Category Archives: Healing

Pursuing God’s Path For You

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It’s been a while…

9 months and 23 days to be exact since my last post. A lot has happened. In the last 3 months in particular and I just haven’t had the words to describe it so I’ve been pretty quiet.

My husband and I committed ourselves to foster kids. We felt God lay that desire on our hearts since before we were married and we opened our home last August. We walked deep in the trenches of children’s pain. Children we loved hard and cared deeply for. It was a crazy and chaotic but we knew that it was where we were supposed to be.

In January we were told that we needed to get a house with more bedrooms to keep our kids together. We listened to God, stepped out in faith, and moved our family of 7 in 3 weeks. That’s how dedicated we were to these kids. We wanted these kids to know that they mattered and that while in our home- they were no different than our biological daughter.

Seven months into fostering was the sweetest season for me personally. I had struggled with my role as a mom for so long and during that time I finally felt like I was where I needed to be. My past and every bad memory suddenly made sense. I had asked God for one request.

 I wanted God to take every single horrible thing that had ever happened to me and use it. I didn’t want the adversary to win. I didn’t need closure. I didn’t need to see my mom, stepdad, or any other person who had abused me in jail. After a lot of really hard days, temper tantrums, and backtalking I was seeing God answer my request. He was helping those kids and blessing me with the opportunity to be a part of it.

I have a unique situation. I have knowledge of the system from all sides. I know the child’s point of view because I was in Foster Care myself. I have worked or volunteered with DHS in several roles similar to social work so I am very familiar with their jobs, the challenges they face, and typically how things go. As a foster parent with two of the hardest cases in my county, I got first-hand knowledge of how many challenges there were as a foster parent. I thought that having knowledge on all sides would help. Turns out it can be a blessing and a curse at the same time.

After everything seemed to fall into place it was ripped right from underneath us and it just kept getting worse. Not long after moving into our house I lost my job and less than a month after that the kids were ripped from our home. After all was said and done we had a closed home, a million unanswered questions, and broken hearts with no idea how to even pick up the pieces.

I’m not perfect. Sit with me and I’ll tell you every single thing I did wrong. There were quite a few things. I still struggle with that fact and wish I could have done things a little better because maybe it would have helped the system to see my heart instead of shutting our family out so quickly. My mistakes in no way justify the outcome of this whole mess but I’m not afraid to admit my mistakes.

 

Psalm 119:71 Says,
My suffering was good for me, for it has taught me to pay attention to your decrees. 

 

I will gladly take every single mistake and grow from it. I don’t get better if I don’t. I will never be perfect. I am a sinner and I need God more than anything in this world. Walking out of this horrible season my husband and I hold tight to one truth;

We have absolutely no regrets about advocating for the kids in our care. There are no costs too high and no attack to unbearable when a kid’s stability is at stake. Kid’s who don’t have a voice. Kids who take a long time to trust in those who have been entrusted to care for them. Kids who’re only desire is to have stability and a safe place. We would do the same for our child and a foster child is no different.

All of it happened so quick. One day we were tucking them in bed, getting excited about Pre-K graduation and discussing what the next year looked like for our soon to be High Schooler.  Then I blinked and they were gone.  Some days  I still feel like I will see them running to the door and sticking their faces into the doorbell camera to announce their presence.

When they were taken and we had to close I was left in a horrible state.  I began having panic attacks that would last hours long. I faced depression and a feeling of loss too painful for words. Functioning became a minute by minute thing.

For the first time in my life, I wasn’t strong. I couldn’t see the bright side. There was no finish line to focus on. Only A quiet empty house that used to be filled, anger, confusion, and pain. Through it, my husband and family have been amazing. In every other time in my life being strong wasn’t an option because there wasn’t anybody there to help me. Sitting down would just screw me. Maybe that’s why God protected me for so long.

 So here we are…

I am finally able to see some light breaking through. Some days are better than others. I still have moments every day that I still feel sad. There’s a loss that doesn’t really go away. I see it in the school a couple of the kids are in right down the road and I feel it every time I walk by the bedrooms that are exactly the same except that they are no longer filled with giggles or belongings. You can’t replace the kids God puts in your life.

You know what??? I’m okay with that. I hope they always remember they are irreplaceable and loved more than they could ever imagine. Not just by me. By a God that loves them more than I ever could. A God that took me out of a horrible place, guided my life and is in complete control of theirs too.

I know there is a purpose to all of this. I’m still working out the details of what it looks like exactly. It may not look like fostering. After years of despising the justice, I feel deep inside my heart when I see unjust things happen that hurt others, I am finally realizing that it does, in fact, have a purpose.

God is refining it so that I can use it the right way. I’ve got a lot of growth that still needs to be done. That won’t end until I get to heaven. More than ever I want my words to unite not divide. I want to help, educate, and support. I want people to come together with their insights and feel heard so that we can work together to make changes that will positively impact every single side. I want people to see the hope I experienced not only in my childhood and in foster care, but also in this complete season of utter loss. The hope may come and go because God has not revealed the whole picture yet but it’s still there.

If you’ve made it to the end. Thanks for reading. If you get one thing out of this I hope you are reminded that God is faithful. This world is full of sin. We are never promised an easy life full of happiness and bliss. We do have a savior. He tells us to bring our burdens and he will give us rest. He wastes nothing and will use anybody willing.

If you are in a tough season I just want you to remember that. God is not the enemy. He is faithful. In his timing, not ours. If you haven’t noticed, my blog looks a lot different. Rebranded by yours truly.

With all my heart I just want to help. I want to help people live a life where they are pursuing God’s purpose for them. Feeling confident in who they are, the gifts God has given them, and how He wants them to use them. That’s the new focus of this place. When you come here I hope you find that. We are one of a kind. Made in the image of God. How would the world be different if we held onto that truth and ran with a purpose towards it? I don’t know about you, but I want to find out.

~ Lovelle ❤

Be That Person

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“What’s going on???” She said through my computer screen with a face that looked more worried than I’d ever seen. I felt like I was failing every single day and was exhausted. I tried so hard to do things well but somehow I ended the day feeling like a failure.

The words, “bad wife, bad mom, bad employee” ran through my head and I thought they would never leave. I was on my feet from 7am-10pm trying to earn the title “good enough” It never seemed to work. To add to it, I would only get about 3 hours of sleep a night.  It was a pretty dark season.

I stopped talking and began avoiding. I put my walls up and was too ashamed to say anything because I thought that it was my fault and I needed to make it better on my own. In my head I was screaming, “help me” but on the outside my mouth was shut and my face held a smile that was pretty convincing to everyone but my mom.

I was filled with shame and guilt and the funny thing is that I didn’t even realize how bad it was. I hadn’t noticed that I shut everyone out. I didn’t realize that I had been living in survival mode. 

That day my mom pursued me. Instead of getting mad she asked me questions. She showed me what had been going on and for the first time in a long time I felt like I could see some light at the end of the  dark tunnel. She told me I was worth it. She reminded me that my actions didn’t define me.

I want to be that kind of person.

I want to look past the hurt and see the diamond. When something is off I want to investigate until I understand what is going on. I want to encourage and ask tough questions. I want to be the kind of friend that fights for that relationship. To be the hand that grasps the one tangled in the lies of the enemy. Maybe you do too???

~ Lovelle ❤

Hope for the Weary Momma

Matters

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It was 2:30am and I was still awake cleaning my house. I had gotten sick so my normal pickup and decluttering got neglected. I knew that unless I sacrificed some sleep, the to-do-to list would just pile up even more. So despite having to be to work at 8:30 the next morning, I kept going until it was finished. Or so I thought….

It seems like every time I check one thing off of my list 2 or 3 more things pile back on. I’m never done. I’ve got a child to keep alive and a house to keep decent. Between cooking, cleaning, nurturing, and picking up after everyone I am left with little time to do things for myself. I can’t tell you how many times I haven’t sat down and relaxed on the couch until 9pm or later.

I’ve had moments of frustration and anger. Moments when I just wanted to run away because I didn’t want to be a wife or a mom. I’ve felt exhausted and overwhelmed. I’ve thought like I can’t live up to what I am supposed to be. And you know what…. I’m pretty sure I am not the only woman who’s felt this way.

We are woman
Nurturers
Care Givers and a fighters.

Our armor consists of baggy eyes, spit up, and cold coffee in our cups. We fight hard for our people because we desperately want what is best for them. We sacrifice  for those we care about and will do anything to make them happy. We love hard and oftentimes, that means pushing our desires to the side.

We complete the task ahead of us and the bags under our eyes don’t define who we are as a wives or a moms. What we do matters and it is appreciated. We will love our people hard and give them our because that’s what the Lord does for us.

Momma, I see you. I see those dirty dishes on the counter and that basket full of laundry. I see the living room that keeps getting messed up even though you’ve picked it up like 20 times in the last hour. I see those dark circles and that extra big cup of cold coffee. I see the weariness and I wish I could hug you and tell you that it’s okay. Fighting is hard work. 

Keep goin’ momma. What you do matters even if you don’t see it and don’t feel appreciated. It’s totally cool to choose sleep over that shower for the second day in a row. You gotta do what you gotta do.

Find joy in that mundane to-do list and don’t forget to ask God for energy. Love your people hard and hold them close. God sees your sacrifices and uses it. You are doing great.

~ Lovelle ❤

Love That Lasts a Lifetime

Settle For

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Three girls sit criss cross applesauce on the tile floor talking about life and of course, boys. Two are young and naive. They throw out phrases like, “typical 17 year old” and “It’s just the way they are.” As they speak, the third girl, who’s been around the block a few more times, feels her heart breaking because she knows the truth.

She knows that this world needs more men and less boys. She understands the result of peer pressures in teenagers and the cycle of bad choices that come from giving in. She knows how it feels to be hurt by a boy who doesn’t know the Lord.

She knows what it’s like to have no self worth and to settle. She also knows what it’s like to be plucked out of the wreckage by a God who is so full of love and faithfulness. She’s seen God turn her life around and replace the shame with worthiness.

Her heart hurts because she knows what those girls can have if they only knew and believed. They could have a Godly man. A good one. A man who prays for them daily and is a wonderful husband. One who didn’t fall into the category of the, “typical 17 year old.”

She takes a second to look back at her life and she begins to see God’s faithfulness. It’s never too late for him to change hearts. She looks at those girls and sees the crown on their head. They’ve already been chosen and are cherished by a God who loves them more than those boys ever will. 

We are worth so much more than the things we settle for.

Let that sink in today. You are worth dying for. You are worth pursuing and loving. Your past doesn’t matter. A simple whisper of, “forgive me” wipes your slate clean. It doesn’t matter what season you are in and it doesn’t matter where you are at in life. You could be in a 2 story house or living in your car. God sees you just the same and loves you no matter what.

You could be drinking cold coffee from 5 hours ago while trailing behind a screaming 5 year old or you could be studying for your exams so that you can finish your education. God loves and adores you. And guess what??? He always will.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

 

 

 

We Are One In The Same

 

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I wobble into chick-fila with one of my small group girls in tow. It’s late July and my pregnant belly is huge. My hair is a hot mess, I’m sweaty, swollen, my clothes are tight, and I’m ready for this kid to get the heck out of my stomach.

I order my meal that consists of fried goodness because anything green makes me want to vomit. I’m so hungry that I shove it in my mouth and manage to get sauce on the side of my face. Walking over and grabbing a napkin feels like too much work for this pregnant girl so I wipe off the mess with my sleeve. I look over to the side of me and am amazed at what I see.

I see three moms in workout clothes and messy buns that look super trendy and cute. All their meals are laid out with fruit and grilled chicken nuggets. Before I can become too amazed that they ordered grilled food at the best fried chicken place on the planet, I glance a little further and see all their children at the table across from them. They are all quietly eating their kids meal (that consist of grilled stuff too). I hear, “Yes please” and “thank you” coming out of each of their mouths.

I look down at my huge belly, take a whiff of the fried goodness that’s almost completely devoured, and glance at the chic-fila sauce thats all over my sleeve. Almost immediately, comparison hits me like a ton of bricks.

“Why don’t I look as cute as them?”
“I’ll never be that good of a mom.”
“Why can’t I make better meal choices?”
“Man, I’m so fat.”

The adversary is a sneaky little guy. He plants lies of comparison in our hearts because He likes to make us feel like we aren’t good enough. I think this is especially true for women. Everyone is fighting their own battle. Lets hold onto that truth today. We may not be able to see what’s going on but it’s there.

The adversary doesn’t pick favorites. He tries to attack anyone and everyone He can. God made you the way you are for a reason. You aren’t meant to be like anyone else. I think there’s something to be said in the fact that no one person has the same finger print. If God put all that work into making us so unique, how about we put that much effort into embracing ourselves the way He made us? That’s my new goal for 2018.

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. I am booking speaking engagements for 2018. I know right??? It’s here already! If you’d like me to come speak at your event or church click on over here and I’ll prayerfully consider your request.

 

He Knows What’s Best For Me

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At only 3 months old my daughter is a pretty determined and stubborn kid. She also has this talent of downing a bottle in like 3 seconds. When the bottle is empty she still keeps trying to suck that liquid gold out, and heaven forbid you take the bottle away if she hasn’t unlatched.

She’ll get mad and start screaming. She doesn’t realize that sucking on the bottle with only air coming out will give her a tummy ache and hurt her. She’s blind to the consequences but her dad and I are not.

I relate to my daughter so much because like her, I tend to be pretty controlling. I want every detail of my life drawn out with every step carefully plotted. Maybe even with a contract attached to it that says in big bold letters, NOT SUBJECT TO CHANGE.  I am unaware of the consequences and I tend to forget that in reality, my life belongs to God.

Like my daughter holding onto that bottle, I tend to hold onto the plans I’ve made and then I get upset when God changes them. I tend to forget how much pain I cause myself when I try to take matters into my own hands.

This past year God has changed all of the carefully drawn out plans I have made. Let me clarify… He didn’t rearrange them or tweak them a bit. He spun them 180 degrees, flipped them upside down, ripped up the contract, and dropped the ones I had made off the face of the earth. I handled the change about like my daughter. Maybe even a little worse. I walked into the new and unexpected season kicking and screaming.

My God loved me through my stubbornness. He wasn’t impatient or mad. He simply held me close and taught me a lot. When I mourned the life I wanted and walked into motherhood afraid of the unknown, He gave me peace and reminded me that everything was going to be okay.

I will never know what pain may lie ahead due to my carefully drawn out plans because God did what He knew was best. He guided my life the way He wanted because that’s what a parent does. My daughter is the gift I never knew I needed.

Motherhood is hard and scary. There’s times I am so overjoyed at her growth and theres times when I want to pull my hair out. I’d be lying if I said that at times I didn’t struggle with staying home. In those moments, I seek God and trust that He will give me the peace I need. Over and over again, I find myself saying, “Where you have me is enough.” I am learning to give up control and seek God before even making plans.

This is my new mantra: Lord, help me approach life with the confidence that You know what’s best for me.

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. I’m doing this new thing called #soulseedsaturday. It’s a little bit of encouragement for your soul while you take on life like a boss. If there’s a specific topic that you could use some encouragement, I’d love to hear about it! You can post it in the comments or contact me here.

P.P.S. I am booking speaking engagements for 2018. I know right??? It’s here already! If you’d like me to come speak at your event or church click on over here and I’ll prayerfully consider your request.

 

The Gift of Family

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I had just moved into a new town and was about to start my freshman year of college. I was in-between jobs due to the move and had used up all my savings on bills. My first paycheck was about to come in so I was holding out hope that my gas tank would last a few more days until it could be filled.

Most cars tell you when you are low on gas. I didn’t realize that my ghetto 1993 Chevy Cavalier didn’t so I found myself stranded on the highway completely out of gas with no one to call.

This is what it’s like to be an orphan. There’s no parents to give you a couple bucks to tide you over. No place to crash rent free with a full fridge. No extra car to borrow if yours breaks down. No place to go on holidays, and certainly no one to celebrate achievements with.

You learn to fend for yourself and plan for everything. At the age of 18 years old I knew how to change my oil and the breaks in my car. At one point the antifreeze container broke so I went to the salvage yard to pick up a new one and borrowed someones tools to change it out myself.  You are constantly on edge and questioning everyones motive because as much as you hate to admit it- you are vulnerable and you can be easily manipulated.

I want you to take a second and think about all the things your parents do for you. Think about everything they taught you. Now take all that out of the equation. That was my life. I learned what I could and did my best to survive.

November is National Adoption Month. I am so lucky to have a support group when there are still many who don’t. There aren’t enough words I can use to express my gratitude towards God and His faithfulness. He gave me parents at the age of 21. The past 3 years have been so wonderful. I may be a little bias but I think I have the best parents in the world.

If I need any help they are only a phone call away. No more being broke down with no one to call. No more having to know anything and everything about my car. I enjoy holidays and look forward to spending them with my parents instead of working. I don’t even have to air up my tires anymore. There’s so much freedom that comes with knowing and utilizing support.

This holiday season I am going to sit with my family and thank God for all He has done. I am going to watch my little girl experience the holidays for the first time and smile knowing her life will look way different than mine. I’ll hug her close and thank God for the gift of family.

~ Lovelle ❤

P.S. Today’s my mom’s birthday! She really wants 40 little girls in poverty to grow up to be fiercehearted women. She’s teaming up with compassion and would love for you to team up with her too! You should head on over to her website and say happy birthday. If you feel led, maybe even sponsor a kiddo. 🙂