As an inward processor, journaling has always been an important part of me working through my thoughts and emotions. I’m finding it’s much harder these days to capture the time I would like to journal well. Rather than just giving up, I’ve decided to try and capture key words and phrases on my art that can help me to process, refocus, and remind me of the things I want my life to be about. These past few weeks I’ve been using my embroidery hoops as a way to create an Embroidery Journal of sorts.
If you’re interested, let me catch you up on the latest of our life’s adventures.
You may remember that my word for the year this year is SHINE. I want to shine God’s love and peace in every area of my life. As we have ventured into foster care we are continually learning and discovering the many complex ways of how this ministry works. It’s the perfect opportunity to constantly be reminded to “Shine.” There is a lot of darkness and need for light. In my last foster update, I shared how I learned some hard lessons and I did not shine well. The experience left me broken and questioning my ability to continue down this path.
I felt like bringing foster children into my home may be above my abilities and what I am able to carry. I was starting to envision taking a new position of just encouraging the foster moms in my life, rather than being one myself. My trip out to Arkansas provided me with so much perspective. I felt led to open my hands and surrender all of my hopes, thoughts, and dreams and let God move and do the work He needed to do in my heart. This song became my prayer:
I lay me down
I’m not my own
I belong to you alone
Lay me down
Lay me down
Hand on my heart
This much is true
There’s no life apart from you
Lay me down…
Letting go of my pride
Giving up all my rights
Take this life and let it shine
Take this life and let it shine…
It will be my joy to say
Two days after letting this be my prayer, Matt answered a phone call that placed us back in the middle of an opportunity to shine. God placed a little boy in crisis into our home. We have had him for a couple of weeks and unless something changes (and as we are learning things change all the time) it looks like he will be with us at least for the next couple of months.
I am still so far from “nailing it” and I know I will never be perfect. I need re-centering on what seems like an hourly basis. But, it was the moment that I was raw, admitted that I cannot do anything on my own, and gave God full control of my life, he said “now I am ready to use you”. I’d like to believe that I’ve “landed the plane” on this one, but I’m guessing this is a lesson I will continually need to relearn.
I am so humbled, honored, and amazed that God would choose to use us.
So for this moment in time, God choose to use us to speak his truth in the ears of a little boy. You are loved. He has a plan for your life. You are a masterpiece. As we speak truth, we pray that our actions will reflect God’s heart. That we can be his hands and feet.
I have a peace. I am relying on a strength that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I am praying for perspective and love that surpasses all the tired, draining moments. We are adjusting to being new foster parents and shepherding our three littles plus our new foster son’s heart as all of their worlds have been flipped upside down.
Thank you for caring about our journey through this life.
As our day-to-day life has changed, my eyes are open to how there are foster moms that have been living this way for a much longer time than me. I am in awe. I want to give back. I want to encourage and shower them with the love of Christ that they are so willingly pouring into their little ones’ hearts. In the few quiet moments I have, I am creating these embroidery hoops. I thought what better way for me to use these hoops than to encourage other foster moms!? I am giving some away to foster moms to encourage and nurture their soul with a little daily reminder to place in their home that they are loved. The work they are doing matters and God sees the ins and outs of every little thing.
I will also be selling other hoops soon on my Instagram account and in my shop here. All profits from these hoops will be used to encourage foster moms in my community. I will be sharing more of this journey as we progress. Thank you for being in it with me!
I pray you are able to use your life to SHINE today! Happy weekend friends.
Very well expressed Erica. We are so proud too that God has chosen you and Matt for this very special ministry.
Heidi @ Happiness is Homemade says
This story is so inspirational and moving, and I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate that you write with such open honesty (I really need to work on that part – it’s soooo hard for me to get personal on my blog!)! Your hoops are totally gorgeous, too! I need to pick up one of them when you do your sale! 🙂
Amanda Dement says
LOVE love LOVE these!!!!
Erin @ DIY on the Cheap says
You are doing a wonderful job! I’m keeping your family in my prayers. Hope to see you soon!