Guest Post: Fostering with Faith

Guest Post: Fostering with Faith

My friend Kodi shares a beautiful GUEST POST about her journey in saying "yes" to becoming a foster parent and what this looks like in her life, her family and her heart!  You will be incredibly blessed to take a moment and read.

Thank you to our incredible sponsors!

Bless My Little

Our youth pastor has this phrase he prays before we give in the offering.  “Lord, bless our little and make it much.

Bless our little and make it much. 

Do we ever feel like we have a lot to give? 

I sure don’t.  I guess that’s why this phrase really speaks to me.  Sometimes I only have such little to give that it doesn’t seem it could be used to accomplish anything significant.  And this isn’t just about money.  It’s about all of our resources.  Yes, our money, but it’s also about our time, talents and callings.  And sometimes, what the Lord challenges us to give Him may seem so small we miss our opportunity to give it.  Like I nearly did this past January. 

It was the end of service.  I can’t even tell you what our Pastor preached on that particular Sunday morning, but I can tell you what he didn’t preach on.  He did not preach on trotting yourself across to the other side of the church to pray with someone that didn’t even ask for prayer.  No.  He did not preach on that.

However, as the altar call was given and people were invited to find a place to pray, I sat back down in my seat and reverently bowed my head for a time of personal reflection and prayer.  While I can’t remember, all these months later, what the message was about, it’s my routine to let the message sit with me awhile, asking the Lord to evaluate my life and my heart in light of it.  But this particular Sunday morning the minute I sat down a thought came into my mind.  You should go pray for so-and-so. 

It was just a thought.  And I could have dismissed it, but something, or rather, Someone in my heart, made me pause to the notion that it wasn’t just a thought, but rather a nudge to go pray for this so-and-so

Obedience is in constant development for me, and I regret to tell you my initial response.  I’ll just pray for so-and-so right here.  I can intercede for her right here.  And I even began praying!  Then came an interruption to my well-intentioned intercession.  I felt the Lord speak to my heart, “If I can’t trust you to do the little things, how can I ever trust you to do the big things?” 

Oh the little things. 

The little things like this blog here.  My writings I offer out of obedience to what God has placed in my heart. 

Oh the little things. 

The little things like public speaking.  My messages I offer out of obedience to what God has placed in my heart. 

Luke 16:10 jolted me with the challenge to be obedient in what God had stirred my heart to do.  “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.”

It may not have seemed like much of a challenge, but I didn’t want to come across to so-and-so as weird.  Nevertheless, I felt there was a bigger picture I could not see, but I trust that God desires to piece that picture together in my life.  A piecing together that requires me to be faithful in the little things. Like praying for someone who I had no clue would want or need my prayer.

I made it through the awkward walk across the sanctuary to this person.  She was standing, with her eyes closed and singing.  And here I was, to interrupt her and inform her God nudged me to come pray with her. 

Gently, I laid my hand on her arm.  She opened her eyes and there I was.  Can we say, “awkward?”

I started with, “So-and-so, I have no idea why, but the Lord laid you on my heart to pray for you.  I began to pray for you at my seat, but He challenged me to come to you to pray for you.  Is there anything specifically I can pray over with you?

You know her answer, don’t you?

Well, if you think it was a divine confirmation of a need she desperately desired someone to agree with about and encourage her in, then I would have to tell you that that is not how it unfolded.  No.  Not at all.  She said, “Well, I can’t think of anything, but I’m always glad to have someone pray for me.” 

Oh dear.  Did I miss the boat?  Or worse.  Did I miss God?

I proceeded to pray for her.  I prayed for her health, for her walk with the Lord that she may continue growing in a renewed passion and love, I prayed for her marriage, for her teenager, for her finances and her opportunities to minister to others.  Gracious.  I prayed for any and everything that possibly popped in my mind.  And when I finished, I hugged her and said, “maybe one day we’ll know what this was all about.”  Meaning maybe one day we would realize why I needed to walk over and pray for her for a need she didn’t even have.

I’m still not sure how it unfolded on her end, but the Lord has been so kind to connect the dots on what it meant for me on my end.

It was all about faithfulness.  It was all about giving Him my little so He can make it much.

I don’t know about you, but I know for me, it’s a little easier to be faithful when I can see and know what’s going on.  Taking blind steps forward, when things don’t quite make sense to me is a little more challenging.  But if we had all the information, it wouldn’t have anything to do with the root of that word.  FaithFaithfulness is doing what God prompts us to do, without having all the information, knowledge and understanding.  It’s getting in the car with Him in the driver seat, having no clue where He’s taking you.

And I would have never imagined Him driving me here, to a place of multiple writing projects including two children’s books, a devotional book, a cookbook and the project my heart continues to beat out with words, my memoir.  Never would I have imagined Him blessing my little in such a way that would require a change to accommodate growth.  Growth.  My little.  Growing.

This growth has presented a question.  How? 

How to cover the cost to:

·      Revamp of our website in order to offer these projects on our online home?

·      Pay for Service for our Website?

·      Print our Brochures?

·      Develop Media Material from Events?

·      Provide Education- to develop me into a better speaker and writer?

·      Buy Pens, Magnets and Chocolates for Speaker’s Table at Events?

·      Have Funds for Giveaways for our Subscribers?

·      Purchase ISBN numbers?

·      Hire an Editor?

My little. 

Again, sometimes I only have such little to give that it doesn’t seem it could be used to accomplish anything significant, or even cover the cost to grow the little.

But God just wants my little, and for me to be faithful in that little. 

So there He nudged me again, yes, to the point of feeling like a weirdo and facing the possibility of rejection.  By the way, side note: faithfulness looks a lot like getting rid of ourselves by humbling ourselves.

In order to continue on with my little, God challenged me to ask for advertisers.  I know that life is about personal connection, and that the Lord works through His people to accomplish His plans and purposes, but good grief, this was an incredibly awkward act of obedience.  I’d have rather walked across the sanctuary ten times over than to ask people to support my speaking and writing endeavors.

You know the story.  It goes right along with what happened when I was nudged to pray for so-and-so.  I wrote a letter to ask businesses to purchase an advertisement on our new website.  I kept the letter for nearly two months.  After finally printing them out and addressing them to the ten people I had on my heart to ask, I held the pile in my hand and asked the Lord to help me understand why I didn’t want to mail them out.

And it came right back down to my little.

What if? 

What if no one responded?  What if not one person would want to purchase an ad after knowing what the ad would provide for me to do? 

Would that mean what I’m doing is not important?  Would that mean what I’m doing has no value? 

And here was my biggest question.

Would I continue doing what God has called me to do, even if not one person sees value in it?

After I resolved to be faithful in the little things, regardless of the outcome of those letters, I mailed them.

Would you be surprised if I told you I mailed them on a Friday and had an ad purchased by Monday morning?  No.  You wouldn’t be surprised.  Because God simply asks us to be faithful in the little things.  Faithful.  Bless my little and make it much. 

I’ve had a few full-on ugly cries by how the Lord orchestrates the details and provides for needs, so personally and creatively.  He brings His people together.  And I would like to introduce you to these people who have come alongside me providing for our growth.  Their ads will run here on our website and be featured on our speaker table for a year. 

I’m so honored to have them here.  Please take a moment to read below who these people are, and why I reached out to them.  These aren’t just advertisers.  This is our online home meaning those you meet here are the type of people you would meet in our actual home.  There is a consistency in the messages you read here and the people you would choose to do business with here.

I pray each of them are blessed in their businesses for allowing the Lord to use them in blessing my little and making it much.

Be brave, humble and faithful.  He wants to do the same in you.

I pray this post spoke to you.  Would you consider supporting this site and our upcoming projects by subscribing to our blog and sharing with others? We can’t grow without you!

Meet Our Advertisers!

Chris and Marcy Leffingwell-

Sometimes I’m at a loss for words.  And when it comes to this couple, it’s just hard to summarize them into a paragraph.  Chris and Marcy have been friends of ours for over twenty years.  They have spoke into our marriage, before our marriage even began, and into our family through celebrations and loss, and now here on our online home with a message reflective of their own life.  Ducis per Ministerium.   The service leader.  I’ve observed this couple in ministry and in business.  Chris began his first business venture out of the same building where my Dad had his office.  To say they were close is an understatement.  My Dad had a strong admiration for Chris’ ambition and integrity, and he knew Chris would be successful in his endeavors because his priority for others was in place.  A true service leader.  Chris specializes in bringing technology to businesses with quality, affordability, performance, and efficiency.  His business represents his service leader principle through the courteous well-trained technicians his company values and provides.  I am deeply honored to have he and Marcy represented here on our online home.

Dr. Nathan Rapp-

Having a baby is one of the most exciting events in life.  It can also be one of the scariest.  As a couple who had four high-risk pregnancies, Brandon and I remember the uncertainty we experienced and the concern we encountered. I also remember how much confidence we had in our doctor.  The peace-of-mind knowing he had the expertise, experience, skill and demeanor to safely deliver our baby was a blessing in those years of our life.  Doctors make all the difference.  Finding the right one is a great treasure.  That’s why I’m so proud of our friend for the gift he is and has been to so many families. I love the instances I’ve been able to hear families and nurses brag on Dr. Rapp.  I feel so proud to say, “He’s a good friend of ours.”  Exactly how I feel regarding the honor of having him advertise on our online home.  In addition to knowledge and skill, Dr. Rapp brings good communication between patients and the staff involved in the patient’s care; he is compassionate, respectful and has a gentle and calm nature. He’s the type of physician families want to walk through the season of bringing their precious miracles into the world.

Trevor Randall, Farmer’s Insurance-

My Dad was an insurance agent and I remember him making comments about how we hope we never need our insurance but are glad we have it when we do.  Brandon and I have experienced that exact circumstance.  We went over sixteen years of our married life never needing to use our insurance, and then back-to-back years we had claims.  I’m sure we could probably shop around for cheaper rates, but we truly get what we pay for with Farmers.  After a severe storm hit our area, we heard numerous families at a loss for what they thought was covered but in the extremely unfortunate moment, found out so much wasn’t.  Farmers has taken care of us.  When life is in disarray because the home is, it’s a blessing having an insurance company help put it back together.  That is how we feel about Farmers.  And this agent is to thank.  Trevor is not only married to my lifelong best friend, practically counted as family himself, but he is the picture of professional.  He conducts periodic reviews of your policy to make sure you have the coverage you need.  Anyone who answers the phone in his office is going to be first and foremost friendly and informative.  Each of them knows insurance and are available to keep it as seamless and simple as possible.  They are Farmers.  (Apologies for any jingles now stuck in your head.)

Dr. Kevin Duffy-

When the topic of orthodontics came up in regard to our first child, Brooklyn, we chose to have her evaluated by someone who came recommended.  Several families in our community had seen Dr. Duffy for orthodontic treatment, and one of our dear friends even worked for him for several years.  Everyone who knew him gave him the highest compliment and the greatest recommendation.  Dr. Duffy saw Brooklyn through braces, and now Jaron too.  He’s also evaluated Caden and Gavin and advised us on the best approach for losing those baby teeth allowing for their permanent teeth to come in.  I wished we would have had Brooklyn and Jaron evaluated earlier, but I can share with you if you have an eight, nine, or ten year-old, call Dr. Duffy for a complimentary assessment.  It may not be time for orthodontics now, but monitoring with a game plan in place can be a fabulous benefit for the treatment process.  And be prepared to meet one of the nicest, most gentle people on the planet.  Dr. Duffy and his entire staff are warm and friendly throughout the entire office.

Byler Media-

There were so many reservations I had about starting this online home.  First, I questioned if anyone would ever even read the writings I had to offer.  But mostly, I hadn’t the faintest clue on how to navigate the technical side of it.  My friend Rhonda came to my house to get us up-and-running nearly five years ago, but she couldn’t hold my hand through every step, and I had a lot of steps to figure out.  It’s been on my prayer list for someone to bring their talents to the design and function of our website.  And God opened the door to Marshall.  Over the last year or so, when I came across websites I liked, I’d jot down the designer.  After having a list of names on my dry eraser board for so long, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to check into one.  I didn’t have the faintest idea what it would cost, but I figured I’d never know until I asked.  Marshall visited with me on the phone about my website, how I use it, and what I wanted to accomplish through it.  And he even offered the suggestion of advertisements.  What’s more is, a few hours after we had ended our call, he sent me an email and said he’d be the first to purchase one.  When it came time for design, I told him I would be a real easy customer, because I didn’t have a creative direction on how it needed to look.  I just knew I wanted it to be easy to navigate and look clean, not too busy.  It’s funny.  I’m sure after we got started Marshall wondered how someone with no direction could be so opinionated.  But he was the absolute best to work with.  He’s been incredibly patient through the transition of re-developing our site, spot-on with my main goal to make it clean, functional and easy to navigate.  I’m honored to have Byler Media represented here on our online home. He has the qualities of integrity, professionalism and creativity.  If you’re considering a web designer, give Marshall a call.

Joanna Ford, Coldwell Bankers-

Brandon and I built our home on family land.  The place we decided to build our home and raise our own children was where I had been raised from birth.  But right after my Dad passed away I had this basic, non-dramatic desire to move.  My husband was supportive and we decided to list our home.  We called someone recommended to us who is the picture of a go-getter, Joanna Ford.  Joanna continuously showed our home, and showed us homes.  She was committed to helping us explore where we needed to live.  After much time on the market, with some hopeful buyers that just never panned out, Brandon looked at me and said, “Babe. We keep praying for the perfect family to buy our home.”  I nodded in agreement and bewilderment as to why it wasn’t happening.  He paused and concluded this thought that rang confirmation in my heart.  He said, “I believe we are that family.” He was right.  And I’m so thankful God kept us right where He wanted us.  And I’m equally as grateful He sent Joanna to walk that season of exploration with us.  She is the link to many homes selling, but she’s not just about the sale.  She is about people.  Joanna genuinely cares about finding the right fit for your family.  If that means selling your home, or helping you buy a home, or even building a home, she has the heart of someone you’d want to walk you through it.  I love most how Joanna says it herself, “I am successful because real estate is not my work but rather it is my joy.”  

Thank you to our incredible sponsors!

I Can't Breathe

Have you ever had the wind knocked out of you? I mean literally. Have you ever been met with such force that you lost your breath and momentarily lost the ability to take in another one?

There are a few things I think about when I imagine taking a breath. It has to do with tidal volume and vital capacity and respiratory nursing world technicalities. But before I learned about all of that terminology and mechanics of lung function, I learned what it felt like.

I remember back to my seven-year-old days being mechanically ventilated. Being intubated. Some call it life support.

I remember coming out from sedation.

Sedation. Those drugs that make you sleep; time passing without ever even knowing its existence.

I remember having moments of wakefulness and feeling that tube in my throat and thinking, I can’t breathe. It’s a scary feeling.

In a more common experience, I remember having the breath literally knocked out of me when I was about ten. My best friend Brad lived just down the road. Brad and Jon were the same age and after Jon died, Brad stepped in, giving his best to provide all the big-brother experiences he knew Jon would have given me. Like taking me fishing. Which included him fishing my hook out of his own hand on more than one occasion. Obviously, fishing wasn’t my knack. But Brad insisted I go nevertheless.

He’d call and scream into the answering machine on the early summer-break mornings, telling me to get my butt out of bed. If that didn’t work, he’d make his way down to the house to pester me awake. And we joined up for a decent amount of mischief, as Jon would have wanted, including throwing eggs off structures that I’m pretty sure people get arrested for. Brad was a gift of God’s grace in the tragedy of losing Jon. They were best friends, so having him was like getting to keep a piece of Jon.

However, I’m not sure I was thinking that the day he body slammed me over the couch. Don’t get me wrong- I deserved it. I had wrestled with the boys from my earliest beginnings. That’s what happens when you’re the only girl and the baby. If ya wanna be included, you got to run with the big boys. Who knows? Maybe it’s what developed my toughness for the road of recovery I faced.

But that day I hit the edge of the couch and fell off to the floor on my back, I looked at the ceiling and could not breathe. It was momentary, but no breath was to be caught. It scared me. And I think it scared Brad a little too.

I haven’t had the breath knocked out of me since that day. As I grew into a lady, I stopped wrestling with my big-brother figure and I played it safe going into vocal performance rather than high-impact activities.   But life has knocked the breath out of me many times over.

I remember having a dear friend, whom I loved very much, say something completely untrue about me. Our friendship shattered.   It took my breath away.

I remember sitting on an exam table and my obstetrician compassionately apologizing for our miscarried pregnancy. The feeling of emptiness took my breath away.

I remember being back in the burn unit recovering from skin grafts and Brandon walking in to my bedside telling me my Dad had passed away. I was in the same place I was when I found out my brother was dead seventeen years earlier. It took my breath away.

I remember my child making poor choices and receiving text messages from someone I loved and trusted telling me the behavior was linked to the way I had made my child feel. I was on the floor of parenting despair and that took my breath away.

I remember Brandon calling to tell me he had good news and bad news. Good news he was coming home and would get to spend the day with us. Bad news was he had lost his job in a highly unanticipated layoff. It took my breath away.

I could continue to trace back some moments where I felt someone had just knocked the wind right out of me, but the more important part is sharing how I got the breath to carry on.

There’s a worship song by All Sons and Daughters called, Great Are You, Lord. Here are some of the lyrics—

You give life, You are love
You bring light to the darkness
You give hope, You restore
Every heart that is broken
Great are You, Lord
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise
We pour out our praise
It’s Your breath in our lungs
So we pour out our praise to You only

There are some key points to grab onto right there. When there is no breath left in you, He is your breath. God is breathing into our lungs. He is breathing in His life. His love. His light. His hope. We come up empty. We come up with darkness. We come up with brokenness. We come up apneic—that’s nursing terminology meaning not breathing. And He provides. Add this one to your playlist and sing it out when life’s trials, challenges and circumstances have knocked the wind right out of you. Praising Him in the storm restores and strengthens in supernatural ways we can’t even imagine.

So there’s one way—worship Him.

Here’s another—read, recall and repeat His Word. Psalm 34 is below with some bolded truths that I cling to. Remember—read, recall, repeat. There’s power in His Word! There’s breath for our life!

And finally, communicate to Him and His people. If you can’t breathe, you need intervention. I realized this when Jaron was born. Poor little fella couldn’t breathe—here’s that apnea word again, and retractions and all the things that go along with respiratory distress syndrome. It was more than a little skin-to-skin with mom could cure. Jaron Michael needed help. Specifically he needed some mechanical ventilation, but point is, when we need a breath, God is there to give it, but we need to reach out to Him and the people He longs to use to help us.

When life has knocked the wind right out of you, when there’s an internal anxiety and despair for air; let His peace, His presence and His breath fill your lungs as you walk in trust and rest. God is holding on to you.

I pray this post spoke to you. Did you know I’m writing a book?! Would you join me in supporting these endeavors by subscribing to our blog and sharing with your friends and family? We can’t grow with out you.

Psalm 34 NIV
I will extol the Lord at all times;
    His praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and He answered me;
    He delivered me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to Him are radiant;
    their faces are never covered with shame.
6 This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
    He saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
    and He delivers them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
9 Fear the Lord, you his holy people,
for those who fear him lack nothing.
10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.
11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,
13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from telling lies.
14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and His ears are attentive to their cry;
16 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to blot out their name from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    He delivers them from all their troubles.
18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
19 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
20 He protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.
21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
22 The Lord will rescue His servants;
no one who takes refuge in Him will be condemned.

Thank you to our incredible sponsors!

Election Results - Regardless of the Outcome


A few weeks ago we were buzzing around the kitchen making lunches, unloading the dishwasher and getting breakfast. For some reason or another, completely off topic from the current task, Jaron made a comment about how destitute our country would be if a particular presidential candidate was voted into office. At times I really wonder what triggers their thoughts. Like all Americans, we have had many discussions regarding the election. Brooklyn will be able to vote in the next presidential election so this one felt more relevant to her. Nevertheless, I didn’t think any of our discussions had created a mindset of gloom and doom. I don’t know. Maybe because we weren’t super passionate about our options. There could have been some subliminal tones of negativity.

I explained to Jaron that out of the presidential elections I’ve been able to vote in, not every person I voted for won the election. While the people on the losing end feel they’re left with a result that isn’t what is best, it doesn’t mean it’s the end of life-as-we-know-it. Our hope is not in the candidate. Our hope is in the Lord. I wrapped it up with this, “Jaron, either way this election goes, I know one thing to be true. The Lord will take care of His people.

Several months ago in my prayers for our country, I began praying one scripture. Psalm 7:9 “Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure— You, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts.” And this prayer was not dependent on whether one candidate won or another. This prayer is the cry of my heart for our country. Only the Lord knows hearts and minds, and I interceded for Him to help me see beyond the person and see who He could use. On the day after Election Day, I pray no matter what side we were on, we can continue to seek the Lord to work through our leaders.

Most of my children voted yesterday, not at a polling station but in their classrooms. And while they don’t understand the ins-and-outs of the big picture, they are learning the importance of the process. Their votes weren’t counted yesterday but they cast them nevertheless. They practiced what it is to exercise a right, a privilege and a responsibility granted to them by the sacrifices of so many before them. Again, regardless of the outcome, your vote honored our veterans.

Before we left for school this morning we had prayer for our country. This isn’t a sporting event with a winning and losing team. This is the UNITED States of America, so we interceded for unity. I think of it similar to marriage. You know when you have a fight with your spouse? (If you’ve ever fought with your spouse. I realize some of us may have more experience than others). But even if you get your point across, it doesn’t feel like you’ve won anything, because fighting brings dissension. And somewhere in the moment, we have to desire unity over being right.

My friend Jayne Patton said it so well in her Facebook post this morning,

I'm sorry - gloating just looks terrible on believers. If you truly believe God answered your prayers, then with all humility - be grateful. Don't be tempted to take credit for something you profess God did. Maintain a spirit of repentance. Look for opportunities to share the gospel. Love well and seek to build unity. And please, PLEASE continue to pray for our Nation!! The battle isn't over until Jesus comes...#sameconversationIhadwithmykids #startsinthehome

Lastly, I have to share what another friend posted, “Wouldn't it be nice if we were as vocal about our belief in Christ as we were about which candidate we wanted to win? Life is short. If you are a believer you know who wins in the end. Stop pouting and go tell your loved ones what they mean to you, hug your friends, forgive those who've hurt you, share your faith, and make a difference in the life of another. Those are the things that matter in eternity.”

That is some good stuff.

If you won- congratulations. Pray for your leaders.

If you lost- I’m sorry. Pray for your leaders.

Let’s aim for eternity and meet on the other side. God has something way better in store! In the meantime, if things get too uncomfortable maybe we should meet up in Disney. I did see a shirt that said, “friends who Disney together, stay together.”

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Nurses Cry

There are a few days out of each month I have the privilege of walking the halls amongst many great minds and using my life to be of use to another. While I cherish the moments I have to spend working as a neonatal intensive care nurse, I know God is calling me to use my life in some other areas as well. We want to be right where He wants us to be, when He wants us to be there. Although my time in the NICU looks differently now, I’m grateful I still have the opportunity to be there in some capacity. I see mighty works occur in that place, the power of God demonstrated before our very eyes. There was a season I invested a full-time schedule in the NICU. And during that time I had the privilege of being a part of many families’ journeys. In our unit, our families are given the option to choose which nurses they would prefer to care for their baby. Personalities and dispositions of parents and nurses connect differently, and having a strong connection benefits the baby’s care. One way in particular is from the consistency it provides.

Being asked to primary a baby is a great honor. I mean, to be chosen, is a pretty incredible feeling. Picture being asked out on a date. It means you stood out, you’ve been evaluated and assessed, and the conclusion made is that you’re of value. Someone wants to take you out and spend their money just to spend some time with you and get to know you more. It’s more than the, you’re good enough message, it’s communicating, you’re really great!

While primary nursing isn’t exactly as charming as dating, it certainly provides for a strong bond to be made. Spending twelve hours a day, three days a week, for sometimes and often, months at a time, creates a special connection for nurses with the baby and the family. It’s an endearment that lasts far beyond the discharge date. Friendships are frequently formed. Updates are routinely given. Messages are usually exchanged and occasionally, invitations are extended.

Just a month ago I received such a message and along with it came a request. A sweet woman who once chose me to be a part of caring for her sick baby, was now asking me to help her with an endeavor to help others. She contacted me only a month ago regarding a charitable organization they had formed, expressing her intentions for this project, “to help families with preemie or sick babies.” Her heart for others was evident, “our goal is to help with breast pumps or paying the rental fee for moms who want to breastfeed.” She continued, “to also provide information and resources to them.”

Upon receiving the message, I was honored she felt my contributions through writing would be advantageous for her organization. I was more than willing to compose a post for her. Her last message to me was in regards to her precious baby, “we have such a miracle thanks to all of you that worked so hard on her behalf.”

There is so much I don’t understand about life. There are so many questions I have.

It was a rainy morning that particular Thursday I found myself back in the NICU. I was eager to be there. See, we’ve had a storm at home. From it I’ve contended those occasionally inevitable feelings that nothing I do is good enough and that I can’t get right the stuff that really matters. It sounds selfish, but I needed some time to feel useful, to feel productive, to feel good about what I do. Barely into the eight o’clock cares, my phone received messages my heart could not process.

Message after message came through from those who knew of my connection to this family.

While I didn’t know them well, I knew enough. I knew being a mother was the most important role to this woman. I knew her children to be kind, well mannered and respectful. I knew her to be concerned for others, wanting to help in any way she could. She was dedicated, sensitive, kind, sweet and reasonable. Why use the word reasonable? The NICU sees parents at their worst, when they have no control over caring for their own baby. We walked through a dark time with them, and they came alongside us as a team, for what was best for their baby.

I can’t imagine all the things that may be said about them. Who knows what may or may not have happened? Who knows why?

We’re so inclined to ask, but nothing could attest to the senseless tragedy which has unfolded before us all.

There are times I wish I could emotionally “end my assignment.” We log in at the end of our shift, report off to the next shift, select our patients in the charting program, right click, select “end my assignment,” we clock out and we go home to come back and do it again.   But sometimes we barely get the car door closed before the well bursts open, tears of compassion a nurse can’t help but shed. Sometimes we can’t go to sleep fueled with concern for our little patients. Sometimes we call in the middle of the night just to check in where our heart has stayed, with the patient, with the family, with the hope that a positive outcome will surface.

Nursing is more than a career option. It’s more than a schedule of twelve-hour shifts in which you rarely sit down and sometimes even forgo eating and bathroom breaks. It’s more than stethoscopes, meds and tracking I’s and O’s. It’s an investment of heart. It’s giving a piece of your life for another, and there are times, you’re blessed to be given a piece of theirs. Sometimes it hurts. Many times we cry. But there’s no doubt, someone who is called to be a nurse, will always come back to do it again.

This mother asked me to use my voice here at this blog to inform readers about their organization. I am grieved by the opportunity I no longer have to fulfill her request. So today, I write a little about what I knew of her and her family. I write to say something good about their family while many may be formulating very negative opinions. Above all, I write to point to the One who is greater than the most heinous of all acts, our magnificent God. Only He can bear the turmoil, only He can touch the hearts, only He can speak into the darkness, only He can comfort the overwhelming loss.

Job 19:25 ESV

For I know that my Redeemer lives,

and at the last He will stand upon the earth.

Romans 16:20 ESV

The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

A Nurse’s Prayer by Rita Riche

Almighty God, Divine Healer of all, grant me Your handmaiden, strength and courage in my calling.

Give to my heart, compassion and understanding.

Give to my hands, skill and tenderness.

Give to my mind knowledge and wisdom.

Especially, Dear Lord, help me always to remember the true purpose of my vocation, that of self-less service and dedication to the weak and despairing in body and spirit. Amen

*please help in avoiding any mention of names in comments-- bless you for your thoughts, your compassion, and your prayers.


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