Monthly Archives: February 2015

Unfinished

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My life has been spent dreaming and planning and trying to get to the place where everything is set. When I was a teen I wanted to get married, I wanted to know who I would spend the rest of my life with. The anticipation of these wonderful plans and dreams is one of my favorite parts. I love the planning and the process of “getting there”, but I tend to only enjoy it if it is attached to the promise of fruition. I don’t like sudden changes as I shared before, and when something is set in my mind I don’t like it to be taken away. I don’t like surprises. I like things set in stone so I can plan each detail needed until the time comes. In fact, most of the time when the groundwork has been laid and prepared, I like to hand off the actual event to someone else to execute.
All too often I expect God to be the one to execute the thing I have planned, hoped, and dreamed for. After all he is the only one we can trust to do so. Correct? Nope. It doesn’t work that way. 

So often God says, “No, I want you to live in the unfinished work that I have given you.” More accurately, we, and our lives, are the unfinished work. Attempting to buck that system leads to fear, frustration, and constantly needing to control everything. God is teaching me to appreciate and enjoy the unfinished. 

 Sometimes, unfinished can just mean that you are not sure how something that must be done is going to get done.  I like foundations. It is hard to prepare for something if you don’t know what that something is exactly. The process of fostering/adopting for us is like that. We are spending a lot of time preparing to have kids in our home, but we don’t know what age/sex they will be. Just one example of the unfinished in our life. 

 Recently I saw a video of a scientist presenting on a show. He had a large empty aquarium. It had a hose inside. It looked completely empty. He turned on a fog machine and it sent fog through the hose. As the fog hit the aquarium suddenly you realized that it was filled with an invisible gas that the fog settled upon. Then he floated a paper boat on the surface. Any logical mind would have expected the boat to sink. Every one was surprised when it floated across the top cutting through the fog easily. Every one except the scientist. You see, that scientist had understanding of not only the fact that the invisible gas existed, but he also understood how the gas worked and that the fog and boat could be supported by it.
I feel like this is what my life is. My understanding of God and his working affects what I believe will happen. 

For the first time in my life I feel peace through all of this. I don’t know what God is doing, but I am glad I don’t have to see him to know he is there supporting us.  Think of it this way.  At Christmas, we look forward to our children opening the gifts we spend weeks/months planning and buying for them.  We know what is inside and can’t wait to see our children’s anticipation and the joy on their face when they open them.  God has everything waiting in the wings for us.  All the good, all the plans, all the support.  Now imagine how we feel at Christmas when we know it is coming, we see glimpses of presents appearing under the tree,  the anticipation builds and we cannot wait to open them.  All the torture of the wait is forgotten while on that morning we get to open and store our treasure up.  We tell all our friends what we got and the joy spreads out into the corners of our lives.  What would it be like if we demanded to know what our presents were and complained for weeks about how much we needed to know, so we could plan out our future. 

 This is like life.  Take a breath.  Let God take your little boat through the fog on an invisible lake.  Let yourself and others be amazed at how looking at your life logically makes no sense unless you know the God who sustains it. Enjoy the journey.  He has already won the war, we can weather each battle with confidence and unshakable joy! 

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Courage is not the absence of fear….I hope

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I am a planner by nature. I enjoy the process of making lists, executing tasks in an orderly fashion, organization is one of my favorite areas of study. All too often I make the ability to plan for every eventuality a god in my life. Change is hard for me. Especially since I crave change and have the tendency to freak out when it actually happens. I am impatient. I resist fast changes and ones that take forever. I like change to come within my (planned for)control. I am a control freak. Why am I saying all of this? It probably qualifies me for entrance into some kind of institution. Oh well.
We are in full nesting mode here at the Andersen abode. With in the next two months we should be ready (ready?hmmmm can you ever be ready for this? Ok fine we will be as ready as possible) to take in foster children.
Our desire is to open our home to a sibling group under three years old. I am so excited. I am so excited! I am terrified!!!!
This is not like getting ready for company. It isn’t like preparing for a baby. There really isn’t anything I can compare it to.
I am attempting to acquire baby gear. I have no idea what the sex of the baby or babies will be. I also don’t know if we will have a toddler too, or two, and what their age and sex will be.
When I think of these children that I don’t yet know my heart yearns to give them everything I can. Some things I am struggling with today as I make my lists are as follows:
It breaks my heart that I can’t give them brand new beautiful only-for-them things like I did when my biological babies were born. I want them to feel like we have been waiting for only them when they come. I want to create a special place in our hearts for them. A place that remains open to them even if they have to go. A place that includes their biological family regardless of the kind of relationship we will or won’t have with them. They will be a part of our story and us a part of theirs.
It breaks my heart that in order for them to come to my home they have to be abandoned, neglected, abused or all of the above.
I want each child who comes here to know that they are loved,wanted, planned for, supported, and cared for.
I am scared of the pain that is coming no matter what happens for them and us.
I am enjoying the planning to be ready for anything. Yet I am yearning to personalize these things for the individuals who will be in our care. I want them to leave with way more then they came.
I don’t want to make rookie mistakes and have rookie expectations. (Yeah I am doomed in that department huh)

Most of all I am praising God that he will lead and guide us as he has been doing throughout the last two years of this journey. I am thankful for my husband and I can’t wait to dive into these deep waters with him hand in hand. I am thankful for my children who are willing and eager to share their rooms, parents, space, and hearts in ways they have never had to do. I pray God will protect them. I trust that God has brought us here and I can’t wait to see this all play out. I am also good with waiting. Wow that is really true?!How uncharacteristic of me!
A song comes to mind……🎶there is a happy dale far far away…🎶. #iamcomingwithyouteddy. If you know what that is from I will give you an imaginary medal and be your best friend lol

Be still…yeah right

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As a mom, more specifically a homeschooling mom, I am with my children twenty-four hours a day. I love my children and love being with them. However, every once in a while my brain begins screaming the need to be alone. When I am with my kids, every moment is subject to interruption. Their needs, desires, and safety are on my mind constantly even on the “off” times when they are not asking me for something. So, when the opportunity arises to have some “me” time I immediately jump at the chance for the house to be quiet and to do whatever I want, when I want.

The first thing I plan on is sleeping in, having my coffee in peace, complete control of the remote, and cleaning with the music blaring with no threat of having to pause or censor it. Then maybe a date night with my amazing husband. Inevitably, the emptiness in the house gets to me and I begin to unwind and relax. The next thing that happens really throws me for a loop. I begin to think about all the things that I am not doing that I should be doing, then all my shortcomings, the fear of rejection from my husband and my children for being unable to be all that I want to be as a wife and mother. The vicious cycle continues as I try desperately to pull myself together and act against my feelings of insecurity. I struggle to remember what is true and build on it.
This morning, as I began to drown in my “me” time I felt the Holy Spirit say to me: “Be still”. My reply, “Yeah right. God I am supposed to be all these Proverbs 31y things. You called me to be a good wife and mother, you commanded me to walk in truth. I can’t do that so I have failed you too! I mean, really, I am pretty sure my panic is valid.” Again he said “Be still”
Frantically I went to my bible program and searched the words “Be still”. I found Psalm 46. The entire thing is a song, describing the victory God gives his people over various trials and enemies and near the end this small verse: Psalm 46:10 be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted in the Nations. I will be exalted in the earth.

Wow. What just happened? I took my eyes off my God and put them on myself. “Me time” shouldn’t revolve around me. It should revolve around my relationship with God. No matter when I look at me I will see things that scare me. What could be happening that I don’t know about? What if my husband doesn’t love me anymore and is just pretending? (I know how many times I don’t have everything perfect, so to me anyone not wanting to be with me is reasonable). What if I am screwing up my kids life by homeschooling them, or just by not being the worlds best mother? But when I look at God, non of those things matter. I can be still because he is God. He can give me the motivation I need to do better. He can take care of me if any of my feared scenarios come to fruition. But most of all he will teach me to walk in truth because he is God. He will take me through whatever he has planned for me and will take care of it all! Looking at him doesn’t change who I am, but it sure changes the way I feel about who I am!
If you ever feel the need to escape for a bit of “me” time, remember this. Maybe it will help you avoid the deep waters that can overwhelm you when the quiet brings fear instead of fun.