Our Newest Journey in Chasing After God’s Own Heart

I'm sure some of you know that my husband, Matt and I love the idea of adventure. We totally see chasing Jesus in this way; a glorious adventure we get to be apart of!

Our Newest Journey in Chasing After God's Own Heart on fostercare and adoption in Arkansas

Sometimes God's call on our life feels quite humorous. As soon as things seem to settle, become routine, or even comfortable, God shows us a new part of His heart and lets us know its time to take part in that with Him. The newest part of this journey is something that was never a plan B. It has never been is we can't ___ then we'll ___. It isn't something God recently unveiled our eyes about.

Care for orphans has always been plan A. When, if, and every time the change was available, we want to care for the children and their parents who's families have been broken. Some times this might look like having students in our home on a regular basis to give them love, encouragement, and consistency. It might be taking part in sharing love through Angel Tree or Operation Christmas Child boxes. Wither these are children in need of care domestically or abroad, we want to be apart of it!

Most recently, God has shown us that becoming someone's "forever family" may be on the horizon. This excites me so much. I think adoption can be one of the best pictures of what Christ did for us and I want to experience that. At the same time, I've been learning a lot about foster-care and adoption that gives me a better picture of the entire scenario that breaks my heart more but also softens the excitement about being ask to step in as someone's adopted parent.

Matt and I are beginning the process of opening our home for foster-care/adoption through DHS here in Arkansas. There's a whole lot to what that means and what it looks like BUT we are also apart of a group called The CALL who exist to help Christian families navigate the overwhelming process within this agency. The CALL stands for Children of Arkansas being Loved for a Lifetime. We have filled out initial paperwork to begin the process and just this past weekend completed our first 15 of 30 hours of PRIDE {Parent Resources for Information, Development, and Education} training via The Call so that we can soon finalize everything so our home qualifies to be opened to state agencies to assist those children {and their families} in need of care.

During this process I'm going to try and share as much as possible because I know there are tons of you out there who are curious about this process. Maybe you have a heart for fostering or adoption. Maybe you have a gazillion questions, aren't sure if this is for you, or maybe you just want some help walking through all of this. If you're like me, it would be nice to at least have an idea of what you're walking into before you start. That's what I'm doing to attempt to do. I wanna cover logistics like names of agencies I'm learning, resources that have deemed super helpful, and even thoughts and emotions that come up during this journey.

SO if you have any questions, PLEASE ask {comment, email, message, etc} or I may not touch on something that would be great for you and others to hear about. We've started more detailed conversations with our littles lately about this and their questions have lead to some great discussions!

Just for the record: our family hasn't decided which route(s) we are taking at this time {ie fostering and/or adoption}

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Homemade Hibachi-like Fried Rice/Scrambled Eggs and Chicken

I went on a date-night with my hubs to Fugis Hibachi Gill and Steakhouse. I'd never been there before and it was num num nummy! I don't usually like to pay for food unless I know I'm going to love it. I'm just frugal like that and don't want to waste money. But I went out on a ledge and ordered something I'd never tried before.Homemade Hibachi-like Fried RiceScrambled Eggs and Chicken

If you've ever been to one of those places you probably know they give you HUGE portions. I didn't know that or I would have shared with hubs. Since I didn't I ended up with an amazing box of leftovers I couldn't stop eating on until my tummy hurt.

When it was gone I wanted so badly to try and make it but just like I don't like ordering things unless I know I'd like it, I don't like to try new recipes unless I know it won't be a terrible waste. This week. I finally attempted it.

It was oh so yummy and I'm totally gonna be making it for our entire family to try. :D Here's what I did in case you wanna try it too::

Homemade Hibachi-like Fried RiceScrambled Eggs and Chicken Recipe

Ingredients {based on the 1 portion I made}:

  • eggs 2 large
  • green peppers ~3 Tbs diced small
  • carrots ~3 Tbs diced small
  • white rice 1.5 cups cooked
  • margarine ~1/8 cup
  • onion powder ~ 1/4 tsp
  • chicken 1/4 cup cooked
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • soy sauce to taste

Directions:

  1. scramble eggs {I've learned I really like using a Tbs of butter rather than milk}
  2. mix in white rice, peppers, carrots, onion powder, and salt and pepper until well mixed
  3. add butter and "fry" everything together until heated to your liking
  4. serve hot and add soy sauce to your liking

 

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An Open Letter to Our Former Youth Group

Dear Former Youth Group {an open letter to generation Xers and Millennials}

Dear former youth group,

I'm here to say I'm sorry. I'm sorry we told you not have sex, do drugs, or drink alcohol. I'm sorry we guilted you into devoting your midweek to our service rather than your God-given-interest. I'm sorry we taught you self-righteous religion rather than the true character of God.

Here's the thing. The Bible isn't a book mostly about YOU and what YOU should be doing. It's a book about GOD and what HE has done.

We unintentionally taught you that that every story in the Bible somehow points to you. We explained that your behavior was the ultimate dictator of salvation. Though we never would have come out and said it knowing it was totally false, we let you believe that your behavior swayed God in some way, good or bad. We painted a picture of God as a Santa-figure who sees you when you were sleeping, sees when you're awake, knows if you've been bad or good, so please be good for goodness sake.

The Bible does have guidelines for how life works best. Why wouldn't it. It's a story about the Creator and His creation. It's bound to come up because the story of God and what He's done is made even more amazing in light of how things were supposed to work, how we jaked it up, and how His genius master plan is going to redeem us even though we don't deserve anything.

Many of you in our youth group were coming to 'church' alone. You're parents weren't devout Christ-followers or even if they were, they were possibly relying on us to teach about God. Most adult use youth group like a public school, trusting that the fundamentals of "Christianity" are the responsibility of the staff at a 'church'. Because of that, I'm even more sorry we didn't show you complete truths.

Every story in the Bible points to Jesus. Not you. You're not supposed to attempt to find yourself in the stories of Noah, Mosis, or David. You're supposed to seek God and His kingdom. Every story whispers His name.

As I watch you grow-up, go to college, move, get jobs, get married, have kids I see religion failing you. No matter how much attempting to be 'good' you can handle it will always leave you empty. Life won't unfold into the christian-karma-crap we filled you with. Because of that you will run. You are running. You're leaving the Church in droves because morality has failed you.

I'm sorry I helped lead you to this place but now I'm hear to fight to lead you back to Christ. To show you His true character. Every aspect of our life bleeds the DNA of who we think God is. Your view of who God is the foundation for your belief system and you believe system determines your actions. Out of our love for you in our youth group, we targeted the only thing we could see, your actions, in an attempt to determine if you were a Christ-follower.

Maybe we had a savior complex, maybe we were just that ingnorant. Painting a picture of a self-serving, smoke and lights, hype and games, fame and fortune religion remorsefully. God's taught us so much over the last few years and we hope to chase down the dechurched generation that we had a hand in running off.

Sincerely yours,

Regretful Youth Pastors of Generation Xers and Millennials

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Stuck in the Middle

Do you ever want to give up on something? Not necessarily because its hard but because you're not the best at it or you're not the only one doing it?

Stuck in the Middle

Maybe I'm the only one or maybe its part of the middle-child-syndrome. I can remember whining to my friends in 7th grade choir when I was placed as a "second soprano". Boo For those of you who weren't choir geeks, that means you aren't the one singing the highest notes and you're not the one singing the lowest notes.

That's right, stuck in the middle. I complained and complained to my friends about always being "in the middle". I was a middle child. I am average height. I always had average grades. I was in a middle class family. I didn't seem to excel or completely suck at really anything.

One of my goals as a child was to be the youngest singer- ever. {insert uncontrollable laughter} When I realized the Mickey Mouse Club House had already launched a gazillion younger singers than me I through in the towel. {as if that was ever gonna happen but you get the point}

I still feel that was an adult. I just want to throw in the towel when I find out I'm not the best at something I'm attempting or when it seems everyone is now doing what I thought set me apart I wanna run. The list goes on and on: DIY projects, refurnishing, photography, baking, parenting, creative organization, blogging, decorating, and even {gasp!} "Christian-living" of sorts.

Mundane. Boring. Lukewarm. Typical. Ordinary.

I know when I feel this way, it's a result of a wrong view of who God is. Everything lead back to that. Disobedience- God isn't as smart as me. Fear- God's not big enough to take care of it. Greed- God can't supply my needs. Insecurity- God didn't created me the right way. Search for Recognition- God doesn't see me. Search for Love- God doesn't love me enough. For some random reason, He sees me fit to love. Fit to have created; with a purpose. He has a plan for my mediocre life. Searching for my meaning and worth in the eyes of others through excelling in whatever the attempt is of the day is always going to come up lacking.

Just thought I'd throw that out there today since blogging is definitely one of those things were I feel lost in the crowd, overdone, or average {less than average depending on what part of the net your blogging} and just maybe someone else need to know I {and I bet others} feel this way.

IT’S A ROYAL SWITCH-A-ROO! New VeggieTales “Princess and the Popstar” Clip! from bigidea on GodTube.

Know someone else out there longs to hear something silly like, "You grow pies. No One does that." from Veggie Tales, "Princess and the Pop Star" LOL God is saying that to YOU! You are treasured. Bought for the ultimate price. Now lets pull our average-selves together and watch how God wants to use us for His bigger, more extraordinary, adventure!

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Room-By-Room Decluttering Ideas

I know finding a place to start is part of the problem in decluttering a home. Here is a list of things I've decluttered organized by room. Most of these things will take ~15 minutes to get in order.

Details PRINTABLE Winter Decluttering Checklist Available on asJulesisgoing.com

CLICK FOR A PRINTABLE WINTER DECLUTTERING CHECK LIST :D

Living Room

  • Decor/Pictures
  • Books
  • Photo Albums
  • Movies
  • Video Games
  • Electronics
  • Throw Pillows/Blankets
  • Coat Rack
  • Shoe Basket
  • Coffee/End Tables

Dinning Room

  • Decor/Pictures
  • Dinning Table
  • Table Clothes/Place Mats

Kitchen

  • Decor/Pictures
  • Counters
  • Top of Cabinets
  • Cabinets:
    Dishes
    Serving Dishes
    Bakeware
    Pots
    Pans
  • Drawers:
    Silverware
    Serving Utensils
    Cookie Cutters
  • Pantry
  • Medicine Cabinet

Laundry Room

  • Laundry Soaps
  • Cleaning Supplies
  • Paper Goods
  • Cleaning Tools

Bedrooms

  • Decor/Pictures
  • Night Stands
  • Dressers
  • Closets: clothes, bags/purses, hats, scarves, shoes
  • Bedding

Bathrooms

  • Decor
  • Bathtub/Shower Stall:
    Toys
    Toiletries
  • Drawers:
    toiletries
    washclothsmakeup
    hair accessories/tools
  • Cabinets:
    towels
    toiletries
    clean supplies

Play/School Room

  • Decor/Pictures
  • Toys
  • Games
  • Books
  • Curriculum
  • Craft Supplies

I'm excited to say that nearly 90% of my list has already been checked off! ...the GARAGE. Let's just use the "its too cold outside" excuse and pretend the attic and tiny shed in the backyard don't exist. :-|

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