Wednesday, October 19, 2016

When God Says Love Your Neighbor As Yourself….

The challenges have been beyond real lately.  God pushes me to grow…..sometimes like my teens I just want to sleep in on life and ignore responsibility, chores and going to work…..I want to sit and do nothing.  This isn’t normally me – but occasionally this feeling comes.  More so with age.

So, I had part of my kidney removed. Tumor was all contained – praise God! No chemo, no radiation needed.  Hallelujah all the way.  I am blessed.  I stayed longer than anticipated in the hospital due to fever and the weekend wasn’t when they wanted me released if I ran into problems.  I was happy to get home, shower and wear normal clothes!  During the time I was in the hospital, our oldest, decided along with the lies he was giving us, to quit his job, move out and move in with his birth mother who found him via Facebook.  Shock.  Pain.  I’d take 10 kidney surgeries with the pain vs what this did to me emotionally.  Talk about a low blow.

My cries to God of why, 17 years and this is what we get?  Not the plan we had.  Major failure to launch here.  So I tried to set aside my selfishness…. resisted listening to God, pleaded with him…. a month went by.  I heard God telling me over and over what I needed to do…. but I didn’t want to do it.  A few more weeks went by, God gave me sleepless nights, mental angst…. finally, broken of my will I said “Yes Lord, I will do what you ask.”   

We reached out to the birth mother and for the benefit of my sons, we got together in peace to learn to know each other.  What struck me was the struggle of poverty, addictions of 17 years, a turned leaf struggling against the odds.  I felt humbled and guilty of all I have in my life.  A new view….and the fix it Val came out.  There are ½ siblings, so I’m treading softly.  I want to continue to hear God and what he asks of me.  My walls of fear exist and I’m slow to lower them, but God made me a loving being for a reason and I will rise to His challenge.  I’m actually excited about how this has released some of my fears – how the hurt can ease when I listen to what God says about loving your neighbor as yourself.
I am blessed and have been given talents and abilities that are clearer to me, given this interaction and I pray discernment as we move forward.  What mixed blessings will come from this initial olive branch we have begun?  Healing.  Healing for my heart, sharing of two boys we’ve had for over 17 years that we love beyond measure…. hope for their future.  And maybe, while we don’t have anything but love for two young men in common, a small bud of friendship and understanding will grow.  Peace – the peace I seek may be possible as I step outside my comfort zone.   It has been years since my voluntary service experience and I find myself needing to remember more – needing to be able to let go and risk.  So, a new journey begins.  
Prayers welcome. 

Friday, September 2, 2016

Toomah Ahh-nald

The world has been moving fast since my last post….a beloved father-in-law passed away more suddenly that expected and the grief was overwhelming for all of us – he was the fishing grandpa, the one that came to all the kids events, Sophia especially grieved as a first time of knowing someone well who moved on to heaven.  Has been quite a journey to comfort her and see her processing death. 
We’ve discovered the world of vision therapy too as in looking for answers on why our dear Sophia can’t read, after a summer or tutoring and working so hard, vision therapy has entered our life giving us some newfound hope as she desires so much to read chapter books and dreams of curling up with a book to read.  Breaks my heart as we pursue the unknown to give her the best future knowing very little biological background – many of you adoptive parents know this walk!
Then, Courtney moves to a private Christian boarding school this weekend – the summer has gone fairly well, a relaxed girl with no school pressures is much easier to live with!  So, knowing after last year, we couldn’t survive doing the same thing…..we found a wonderful school nearby that will be the venue to complete her education and give her the support she needs.  Because it is so close – we’ll have regular contact with nice breaks at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Spring break!  I’m excited as she discovers more about herself and as we see her mature and blossom into a lovely young lady with God in the center of her life.  We reached out and helped her make a healthy family connection to her past – this is a blog in itself, but let’s just say – healing bridges have begun!
The eldest, my wild child – he is so DONE with college, he just wants to work.  So, he found a job that we hope will work into full time after his trial period.  He loves the outdoors and having fun – but launching him into adulthood is not for the weak in our household!  Being parents doesn’t end when they are 18, that I can say for sure….so the guidance and directions given, while not always taken, continue as I pray for God to keep him safe and watch for the when / if he allows God to be a part of his directing life.
Toby my Toby.  Stressed some with school, full load and a few college classes as a senior, continues to work, run cross country and usually be my helping, loving son.  When short on sleep and food – beware!   Proud of the young man he is becoming and how focused on his goals he is. It is a hard course, but his sail is holding steady.  He is such a kind hearted young man.

Love all my kids to the moon and back.
My husband, my rock.  We stand together in the trails that come our way, I couldn’t do this alone, the good Lord knew I needed a strong patient man to help us stay firm in Him.

I myself am heading for a partial nephrectomy – removing a tumor from my kidney, hoping it isn’t cancer, but told 70-80% odds it is.  Hoping and praying we can keep most of the kidney and not have it all removed.  I can live off one kidney – just prefer to have most of the other if possible!  We named it “Toomah Ahh-nald” after Kindergarten Cop with Arnold Swartzeneggar.  So – asta-la-vista Toomah Ahh-nald!  I pray my recouping time restores my body back and allows my soul some down time for me, to gird up for the next challenge that I’m sure awaits out there with my rocks in the washer of life.

 Prayers – always welcome!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

My Pokeman Go Weigh In....

OK – I’m annoyed so I’m venting – my Pokeman vent therapy.
When I first heard about Pokeman Go – the game on your devise, using GPS, I thought….nah.  Some people immediately bashed it publicly on facebook, etc, etc.  I just read, listened and observed.  Then our OWN city, declared no one should be out after dark playing this game, due to recent burglaries where guns were stolen, don’t trespass on private property, you could be in danger, etc etc. 

So, my 18 year old son admits – he is playing the game.  He says, Mom – you should play it too!  I said show it to me.  So he showed me it, I downloaded it and started to play in the house only at first.  I’ll admit, it was fun.

Then last Saturday night my son convinces me to go on a walk – the weather was nice, yes it was after dark but we’d walk city streets and I was an adult.  We headed out.  What I learned was, there are many aspects to the game and getting out and moving around (we walked over 2 miles) was fun.  You don’t have to go on any private property, most things can be accessed on sidewalks near buildings like churches, post offices, etc. 

I saw the news article about kids leaving trash at a Veterans memorial due to Pokeman Go.  I think that is sad….but I’m also guessing more people have visited it in the last week than the last year, but that doesn’t justify leaving trash! 

They warn about not doing it while driving.  Like texting and driving – it shouldn’t be done.  Will some people do it – yes.  That said, like anything, all things are a choice whether you do it or not it isn’t the games fault.  Every time it launches up, it gives you a warning to be aware of your surroundings.

Like all things – you can use it for good or bad – you can litter or not litter, you can play Pokeman Go safely and for fun – or you can take risks.  Also, this is a GAME.  Kids play games - this isn't drugs or alcohol - it is an app and a game!  Kids have played games for years - this one actually has kids more excited and active and talking with each other vs just texting sitting at home or in front of a TV!

Last week I read of a lady who was taking a selfie at the Grand Canyon and stepped backwards and fell to her death.  We all takes risks every day in many ways.  Just getting in my car and driving to work is a risk. 

What I know is it has given me and my son (and now husband and daughter) something to do together, today my hubby got out and walked a mile on his own early this morning.  I’ve walked more and it is fun!  For however long this fad lasts…..enjoy it if you like to play games!  

I read these positives posted the other day on Pokeman Go:
 1) People who are obese are actually going and walking.
2) Soldiers with PTSD whom have not been out of their houses in years are coming out.

3) It is showing positive results in helping people with depression.
4) It is helping young kids with social disorders because of disabilities such as Aspergers, Down Syndrome, and Autism to go out and interact with kids their own age. Some of which had never successfully interacted with other children at all.
5) Some families are saying this is a group activity that has brought them closer.
6) People who love games have found a game where they are actually out, socializing, and not sitting at home in front of a computer or a TV. This is something similar to geocaching, which is an amazing concept. 

I remember when Harry Potter came out and people all freaked out calling it evil, demon possessed, witch craft, etc……instead of judging it without knowing, I picked up the first book from the library and read it.  I loved it for what it was – creative, targeted towards an 11 year old audience reader and a good read….I then read every one as they came out.  Same goes with Pokeman Go – if you haven’t tried the game – don’t judge it.  It really is fun, while not for everyone, realize it has positive benefits.  Bambi advise “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all!”

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