Why we Foster


So to start way at the beginning… growing up my Mom & I had an in-home daycare and we also were licensed to babysit for a foster mom in our church. Later I taught at a private school, then worked in a deaf school. I’ve always loved working with kids. Met my hubby and while we were dating we volunteered a week at New Horizons Ministries in Colorado and before we left for home we knew we would love to be involved in a mission like that. My hubby also has a huge heart for kids, so we definitely knew we wanted a big family 🙂 We got married in 2012 and we would pray for God to lead us and show us if He would have us go to CO, but really, just to lead us where He wanted us to go. (yeah, honestly it was more of a casual prayer in the beginning, as much as I hate to admit it, but it did keep churning a longing deep within us). About a year in we thought we were ready to start a family. So we opened our hands and prayed and told God to do whatever He wanted to do with us and our journey of becoming a family.. Little did we know what we had signed up for.  In those next 2 years, pregnancy didn’t happen like we though it would & we cried out to God for direction. We just really thought maybe this was going to be our ticket to be able to pursue serving kids & moving to Colorado. But nothing seemed to give and we didn’t have peace or clear direction in pursuing it.

I think so many people look at our story and think, Oh they love & are great with kids and are perfect for foster care! Or, that we merely pursued foster care because we weren’t getting pregnant. But here’s the honest truth. We had a heart for kids and felt a calling on our life, but we weren’t willing to take an unabandoned look at it or really listen. And basically it was because in our minds, we “knew what we wanted”.  …… Until our comfort-zone was stripped away. Slowly layers were being peeled away.  Looking back, I think it’s really sad, especially when I hear people say comments referring to the same in their lives..”oh I have such a heart for these kids, but I don’t know if it’ll ever happen“–it’s up to you whether you want to pass off the ‘heart’ that God has placed in you or really listen and be obedient to God’s call.

Ok back to our story; we talked about doing foster care, adopting, etc…. But we were never on the same page at the same time with each other and in peace before God, with pursuing any of those paths. We really struggled to be honest with ourselves and be careful to not make an emotional decision of doing any of these just to fill our home with kids.. [if that’s you, don’t feel bad, I think we just sensed a deeper call on our life.] In the beginning of 2015 we attended a spiritual conference & came home knowing without a shadow of a doubt what we were supposed to do. I really don’t know how to put it in words. BUT God. At the same time, unaware of what the other was hearing, God was asking us to share our rich inheritance -that He blessed us with- with those that don’t have anything. That day He asked us to open our home for His children & we weighed the cost & said Yes. We’re realizing more & more…. He just wants our obedience. That’s it. [“Because no matter how glorious something may ‘appear’ the true blessing is in obedience when not all is glorious.“]  Within a week we were signed up for PATH classes, training to become foster parents {it was really beneficial training & we also learned that the words ‘Resource’ and ‘Foster’ are interchangeable, and I think its especially great to use with older kids where the word foster is like a stigma}. Within 3 months we were fully licensed and 5 days later we welcomed our first child into our home.

And we’ve not been the same since.. We’ve realized a few things. I’ve heard people say that through their miscarriage they gained a huge heart for adoption. For us, we had a heart for foster-care, but through our season of not becoming pregnant, it caused us to tap into our huge heart for kids, which right now is in foster-care and we’re totally open to adoption too. I realize that God gives you something hard to make something beautifulGoing through infertility and now doing foster-care, we are gaining an even huger heart for kids, and I’m really excited at the possibilities of where it may lead us.

One more thing, so many times I get cliche comments and I think all you foster moms out there know what I’m talking about, so I don’t want to mention them all and make those people feel bad. However there is one sentiment that I feel is dangerous that I would like to address; “You were made just for that. God gave you a heart for this. God built you perfect for this work.” I’m sorry, but I wasn’t perfect, or had it all together when I entered this sphere. I realize that God in obvious ways was preparing my heart and I had perfect exposure and fit ‘the criteria’ well, but it concerns me when that is all that people look at. Sometimes people use those as excuses, saying, “Oh I didn’t always have a heart for it. I didn’t grow up with any exposure or experience to it“. (whatever it is that God may be asking of you.) BUT. As you could see earlier, even though we had a heart for kids, what mattered was our obedience. Most of my actual ‘training and life lessons and glorifying God’ weren’t actually happening until I was in the thick of it. There is peace, & God is glorified when you are right where He wants you. If God is asking you to do something, He wants your obedience. He will give you Grace. He will give you a ‘heart for it’. You have Everything you need! I don’t think he waits to qualify you until you are called, unlike that popular saying.   Obviously with Jesus, You are qualified for it if He called you to it’.

This isn’t exactly how I would have pictured our story, it’s not a ‘fairy-tale’, but no matter what it looks like at the time, obedience makes it beautiful in the end! AND I am so happy that it IS our story..    & btw this is #fostercareawarenessmonth –I would love to share any info or answer questions with anyone that would love to make a difference in the life of a child or a foster family. Any questions? Comment below, maybe it’ll give me inspiration for topics to write about this month.. 😉

signature new2If you enjoyed this post and would like to connect on a more personal level, please connect with me. Or if you need prayer, I would love to be in touch with you! Email me at capturingjewels@gmail.com -Follow me on Facebook or on Instagram. To follow along on our journey and not miss any posts, subscribe to the blog [top right corner] or follow my blog Facebook page, not just my personal one. ?


a timeline of His Scripting


timeline of his scripting rose laying

Short Version:

  • became aware of each other’s existence in big green earth; January 2007. Winking smile
  • boy meets girl; Fall 2008.
  • first date; June 17, 2011
  • Engaged; February 26, 2012
  • Got married; May 19, 2012
  • Started ttc; Spring 2013
  • Foster Care licensed; April 28, 2015
  • today; Spring 2016……………….

Long Version:

We’ve always wanted a family. Knew from the very start, before we ever said ‘I Do’ that it was something we wanted. We dreamed about our children. Us. As a family of more than two. It was something we prayed about frequently, and we prayed for our dear loved children. Our hearts burst with love for them even though we didn’t know them at all. We dreamed about how they would look and what memories we would create with them.But we also felt very strongly that it wasn’t something we wanted to [or should] rush into.

Before our wedding. Our wonderful 11 months of courtship consisted of learning what it really is to love each other and going on dates and dreaming together and discussing things that really mattered and understanding who the other was. But marriage was different, yes marriage is all of that, but it’s also so much more.

Let me just STOP here a bit and say that I absolutely loove being married, it’s so much fun and sometimes I think my heart is nearly gonna burst because of all the love I feel for my Sweetheart, plus trying to soak in all the undying love he has for me. Over and over I’m amazed at the wonderful way that God brought us together and how that marriage truly is so awesome, I don’t have to ‘pretend’ to be happy or in love, I just am and it’s so good! So while we’re being honest and real, a good marriage takes a lot of time and a lot of work. I don’t think that it’s that “hard” but it takes effort. And so yeah, in the joys and fun of being together also comes learning how to keep house and pay the bills. We learned how to trust the other, help each other, understand what the other is feeling without them even saying a word. And yes, quite frequently we’d mess up, and have to stop, say I’m sorry and try again. But we grew, we talked easier, we understood deeper, we shared more, we learned what communication works. I started being lonesome for him when he was away, instead of lonesome for my family. Plus the lil house on the hill became home. But it took time, tears, and dedication. The best gift in all of this was we were also learning so much more about God- who He is, and what He wanted out of us. And in the midst of all this trial and error, fun and tears, we realized the importance of Building a foundation firm and secure together on the solid Rock… And we decided to take a good year focusing on just that.

After a year we were starting to think more and more about a family. We wanted one. The more we prayed about it the more we wanted it. But we also knew that God is in control and we really wanted Him to have His way in it. We talked about it soo often, we knew He could have given us a baby before this, and trust me, we would have been thrilled! But now we felt like were truly ready to throw all caution to the wind. You know, how sometimes when you pray and pray and you just sense, like yea, it’s the right time.

So for a lil personal note here, I remember so distinctly the night we prayed. And we gave it ALL to our dear Heavenly Father God and we trusted Him without a shadow of doubt. We told Him all we that we felt, all that we wanted and all that our hearts desired. We worshiped Him for being our true amazing Heavenly Father. We gave Him permission to take our lives, our plans, our children, and do what He wanted to do with them. We consecrated ourselves, our lives and the lives of our children into His Hands. It was so out of our control, but we knew deep inside that it was truly what we wanted-only His perfect and amazing plan! We asked God to write this story for us; the story of our babies.

As it turns out month one, we weren’t pregnant! Yay, it just tickled us to know that God truly was hearing us and did have His Hand in this and He was so gonna make this happen in His time-zone. I ordered a bunch of “what’s going to happen while you’re pregnant” books, because I was going to need them in a month or so. Little did I have a clue what we were walking into..

Month three, four, five passed with no news.Well ok, this is interesting God, you must really have bigger plans than we did! We devoted most of our time during that time caring for 2 lil children that came into our home for a few months, so we were definitely kept busy! I must say I was beginning to wonder what is going on tho?!

By month six, October 2013, we were to the point where we thought ok, maybe we need to buckle down and be more serious about this? But turns out I was really struggling that month with other personal things and I knew that that was one thing that I can just release and let God so I chose not to worry about knowing what my body is doing everyday and just go with the flow. That was a beautiful decision for both me and my hubby! Also in that time 3 people told me they dreamed that I was pregnant or had symptoms that they knew I was pregnant. And we had someone come pray over us and the future of our family. (All of these without us sharing what really was going on inside.) So somehow I knew, even if I wasn’t ‘getting pregnant’ God was doing a work. Truly even deeper and more significant than I could even imagine. And while we weren’t getting pregnant with a baby, we were definitely birthing [birth definition: the coming into existence of something] some deep truths. One thing that we both felt pretty strongly during this time is that God is in control of this and we are supposed to wait on Him. We knew there were options out there to ‘dig into’, but even though sometimes we questioned, should we? Our journey so far hasn’t been about that. We weren’t being led in that direction n most certainly every time we knocked on that door, God simply said, No, I got it, just trust me.

During the next few months were probably some of our lowest times and then our high and most joyful times. It really seemed like every time we would hit a low we would get a song, a word, a promise, a peace… something. And it grew our roots even deeper into understanding our Heavenly Father. The pain sometimes was so real, so raw, there was no way to even try to cope with it….but to simply give it to our Jesus. The questions, oh yea, they burned and spun over and around in our minds. What to do when there are no answers, you hear nothing but simply, Trust. Trust is really such a beautiful thing! Why would we even worry about one tiny oober little thing, or why would we concern ourselves with: ‘just how is this (something we are going through) going to turn out’?? When we serve such an amazing God. The One who created us. The One who knows all things. The One who is in control. The One who can take even the most awful things in life and make them beautiful. The One who scripts our Story so perfectly if only we allow Him. It is us that should bow in adoration that He chose us for such a divine purpose.

We were starting to feel verry alone. Which, never opening up and letting others in, is something that can happen very quickly. But, just the thought of going public and sharing our story was frightening, so we decided 1 step at a time. We shared our hearts with some of our close family and our small group at church. NOT for pity or sympathy; rather for empathy and encouragement. Man, is it ever hard to open up and share! But I learned some valuable things during that time; it’s ok if everyone knows, this IS part of our journey and hiding it doesn’t change it, I don’t need to protect myself, or be able to trust others with our information- I just need to be obedient and if God asks me to be vulnerable He is more than able to take care of and hold me. And, maybe, just maybe, sharing our story will be able to help someone else.

And of course that 9 month “month” was a difficult one for me.. I couldn’t help but imagine how different this month was compared to what I had ‘planned’. I mean, I thought we would be painting a nursery, setting up a crib and trying to prepare for the birth of our baby……. Instead we went on a few trips and came home with a young girl that lived with us for 12 weeks..

Just like that a year had come and gone…. So I dug into my training as a volunteer at a local crisis pregnancy center and was able to see my own clients. Without disclosing personal info, let’s just say that God divinely appointed my time there and put me face to face with miracle conceptions more than once. #amazing Also in the spring of 2014 I found out I was going to need surgery on my knee as I had definitely tore my ACL snow-skiing in Gatlinburg. So…. there was therapy and surgery and tons more therapy. From accident till therapy was complete, was a whopping 8 months! Even though this all took up a lot of our time, it was also during these times when it hit the hardest. Why don’t we have our own children? We had to give to over to God again and again. As it sure seemed like we would have chosen different than what we were experiencing!

I did a lot of baking in the summer/fall of 2014, and just wholeheartedly threw my heart into my work and enjoying life with my hubby. Meanwhile we were coming back to our prayer, over and over. God you are in control. God, we trust you. God, fulfill your plan. It truly is an humbling feeling, knowing that His plans are so much bigger and better than ours. I mean ours look pretty amazing, fun and good. But how can His be better and yet so painful at times? We were begging God, is there something more we aren’t understanding? What do you want out of us? Is there something wrong? Are we not supposed to have our own children? Is there medically something amiss? There were a lot of questions, believe me! My husband, the dear wonderful steady love of my life, kept me stable. His faith in what God was doing was like a pillar of hope for me that I could cling to. It was what kept me believing in something greater in the midst of all of the questions. He just knew without a shadow of doubt that God is going to give us children yet. And so really, we leaned heavily on each other and both even more on God. It was a beautiful time and we relaxed and enjoyed just being the two of us. One, maybe two, hard days at a time, but the rest of the time we really were having a lot of fun and experiencing a sweet kind of joy walking blindly, yet by faith. It might sound confusing, but there is so much joy, even in pain, when you have God. And the questions, we didn’t know the answers. But we could give them to Someone who did.

January 2015 we got a super clear leading in the direction of one of our prayers and we excitedly began the process of getting licensed for foster care.. Finally got it accomplished and received our first baby girl in May..

Before we knew it 2 years had passed… The following year was like another level for us, it wasn’t easier, but we have become more educated, more open and we are still very much full of hope. We have tried a lot of things, and we’re not opposed to trying more… {I’ll spare you the details}. But we know that we will never pursue medical intervention, ivf, iui, etc. It’s just not for us. Trying to read into every body sign and taking pregnancy tests gets very tiresome and took its toll on us. We realize that because we live in a sinful world our bodies don’t always perform right, so we have not reached this decision in a naïve manner, but simply being obedient and trusting in our Father & Healer. To be clear here… while we are being obedient in waiting on God right now & seeking His direction, we have chosen to not make ourselves go crazy with every lil thing that we could be doing different and trying to make it happen. We feel at complete peace that we have searched our hearts and they are open and clean before Him and that we are in His time-zone where miracles happen and each conception is a miracle. He has a plan. We both know that God has a way bigger purpose in this than what we can see. I know without a shadow of a doubt that just like God looked at faithful women in the Bible that were barren, answered their prayers and they conceived; He is still the same God and can do the same for me! [I hope to share their stories with you in future posts Smile ] I can’t wait to see God’d completed tapestry, I know it’s going to be beautiful in the end.

So here I am 3 years later, sharing our journey with all who care to hear. Here is a lil tidbit into how I got to the place of 100% peace in sharing our story…  If you have read everything so far, you may remember me saying that it looked way too frightening to share with the world what we were going though. So you may be wondering, Why am I writing about it now? Good question. For me to digest, to learn, to come to a conclusion, even to find healing. I write. Many months in I had started to become numb to what really is going on. Not taking any time to write. I started hearing God saying, you should start writing about your journey. And at first I got defensive, Write about it, that would be a discouraging thing to read! Why should I write about it?! What would people think? It’s none of their business! ……I can just see God smiling. But He kept nudging. Just share your heart. True, but if they judge, I will protect you, all I’m asking is for you to be obedient and I’ll take care of the rest. I want you to learn how to glorify Me in this. I want you to show HOPE to others. Timidly I began saying, ok….but then it was, how God? what should I write, how do I say it? And I began specifically praying that if I was to write our story, I needed God to show me how to write it and what to name it. And out of the blue one day, I vividly got some words that perfectly summed up our journey-and I was like wow. Then I heard this whisper-There, use that basis n blog. It’s not about me or us or our kids, it’s about God and the story He is writing… I wrote it, but I’m not gonna lie, it’s taken a long time for me to actually be able to post it. Come along and join in if you want to hear how the story unfolds. It is so not scripted the way I would write a novel, however it is truly perfect because we gave God the pen and He is writing the most beautiful story..

signature new2 If you enjoyed this post and would like to connect on a more personal level, please connect with me. Or if you need prayer, I would love to be in touch with you! Email me at capturingjewels@gmail.com -Follow me on Facebook or on Instagram. To follow along on our journey and not miss any posts, subscribe to the blog [top right corner] or follow my blog Facebookpage, not just my personal one ?

Start Asking {breaking the silence}

breaking the silenceSo this week is NIAW and Resolve’s theme is #StartAsking…. And I’ve been thinking about that alot this week. I always keep coming back to the thing of why don’t people ask me things? Why don’t they ask me what it’s like? Why don’t they acknowledge that they think about it. Why do they carelessly talk about things in my face pretending like it doesn’t affect me? Why do they not come out and ask or say things instead of ignoring the obvious. Me not having a birth story and kids is just as normal to me, as it is for you to have a birth story and kids. Why is one constantly talked about and the other isn’t dared to be uttered above a whisper?


And I realized it’s my own fault. I don’t normalize it. I shy away from being open and honest. I don’t speak about it so they presume to not ask. But the truth is; barrenness is so very much a part of my life and as much as it is not a fun thing, it’s normal for my every day. No matter how very painful it is, it’s not all negative. I don’t want to talk about it every day, but it is part of my life and having people pretending it doesn’t exist hurts so much. I want to speak about it and be open so you don’t need to be scared to #StartAsking.

  • I want to #StartAsking what I can do FOR YOU,  to support you in this journey of barrenness.
  • I want to encourage you to #StartAsking for support.
  • I want to #StartAsking you to #StartAsking me……..
  • I want to #StartAsking you to support us in this journey..pray for us, acknowledge that you care, ask how something affects me if you really want the truth, for empathy-not pity.

My motive for writing; breaking the silence, is to help bring awareness, but most of all to be vulnerable enough to help others going though it. So today I open myself to anyone out there that is facing barrenness, no matter where you are in it. I want you to be able to talk about it. I want to be there for you. I am not scared to openly talk about it. Or if you don’t want everyone in your life to know about it, I get it. I’ve been there and that’s perfectly fine, I can keep a secret. I just want you to know you are not alone and it’s perfectly ok for you to want to be able to talk with someone who gets it. As much as it is scary to be open, I know that for me, it’s time to break the silence. I am not embarrassed about our story or too timid to share it and talk about it with anyone. I just really do not think that it should be a shamed thing to talk about. God chose us for this journey and we’re not ashamed of it! It’s time to throw away the cloak and realize barrenness is real and it’s ok to talk about it.startasking-for-support

I’ve really come to realize that people talk about what they have in common with each other. So while I realize that you may not be comfortable talking about barrenness with me if it’s not something we have in common; that’s ok, I understand. If you have questions, please, #STARTASKING. If not, that’s ok, let’s just find our common ground. And if you do have that in common with me, come on, I’ll buy the coffee 😉 Either way, it’s part of my life and I don’t want it to be an awkward conversation anymore. I’m an open book. I’m not scared to talk about, it’s part of my existence and it’s just as real to me as your kids are to you.

If you know someone struggling please don’t take this post as a sign for you to go talk with them and presume they want to talk about it. Everyone comes to that place in their own time. But please be aware and respectful, we don’t want to be the cause for awkward silences to come over the room as soon as we enter, but there are ways you can show emotional support if you don’t know what to say or how to understand what she is going through. PLEASE please, I beg of you to read this post. [click here] There is nothing you can say that will erase their pain. So, take that pressure off of yourself. It isn’t your job to erase their pain, but there is a lot you can do to lessen the load. Educate yourself and read the entire post.

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If you enjoyed this post and would like to connect on a more personal level, please connect with me. Or if you need prayer, I would love to be in touch with you! Email me at capturingjewels@gmail.com -Follow me on Facebook or on Instagram. To follow along on our journey and not miss any posts, subscribe to the blog [top right corner] or follow my blog Facebook page, not just my personal one 🙂 p.s. I’ll be posting our timeline-journey later this week. 

In this moment..

I keep a huge widget of my calendar on my phone so I can see the next few days at a glance, because normally I have so many appointments, plans, schedules to remember that I’d explode trying to remember it all without a resource reminding me of them. But. Not this month. This next week simply looks like this. Screenshot_2016-04-14-13-21-26

This past month has been full of the above. {aka not much}  I’ve taken the time to grieve (& still do),  I’ve redone our bedroom (pretty much done), I’ve wiped down my cupboards, I’ve washed less than a drainerful of daily dishes, I’ve babysat for others, I’ve sat at the coffee shop, I’ve done tons of lazy window shopping, I’ve gone running/walking basically everyday, I’ve listened to podcasts, worshiped in music, finished my Gilmore Girls show, I’ve been writing & praying & reading God’s Word, hubby & I have gone on numerous last minute fun dates & a vacation, I’ve been alot quiet and I’ve begged to move on-to get another #fosterbaby, I’ve slept full nights, I’ve written letters, I’ve adult-colored, we’ve done taxes and archived 2015, I’ve planted flowers and garden and gotten to mow the lawn, gone through drawers and closets, and so many odd jobs… Basically I just have a pile of things to be done at the sewing machine once I get the courage to lug it out of the top shelf in the closet and once I decide what iron I want to buy, beings I dropped mine the other week and broke it 🙁

This probably sounds like a “haven” to so many…..and I’m not gonna lie, it sounds amazing. But. It seems so lacking in fulfillment. It’s lonely. Busy tends to wear out every mom and she just yearns for a break. Just a day of quiet. Maybe even a week. But a month?! A month, and I bet every one of you would be crying to have your babies, busy schedule and messy dishes back. When #my2ndlilgirlie left back on January 11 it was a lot rougher than we thought it was gonna be. We knew she wasn’t meant to be ours and so we really didn’t fully know how much we had loved her until she left.  Alot because we almost felt guilty for the feeling of knowing that we would never adopt her. And it was nothing against her or her background, it was just that ‘in-your-heart-knowledge’ that you should never feel guilty for! But ugh, we loved her soo much and missed her!! However, amid tears, I enjoyed the next 2 months, it was easy and so lil work to keep after just one 2 year old and so much more snuggle time. But then on March 11, when we said good-bye to #mylilgirlie, it was heart-wrenching. We had felt like she was meant to be with us forever. Nothing in our being wanted to let go.. And just typing that makes me cry, so we’ll maybe get more on that later…      But because of all I’ve been through I can’t sit here and just mourn. As much as I would want her back, JUST sitting here and crying and becoming bitter at God is so not the purpose for this. And as much as I want to enjoy this season of a ‘break and no pressing schedule’ it’s hard! It hurts. How in the world do you enjoy a time of nothing when you so badly want to hold your baby? How in the world can you sit here and become angry when you feel a peace that God most definitely is in control? And while I can’t wait for the next lil one, I know that the only way to use this season is to not live in anticipation of what is to come. I must choose to find joy in TODAY. Whether that is in me being overwhelmed in the busy or in the quiet.  I have realized that God doesn’t want me to make myself a crazy schedule just to move on. Neither does He want me to sit here and just be ‘vegging out‘ .. So, I’m choosing to be ok with this rest and listening to His comfort and His voice…    ((and tucking it away as a life lesson for when I am in the moment when I don’t know which way to turn, He is IN them all)).

In this moment, today, I trust you God and I know you have a purpose in this.

And while it may be easy for you to look at my life and say those cliche words with a hint of jealousy, “Oh just enjoy these moments” –I want to challenge you to look at your own life and enjoy what you have in your moments today. I could say those words right back at you in your busy, kid-filled life, with 100% sincerity.

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Foto Friday ~ Yoder Family

Last fall I offered to take some family photos for our little church group to use for the calendars I was making… I just loved it! It gave me the opportunity to branch out and practice without feeling pressured to get a perfect shot. And I was pleasantly pleased with the outcomes. Plus we had a beautiful huge yard/field with lots of trees in amazing fall colors, adorned with an old barn right beside a nice pond….Ahh 🙂 picture perfect.

First we had Jesse & Sarah Yoder –I am so blessed to know this sweet family. Sarah is such a wonderful mother and is also blessed with an amazing creativity and shares some of that on her blog. I’ve especially enjoyed getting to know her more in the past year and sharing in our growing walks with the Lord. Their dedication to their kids and doing special things with them sure shows in each of their happy faces. Kendrick always seems to have a lively tail to entertain once the stories get started and it doesn’t take much to get to see his big smile and it’s awesome to pay him a compliment to literally watch his confidence grow. Megan has such a sweet mothering heart–reminds me so much of how I imagine I was as a girl. Alyssa is seriously the most angelic little lady I have ever met, and warms my heart when she comes up and says, Could you hold me Julia? Or, about 2 months past her birthday she randomly tells me that she was sad I didn’t make it to her birthday party. How sweet. Jayden is so full of life, I just love when I can catch him off guard or alone and get to hear him chatter non-stop, cuz when he has the chance he loves to hide behind his mama’s skirt! OH and Jesse…hmm, I’m sure he rounds out their family quite well.. lol. (Let’s just say that he would have some kind of smart remark to give back to me should I read this aloud to him!:) )    And they just announced they are pregnant! I’m so excited for them! Best wishes to your family..

And here they are 🙂

October 2014 447Jesses2014 October 2014 430Jesses2014 October 2014 455Jesses2014 October 2014 546Jesses2014 October 2014 534Jesses2014 October 2014 553Jesses2014 October 2014 549Jesses2014 October 2014 561Jesses2014 October 2014 563Jesses2014 October 2014 559Jesses2014 October 2014 492Jesses2014 October 2014 479Jesses2014 October 2014 466Jesses2014 October 2014 469Jesses2014 October 2014 476Jesses2014 October 2014 471Jesses2014 October 2014 518Jesses2014 October 2014 498Jesses2014 October 2014 449Jesses2014 October 2014 456Jesses2014 October 2014 528Jesses2014 October 2014 543Jesses2014 October 2014 529Jesses2014 October 2014 491Jesses2014 October 2014 517Jesses2014 October 2014 510Jesses2014 October 2014 475Jesses2014 October 2014 464Jesses2014 October 2014 477Jesses2014

Foto Friday ~ Shania

I have tons and tons of pictures..one of my goals is to get most of them onto my blog. For my records and for you to see 🙂 So I decided to take a plunge and try to post something “foto-wise” on Fridays… We shall see how it goes.

Leave me your feedback, tips, and criticisms.

Instead of going back into my gallery today, I actually took my niece out into the field across the road of my house. I get so tormented every spring with this amaaazing yellow fields—anyone else want to go play?  It was a pretty cloudy today, so didn’t get quite get the results I wanted, but the best part? When we were done, Shania says, “That was FUN!”

Shania Brooke Hostetler; 2 1/2 years old just this week!

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Out with the Dead, in with LIFE

DSC_0081Dan&Julia editedWe recently had the opportunity of hosting some ‘new friends’ and we were really blessed in sharing time with each other, along with parts of our stories, and praying together. As they were preparing to leave, I gave them a print of the above photo along with our contact info. A lil bit later she comes back to me and says that as she was looking at this photo she saw something she felt like she was supposed to share. She sensed that like as in the picture, the background looks dead and brown with old buildings, and the foreground is just lightly turning green and showing life. That it is where we are at in our life right now; even though behind us we have had hard times where things seemed kinda dead, old and brown…that they are starting to change. And we will be beginning a new kind of life-that is “full of life”.

I was so blessed by it and felt like it was from God..I just wanted to document it 🙂

Be blessed, God is always so faithful!

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The Pathway and the Finger Sketching it..

It’s dreary and 45 degrees today..


My spirit is heavy. I know God has such an immense plan for us. The journey we are on is so beautiful and yet the process can be so painful. Why does pain need to be involved? And yet I welcome it. I welcome God to use it. Knowing that it is refining me – getting rid of junk. And to uncover a jewel lots of refining, purging, sanding away needs to take place. There is incredible beauty from pain.

Dear God, use this pain as part of your purifying process. Teach me your way. I know You are sovereign. You are so mighty. I know you are in control. I know this because you are my King and I submit my life to You. I gave You my desire for a family. I placed it in Your Hands and continued serving you. Sometimes I have been very confused as to what You are doing and other times I smile and dance just knowing that Your Almighty Hand is smoothing the pathway. With your own fingers you are drawing the route on our life-map.

The unknown [not being able to see around the next bend- or why we went down this hill, up that mountain, thru that desert..] that unknown is at times really hard to accept. But I know you are protecting me. You see the road ahead and you allow me to see all that I need to, to be safe. And the rest; you protect me from it. I hear you say, “Just trust Me”.

Oh Father, I have been trusting. I will continue to trust. My faith has been shaken. But you know what, I think I’m finally getting the picture! Everytime that I stop, everytime my faith feels shaken, everytime that I don’t want to keep walking on this specific pathway you have smoothened for me, everytime that I  want to run back to the intersection where I had the choice of following the pathway You designed or the one where I could choose my own way that with the human eye looks good and filled with ‘comfort and ease’. And in all those when my flesh wants to quit, to drag me down that other road- whispering in my ear, ‘it’s not sin, it’s just easier, it’s what you want’. But I stop. I cry. I ask for You. Your help. And everytime I choose to believe again, to give it ALL to you, to passionately follow and trust in You. My faith is grounded another level deeper. It’s like another measure stronger and I know that it went through the fire, it became strengthened, concreted enough for whatever is next. Because the next boulder that falls in my pathway may be just a bit larger, a bit tougher than before. But I am not going to turn around or quit, so it is going to have to be moved. In those questioning times I am gaining enough strength and faith to be able to OVERCOME and move that boulder away. In faith I am going to conquer in Your Name. I will keep on the pathway You are scripting. I will choose to believe.

I know ultimately I only want what YOU have planned-no matter how hard it is. I want to stay on the road that you are writing just for me, because it’s all for your glory. I know that someday I will understand. Someday all this won’t seem cruel at all. Instead I will fall at your feet and worship you, being able to see what all you protected me from. What all you prepared me for. … 

and at this point I hear God gently whispering, “I want you to fall at My feet and worship me today. Without seeing the whole picture. Without understanding. I want you to worship me in faith. Because I AM good all the time.”

Faith is believing without seeing. Faith is what makes it possible to worship without feeling like everything is good in our life. So today, I once again grab that faith and cling for dear life. And I will worship because I know that my God is good and is doing good things in my life, whether my human eye can see it or not.

How do you get through difficult times?

[Edit: this was written last week, just getting around to posting it today..]

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Maternity ~Micah&Jayne~

So I’m slowly but surely getting caught up with all my ‘winter computer projects’…  My computer gave me a number of scares- I mean seriously: praying-to-God-that-it-somehow-starts-again-and-I-promise-I’ll-backup-my-pictures-ASAP kind of prayer. And He answered. PTL. So now I have a new computer and all my pictures are safely on a passport. During that process I realized just how MANY pictures I truly do have-wow- you would freak out at the number so I will spare you! But I am starting the phase of editing and organizing them [amongst many other things] so I may be posting more of my photo-shoots on here.

{disclaimer: I enjoy taking pictures and constantly learning new things, BUT I do not class myself as a professional photographer -so look at it through the eyes of it being a hobby and I would love your feedback and any kind of tips!}

Last November I had the opportunity to do my second maternity shoot for someone other than family. It was their first pregnancy and all so they were kinda nervous about the whole shoot. But when I saw they brought their guitar with I was so excited!! Plus it really helped to relax everyone and just take our relaxing time to it. They were awesome and so easy to work with- I just loved it! 🙂

Introducing Micah & Jayne King






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gotta do a few of just the cute mommy & belly 🙂 DSC_0368mic&jaynMaternity2014 DSC_0348mic&jaynMaternity2014 DSC_0376mic&jaynMaternity2014 DSC_0303mic&jaynMaternity2014 DSC_0356mic&jaynMaternity2014

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And I think I’ll end with my all-time favorite 🙂 a lil love from the daddy. <3



Miss Kailani Nicole King, born on December 11, is a blessed lil girl to have you 2 for her parents! Best wishes..

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2014 -The Painfully Beautiful Year

I’m hearing a lot of; “Oh this past year has been the greatest one yet.”    “It’s been the best year of my life.”    “2014 was such a great year, ready for another one!”    “The past year was full of so many good things-welcome to the New Year.”

And so it got me thinking…of my past year.. And I couldn’t help it. Pretty soon tears were sliding down my cheeks. This past year was probably the hardest year of my life. In some ways it could almost seem like a ‘wasted year’ with no real big accomplishments to show for. But, deep in my soul I felt a stirring, a peace and a smile through my tears,  gently telling me that those 12 months of difficulty, tears, and pain were not for nothing. They were moments of ‘hands-on teaching’ from my Abba Father. I learned how to speak more kindly and take time for what matters most. I have become more of a sensitive person than I even deemed ‘necessary’ a year ago. And probably even other areas that I’m not aware of. It’s definitely been a year of peeling back those layers and becoming more aware of who God really is, not just who He is, but who He is to me. He is simple not just some kind of man in the skies whom we love if we want all good things to come our way. Stop and truly answer this question, WHY do you love Jesus?                                                                             {beware, it could change your life.}

I realized something that I have been pondering on for awhile…. that ‘moments of joy’, ‘good times’, ‘best memories’ and  ‘wonderful things’ are not what define whether or not I had a good year. What really defines good for us? Is it in the comforts of men and the fleshly pleasures of humanity? Or are we ONLY about the glory of God and concerned about the fame and renown of Jesus Christ?

2014 beachphoto Yes this past year was one of the hardest and most painful ones that I can remember, yet I wouldn’t trade it for one that was filled with easy roads and flower-strewn pathways. If that’s how yours was, then thank Him, if not, still thank Him. It’s often at the end of a calendar year that one looks back to the moments that penetrate our minds. For some the ending of the year looks even better than they envisioned, for others it looks nothing like what they had hoped or imagined. Despite all the laughter and good times, the blessings and the touches from God. We also see the loss, painful experiences, and sickness, plans that ‘failed’, dreams that seemingly were crushed.. Many people would say, “Just focus on the good times” -but I’m thinking; those other things, they affect us the most and should we just forget them? So if we choose to focus on one or the other it will automatically define whether we look back and say that we had a great year, or our year was just a mess? Neither one seemed right to me..so here’s a bit of my heart….

I could share with you the excerpt that I’m not printing (the details of my year)–but this isn’t some kind of pity party and this isn’t about ‘levels’ and ‘categories’ that I would then automatically be thrown into with your human mind {sorry, it’s something we all do and so I’m being helpful by leaving it out, to drive home the point here}. This is about learning there aren’t levels…and letting go of those categories in our human thinking…..our pain may be different from anyone else’s but it’s been passed through our Father’s Hands and His only level is true purity and beauty. I don’t believe He measures the pain -He’s measuring the results. We automatically put pain in levels, who has the worst and those that have the easiest levels—but are there levels in God’s economy? Who are we to judge whether or not something that is ‘happening’ to us could be worse, or is ‘bad’? If we are sons and daughters of the King, nothing will come to us without the Father allowing it. I’ve come to realize that He has a perfect ‘combination’ for us-the one that will wipe away all that self. We might look around and think we have it the worst, or we might think that we could never handle what our friends are going through. But the truth is, your journey, even though it’s different than mine, is perfect for you and God isn’t giving you an easier or a harder level, he is simply giving you his grace, and allowing the trials He knows it takes for you to be all that He wants you to be, combined with how much you are willing to give Him…[which could be another whole post on it’s own].  Beings we are created with different abilities we all have different areas to grow in and He knows just exactly how much it will take to make us into the kind of person He wants to mold us into and to achieve the results He sees can be reached if we allow every ounce of it to do a work in us and the world around us. [It’s not about us, it’s about a greater purpose..]   So if we say, ‘Oh, it could be so much worse’, than we aren’t truly allowing the pain of the situation to mold us, we are only thanking God for something that He didn’t give us.    And by all means, if it’s painful.. don’t just take it in… use it!! Let it change you. If you just take it in, you are just accepting inflictions from the devil, you must let it change you to bring glory to the Father. Think a bit about the death and the prayers of Jesus—God allowed exactly what He saw was necessary to save the human race. Was Jesus praying and thanking God that it would be over soon? No, He prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want you will to be done, not mine.” And then again, “My Father! If this cup cannot be take away unless I drink it, your will be done.” –He didn’t want the pain, but He knew that if the Father was allowing it, then He wanted to drink it.

So, yes I am thankful for this past year and the things it has taught me.. I won’t just say it’s been a wonderful-great year and forget about the pain, hurt and trials. But I will say that it has been a beautiful year, realizing that even though it wasn’t what I had planned for or dreamed of, it was God’s, and I’m so thankful that if He chose this pathway for me to walk through, that I didn’t throw the cup out, but drank it. I realize that it’s taken me awhile and I’m hoping that I will only continue to learn more about the nature of God. Whether it be through what my earthly mind would deem as good times or bad times. I realize that there is nothing to be ashamed about in both–but in both there is always a God that wants the glory. So whether it be a difficult season you are in, or maybe you are experiencing showers of blessings, remember that everything can be used for His good and for His glory. And joy, true joy isn’t dependent on your circumstances. Even though 2014 was a hard one, God was soo good to me and I am so thankful for the journey He has me on. My prayer is that in both I would always , ALWAYS remember to give God the glory! Allow Him to have the paint brush and your canvas in life will be being made beautiful once 2015 draws to a close…

..to Him be the glory.

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