Sunday, August 6, 2017

When Mom Runs on Empty...

God has taken me on a journey this past week.. I don't particularly like the direction of this journey. But it has been good for me.
 I am thankful that God has placed some good, strong Godly people in my life. People who are not afraid to speak truth, strong truth into my life.
The thing is, when you listen to the good, strong, Godly people in your life, it usually means God is doing something big.

The thing is, sometimes you get so caught up in doing everything right, living up to what you think people want from you, meeting goals you set for yourself that you forget that God doesn't expect you to do it on your own. That HE IS THE SOURCE OF YOUR POWER!

When we remember that God is the source of our power, we can be powerful warriors for the kingdom. We can do amazing things, because God is the source of our power. But when we strive to do things in our own power, we wear out, we burn out, we fail. (actually sometimes we fail when we do things in God's power because our failure is part of his making us who we are to be, to best serve him)

In the work that God has done in my heart has been two part. 1 is the reminder that God is my source of power. My ministry, my living, my parenting is NOTHING without God's power in me. When I allow my tank to become empty, when the daily grind of parenting, of serving, and the addiction of fb pulls me away from getting refilled by Jesus. When I forget to spend time plugged in to Jesus, when I don't read His love letters... I am empty, my source of power is gone. I am striving and failing to be who I am meant to be. I wear out. I burn out..
2. By drawing close to God, I have His power, His strength, His blessing, His discernment in my life. Which means my own life is not overwhelming.

 It means that I am excited about parenting. It means that when that child throws the 500th tantrum, I am not running on empty, but am running with Holy Spirit Strength which allows me to pull out old parenting tricks from my extensive parenting toolbox. It means I am not frustrated by the child, I see it as a teaching moment. An oppurtunity to practice resting in what Jesus has for me in this season.

When homeschooling highschool wants to overwhelm me. When I sit down to make a schedule and I am not sure how I am going to do school for a 9th grader, 2-7th graders, a 5th grader, a very special needs 4th grader, and a very energetic toddler, I can ask God for His Power which will sustain me.

When ADHD, ODD, PTSD, food allergies, asthma, seizures, massive constipation, lyme disease, candida, genetic mental illness, and trauma behaviors crash in on my day, I can stand strong with His power.

When the bills come and the budget is stretched thin again and financial decisions have to be made,and I have been deceived and lost trust in all earthly advisors...I can trust that I have the very best Advisor who can see not only the momentary problems but the long term too. He promises to always provide and he does.

When I run into my first "daughter" and my heart stops....because I have not seen her in 5-6 years...and I want to be in her life... but I don't know how to balance boundaries with the love of Jesus. I can trust that He will give me wisdom.

The thing is.. God fills us with His Power and uses His people to fulfill His promises. When everything is crazy, he brings community.

He brings the produce place that has 3 baskets of peaches on sale, that arrive on the very day that a friend decides to drop off 4 baskets of peaches, the very day that another friend insists that when you are ready to do peaches she will help you.  So you can do all 7 baskets of peaches on one day with the helping of an amazing friend.

God shows His power when He provides the most unlikely friend to provide free respite one day a week for your daughter with special needs. That same friend that isn't afraid to confront you when you are doing things on your own.

God shows His power when your sister sends you a box of dishrags, dishtowels and pot holders cause you are a tightwad and hate to spend money on such things... and every time you wash dishes you think about His blessings on you...

God shows His power when you get free horseback riding for 3 of your kids.. and your kids get to work on the farm.. and the farm brings deep healing to the soul of your broken children.. and you get to sit by the pond and breath in the beauty of the farm for 2 hours every week. which feeds your soul and you feel God's presence and His love.

God shows his power when you get a hair dresser that does your hair without charging, and shares how amazingly God has worked in her life and you are encouraged just by being in her presence.

God shows His power when you find a Super Hero Cape for your very challenging child and you can help him gain super powers by being kind and obedient... and he wants to wear the cape every single day.

God shows His power when everything is canceled for the day, by the 3 different people your children minister too.. which gives you a free day at home to schedule your homeschooling and get your life back under control. Which brings peace to your soul.

God shows His power when he blesses you with a neighbor friend that wants to walk 3 miles a day with you, which is so important for your mental and physical health... that calls you and talks on the phone with you, and listens to you vent and rant and rave...

God shows His power when he provides a neighbor dad, that has over the years gained your trust,  fills out hunting licenses, teaches kids how to shoot guns/bows and takes them hunting and fishing and fills in the gaps in the lives of 13 yr old boys who don't have a dad.. and 12 yr old girls who don't trust men.. and 4 yr old boys that need someone to look up to.

God shows His power when he provides a Dr that works with your budget and your schedule and helps your child with anxiety.... and your children with lyme.. and your child with seizures..

So remember today, that when you rest in Jesus, He wil take care of everything. It doesn't mean that your life will be easy, painfree or stressfree. But it means that your life will be peaceful and you will get to see incredible miracles.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Why Do I Do What I Do?

This week, we added a kiddoe to our family for the week. A 9 yr old boy from The Bronx, through the Fresh Air Fund program.

This is our second year as a host family. Last year we had a young girl from a very broken family. It was a long week, tho she was not terribly difficult. It was just a situation that required me to be hypervigilant every second of every day. We invited her back, because of several things that happened during her stay, things that confirmed that we were doing what God called us to do. However, she did not accept our invitation to come back. (I don't know the reason why, but trust God knows that we did our best)

This year, we have an amazing 9 yr old boy. His mom contacted me and we chatted before he arrived. We have been in contact every day via text. He is obviously a well loved, well adjusted child... his presence in our home has not been disruptive in the least bit. He has made friends with my kids, both my boys and girls. They play games for hours. He doesn't fuss or fight (so far) lol

Last week, right before this kiddoe came to stay with us. I was listening to the radio and praying. There was a lot of anxiety in my house as we prepped for him to come stay with us. I was questioning my own judgement, when I heard on the radio.. I am going to paraphrase here "God has given you this gift. STop throwing it away. Stop being embarrassed by it. Stop acting all bashful when someone compliments you on it. Let God show His fully Glory through you".

So the question is raised.. why would I take on another child, specifically a young black man from the The Bronx? Don't I have enough on my plate?

Reality is, God has been revealing that I care too much about what people think. I care too much, when people think there is no way I could possibly parent all these kids in a healthy manner. (Granted I am far from perfect and fail often. I am sure that my kids will all need therapy someday) :) But I feel like I constantly have to prove that I can do it all, alone and well. God has been revealing to me, that this is not what He has given me this gift/talent for.

A talent is something that you are instinctually born with that gives you unique skills and abilities. Talent is set apart from knowledge in that it is not a learned behavior, although it can be strengthened and practiced. The Bible tells us that we are all born with distinct talents and gifts that set us apart from each other. When you discover the talents that God has given you and you use them to glorify Him, you will experience a full life! Our loving Lord wants us to feel whole and complete, and it is through talents that we can find our unique calling in life! Use these Bible verses about talents to encourage yourself and others who are seeking God's plan for their life. (stole this from

So I have been mulling over this.
When I was 16 I became a nanny to two young boys. (that are now college athletes! :) ) When I was a young widow, I started doing foster care. I also opened a licensed daycare in my home. I had a constant string of kids from the local youth center in my home. I did respite for a local program for single moms. I went on to adopt 6 kids. I did all of these things because I LOVED doing them. Not because I needed the money, not because I needed a job, but because this was my passion. I love kids. I love the chaos. I love watching kids experience new things. I really love allowing kids to see the amazing world that God made for us to enjoy. I really love bringing city kids into my home and allowing them to experience the animals, the grass, the wild fun..

This is my gift and my talent. This is who God created me to be.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

So when I have 7 kids running around my house..
My windows and floors are always dirty...
there is never enough food, not matter how much I prepare and they are always hungry an hour later
when they fight and scream and I get discouraged..
when we can't go places because we have to take the wheelchair, and the place isn't accessible..

It doesn't mean I am a failure..
that I shouldn't have so many kids....
It doesn't mean that I should stop serving..
It doesn't mean that I have overextended myself..
It simply means I am having a bad day...

I can thank God for His Gift, so that I can be used for His honor and Glory..
That serving these kiddoes brings me joy
Watching the next generation show the love of Jesus
Watching the next generation get excited about helping new kiddoes experience things that are old hat to them...
watching as MY kids forget that they were once those kids in awe of everything..
that my house is never quiet or lonely..

what is your talent or gift? Are you using it? Are you allowing God to multiply it, to grow it into something big and beautiful, and maybe just a little crazy?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Beach Day

We went to the beach today..
   We don't do birthday parties.. instead we do a family memory day.
           So Elizabeth had a birthday today and she chose to go to the beach.
                It was the perfect kinda day.

Matia asked if we could go to the beach for her birthday. I decided I was ready to try another beach trip. It's been awhile. I don't particularly like hot, sandy beaches. I don't like lugging stuff up and down the beach. But I do enjoy a nice cool day on the beach.

So we decided to go to Slaughter Beach. I remembered that somewhere around 6 years ago we had done a daytrip to Slaughter Beach. Would you believe that despite being extremely directionally challenged and always getting lost, we made it to Slaughter Beach and parked at the same spot we did 6 years ago?

Slaughter Beach is not a nice fancy touristy beach. It is a quiet, dirty, little beach. You park by the fire house.. if you go early, you will have the beach to yourselves. It's not that clean, but it has clean bathrooms. It is handicapped accessible and it is only 2.5 hrs from my house.

We picked up Miss C, my mother's helper. She was excited to join us on our trip. I wanted an extra set of hands to help with Nesiah. I was so thankful for her help. It totally lightened my load.

WE had the most delightful day. The child we were celebrating has had some struggles recently. We are working hard at having healthy relationships.. But today was just the perfect kinda day.

We picked up Miss C at 8:30 am. We never made it to the beach until 11 am. But the beach was empty when we got there. We parked, unloaded and unleashed antsy kids.

The kids had such a  total blast playing in the waves. The water was just perfect and this momma could relax. We had a picnic lunch and dinner packed.  The kids had brought a stack of books, they played catch and football..

I got to sit back with  Nesiah while Miss C played with the kids. Later I got to play with the kids while she sat with Nesiah. I laid down and almost dozed off.. yes, with 6 kids at the beach! I took a long walk down the beach with 3 of my kiddoes. We found horse shoe crabs and lots of fun rocks.

At the end of the day, after we had eaten dinner and everyone was doing one last thing on the beach.. I walked down to the edge of the water, to breath, to pray, to just be.. (you know with 6 kids that doesn't happen very often). I love to see the powerful waves, the beautiful blue skyline and just marvel at our Creator's beautiful design. I imagine heaven will have beautiful waters and skies..There is something about the ocean that is good for the soul.