Sunday, May 26, 2013

Strange Feelings....

The time has arrived.  We have our first foster baby and I have to say the feelings are somewhat different than what I thought they would be.  Now, don't get me wrong...I knew I would love the baby because it's natural to bond to a child you are caring for but I didn't realize I would have such mixed feelings.  More on that in a minute. 

It is so cool how everything worked out.  I told J.O. that I wouldn't mind a week or so off of school before we received our first child but I truly didn't feel that would happen.  He thought it would of course because J.O. tends to deny things until they hit him in the face.  More on his issues in a different post.....Just Kidding.  Anyway, the last week of school (Tuesday to be exact) I received a text from someone we had met in training asking if we could maybe help them out and take a baby they had been caring for since birth.  Due to some circumstances they just needed some relief for awhile.  I told her we would but we had to open our home first.  We tried to get that done Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday but just never could get in touch with anyone.  Finally, Thursday we got a call saying we were open and we could take the little baby.  The original day we had planned to open anyway.  Funny how sometimes we can try to take things into our own hands and it doesn't work that way.

We got him home about 4:00 on Thursday and it hit me...we were caring for someone else's child.  That's when the emotions became different than what I had ever considered.  My motherly instincts kicked in and I immediately felt attached to this child and had feelings for him but at the same time I had such sadness.  I hadn't counted on this part while I was caring for the child, only when he/she left.  It makes me so sad to think that HIS parents are missing out on the sweetest time in his life.  We've had him 4 days and already we notice so many funny/sweet things about the fact that he thinks he may perish if he doesn't eat the second he gets a tiny bit hungry...or the fact that he started smiling yesterday and will only smile at     
J. O. 

Friday I went upstairs and was rocking him to sleep and just had a moment because it's so hard for me to imagine a world where parents choose not to take care of their children.  I'm not talking about parents that make the choice of adoption because of circumstances, but I am talking about parents who make choices that they know will mean they can't have their own child.  I'm sure as time goes on I will understand that they are a part of my ministry too but right now I am just so torn...torn between being so happy for the short time we will spend with this precious baby and then being so angry for the people who are missing this sweet time out of choice. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sheer Terror....

Yes, I realize this title is probably a bit dramatic but hey, why not.  Last week was Mothers Day and it was fabulous.  I got up early to go meet Rachel for a run like I do most Sundays (Heather was out of town) and when I got home the kids were waiting with my gifts.  They were so excited and I have to admit one of my gifts made me cry from laughing so hard.  It may or may not have been a Justin Timberlake CD.  A girl has to hold on to a few guilty pleasures right??

Anyway, several weeks ago Rachel and I went to meet with our associate pastor about promoting the Walk for the Waiting.  Literally, that's the only reason we went.  However, imagine my surprise when we sat down and he told us he was planning a different type of Mother's Day service and wanted to talk about some of the local orphans.  He is starting a new series and the first one was based on the Dr. Seuss book (not really written by him) "Are you my Mother?"  He wanted to have an "expert" in the field talk and then a personal experience from our own church.  I got so excited and told him that would be a really great idea.  Then I just sat there and realized he was staring at me.  Now let me just say, my first degree is Communications so I have done my fair share of speeches and I was actually okay at it.  However, in my adult life fear grips me like crazy at random times if I think I may have to talk.  I mean, there have been times I am so nervous in Chapel at school at the thought of being called on to pray.  Completely crazy I know, but still. 

So...I realized Jonathan was staring at me and waiting for me to respond.  The very unfortunate thing that happened next was I remembered what we had just studied in Experiencing God.  We learned that if God has done something big in your life it's disobedience not to share.  It's our job to tell others.  With that in mind I told him I would do it and then just planned to walk very slowly in front of a bus sometime between now and then.  Totally kidding...I wasn't that scared....maybe. 

Let me just say that the 2 weeks went by so extremely fast.  I mean, I don't think I have ever experienced time move so quickly.  I think the worst part though was sitting through the morning service waiting to be called to come up.  I would get so nervous and then calm down, then I would want to run and then it would be okay.  This continued for 40 minutes until I went forward to share.  I have to say though that when you are doing something that is from God and you know 100% that you are supposed to share your testimony it will happen.  The day before I had prayed that God would give me the words to "wrap" up my testimony because I just couldn't figure out how to end it.  Not an hour later I came across something I had written down and realized it was a verse God wanted me to use for some reason.  When I stood up front I was still nervous for sure.  But I wasn't that hyperventilating nervous that makes you sound more like you are crying than talking.  It all came out correct and there were even moments that I felt kinda calm.....well, as long as I was standing on one leg.  For some reason my right leg chose that moment to spasm and I looked pretty ridiculous. 

All that to say this...I am not signing up for any conferences anytime soon but I think it's pretty amazing when God puts something in front of you that is such a "God thing".  If you would have told me a year ago I would be speaking in front of our church I would have called you crazy.  However, there are lots of things I am doing now I wouldn't have pictured myself doing a year ago!!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Birthday Perspective

 Field Trip to JumpZone on his birthday!  How perfect!

Friends are good.  Birthdays are fabulous.  Birthday parties are great. 

Birthdays around our house are a big deal.  There are generally several days worth of celebrating that goes on and lots of cake that gets consumed.  Our kids have some sort of celebration each year on their birthday.  This year Addison had her first ever party that wasn't at our house.  She had her new school friends and we had it our church's recreation area.  It was perfect.  We have had a mixture of big parties before and several smaller ones at the house.  However, last years birthday party for Trey just about did me in.  It was huge.  He had started Kindergarten and with that comes a whole new group of friends.  He was friends with pretty much all the kids and wanted them all at his party.  He also wanted it on a certain football field where the Razorbacks play and unfortunately he heard from another friend this was possible.  Before I knew it, we had rented a football field and planned to feed everyone chicken nuggets and chips.  How did this happen?  Then the amount of presents he received was unheard of.  I left the party feeling a huge pit in my stomach.  Why did one child need so many things?  How did a 6 year old go about having such a huge party?  Little did I know God was already working on my heart and convicting me about getting caught up with my surroundings.  He was giving me a glimpse of what was to come if it kept going this way....a child who thought anything could be delivered just because you want it.

Now, don't get me wrong...I am not saying that my kids aren't spoiled rotten because they are.  We are so blessed and are thankful that we can do things for them and I truly think that is okay.  However, my number one desire for them is to have a grateful and humble heart.  This year we told Trey he could have 3 friends spend the night and we would go to Playtime Pizza and play.  They had a blast.  They ran around and played and then came home and played swords, battle, etc.  This morning he was laying in bed with us (because he woke up WAY earlier than the other boys) and I asked him what his favorite part was.  He told me playing.  I said, at playtime pizza?  He said no...playing at the house.  I told J.O. later that really put things in perspective for me.  This is the first year we haven't had tons of presents running out our ears from a party, the first year I haven't worried myself sick over decorations and party favors and the first year I am not physically exhausted after a birthday celebration.  Now don't get me wrong, there will still be parties down the road and places rented and people invited.  However, today I also have a burden thinking about the kids who wake up with no one cuddling them in bed and giving them the DS game they have longed for or kids who don't even have someone who really cares it's their birthday.  I am hopeful that after our kids spend some time around these children that they too will have this burden.  I hope they will see that just because you can doesn't mean you should.  I hope in the sometimes protected world of private school that they will be a light and I pray that I will keep sight of this as well.  I will be the first to admit that as a mom I get as caught up as the kids and have a desire to keep up with the next.  Praying that I will keep a "birthday perspective" for years to come!