Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Being a Mom

I am feeling VERY inadequate. There is nothing easy about being a mom - nothing easy about being a mom to five kids - and nothing easy when you throw in one child that needs a lot of extra time and attention. We had no idea that when we brought little Jada home that our world would literally turn upside-down. My time is consumed by Jada and her appointments right now. In a good week, we can have 5-6 different appointments just for Jada and that doesn't include running our boys back and forth to band, running the girls to their weekly Kindermusik, our jobs, church commitments, etc. I have to say that sometimes I literally run from one thing to the next and leave at 9 in the morning and do not get home until 3 or 4 in the afternoon - for this mom that has thrived on tranquility, orderliness, and a routine - this is pushing me to the limit!!! But what I love is how God provides. (I am not trying to complain - I realize TONS of Moms do this regularly, but so far, God has not made this our lifestyle and I have been grateful for that- so when He turned our world and our running began, it took me a bit of "getting used to!")

Today was one of those days - 9:00 speech appt, 11:00 therapist (a half hour away), and 2:00 dentist - all for Jada today - I was, once again, feeling bad that my other kids don't get Mom most of the day. So when I ran home between two appts. and found my boys sitting in the living room playing Pick Up Sticks with Chloe I was nearly brought to tears. I don't know too many 13, 14, and 15 year old boys that would play games with their 5 year old sister. When I praised them and told them how much it meant to me, one of the boys said, "Well Mom, we noticed how you were very busy and we were afraid Chloe might feel kind of left out. So we asked her what games she would like to play to help cheer up her day." I tell you what - I was left speechless. I share it to say that, once again, God fills in the gaps. He leaves me speechless sometimes - where I am weak, He is strong.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

One Million Arrows

When I was sent One Million Arrows to read for a blog tour, I approached it like almost any other read. Boy was I wrong! I got into it just one chapter and stopped - this was one my husband and I HAD to savor together! We read it out loud together crying and saying "Amen" the whole way through. Julie Ferwerda has such a powerful idea with One Million Arrows that my husband and I are STILL talking about it. As directors of ministries to parents and children at our church, this is going to be the first thing we promote next fall to our families AND with our workers - because we are not just raising children, we are sharpening and refining arrows to send out into our world. We were convicted, we were challenged, and we were encouraged. This book not only convinces you that SOMETHING needs to be done to change the way we parent, but it gives you all the tools to do it. What an amazing challenge - it is a MUST read for parents that want to send out their arrows into the world sharpened and ready to be effective. Here is what someone else has said about the book:
Will the world change our children...or will our children change the world? Time
is short and lives are at stake. Right now, God is inviting our families to
become part of a bigger story—a vision that will engage hearts to make a radical
difference. One Million Arrows is an inspirational call to raise our kids to
impact their culture, community, and world for Christ. If we want our kids to
discover their purpose, if we want them to live with passion for the Kingdom, if
we want our family to go down in His-Story, accept the mission...and leave a
mark for eternity.

DO not miss this incredible book - I am thrilled to be a part of this book/blog tour for a book I believe so strongly in!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Soccer Star

This Spring has been Chloe's first soccer season and, to put it mildly, she is LOVING it!!
I asked Joe if maybe she will be our hidden sports talent - to which he laughed and said, "Only if you like to watch a ballerina on the field." So this may not be her life's calling, but she's loving it. One week left and she is sad to see it end. Here she is in action!

Soccer Girl
She's aggressive - yep!


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Water Break
Water break!

Heading it!
I see budding talent here!!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


We started Jada with a play therapist who also specializes in attachment and bonding - it was all for her you know - NOT something Joe nor I needed! We felt that it was worth going to try - yet another person that might have the key to unlock our little one. Our initial thoughts on this wise man was that we could finally breathe a big sigh of relief - he was not another doctor that looked at us and said he was baffled by her behavior - he looked at us with tenderness in his eyes and said, "I've seen it before - all of it." He encouraged us with the progress we have made and sent us home with two books to read (I told you I liked this guy!!).

We went back today for what I thought was his first time with Jada (like I said, Joe NOR I need this therapy). He promptly took us all in his office, had Jada cuddle up on Mom's lap with her feet in Dad's lap and it began. It was a journey like no other. With my almost-four-year-old snuggled up on my lap, we took turns feeding each other a pretzel --literally feeding each other - it's like birdie feeding and it's to build trust. However strange it felt, I put that aside and nearly had tears running down my cheeks. This little one that has spent the last three and a half years of her life with no mommy to feed her was enjoying every minute of her Dad and Mom feeding her pretzels - just like a baby bird with her mouth wide open - except when she was smiling so much she couldn't open very wide.

But the big ride came when our therapist had me tell Jada what it would have been like if she had come out of my tummy. I tell you what, I have never had to think SO hard. I had to tell her what it felt like the day she came out of my tummy, what I thought when she came out of my tummy, what it felt like to hold her minutes after she was born. I was doing all I could to hold myself together as I told my little one "our birth story". She was beaming the whole time - I mean truly beaming - her eyes never left mine - she was soaking it all in. She had a birth story and so did I. I felt for the very first time, that this little one was a part of me. Some feel that with a referral picture - I never did. Some feel it when they are handed their little one - I never did. Some feel it after they've been home a bit - I haven't yet - until today. This little girl, that I have never doubted that God put with our family, and whom I love dearly has just never felt like "mine." I can't explain it any other way - I could follow God's call - I could raise her and shower her with love - but I did not feel that bond as strongly as I had felt it with my other kids......until I told her about the day she was "born". That is not an easy story to tell - but what it did to my heart was amazing.

We then went on to tell her about the day we flew to China and were given one of the best gifts ever!! Her adoption birth story - it is all a part of her greater story. Although she never came out of my tummy - she and I both needed to hear that story. I wasn't the only one crying either - Joe was choking up telling her what he felt the day she was "born". And all the while, I told you Joe NOR I need this therapy - I hang my head in shame - I am never beyond taking help, God puts people in your path to help you. This is another one of those instances. It was an amazing experience. We watched as he pressed her hands and feet on black construction paper to make her prints - just like on the day she was born. Jada will be four in two days - we do not have tiny hand and feet prints in a baby book - but we now have almost-four-year-old hands and size 9 feet prints to remember the day...the day we relived her "coming out of mommy's tummy."

It makes me wonder - who is this therapy for anyway?? We did it for Jada but I see that it may speak volumes to Dad and Mom too....

Tiptoeing Through Tulips

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Mother's Day Thoughts

In honor of Mother's Day, I wanted to share this. A friend shared it with me and it SO resonates with where I am a lot of the time!


"Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway." Proverbs 8:34

Life wouldn't be so hard if it wasn't so daily. As I sit here surrounded by laundry and dishes piled high in the sink, I see more than ever how life wears us down one day at a time.Crumbs litter the floor and dirty smudges cover the windows. And I have yet to discover where that smell is coming from. For this mother of four, a simple trip to the grocery store requires an act of God and Congress – attempted only when we are down to powdered milk and Ramen noodles. Not thirty minutes ago a little one-year-old boy clung to my legs, belting out that scream - you know the one, bats can hear it. And I felt my coping skills slipping away. Not because he was crying but because he cries every day. The daily-ness. The job of motherhood feels so vast, and frightening, and unending. I am called to raise these children in the fear and admonition of the Lord and yet there are days that I can't seem to get out of my pajamas much less lead them in a time of prayer. I think anyone could endure the temper tantrums of a small child or the rebellion of a teenager or the constant needs of another if they lasted just one day. But the truth is that these things are the stuff of daily life. And when I am honest with myself, they grind down the rough edges of this woman.

Because parenting can not be all about me when diapers must be changed, noses wiped and beds made.In those moments I force myself to take a deep breath and thank God for this season of life. These children. The privilege of wiping noses and bottoms and counter tops. A privilege many women would love to have, but don't. I remind myself that the days are long but the years are short. And one day I will look in the rear-view mirror and see empty seats. The cup that is overflowing right now will slowly drain. The stretch marks will fade. And I will find that a new set of daily struggles has overtaken me. When that day comes I will find the strength to face them as well because God gives the grace, daily. The daily-ness.

As C.S. Lewis once said, "The thing is to rely on God... Meanwhile, the trouble is that relying
on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing has yet been done." Your daily-ness is probably different than mine, but it is nonetheless God-ordained. It is exactly what we need to live dependent on His grace instead of our own strength. The One who knows us best, who knit us together in our mother's womb, has allotted these days that are equal parts trial and triumph. And He knows that we will see Him most clearly from a place of dependence. So today I embrace the normal things. The daily things. Another round of laundry. The ring in my toilet. The dust on my dresser so thick a child could write his name. But even more than that I want to celebrate the important things. A child slowly learning to read. A husband that finds his comfort in my arms. A baby who learns to walk and talk. Because all these are the things of life: some mundane and some holy. And all of them must be received daily.

Dear Lord, sometimes daily life is just hard. And we're tired. And overwhelmed. But You promised to be our strength and our hope and our comfort. So today we look to You for what we need. Would You meet us in this, our daily-ness, and help us receive Your grace?

In Jesus' Name,

Monday, May 03, 2010

When you are harvesting your crops and forget to bring in a bundle of grain from your field, don't go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigners, orphans and widows. Then the LORD your God will bless you in all you do.
~Deuteronomy 24:19

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