Sunday, November 29, 2020

Thankful 2020

I know. I know...

Thankful and 2020 just do not seem to go together but y'all there is always something to be thankful for.

And maybe that is the purpose behind the pain of this year.

What if...

What if  we had just kept right on sleeping?

What if our eyes had never opened?

What if our American Dream had not been shattered, or at least, redefined?

These are the questions I, personally, have asked myself as the Lord continues to wake us up, open our eyes and remake our dreams and sometimes it is painful but I have learned that if I am thankful, it is purposeful. 

  This year has not been an easy one for most of us but maybe we needed a little hard.

I don't pray for hard but I have learned that it is through the hard that hearts break, faith grows and dreams change...

the unnecessary falls away until only the need remains...

and oh my goodness do we need Him.

Church, we just have to understand just how much we need Him and we can't do that when we are comfortable and safe and...

asleep.

Are we awake yet?

November is a month filled with thankfulness, paper plates and all๐Ÿ˜‰...

and family...




Minus and missing Charlie and Bella and ____

and turkey...

and pie...

and apparently basketball??

Charlie, we needed you...

and a football...

*wink*

However, November is also Orphan Awareness Month.

Seriously church... exactly why do we need an Orphan Awareness Month?

"According to UNICEF, almost 10,000 children become orphans every day. According to internationally accepted figures, there are at least 140 million orphans in the world."

However...

"There are about 2.3 billion Christians in the world."

Really...

Y'all, the church should be full of Trauma Mommas and the orphanages should be empty!

As we dance around the idols of ourselves, our comfort, our security and our families...

orphans children die

No, not everyone is called to adopt.

blah blah blah blah

but do you really think for one single, solitary minute that God's plan for any of these children was for them to be an orphan, much less an orphan forever?

Do you really think that God's plan for His believers was for them to spend their time here clinging to their earthly comfort and security?


"Quote by a 30yr old orphan, who aged out of an orphanage where he had lived his whole life. Spoken at the CAFO Summit 2013":

“When I grew up in the orphanage it was Christians who came and built nicer buildings. Christians who bought us beds, clothing and provided money monthly for food. It was a Christian, who wrote a letter in a shoebox, who first told me I was loved. It was the Christians who met all my physical and material needs in that orphanage. But it was also Christians who neglected my biggest need. Children in orphanages don’t need more money, nicer buildings or better clothes. I am not an orphan because I lost my home or provisions. I am an orphan because I lost my parents. I needed a mom and a dad. I needed a family. Christians treated all my temporary symptoms of need but never cured my long term disease of being orphan. I am still an orphan.”

I am still an orphan

Weren't we all until the Lord adopted us?

Adoption is one of the clearest pictures of the Gospel that we have and yet there are still waiting children.

Why?

Because adoption is hard?

Ok and...

Because it's expensive?

yeah and...

Because it disrupts our American Dream?

Bingo!

Please ask me about adoption.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Soccer and Suckers

No, not the lollipop kind of suckers...

but the kind of suckers who just can't say "no" to my the begging and the whining...

Hubby and Lizzie really need to be stronger next time๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‰


Granted we were strong in the end but it was a close call y'all cause...

they put the soccer fields right next to the Humane Society!

Seriously y'all!

What could we do???

We could hear the doggies barking as Lizzie chased a ball around the soccer fields.

It was as if they were calling our names!!

Come and chase the ball with us!

Honestly...

What could we do???

There was no other way!

We had to go!

 What a purrrfect ending to a day of soccer!



All I have to say is...

Good thing the Savannah Humane Society is closed on Sundays๐Ÿ˜‰

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Hey Mr. Ref

Hey Mr. Referee... 

You know that child you called a "flopper"...

that tiny but mighty #45 who plays like she means it...


You know the one.

She's the one who gets knocked down but bounces right back up.

She's the one who is a foot smaller than most of the other players on the field but plays like she is a foot taller.

She's the one who never gives up and plays the game until the bitter end because that's just what you do. 

You "know" her but to you...

she was just another player in just another game... 

and it was just another call on just another Saturday in just another game.

What you didn't know was that the tiny but mighty #45 is a fighter and a survivor. 

What you didn't know was that 12 years ago, this mighty #45 left everything she had ever known and embraced a life that was not what it was meant to be.


What you didn't know was that this warrior child of mine walked and ran and climbed stairs on a tiny little foot that was completely backwards and upside down.

What you didn't know was that this slight of a girl endured 18 club foot casts, hand and foot surgeries and 12 weeks in a wheelchair with courage and grit and determination.


What you didn't know was that this child, my child is not a "flopper"...


She is an overcomer.

What you didn't know was that this Momma Bear was only restrained by her Hubby Bear who would not let her step outside of grace and come after you!

*grin*

It was a close call Mr. Referee but...

You didn't know.

Now... 

you do.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Broken Can Be Beautiful

Have you ever had to pray through every single decision that you make about your child, every single word that you say, every single reaction that you have? 

Trauma parenting requires prayer, a lot of prayer and even though I trust and even though I have experienced God's faithfulness and even though I know that He is working it all out for His good and His glory and that He will take all of our broken-ness and turn it into something so beautiful...


I still second guess every single word...

I still doubt my equipping...

I still feel woefully inadequate...

I still feel discouraged...

I still react in anger, out of fear and from my own broken-ness... 

and I am the adult in the room!

How do I erase the pain, the memories, the loss, the fear, the lack, the abuse? 

How do I ease the longing,...

the longing for a different story, a different beginning?

How do I fill those gaping holes in their hearts?

The answer is...

I don't but Jesus will.


So many conversations, so many prayers, so many unanswered questions and so many tears and yet so much growth, for us all. 

There are so many times that our needs are such that I can only muster up the strength to cry out to the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf as I am overwhelmed before I even utter a prayer. 


I don't always get it right and in fact, many times, I get it so wrong, but I know the Lord will heal them despite me and my fleshy brokenness.

I am no longer numb.

I am no longer sleepwalking through this American Dream.

I am awake and I am feeling and I am broken and I am mended.
 

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Run

I wrote this 2 years ago but never posted it. I have added an update to the bottom of the post.

Two Years Ago after a 5K Practice Run

There are good days and not so good days. 

There are moments that take my breath away and moments that threaten to consume me... 

and then there are these in between spaces... 

these spaces that are filled with triumph and struggle and joy and regret and pride and guilt and brokenness and redemption. 

When I set aside the busy and the battle of the every day, and watch as my children persevere, as they struggle and as they overcome... 

 I - am - undone and entirely depleted and this place is where I sat last week as I witnessed a battle, a battle between body and heart, a battle that is all too familiar around here but a battle that sometimes goes unnoticed  . 

There is an exhausting concoction of emotions when you embrace this kind of brokenness.

Some days take every ounce of me but it is in that depletion that I am most filled.  

Yesterday was bittersweet. As with so many of our days, our triumphs are tinged with a realization of our limitations. 

Lucy - just - wants - to - run. 

With one foot inescapably walking in her reality and the other dancing along the edge of her heart's desire, she balances victories and heart breaks every single day. In her innocent hope, she falls and gets back up over and over again, the Lord protecting her heart just as He did while she waited for us to come.

Yesterday was Lucy's practice 5K. She wondered how long it would take her. She wondered if she should use her walker. She wondered if her shoes were too big, but not once, not once, did she question whether she would be able to finish. 


She was concerned about my back and if I would be able to run with her, but I knew. I knew what her sweet hope did not and I struggle with this knowing. How to balance the hope and the reality; the hope and many times, the fall, it is a constant in my heart.

So with the hopefulness that IS Lucy, she raced and she fell and she got back up again and with every ounce of everything I had, everything that has come with His equipping, I picked her up, dusted her off and cheered her on. 

She did not complete the 5K but she completed one mile and we celebrated but it was bittersweet and she knew...


for a moment she knew but my Lucy knows where her hope is and it is not in her circumstances but in the One "who keeps watch over her as she comes and goes, both now and forever". 

And we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and we - go - on...

And the Actual 5K Race!

It was grueling for her but through sheer grit and determination, she pressed through! She took a couple of rides in the wheelchair but every single time she got in, she wanted to get right back out! I had to force her to stay in for a few minutes each time so those stubborn legs could rest. 


The first tears were shed as the race began and the last 5, almost 6 years of our lives went hopefully past us, smiling and full of anticipation. Chris and I held each other as Lucy's reality separated her from everyone else and I thanked God again for allowing us to be a part of something so hard yet so incredibly real.


We had quite the entourage with police and firemen following my girl as they were blown away by her perseverance! 


Quite a few times during the race, her legs would just succumb and she would stop and rest, never even thinking of stopping. Sometimes Caleb and I would hold her up but then she would dig deep and find what it took to keep walking.


Imagine the scene as we were nearing the finish line and turned the corner to see all of her teammates and coaches cheering her on.


As her coaches and teammates cheered her through the finish line, I could hear Charlie tell Caleb to "get her in the wheelchair". 


There were many times that I feared her legs would just quit. I never thought she would quit but those legs were pushed to the limit that day, yet she persevered. 

I cannot begin to imagine how hard that was for her. I know I felt as if I had been hit by a truck most of the day. 


There were so many emotions and not all of them good. 

There was joy at what she had accomplished but there was also sadness at what she has had to overcome...

but overcome she does and along the way we are changed and we are blessed and we are thankful because...

We could have missed this.


And we are so thankful that we didn't!

A huge thank you to Girls on the Run, Lucy's awesome coaches and all the amazing young ladies who rallied around her each and every practice. To see them walking along side her and cheering her through that finish line was something I will never forget!

And After Her 2nd 5K Run 5/2020!

Yep, her SECOND 5K...

and it was just as grueling and amazing as her first one!

Pic courtesy of C.G.

You are an inspiration, my Lucy. 

We tell her this all the time but that day... 

after her determination and her sheer grit inspired all who experienced the force of her will... 

my baby girl told us that we inspired her and that she wanted to grow up to be just like us. 

I don't deserve any of this. 

I wrote this about Lucy after a smaller run at school a couple of years ago:

"She didn't make the 5 laps but she made 2 and when she fell into my arms, I was the one fighting back tears. She needed me to be happy and excited and proud and I was but I was also heartbroken and angry and empty and defeated but as she looked up at me, expectantly and obviously disappointed, I mustered up every ounce of enthusiasm and excitement and pride I could and covered her in kisses and congratulations. Trying to steady my voice, I told her over and over, just how proud I was of her, waiting until the solitude of my car to break down and give in to the brokenness that permeates her life. 
This is hard y'all but the brokenness that we have stepped into has revealed to us the brokenness that we were steeped in, the kind of brokenness that lulls you into believing what the world tells you, the kind of brokenness that feels good, the kind of brokenness that surrounds comfort and security and self love, the kind of brokenness that lies to you and reassures your sense of "worthiness". This is the kind of brokenness that leaves you empty and numb. Allowing our children's kind of brokenness into our lives has broken our hearts for what breaks His and opened our eyes to a world far greater than the one that begins and ends with a white picket fence."

Lucy, in your brokenness, you are so beautiful.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Cough Cough Cough...

It's a bit dusty in here!

So it has been a little while since my last post.

For a while I was able to keep up at home and here but "keeping up" was all I was doing.

There was a time when I felt the Lord filling me up with the words and the desire to write and then...

nothing

We were busy living this life He had given us and there was a pause.

Facebook was easier, for a while, until it was not.

 So I find myself back here and while I have not felt full with His words yet, I feel here is where He wants me for now. 

 I am going to follow His lead and write when I feel led and take a moment away from FB justice and judgement.

As I blow off the dust and the cobwebs, there will be a few older posts published that had been on my heart when life took me away and then I will update and rejuvenate and just see where He takes us. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Faith of a Child

Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it. 
Luke 18:17

A while back, after the girls had gone to sleep, during my nightly rounds...

I changed a shirt that Maggie had picked out to wear the next day because it did not match the rest of her outfit. 

A justified Mom thing to do. Am I right!

The very next morning, my hard headed child had changed it right back and had the gall to show herself downstairs in the shirt she had chosen - not the one I had picked out.

Girl... ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well, the Momma hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I immediately began to question her. In my most "Momma knows best" tone of voice, I told her that the shirt that she had picked out did not match the rest of her outfit! 

Bam!

She, unswayed by my obvious fashion sense ๐Ÿ˜† stopped me and replied, "But Momma, I want everyone to see what God did."

You see, the shirt she had chosen was the Sing a Song of Hope shirt that we had used to fundraise for Will's adoption.


In my first thing in the morning, pre-coffee, "adultness", I told her how wonderful that was but that no one would know what God had done by just looking at her shirt... 

To which my baby girl replied, "But it is Superhero Day at school today Mom."

Dang...

As I gathered my breath, I asked her, "So darlin, God is your superhero?"

And with one of her famous Maggie smiles, she said, "YES and that's why I picked this shirt!"

Oh Lord, give me the faith of a child. Make my heart as pure and faithful as my Maggie!

Adoption is the hardest, bestest ๐Ÿ˜‰ thing we have ever done. 

What could possibly be more important than giving a child a family... yearly vacations, new kitchen cabinets, a new car every few years, a boat, a sweet retirement or maybe protecting the world's vision of "the perfect family"?

Please ask me about adoption...