Monday, December 1, 2014

HIS hands

Have you ever tried to prepare a meal with a one year old and a two year old underfoot?

Needless to say, it is challenging.

Their hands are where they shouldn’t be. You feel like you are stepping on them (or you do – opps!), they have wants they are voicing and you are trying to focus on your meal you are preparing. They are pulling things out of the cabinets and drawers. You almost fall over a few times. You try to get them out of the kitchen but they aren’t tempted at all ….they want to be wherever you are…. particularly RIGHT UNDER YOUR FEET.  You feel like you are going to loose your sanity… ”can’t I just cut this chicken in peace”…. “shouldn’t cooking be easier”.

You deal with it because you know ultimately they are not going anywhere without a fight…. That is where they want to be…..and you know that, truthfully, you are thankful for those little ones under your feet.

That is a little glimpse of where I feel like I am at right now. I am trying to fix my eyes back on HIM. I am trying to REJOICE. The circumstances may have not changed. It still maybe a challenge but despite it all you must go on…. And I can’t afford to go on with out that true JOY that comes from Him. I miss it.

 These last few years I have been fixing my eyes on so many other things but Him.

Yesterday I told my car full of kids.. “I hear a lot of grumpy attitudes going on.” My younger boy said, “I am not grumpy now because I got what I wanted”. My reply, “So you’re only grumpy when you don’t get what you want?”  His reply, “Yes.”

I didn’t say much after that…no wise words from this mom….. it hit too close to home.

I too have been grumpy… some things aren’t working out the way I wanted them too and I am throwing an attitude with my heavenly Father. Holly didn’t get to see her kids grow up and i had to say goodbye way earlier than i wanted to,  and i am not living in some other country like i always thought I would be and etc. etc.

Now I know Holly is in a better place and she is doing what she was created to do… what all of us were created to do… she is experiencing the ultimate glory of GOD…. And I know if God wanted me in some other country… He would put me there. And I know for all of the other things too I must trust Him…and He is worthy of that Trust.

Like our little miracle of Nations Hope… there are times throughout these past 4 years when we thought we would never have a little Nations Hope. I cried so many tears.  And now miraculously we have her…. in His perfect timing.

Why do I want my way…. my time…..When HIS way is so much more wonderful?

But my eyes so easily drift from the ALMIGHTY TRUSTWORTHY SAVIOR to the circumstances that aren’t working out my way or just simply to people…. and then I feel like that two year old of mine…. Just collapsing on the ground in protest.

Pathetic I know. But that is where I find myself so many times… throwing an ugly fit.  I may not do it as dramatically as my two year old… but it is inside my heart where it has slowing been stealing true joy.

I have prayed for a “SLAP in the FACE” a “KICK in the bottom”….I want to get out of this pity party, the sadness, this eyes on me attitude.

God has been answering it.  It seems like everywhere I turn this bit of TRUTH shows up. And it means something so different to me now. Now that I have and am having to do it through the trials of life.

Philippians 4:6-9

Don’t worry about ANYTHING, instead, PRAY about EVERYTHING. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all HE has done. Then you will experience God’s peace , which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard our hearts and minds as we live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. FIX your thoughts on what is TRUE, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable, think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you have learned and received from me – everything you have heard from me and saw me doing, then the peace of God will be with you. (Paul was writing from prison – where he still praised God and prayed all day and night despite his sufferings, even for his sufferings).

When we hear a constant complaint from the kids we always make them say 3 things they are thankful for. It is helpful for us adults too.

So if you are down in a pit of sadness or not living in joy and can’t seem to get out. Or just anxious or full of worry. Rejoice HE IS who HE SAYS HE is. Thank Him for all HE has done. – it is like medicine to the soul.    :) It is really helping me. 

I feel like He is taking my little face in his hands, like a loving father, and pointing my face to look in HIS eyes… and when my eyes and heart see HIM … the fruit is JOY… the fruit is thankfulness, the fruit is peace.... and i can breath again.

(This one is interested too... though i do not agree completely with his first thoughts about depression. There are clinical depressions or sicknesses where people need medication and consistant professional help - where people need a real healing miracle from God...)

This one is good on REJOICING through trials-

Monday, September 29, 2014

her new story

My little Nations Hope has been with us for 6 months now. It is hard to remember what life was like before she came and it feels like so much longer… truly she has been in our hearts since before she was born.

Her transition has been much easier than I ever expected. She instantly knew I was mommy and bonded right of the bat. Daddy took a little getting use to which was hard on daddy.

Jonathan was really looking forward to her homecoming so when the instant bond wasn’t there it was hard….. but slowly she has now come to enjoy and look forward to daddy’s affection.  The other day he came home from work and she was so elated to see him she clung to his legs for a good minute or two with a big smile.

Also another great thing that I am going to miss when daddy starts to travel this fall.. is that she listens to everything he says. I try to correct or give direction and she just continues to fuss with me… but if daddy says, “no” or “do this or that…” she follow suit immediately.  I really do think she is going to end up being a daddy’s girl.

Petcha and her are buddies…. their little personalities mesh so well together and part of me thinks it is because we have Perpetua that she has so quickly bonded with our whole family.  She loves her sister…. now don’t get me wrong….. they are full on sisters just like any birth sisters… if Petcha takes her doll away or Nations bats her hands at Petcha… there will be a good sisterly spat. But most of the time they are sweet on each other… and follow each other around everywhere. Petcha is always elated when Nations wakes up from nap... and dances to room yelling, “YAY, Nations is awake!!!”  

Every day watching them play and chat…. I really know more and more that God chose us for her and her for us. There is something greater for this divine union of these two little women. Only time will tell…. But I am excited to see it unfold.

I am getting to know her more. She loves outside, whether it is sitting in a creek or playing in the leaves, she wants to be outside. Also, she is a little artist. She really enjoys painting, coloring, and drawing. In fact I have a unique one of her recent pieces on the door that I just painted over. And I can see she is compassionate … caring for others, sensitive to others feelings. I love watching her play, laugh, and dance.

There IS still something there…. something that won’t let her heart trust us completely. I know time and endless love are the answers for that. And I feel that one day she will be there… her little heart will be free and she will love and accept us. She will let herself be ingrained in our family fully.

Is she all mine? … I feel …yes and no…in my mind I think about her birth mother often. I wonder if she is alive and I pray for her.  In a perfect world… things would have been different. But I see God has taken this broken part of Nations’ story and is putting it back on the potter’s wheel. With water and some pushing and molding it He is making it into something new and beautiful. I pray that for her birth mother too and I do hope that Nations will get to meet her one day if not on this earth.... we hope for eternity.

We protect our little ones from suffering as moms. My heart aches that I couldn’t do it for her…that I wasn’t there the moment her birth mother laid her down. That I wasn’t there to pick her up and nurse her as she cried that first night and so many after. That so many months passed without a mommy paying attention or recording and relishing in her beautiful smile. Without a mommy to touch her to kiss her booboos  or to cuddle and to care. I am thankful to the many faces that did show her love that I know God provided for her over those months…  just wish it could have been me.

I look into her deep beautiful brown eyes and am soo thankful God chose me… I am so thankful that I get to be a part of her new story.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

mountain of tears

This is one of my favorite pictures of Holly. It was taken a few months before she was diagnosed with stage 4 Adenocarcinoma Lung Cancer. A little over 3 years later she left this world.

Her littles are still little but seem a lot more “grown up” inside now. Her oldest will be 14 this fall. Her youngest is 4 years old now. He was still nursing when Holly was diagnosed.  

Death and sickness can bring the worst and the best out in people. Though I know there were days of sadness deep in Holly before she passed… there was a strong peace that lead her throughout her last few years here. And her faith was contagious.

Heaven is where most of us want to be. Free of sin, sadness, sickness, doing what we were created to do - worship and fellowship with God. At times I can see Holly, like in the garden of Eden.. walking around with her biggest smile laughing with Jesus as he puts his strong arm around her shoulders and she looks down.. about to burst with joy. I know she is the happiest she has ever been. 

Heaven and death were not scary for Holly. When she was young she made God boss of her life. She loves Him. We walked that path toward heaven together from childhood encouraging each other throughout life. Holly’s love language was quality time so getting eternity with her Heavenly father was a blessing in her eyes.

Holly always had a stubbornness about her. I think we both come from a long line of women that do.  It is a good thing though for all of us and has gotten us through life’s trials. She was strong in her desire to do what made God happy.  I think it was her God given stubbornness that kept her fighting so long for those extra moments with her kids or maybe just God's grace.

Over a year before Holly was diagnosed she said God showed her that she wouldn’t have much time. She would be like Moses’ mother and only have a few years with her littles to instill in them God’s truth and then she would have to leave them. At the time it didn’t make since. She stored it in her heart and continued to pour love and Truth in her children. 

Holly was doing so well. It wasn’t until November of last year when she had an MRI that showed 60+ tumors on her brain that things begin to take more major changes. We prayed that her brain would stay clear and miraculously it did till the end. Such a blessing for the children to have her with a clear mind to show and speak love to them even till her very last day.  
In the last two years I have shed a mountain of tears, I have felt like I wrested with the Holy Spirit. But my tears are only a cupful compared to what my mother, Bryant and the girls have shed.

I wrestled with God’s healing. I have prayed many prayers over the years and known God was going to answer them the way I wanted, I felt a peace. I have seen God heal people from impossible circumstances and sicknesses over and over again. 

Yet every time I prayed for Holly… I didn’t have that peace. I asked God for more faith thinking He wasn’t giving me the faith I needed to answer this one the way I wanted. Then I thought maybe it was too close to home…maybe there was fear in my heart. But the truth was I did feel a peace… the same peace Holly felt…

In January Holly looked very close to the door of death. In the hospital I asked her how she did it - went through all she was going through and didn’t fear or worry for her children. She said that she “Trusted God”. If He wanted her home with Him then He would provide all that her children needed. He would care for them. That peace got her through every day.

Everything always seemed simple to Holly.  She took God at his word. She feared and loved Him.

In the summer Holly was doing seemingly well and had lived a lot longer than the Doctors had expected. None of us were thinking that it was the day or even month that she would pass away. We all were hoping for more time.

She went to the hospital because she couldn’t breath well. It seemed very normal to us…. Holly had been to the hospital so many times over the past year and each time we were trying to keep a calm heart. She hated people making a fuss over her. When Bryant called…. My heart dropped. After Jonathan came for the kids, I went to the hospital. Even then it was confusing… was there a possibility she could come out of this? We waited as the Doctors worked. Then came the news that none of us really had expected. I was so overwhelmed.

I didn’t know what to do. A part of me wanted to lay on her body and pray like Elisha did and the other part knew….. she was heading to the happiest she was ever going to be… she was doing what she was created to do….she was free….. And like everything else in life… she beat me to it.

I touched her foot… a foot I had rubbed countless times over the years. I wanted her to wake up and then I knew we had to let her go. God had said her days were numbered and this was the last one. It was so hard but peace cover us... God is truly close to the broken hearted. 

These past months I have seen lifetime dreams and prayers of Holly’s come true. I wonder if God gives her glimpses of them. I miss her terribly. I so wish I could talk to my big sister now… that I could get phone call from heaven with the daily report of what is going on and what its really is like and any advise for this temporary life i could gather.

Each of us miss her terribly. I am so proud of Bryant…. God has given him exactly what he needs during this season.  Bryant and her started dating in highschool and they were married the fall after she graduated. They too grew up together.

Each of us have this peace even though we miss her… we are doing as she modeling so strongly to us… trusting God.

A sister is a life-time companion though many miles have separated us over the years… we have loved each other. Now the chasm is too great to see with human eyes. But somehow I feel close…. And the truth is …in a blink of an eye… my life too will pass…. And I will see her again. And she will greet me in heavens doors. This life is truly short.

So many meaningless things we fill our time and thoughts with. Silly things we worry or fuss about… so many wasted moments.  I want the rest of my moments on this little earth to truly bring glory to HIM to truly show this love I have tasted.

Holly seemed to always have a thankful heart. All who knew her close knew she genuinely and sacrificially loved her husband and children.

I asked her once after her diagnoses if she could do anything, go anywhere what would she want to do. She said she was already doing what she wanted to do… homeschool her children and make dinner for her husband.

There was no unfinished task or no wanting for something else… she was doing what she was called to do…and she did it fully even to the very day before she died.

Holly will always be someone I look up to. A heroine in my eyes.

I pray one day I can be as content, thankful, and confident in my Maker as she was.