I am so thankful to have had another day off from school today! It seems like the extra days off that feel more like a "gift" are so much more productive than the regular weekends.
One thing I did today was make a trip to the Lifeway Christian Store here in town. I picked up the Bible Study my small group will be studying next, "Discerning the Voice of God" by Priscilla Shirer. She is a beautiful speaker and gifted writer, and a link to her blog is on the list of my favorites.
In honor of a cold and rainy day off, one that begs for a cozy afternoon wrapped up in a down comforter, I also picked up a fiction book to enjoy. But not just any fiction book. A Karen Kingsbury novel. Now let me just say, I love Karen Kingsbury. There were many mornings, afternoons, and evenings in college that I could not put one of her books down. Much like today. Today I bought "Between Sundays," a book that has been out for awhile but I have yet to read. (Notice the bargain budget price! Hence the reason I bought it!!!) I am half-way through and very much loving and being encouraged by the story. It is about a young foster child and his foster mom, who took him in after his birth mom, her best friend, passed away. He has a father he is trying to connect with who is an NFL football player and is unaware he even has a son. In the meantime, the football player, who is living a self-centered and wayward life is learning what he has been truly missing in life from his teammate, who is a Christian. He is learning valuable lessons about how he lives "between Sundays," and how that is what makes all the difference. He is also greatly affected by observing the gentle and graceful strength of the woman who is raising this foster son as though he is her own.
I know that Christian fiction novels can often have a predictable plot, but it's not what happens that keeps me intrigued. It is how beautifully Karen develops the characters and portrays their growth as a result of their conversations and moments of wrestling with God. Her books always display God's faithfulness, interwoven into stories that are very much filled with painful realities that people encounter regularly.
Even from the part of this book I have read so far, I am convicted to pray for and research the lives of foster children whose stories I could potentially impact. It is so sad to realize there are hundreds of children who do not have "forever families," and who are left to fend for themselves and make some sort of life starting with nothing when they turn 18. This book really brings to life the sad reality that so many foster children who are older face as they are desperately waiting and hoping to be adopted. I know this is something I will be researching in the near future to see how I can play a role in providing an element of hope to these children. In the meantime, please join me in praying for these children, that they might be welcomed into a family that will love them and provide a home for them forever. If there is any way you can help wherever you are, please pray about doing so.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows..."James 1:27