Monday, March 27, 2017

Will This Ever End?

He tried to prove I was crazy.........

He tried to make me commit suicide......

He lied and smeared my reputation, both as a woman and a Mom.

The powers that be believed him.

And turned my life upside down...

Just a mere four months after my last cancer surgery.

I was still recovering physically.......

Hadn't even begun to grieve......

Ripped me away and cruelly tried to blame it all on me.....

I fought for a little over two years.....

And now there is nothing left to fight with......

Lawyers fees gobbled up the last remaining cash.....

Emotionally, I am exhausted.....

Struggle with post-cancer treatment pain daily.....

Fatigue........

Do I continue to fight????

Or do I walk away?

And hope and pray that God will take care of my babies.

There are no winners here.......

My heart is broken.......

It Isn't Always What it Seems

Jesus Calling - March 24th Devotion

"This is a time in your life when you must learn to let go: 
of loved ones,
of possessions,
of control.
In order to let go of something that is precious to you, you need
to rest in My Presence, where you are complete.  Take time to
bask in the Light of My Love.  As  you relax more and more, your 
grasping hand opens up; releasing your prized possessions
into My care.

You can feel secure, even in the midst of cataclysmic changes, through
awareness of My continual Presence.  The One who never leaves 
you is the same One who never changes:  I am the same 
yesterday, today, and forever.  As you release more and more things
into My care, remember that I never let go of your hand.
Herein lies your security, which no one and no circumstances
can take from you.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

My Prayer.....

O God, protect those whom we love and who are separated from us.
Guide them when they are uncertain, comfort them when they are lonely or afraid,
and bless them with the warmth of your presence.
Thank you that either space nor time can cut us off from the love we have in each other and in you.
Author Unknown


Happy Birthday Darling....Mommy loves you!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Friendship

"Friendship" has been bouncing around in my head since last fall, when I attended the Women of Faith tour in Greensboro, NC with our Sunday School and two of my friends.

Lisa Whelchel, former Facts of Life star, a strong Christian AND homeschooling Mom, now part of the Women of Faith Porch Friends, spoke about her difficulty in making friends, and some of the pain she's experienced through betrayal along the way. I vividly remember her saying that she never learned "how" to be a friend because literally she grew up on the set of The Facts of Life. As she began to make friends as a young woman, she spoke about the pain betrayal had brought as she described how she was "used" by a friend that betrayed her confidences because of who she was. I sat there, mesmorized, at the pain she so openly spoke about, and the redeeming power of God as she looked over her shoulder, calling the ladies on the Women of Faith Porch, her friends.

There is hope.......

My dear friend, Ellen, who had travelled from the other side of the state to attend this conference to share some "girlfriend time" with me, was also deeply moved by Lisa's talk. Outside one of the Compassion International tables, we talked about how difficult adult friendships were to make, and how the betrayal of past friendships had made it more so. I shared with her one of my deepest betrayals.......a friend that was a sister to me, dropped me a dear John letter via email and then refused to take any of my phone calls. For 22 years, she was a sister to me...and then poof........It still brings tears to my eyes....the pain has subsided, but scar is still there......

This past weekend, I spend the weekend with another dear, old friend from High School, at the SheSpeaks Conference for women in Speaking and Writing Ministry. Throughout the weekend, I watched, observed, and admired the friendships of the Proverbs 31 Ladies. They had true love, support and encouragement for each other. They truly loved one another.......selflessly.

I stood back, amazed. And then it hit me.....

We are not meant to have just one earthly friend.......Jesus had 12...and yes, one betrayed him too. Betrayed to the point of death. My friends, there is no earthly betrayal that could ever measure up to the betrayal of Judas. Jesus knew his fate here on earth long before he was ever born, but to experience a pain that runs as deep as betrayal. He KNOWS how we feel........because HE felt it.

I drove a ways (hey..that's pretty Southern, isn't it?) tonight to meet my dear friend, Ellen for dinner. Here's what's pretty funny about our friendship: we live in the same state, but travelled across the world and met one dark night in a city called Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We shared all the emotions of becoming a parent through adoption on a continent called Africa, we shared a Guest House for the week in a country that seeped into our souls. Through this, we bonded a bond that could only have been a divine appointment. She gets me.....she inspires me......she calls me on the carpet when I'm wrong.....I love her for loving me, and for not being afraid to tell me I'm wrong.

And then there's Ann......my friend since 2nd grade. She is my memory, and so much more. She's bailed me out of more misery and pain, never judged or complained. To her, I owe a debt greater than I could ever repay.......her friendship has showed me that love is a give and take. And in her case, it's always been more giving, than taking. I love her for always being there for me.

And Stephanie......she first thought I was pretty cool because I had Ethiopian children. Now she knows my children are as imperfect as everyone elses! She encourages me with her great motherly wisdom: "God fills in the gaps," and lately, she inspired me with this: "If I could go back, I'd spend time with my girls playing Barbie, instead of.....fill in the blank..." She bails me out in a crunch, and is always willing to step in and help in a moments notice. I love you, Stephanie.

Mystina......the Dianna to my Anne. Younger in age, but my spiritual mentor. My Titus 2 friend who lives her life by example. I pray one day, I could be the Christian woman she is! Love you sweet friend! You brighten my days and make me smile.

Sally......encourages me in my journey, both as an adoptive Mom and a Homeschooling Mom.

Linda.......who's more like me and wow ,..... are we dangerous when we are together! I love you sweet friend, for being real and stepping out on adventures with me......even if we did put a dent in the boat!

Cheri.....a Mom later in life, like I, who share the trials of being an older Mom........."Momma's going to have a meltdown....." She so gets me! Love you too....we need to spend more time together!

Dawn.....a high school friendship rekindled through Facebook. I spend an incredible weekend with her at SheSpeaks this weekend......As we journey in our "ministries" together, may we continue to encourage each other to be true to the One that centers us! Love you!

Each one of these beautiful women have a divine plan in MY life, ordained by God.......

It's time to stop running........

I'm ready to break free of the fear, and embrace the journey God has prepared just for me......

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Sandpaper Child

A few random thoughts: I really don't want to write this post..... I'm waiting for the coffee to hit the bloodstream. Why am I up at 6:30, when hubby is out of town, and the kids are fast asleep???? I'm been procrastinating (who, me????) this morning, trying to talk myself out of getting out of bed and writing this post. For me, this post is about personal reflection. It is a post defined only by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Much worse than your mother nagging you about something you know should do......... sigh ............. So here goes....... I'm an older mom; most of you know that. Older moms have different challenges and struggles than younger ones. We've had "lives" before children and sometimes struggle as we adjust to the changes that children bring. Some of us have yearned for children for years; others, like me, were totally convinced we weren't born with a biological clock until it went off like at time bomb in our mid-thirties. It then became an all consuming obsession to "get pregnant." Pregnant women all of a sudden were taking over the world and we wanted to be one of them. The desire to have children did not prepare me for the realities of having children. I had one child for a long time. He was 7 when we brought Pickles home (did I ever tell you that I really hate that name Pickles? Oh well, I digress....another post for another time......). And, for the record, one child is a piece of cake compared to two. Adding the second is like exponents in math (ha...are you impressed? thank homeschooling for that one!). Jumping from 2 to 4 children was like nothing I can put into words. The reality of 4 children was like a train wreck for a very long time. So, where on earth am I going with this post. Honestly, I'm not sure. I have a lot floating in my heart and in my head and I'm not sure how it's all going to end. "Before Kids" the following occurred regularly:

  • worked out 5x a week

  • had regular (every 6 weeks like clockwork) hair appointments

  • pedicures and manicures

  • hiked

  • biked

  • worked full-time

  • had a clean house

  • had an organized kitchen everything was in its place
Life was, well, pretty tidy. I like tidy. Actually, I thrived on tidy. I didn't like chaos. I liked neat and tidy. Adoption #1 - infant, 8 months old, I was 40-something. Reality:

  • worked about maybe 3x a week

  • walked with a really cool walking/stroller

  • worked part-time

  • had a "less" tidy house baby bottles and stuff everywhere

  • a tad bit stressed (total understatement) frazzled, running around dropping one child at school, another at childcare
Adoption #2:

  • work out sporadically (ok, I'm being kind here...it's almost like NEVER) SAHM add in: Homeschooling 2 children (Yikes...how on earth did that happen????? Never saw that in "my" plans....")

  • frantically trying to keep up with laundry clean and tidy kitchen: not in this liftime!!!
The reality here is that on the outside, I had it together, masking the little girl inside who thought by controlling the externals, that I could keep the inside "clean and tidy." And here comes the "Sandpaper Child." The child God sent to work on my heart. The child that openly rubs me the wrong way at every turn. The child God sent to heal me. The child I didn't want to love, because if I loved her, then I'd have to find a way to love myself. The child I vehemently denied was "like me" because all I saw was her vanity, the one personality trait I could not identify with. My heart was tightly held inside the iron cage I had formed to keep from being hurt, betrayed and from breaking. Slowly, little by little, the Sandpaper Child began to wear away the iron cage around my heart, to smooth out the rough edges (ok....maybe they were more than rough edges.....). God had send this child as a balm to my soul....I only had to open my eyes and my heart and allow myself to heal along side of her. You see, she couldn't heal her brokenness until my brokenness was healed. Or at least until I was able to recognize the brokenness I thought had been resolved through many years of counseling. We were tied together, whether I realized it or not. Whether I wanted it or not. Some days it felt like trying to shake off a prickling thorn that would not let go..... Some days the feelings I had for her were the feelings I had in my own heart towards myself.....ugly, cruel, unworthy, and unlovable. Thankfully, over time, The Sandpaper Child perservered. The Sandpaper Child's desire to be loved was pure and innocent and had not hardened or turned bitter like mine had. We still have a ways to go, but I can see the healing, both in me and in my Sandpaper Child. We both desired to be a Princess: to be loved and cherished. She had hope while I had abandonded mine. The Sandpaper Child restored my hope, and God is using her to heal my heart. God knew exactly what he was doing when he chose each one of my children. He chose each of them to heal me........to bring me closer to Him.
We didn't rescue three beautiful orphans, they rescued me.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Black Friday - "The Hunt"

First, let me preface my comments by stating that I am NOT a shopper...at least not the typical one. I despise crowds, hate the markdown rack, and would prefer to shop online in the comfort of my home.

This has absolutely nothing to do with having 4 young children; I've always hated shopping. I guess I'm just not the typical woman. If I do have to shop, I'd much prefer to shop on my own; get in and get out, throw the bags in the truck and go home. I'm a woman on a mission when I have to shop. I'd rather be hiking than shop......GASP!

So, this year, I've watched with great interest the flurry of activity on Facebook regarding Black Friday preparation. I saw pictures of people perusing the "ads" on their coffee tables, floors, couches, etc., all on Thanksgiving Day. It's become an annual ritual for many.

I compare this ritual to that of men when they prepare to go off hunting...it's almost the same, yet with a different goal. The flurry of activity, anxiety and excitement as they countdown the days to Opening Day of hunting season. And then, BOOM, no pun intended, they take off in a flurry of excitement and anticipation. The results differ: the success of getting that Buck or Doe.....the success of getting that HD TV for $199.00 at Wal-Mart, etc. You get my drift.

But I find it interesting when we compare the process of "the hunt" between men and women. We, meaning women, complain that men just don't understand us, and vice versa. If we step back and observe, we are very much the same, but our desires and objectives are different. The process is exactly the same, but the outcome of success is defined by whether we got "the deal" or if they got "the buck or doe."

I guess what saddens me more than anything about Black Friday is the amount of energy and effort that goes into it, both emotionally and physically: the hours poured over newspaper advertisements, getting up at 3am. The only time I got up that early INTENTIONALLY was to nurse my son when he was an infant or to catch an early flight.

Please don't think I'm judging...I'm not. I'm just an observer. I'm fascinated by people and have always observed and analyze behaviors.

But I wonder......why don't we put this much energy into our Faith, into reading our Bible, into sharing the Gospel with others, into really doing something to help the plight of the orphans and widows. If each one of us put even half the effort into helping others, showing kindness, we could change the world.

Call me an optimist,,,,,yeah, maybe. But from a former pessimist, this is SUCCESS!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I was WRONG....

to think that holidays didn't matter to me anymore....

after many years of being the square peg trying to fit into someone's else's round hole, I was kind of indifferent towards holidays....

I was always the extra place set for dinner.....

the one with no place to go...............no family to call her own......the extra plate at dinner........

So I married David almost 7 years ago....

we've struggled to blend our families.....his, mine and ours through adoption.......each changed the dynamics of our family forever....

yet still trying to make it all fit.......and somehow trying to achieve "normal."

So.........in my complete selfishness, along with my non-nonchalant attitude towards the holidays, I picked a Women of Faith weekend (tickets already purchased) over sharing a Thanksgiving meal with my family intact.

And my dear husband David is thousands of miles away in the Philippines......

.....in a hotel room by himself.

I made a mistake....

In all these years of pretending that family didn't matter...

that I really didn't care about holidays...

I realized I was wrong.....

I am sad......

I am lonely....

I realized he really is my best friend......

After all these years of being fearful of letting anyone get too close, it happened without me even realizing it....

And now I care about holidays with my family...........

and I'm alone with my 4 children.....and they are all missing him....

and worst of all.....David is thousands of miles away....and he truly is alone. I have our children here with me....and the familiarity of our home........the one we've been building together for the past 7 years ........

and he is all alone......

not only was I wrong....

I was terribly wrong...........