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?