Four and a half years ago, when I opened my doors and my heart to foster parenting, I had little idea of the rollercoaster ride that awaited me. The joy of nurturing these young souls was matched only by the challenges that came with it. Amidst the chaos, I found myself yearning for a way to stay centered, to be the pillar of strength these children needed. That’s when I discovered mindfulness.
At first, mindfulness seemed like a mere buzzword, a passing trend that promised too much. But as I delved into its practice, I realized its profound impact on my life. It wasn’t just about meditation; it was about a complete shift in how I approached each moment.
One of the most significant changes I experienced was in how I handled stress. The simple act of taking a deep breath, grounding myself in the present, allowed me to respond rather than react. This newfound calmness became a lifeline during the times when a child’s adverse experiences (and potentially trauma) manifested as a storm of emotions. Instead of getting caught up in the turbulence, I became a safe harbor, offering comfort and understanding.
Mindfulness also deepened my connection with my kids. The practice of active listening became a gateway to their worlds, helping me comprehend their fears, hopes, and dreams. As I sat with them in their struggles, I felt a profound sense of empathy blossoming within me. It wasn’t just about being a caregiver or even a mom; it was about being a compassionate presence.
Beyond the immediate challenges, mindfulness seeped into the very fabric of my daily life. I began to appreciate the simple pleasures—a shared meal, the sound of laughter, the warmth of a hug—on a level I’d never experienced before. It was as though the world had slowed down, revealing the beauty hidden in plain sight. To be honest, it just felt more like the way God intended my life to be and feel.
And then there were the unexpected benefits. As I practiced mindfulness, I noticed my resilience growing. The storms that used to rattle me became mere ripples in the vast ocean of my awareness. This newfound strength extended beyond my role as a foster mama, permeating every facet of my life.
Today, as I reflect on my journey, I am filled with gratitude for the God’s gift of mindfulness. It has transformed me into a better mama, a better listener, and above all, a better human being. To anyone considering mindfulness, I offer these words: Embrace it with an open heart, and let it weave its magic. You’ll be amazed at the ripple effect it can create in your life and the lives you touch.
If you’re interested in learning more about mindfulness and how it can help you embrace the unknowns of foster care, I invite you to join the waitlist for my new audio series, Embrace the Unknown: Mindfulness Practices for Foster Care. It’s launching later this month and the waitlist will be the first to know AND have exclusive access to 50% off once the course opens! You can join the waitlist here!
P.S. If you’re wondering how mindfulness and God’s word align, please have a listen to my interview on the Real Mom Podcast, hosted by Jamie Finn. In it, we chat all about how mindfulness was actually God’s idea and even though it’s now considered a secular practice, He truly has so much to say about it in His Word!