Thursday, April 11, 2013

Lifesong For Orphans

The Forgotten Initiative (TFI), foster care ministry of Lifesong for Orphans, is bringing joy and purpose to the foster care community by LEARNING the needs, SHARING the needs and EQUIPPING the local church to meet those needs. 

Check out what TFI is doing to serve the foster care community...


Project Sunshine: Foster Home Edition is a fundraiser & service project all in one!
After foster children are removed from their homes, they often wait for hours in agency rooms. These same rooms are also used for weekly visitation between the birth parents and their children while they are in care. Project Sunshine was birthed out of a desire to create friendly spaces for kids during this dark time in their lives.

Project Sunshine: Foster Home Edition simply takes the Project Sunshine concept and applies it to a foster parent's home and at the same time raises funds for The Forgotten Initiative!
Check out this video to meet the families we are serving this year in Peoria, IL on May 17-18 and click here to see how YOU can play a part in serving the foster care community!

How can YOU help Project Sunshine: Foster Home Edition?


Watch our new vision video to get a better idea of how The Forgotten Initiative, as a whole, seeks to minister to the local foster care community by bridging the gap through Forgotten Advocates. 


Mentors Needed: Step into the lives of children of vulnerable adults affected by foster care through relationship building, tutoring, job/life skills training, etc.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013
6 - 9 PM
Richwoods Christian Church, Peoria, IL

Read more from The Forgotten Initiative... 

Project Sunshine: Foster Care Edition 2012 - "My home looks so beautiful. The impact of being gone and coming home to see this is almost unbelievable. I just don't know how to say thank you enough." Watch the Video
American Orphans - "Only a life contemplating the love of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ. And love always moves. Loving first and foremost Christ. And loving others." Read Full Story
Perspective from Foster Care Caseworker - A caseworker's job is heart-breaking, challenging, and can be extremely overwhelming.  Read as Jenna shares her heart with us! Read Full Story
Impact of Journey Bags - "Last night at midnight three precious little beauties showed up on my doorstep. They each had with them a blanket, a stuffed animal, and a book bag, their Journey Bags of course..." Read Full Story

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Lasting Change

I've always hoped to live life a little fuller. Love a little deeper. Care a little more. And as ordinary as my life may seem, I so wish it not to be the status quo.

I used to get so overwhelmed at the thought of trying to do more, to make things count for the long-haul. So much so, that I couldn't even think of what to do to take the first baby-step in making a difference.

So, I did what I do best. I gave up. And it didn't take too long to realize that, of course, was not the answer. So, then, I tried sorting it out. What could I do to live life a little fuller, to love a little deeper?

I took baby steps. Leetle-beety-baby steps. First, I spent a few more minutes- just minutes- in the Word. I was intentional in my tasks throughout the day. Instead of just going through the motions, I'd pray through them. Praising God for the amount of laundry that was before me, because we are indeed blessed to be able to wear different clothes each day. Thanking Him for the plates we had to eat on, and for the food that was devoured off of them. Counting it a blessing to have such cute little mouths to shovel all of that food into.

When I felt like I was maybe getting the hang of all that, I added in a few more weebly-wobbly steps to my leetle-beety-baby steps. I started changing our family's diet and eating habits ever so slightly. Exchanging this product for a more natural substitute, eliminating these unnecessary additions to our meals. And over time, we've got a little more organic. A little more natural. And a little less processed.

All that got a little easier. So, it was time to make those weebly-wobbly steps a little less so. Next came the little bit harder part. The giving. The doing. The not-so-much-about-us part. So, I looked for ways for us to be more intentional in our spending, and in our time management. I love to bake, so I'd bless friends with little treats here or there. I love kids, so I'd volunteer to watch a few here and there for friends that needed some help or time. We open our home to our church family several times a week for community group.

And even that started getting easier and easier. So, I encourage you today. Live life a little fuller! Start where you can. Let the baby steps get you going. There is no shame in starting small- or even miniscule. Pray for guidance in how you can start loving a little deeper.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Day the UGLY Cry Came Out in the Car-Pool Line

There are some days I fear I have done this mothering, wifey, and all around Christian Life terribly wrong. 

I shouldn't have disciplined my children that way.
I should have offered a healthier snack after school.
I should have listened more intently to how my husband's day went.
I should have done a few more loads of laundry.
I should have spent more time in earnest prayer.
I should have spent more time soaking in the Scriptures.

Well. You get the point. And if life isn't (sometimes) overwhelming enough, add in the thought of bringing yet another child into your home. A child whom you will have the absolutely blessed responsibility of raising, comforting, nurturing, maybe even teaching English to. 

I came across this beautiful little blog post yesterday. While I was encouraged to spur my children into action for caring for others, I also had this fear that I had already failed. 

Then, today happened. My morning was busy with trying to get 3 little people awake, dressed, fed and teeth brushed. Does each child have shoes? Did I give child 3 a drink with breakfast? Is the school-aged Princess's lunch ready? 

And before I know it, we are out the door, in the car, and making sure each child is safely buckled into the seats. (Wow. It sounds so easy and mundane all typed out and neat-like here. Don't let this fool you. Getting to, in and buckled in the car can be utter chaos some mornings.)

Keeping a close eye on the road, it's so easy to turn on the "Mom ear." What? Don't pretend like you don't know what the "Mom ear" is. Your precious little cherub is babbling on and on about whatever can possibly come out of that noise machine on their face, and you're instinctive response is "Yeah", "mmm-hmm" and to throw in a little spice, "cool", sometimes.  However, I've found that some of our most cherished conversations have occurred in the car.

So, there we were. On the way to school. Me, praying through another morning and day to effectively Mother my children for the glory of God, praying that they see Christ in me. The two littles relaxing after the craziness that is "getting ready." And my biggest little person, right close to me, babbling on in normal fashion. Just as I'm curious as to how her day might go, she asks what's our (the littles and mine) plan for the day. She remarks how she has to go to school and doesn't get to have fun with us. I reassure her the best I know how and let her know I can't wait for summer break so she can join us, and how dazzling her big smart brain will be after all this learning all year. I let her know how I can't wait to have fun at the splash-pads in our area, trips to neighborhood pools, and all things water-related. 

She pauses. She asks if I remember her saying that going to Splashtown was the most important thing for her this summer. (Oops. I don't) She explains to me that its not. Splashtown doesn't matter. What matter most is bringing her brother home. Her brother that is in Africa right now. 

And then, in the middle of the car-pool line, the ugly cry came out. My daughter may not know all the catechisms, she might not be able to read an entire book by herself, she may not be the star athlete of her softball team, but she is completely selfless when it comes to her siblings. She gave me hope that maybe I'm not doing this terribly wrong. So, today, I am encouraged to do more for others, to be a little more selfless.