Monday, December 30, 2019

Everything We Own Comes With a Story..

  Everything we own comes with a story. We never just outright buy anything... It just goes against my grain to pay full price for anything. Plus it seems God has a way of providing things for us.
Now, this doesn't mean we always get what we want when we want it. It means that we get what we need when we need it. 
  I bought a used stove and fridge for $150 each when we moved here. They were old but sturdy. They served us well for the past 8 years. But... the oven had never baked evenly and it was falling apart. 
  So when we got a Christmas blessing, I decided to look at getting a new stove.  I had planned to shop on facebook marketplace, but when we made a trip to Lowe's,  we saw they were having a great appliance sale. So I checked out what they had.  I was pleasantly surprised by their prices. So I planned to take a trip to Lowe's to pick up the stove sometimes in the next week.

   Meanwhile, I felt God leading me to put as much as possible of our MANY Christmas blessings into savings for Bubbie's school tuition next year.   So  I wrestled a little. I really wanted a new stove!! But  I also want to be obedient with the blessings we are given.

One evening browsing facebook, a friend shared a post on her page of a stove for sale by a friend of hers.  It was black. My current appliances are white and cream. But it was NICE and it was only $100 and I had "that feeling". So I messaged the lady.  She said she would measure and get back to me. 
The next day I still had not heard anything. Finally, I reached out and she let me know she had already sold it.

I was disappointed but have learned to trust God. At this point I just let it go.

    This morning she messaged me again. The first guy changed his mind. I could have the stove. We chatted a little, regarding our connections to the friend who had shared the post. This lady was the cousin of my friend's late husband.  I shared that I was a widow too.

    So This afternoon the boys removed the backseat of the van. We headed out to pick up the stove. It was perfect for us.  I paid the younger guy. He and my boys loaded the stove into the back of the van.
Meanwhile, the older guy was telling me how much his wife hated having a black stove. I said that with all my kids I think black might hide some of the dirt.

    So we were ready to head out and the guy looks at me with a grin and hands back my money with a cheery Merry Christmas! I was shocked. I kept asking are you sure?!  The boys were shocked....This man's generosity was so unexpected and such a wonderful blessing.  Now we had a stove and money to put towards tuition!

   So we hauled that beautiful black stove home, the boys took the old power cord off the old stove and attached it to the new stove.  They moved it into its spot and we praised God for once again providing for us.
    I thanked Jesus outloud for our beautiful stove and I apologized for sounding ungrateful, but I told Jesus I would really like a new stove hood that matches.  (And my children scolded me for not being content with what I have :) )

  The neatest thing in all of this was my children's view of God at work.  Last week, we spend a good bit of time giving, giving with open hands and hearts.  We talked alot about how what we have is not ours, but Gods. That we must be willing to give from what we have and that God does promise to give back what we give.
Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back  
Another positive in this.. is that my boys were quite proud of their ability to switch out the power cords and set up the stove themselves. I am still supervising closely and helping as needed. But they now do all the things that I used to do. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Life Update

It has been a super long time since I have been on here. I locked all my social media and my blog platform down last fall when the news picked up the story of Nesiah's bio mom being charge. It has been an incredible year. Bio mom was sentenced in early Dec. and life has moved on.

So much of life has changed. The kids have grown alot in the last year. We added a new family member, a teeny tiny Christmas miracle, 5 days before Christmas 2018. She has been the light of our lives and we hope to make a permanent member of our family in the very near future.

The three older kids have all had jobs this summer. They enjoy working and earning money. They discuss their ever-growing savings accounts and the ownership of cars in the near future. The boys both have cell phones. They did discover that cellphone ownership is not as wonderful as they thought it would be. Ironically Mom discovered that she LIKES that the kids have cell phones.

The kids have all matured so much. It is absolutely wonderful to have my own mothers helpers and babysitters. The boys have taken over many of the "manly" tasks around the house and barn.  Lee and Fayth did all my mowing and trimming this summer.  They all do so much to help me around here. I have never had quite so many willing and able helpers.

Nesiah and Bubbie are going to school this year. It was a hard decision but it was the right decision.  Bubbie is thriving and school is the absolute best thing for him. He has an amazing teacher, great classmates and I have made some wonderful friends.  I see this as part of the "village" it will take to raise up this strong child of mine.  Nesiah is not thriving as I would like.  I am not sharing details now. But we appreciate prayers. We are hoping to hire a nurse to go to school with her. The process has been painfully slow.  Meanwhile, we pray.

The 4 older kids are in 10, 9, 9 and 8th grade. I like high school, but goodness biology and algebra stretch me to my limits. They are all doing well with their schooling, so I am happy.

I am no longer working. This summer, I realized that I had too much on my plate so I placed aside some things for this season.  God is taking care of us and we are taking life one year at a time. The emotional toll of working with these families was not something I could carry right now. MY children need more of me... and I am happy to be home fulltime.

I put in a large garden last summer. That is a whole story all of its own. It was a massive fun project. It was worth every bit of blood sweat and tears. The garden produced super well and saved us $$$.
I collect leaves, horse manure, and free woodchips, much to the embarrassment of my teens.  But it makes me happy and I pay them in video game time for their muscles and labor.

We are raising puppies. It is a fun project. The middle three kids all have dogs. Poppy, Daisy, and Lilac. We are anticipating puppies in February. We are also in the middle of finishing out a dog palace. Because I can not have two litters of puppies in the living room with a mischievous 1 yr old. The puppies will be born in the house and moved outside. Hopefully, one momma will go early and the other one late so my plan works. :)

We have found a church home that fits us well. My children love the church, youth group, and their friends. I like the diversity of families that is a rare find in our county. I like the strong friends my kids have. It is not perfect, but it is perfect for us in this season.

The kid's bio mom was arrested, charged and sentenced to 4- years in prison for what she did to Nesiah. That was an interesting journey and will be a story for another day.  We are ever careful for our safety.

I hope to get back into blogging. But stringing together a coherent string of words while living in my house, is not always possible. 

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Fatherlessness In the Christian Community

This post is  meant to educate. Please don't pity us or judge us.. We just want understanding.
Ask any single mom and/or widow in the christian community, that is raising good Godly young men, how the christian community (CC) responds to their kids and they will all essentially answer the same.
Troubled kids, generally you can get people to step up and be a hero. You can get people to come in and judge your parenting and offer advice.. but the good kids, the ones who try to do right are often ignored.

This is what we have seen/experienced.... Little boy about 3 years old, suddenly starts to notice daddies. He sees that his friends have daddies. He wants one, they look fun! So he tries to join the daddy/son fun at gatherings or events. But see that daddy doesn't want to deal with that pesky kid, so he is ignored or outright rejected.
Little fatherless boys learn that daddies don't like him. He doesn't understand why.. but he learns quickly that he doesn't fit in and is generally not wanted where there are daddies.

So single mom sees that something needs to be done.. she seeks mentors as her boys grow. She seeks men willing to spend time with that little boy because she is concerned about his view of men/daddies. (she is often jaded towards men too) She finds mentors, which really are rarer then snow in Hawaii.  They usually last about 2-6 months then they get bored.. So little boy learns that men are good for treats and taking them out to eat, but they don't hang around.

So.. now little boys are growing into teenagers. So far they experienced nothing but rejection and being ignored by good Godly men.  They can no longer relate to good Godly men, they see that they don't fit into that circle.  So when the few and far between men do reach out to them, they rebuff them. They have high walls, they are not about to lap up those crumbs of attention as they did in the past. They don't need that..

They are conflicted...They ask their mothers, how do you expect us to have good marriages and be strong Godly men, when we don't have the role models... and the single mom's jokes about being both mom and dad are no longer funny...

These young men seek to find their identity. They need to learn how to be young men of God. But the men of God have no time to teach them or model it to them.. It's not that men choose to be ignorant. It is not deliberate. They just don't think about it.. They don't notice that boy without a father struggling to figure  out who he is.. They have their own teens, their own jobs, their own ministries. Besides, when they do reach out to these young teens, they get little to no response. So they move on...

The young men continue to grow.. now they don't want to participate in church activities with the men, because they "don't belong" there. They know mom is the one advocating and pushing them to go, they know none of their friends moms is involved. Mom doesn't understand teen boys, mom doesn't understand what it's like to be ignored, rejected, overlooked or even worse having to stand out because you don't have a dad.

And the young men look for a place to belong... and it's not in the Christian Community. 

The reality is God is the father of the fatherless and in an ideal world the sons of single moms would be able to believe that their identity is in Christ.  They would not need validation from good christian men.... They would be able to grow in Godliness to become more Christlike and change the next generation. That is what all of us single mom/widows pray for every day..
(this can apply to dads who are gone alot too)