These girls just brightened my day! I usually ask our older kiddos to help with putting our Bibles away, they are a little heavy and bulky for our littles. These girls asked to help and I couldn't help but give them a shot. I told them to grab two Bibles at a time. As you can see, they decided to aim a little higher. They got such a kick out of themselves! Those sweet giggles just made my heart sing!
A mountain of paperwork? Yes, please! Last week, I visited St. Dominic's Children's Agency to find out what next steps would be in applying to become a foster parent. I met with the parent recruiter, Mr. Smith, and he was so kind and informative. I had questions regarding my ability to serve as a foster parent given my travel to Texas and out of town so often and he assured me that they are happy to help work through any travel issues that may arise. We talked about why I wanted to foster and the road map to getting there. The first step is completing a very thorough application process. After returning the paperwork I will begin the 30 hours of required training. In the meantime, I have been thinking through rearranging furniture and finding new and creative storage options! My prayer continues to be that the Lord would guide me every step of the way!
One step closer...
If you are reading this, you know me well enough to know I love spending time with kids. I enjoy their silliness. I am energized by their imagination. I am inspired by their bravery. I've shared with many that my first prompting from the Lord to work with children was when I was 11-12 years old. I was in children's church and saw a need for preschoolers to have a lesson specified for them. I begged our children's church teacher to let me lead that class; in fact, at my college going away party she gave me the letter I wrote to her explaining why I felt that class was needed! I continue to be so thankful for Maria Vizcaino and the time she gave to help me. She allowed me to pull the preschoolers aside in her class and begin my journey of working with children. Those preschoolers are now married and some have babies of their own! Yikes! While I have continued to work in children's ministry and was blessed to work with amazing colleagues in the public school system, I am sure that it no surprise to many that I've had a longing in my heart for children of my own.
I can remember playing house with my cousins and having dolls that were our babies. Mine were always adopted. As I grew up, the Lord continued to place a love for orphaned children on my heart. I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Guatemala and Peru with Buckner International and serve in orphanages. My desire to provide a home for children without a home only grew stronger. This school year we've had a very special group of siblings that are currently in foster care. The Lord has used them to show me that it is time for me to move forward. Ahhh!!! I can't explain to you how exciting and scary it is to share this! Today I took a very small step, but is is a step! I reached out to the foster mom of the siblings in our program and asked for the phone number to the agency she is working with. I know, it doesn't sound like a big deal.. but you should have seen me! I stared at my phone and finally typed out the text then I just waited. Why? I have NO idea! Maybe because it felt like no matter how small the step... it was forward motion! I sent the text! Then I waited... and waited!!! It was thrilling to see the response pop up! What did she reply? "Who is this? I don't recognize the number" Ugh! lol! After explaining who I was she gladly shared the number to the agency. The goal for tomorrow... make the call. Please pray with me as the Lord continues to show me the next steps!
How do I log in to weebly?
How long has it been? Long enough for me to forget how to log in to my Weebly account! Thankfully, Google was there for me. There certainly has been a lot going on and many times I have stopped to write an update only to convince myself that what I was going to share really wasn't that interesting. It was a full on pity party. Who really cares? Does anyone really read these updates?
This year, our staff began incorporating a book to our weekly staff meeting. We are currently reading Louie Giglio's Goliath Must Fall. In his book, Giglio states that we often read the story of David and Goliath and see ourselves as David. He goes on to state that David was not a picture of us. He was a foreshadowing of what Christ would one day do for us. Christ has beaten the "giants" in our lives. I stopped writing because I was focused on me. Who really cares (about me?) Does anyone really read these updates (about me?) While I truly felt (at the time) as if I was sharing what the Lord was doing, I was seeing myself as David and failing. I was failing because I am not David the story. Jesus has won the battle and I can rejoice in that daily!
Another take-away from the book came from the retelling of David's story. He speaks of an "emboldened Israel" surging forward after David's victory. We are to be the "emboldened Israel" surging forward! Sharing our struggles and how Jesus leads us to victory helps us to continue to surge forward!
Stay tuned for regular updates on what the Lord is doing in me personally, in my family, and in the South Bronx!
I'm JoAnn. I am a God worshipping, Jesus following, child teaching, puppy petting, daughter of the King of Kings, who is grateful for daily grace and forgiveness!