Thursday, December 31, 2020

Crocodile DunSHE!

So my little prodigy decided to rescue a feral kitten!! I don't know who was more shocked when she actually caught the kitten - the kitten or Lizzie!! 

There is a colony of feral cats and 2 kittens that are being fed right by our shop. My girls have been going over there, feeding and watching and hoping to catch one for a while now. 

Mighty Mouse just decided that she didn't need no stinkin cage, snuck up behind one of the kittens and just grabbed him/her! She has a few battle scars to show for it and now, a scared little kitty in her bathroom!

We are working hard on trying to socialize him/her and hope to find a wonderful family for the kitty, where he/she will be an inside pet and well loved!

Sooooo, stay tuned for kitty updates!!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Mary, Martha and Maggie

"As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, 'Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!' 
'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, 'you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.'"  Luke 10:38-42


Boy are we consumed by distractions...

I was recently reminded of this when my sweet Maggie gave me a hug. Maggie hugs with every essence of herself and all other hugs pale in comparison and Maggie loves to hug me!

So the other day, while I was feeding the dogs, my sweet Maggie came up and gave me a hug and, I asked her...

Me: "Maggie, I love your hugs baby girl but why do you always choose to hug me when I am actively doing something? Why don't you wait until I am not doing anything to hug me so I can hug you back?"

Maggie: "But Mom, you are ALWAYS doing something!"

Me: "Touché baby girl, touché!"

I then proceeded to put the dog bowls down, sit at His feet and hug her back!

Yes, I have a house full and yes, there are things that have to get done but what a sweet reminder to not let these moments slip by, only to get lost in the distractions. 

There are blessings and lessons all around us all day long but we absorb them as just another part of our day instead of lingering and listening and making them a part of us!

Saturday, December 19, 2020

I Got Many Beatings...

This conversation and the post that flowed from it, happened one year ago, yet we live out the aftermath of this and so many other hurts, every day. 


Lucy: "I was in a rehabilitation hospital and my nanny beat me with a shoe."

Will: "You only got one beating? I got many beatings."

Lucy: "No, I got many beatings too."

This was the conversation yesterday in the car as we headed out to shop for Christmas gifts for friends.
Sometimes in the ordinary of our lives, the reality of their past lives hover above, just out of reach, until...

until a memory comes or a conversation happens and we are thrust back into a world so foreign to most of us that it just can't be real.

Surely my children were never beaten, surely they never went to bed hungry or afraid, surely they were never abused or made fun of, just because they were different or just because they were orphans.

But they were...

Surely my children were never abandoned, left alone where their cries went unanswered, only to be taken to a place where their cries continued to go unanswered.

But it happened...

I know some of my posts are hard and uncomfortable to read but my kids' lives were hard and uncomfortable and I guess I am desperate for you to know because I am desperate for the other ones who are just like my children and just like your children, to be rescued from their realities, to be rescued from the beatings and the abuse and the mocking and the scorn.

For those of you who have met my children, have met Lucy and Will, can you imagine them there?

For those of you who have not met my children, have not met Lucy and Will, can you imagine your children there?

And yet, there are millions who still wait and millions who will never be rescued, will never know a loving touch or what kindness feels like or how precious they are.

As I advocate for waiting children who need to come home, please look at them, really look at them and picture what their lives would be like if someone like you called them son or daughter. 

This isn't how it is supposed to be. What has meaning? What is important? 

In a heartbreaking moment, I am flung out of superficial and back into real...

Please ask me about adoption.


So a few months back, there was this cat...

and he kept hanging around...

cause apparently stray cats just love homes with 8 kids, 4 dogs and 2 resident, crazy cats!

I mean come on!

I am the "Dog Lady"...

except now I am the "Dog Lady" AND the "Wow, You Have 8 Kids Lady"!

Somehow out in stray cat land, things got all jumbled up cause "The Cat Lady" is NOT one of my official titles!

For real!

However, every cat that we have owned (and I use that term lightly😉) has chosen us!

From Memow...

To GiGi aka Grumpy Girl...

To Boo...

To Doc...

And now Boots!

For months and months, he watched us.

At night, I would see his face looking in but he would not let me near. 

Slowly, the end of our porch became his safe spot and slowly some of the fear began to fade...


He began to hiss less and "talk" more and then one day...

He came close enough to actually touch my leg...

 with his tail😉

He still wasn't sure, but after months of feeding and patience and lots of cans of Tuna... 

I got him!

And he wasn't happy!

And I was worried.

After working so hard to gain his trust, I just knew we would be starting all over so I prayed.

I took him to the vet and I prayed.

When I picked him up, he wasn't sure and he wasn't happy but he was calm.

So I watched him this time and as he began to understand that he was "home"...

he melted into me and allowed me to pet him...

as well as my partner in crime rescue, Lizzie...

Not only was his trust restored but God seemed to place such a peace within him.

He exhaled and finally seemed to feel safe.

So now what! 

We have these other two crazy cats who don't really like each other, much less this porch prowler!

But with age comes wisdom... and older children!


Because now I have this grown child and this grown child has an apartment and... 

a sweet girlfriend...

and they needed a cat!




And while Boots' health journey hasn't been easy so far, his life now sure is...

and I get to watch as my first born chooses wisely and loves well!

And while Boots is still sporting "the cone of shame"...

I think he has determined that even with the "cone of shame", apartment life is way better than porch life!

He is sweet and snuggly and I honestly cannot believe that our first "grand" is a cat and not a dog!

Go figure!

Friday, December 11, 2020

All I Want...

From the heart of an actual foster child. 

This dark cycle is never going to be broken by government programs. This level of brokenness can only be healed through Jesus. Hearts have to be changed and deep, messy wounds healed and that requires more than food, clothes and a bed to sleep in. 

Believers, WE are His hands and feet. WE have been called to care for the least of these. WE are to do more than just pay our taxes and allow the government to do what WE were called to do. There are so many of us out there. Why, why does any child have to be without the love and protection of a forever family. 

On Saturday, I learned of two dogs that had been thrown from a speeding car on a major highway. The depravity of the human heart. Why not just stop and let them out? Why not just take them to the shelter. Why, maybe because they wanted to inflict the most pain and suffering as they could. 

These kinds of things affect me so deeply. I wonder if there was a child in the car? Were these pups his or her pets? I wonder and my heart breaks at the level of hurt and trauma this would cause and the cycle of broken continues. 

I was so angry and then, by God's grace alone, I found myself weeping at the wounds that had to be so deep and praying for the people whose hearts had to be so hard and so dark to be able to do something so horrendous. What kind of pain and trauma were they exposed to and where was the church, the believers who were instructed by Jesus to care for the lost and the hurt. 

As we cling to our safety, our comforts, our conveniences, our fun, our security, our way of life... children die and many many times, they die alone.

This fallen world desperately needs Jesus. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Tis The Season

No, not that season...

Although I seem to be thinking about Christmas earlier and earlier each year.

With 8 kids, Christmas is never far from my thoughts.


No, the season I am referring to is that season in life that overtakes you before you even have a chance to exhale, that season that takes all of your moments and flings them into a future that stands there waiting, as you breathlessly catch up.

Some anxiously race toward that future while some (me) deliberately meander through each moment, clinging even to those memories that are yet to be made.

For me, this season is a incongruous jumble.

With six still at home and four of them exhibiting all the signs and symptoms of teenage girls...


I'm still livin' large in the land of chores and curfews and consequences and "make it all better" hugs...

but I am also learning how to let go and allow the Lord to do what I have prayed for as my two oldest begin their seasons...

cause I don't think you have seasons until you are at least 21...  right??


 I will never forget the day I walked in and saw Christian's b*llet proof vest on my kitchen counter.

NOT something I see on my kitchen counters very often ever!

In the past, my kitchen counters have been the depository for books, school papers, snacks, sweatshirts and yes, sometimes even dirty socks!!!


but I can say with certainty that this was the very first time for a b*llet proof vest and unlike the afore mentioned items, I did NOT threaten to throw this one in the trash, if not removed from my counters!

My Christian has graduated and now feels called to join the P*lice Ac*demy and I am proud and nervous and humbled by his desire to serve but his timing stinks😉

Soooooo...  I am praying and trusting and releasing as those middle of the night moments come flooding back to my heart, those nights that seem like forever ago and just like yesterday all at the same time, those nights before I was truly walking with the Lord but He, in His mercy, was there... 

those are the nights that I held and rocked and sang to my first born baby boy.

It was during those moments that the Lord ministered to my heart and began to prepare me for this season.

But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19

One of my favorite verses and one that I cling to as I reminisce about one season and anticipate another.  

And then along came Charlie.


Charlie is not quite 21 yet but I am beginning to believe that Charlie IS a season!


Charlie is a junior this year and was offered a most amazing internship, one that keeps him busy and out of trouble (mostly😉), but one that keeps him away from home...

Again, Charlie is his own season... you know, sort of like hurricane season!


In other words...


He is a presence and when he is not here, he is missed and this was our very first Thanksgiving without him.

Yep, that dang season of helplessly watching as they grow up and away.

Thankfully, my sweet Sis-in-law and her family got to enjoy Hurricane Charlie for Thanksgiving.

He wasn't alone, and for that...

I am thankful.

Jealous but thankful!


and while I am having to dig deep to be thankful for this season that has come way to fast for him, I am thankful; as this internship and the people he finds himself surrounded with, answers a constant prayer from the heart of this Momma who has lived the difference between believing in God and walking with Him

So while I don't always find myself "jolly" in this particular season...

I do find my peace in the One who never gave up on me, as I trust that He will relentlessly pursue my p*lice officer and my hurricane and all my other "yet to be's" as they lead me into seasons to come.