Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Because He Lives...

For the past 2 years the Coffee Break group I was a part of plodded our way through the Old Testament. I would say excitedly, but really, who gets excited to read about the warfare and the rises and falls and the gory mess that was Israel? It isn't full of good news of peace and great tidings of joy like the gospels. It isn't the Good News we are all eager to hear and share. It's ugly there. And while it can get draining to read Judges, I also found hope there.

Hope that even though Israel, God's CHOSEN people, turned on Him and said His leaders weren't good enough, God delivered them. He gave His people what they wanted, even knowing how much it would hurt them. And it hurt Him. The hope lies in that God never left His people. They left Him. And it wasn't they'd find themselves broken and defeated by the armies of their enemies, poor and weak, that they would turn back to God. And that is where they found peace.

In this election season I have sat back and listened to a lot of ranting and some calm explaining. I don't get very involved. We didn't listen to the ads, rather read the candidate's plans and made our decisions from there. And on this morning post- election Twitter and Facebook are still smoking from the heated arguments and bashing of people we are called to respect and pray for. My group of friends isn't huge and yes, they are all pretty like-minded in politics. But what is most troublesome to me is the amount of worry and lack of hope that I have seen.
I am not here to say that the future doesn't worry me. I would be lying if there weren't moments of feeling sick. But then I was reminded that even IF the other guy won... it would be wrong of me to celebrate and put my hope in him and say "now it's all going to work out." There is a danger at this time of year in putting our faith in one candidate over another.

The danger is in putting our faith in ANY man.
The danger is in resting in one man's promises over another.
The danger is in letting one man determine whether or not my life on this earth is going to be okay.
The danger is in finding peace in an economy.

God's promises are the only ones we can cling to.
God's love for us- He is after all the ONLY one who cares what happens to us.
God's love will get us through anything. If He needs to strip this great America that thinks we are indestructible in order to get us on our knees, then God, whatever it takes.

God is still God. Today and tomorrow and this earth is just a wisp.
So can we put away the negative comments, the bashing of one man or one group? Can we simply pray for all of our leaders? Can we show the people that Christians are here to love, not to tear down. Can we put our faith in Him in action?

1 Samuel 2:2
There is no one holy like the Lord; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God. 


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

More Than a Game

One of the things from a long list of worries when you move is teams. 
What kind of coaches will my kid have?
What kind of teammates will my kid be stuck with?
How good is this program and what are it's real goals, not just the "written goals". 
Ultimately, will my child and I be able to enjoy the new sports season in this new town?

#53 would be mine :)
The nerves I experienced as he started were unnecessary.
His teammates were stellar. Coming together as a team. No room for a one man show here.
Encouraging each other. 
Defending each other. 

The coaches... well we couldn't have asked for better men to lead our boys. They were firm in practice. Keeping them in line. Making them be as good as they could be. 
Yet when it was the Championship game and we fell...
they didn't yell. They didn't scream or throw their hats.
They said good game. Great season. Be proud. You. Are. Champions. 

Final huddle of the season- great work TEAM! 
I can throw in one of my boy right?! :) 
 To this team I say thank you. Thank you for being a great example. Thank you for playing clean. Thank you for playing strong. Thank you for being shining examples of what sporstmanship looks like. Thank you for being a team to be proud of. One that gets noticed. Not for it's wins, but for playing fair. Thank you to the parents for teaching your boys what it means to be a part of a team. And thank you coaches. For being great examples. For being what these young men needed. For teaching them to what happens on the field, stays on the field. For teaching them that integrity is more than the win. We will always hold you in our hearts.
DAY BY DAY!!... GET BETTER AND BETTER!!...WORK HARD TO WIN!!...WORK HARD TOGETHER!!!
I am sad to see this season end as it was such a great way for us to make new friends in this new place. But I know that we will always have a strong tie, because of this team.

(please ignore the first part of the video, if I knew how to edit that, I would, but seriously, I finally learned how to get the video to my computer- let's not get too picky!) 
video


Friday, October 19, 2012

I Surrender All

I realize I have taken a longer than planned hiatus from this space. I would gladly say that I am returning for good, but that's hard to do when I don't even know why I've left in the first place. So, I am here now. For now I have words churning inside me trying to find their escape. It is a frightening thing to ask the Holy Spirit in, because He really does get in there.

We stood singing in our new church home Sunday morning. Kids in Sunday School, lights dimmed as usual, graphics all around us. There was no band this morning. Only one man with a piano and one simple drum. Still we sang the songs associated with our Sunday morning worship time- contempory praise- 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman and others. And then. Then he threw an old hymn in there. The meat and potatoes of worship he called it. I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender;
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live. 

I love this song I thought... I miss it. I surrender it all to you, Lord.
    • I surrender all,
      I surrender all;
      All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
      I surrender all.
    • All? Do you surrender all? He asks.
  1. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Humbly at His feet I bow,
    Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
    Take me, Jesus, take me now.
  2. Well yeah. All. Sure. I think... 
  3. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
    Let me feel the Holy Spirit,
    Truly know that Thou art mine.
  4. Wait... I'm waiting for test results on my daughter. All? Even that? 
  5. You said "all"
  6. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Lord, I give myself to Thee;
    Fill me with Thy love and power;
    Let Thy blessing fall on me.
  7. Yes, Lord. ALL.
  8. All to Jesus I surrender;
    Now I feel the sacred flame.
    Oh, the joy of full salvation!
    Glory, glory, to His Name!
  9. It hurts and it's scary. But yes, ALL.
  10. Sometimes I sing the words, I say the words and I think I've done enough. I don't expect to be called on it. Lord, I love you, I will take up my mat and follow you....just don't test me on that, m'kay?
  11. I gave it all and the peace came. I no longer fretted. The tests came back fine. But I know that even if it hadn't, His peace would have surrounded me. All I need to do is surrender. Sounds so simple. Yet I know I will struggle with it again and again. I need to give it up each and every day. 
  12. Where are you on this? Do you cling on to control and worry? Are you able to surrender all, even when it terrifies you? 

Monday, May 7, 2012

A New HOPE

Sunrise over Maui

 As the month of May rushes past us, even though its only just begun, I feel the tug of two directions.
YAY! The school year is almost over! No more running around and crazy schedules and fighting over math papers and rushing to lessons and practices and.... phew.
BUT, as this year rushes to an end, the kids and I are beginning our goodbyes. I want to pull on the ropes and draw everything to a halt so I can have more time. I'm not ready! I can't have all of these "lasts" piled on top of each other so fast. I can't plan all the good-byes I wanted to at this speed of light pace. I want to drop an anchor and just be. still.

It's safe here. I know what's around the corner. I know who I will see at the grocery store and know the checkers by name... and they know mine. I know who's working at my favorite restaurants and what to order. I know when I will see my friends in school pick up lines and where to sit in church. I know where my kids will be riding bike and who they are with. I know their friends' families- I grew up with most of those parents.  I feel secure.

My anchor is in the water. My hope is in Christ. No matter which direction I feel pulled in, the anchor holds firm. He promises to not let me fall overboard.

I realized this as I had my first "goodbye" this month. My HOPE ladies. Fitting, no?  A group of moms who walked, dove, ran, and yes, were dragged, into the life of foster/adoptive parents. These ladies have acted as support and anchors for me as I trudged through last year. As the winds howled and tornadoes popped up, we embraced new hellos and attempted goodbyes. We laughed as we said this wouldn't be goodbye- the Lord would take us then and we will have all of eternity to laugh until we cry and cry until we laugh. To hold each other up in prayer and love and grace. Because we are all anchored together in the love of Christ.


We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19a

Linking up with Jen, and the Soli Sisters

Friday, May 4, 2012

Travelogue


"Where have you been?!" seems to be a question I get a lot lately. Especially in regards to my li'l  ol' blog over her. Seems some people just need their dose of wry humor in the form of poorly formed sentences with the occasional tear jerker and not to mention miserably flopped recipe. And because I am a people pleaser, I am here to offer just that. Hold your applause until the end. 

So, where have I been? Travel along with me over the last 6 months, will you? It's been quite the journey. Keep your seat belts fastened at all times and the flight attendant will be around soon with your snacks. Or not. 

First we travel to the sandy beaches of Maui. We know you may all be a little puffy from that water retention of a 10 hour flight, but lets go snorkeling anyways. 

Some of the local exotic beauties of the Islands... 
 On this tropical tour we will spend 8 hours- count them EIGHT hours- in a slowly rocking boat not catching one single fish. Contrary to the claim, it was NOT his Lucky Fishing shirt. Unless it's lucky I didn't fall in while hanging over the side. Then yes, I was very lucky. Although by hour 4, the thought did occur to just fall overboard so they would end the tour early.
Some may wonder how one can look so crabby and one so pale while in Hawaii...
But he's holding me up, as is that pole, and I am trying to not hang over the side for the last 20 minutes 
 After a week of water, we decided it was time to go to a less wet and wavy climate. So, off to Egypt where we took in the magnificent pyramids and of course, the local beauties. And they are beauties. But that's just my opinion.

Yes, I always though the pyramids would be larger in real life as well. 
In need of some good old USA again we decided to visit some Presidents. Here is a snapshot of our visit with Ulysses S. Grant. He's shorter than I imagined, but quite a jolly fellow. 

 And then it was time to travel again! Ready? Fasten those seatbelts tight, we are heading to Mars!

Please, do not speak or come to close to the locals... they bite. 

Somewhere between Mars and Iowa, we land in WhoVille! Oh Thing 1 and Thing 2, what did you do? What did you do?!

 Here you will also find the LORAX. Yes, you may think you saw that back at home, but this is the REAL filming of the real deal!
 And then we land. Safely back at home. But wait. It's not mine anymore. So, we say good-bye.

Probably the toughest journey I have had, and am still about to take, is saying goodbye to my home. The home we designed and built ourselves. The home that my kids spent most of their years in. The home that hosted Christmases and Thanksgivings and Easters and birthday parties galore. The home where I dropped to my knees and cried out to my God that I needed Him and Him alone as there was just too much that I couldn't take on my own. The place where tears were shed and laughter was heard often.
We sold it in December. Moved to a rental- aka the Waiting Room- in January. In June, we move across the river to Nebraska. It's been 6 months of good byes. Be sure to follow me as we move on to the Hello's.

So it's been a journey as you can see! It's been scary and fun and it's only just the beginning!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Friend

I know, I know. I have been a wee bit absent around here lately. I could come up with many excuses for you, none of which are good. So, lets just pretend I didn't take an extended sabitical for the last few months and accept that I am here today. Thank goodness for grace.

So, I have an unlikely friend. No body really understands the hows and whys- on both ends. In her world foster parents are the enemy. In her reality, we are support. In my world bio moms are the enemy. In my reality, she is my lifeline.

If you had asked me a year ago if I would ever be friends with her, I probably would have laughed. Synically.
My life was good.
I was happy.
My kids were happy.
Then we were all broken.

I blamed her.
Why would I want to be her friend?

Little by little, my anger subsided.
My heart healed.
My family healed.
We were going to be okay.

Charlie Brown was okay too.
He is happy.
She is happy.
We talk on the phone. We text. We laugh.
I help her when she needs it. Offering a listening ear, parenting advice. Just being there. Being an "auntie" to the little man who ran away with our hearts.

She helps me. She shares him with me. I know that's not easy to do. But she does it. She lets me love on him. She calls me and asks for help when she needs it. Instead of shutting me out.

We help each other. Why? Because we both love that bald little wild man and we both want him to have the best life possible.
Why are we friends? Because we are both undeserving of Grace, and yet we have both been given it.
Did I plan this? No. But God has shown me what I need to do and given me the grace and peace to follow Him. And I am grateful that He sees things we don't.
For now I have a good friend. One who I trust and love and who I want to see succeed.

 "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps"
Proverbs 16:9

Linking up with Michelle and Jen.... head over there for more great reads...





Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Birthday Boy... er young man.

Today is a special day.
It's my baby's birthday.

Okay, he isn't my baby. He is my firstborn. My preemie. My fighter. My stubborn one. My sensitive boy. My giver. My funny one. (okay, they're both hilarious). My sarcastic child- I wonder where he gets it?

He spent the first 2 months of his life in a plexi-glass box. Helping to grow those tiny lungs. He's always been a bit impatient- felt the need to come into this world 11 weeks early.
Now. He is ELEVEN. How did that happen?
First time holding.. I would find a picture of the isolette, but we have just moved and I can't find my shoes, much less a picture.
He still spends his days confined to a plexi-glass box. In an ice arena. We wouldn't have it any other way.


 No one could have told me when I had that tiny 3pounder in my arms that some day I would be watching him skate on the ice week after week after week taking down big kids and little kids in his way. I am not sure I would have dared dream it possible. I was told by some "caring stranger" shortly after we were home from the hospital that he would always be weak.



Thank you for your unsolicited advice, but,  I beg to differ. My God is bigger than that.


.
 Happy Birthday, Jackson! You make us so very proud to be your parents! You are a walking, talking, skating miracle. Non-stop talking miracle.

No really, I'm talking, could you just shush for a minute?! Please!? Oh fine, carry on.
Love you, Chuck.



Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The End

This is a repost. Today marks one year since my Grandma passed away. Some days I still think that I am going to give her a quick call or stop in for some of her famous St Nick cookies. And then I remember that she's already Home. I miss her here on earth terribly, yet I rejoice in the life that I can't even begine to imagine that she has lived in Heaven this past year. Love you, Grandma Pearl!

You know when you are reading a really good book... and you near the end of it with just a few pages left... and you don't want to finish it? You don't want the book to end despite knowing its going to be great. You just don't want to be not reading that book so you try to draw it out longer?

Maybe that's just me.

This week my Grandma's story was completed.

I knew it was coming and I knew it had to end, but there is still that overwhelming feeling of sadness that it is actually over.
It was a great story, my Grandma's. I've written bits of her story many times in my life. The whole thing is just too much for one book. It's not a story of great riches or thrilling adventures in far away places. It's not a story that boasts of one's life. That's not what made her story great.

Her story was great because it was written by God and it was for God. And she knew it.

There was poverty, death, deceit, and hurt. But there was always HOPE. My Grandma's hope was in the Lord and no matter what was thrown her way, she was steadfast in that faith. If she was going to tell you a story that was about hurts and hardships, it was to prove that God was there with her. When her family didn't know where their next meal would come from, God provided. When her husband passed away unexpectedly on their 25 wedding anniversary, God was there. And that is what she wanted to make sure you knew by the time the story was over. God. Was. There. Always.

Hers is also a story of JOY. She would do just about anything for anyone. She made everyone feel as though they were her favorite. She had a cheerful heart, welcoming people into her home. Sharing baked goodies. Sharing a good story. She loved to help out, that gave her and those around her great joy.
Maicy and Grandma Pearl, Thanksgiving 2009


Jackson and Grandma Pearl, Thanksgiving 2009
 God made her story great. Her story was written for God.
And as I write, I know the truth.
This earthly story is just a prologue. Her real story is just beginning.

I love you Grandma. You will be greatly missed, but the stories which you have woven into my heart and the memories will be with me.

Isaiah 40:31 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.


Linking up with Michelle De Rusha at Graceful and  Jen and the beautiful gals of Soli De Gloria

Monday, January 9, 2012

Oh...what's that you say? I write?!

It seems as though have completely forgotten that I have a blog! Okay, I haven't forgotten exactly, I have just been... well.... avoiding it. Not for any particular reason. Mostly lots of little reasons that make up a good enough excuse for me to stay away from pretty much all blogs in general. However, I miss it. I miss my friends that I only know because of this blog and theirs. So, I am getting my feet wet once again and going to hopefully be around more often.

I will start off the year (I do not care that it is already January 9! The year is just beginning!)  Anyways, I can't begin at this time and not look back at 2011. I started off by writing about my ONE WORD for the year. I chose STORY for my year.Feel free to re-fresh your memory...I'll wait. I had no clue what God had in store for my story in this year. I just knew that without a doubt, this was the word He wanted me to keep in my head.  And then... just 2 days later I found out what His purpose was in that one word. Enter in: Charlie Brown. Go ahead and refresh your memory on that one. I just did and oh. My. It all came back to me like a tidal wave. I had no idea writing out those words declaring my absolute trust in God to protect and guard our hearts, just how much my faith would be tested. Of course, as I wrote those, I think I felt pretty confident that it would go MY way. Oh. What a difference a year can make.

I shared in June that Charlie Brown would be returning to his mother in August. I don't know if I ever mentioned that we would know more in November after the review. This update is looonggg overdue as it is no longer November. And yes, that IS in fact the last time I posted. And if you want to get all Freud on me and discuss whether or not our November court date had anything to do with me not posting since that time, well, you just do what you need to. I told myself over and over and over that I knew it was coming and therefore no. big. deal. So. Anyways. After feeling like my life was on hold for 6 months and that I was holding my breath waiting for what I was told would be a permanency hearing, it was clear that Charlie Brown would stay with his mother. Court was just a review to see how she was doing. I wasn't shaken or shocked. Nothing changed.

Except that I could breathe. Sometimes just knowing makes the hard road easier.

He continued to be faithful. He continued to protect my heart. He protected my children. He held us close.
He not only held us, but he opened our eyes prior to the court hearing. He showed me so that I wouldn't be caught off guard. Because He is good and faithful, I can share my story. And it is a good story. How could it not be? God is a good author.

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!

Oh, what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.


This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long

Still Praising my Savior.... for it is HIS story...



Linking up with Michelle and Jen once again...