythm.

November 11, 2008

As Big as The Moon

Cassandra often wonders how big things are. Like God, or how fun our day will be, or how long something will get the idea. She'll ask something like, "Is it big like a tree? Or is it big like the house? Or is it big like the sky?" Until she's satisfied that you have defined exactly how big the current something is. Last night, as we were putting her to bed she whispered to me,

"Maggie, guess what?"
She got very close and whispered in my ear, "I love you as big as the planet!"
I answered, "Well I love you as big as the universe!"
"Well I love you as big as all the planets squished into one BIG planet!" was her reply.

She's so sweet. I love her as big as the universe.

We recently found out that the girls will most likely be leaving us sometime in early January, just after the holidays. Please pray for the time that we have left with them. That we can love them like Jesus, and that they don't forget what they have learned about Him in their time here. Also, if you could begin praying for their transition now, and that they continue to learn about Christ after they go.

Here are some sweet pictures of the girls playing in the leaves on Halloween...

November 2, 2008

So Sweet.

Life is, that is.
There isn't a whole lot that is more fun than partying it up with a seven year old. Having a giggle fest over something that probably wouldn't be funny if your counter part weren't 1/3 your age is just great. My very favorite thing is probably our Latino dance parties when we get to shake our booties and try our best to keep a beat (she's seven and I have no rhythm.). Becoming a parent overnight causes all kinds of changes ... but it's also just so sweet. What a blessing.

Another favorite is getting to see them learn and grow and change is so many ways. Recently I had a pretty great conversation with Cassandra:

Maggie, does God live in a cloud?

Well, yes, God is in the clouds.
...Cassandra, what do you think it would be like to live in a cloud?


Yeah, I guess it might be pretty white, huh?

Did there must be a lot of love in those clouds, huh? (She's still working on being able to ask questions without the spanish influence.)

A lot of love? (thrown off from the comment about it being white)

Yeah, if God lives there in those clouds, there must be a lot of love there, yeah?

Yeah, they must be pretty full of love. (Tearing up over her understanding of God's love)

Maggie, does God have a mustache?

Well, I'm just not sure Cassandra ... I love you.

I think God is thrilled with her.

October 30, 2008


I have noticed that once you're a parent, poop seems to come up in so many conversations. I had this conversation with our friends Amber and Rivers recently. Then I realized that my last three phone calls with my mom have started by talking about Mena's bowel movements (she's had a bit of a rough stretch), and that Brian and I seem to talk about it at least once a day - what was it like? How many times? Color? Consistency?
Much more than I ever wanted to know about poop prior to having children. And now here I am writing a blog post about it.

Who would have ever thought.

October 22, 2008

Starting from the Middle.

Starting from the middle is strange. I think that when you have a baby there are expected feelings, emotions, attachments, and things that people expect from you as well. When you start in the middle there are not expectations. There are no books on how to start raising a child at nine months, or at seven years. There are lots of adoption books, but this is not adoption.

I'm not even sure how to write about the feelings. And everyone seems to have all of the answers, (Not that I'm not very thankful for advice...goodness knows that I need it!!!) but they are not answers for this. They are answers for starting at the beginning. It is difficult that no one we know has this experience, so that we can get answers - or at least dialogue - from people who know this starting in the middle kind of challenge.

Anyway, what I do know is that I am so thankful to our creator that He is always there. That He understands and knows each situation, each person, each heart. It helps with the lonely nature of trekking on different ground. He knows my heart, and my feelings even when I cannot put them into words. Thank you Lord, for that companionship.
What I also know is that when Mena sees me coming to get her up from her nap and squeals with a toothy grin on her face, or when she is upset and I am the only one that can console her, and when Cassandra comes to our bed in the morning to snuggle, that He puts in my heart a love for these girls. These girls that may be with us for a very short while, or for a very long time. Only He knows.

October 13, 2008


Here's our photo website....


This takes everything. When you become a parent, it IS your life - it requires all of you. I'm so glad for short nap times when I can spend some time finding God. In some ways, since this adventure has started, I feel like I have lost a part of myself - primarily because I don't have time to think about that very thing - myself. Which brings me to the things God has surfaced in my life through this trial:

1. My impatience.
2. My selfishness.

Parenting does not allow for these - so they really stick out like a sore thumb. God is working on these in me. I find myself thinking, "I just want some normalcy back!" (which no longer exists) and longing to be at YAMS or out with Brian instead of doing bed time. That's when God stops me and says, "Maggie, why are you doing this? What makes this worth it, the conditions of your current circumstances, or me?"
So when Mena is crying and won't take her nap, or when Cassandra just can't make it through her homework - I have to stop asking God to change my circumstances, because that is His lesson plan. Instead I have to ask him to change my heart to be more like His.

With all of that said, thank you Mom.

October 7, 2008

Weekend Trip

I had planned on going to a conference with my mom this past weekend, and while we didn't end up getting to go to the conference, we had some fun times with the kiddos!

Our picnic on the quad at Mizzou. (ranked number 5, I might add)

ZOO Fun!!!

She's a Ham. :)

A learning...

Moment for me....

Leave diaper on as long as possible when preparing for bath.

September 30, 2008


When I graduated for good in 2007, I honestly thought that I was finished with homework. Oh sure, somewhere in the back of my mind I thought "oh, I'll help my children with their homework someday... but that will be easy, because I will already know what they are learning, so it won't be trying or difficult or challenging like MY homework was."

What I didn't realize is that the hard part of homework for a parent has nothing to do with the level of difficulty of the particular assignment. No, the hard part of homework for a parent is keeping a 7 year old's attention on one assignment for 45 minutes. As Maggie said the other day (after helping Cassandra with her homework), "I feel like I should be more patient. I feel like I'm faking it the whole time!", to which I responded flippantly(callously?) "Fake it 'til you make it!"

Now I'm faking it too, which brings me to my question for you: Does faking patience count?


We found out today that we won't be able to spend time in our basement with our foster children because the basement windows are too small and too high off the floor. The only way we can get approval is if we replace at least one window with a taller/lower window, which involves digging a large hole in the front yard, and cutting a large hole in my foundation wall, then installing a new window and window well. Anyone with experience in either of those areas, please feel free to consult. (I'm looking at you Dad!)


Maggie got me sick, I hope Cassandra and Mena are spared!

September 29, 2008


Being sick when you're a mother of two is not very much fun. Especially when one of the two is entertained by nothing but crawling around as fast as possible and getting into everything, and the other is incessantly filled with energy.
I just hope that they don't get it. But seeing as that Mena and Cassandra have respectfully slept 141/2 and 12 hours in the last 24 hope may be in vain.

I'm very glad that God offers strength, because my fever has got me on "E".

September 26, 2008

Just Another Day in Paradise....

Well....the girls are here! We've had kind of a crazy couple of days, but things are going well (as long as you ignore the disaster that is our house :) ). I wanted to post a few pics of the girls.
Cassandra seems to be doing very well, and loves playing with Brian. Ximena, who goes by Mena, is also doing well, and is starting to adjust to our home. Both are sleeping through the night (praise God!). Mena won't go more than about 30 seconds without me holding if I can get her to take a nap today, I MIGHT get something done....but no promises.

We (kind of) celebrated a late birthday for Cassandra.

September 19, 2008

A quote...

...that I read some time ago in a book called "Turning Stones" by Marc Parent. This is a quote that jarred me during my time at the Children's Division, and just as much now in becoming a foster parent.

"You hear about children falling through the cracks in the system. Let me tell you something, there is no system, there are only people. Children don't fall through cracks, they fall through fingers."
-Marc Parent

Fingers like yours and mine.
Another author reminded me today of the importance of these kids lives. He said, "Often it has been stated that youth is the nation's greatest asset, but it is more than that, it is the worlds's greatest asset. More than that, it is perhaps the world's only hope." These kids need our help. the the update...

Yesterday ended up being a roller-coaster of a day:

Intake woman calls to say she hasn't heard from the caseworker, but when she does she will call me.
Intake woman calls and says that there is another foster family interested in taking the girls, and she'll call me back when she hears more. (Keep in mind they have already told us that the girls will be placed with us.)
Intake woman calls to say that Cassandra needs to stay in the same school district, I tell her that I will drive her to Olathe, she says she will call the caseworker and call me back.
Intake worker calls and says that the girls will be placed with us, but she is not sure of the date, and she gave the caseworker my number.
Caseworker calls me and tells me that the other foster parents don't want the girls moved until next Thursday evening. I ask her if there is any way that we could do it a little bit sooner, because I'm supposed to be out of town...she'll call back.
Caseworker calls and says they don't want to do it before Wednesday, so she will bring them that evening.

This all took from 8:00 in the morning until 6:00 at night to transpire. I guess it wouldn't sound so bad unless you felt what we have invested in this, and the emotion that goes into overnight getting used to the thought of having two children, then getting used to the thought that you won't, then getting used to the thought that you will. It was a very up and down day.

However, we now know that Cassandra (7 yrs. old) and Jimena (he-MENA) (10 months old) will be coming to live with us Wednesday. We've been told that Cassandra is a very beautiful, very sweet, VERY headstrong little girl. :) ...and that Jimena is healthy and starting to walk. I think that it will be a blessing to have these last few days to prepare our hearts.
I cannot wait to see them and to get to know them. The first couple of weeks will probably be very trying for the girls, please pray that Jesus' love and understanding empathy, through us, overcomes.

We are very, very excited.

September 18, 2008


Well, tonight we'll go to bed with two new family members having joined us. Today, at some point, we'll be meeting a 7 year old and a 10 month old - sisters - who will be living with us for a while. This morning I have been preparing our home for the girls - so excited to meet them, and so hopeful that we'll be able to show them our love in a real way.
I so hope that their family will be able to take care of them someday ... sooner than later. Pray for the girls, that we will be able to comfort, listen to, and love them. But even more than that, pray for their parents, that they can resolve the issues that brought the girls to us, and that they can have a family again.

I'll try to keep you all up to date on our lives and this exciting challenge. Of course, I'm thinking that I probably won't have quite as much time to update in the near future.....

September 11, 2008


A story that I recently heard in a Francis Chan sermon that I found comforting and much needed...

A man felt the call of God on his life, he was sure that God had something huge planned for him. The only problem was that he wasn't sure what it was that he was supposed to do. So he figured he needed prayer. Upon meeting Mother Teresa, he asks her, "Mother Teresa, will you pray for me?" She says, "Sure, what would you like me to pray for you about?" He states, "Clarity. I want to know in no uncertain terms what God wants me to do with my life." She looks back at him and says, "No, I won't pray for you for that." Very confused and embarrassed, the man spurts out, "Well why not? I only want for my life what you have had so clearly in yours. You seem to always know exactly what God's calling you to do."
Mother Teresa looks back at him and said, "I sir, have never had clarity. What I have had is trust. So I'll pray that you learn to trust."

I will pray for you now, for you have been my faithful friends
While the road we walk is difficult indeed
I couldn't not ask for more than what you've already been
Only that you would say these prayers for me
May your heart break enough that compassion enters in
May your strenght all be spent upon the weak
All the castles and crowns you build and place upon your head
May they all fall, come crashing down around your feet
May you find every step to be harder than the last
So your character grows greater every stride
May your company be of human insignificance
May your weakness be your only source of pride
What you do unto others may it all be done to you
May you meet the One who made us
And see Him smile when life is through
May your blessings be many but not what you hoped they'd be
And when you look upon the broken
May mercy show you what you could not see
May you never be sure of any plans you desire
But you'd learn to trust the plan He has for you
May your passions be tried and tested in the holy fire
May you fight with all your life for what is true
I have prayed for you now all my dear and faithful friends
But what I wish is more than I could ever speak
As the way wanders on I'll long to see you once again
Until then, would you pray these prayers for me?
Oh, that you would pray for me.

"Pray" by Kendall Payne

September 10, 2008

Ummm....More Change.

So, Monday was my last day of working at the Children's Division.
For those of you who did not know I was quiting, I put in my notice two weeks ago. Brian and I decided that it would be much better for me to be home when we have a child placed with us. While I still have very mixed emotions about leaving - I really think that it will be for the best.
The closer we got to being licensed, the more my anxiety level rose regarding being able to do my job (well) and being able to be invested in the kids that come to stay with us (fully invested). I want to be a good foster mom, and I couldn't do that while working at my stressful, 55 hour per week job.
Trusting God is more real to me now than I think it has ever been. Trusting Him with every decision, financially, in becoming a mom, and that He will work through us to make some difference, however small. However, in the times that we are asked to trust in Him the most - I am the most at peace. Because through His grace and love for us - He always keeps his promises.
So now I'm off to the farmer's market instead of the Children's Division - and I'm pretty ok with that. Meanwhile, incessantly wondering, boy or girl? 1 yr. old, 4 yrs. old, 9 yrs. old? Physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect? race? personality? Who is it that He has intended for us, and how do we make the biggest difference, or even just a small one? He has me on pins and needles.

September 4, 2008


I've never been much into blogging before. I think that this will be a good way of keeping friends and family up to date, since it seems like Brian and I have some major life decision or change coming at the rate of about one every two weeks these days. What can I say other than....God's got us busy.
So, I hope that through sharing God's challenges for us, that we'll stay closer, and who knows what He'll do from there.


Related Posts with Thumbnails