Purposeful Faith

Author - Jami Amerine

My Shiny Pet Rock: Sin I Love to Hate

http://sacredgroundstickyfloors.com/2017/11/14/sin-i-love-to-hate/

This thing, this terrible thing that I have struggled with for years, is something I cannot seem to shake.

So what is a girl to do?

I did what any good church-going gal would do.  I signed up  for every single bible study, every retreat, and any and every special session.  All the things, I believed would help me finally understand why I don’t do what I like, but instead, do what I hate.

Among my friends and acquaintances, I was known for my devotion to the study.  The study of that which they believed was an adoration for my God, but in reality was a desperate attempt to finally break free.

Bible Study Sister.

Jesus fan-girl.

Devoted.

Good people.

A Proverbs-31 woman.

I did all the things. The things that were suggested, the things I believed were essential to 1.  Freedom.  2.  Worthiness.

Yes, I believed I must earn my salvation, and when I finally achieved this worthiness, maybe then I would be able to overcome this thing.  The thing, the thing that I cannot seem to get over, that I cannot leave behind.

Perfection evades me.  As much as I love order and perfection, I love this … this monster I call my sin.

Mine.

What would I do with my time, with my mind, if not for the sin I tend to?

So back I went to my studies, with my highlighters, fancy pens and markers. The bible bag I carry with all my tools has a fancy cross embroidered on the front.  It is decorated with pins asking “what would Jesus do?”  But as much as I study, as much as having memorized, I swear.. I do not know.

I did not know what Jesus would do.

And I could not figure out how to be just like Him.

Truth be told, no matter how much I dedicated to the study of my sin, the sin was all I knew.  And then a friend brought this to my attention.

I was a classic case of a Christian with a sin god…. continue reading and link up here!!!  

 

 

 

Why No?

Post by: Jami Amerine

Recently some good friends of ours had a prayer, a very important prayer, go unanswered.  Well, perhaps it was answered in a way that they have yet to see.  Now, in this moment, it feels unanswered.  They feel as though they were not heard.  They are left to grieve.

Folks offer their opinions.

“It wasn’t God’s will…”

“He has something else in mind…”

“There’s a lesson here…”

Perhaps.

As I sat with my friend over tepid, half drunk cups of English Breakfast, I listened to her lament her devastation. Not just loss, but the loss and the unanswered pleas for help to her Father in Heaven.

“Good Father?”  She is left to wonder.

The conundrum of the unanswered prayer is the mystery of why we stay Believers.  Why stay in love with a mysterious Higher Power who sometimes fails to use that power to dig us out… to save?

Furthermore,  surely there is a human explanation?  A method to the madness, a reason for this season where it seemed like such a simple request? A request that would have increased faith, instead of shattering it.  Still, I sat.  I listened to my friend.  Her voice cracked with grief, heartbreak shattered her disputes.

She had been faithful.

She did not know how to regain what she had lost in the midst of the catastrophe – in this season of unanswered prayer.

This is the dark space.  This is the place where we want to offer encouragement, but often our words seem empty, and even we, who still believe, do not understand.

Let Jesus be Jesus.

This is a new mantra of mine.  For so long I have wanted someone to be able to explain Jesus to me.  The last shall be first, the first shall be last.  Take out your eye, cut off your hand, go and sin no more. We could go round and round.  But honestly, sometimes the best answer is simply, “I just don’t know.”

Is this when the greatest wisdom is the wisdom that comes from Him fully revealing Himself as good?

I know who I think I know Him to be.

I know Him.  I love Him.  But I can’t make you know Him or understand Him through my simple explanations.  Nor, can I fully explain the depth of Him, although I often feel protective and I feel I must defend Him.

Defend Him?

Well, yes maybe. Maybe when a prayer goes unanswered we are just as desperate to explain the “why not” to comfort ourselves too?

And this is where especially as a wordsmith who set out to write about unanswered prayer, the challenge erupts.

Silence.

A place of quiet and wait.  A gap, a searching – a longing for answers that can only come in waves of revelation from the One who died so that we might live and experience a peace that surpasses all understanding.

Jesus be Jesus… show up, and be Jesus.

Show up and show us how to make sense out of the senseless.  Show up and be Jesus, because no one else will do.

Jesus.

Jesus.

Jesus.

The best answer.

The hardest belief.

The easiest yes.

I don’t know why some prayers are not answered.  I refuse to try and reveal something about Him – for my explanation would fall short.  But the Word promises if we ask… if we seek, if we knock…  and I still believe.

The way, the Truth, and the Life.

Is there any possibility He won’t reveal Himself?

Why, no.

Absolutely not.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

About Jami Amerine

Jami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Is That You Jesus? 

I have only been blogging for a couple of years.  In those years I have interacted with many amazing women. I have found that among the things we do not have in common, there is almost always one thing we do have in common.

We are the walking wounded.

I have yet to meet a woman or receive an email from someone who says, “I have no battle wounds, I have not a single emotional scar. I have never been let down, lead astray, hurt, disappointed, cheated, lied to, manipulated or violated.”

In this life, these things happen.  These bad things happen.  They sneak up on us, and they change us, sometimes – they define us. This is tragic but in my case, and what I am now learning, in the case of so many women, these incidents also defined Jesus.

What?

Well, yeah.  Think about it, do you have an incident where you were hurt or hurting that a human being, someone you loved or trusted said or did something that you have now negatively associated with Jesus?

At my brother-in-law’s funeral, an older parishioner came up to me and said, “God must be trying to show you something.  Don’t let this lesson go to waste.”  I believed this lie. I believed that God was up on high killing, cutting innocent men to ribbons to teach me… the worst person on the planet, who ate too much cheese, a harsh lesson.

Ridiculous.

But I believed this.  I believed in an irrational wrath.  I believed His fury could never be quenched. I was certain there was no telling who would be next.  I was exhausted, paralyzed and petrified.  As I typed words of His goodness and truths of His mercy, love, and unending favor His true character began to peep through my darkness. I began to question what I knew about Him.

And then I began to grieve what I had come believe about Him.

One Thursday afternoon, I fell into His arms in the most genuine of submissions. I curled up in His lap and recited scripture after scripture about His goodness.

If He is for me who can be against me?

If nothing can separate me from His love, why do I keep a list of things I believe have alienated me from Him?

If Jesus died, rose again, and then sat down… why do I think I must work to finish anything?

If Jesus came to give me life and peace and joy in abundance, why am I so stressed and sad?

The litany went on and on and when it was finished I was free.  Free from the terror of believing I was doomed, that my children were doomed… that the other shoe was about to drop because I messed up my Weight Watchers points. The lists of things I believed I did wrong could never catch up with the meager list of things I did right.  The things I did right?  How could ever measure if they were enough?

In the midst of the revelation, I was writing my first book, which you can now find by following the link below. As excited as I am to share it here, on Kelly’s page, who was with me through every step of the journey, it is a very vulnerable time.  I have cried buckets, rejoiced, and cried some more.  Still, Jesus has been so real to me in these months, that is my entire focus. Although He doesn’t need me, I need to voice how wrong I was about Him. And I know this, He does want me. He craved me unto His death. Not to terrorize me, but to commune with me. He enjoys my company, I am His girl. He waits patiently for you as well, the unearthing of His true identity is one I wouldn’t have missed.  He is indeed Bread and Life.

For more information about Stolen Jesus: An Unconventional Search for the Real Savior follow this link!  And for a chance to a win an autographed copy of the book follow me on Facebook and then email me at sacredgroundstickyfloors@gmail.com and say FOLLOWED!  I’ll draw Saturday, September 16, 2017, at 9:00 am central and announce it on my author page and then email you back for your address!

 

Jami AmerineJami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Do You See What I See?

Post by: Jami Amerine

Our three-year-old son Charlie was throwing a tantrum. As he thrashed on the floor screaming and crying. I went about my daily list of to-do’s, trying to ignore him.

After 15 minutes, my patience was waning. The bellows were piercing.

I walked over and stood next to him.

He stuttered through his sobs.

“I – want – to – pway – wif – da – my – pad.”

“I am sorry,” I explained, “you may not play with the iPad because you bit your brother.”

“Get on da fwoor wif me, down heeewr you can why come I had to bited Sam!”

I didn’t want to get on the floor, actually I was pretty sure if I got horizontal I would lose the day. I would end up watching Maxx and Ruby all day, wondering where their parents were, napping, foraging for snacks under the couch cushions and ignoring the laundry.

I grabbed the remote and dropped to the floor.

Charlie cuddled into me and whimpered.

From the floor view, I could see what he saw.  I needed to vacuum.  The furniture needed steam cleaned, I spied no less than 8 Cheetos (bonus.) Everything was much more daunting. Maybe biting was the best defense for trying to get your turn, when no one seemed to listen or see your point of view. Sure, violence against your brother…sin is never the best defense, but it is usually my first line of defense.

Offense.

An offense as defense is never a good play, still, it is usually how I roll. Truly, I am not much different than the towheaded toddler grieving “mypad” time in the crook of my arm.

Suddenly, it occurs to me this is why Jesus came to Earth. What better way to identify with us? To experience our point of view, to live as human so He could simply say, “I know baby… I know.”

Most assuredly He was both God and man. He overcame temptation like a boss, but He faced it. We can assume as a boy He skinned His knees. He hungered and He was thirsty. We are told He was tired, angry, exasperated, pained, and most importantly, Jesus wept.

We were sent a Savior and left a Helper. The Helper reminds us that the Savior understood the view down here.  This is dear to me. The truth of a God who would die for me so that when I behave badly when I stumble in my humanness, He is there to catch me, holding me close.

Charlie reached up and played with my hair and said, “Sowwee I bited mommy.” I reached behind me and pulled a Cheeto and an M&M out from the cushions and handed them to him.

“I forgive you, baby.  It’s not easy being human.  Grace to you my love.”

I switched on the tv and we watched Maxx and Ruby, ate couch granola, and wasted the day being human beings with a perfect view from way down here.

“Like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give His life to redeem many people.” Matthew 20:28

 

Jami AmerineJami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.

Seeds Planted

My friend Bev Sheasby of Liberated Living Ministries has been helping me limp across the finish line of a very hard season. She says wise and beautiful things that come at just the right moment. Words of affirmation, wisdom, and encouragement.  She’s been such a comfort to me.

We recently had the loving privilege of handing our long-term foster daughter back into her birthmother’s restored arms.

Simultaneously, our oldest son became a Marine.

That same week, our oldest daughter eloped.  This was a blessing, we are thrilled for the happy couple. But it has just been one thing after another.

And then another.

We welcomed an injured foster placement that same week.  I may be a glutton for punishment, but actually, she has been a delightful distraction.  It’s an honor to care for her.

Still, sending adult children off into the great beyond, I wonder… was it enough?  Did I teach them everything they needed to know?

And I am not of the mindset that the Jesus I love was wholly made theirs simply by my prose.  Scripture memory, “Jesus Loves Me,” and “Larry and the Giant Cucumber” are a start, He will have to take them to the finish.

But what about these “temporary” sons and daughters?  There’s a chance they’ll hardly remember me?  Let alone the whispered prayers or the lullabies of a Jesus who adored them, unto His death.  I panicked, not so much in a lapse of faith, but a lack of confidence – a state of weariness.  That sinking feeling, you know the one, where you feel you must be everything to everyone, every second of every day.

And something Bev said came into my mind, as I let some tears fall and whispered some small, but heartfelt prayers for healing.

“Within the seed is the potential for the entire plant.”

In my quest to provide for all, I realize what I often forget is how very small I am.  Barely a seed myself, yet I think I must do it all and be all and fix all.

Alas, if I planted an apple seed, I could water it – but would it be me that would turn it into a tree?  Would I be responsible for ensuring it produces a harvest?  Could I even accomplish this? Even if I wanted to?

Furthermore, if I planted an apple seed and then I moved to a different farm in another state and left it to the elements, would it not be watered by the sky? Fed by the sun?  And pruned by the wind?  Isn’t it completely likely, aside from placing the seed in the earth, the earth would take care of the rest?

Within the seed is the potential for the entire plant.  My comfort and rest come from this.  I will continue to plant the seed and trust the Maker of all to finish the rest.

“The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.” Deuteronomy 28:8 (NIV)

 

Jami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.

 

“Jesus, Show Me What You See….”

http://purposefulfaith.com/jesus-show-see/

Post By: Jami Amerine

The truth was, everything being divulged was an outright lie.

My stomach churned.

My gut cramped.

A burning sensation rose in my throat, beads of sweat pooled on my forehead as I willed bile back down.

Nausea swirled about me as if intentionally together, we spun miserably about a ballroom…naked.

Exposed.

I was hurt to my core.

Utterly undone, the feedback stung my ears.  The story being relayed to me, a story this person heard from my friend… my Christian friend was a lie.

I managed to behave as though the incident were laughable.  I changed the subject and then explained I had to be on my way.

The informant substituted concern, “I just knew you would want to hear it from me instead of someone else, don’t worry, I won’t repeat it.”

I tried not to guffaw audibly.  She’d already repeated it to four or five others, who I knew – knew, and now I knew they knew for sure because of their delicate treatment of me just hours before… I knew for sure.

I knew better than to trust… but, still was this really my fault?  Really?  Was I, the victim of a malicious lie, by someone I counted a friend, the one to blame?

Certainly, I felt like a fool.  Alone in my car, I wept… er, well… snot flinging hysterically wailed.  I was humiliated.  I checked the date.  Indeed, 2016… the circumstances had me briefly fooled to believe it was in fact 1986 and the last day of junior high.

Okay, I am a creative gal.  I plotted my nemesis’ demise.

I pulled through Starbucks and ordered something hot and decadent.  I knew stuff about this wretched “friend.”  An eye for and eye I thought.  And the tales I would tell would be the truth.

Why did she make up such a terrible story about me?

What made her feel the need to betray me?

I plotted and toiled.

I pulled my car into an empty place at the park, pulled my sweater from the back seat, grabbed my magic Java and decided to walk.  I had about 45 minutes until the afternoon rush.  I wanted to empty my head and pray.

The crisp March air borrowed only hints of warmer days to come.  I walked slowly and observed little buds forming on the trees.  Soon they’d expose entire blooms, for now there was only the hope that a late freeze wouldn’t destroy the mystic.

Tears nipped my eyes again.

Part of me wanted confrontation, the other part of me wanted to disappear.

I stopped and sat down on a bench and prayed.

“I am so hurt.  So, embarrassed.  So, angry. What should I do?”

There was no audible answer.  And I didn’t want to rehash the story to my husband or tell it to another friend.  I knew it was wrong, I didn’t need that affirmation.

I waited.

Somewhere on the breeze, I heard my answer.

Nothing.

I inhaled deeply and prayed a prayer that was not my own.

“Jesus, show me what you see.”

Suddenly, I was bowled over with compassion.  Immediately my lungs filled without ache.  Instantly I felt a rush of love and understanding.

I saw what He saw.

Tears bubbled up again, but I wasn’t angry.  I wasn’t even sad.  I was flooded with a wisdom that what I thought was a friendship was not.  I came to terms with that undoing in a supernatural way.  However, I didn’t believe this betrayer to be my enemy either?

I knew the truth.

My God knew the truth.  He loved her, and He wanted better things for her than juvenile lies that hurt me.  He was altogether for me… and yes, for her.  For her, He wanted her to live in the freedom of His abundance.  She was trying to make things happen, a busy-ness I was once a party to.  And as I sat and sipped my Mocha, He sat with me and offered me comfort and ask me to pray… and to let this one go.

I agreed, I would.

Sporadically, over the next couple months, the hurt would sneak up on me.  There was no way she didn’t know I knew.  It was awkward, but I was obedient to the agreement.  I let it go.  On occasion, it came up with a group of friends, I quickly changed the subject.  And it is not as if I am better than, I am just His.  I want what He wants and He wants restoration, peace, joy, and life abundant.

This scenario is not always the answer, but in this incident, I was in perfect sync with what Jesus wanted for this person and me.  Letting Jesus be Jesus was the most healing medicine for my hurt.  Later that summer she and her family moved and I have never seen or heard from her again. Yet I feel no lack of closure.  I need not retribution or malice.  I want God’s will and His will is always Jesus.

Since that day in the park, my chosen prayer is simply, “Jesus, show me what you see…”  And I close my eyes and wait.

For there is nothing hidden that not be disclosed and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.  Luke 8:17

Get all Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Jami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.

When Make Believe Isn’t an Option…

Post by: Jami Amerine

Our youngest vandal son came into our room early this morning for a cuddle.

He climbed in the bed and whispered, “Good mowning mommy.”

He smelled of warm sleep and I was happy to have a moment alone with him before the chaos of the day erupted with the rising sun.

I tickled his back and stroked his blonde hair.  And then, I noticed a terrible scratch on his neck.

“What happened Charlie?”  I inquired.

Charlie elaborated. “I spent da night in da jungle wif my fwend Ashwee.  A big wion scrwatched me.  Ashwee killed da wion five times!”

I tried not to giggle, “Oh my, I think that was a dream baby!”

Charlie’s brow furrowed, “Den how comes I gots dis scrwatch?”

Uh.

Well.

Good point.

It wasn’t long and the day imploded… as suspected.  It got bad fast.  A horrible argument ensued with a semi-adult-baby, a checking debacle, a missed opportunity, a leaking trash bag, a blown-out diaper, and a stalled-out vehicle… I checked my watch, it was only 9:45 am.

I wanted to crawl back in the bed and pretend with Charlie.

Frankly, being chased by a lion seemed like more fun than the day unfolding before me.

My fairy godmother, AKA, my mommy helper Bobbi took over the three littles and I escaped to my office.

I stared at my screen.

Nothing.

I drank four cups of coffee.

Nothing.  Well, heartburn and the jitters.

Again, it would be nice, some days to be an author of fiction.  Fantasy, where my mind might escape the non-fiction reality of sticky floors, parking tickets, and the pursuit of some form of normalcy.

What that would look like I do not know.  I wandered to the bathroom to blow my runny nose and blot my sodden eyes.  It was then I noticed the toilet lid partially shut.

I opened the closure.

The toilet was packed full of toys; a stuffed purple bunny, a roller skate, 10 blocks, 44 Legos, a Jedi, a dump truck and a baby doll.

I shut the lid and climbed back into bed.

I willed my eyes closed and pictured a lion chasing me through the jungle.  It was a relief.

Perhaps a creative mind is more burdensome, alas sometimes it is my greatest reprieve.

Make that, most times. 

My brain, fingertips, and caffeine charged imagination couldn’t resist and I climbed out from my sheets to face what was left of my day.

The unbelievable is my inspiration, the death and resurrection of a hero.  A hero who died for me, saving me from the bondage of my folly.  Setting my feet on the pure path of righteousness… glass slippers.  Despite all the ick, I delight in the yoke of He who saved me.  A yoke that is easy, whose burden is light.  A protective lion,  gentle as a lamb.  He lies with me in the high grass.

I stare at mystical clouds that make shapes, shapes I imagine are visions of peace, hope, joy, love, and I delight in this future with Him by my side.  I tug at a piece of cool grass, with my head nestled closely to his course fur I feel the rise and fall of His mighty breath and I hear the rumble of His word, a purr.

He stretches and yawns, proving His majestic ability to rest in the work already accomplished.  At His movement, as if on cue, butterflies erupt in the breeze and I am swamped… with peace.

I have no proof.

No scratch.

No resolve to the toilet calamity still soaking in the commode in the master suite.

Yet, I am okay.

It is well.

My mind is free from the burden of worry.  He knows every hair on my head.  This is the place where He calls me to rest.  This is the promise He made, “come you who are weary.

Indeed this is me.

You may inquire, “I think that’s a dream… a fantasy you created.”

And I have only one question for you, “Then how comes I got all this peace?”

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Get all the Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Jami AmerineJami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.

Feeling all the Feels…Riding the Wave

Post by: Jami Amerine

My week has been – ridiculous.

The list of life-altering changes include, a transitional end to our foster-love’s time in our home, the departure of our oldest son to Marine Bootcamp, our oldest daughter’s upcoming wedding, the release and launch of my book, potty training debacles, enormous new developments in my husband’s company, and the persistent comedic drama symptomatic of a household of nine.

On the evening after dropping our son at the Marine MEPS for his departure to San Diego, I couldn’t sleep.  My nose was slammed shut, my eyes were swollen, my heart was aching, and about 1:45 am I sat on the couch in our loft, fully clothed, and let loose.

Ugly cry is not even close to a valid definition of the performance.

I am surprised, no entirely amazed that I had that much left in me.  And I begged God for relief.  Out loud, alone in the dark I whimpered-wailed my need for His help.  Up until that moment, I had just rolled with the emotions.  I’d been laughing at sweet memories, crying at the unknown, smiling at the thoughts of what was to come, and angry it went by too fast.

I couldn’t take anymore.

I needed some sleep.

I needed Him to stop the ride and let me get off… even if it was only for 5 hours.  I pleaded, “Please Jesus, help me… please, I am so tired, I just need to…”

Just then, my phone rang with a caller I.D. from California.

It was 1:48 a.m.

Just as I’d been informed, I heard my son’s voice is a sea of other hollers;

This is Marine Recruit…  I have arrived safely… the next time you hear from me it will be by postage mail in 2 to three weeks. I love you.  Goodbye.”

The scripted call I’d been told about at just that moment in the midst of heartbreak came, I can still hear him.  He sounded tired, stressed, and… hungry.  Whatever, I know him. That was his “I want a grilled cheese sandwich” voice.

And, I let loose a brand new emotion… gratitude.  I remember I started my new brand of weeping about 1:49 a.m…

I remember nothing else until 7:00 a.m… when my alarm went off to wake the children.  Fully clothed, jewelry, streaks of tear stained make-up, and my shoes –  I was startled awake and painfully crooked.

Somewhat refreshed, with a perpetual lump in my throat I limped through packing lunches and fixing hair, the toddler sons said something delightful and I giggled.  A tween left a wet towel on the bathroom floor and I grumbled.  An email popped up from an old friend offering prayers and another tear escaped.

This rollercoaster of emotions is indicative of this life.  The relief when I need it comes from my Jesus.  The rest… the rest is a blessing.  The release of tears celebrating, missing, wishing, and hoping for change or good – are part of the creation He fashioned.  Not to punish or test me, but to give me release and a reminder of my design.

In the midst of that gift, when I was most in need, He answered.  He sent a phone call, sure – it was due, but it came right when it was most needed… in the midst of my pleas.  And then, He blessed me with unconsciousness and much-needed reprieve.

My emotions and nerves are on high alert.  I am a compulsory explosion of sunshine and rain.  I am hitting every single cylinder.  And I am confident He who created me, will walk through this with me.  He is for me.  He came to bind my broken heart.  He came to comfort, heal, and nurture.  To grieve or rejoice, I am nearer to Him.  He knows me and adores me.

In my weakness He is strong.

He is my rock and my fortress.

I will ride this wave, reveling in these reactions, delighting in this life, and I will not go down with the ship.


Psalm 89:9You rule the swelling of the sea; When its waves rise, You still them.

Jami AmerineJami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.

Mercy, Grace, and the Wall-Eyed Fit

Post by: Jami Amerine

Our foster-love has entered into the broad world of the wall-eyed fit.

We have epoxy-stained concrete floors in our house.  It only took a couple times for her to rethink throwing her entire body weight onto the floor and screaming her head off.
It hurts, so the effectiveness of showing her frustration was overruled by the knot on her noggin.

Now, when she is frustrated she gently sits, then lies blithely on the floor… and then proceeds to throw a fit.

We cannot help but giggle as the drama of her tantrum is overridden by her cautious technique of getting to the pinnacle of the spectacle.

Often we wonder, as long as it took her to get prostrate had she forgotten what she was mad about?

And this may seem silly but recently I was upset with God.  I felt He had pulled the rug out from under me.  I found myself flat on my back, hurt and angry that He hadn’t been there to stop the insanity train from leaving the station.

For the better part of two days, I ignored my habitual instinct to “pray without ceasing.”  I found myself audibly saying, “I am not ready to talk to you about this…”

I went so far as to get out some stationery and pen to write out my complaint. With Thesaurus in hand and my gift for the written word, I would tell God exactly how I felt about the current downward spiral.

Yet the longer I postponed the tantrum, the more I worked through the calamity, the more my vision cleared… and all of the sudden I had new clarity.

He didn’t do this to me.

There were natural consequences for our current trial.  He was not dishing out troubles, yes He allowed them and then walked with us through them, but He was not in the business of destroying us.

When did I first believe Him to be cruel I do not know?

But I am rejoicing in the new-found message of GRACE.

Freedom in Jesus wasn’t something He promised just to hear Himself talk.
If we are free… then we are free indeed.

How I love falling into His arms.

How I need Him to catch me and show me it is all okay.

He makes all things new.  And all things work together for good for those who love Him.  In the midst of a trial, I was refreshed and renewed that He was for me.

He is for my marriage.
He is for my children.
He is for my good will.

Who is this God who we encourage others to adore?  Is the walk of salvation a trick manifested just to get others to fall in line?  Or is this the real deal?

Pray, I say to you He is so real… so dear and wise.

In my folly, I have questioned Him. In the explicit moments, He has welcomed me, without judgment or harshness, and allowed me to lie at His feet and worship.

What God is this that shows such mercy and love?

My God… my love and life’s breath.  He will never leave me or forsake me.

He is for me and He is with me, affording mercy and grace… even unto the carefully executed wall-eyed fit.

Matthew 10:16 (NASB)”Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” 

 

 

Jami Amerine is a wife, and mother to anywhere from 6-8 children. Jami and her husband Justin are active foster parents and advocates for foster care and adoption. Jami’s Sacred Ground Sticky Floors is fun, inspirational, and filled with utter lunacy with a dash of hope. Jami holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences (yes Home Ec.) and can cook you just about anything, but don’t ask her to sew. She also holds a Masters Degree in Education, Counseling, and Human Development. Her blog includes topics on marriage, children, babies, toddlers, learning disabilities, tweens, teens, college kids, adoption, foster care, Jesus, homeschooling, unschooling, dieting, not dieting, dieting again, chronic illness, stupid people, food allergies, and all things real life. You can find her blog at Sacred Ground Sticky Floors, follow her onFacebook or Twitter.

Get all the Purposeful Faith blog posts by email – click here.

Tiny Hops of Hope

I watched with clenched fists and pounding heart.

Our young foster son, only 17-months at the time wobbled on chubby little legs.

The goose egg on his head was still protruding and very purple… and green and yellow.

The day before while trying his hand at toddling, he had toddled face first off a two-inch step on the porch and landed head long on a stone in the garden.

I had rushed to stop him, I wasn’t quick enough.  I wanted to protect him, I had the best of intentions and I had failed him.  Alas, he was oblivious to the danger and ready to try it again.

Fully confident in his abilities he stood and took three steps and fell.

Stood, took two steps and fell.

Stood and took eight steps, stopped looked at me and smiled and clapped.

Days later, the wound on his head was gone and he was fully upright and mobile.

A month later I looked out the kitchen window and saw him running across the backyard chasing a kitten, squealing with delight.

A process began from the time he rolled over for the first time that brought us to this moment where he can run.  I stood and watched the tow-headed angel boy, on confident feet sprint about the yard.

He stopped at a make-shift sidewalk chalk drawing of a hopscotch grid our youngest daughter had drawn earlier in the day.  He studied the grid and then… kind of sort of – hopped.

Continue Reading Here and LINK UP!!!!