It’s a…

Toddler and a preschooler!

Oh, gosh. Were you expecting to hear if we were having a boy or girl? Well, this isn’t your typical announcement but both! Maybe? (That’s a word I’m adding to my regular vocabulary) Are you confused? Great! You’re welcome here LOL.

Now, if this is your first time following along with me then you should know a pretty important detail (which I’m sure you caught onto considering you can’t birth a toddler or a preschooler). Troy and I are not pregnant but we are expecting. You see, we are weeks away from having our foster care license officially approved and we are already preparing to have two little ones come into our home once that happens. I know that sounds exciting and I do have that emotion mixed in with a few others but maybe “honored” is a more fitting word choice. I’m honored to love them and stand in the gap that exists in their lives, for however long we get to. I’m already feeling the tension of the gap and have been continually reminding myself why this is happening in the first place. This is anything but an exciting time for these kiddos. I thank God for opening our eyes to the reality of the deep pain and brokenness that’s occurring all around us. That awareness compelled us to take action. Wherever you find yourself right now, chaos & all forms of abuse are happening around you as well. As the church, we’re called to respond. Collectively, it’s not judgment we need but willingness to jump in and be love like Jesus. He jumped in – unreservedly. It’s willingness to wage war in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 6) on behalf of these families. What you’re reading and joining us in is our jump.

My prayer is that your heart is stirred and your eyes will be opened to the unique part that God is calling you to play. Now, I’m sure you didn’t click to read this post in hopes to be volun-told for something. [BUT STAY WITH ME HERE] I believe deep within you is an innate desire to make a difference. I can promise you, you can make one. And friend…there’s a desperate need for your extended hand.

I am still trying to put words to how I feel after Sunday’s surprise. Our friends put together a “Foster Care Shower” that was so unexpected. Hence the bun and headband. Side note…if you know me, even a little bit you know that both are pretty appropriate; it’s very much me. Let’s just say, when I have my hair down I tend to shock people because it’s such a rarity. Anywhooo…We celebrated, yes, but we were also blessed to be given an explanation of what foster care really looks like from my dear friend who has had the firsthand experience. She painted a very real, vulnerable picture for all of us who wouldn’t know such details on our own. The need for all of us to do something is so heartbreakingly real and I’m so grateful for her honesty. I was so overwhelmed by the day that I had a difficult time forming sentences. (Now that’s a shocker, I know!) So I do want to take a moment and say what I wasn’t able to piece together Sunday:

To our friends and family – THANK YOU. Of course, thank you for surprising me and showering us with beautiful books, gifts, and such love but even more than that…thank you for saying “yes” to us. You have been so willing to learn about foster care and support Troy & I from the beginning. We know that you weren’t the ones who chose to step into the unknown, to enter into these vulnerable places, with children and their families whom you don’t know. You weren’t the ones who volunteered to the temporary but what you have constantly relayed is your confident “yes” to us. You’ve said “yes” to loving and supporting us. We want to respect that and you throughout this journey. We want you to know how important your role is in our process and in our lives. We love you more than we can possibly express.


As I think about how God is bringing us into this new season, I am so grateful. I will say that this decision to get involved in foster care was not just a spur of the moment choice but a culmination of obedient steps in following Holy Spirit’s promptings. I often think of the ten children Troy and I sponsored in our first 6 years together. God didn’t say to us all at once – sponsor ten. No, He had us sponsor one child and then one more and then one more until we were supporting ten children through sponsorship. Now we are entering into this new season but it has a similar feel as before. Our step into this unknown is about choosing to rest in the sovereignty of God when I really want to know what’s going to happen next. It’s about being willing to say “yes” to the children that God brings before us, one at a time because each one matters to God. Each one was created by God and for God. Each one is His “prized possession” (James 1:18 NLT) And just like Christ would have died even if it was just for you, just for one person…then our “yes” to foster care is worth it even just for one child so they can know the love of Jesus.

Romans 12 has been what I’ve been reading and repeating and praying over our foster care journey. Now is when you’ll want to pause from here and read Romans 12. Let Holy Spirit move and illuminate God’s Word within your spirit. I will be praying this over you (yes you, who read these words) as you work out what part you can play. “No one can do everything but everyone can do something” – Max Lucado. Not everyone may be called to bring children into their home physically but we are all so important to this area of desperate need. Click here for a list of ways to jump in. (I got that link from the show notes from The Forgotten Podcast – Season 6 Episode 10 You’ll find so many awesome resources on that site!) You are valuable in this call. You are a member, a part of one body – the Church – “all with different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” (Romans 12:6a). When we turn our eyes to Jesus and step into the gifts and talents He’s given us, lives will change. And I believe it will start with you. You’ll see purpose and meaning in ways you haven’t experienced before.

I’ll just speak for myself here and say that I want my life to matter. I always have but what I have come to realize is that if my life is not pointing others to Jesus, what’s the point? We will all be gone in a blink of an eye and how will we then measure the difference we’ve made? I have said to Troy a few times and I’ll say it here, we cannot take things to heaven but we can take people. If I’m not focused on loving people then I’m wasting my time.

Jesus – help us, shift our focus so we do not waste the time we have on this earth. Wake us up! “We are children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.” (1 Thessalonians 5:5-6) Wake us up! Stir in our hearts, open our eyes to the specific part we can play in the lives of others – in these vulnerable children and adults. Let today be a day we surrender our lives to You. In Your Name, the one above all others – Amen!


I am praying our spirits are united in the desire to point others to Jesus through the way we live and love. Be guided into all the Truth. (John 16:13) Friends, please know that you are never alone as you walk this road of life. If there are specific areas you are struggling with and need prayer for …My friends – Tina and Michelle – and I would be honored to pray for and with you. You can email those prayer requests to hello@otmministries.com OR comment them here and we will connect with you through that avenue.


Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus & your mind set on things above. Be renewed and transformed by His abundant grace and truth.
He is grace. He is Truth. He is love for you.

 

Compelled by love

“See you next week.”

The door closed; a few minutes later Troy left for the gym and I picked up my bible and said with urgency, “Lord. I know there’s parenting advice in Proverbs. Please speak to me!”

I sat on the floor and quickly opened my bible while an adorable, ten pound pup stepped on my legs to get close enough to lick my face. I tried scanning the pages but nothing jumped out at me (dog kisses could have definitely played a part in that). Within minutes, I heard an inaudible voice speak straight to my spirit – “I did not bring you to this point for you to have to figure the rest out on your own.” Lord, thank you. I, then, grabbed a chunk of pages and happened to land in 1 Peter…”Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (4:8) Lord. I may be completely unprepared for whatever is to come but I can love. We can love.

We had finished week one of the foster care training process and panic overwhelmed me. Each week since, our eyes have been opened to many areas that we would not have otherwise considered if we were the ones pregnant. I will tell you honestly, moving forward with foster care has humbled me. I had to process the fact that I wanted to be pregnant so badly that I never considered what would happen when the child entered the world. Were we ready to have our lives completely changed? Were we ready to selflessly enter into parenthood? With each “yes” we choose to speak in our foster care journey, it’s been a “yes” we say back to Jesus. It’s another step in faith towards my Savior.

You did read that correctly – Troy and I are getting trained as foster parents. We are excited because we are confident we are following the call of God. Doors have been opening in places where we previously had resistance. I can say that we are becoming increasingly aware of the road we’re on. It’s one that will continue to require faith and humility in way of sacrificial action. It’s leaving the external security of our lives and saying “I’m choosing you over comfort”. It’s the surrendering of even the areas we think are good so God can shake away everything that is not of Jesus (Hebrews 12:27), all for His glory. Satan has stirred up arguments, fear, and such strong spiritual battles within the walls of our home. I’m choosing to take these battles as confirmation that we’re moving in the right direction. Satan doesn’t want us or you to intervene in the lives of children. If he can break down and hurt little ones…he can work to halt the kingdom of God and he is going to try to convince you that what you’re doing won’t make any difference. [[But always be reminded of the sovereignty and victory of our Father.]] So here we are; standing firm on the Rock that is Jesus Christ, shouting with every breath in our lungs – NOT TODAY SATAN. Not here. Not now. Not these children. Every child that comes into our care, every parent that’s made mistakes and caused harm, they’re worth our sacrifice. & you know…if we do nothing else but love them…Praise God. 

Above all else, love each other deeply

Last year, I spent probably the majority, if not the entirety, of the year grieving. Following the advice of those close to me, I had to allow myself to grieve over our inability to get pregnant. I grieved over the death of close friends, that came suddenly and far too soon in their lifetimes. I wrestled with the conflict of grief and joy while those close to me announced their pregnancies. Having such different emotions all at once felt anything but comfortable. I felt so ugly inside but by facing my grief and all its sources, I was able to be present in my life and the lives of those around me. I could celebrate with them and still allow myself to feel the sadness of my “not yet”. The grief didn’t cripple me as it once did. As I lean into God more, as I talk with those close to me, as I pray, and as I open my heart to hear from Him…I see the fact that deep pain and true joy CAN co-exist. In fact, that’s the Gospel.

“For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

Jesus walked the road to Calvary with His own eyes fixed on the joy of redemption all while experiencing deep pain – physically and emotionally. Jesus has been there. He knows the conflict on a greater level than I’ll ever know. He endured and He overcame! Through all of my internal struggle, I arrive once again at Jesus. I’m reminded, it all starts and ends with Him. “He is before all things and in Him, all things hold together” (Colossians 1:17). In surrendering our desires to Him, God has done and continues to do a work in us that’s completely new and different than we expected. As I see it unfolding, I know without Him this simply would not be. He has shifted our thoughts and hearts to foster care, to reunification. “We have a safe and loving home”, we would agree. “We can love them (the children and the parents) in a terribly difficult time.” “We can be a light in the darkness.” The thread that has run through every decision moving forward in this journey has been this:

Christ left heaven for us!

Out of love, He pursued us. He didn’t say – “You know, that path is going to be really uncomfortable and painful. I think I’ll pass.” No. Rather, He counted the cost and was compelled by His love to endure the pain and suffering, for you and for me. Because He loved us. This past weekend we celebrated, we remembered. And you know, I don’t want to just remember one weekend of the year. I want to live my life in light of resurrection Sunday. I want to be like Jesus, compelled by my love for Him to be His hands and feet and eyes and ears. Whatever part of the body God needs me to be. Heck, I’ll be the butt if it means I’ll be obeying and being with Jesus. My dear friends, I want this for you. To clarify, I’m not saying I want you to literally be a butt but I am saying I want you to choose Jesus. I want you to choose to surrender your hearts to Him. My heart longs for it because I know Who’s waiting for you on the other side of that surrender. I am praying that when you begin to feel an unsettling in your spirit that you would take it as a nudge to open your mind to God. My hope and prayer is that you would know Jesus more than what you do right now – whatever that looks like in your life. Maybe it’s a first-time “yes”. Maybe it’s a renewal to your “yes” from long ago. Maybe you need to finally stop saying “no” to that thing God has placed in your heart and say “yes” to whatever He’s calling you to. Let me remind you – God has not brought you here to leave you on your own to figure the rest out. He’s the One who loved you so much that He chose to leave Heaven for you. There’s no length He won’t go. He counted the cost and walked the painful road to Calvary with His eyes fixed on the joy of redeeming you. He is fullness of life and He wants to pour into you so you can be a source of hope and light for others. Say yes.

 

Be kind. Be love. Be with Jesus.

 

 

 

Lindsey – in the months and years to come you’ll want to read this and reread it when you need a reminder of where and why you started. Here you go. You and Troy can do this. Keep your eyes on Jesus. Don’t hold back…love out of His abundance. His grace and mercy will never fail and never run out. “I did not bring you to this point for you to have to figure the rest out on your own.” Pray with urgency and sincerity. God is a breath away. He loves you, He’s chosen you. You are His joy.