Love – Faith – Friendship.

Day 30 – Lent challenge – Friendship

This poem is for a friend. It tells of our journey together.

Love – Faith – Friendship.

Friendship of colours painted on faces.
Blended with glitter and sparkly dust.
Henna flowers on the backs of our hands
Hugs of glitter crafted in love.
Friendship, painted, splattered.

Bold colours blossomed.
So we grow.
Journeying as families
We loved
Through tears we said our goodbyes

Harsh times.
Vulnerable hurting.
Anchoring our hearts in pain.
Holding firm you kept us secure.
You understand our pain.

Quietly empty our hearts longing.
Stopped and stunned empty silence .
Roots form.
Intertwined with leaves of children’s laughter
Families standing together.
We blossom.

New beginnings -fresh laughter.
Breakfasts cooked- films watched
Sunrise blocking out our pains.
Renewed charged.

Nourished by just being.
We breathe.
Nurtured by prayer.
We share.


1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Good News Translation (GNT)

4 Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; 5 love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; 6 love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. 7 Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.

8 Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass.

Life built on a foundation of fear .

Day 27 – Lent Challenge – Fear.

Children who have experienced instability, frightening events, or inconsistent care build foundations of fear.
Beliefs which come from a foundation of fear tend to be negative, such as:
• I can’t trust adults to take care of me
• I have to be in control to stay safe
• It’s not safe to love or be vulnerable

Children with such negative core beliefs often have concerning behaviours such as stealing, lying, defiance, etc.
As a foster carer it’s our job to understand these behaviours. We look beyond the fear to the child that is hurt, confused sad and afraid.

They are afraid to love. This blog is for one young person who’s fear of love turned my world upside down.
God prepared me for this. In that preparation I understood this child acted out if fear. It was not personal, they were not to blame.
I understood that fear and love could not co exist. I knew the only way forward for me was to trust God and stay with love.
Love came with understanding and forgiveness. I felt so loved. In the darkness it was love that removed doubt, gave hope and purpose.

The fear this young person felt was contagious. It spread to others they pulled away.
Logic and reason was replaced by fear. The fear of making a bad error of judgement.
Those that came alongside us and walked us through our pain held and loved us. Their love came from God not fear. They listened with love. They prayed for us and with us,
held and surrounded by love.
Love does not take away the pain that fear causes. Love does not stop fear trying to destroy your life. Love does not have the answers.
Gods love gave us a future and hope. Gods love stopped the pain becoming fear. Gods love gave us focus through the blur and numbness.Gods love was supporting and always their.
I have learnt to put my trust in God. That trust gave me the strength to cope with the devastation left by fear.


Melting points.

Day 24 – Lent Challenge – Refine.

Trying to find a person that fits the word refine is not easy. The more time I give to this the more I realise the refining that is beyond the human. Refining comes from God.
It’s the hollowing out, the deepness and deaths being refined by God takes us. The tears that flow and keep flowing as God hollows out our hearts.
It’s painful..
I’m writing this blog the morning after mother’s day. Feeling totally exhausted by the whole day. My heart is crying and confused.
Mother’s day reminds me the that the pain has a purpose. God uses the pain.
It’s the pain that shapes and moulds us. Theirs no hiding from it, nothing is hidden from God.
It’s a change to the core. God tells us he will take us through the fire to refine us like silver and purify us like Gold. The melting point of silver is 1761 degrees. the melting point of pure gold is 1945 degrees. Pain is that hot temperature that causes pain, melts our hearts.
I am angry and struggling with myself today. Angry that it took pain for me to find God not Joy. That’s why the tears that don’t want to stop today.
Tears full of why. It’s almost as if the tears stop the refining fire getting to hot. Gods way of stopping me boiling over. Allowing me to stay held in the crucible that is Gods love. The crucible that holds my heart in the fire.

Psalm 56:8 The Message (MSG)

You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book.

To ask over and over and over again.

Day 18 – Lent challenge – Ask
When I write my blogs I normally find a bible passage that fits my blog. Mark 10 13-16 always stands out to me. Today it spoke to me in a different way.
My thinking is far from joined up but here’s a go at why it made me think about the second child that we fostered.
So today’s blog is for a 2.5 year boy that came to live with us for only 10 days.
This little boy never stayed at the centre of anyone’s world. He had no voice, no power to change things. No person to trust.
He made me aware of the pain caused to families by parental imprisonment.
No one looked at life through his eyes. No one tried to make things better for him. Paper work and produces just kept getting in the way of this little boys simple request to be with his mummy.
He knew what he wanted and constantly asked for it. Without raising his voice or getting angry he would just walk to the front door and ask for mummy key (he called her mummy key as he associated her with prison keys).
This little boy had only one thing on his mind. The relationship with his mother who could meet his needs.
I could physically meet his needs as his foster carer. But I could never be his mother that loved him unconditionally. No amount of toys and games could fully distract him. It was obvious to him what he needed to do make his life whole. To ask over and over and over again.
I think what I am trying to say is the system kept my little boy away from the unconditional love of his mother.
We fill our lives with so much we become that system. Keeping ourselves away from the unconditional love of God our father.
We have a choice to be with God. To pray to listen to him or just to be. He will not turn us away he loves us. The bars we create between us and God can be removed just by asking.
When we have a relationship with God our heart becomes whole. We receive his grace. Grace pours out love and kindness to all who trust in him.
IMG_7772 2.JPG

Mark 10:13-16 The Message (MSG)
13-16 The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: “Don’t push these children away. Don’t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.


The Song of Kit.

Day 12 -Lent challenge 2018 – Hunger.
Today’s thank you is to my girl guide captain. This amazing lady inspired and encouraged me . She pushed a shy teenager to experience the life she was to often afraid to experience. She believed in me and still does.
Going on guide camp was the highlight of each year. Before the world of health and safety we travelled to guide camp in a removal van. All our kit was loaded we than all piled in on top. To secure us a old door was roped across the front.
We sang songs all the way to camp, we sang as we washed up and of course we had the campfire songs in the evening.
I loved the evenings wrapped in my camp blanket sat outside under the stars.
I still sing many of those songs today. The song of kit was just one of many we sang. It seemed a strange song to teach a group of teenage girls.
The song of kit has stayed with me.
Some 35 years later; our teenage foster placement was causing massive disruption and pain. Every time I wanted to walk away,turn my back on her and all the pain she was causing.
The song of kit would come to me. I would find myself singing it as I rode my bike, humming it as I cooked tea. I could not get away from the words
The chorus repeating its self over and over again in my head.

So take this child by the hand.
And lead him back to love.
Leave the fear and the misery behind.
Take this child by the hand.
And lead him back to love.
And show him that people can be kind.

It’s not within me to turn away from someone in desperate need of help and love. Every person needs love even if they don’t understand what love is or have never had it.

God crated us in his image to love one another. I could not turn away because it was the easy thing to do. I stayed with her as long as I could because it was the only thing I could do.
To trying help someone understand they are loved. Showing them that people can be kind.

Song of Kit
See a child standing there.
In the rubble and the dust.
He is standing all alone.
There is no-one he can trust.
The soldiers took his father.
And his mother ran away.
He’s a politician’s game
And he doesn’t want to play.

So take this child by the hand.
And lead him back to love.
Leave the fear and the misery behind.
Take this child by the hand.
And lead him back to love.
And show him that people can be kind.

See a child standing there.
With hunger in his eyes.
He is standing all alone.
While a nation slowly dies.
He knows that he is hungry.
But he doesn’t understand.
There are just too many people.
In that dry and barren land.

See a child standing there.
As he sees the world go by.
He is standing all alone.
And he’ll always wonder why.
When nations spend their millions.
On power and on might.
That he never had a chance.
To learn to read and write.


If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. (Matthew 5:41)

Despair – The Compelte Loss Or Absent Of Hope.

Day Eleven – Lent Challenge 2018 – Despair

I feel called to be along side those that have complete loss and absent of hope. Reaching into the forgotten corners of our communities.
Dysfunctional families where poverty and hunger is real. Being a voice for them, fighting for justice. That the love of God may be made visible to them.

Writing the above one powerful image comes to mind.
A father sat rocking in grief unable to look up from the floor. Numb and muted by pain, he rocked slowly in some hopeless attempt to self calm. A father that had his 3 children removed by social services the day before. A father that was expected to partake in a meeting with no support.
He sat alongside his wife holding her hand. Not once did they break contact, not once did they look at each other.
I attended that meeting and did nothing. A cried deeply inside, I prayed that someone would go to them and stop this cruelty.
I am ashamed with myself for not doing something. I never had the confidence to help. I never had the words to say to them.
When I experienced terrible pain and grief myself some 18 months later, I found myself wrapped in love. Held in grief, prayed for and supported in my pain.
I can’t imagine going through so much pain without love. Going through grief without someone to hold you. Crying thinking no one cares.

The father and mother in my story will never know the impact they made on my life.
My journey is just beginning. Giving people space and opportunities to explore what it means to be loved by God.
I feel so full of energy and need some way of putting that energy down . God is changing me and giving me a voice; a voice that I have never really used much before.

My confidence is growing and so is my knowledge. I am hungry to learn, excited to see where God will send me and the path this might take.

Psalm 88 The Message

1-9 God, you’re my last chance of the day.
I spend the night on my knees before you.
Put me on your salvation agenda;
take notes on the trouble I’m in.
I’ve had my fill of trouble;
I’m camped on the edge of hell.
I’m written off as a lost cause,
one more statistic, a hopeless case.
Abandoned as already dead,
one more body in a stack of corpses,
And not so much as a gravestone—
I’m a black hole in oblivion.
You’ve dropped me into a bottomless pit,
sunk me in a pitch-black abyss.
I’m battered senseless by your rage,
relentlessly pounded by your waves of anger.
You turned my friends against me,
made me horrible to them.
I’m caught in a maze and can’t find my way out,
blinded by tears of pain and frustration.

A Joy that I took for granted.

Day Ten – Lent Challenge 2018 – Joy.

Thank you God for our beautiful daughter.
The joy of holding her in my arms for the first time. That magical connection and a out pouring of unconditional love.
It’s a joy that I took for granted. A joy that I believed was mine to own and to hold onto.

I never could have imagined the life that laid in front of me.
The children I carried and never held. The children I held and than let go.
I could have never imagined a life when joy would have a different meaning.
In the last 3 years 10 months and 9 days God has transformed my life.
A transformation that enabled me to find joy in the midst of pain.
Even in the darkest days when sadness, grief, and loss threatened to overwhelm me Gods joy never left me.
It’s a deep joy that has allowed me to cry and grieve but stopped me from drowning.
It’s a joy that’s hard to explain- A joy that comes from God.

James 1:2-4 The Message
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

My little shadow.

Day Nine – Lent Challenge 2018 – Follow

Today’s blog is for my foster daughter you taught me so much. Thank you for all you have done for me and all that taught me. She made my faith real and alive. She answered my questions without me having to ask them. We grew together in faith often it was her leading me.
She opened my eyes to a world that I never thought was possible. She has showed me how simple faith can be. She saw Jesus as her friend, chatting away to him as she talked to her school friends. Jesus’s name would pop up in conversation naturally and beautifully. This little 4 year old girl had been removed from her mother and father, separated from her siblings and found Jesus.
Her faith was not about long words and things we don’t understand. It’s was about friendship, Gods love and not being alone in the world that scared her so much. Her understanding was pure and beautiful as was she.

My little shadow followed me. You were never more than a few feet away from my side. You trusted me. That trust allowed you to move on; journey in life without me.
Following is about trust and you trusted. I trust God to look after you.
I miss my little shadow and her non stop chatter.
She left me knowing that she was loved by God.


Matthew 19
13-15 One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them and pray over them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus intervened: “Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me. God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.” After laying hands on them, he left.

Softening of the heart.

Day Severn – Lent Challenge 2018 – Search.

Being a foster parent is as challenging as it is rewarding., You’re expected to love and care for a child as if they are your own. On the other hand, you’re expected to let that child leave your home after weeks, months, or years: whenever the circumstances are deemed appropriate.

I thought I was able to do this by hardening my heart. Care for children with every last bit of me but not to love.
To love them equally as my own child and then lose them was to high a price to pay for me.
I cared and loved enough to make it work, but not enough to give them myself fully.
I harden my heart.

The whirlwind that arrived in our lives was a challenging little boy that I cared for passionately
Our lives were turned upside down we never stopped.
In the early months, chronic asthma and hospital admissions become routine. Nights in hospital chasing a wheezing hyperactive toddler high on steroids was the norm.

I was never ready to face the next day- Never sure what it might bring. Six months into his placement we received a phone call from his social worker “ Would we adopt this little boy as it was felt he was not suitable for adoption ”

The question was asked without warning: It was asked over the telephone, It was asked to an exhausted me, I was asked when I did not have time to listen.

I was angry.
I was angry that it was even asked of us.
Angry the way that it was asked.
Angry that I was asked to think about loving this little boy.

I was angry that in searching deep inside myself for the answer to his question I allowed my heart to soften.
Angry that my protection from love had been broken.

I allowed myself to feel the most powerful love for this child.
The love that I was trying not to give.
In the search for an answer, my heart softened and loved.
I felt the pain that love brings.

I was not afraid to love this little boy.
I often see that day as a milestone in my faith journey softening my heart to Love.
Two years after that phone call the loss I was protecting myself from became a painful reality. My softened heart no longer protected I was able to reach out and to feel the greatest love of all.
Gods Love.

Psalm 16:5 Good News Translation (GNT)
You, Lord, are all I have,
 and you give me all I need;
 my future is in your hands.