Sunday, March 13, 2016

Five

Five weeks.  Five beautiful girls.  A family of five plus five.

It's been five weeks. It seems like a breath and a year all at the same time.  We've shared tears, laughter, pain, frustration and even mean words.  We've shared bathrooms, meals, germs (numbers 4 & 5 currently fevering and puking at the moment), prayers and dreams.

It feels hard most days.  Like sometimes the pain that has been absorbed by these girls is enough to break us all.  Like the end couldn't possibly be here soon enough but will inevitably be here way too soon.  How could we ever go back to 'normal' now that we know what it could be like?

Our home is alive.  And there is not a single square inch that isn't being fully utilized.  Some of them over utilized : )

We have had so many laughs.  So many games.  So much fun and mud and dust and sprinkles.

And then there are the tears and the hard things that threaten to break me at the core of who I am.  The inmost being that screams out in sheer surrender...........but can only proceed through the fiery smoke because of our Savior.  The one who called us to this battlefield in the first place.

We can't fix anything. We can't change anything.  We can't even make small repairs.  But we can love, we can nourish, we can celebrate, we can worship, and we can listen.  Above all things that I am learning it is how to listen.  Not with my ears, but my heart.

And for that I am so thankful.  I have done a horrible job of pressing in and listening with my brain all of these years but not truly allowing my heart to hear.  The Holy Spirit is working in me and I am trying my best to shut down 'me' and listen only to what it is saying.  To hear with my heart and not with my ears.

Press in.  And press on.  That is what I am going to do today.  And laundry, because I always have laundry these days.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hard things

I never have really had a hard time doing the hard things.  In fact, it is the mundane normal day to day things that seem to wear me out.  Just doing the normal life things?  That to me is when I drip slowly into a dark place where I don't feel like I can function.  But ask me to take on something hard?  It's go time.

Why is that?  Perhaps it's because God plans to use me for the hard, weird, overwhelming things.  And this is how He has built me to cope with that.  Like a weird kind of thrill seeking design.

So when God laid on our hearts (more like stomped it in) last summer that we were to get our Fostering license, it seemed like a thing.  But how on earth could He use me to Foster a child?  Our home is not 'normal', we don't operate on a good solid schedule, I can't keep up most days with what we already have.  But we started the process.........ssssssllllloooooowwwwwlllllyyy.  After all, what could He possibly use us for.  I could never offer care for an additional child.

And then he sent five.  FIVE.  Through no circumstances that are of their doing, these sweet five sister siblings had to leave their home and go to their grandparents.  And then they couldn't stay there anymore.

We were made for this.

We know this family, we have said all along they would be welcome here.  But I'm not sure either us thought it could really happen.  I mean, who can bring in five extra people into a normal home and still function?

And then it happened.  In less than one weeks time, start to finish, we were notified it was a possibility and then they were loaded into cars with all of their things and we were in a convoy headed to home. Our home.  Done.  Just like that.

Could I possibly handle adding five additional children into my home?  Nope.

Could God?  Absolutely.  We have seen Him show up in every.single.step.  There has been an overflowing of food ever since they arrived..........not even joking.  Almost every day God is sending someone with lots and lots of food.  Yesterday, a box of toilet paper came from Amazon.  The day the kids were coming, a friend came in and filled the fridge with fruit and veggies and yogurts and cheese, she put laundry soap in the laundry room, she put paper plates in the cabinet.

The laundry has yet to get overwhelming.  Of course I am doing a few loads every day.  But even with their initial arrival of garbage bags stuffed full of dirty and clean clothes mixed......it all just got washed.  I feel calm.  I feel tired.  Sure I have moments of frustration, but God is carrying us.  I feel like I am serving the Lord........and that is so amazing to be a part of something so big. What a high honor to be a part of something He is doing that is THIS big.

I never want to forget His ways.  The ways He has balanced the hectic schedules, has provided the food, has provided the beds..........and the peace that He is giving me.  The enemy is among us, mostly attacking through my own children.  But my battle is not against my children, it is against the enemy.  And in Jesus name, He will not win.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Rosie



This sweet girl came to us by chance just about three years ago.  She stumbled I to our lives and filled a void we didn't even know we had.

And tomorrow, we will deliver her to her new home.  And that void will be ripped wide open and leave me raw and exposed.

Recent testing has revealed that the majority of Ally's breathing problems (and truth be known, probably Emily's too) come from a severe dog allergy.  All the dog shampoos, vacuuming and purifiers can't change the fact that she can't live here anymore.

My head totally knows.
It's my heart that just can't comprehend.

Tonight as we settle in for the last time with this sweet girl, I can't stop the tears. And the heaviness in my chest is sucking the air right from my lungs.

I never planned to love this dog.  She wasn't the right size, breed or color.  Nothing about her was what I envisioned for our pet.  But she has become my sweet companion.  Always with me, on my feet at dinner, on between my legs on the couch, at the gate when we tend chickens and always lying along side me in bed.

The hole she will leave in this house is already overwhelming me.  I will so miss this sweet dog.

Praying for provision and peace that only He can provide for my family. And for my Rosie.











Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time for change


We have lived in this house for 11 years.

11.  Wow.  We were in our house before that for almost 8.  That's a lot of time.

This was the house.  We had looked and looked.  Checked out various cities in every direction.  Scanned by multiple listings and drove by countless homes.  Not to mention the ones we actually stepped inside of.  Nothing felt right.

I kept thinking we would know.  But had begun to doubt that.

And then we drove by this one while looking at a different one in the area.  There was this feeling, this strange 'I've been here before' feeling.  And when we opened the front door to see the inside, I already knew this is where God wanted us.  I didn't even need to look around.

Each time over the years I have questioned our decision to buy a too small house in a not so super fabulous area, I remind myself of that feeling.  That knowing.  That presence that said this is where God had picked out for us.

I was 29 years old.  Allyson was 4.  Dan was 33.  We had one dog- Daisy Mae.  Facebook didn't exist and 9/11 was still very raw and real and recent.

I was a different person.  My family was smaller.  My faith was still in it's infancy.  My marriage was so hard, mainly because of me.  And I was still praying and expecting babies.

I painted my bathroom purple.  Light lilac purple.


And last week, I cracked open a new can of paint and I coated over what felt like the best decade of my life so far.  The one full of babies and laughter and realizations and growth...........and although it was just paint in a bathroom that can be painted 100 more times, I was saying goodbye to that portion of my world.

And then somehow the most perfect selection and plan of brown paper bag brown and safari brown paint turned into dang near black..............




Yup.  Things have sure changed.   I turn 40 in just a few short weeks.  F O R T Y.  I have never ever been one to freak out over birthdays..........but I have spent my entire life looking forward to my thirties.  And they have been awesome.  But now, turning the corner to forty puts me into an area of my life I have never ever even thought of.  I am now the one who can remember actors that the young moms haven't ever heard of, I will never hold a tiny baby inside my belly again, and more frequently than not the young baggers at the grocery call me 'mam'. (no I do not need help to the car, thank you very much).

A new area of my life.  And a black bathroom.

But before you worry I am entering a mid life crisis, rest assured I am not.  Just preparing for a new trip into uncharted territory.  One that will involve quiet dinners out without crayons or kids menus........or kids for that matter........where my husband remembers why he chose me.  One where I sit in the passenger seat as I instruct my children how to operate a vehicle.  And one where wrinkles and gray hairs are more frequent than not.

I am certain that this next section of my life is going to be even better than the one we are leaving.  And that just like my bathroom, I will probably like it even better than before.

Good bye lilac purple.  Hello safari brown.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Thankful

In my front flower bed there are waterballoons and a bottle of bubbles.

On the front lawn are my two chairs that were used for soccer goals.

Sitting on the front porch is a pair of mud crusted shoes.

Emilys bicycle is laying in the side yard.

There are at least five basketballs all scattered around the goal.

To say this is not what I envisioned my home looking like when I grew up is an understatement. 
Except its better.
Because each of those things, although carelessly scattered and showing a complete lack of irresponsibility on my childrens part, they represent laughter, and joy, and fun.  And my healthy children that get to be out there playing.

So today I am going to focus on being thankful.  Because I was overwhelmed yesterday and that got me no where.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Peeling hotdogs

When ally was little and learning to eat real food, I peeled the skin off her grapes.  And then cut them into quarters.

I was certain there was danger in those grapes and she needed my protection.

Have you ever peeled a grape?  Not an easy task at all.  I peeled her hot dogs too.  Again I was certain she could not chew it without the skin being removed.  Then as she grew, she only liked them without the skin.  I peeled her hot dogs until she was five years old.
Even when she was little, I could sense a need for protection.  Extra protection, more than normal.  I can only explain it because I do not feel the same urgency for Emily or Sam.  Sure, I protect them.  An love on them.  An watch out for dangers.  Probably put too much neosporin on boo boos and pray too much for things God already has covered.  But I don't feel anxiety over staying ahead of them for everything they do.

But for ally?  It has always been there.  And I can't even begin, nor do I want to, to explain the countless times this child had put herself in dangerous situations.  Scary horrible tv drama kind of situations.  And no matter how hard we try we keep seeming to circle back.

Back into the yuck that keeps surfacing.  And here we go again, back into battle.  And it is a battle, a spiritual war between what is evil an of the enemy and this world against God and the beautiful things He prepares for us.

It will never be explained to me any other way.  We are at war.  I am certain that all of this ugliness is going to build a beautiful testimony in my daughter.  And it is going to be amazing.  But we just seem to be struggling to get her there.  

And it is far from over I'm afraid.  Many times I know The Lord has reminded me to suit up and stay prepared, it's going to be a long journey.

It makes me laugh sometimes to remember all of the things we do for our babies to keep them safe.  Little do young parents realize the true dangers they are up against down the road.

I am thankful to God for His provision.  He is the One who is loving enough to peel my grapes for me.

Pray for your children daily.  Young or old- they need your intercession.  Listen to what He says in response.  And when He doesn't respond, keep praying.