on being ourselves.

our foster care home study is on thursday. 

those eight words carry so much weight and meaning that i’m tempted to just leave them alone and hit “publish.”

a home study contractor will come to our home at 5 pm, a list of questions and time for “observing” our family prepared. in other words, this is one of those situations where “just be yourself” is simultaneously the best and most obnoxious advice one could give.

just be yourself

just be ourselves…just try not to explode with passion and hope while we attempt to explain how burdened we are to care for the orphan in a way unbelievably minuscule when compared to the breadth of the crisis.

just be ourselves…just smile and start over when we’re halfway through the response to a challenging question and Owen demands our attention (it is dinnertime, after all) and we can’t remember where that answer was going or why.

just be ourselves…just let the imperfect and messy show. we are young, we are learning, we are zealous and naive yet asking for wisdom to fall like water to our tongues. we are serious about this.

just be ourselves…just let myself speak in metaphor and theory and drips of poetry because my mind swims with language and its unification is how the world makes sense to me. just let jared speak in stories because he makes them come to life, in explanations because he finds truth at their conclusions.

just be ourselves…just play with the plastic farm on the floor while explaining our philosophy on attachment with interjections of “moo” and “baa” and “oink.” just offer dinner and dessert and coffee and a spot on the couch, because we love simple hosting and why should this be any different? just be okay saying “we don’t know, but we want to learn.”

just be ourselves…i am introverted. i am an obsessive achiever. i am a strategist and planner and all those other things that sound like “perfectionist” but aren’t because the standard isn’t perfection, it’s worse. the standard is whatever personal goal i’ve concocted in my mind, conscious or not, attainable or not, healthy or not. thursday will be quite an exercise in laying down my expectations, in surrendering the weaknesses of my personality, in letting our true colors show because (glory to God) our truest colors are the red of Christ’s blood shed over us and the white of the robes He clothed us in and the green of the life all around us that calls our hearts to continue celebrating Sunday’s Easter holiday – the resurrection that means we are new in Him.

just be ourselves…rescued and redeemed, justified, being sanctified, awaiting the day we are glorified. His banner waves over us, His mercy patiently guides us, His sovereignty strongly upholds us. we were first loved and now we love, first chosen and now we choose, first shown compassion and now we work out how to show it ourselves.

just be yourself is starting to sound a little better when i remember Who goes before and behind me, Who gave me a new identity, Who stamped “debt paid” on my soul. may His Spirit speak through us and mingle about us on Thursday night, finding glory, honor, praise in the words uttered. that is, after all, the true meaning underlying each step in this process, the true purpose propelling our love for the least of these. all glory, all honor, all praise to You.

[we appreciate your prayers for us this week! thank you all for loving and caring for our family.]

these days.

as springtime speeds rapidly by, activities and change and newness abounding, a little update on the goings-on of our family seems to be in order.

Update Collage.jpg

we are expecting Baby #2 in early October!
we are completely elated, amazed at God’s goodness in giving us another little one to love. i was extremely sick in the beginning but have felt better much more quickly than i did during my pregnancy with Owen. the fatigue is much stronger this time around, but i’m betting that there is some sort of correlation between pregnancy, chasing a toddler and exhaustion. Jared has been a total superhero in terms of taking care of both Owen and me while i’m at less than full-capacity. (side note: ladies, marry men who rise to the challenges that will come, because they will come.)

we have reached the home study phase of our foster care license (which is another way of saying, “yes, we are still pursuing our license even though i am pregnant.”).
if my health during pregnancy allows, we will provide respite care for other foster families prior to baby arriving and determine the best time for a long-term placement after he or she (any guesses?) is here. we are excited to see what happens and trusting that the Lord will give us the wisdom to determine what we can handle/what will be best for our family and every child in our care.

i am now a Wellness Advocate for doTerra Essential Oils.
this endeavor appeals to so much of what i care about and is a great fit for the priorities our family has already established. i love taking care of our family in a natural, healthy way, it’s important to me to continue growing in my knowledge of how God created our bodies and the world around us, and i want to honor God with our finances and resources. doTerra provides me the opportunity to do each of those things, as well as the chance to potentially educate others as i’m learning, which is something i love to do.

occasionally, i will share a testimony or two of how essential oils have helped our friends and family, but that will be about it in terms of oils and this blog. in the same way that i write about friends having babies, foster care, or any of the other adventures in our life, i will write about this pursuit as it naturally comes up. if essential oils intrigue you or you would like to learn more, email me at abbyjoyperry(at)gmail(dot)com.

there are several more things i could write about today – our fabulous trip to visit dear friends in Louisville last week, our upcoming Jared-and-Abby-only vacation to Antigua, my continued bliss over so many babies being born among our friends, mom life, work life, church life, etc. i suspect each of these things will show up in a post or two in the weeks to come. life is rapid yet peaceful, full in the way of rich harmonies and the abundance found in priorities aligned and pursued. we’re thankful, above all else.

thanks for caring about our family enough to read this little update. we value each of you!