Awkward Family Photos

Tonight I decided to look at family photos with my kids. I asked them if they were interested and they seemed to be into it. So, I got out the “picture books” and  sat down in the middle of the couch, with room for one kid on each side of me.

I have to say, I have forgotten many things from my childhood; and the childhood memories I do have, have a corresponding picture. The pictures reinforce the memories. This is one of the reasons I think pictures are so important, and one of the reasons why I take so many pictures.

It has, unfortunately, been years since we have taken the time to look at old pictures together. Most of our pictures are digital these days and even though I have a digital frame, it’s just not the same.

I have been thinking about this activity for days and really thought it would be a good way to reconnect with the kids. I am so thankful that God gave me a sense of humor. If He didn’t, my spirit would have been crushed tonight.

The first problem with my “picturesque” activity was that there were too many pictures of my daughter and not enough of my son. The fact that she was alive for six years before he was born was irrelevant to him. It was obvious that I like her better and therefore have more pictures of her.

I also found out that I really hurt my daughter because I didn’t let her carry my son around when he was a newborn. She was only six, but that was beside the point. It took her a long time to like babies because of my heartless ways. I tried to explain that she was my first six-year-old and I had no idea how capable six-year-olds are; If I had, I most certainly would have let her carry him around. But alas, the damage has been done.

Earlier in the evening my son told me how cruel I was to make him eat lettuce when he was little. He even performed a reenactment. My daughter sat on a stool and played the part of my son. My son played me and held a white plate in his hand that represented the lettuce plate. I made him try lettuce with ranch, lettuce with italian, lettuce with honey mustard and plain lettuce. Apparently, he would be an avid lettuce consumer, but because of me, he doesn’t eat lettuce to this day! What child can stand in the wake of my recklessness?! I ask you?

During our pictorial travels, we came across a picture of a little black shitzu that we kept for a weekend when the kids were little. It was then I learned that I have ruined the kids lives because I didn’t keep that little dog. My daughter was eight at the time and my son was two. The little dog was sweet, but I am not an animal person. The dog pooped in the house and then my son picked it up! That was it for me! He had to go! (The dog, not my son.) The next picture was of our trip to the pet store to buy our first pet…clown fish. “See, kids! We bought you pets! Clown fish!” “They are dead,” said my daughter.

And as if their lives were not tragic enough, somehow, the topic of breast-feeding came up. My daughter has admissible proof that she is NOT the favorite. Why? Because my son was breast-fed and she was not! Because of this, she did not get the nutrients that she needed as an infant! This, my son pointed out, is the reason he is smarter than her!

This love fest made me declare that I am obviously a horrible mother and if it wasn’t for the fact that I cook and clean, I would have to go! My son was quite perplexed and asked me where I would go. I assured him that there were plenty of people who would take me in. Then he said, “Yeah. But who would drive you there?”

A few shoulder punches were thrown and we laughed so hard we cried.

Foster Awkward Family Photo

2000- Our family before our son was born. This proves nothing.




5 Things I’ve Learned About Church

Last year was a tough year for me. I dealt with some severe allergies and I spent the year, with God’s help, changing my lifestyle and reclaiming my health. For that reason, I haven’t posted anything in over a year. However, I really want to start writing again. I feel like I’m getting rusty and I want to continue to grow as a writer. I also feel that each of us has God-given gifts and we need to use them. If we do, our lives and the lives of those around us will be enriched.

After a year of literary silence, there are so many things to write about and it’s really hard to choose a subject. However, since I like to write about things that mean something to me; things that I have personal experience with, that does narrow things down a bit.

My pastor, (and husband) has been preaching for the last several weeks on the topic: “I love my church.” The messages have been encouraging and challenging and have inspired me today to write about the church. I’m speaking from my own perspective here. I won’t be quoting Barna or any other statistician or any theologians. I just want to take some of my random thoughts and organize them a little in regard to this subject. Maybe this will help me have a better perspective on what the church is and maybe it will help someone else who is disillusioned about the church.

I’ve been going to church since I was five years old and through the years, it has been my perception that the people who went to church were Christians, Christ-followers. It was my perception that they used The Bible as their compass and their lifestyles were morally pure. Church, in my mind, was a safe place to be and everyone at church could be trusted. Naive? Yes. But I really had great experiences in church and the people I went to church with became like a second family to me.

So here’s the deal. I’m old enough now and have seen enough foolishness to know that my previous perception is not entirely accurate. Not everyone who goes to church is a Christian. Not everyone who goes to church is a Christ-follower. Not everyone who goes to church lives a life that is morally pure; and they may not even read The Bible except when they’re in church. But wait! Before you start dropping the “H” word, I’m not quite finished with my stream of consciousness yet.

Here are 5 things I’ve learned from being in church for almost four decades:

1. Not everyone who goes to church has it all figured out. (In fact, no one does.)

2. Not every churchgoers’ life is a mirror of The Bible or the life of Christ.

3. Many people who attend church are miserable. They’ve tried living life without any direct input from God and their life is a mess.

4. Everyone who goes to a church has a story and they are all different. So it doesn’t work to make assumptions about people.

5. Not everyone who goes to church is going to be a good influence in your life or lead you to closer to God.

It’s also been my experience, that many people expect the pastor to live everyone’s life and call out everyone’s short-comings, while other people expect the pastor to just look past sin in the name of love or grace. There is a balance here and it isn’t easy to achieve. Church leadership, MUST present God’s Word to the church. The Bible instructs us not to add to God’s Word and not to take from it. It’s God’s Word, not ours and I for one HATE to be misquoted! Don’t you?

So, what’s the bottom line here? Why go to church at all? Because the Bible instructs us to do so:

Hebrews 10:25 New Living Translation
“Let us not neglect our church meetings, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of His coming back again is drawing near.”

Church is a place to start or strengthen your journey of faith. It’s a place for the hurting and the broken. It’s a family. It’s people, all kinds of people, linking arms and saying, “Let’s encourage each other to be closer to Jesus today than we were yesterday. Let’s hold each other accountable and warn each other when we are making choices that have the potential to separate us from God.” It’s a place where God’s Word, (all of it) should be taught. It’s a place where people should be encouraged to develop their God-given talents.

And by the way, the pastor of the church isn’t perfect, the pastor’s family isn’t perfect and neither are the people who attend. So don’t let the thought that you aren’t good enough keep you from church, because no one is good enough and they never will be.

And on the opposite side of the coin, don’t assume the pastor is overlooking sin when he doesn’t respond to, or correct people the way you think he should. Like I said earlier, there is a balance here and it’s possible that the pastor knows more about the situation than you do. It’s possible that the pastor is working through an issue with that person. I’ve been guilty of this. I have pretty strong convictions when it comes to my lifestyle and it’s hard for me to spend time with people who live in a way that contrary to the way I feel God wants me to live. I have to check my attitude constantly and ask myself if I really love people or not. I am not talking about judging here. The Bible is clear about sin. God has defined sin in His word and He’s the judge, not me. However, if I live in a way that is contrary to God’s word, I am sinning. If you are living in a way that is contrary to God’s Word, you are sinning. And sin separates us from God. I am talking about loving someone who is sinning. Should we do that? Yes. If we want to follow God’s example we should:

John 15:13 New Living Translation
“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

Romans 5:8 New Living Translation
“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”

Some people have always tried to do the right thing, but maybe they struggle with pride. Some people struggle with life controlling issues. Some people struggle with insecurity and have never felt loved by anyone, even God. Whatever camp you’re in, or whether you’re in another camp entirely, there is a place in church for all of us, because we ALL have sinned and we ALL need Jesus, The Savior.

Romans 3:23
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”

And The Savior says we need each other. He doesn’t recommend living this life alone. That’s because we all have an enemy, Satan, and his mission is to steal, kill and destroy. We make his job a lot easier when we withdraw from the church, (believers.)

Final Thoughts:
Take a fresh look at the church. Lay aside your past experience or your inexperience. Do your homework. Call a few churches and ask questions or visit and grab a brochure. Check the church’s website. Find out what they believe. Ask The Lord to guide you. He will. However, you don’t need to be in a church to begin a relationship with God. You can do that right now, wherever you’re at.

1 John 1:9
“But if we confess our sins to Him (Jesus), He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

I hope you have begun that relationship. I have and I would never again want to live without Jesus. I also don’t want to live without God’s people. We need each other.

God bless you,



My mother and me. 1972

Mothers will always be mothers.
Remembering how proud they were when you learned to crawl.
Surprised to see you running.

Always looking at you like you were still a fresh infant.
Head tilted, half-smiling, eyes full of almost-tears. Calling you “Baby” and “Sugar” in front of people… you know… and don’t know.

Mothers will always be mothers they will.
And they will sacrifice so much.
But you will never know it, if they are the good kind.
And you will never understand it until you become one.

Mechelle Ritchie Foster

Dedicated to my mother. She raised two girls on her own, always putting us first.

She is the good kind.

Nothing To See But The Sea


Photo Taken By: Mechelle Ritchie Foster

Nothing to see but the sea.
Navy-blue deep
All around me.
Sun on my face, hair loose and free,
And nothing to see but the sea.

Nothing to see but the sea.
Puffy white clouds look like cotton to me.
Icy fruit drinks, refreshing and sweet,
And nothing to see but the sea.

Nothing to see but the sea.
Moonlight path
Leads to beauty and peace.
Rocked by the waves,
Lulled to sleep by the breeze,
And nothing to see but the sea.

Mechelle Ritchie Foster



All Alone inside
Coat and galoshes on
Hearing the thunder roar
And watching the lighting flash
Praying for the courage to brave the storm

I have somewhere I need to go
I plan the route of least obstacle
But the thunder is loud
And I know lighting strikes without warning

So for now I remain
And frustrated with this useless umbrella.

Mechelle Ritchie Foster

Waking Up

Lying next to you,
peaceful and still,
Light peeking at us from behind the curtains.

Not yet committed to the day,
Still claiming the night,
I hear nothing.
And I love the sound.

I smile because I am content.
And then your eyes open.
The first thing you say is, “What time is it?!”

You aren’t content to lie here in solitude like me.
You are immediately committed to the day, bound by it, in fact.

You? You never hear nothing.
If you did, you would not recognize it,
And you would be suspicious of it.
No, you never hear nothing,
For the sound of the clock is always in your ears.

Unknowingly, You have just ripped off my covers of night,
Leaving me bare to face the day.

So forgive me if I am offended by you.
And forgive me if I don’t answer.

Mechelle Ritchie Foster