Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Sweet Saturday

Today was a fun day getting out of the house for the babies and I! My grandma invited us down to Texas City for a German Festival at her church. It was a definitely a cultural experience! (My grandmas dress is so cute, huh!?) 
Having fun with the family! Auntie sue and my mom!! 

Sweet love for auntie sue and grams! 
We had a good time and the kids did great! 

On the way home, since my mom and I drove together she let me run into the outlet mall to have a 15 minute shopping spree with my birthday money. This, as you know mommies, is a blessing! It's virtually impossible (or I have not figured out the art yet) to go shopping with 2 under 2, so this was great. 
The loft outlet is the bomb. I got a 35$ scarf for 7.99, and I got a 20$ shirt for 7.99. Plus this loft is not in the Woodlands, therefore there is a lot of cute stuff on the sale rack! Sales at outlet malls= good deal! 

Lastly, we got gas at Buccees... And we got treats! Mom got her fav. Rice crispy and I got my favorite Dr. pepper slurpee! 

Well, there is our day! Thankful to Jesus for a fun one... and sweet family to share it with! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

The Beauty of Fostering...

Getting to share Christ's love; the Worthy One! 

This process for me has been such a whirlwind! At moments, I questioned my calling... Until yesterday when I met baby M's biological mother. 

Jesus put it on my heart to ask my CPS worker if I could meet her after the visit with M at the CPS office yesterday. I knew it HAD to be Jesus because just an hour earlier I was tearing up dropping off what feels like my son to see his mother. 
In the hours of waiting for the meeting to be over, I chatted with my sister who was telling me encouraging stories about bio families and foster family relationships! She didn't know that God was speaking through her to tenderize my heart for actually meeting M's biological mother. 

As I waited for my CPS worker to respond to my text, my heart started pounding and then I started tearing up AGAIN. Then the text came back from him saying "yes, we're coming out!" 

So there I was waiting to meet the mother of what feels like my little baby boy. I didn't know what emotions were going to come... Then I saw her...

And my heart filled with this supernatural love that I cannot really express. It was Jesus! His love... Beating through me to her. She walked up and when our eyes met, we smiled. She reached for my hand and I reached in for a hug! Jesus' love is mighty- and it can breakthrough at any moment. I was not expecting this, but filled with joy that it was there. I told her God bless you, and we were praying for her. She seemed relieved. I was happy. I told her she had a beautiful son and I loved him very much. She told me thank you for taking care of him. 

It was a beautiful encounter. It was a heavenly encounter. Jesus is in the business of restoration... And I'm so thankful I can be apart of it, no matter what the outcome. I now have a love for little M, and a special love for his bio mom - all to the glory of God. I am so thankful for the grace of Jesus in all of this. 

Thank you for your prayers. I need them as I'm still learning the hard ropes of being a mommy. But so encouraged to see the light of Jesus shine through my weakness...

Amazed by His love, 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

For the JOY set before Him...

Jesus endured the cross. He endured death. Not only death, but humiliation
,shame, beatings, mockings, crucifixion... .so that WE may be saved... So that WE may have eternal life, so that WE may know the Father and have the Holy Spirit. 

It was Christ's JOY to lay down His life for me... For us. And how He endured the suffering was the JOY that was set before Him. He had his eyes FIXED! Not on his present circumstances, but on what was to come, our salvation, His glorification, the Father's will... The Fathers GLORY, honor and praise! 

These past few weeks God has revealed to me that I will not find true joy in motherhood without following the in the footsteps of my Savior... Dieing. To. Me. In order to Bless. These. Babies.  

Dieing hurts... Bad. But it is so good at the very same time because it gives birth to beautiful, heavenly things! 

Receiving 2 bundles of blessings is hard work, and I had no idea how taxing motherhood truly was going to be! 

As I sat outside with my Bible and Jesus a couple weeks ago during the kids naps, I asked the Lord why my joy was coming and going. Why lately my joy had left me and I was feeling empty in the very thing I've been praying for for so many years... Motherhood! 

As I was praying, my Bible flipped open (because of the wind) to Hebrews 12. 
Hebrews 12:1-3 yes! That very scripture God was bringing to my heart as I was praying. I needed to read this because Jesus died with joy. I need Jesus' joy in my act of dieing to all I dreamed motherhood to be easy, fun, and always full of joy. But what happens when it's not easy, not fun, when everyone's crying and I feel like I'm about to lose it? I endure by the grace of God with Christ's joy knowing every moment with these kids is an offering to Christ. Though my act of dieing to my perfect thought of motherhood is NOTHING compared to the death Jesus endures, my death can also be glorifying to God if I endure with Joy. 

I'm so thankful for these babies and my heart hurts to see the selfishness and anger in my heart that I have come to realize through motherhood. But the good thing is, I can joyfully die to my selfish desires and follow my Savior by His grace! For the Joy set before me, holding the hand of my Savior... 

My new kitchen reminder! It needs to stick! 

Yours truly, 
The Middle Mom.. Lindsey 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Smiles all around

M turned 1 month today and I got a smile! ❤️❤️❤️  Thankful for this gift! I needed it especially today. 

We also had fun at the Library today! As usual-  L is smiling! She kept trying to eat the crayons. Oh the fun!  ❤️❤️❤️

I'm reminded by the kids this scripture;
"A joyful heart is good medicine..."
Proverbs 17:22

Seeking a Happy heart in Him, 
Lindsey :) 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

A Day at Huntsville State Park!

Today our dear friends Ashlee and John invited us to go on a hike at Huntsville State Park; we had a blast! 

Ashlee and I were talking about how just last summer we took a picture like this and we didn't have precious bundles wrapped around us! Crazy what can happen in a year. 

L did really great in our "off-terrain" stroller! She even fell asleep, she's the ultimate trail rider! She's a great sleeper. I thank Jesus for that grace everyday. 

The trail was bumpy but our Eddie Bauer jogging stroller took it like a champ! Impressed. 

After our walk, we went out to the dock. It had a beautiful breeze coming off the water so we just hung out there for a little while. 

The view! 
Our little family ❤️
Cute photo. 
Our reflection on the water! 
We spied an alligator on our way out!

It was a beautiful, cool day and I'm so thankful that the Good Lord gave us a good day out with friends! 

The Houcks 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Grace of Thanksgiving

One key I've learned to thrive while being a mommy is being thankful for everything!!!! There are so many things to be thankful for, and if by God's grace, I can notice and lift up a praise of thanksgiving- I sense even more of God's grace to continue on through each task the day brings.  

Some of the things I have been thankful for; 

1. Family & Friends coming over to help me. The first week my dad came over every day to just be a help and support to our quickly changing life! He also got to bond with the babies which was sweet to see! 

He helped me take the kids to their first bio visits! Learning to cart around 2 kids , to 2 different CPS offices in the Houston area is hard and learning to meet all their needs is very challenging, but I'm slowly getting there! Daddyo has been so helpful in the meantime- L loves papa c! 
My mom has spent the night a few times which helps me get better sleep! And we worked on the yard together! 
When she spends the night and takes the night shift for me, I'm able to go running which is so nice (my favorite thing to do), but then I find I'm really tired after and not as rejuvenated as I'd hope (because I'm still super sleep deprived)! But I'm happy for the few minutes of rejuvenation I feel. 

God has been so gracious to provide so many people to come over and help me. I have needed it! 

M meeting Kalen's mom, Nana :) 
Pops and Nana (Kalen's parents) have come over quite a few times to bring dinner which has been such a blessing. We love hanging out with them, and enjoy their company! They love and take care of us so well! 
Pops, nana and L enjoying ice cream! 

My sister came in over the weekend as well with my nieces! That was super sweet for all of them to meet each other! My grandma, aunt came in as well to meet M and L! It was a sweet time. 

My sis Meeting M❤️
We took a family photo while everyone was here, because for now, however long the Lord sees fit- this is our family! And I'm so glad❤️ 

2. New relationships with the neighbors!
Having kids has opened up many doors to conversations and hang outs than I ever would have without kids! Here are some pictures with our neighbors. L is so sweet, loves to give big hugs and smiles to all who come across her path. Your prayers for her have been felt. She is blooming tremendously! 

3. Play dates with friends from church! 
Fun with mrs. Ashlee and Isaac! 
Fun with Mrs. Katie, Claire and Caylee! 
And we love church because all the kids love on Layla and keep her busy! 

4. Those moments when BOTH kids just happen to rest at the same time (even though I plan for it every day!) 
Quiet times look a little different each day, and most days don't happen, yet- when mornings like this happen, and they both sleep in until 8- I get this heavenly time with my Lord. I'm so glad to know He's available to me all day through prayer and His never- leaving presence; time in His word is so valuable and am thankful for the moments where I can just sit with him! 
I am told to nap while they nap in the afternoon and that's what I try to do then. So I am thankful for moments of rest and unhindered time with my Lord! 

5. Our daily routine; 9 a.m. morning walks!! 

Where we live there are BEAUTIFUL walking trails! After everyone is fed in the morning, I put M in my carrier and L in the stroller and we go for an hour long walk. These are pure bliss and a gift from God. Both kids are relaxed and we're all enjoying God's creation together! I also am streaming my worship music or Bible App to renew my spirit! Thankful for the sweet morning moments! 

 "The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”
      Psalm 50:23 

Praying that I may be more thankful for the little things... Seeing the benefits of a heart of thanksgiving in the midst of a radically changed life. God is good and showers His goodness constantly even in the midst of hardship and new/ unknown territories! 

Thankful for Jesus most importantly!

Lindsey :) 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Brag post

My babies!

Praising God for the opportunity to be their momma for however long He allows! 

Monday, August 31, 2015

Life as a Momma...

Is about The.grace.of.God.

I'm so thankful for His grace for it is indeed my strength, song and sustenance. 

Going from no kids to 2 under 2 is a challenge, but not one that God cannot handle. 

What's funny is I really used to be confident in my ability to work with kids, not until recently have I sensed whatever good is in me, or whatever ability I thought I possessed on my own,  it indeed was Christ and it never was me anyways. 

It's been a humbling season. Even before we got the kids, God was preparing my heart for relying on His strength, thus stripping me of my perceived strength. Once I got off Instagram(for me, instagram and social media become consuming and idols to my heart), my brain/soul was freed to deal with heart issues I didn't know were there; such as trusting God to maintain, keep and sustain me. I can't explain it, but now more than ever I know If I'm going to make it through this life, and take care of these precious souls well, it will be by His grace and strength alone. That is humbling. I want to find some sort of security in me. Why? I don't know. It's a good feeling to think I'm in control, but God is stripping me and showing me just how I am not. So, it's a good thing, but a hard thing. I'm stripped, raw and bear with 2 precious souls to take care of. Sounds perfect, huh? And yes, it is. Because Jesus put me in this season! So it is perfect!  (I'm still convincing myself of this!) God is faithful and will help my heart understand His ways that are way beyond mine! 

"I hear the Savior say, thy srength indeed is small, child of weakness watch and pray, find in Me thine all in all!" - old hymn 

"MY strength is made perfect in your weakness" - Jesus to Paul 

"We don't need to worry about being weak, we should worry about delusions of strength" - Paul Tripp

So, here's my first official "Momma post" I am weak, but He is strong!!!!! 

Prayer requests: 
A selfless momma
A fearless momma
A "I'm glad to simply rely on Jesus and not myself" momma 
Most importantly, that these babies hearts become secure in Christ and feel His love.

On a funny note: 
On Saturday morning I asked Kalen to put L in some clothes for the day and he came down with her in her swimsuit! This was hilarious, cute and definitely a comic relief! Such a daddy moment! Love this! Thankful for this life God has given us! 

In Christ, 
Lindsey :) 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Houck... family of FOUR!

The Lord blessed us last Wednesday with 2 separate calls/cases in a day, a newborn baby "M" and A 14 month girl "L"! We turned into a family of 4 overnight!

meet "L" 

My friend Katie caught a smile on Thursday! I think it was her first!

We received L (the 14 month old baby girl) into our home that very late Wednesday night. It was a tough evening for her because she knew something had happened, that she'd been separated from her family so quickly. When she came Wednesday night she was very somber, didn't smile at al, and I could tell was grieving immensely. Because baby boy "M" was in the NICU for a few days, we got a few days for L to warm up to us and adjust. This was a blessing in the sense that L really needed some bonding time with us. She attached to me quickly, but struggled with Kalen and Neila. Over 2 days, she grew more fond of the other members of the family! :) on Friday, we got a call from the caseworker telling us our baby boy was ready to come home! It was now a family outing! 

We hopped (well, now I've realized with kids there is no more "hopping in the car") into the car and headed to Memorial Herman downtown to pick up baby boy. My sweet church family bought this balloon, it's so fun to celebrate this boy as long as the Lord allows us to have him! 

It was a long day of waiting, so Kalen and I had our first date as parents with L at the hospital Cafe! (Yes, day 2 of being a mommy I wanted a Monster, now on day 7 all I want is sleep! 😊😂😳) 
Handsome little man ready to be loved on!! 
And here we are, our new family of 4! My heart❤️❤️❤️ 

After picking up M boy, we decided to drop by home fellowship on the way home to see our sweet church family with our new and doubled family! 
They prayed for us!!!! Such a blessing!!!  
So thankful for such a supportive, Jesus-relying family in Christ! 

When we got home, Kalen and I got some pictures with baby boy! I was so excited that I couldn't sleep... Little did I know the nights of no sleep that were ahead!!! Haha.

So, our family has grown!!! It will be a week tomorrow since we've had L. She is still progressing, adjusting and blooming... Pray for her heart to heal and feel Jesus' love. Little man is doing great- the normal; eating, sleeping, crying, and pooping- while all the while being so adorable.  This momma is busy, changing a lot of diapers, awake the majority of a 24 hr period, adjusting to my radically changed lifestyle and loving it! I'm happy-tired( my new word for this season of life!)  God has been so gracious to fill our home! Though it is harder than I could have ever known, it's worth every minute!!! 😂

Love, Houck family of 4! 


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

He Holds my Heart Forever: a Declaration!

It's been a hard month full of trust and faith tests from my good Lord Jesus. He is loving me, molding me, shaping me and that sometimes can be so painful. But this sweet... Beyond sweet gift just came in the mail and I about cried. 

This note is what JUST what I needed, and only this mystery person knows how God uses red birds(cardinals) to uplift my spirit and remind me of His love for me especially when I feel unlovable or unworthy of love. This is why the body of Christ is so beautiful. This is why it's ok to let your brothers and sisters in Christ know that you're not okay sometimes. Life is hard. We must walk together hand in hand! Perseverence is a community project! Thank you to my mystery person who blessed my socks off tonight. Thank you Jesus for your faithfulness to us and how You yourself walked through the only fire that could burn us. Now we walk through the fires of life with you and won't be burned, we will come out shining! Like gold! Thank you Jesus for the joy and peace that is found in you, and that You promise times of refreshing! Thank You for brothers and sisters in Christ to endure life with! Thank you for you, Lord! 

Declaring I am His and He is mine, and that I am not the one who holds my heart, but Jesus is! So thankful!
Resting in God's covenant faithful love (and so should you dear Bro/sis in Christ),  

Thursday, July 30, 2015

And we are....

Licensed to be Foster/adoptive parents! It's surreal + exciting + tad bit scary knowing that our lives are going to change drastically soon! 

We are confident that God who began the good work in us will complete it and teach us to be God-fearing parents; leading His littles ones back to Him!  Please, please continue to pray for us! 

Excited, expectant, & thankful for the Faithful love and grace our Heavenly Father, 
Lindsey & Kalen 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Our Missouri Trip

Our summer trip this year was up to see Kalese, Ryan and Jonah in Missouri! We were excited and thankful to finally get to see their hometown. Ryan is a Luetinent in the Army and is stationed in Missouri.

Our first day consisted of us visiting a beautiful park called Meramec Springs in St. James, Missouri. We took the Scenic Route and actually found ourselves at the top of a hill, overlooking the Spring and other hills! 

We also found a cross, which delighted my heart immensely! 

Resting in the shadow of the Cross :) 

After enjoying the scenic hill, we traveled down the hill and had a picnic lunch together in the park. It was very pleasant walking by the spring because the cold water (50 degrees) would give a nice cool breeze as you were walking by. I just couldn't stop thinking about how refreshing/renewing God made His creation. 

Here we are right in front of a crisp, flowing waterfall. I LOVE waterfalls. Like, really like. I don't get to see them very often, so I jumped on the opportunity to catch some sweet photographs in front. 

I was also reminded of the Scripture, 

"Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it." 
- Song of Solomon 8:7

As we were standing near the waterfall, hearing the roar of the water and watching the steady flow, I thought of God's unrelenting love. When water gets going down a waterfall, it's NOT stopping. It's going to its God-given ordained place.
That's like us, as Christians; once we believe upon the Lord Jesus, His love cannot be quenched in our lives! No matter what, nothing can separate us from Gods love! He will get us home! I just needed that truth and I'm so thankful God spoke that to my spirit while visiting the park. 

With my love :) 

  "Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it." 
- Song of Solomon 8:7

My husband loves the outdoors and anything that's an adventure!!! He got in the crisp cold water and invited me in! I got in with him for about 30 seconds; the water was FREEZING (to this little Texas girl!) 
Jonah came in with us for a little bit :) 
Kalen just hanging out in the spring. I'm telling you, He's a manly adventurous man - and I love him so much. 
Here we are enjoying the scenery together. 
Uncle Kalen and Jonah hanging out. 

When we got back to their home, Kalen and I decided to take a little evening jog. Let me tell you, they warned us that it was going to be a hard trail, but oh boy! Was it ever! We both have minimalist Vibram soles on our running shoes so we felt EVERY rock, and I mean every one! 
But my husband loves an adventure, so we were NOT turning back! :) This rocky trail veered off into the woods where there was a small trail made by a little 4-wheeler of some sort. Basically we went from rocks to tall itchy grass! I won't forget to mention the hills, too! Haha. 
See what I'm talking about? 

My sentiments after about 15 minutes! Lol. 

That evening, Kalese and Ryan took us to the legitimate historical Route 66 diner in their hometown. 
We enjoyed a yummy dessert! 
The guys :) 
The Girls :) 

On our last day, we went up to Springfield for some fun adventures. 

Our 1st stop: the first ever Bass Pro Shop! I told you my husband is crazy about the outdoors, and this Bass Pro Shop is named the "Grandaddy of all outdoor stores". We (or Kalen) could have stayed in here forever. There were legitimate animal & fish exhibits as well taxidermy animals. They also had a gun and archery museum. 
The family and Kalen! 
Kalen's favorite animals are bears, so we found a few bears to snap some pictures with! 

After the museum, we went to visit 1 of the thousands (small and big) caves in Missouri. Missouri is known as the "cave state". This particular cave was called the Smallin Civil War Cave because soldiers from the Civil War rested in this cave in the 1800's. It was beautiful. 
Ryan, Kalese, Jonah and us about to enter the cave! 
The entrance to the cave and our very informative tour guide! He was a legit historian and geologist, so we learned a lot on our journey through the Smallin Civil War Cave! 
Something really neat; the Cave was dedicated to "the glory of God for the use of those who love His handiwork..." With a quotation of Genesis 1 on the bottom! This made my heart happy! I loved supporting this Cave and I did enjoy looking at God's handiwork here! 
The view from the inside looking out... breathtaking! 
The end of the cave tour... I wanted to jump in and continue on, and of course - so did Kalen! :) 
Leaving the cave... God is glorious! 

We're thankful to the good Lord for giving us a sweet trip with family! Now onto licensing for us! We should be licensed to be foster/ adoptive parents in the next week or so, so our lives could be changing drastically and soon! Pray for us! We will keep you updated! Love in Christ!