Toilet Tank Thinking

Photo Jan 23, 21 23 09Let’s talk about the potty, shall we? There are three things the toilet tank should never be.

First, a photo gallery. Aunt Lois should never be staring at you as you exercise bladder management. Second. A beach. (sorry mom). Third, a theological library.

You know the books I’m talking about. They’re usually about 2×3 inches with padded covers. They’re usually targeted toward grandmothers and purchased in hospital gift shops. They have cutesy titles like “Pearls from Proverbs”- ok that’s an actual one passed down in our family.

Their intention is good. Their words are true. But oftentimes, they’re really not all that helpful. Why am I talking about this? This analogy came up talking to a friend today about the responses people give when you share real thoughts.

We’re all guilty of it. You ask someone how they’re doing or how they’re feeling. You don’t expect them to say anything but “everything’s good” or “fine.” If we’re being real, many times our brains have already moved to the next thing.

Once in a while, someone says something honest and you’re caught off guard. You complete a quick analysis of their honest moment and recoil with something like, “all things work together.” Or, “when God closes a door, He opens a window.”


True, yes. Encouraging, maybe. Helpful, not always. Sometimes the better answer is silence. Before Job’s friends went sideways with just about the worst advice in history, they sat silently with their friend. It was an incredibly smart move.

I know some foster and adoptive parents who’ve recently experienced difficult situations. I’m close with friends who are in a chapter of life with a lot of questions.

When people ask how we’re doing, or how our kids are, I often give a pat answer. Sometimes, it’s because I can’t disclose the answer to their question for various reasons. Other times, I know they don’t honestly care.

But when I blurt out a moment of reality, I almost instantly regret it. Usually, the response is something I’d find in a toilet tank book. A short, sound bite statement to tie up the situation with a bow and end the conversation.

Whether it’s our friends in a season of doubt, fellow fosters dealing with difficult circumstances or others that want to celebrate life’s high moments, there’s one thing in common: a desire for honestly and authenticity.

At times, the best support means leaving the pithy statements to rest in the little pastel books. Let your friends know you’re ready to walk with them through their questions, their doubts and their hard days. Celebrate the mountaintop moments and joys and milestones.

Let them share freely, without redirection, without a pearly closing statement. Embrace the authenticity of their struggle. Listen. Don’t feel compelled to dump advice. You’ll find a friendship closer that some of your family members.

Oh, the best thing to adorn the top of that toilet tank? Little rolls of paper.

Posted in Adoption, foster care, Just Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

3 Reasons I Foster (And Adopted)

Just finished this week’s This Is Us family therapy session. (The best show on TV in years.) There’s a joke in my house that I don’t like to feel the feels. Well, tonight’s episode brought all the feels. Continue reading

Posted in Adoption, foster care, Preparation | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Sweet Home Alabama

We didn’t know that our trip to Alabama last year was going to be the start of our new foster care journey. In fact, we didn’t know the trip would be one of the most important in our lives.  Continue reading

Posted in Family, foster care, Preparation | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

O Night Divine

The star atop our Christmas Tree has been crooked for a few weeks now. We don’t plan to fix it. There’s something poetic about it. Our lives are a little bananas. A little bit chaos. A whole lot of perfect. Continue reading

Posted in Family, Spiritual Thoughts, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

So Many Blessings…

Tonight we had the opportunity to go through some of the donated presents for little man. The ones that are in the pic came from our agency.

You see the Angel Trees in the mall, or the toy drives at church. Here is the other side. 

We have a good house and make a decent living, but Christmas is a time when we have to be smart about our budget and make intentional gift decisions. 

We certainly aren’t “in need” nor are we extravagant. 

But getting a placement a week before Christmas is tough. Yes on the budget but more on time and ability to actually go and finish shopping. 

We’re so thankful and blessed tha people give so generously this time of year. Thanks to such loving hearts, little man will have a wonder-filled Christmas.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment