Month: January 2016

When God Calls You to Sadness

Sadness.  It is something that most people try to run from.  It is something that has become my friend over the past three years. I have labeled this time in my life as a time of sadness. Now the Lord has called my husband and I to foster babies.  

Let me tell you, I am so fearful of this calling.  I wonder if I can be strong enough or if I can hold it together.  I think of a child whom I have loved reunifying with their parent or parents and I know that it is the way that it is supposed to be, but it terrifies me.  I have seen my friends do it.  Multiple times.  I understand the loss and the grief experienced. However, I worry that the loss will remind me of the two losses that I have experienced through miscarriage. I worry that I won’t be able to keep myself together and still parent my son after a baby gets reunified. I worry that I will be so broken that I can’t be fixed after a baby leaves our home.  

You hear preachers telling people that as a believer, you shouldn’t experience pain or hardship.  That you shouldn’t have financial struggles and should be blessed abundantly.  I don’t see this in scripture.  I see that those people who are firmly devoted to the Lord experience pain and trouble and many times death because they have chosen to follow the Lord. 

God isn’t calling us to be comfortable in our lives.  He certainly is calling believers to be faithful to Him.  In that faithfulness, believers should be called to uncomfortable places.  

For us, that place is destined to bring sadness. Any child that we have in our home will be coming to us because of some sort of trauma.  In their short life, they have experienced something so sad that it caused them to be removed from their parents.  They have already lost something that so many of us take for granted, a family. 

So, we are stepping into their sadness, which may also bring us into sadness, because we firmly believe that God is there in the sadness, that He mourns over the trauma this child has experienced. We also believe that in the sadness, God will bring joy.  He will allow us to see a person grow and learn and change in a way that would be impossible otherwise.  He will allow us to whisper to these children how incredibly loved they are by an infinite God who they can call Daddy. 

Our God is a redeemer.  He will redeem these situations and our part is to love on these special kids for as long as He wills us to. We need to be okay in the sadness, knowing that within sadness there can also be joy. 

The Delicate Art of Preparing to Be Licensed

We are now two weeks into our foster care classes.  We are starting to learn more of what we can expect.  We are also to be preparing our house to be licensed.  We first must be licensed and then we must do a bit more to be placement ready. 

For me, this has taken “nesting” to a whole new level.  When nesting while pregnant, you know what to expect.  You will have a brand new baby coming home and will need all the things that go along with a new baby.  There are things that you don’t worry about right away like baby proofing.  You know that you new baby won’t be able to move much, so you don’t worry about it.  You typically get stuff put up around 3 months after the baby comes home.  

With fostering, you never know exactly what age you are going to get, so while we are requesting 0-2 for our first placement, we could get an 18 month old or a newborn.  That means that we have to be ready before a baby even is in the picture.  Every plug must be plugged, every cord put away. Cabinets locked, all just to be prepared potentially months ahead of time. 

I have found this part of the planning to have a “hurry up and wait” feeling.  The truth is, we could get a placement days after our home is ready, or we could wait months to get a placement. 

The thing is, I want to nest.  I recently went to a huge baby store to look at things that I may need.  I initially went and looked for child proofing equipment but when I was there I started to think of the other things that I would need.  When I was pregnant, I would wander around those stores, so excited.  I loved registering for things and planning for my son.  With this, I am not sure who I am going to get or how old they may be. For a planner like myself, this makes life a bit difficult.  I want to buy things.  I want to make sure that I have diapers and formula.  (That caused a whole semi panic attack when I realized that I don’t know how formula works).  

There are so many unknowns in this.  I feel constantly uneasy throughout the day trying to figure out how to make things “perfect” around my house.  I am trying to figure out how to do all the right things and cross all the required T’s. 

It honestly makes me see how much I do that in my life.  The pressure to be perfect is overwhelming.  I confess that I don’t often look to the Lord in those moments of stress, but rather rely on my own strength. 

If there is anything that I am certain that I will learn from fostering children, it is that I cannot do this on my own strength.  I am not that good of a person.  I need to rely on the Lord to get me through this.  He is the one that is leading this decision and He should be the one that I am running to in the fear.  

He already knows.  He knows the children who will live with us.  He knows who we will get the privilege to adopt and who we will help reunify with their parents.  He knows. He knows the heartbreak that we will face. He will be using it to bring us to him. He is leading.  God is going to use this tornado to mold us into the people that He wants us to be. It will be my job to rest in that. 

Cooking for a Crowd: Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

This is cheesy, delicious, macaroni and cheese. It tastes so good and everyone that I made it for loved it.

Your Ingredients: Cornstarch, Macaroni, Evaporated Milk, Butter, Monterey Jack Cheese, Cheddar Cheese and Salt and Pepper.  Easy ingredients with delicious results. 

Macaroni and Cheese

Step One: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (you can do this later after the pasta is cooked if you want).

Step Two: Cook the macaroni. Put it into a metal serving tray.  You will want to make it a bit al dente because it will get softer when you bake it.  Sometimes I make the pasta beforehand and will heat it up before adding the cheesy goodness by pouring boiling water over it and draining in quickly.  

IMG_4756

Step Three: Combine the cornstarch, salt and pepper in a large pot. Then add evaporated milk water and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. If you don’t stir it will burn, which is gross. Don’t burn it. Wait until the mixture boils. Boil it for one minute. Remove the pot from the stove.  

IMG_4763

This is what I used to stir so that it didn’t burn.  

IMG_4765

Stir in the cheese until melted.  

IMG_4766

IMG_4768

Pour cheese sauce over macaroni; stir to coat. 

IMG_4769

Cook it for 25-30 minutes. Serve the deliciousness.  This is creamy, and so good.  I would recommend pairing it with some salad and some bread. 

Macaroni and Cheese for a Crowd
Serves 30
A delicious, cheesy and easy macaroni and cheese recipe for a crowd.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 boxes (16 oz.) dry, small elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
  2. 3/4 cup cornstarch
  3. 2 TBSP salt
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  5. 5 cans (12 fl. oz. each) NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk
  6. 6 cups water
  7. 3/4 cup butter or margarine
  8. 6 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  9. 3 cup shredded Monterey Jack
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine cornstarch, salt and pepper in large saucepan.
  3. Stir in evaporated milk, water and butter.
  4. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly (really make sure to get the bottom of the pan so that it doesn't burn), until mixture comes to a boil.
  5. Boil for 1 minute.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Stir in cheeses until melted.
  8. Place macaroni into prepared dish.
  9. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni; stir to coat.
  10. Pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes.
Notes
  1. Keep the cornstarch/milk mixture moving in the pot so that it doesn't burn. Burnt mac and cheese is gross.
Adapted from Nestle
Adapted from Nestle
The Insignificant Details http://theinsignificantdetails.com/

Mac and Cheese

Willingly Walking Into a Tornado

Many people look to the new year with excitement and hope for what the year may bring.  I have that.  I am excited for what God has been calling my family to.  I am excited to be surprised by my God and all that He has for us.  He surprised us big in 2015 (with the purchase of our house).  

However, I know that in 2016, I am willingly walking into a tornado.  This tornado is going to cause me and my family to be picked up and mixed around in ways that we can’t predict.  We will experience the depth of pain, joy, heartache, loss, love and fear.  We are not sure of where we are going, but we are called to walk straight into the tornado.  We are starting the foster care process.  Tornadophoto source

We have seen so many friends go into this process.  We have seen them come out of it battered, bruised, joyful, fulfilled, stressed and loved.  We have seen them live the gospel in their home.  This is not an easy path, all of them would agree, however, it is a path that is walked because our love for God is greater than our personal comfort. 

So, we are willingly walking into the tornado.  I may share about our journey here (in very vague detail).  Know this, we are scared, excited, terrified and called to this. We know what we are getting into and we have no clue what we are walking into.  But the one thing that we do know is this: our God is good, He has led us here, He will never leave us nor forsake us, He is the one that will be holding us up and allowing us to do this.  To God be the Glory.