To Be Sought and Found

It’s been a season of hard, of hearts that feel bruised and sadness that spills out of my eyes more often than I like.

Days pass and I hardly see Russ as we moved through schedules of work and school, homework and sports practices, the demands of our young crew and the needs of our older kids.

I don’t have to list more – you know it too well.

last checks on the car
last checks on the car

Our son, Isaiah, all of 21, packed everything he owns and moved to St. Louis yesterday.

We think we influence our children – and we do – but this boy made me a writer. At the age of 11, he built my first blog and pushed me to put down words for people to read.

I said goodbye to him, waving in the driveway, and when his car was out of view, I hugged Annarose and cried.

Hoping it might push back the too-big  sadness, I took a walk. Wearing sunglasses so no one could see my tearful eyes, I moved through neighborhoods where I saw few people.

When I got back to my parking spot, a familiar car was next to mine. Sitting on the curb reading an academic paper, was Russ.

I paused in surprise, but our dog did not. She pulled me forward, straining toward him with enthusiasm.

He stood, wrapped me in his arms, and I rested against him in a way I hadn’t in days.

He quietly said, “I came to find you.”

To be sought and found – my heart needed that more than I can say.

And more tears came.

We talked for an hour before he went back to work – so many conversations we hadn’t finished these past weeks, leaving frustration in their wake.

Just before he left, he looked in my eyes, saying, “You are loved.”

hand heart rock

We moms, we’re just plowing through our days trying to keep our heads above water, meeting one need after another.

I’ve been reading the Word, listening to worship music, going to church, and all the while, my heart has felt heavy and sad.

I’m reminded that Jesus will always search for me, that He will always find me, and he will always find you too.

Jesus never gives up and never lets go of me – or of you.

He loves us.

Maybe you are feeling the way I was yesterday.

I wish I could pour us some coffee, sit at my table with you, look in your eyes and speak these words,

“You Are Loved”

It’s true.

I’ll say it again, “You Are Loved.”

In the midst of whatever you are living – the good, the hard, the sad, the disappointing, the failure, the embarrassment, the happy, the despair, the love of Jesus never changes.

You are Loved.

I am praying for you, my friend, right now as I write these words.




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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Rebecca
    September 21, 2016

    Lisa- You have such a way with words. I had a rough morning with a coffee maker and it started the day off in a bad manner 🙂 I went outside to head to work and my 11 year old daughter was looking up at the sky with her phone. I asked “what are you doing?” She said “Mom, I can see the moon move through the clouds. I’ve never seen the moon move during the day.” And I stopped to look at it with her, and she’s right, I don’t think I’ve ever seen it either. In that moment, it was reaffirmed to me that the sky is so much bigger than us, and it was just a coffee pot. Sometimes, it takes a little girl to put the perspective back in to focus. Your post made me think about that moment. Thank you for sharing your words with us.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 21, 2016

      Your comment made me smile, Rebecca. Thank you.

  2. Luann
    September 21, 2016

    Thank you. You don’t know how much I needed that.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 21, 2016

      You’re welcome, Luann. Blessings to you.

  3. Jaimee
    September 21, 2016

    Lisa your words hit home today. For those of us who have had to say goodbye to a child at birth, we feel the sadness of this huge loss. Then life goes on and we tuck the pain so far down, so that we won’t cry every minute of everyday. We are told over and over that we will see that child again someday and we live this fantasy until reality comes and breaks our heart all over again. It feels like the day that your precious child was takin from you and all one can do is scream silently give me back my baby I don’t want her to leave me. Feeling a second rejection is so overwhelming I feel my heart will literally break. I feel so lost and put all my hope in the Lord that he will guide me through this disappointment. Everyday I feel my wall getting taller and my heart becoming hardened, as a child of abuse I think it is a coping mechanism. Please pray for me and that the Lord can help me through this loss. I have decided I will never want a reunion my heart can’t take anymore. You know how I feel am I right? My other children are angry with the hurt and tears that are shed for a sibling they feel doesn’t care. Please pray that God gives me peace. ThanKs Lisa

    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 22, 2016

      Jaimee, the past several months I’ve been praying the Serenity prayer more and more. I want to control my life and I want to control other people – but I can’t. I make myself sick trying to make it happen, but there is nothing I can do, only Jesus. I pray peace for you in your sorrow and for the Holy Spirit to work in ways only he can.

      “GOD, grant me the serenity
      to accept the things
      I cannot change,

      Courage to change the
      things I can, and the
      wisdom to know the difference.

      Living one day at a time;
      Enjoying one moment at a time;
      Accepting hardship as the
      pathway to peace.

      Taking, as He did, this
      sinful world as it is,
      not as I would have it.

      Trusting that He will make
      all things right if I
      surrender to His Will;

      That I may be reasonably happy
      in this life, and supremely
      happy with Him forever in
      the next.


      Reinhold Niebuhr

  4. Karla
    September 21, 2016

    thanks… Just thankful that you can share your hard realities out loud and still know the truth of His goodness. A timely reminder for me also.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 22, 2016

      I debated about this one, Karla; it felt very vulnerable. But isn’t this how so many of us feel? One commenter said, we feel overwhelmed and overlooked – that sums it up well. Honestly, what would we do without Jesus? I just can’t imagine. So good to hear from you.

  5. Laurel
    September 25, 2016

    Tears sprung to my eyes as I read.

    We, too, have been walking through HARD for so very long, I can’t remember what carefree was (though “carefree” can hardly describe the life of a homeschooling mama of 12). But, life was oh so much easier before . . . before crisis after crisis after crisis . . .

    It has been a very long time since I have felt “sought” after by anyone (besides teens needing a ride, or money, or . . .). But, “sought” because someone truly wanted to find me and to be with me. No. That has not happened in a very, very long time.

    I needed your timely reminder that the Lord continues to seek me; and that the Lord does love me, even through the times that I feel so very alone and unloved.

    Oh how I wish we could sit across from each other and share a cup of coffee . . . and our lives . . . and our pain . . . and the pops of joy that the Lord continues to bring into our lives, in the midst of the deep pain.

  6. Gena
    September 25, 2016

    As always, Lisa, God uses you to remind my heart of what it needs to hear. Praying in particular for one child of mine to hear this message through my heart towards him – despite his behavior that does its best to make himself unlovable and rejected. I want him to know always that he is loved.
    Blessings – Gena

  7. Tracy Autry
    September 29, 2016

    Tears as I sit here at the therapist office waiting for a sensory eval for one lively daughter..
    Once again your words could have been mine.
    Praying for you and though our sadness may be for different reasons I suspect there’s much the same.
    Hugs and love all the way from Utah ❤️

    1. Lisa Qualls
      September 29, 2016

      Much love to you, Tracy.


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