Monday, November 14, 2016

Created For This

I am in college again. This time it is in a master's program. I also am passing both classes with very hard-earned A's. NEVER would I have imagined that this would be my reality and yet, as it is perfectly planned I am both exhausted and hard as I tried to fight it. I know the truth is: I was created for this.

This husband.
This family.
This classroom.
This college.
This life.

I am just beginning to understand beauty from ashes. 

The ache of my heart for students to be supported,respected and given tools to become more independent. The way that previously confusing curriculum and concepts for SPED are becoming second nature to me.  I yield M-F to a calling that I do not understand,that is both incredibly challenging and exhausting to come home and be a better wife and mother than ever before.

God, I am beginning to understand I was created for this.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sorry...Not Sorry.

Sorry...Not Sorry.

I write this post because it is necessary. I write what I wish someone had written or spoken it to a mom 11 years ago.

10 months seems like an eternity. 40 long weeks to grow a baby to full term.

Your life does not stop once you become pregnant.
You are still you when you are pregnant.

A mom was like many other pregnant women. She may have wrestled through a variety of emotions as well as through her options. Although the pregnancy was not planned, she decided to keep her pregnancy to term.

She may have tried to eat a little better, maybe add a little walking to her daily routine. Maybe she even browsed through a book of baby names with her significant other. She might have dreamed of the day that she'd hold her baby and see the best version of herself.

But life doesn't stop when you are pregnant.
You are still you when you are pregnant.

One drink. Aren't there pregnant women who take a drink now and again and give birth just fine? Most everyone on the internet agrees that one drink is nothing, right?!

A little wine, maybe a small shot. Another drink, a little bigger this time. What harm could a little more do?! Who would know, who is getting hurt anyway?

What harm could alcohol do? It's not like the surgeon general requires warning labels.  Don't most women drink wine to get pregnant and before they even know they are pregnant? Besides the pregnancy is almost at term now. Who's idea was it to deny yourself anyway?

Weeks pass and delivery day is here. So is the child.
He is born early and deformed.  His face has a large hole where a nostril and the top of his mouth should have been. His cry is bone-piercing.


What kind of a God would allow this to happen?! HOW could this baby look and act so strange?!


How many little glasses of wine was that? Was it one small shot or two?
The horror and shame overwhelming. Too overwhelming to admit during the hospital intake.

Almost a year passes and the baby is soon to become son in a new family. This mother reads the doctor's report with her husband. The official diagnosis is four little letters that shatter the dreams that they had for their son.
They wrestle through a variety of emotions, sifting painfully through their options. Although the baby was not theirs, decide to keep him and make him forever son.

Ten hard years pass and the family endures much. The once baby bone-piercing cry has developed into a blood curdling scream with violent and often physically destructive rage. Two expensive stays in psychiatric day treatment facilities, lengthy meetings fighting to keep him in special ed with one school district and countless hours working with another to get all the necessary paperwork and endless meetings to make a workable plan. The bruises on this mom's body have faded...the scars on this heart in process to heal.

So many challenges and at times debilitating grief. This family refuses to give up. This is forever. This is a SON.

What kind of God would allow this to happen? How could this son look and act so unusually?!


CRY out to THE LORD. He brings relief and restoration. His timing is perfect. His plans are good. He is the giver of grace and creator of new dreams. Grace for a mom and grace for this mom.

God has brought some relief and once broken hearts mending. Several lives changed forever in that one drink.

Do NOT drink when you are pregnant. 40 weeks is not permanent, brain damage is.

Sorry...Not sorry.

Facts and definitions worth reading Expectant Mother
There is Hope

Monday, April 18, 2016

My Favorite Mile

Our family is passionate about two main things loving God while caring for the vulnerable and running. I'm really unsure of how running became our thing. It started as my thing to get away and has morphed into something far more valuable.

I am recovering from my 5th Half marathon an took my littles for a 1.10 recovery jog.

There is something precious about teaching my youngest son to run. Might be because I missed out on most of his firsts because he was 4 when we adopted him. Maybe it is because we don't have to talk much just to check form, traffic and I make sure to say encouraging type things every few minutes.

Whatever the reasons, we run. Today is my favorite 17:28 mile.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Freed by Jesus and Poncho After 20+ Years

  Jesus knew all about the struggles of my heart. Those I admitted and those that I refused to agree were are there. I had allowed bondage to several lifelong fears. Convincing myself that if I refused to talk or pray about them then it was just past stuff from hard places...
not anything serious like bondage.  

                                                           BUT they were are

      Over time I've shackled myself to some fears. One of the never-intended-to-resolve fears.

FEAR of Riding Horses.

     My fear of riding horses is rooted in a semi-dramatic experience. In short, at about age 12 I was nearly crushed by a horse. I resigned to never, ever, ever, ever ride a horse again. Admiring, petting and possibly owning a fuzzy mini-pony all great and totally doable. Riding an adult possible life-crushing horse. Not. Ever.


     An opportunity presented itself that I easily dismissed at first. Then again the idea crossed my mind and a third time. The Holy Spirit gently and persistently turning my heart to acknowledge the bondage that I carried for over 20 years. It was time to look at that event, acknowledge the nasty fear and be freed. 
AND allow Jesus to work.

     So, I went on a trail ride while on an adoptive/foster mom's retreat. My oldest daughter texted me a reminder that she was praying for me too. I prayed and gripped the saddle horn tightly as Jesus removed the rusted chains of those nasty fears. He reminded me as I rode I was not given a spirit of fear...not a slave to longer a slave to fear...


I am freed from the fear of riding horses by Jesus and Poncho after 20+ years! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

But why do I have to have scars?

"But why do I have to have scars?"

I feel my heart twitch and my eyes sting a little as my youngest son questions his Dad that is massaging his scarred eyelid. I too struggle with that question.

At that moment all I could think of was the chorus to Steven Curtis Chapman's song, Beautiful Scars and open the music file on my computer.  He sits on my lap as his Dad is still massaging his face and we talk about some of the words and the scars that Christ has for us. "Our wounded healer...suffered to set us free...reminders of the wounded love that has carried us this far." I sing the chorus and snuggle him a little closer.

In the desk drawer we have his adoption files and paperwork. I get the file of early pictures and advocacy articles.  I open to an entry from his Nai Nai Jenny entitled "A Beautiful Heart, A Beautiful Mind".  We read it out loud and I help him with some of the more challenging words. He reads about himself as a 3 year old. How smart, sweet and loving he was...and still is.

We talk about scars on the outside and that everyone has scars just sometimes the scars are on the inside. I assure him I have scars, but mostly on the inside. I remind him that he is as he was planned, born where he was born and when he was born...and that we loved him and all of his scars.

Beautiful scars, so beautiful