Maybe it's the caffeine surging through my system between my supplements for energy and the ginormous cup of coffee I had earlier. Maybe it is, or maybe the reason my heart is pounding so hard is because I am so disappointed with our society where foster children are concerned.
I don't write enough about the foster world, but today it has been huge on my heart. See, over the. weekend I wrote and sent out over 30 emails to various camps that advertised in a local magazine, asking if they had even one opening for one foster kid to come on a scholarship. The response has been so depressing. Maybe I should have prayed about it before sending.... I'm praying now over the responses. I did receive one back from a friend. I had no idea that it was a girl I knew was receiving my email, she said she would get back with me which is promising.
Still, my heart pounds after hitting delete on several return emails saying "we are sorry...." I have this huge vision, that I didn't make up. It's one God put on my heart and I have to trust He will make it happen. One day, there will be a place, a summer camp, in the wilderness, for children who need an escape, a camp.
In my dream it was built and functioning and the the church decided to show up to help... maybe that's the plan, but my goodness what a united church could do for the kids today in smaller ways.
Sometimes you’ve just got to take your request to God with fists in the air and scream about it with tears streaming down.
Why does the Church (with a capital C) not do more for children in foster care. WHY!? Why are there not ministries in every church, be it a church wide effort or a small group... why does the Church turn a blind eye to the need!?
Then, I feel that pressure on my chest that makes it hard to breath and the ringing in my ears that says “I gave it to you to do!”
How!? Lord show me how to shake a community awake. How Lord do we peel the scales off of eyes? How do we prick the hearts of those that scream PRO-Life to actually look at the LIVES that need them!
There’s not enough homes.
There’s not enough support.
There’s not enough hands.
There’s not enough feet.
There’s not enough funds.
I don’t know about you, but I serve a God that has COPIOUS AMOUNTS to give!
COPIOUS AMOUNTS - those two words where in a dream a few nights ago. While I was dreaming about one thing, these two words kept playing over and over.
I shake my fists and bang on heavens gates knowing there is COPIOUS AMOUNTS that the Lord can set free.
Maybe it’s the caffeine talking...
Or maybe you’re reading this knowing what I say is true and you want to know how to help.
Come at me with your gifts and talents and I will show you how!!!
He gave it to us to do.
Flourish Foster Care Closet & Support
We have had a fully functioning bathroom in the basement for a long time. We have made some updates to it and this months goal is to finish it out. Let me just tell you how much I wanted to kiss my husband when the last piece of drywall was hung. I actually asked for joint tape and mud for my birthday...I got a door bell instead...but the next step is joint tape and drywall mud....
I had someone ask me the other day where we were living. She didn't mean location. She meant like in what where we living? A camper? A house? A basement? A cabin? She was so confused by our situation. So am I friend. So am I.
I started really thinking about this question and what prompted it. She mentioned that most of the pictures I share are either outside or close up of the kids and sometimes in what looks like a camper. I had this internal eye roll at myself kind of moment where I was annoyed with how I was presenting my life and why. It doesn't really matter to you the reader about why I need some serious therapy. Instead, if I would blog more, you could all be my therapists and life will be great.
This morning I snapped a photo from where I am currently sitting and drinking in every blessing I see in that image. I'm going to share them with you. I think that seeing what my world has been like verses what it is today not only brings greater appreciation for what we had then and have now, but what is about to come.
I had a conversation with my boys today that I really hope they heard. I sat them both down and said "I'm going to tell you the truth". Midway through the monologue I asked if they were receiving what I was saying because I needed to know they were hearing me. No one enjoys a monologue from mom for long. The reason for such a conversation was a fight between the two that made me jump and run and so, we had the fight or flight conversations. It's one that we as parents should be having with each other and our kids on the regular.
I have this theory that if I remove all the plastic out of the woods around our house and replace it with organic and natural materials to play with, the kids will stay there longer and take ownership of their space. The transactional exchange they have with nature should be a positive one, much like the book The Giving Tree. Except, let's try to save the tree and save the kids in the process. I made up my mind to build them a teepee style place to play in the woods to replace their little tykes playhouse. I had the hardest time finding instructions, but I think it turned out pretty amazing and I'll try to walk you through the process.
My kids have been in so much trouble for the last few months because of the mess they make with mud. They know how to take playing mud over the top. It was everywhere all the time. I decided to embrace it. I have been thinking about it for awhile. I've looked up ideas and then today, when the Bigs decided they wanted to help, we got busy. We had so much fun that while I'm not giving play by play instructions, I am showing you a bit of the process to inspire you.
10 months. It's been 10 months today that we pulled away from our house on Swanson Road for the last time. I don't know if you have ever moved out of a home that you've raised your babies in and possibly even built, but pulling up to grab one last thing before pulling away broke me. I remember sitting in the passenger seat, (exhausted from moving all night long and driving an hour south pulling a trailer in the foggy dark), I had fallen asleep leaving the bank and when I opened my eyes I saw the new little family jumping out of their cars and running into the house. My heart burst and I cried thinking to myself...
That was my house.
That is where I brought my babies home.
That is my neighbor who I love.
That is my front door.
That is my backyard.
Ya'll I am sobbing just writing this....
But it's not mine... It's theirs now. We have a new plan and a new life and it's going to be beautiful...right?! Right! I needed someone to tell me things would be okay. You might as well have asked me to jump out of an airplane that was on fire. That's how scared I was deep down. I knew we were making the right decision. I knew as we pulled away from making our last stop, that there was no looking back. Looking back hurt too much. Looking forward gave me such hope.
Friday morning the kids bus ran early.
By early I mean earlier than usual which is still early...too early.
6:30 a.m. and I pass the bus as I'm coming back from working out.
A text from my neighbor. Kids are missing the bus left and right.
I end up taking 4 kids to school that morning.
If everyone would just stick to the routine life could keep moving at it's normal pace.
For the past 6 weeks I have spent a great deal of time talking about the construction of our home and how just laying the foundation has been such hard work. The most important work actually. Clearing and digging. Blood sweat and tears. My family, my husband, and my daddy are all working hard to build this dream. A place of peace, to settle, to come home to, a place for my children to always find us, to find home.
Earlier this week this word, enough, just kept making its way into my vocabulary.
We have enough bottles of water.
I have enough laundry to do.
The fridge has enough food.
The kids have played enough.
I’ve had enough of that smell.
Did we celebrate enough?
There’s not enough concrete.
Is there enough fuel?
Is there enough time!
I could make this list go in for days. It is simply that “enough” has resonated on this piece of land over and over this past week...
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:19
Forward as an adverb, onward so as to make progress; toward a successful conclusion.
Forward as a verb, help to advance something; promote.
Forward seems to be the best word to describe this last week.
When I look outside one bedroom window in my camper the visibility is about 10 feet before all you see is a wall of green. You can make out that the side of the ridge dips and rises but the green foliage is thick and protective.
When I look outside my other bedroom window I see the boys bunk house porch with its handmade bench & rosemary plant. At night I can see the solar lights that point us to their door, otherwise it’s pitch black and I know they are sleeping. Just beyond where they rest and play, is what we now call the playground. With its gentle swing, tiny playhouse, and “pirates ship” deck with slide.
You may automatically assume that when you pack up 95% of your belongings, put it all in storage, and move to God’s country in a camper that you automatically find peace. You assume you’ll wake up in the mornings, step out into the fresh air and breathe deep while holding a hot cup of coffee and still have your hair up in a messy bun. You assume that the kids haven’t stirred from their beds and that for just a few moments you can just enjoy the sun on your face and a whisper to your soul from the One that created it all. That’s what you imagine right?
Okay, so, maybe that’s not what you imagine. Maybe I’m just a dreamer at heart and have a vision of how I WANT my mornings to start. Maybe, you’re more realistic than I am and you knew right from the start that our mornings would not be wrapped in such quite ambience.
Nope. I did not imagine correctly how these mornings this last week would feel, smell, sound, or look. My senses have given me quite a realistic awakening to camper life when life must go on.
This week has been interesting. Of course, anytime you try to step into God’s will for your life, start seeking wisdom, or are on the right path our Enemy tries to steal our joy and throw us off. I’ll be the first to admit I forget to put on the FULL armor. Since the day I found out my book was ready for publication I have experienced “attacks” that are so far out in left field that the only explanation is spiritual warfare surrounding me. Kingdom work comes with a price.
Sunday evening I spent most of my time doing an obscene amount of laundry because the kids haven’t learned that they HAVE to keep their clean clothes put away. I spent Saturday organizing the Bigs clothing so hopefully it won’t be a problem again. It took 2-1/2 hours this time. Some of that time I used to write a blog post about praying with your husband, then when I returned home we ended up having an argument that was shameful. Granted we are under stress at the moment but it’s not like us to pit against each other in such a way. Of course, we saw it for what it was and rectified it with prayer. We are a team and we both are given the Royal Armor from the King, we just have to remember to wear it and stay obedient to the Spirit. Otherwise, the Enemy will rip us apart. So, our week started off with spiritual self checks.
A week ago today, we signed the papers on our house. We were exhausted and delirious, hopeful and excited. I cried only once that day, I had fallen asleep in the car on the ride back to our former home to get a few left overs and when I woke up I saw the sweetest little family moving happily into a house that had been our home for sixteen years. The next chapter of our lives officially began....
On August 10th, my husband and I closed on our house. We had built this house while I was expecting my first baby. We loved this place but we were being called to something different. Something that most people wouldn't think to venture.
We sold our home after over 16 years of living here and raising our babies, bring home 5 little ones here, and packed up our things and moved to the woods. I had great peace about the entire process.
Our new dreams are going to fruition.
About Us: Our adventure as a family of 7, building our dream home debt free in the wilderness of Georgia.
I'm Aimee, former Early Childhood Educator and Reading Specialist turned author, speaker, blogger, and mom of 5. This website is meant to inspire & equip parents of little ones to promote early literacy & language development at home. You will also find fun crafts, devotionals, and recipes to explore..
Learn more about me here.
*Photos are reflective of a handmade or hand stamped design; including naturally occurring materials. It is not intended to represent the exact product you will receive. Variation in shape, color, size should be expected. Each pearl & stone is unique; each piece is unique.