24/7


This year I wrote a story about a woman in Southern Beauty Magazine who has had over 100 children through her home as a foster parent.

I have always been fascinated with foster children, perhaps because I, at age one, was “adopted” by my “daddy” who raised me. (I never got to know my father…who was from the small town where my mom grew up…and they divorced when I was one…he remained in California where I was born (Newport Beach) and she moved back here where she married my “daddy”)

My mother was adopted…from an orphanage within our state…and her mother AND sister were both adopted from Chicago, IL. So there has always been some fascination with adoption and foster care for me, although I can’t say adopting more children of my own has been an urgent calling.

However, that interest and love has been fulfilled in my writing the inspirational tale of Beverly and her “children” and has become a quarterly activity I do with my children, to gather things for these children and to provide them with whatever we can, when we can.

God plants seeds in our hearts…there are some people who can’t see a dog on tv without thinking about finding ways to save them all…I like animals and all, but that is NOT mine…..

We recently had an opportunity, through our church to open our home to two college students. These boys moved in with us in September and moved out in May. They were mentors for my three children. The week after they left at 4 am to leave for a mission’s trip in China (they are still there…in the midst of the earthquakes), my three year old daughter kept asking…
“where is Ron? Where is Chadwick?)
They had their own room where the girls playroom used to be..in my son’s end of the house. They had their own kitchen and “den area”. Since they have been gone, we have redecorated…with disco circles and chalk paint in the playroom and 50’s style kitchen so the girls can once again play “restaurant”.

But for nearly a year, these boys taught us so much about God. They are training to be pastors. They were big brothers to my son, they played music together, we had a songwriting group that came here every Monday night. We created seven songs together that we are working on getting recorded, if only for ourselves.

We had family night on Tuesdays, we would eat around the table, Chad usually cooks…he loves to cook AND grocery shop…wow did I do SOMETHING RIGHT…he surely has spoiled me…I love to cook but I despise the grocery store…

When I lived in Montgomery…I got delchamps delivery…and a cab driver would bring my groceries INTO MY KITCHEN AND PUT THEM ON THE COUNTER…now WHERE is this service in Bham?

Anyway…back on track…

These boys put their heart and soul into GIVING their lives to God.
They left at 6…I might hear them in the kitchen grabbing a pop tart or packing a lunch…and then they wouldn’t come home til 9…
except on family night…and sometimes on Mondays which was supposed to be “free day” but they always seemed to have something to do.

we played cards..went bowling…played games….swam…cooked out….went to their pool parties that families or the church would throw…we saw them at church on Wed. and Sundays…but most of the time they were fully involved in their training.

They took a trip to Mexico in the Spring. We got to see the skits they do for the children in an orphanage there. In their one year of life here they must have affected the lives of hundreds of people.

Ron…everyone in our church knows RON…out going…25….so naively on fire for God…with the child-like spirit God talks about…eagar to learn and do…he’s also a handy fix it person…when he is around…a talker…a talker…a talker…

And Chadwick…the polar opposite…easy going, quiet, with such a gentle spirit..steady wins the race…when he speaks…he means it…otherwise, he is sizing everything up. He is 19…straight out of high school and the 24/7 director laughed when he said he was “putting those two together”.
They were so opposite…but became incredible friends…

These kids climbed mountains, biked, hiked, survived on bugs and ate more pizza in a year than I did at Bama Bino’s in College (did I spell that right?)

Right now they are leading 122 student missionaries with our church (12,000) members this summer in China. They were the first 21 to go to get ready for the 60 youth that are leaving this week, age 14-25.

Read about it at al.com
Greg Garrison wrote a story about it on May 31. (link)

I have been called to court by my ex husband and his wife (who happen to be my ex husband and my husband’s ex wife…yeah, think about that for a moment) twice over our choice to follow our hearts and to open our home, as God asks us to do…
and we have had NOTHING BUT BLESSINGS for doing so. One judge in Baldwin County got furious and threw it out…the other is pending in June….where they are using ad lidem because according to their filings..two “teenage boys” live here which has NOTHING to do with this situation as it is used typically for “abuse” (which they stated in depositions Friday that they never alledged ABUSE)…not to mention that the boys have moved out. My children were actually going to go to court to stand up for these boys against their father and step mother at their own choice…they never had to.

My children are on fire for God…they are some of the most incredible people I know…and I am so proud of their dedication to do and be MORE than the “world”.

We don’t plan to have another student this year..unless God gives us a hint that we need to…but perhaps when we can build a guest house…we will not hesitate…

When I moved into this home as a single mom…before I knew what it would become (and it’s not big…just full of love) I promised God that it was HIS…that whatever I received, I would give back more..because frankly, with the support I had from my ex..there was no way I should have ever been able to live here. And then I married and we have a daughter…and he has the same values and beliefs…that what we have we are to give…and so we do..
Mondays the sixth grade bible study is here and at night Christian songwriters gather with my son and I to write songs we plan to record, if just for all of us….and Tuesday, my husband and I lead LIFE..living in freedom everyday…an incredible lesson that tells us that we are NOT perfect…and that we can live freely knowing that God is leading us each and every day..and Wednesdays, artist come to paint because they know there is more to their gift than making pretty paintings…and Wednesday we go to church as a family..the kids have SWITCH…which is INCREDIBLE! WWW.CHURCHOFTHEHIGHLANDS.COM and on Thursdays, the children dash early to school to their Bible study small groups (or maybe that is Tuesday…I am not really a morning person 🙂 ) Thursday night…date night…(for me and my husband to keep LOVE alive !) And we offer our home for Prayer Force gatherings…so those who pray for our church and our leaders can meet..and teach other how to pray for our city and our nation…(that will go on during the summer with ONE…where our entire church of 12000 will be doing outreach into Birmingham together all at the same time. And on Friday, my son and three other boys lead a bible study before school on their own. (Most of mine are during school hours)
But I have found that even my writing can be a voice that is bigger than my own…

And even as summer rolls around, and our “children” are away..whether at the beach visiting their father for 6 weeks in the summer or the “adopted ones” are in China…
this home has a purpose…

We will miss our “children”…and can’t wait to see what they do with their lives…I know their hearts…it will be HUGE! God is planting some HUGE SEEDS!