Wednesday, January 28, 2015
So we pulled out The Farming Game- which is one I played a lot with my brothers growing up. Especially on those snow days or when we went to visit my grandparents and the adults were talking for what seemed like way too many hours ;).
It reminded me of when I was a child as well. A time when we would just stop by our friends house and not call ahead. Times when we would say hey, wanna go somewhere with me even at the last minute. Times when we just didn't care so much about having to be so formal. Times when we just popped over at the neighbors.
The relational aspect I think has been something we used to concentrate on however with social media, with cars that we drive everywhere, with moving a lot more often, long work hours, and many other factors- we are missing out!!!
Oh we had wonderful co workers (one that lived on site and was a true friend, but the rest lived all over and were only seasonal), we had plenty of people we "knew", and we had each other, but that was it!
Do you have someone like that- I mean really at least one person? Do you have a handful of people like that? People you do life with. You talk to, text message any time of the day, ones that get you for real. All of you- your imperfections as well as what you put on facebook.
(Thankfully God has given us jobs that we absolutely love now, but at the time it stunk!!!)
I like messy people! People who don't fit in a box or stay between the lines. But whose integrity is greater than any rule book and whose loyalty is stronger than blood.
Oh and if you are around - I will give you our address anytime- stop by. Don't be afraid! Well maybe of the dirt and toy explosion, but I promise we have a laughter and sincerity and big hearts!
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
10- You plan extra time in your day just to help your children cope with things and it doesn't even phase you anymore.
9- You are always reminding your children of any changes well ahead of time, have timers and give them the run down of the week and day by day.
7- You say in a sing songy way "Can we try that again with respect please?"
5- You know the levels of response by heart and what tools to use in each level that work with each individual child.
3- You are used to sucking it up as a parent- swallowing all your pride and patching and repairing your mistakes on a regular basis. As well as looking at your own personal history asking yourself- where did this behavior in me come from?
1- You feel like you know Karen Purvis personally because you have read her book, gone to the conference, have watched her videos, and can quote her many sayings- like whoa Nelly.
We know that we have a long way to go, but seeing them offer love in return, say they are sorry, catch themselves starting to flip their lid- and stop themselves, to see them know what they need sensory wise to get back on track, to see them ask for a choice that is good for them- these are all WORTH EVERY MINUTE WE HAVE SPENT in time in's, walking with them, praying over them, listening to them, thinking of choices, praying some more, pacing the floor thinking of how to repair your relationship.
***Want to learn more? Here is the link! We have gone to the conference- and HIGHLY RECOMMEND it for any foster and adoptive parent. AND THE NEXT CONFERENCE there will be a simulcast available- check out the website for more details!!
Also there is a Train the Trainer course that is available and it is amazing - and when you are done you can help teach a ETC parent class locally to help others in your community and church.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
Even if I had any preconceived notions about your typical retreat (I have been to Created 4 Care once last year, and our own local Loving God's Children last year too) this was nothing like it. This retreat had the same premise as others in that it was meant for feeding your soul. Meeting with other people who have walked all different kind of paths and yet all so differently.
This was based on need that was seen among fellow adoptive and foster moms. A need to be heard, to be known, to be loved!! You see although there are many many many similarities in parenting any child there are some differences when parenting a child through foster care or adoption. There is always a sadness to their story and then to yours as well.
It may come from loss of a dream to have biological children, it comes from the child's loss of their first family, it comes from parenting a child that has experienced such loss, it comes from a world shattering decision that a family can no longer parent a child for at least a time and possibly forever for safety, it comes and it hits the adoptive family sometimes upside the head. What that does to a family can rock them to the core. It challenges everything you thought you knew about parenting. It challenges your past and brings up all the junk you have tried to hide away for years! It can rock your marriage! It can put dividers up in your home!
My friends this has happened in the adoption and foster care world and when it did...... a life ended, a beautiful and amazing life..... gone. This tragedy ROCKED so many to the core! It ROCKED US because.....what if that were us? Could we drown so much that we too would think that there was no who would see us.....maybe not even God?
This retreat was to focus on small groups with leaders who just knew they were to guide discussions and yet let the Lord take over. To allow each individual to be heard!! To let the stories- good, bad, and ugly to roll off their tongue. To allow crying, healing, and prayers to be answered. To just be! As in for real ourselves! How many times have you had a whole weekend to seriously just be yourself- no barriers, no fakeness, no pretending your life is perfect! You can seriously feel free to allow yourself to be REAL!
In return your sisters became real too! They became your pillars that supported you and held you up and there was no judgement because we ALL HAD JUNK TOGETHER AND WE LAID IT BEFORE THE LORD TOGETHER!!! There was an afternoon of choosing something you struggle with (I am honest pretty much every one of those would fit me), but I chose one. Turns out I was NOT ALONE in my struggles!!! There were others LIKE ME - ok not exactly like me ;), but they had struggles. They understood and encouraged me!! They got me!! My small group got me!! They understood!!
You know part of carrying burdens is learning how to deal with them, sometimes how to heal, and sometimes how to live with pain and let it change us into God's beautiful masterpiece. We may even share them with the Lord, but having Jesus with skin on to share them with is amazing! It is a way for us to truly be HEARD, KNOWN, and LOVED!
Not sure what the future of OASIS Meeting is? I am praying like crazy that in the coming years there are many all over the country! Why? Because I want my sisters to know- all of my sisters!! Because that lie that satan tries to tell us that we aren't good enough, look what we did to our family, look how we are so bad at handling it, look how no one else understands...you are a failure and there is no way out- is just that- a lie. THE TRUTH IS WE ARE LOVED SO DEEP WE SOMETIMES CAN'T SEE IT! This retreat helped me SEE IT CLEARLY!
A huge shout out to all who helped with the retreat! You are in my heart and special to me in a way that is hard to describe. Thank you to all the wonderful ladies that came! To all those that couldn't come, but prayed for us! For all the husbands including mine that helped with the children back home and allowed their wives to get some much needed time. You are all wonderful!!
***Side note about the pictures- the decor in the first picture was made for me by a friend Sara Friendshuh who I met at OASIS. She had made one for a giveaway at the retreat- that I didn't win, but she chose to make one for me. No strings attached just because she wanted to! THANK YOU!!
The bracelet was a prize I won - and of course it was from 147 Ministries with Gwen Oatsvall and Susan Mayernick :) whom I love and have met! I love it because it reminds me to pray for them and the missions they are doing.
The books- I won for having the most children and the most adopted children ;).
The bracelets were ones given during the retreat.... it's a long story of why I have 2, but let's just say I feel extra loved by 2 amazing women who gave them to me!!! Thank you Amy Levy and Esty Downes :).
Thursday, January 15, 2015
So this year as we started out the new year I didn't make any promises. But I love having goals. Goals like: God show me where you can help me grow more. Goals like - how can I rearrange my schedule a little so I can spend time doing fun things with the kids, have time for my wonderful hubby, as well as blog which I love to do!
We have found a pattern of life and even though that changes often ;) we still know where everything is, where we shop, doctors, therapists, and are getting to know our neighbors.
Who benefits from our legacy? Is our legacy bringing God glory?
Can we change what we do to give more to God?
Now I am not sharing what we are doing right this moment because my goal isn't to have people say anything to me about it or focus on that part. What we are focusing on- is our spiritual welfare and warfare. It is important!
What is your legacy? Do you have goals for the year? Do you feel God putting something specific on your heart? Have you ever thought about fasting? Just some thoughts to share- would love to hear from you if you would like :).
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