Offering God the Ordinary to Build An Extraordinary Life by Abby Crooks

by | Feb 22, 2024 | The Love Offering Guest Blog Series

So many times, we examine the spiritual giants of the Bible and the highlight reel where God shows us His great power working through them. Still, most of their days, they were feeding their people and animals, just like us.


 As I began feeling called to “home missions” at age 17 through foster care and adoption, I felt God asking me to offer up my most precious resource: my family. 


God’s kind of hospitality means offering our bodies as “living sacrifices” (Romans 12:1 NIV), not worried over the picture-perfectness of our homes or families, but instead taking our most treasured resources of time and family and utilizing those gifts to focus on the needs of those around us. 


For us, serving kids in foster care has meant simply being available to do normal, ordinary things like filling their once-empty bellies, taking them to school regularly, taking them to doctors who can help them feel better, teaching them to read or ride a bike. Also, tucking them into an actual bed, with a lice-free head, clean bodies from fingernails to toes, in a peaceful, warm, safe place. Nothing extraordinary. 


The verses in Romans 12 became our family life verse. Love must be sincere (Romans 12:9 NIV). 


Too often, we consider serving God only going out to serve then retreating back home to our safety bubbles. But, what if injustice and compassion for others moves us to make costly expenditures to invite brokenness into our personal, already messy lives and forces us to then live by faith emotionally and physically right in front of children 24/7 who’ve never experienced the love of Jesus?  


As I’ve hated what is evil (drug abuse and the evils it causes like abusing and neglecting children), and clung to what is good (valuing lives of children), God has been faithful to sustain my zeal and fervor for this work and the nonprofit ministry I lead (Romans 12:12 NIV). 


As hurt children have acted out like hurt children sometimes will, He’s been faithful to supply joy through the heavy-duty emotions of foster care, patience during affliction when our love wasn’t enough, and hope as we’ve seen answers to our prayers on behalf of vulnerable children and our own family’s struggles with the impact of trauma (v 12). 


To have margin for the work of inviting the world into our home and family, it’s meant making some countercultural choices to say no to things the world makes it seem like are “have tos.” 


My husband says on repeat– “simplify to serve.”  Romans 12:2 invites us this year not to be conformed to the yeses of this world that demand our attention but instead discern with Him the investments in people we will make that actually will have eternal significance.  


In the worst moments of their lives, foster parents show up for kids to say, “You are worth it.  You are worth my life and heart being turned upside down. You matter.” 


Your love offering might just mean taking your ordinary family and using it extraordinarily to restore a childhood and partner with God in redeeming and restoring. 

About the Author:

Abby Crooks is a teacher and the founder and Executive Director of Fostering Faithfully, a nonprofit serving foster children, foster parents, kinship caregivers, and the South Carolina Department of Social Services in three counties.  She and her husband, Jonas, have been raising children (biological (2), adopted (2), foster (45)) for eighteen years on a cattle farm in South Carolina. When she is not following kids around, or advocating fiercely for foster parents, Abby can be found on hiking adventures in the great outdoors. To learn more about Abby and her work, visit fosteringfaithfully.org.

Check out my book to read more about crafting a life adventure that includes foster care or adoption:

Simply Available: Unfiltered Truths on the Generous Hospitality of a Foster Care Lifestyle 

Connect with Abby:






I’m Rachael Adams

I’m an author, speaker, and host of The Love Offering Podcast. My mission is to help women find significance and purpose throught Christ.

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