Monthly Archives: November 2014

We prayed for these children…

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For the past two years John and I have been following God’s plan to expand our family. There are so many different avenues to pursue, and at one point or another we have been on the path of just about all of them. We have talked through our desires, our needs, the needs of our kids, our future plans, and how more children fit into those things. It’s been a roller coaster and sometimes I just don’t think my faith is tall enough to ride it.

Matthew 25:14-30English Standard Version (ESV)

The Parable of the Talents
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants[a] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents,[b] to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.[c] You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Investment is a risky business. Just like the servant who hid his talent in the ground, I want to keep what God has already given me safe. Yet, somehow, I am not at peace with that. God gave us a wonderful family. Our kids are so looking forward to having a little brother and sister to mentor , love, and be friends with. John is longing to spend his vast amounts of fun, love, protection, relationship, and strength on them. I feel that denying these new children the chance to know them is a disservice. I cannot wait to hold them, love on them, take care of them, homeschool them, and share all God has given me with them.

The aspects I struggle with are the when, the how, and protecting my kids from hurt, and negative influence. No matter what we do, our lives will change forever. I want to ensure that change is good.

I have seen God change and recharge my heart through all the twists and turns he has taken us through. Each new situation brings growth. Amazement overtakes me when I consider all he has done, and peace has come in the waiting.

Isaiah 40:31English Standard Version (ESV)
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.

All along, the one thing I have refused to let go of is the protection of my children. Funny, I prayed for my kids from before they were conceived, prayed with them through each stage of their lives. I stood before God at church with their father and gave them back to him. And every time I feel the tug of my heart to do something risky (like be a foster parent),I start running to “bury my treasure” under the reasonable excuse of “I have to protect the kids I already have”. And today God said to me “you prayed for these children, you gave me these children, now let me take care of them the way I see fit” Wow, touché God!

Now, I’m not saying that I believe that we are definitely called to be foster parents. What I am saying is that I believe that God doesn’t want me not to be a foster parent just because I refuse to allow him to dictate my children’s lives. I have marveled at his ability to change my heart and open it in a split second over and over again. Why would I expect him to do any less for my kids? Who am I to say “God you are just an honorary parent, I am the one who has to protect them”? God is the best “banker” I could ever entrust my treasure to! He will make sure it is protected and grown the proper way. After all, the servant who was given the most, invested the most, and reaped the most reward. He didn’t loose his treasure, he multiplied it. Speaking of multiplying: didn’t God tell Adam and Eve to do just that?

For those times after much change….

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Almost a year ago my son went through a period of depression. For almost two months I was in his room every night, sometimes for hours, encouraging him, counseling him, praying with him and for him. We cried, we even laughed a little. The days were filled with erratic behavior. There were highs then lows. John and I prayed together and shared the burden with our parents and some close friends who were all on their knees for us all. I would describe it has the most difficult time of my mommy career, and yet, looking back, I can see it was a sweet time also. It presented me with an opportunity to share with my son my history with depression as well as my family’s. He listened and I could see first hand him putting into practice what I taught him.
During that time, I was spending a lot of time by his side, and John wondered why it was me he called for every night. It broke my heart, and I encouraged him to talk to his daddy too. I am so thankful that my husband loves our kids and is a man of wisdom and integrity. He has much to give! One night he asked for John, I didn’t find out till later what he said.

He finally did come through that time of struggle, and praise the Lord I have seen him stay on a more even keel ever since. I see him begin to struggle, then without going to extremes he returns to “normal”. The things God has taught us about our depression have really helped and have changed our lives drastically.

Times of rapid change have a tendency to bring depression into our world. The last few months have brought many twists and turns and our life today looks very different that it did a year ago. One of those changes was a recent opportunity to take in two children. My kids were so excited! We were all excited! We had a home study and got the house ready and waited only to hear that they were not coming . We were devastated. I came out after sobbing on the phone to John, knowing I needed to tell the kids. I told them. Johnny just went to his room, got his bible, and started writing. He showed me later. It was the entire chapter of Matthew 6. About how worrying will not help and how we can trust God for what we need. He had given a very long devotional to us around the fire about that passage just a week before. I had seen him struggling a little and I wasn’t sure how this would affect him, but he was fine. He was strong. He was relying on the Lord. I was amazed at this. I am so Thankful to God that Johnny is learning now, as a child, how to handle his depression and triggers. It means that when he grows up, depression will not have the stronghold in his life as it has mine!

Here is the absolutely mind blowing part. Matthew 6:25-57was the verse John shared with him that night during his depression. Matthew 6:25-27 Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? It was that passage that has become his life’s verses. That passage that God has used to be the foundation of his ability to work through those hard times. Each lesson learned is like another brick built on top to construct a staircase of escape from depression!

Yesterday John preached at our church from Matthew 6. He was able to share the story of how Johnny broke his arm last week and in the ER he had reminded Him of that verse and how Johnny had just shared it with us around the fire the night before. It was a major bonding moment for father and son, and a tremendous testimony of God’s grace!

Through all the changes in the past year, (this was just one example)our roles have evolved. The growing pains have been intense. John preaching yesterday and my opportunity to be a music leader in our church, combined with recent opportunities to build relationships like never before, has been amazing! When I married John 12 years ago I never would have even guessed that God would be allowing us to serve together in this way. Working together as husband and wife, parents, and leaders in our church;These are the times that I stand and look at all God has brought us through and where we are now and I can say as David did: for the sake of your word and according to your will, you have done this great thing and made it known to your servant.

Thank you God for all you have done! It is worth the pain, the change, the struggle, and everything! Thank you for letting me see your marvelous works in me, my husband, and my children!

First day of school

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This post should actually be titled first 9 weeks of school, but oh well. The 2014 part of the 2014-15 school year has progressed admirably. It has been quite eventful. Many changes needed to occur to make it a success, and I praise the Lord for all we have been through.

Because of the need to school the kids separately this year, I decided to close our back porch school room, in favor of a huge-wicker-trunk-chalkboard-in-the-living-room combo. It is working out fabulously! We school in the living room, dining room, and sometimes Kait and I snuggle in my huge bed and do math and English together. Here are some pictures of how our school trunk is laid out.

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In my last posts, I shared Johnny Boy’s journey and our discovery of dyslexia. Our change in curriculum has been such a blessing. For the first time ever Johnny isn’t struggling miserably through every day of school. We have actually giggled together while doing his Barton System, and he is almost completely independent in Math! “Don’t worry Mom, I got this” has been his mantra. It is wonderful to me to see this growth and happiness in him! He still rather be doing anything else but school work, but it is mainly because he’d rather be in the woods or climbing his ropes, or practicing his sword skills. Every day I learn something new about him or discover a way to meet his needs. It blows me away to think of God’s work in his life and I am so thankful to get a front row seat!

With Johnny now being so much more independent and being able to do Barton with him separately, I am free to really interact with Kait in a way that has been a struggle in the past. We sit together and do her work and spend a lot of time discussing books and art. She is a veracious reader (just like her Mama). She is on the A-B honor roll at Andersen Academy and is loving school so much she asked to do it on Saturdays. On Friday, while Johnny is at SAINTS (a P.E. Program) Kait and I go shopping and hang out together. Our routine has solidified and it has been really fun.

We have also been attending a creation science based co op where we are studying human anatomy and physiology. That has been so fun! The kids have participated in quizzes, games, and experiments to reinforce our study with their friends at co op. This has also given them the opportunity to experience a class room setting and multiple teachers. We all really enjoy it!

Sorry this post is so long, I am shutting up now. Here are pictures from our year so far!

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