Happy Birthday!

One year ago

One year ago today, I got up early. Made sure the crib was ready. Made sure the car seat was ready. Ate my breakfast. Read my Facebook page. And waited.

Finally the phone rang. “Could you meet at the Child and Family Office? We have a newborn for you.” With excitement and anticipation, Justina and I drove into Winnipeg to pick up our new roommate.

Rewind to a few months before.
God placed it in my heart to open my home to another child needing a home. Some of my friends said, “Don’t do it. You will ruin your family” Others said,” Fifty-five is too old to care for a newborn.” A church member said,” Why would you give up your freedom for someone else’s child?”

But God said, “ I have a plan. Will you trust me?”

I said, “Yes.” Because seventeen years before I had said yes to God and I had the privilege of raising a child to adulthood. And I saw the amazing hand of God move in our lives in ways I never could have imagined.

That “yes” lead me to the CFS office waiting for a baby girl to come from the hospital. Mom and dad were drug users so I was nervous that I had taken on more than I could handle. The longer the social worker left me sitting there, the more I second guessed my decision. Surely I had misunderstood God’s voice in my life. I must have had a weak moment when I said yes.

When I looked at the infant in the baby carrier, I was flooded with love. And then I knew. -I knew that God loved me.

Helpless.

Needy me.

Another woman’s child.

As I studied each little feature of my little girl,I felt how God feels about me. God loves me enough to give His Son. Enough to use me as part of His plan.

I didn’t know what His plan was, but I knew without a doubt I was a part of His plan. I couldn’t wait to get to know that little girl who was entrusted to my care. She stole my heart.

Part of fostering this beautiful baby was taking her for visits with her parents three times a week. After a month of visiting with them every second day, we developed a trusting relationship. This was a new journey, but it felt so natural – so right.

I grew to care about them more than I wanted to. So when the social worker decided to move our now one month old to a new home, I was confused, scared and very sad. I was afraid that God’s plan would not be realized.

One day while I sat in church questioning my part in God’s plan. I was given a vision of the baby’s parents sitting with me in church.

I stayed in contact with the baby’s parents and invited them to attend with me. They began to come to church with us and when my budget allowed I would take them out for lunch. I helped and cheered as mom set up her own apartment. I celebrated with her each time she gained one more month of sobriety. I watched God move in her life and set her free from her past mistakes.

I listened to the parents stories and shared my heart with them. Now a year later, mom has custody of her baby and dad is still active in their lives. Today,we were part of gathering of all the people who have helped guide this family to emotional health as we celebrated baby’s first birthday.

God’s love is amazing. He loves to give good gifts. He loves to lavish His love on His adopted children. His heart is for you. His heart is for me.

As I journey on the path of life, I am learning about God’s unrelenting love. Saying yes to God is always the best yes.

Bird’s Eye View

Matthew 6:25 I tell you not to worry about your life. Don’t worry about having something to eat, drink, or wear. Isn’t life more than food or clothing? 26 Look at the birds in the sky! They don’t plant or harvest. They don’t even store grain in barns. Yet your Father in heaven takes care of them. Aren’t you worth more than birds?27 Can worry make you live longer?

I’m a worrier. I admit it. I worry about many things in my life. I worry that I don’t have enough money. I worry that I have too much money. I worry about eating nutritious meals. I worry about getting too much sleep. I worry about not getting enough sleep.
I’m a worrier.

Yesterday while I stole a few treasured moments to read a book in the back yard, the silence was broken by the squawking of birds. I looked up in time to see a big black crow fly away. Then my attention was drawn to the sound of something landing on the pool cover.

A baby bluejay dropped down from the sky.

I watched the little chick struggle to hop across the pool cover. I felt my anxiety rise as the tiny nestling headed for the water. I yelled for my daughter to come. The saying that misery loves company is really true. My heart was racing and having her there helped me focus on the crisis at hand.Besides two heads are better than one.

First I found a box and together we thought about ways we could lure the creature into the box. That didn’t work because every time we moved to the side of the pool where the bird sat balancing on the edge of the pool cover, it would peep loudly and the adult birds would start circling in the sky over our heads.

Then my daughter tried to pull the pool cover towards the edge of the pool hoping to make a ramp so the baby bird could hop up and out of the pool safely. The bluejay got really scared and cried and peeped like it was being tortured. This time the parents were not going to just observed their baby from a distance. This time they came lower – much lower and made it very clear that we were not to go near their little fledgling.

I put on a bike helmet to protect myself from the parent’s sharp beaks and tried to use the pool net to scoop up the little bird. But I was so afraid of hurting it,I was not quick enough nor accurate enough to meet success. Also,I felt kind of silly walking around with a bike helmet on my head.

Finally my daughter tried to solve the problem in the modern way. She put it out on FaceBook that we were out of options.

While she waited for inspiration to come, she sat by the pool and stared at the little bluejay.

I told her that God takes care of the birds and I was sure a solution would come to us. But within a few hours the little chick succumbed to its injuries.

We silently scooped the little chick out of the water and placed it gently in a box. What we didn’t know is that it had a huge claw mark on its chest and was fatally wounded.

Today when I went outside the parents were still sitting high up in the branches over head. Every time I moved they screeched at me to remind me that I had in some way hurt their offspring.

I was fascinated by their ability to see all the way down to ground level from their perch on the highest tree in my yard. It reminded me of my relationship with God. Often it feels as if He is far too distant for Him to see me and my petty problems. But He has a bird’s eye view and can see all He needs to see to meet my needs.

As I journey on the path of life, I want change my habit of worrying and turn my face upward to the One who sees all. He can be trusted to protect and provide.

Does life ever seem overwhelming and worry seems to be your only coping mechanism? Leave me a comment and tell me about your experience.