Category Archives: Uncategorized

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 ❤

Setting Aside Your Dream

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{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

One year ago my life changed forever when I saw the faint pink line on the pregnancy test. Since I had graduated college only 6 months earlier, being a stay at home mom had never even crossed my mind. I’d worked 5 years to obtain that expensive piece of paper. Surely, I’d use it right? Wrong.

I’m hanging out with my friends at God-Sized Dreams today. I’d love it if you would join me.

 

Our Differences Make Us Stronger

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“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well…”
~ Romans 12:6 NLT

I had just started leading a small group for a group of teens. This particular group had another leader who had been investing for 3 years. Going in, I was determined to be the best that I could be. I had all these plans and ideas that I was ready to put into place (notice the amount of “I’s” in that sentence?).

I’m hanging out with my God Sized Dreams friends today! Click here to read how I learned why our differences can make us stronger.

~ Lovelle ❤

Video: Why We Should Invest in Our Youth

Today I am going to talk about something that is a little off topic, but it’s a subject that is dear to my heart.

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
~ 1 Timothy 4:12

In this video I am going to talk about:
*why I think everyone should think and pray about investing in our youth in some way, shape, or form.

Remember, the Lord has many different ways a person can invest. You can help financially, prayerfully, or volunteer some time for a non-profit like I do.

No amount of time is to little. Every minute counts. If there is anything I can do to help you figure out how you  can get involved in your community feel free to comment below. I would love to try and help. 🙂

{Subscribers if you can’t see the video click here}

P.S. If you need a speaker for the upcoming year I would love to chat with you about it. You can find me here. I hope to hear from you soon!

~ Lovelle ❤

My New Three Step Process

Knock, Seek, Find

{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

Last week I talked about the Egyptians and some character flaws I tend to have that make me similar to them. I learned the importance of consulting God before acting on anything but most importantly, I truly understood the importance of Mathew 7:7 for the first time.

In this verse God showed me a three step process that I can go through to seek His guidance in any situation. It has helped me so much I want to share it with you too!

The first step is to ask. Simple enough right? Well that’s what I thought until I looked up the definition.  Asking is defined as saying something in order to obtain an answer or some information. The key here is to ask and not do anything until I get a clear answer from God. Let’s just say it’s easier said than done because sometimes it means waiting a really long time.

The second step is to seek. This step is different because it involves actually stepping out and doing something. This means acting out on what the Lord has asked me to do whether it’s through active prayer or putting a staff in the nile river and turning the river into blood- highly unlikely but hey, you get the point 😉

The third and final step is to knock. This means making a loud noise or doing something to get your point across. It means being bold and letting someone know you are there. As I look back on the word “knock” I understand why God used that specific word in this bible verse for the first time. When Moses struck the water in the Nile I doubt it was quiet. I bet you it involved a pretty big bang that got the Egyptians attention- even if it was just for a second.

As I look back at all the stories in the bible, I don’t see a single miracle that occurred quietly. Daniel got thrown into a pit with some pretty scary and loud lions, Elijah called down fire, and Jesus was crucified on a cross where people were yelling at Him the whole time.

The most important thing I will take away from this lesson the Lord has taught me is this:
If Moses hadn’t asked and sought God then he would not have had the confidence to stand before Pharaoh and perform that miracle.

In the same way I must follow this three step process in order to truly allow God to be in control and to make sure I am making the right decisions.

~ Lovelle ❤

Looking To God In The Wilderness

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{These graphics are free for you to enjoy}

“Get out!” Pharaoh ordered. “Leave my people- and take the rest of the Israelites with you! Go and worship the Lord as you have requested.”
~ Exodus 12: 31

Finally, Pharaoh gave up. In this moment we see him demanding that Moses take the Israelites out of Egypt but it didn’t come easy. Right before this verse the land of Egypt went through 8 different plagues; one of blood, frogs, gnats, flies, livestock, festering boils, hail, and locusts.

On top of that the Egyptians endured the deaths of all the first born males and it was all because of one man who refused to submit to God’s authority. As the Egyptians packed only the necessities I can only imagine the fear they must have felt and the many questions that must have running through their minds.

What will happen to me in the wilderness?
Will I survive?
Where are we even going?

They had been in captivity for so long. Could there really be a light at the end of the tunnel? For forty years as they wandered in the wilderness after this, I bet they asked God that same thing every single day.

Life is full of wilderness moments. We get confused, suffer hardship, and sometimes the only thing that gets us up in the morning is the assurance, that even though we can’t see it God is leading us to our promised land (at least it’s that way for me).

Exodus 12: 36 says, “The Lord caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites.” After all, that is how they got out and managed to get everything they needed for their long journey ahead.

God is looking at our situation right now and although it may not be going our way, it’s going His way. 

Are you going through a wilderness moment? Are you confused and uncertain of your future? I am too.

Can I tell you a little secret? The land overflowing with milk and honey isn’t a story just to make us feel better.. It’s real and in God’s time, WE WILL arrive there. I am holding on to that promise in the wilderness season I am in and my prayer is that you do as well.

Is there anything I can pray for, regarding your wilderness moment this week? Feel free to comment below and I will add it to my prayer list.

~ Lovelle ❤

 

You Are God’s and so is Your Career

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{These graphics are free for you to enjoy on my “seeds to sow page! This photo was taken by Marina Bromley.}

I once had a friend who wanted to be a police officer. He did all the right things, worked jobs to gain experience, and even got a bachelors in Criminal Justice with hopes that he would be able to have his police officer training paid for.

His heart was great, and the job he desired to do was needed but whenever the testing or application process came up, something else that was way more important came up on that exact same day at the exact same time he was supposed to go in.

After months of being stuck and no where close to his career he said to me, “Nothing is going right. It never seems to ever go my way”  I looked at him intently and gently said, “It’s going God’s way though.”

This world seems to hold this stigma that if we do the “right” things and take the “right” steps then we will get to where WE want to go but it’s never about us.

Our life is Gods. It’s as simple as that.

It’s okay to have dreams and goals. The desire my friend had wasn’t wrong. It was a very sacrificial and honorable career he wanted but obviously God had a different one in mind.

If something isn’t going right, ask God what you are doing wrong. God guides the steps of the righteous {Psalm 37:23} and He will guide you too. You just have to step out and let Him.

~ Lovelle ❤