Friday, May 22, 2015

My Journey to Contentment

I read this book a while ago by Linda Dillow, Calm My Anxious Heart.  It's a book I continually come back to and skim when I know I need the reminders within it.  Recently I wasn't able to find it and it was one of those days I just wanted to reread some of the things I had highlighted.  Since they have helped me a great deal, I thought I would share some of the lessons she has on learning to be content.

She talks quite a bit about being heaven minded and just getting outside yourself realizing that you are not the center of it all.  I often forget that because, society teaches the exact opposite... The story she tells is about a lady who lived a really hard life and never really seemed to be upset by it or never seemed to wish for something that wasn't what the Lord had given her for that day. She shares her recipe for contentment:

  1. Never allow yourself to complain about anything - not even the weather.
  2. Never picture yourself in any other circumstance or someplace else.
  3. Never compare your lot with another's.
  4. Never allow yourself to wish this or that had been otherwise.
  5. Never dwell on tomorrow - remember that [tomorrow] is God's, not ours.
"Her eyes were fixed on eternity.  Her tomorrows belonged to God.  She had given them to him.  And because all her tomorrow were nested in God's strong arms, she was free to live today."

She talks about building that habit of contentment through that recipe above.  I would imagine based on her story there were several things she could have complained about however, she chose to remember that the Lord was in control.  Of everything.  Always.  Nothing went through his hands that was not planned.  And when it did (or didn't) happen, his timing was always perfect.

She ends by telling this story of two monks which I love and can't read enough:

"I need oil," said an ancient monk, so he planted an olive sapling. "Lord," he prayed, "it needs rain that it's tender roots may drink and swell. Send gentle showers." And the Lord sent gentle showers.  "Lord," prayed the monk, "my tree needs sun. Send sun, I pray thee." And the sun shone gilding the dripping clouds. "Now frost, my Lord, to brace it's tissues," cried the monk. And behold, the little tree stood sparkling with frost, but at evening it died. Then the monk sought the cell of a brother monk, and told his strange experience. "I, too, planted a little tree," he said, "and see! It thrives well. But I entrust my tree to it's God. He who make it knows better what it needs than a man like me. I laid no condition. I fixed not ways or means. 'Lord, send what it needs,' I prayed, 'storm or sunshine, wind, rain, or frost.  Thou hast made it and Thou dost know.'"

Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.  
Psalm 16:5-11

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ann Voskamp's Blog on ISIS after her visit to Iraq

I can't stop forwarding this link...  Instead, I've decided to just post it and hope it will reach more people this way.  And then I pray you read it and let this rest on your heart.  Reading this is hard, but it's short and I promise will be worth your time.

Click here to read: Ann Voskamp's blog on ISIS

I first heard Ann speak at IF:Gathering.  She wasn't my favorite, I'll be honest, but you have to admire her passion.  Her zeal.  The demand she puts on people to get up and do something.  Anything.  For the love get outside of yourself and meet needs.  Heal people.  Do what you can where you can.

Saturday, April 25, 2015


If you've been reading my previous posts, I'm sure you can imagine I was fairly frustrated when time after time my licensing was getting delayed because of some stupid little thing... I mean, not stupid, but yes, stupid.  Like who cares about half of this stuff when there are real kids out there with actual needs.... Apparently not the state.  I mean, I get what and why they do what they do, but c'mon, it's a little ridiculous at times.  To fill you in on what's been going on...

1. I got licensed... After I passed the whole fire inspection charade, CK was doing another chart audit.  They realized I hadn't put my disaster kit (food, water bottles, flashlight, batteries, etc.) in a portable container... I hadn't done it because it's so ugly and just so stupid. And where the heck am I going to put that in my house?  If you've seen my house, it's not like it's small, but I don't have space to just set huge containers of stuff out on the TINY chance that I actually need it.  Anyways, I had the stuff bought, just not in a container... So I still hadn't done it then I get a call that I'm licensed... What?  There were still a few small things that were found during my final chart audit that they were waiting on but then I guess they don't care after all... I don't really know.  I still haven't done them, ha.

1b.  So I got the call that I was licensed on 2/13 from CK and they told me I was done (finally!!) and that my license start date would be 2/16 as it likely wouldn't process on a Friday afternoon so it'd probably be Monday before they got around to signing it.  You wanna know what I did?  Nothing.  I didn't tell anyone until Thursday of that following week.  I can't explain why.  There had been a million people supporting me, encouraging me, asking me how it was going, etc. and I just couldn't verbally say it out loud.  I even went to Home Group on Tuesday and didn't say one word about it.  I've realized when big things happen in my life they render me silent.  When I broke up with my most recent boyfriend, I don't think I told anyone for over a week, people asked me how we were doing and I just said fine...?!  That being said, I don't know why I do that, but I think it just takes time to sink in.  Once the wait it over, I have this moment all over again of WHAT THE HECK HAVE I DONE?

2. I freaked out. It's like the first time the Lord laid this on my heart and I fought him because of all the reasons I've already mentioned in previous posts, all over again.... I fought all those same fears and once I got that call and this was now a reality I just completely froze.  I don't think I had acknowledged the fact that the Lord would actually see this through, ha, but for real. I mean, my mindset was that of obedience, one step at a time and the Lord would direct my steps.  Which he did, but I guess I just was waiting for him to say, "Ok thanks for being obedient, but we'll wait on this". The story in the back of my mind being Genesis 22 when the Lord asks Abraham to sacrifice Issac.  When I read that story, I'm Isaac... all my wants, my desires, my plans, my my my... And the Lord says, Kase, you asked, you prayed, you seeked for me to send you and use you where I needed you... Which is true, yes but... So I just prayed, a lot. For the panic to subside, for wisdom, for the Lord to help me lay aside those things that I would be able to serve those who need him.  I want to, so bad, but that doesn't mean I'm not terrified.  I hadn't acknowledged that those thoughts were in my mind all along.  I hadn't given myself the opportunity to acknowledge the Lord would actually want me to go through with this.

3.  So after the freaking ended (mostly) I just began preparing.  Meal plans that would be kid-friendly. Things that I could cook for both of us and we could both enjoy.  Searching for books and movies at the dollar store that she'd enjoy but that were good.  I find myself wanting to read all the books I put in her room so I know they are good messages for her to be reading.  Along with that, life is happening.  People are getting married, friends are moving, having babies, quitting jobs so work is getting even busier, friends are turning 30 (WHAT?!) and just lots of other smaller things.  It won't slow down, I'm just kinda embracing the crazy before I no longer can say yes to some of these things. 

4. So when?  The timeline got tricky because once I was licensed, I didn't get a call asking about me taking a kiddo until mid march.  That call came on a Thursday while I was in Colorado and then not I didn't get another.  It was bizarre because all the other foster moms told me that once you're licensed, you get a call pretty much right away.  When my case manager came over after I got back from my trip to talk about expectations she said it just kinda goes through phases.  Sometimes there are a lot of kids and needs, other times it's pretty slow.  So It was probably just a slow season, which is great, but then I wasn't sure when to actually open my doors.  I didn't want to start a kid during summer when I would be working and she would be bouncing around to day cares, babysitters, summer programs, etc. So all along I was planning on waiting if I didn't have a kid before the summer and here we were end of March by this time and it just seemed best to wait.  For her, for me, to let the dust settle and several other things.  It's just been busy as summers usually are, and at this point, what's a few more months?  So I'll probably open my doors in August... Then just wait till I get a call.  She'll be in school, I'll be at work and the structure she'll need will be part of life that wouldn't be as easy during summer.  Plus, starting a kid during summer seems like I'm throwing myself into the deep end when I'll have no idea what I'm doing to begin with... Anyways, after praying a lot about it, it just seemed like the wise thing to do.

Thanks for all those who have been supporting and praying for this whole journey... It means a lot and it's not over nor am I dead.  I just had to step back for a few months and just focus on breathing :)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Miracles follow the plow

Here are two kinds of ground: fallow ground and ground that has been broken up by the plow.

The fallow field is smug, contented, protected from the shock of the plow and the agitation of the harrow. Such a field, as it lies year after year, becomes a familiar landmark to the crow and the blue jay. Had it intelligence, it might take a lot of satisfaction in its reputation: it has stability; nature has adopted it; it can be counted upon to remain always the same, while the fields around it change from brown to green and back to brown again. Safe and undisturbed, it sprawls lazily in the sunshine, the picture of sleepy contentment.

But it is paying a terrible price for its tranquility; never does it feel the motions of mounting life, nor see the wonders of bursting seed, nor the beauty of ripening grain. Fruit it can never know, because it is afraid of the plow and the harrow.

In direct opposite to this, the cultivated field has yielded itself to the adventure of living. The protecting fence has opened to admit the plow, and the plow has come as plows always come, practical, cruel, business-like and in a hurry. Peace has been shattered by the shouting farmer and the rattle of machinery. The field has felt the travail of change; it has been upset, turned over, bruised and broken.
But its rewards come hard upon its labors. The seed shoots up into the daylight its miracle of life, curious, exploring the new world above it. All over the field, the hand of God is at work in the age-old and ever renewed service of creation. New things are born, to grow, mature, and consummate the grand prophecy latent in the seed when it entered the ground. Nature's wonders follow the plow.
Dr. A. W. Tozer
"Break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till He come and rain righteousness on you" (Hosea 10:12)

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Waiting Continues...

Well, I thought I was done but turns out I'm not. I have to get my fire extinguisher inspected as apparently they don't take a receipt to satisfy this requirement any more.  I can't explain more because I might lose my mind... You can click the pic to see actual size if you're interested.  At least she knows this is frustrating.

Maybe I'll get a kid by 2016... The good news if it takes that long is that I can make it to my next cousins wedding in May 2015!!

Womp womp

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!!

Welp, It's finally over... Praise. The. Lord.  I passed round 2 of the inspection this morning and emailed my paperwork in.  I asked them if there was anything else or what the next steps are but haven't heard back yet.

Last we talked this was the last thing on my checklist so now that this is done, I should be good to go.  Saying I'm finally licensed is asking for a big issue to arise so I'm not prepared to say that until she does, however to my knowledge, I have nothing left to do.

If that's the case, I would imagine next week (after I get back from this weekend in Austin) or soon after I'll be getting a kiddo! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK

Monday, January 19, 2015

Failed. Fire. Inspection.


I failed the fire inspection.  I had to wait a few days to write this because I was so mad, and if that anger seeps out still, just ignore it and consider this an advance apology.

Here's how it went down.... She rings the doorbell, my dog starts barking and I'm thinking I hope she likes dogs.  I usually forget about Bailey because she's normally so quite, but if she doesn't like her I can just stick her outside.  She comes in and I apologize about Bailey assuring her that she will calm down in a minute or two.  She starts telling me about how she has dogs and cats and its fine because she loves them oh Bailey is just the cutest dog... So I think, geez she's a lot nicer in person than she had been on the phone.  Maybe she's just more of a face to face person...

Turns out she's not really a face to face person either.  I asked her where she'd like to start the tour/inspection figuring she'd want to see the bedrooms.  I start to head that way (which is straight ahead but on the left side of the house from the front door).  She says no ma'am we'll be going this way and only taking right hand turns.  What?  I'm not sure if she's serious or not.  My house isn't that big (I promise you'll know when you've gone through the whole thing) but I comply not wanting to upset her.  So I say welp, this is the living room... Is there anything you want to see? She says we'll go through the whole house. I said, yes well I meant like anything I can point out or show you in each room?  She says just please stay to the right... What in the world? Where do these people come from? Whatever.  So I just keep walking, pointing out the living room then dining room until we get to the laundry room...

Obstacle 1: The dryer.  She says please remove anything next to the dryer, there can be nothing next to it.  So I said ok I can move it and start to walk out towards the kitchen and she says "I'll wait"... Ok... I'm in work clothes, a skirt to be exact, and my dryer comes out and touches a wall.  So the only way I can get the stuff on the floor next to the dryer is to crawl on top of the dryer and reach down with my arms.  It's like a dust pan and old doorknobs sitting there but I'm having trouble reaching them because my arm's aren't that long.  I finally get it and she's like, please also get the ironing board.  It's against the wall not even touching the dryer but sure, I'll move it.

Obstacle 2: The Fire Extinguisher.  The paperwork says that it has to be a 5 pound dry chemical extinguisher.  Her call before the inspection said to make sure it was hanging visibly in the kitchen with the top not higher than 5 feet off the ground.  Check and Check.  Of course, she doesn't even check to see what kind of extinguisher, she just asks me where the receipt is... I told her I didn't realize I needed it and I probably threw it away.  By probably I mean definitely.  She said, well when did you buy it?  I told her a few months ago when I was preparing for this inspection and no where on anything does it say to even keep the receipt.  She said well it needs to be taped on there so we can see when it expires.  Cool, I'll get right on that.

Obstacle 3: The escape route.  Thankfully she didn't want to see me actually crawl out the window (this time) but I would imagine that's because I couldn't get them open.  This one was probably my fault, I should have assumed she'd want to see the windows open, but in my mind I figured she'd just want to see there are windows we could use should we need to.  Lets be real, if there is an emergency and they don't open, you're just gonna break them.  That's what I'm thinking anyways but she wants to see me open them and to ensure there is nothing in front of them.  All my windows have something in front of them.  My room has a small 2 drawer file cabinet in front of it, but it's below the window and not blocking it really... I could easily get out without moving it.  In the foster room, there is a big window with a little bookshelf in front (not covering the window at all, its entirely below the window) so I say, wouldn't it be more helpful for a little girl to have this so she can crawl on top of it then out...?  Ma'am there can be nothing in front of the escape windows... Also, the escape routes were posted on the back of the doors (because they are ugly and no kid is gonna read them anyways) but she says please move them to below the light switch.  I said well it just says in each room... Hotels have them on the back of the doors.  "Like I said, below the light switch..." Sigh.

Obstacle 4: The smoke detectors.  The paperwork says a working smoke detector in the bedrooms and the hallways leading to the bedrooms.  It doesn't say anything about all being the same kind, same power source, nothing.  So each bedroom she's testing them and in the hallway she's like is this part of the others?  "What?  No.. It's hooked to the power but not the same one as what's in the bedrooms.  This one was here when I bought the house then I added the ones to the bedrooms."  "Are the ones in the bedroom battery operated or power?"  "Battery."  So she says they all need to be the same, all battery or power.  Well no one told me that. I said I don't understand, if they are all working what does it matter?  If there is a fire, we will know about it.  Isn't that the point?  "They need to all be the same."  "Ok, but they all work and they are all in the places they should be so why does it matter?"  She couldn't give me a reason which was so annoying because it doesn't make any sense.  Idiot.  So then I just start nodding and just saying ok...  She then tells me to please call her to re-schedule but that she probably can't get back out here for another 2 weeks.... Ok. Great. Looking forward to it.

"Oh, and here's a satisfaction survey.  If you don't mind filling it out and giving it to me when I come back out or mail/fax it in to the info on the back that would be great."  Gladly.
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