Friday, January 24, 2020

Five Minute Friday: Relief

It has been a very long time since I've written a post for Five Minute Fridays ( encouraging bloggers to write on a prompt unedited for five minutes) but I've missed it so here it goes.

This week's prompt: RELIEF


It was "just" an email that needed a reply.
I thought I was too tired to handle the emotions of writing the message that night.
But the worry kept me up anyway.
Wording. Rewording. In my head all night long.

The situation was worrying.
Communicating my concerns clearly mattered.
Mattered especially because I was advocating for my child.
But I didn't want to make the issue bigger than it was.

So first thing in the morning, I sat at my laptop.
Typing. Reading. Deleting. 
Typing. Re-reading. Deleting. Typing again.
Working hard to be concise.

Tears streaming down my face.
Hoping my care came through.
Praying my words would be heard.

I hit SEND.
And the tears turned to RELIEF.


Monday, January 6, 2020

Book Review: Keep the Doors Open by Kristin Berry

The book "Keep the Doors Open: Lessons Learned from a Year of Foster Parenting" by Kristin Berry was one I couldn't put down as the author's storytelling and heart-sharing pulled me in immediately.

Author Kristin Berry shares her family's "why" in serving as a foster family in her area and then walks through a full year of what that journey looked like and felt like for them, keeping their doors open.  She authentically details the highs with the lows, the challenges and heart breaks, as well as the small victories along the way.  And while the story is written from her personal experience and perspective, she does a great job of sharing the perspectives of her husband and children along the way.

This book spoke to my heart because of our family's foster-to-adopt journey and at times I was nodding right along with the author.  But this book is really a great read for anyone, especially those with any interactions with the foster care system (foster parent, friends of foster families, medical or other professionals who work with foster families on occasion, etc).  It provides a unique perspective to those who haven't walked a foster care journey, insight to those considering or exploring foster care, and affirmation to those who have been or currently are foster families.  Plus many of the lessons described by the author can be applied to other ministries or walks of life: asking others for help, loving others, serving as a family and so much more. 

 But be warned, you will get to the end of her one year journey and want to know what happened next :)

*I was given an early release copy of this book as part of the launch team. My review and my words are my own.

Please Note: The need for foster parents continues to rise.  If this is something on your heart, please take the next step... whether to read more, research your county's services, attend an info session, talk to a foster parent or get in touch with Family Services in your area.
Here's a local news article on the current Foster Parent need in Minnesota.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year 2020!

This is us and our NYE. No fancy table decorations or place settings. Just us and our simple fondue, lingering around the table, having lively conversations, making top 10 lists and bucket lists, as we cooked our food one bite at a time. Love this tradition!

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Christmas 2019 Photo Overload

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!

Praying you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and a blessed new year. And maybe your holidays didn't quite go as planned or there have been a few unexpected bumps in your week, may you keep your eyes on Christ and all the unexpected of that very first Christmas that changed the world in such an amazing hopeful way.

More than presents under the tree or capturing nice smiles in front of the tree, this year I enjoyed trying to capture the wide shots of Christmas gatherings, silly games, cousin chaos and places memories were being made. The people we love that we got to spend precious time with over the Christmas holiday... such a blessing. 

Just some special memories with loved ones from our Christmas celebrations from Life on the Gravelly Road!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Book Review: The Grumble Free Year by Tricia Goyer

The new book "The Grumble Free Year" by Tricia Goyer follows a year in a large family’s life as they work together to remove the habit of grumbling from their lives and home.

Author Tricia Goyer’s family home may be busier and more complicated than mine ( with two parents, eight kids, and one eighty-eight-year-old grandmother with dementia) but their journey and what God taught them along the way spoke to my heart. 

It was not just about a big goal with a reward for motivation.  It was not just about the “just right” activity, demo, or parenting strategy for the kids to change.  Tricia and her husband John led by example, examining their own hearts first, met their kids where they were, studied God's view of grumbling in the Bible, turned their hearts to more frequently to Jesus, and replaced grumbling with a practice of gratitude.

The authenticity and honesty of their journey recorded in the book, the hard days and weeks that challenged them during the year, and the real-life struggles makes this book relatable.  Their faith shared throughout the book makes it impactful.  I enjoyed reading this book and was encouraged throughout, a perfect read as we get ready for Thanksgiving.

**I was given an early release copy of this book but my words and opinions are my own. **

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