with the possibility of having a foster child, i put a desk in the living room so that the computer would be in place where all eyes could monitor what is on the screen. i also needed to have a weekly calendar displayed - this helps kids feel safe and stable - to know what is coming up. thanks to pinterest, i found a really cute one that i could make.
i am also going to use this for a meal calendar.
i got the frames at IKEA (they were $1.99), the scrapbook paper at hobby lobby (it was 40% off), and the dry erase marker at target.
i realize that i left the last foster blog in a cliff hanger. just to update you all. that one fell through. so i am open for new referrals. just waiting and trusting.
the number one question i keep getting asked is "how are you feeling?" i am feeling okay. this is an emotional rollercoaster for sure and it is hard. i knew it would be hard once i had a child in my home, but i did not expect this part of the process to be hard. ignorance i guess. it is heart-wrenching to hear about the difficult situations that these kids are in and of course i want to help and save them from it. but with each case i am forced to trust the sovereignty of god even more. he is in control of all things and he knows the best way to care for each of these children. as much as i want to help, have to remember that i am not the rescuer, He is. and i have to trust his plan.
I am super excited that the Verge Conference is back this year! Looking forward to going and learning more about missional communities. Hoping to get some more ideas for families who are in missional community.
i know i have talked about this book before, but a recent conversation with a friend this week brought it to mind again. i LOVE this book. it is by far the most encouraging book for children's ministry and parenting that i have read. it is a short and powerful read. this book will challenge the way you think about children's ministry and encourage you all at the same time.
spurgeon reminds us that value of a soul is not determined by its age. we are all guilty (yes even children's ministers) of putting more energy and emphasis in caring for adults and pointing them to jesus, but their soul is no more valuable than a little one's. we often teach the gospel to kids as if they are not really going to be saved until they are older anyway - like our god can't save them as a child.
spurgeon also challenges us to teach the hard doctrines to kids. just as they are important for you and i to know and understand god, they are are important to the kids. he pushes back on the idea that things are too hard fro children to understand. he says that if something is too hard for children to understand, then fault lies with the teacher. if the teacher does not understand it well enough to explain it simply to a child, then they do not truly understand it. sure there are things that developmentally are hard for children to understand, but i think spurgeon is right. this had driven me to study theology more than ever before. to explain sovereignty, atonement, suffering, and grace to a child correctly, i had better know it well. spurgeon as well as those at desiring god argue that the most theologically educated people in your church - meaning those who not just know but who understand it - need to be those in children's ministry.
he also challenges those who teach in children's ministry to teach with such care because our children do not have the choice to leave and sit under better or more theologically correct teaching. they do not have the discernment yet to know when our teaching is incorrect. i had never thought about it like that before.
there are many more things i love about this book, but i want you to read it, so i will stop now. trust me, if you are a parent or in children's ministry, you need this book.
well i finally finished everything for my foster care license (about a month ago actually - i am just a bit behind on the blogging). i am all ready to go. so now i will just wait for the right referral. i am licensed for 2 kids 0-18, but i prefer 5-11, or at least school age. and my preference would also be for just one at a time, but so far only one of my referrals has been for that. so we will see what god does.
lots of people have been asking how i am feeling. i feel nervous - the unknown is always nerveracking, but then again i have a sovereign god who has everything already worked out, so i just need to trust him. i feel ready. i feel like the kid on the sideline who is begging to get put in the game. i feel like i am in a state of limbo. all of my commitments come with a "unless i have kid then" clause. i am not sure how to plan ahead. i try and appreciate every morning that i can sleep in or have alone time. i try to think through how i will handle various situations all the time. "how will i handle that?" "how will we talk about that?" i am constantly making lists in my mind of things that i might need to get or do once a child comes into my home. i think i am as prepared as i can be, but i won't know until this thing actually starts. so i just wait, pray and trust the lord.
i have already had 3 referrals. boy has that been an emotional rollercoster! when they call, my heart races. they give me the info - which is somehow always surprising. i hang up the phone. pray. mass text. pace. ask friends for help thinking through each scenario. worry if i made the right decision. pray again. then call back and give them an answer. the first one i had to say no to, which was heart-wrenching. the second, when i called back and said yes, they already had a family and say yes. and the third, well i have said yes and i am just waiting. there is a slight hangup with the CPU. if this one goes through, i will have not one but two girls in my home. oh and one is 8 and the other is 16. ya you read that right. i never thought i would have a teenager, but something about this just feels right. i am making some adjustments and changes to my house to get ready for a teenager - like preparing the guest room - not sure she will be excited about the bunk beds. :) we will see what happens in the next few days, my life could change drastically or i could just be adding another two girls to prayer list.
on a fun note, each time my agency calls me a special ringtone comes up. this way i will always know that the call is urgent - though i am not sure if this makes things better or worse. but when they call, the final countdown plays. :) thursday, i was eating lunch with 8 of my friends at work and this ringtone went off and literally everyone stared at the phone - frozen. i think i pushed them out the way so i could answer it. it was funny.