I'm Scared, Part Two...

For the hearts of my sons.

What about your own kids?

It's muttered under someones breath or to my face at least once every other day.

My skin crawls; although I know 90% of the time, it's asked with good intentions.

But come closer...shhhh...I'll tell you a secret....

It's not about my boys; just like it's not about my fosters; just like it's not about me...

It's about my Savior.

I'm taking time to own some of the haunting quiet places of my soul this week.

It would be so much easier to continue meeting the demands of life, the needs, the wants, and to push my own chasms out of mind...

But increasingly I'm realizing, that unless I own my fear and brokenness, I have no need of being healed, no need of restoration.

The lives of my boys is one of my silent naggings.

We began this journey when they were so very young. Daniel doesn't remember a day without extra sisters and brothers crowding his life and style.

Through my lens, that is beautiful.

In the world's eyes, I'm serving my children an astounding disservice.

And the reality is, if you know my boys, you would know we're not at all together. There's some intense drama, disrespect, and a whole lot of this mess we call sin.

But is ministry about having it together and bringing your perfection as the answer to broken lives...

Or is ministry owning your brokenness, grasping the grace bestowed to you, and allowing this prism of redemption in your life ignite you to see and hope for what others could be with the fullness of Christ within them?

Knowing hope.

Displaying grace.

Acting as an agent of restoration.

Deep down, I acknowledge the reality that this journey messes with my boys. We've had to be intentional on so many levels. I quietly watch and wonder if our lifestyle will push them drastically to one end spiritually or another.

As homeschoolers, I'm often asked when we will let our kids taste of the "real" world, and to be honest, I laugh out loud, because my boys have already learned the realities of so many hard subjects in the context of our home. They're aware of social, criminal, relational and spiritual sins than many adults are unwilling to acknowledge, but we've been proactive in the stewardship of their hearts.

Because they are not ours. Their souls have been graced to us for a fleeting moment.

So in the sphere of this broken haven we call home, they've walked the road of hospitality, grief, sacrifice, hardships, flexibility...

They've learned early that God is not about their happiness, but about providing them joy as HIS story unfolds through their obedience for HIS glory.

I get to watch that.

Some parents wait 40 years before they ever are gifted with glimpses of these truths in their children's lives.

No, we still have a long way to go, and it's not the end of their stories by any means, but owning my fear of laying down the hearts of "my" three little Isaacs, demands I glorify His redemptive work taking place in them even now, renewing my faith once again.

Because He is Worthy ~


  1. Hi Catie, that must be hard, hearing folks question if your boys are okay, if this is all too much for them etc. I know in my heart of hearts, despite not knowing you in person that you and your husband ALWAYS consider your children in making decisions and your love for them is evident! I know (as you do) that most folks mean no harm in the questioning. I also know God will bless your family for being willing to go into the hard places. So few are willing and for those that do, the difference they can make is immeasurable! I know for myself, I'd have been soooo FORTUNATE and BLESSED if I'd had to go into foster care and had you and your husband or foster parents like you to help me through such a challenging time. I pray that the Lord continues to hold your family close and shepherd your hearts.

  2. My parents began doing foster care when I was 6 years old and continued for 23 years, until my mom died suddenly this past May. I remember crying myself to sleep as I grieved little ones who had left our home. My mom worried that she'd scarred me for life. And she had. But scars are not always bad things. My heart was forever changed by loving those babies and watching my parents love them. I grew up knowing Jesus, not just because my parents told me stories about Him, but because they brought Him into my house. I watched my parents invite Him in, clothe Him, and care for Him when He was hurting. And if your family is anything like mine, your boys aren't just watching . . . they're doing it, too! They're loving the least of these because you're showing them that's where Jesus is. I could list a million reasons why I think bringing foster children into your home is beneficial for your birth children, but this is the most important one: you're helping them see JESUS. You're a wonderful mom.

  3. I am now 51 years old. When I was 10, a social worker came to our school and explained the concept of foster care in homes (a new concept in the early 70's). I knew my calling at that moment. I told my parents and they became a foster family. I was a foster sibling to over 21 children over the next 10 years. About 3 years ago, a therapist innocently said to me, "You have experienced a great deal of loss in your childhood." I literally burst into tears. But they were not tears of sadness. At that moment, I recognized that what other people saw as LOSS, I saw as GAIN. The opportunity to participate in these children's lives - even as a young child myself - was a tremendous benefit to me. As an adult, I have continued to pursue my calling. And although worldly losses occur daily - my heart sees gain. So, when people ask me, "How can you do this to your children?" My response is, "How can I NOT give my children this gift?"