Thursday, December 20, 2012

A little Bit of Heaven

I just finished watching the movie A Little Bit of Heaven, with Kate Hudson. I highly DO NOT recommend it. I sobbed the whole last half of the movie. I don't know why I pick a movie about a lady who is dying of cancer and falls in love and I expect somehow for it to have a fairytale ending. Well here is a movie ruiner, she dies. No she does not suddenly get healed in the end. No the tears from her loved ones do not bring her back. Over all I wish I had not watched it. Yet there is a part of me that is glad I did.
During the last bit of movie she goes around to her different friends and family members in order to "make her peace," or say her last bit. This coupled with the line "everyone is going to die" really got me thinking. I ask myself, "what in the world am I doing?" if death is inevitable then what truly matters. Where is the hope? or What is the hope? Flyboy and I recently heard an audio clip by an accomplished individual. He was stating that if we focus on the meaning of life to be money, and we work hard for it but are miserable then hasn't life truly lost meaning? But if we do what we love and enjoy life then aren't we really living?
This all just sounds like rambling but it gets one thinking. If I knew I was going to die in a few weeks What would I do differently? How would my relationships be? What would my words be like? What would really matter? What "peace" would I need to make? I think about all the times I don't have a loving conversation with flyboy, the times I take his presence for granted. I think about all the games I would/could play with my children. How many times I would tell people I love them. The grievances I would no longer hold on to because they just don't matter.
What if I did not even have a few weeks. What if there was no time to mend the brokenness, to tell and show my babies how much I love them. This is not meant to be a morbid post, actually it is meant to be the opposite. How much better to have Christ and to live! To have hope. To know that I can't invest in all relationships as if each moment were my last. I am a fallen individual. Anger, frustration, bitterness, seem to fall on me throughout my day. But by the Holy Spirit, All of that has been taken away. I don't have to hold on to those grievances  as if they matter. I can let them go and now they have been payed for. I can freely love and cherish those around me.
Oh my totally rambling. If you take nothing else: Treat each moment as if it were your last, Love and forgive, cherish your babies. Bask in the rich hope that this life is not as good as it gets!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why does there always have to be an agenda?

I feel like this title is so appropriate right now. Not just because of the busy holidays, but also because this was an election year. It seems that everyone wants a reason for everything. This is becoming particularly clear in the wake of the awful shooting at the school in Connecticut. Although this was not the first shooting to ever take place amidst innocent, bystanders, this was the first time it happened to such small innocent little people. Actually it was an entire Kindergarten class.
We don't have cable or even local channels (not because we don't want them but we don't get them free so we live under a rock.) I actually had no idea this horrible tragedy happened. Flyboy was in between flights and was able to catch the news at an FBO. When he called it was early enough in the tragedy that all he knew was that a gunman went into an elementary school and shot some children. I gasped. I had so many thoughts...again? This is happening again? Wait did he say elementary? Why? Why the elementary school? Were any kids hurt? Wait why the elementary school? He did say elementary? Why ? WHY THE YOUNG ONES?  The first question I got out was Flyboy...Did the gunman die? Did he kill himself? (normally in a situation like this I secretly hope yes. Yes he should have died. (feel free to judge)). This situation I held my breath praying he would say no. Praying that he would say they have him in custody and are interrogating him. They are getting the reason why. He has to have had a reason. There has to be an explanation why someone could do such a horrible evil thing to such innocent unsuspecting little people. Unfortunately he told me the gunman had also died. I gasped. What would we do...? How would we find out why? There has to be a reason. We have to have a reason. Whether justified (never never do I think this is justifiable) or not he had to have had an agenda. All I could get out after that was why? Why flyboy why did it happen? What are they saying was the reason? Why? He kept saying he didn't know and for some reason I just couldn't comprehend that. Our conversation ended quickly as his flight was needing to leave. I hung up the phone. I sat there staring at Emmalee as she played happily on the floor. My first thought was to go get on the computer and google as much info as I could. Then I stopped. I realized I couldn't do it. I was afraid to do it. Afraid to see something, read something, learn something I couldn't get over. Ignorance is bliss I guess. Not that my day was blissful, but not being able to hear, or see the news protected me for a short time from the awfulness of the day. Over the weekend we were advised to talk with Wesley(our oldest) about the events on friday. I haven't done it. Yesterday when he came home from school I tried to start and this is what our conversation looked like: "Hey guys been hearing about any news lately?"  Wesley: "uh like what kind of news?"  Me: "I don't know, you know newsy kind of news?" Wesley: "Nope, why what is going on in the news." Me (and flyboy joined in): "Oh all kinds of things are in the news. I just didn't know if anyone at school was talking about anything in the news and you wanted to talk about it."
I can hear the groans now, good job counselor! But before you judge please hear me out. Wesley is 7. He is in second grade. He is a very fearful little boy. For example he had one bad experience with strong wind and this whole last summer he was TERRIFIED to play coach pitch because of the wind. When he becomes convinced of something it can turn very irrational very quickly. Two years ago he discovered the concept of bullying. Not because he was bullied but because someone he knew, encountered someone, who came to after school care. Did this child go to Wes's school? NO. Did Wesley meet this kid? NO. Wesley was terrified of him and anyone else that he thought was remotely being bossy? YES. We have dealt with this for the last two years. Other than the concept of the random boy who might be a bully, school to him is a very safe place. It is the second closest thing to home. His teachers love him, he has been there for many many years. I don't want to give Wesley an idea that school could be anything but safe. I understand that he will hear about it eventually and in that event I will talk with him about his fears, questions, concerns etc. I just don't want to give him more information about how sick this world is until it has to be done.
Sorry this post was not supposed to be about how poorly or inadequately I am handling this horror with my own kids. It was supposed to be about the fact that I HATE, how Facebook, Twitter, the news etc has blown up with agendas. Let's use this sick horrible tragedy to push and pursue an agenda. We need stricter gun laws, teachers should be armed, See there is no God. See there is a God etc.  No matter what, NO MATTER WHAT those babies should not have been victims. There is no agenda, there is no logic there is nothing that can take the sting of this horror away. There is not an answer that would leave us nodding our head and saying "Oh so that is why." Or "Oh that explains it." Weep with those who weep, Mourn with those who mourn.
Doesn't it make me angry? Hell yes it makes me angry. I am furious. I am furious anytime that innocents is lost due to sin and darkness. Recently flyboy and I read a book called The Long Road Home. It is about a boy soldier. His life before after and during war in Sierra Lion. The craziest thing for me was that as I read this book assuming it was in a far away time in a far away place, some of the events took place just 5 short years ago. Flyboy and I realized he was the same age as the author. So for example while flyboy was in jr. high dealing with friends, acne,  changing schools etc. on the other side of the world this boy was running from village to village trying to survive. The things this boy witnessed by the time he was 12. This gets graphic so if you want to stop reading now I totally understand! In one chapter he described in great detail what it was like when rebells chased them out of one village and into another. He said him and his brother and two of their friends had just ran into a village. They turned to see people running into the village behind them. As they watched looking for members of their own family, they saw a lady running into the town. She had blankets tied to her back and as she ran she was screaming. The boys could see a trail of blood running down her back. They figured she had been shot while running away. When she had gotten far enough into the village she stopped running. She collapsed to the ground and untied the blankets on her back. Inside the swaddle of blankets lay a dead one year old child. The bullet the boys thought had hit the woman had actually hit the baby. The blood they thought belonged to the lady belonged to this innocent little person. So tiny and vulnerable. He describes how the woman screams out in sheer terror. Thinking she had made it to safety. Thinking THEY had made it to safety.
I struggled so hard after reading this book. I would ask myself how come I live like I do when there are others facing horrors (even at this vary moment) that I will not have to experience. That I may never even know about.
I recently Read a book called "Ask Me Why I Hurt." It is a book written by a physician in the Phoenix area who started a medical mobility unit. He drives the unit from location to location to serve the homeless children of the Phoenix area. Yes Phoenix, as in Arizona, in the USA. The things he described that he encountered. The painful situations these children had been through. The youth who where homeless to escape sex trafficking. The Youth who stayed alive by participating in sex trafficking. The horrors in this book are taking place all over our nation. All over our world.
So if this is happening everyday, do we become desensitized to it? Do we turn our back on it to not have to deal with it? If we don't use these tragedies to fuel our agendas what do we do?
In my opinion? We weep. We Mourn. We fall on our face before God.We lift up our hands and we pray for his wrath to be poured out. We pray for his mercy to be poured out. We pray for his peace and protection. We find comfort in the thought that this is is not as good as it gets. This life is not our home. We praise Jesus that he held the hand of each one of those sweet little babies. That his guardian angels stood in that room. That He never left them. That He could stand with them when no one else could.
Jesus move your hand across this nation. Break through our human agendas. Give us the Grace to weep and mourn with those who grieve.  Amen

Monday, October 22, 2012

Finding Joy in not Just the Good but the Bad and the Ugly Too!

It is easy to find joy in the simplicity and beauty of life. Although finding joy during these times is easy it is also dangerous. Dangerous because it is less of a conscious choice and more of a simple response to circumstances. Don't get me wrong. There are definitely times when we can pause and revel in the beauty of creation. Or have joy in the ease of pleasant circumstances. Who doesn't love a break? But can we consider ourselves practiced in joy if we face ease of life? Another question would be why do we need to practice joy? Isn't joy a happy state? A feeling of Happiness? Well I asked myself these questions when faced with some not so joyful circumstances. How can I find joy when facing trials of many kinds. Well I am not a Bible scholar and I am definitely not as knowledgeable and researched as I wish I was. But I do know the fruit of the Spirit. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-control. Okay so what in the world does one have to do with the other? Well the more that I thought about the fruit of the spirit the more I realized the fruit is not born in feeling form. It is not an emotion that suddenly comes over us. It is a choice at a state of mind. Through learning God's word and keeping His word in our heart we are opening up for growth from the Spirit. The Spirit produces Fruit. The fruit is choosing our mindset, setting it on things above or on life's circumstance. So back to the joy. Is Joy a feeling? Initially no. When going through life's everyday struggles and the circumstances of life I can choose joy, while not feeling "happy".  I can choose in the midst of being unhappy to rest in the fact that God is ultimately in control and does in fact love me. He also Chose me as his child. As I rest in this daily choosing I begin to have a contentment that surpasses what happiness could ever bring. I have Joy that these circumstances, the crap life brings, the bad and the ugly, they too shall pass. I have Joy that this life is not as good as it gets.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Going Out in Public Shouldn't Suck....Right?

I love my kids! I do and yes I am reminding myself. Not so much that I love them (really not in question) but that I do in fact like them. I really do. I just don't understand what it is about being in public that causes my children to turn on me. Sometimes I view going out, to well anywhere, as a top secret mission that I don't pick to be on. I am in fact recruited and then forced to participate. About 95% of my mission is spent playing defense. I rarely have an offensive strategy because 9 times out of 10 I am blind sided by the opposition. It's not like I am stupid. Really! It's not like I picture us leaving the house and heading to whatever public arena and my kids behave in a way that gets my family named #1 most socially appropriate family on the planet. No no no I stopped coveting that award years ago. No I plan on meeting tons of opposition and not getting any help from headquarters. I know that at the end of the mission it will either be considered a failed or completed mission. Failed means I knot only did not get the items I went to the store for (if it be a shopping trip) but I also succumbed to the opposing side and they in fact  took me hostage and I was probably tortured. 

Today was just such a day. Today's weapons; needing to go to the bathroom, and riding in the shopping cart. I know I know I heard you gasp these are to very terrible very frightening issues. Please know I will handle this story with care as the details may give you nightmares. It all begin when one of my precious angels, needed to go to the restroom. We were at the library and I knew it was a better place to go then Walmart where we were headed next. So I asked him to go to the bathroom while I checked out our books. He begins to insist that I go with him. I say no and he needs to hold on. While my dialogue with him is taking place, his cohort comes kamikaze-ing in from no where. He begins to scream I need to go too. I need to go too. I NEED TO GO TOOOOOOOOOO. Well I am not about to let sergeant McHandsy into the bathroom without adult supervision. So I tell them they both need to wait. Sergeant Handsy begins to yell about going to bathroom and how I never let him go to the bathroom. Wow. Never...huh...Anyways we get done checking out and head to the bathrooms. I take the boys into the women's bathroom only to find that the tall toilet is the only one free. Well this is acceptable for private instigator who started this whole mess but not for sergeant handsy. I need to break and let you in on a little secret, the sergeant does not in fact need to use the bathroom. I know this because his pre-school does such a good job of having him use the restroom after nap and after snack. I picked him up right after he used the bathroom. I was all for humoring him until I saw the only available toilet. You have to take into account that I had a baby on my hip and a library bag on the other arm. Not happening. Sorry bud time to call your bluff. This is when one of my engines goes out. He proceeded to scream and cry all the way through the parking lot and to the car. Not just cry but scream and yell. So all in all we got books the mission succeeded but he got a good shot in. As he crawls into the car I throw out a warning. I need cooperation at Walmart because he is riding on his last chance. I feel like this is more then fair because in most war type scenarios there is rarely Grace given and a warning. 
Well we get into Walmart and Private instigator brought a dollar with him purely because he wanted to buy his daddy a treat (he's been on a trip). After Sergeant Handsy exploded on the aisle because he had to be removed from the cart. So as we check out Sergeant Handsy throws an atomic bomb. I WANT TO BUY SOMETHING TOO. YOU NEVER LET ME BUY ANYTHING, YOU ALWAYS LET Private instigator HAVE MONEY TO BUY STUFF.... As this is going on, Private instigator is trying to make a purchase for his daddy, turns out he can't find a single piece of candy that is just a dollar. Everything has some sort of change added for tax. As I am trying to put out the fire with Sergeant Handsy I am frantically digging through my purse (diaper bag) so that I can find a nickel, or two penny's or something so that I can get the heck out of the line of fire. Of course I find nothing so I have to tell Private instigator to put the candy away so that we can make a run for it. The look on the check out guys face was priceless. Worst Mom ever Award...
Well I got two of the three items I went to purchase. I came home with all 3 soldiers I brought in. So although I came home with both engines completely shot to pieces I made it home with a safe landing. 
Okay never mind that is so cheesy. I made it home and am counting down the seconds until I tuck the soldiers in bed and I can take a hot bath and cry:) 

Friday, September 14, 2012

A Dead Squirrel is my idol?

So this is not the actual dead squirrel that I saw.  And actually I tell myself that this picture is in fact a sweet little squirrel taking a wonderful nap. This morning as I was driving Wes to school I found myself staring at the side of the road where I could see a little squirrel laying. I suddenly found myself feeling very sleepy, and sort of wanting to curl up next to the squirrel for a warm snuggle. What about staring at this squirrel was prompting this sleepy (or um creepy) response? I really wondered why I was staring at it and giving it so much of my attention. Normally I see there is roadkill and I quickly look away.  I don't want to have the graphic image of the dead animal seared into my brain for the rest of the day, making an appearance every time I try to take a bite of food.
 ANYWAY... I found myself staring at the dead squirrel, and oddly wanting to snuggle it and then I realized why. That squirrel was laying in the very position I woke up in this morning. Flat on my back, head back, hand resting on my belly. I definitely awoke at a time that was not my ideal time (5:45). I laid in bed actually praying God would give me 15 more minutes. I kept insisting in my pleading that 15 more minutes really was all I needed. I didn't get the fifteen minutes and I haven't stopped thinking about how sleepy and comfortable I was when I woke up this morning.
Is it possible I have made sleep my idol? I always think of an idol being something worshiped. Something I covet, I yearn for. Money is a prime example. For some reason it is easy for me to see it being money. I like money, I like using money, I like having money, I wish I had more money...Money seems like an obvious choice. But this morning ever sense I have let the jealousy of a dead squirrel consume me, I have realized it is not "money." Nor is it possessions, our house, etc. It is sleep!
I lay down at night completely thrilled that it is bed time. I described the feeling to my mom like this: The feeling you get in your stomach as you crawl into bed as kid, knowing that in just 12 short hours you will be sitting under the Christmas tree ripping open presents, laughing and playing and sharing the magic christmas possesses. That is the feeling I get every night as I stand by my bed and know it is my turn for rest. That 9 o'clock (lame I know), leaves me with the freedom, the license to crawl into my bed, let my guard down and rest. When I lay down for a nap I spend the first 5 or 10 minutes of it thanking God that I get the opportunity to rest. I love that God created sleep! I often pass by my room with my bed in it and I long to lay with it (I mean on it :). I often don't sleep well at night (strange I know) and maybe this is why I long for sleep so much. Our relationship is so broken that I leave it not satisfied. I crave a deep rest that I wake from completely rested, excited to leave my bed.
So I realized by seeing this dead squirrel that I have made sleep my idol. I need to trust that God will sustain me when my sleep is imperfect. That God needs to be my sole focus and not how I may or may not get in 15 more minutes. Sometimes I need to get up and accept that right now at this stage in my life sleep is definitely precious but it is not the ultimate answer. That the more I obsess about how much I want more sleep the more discontent I become. Instead of seeing each moment of sleep as a blessing, I focus on the sleep I am not getting.
I have more to write but feel I better stop since I am talking about sleep (which I love) and i have officially yawned 13 times during this post.
I find myself asking this question, what else am I making an idol in my life? What is consuming my thoughts, focus, and desire?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Worst most horrible mom ever!

I came home yesterday after being gone for less than 24 hours. Flyboy worked it out that I could go to the land of STL. and get a little shopping and R&R. So this morning upon being thrust back into the world of staying at home, I got up and started the morning routine at 6:20 a.m. I know this is not the earliest it could have been and really when you take into account the time I went to bed I was pretty blessed with a good amount of sleep. Unfortunately I am not a morning person. Not because I am grumpy, but because I don't actually want to get out of my bed. My bed and I have a fabulous relationship and I hate that every morning I must abandon that relationship. That is a whole other blog post for a whole other time. 
So this morning as I was getting the kids ready The oldest who shall remain nameless was out to give me the challenge of a life time. The scenario goes a little something like this:

Every stinkin Wednesday Wesley has to turn in his spelling written two times each. This is required homework and it is required every stinkin Wednesday. EVERY WEDNESDAY. Sorry this story is already off to a rough start:) So this morning I inform him that because he did not do his spelling homework last night he needs to do them this morning before breakfast. I said before breakfast for 2 reasons: 1. He takes forever to eat breakfast. 2. I was hoping it would motivate him to just get it done. Well apparently making him write his spelling words and making him do it before breakfast was grounds for putting me on the worlds most horrible mom ever list! That is not me being sarcastic but letting you know a fact. Apparently there is a worlds most horrible mom list and I am top of it. He then informs me that he would much rather live at his Nana and Papa's house where they are much kinder and would never make him write spelling words let alone write them before breakfast. 

I let him go on for a while then when he informed me that he wished he was dead because then this moment would never be happening, I said Wesley you now need to write each word three times. If you keep putting it off it will be four. I had so many other things to say but my mom  (you know the kind and full of heart Nana that Wesley would rather be living with) she taught me if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything. Every response I could think of was laced with sarcasm and a challenge as to the legitimacy of this rating as the "worst moment ever." So I just waited it out and let him rant on. All the while quietly plotting to truly show him what the worst Mom would really do.

After a while I asked him to also feed the cats before he ate breakfast. Well this prompted him to write the words because he felt like it was getting him out of feeding the cats. So my goal was now to help him through reality consequences to help him realize how he cannot speak to me  the way he did. My first attempt was to take away the gum packets that I had purchased on my trip to STL. I know he loves gum and loves to try new flavors and I had picked him up some while at Target (we don't have one here). So I took the packets away. The worst mom in the world does not in fact buy her child gum. Well taking away the gum did not impact him. He actually didn't even care. So as he was down feeding the cats, I made his breakfast. Instead of him getting a choice, he was getting toast. Plain toast with a small amount of butter. My plan was that when he threw a fit because that was not what he wanted for breakfast. I was going to "lovingly" remind him that I was the worst mom and needed to do my best to fulfill that role. He came upstairs bounded over to the table and proceeded to thank me for making him toast. The only person who did cry was Liam and that is because Wes went on so much about how great the toast was that then Liam wanted some. Upon being told he could not have any he proceeded to throw a fit. So as of 7:45 this morning Wesley 2 pts. Mommy 0!
If only I could google "Most horrible mom ever," and have him read a couple of the articles that come up... But being that I am the Mom that I am, I still feel it my job to protect him from some of the nightmarish things this world really has to offer. Even though it might make me look pretty good:)

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Dear Friend

It is interesting to think about the seasons of life that we go through. The things each season holds, the people it brings into our live, and the circumstances we navigate through. Thinking back there have been many seasons that I thought I couldn't make it through. I would tell myself that God wouldn't give me anything I couldn't bear. Wow did I understand that verse wrong. God will in fact give me trials that are greater than I can bear...ALONE. He wants to bring me to a state of complete dependence on him. Although those times are difficult they are so beautiful. The blessing in the end is that there is so much fruit to be gathered, if I endure to completion.
The last 5 1/2 years spent in our town has been a time of learning and growth for me. The friends that I have made here have been an invaluable part of this journey. There have been many times that God used these friends to help cary me through very difficult times. There is one friend in particular that has made one of the greatest impacts on my life. Her and I met at one of the most difficult times in any Mom's life. I don't know what my support looked like during that time. But watching her and her sweet family navigate that time in their lives had one of the greatest impacts on me. The wisdom and insight she has been able to share through this continues to make a huge difference in my life.

We attended bible study together. She was a great support to me because for some reason bible study seemed to be one of the most prominent places for me to stick my foot in my mouth. I remember one occasion in particular when I was trying to explain how as an adult it is much more difficult to make friends. Not just friends but good friends. Friends that you share a deep relationship with. Doesn't sound all that bad until I added, "You know because in college you would sleep with your friends building that sense of intimacy." Wow really? Insert laughter from my fabulous friend to break the very awkward silence. What I was trying to allude to is the fact that In high school and college we have very  close friendships and part of what builds that intimacy is the sleep overs, late night movies and conversations.  Once we become adults and are married we don't have, the sleepovers, girls late nights. We have husbands and children etc. The sleeping comment had nothing to do with what it sounded like.

Girls night out was another fabulous time for her and I. We would share stories of children that week with tones laced with sarcasm. We have never been afraid what the other one would think of us. We knew there was no judgement just empathy.

Her and I have also called each other for last minute play dates, to help maintain our sanity. We have shared personal details about the affects of childbirth or nursing have had on various body parts. We can go weeks without having a conversation and then pick up the phone and dive right in as if we had just talked a few minutes before.

We are notorious for running into each other at Walmart. Her with her 3 and me with mine. We stop and smile at each other as if delighted that the other is being subjected to the same awful experience. Hey misery loves company! While we try and quickly spew the horrors we are currently experiencing while trying to grab even just a gallon of milk. Our children become entangled in some game of hide on the shelves, or chase each other down the aisle. We laugh and although we may have just created more work for the other mom to take care of we walk away with a renewed sense of energy. That sense of realizing we are not alone.

I am happy to say that this season of friendship is not over but it is changing. I am not writing this post as a fair well to a dear friend. But rather a thank you. Thanks for being one of the dearest closest friends I have ever had. I know that even if lots of miles and states separate us we will still be able to pick up the phone and talk like we just ran into each other at Walmart.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My three huge blessings

I had a moment this morning where God reminded me just how blessed I am with my three little people. I think sometimes I get so caught up in the stress of life that my kiddos take on the role of annoying obstacles rather rich blessings. Each one of the kids definitely comes with their unique challenges but with each challenge there is a promise that God is going to walk me (sometimes carry me) through that challenge. It is kind of crazy when put into the perspective that God has entrusted the lives of/ training of 3 human beings. 3 humans who will someday grow to make a big difference in the world. 

I want to specifically talk about my four year old. I have mentioned before that Liam has presented some unique challenges in our world. Challenges that often leave me physically and emotionally exhausted. I read a fabulous encouragement this morning that said, "Often we must grow downwards, that we may grow upwards; for the sweetest fellowship with heaven is to be had by humble souls, and by them alone. God will deny no blessing to a thoroughly humbled spirit. Humility makes us ready to be blessed by the God of all grace, and fits us to deal efficiently with our fellow men. Whether it be prayer or praise, whether it be work or suffering, the genuine salt of humility cannot be used in excess." I found this quote by Charles H. Spurgeon, to speak right to my heart's current condition. Ha just realized that makes it sound like I am saying I am super humbled, which would in fact immediately negate any humility I would have had. In reality I am talking about the constant feeling of being shown exactly how much I don't know. 
Let me back up...
When we chose adoption I was pretty confident I knew what it was going to look like, be like, turn out like etc. I am tender hearted and nurturing by nature(which has proven to be a blessing and a curse). I have such a passion for psychology and counseling, that I really felt like God could kinda hand us any challenge and I could handle/conquer it. Wow bold I know. I don't think I outright thought this but I do think my lack of true adoption training, awareness, etc. showed just how boldly I thought I could handle things. Sure I did the online classes and read the articles recommended by our agency but that is pretty much the extent. I really thought that any emotional brokenness would come in the form of a snuggly little butterball who would cry and cling to me. That there would be immense sadness that if I just did everything right, I could bring healing. I would be enough to heal the scars, reverse the trauma, and create this new better life that our family had to offer. 

Instead I have spent the last four years continually having my feet knocked out from underneath me. I picture those cartoons when it shows the character plummeting off a cliff only to be seen in the next clip barely dragging their bruised and broken body over the edge only to find that for some bizarre reason they are once again knocked off. 
When I am looking for the sufficiency of my abilities to heal the brokenness in our home and in my children I will always be knocked off the cliff. If I continue to climb back up on my own strength I will find that through whatever circumstance I will be knocked off once again. I can only rise after being truly humbled through God's grace. His all sufficient, all surpassing all HEALING Grace. Carrying the burden that it is up to me to heal any brokenness caused to my precious middle son, in a time when he was only in my heart and prayers, is a huge task. One that I very bravely, very nobly, and very ignorantly took on, on my own.

 God designed our family before time existed. He picked each one of our children to be our children. Instead of remembering that God called me to adoption. Not because I needed to step out in Faith and then take it from there, but so that it was a journey that WE could walk together. Hand in hand. He did not do this because of some fabulousness I had to offer. But because I was a broken vessel made perfect by the redemptive blood of his son. He knew that I would come to a place of such brokenness that I would finally stop and let him do the healing. 
As circumstances in my life both in my control and beyond my control knock me off my feet and remind me of how week and incapable I am, I have a choice to either reflect on my patheticness  or I can realize how powerful and perfect God and his Glory are made in my weakness. 

God thank you so much for my three rich blessings. Thank you for the reminder that apart from you I can do nothing. Thank you even more for the constant doss of humility they bring to my life daily. I pray I never again take them or the humility they bring me for granted.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


So I have a big decision that I need to make...Whether or not to start working on my license or stay at home. I am very passionate about both and feel God is glorified in both. How do I know which way he is leading me?

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Writing a post in the midst of frustration. It will be interesting to read my rants later. Wondering if they will still ring true to me or not. Each one of our kids at different times goes through fazes that try my patience. Currently the frustration is settling on Liam. I struggle the most when it is Liam for 2 reasons. One I often try to empathize with him the most because he is the middle child. I understand what it is like to be the middle. You're to young to do stuff with big brother and to old to act like sister. There is also a positive to this in that you get the grace given to the younger sibling and some of the privileges at an earlier age than your brother got them. But I also struggle when he is the source of my frustration because of him being adopted. Although Liam's adoption was a one time thing and he is now and always will be (and always was) my son, being adopted is part of his journey. His story so to speak. It will always be part of him and whether I like it or not a factor in our parenting of him. With this said Flyboy and I very much believe that because Liam is our son we discipline him as our son. So we do work on things with him. We don't just let him run wild like a hooligan reeking havoc.
Not sure how I got off on this tangent, oh Liam's behavior. So I can't even articulate what the behaviors are. I know for a fact that when I type them out they will seem stupid. Isn't that always the case? Sometimes as a parent I think it is easy for me to keep a tally going of the awful, obnoxious, sinful behavior of my kids. At the  end of the day, or around nap time I can be heard saying something like, "I have had enough," or "You are driving me crazy." Isn't it such a blessing the Bible tells us that our slates have been wiped clean? That the record has been sealed! Taken care of! Accounted for!. How much more should I be able to forgive each of my little people's daily issues. Especially because they are still learning. Their life experiences don't leave them with the accountability and responsibility that mine does. I have so much more to be forgiven. I think it is a huge job for me to be an example of God's Grace to my kids. It is a huge job. One that I continually fail at. So glad that God's Grace is sufficient! His power is made perfect in my weakness. I am so glad that applies to my parenting because I am pretty weak!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Mornings on Vacation

We are on vacation. Usually if a Sunday falls during vacation we treat it like any other vacation day. In the past Aaron has asked if we could have some sort of service, whether it be a devotion time or singing some worship songs. Usually the time goes by, people get busy, and we aren't able to set aside the time. This vacation we were able to corral everyone and have a short devotion led by my Dad and then sing a few songs. During this time whether the kids wanted to be there or not they all did a good job of answering the questions and joining into the singing. Everyone but Wes. When Papa asked a question Wes was quick with a response, not a Biblical I appreciate what you are doing for me response, but a response like: "This is ridiculous, I am to important for this, and I have better things to do with my time. Wes's attitude stunk! After we had our devotion time together, Flyboy and I took Wes back to our condo and had a little chat. I was really disappointed with his attitude. I asked him why he was so put out. He told me it was because he was just so excited to get his vacation started that he didn't want to have to sit through church. I tried to explain to him that it is only by God's blessing that we were even able to be in a condo, and have air conditioning, 3 resort pools to chose from and a lake to swim in. I told him that God provided those things for us and out of Gratitude we could spend a few minutes with Him. I tried to use a word picture. I said, imagine that you have your whole tote of Lego's.  You decide that you would like to watch Liam enjoy those Lego's so you give them to him. You say Liam, I want to give you my Lego's and you may play with them for 7 days, there are no strings attached but on the 7th day if you chose I would like to play them with you. I can see what you have been building and I can show you ways to grow your buildings and your abilities. So for 6 days you watch him play with the Lego's. Sometimes he laughs and has so much joy, other times he seems so frustrated. You anticipate the day he will bring the Lego's to you so that you may enjoy them together. I asked Wesley how he would feel if Liam said, "I don't want to enjoy them with you, I want to play them by myself." Wesley's response was right on. He said, "I would feel sad because I gave him the Lego's and I would feel sad that he did not want to be with me." 
After our talk I could see he got it. He gave me a sweet and very heart impacted hug. I walked away feeling energized and then it hit my like a two by four (not really sure what that means since a two by four can't actually pick itself up and hit me. And a two by four is not a type of hit...aaaannnnyyywwwaayyy). I became so humbled. God had used my child and an explanation designed for a child to teach me a lesson. Yes Wesley benefited from it but I know it was really meant for me. 
I often give God my last. My last stretch of patience, my last plea for wisdom, my last cry of frustration, my quick utter of thanks, or request for protection. God watches me walk through it all. He watches me enjoy his blessings, or face trials, He watches me do it alone, desiring to fill me back up. He says come and rest, rejuvenate your heart, your soul. be with me. Let me enjoy my blessings with you. 
God used a story about Lego's and two little boys to humble this Momma's heart.  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Secret Fears

In our home we are often dealing with fears. These fears range from totally logical to completely ridiculous. For Wesley being afraid of storms is a big "logical" fear. Last summer, I was pregnant. Wes and I were at home and I laid down for a rest. In the 20 minutes that I was laying down a storm cropped up. Complete with tornado sirens, a dark sky, and strong winds. Wesley was the one that woke me. We went to the basement, the storm blew over and everything was fine. BUT this experience left Wesley terrified of wind, storms and sirens. I guess it's pretty legit. Another fear that I consider slightly less logical is Liam's fear of the bookcase. Yes you read that right. The BOOKCASE... We had a major standoff about 6 months ago over him not wanting to walk by the bookcase that used to face the door to his room. He decided (I later realized) that he wanted to win a ridiculous battle. Anyway the root of it was an unjustified, unfounded, fear.
But who am I to decide what it is a logical versus illogical fear? For one reason or another if someone has a fear they have gotten themselves to a place that tells them that fear makes sense and is worth the cost the fear brings. Wesley's fear of wind kept him from enjoying many fun things. Coach pitch baseball was probably the biggest activity to suffer. Our ballfields are located on the North side of town. The North side of town is known for having stronger winds. Every ball came became a challenge of him refusing to be on the field in fear of the wind. We were slowly able to face this fear together and by the end he seemed much happier. The funny thing is it wasn't any of my counseling resources or tools that I tried, it was the ice cream that I had broke down and bribed him with. Let's just say in the end this helped me gauge just how serious this fear was.
I often find that I am the same way with fear and God. There are so many things that hold me back or capture my thoughts because of some unfounded fear I hold onto. I know God must think how much more I could enjoy certain things if I would let go of my fear and live life in freedom.
Well at Bible study on Tuesday I finally fessed up to a fear that has pulled at my heart since I was a little girl. This is my fear of death. Not my own death. No I jokingly say that my own death would bring the much needed, uninterrupted, sleep I crave. No my fear is of a family member close to me dying and ability or lack of ability to handle it. My biggest fear is what does it mean when something like this happens to someone of Faith. Why does God chose to let things happen to some and chose to protect others.  I find myself getting anxious right now just writing about it. Well this fear made its way into our conversation at Bible study. I finally verbalized something that has held me back from being vulnerable in relationships, getting close to others, and loving without the fear of losing. The answer to my fears came in the response from one of my dearest friends. I held on to every word she shared because she walked through the very thing I am the most terrified of, Losing a child.
When J was pregnant with JD, she discovered very early on that there would be complications with little JD's heart. Although she was given the option to terminate the pregnancy she valued the little life that had been created, complications and all. She shared that after giving birth she would have put him through surgery after surgery to save him, knowing that he would go through so much pain to ultimately be healed and have a full life later. There was no expense she would spare no time wasted nothing, all out of love this little child who really didn't even know who she was. The comparison she gave to her love and grief for this child and God's love and grief for his children was so beautiful. As a mom I think about my love for my children, I think about how I would do ANYTHING for them. Sometimes being willing to do anything for them involves discipline that is painful for them and me. This temporary pain now is to grow good character to have a long term benefit. How much more our heavenly father loves us. How often he sees us go through pain, hurting both him and us. He allows this to happen because he knows this pain in this magnitude is temporary and will ultimately bring us the greatest benefit. We often can't see the reward or the ultimate good but God promises us he will work for the good of those who love him. I had to laugh when another friend shared her experience that she had had the previous day with one of her boys. She said the day had been awful, she was in tears by 9 a.m. and the day went down hill from there. She said there was a really tender moment she had with that child right before bed. She was working on her Bible study and her little one was watching a movie. He saw his mom reading, crawled up in her lap and begged to be read to. She said they sat there reading chapter after chapter together. She really treasured that time. I had to laugh because I said it reminded me of why God often works in mysterious ways and often does not give us a glimpse into the future. I asked her if I sat her down and said, "Amy, you are going to have an awful day, awful awful, AWFUL. But at the end of it you will have a little boy on your lap and get to read to him." I said would you do it? The pay off really didn't seem that great. But because you blindly walked through your awful day, the reward of having that snuggle time was actually really great, and felt in hindsight totally worth it. You wouldn't trade that moment for anything. But it was because you were not given the choice.
For me as well as with my kids it boils down to trust. Do I trust that even in the midst of my worst fears, God is big enough to work it to my good? And do I trust that even when that good doesn't feel good it really is to my ultimate benefit. I pray I can!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


As a family we are always under construction. We just added a baby girl 7 short months ago. On top of that my niece came to stay with us for the summer. But more than just adding or changing the people joining our family, the kids are growing older, more mobile and forming stronger more independent ideas. Now that Wes and Liam are old enough to interact and some what play together, things have gotten more and more chaotic. Liam is getting old enough to form his own opinions and interests. Most of those interests revolve around the things his brother is also interested in. This causes problems when Wesley has nominated himself to be the ruler of such interests. We have also put the boys in the same room. We did this at the beginning of the fall last year in order to prepare them (and the nursery for the new baby.) Uggghhh thus ensues the chaos. From as early as 5:30 a.m. to as late as 9:00 p.m. arguing, laughter, screaming, play, stomping, wrestling, hugging, pretend, hitting, shoving, talk. It is difficult to wake up too. Frustrating to fall asleep to.
Recently Flyboy and I went on a date. We enjoyed a nice dinner then headed to a local bookstore. Flyboy spent the whole time looking at photography books and ESPN magazines. I on the other hand grabbed book after book on child rearing, discipline, and structure. The book I came home with was: The Strong Willed Child, by James Dobson. All it took was me reading the preface to realize we were dealing with not two naughty difficult to hand children but two strong willed little men who need firm discipline to break their will but not their spirit. I got home with my book only to have the 2 babysitters we hired greet me with, "wow those are two very strong wills you have sleeping in one room." Confirmation I got the right book and a suggestion to split them up. Give the strong wills their own space. I think this would help in times of discipline. It also helps us continue to train Wes to be the oldest and take on the additional responsibility and ultimately privilege such a role should hold. Currently because the boys are together 24/7 it is very difficult to parent the boys based on their developmental level. I know some parents can handle this but I often can't figure out how to incorporate something as simple as a shower let alone cater to 3 individual personalities and stages of development.
Right now it is the baby and the boys. We cater to the infant and lump the boys into the more independent self sufficient category. Which in reality Liam is still not at a stage where he can handle the independent responsibility of himself. We are still wiping the child's but. I feel when he can take responsibility for getting up and peeing in the morning IN THE TOILET, instead of laying in bed and peeing in his pull up, when he can handle fully dressing himself, this includes snaps, buttons and zippers, when he wipe his own BUTT, then we can readdress whether he can play in the front yard without an adult like his big brother.
We have adopted a philosophy in our home that we are currently holding tightly to. B doesn't happen till A is completed. So until the boys do what is required of them they will not have the privileges those requirements earn them.
This parenting thing is constantly a learning process....

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A pain in my GUTT>>>

Recently I have been struggling with chronic pain in my stomach. It is by no means extreme, but it won't go away and therefore is becoming unbearable. I went to the Dr. and she is having me do an elimination diet. I know that I have a milk allergy, but she is wondering if cutting out gluten will be beneficial. Well just so you know there is not a whole lot that accommodates gluten and milk allergy. At least not a lot in the super small town I live in. Oh well, I always fantasize about becoming one of those kitchen efficient, made from scratch, down to earth momma's so maybe here is my motivation. It boils down to make it from scratch, cheat, or starve to death. So far the starve to death option is the only one I have had time for. Having 3 very demanding little people, plus a son with a soy/almond allergy makes cooking next to impossible. Recently I have been losing my appetite which has made deciding what to eat a lot easier but gaining and maintaining weight much more difficult. One of the positive aspects of all these health issues is my ability to serve reality consequences to the boys (and sometimes flyboy) and sleep train Emmalee. I don't have the energy or blood sugar levels for creative discipline, and Emmalee is becoming so high maintenance with her sleep so I could see it was time. I used to feel bad feeding her and then putting her in bed to "work it out." But now my belly hurts and holding her while she squirms and practices her Olympic gymnastics routine is just not working out. 

Day 3 of sleep training
Afternoon nap was a success! I needed that encouragement!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

What promise?

So I titled this blog pilgrimage to a promise. It never dawned on me that this title may be ambiguous. Well it didn't dawn on me till flyboy tactfully asked "what promise?" What promise...What promise??? Only the promise that it does get better then this! The promise that I am not stuck, that I will keep moving forward, no matter the circumstances. Sometimes I think it is hard for flyboy to understand. He has his world at home and at work. He is a husband, father and pilot. His eggs are spread out so to speak. I on the other hand have all of my eggs in one basket and I am in that one basket 24/7. Don't get me wrong, I love our kids, being a stay at home mom. A wife. But when things go wrong in that basket I am screwed so to speak. Okay so screwed was kinda strong (it's been a long day.)

To sum it up I hold tight to the fact that I am moving forward. There is a purpose and glory to God in what I do. This is a journey I am on and it is bringing me to the promise God has designed for my life. Sometimes I think I am just so eager to get what it is God has planned. The ministry he is bringing me to do. I have to remember the whole thing is a journey the whole thing is a pilgrimage and God is being Glorified. I think I am a little too eager to get the prize. Then I have to remind myself to live moment by moment.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

A constant Battle

With my degree I have many resources and tools in order to help others help themselves. This may be internal struggles, relationship struggles, social etc. The really frustrating part is that I have all these tools but sure can't seem to use them myself. 
Anyways I constantly struggle with my relationship with my kids. Well not all three but that is only because Em is almost 7mo. and not able to argue back (at least with her words).  But the boys and I can go round after round. Take tonight for example. Liam was just finishing eating and this was our conversation:
Liam: After dinner do I have to get ready for bed
Me: Well we are going to start heading that way yes.
Me: What you didn't ask about stories, what did you ask mommy
Liam: I said can I have stories?
Me: No you didn't did you...
Liam: Uh Yessssss?
Me: No you didn't you said, after dinner am I going to bed. and Liam what is our bedtime process? Stories are part that aren't they...?
Liam: Do I get stories?
Me: Yes Liam..

It's stupid I know. I am sure you are reading this and thinking any number of things. I know if I was reading this I would be thinking A. So what? and B. The kid was just worried about stories.
I often tell myself, you are the mom, you are the mom, you have more life experience to handle this and you need to be the mature one. Then while all of that is playing in my mind my mouth engages in ridiculous arguments. But these discussions happen ALL THE TIME!! I don't know how to stop them, I know engaging them is not the way to go, but I can't seem to help myself. He sets the trap and I jump right in with both feet. 
Funny thing is I am gritting my teeth right now thinking about it.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Challenge: YOLO

Living in the moment:
With having my 15 year old niece staying with us, I have been receiving a large dose of reality in how uncool I am.  I used to consider myself to be the type of person who was fairly up on trends, cool verbage etc. but I am quickly learning how much I don't know! Take YOLO for example. YOLO: you only live once.  Once learning this I have seen it printed on t-shirts, yelled out by some "brave" soul before doing something stupid, etc. There is a big difference between this statement of YOLO half hazzerdly  yelled before doing something very self focused, and my phrase of living in the moment: FOR GOD. Through out my life I have been called to wait. It has never been a strength of mine. I have often prayed please God help me to wait well and wait patiently (only to then wait anxiously for the feeling of patience to overcome me:). During those times of waiting I have tried to gather my "mana" for the next moment, never fully "enjoying" my mana for the current moment. The mana is in reference to the Israelites being instructed to only gather food for that day. They were told that if they gathered for the next day the mana would spoil. God was wanting them to be in willing reliance on Him to provide. Often I, like the Israelites, can be in complete gratitude for God's provision. "oh thank you God, You are such an amazing, Awesome God." Then it's like I walk away thinking God is sooo great, and just incase he forgets tomorrow I am going to store a little away for then...You know just incase the God of the universe loses track of the time he created...and I wouldn't want to be know,  for only doing what God asked. So in symbolism the Mana represents the "burdens, troubles, 'to  do's' " of the day. So if I focus on today's 'mana', or troubles it is much more manageable then if I think about the troubles of tomorrow.  So the analogy I have embraced is only gathering my Mana for the day. Well of course like everything else it is an analogy that is a work in progress. I continually have to remind myself.

So how does this apply to living in the moment? Well I realized something the other day when I was getting super stressed about flyboys ever changing flight plan. One moment he is flying, the next he is not, then just when I have relaxed it's back on. I wish I could say I am stressed over thinking of him flying, you know his safety and such...but instead it is selfishly based in managing the kids by myself or having help. So it dawned on me,  I need to stop trying to compensate for future moments, moments that I know nothing about and have NO control over, and just focus on the moment God has entrusted me to manage. When I do this things seem so much more manageable.

I am reminded of how ridiculous I must seem to God at times, when my kids do the very thing I do. For example:

In order to get out of our house to do ANYTHING, it takes so much effort and planning on my part. I must calculate about  how long I think we will be out in order to prepare bottles, drinks, snacks, diapers, etc. I also must then pack this stuff while, letting the dog out, putting the dog in her gated area, get the kids dressed, shoes on, teeth brushed, baby dressed, diapered, fed, Oh ya and I must do this all for myself. So by the time I have corralled everyone into the car, buckled them in and am pulling out of the driveway, I am totally exhausted, ready to pull back into the garage and go take a nap. So you can imagine when I have done all of the above in order to do something fun for the kids and not myself (actually it seems if it is fun for the kids it can end up being the opposite for the mom:) how I am not in the mood for ingratitude of any kind. This includes obnoxious questions that allude to the fact that the child feels put out. We had this big production the other day when heading to an amusement park. Upon arriving and merely WALKING TO THE TICKET OFFICE: I had one child who needed to go to the bathroom and another one who was thirsty. Upon being told they needed to wait, Flyboy and I were immediately met with, "how long are we going to be here?" Which translated in my mind to: "I have something way more important to do and this day of fun you have scheduled for me is becoming quite an inconvenience." I know this is how I must appear to God. Hey God thanks for providing and giving my husband this amazing job, giving us healthy, active and awesome kids, the ability to have a vehicle to drive them to school with, etc. But all of these blessings seem to have become quite a bother to me and I was wondering when I can stop having to enjoy them?" Sounds ridiculous and well I guess it is.

So I have been trying to only handle one moment at a time. What are the tools and resources I have been given in order to handle this very moment? This new philosophy is bringing me onestep closer to a more peaceful home, and a much more laid, back and relaxed attitude. God what would bring you the most glory in this moment RIGHT NOW?
Seems simple....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Feeling stuck

Lately I have been feeling a strong urge to move. Not move geographically, or even move as in from room to room, but move...spiritually.  I am ready to do something for God. I believe he calls us to be in a state of readiness. I have so many passions, desires, dreams, callings... So what is God calling me to do? Where will my readiness take me? Well get ready to grip your seat in shear thrill over the excitement of the adventure I am currently embarking on....I am....wait for it......currently....wait for it....Yup that's it! Confused? Sometimes that is how I feel. Confused. Why do I feel so prepared, what is the hint from God I think I am receiving? Well I guess my big adventure is this moment right now, just to wait. Waiting but being willing to live in readiness. Flyboy and I feel like we are in a position of holding. It's funny how we often find ourselves here. You know in waiting...
But in the meantime I am always learning (often the hard way).
Flyboy and I just celebrated our 10th anniversary. With that celebration I feel came the closing of one chapter and the opening of a new one. I guess I should say the end of Volume I and the beginning of volume II. To much has happened in the first 10 years to just call it a chapter. Here is a brief table of contents for Volume I.
             1. Marriage: June 15, 2002
             2. BA graduation May, 2003
             3. Move to STL, pilot training begins
             4. Baby boy #1 Wes: May 16th 2005
             5. Flyboy becomes flyboy in the corporate world...February 9, 2007
             6. Move to Kirksville, Missouri
             7.Continue dream of adopting start the process for real in the Ethiopia program.
             8. Baby boy #2 Liam: born June 2nd 2008, comes to our family December 8th.
             9.Start MA in Counseling Jan. 2010
           10. Move to our new house in town          
           11. Baby girl born Dec. 5th 2011
            12. Graduate MA in Counseling: December 19th 2011...
That brings us to now. Where am I, scratch that where are we headed?