Friday, May 22, 2015

We Have This Hope

I sat on the phone, listening to the principal who doesn't  know us, doesn't know him, tell me about the latest indiscretions in music class. I held my breath for a minute,  wondering how much I should divulge.  Just what should she know about this child I call mine who has lived through trama. He has battle scars, but they don't show in ways that all would see and I wonder, just how much do I tell?
I don't want my child to be labeled.  I don't want the world to look at him and see a string of letters and determine that he is one way before ever getting to know him. Because he is not. He is a child. A child who has survived. And that counts for something.
I did give her some details. Not many but enough to  cause silence on the end of the line, followed by a slow and steady Ooohhhh. And she got it. She understood at least a little of this war that we face each day. Battles drawn in the sand and marked with sweat and tears.
Today was another call. This one where we made a stand and were wholly supported. You see, children have anniversary dates too. Days when trauma is revisited and the behaviors mark a fight or flight responce they may not even notice. There may be no recognition at all on thier part that they are grieving or anxiously awaiting the same tribulation that happened before. And I am watching this now. As we enter the time frame of loss and abandonment, I see him ununravel.
And it's not his fault. It is not of his doing on a consious level. It is the nature of his brain and of his heart. And I will wait for the calm after the storm to gather him close and pick up the pieces and pray for a peace to keep all our eyes above the water.
 Because we have this hope as an anchor. And though it holds us here, steadfast in the chaos of this world, one day it will be let loose and we will be free. To a place where there is no fear, no tears. Where the anniversary dates don't matter. Where the old hurts are just a distant memory. And there will be no lables or explanations, because all will be at peace.
Let thy Kingdom come......



Please excuse any errors, this was written from my phone.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Such a Time as This


I've been thinking a lot about fear lately. Or I guess more accurately I've been thinking about success, which dirsctly correlates to fear for me. The two go hand in hand. One straining to be set free, one pulling back. It kind of goes against my word for the year-the one God chose when I said no. The one he placed on my heart anyway. Faithful. Yeah, that one. It's  a lotta bit terrifying for me, that word and the many contexts in which it can play itself out. But I'm learning to trust and to battle my fears.
I'm not afraid of many things, but at the same time I feel a little terrified about everything. Doesn't make sense? No maybe not. After all it's  0631, I'm on a plane high above the northwest tapping out these words in an email I'll try and sent to myself when we land.  And I've been up since before  Jesus. Mamma is tired. Maybe these are just the tired ramblimgs of a girl low on sleep and high in dreaming.
I took a personality test last night. It told me things I already knew. Like that I love a lot of things and the ideas of a lot of things. I want to do all. The. Things. Like all of them. When people ask me what I do for a living, I'm never sure what to answer. Do I go with the current bill payer? That I teach nursing, shaping the minds and hearts of the future? Or do I lead with the fact that I'm  a writer.  I live and breath words and always have another plot line rolling around in the back of my head. Or do I share my new venture first? Letting people know about my amazing new business and my love of sharing health and wellness. What about being a mom? A wife and mother? Which of these hats do I  lead with? The answer often comes down to fear.
I'm afraid people won't take me seriously as an author because I only have one book published with a publisher and my first novel is self-published. Do I even mention the other book? The one that I strayed from my original line to make it more appealing to a long branch of publishing, that now it seems wont even make the cut? The one that I'm going to rework to breath back the story it was meant to be in the first place.
What about the business? I worry that people will think I'm only trying to sell them something. We've become so jaded in this world, never believing that others are actually trying to share abundance rather than keep it all tied up for themselves. It is never my goal to "sell" anything. I only want to share my joy.
So here we are with the teaching.  Once upon a time I loved this with all my heart. It was something I was so truely passionate about. But now those feelings have changed. Their luster has been tarnished and while I still love teaching and growing minds, it does not contain my whole heart as it once did.
So where do we go from here? Where do we take back the riegns and refuse to let fear stand in our way?
You all know how much I love my girl Esther. There are some serious nuggets of beauty in that book and two of my favorite verses come from her strength and her food 'ole Uncle Mordechai's wisdom. At one point, when she teembles with fear he tells her "But what if you were put here for auch a time as this?". What if the whole reason for the breaath you're taking right now is because God has such an amazing an for you in the works that you cannot even begin to fathom it? And his words, they reach her. I imagine her there, shaking with fear and trepidation as she wispers the words "If I perish, I  perish" and then oushes open the doors to the King's chambers.
Whew. I get nervous for her! She had a dream. She had a purpose.  And sge was scared out of her ever loving mind. But she followed theough, because she knew that when it all came doqn to it, there was a master plan.
See, I'm afraid of failing. I'm worried that when I step out on that limb, the voices of those around me that say I'll never make it will be right. But I'm learning to tame that fear. For Mother's Day my hubby bought me a beautiful feminder of God's faithfulness, a neclace based on Job 9:9-10. You see, God has created amazing, wonderous things. He not only hung the stars, but he shaped them into constellations.  He gave them a name. And there are so many more miracles up his sleave that we can't fathom. So there is no reason to fear. After all, what if we were put here for just such a time as this?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Ohana Means Family

I stood at the counter, the sun radiating off the crystals in the stone, the ones hiding beneath the bread crumbs and spilled milk. The knife sliced cleanly through the upper crust of the bread, fresh from the oven and formed by my hands. I had flour on my pants and the babe had transferred much of the remaining flour from the bin to the floor.

The twins were playing in the living room in the over sized boxes from the microwave. Bot Bot was downstairs, her music blaring while she read on her bed.

"It's a good life." I told him, my man standing beside me, pouring over the directions to install the dishwasher.

I could feel his smile as he wrapped his arms around me from behind and dropped a kiss on my neck, right below where the longest wisps of my hair sway. "It is." he agreed.

This is not the typical picture of our life. It is not the calm serenity of a Norman Rockwell. It has been hard, this life of parenthood. In the last 6 and a half years we went from childless to now a 14 year old, twin 7 year olds and a nearly 2 year old.

We have fought spiritual battles of inequity and loss. We've opened the doors of our home to family not of our blood, but of our childrens'. We have cried over diagnosis and the behaviors that they create. We have held each other's hands through rages brought on by Reactive Attachment Disorder and plain old heartache. We have prayed over our family, our home, this life.

It has been hard.

Some days it feels too hard. As if this life we were called to is more than we can manage. But it is worth it.

I find it ironic that May holds not only Mother's Day, but is also National Foster Care Month. For years I grieved Mother's Day. It was not a blessing to me, it was a reminder of my barren body and our empty home. Yet there are so many children who grieve this day as well. Babes without moms and dads and a home to call their own. The amount of children waiting for homes leaves me breathless. And those who age out of foster care, with no one-not a place to go on the holidays, not a parent to call when life seems too hard-this leaves me heartbroken.


Our family is not a traditional one. It is instead one forged by grace and the courts. Ours were paper pregnancies, often longer than a physical one and just as painful. We don't all look alike, though there are some pretty stunning similarities. We don't share the same DNA. We have different histories and stories that tie together to make us who we are. But we are family and I think Lilo says it best: 

"Ohana means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten."

I'll never tell you that this road through adoption, especially adoption through foster care is easy, because it's not. It is hard in ways that you may never imagine. But there are blessings in the rubble of broken hearts, and every child deserves a home and loving family. 

May isn't just about mammas. May is about the children. If you've ever thought of foster care or foster adoption, now is the time to give it another look. It's time to give them all a home. 








Linking up today with Jennifer Dukes Lee at 

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Whole {almost} 30

I've spent the last three weeks doing a whole foods/detox challenge with Arbonne. What I love about this plan is it follows what Dr. Oz and all the researchers (the infamous they) say we should really be putting in our bodies. It hasn't been as difficult as I had thought it would be, though I'll be totally honest, I haven't been perfect on it either. Dear reader, it told me not to drink coffee. I know. The horror. It took a lot of psyching myself up to even consider this. But I did it....For 10 days. At one point my hubby looked at me and said "You'd be a whole lot happier if you just had some coffee." He was right. So I added it back in. But I drink it black and I've cut down how much I drink, so we're calling it a success.

And there's no dairy either. This one I really have done pretty good on. I've had a couple meals with dairy in it. Date night was a no holds barred kind of night but on the whole I'm feeling pretty happy with myself. The one thing that surprised me was that I really don't feel any different than before starting this challenge. It has definitely helped me to see that my life is a fairly healthy one, and that's encouraging. That said, during these last few weeks I've learned some things and I'd love to share them with you.

1) Goldfish crackers will never look as appetizing as they do on day 3 of a challenge where you're not allowed to eat them.

2) When your toddler offers to feed you animal crackers, you accept. There is no poundage association when building a relationship with your child.

3) Coffee makes me happy. It is my happy place. I don't need the caffeine, I just need the hot cup and black liquid. When you take that from me, I'm not happy.

4) Yes I know it's an addiction. I've gotten over that.

5) When you have {almost} your whole family over for dinner, you will eat the potato salad. It will not kill you. And you will leave the bun off your veggie burger and that's okay too.

6) This world is full of laws and regulations, be kind to yourself.

7) Though I eat pretty healthy on a whole, food was an addiction to me. I'm working on moving past that.

8) Be kind to those around you. You never know who is missing coffee and peanut butter.

9) Grace, grace, grace and more grace. We are so hard on ourselves.

10) There are a lot of things you can do with cauliflower. It is seriously versatile.

11) I do not like cauliflower pizza crust. It is not pizza crust. It's gross.

12) I love protein shakes. Seriously. Yum.

13) Organic meat is expensive. Unless your husband is a hunter.

14) There are times when we have to adapt, in the kitchen and in life.

15) There are days when making the memory is more important than what the rules say.

16) Some days will be more difficult than others, and some days will be easier, but when you add them all together they make up this life, so love yourself along the way so that when you look back, even the hard days are covered in grace.


On the whole I've learned to not be so rigid with myself. It's okay to live a healthy lifestyle with balance and moderation.  And coffee. Let's not forget the coffee.

Have you ever tried a whole foods challenge or would you like to try one? What was it like if you did? What did you learn about yourself in the process? 

Friday, April 24, 2015

NIAW 2015: To Be Remembered

I don't cry often.
Well, that's a lie. I cry all the time. But usually over the stupid stuff. Like Hallmark commercials. Those things should come with a disclaimer and a box of chocolates.

Perhaps it's better to premise this with I haven't cried regularly over the big stuff in a long time. Babies are the big stuff for me. Wanting them and not having them. Wanting them and not being able to have them. Wanting them and not having the option to have them. Wanting them and the only way to get them is through some one else. It is a cycle. One that I excused myself from for quite awhile.

It's been a long time since the emotions over infertility slayed me. I've been pretty level headed about it the last couple of years, with only the occasional mishap. Today there was a mishap. I read this article that a friend posted, a letter from the fertile friend. I did okay through most of it. Reading about the guilt that women who can have babies feel over those of us who can't. I understand most of it. A part of me gets it. I liked that she didn't say she understood. It makes me crazy when people who have had no difficulty conceiving say they understand-because no matter how much you'd like to sympathize or empathize, you just can't until you've been there. I'm not trying to sound trite. I'm just being honest. I have no idea what it's like to live with breast cancer or pregnancy loss. I don't understand that pain, because I haven't lived it. Even though I will pray my heart out for you and cry with you and love on you if you have lived with those things. Or the kaleidoscope of other things that we face in our lives.

But I digress.

The article was good. I got a little misty. And then I reached the end. Then I became a hot mess.

See she references the Bible, which is chock full of women who suffered through infertility. They called out to God and begged for his mercy and a family. They waited years. And then, the desires of their hearts are granted. As it is so eloquently said in Genesis and on this little blog piece in regards to Rachelle and those four words: "And God remembered Rachelle."

Here's where I lost it. Right here. Because sometimes it makes me wonder then, did God forget me? Rationally I know he didn't. In my heart of hearts I know he's there. Always will be. That his decisions for my life are unknown and may never be explained in this life time. But sweet Jesus....to be remembered.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Hide

Taking a little break from National Infertility Awareness Week to join the girls over at Kate's for Five Minute Friday! Jump on in and join the fun!

Prompt: Hide

Go.


Hide me in your mountain,
Underneath the covering snow.
Make a cave for just us two,
Down deep where the wind wont blow.

Hide me in your heart,
Beneath your heaving breath.
Take me to that secret place,
There where I'll find rest.

Hide me in your church pew,
Take the cup and drink the wine.
Lift the gossamer of white,
Let me know you're mine.

Hide me in your table,
Stop and catch my eye.
Send me silent messages,
Meant for only you and I.

Hide me in your hand,
Let our fingers catch and play.
Remind me what I am to you,
Love growing every day.

Hide me in your rocking chair,
Back and forth we sway.
Until the sun sets no more,
On this our final day.

Hide me in your memory,
The sacred and mundane.
Weave the threads of past.
Until we meet again.

Stop.




NIAW 2015: Survived Alone

Horatio Spafford had every right to grieve. No one would have batted an eye if he cried out at God when his only son died at four years old from scarlet fever. Then just a few years later, as properties rose in Chicago and business was booming, this intelligent man bough properties and planned to cushion his family in wealth and comfort for the rest of their days. But it was all stolen away from them in the Great Chicago fire of 1871. I would have been angry at God. No one could have faulted him no for raging against the creator. But this was only the beginning.

Two years later, with another child now in the home, another sweet girl to bounce on her daddy's lap, that family decided that a vacation to England was in order. Horatio had some work to do so he sent the others on ahead. But he did not receive glad tidings on their landings. Instead, just a short telegram from his wife with two words: Survived alone. 

The ship she and the girls were sailing on had collided with another out in the sea, and all four of their girls perished under the water. Five children had been lost. All of their fortune had literally gone up in flames. Surely now they would turn their backs on God. Now they would rip their clothes and curse his name. Now, with nothing left but each other, they would leave the church and all those with it.

Only they didn't. As Horatio crossed the ocean to meet his wife, while passing over the spot where his girls had died, he offered to God these words:

Whatever my lot, Though has taught me to say,
it is well, it is well with my soul

Horatio would go on to pen the rest of the hymn It is Well With my Soul. A musical piece that would calm the hearts and help heal the hurts of countless others over the years. Horatio and his wife Anna knew grief intimately, as do we, the warriors and survivors of infertility. As do those who fight other battles of this life. The cancer fighters. The widows and widowers. The mamas who have lost a babe before that first breath was taken or too soon there after. 

There are so many days (years) when I've felt as Anna did. Survived alone. Shipwrecked in grief. Dreams up in smoke. It has taken me so long to get to the point where I could say that it is well with my soul. Horatio had such a strong countenance and faith. Sometimes I feel so weak in comparison. 

Do you ever feel that way? On your own. Alone in the battle of this world or in the life you've created for yourself? I know that in those darkest days, your vision clouded by the smoke and your head barely above the water, it is so hard to feel the peace of these lines. To see the hope etched in the refrains of the hymns. 

But it is there, dear reader. It is there. Hope prevails. It endures even when all else feels lost. Hope carries on when we feel like we can't take another step. You are not alone. It is well. 

It is Well With My Soul
by Horacio G. Spafford, 1873

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain
It is well, with my soul
It is well, with my soul
It is well, it is well, with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control
That Crist has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Refrain