Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Washing Baby Feet

I sat on the floor in front of baby Mia, ready to stick her tiny heel to check her blood sugar. She’d come to our family as a foster child via my middle daughter and her husband who’d taken her in when she was three months old. Abused with medical issues. 

Now, at ten months, Mia seemed right on target developmentally. Smiles, gurgles, letter sounds, tracking, pulling up—she could do it all. 

As she quietly submitted to my early morning ministrations, she lifted her foot, willingly, as she typically did. Conditioned after so many daily testings. I held the monitor to her heel and clicked. Not even a flinch. I gently slipped the test strip through the drop of blood, triggering the small device to reflect a reading.

Normal. Good. I sighed relief and paused to rub her heel. It occurred to me that in all the times I’d stuck her, I’d never lingered to massage her baby feet. I smiled; she smiled back. I chose to savor the moment, run a warm wet wipe over her heel, then over her entire foot/toes. I gently rubbed them. Her satisfied expression revealed she enjoyed receiving the therapy as much as I enjoyed applying it.

In those brief moments, my mind drifted to John, chapter 13—the account of Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, demonstrating to them and to us a model of servanthood. I thought about how my daughter and her family had shown servants’ hearts in taking in two foster children. Of how their action had enlarged our hearts. Of how they desired to adopt baby Mia if circumstances did not improve with the single teen mom, pregnant once again. 

They had opened their hearts and their home, chosen to lovingly sacrifice, and the rest of our family was deeply moved, joining them in the care and support of this little one. 

The biggest test for us all—willingness to care, to love, to wash baby feet, to risk increased attachment, knowing we may have to give her back. 

Thus, the saga continues as one court hearing leads to another in six months. Will her mother prove fit to take her back after a year and a half in foster care? Or will the judge rule in favor of my daughter and family adopting her? 

We’re all torn, as we’ve willingly sacrificed our hearts to this little girl. We are the family she knows and loves. The thought of her going back to a less than optimal environment and to a mom she really isn’t attached to is very difficult.

The challenge to surrender her into God’s arms, knowing we may have to give her up, is great. Still, His loving arms are the best place she can be. 

Please join our family in prayer for Mia’s safekeeping, well-being, and ultimate salvation. Pray too for her mom who is attending TeenMops and showing signs of wanting to grow in Christ and raise her children in the Lord. 

~~

Eileen Rife speaks to women’s groups, encouraging them to discover who they are in Christ and what part they play in His story! All three of her daughters, along with their families, serve as missionaries around the world. www.eileenrife.com, www.eileen-rife.blogspot.com, www.guardyourmarriage.com.

Eileen's novel, Masquerade (formerly Laughing with Lily), addresses the issue of foster care and adoption in a "gripping tale of love and suspense " (Liz Phelps, author of Mirror Images). 


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Living an Unfiltered Life

by Edie Melson @EdieMelson

I’m an amateur photographer and love all the creative things I can do online with the images I share. When I first began experimenting with my photos, I got a little wild with all the different effects. By adding different filters, I could completely change the look of a picture.

Where once an image was sunny and bright, I could bring it down to look dark and gloomy. I could also do the opposite. I added frames, embedded graphics, even melded two images into one. The options were endless.

But once the new wore off, I found that my favorite images were the ones that looked most like real life—with little or no effects applied. The ones that captured that moment, without embellishment, brought me the most joy. Those unadorned pictures were also the ones that garnered the most attention online. They seemed to bring out the best conversations.

And not too long ago, God whispered a parallel truth to me about my own life. So often, when I share things about me, my tendency is to apply a filter. It doesn’t matter if it’s something positive or negative, I can’t seem to just lay it out there. I play around with what I share, how I share it, and even the spin I put on it when I share it.

I try to frame it and embellish it with explanations and logic. I apologize for the good things, downplay the negative things, and generally try to neaten life up.

But the times when I’m most honest about what I’m experiencing, are the times when I connect deepest with those around me. Those moments of transparency and realism are when God can come in and touch others. It’s when I’m most vulnerable, that I’m most valuable to the kingdom.

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Ephesians 4:15 (ESV)

Edie Melson—author, editor, and blogger—is a leading professional within the writing industry, as well as a popular inspirational speaker and mentor. She’s the author of While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military (Worthy Inspired). She’s also the military family blogger for Guideposts at While They Serve. In addition, as a respected expert in social media, Edie has the proven expertise to teach others how to plug in without sacrificing valuable writing time. Her bestselling eBook on this subject, has recently been updated, expanded and re-released as Connections: Social Media & Networking Techniques for Writers. Connect with her on her popular blog for writers, The Write Conversation, which reaches thousands each month, and through Twitter and Facebook.

Monday, February 1, 2016

PROVISION

What a wonderful promise it is that my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
God will provide our needs…all of them! Every one! I know that in lean times, I've pondered the difference between needs and desires. So blessed to be born in America where our poorest would be considered rich by the majority in other countries. Our country of birth is a great advantage Our Father bestowed on us!
Here, we tend to think many blessings such as running water and lights at the flip of a switch are needs...and to us—the way we've become accustomed to living—they are. But to many villagers of India or even Mexico, these would be unfathomable luxuries.
I have so many testimonies I could give about God’s faithfulness in my life to meet needs.
We ate oatmeal once for three days. Have my utilities been cut off? Yes, more than once. Have cars been repossessed? Indeed. We even lost a house, actually two. Do those sound like testimonials? I’m guess they’re probably not what you were expecting, but I want to make a point.

His idea of needs and ours are not the same.

And His grace, His amazing grace got us through every one of those experiences. He used each and every time for our good, too. As lessons, to show us when He supernaturally provided an exact amount we needed—to the penny—or to guide us onto a different path than we’d planned.
When Ron’s dad went to live in Heaven, he left a small Quarter horse herd. My brother-in-love wanted nothing to do with them. We bought his half and became the owners of a dozen horses in Oklahoma. No horse trailer, living in Irving between Dallas and Ft. Worth with nowhere to keep them.

A few months later, we leased one hundred thirteen acres of river bottom land TWO MILES from our front door! What did we pay? One Hundred dollars a YEAR! Yes, annually! (30 acres across the road went for $800 a MONTH) That’s just one example of God’s provision.
As Paul said, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:11-13

I could write on for hours. In 2012, we started building The Peaceable, our brand new house on 34 acres. God provided the land and the building without debt. In 2013, we moved in. In 2014, right before the release of VOW UNBROKEN, my first book in the Texas Romances published by Simon and Schuster, my car died. I had 26 in-person events planned—booksignings, launch parties, and speaking engagements—in twenty-one North Texas cities and no way to go. God gave me a brand new Toyota with 5 miles on it! In my favorite color, green. Free and clear, tax, title, and license!












Has God supernaturally provided a need in your life? Please share with us and give Him glory!


   Caryl McAdoo is all about loving God! She currently writes four series: the historical Christian ‘Texas Romance’; a contemporary ‘Red River Romance’; The Generations, her Biblical fiction, and the newest Days of Dread Trilogy for YA and mid-grade readers. Known as the Singing Pray-er, she loves praising with new songs the Lord gives her and prays her story gives God glory! In 2008, she and her high school sweetheart-husband Ron moved from the DFW area—home for fifty-plus years—to the woods of Red River County. Caryl counts four children and sixteen grandsugars life’s biggest blessings believing all good things come from God. Besides glorifying Him, she hopes each title will also minister His love, mercy, and grace to its readers. Caryl and Ron live in Clarksville, the county seat, in the far northeast corner of the Lone Star State with two grandsons.

Caryl's Newest Release:
JUST KIN, 


Texas Romance Book 6

Charley is off to the Civil War!



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