19 Things You’ve Said that I Don’t Want to Forget

Caden and Evie,

Your daddy and I were worried about how you would feel about our decision to foster. We were worried you might feel displaced, resentful, and maybe even jealous. We were concerned that it might be a hard transition, that it might drastically change our family dynamic, and that you’d possibly rebel against the whole idea. We worried you might not “attach,” and we were concerned you’d struggle with new roles and new spaces on our “family couch.” We were concerned that our decision to love might make you feel unloved, confused, and maybe a bit angry. We had concerns about the changes it would bring to our family time, our schedule, and how it would affect the attention you receive. Suffice to say, we had a few concerns about this decision.

And yet…we did it anyway.

We did it because not only did we feel led to open our hearts and home, but we felt nudged to let the Gospel lead our decisions, not our fears and not your comfort. We made a commitment to let go of our need for safe and secure in order to make a commitment to trust and love. We made the choice to walk this road as a family unit in hopes that we would grow, learn, and change as a team. And lastly, we felt confident that as much as a little soul might need a foster daddy and a foster mommy, they might also need a foster brother and a foster sister.

And wow, we’ve been utterly and entirely blown away by your response…by your love…by your relentless sacrifice and flexibility.  There’s so much we could say about your response and how you’ve transitioned and handled it all, but I decided I wanted to keep track of the things you’ve said. Because let’s be honest, your words speak for themselves and they speak better than I could speak on your behalf.

So kids, whether she stays forever or leaves tomorrow, I wanted you to have your own words to serve as a reminder for how much she’s meant to you–a reminder of your deep love for her–and a reminder of the beauty that can grow when you step out in faith.

In this post, I’ve changed her name to “sweet girl” to protect her identity, but let’s be honest…that’s one of your very favorite names for her. 

I love you. All three of you. And always will.

-Mommy

  1. “Mommy, if ‘sweet girl’ has to go back to her home, do you promise to take lots of pictures and paste them all over our house?”
  2. “Will we get to keep ‘sweet girl’ for a long time or a short time? I hope it’s a long time.”
  3. “If we have to give ‘sweet girl’ back, I can’t wait to get the next baby and love them.”
  4. “Mommy, I know she’s not my official sister, but she is still a sister in my heart.”
  5. “One time at school I wrote a bad sentence. I said I had only one sister, but then I realized that was not true. I pretty much have two.”
  6. “I think ‘sweet girl’ loves you, Mommy. She always looks at you like she loves you a lot.”
  7. “I hope God decides that she should live here forever.”
  8. “When ‘sweet girl’ grows up, I hope she always remembers me.”
  9. “Do you think we’ll get to see ‘sweet girl’ walk and say her first words? I really hope so.”
  10. “I hope ‘sweet girl’ gets to stay until Christmas because I want her to get presents from under our tree.”
  11. “I can’t imagine how hard that would be if I were ‘sweet girl.’ I can’t imagine how it would feel to not see your other family.”
  12. “If ‘sweet girl’ stays with us forever, I am going to walk her to school on her very first day and hold her hand the whole way.”
  13. “I think we would have a big hole if ‘sweet girl’ leaves, but I also think you wouldn’t be so busy.”
  14. “If I took ‘sweet girl’ to the circus, I could just sit her in the middle of the tent, and she could blow bubbles and spit for everyone.”
  15. “I am not going to my bed until ‘sweet girl’ comes to bed. I don’t sleep without her.”
  16. “I think our family feels better with ‘sweet girl.’ “
  17. “When ‘sweet girl’ is gone, I feel like there is a giant hole.”
  18. “I didn’t think I would like two sisters, but it’s been pretty awesome.”
  19. “Mommy, Evie and I are playing house and caring for our baby. We love having a baby to take care of.”

DSC_0355

“I Couldn’t Do That”

If I had $1 for every time I heard the following four words, I could easily support my Cold Brew addiction. Genuinely, I hear it all the time.

At the park. “Bless you. I couldn’t do that.”

In the grocery store. “Wow! I couldn’t love and give back; I just couldn’t do that.”

In the school pick-up line. “That’s really wonderful, but I couldn’t do that.”

Checking out at Target. “I don’t know how you look at that face and then possibly say ‘goodbye.’ I couldn’t do that.”

Seriously. I hear it all the time.

And I’m always at a loss as to what to say.

Part of me wants to cry and say, “I know. I don’t know how we’ll do it either if we have to do it.” And part of me wants to say, “I get it; it sounds pretty awful, huh?” And then there’s part of me that wants to ask, “How do you know if you can’t do it?”

It’s hard stuff. No doubt about it.

I don’t write from a place of knowledge, and I certainly don’t talk from a place of experience because honestly…we’ve only walked this road for three months, and we’ve yet to “give back” a soul we’re loving now. So truly, I have no clue.

But as I’ve been forced to process through the gamut of emotions and press through the myriad of thoughts that have passed through my head and meandered through my heart, I’ve had to remember the following Truth:

We don’t HAVE to do it; we just HAVE to be willing. 

We just have to be willing to open our hearts and home. We just have to be willing to love and meet the needs today. We just have to be willing to protect and care in the here and now. We just have to put one foot in front of the other, walking in the moment. We just have to be willing to get out of the boat. Because let’s be honest, no one ever walked on water while sitting in a boat.

Remember Peter?

They see a figure that apparently looks a bit like Casper. But when the frightened disciples realize it’s their Teacher, Peter gets hyper-excited and starts thinking the unimaginable.

Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 

Peter is bold; Peter is brash; and  Peter is bravely depending on His Savior. He has seen Jesus make fish tacos for 5,000, remove spots from a leper, and wake a dead girl from her bed; nothing is impossible for this man, right?

He’s willing, and he’s ready. But then something happens to Peter. Something happens to his faith that causes a good dose of doubt.

But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

He’s walking on H20–bonafide liquid–but then he notices the wind and the waves. All of a sudden, the task that once seemed small, now seems rather daunting and terribly scary. And recognizing his inability to do it, he yells for the Lord.

Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

And what does the Master do? He reaches out a lifeline with His mighty arm, rescues his follower, and then questions his faith.

See, Peter jumped out in faith but when the going got a bit scary and a tad windy, he doubted. In short, he “jumped the ship of faith” and began to sink.

And man, can I relate!

I wouldn’t say it was “easy” to take the step to Foster, but I wouldn’t say it was “super hard” either. We saw a need; we felt a tug; we made some choices; and we got out of the boat…with both eyes on Jesus.

But then you get that little, cuddly soul–the one with the sparkly brown eyes, the soft skin, and the cutest little tongue ever-and you get attached. You get crazy attached. And then you’re told there will be paternity tests. And then you get told there may be a next of kin interested in custody. And all of a sudden, things feel a little scary, a not-so-smart idea, and a lot unstable…like walking on deep waters in the middle of a storm.

We’ve been there. Literally thinking and sometimes even saying something what feels and sounds a whole lot like, “I couldn’t do that.”

And it’s true. We can’t.

We can’t do it on our own; and we can’t do it in our own strength. So we have to do the one and only thing we can do:

Keep our eyes on His and remember His power. 

Because when you have a purpose and your eyes are locked on His, the risk and the discomfort is worth it. And when your eyes are pressed forward and looking above to His mighty arm, your mission is no longer your own, but His.

If our eyes are attached this little soul and to the idea of “forever,” we “couldn’t do it.” But if our eyes are set on Him, “He will do it”…no matter the outcome. He will carry us; He will provide; and He will reach out with exactly what our hearts and souls need to “do it.”

Soul, I don’t know what you’re facing and what you’re fearing you might not be able to do, but I pray you will embrace the idea that “you can’t,” and have faith that “He can.” Because when you’re walking on water, your faith can’t rest in you. It just can’t.

DSC_0402

 

Roots, Fence Posts, and a Random Rock

I’m not even gonna lie. Love hurts.

In fact, I’ve had moments in the past few days where I’ve lamented through hot, messy tears that love “isn’t fair,” and it feels like a “gamble,” and like “a pile of no guarantees,” and like “a pit in the stomach and a punch in the gut.” And I’m sure I’ve uttered a few other overwhelmed, Eeyore kind of sentiments, but I can’t remember them all and probably shouldn’t.

To be perfectly honest, that drive from the agency to the metro park was a blur–a blur of tears and a blur of emotions.

I can’t share all of the details, and I have no desire to…but suffice to say: Yesterday morning, we were reminded again that we may not get to forever love the little soul we now hold in our arms.

I’m pretty sure the words sounded jumbled as they tumbled from our case worker’s mouth. It sounded like slow-mo, if you ask me.

“There is a possibility that a next of kin is interested in custody.”

I felt the breath leave me.

Sure, we always knew this was a possibility. And sure, we know we signed up for this. And yet…it still hurts. Why? Because the knowing doesn’t prevent the “ouch.”

We’ve loved this soul for exactly two months, and it’s been a fierce kind of love. The kind of love that leaves a hole when it’s removed; the kind of love that makes your heart ache and your arms heavy. The kind of love that can’t hug enough, hold enough, squeeze enough, or take enough pictures. The kind of love that day dreams and prays real long. It’s been that kind of love.

And yet…we always knew this was a possibility.

So as we meandered our way through bumpkin’ roads that resembled more of my Pennsylvania roots than that of the suburban Ohio roads we frequent, I asked God to meet us in the middle of our hurt. I didn’t utter the words out loud, and I didn’t close my eyes; I just prayed them in my heart.

As we got out of the car to hike a new metro park, two text messages popped up from two different friends on the face of my black screen.

One read: May today be yet another fence post moment of your story and your trust in Him.

Another read: Praying you will continue to live your lives rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, overflowing with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6 

More tears pooled in my eyes as I thanked the Lord for dear friends who encourage with the Truth.

And then I moved on.

Walking the wooded paths, lined with wild, pink lilies, scared deer, and a babbling stream streaked with morning sun, I found myself calmed. Surrounded by the beauty of God’s creation, I had this recurring thought: If I can trust that He made all of THIS, then I can trust that He knows all of THAT. 

Plodding on, through what felt like a Secret Garden of sorts, we stumbled upon butterflies, moss-covered logs, stone overpasses, and this GIANT tree.

IMG-1230

As we drew closer to the tree, I found the following sign:

IMG-1231

Growing since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Over 241 years old. WOW.

I started to think about all the tree had endured in its lifetime.

Obviously, it endured a flood (as noted on the sign post) but what about storms? Lightning strikes? Excavation opportunities? Changes in soil? Bug infestations? Too much sun? Not enough water? Kids obsessed with peeling bark?

As I pondered, I marveled.

ROOTS. 

What incredible roots this tree must have!

And as I looked to very top, where the sun was shining, I was overcome with the way the Creator had provided for this creation over the course of its many, long years.

And just as quickly as that thought came, the content of one of those texts stumbled into my mind.

Praying you will continue to live your lives rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, overflowing with thankfulness.

Rooted. In what? In Him.

Strengthened. How? Though faith.

Overflowing. With what? With thankfulness.

Because we are rooted in Him, we can be strengthened through these faith-building moments. These moments of unknowns, gambles, and no guarantees–these moments that don’t feel fair and certainly not fun. We can be rooted in His character–steadfast, immovable, and faithful to His promises–because He is a good, good Father who cares for His creation through all weathers and all wearying moments. And when we find ourselves rooted in Him and strengthened through faith, we can be thankful.

Thankful? Thankful for what?

Thankful He knows what’s best for this little one. Thankful He knows what’s good for our family. Thankful He knows what will grow us and change us the most. Thankful He knows the future, our fears, and our frustrations. Thankful He is faithful to His people and to His never-broken promises. Thankful for the hard.

Thankful.

And just as quickly as those reassuring thoughts were marinading, the content of the other text barraged my mind.

May today be yet another fence post moment of your story and your trust in Him.

FENCE POSTS. 

What are they for; what is their purpose?

To ground the fence.

They must be sturdy, steady, and straightened correctly. They must be set correctly and spaced appropriately.

Why?

Because if your posts aren’t set correctly, your fence will fall and your posts will rot. And when your posts rot and fall, your fence is not only susceptible to inclement weather, but it’s also vulnerable to all kinds of unwanted animals.

What did she say?

May today be yet another fence post moment of your story and your trust in Him.

And yesterday was.

Another moment and another part of our story–a story that God is writing and a fence that He is building for our good and His glory. A fence that will not fall and will not rot. A fence that can be TRUSTED; a fence that can weather the storms and stand the test of time.

Yes. He is THAT kind of Father.

We may not know what tomorrow holds, or if our arms will be wrapped around this little soul we hold today, but we can know this:

We follow a Father who ROOTS us–a Father who SECURES us–a Father we can TRUST through every event and through every storm. 

And if those text messages, and that tree, and that walk in the woods didn’t grab my soul in a tender, fast way, well…I don’t know what else would. Except this.

As we finished the last leg of our walk, I happened to look down. There, in the middle of a little cove of flowers, lay this rock. It was a painted rock from the “Ohio Rocks” movement–started in Northeast Ohio that has spread all over the state. What’s their purpose? To make people smile as they hide painted rocks for others to find.

Boy, did they fulfill their purpose!

Not sure how this rock got planted in Southwest Ohio or who hid it but looking down at that rock, it was as if Jesus planted it there Himself.

Live and love in the moment, Jessica…for however long or short that may be. Because love will never, ever be taken away. 

IMG-1257

 

Not EVEN Super Heroes

As of late, we’ve been receiving LOTS of affirmation for our willingness to foster. We’ve heard a whole heap of lovely encouragement and a whole boatload of beautiful words. On social media, in conversations, via texts, through e-mails…we’ve been receiving a lotta lovin’ from a lot of you.

We’ve heard things like:

“You’re saints!”

“We so admire you.”

“We think you’re wonderful.”

“You guys are beautiful.”

“God is using you.”

“The world needs more people like you.”

Just to name a few.

And though those words are incredibly supportive and even “wind for our sometimes  tired sails and weary souls,” I want to set the record straight: We do NOT believe we’re Super Heroes. Not EVEN for a second. 

Now hear me.

I’m not suggesting that encouragement is wrong…because it’s not. And I’m not suggesting that being a supportive cheerleader is “not okay”…because it is. Truly and sincerely, to those who have been supporting and encouraging us along the way…we need you; we appreciate you; and we thank you.

But here’s what I’m saying…

The Buczek fam isn’t trying to be awesome. We’re not trying to earn a badge. We’re not trying to earn jewels for our crowns. We don’t think we’re tiny-saviors, and we don’t believe we are mini-messiahs. We don’t believe we’re better than those who don’t foster, and we don’t believe we are “more godly, more spiritual, or more anything else” than anyone who isn’t living the journey we’ve chosen. We don’t think we’re “cool,” and we certainly aren’t on some millennial quest to check off some “ministry quota.” We don’t believe we wear capes, gowns, or hats of honor. We don’t believe we are “really good people,” or “extra special souls,” or anything else that would put us in a place of superiority or in a position of praise. We believe God can use ANYONE and doesn’t need to use us to do His work.

We don’t believe any of that.

But here is what we do believe about what we are doing.

We believe we are ordinary people who have been loved by Jesus. We believe we have a safe home and willing hearts to care for little souls who need safe love. We believe there are a million and one ways to follow Jesus, serve Jesus, and worship Jesus–fostering being just ONE of those ways. We believe we are called to help, not save. We believe we are equipped to care, not rescue. We believe we are broken, imperfect people who love in broken and imperfect ways. We believe we have been called to open up our home and extend our hearts until God says, “Follow me a different way.” We believe we were following Jesus before fostering, and we believe we can follow Him without fostering. We believe we are flawed followers attempting to follow a perfect Savior in an earthly life that offers a million and one opportunities to follow well. We believe God’s love for us has not increased since we started this process, and we believe it won’t decrease if we stop doing it. We simply believe we are broken vessels that God is graciously using to do His work.

And if there is anything praiseworthy about anything we are doing, then praise be HIS NAME!

For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:36

img_0360.jpg

 

 

Deep Waters, Transitions, and the God of Rescue

sI can’t explain all that these last six days have been for our family but suffice to say, “We’ve been at not only a beautiful place of abundant joy, but also a place of complete and utter dependence.”

When you receive a newborn on a Friday afternoon, nothing adequately prepares you for all the changes that come alongside that diaper bag and that car seat. Nothing. There is no wading in and getting your toes wet. There’s no slow saunter from the shallow end to the deep end. No. It’s just a cold, hard, fast jump from the high dive into the deep waters.

It’s been beautiful, friends, and it’s also been overwhelmingly NEW. And QUICK. And DEEP.

And with that NEW, and that QUICK, and that DEEP has come some serious re-orienting and re-adjusting to not only our home and our family life, but also to our schedules, our capacity, our goals, our expectations, our routines, our sleep patterns, our eating times…our EVERYTHING.

And though a majority of all the adjusting and changing has been smooth and sweet, it’s still been a transition; it’s still been a change. And I don’t know about you, but for me…transition requires trust. A whole lot of needy, dependent trust. And though I would like to say I have flawlessly trusted the Lord and relied on His all-sufficient power, I can’t say that. I just really can’t.

So as I was reading through some passages in Isaiah yesterday afternoon, I was struck by the situation of God’s people.

Quick summary: God’s people are in trouble, and they are looking for help. 

See, I told you it would be quick.

And here is what some of the people did when they found themselves in this place (paraphrased passages from 30:1-2, 16; 31:1). 

They carried out a plan, but not God’s.

They made an alliance, but not with the Spirit.

They went down to Egypt without asking for God’s direction.

They took refuge in the protection of Pharaoh.

They sought shelter in the shadow of Egypt.

They fled upon horses.

They went to Egypt for help.

They relied on their horses.

They trusted in their numerous chariots.

They trusted in their strong horsemen.

And here is what God said to what some of them did (paraphrased passages from 30:7,15; 31:1). 

Egypt’s help is worthless and empty.

In returning to me and resting in me, you will be saved.

In quietness and in trust, you will have strength.

Woe to those who don’t look to the Holy One.

Woe to those who don’t consult the Lord.

The Egyptians are man and not God.

Horses are flesh and not the Spirit.

Now, trust me, the judgment upon God’s people and their looming-dooming destruction is NOT anything like receiving a newborn on a Friday afternoon. I get that. I admit that. But here’s what rang similar in my heart and soul as I read these passages.

When I face change, I can either run to Him…or I can not. 

I can rest in His provision, or I can clamor and rely on that much-needed nap.

I can seek the shelter of an 8-hour night of sleep, or I can rest in His strength.

I can search for that schedule stability and battle for that secure routine, or I can safely dwell in His all-knowing omniscience.

I can trust in my ability to multi-task, or I can consult the Lord with my plans.

I can run for the approval of others, or I can turn my face heaven-ward.

I can reason in the recesses of my logical mind, or I can trust in the sovereignty of His almighty, perfect plans.

I can find security in the temporal, or I can find salvation in the eternal.

I can find rest in the finite, or I can find rescue in the infinite.

I ALWAYS, ALWAYS have two options. 

And though there is nothing wrong with naps, routines, logic, and supportive affirmation from others, I cannot depend on finding true peace, quiet security, and forever rescue in those things. I just can’t.

In fact, Isaiah 33:2 summarizes my current need in such a beautiful and concise way that I want to pen it all over my mirrors, and all over my walls, and all over my arms.

I’ll personalize it for me, and you can do the same.

“O Lord, be gracious to [me]; [I] wait for you. Be [my] arm every morning; [my] salvation in the time of [transition] and trouble.”

Friends, I don’t know what you’re facing right now, but here’s what I do know:

We have a Savior who can be trusted in ALL times, in all transitions, and in all troubles. 

Praise be to His name for He truly is our quiet peace, our secure dwelling, and our resting place!

DSC_0017

Every Child, Every Step

On May 15th, 2016, we made the decision, as a family of four, to walk through the door of opening our hearts and our homes to another soul. When we started the journey, we really had no clue where it would take us, how long it would take us, and to who it would take us (we still don’t know that).

We didn’t know the challenges it would involve; we didn’t know the frustrations that would come; and we certainly didn’t know that it would lead us to a door of more and more unknowns.

All we knew is we were opening the door of our hearts and walking through a possibility.

At t he time, we weren’t sure if the door would lead us down a path of a private adoption with a private agency, adoption with a big-name organization,  or fostering through our local, county agency.

One step in front of the other. One prayer after the other. One call after the other. One prompting after another. One conversation after the other. Walking, walking, walking; we have continued to put one foot in front of the other, leaning on our Savior and trusting Him for every step of the way.

Some steps have been clear and some have been not-so-clear. Some steps have been easy and some have been hard. Some have been fun and some have been scary. Some have been fast and some have been slow. Some have been in a straight line and some not-so-much.

Suffice to say, it’s been a journey filled with lots of steps…with only more to come. 

On May 15th, 2016 we walked through a door. And today, almost exactly a year later, we walk through another. On May 17th, 2017, we can officially say, “We have been dual-licensed to foster and/or adopt!”

We have no clue what is behind this new door, or where this path will or will not lead, but here’s a few things I know and choose to believe.

Every child is worth the paperwork.

Every child is worth the hours.

Every child is worth the sacrifice.

Every child is worth the money.

Every child is worth the appointments, the meetings, and the emails.

Every child is worth the changes.

Every child is worth the renovations.

Every child is worth the questions.

Every child is worth the awkward conversations.

Every child is worth the exhaustion.

Every child is worth the tears.

Every child is worth the fears.

Every child is worth the wait.

Every child is worth the walk.

Every child is worth every single one of those steps.

Because every child (biological, fostered, or adopted) is worthy of being loved, protected, and nurtured by hearts that are willingly open to be broken and changed along the way.

Every child, every step. 

To God be the glory, great things He has done… and great things we believe He will continue to do.

dsc_0052-copy

Foster-to-Adopt: Filling an Empty Crib with Love

We haven’t even received our first placement and our kiddos are already struggling with the idea of sharing and caring with a new “sibling.”

We haven’t even received our first placement and our kiddos have already shed tears over this “brother or sister.”

We haven’t even received our first placement and yet, the change is already happening and the kiddos are having to make all kinds of “extra room” for this new soul.

Rewind to about a month ago when we first set up the crib…

There was a new crib (a real, bona fide crib) complete with a crib sheet and a blankie. And all of a sudden, things got real.

The kids were pumped–absolutely pumped!

There was all kinds of talk about the age of the child (baby or toddler), what the child would look like (fair skin, brown skin, black skin, or something in between), and if the child would be a “brother” or a “sister.” Honestly, I think they could really care less who or what, they are just super excited to have that crib filled with ANOTHER SOUL.

But then daddy broached the subject of the empty crib, the one with no stuffed animals and no lovies and all of a sudden…the fist-pumping seemed to dissipate and a few tears were shed.

The thrill had simmered.

Why?

Because daddy had suggested that there was a little boy and a little girl who had a plethora of pandas, polar bears, and penguins and scads of caterpillars, cats, and cuddly bears filling their comfy beds. They had stuffed lovies in every nook and cranny of their beds, many who haven’t been cuddled and loved for quite some time.

“Caden and Evie, have you seen this empty crib?”

Heads nodded.

“I was thinking that maybe you guys could look through your stuffed animals and maybe pick out several that you could share with the new baby.”

Heads sunk and the protests started.

“But I use all of mine,” our son insisted.

“NO. I not want to share,” our daughter proclaimed.

“I understand that, but how do you think this child would feel if they were removed from their home, taken away from all of their special things, and were placed in a home with an empty bed. How do you think they would feel?”

Immediately, tears pooled in our son’s eyes.

Hearing the conversation from a room removed, I entered the room and empathized with the difficulty in sharing and caring for a soul they’ve never met. I normalized their feelings and suggested the following:

“How about you guys think and pray about giving up some of your animals and when you feel like it, you can take them upstairs and place them in the crib? How does that sound?”

They both nodded their heads and we moved on…and so did the Spirit.

But later that night, when we went to tuck in our littlest, there was a white polar bear and a soft, brown puppy sitting in the middle of the crib.

And then a few days later, when I was putting away clothes, I noticed that our oldest had placed a rainbow-colored caterpillar.

We didn’t say anything; we simply smiled. The Spirit was moving; hearts were softening; and the crib was slowly being filled. 

And then, about a week later, I spied a blue lovie with a monkey head; it was placed by our daughter.

And today, when I went up to empty wastebaskets, I found our son’s stuffed, green frog squatting between the puppy and monkey.

Again, my heart smiled and my face beamed.

Exclaiming from upstairs,”Oh my goodness!!! Have you seen this crib?!?! Look at how much love has filled this crib!!!”

Immediately, little feet were storming the stairs and tumbling into the little, yellow room.

As I affirmed their kindness, thanked their generosity, and pointed out their softened hearts, two sets of eyes were beaming beside the crib. And then our daughter spoke.

“I give them my monkey because they gonna need it.” 

Immediately, my heart filled with another burst of love.

She was right; sooooo right. Whoever occupies that bed, is gonna need some love. ALLLLL. KINDS. OF. LOVE.

Now I realize that they didn’t give their favorites and their most-very special (aint’ nobody gettin’ “Baby Bear” and “Charlie”) but it doesn’t really matter.

Why?

 

Because giving anything at all was both a BIG DEAL and a LITTLE STEP.

And to us, LITTLE STEPS are part of the journey when choosing to live a life of BIG LOVE.

And when choosing to live a life of BIG LOVE, there are many, many, many moments when sharing and caring is a SACRIFICIAL CHOICE. 

And sometimes, those LOVING CHOICES look like shared puppies and gifted monkeys from kids who have shed a few tears along the way.

So as we wait and pray for this child (the one who will be surrounded by the comforts of a frog, a puppy, a caterpillar, a polar bear, and a monkey) we covet your prayers for softened hearts as we make all kinds of “extra room” in both our home and in our hearts.

DSC_0346