Monday, September 23, 2013

Women Living Well: Finding Joy in God, Your Man, Your Kids and Your Home

I was honored with the opportunity to be a part of the Women Living Well book launch team. Courtney Joseph of wrote this book and to say that I was excited to get a early peek at the book would be a major understatement!
I ran across the blog about a year and a half ago and loved how Courtney strives to live out the Proverbs 31 and Titus 2 kind of woman's role. This is something that has become so foreign in our society and I am so often encouraged by her blog posts.
I was quite excited when I heard she was writing a book and could not believe I actually got the chance to read the book early!!
I loved the tips for improving our marriages. How many times do we truly put our husbands first? Courtney mentioned how when she takes a cake to a women's meeting, there is always a piece missing because she gives her husband the first one! Such a small gesture, but such a big message for our husbands!!!
The reminder of how we simply need to turn to God and study His word  when we want to improve our skills of being a wife, mother or homemaker was amazing! What better advice is there than to turn to God for whatever you want to get better at? He was the perfect man after all!
Also, reading about how we need to have calm, quiet moments in order to truly see and hear what God wants us to learn was something I often do not take enough time for in my crazy days!
We also have to be careful that we do not compare our lives and families to the "picture perfect" lives of family and friends that we are presented with through all the social media we are a part of these days. It is also important that our families are not so busy that we don't have time to spend with God together.
With regards to media, we need to be vigilant that what we are watching or listening to is something we would be willing to be a part of in Jesus' presence. If we'd be ashamed to see it with Jesus in the flesh, with us we shouldn't be seeing it at all!
Basically the book makes me want to strive to treat my husband with utmost respect and show that to him in any way I can. I also see that when I feel like I'm failing at something, I simply need to turn to God and see what His word has to say about that certain subject.
 It is important that we don't get caught up in the social media craze and that we stay present in our real life pursuits. We have families, friends and even strangers that need the real life US! We can use social media for good, but we have to make sure that we don't let it control our life. 
When we bring media into our homes, we need to be extremely careful that it is uplifting and not contradictory to God's word. 
In this crazy, fast paced world we live in we have to take time to make our homes a place of rest and peace for us and our families. It should be a place that we can refuel and be able to listen to what God is trying to tell us.
After reading this book, I simply want to strive for a "better" me. It is easy to go about our day to day duties and just become "satisfied" with the way we live. But we need to constantly be striving to become a better daughter of the King, wife, mother or whatever other hat we may wear. There should never be a time when we feel as if we've "arrived", there is always room for improvement.
This book has helped me see that I always want to be improving!

The book is being released on October 1st!! You can preorder it now and I encourage you to do so!!
Now for a sampling of quotes from the book:
I was chosen as a part of the launch team for this book and was given a PDF version of the book in exchange for an honest review and promotion of the book.

To read more reviews from some of the other "launch team" members click on the link below:

Women Living Well Blog Tour

Women Living Well Blog Tour

Monday, September 16, 2013

Broken? I'd say Shambles!

Everyone admits that the foster care system is broken.
Everyone is told that the system is broken.
No one dares deny that it is broken.
When my husband and I started our foster care classes a little over a year ago. We got the feeling that when children come into foster care, the system is in place to do what is best for the children. To take into consideration, how the children are dealing with their present situation, what their emotional state is like, what their behaviors are like (increasing/decreasing).
Fast forward about a year later and we have to gorgeous girls living in our home. They go for weekly visits with their Dad and then their Mom. They have been with us for just over 4 months. At first I could not believe how well things were going. The "baby" just acted as if nothing ever changed. The big girl, seemed to just be a happy go lucky kind of girl. Things were just dandy in our house.
Then over night visits started.
Attachments were obviously getting stronger and the emotional state it left the girls in was obviously a roller coaster ride. It went from 2 or 3 times a week asking for a family member to daily asking for a family member. For the baby, I didn't dare step out of her sight when we were in public.
As far as the behaviors, they were all over the chart also. 
The big girl went from just your average 3 year old getting into trouble, to constantly trying to test my consistency with discipline. The baby, just became fussier.
Is it coincidence that this all happened the very week of the first overnight visit?
I think not! These poor little girls have no idea if their coming or going. If they should follow these rules or those. Are they going to be with Daddy, Mommy, Grandma, the boyfriend, or the foster mom and dad?
Can you imagine living such a life of uncertainty?
I'd be a mess too!
Then there was the last court date, last month.
I guess being a foster parent, I just kind of figured the worker or someone would be interested in whether or not there had been significant behavior/emotional changes in the girls since things had progressed to overnights.
So I proceeded to call the worker and fill her in on the current going-ons of the girls. (this was like 4 days before the court date)
I was assured that these were "normal" behaviors for a child in this situation!
I continued to try to push the point that I understand that they would act out in some way or another under the circumstances, but this was far from "normal" behavior for young children!!
Wouldn't you know that my whole conversation fell on deaf ears.
I was simply trying to get the point across that these poor girls need permanency much, much sooner rather than later. Whether that be with their Mom, their Dad or an adoptive family...they simply need permanency.
But it was to no avail. The day of the court date, the worker and the therapist called to tell me that we were indeed going to have another court date in 3 months and go from there.
That court hearing was not in the presence of a judge, it was simply the attorneys involved saying here we go, lets just push ahead with what we're doing.
No thought to what the girls might be going through.
 It's no wonder to me now, why we have all these grown adults that have such intense emotional issues. If this is how the foster care system has treated children for the past several decades, those children are now adults that have some serious emotional scars!
When we were in the foster parenting classes, we were told that every child in foster care gets a child advocate that advocates for the child's needs.
I was told that the advocate for the girls has only been involved one time since the girls came into care and has NEVER met the girls!!
So much for advocating for their needs huh?