Friday, September 30, 2011

The Orphan's Table



My love for advocacy for the orphan has not diminished at all! In fact, I have been praying for a few years that God would open up opportunities for me to share the news about orphans.


Orphan Sunday is coming up on November 6th so I thought I would throw something out to the youth leaders at the church we are attending. I said, I would be willing to host the



Orphan's Table. And guess what?


They said, "Sounds like a great idea! Let's get together and talk about it."


So...we will meet next week.


I also decided to join the local alliance for orphans. No, I am not leading an orphan ministry. No, I am not representing Safe Families. No, I am not doing really anything other than refusing to put out the Holy Spirit's fire. God has put this burning into my soul and I need to continue to feed the fire...letting it burn!


Our experiences in adopting orphans could not be more different. But both of my children are so broken and need so much love. And they both need to feel God's love. And KNOW God's love. And then, I think of the other 150 million orphans in the world who don't know God's love and my heart breaks. I have trouble keeping the tears at bay.


There are children going to sleep tonight in Africa who are HUNGRY, have not been kissed goodnight or tucked into a warm, comfortable bed. And that continues to

BREAK

MY

HEART.


YOU can host the Orphan's Table! Check it out here and see how YOU can bring the message to your community, your family or your church.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

I have had a poor attitude lately. I love change and I was excited to move. But the reality is moving is hard. Change is hard.

Joe challenged me to develop an attitude of gratitude. And I have read many blogs that are purposefully writing about things they are grateful for. So...here it goes.

I am grateful for our new home. We have so much room! We never feel like we are on top of each other.

I am grateful for a steady income, health insurance and work in a job market that looks very bleak.

I am grateful for my children's schools and teachers. Once I finally was able to move Eleanor and Harry to magnet schools, I have been so impressed with their education. I absolutely love Anna's teacher (who absolutely loves Anna!), and Lincoln's teacher is really pushing him educationally. George's teacher is good and Isabel is enjoying her teacher a great deal.

I am grateful for the boys' soccer. I put Lincoln and George into a church based soccer program. I love it! Not so over-the-top competitive and the coaches pray with their teams and talk about Jesus during half time. And...both the boys are proving to be decent players.

I am grateful for good neighbors. We have a older man next door who loves Gunnar - almost as much as we do! And on the other side, is a family with 4 kids. Anna plays with Sarah Grace. Harry plays with Eli. And Eleanor gets a ride with the two high school boys.

I am grateful for my Bible study. I hated it the first day. I cried and wanted to leave. But now, I laugh, I cry (the good kind of cry) and I look forward to each Wednesday. And these ladies are encouraging me to grow in the Lord.

I am grateful for my husband having a home office when he isn't traveling. We have discovered the joy of sneaking off for morning walks followed by a brunch where we talk about everything.

I am grateful for the weekends when we are all together as a family. We have done things like ocean visits, mountain climbs and zoo discoveries.

I am grateful that the Lord is always with me, never forsaking me (even when I deserve it) and teaching me to trust Him completely.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Siblings































Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Life

My life is whizzing by....

We have entered into such a different phase of our lives! We lived so simply and quietly for so many years....and now....it is so different. I am not sure I like it. Although, I am trusting the Lord that there is a reason for this change.

All of this is to teach us something...or prepare us for something...or both. Or maybe, this season is just about giving the kids what they need. I write that and I have to balk...they HAD all the needed. No, they didn't have designer clothes or new shoes or braces...but they had us HOME...all the time....spending TIME together.

Joe and I miss our life back in Wisconsin. It was simple. We had intentionally made it simple.

Now, it's very complicated.

I am mostly a single mom now. And Joe is mourning the loss of his time with us. It hurts him to hear all that we are doing while he is away. Yet, he is happy that the kids are happy.

I miss the role I used to have that was so clear...Mom. Now, most of the week, I am wearing both Mom and Dad hats.

We feel empty at church. We like the church...but...it's different.

We are desperately waiting on the Lord to let us know His plan for us here.

I KNOW He will let us know...and I KNOW His plan often takes longer than we want it to...and I KNOW His plan is a good one.

My dad told Joe that he may now have the opportunity to influence hundreds of lives in this new position. And he does. He is already faced with doing the corporate world different than his peers. Marriages all around him are crumbling. Kids are not talking to their dads. Men spend most of their nights in hotel rooms. Joe is fighting and needs all our prayers. He DOES have an amazing opportunity to reflect the LIGHT of JESUS in a dark world.

As for me? I am not sure what God has in store for me....right now, I have been consumed with helping my children adjust and supporting my husband. I truly feel like a helpmeet these days. I am not focusing on ministry or outside work...just on making my home a refuge for all my loved ones. I have moved Eleanor and Harry to magnet schools and am working with George's teacher daily to make sure he is getting what he needs. Isabel has begged to start playing volleyball - so she started this week. Lincoln and George started soccer. Anna is waiting patiently to start ballet.

And the details of packing lunches, making sure all forms are signed, getting immunizations filled in on the "right" form (crazy SC stuff!!!), writing schedules on the calendar, listening to beginning readers to teenagers ask tough questions...it is all I can do to keep my head above water. I am grateful that the kids are all HAPPY...I mean they really are HAPPY.

So..for them...I lay down my life for this season.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I WILL Write Again

I WILL write on my blog again.
I WILL write on my blog again.
I WILL write on my blog again.
I WILL write on my blog again.

Suffering from writer's block....nothing coming though despite a lot happening in our lives.

I think I just need a day or two of sleep...like the whole day type of sleep.

Or maybe I just need to force myself to sit down and WRITE!

We had our neighbors over for ice-cream last night. 8 families showed up (we were worried only our kids' friends would show up). It was wonderful to see the neighbors talking to each other, everyone laughing and mingling. There were neighbors who live right across the street from each other for years who never really have talked! That amazes me!

I am thinking of organizing a Christmas Progressive Dinner....wouldn't that be fun?

Yeah...that's all I've got these days.

Pretty pathetic. Oh, and Lincoln is home sick. Go Pack!

Monday, September 12, 2011

School Visit

Life with George continues to be hard.

But, I have YET AGAIN confessed to the Lord that the problem is ME....I am angry at George for not loving me the way I think I should be loved by him. And, I think that's really it.

In church on Sunday, we sang "You Are God Alone, from before time began. You are on your throne...You are God alone. And right now, through the good times and bad, You are on your throne...You are God alone." The Spirit was moving among the congregation and true worshipers, with hands raised and voices lifted, sang the words that simply told God who He was. The worship leader led us in a quiet time of prayer and I knew then...it was time to confess my hard heart.

I wept with my face in my hands. Oh, God...I have been so hard hearted toward George. Please forgive me.

Since Sunday, I have been working on a new attitude toward George. I need to allow him to be him. I need to remember that I can't undo 6 horribly hard years in 2 years. And foolish I am to think that the last 2 years have been wonderful for him! He was flown in an airplane for 18 hours with two people who he didn't know and couldn't talk to. He was thrown into a family full of fair skinned, blue eyed people who knew each other inside and out. It has not been easy for him at all.

Tonight, we piled into the Suburban and went to the elementary kids' open house. We started with Lincoln - who is rockin' Kindergarten by the way! Then, off to Anna's room. I will write more on her in a later post - but her teacher is amazing! It was time to have George lead us to his classroom. He was nervous - acting "weird" - but at least we now know how to recongize it. Even though my insides said, "NO!", I reached across the hallway and began walking hand in hand with George and whispered in his ear that everything was going to be OK.

We had a great time talking with his teacher and watching George, with pride, show us what he is reading and writing. It was time to leave and he grabbed my hand and said, "Oh, momma! I need to show you this."

It was a newspaper page - a This Is Me - type of project. He pointed to a column on the bottom half of the page that was titled, "My Hero". And there, he wrote in his best handwriting, "My mommy and daddy are my heroes."

Thank you, Lord, for this gift tonight. It was as if God was sending me a message that said, "I saw you in the church. I saw your broken heart as you wept and confessed. That is what I desire...a broken and contrite heart. Trust me to give you what you need. I chose George for YOU. Let this time tranform you. "

OK, God.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Created For Care



I am so, so excited that God gave me a little miracle today. I was invited to attend the Created For Care Retreat for adoptive moms. It is in Georgia, only a few hours away. It is also in January - awesome! I mean, who does anything in January?


So, I decided to go. I was told to register right away because last year it sold out in 2 days. About 10am, I went to the side to register. I got all the way through until the payment portion. Some crazy stuff started happening, I was told I HAD to use my P*yP*l account. I used that account about 6 years ago when I bought something off eb*y. I haven't touched it since then. I kept getting this message, 'You still have money in the account." I had to laugh. I know I have .08 in there. Seriously, .08 and they are still insisting I use that account to pay for the retreat. And trust me, the retreat is way more than eight cents!


So, I got frustrated and stopped. I had tried to enter my credit card number 3 times and each time I was kicked out of the payment section and told that I had to use my P*yP*l account.


Literally, within 5 minutes, the retreat was SOLD OUT.


I was bummed.


Add that to being a single parent for the third straight week and I about lost it. In fact, I did lose it. I let myself cry. I was truly sad that I couldn't even get this one weekend get-away.


Then, around 5pm, I get this email that says, "You must have been kicked out during your registration, you have 24 hours to complete your registration."


What?


So, I went back to the site and tried the same credit card number. I paused a minute before I hit "enter", even cringing in anticipation that I would get that same message. But, instead, I got in!


I know it is months away. And I know it is only one weekend for other adoptive moms. But, oh, how the Lord knew I could use this time of refreshment.


Thank you, God, for this little miracle. You showed me that You see me.


Here is the link to the retreat, in case you want to go next year :) Created to Care