Monday, March 31, 2014


I am a terrible sitter.  Seriously….I have a hard time sitting down and doing nothing.  If you watch my kids talk on the phone, they pace, because that's what I do.  I cannot sit down and talk on the phone.  Now don't get me wrong, I can lay in bed and catch up on tv shows like the best of them, but during the daylight hours it is very rare for me to actually sit down and do nothing.

Our sermon series right now at church is titled "Sit, Walk, Stand."  When I first heard the name of it I didn't think too much about it but halfway through the first sermon I thought I was going to have a very hard time with this.  This isn't right.  We are made to go and do.  Not sit.  It just didn't really resonate well with me.  Now, I am not a new Christian.  I was saved when I was 9 years old and grew up in church.  However, sometimes it still takes me a while to realize that the reason I am uncomfortable is because God is talking directly to me.

I know a lot of my friends have very special gifts that I don't have.  Some of them know exactly when to show up on my doorstep with a pan of brownies, some of them know when to text me at the exact time I need it, some of them (like my mom) know how to put words on paper and mail me letters when I need it.  However, I have always thought one of the things I was good at was doing.  If there is a need in the classroom, I will do it.  If there is something that needs organized, I don't mind sending out emails.  If J. O. is having a potluck at work, I will sign up.  I want to be involved.  In the middle of it.  Needed.  In charge.  In control.

Saturday my phone rang while I was at a birthday party.  I recognized the number and decided it was best to wait until I was home to talk.  I got home and called the person back and just like I expected it was news I really wasn't wanting to hear.  Not because it was bad news, but because we are now facing an outcome that might not look like what we want it to look like with the girls.  We have been told things would most likely move in a certain direction on the siblings case, and we have been guarded against that, until last week when it looked like it really might happen.  However, Saturday we found out, once again, things are totally up in the air once more.

I came home Saturday, laid the girls down, J. O. was outside working, the house was quiet and I actually sat.  I went in our unused room of the house and simply sat.  I talked out loud, I rationalized, and right about the time I started trying to work things out on my own, I remembered something we had just talked about in Bible study.  It was about Martha and Mary and the way they reacted when Lazarus died.  When Jesus came in Martha was thrilled He was there, but in her mind she was already working out plan B.  Jesus, however, was still on plan A.  I was reminded that God is still working Plan A in these children's' life.  I was quick to start making alternative plans in my head and try to figure out plan B, C, and D, but that's not how this works.  God has a plan for me and for these siblings.  His plan for me is to sit and His plan for the siblings is Plan A.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Praying Expectantly

In our Bible study right now, we are talking about praying expectantly.  When I first saw that, I really didn't think much about it.  I mean, I am pretty good about praying for things that come my way and about things that seem natural to pray about….But, as I got more into the lesson I realized I am such a "half-hearted" prayer.  I pretty much keep it safe and simple, and if I do add a really big request in there I want to make sure I end it with a safeguard.  You know, in case it doesn't happen.

The girls case is a mess right now.  All over the place with placements, mom, family members, etc.  Yesterday, there was a meeting to try to decide some of these issues and the attorney told me we would talk at the end of the day.  I prayed for specific things to take place and then I just kept my phone glued to me at all times.  By 5:00 when I still hadn't heard from her I started getting anxious, cranky, bad feeling in my stomach, etc.  All my expectant prayers went out the window and my new made up scenarios came into my head.

J. O. got home and we were in the kitchen getting dinner and I was throwing out all the new scenarios in my head and trying my best to get him worked up too.  However, he is so disappointing because he just looked at me and said, "Why is it when you don't hear something when you think you should, you expect the worst?  Why do you automatically go to worst case scenario and get yourself so worked up?"  He pretty much said….why do you have such little faith??

I, of course, argued that I don't but inside I knew that is exactly what I do.  And the bottom line is, I don't pray expectantly and I put God inside a box and on my terms.  Just because I didn't hear what I thought I would hear, when I thought I would hear it, I automatically assumed nothing good had happened with their case today.  My prayer shouldn't have been that I would know something by 5:00 so that I wouldn't be so anxious and cranky.  It should have been that no matter how long the situation takes that God would show Himself to these workers and reveal a better plan.  The reality is, I didn't hear from them because they couldn't work it out and that is actually a good thing.  There is someone fighting for these girls who wouldn't concede at the end of the work day yesterday so they are back at it today.

God was still moving and speaking yesterday when I had written it off because I had closed the lid on my box.  I couldn't recognize anything outside of what I expected to happen because it didn't look like I expected it to look.  The reality is that the answer still may not be what we think it should be.  However, I am thankful for a God who is working for Kingdom purposes and not just a matter of making me happy right here and now.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Our Crazy Life...

So most of my posts have some bigger meaning and I usually write them because I have been awake in bed and have a thought or just can't get an idea out of my head or so forth.  However, this post is not like that at all.  It's more of the "see how totally crazy our lives are" type post.

J. O. wasn't feeling well last week but couldn't really put his finger on it.  He kept having some stomach issues and just felt drained.  It was really not that big of a deal and he continued to work and go to everything like normal.  On Friday though, I could tell he just didn't feel well.  He was quiet, tired and didn't eat much at all for dinner.  He still went to Trey's Upward Basketball ceremony and then came home and hung out a bit before falling asleep so I really didn't think much about it. 

Now, J. O. is obviously your typical guy when he gets sick.  He is overly dramatic and acts as if the world is ending.  However, this time he really wasn't acting that way.  He was still business as usual.  I also haven't been sleeping well this week so I was super excited about getting a good night's rest Friday night.  I went to bed and fell right to sleep and was so thankful not to have to be up for anything.  Well, around 12:30 I woke up to go the bathroom and J.O. told me he wasn't feeling too well.  I was actually a little irritated because I figured he would be tossing and turning and this meant I would now be awake for awhile.  But, I went right back to sleep and around 1:30 I woke up to J. O. calling for me.  I got up and stumbled into the bathroom and even without my glasses or contacts in I could tell he was super pale.  He was pretty incoherent and told me he needed some help.  He told me he was about to pass out and he had terrible stomach pain.  So, I did what any loving wife would do in a serious situation, and I started yelling at him.  He was trying to stand up and so I was yelling at him to sit down or at least crawl to the bedroom.  He started stumbling around the bathroom and at the point he passed out on me and of course I couldn't catch him so he fell and hit the floor.

At this point, I went to call 911 because I just wasn't sure what else to do and I wasn't as calm as I am making it sound.  He woke back up during this and I once again started yelling for him to get on the bed.  I think at some point he did and I was finally relieved.  Long story short, no clue what was causing him to be in so much pain but we are pretty sure he had some sort of food poisoning because he started feeling bad after eating something Tuesday night.  He got fluids and morphine in the hospital and came home and pretty much slept yesterday and laid around most of the morning today.

I really tell you this just to make a point….so many people who only read this blog and don't see me on a daily basis have a picture of us that is completely wrong.  We live a crazy life filled with drama and the random middle of the night ER visit.  I am a wife that yells at her husband in time of distress (I mean, seriously don't walk around if you think you might pass out) and I probably didn't take his pain seriously enough Friday.  But if I have said this once I will say it 1000 times.  God doesn't call the people who have it all together.  He calls those, that people will look at and say "woah…that can ONLY be God working through them!!"  And they would be right 100% of the time!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


I have to admit I have never known too much about Lent.  Sure, I understand the basic concept of it but growing up in a Baptist church that never participated in Lent, I just never heard much about it.  What I was pretty much told is that we didn't participate in Lent.  I never really questioned it, because let's face it, I didn't want my parents making me give up something I enjoyed for a month.  No way.  I would just keep chocolate in my life and let everyone else handle that.

Then, I went to college and Lent was much more prevalent.  It seemed that everyone participated regardless of denomination so I decided my sophomore year I would give it a go.  I decided to give up dessert so I would lose a few lbs.  I mean, sure I would also focus on the fact that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, but losing a few of the freshman 20 wouldn't be a bad side effect.  Well, that lasted all of about 2 days.  Seriously, I used to live in a sorority house that had dessert after every meal so 2 days was probably a huge accomplishment.

What I never thought about or understood was what Lent was really supposed to be.  It is supposed to be a time of sacrifice or giving up something you really enjoy to bring your focus to Christ.  I mean, unless I am missing the boat here, it shouldn't be giving something up so that for the next, however many days, (I think 40) you openly complain on Facebook about how hard it is for you.  It also should have never been about me giving up dessert to lose weight.  Jesus's gift is free.  Lent is an awesome way to reflect on that free gift, but Christ doesn't need us trying to pay penitence and then complaining about how hard it is for us.

I have no idea why this has been on my mind lately, but I think Lent can seem to be more of a trend than an actual calling to something sacrificial.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with giving something up for Lent, but there is also absolutely no benefit to it when you do it for the wrong reasons.  Just like everything else in our life.

The other day we went out to eat with some friends who I have known for several years, but just recently got to know the mom better when they started fostering.  We met at Larry's pizza and between the 2 families we had 13 people and 9 of them were kids.  They have 3 bio kids and 2 foster girls.  As we were sitting there eating (that's the joy of Larry's….the kids can run rampant and it's so loud no one knows) I found myself thinking about how we often think we have to give things up to make a sacrifice.  Sure, people who foster give up things in order to do so.  As do missionaries, teachers, church workers, etc.  However, what about just allowing yourself to be open to something else during Lent.  Maybe it's just being more sensitive to what God might be asking you to do?  Maybe it's opening up and trying something new?

As we were talking that night, the foster mom told us one of their foster girls asks every single night before bed if they will eat breakfast the next morning.  Talk about heartbreaking.  At 4 years old this girl already realizes that she might not eat.  This foster mom will never be the same.  We hear about kids out there who don't have enough to eat, but until you invite one into your home it isn't as real.

I guess in a weird rambling way this is what I mean.  We don't have to give up our comforts and something we love to experience Jesus this Easter season.  We can experience it by not closing our eyes to all that is going on around us.  We can experience Him when we open our eyes to the children that are all around us.  We can also do it by giving up our favorite food, but that shouldn't be all we discover.  I recently listened to someone talk about praying for God to make her uncomfortable.  That's what I hope to take on this Lent season.