Wednesday, January 25, 2012

listen... can you see the forest from the trees?

My husband is good at reminding me that sometimes, I need to stop, think, listen...

"Sometimes, Rach, you can't see the forest, because of the trees..."

Maybe I should back up a bit. 

In our house, to have a moment of quiet is a rariety.  Between kids running around, teens running around, newborns crying, ovens beeping, text messages blowing up, bible studies, phone calls, kid shuttling to games, practices, schools, appointments, my own work appointments, meetings, bath times, homework, cooking, cleaning, typing --- there is no moment to say - wow, quiet, wow, silence, wow, nothing.

I have become so used to noise over the years, that now when I don't have it I struggle to find a sense of peace.  I have to sleep with a television on for noise even.  Tis true. 

Now, at times (most times) I find myself living for the noises.  When the kids go away for a weekend here and there to their bio dads, the house gets a little quiet, too quiet.. (even though our teen and her baby are still here, and there is still plenty of clean-up for the week, and meetings, and emails, and everything).

But just to take a tiny moment of the noise away seems eerily uncomfortable.  The noise represents life: my crazy, wonderful, chaotic, fun, exhausting life...

I find this a common theme among many of my friends in the season of life we are in... But, I also feel like maybe in the midst of all this noise, we keep "waiting" for that breather time.  But as we "wait" for a time to not have as much noise, to quiet our lives, we are missing the "dwell" aspect that is far more important.

All the craziness, the hustle and bustle, the busy-ness, are the moments that 20 years from now we are going to look back on and wish we had taken more time to dwell in them.  Because let's face it, my kids are still little and I often cry when I look at pictures of them from just a couple years ago and think - "where did the time go??"

Well, the time is now.

So, here is a new challenge for myself and for many of you who find yourself in the same season...

Stop, and listen to the noise...  The noise of our lives are the memories that will last us a lifetime, they are the moments that we will cherish, and hold onto, they are the hugs are sons still give us, and butterfly kisses our baby girls still give us, they are the moments when you teach your teenager what it means to become a woman before she ventures out on her own, they are the moments where we should take an extra hour every few months to be the "homeroom mom" at our kids school, to cuddle with them, to create our own little stories and traditions...


The noise is beautiful... And twenty years from now, when my kids are all out of the house and Steve and I are here alone and the noise is gone... I am going to long for these crazy days.  Make each moment count, life is far too short, the chaos is beautiful :-)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

trust... never put a question mark where God has put a period...

Well, crap...

I have done it again.  I have started letting comparison be the thief of my joy.  And I feel stupid and guilty for doing it, but it seems like being transparent about my feelings and letting God have the glory in my weakness and sin is what I am being called to blog about this evening.

Hopefully this will resonate with someone, otherwise I am just exposing my ugly for no reason than to look like a complaining, sinful, brat....

So, here goes.  Steve and I have been on the journey to foster care for almost a year... It was around this time last year that we felt God saying leap, and shortly after I quit my job and we went to our first foster care meeting, which led to trainings, and background checks, FBI fingerprints, and safety locks on our cabinets, and buying a fire extinguisher, getting CPR certified, making and posting an emergency plan on our fridge, and every other crazy detail that goes into this process.  By July, we had checked every X on the to-do list, and were told all we needed was our final home study.

For six months we have been waiting on a home study... Now during which time we have had a LOT of changes in our household, no doubt, taking in one of my old students who was pregnant, me getting pregnant, issues with my kids' bio dad, job changes, pregnancy complications, you name it... BUT our hearts still yearn to be an open home and to take in more kids (even though realistically, we could probably only take one child more right now, and even then I know it will be crazier around here for a bit if we did).

We have sat and watched as some of the couples we had training with have opened, and yet here we still are.  There have been some glitches with DHS that was supposed to have a contract social worker do our home study, but they have failed to do so yet. 

This weekend another couple from our class posted that they were about to open as a home, and my heart kind of sunk.  Why on earth should I have that kind of reaction???  HELLO, this is awesome news.  This means another home will open, and more kids will be placed in a Christian home, my heart should be leaping for joy.  And honestly, this couple is really great, and they may actually read this blog and I hope they know it is not personal, but instead of a positive reaction, my heart reaction was one of sadness and disappointment for myself.

Isn't that a crappy thing for me to admit?

Well, I agree.  It is this big stupid sinful part of me that likes to question, "what is it God?  are we not ready? would it be too much for me right now?  are you changing your mind?  have I upset You?"

And the guilt started rolling in as I thought about here I sat feeling disappointment, when a child is going to benefit from this, and He just is not ready for us to be the ones to do it yet.

I have been praying about it all weekend, and have been really disgusted with myself.  Tonight I just asked God, "will you please take this ugliness away from me right now?"

A few minutes later I was browsing through Pinterest, and found this saying "Trust.  Never put a question mark where God has put a period."

Ok, God, I get it now :) - my ugliness, my guilt, my disappointment really had nothing to do with this other family getting good news, but everything to do with me taking my eyes off His promise for my life.  See, that is the worst part about what sin does... It will sneak into whatever crevice it can find, and try to blossom if you take your eyes off the path even for a second. 

I don't need to question God on why or how or what.  The answer has already been written - it will be when it is time. 

So, I humbly request to be forgiven for this ugly, and think about how Jesus as he dripped the blood from his face while nailed upon that cross knew one day that the sin he was dying for was to cover times such as these.  Times where my ugliness for the mission of what we are being called to in caring for the fatherless almost became stained by my sinful frustration.

So, we wait, we pray, and we love.  We love the kids that are in our home tonight, tomorrow, and next year :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

oh baby...

I posted this on Facebook yesterday, but realized I should probably post it here also.  Thanks for praying :)

So I haven't said much, but the past 24 hours have been both a joyous and scary time for our household.

Last night, I was so blessed to be in the room as a coach for Michayla as she went through her labor with baby Patrick. She did so well. He got here, we took lots of pictures, lots of smiles and then I felt something....

I immediately realized I was bleeding...severely.

I had a mini-panic attack. I grabbed a nurse and she and the doctor graciously checked me and agreed I needed to go to see my doctor immediately which was across town at the other hospital. So, after being up there for 36 hours while Mic was laboring, and being super exhausted, I went into scramble mode to get my stuff, make sure she was settled, and then went and got checked into the ER at the other hospital.

My mom helped with the kids, so Steve could meet me there. And we went in expecting the worst. There was a lot of bleeding.

We had to wait forever, but after blood tests, and IV fluids, and ultrasounds, and physical exams, and you name it, they sent us home "to rest" and all we knew was the baby still had a heart beat and looked okay, but there was no telling where or why I was bleeding... Just go wait it out until you can see your doctor tomorrow, and you may or may not miscarry.

What exactly were we waiting for?? Me to have a miscarriage? that's a real comforting thought.

Well, I sent a message out to a few dear prayer warrior friends and came home, propped my feet up as instructed, and fell asleep.

I woke up this morning, tried to get a few work projects done from my laptop, and then headed back to be with Michayla. I was still bleeding. It didn't look too promising.

She was doing amazing, and was going to rest up, and then it was time to head to my doctor's office.

It seemed as though I was there for hours, but really just one hour :)

According to my doctor, the baby is fine, and I have something called complete placenta previa.

I just have to be really careful, take it easy, rest a lot and will have much more frequent ultrasounds and checks...and I'll have to have a csection, which I was going to have to have anyway.

So, praise God! Whoohooo!!!!

Thank you for those who were praying and who will pray. I truly believe it was the power of those prayers that gave us this positive outcome.

We are blessed. Now, sleepy time for me :)


Monday, January 2, 2012

unfinished business

A year ago I started this blog... I cannot help but laugh a bit at my naive self, I think somehow I thought that within a year's time that I would have my whole life figured out, and have myself in order...  Now, we are rolling into a new year.  These are the words I wrote when starting this blog:

"I still want the things I have always wanted - to love and be loved while making the greatest impact I can for Him...

2011 is an opportunity to figure out what that dream looks like now. I am only good to others, if I am good to myself. 2011 is a chance for me to be the best me I can be me for me, and then use that to love others well... So, here we go. Thanks for joining in my journey. It's time to share my story, it is time to stop procrastinating... I have words that need to be written."

Well, with 95 posts, and 20 followers, lots of tears and kleenex while writing the above-mentioned posts, a totally different job, a totally different outlook on life and on what family is, I can say the journey is only still starting, and I am still trying to figure out the dream just as much now as ever before. 

2011 was good to me.  The biggest lesson I learned:  stop taking myself so seriously.

I never started this blog with the intent to have a million followers, or to sell ads or "monetize" as google likes to call it.  I honestly was and still am surprised and extremely honored when I have one single comment on here. 

This blog is really an extension of my heart, of the things that God puts on it, the things that frustrate me, the things that sometimes are the most difficult for me to talk about.  I have no idea how God will continue to use this thing, but I can say this:

this blog has taught me that transparency is the key to living well.  If I cannot be honest with myself, than I can never be honest to anyone who were to stumble upon this.

So, I have some unfinished business to this here blog, :) and if it is okay with you, I plan to keep writing on it for now :)

Blessings and lots of love for a new beautiful year,