Of these things…

My children, who currently range in age from 1-21 think I am the keeper of joy.  This could be my fault. When I disappoint them, which is quite often, I do say “I steal joy and keep it in my pocket, so I don’t get lonely.”

They believe me.



I also tell them I will kick their lung out, and while I have never kicked a child’s lung out – they snap to in speedy fashion every time I say it.  I recently overheard the vandals, our two and four-year-old son’s talking in their room.  Sam said, “We gots to clween up dis mess of juice or mommy will kick owr lungs and steal all da joy.” 


Charlie gave a little whimper and said, “Oh no… not da joy.”

Apparently even the two-year-old knows, he has two lungs, he can get by with just one. But the joy, you need the joy.  Healthy fear is good fear.  Although, they aren’t nearly scared enough otherwise they would stop vandalizing the toilets and setting fires.

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Besides lung kicking and joy stealing, the children also have every confidence I am extremely wealthy, I am a medical doctor, and I require no sleep.  Recently one of the man-babies texted me, “can I have $20?” I responded, “We don’t have any extra cash this week.” And he retorted, “Ok, so will you put it in my account now? I am at the gas station.”


OH! I am sorry, ABRA. FREAKIN. CADABRA.  I take full credit for their mathematical shortcomings. They were homeschooled, I was their math teacher.

A boy is at the gas station. He asks his mom for $20. He has $0; his mom has $0. What time will the boy arrive in Toronto?

X= nervous breakdown squared




The children continually ask me medical questions. Sometimes I get pictures. “What is this growth?” Or “I tried to burn this thing off, does it look infected?” And my favorite, “I have a terrible headache what should I do?”



“After you are finished shaving your man-beard and take your Calculus test, try a couple ASPRIN!!!!!! Oh, and tell the wife and kids I said hey!”

Did I mention that 90% of my communications with the children takes place between 2 am and 5 am? Either someone is screaming their head off because they wet the bed or their foot is asleep, or one of the college kids is texting with random questions. Those texts always begin, “Are you awake?”

“Of course I am silly! It is 2:37 am! Who sleeps at this hour?? Let me guess; you need help with your English paper?”

“No, my foot is asleep, what should I do?”

And in some ways it is dear. They count on me. It was and is my job, to help them. And from 1 to 21 they still believe I can do anything. Granted, I am sleepy, but I am glad they think I’m so utterly remarkable.



From manifesting unavailable funds to sitting up all night, just in case, they need help studying for chemistry or waking a sleeping limb.  I am their mom.

As a foster mom, sometimes my presence may only be temporary, still – I impart assurance, I am here.

Yesterday was hard. We had four people from our community in the grip of horrific tragedies. By mid afternoon I was emotionally depleted, discouraged, and afraid to answer text messages.  In the midst of alerts involving unimaginable heartache, someone said: “Well, it is 9/11 – it is just a hopeless day.”



So it seemed. 

It would have been nice if I was the genuine keeper of joy.  Joy in reserve, joy I would have gladly distributed to any of those who were intentionally breathing, lest they die.  Alas, I am not.


Just like I have never kicked anyone’s lung out, there is no joy in my pocket.

By 6:45 last night I was in bed. By 7:15 I was asleep.

I was out of tears.

I was wholly out of joy.

However….I am never without hope. 

Sometimes it may feel like it, but deep in my bones I know; my hope comes from the Lord. Of all those whom I love that survived a  nasty Sunday, they kept breathing because they held hope – hope in Jesus who offered life abundantly. In our society we associate abundance with monetary measurement. But life abundant is life loving Him, trusting in His relief.

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Life abundant means there are no hopeless days.

All may appear lost, but if the worst case scenario is death,  we know death is, in fact, the best case scenario.  And the other stuff?

From the second story window, before sunrise, I sat looking out over our ranch.  I could only make out shapes and shadows. And it would be this way for a while because of heavy cloud cover.

But, every once in a while the sky would explode with flashes of light. I could see the mesquite trees and the open fields, the creek, and scattered wildflowers.

As the lightening storm danced across the early morning sky, I reveled in the sight of the tranquil vision of our acreage. I caught myself straining to see, suddenly without cautioning my eyes would delight in the electric revelation of the unseen. Then darkness.  I didn’t know when it was coming, but for the light design of rain on our tin roof and the rumble of the tempest – I knew light would return.

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I was counting on it.

We can count on the Father. There is no loss of hope, not a solitary hopeless day. He has boundless means. He is Physician, Healer, and Lord.  He never sleeps.  He can see perfectly in the dark and brings light to our sleepy senses. Eternity will last infinitely longer than the wickedest day.


If all I can muster is faith, there is hope.

If all I can hope for is faith, He loves.

As long as He loves, there is joy… joy He keeps in His pocket so that we are never lonely and never without hope.

You can bet your lung on it…..

May your floors by sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami

And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

You might also like… Can I Just Stay Here a Little While?

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  1. Eddith on September 12, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Amen! His merciless are new every morning. Blessings to you; may your Monday be better!

  2. Rene on September 12, 2016 at 7:32 am

    “Tears”, this was so moving I cried, it was a difficult day yesterday. But GOD’S joy came this morning in a a blog post from delightfully wonderful you. And may I just point out, your children are BEEautiful. I needed this today “tears”. May GOD abundantly BLESS you Super Mom aka lung kicker, aka joy distributor & aka awesome friend Jami!

    • jami_amerine on September 12, 2016 at 7:33 am

      Thank you love… Blessings on your day.

  3. Sandy on September 12, 2016 at 7:51 am

    It’s as if you know what I need to read at the most perfect time. I too am awakened often by my 19-year old college daughter at incredibly ridiculous hours… “are you awake?” or, after sending two messages, “oops sorry, just saw the time.” But I make sure to BE there for her, at any time she needs me. Just like God is there for us, at any time we need Him. Thanks for this!

  4. Glenna McKelvie on September 12, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Sometimes we find God in a sun rise– sometimes He finds us when we need Him most!

  5. Pat Bell on September 12, 2016 at 9:46 am

    I always enjoy reading your posts. I think this may very well be the best I’ve read! (By the way, I’m glad to find out I’m not the only parent to threaten their kids with impossible punishments. I used to tell mine I would beat them to a bloody pulp! Discovered how effective that was the day one of them asked me, “Mommy, what’s a bloody pulp?” 🙂

    • jami_amerine on September 12, 2016 at 9:54 am

      Thank you!

  6. Kathy on September 12, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Oh how you made my day! My “sticky floors” are a thing of the past, but I think we can all relate to your posts. My friend was at a wedding years ago and it was perfectly silent in the church until a woman yelled at her son, “if you don’t knock it off I’m going to rip your arm off and beat you with it”! Not a single head turned. The boy was perfect the rest of the ceremony. Sometimes you can steal my joy, but you can never steal hope!

    • jami_amerine on September 12, 2016 at 10:03 am

      I am using that one!!!!

  7. Betsy on September 12, 2016 at 10:25 am

    I can’t even. I just. So pleased I took time to read this. And I read for a living so I’m picky. Hugs so many from a perfect stranger who loves you.

    • jami_amerine on September 12, 2016 at 10:26 am

      Hello perfect stranger and new found friend ❤️

  8. Ruth on September 12, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Thank you. You make me feel like things will be alright. That I’m not such a crazy bad Mom. That I’m not the worst wife ever. That there is hope. Some days you are a life-line. Thank you.

    • jami_amerine on September 12, 2016 at 12:25 pm


  9. Angie on September 12, 2016 at 12:23 pm

    This!! My “littles” are now “bigs” (with 3 being married & 1 giving me a granddaughter!), but I’m guilty of uttering the words, “I brought you into this world, I will take you out!” and “If I hear screaming like that again, there had BETTER be a bloody stump where an appendage was….or there will be when I’m through with y’all!” Snapchat, Messenger, texts, and phone calls with rants, vents, questions, and just plain chatting are tools that I’ve grown to love using to keep in touch…..and to answer those “Do you have (insert random medical/financial/confusing request here)?” questions!
    I hope your day is filled with sonshine!

    • jami_amerine on September 12, 2016 at 12:25 pm

      Thank you friend!

  10. Dawn Maria on September 15, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Phenomenally awesome. As always, you have got the nail on the head. I so enjoy reading your blog. It has brought great JOY and encouragement to me. Thank you so very much.

    • jami_amerine on September 15, 2016 at 11:07 am

      Thank you friend!

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  12. Ka Riley on September 29, 2016 at 11:22 am

    I tell my staff, at a Christ-centered University, to attend staff meetings in these words: Be there or be dead. Someone told me that *isn’t Christian,* but my staff knows i love them and that we aim to radiate His love from our office. It works. Yes, i do love Jesus, but i also cuss a little 😉 Love, love, love your blog.

    • jami_amerine on September 29, 2016 at 11:58 am

      Thank you so much! “Isn’t Christian”. My butt!

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