Finding Respite From the Storm

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
andykazie/iStock/Thinkstock

Sandra Stanley and her family volunteered to provide respite care for foster families in need. Turns out it was just the first step in what became a family ministry.

Sandra Stanley stood in her closet, embracing the moment of quiet and orderliness. She said a quick prayer – expressing gratitude and asking for grace – before returning to the chaos.

Sandra’s life was filled with blessings, but she also knew that God’s good gifts didn’t always mean life would be convenient or orderly — especially after she and her family chose to begin providing respite care for foster families.

From the time Sandra’s three children could write, they sent monthly letters to the children the family sponsored overseas. Through this and other service activities, the entire Stanley family developed a heart for helping kids in hard places. And by the time her children were teenagers, respite care — and, eventually, foster care — had become their family’s ministry.

Sandra’s Plan

The Stanley family volunteered to care for a sibling group of three young girls. Because Andy Stanley, the founder and pastor of North Point Ministries, had a very busy work schedule, Sandra knew much of the hands-on care would fall to her.

“I was OK with that,” she says.

The three girls arrived with lots of bags … and a little bit of nervousness.

“It was the first time they actually stayed overnight with us,” Sandra explained. She had the week all planned, so she wasn’t really worried. The girls, along with the Stanleys’ children, would be in school during that first day, and Sandra had created a list of evening activities.

Sandra thought she had it all worked out.

God’s Plan

That’s when the snow started. Sandra watched the falling flakes with a sinking heart. By the next morning, she was panicking. A freak Georgia snowstorm had ruined all her plans. Because of icy roads, the school buses couldn’t run, and all six children were stuck at home — for the entire week.

Sandra’s first step was to lean into God’s grace. Although she admits that she might have retreated to her closet a time or two to escape the high energy, constant movement and continual chatter, that week of snow days turned out to be both valuable and fun.

“We did a lot of cooking, baking and eating,” she recalls. “We spent time playing in the snow, played board games and watched movies.”

By the time the snow had melted, the Stanleys and the three sisters had created memories that will last a lifetime.

Building Relationships

At first, that snow week felt like a disaster. Looking back, though, Sandra says the time her family spent with those three precious girls helped develop a deeper relationship between them and her family.

They not only had quality time together, but they also had quantity time. In addition to playing and working in the kitchen together, they took time to pray for the girls’ biological mother and father, uniting their hearts in a unique way. It was a rich time of relationship-building.

This was more important than Sandra knew.

Not too long afterward, these same siblings needed temporary foster parents. Sandra, Andy and their children were not only open to the idea; they wholeheartedly welcomed these girls into their home.

Turns out that a Georgian snowstorm had woven this group’s lives together, and what seemed like God’s “inconvenient” weather plans actually brought unexpected blessings to Sandra and her family.

Marie Isom is a freelance writer.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Emerson-Eggerich4-840w

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part online video experience. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional tools and resources to help spouses reconnect.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Read More About:

You May Also Like

foster family carving pumpkin texas
Adoption

Foster Care in Your State: Texas

Wondering how you can make a difference for Texas children in foster care? Learn about the child welfare system, the need for foster families, and how you can get started.

foster care social worker
Foster Care

The Role of a Foster Care Social Worker

A foster care social worker provides holistic preparation to foster families. Learn more about their responsibilities and what you can expect when working with them.

Employee at child placing agency
Adoption

The Role of a Child Placing Agency

Child placing agencies play a prominent role in the lives of children in foster care. Understanding the day-to-day operations of a child placing agency helps us realize the importance of their work.

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 5: It’s Going to be Amazing!

After a couple has chosen life, hear the heartwarming stories of children that culture would have cast aside, yet are making tremendous impacts in their communities. Whether the diagnosis was adverse or the circumstances were difficult, these stories will inspire you to come along side of families who have chosen life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

see life episode 4 normal version

Please check back soon for an updated version of this episode!

Newest Release - Episode 4: Sometimes the Choice is Hard

Hear real life stories of parents who have made the decision to choose life even though the circumstances were overwhelming. You’ll see why “ALL” life is precious to God and why choosing life is always the right decision!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 6: Families Helping Families!

So, after all you’ve seen through the SeeLife ‘21 Episodic journey; what can you do now? We’ll share how you can partner with some amazing organizations that are making significant impacts in the pro-life movement! You want to Celebrate Life!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 3: The Power of a Picture

Have you ever wondered what a baby looked like in the womb? With today’s technology, Moms and Dads can see the baby’s heartbeat, facial expressions, and movements! You’ll find out why more women choose life once they hear their baby’s heartbeat and realize it’s a real living human!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 2: Heroes Providing Hope

Discover the amazing work our PRC’s Directors, Nurses, and Volunteers are making in their communities! You’ll see firsthand testimonies of a PRC in action, and that there are other options outside of abortions! You’ll also discover how your family can support your local PRC!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!

Play Video

Newest Release - Episode 1: The Truth About Life!

In this episode, we will tackle tough questions like, “When does life begin?” and “What does the Bible
say about Life?” You’ll discover and understand the stages of pre-born life and that babies are more than
just a clump of cells!

Yes, I Promise to Pray for the Pre-born and Their Moms!

Will you pray for the pre-born and moms that are facing unexpected pregnancies? We will send you a 7-day prayer guide that will help guide you along this journey with us!! You can even choose to receive this great resource by text!