Sunday, January 5, 2020

Holy Spirit Moments

This morning we attended church. It was a bit more hectic than normal. Usually, I have a friend that helps with Bubbie or the boys manage him. Today neither my helper or my boys were available.  So I had Mr. Wiggly ADHD, along with baby girl who needed a nap and Nesiah who wasn't very happy about church. When baby girl started fussing, I snuck out with her. 
 I slipped into the quiet of the nursery. Someone had put in a couch and rearranged the room. It was a very inviting spot. I dimmed the lights and sat down to rock baby girl.  It took less than 5 minutes for her to fall asleep.  Snuggling her in my arms, rocking softly back and forth, breathing in the quiet of the room, I felt this supernatural peace. I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit. IT was so real that the tears squeezed out of the corners of my eyes, dripping down on baby girl.
  For weeks I have rushed. I have kept on top of everything, processing the adoption paperwork, parenting the kids, making Christmas special, dealing with some paperwork headaches, and just so much... not anything major, no real big problems. Just lots of small things.. with never a minute to breath. I needed a minute away to pray, to think, to breath.
 Today I sat in that little room and I breathed, I rested, I felt the Holy Spirit minister to me. I felt His love for me. I felt my heart and soul fill with His Presence and His peace.
  I looked around for a way to lock the doors.. but there was none. I was really tempted to cry buckets and then take a nap on the couch. But I knew my teenagers would die of embarrassment, so I enjoyed my moment, I cried my tears and then I took a deep breath and moved on, filled up.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

The Beginning of a New Decade

    2020 the beginning of a new decade. I love to look back and see where life has taken me. Living the life I do, things often change drastically.  20 years ago, I was 16, 10 years ago I was 26, now I am 36. I have lived a lot of life in the past 20 years.

My top ten highlights from the last 10 years.
  1. In 2010 I adopted David and Fayth.  Nesiah came to live with us. I started homeschooling the kids.

  2. In 2011 I adopted Nesiah, Lee, and Elizabeth.  We also moved to our current home that year.  we purchased our first animals, chickens, and a mini horse.
 3. In 2012,  We added a milk cow to our little farmette. I think we may have had sheep too. It was our first year as a family with no new family members and no adoptions.

 4. 2013, Bubbie was born and came to live with us. We got rid of the cow and bought some sheep. I was still homeschooling.

5. 2014, We were in the midst of hard hard. Bubbie was sick and colicky, sleep was nonexistent, and medical appointments far too frequent. We got a crash course on allergies and asthma.  We also had extensive and frustrating foster care drama. It was a hard hard year.

6. 2015, We adopted Bubbie, only by a miracle.  His health started improving. We added goats and 2 old horses to the farm. I also started homeschooling Nesiah that year.

7. 2016,  We took a week-long vacation to Cape Cod thanks to a generous friend.  We added bunnies, dogs, and sheep to our menagerie. Maybe even a steer that year?

8, 2017 The year we spend repairing our health. I had horrific Lyme disease and adrenal fatigue. I made the decision to take care of my health that year. 5 out of 6 kids also had Lyme disease! We battled and won that fight. We found a church we plugged into. My boys became teenagers and the 3 oldest kids got part-time jobs, opened savings accounts and started budgeting. 

9, 2018 The year we really started thriving again. Bubbie started attending a private school. I started working as a parent trainer for the local children and youth agency.  This is the year all 4 of my big kids were teenagers.  I had my own babysitters and mother's helpers. BEST OF ALL, baby girl came to live with us 5 days before Christmas. We added a couple steers, several goats and another dog to the menagerie.  I made a big garden in part of my pasture.

10. 2019,  I quit my job. Bubbie attended his private school for first grade.  Nesiah went back to public school. This all happened over summer as I recognized that I needed to take steps to prevent burnout. The older 3 kids all had steady jobs over the summer with families from church.  I raised a large garden and canned a ton of food. 

So in ten years, I adopted 6 kids with another adoption coming up really soon.  I had two babies dropped into my lap while I was NOT a licensed foster parent. I homeschooled 4 kids from 1st to high school. I had my first kid go into private school. I moved to a farmette and obtained animals, raising as much of our own milk, eggs, and meat as possible. I started a garden from scratch, raising as much of our own food as possible. I started working as a parent trainer for cys and then quit when I got a baby.

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.