Monday, April 18, 2016

The Fake Birthday

 She was stressing out the other day, as only an 8 year old can.  Kids having birthday parties in school, get to have a special straw hidden that they then find.  So, since she is a summer birthday – she wasn’t getting in on this birthday tradition as the school year went on.  So, as school is winding down, we are encouraged to have a “fake” birthday party if we like, bring food and she gets to find her straw.  Luckily her Dad was off today, so he took the treats to school, as the awesome Dad he is – so she could feel the special-ness of having a “fake” birthday straw hunt.
As I was reflecting on all this, it dawned on me, she wants for nothing, has all the love and possessions she needs to be satisfied for a child her age.  BUT the rewards of being amongst peers, recognition and fair treatment are motivators for her in such big ways.  A simply Birthday Straw motivated her to bound out of bed with excitement on a Monday morning, when we usually drag our feet at the beginning of the week….because it was special.
I bet God watches us and wonders too why we aren’t bounding out of bed daily, for that special sunrise he gives us every day, many of us take it for granted, as well the gift of salvation – his son Jesus – the Birthday Straw in our lives that should give us new energy, a reward that is ours, simply for the asking.  Many seek this "Birthday Straw" and never find it.   How many times do we just go on our busy way, forgetting those little things….those things that matter the most.

This 8 year old – she teaches me something new in life every day.  A wonder of creativity with a learning disability that is such a beautiful unique creation, and God picked us – he gave us this Birthday Straw girl – when we too had everything we needed to be satisfied, he gave us her through the beautiful gift of adoption….because he knew we’d need some “fake” birthday’s in our lives.  He knew we’d need that one more child to fill our vessel of blessings with a smidgeon of challenge so we wouldn’t be bored in our older aging life….. 

Thank you.  My cup is full.  My straw is awesome!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Toboggan of Life

A life changing weekend at FCA is our saving grace at the moment.  Things learned there somehow made a difference in the same message – just delivered in a new way.  So….the tide flows again with new goals, new hopes…..then why am I so weary?
When I was young, in Winnipeg, Canada at this one park close to our home in St Vital, we'd use our 5-6 seater aluminum toboggan and would haul it up wooden steps to a loading ramp, the more you put on it - the further it went. Barreling down in the guidance of ice walls beside us.  Everyone, when it would stop, would jump off quickly and dash up the hill so the last one off had to pull the toboggan back up.  I'd slowly pull it back up and look at the ice guidance walls, sometimes seeing blood from someone who got bumped and maybe had a nose bleed - oohing at the grossness of fresh red blood on white snow and ice.  Such awesome memories of hours of exhausting fun.
I feel like I’m pulling the toboggan up to slide once more, the exhilaration and joy of the ride ends when you have to trudge up the hill with a toboggan in tow, each time it feels heavier, each time the wind in your face pushes you to push harder to get there for the joy in the ride….eventually you are too cold, too tired and you go home…..seeking warmth, dryness and nourishment.
I’m weary of my toboggan – I think I need a long rest….  God is my strength pushing me from behind to rise up that mountain over and look and experience the joy of the ride when joy can be found and cherished.
I read this quote by Brennan Manning:  “Suffering, failure, loneliness, sorrow, discouragement and death will be part of your journey, but the Kingdom of God will conquer all these horrors. No evil can resist grace forever.”

Isaiah 54:17
"No weapon forged against you will prevail..... This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me", declares the Lord.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Iced Emotions

We received a blanket of lovely white snow on Easter Sunday.  Coming home from Sunrise Service I fought an overwhelming urge to go away on my own and photograph the beauty of it.  But duties called me to the kitchen to get things ready for Sunday Dinner with 16 around the table, so I snapped a few just around home, then C asked if she could shoot a few with my camera and she did.

My emotions tie in with these pictures so well lately.  The beauty in the ice and snow - hiding so much dirt and dryness of the parched Kansas ground, hugging it with intensity to provide it some loving moisture.  As a Mom, I too want to be that blanket of white snow, loving, giving, sacrificing for my children, hugging them to keep them away from the evils that lure them in - especially when they face challenges so much lately.  My reality lies in that no matter how much I give, how much I love, how much I sacrifice - we are back to square one again.

My soul feels a deep sadness - nothing works.  Nothing helps.  They say more therapy, they barely can acknowledge that what they provide doesn't work.  When the recipient doesn't value the information or isn't capable to applying it - it becomes pointless.  But to "give up" makes us feel like failures in a life we can't save from the demons of the past that moulded and control. $18 grand and weeks later, we arrive at 7 weeks home and it feels like we've gained no ground.   I've a strong faith, but I've got to admit - short of a miracle, nothing can save this slide down a slippery hill over and over.  I'm feeling low.  I allow myself to realize that it is Okay.  It is time to let it go - I've fought the good fight, but I'm tired and don't know that I can keep doing this for another year.  I'm hurt and retreating.  It is hard for me to give it up, give it up to God I tell myself and move on, so I have to try. 

Another day it will snow will return in pristine cleanliness that will also fade and go away.  It doesn't stay.  I yearn for a happiness that seems out of reach.....I remember the days filled with love and laughter and a carefree flow with trust and honesty prevailing....why can't that be the norm?  I envy those that have this.  I remember who I used to be and mourn the passing this situation has me in.  It was my choice.  I chose this I'll finish it.  It won't be easy, fighting demons isn't easy work.  Some hard decisions lie ahead.  Time and prayers will direct this. 

Do you know what it is like to volunteer for something, then as that obligation comes near you regret it and can't wait for it to be over?  Sometimes we have to say "no" and that is where I'm at.  I'm not going to compromise my standards or morals because the ethics of who I am hold me strong in my stance.  Some think I'm hard headed or hard hearted....they don't know the tender spots my heart holds at all.  There is give and take - but it comes with responsibility, honesty and trust I pray for these as a norm vs a rarity.  These things when lost are hard to gain back.  I was recently informed of a girl who pays her parents $200 a month rent, who isn't 18 yet - and then her parents aren't allowed to "parent" her and she can do whatever she wants.  It was told to me with admiration like that was the path we should go.  Hmmmm  - not this mama.  You can be 25 and if you live in our house - it is our rules. 

"Tell a lie once and all your truths become questionable. " ~ Author Unknown

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