Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The MadDash Twister

Lately, focusing on anything other than today is just too overwhelming. Dealing with the roller coaster ride that has become my life is enough. Today I'm naming it the MadDash Twister. I'm not very creative with names, so this is the best I could do. Occasionally, I get overwhelmed by the ride and allow my emotions to follow my circumstances. This is not God's best for me, but my flesh makes that choice sometimes. In those moments (often at night when I've been up with the baby and can't go back to sleep because my mind starts racing), I can hardly breathe thinking about all of the "what ifs" and get to a point where I just cry out to God to reclaim my emotions and help me refocus on what I know is true.

I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength. ALL things. Making it through a day without much sleep. Yes. Tackling all of the tasks on my plate for the day. Yes. Taking my boys to visit their biological mom. Yes. Even unimaginable things like possibly having to leave them there someday. Yes! ALL things. That's what is true.

So give me THIS day my daily bread...give me what I need to get through today...and lead me not into temptation...anger, selfishness, impatience, the temptation to allow my emotions to swallow me up and take over... Help me to maintain peace and a calm spirit on the roller coaster ride beyond my understanding that can only come from You. That's what is true.

Whatever your roller coaster ride is called, claim truth over emotions today.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

No! Mine! I wanna!

Words I didn't think I'd hear in my home on a regular basis again...no! mine! I wanna! But here we go. Since I last blogged in October, we have become foster parents to 2 precious little boys (ages 2 and 5 months).

We received a call on October 26th at 8pm that they were dropping off 2 little boys (a 6 week old and an 18 month old) in 45 minutes. Can you say "Yikes!" ? Needless to say, we were a little overwhelmed for the first few days. But we've settled into life as a family of 6 and are truly enjoying discovering the differences between boys and girls. As Robbie would tell you, we've never been peed on more than in the last few months. Our girls never did that. And the activity level of our 2 yr old boy continues to amaze us. We're looking forward to warmer days and being able to run and play outside.

He is a typical 2 year old boy with a great need for structure, security, and love. We discipline him differently than we did with our 2 girls for several reasons. Partly, because we are older now and hopefully a little wiser in our approach. I want to see him the way Christ sees him, as a soul in a body, not as a body with a soul. This completely changes what I say and how I treat him.

It has taken a few months to develop a long-lasting bond with these boys and although we don't know what the future holds, we hope they always know how much we love them and more importantly, that Jesus loves them. We talk to them about God all the time and pray this sticks with them far into the future.

There's been a lot of change in our lives and a lot of roller coaster emotions, but nothing beats knowing we are able to give these boys security and love to help them grow into men who will know and feel God's love.

We may deal with some little power struggles and hear a defiant "no" a few times a day, but the best phrase I get to hear every day...wuv you! And it reminds me that as a parent, there is nothing better. How often do I express my love to my Father?

Monday, October 10, 2011

The "joys" of parenthood

There are many joys of parenthood. Some of them unexpected and some of them not the "ha ha" joy we typically think about. There's the joy of watching your baby roll over for the 1st time or the joy of watching them smear icing all over their face from their 1st birthday cake. This week we celebrated with our niece as she pooped in the potty for the 1st time. Then there's the joy of watching them as they finally "get" something you've been trying to teach them for a long time or the joy of seeing them stand up for what they believe in front of their peers. We glow with thankfulness and pride (probably should be just thankfulness, but I have to call it what it is for me sometimes) for the children we see them becoming.

The joys I don't expect (and don't really want) are the ones that happen because of lessons learned during time in the trenches. I have several dear friends going through time in the trenches with their kids right now, and my girls have spent some time there recently as well. We want our kids to continue behaving the way we've told them they are supposed to behave. We want them to continue to want to climb onto our laps and tell us we are the most important person in their world. But part of the growing up process, as we all know, is figuring out who you are as a human being. Unfortunately for parents, this sometimes means they pull away from us for a time, they go beyond limits to see what happens, they cry themselves to sleep, or they live in what seems like a state of utter confusion about what is right and wrong. And we are sometimes left standing by watching it all happen.

I wish I could say I have all the answers to help your child survive these times. What I do have are the promises from God's Word.
Prov. 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go, and even when he's old he will not depart from it.
Romans 8:26 "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."
Isaiah 40:29-31 "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Micah 6:8 "He has showed you... what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
And we could go on and on and on...

God's grace is enough for your child and for you. His arms are big enough to hold both you and your children through the trenches. When you run out of parenting options, He's still there. He's still loving your child and offering His grace to them. Pray earnestly for them. It may not seem like enough, because you want to DO something to help them. But it truly is enough. We have to trust in Him. We have no other choice.

And so many parents "on the other side" of these trenches have seen that the joy that comes in the morning after the darkness is so much greater and deeper than any joy they experienced before. That's where we truly find the joy of parenting. I wish they could get there without the pain, but it WILL be worth it.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Constant motion

Robbie has one of those gadgets (one of many) on his desk at work where if you get it going, it won't ever stop unless someone physically stops it. Have you ever felt like that? That's me lately. I feel like my head never stops swirling with the "to do" list and times of when someone has to be picked up or when I have to be here or when this has to be delivered here. It has gotten out of hand.

But never fear! God places things in our lives to force us to slow down. One of these for me was a new ladies mentoring group I'm a part of that meets once a month. We had our 1st meeting last week, and it forced me to slow down for a few hours and just enjoy the fellowship. How nourishing for my soul this was. Of course, as soon as I left, I was back at it. Fighting deadlines, returning phone calls, going through training classes.

Then the weekend came, and I got sick. Well, that will slow you down in a hurry. I've now spent the past 2 days resting. It is difficult not to feel lazy in these times, but I know it was God's way of slowing me down for a bit. It has been a precious time of seeking His Word and praying for people who He brings to mind. A lot of time to listen and be still. So good.

Now, why don't I do this when I feel okay? Not sure, but it needs to change. I need to commit time to being still. Hold me accountable for this, won't you? This is a struggle for me and has been for a long time. I think I grew up thinking if I wasn't "doing" for Christ, then I wasn't doing my job as a Christian. I didn't understand that it's more important to "be" in Christ and to learn from Him than to do. I need to take more time just being with Him.

Let me know how you make sure you have this much needed time on a regular basis. We can all learn from each other.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Higher Ground News Update

We wanted to let everyone know that we are in the final stages of the creation of the family devotional. Many have been asking for this for a while. It has taken over a year, but the songs are being mixed and the devotionals are going through their first edit. Our goal is to have the Family Worship Night book and companion CD available right when everyone is going back to school. That would be a great time to commit to spending time together as a family, even with all of the craziness of school and activities.

Friday, April 8, 2011


Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. John 14:1

Has your heart been troubled lately? Broken? I'm feeling a little that way today. Okay, a lot that way. It seems like something our family has been hoping for for a long while is not going to be possible, at least not at this time. It makes me naturally feel troubled and heartbroken. But that goes against what God says in John 14:1, so what do I do with that? I'm going to be real here. I would like to scream or cry right now and just wallow in that for a while. But this is one of the verses our family has learned recently, and we've asked God to help us apply these verses to our lives.

So, as much as I don't "feel" like it, I am going to ask God to take the brokenness out of my heart and fill me with joy and peace and trust. I know God has a plan for our family, and He knows what the future will bring. He also is walking with us through this time. I have to cling to that. Because of that, I can find His peace (that is above all of my understanding) and keep seeking Him.

Do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. John 14:1

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

God loves sinners

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy mid-January! Ok, well it's rainy, cold, foggy, and the temps have risen all the way to 38 degrees today in lovely Indiana, so it's a little harder to be happy. I heard recently that the saddest day of the year is January 15th. That's when the bills starting coming in from Christmas, no more holiday get togethers, it's cold and nasty outside, and everyone has the winter blues. So I've been a little more focused on praying for joy this month, because I'm always one to fight the "going" trends especially negative ones. I guess I want to prove them all wrong or something like that. And I have so much to be thankful for, how can I not have joy?

I was watching one of those shows where they give away a house to a family, and the sister of the recipient said it had been a long time since she'd seen her sister really smile like that. She said, "She's happy all the time and always smiling, but this is a cheeks cracking, face splitting in two kind of happy." I want that kind of joy all the time, and I know we don't always live on those highs. But I can still be overflowing with that kind of joy. After all, God loved ME, a sinner!

Over Christmas, Robbie created a mini-home theater in our loft area, and we have enjoyed watching all of our favorite Christmas movies up there. Do you remember the part in Polar Express when Santa comes out and all the elves go crazy? The noise is deafening. It's just like a roar of millions. (Side bar: Robbie loves that part with his new sub-woofer, because it makes you feel the roar in your heart.) I was thinking about that noise and where else would that be heard. You know that when a sinner turns their life over to Christ, all of Heaven rejoices. Imagine Michael and Gabriel hi-fiving each other, and all the cherubs singing out. There could be millions there. We don't know. But I bet the sound is a little like that deafening roar. After all, they all are there to worship God, and God is rejoicing when a sinner repents because He loves that sinner so much. So there's a huge party going on!

It makes me think about the day I came to Christ. I wish I could have heard Heaven that day. I wonder how long the party lasted and how loud they all cheered and sang for my sinful heart that had been made new. Maybe that's something I'll ask if God will share with me when I get to Heaven.