A Day at a Time

Friday was a week of having our new foster baby! I forget how it is having a new born in the house!

Most of you know James and I were licensed as foster parents a couple of months ago.

So Friday December 29th the weather was FINALLY ok to let the kids go outside to play. I just laid back in the hammock to relax when my phone rang. It was our social worker. She said “Mrs. Reardon, we have an 11 day old baby and wanted to know if you would like to foster her?” I immediately said “YES!” We were told that she would be released from the hospital on Sunday. My first thought was, “Ok I have a day to prepare and get things ready to bring home a new born.” I drove to sign some paperwork, and by the time I got there, things had changed. “Mrs. Reardon, you can actually go pick her up tonight.”

Ok, so I’m not gonna lie. I sorta freaked out. Ok I do not have a day to prepare to bring home a new born. I have maybe 3 hours! If you know me at all, then you know I’m a planner. I like to have things organized. I like to have a plan.

I have quickly learned over this past week that I can’t really plan. I have to take one day at a time. I have fallen in love with this sweet baby! I pray for her. I pray for her situation. I pray that my heart will align with God’s will and not my own. This week has been a roller coaster of emotions. But I must say, I have seen God all over this.

We get home at midnight. We try and settle in the best we can. We wake up the next day, and y’all, we have people bringing boxes of clothes, diapers, formula, and meals! We have had calls and texts of prayers going up. I am so thankful for believers who realize it is our duty as children of God to be involved in our foster care system.

As I take a step back and realize I cannot plan this out, I have to take one day at a time. I am reminded that I have to depend on God each moment of each day. I don’t have to have it all planned out. I just have to wait upon the Lord and be willing with my hands out and my heart open. Let’s step into 2018 to be stretched and willing to be used by God!

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Reflections

Can you believe we are ending 2017?!? Where does the time go? As I sit here reflecting on 2017 and dreaming of 2018, I am in awe of what God has done.

2017 didn’t start out too great for us. In February little Oliver made his appearance. We were grateful God allowed us a few hours with him before bringing him home. I am thankful I was able to take some time off from work in order to heal (physically, mentally, and emotionally). Through Alex and Oliver God has called us to start a ministry (you’ll find out more very soon)!

In April we were so excited that we were able to take the family to Disney World (our favorite place)! We had a great time being with one another. I loved seeing the kids laugh and experience a magical time.

In July we were able to spend a couple of nights in Destin, FL with MeMe and Pawpaw. The kids loved seeing the “clear” water and even seeing a shark!

This summer Sallie and I took the kids to Ship Island. This was our first time there. It was fun! And we all were burnt! The kids enjoyed exploring and playing in the sand! They loved the boat ride and seeing all the dolphins!

James and I went to Waco, Tx with good friends. We had a blast spending time at The Silos. We were able to get a behind the scene tour of the place and even sat in Chip’s office. We tried out an escape room for the first time…sadly we did not escape in time!

James and I completed our foster license to become foster parents. This is a scary adventure but God said do it and here we are. We are waiting on our first placement but ready for what God has in store for us.

Halloween was fun! Chloe was Moana, and Grayson was Buzz Lightyear! We went trick or treating with good friends and of course got lots of candy. Grayson loves “scary” things so he really enjoyed it!

We were excited to host Thanksgiving again this year. James got a smoker for his birthday, so he smoked our turkey which was delicious!! I love being around family.

December we were blessed! We had our Bilbo Christmas. I cannot believe how much the grands are growing!

It also SNOWED! Yes snowed! The kids and even us adult kids had the best time playing in the white fluffy stuff!

James had the amazing opportunity to baptize Chloe!! That was an unforgettable experience! I can’t wait to see all that God will do through Chloe.

We had a good Christmas. The kids loved all their gifts and have been playing nonstop!

As I sit and reflect on all that we were blessed with, all the sorrow and grief, all the good and the bad, I am grateful.

Some of my goals for 2018 aren’t big or out of the box. I want to grow closer in my walk with God. I want to challenge myself to read more. I want to find a healthy lifestyle. I want to invest more in people. I want to disciple my children better. I know I keep saying “I want” so what I really want is that I will align all my wants to Gods will. So that, in 2018, I will not miss an opportunity that God has placed in front of me.

Warren Wiersbe said “It’s not ability God is looking for but availability.”

I encourage you that when God calls, go. When God asks, we will say, “Yes.” When God says “No,” we will say, “Ok.” Let’s not give excuses to why we can’t when all we need to be is available in 2018!

One less stocking…

Christmas is and has always been one of my favorite holidays. Christmas seems to bring out the good in mankind. People are (usually) in the holiday spirit. The pretty decorations. The lights. The awe and wonder in the child’s eyes. Celebrating the birth of our Savior and King. I just love it.

Christmas also brings a sadness to many. Each year as I fill out my list of people for which I’ll buy Christmas presents, it always stings a little when I no longer put mom down on that list. Or when I’m buying for Chloe and Grayson my heart hurts a little as my mind wonders to Alex and Oliver. As I hang my kids stockings, my heart aches not having 2 extra stockings hanging. I can’t help but think I’m not the only one with a sad heart during one of the happiest holidays.

If that someone is you, I pray you will find hope and joy in our Father…our King. Levi Lusko said something in a sermon that has stuck with me: “Stop focusing on your pain and fix your eyes on something bigger…when you do it makes your pain feel small.” Friends, how true is that?! When we gaze on our Creator we aren’t focused on the pain of our suffering. Our pain has purpose. God is using our sufferings to bring glory to His name. He is weaving our pain throughout our story. If we focus on the pain, we will never see the purpose. So I encourage you (as I encourage myself) this Christmas season that as you stare at that one less stocking you will remember we serve a mighty God. I pray you remember that there is purpose and power in this season of pain. May we always fix our eyes on something bigger…on God himself.

The Joy of Parenthood 

Nothing can prepare you for parenthood. I have to say it is one of the toughest jobs that God has given me.  A little over a year ago I had one of those aha moments. I was struggling with jealousy…jealousy of my husband that was able to “do” ministry, go on mission trips, going to events…Then one-day God spoke to my heart and allowed me to see that my ministry in this season of my life is being a mom. My mission is to disciple my children. My ministry is my family (honoring my husband and supporting him as he is able to go and be the hands and feet, teaching my children about life and walking with the Lord).  

Since then James and I have made sure to disciple our children the way God has called us to do. To be honest, this is harder than going on a mission trip. I mess up a lot and my kids see it. I sometimes don’t get to read my Bible and my kids see it. Sometimes I am living in my flesh and not the spirit and my kids see it.  

But you know what? They also see a mom and dad who love the Lord. That serve Him. That follow Him even when life hurts.  

About a year ago Chloe started asking many questions about what it means to be saved. We started praying with and for her. Trying to navigate this new step in parenthood. We never wanted to push her because we needed her to know what she was doing and be genuine about it. James and I have prayed and prayed that God would send her a friend that loved the Lord and would walk alongside her when she made that step towards Him.  

Who would have thought that He would have answered that prayer through a precious eight-year-old girl?  

Fast forward a few months. Chloe came running into my office one afternoon with her friend Brynn. They both were giggling and glowing. Chloe told me that she “got saved today on the playground.” Chloe and Brynn were playing at recess and Brynn simply looks at Chloe and asked, “Hey are you saved and baptized”? Chloe told her not yet. Brynn asked, “Do you want to be”? Right there on the playground, Brynn prayed with Chloe to help her receive Christ.  

I thought my heart would literally burst. It is a feeling that no one has ever prepared me for as parent. Chloe was different, and I could tell. This was the beginning of a sweet friendship that has developed. They spend their recess time planning on ways to help others. They text back and forth in the evenings giggling and talking about little girl things. God not only answered my prayer for sending her a sweet friend, but He sent her a friend that walks with Him and loves Him dearly.  

Mom and Dad we are given a precious gift and a BIG job on the day God entrusted us with His children. It is our job to guide them, teach them, love them in this crazy scary world. It is our job to walk with them on this journey called life. My heart is so full to see that my little eight year-old daughter has said yes to her Savior and is now my sister in Christ.  

I pray that she will be a world changer and that she will chase after her Creator with all her being.  

“Before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

“The Lord you God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Did I hear God right? 

“Did I hear God right?”
 Has God ever called you to do something that sounds crazy? Hard? Has He called you to do something that doesn’t make sense to you let alone those around you? I would bet each of us that follow after Christ would answer a big YES! 

About 10 years ago after we lost Alex we started to pursue adoption. Adoption has always been on both James and my hearts from the beginning of our relationship. James asked me before going to our first meeting with Bethany Christian Services what I thought about fostering? I told him NO! I couldn’t. I couldn’t handle it–taking care of those babies and having to give them back. So we went to our meeting and Bethany Christian Services recommended that we seek grief counseling before moving forward (little did I know this was God closing this door). Throughout the past ten years we have come close to a couple of adoptions but God was always closing the door. I didn’t understand why God would bring us so close and then shut the door. 

This past February we lost our second child, Oliver. I grieved the loss of another child. Another dream. But my momma heart wasn’t done having children. I just knew I was to have more! One evening I clearly felt God whispering “foster.” No! I went back and forth with God. Pretty much begging him to not be calling us to foster. He was persistent. He kept whispering that 6 letter word. And I finally said Yes! James and I both told God that we would go where He called us to go and that place in this season is to foster. 

Am I scared? Yes! Am I worried? Yes! Do I feel inadequate? A big YES!

A friend of mine found out that we were going through the steps to become foster parents and her first response was “Are you crazy?? You have so much on your plate now and you’re adding this?” 

I thought about her response for a few days (I knew she wasn’t being mean) but I thought about it and thought, “I am crazy! I am way to busy! I do have way to much on my plate!”

But guess what? We are called to do things that don’t make sense to the world. We are called to do things that we can’t do! Because when we say yes to the things that don’t make a lick of sense, that’s when God shows out! That’s when He gets the glory! That’s when His name becomes known! 

So as we, The Reardon’s, embark on this new season of something crazy we ask that you pray for us! Pray for our children. Pray for our foster circle that has committed to help us in this journey. Pray for the children that we will have the opportunity to love and share Gods love to. 

And may I be so bold to ask you a question? What are you wrestling with God about right now? What is He calling you to do and you are completely freaked out about it? Stop wrestling and submit. Remember that we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ…are you? 

John 13:34

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”

His Name His Fame!