Friday, June 20, 2014

Unfiltered version

Starting with court on Monday, I felt myself start to self-destruct...over eating, not exercising, insomnia, and the list goes on.... I know my patterns well and I don't know if I can say it's a benefit of growing older or not. I tried my best to stop the train wreck. I shifted to my "favorite" coping mechanism, denial, and went into survival mode. I continued to say and act like everything was fine, yet on the inside the anger and hurt was festering and building.
It came to a head earlier today. I locked my keys in the car at the dry cleaners. I thought, no biggie, Onstar will unlock them....called and our subscription had expired and it is "impossible" to renew over the phone. That was it! Not one more false reassurance could keep me from boiling over. At 89 degrees outside I took off walking. At first, I didn't care or know where I was going. I was just SO MAD! I was pounding the pavement and telling God- This (foster care, grief, unfairness of life, path He called me to, and the difficulties of an innocent baby) was more than I bargained for and I was angry. Angry He asked this of me. Angry I wasn't "stronger" or had more "Faith." Angry every single child doesn't have a loving, secure home. Angry life has to be so dang hard sometimes. Angry I said yes to participating in this chaos and my obedience wasn't rewarded with roses and good times and a happy ending. Isn't THAT what it is supposed to look like? Why did I just have a mess at the end of my months and years of following His path for me?
What happened you may wonder? I stomped and sweated it out to my husbands office where he picked me up. I get in his truck and slam the door and start in on him....poor guy. I tell him all the dirty and ugliness that was spilling from my heart. The pain bubbled out and poured out as hot tears on my cheeks. I grieved for the child I love as my own while I know he isn't mine. I sobbed that is wasn't fair to me to love him, care for him, and advocate for him and him not be mine forever. I didn't want to hear a word of false reassurance. I wanted to jump into the pit and wallow.
That happened for a good 20-30 minutes until I was spent and it was all laid bare. I was empty and poured out. His peace came over me and like a still small voice I hear Him in my secret places whisper.....I love you and it's ok to grieve and it's ok to be angry at injustice. False hope and promises won't carry you in the long run.....only Me and My word. Where have you been looking Tenille?
You see, I haven't spent much time in my bible since Monday. I have ran from Him like Jonah. I have prayed and talked with Him but not laid my burdens down as He calls us to do. I have not surrendered my pain, anger, and hurt. I tried to lay it at the alter only to pick it back up at amen.
Yes, I did choose this path and I'm thankful I did. Had I not? Where would the children who have lived in our home be? Who would have loved them? Who would have showed them God's grace and mercy? Who would have attached to this precious baby boy my heart is shattered over? If not me, then who? I CANNOT do this on my own as He so graciously showed me earlier. It HAS to be of Him and in Him. When I start thinking and acting as if I'm doing it and He is my side kick, disaster is imminent.
I'm thankful for grace. I'm thankful that it (foster care, grief, this path) IS worth it. I'm thankful for forgiveness. Most of all, I'm thankful He loves me and is with me through each and every moment of my journey. So, what about my happy ending?
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake Psalm 23:3

He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2

Bring the rain,

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Fostering: It IS


  • when you are the mommy, but you are not
  • when you don't feel a connection but even harder when you do
  • when you give until there isn't anything left, but more is still needed
  • when all you can think of is sleep and it never comes
  • when you see how far behind a sweet one really is
  • when you show up for a visit and no one else does
  • when you have to share the news no one else is coming with a dear one
  • when a birthday comes and goes and you are the only one who acknowledges their special day
  • when you want to tell a "parent" like it is and you know Jesus called you for more
  • when you explain for the thousandth time, "yes it IS hard when they leave"
  • when you just wanna scream PLEASE quit saying "I couldn't let them go" you think we are heartless?
  • when NO ONE understands the path you have chosen but a fellow foster parent
  • when TALKING about it and LIVING it are NOT the same
  • when you walk away for the last time and your heart splits in two
  • when your child prays for a sweet one to be their brother or sister and you know that won't happen
  • when a new one comes
  • when a new one leaves
  • when a new one ROCKS every bit of routine in your household
  • when nothing is familiar of yourself
  • when you know you failed
  • when you fall in love so hopelessly you know your life will never the same
  • when you don't know the answer to their questions
  • when they pray for their mommy to not "do the drugs"
  • when you see the need and are overwhelmed by it yet those who are called AREN'T ANSWERING
  • when there aren't any good explanations
  • when even on your most patient of timelines things are still pending

Yet all of that is NOTHING compared to the insurmountable joy in knowing you are walking in HIS will for your life and answering His call.


  • when you LOVE
  • when you stay in the Word 
  • when you remember you and to God and God alone
  • when you throw away the perception of others about your choices- the world DOESN"T GET IT
  • when you are surrounded by encouragers
  • when you have friends and family who pick up the slack
  • when the precious ones smile at you
  • when you see the need
  • when you see progress in your precious one
  • when you see your own child developing a servant's heart 
  • when the pain brings you to Jesus feet and you feel His presence like never before
  • when I am needed as their advocate
  • when you have an empty room
  • when you know you have been called
  • when His word COMMANDS me to care for them
  • when the JOY fills your heart when you see a breakthrough you thought would never come for a child
  • when a parent weeps and thanks you for loving their child

Whoever taught us that Christianity was easy was a liar. Our savior bled and died on a cross.....for MY sins while He was perfect.....ummmm so why should my life be easy again if I accept Him? COME ON people! Wake up and take back Christianity from "the American dream." The book Radical completely rocked me to the core in 2011. May I never be the same. 

"The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway." Mother Teresa

I am not out to change the world, but I am out to love each child brought my way to the very best of my ability. I am so blessed to have had the privilege of God removing "the scales from my eyes" and allowing me to live life in a manner such as this. My families entire perspective has been changed. What was important no longer is....These walls that encase my family are precious and sacred. If you cross the threshold as a "precious one" you are family and you are loved. My four year old will tell you that. How grateful I am that even they get it. Why don't we all? That still small voice that tugs at your heart....listen to it. It just might make your life hard- for the best of you and oh how worth it, it truly is.....
God's best,
James 1:27

Friday, January 31, 2014

It matters

Last night while at our Heart Gallery showing God pierced my heart. As I listened to Suzie Evans speak she mentioned a song......a song that I had listened to many times as a child. It prompted a song in my mind by that same singer.....a song my mom and I sang together at a Women's Conference in Benton, AR at Calvary Baptist Church when I was around 9 years old. "Show me how to Love" by Babbie Mason.
Link for the song:
 Show me how to Love

What brought me to tears? I was overcome with the fact I HAD someone who not only TAUGHT me these words but SHOWED me how to live it out. What about all the MANY who don't have anyone in their lives to show them the way? No one to teach them what love is, what sacrifice is, what serving is, and most importantly about my Savior. I remembered every word to the song I sang over 20 years ago so how are we sitting by and essentially allowing children to have HATE, NEGATIVITY, and PAIN poured into their lives daily and expecting them to grow up and not show and share that? TELL ME HOW?! It is time for the church to stand up and take action. It is time for His people to SHOW the love of Christ and quit talking about it. It was NEVER meant for the government to raise our children. It was and still is the CHURCH's privilege. I don't want to ever have to answer for the empty bedrooms in my house and why I allowed them to stay that way.

God, I beg you to move in the hearts of your children. Spur them to action and give them a sense of urgency that today is the day to make a stand. Give me direction and wisdom to continue the fight to open people's eyes to the travesty surrounding them in their OWN communities. Lord, it is YOU who will change their hearts and I am thankful I get to witness the revolution that is coming. You are good, so good. In Jesus name, AMEN!

 Do not allow one more day of brokenness in a child's life. DO what HIS word says for us to do!

PS: The words I sang to that song at 9? CHANGED my's a taste:

I saw a bruised and battered woman
With her hungry children on the street
Then I heard ask in that still small voice
What have you done for the least of these
Lord, please consume with a burning fire
That melts away my complanceancy
Let me moved with love and compassion
Then someone find the way through me

Show me how to love
In the true meaning of the word
Teach me to sacrifice
Expecting nothing in return
I want to give my life away
Coming more and more
Like you each and everyday
My words are not enough
Show me how to love