Fostering Grace

Unqualified. Insecurity. Doubt. Fear. Those are the things that constantly loomed in my thoughts.

Those words could define a number of things for you – for me, those words defined motherhood.

In January, my husband and I embarked on an uphill journey through the Foster Care System. We have welcomed the late night phone calls asking us to consider a teenager, to receiving a call asking us to pick up a newborn at the hospital within the hour.

When most new parents are awarded months to prepare, my husband and I stocked up at Babies R’ Us in about thirty minutes (#momlife). In the midst of the hundreds of pages of paperwork (aka “paper pregnant”), the countless interviews, numerous phone calls and home visits, and hours upon hours of licensing classes – there was always the same question: What is the goal and vision for Foster Care within your family? 

If there is one thing I want to do well, it’s rearing the children that come in and out of our home to know God’s voice and to follow His commandments. From the moment the child walks or crawls through our front door, our goal is to point them to Jesus.

But if there is one area that I feel most inadequate in, it’s rearing these children to know God’s voice and to follow His commandments. I find myself feeling overwhelmed and unqualified when I gauge my own strength as a catalyst for the spiritual growth of these children. When I look to myself, I am fully aware of how powerless I am. However, with each child, I am learning to acknowledge my weakness before a grace-giving, power-filling God.

Through daily dependence on God’s Spirit and grace, He takes our lack of wisdom and allows us to be a major cultivator in the hearts of our children.

Even if it is for just a few days, we desire to be a living example of God’s love to every child in our home. Deuteronomy 6 explains to us that we are to teach about God, “when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deut. 6:7). However, we will only be able to teach about God everywhere if we first have treasured God in our hearts.

Moses says, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart” (v. 6). Therefore, the most important thing I can do as a mother is to cherish God and His word. Taking from the description of Mary’s humble servant prayer when she received the news that she would become a mother, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Lk. 1:46-47).

So, what is a grace-filled mother?

She is one that acknowledges her need for the power of God to enable her to train and instruct her children.

She rests and celebrates in the ability of God to change the hearts of her children.

She prays and acts in faith, believing that God can take an imperfect offering and turn it into a miracle. A miracle that displays the beauty and power, not of a great mother, but of a great God. One that fosters grace in each day.

One thought on “Fostering Grace”

  1. Deborah Chapman says:

    Wow. Jess that is so humbling and so beautifully said. I pray for you, Tim and these children daily. As they bring joy, laughter and challenges into your home. I love to call and hear their giggles in the background. I love you both dearly and am so proud of the way that you have allowed God’s Grace to equip you for this season of life. Love, Mom