To Do or Not To Do

Silly title, I know – I just couldn’t help myself. (If you’re a new friend I met while at the Mosaic Retreat, I promise, this is rare.) Bloggers are also supposed to use professional-looking photos or stock photos found on the internet. I don’t feel like doing that today either – so there you have it, a silly photo from Annarose’s phone.

Since we last spoke I’ve been to Portland, OR and Simi Valley, California in two quick back-to-back weekends. My house is a bit messy and so is my family; we’re in recovery mode.

I saved a long list of tasks for this week, putting everything on the “to do when I get home” list, so this week I’m home, except for lots of kid appointments, a band concert, basketball practices and games – you get the picture.

I kicked Monday morning off with a big list of tasks, neatly numbered in semi-order of importance, then Claire called from school not feeling well. I picked her up at 10:30, grabbed some yummy food and a movie, and proceeded to spend the next hours curled up on the sofa next to her. It was good for my soul, and my daughter, if not for my planner. I choose time with Claire over productivity any day.

The last weekend of October, I traveled to Portland to learn about how adoption and foster care impact personality, or maybe it was how personality impacts adoption and foster care. Truth be told, it was about the enneagram and adoption and foster care, but if you don’t know what the enneagram is, it might all sound like crazy woo-woo and I don’t want you to think I’ve gone off some deep end.

The conference was fascinating and Suzanne Stabile, one of the authors of The Road Back to You is a great teacher. She is also an adult adoptee, so her perspective is both personal and professional.

Last weekend I flew to Burbank, CA to speak at the Mosaic Retreat, a one day retreat for adoptive and foster moms. Annarose went with me (hence the picture) and together we did two breakouts on the perspective of siblings – she was amazing and I am so proud of her. I also was honored to speak to the group in the final general session of the day; I loved sharing the message God gave me for those mammas.

If you live anywhere near Simi Valley, don’t miss the Mosaic Retreat next year. It was visually beautiful, the food was spectacular, the worship powerful, and there were many wonderful speakers. The women who plan Mosaic put their hearts into it and it shows.

Travel was completely crazy, with three canceled flights and two that were significantly delayed, but we made it and had a great time.

Now I’m going to jump into my to-do lists – just wanted to say a quick “hello” because too much time has passed. I have a post coming up about Stand Sunday, a day devoted to supporting kids in foster care.

Lastly, if you would like a short note from me in your inbox every few weeks or so, you can sign up using this link. It’s short, sweet, a little more personal, and includes links to my most recent posts.  I would love to send it to you.

With courage and hope for the journey,


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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. Jody Blair
    November 8, 2017

    Lisa, I am always so inspired and encouraged by your posts…your honesty and the practical experience and advice/ tips you share with the rest of us. Thank you. Our daughters went to NSA together and I have walked this adoption road with you from a distance ( Portland, Ore). The workshop you recently attended sounds very interesting. Makes me want to try and seek new input and understanding. I’ve definitely been in survival mode for quite some time. Again, thank you for all you do and for generously sharing❤️Jody

    1. Lisa Qualls
      November 8, 2017

      Jody, survival mode is so exhausting – I’m sorry. Thank you for reading and commenting, I appreciate hearing from you. Have you ever come to Refresh? It’s near Seattle, the first weekend in March – it’s amazing and I have yet to meet someone who attended and didn’t come away with something they loved. The dads love it too.

  2. Sarah
    November 8, 2017

    I met you at the Called to Love retreat several years ago and have loved following you here ever since! This last year I have been learning about the enneagram and loving it! I have learned so much about myself, my kids and others. It really is life changing, and helps so much to know how we relate to the world because of the personality God has given us.

    1. Lisa Qualls
      November 8, 2017

      It’s fascinating, isn’t it? I’ve enjoyed reading about it and listening to podcasts. The Enneagram and adoption/foster care gets really interesting.


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