Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Wild Life

A year ago, I found myself accidentally reading books about foster care for no apparent reason. I wasn't particularly drawn to it in practice. I toyed around with it. I saw and still see the great need for folks committed to doing it well. In the back of our minds, we wondered if we would end up "fostering" in a different way. (This wasn't the way we had imagined, but it's close.)

We used to keep Avery sometimes during the evenings while her mom worked. We ate dinner together, played, pushed her around in the stroller, gave her a bath. Once, Cory took pictures of her so we could surprise her mom.

In a million years, I wouldn't have guessed that seven months later, we'd squeeze a crib into the house and move her in.

Our circle throbs with the reverb of busted up families. It has become part of our reality and it can be so tough to navigate when it's all so foreign to us.

Because we love Avery, we know the best thing for her will be to eventually go back home with her Mommy.

It might break our hearts a little, but this isn't about us.
It never was.


Two years ago I visited the jail for the very first time. I loved it right away. 

I'd spent my life up to that moment assuming people in jail were "bad", in varying degrees. I'd spent my life keeping distance between myself and their cache of "bad influences".

Then I became friends with a few and became addicted to proving myself wrong.

The middle class safe girl that I was (and still am, in so many ways) felt gutsy and, in some ways, new.

Less than one year after that first visit, Cory went to work at the same jail as the full-time chaplain. He comes home every day with eyes that have seen the sun.

It makes sense why Jesus told us all to visit jails and welcome the hurting. It's because He loves us, and He wants us to see just how small this world is, how alive He is within it, how fun and surprising and ordinary the people around us are, and that we were meant for each other.

Sometimes I get scared that all of the biggest, best changes have already happened. They're dried up. I worry we've met our capacity and the rest of our life will become a stretch of this strange status quo.

After so many years of dreading change, I've come to see its loveliness and adventure.

The best things in our life are the most unexpected and often, the hardest.
They wreck up our plans and leave us breathless and tired.

When we let go of ourselves and our ideas, our hands don't stay empty for long.
So I'm committed to keep practicing the art of holding things loosely, because I don't want to miss whatever's coming next.

Let's live wild together, want to?

PS - Cory is selling all of his "fancy" photography equipment (used to take Avery's photo at the top of this post) in order to buy a smaller, more portable camera that will be more functional inside the jail. (He's not allowed to take his phone in.) He's hoping to sell it all together, so if you or someone you know is looking for a great deal, email me at shannandmartin@gmail.com

Canon 7D
-excellent condition
-comes with one battery, 32gig memory card and shoulder strap
-18 mp
-weather sealed
-7fps continuous shooting
-24,25,30 or 60 fps movie modes

40mm 2.8 pancake
- like new condition
- comes with lens cap and mount cap
- great walk around lens
- very small and light

50mm 1.4 
- like new condition
- comes with lens cap and mount cap
- great portrait lens
- very shallow depth of field (which means lots of pretty "blur" in the background)

60mm f2.8 macro
- like new condition
- comes with lens cap and mount cap
- 1:1 magnification ratio
- another great portrait lens
Total: $1200 + shipping