Wednesday, March 27, 2013

At the Ledge ~ Peering Into Someplace New

It feels like I've been waiting at this ledge. This place which seems a bit unstable. I knew this specific place existed, yet didn't ever see myself being there. Maybe you can relate. When we choose to follow the Savior of the world, we have no idea really where He might take us. Have you stopped awhile this week - away from all the madness that we call daily life - and thought about what it means to follow Him? He had a purpose in coming. A purpose in dying. A purpose in suffering. I don't think it's enough though to just teach our children the Resurrection Story ... the story should not end there. He had a purpose in redeeming us, mere sinners. He wants us to live lives that reflect who He is and why He came in the first place. He's asked me to follow Him through many different places in my 40 years. But this current place .... it's new to me. How about you? Is He asking you to follow Him into a place that's unfamiliar? A place that seems a bit unstable? A place you feel somewhat alone?
As I've shared here before, it was last November when He moved in and direct our steps to SAY YES. Now just four months later, we're nearly finished with all the foster care training. But, instead of e-a-s-i-n-g into this new journey, it's happening on a different time table. It's now likely we'll have a new little one here in our home before our oldest-now-at-home has his graduation this May. Wow.
At the ledge, I've seen and heard things which I didn't know existed. I'm ashamed to admit I DIDN'T KNOW THE NEEDS IN MY OWN BACK YARD. We can say all we want to about foreign nations and how they send their children off to institutions, but friends ... we're not much different right here. In our own communities. In our own counties. In our own states. 
At the ledge, I've been faced with seeing in myself underlying layers of SELFISHNESS. Can I get an OUCH? Anyone with me? Do you ever struggle following the Savior because it means leaving more of YOU behind? Yet Faithful Father is so tender and KIND. He doesn't come at us with condemnation ... rather with patience He keeps drawing us closer to Himself.
At the ledge, I feel that I can just barely peek over to this new place ... a place God has clearly led us ... a place where there is less room for "me" and more room for things of "Him" ... a place where His light will shine simply because we stepped toward this place and are giving ourselves to be available.
I've been a momma for nearly 20 years now, but in many ways I feel like a brand new momma. I'm learning a new kind of love. This new love takes my breath away. And as I learn a new kind of momma love .... a little child waits not far from my own backyard ... just waiting in a children's nursing home facility for a momma to be willing to come. I don't know how many days, weeks, months or years the Lord is wanting us to provide this little one with a haven. And that's ok. 
As I wait at the ledge, peering into someplace new ... I can be confident of Who led us here. I can know that I don't wait at the ledge alone. The Savior came with a purpose. He has a unique purpose for each of our lives. Do you know Him as Savior? Is He leading you to a ledge ... someplace new? You can trust Him there. I'd love for you to share where He's leading you in the comments below.
Lord Jesus, thank you for coming. I could never fully comprehend your sacrifice. May I never get over what you did for me so that I might experience eternity with the Father. Lord, help me live according to your purpose for my life in each season. Thank you, that I can trust you to be with me at the ledge ... waiting and walking with my family into someplace new.

Monday, March 4, 2013

CAMP - The Movie: An Opportunity to CARE

Recently I was given the opportunity to preview the upcoming movie CAMP. I remembered seeing the clips for it a few months back. Little did I know this movie would hit so close to home in 2013 as we surrendered "our plans" to His.

If I had to sum up this movie in one sentence it would be this:

REAL HEARTS having experienced REAL PAIN needing REAL HOPE.

CAMP is an one week outreach to children living in the foster care system. The goal is to just embrace these kids and help them to have a good week - experience a small reprieve and normalcy. Each camper is paired with a camp counselor. None of the matches are by mistake.

In the first moments of the movie you realize this is no feel-good movie. The writers have given voice to some amazing kids wading through unimaginable realities. They come from a broad range of homes where parents were imprisoned, enslaved to addictions, and children neglected. But they're REAL KIDS. They are in need of someone to CARE.

You will be exposed to tiny glimpses into the hard realities that many kids in foster care face. You NEED to see. This is REALITY for thousands of kids growing up in our communities. I was reminded that these kids are worth all the obstacles it takes to care for them. It made me feel even stronger in our conviction to SAY YES.

By about half way through the movie I wanted to give Ken, one of the counselors, a good 'ole shake up. He comes across as an absolute jerk. About the time I could hardly take any more of his cellphone obsession and lack of compassion for his camper, Eli .... I realized that in reality my heart was being just as hard. There were reasons he responded the way he did. His demeanor was just a thick callous attempting to cover his own deep pain. Eventually this special duo learned more about each others lives and both were forever changed. Ken truly learned what it meant to CARE. Eli got to experience what it's like to be cared for.

One of my favorite parts of the movie was hearing testimonies of two of the counselors and why they were there ... because a long time ago someone stepped up to CARE for them.

Find out where CAMP is coming! If it's in your area - GO SEE IT. You'll be changed for the good and inspired to step out of your comfort zone and CARE.

Remember - this isn't just a movie. The stories represented are REAL.

It's about REAL HEARTS having experienced REAL PAIN needing REAL HOPE.

We can be part of sharing that REAL HOPE. It's just a question if we'll CARE enough to do so.