Trust. Do. Breathe.

I’ve been feeling a little under the weather lately with a typical, and seemingly annual, February upper respiratory crud that gets passed around my family.  Instead of letting it get to point of being really sick, I preemptively went to my doctor in hopes of getting medicine to combat this looming illness.  The visit started a little bit like this,

Doctor:  “Caroline, what is going on with you?”

Me:  “Well, I have this cough and congestion, and I’m just so busy right now with work, running the kids to their various activities, going out of town for gymnastics meets, training…I don’t have time to be sick… and…”

Doctor:  “Okay, stop.  Take three deep breaths…”

Me:  (inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale)…”I know…I know…”

Doctor:  “You seem a little stressed.”

The rest of the appointment was spent discussing how moms sometimes let ourselves get run down because we are, well, just running too much.

This morning, as I was getting ready for work and loading up my snacks to take the office, I noticed my “to-do” list hanging on the refrigerator.  I paused for a moment, flipped to a new page, and then wrote:

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It seems rather simple, doesn’t it?  To simply and devotedly trust God not just in the big things, but also in the mundane acts of life is essential, but often fleeting.  To wake up with the desire to do the best we can, only to be met with the weight of comparison and the exhaustive feelings that more can be done, deduces us to consider if we are really giving it our best.  To breathe…deeply…is also so needed, but oh my, how quickly and rapidly the errands of life can cut our breath short.

I wish life could be as simple as the “to do” list I wrote today.  Maybe it can be. Maybe, just focusing on these three things each day will spill over into other experiences.

Trust.  Do.  Breathe.

Instead of writing out the things I need to do on my list tomorrow, perhaps I will write:

REPEAT

 

 

Embrace What Is

I’ve had this thought a lot lately:

Don’t yearn for what should or might have been. Embrace what is.”

Random, I know, but relevant.

Do you yearn for what should have been? Do you wonder what might have been? Do you find it hard to embrace what is?

It is easy to get caught in this trap of “should have, would have, could have”, but I believe that kind of thinking tends to lean us away from God, not towards Him.

Sure, there are plenty of moments in life where I have thought about what might have come if I had made different choices, or had not experienced my illness and subsequent barrenness, but I don’t ever want to yearn for those things.

Instead, I choose to embrace what is. I’m alive. I have a family that consists of a faithful and able-to-handle-my-craziness husband, and I have three unique, spirited, and precious children that I am truly blessed to call mine. I want to continue yearning for the Lord and what He is teaching me during my walkabout on Earth.

“Don’t yearn for what should or might have been. Embrace what is.”

This is a challenge, my friend. Look around at your life. Consider how all the puzzle pieces seem to fit together. Rejoice in the orchestra of life that the Lord has created and conducted just for you.

Hold with hope what is to come.

Embrace what is.

The Cause of Foster Children

I worked a booth for recruiting foster families at a local convention this weekend.  To be honest, while the time I was there, I can count on one hand the number of folks who actually engaged me in conversation about the need for foster homes in our communities.

I get it.  Foster parenting is certainly not for the faint of heart, but I found myself considering why it is important for Christians to step into the world of abuse and neglect.  The thought, “If Christians do not take up the cause of foster children and pray for them, then who will?” courses through my mind.  God does not give us a mere suggestion to look after orphans, widows, and the least of these in their times of distress.  He gives us a directive, and does so throughout Scripture.  I do believe that caring for children and families in crisis situations is a way of responding  to this.

I wish I could say that things have gotten better in the arena of child welfare, but that is not the case.  Children continue to be the victims of abuse and neglect around our nation (United States).  There are still far too many children and youth in the system that need adoption.  Birth parents, who have lost their children due to abuse and neglect, are facing seemingly insurmountable challenges of achieving sobriety, employment, healthy support systems, and their own stability.  They are very much in need of a tremendous amount of support.  Reunification should always be the goal if it is safe for a child to return home, and great effort needs to be made by everyone involved for this to occur.

Of course, it is not just children who end up in the system that are at risk.  In our communities, families are struggling, domestic violence continues, and too many children are growing up without the stability they need.  And, friend, I do not think things will get better.  Still yet, I return the thought, “If Christians do not take up the cause of foster children, and pray for them, then who will?”

For some people, their day-to-day lives never involve one single thought about foster children.  It could be that the only time they think about child abuse and neglect is when a situation is plastered across media outlets.  My hope for 2016 is that more Christians will be the Church, and set their hands, feet, hearts, and prayers to following through on the directive of truly caring for children, and helping families in need.

After all, if Christians do not take up the cause of foster children, and pray for them, then who will?