Friday, July 25, 2014

Joy Stealer....

I don't think anyone would deny that Satan loves to try to steal our joy.  He loves nothing more than to come in and make us doubt ourselves, feel inadequate or play on our own insecurities.  He loves it best however, when he can use us to steal the joy from others.

Yesterday was a cruddy day.  There were things from DHS that at one point I had assumed we would face, and there were other things as well.  I thought a lot last night about how we react to things and how much to fight back and so forth and I realized the fight I had going on within myself was a bit different.  Sure, I could be mad and hold grudges and stomp my feet and curse DHS and so forth.  OR....I could decide not to be a vessel for Satan to use.  I could decide not to be used to be someone else's joy stealer.

Now, I am not talking about one of those people who makes a big public pronouncement that I am cleansing myself of toxic people on FB and if you made the cut congrats.  No, quite the opposite.  That's what Satan wants is opposition.  Discourse, strife, backbiting, gossiping, so forth.  So instead, I will decide what is worth fighting for and go from there.  I know with the girls, things are going to get ugly before they get better and my job is to be their advocate right now.  For me that means, standing up for what I believe is best and then trusting God to chart their path.  In other areas, it may mean standing down and not being in the middle of things.  Backing away and being heard less.  Very hard for me to do.

The truth is that Satan can only steal our joy if we allow him.  We have been blessed with some great people from the state and I know we were given our ad litem specifically because of the obstacles we would face.  We have been able to work with the other family involved and get along with no real issues and even help out along the way.  I could've allowed yesterday to skew my view, perception and I could've gotten pretty nasty with people who are used to having people yell and curse at them on a daily basis.  They probably wouldn't have even thought twice.  Instead, I am now grateful yesterday happened.  I realized that I was heading down a path of complacency.  I was so reliant on what I 'just knew' was going to happen that I hadn't sat down and given it to God in a long time.  I had also headed down a path I needed stopped with my own attitude of getting caught up in things and not handling them in a Christian manner.

Don't let Satan steal your joy, but even more than that, don't be used by Satan as a vessel to steal others.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Out of sight, out of mind....

It has seriously been awhile since I have posted anything.  This summer will go in the books as one of the busiest summers we have ever had.  We have had the opportunity to go to the lake quite a bit, take a short family trip and then J. O. and I just took a cruise.  Now, we have one more getaway and school starts!!  Woah!

This last trip was different than anything we have ever done.  I know cruises are not unusual trips, but we have just never been on one.  We have gone on vacations together before, but mostly to places where you go, go, go the whole time.  This time it was like a beach trip just the two of us, but so much more relaxing.  I have never before laid around and done absolutely nothing for that amount of time.  By Sunday night, I was itching to get back.  I needed normal.  Up until then though, I was great.  I can lay in a chair and read a book like the best of them.  I also wouldn't normally eat my weight in ice cream, but hey, if they are going to keep it out at all hours what's a girl to do?

It's also the first time, I have truly been without a phone.  It worked until we went to sleep Thursday night but then it was off.  We didn't have any service until Saturday when we hit Mexico and that was very limited.  At first it was hard to get used to, but honesty after awhile it was nice.  I figured if it was a true emergency our family could contact the ship, but it was nice escaping the day to day things.

However, it also made me realize how easy it is to unplug yourself and not be involved in hard things.  Not sure if that makes sense, but it's amazing how quickly you remove yourself from what's going on around you.  When I was on the ship without the reminder of Facebook, I was removed from what my friends fostering were dealing with.  Seriously, on Thursday I got a text from a friend about their case and a call before we boarded the ship and I was burdened about the craziness of it all.  Then, when I started relaxing and turned my phone off, it magically went away too.

Except that it didn't.  It showed me how quickly we can forget about the fight that is going on around us.  It also helped me understand a little better how people can so easily turn their back on this and act like it's not real.  I got online today and caught up on several things and once again realized how much is going on around us daily and I don't want to be removed from it.  I want to be reminded.  I want to help.  I want to pray for my friends.  I was in the dark for a few days, and admittedly it was nice and relaxing, but sadly this is where so many people are living.  In the dark.  I promise, once you get out of the shadows for a few days you won't be able to go back.  Get plugged in.  Reach out to a friend who is fostering or adopting.  Get plugged in at church or community group.  Just ask them to help you understand better what's going on.  I am convinced the first step to not ignoring it any longer, is acknowledging it's there.  Being unplugged for a few days is amazing.  Living in the dark and denial is not.