Chronicling the joys and challenges of the life Mrs. Hays

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Old is Gone.... The New Has Come

Our Pastor spoke on transitions this past Sunday (12/30/12). Sean and I feel as though it was prophetic to our lives. He spoke on 2 Kings 2 and 3. Elijah is taken up to Heaven and Elisha is left as God's prophet to His people. He spoke on how difficult a transition that must've been for Elisha. The man he devoted his life to about learning the ways of God was gone, and now he was to do the work of God on His own. The old way of things was gone, the new had come. Elisha had entered into a time of transition.
We now have two beautiful sisters. One is 7 and the other 5. We were not expecting to take any children over the age of 5, but here we are. These are the girls God has for us, and we are unexpectedly blessed. However, the old way of doing things is gone, and the new has come. 
We find ourselves in way over our head. We are desperately weak. But we are promised that His "grace is sufficient for [us], for [His] power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness"(2 Corinthians 12:9). The only way we are able to parent these girls and love them is because of Him and His love for us that overflows to them. 
I must admit that these beauties are so much better than we were expecting. Granted, our agency, Hope & Home, prepares you for the worst, but that's what we were expecting. We weren't expecting, can you say "normal," girls. Girls who just needed extra love and guidance. Girls who wanted more hugs than most other kids, and who needed a little more nudging in the right direction. It might possibly be easier than taking care of babies and toddlers because they dress themselves, brush their own teeth, feed themselves, and they're even potty trained (which I can't even get our Abby to). 
My greatest struggle comes from going from one child to three! The workload has tripled and completely changed. AND we now need to start pouring into these girls intellectually and emotionally-starting yesterday. With Abby we were able to gradually pour into her, on her level and at her stage. But these sweeties are needing more and they need it now. Although I might want to question what God is doing with us, I know I can rest in Him and his plans. Provers 19:21 states "Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the Lord's purpose that prevails." We are confident that this is the path that God wants us to walk, but it is not the path we were expecting. 
It's so much better. 
These girls attached to us within the first day. Calling us mommy and daddy and saying they loved us-and they mean it. These girls have become our daughters. I pray the Lord enables their mommy to find Him, and I pray she learn how precious His daughters truly are. But until that day comes we have gained two more little blessings. Blessings who talk back, but blessings none the less. 
So goodbye old, and hello new... May we transition in the grace, love, and mercy that God grants us everyday in abundance. 



1 John 3:16-18 "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Entertaining Angels

My mind has been spinning since last night. Sean and I are officially licensed Foster-Adopt parents! There have been a few bumps along the road, but I know that it is all in God's timing. If there was enough space I'd write all the confirmations that God has given us in this process, but I will start with one.

One of the biggest affirmations to becoming a foster parent has been the idea of "entertaining strangers." We were evacuated because of the Waldo Canyon Fire in June. The Lord chose to spare our home. When we came back we knew we shouldn't sit idly by and watch those who lost their homes struggle on their own.  Samaritan's Purse came into town and they were helping with the clean-up of burned homes. So, on our date day we decided to volunteer. When we got to the orientation meeting they had mentioned a woman had traveled all the way from Indiana just to help the victims of the fire. She had even spent the night outside in the parking lot of the church just to be there to help out.
On our way to the home-sites where we would be working, I told Sean if no one had offered that gal a place to stay, and if she was on our team then I think we should offer her our spare bedroom. Sean was up for it. By God's great planning, she ended up being on our team. There were ten teams, and of course she was on ours. But, I figured someone had to have offered her a place to stay by now. There were over eighty people, so of course one person would've offered her their spare room. The hours went by and I finally got a chance to talk to her. Terrified, I told her we would love to offer her our home while she stayed and helped with the victims of the fire. She joyfully accepted. Later during the day I found out that Sean had also asked her but she rejected his offer because another gal had offered her a place to stay. Little did she know that the other gal was his wife ;-)

I know it sounds crazy to offer a complete stranger your bedroom in the basement, but she was claiming to be a Christian, and I thought it absolutely horrid that the church made her sleep in the parking lot, so we had to trust God to keep us safe. We're called to love our brothers and sisters in Christ like they ARE our brothers and sisters.

Long story short she has become one of my dearest friends. We often laugh about how we were worried for our personal safety, but we had to trust in God more, and by trusting Him He gave me one, out of a few, of the best encouraging, God-fearing, and loving sisters I could ask for.
By meeting her, God gave us that good "kick in the butt" to follow Him whole-heartedly. Jenny sold everything she had, bought a bus ticket, and traveled out to CO because she felt God calling her there. Who does that? Who's willing to give up all you know for the unknown? Those who are seeking to live in God's will, that's who.

Paul says in Hebrews 13:1-3 "Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering."

What if you actually did what that verse said? What if you entertained a stranger, but were actually entertaining an angel? What if you cared about those who were suffering like you were actually suffering or your child or sister or brother was suffering? How would you live your life? Maybe by becoming a foster parent? Maybe by having a homeless man over for dinner? Maybe by adopting a child in need? Why not give it a try. We did and we've been able to see God move in miraculous ways.

I am so excited for the opportunity to love on some little children. You never know, we could be entertaining angels.


PS. If you want to support Jenny and her "Safe & Well Ministry," you can contact her at: Jennyrbettenhausen@gmail.com

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

God's Provision

Let me start my first blog by saying, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world" (Gal 6:18).

To make an incredibly long story short, our God has been doing an incredible work in me (and my husband) this past year. It has been painful, yet wonderful. I have been a Christian for as long as I can remember, and there have been quite a few times that I knew I was walking close to Him. But the truth of the matter is, I slipped away...a lot. He brought me gently back into His fold, and He has been lovingly molding me to Himself since.

Throughout this time, He has made if very clear to my husband and I that we needed to become foster parents. Although terrified at the prospect of our lives completely changing, we knew that we couldn't ignore this burden from God. We took the plunge. This Saturday I will complete all my training and should be licensed to accept foster children starting next week. Next week! Since starting the whole process we were continually going back and forth on the age of the child we might accept, or if we should even accept two! But we know we are not ready emotionally or even physically to accept any over the age of 8. We know we want to be fully engaged emotionally with the older children, but with us having a toddler of our own, a lot of time goes in to just monitoring her actions. So we finally decided that we would accept ONE child between the ages of 0-5yrs.

While going through the training our hearts broke more and more. Every Sunday at church a song would play talking about how God is the Father to the Fatherless. How I desperately wanted to take in as many children and tell them of this TRUTH! But we just physically couldn't. Because of the legalities concerning foster care, one child could share Abby's room, and another little baby could sleep in our room, but our car couldn't fit three kids in the back, it could only barely squeeze two. My heart continued to break because of this. But God has been teaching me a lot. Sean and I started praying. If God wanted us to have two more kids then He would just have to provide us with a van. But vans are expensive! He would have to do nothing short of a miracle for that to happen. Even if we could save anything, it would take us probably two years. How could we wait two years to love on more children?!?

But I didn't know what my God had in store for us.

Yesterday, I opened the door to find a manila envelope tucked underneath our doormat. I picked it up and tossed it on the couch (we were on our way to meet Daddy at his truck). The envelope would have to wait.

When we got back, I opened the package and I started shaking. Honestly, I was almost scared. What was all this?! Is this some sort of a joke? A sick joke? No. It's God. God had used an angel of His to give us $5,000.00 in cash! The note was typed and said:


"God hears you."


 I started sobbing. Could God truly have heard  our cry? Why was I in such disbelief? This past year, and truly, my whole life God has shown Himself to be nothing short of AWESOME. But this, this seems to be such a tangible, real act of God! It is a miracle.

God has brought us to a place that we have challenged Him to "throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it" (Mal 3:10). Well, we "tested" (3:10) Him in it and He has done just that. He has poured an abundance of blessing on us. To almost make a joke out of the whole thing, He even gave us a free ice cream while at McDonald's last night for dinner. To me He seems to be saying, "You don't even know the half of what I can do when you trust me."

I could keep on going and going, but I think I should stop here, with God's greatness. I pray that everyone will know God like this.

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,' says the Lord Almighty, 'and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." Malachai 3:10