Monday, April 22, 2019

Enough Grace For Today

I'm usually the type of person who wants to know all the details to whatever is going on so I can see the full picture. Otherwise known as a control freak. Why I'm this way I'm not a hundred percent sure. I have some guesses as to why, but in the end that doesn't change who I am. Usually if I have all the details I can make a thought through assumption as to what is going on or what is going to happen. I know assuming anything is not wise. If I have all the details as to what's going on in my children or husband's lives, I somehow think that everything will go better. Well, did that all change...

The past couple of years I've experienced a great deal of hurt and rejection from people that I love dearly. This post isn't about them, so please don't ask. Since I'm usually a person who wants to know all the details, you'd think knowing ahead of time everything that was going to happen would be beneficial for me. Well, actually it was quite the opposite. This has been one of those times where I am forever grateful to God, that in His wonderful mercy and grace, He spared sharing with me too many of the details. I'm sure He knew I wouldn't be able to handle the details, even though I was asking Him for them. I'm still on this journey, some healing has happened and some has not. I still look forward to the healing that's to come. I do however know now after looking back I probably would've ran if I had known all the details. I probably wouldn't have stuck around to see the healing. So since I tend to be a person who usually wants to know all the details, I also tend to be a person who usually "runs" when I don't know what else to do. Otherwise known as when I can't control the situation. Then there's God...

God in his perfect, compassionate heart knew that there were lessons my heart would never learn except to go through situations I had no control over. Now don't get me wrong. I don't believe for one minute that God marvels in people's hurts or rejections. I do however believe though that He chooses to use those times to bring glory to Himself and draw us closer to Him if we'll allow Him. As I mentioned earlier I am still on this journey of healing, but one thing that has stood out to me that I know I would not have learned except by walking through this pain, is that God is enough!!! Not just to say that God is enough, but to feel it down to my core that God is enough. That if the worst thing I could imagine possible came true, He would still be enough. That even if the healing I'm looking forward to this side of Heaven doesn't happen, He is still enough. I choose to praise Him and worship Him, even though I'm still longing for the rest of the healing. He is a good, good Father who I know without a doubt loves me for who He created me to be. His daughter! So what's next...

Don't be afraid to take off the mask. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Don't be afraid to say no to things to focus on what matters most. Do however fix your eyes upon Jesus, learning in your heart and not just your mind, that He truly is enough!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

A Different Kind Of Christmas This Year

I absolutely love this time of year. Getting to spend time with family & friends, buying that special gift for someone I love, eating yummy cut out cookies, decorating, and so much more. What I'm most thankful for this time of year is Jesus coming to earth in the form of a baby boy to live a life knowing He was going to die for my sins someday. Wow! I wasn't even born yet, but He loved me enough anyways to take my place & everyone else's on the cross. Best Christmas present ever!!! Remembering this helps keep things in the right perspective when circumstances around me go in ways I wouldn't have chosen.

I titled this a different kind of Christmas this year because in a lot of ways that is exactly what it is. It's still Christmas, but it's different. We have four foster blessings living with us this Christmas who are oh so excited about all the fun that goes with this time of year. They come from many not so happy memories, so we're trying to help change that for them. Our oldest daughter decided to live her life without us being a part of it and left our family last January. This will be our first Christmas since she came to live with us that she's not with us. This is hard! She's welcome to be and we want her to, but we can't force our way into anyone's life that doesn't want us there. I know God loves her even more than we do & I've really been trying this past year to leave her in His hands, but to be honest I'm struggling big friends. I want to see her besides on Facebook. I want to hug her and tell her I love her. But God... Through all this God has been & continues to teach my heart that He truly is enough. Sometimes I believe that more than other times. I'm still learning. So thankful my Teacher is patient with me. This journey of loss this past year has impacted our marriage as well. We've had to seek help where normally we could just figure it out between the two of us. We've chose to love even when we didn't feel like it or even liked the other person. We had to learn to show grace even when our flesh wanted to quit. We know the enemy wants nothing more than to destroy our marriage & family, because if that happened then our ministry to our children & all the children God brings into our home would be ineffective. Guess what? That's NOT going to happen. The enemy CANNOT have our marriage or our family. Greater is HE that lives within us, then he that is of this world. Jesus has already defeated the enemy. We can have HOPE because of Him!!!
This past week our second oldest daughter was involved in a serious car accident. Someone ran a stop sign and hit her on her driver's side door. Her car is totaled but PRAISE GOD ALMIGHTY she is alive and well. Very sore, extremely sore, BUT alive!!!! I was thinking the morning after the accident how things could've went so differently. We could be planning a funeral this week instead of rejoicing that she is with us still. I don't take this lightly. I don't deserve His love & grace, but I'm so thankful God chose to spare her life Monday evening. Everytime I try to write about this the tears start coming again. This year has been so hard. But GOD... In His wonderful grace & mercy He met our daughter right where she was on Monday at 4:15pm and allowed her to walk away with pain & bruises, BUT LIFE!!!!! To God be the glory, great things He has done!!!!

So yes this Christmas is different this year. I'm still not done shopping, we haven't made all the goodies we usually do, I'm very tired, BUT... God is still good!!! I'll finish shopping eventually, our dear friends made plenty of goodies to share with us & even picked up groceries for us last night. I'll get sleep, but will continue to be tired because I'm a Momma, but that's ok. I get to be a Momma. I don't ever want to take that ministry lightly. My heart still longs for our oldest daughter to return, Christmas morning should be adventurous with four littles here this year, and I get to hug our other daughter and thank God again for allowing her to live. Christmas will be wonderful, not based on my circumstances, but because of JESUS!!!! Because of Jesus, no matter what we face, we're NEVER alone!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

My Neck, The Psalms, A Boot & A Head Cold

Rest...Relax...Refresh... Those are words that start with the letter R that are easier to say then to do. I speak from experience when I say that. I tend to be a go getter, list maker(and love checking things off), do it myself kindna girl. To be honest those character traits are not bad in themselves, BUT when I need to control those situations, there's where the trouble lies. This past year has defiantly been a year of learning, stretching and growing in my faith with God. Learning to relinguish control, stretching in asking for help instead of doing things myself and growing in knowing that God truly is Enough. I titled this blog, " My Neck, The Psalms, A Boot & A Head Cold," because those are just some of the ways God has spoke to my busy, controlling, overwhelmed heart about resting in Him. About six months or so ago I started having severe right neck pain. I tried all kinds of treatment that unfortunately didn't work. I currently am seeing a doctor to help keep it manageable. I started a Bible Study at Church this fall about Psalms 23. A Psalm that is so familiar to many, yet as we break down verse by verse my heart is opened up to a whole new understanding of Psalm 23 and resting in who God is. My left foot had been hurting me for several months and I finally had enough and went to get it checked out. Long story short, I ended up in a styling black boot because my foot is fractured. I have to rest(HaHa-9 people living in the home) and ask for help when I normally would just do the things myself. Including giving our three nine year old foster boys the opportunity to serve by folding laundry. The laundry looks like a hot mess but they're eager to help and I need the help right now. Shortly after I started sporting this lovely black boot my immune system decided it needed a rest as well in the form of attacking my body with a nasty head cold. I'm still getting over it as I type this blog. I say all that to encourage you to rest my friend. To rest physically, emotionally, and most of all spiritually. Resting in the One who really does have it ALL under control. Who loves us unconditionally and is FOR US. Who redeemed us and set us free from living in bondage. I'll be honest and admit I don't always handle this "resting period" in the best way, but I am thankful for the lessons God is teaching my heart through them.

Support Group

Friendly reminder that we meet the third Tuesday of each month from 6:30-8:30pm at Bethel Baptist Church in Savannah, Ohio. This is for Foster, Adoptive & Kinship caregivers. The exception being for the meeting in November we will be holding that at our home. Please feel free to contact us for more information about that if you're planning to attend November's meeting. We look forward to meeting you!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

They're Ultimately His~

One of the most profound quotes I have ever read as a Momma. Little did I know that when I saved this quote around a year and a half ago that God would use it today to speak Truth to this Momma's heart. I don't know about you but I tend to be a control freak kindna momma. I want to know where my children are, who their with, what their eating, when they'll be home,etc... I also want to spend as much time with them as possible. I'd choose less money anyday over missing out on memories with my children. That's priceless in my book! Through the years I have learned lessons along the way about surrendering my children to the Lord and knowing that ultimately they are His. I've said goodbye countless times to foster children that God placed in our home for a season. My heart aches when they leave and sometimes I literally just crawl up in a fetal position and pour my tears out to a big God that can handle my human emotions. Then He picks me back up and speaks Truth to my heart about what He has called me to do, strengthening me for the next children He will bring. A child that needs me to be willing to sacrifice having a broken heart for them to know about Jesus and make wonderful memories in their childhood. To really know they're loved and wanted despite their circumstances. I do not take this calling lightly but consider it an act of worship to my Savior.
Back to the quote above. This quote is something God has recently asked me to do in a full surrender way with one of my children. As much as we can love someone we cannot make them accept that love or want that love. I found that my efforts of trying to pursue my child's heart, and receiving rejection upon rejection were not only taking an emotional toll on me by a physical toll on my body as well. That's when God started pressing on my heart even more to give my child back to Him, this time in full surrender. Holding nothing back. At first I questioned God wondering if He was really asking me to do this. I am this child's mother. Shouldn't I keep pursuing them at all costs? The answer is no. God has been showing me that all my children are His anyways and even when this one child is choosing to reject our love He is still enough to not only meet my child's needs but mine as well. He is perfectly able to put the people in their path that they need to speak Truth to their heart. As my heart started to embrace this more I started to feel a burden I had been carrying lifted. You see I wasn't suppose to be carrying this burden in the first place. I'm so thankful God revealed His Truth to me about that. So with God's strength I surrendered my child to Him. Praying and waiting for the day Lord willing that my prodigal will come home. When that day comes I will be here with open arms.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

God doesn't waste our pain

I've yet to meet someone who is excited when suffering comes their way. It's quite the opposite feeling actually. It's very easy to resort inward and feel like you're all alone when you're hurting. It's like the whole world continues to move on and you're stuck right there in this pit you can't seem to get out of. Suffering shows its ugly face in so many different ways. Unfortunately we don't get to pick, although I'm not sure any of us are wanting to, but we do get to choose how we respond. 

Recently suffering knocked on our family's door. Something so unexpected we never seen it coming. As awful as physical suffering can be, mental suffering is no walk in the park. Rejected by someone you love so dearly cuts right through your heart like a sharp knife. So many emotions surface during our times of suffering. Sadness, anger, mourning, questioning, and so many more. Some days you feel like you can handle this and other days you can barely breathe. One thing I have learned through my thirty-eight years of life is that God does not waste our pain.

One of my dearest friends sent me a devotional during my time of suffering that encouraged me to look for God in my circumstances. When we're hurting it does not come natural to look for the positives but instead to focus on the negatives. Things out of our control. I chose to take my friend's advice and stopped and verbally said out loud the areas where I could see God at work in my suffering. There was actually quite a few areas. Of course I would never have originally signed up for rejection from someone I love to the point I would die for, but I am not responsible for their actions. I am however responsible for how I respond. Even in my suffering I can be obedient to God. I can look for Him working in my life and in my family's lives. As much as I wouldn't have chose this, being on this side of it, I wouldn't go back and change it. Some lessons are taught best during times of desperation where we relinquish all control and surrender at the feet of Jesus. 

Our pain is not over. Our loved one continues to reject us, but we have chosen to look for God in our pain. To obey even when our flesh doesn't feel like it. To continue to love even though rejection may knock on our door again. To choose intimacy with Christ over comfort and to never give up on looking forward to the day our loved one comes home.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Birthday party, Accusations, and Miracles from God!!!!!!!

If you would've told me a month ago that the events that went down in our house last night would happen, I would've told you that you were crazy. I write this blog not to boast but to encourage others that when we surrender our will to God's will, miracles really do happen.

Last evening we had the privilege of celebrating our foster daughter's 16th birthday. Knowing that this was a very special birthday & the teen years are hard enough, without adding being in foster care, God laid it on my heart to invite her momma. For some of you reading this & not knowing our story you may be thinking that's not a big deal. Let me back up a bit.

A lot of times in foster care, not always though thankfully, we're looked at as the bad guys that are trying to take away the birth parent's children. The birth parent's usually seemed threatened by us even if we try to come across in a friendly manner. For months our foster kiddos birth momma has had a very negative attitude towards us to the point of trying to find something wrong with us at each weekly visit. More energy was spent on tearing us down then doing what needed to be done to get her children back home with her. The situation escalated to the point of accusations made from her accusing us of abusing her children. There was even a court date to discuss these accusations. Needless to say nothing came from it because the children are safe and no abuse has ever happened. My flesh was raging with anger. How dare someone accuse us of abuse when all we're trying to do is help them out by taking care of and loving on their children while they get the help they need. Then there's God...

At a meeting we were all at my flesh was all ready to put up a fight to protect myself and my family. What I didn't realize going into that meeting though that God was going to do a 360 on my heart and allow me to see this momma as a broken individual that needed Him. He even allowed me to compliment her. What? Compliment someone who has accused me of abusing her children. Dear friends, when God gets a hold of our hearts, miracles happen in such ways that we cannot even fathom in our earthly minds. Ever since that meeting God has been putting a desire in my heart to build a relationship with this momma. Fast forward now back to last evening...

We got permission to invite her to our foster daughter's birthday party. The excitement on our foster daughter's face when she saw her momma was worth it all. She screamed and ran and gave hugs. I could tell as the evening went on how thankful she was to have her momma there. Her little brother even got to be fed by her momma and they sat around our dining room table eating and talking together. For someone who has control issues, aka me, God really helped me to take a step back and relinguish control and just be present in a different role that evening. Opening our home to ministry to allow healing to begin in relationships.

Once again I write this to encourage you, not to be boastful. Wherever you are at in your walk with the Lord remember He is a God that still performs miracles. Don't give up! Surrendering your will to His, will prove to be one of the best decisions you will ever make.