Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mission Field of Life continues….

Trials abound – stress continues.  I have NO fingernails….yes I’m a nail biter! 
One son had a bad longboard accident – trip to ER, fractures and sprains and lots of scabs and swelling/bruising.  He’ll be OK – he is healing, it could have been worse.  In the throes of it, honesty as to how the accident happened was a little evasive and when the truth came out – a nice grounding was applied.  I understand accidents happen – I just don’t accept lies. 

Another child lost her cell phone – sexting emails, in appropriate male contacting – just take it away.  A cycle we’ve repeated and tried to gain trust with that just doesn’t happen.  I’m thinking flip phone. 

Eldest moved out in anger again – don’t know where he is exactly.  We have contact minimally, he’s walked away from his job and support – hanging with sketchy people, doing drugs and living in the moment.  The city detective stopped by looking for him – I can honestly say I don’t know where he is, he won’t tell me where he is staying.  I worry about one of three calls I may get:  1) he is arrested (then I’ll at least know where he is and that he is getting three meals a day and not doing drugs! 2) he is dead or 3) hurt and in the hospital.    Trying to get him to go to a half-way house – but he hasn’t hit bottom yet….so we wait and pray.  Not the life we’d hoped for this guy at all.  Makes me incredibly sad and heart broken. 

I didn’t think life would turn this way for our adopted kiddos – we continue to be true to ourselves as parents and followers of Christ – hoping that our life example may still be seen and heard in their hearts.  Their brokenness doesn’t come only from their adoption stories, it remains in themselves to find their way as lost souls – I believe all teens out there struggle with so much more than their parents even begin to know, whether adopted or not.  The world of evil pulls constantly at our youth.  This is the fork in the road that so many have to choose and for my kiddos – that choice doesn’t come easy it seems.  We’ve raised them right.  They know right from wrong.  Choice and free will are what they have. 

I’ve been listening to some good CD’s on parenting again as I commute – often my daughter says her low self-esteem is my fault.  One thing I’ve learned is that self-esteem comes from the person achieving and accomplishing tasks that builds THEIR esteem, and no amount of flattery or praise will give them esteem – they make it through their accomplishments.  Like when a 4-year-old ties their shoes, we praise them – they’ve accomplished an age appropriate task and take pride and grow esteem from this.  But if I’d praise a 14-year-old the same way for tying shoes, it wouldn’t have the same effect.  It is from them achieving success in their hard tasks of life – rising up to do it, that they grow that esteem.  Encouragement to DO those tasks and steps is what we as parents do in the cheering on to get them to not give up…. sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t.  Having more open conversations about what has been happening in our home continues – even the 9-year-old whose ears are large – it is learning from the mistakes and successes of each kiddo in the house. 

Looking forward to vacation to come yet – time to restore my soul in places I love…. looking ahead to the good, surviving the trenches of life.  I remain optimistic, despite some serious sadness.  But God it in control, so while I’ve chewed off all my fingernails in stress – I know He guides us and has that master plan that I believe will still be victorious over sin.  I believe.  I have hope. I choose to find joy in the trenches of life.  Thankful always for a great partner in life who we’ll celebrate 34 years of marriage in July, God knew we needed each other for this mission field of life we continue on.

Galatians 5:13 “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”  (NIV)  

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Soul Weary

I am weary. Soul weary.

The struggles just continue.  I told my son the other day, that God was telling him, like Jonah, to go to Nineveh and he just refused to listen and was being swallowed by the whale of life – throwing him up on the shores of sin over and over – but he still refuses to go to Nineveh.

I repeat – I am weary, soul weary. 
These struggles are real.  For all the “find joy in everything” people who exasperate me with their happy joy bubbling selves, I wonder if the trials they experience relate more like a broken fingernail or wrong paint color than to teenager underage drinking, verbal abuse, domestic battery, porn – the dirty laundry list is long….and painful.  However, I to realize my trial list is nothing compared to those with debilitating health challenges, cancer, death and many other things that make mine look like a broken fingernail!

I rise, I restore my broken soul with agony only a parent’s heart can hold and pray to God “why did you save my children through the foster system, only to create these hard times that pull them back to the very life they were saved from……is it destiny for them?  Why?”  It feels cruel.  It feels like I failed as a parent.  Soul weary.

A friend mentioned my “tough love” and I felt bad that she viewed me as a tough love Mom.  But then I remind myself, she hasn’t walked this walk.  I will NOT enable my children. They need to own it, we have given grace, mercy and forgiveness – we do it every day…..natural consequences and parental discipline is needed more today and I see more children being rude to adults and their parents than ever.  I’ve noticed with my kiddos, that after a big “err” of their ways / choices, that when we lay it out for them, they willingly accept it and seem HAPPY, yes I said HAPPY that we laid down the law.  It is that wall that remains constant for them – the reminder we do care, we will apply punishment for actions and we remain strong in trying to guide them back on the right path.

My son waited 5 days before he asked me to sit down that he had something to tell me.  I sat down, bracing for what was coming…..he shared he got a speeding ticket.  He was so relieved – yes he lost keys for a while, but he understood.  We filed for diversion, it was his first ticket – he told me how scared he was when he got pulled over and he’d hoped he’d only get a warning.  He wasn’t lucky and a whopping $$$ ticket was awarded to him.  But he finally told me and I could see the relief in his face. 

So, while some days the weary overtakes – the soul is weary while the world around me judges.  United with my husband, we soldier on.  Never knowing what our next challenge will be – I have a recurring nightmare of losing a child.  I’ve had it for years and it is always the same child.  Fear and worry can overtake your dreams too.  I know the sun shines on the other side of the thunder clouds and I take myself to a happy beach far away some days.  Then I pull up my socks, my faith and my hope and say, there will be a day that joy comes more than the trials we are facing.  Faith carries me on.

My soul needs a spa day – the kind where everything falls into place and the tapestry of life is complete with joy and fulfillment.  I have to accept that I am living a life I’d never imagined or expected. This is my calling and my journey, despite my doubts, denials, and fears.  As much as I struggle to know why God allows these hardships in my life, His purpose and ways are beyond my limited understanding and I trust Him still.  My trials draw me closer to Him for comfort and hope in which I can ultimately serve Him.

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