Monday, July 18

No, We Didn't Disappear Off the Face of the Planet

Happy Monday, friends!

You may have noticed that it's been a little quiet around TRE lately. That's because of some news we shared on our Facebook account recently:

It has been a little quiet around TRE lately and we can FINALLY tell you all why! After 4 years of writing, several hundred blog posts, two self-published books, and months of talking to a publisher, last week a dream came true when we signed a contract with Tyndale House Publishers to write a devotional for them!! We are so excited and thankful for this opportunity! We'll be sharing more details soon and letting you know of some fun things happening at TRE this summer! Thanks for supporting us friends, and if we could offer you any encouragement today, it would be don't quit chasing your dreams! ‪#‎girlswhotry‬

We've been working on this devotional for several months now, and we can honestly say that for as much as we love it,  we've been pouring all our creativity into it and haven't had much left for other blogs or outside writing. But we promise that when the summer's over and our book is wrapping up the roughdraft stage, we'll return!

In the meantime, you can keep in touch with us via our Facebook. Thanks for all your love and encouragement!

Kristin, Kendra & Julie

Wednesday, May 25

Finding a Firm Foundation for your Feet {Guest Post}

“I would be happy to follow my husband anywhere in the world,” she said from the other side of the room.

I couldn’t believe I had heard her correctly, especially as I had just bared my heart to the husbands and wives of the church small group we had recently joined.

I had told them I was finding it hard to settle into our relocation with my husband’s job, three thousand miles away from home.

Tears welled up in my eyes. I felt miserable before I spoke; now I felt even worse. I wanted the floor to open up and swallow me. Most of all, I wanted to go home.

Then anger rose inside of me; I pushed it down. Anyway, no one seemed to notice my distress. The conversation continued as if nothing had happened. But I sat hating myself and loathing her for being so confident and not understanding how I felt.

Why couldn’t I embrace my new situation? I wondered.

Why did it take so much effort to explore unfamiliar surroundings? Why couldn’t I pluck up the courage to take my two-month-old baby to the playground and make new friends?

Monday, May 2

Do It Afraid

This past weekend, my daughter had dance try-outs for the competition teams at the studio she attends. As I watched her get into line with 70 or so other little girls her age, all dressed in black leotards with their hair pulled tight into buns, then scurry into a closed room where they would be judged, I couldn’t help but feel a little nervous and excited for her.

At just 7 years old, Jasmine already has a lot of dreams and things she’s passionate about and, as her parent, I want to support her. I see gifting and a drive to accomplish things at a young age I was never bold enough to do. But even with all her personality, she confided in me that she’s nervous: What if she doesn’t make the team?

And, boy oh boy, do I know how she feels. Fear has always played a big part in my life and often -- too often -- my decisions.

Monday, April 25

Walking with the Prodigal {Guest Post}

Hello dear friends! We are so excited to once again have our friend Stephanie sharing honestly about her experience with her adopted child. We were touched last fall when Stephanie shared her story of "How Foster Care Wrecked My Life" and we know you will be blessed by reading her story of what it's like to love our kids through the good and the hard.  

It has been three years ago this month that we brought our teenaged foster daughter into our home. I wish I could sit down with each of you and share with you the journey we have been on. It has been a journey of pride and humility, desperation and fulfillment, joy and sorrow. It has been a journey of soaring on the wings of optimism and wallowing in the valley of defeat. We had no idea how to parent a teenager with a traumatic past. BUT GOD (don’t you love those words?) knew exactly what HE was doing. 

We adopted our precious girl 11 months after she came to live with us. We poured our love into her as much and as often as we knew how. We knew she had spent 15 years without the love and structure of a Christian home. We were constantly on our knees and before the throne for mercy and help as we sought the best way to love and discipline with grace. We love her just as fiercely as our biological children. In our hearts, there is no difference.

Wednesday, April 20

The Ugly Side of Parenting

We like to talk about the fun parts of parenting – the wonder of a baby’s tiny toes, the cute things our kids say or expressions they make, how they snuggle up to us. But sometimes, if I’m honest, parenting can be ugly.

I feel intensely vulnerable in acknowledging that sometimes my temper can get the best of me.

Last night it happened at bedtime. Elise had been sorting through pictures in the office, putting them in a container for some project she had in mind, but it was getting late so I went in to tell her to put it away for the night. She objected loudly, rudely, then tried to storm off and take all the craft supplies she’d been working with to play with them in her bed.

And – I snapped. I just lost it. I yanked the items out of her arms to put them on the table, but it went awry and they spilled, dropping on the floor in a messy pile. I grabbed her and set her in the hallway outside the office, closing the door firmly so she couldn’t try to run back in. And then I headed downstairs in a huff.

Monday, April 18

Thoughts on Dandelions, Children Stuck in Trees, and My Neighbors.

My neighborhood as seen from my front porch.
It is finally spring in Minnesota, and the neighbors on three sides of me have been busy edging, cutting, and spraying their grass. When I drive by their homes, I see the beginnings of lush carpets of green covering their lots. Their lawns look almost fake, they are so beautiful. Their children are grown, and they have the luxury of hunting down every stray clover, every last crabgrass and waging war against any green thing without the word "fescue" in its name.

My lawn, on the other hand, is what I would call "bio-diverse," and I sometimes wonder if we have more weeds than actual grass. With young children and busy jobs, my husband and I these past eight years have barely had the time and energy to run a mower around the yard on a weekly basis, much less primp and pamper our lawn.