Friday, April 13, 2012

What if we were real?

 So whew.....I am not even sure where to begin.  This post has taken a while to get done.  Title of this post- LOVE MANDISA!!!  And this is on her latest album (not sure why we still refer to it as an album?) and I LOVE IT!
 So I am going to try to be as real as I can....while showing you my REAL house and real pictures of our - everyday life.  FOR REAL!  I typically post all the time and don't really journal in my book anymore, but this is what I wrote....April 7th......

WOW!  What a year this has been.  Typically I write what is on my heart on the blog, but there are things I felt like writing here too.  So here the last year we have moved from a beautiful home, life, and ministry that we loved because we felt called to me being strictly a stay at home mom, to be near family, and to have friends, and go to a church that is teaching The Word- that looks more like our family does.  We have found all of the above, but not without some fights.  We have changed our whole lives!  Jason has learned a whole new job.  He has had to learn to work for someone new.  He has to drive in traffic now for about a 1/2 hr each way.  He has a sit down job.  He is in a Christian environment!
 BUT!  All of the changes are hard.  We moved- to a nasty rental and lost $1,000's...moved to another rental and lost $1,000's because Jason found a job- Praise God!  The last rental- tooooooo expensive, but not a lot of choice since our tax refund still hadn't come to put a down payment on our home.  Oh and the last rental 1,100 sq feet for 10 people for 4 months!  NO YARD, but had a community use pool.  FINALLY PRAISE JESUS!!!  WE got our tax refund, found our current home that is 2,100 sq ft, has a yard, and a pool, in a great neighborhood!!!!  WAHOOO!!!!!  (not the greatest realtor- sadly enough, but hey we are here!)
 Found friends!!!!  Through foster care/adoption momma's group :)!!  Jason found friends through a ministry at our church- Iron Men!!!!  And we started going to Life Group!!!!  Praise God for all of these things that we really needed for such a long time!!!  Now we have our own life group that is for foster care/adoptive families and we really enjoy that too!!!  I can not even begin to describe the amazing feeling of having REAL FRIENDS in person!!!!!  Ones that get it!!! Ones that love us, love our kiddos, and are wonderful Christ Followers :). 

 We have switched rolls with me staying at home with the kids every day!  Homeschooling has become more consistent (a lot better for me and the kiddos).  Being alone all day.....has its challenges though- before we worked together a lot!!  I and Jason really miss that part!!!  I now have learned how to cook more.  Just don't expect anything fancy or exciting!!!  Trying to learn to menu plan.  Trying to learn new things.  Trying to keep that balance between school, play, fun, etc.  in the home. 
 Oh and don't forget the couponing fun I am into now!!!  Which takes some time, but really great too!
 Then God brought us this little guy!  OH MY HEART!!!  His story......still hurts my heart.  Thinking of his first healing mommy and family!  The heart ache.....still brings tears to my eyes, because I would give anything to make her pain go away!!!  BUT GOD!!!  I have to trust God knows best and not me....seems pretty obvious!  Bringing him home.....having to get medical stuff done- which dealing with insurances, and all that stuff is enough to give anyone a headache.  PRAISE GOD for his first healing mommy who is AMAZING and really helped with a lot of that.

***(NOW we can celebrate because he is on the insurance....has seen the specialist- Pedicatric Infectious Disease Doctor, went to therapies today for feeding/speech, physical....have another apt Mon  for occupational therapy.  And he has an ear apt in a weekish too!!!  OH and did I mention we got his meds- delivered to our door even!!!!!  Man there are some benefits to living in town!!!!)  PRAISE GOD FOR ALL OF THIS- this of course was NOT in my journal because it just happened.*** 

Our little cutie who is HIV positive, has a whole host of needs including Cebral Palsey, and possible this and that too.  We couldn't love him anymore!!!  He has opened a whole new scene in our home of a deeper compassion, love, and laughter!
 Then....oh boy here our marriage.  Oh dear an area that has suffered.  You can't just keep going through all of this and have no consequences or set backs.  Don't get me wrong- WE ARE COMPLETELY DEDICATED!!!  WE WILL BE FINE!!!  BUT, just like anything that gets put on the back burner while you move several times, find a new job, learn a new job, buy a home, change your rolls, deal with traffic, start a new ministry, meet new people, add to the family, adjust to special needs, get sick so many times we have lost track!!!!  UGH!!!  (we are usually sick maybe once or twice a year max). 
 Praise God through Jason's Spiritual Leadership and lots of prayer and plenty of the Holy Spirit's leading we are getting back on track!
 I am now taking more care with vitamins and allergy medicines.  :)  So do the Blessings outweigh the Icks?  YES!!!!  YES AMEN- BECAUSE OF GOD!!!!

We miss the camp, staff, our home, the huge amount of land we had, flexibility with our job, campers, Jason's cooking, mowing that massive lawn :).  There will always be a part of our hearts in Uskichitto Retreat Center!!!  WE LOVED THE MINISTRY THERE!!!  LOVED!!!!  So it is natural that it is a loss to us.  A hard loss.......
 This last 21 days we have been fasting as a church.  Fasting from media (at times), and tv, limiting sugars, and other things too.  Not gonna lie- we "cheated" so we could go see October Baby- BUT IT WAS GREAT!!!  We have been able to come to a crossroads if you will.  Some things need to take over again.  We need some more changes in our hearts.  In our lives.  In our marriage.  In our relationships with our children.  Our eyes are opening up- PRAISE GOD! 

Did I mention in the beginning our child who struggles with RAD was doing great with everything, but oye....lately not so much (reactive attachment disorder).  UGH!!!  We need to continue to give our family tools and time we all need to succeed.  To be intentional.

Our pastor said- the fast will not make you "good enough".  We are already accepted by Christ!  BUT it will push other things aside to make room for MORE JESUS!!!  An entry for the Holy Spirit to do more in our lives!!!  We have fasted before, but not with our church, and not with our kids (they did different fasts on different days rotating from tv time, to desserts, etc.).

As a church wide fast it is definitely more powerful to know we are not in this alone either!
 This last year has been tough!!!!

We are entering a time of more healing- therapies for Michael, times for mommy and daddy, times for our kiddos, new things on the horizon. 

I am Thanking God for HIS FAITHFULNESS!!  for HIS LOVE for me!  For US!  That in loss he always gives too......although it is sometimes hard to see at times.

Thank you God for growth!  And we can't wait to see what that looks like.....this next year!!!  :)
 Did I mention.....we have gained weight too??  :(  SAD FACE!!!!!!  At least I can blame part of that on the move, and part of that on our paper pregnancy right???  ;)
This post is NOT about feeling sorry for myself or our family- we are JOYFUL in what the Lord has done!!  It is a post about our reality.  That through the "tough stuff" there is JOY!!!  That we were in a place of mourning, but that has changed to dancing!!!  That any family changes can be tough, and that several changes happening all together are even more tough.  That this is REAL for us!  WE are NOT just people on your computer screen, but real people!  BUT we LOVE THE LORD and rely on HIM! 

I pray that you are all going to have a fantastic weekend!  That you are all full of HOPE FROM HIM!!  That you see that life can be challenging, but fun too.  It is all mixed together in a BLESSED chaos :).


  1. Love it when you're real, Dawn! (Okay, I love all of your posts...real or not!) :-) I always appreciate your perspective on things.

  2. yup. Stil.right. there. But coming out on the other side- praise God!!! I too have gained weight in the midst of it all. But, I am praying that somehow, some way I can get my head screwed back on straight and that will get back to where it needs to be. (I was already over weight) My oldest has now lived her new reality for a year. I am doing much better with it, a wedding only a month away-middle son,youngest son graduating and it will just be Lil G n I. Papa is looking forward to retiring in only 5 more years, Im just giddy at the thoughts. Keep being real Dawn. Im doing the same. Real faces, real families...... with a real Savior!

  3. I'm so glad to have found your blog. It is so easy in bloggyland to keep things all neat and tidy. While our real lives look nothing like what we blog about. Your post was a blessing!

    My husband and I have taken the first step to become foster parents. We start our classes in September. It seems so far away. I look forward to reading more on your blog.

  4. Seems marriage has been a big target lately. Though we too are committed it has been a hard year we are 6 months past that year and what a beautiful thing healing is. I can truly say God was doing a wonderous work through the hard times He allowed in our lives! Praise Him, He is not finished with me yet.

    Praying for you each step of the way :)

  5. LOVE you ... and will keep you all in my prayers!!!

    You know me ... I like KEEPIN' IT REAL!



  6. LOVE THIS!! Love hearing the "real" and seeing the "real" with my own eyes!! Honestly, thank you for not glossing over it all (including buckets empty and toys all over!:). It's so easy to only show the perfect, read the perfect and feel like I am less than because I am oh so far from being perfect. Total reliance in Him because in His eyes I am always accepted......and PERFECT!! Love you and love your family!!
    In Him,

  7. Thank you for your beautiful honesty. This too the Lord will carry you through. He is so faithful and loving.


  8. Gotta say this is one of my favorite posts!!! Praying that in all the "realness" of life---God will continue to carry you through.