As I turned on my computer, I saw that heading. Curiosity got the best of me and I clicked on the heading that would "change my life"....this is what I got
REALLY? I mean....a piglet, leaning up against a plastic strawberry is going to CHANGE MY LIFE? I must say, it is cute, it is not, however, "life changing."
If you want a "life changing" photo (or video, in this case) Click below:
These are not just random pictures. I've touched these people. I have held their hands, wiped their childrens' noses. My heart has broken for them and my prayers are constant. If you would like to help, please go to http://www.hopearising.org and read the stories of these families. Pray for God's guidance in how YOU can change YOUR life by helping OTHERS!
This is going to be a "slow" weight loss week, for me *sniff* I know I shouldn't weigh until my regular, weekly, weigh time, but I can't help myself. That scale sits in the corner and laughs at me, it is humiliating. I hate that thing. I should just go "scale free".....base my weight loss on how my clothes fit. My OCD won't allow that, either.
I splurged, yesterday....not a bad splurge, just a small blizzard splurge and then I *know* I ate too much supper. I could feel my body saying "enough, you are full" yet my fork wouldn't stop. I hate it when that happens. I should have made a salad (which I normally do), but yesterday....I was lazy and didn't do it. We didn't all sit together, as a family, so I didn't have to put the supper on the table. We were all sprawled out, all over Marshall Cty. Excuses....I know....
Anyway, I really want something smothered in cheese, pasta, cookie dough, a 64 oz. coke (preferably from Sonic...with little ice), a greasy burger with cheese, curly fries, an alfredo pizza, steak.................
Okay, I'm good........not really, but good enough to start schoolwork, finish my almonds, put chicken in the oven to bake and continue on my healthy lifestyle eating plan.
Losing weight is NEVER fun. It isn't near as fun as gaining the weight eating copious amounts of glorious things like cheese, drinking coke, pasta.... It never dawns on me, how big I've gotten, until I see pictures. Until I realize that I'm winded walking up my stairs, or cleaning the house.
I am fat. Period. The end.
So, in an effort (and inspiration from my friend Jen Harris who is also on a quest to drop the excess) to lose weight, I have started logging all of my stuff on a FREE website, http://www.loseit.com You fill in the blanks (height, weight, your goal weight) and it does its thing and tells you how many calories you can have, in a day and it also allows you to document your eating and your exercise.
I logged in Big Daddy's food, yesterday, and we were shocked that he didn't eat much, but he was still over his target caloric intake because of what he ate. He wasn't much over and we didn't log in his factory work, for burning calories, but still....once you write down every little thing that you pop in your mouth, it adds up.
I have been trying to exercise every other day. Somedays are better than others, but I walk either 2 or 3 miles. I'm going to start using those zumba DVDs that I bought last year and have never looked at. I'm tired of looking bad. I will never look like I did when I was young, I just want to feel better in my clothes and be able to breathe when doing small things. My goal is reasonable.
We are starting with a SMALL, attainable, goal between us. We want to lose 30 lbs in 30 days, between the both of us. Realistically, he will lose more of the 30 lbs then I will because he loses super fast and I lose super slow. That's okay. If he loses 25 lbs. and I lose 5, then it is still meeting our goal and then we will set another goal for the next month.
We are not going to stop eating what we love. I don't think that is realistic for us, we like to eat too much. We are just going to limit it, use portion control, be wise. We are not using magic pills, shots, starving or any other strange methods. We are using exercise and making healthier choices. Hopefully, it will soon be no more "logging" what we eat because we will just know how to properly eat and what to eat.
After almost 6 mths of my son being home, this is the first mention we had of ET.
We were coming home from a soccer game and we approached a stoplight that is near our church. Jude pipes up and says "Me, Jude, go to church?" I said no, that we would be going the next day.
There was a pause....
Then he said "Me, Jude, go to Ethiopia?" and my heart just about stopped. I told me that ET was very very far away and that we would, someday, go back. I told him how much Gaga, Woudneh, Betty, Dagim and all his friends and nannies loved him so much.
We got home and he crawled up in my lap, very unusual for a boy who never stops. I hold him and tell him how much I love him and then I ask him if he would like to watch our ET videos when daddy gets home. He hasn't wanted to watch any of them, since coming. He said he did.
I lay him down for a nap and we wait for daddy to come home. Our evening was busy, with lots of friends over. He is normally running, excited, sweating and this time...he did play, but he was solemn. I overheard him telling the other children that he loves ET and that he misses ET.
I knew this day was coming, but knowing and being prepared are 2 different things. Watching the movies can trigger emotions and memories that he may not be prepared to deal with.
We did watch the movies and he enjoyed them, I was thankful.
This morning, he seems back to his normal self. He announced that he slept "long" and then he wondered where daddy was. He has never asked where daddy was...he seemed lost without him. I explained that daddy was at work and that he would be home soon. He seemed content with that answer.
The English is coming more and more each day and so are the questions.
Lord, grant me the wisdom to be able to handle all the questions with grace and love.
Just shake well before each use and it’s ready for the rinse cycle. For small or average loads add 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle, for larger loads add about 1 cup to the rinse cycle or place in the fabric softener compartment before running your load.
In an effort to "go more green" this year, I'm going to post some of my homemade recipes for housecleaning. The first one is the Duggar family recipe for laundry detergent. You need to get a 5 gallon bucket, with a lid on it. Then, I reused an old fabric softener bottle for putting my concentrate in.
4 cups hot water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar (found in Kroger, in the laundry aisle)
1 cup Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax
Essential oils (optional)
*Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with some water. Stir until it is all melted.
*Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water.
*Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax
*Stir until dissolved.
*Fill the rest of the bucket to the top with hot water
*Cover and sit overnight to thicken
*Take empty container and fill 1/2 way with concentrate (add essential oils, if you want a scent other than lemony)
My heart overflowth with love on the day my sweet baby boy was born.
We had a great day, yesterday. Well, great AFTER all 6 kids had physicals :) and the torrential downpour.
I had to wake him up because our appts were so early. We got him a basketball and for all the kids, a basketball goal. He was SO excited. We got all ready, did our thing at the drs and then came home so I could get some stuff prepared for supper.
We headed out the door and off to Paducah. We went to eat at Olive Garden (which is my favorite place to eat) and he quickly learned that it was a cheese heaven. He ordered mac and cheese and pizza and he devoured the breadsticks. He told me that he was a "beginner" gentleman, so I was telling him what a good gentleman would do/say to the waitress and how to properly pay the bill (saying credit cards are from hell, always go with cash). He did beautifully. He said that Olive Garden was his *most favorite* Italian restaurant (albeit the only one he has gone too). Love....love love love him.
After lunch, we went to visit Jojo and Papa. That is always fun to pop in on them and get some grandparent love :)
We headed to the pet store to check out all the critters and then we went to the bookstore where he picked out 2 books. I love that my kids love books. Makes me smile. He had some birthday money burning a whole in his pocket and I had to go to Walmart anyway, so we headed there to get what we needed and he picked out a couple of things to get, leaving him some money to stay in his wallet. "All men need a little money in their pocket."
Next off, we had to go and pick up his cake. It was a "Spy" cake and my friend, Teresa, again outdid herself. It was so cool and SO good. Then I promised him ice cream, so we did that too. Headed home and started cooking his meal o choice. He wanted fried chicken, mac and cheese, and I wanted potato soup (best EVER).
After a bit, my MIL came, then my mom and my other mom and my dad came. It was so much fun. He enjoyed every minute.
As we were ending the day, he said "mom, this was the best birthday ever."
I have a fear.....a terrible terrible fear of the dentist. I try not to show it, but the hives that pop up are a clear give away that I'm feeling some stress, on the inside.
I panic even when I get my teeth cleaned...now that's bad.
My mom and I were talking about Dr. Habacker, from Paducah. He was my dentist when I was a child. We were so.very.poor. but my mom insisted that we go to the best dentist and one that will do a good job. Kudos to mom. He was gentle and kind. He was patient and wonderful. I have no idea where this fear comes from because Dr. Habacker was the quietest, most gentle dentist EVER.
I worked up enough courage to schedule an appt to get my teeth cleaned (after way too many years). I did good, it didn't take long, but I could feel the tension in my body and I realized that I was griping the handles of chair and that my breathing was incredibly fast. I was telling myself to relax and calm down. Then, it was over.
Alas, I had to have all these old fillings replaced :/ Panic. I had to have a crown. Panic central. I resolved myself to the fact that it had to be done, so I wanted as few appts as humanly possible to get them finished.
Today, was my right side. 2 fillings, very deep, that had to be replaced. One on top, one on bottom. My new dentist, Dr. Lebaron (amazing) was so kind. He knew that I was panicking and he literally talked to me the whole time telling me what he was doing. He allowed me to shut my mouth, to relax my jaws every few minutes. It was painless, yet...I panicked. I could feel myself getting hot, my feet started sweating, I couldn't breathe, my head was hurting...the beginning of a full blown panic attack. Again, I talked to myself and reassured myself that I was fine, it didn't. He was doing good, not harm. He was nice, the hygienist was nice...I was fine...over and over and over, till the magic words of YOU ARE DONE. Less than an hour and I was so tense and worked up I didn't know whether I was washing or hanging out.
I decided that getting 2 more fillings replaced and a crown was not in the cards for me, so I separated my appts up. I have them timed down to the second of how long I will be in that chair and I actually like my dentist. I can do that...next appt is the end of this month.
Moral: go to the dentist every 6 mths (worth it for the free toothbrush), brush, floss, take care of your teeth and for the love of all that is good...RELAX.
Yesterday, during our weekly therapy session, G and I headed to Mayfield. I've traveled the road that leads to Mayfield, several times, it is the road that I took to get to my Granny's house. I'm familiar with each house, each side road, each creek....everything. It is a comforting road, to me.
We say little, on the way up. I listen to the radio and she reads a book. On this trip, the Lord spoke clearly to me, very clearly. I was be-bopping to the radio with the windows down, looking at all these homes and thinking about how much I missed my Granny..so much...it hurts, sometimes. While I was thinking, I could smell smoke. The kind of distinctive smell...one of destruction. I looked up and saw that a home that I passed a thousands times had burnt to the ground. For those who aren't familiar with that smell....let me just tell you, there is nothing like it. I drove up on the devastation and I saw the family, just standing there, staring at what used to be a home. Sadness overcame me and I prayed for the family as I continued up the road.
We were in counseling much longer than I had anticipated, the sun was coming down and we headed home. I was just around the bend, of that home, after several hours and the family was still standing there....it appeared that no one had moved. The house was still smoldering and the sadness was overwhelming. I passed by.....then it was like the Lord had taken ahold of my heart, threw it up into my throat and said 'turn around.' I heeded that and I turned my vehicle around. It was placed, so hard, on my heart to give them money, but I never have cash and I rarely have the checkbook because I don't get out much. I pulled into the driveway and started thumbing through my purse and I saw the checkbook, just sitting in there. I whipped it out and wrote out a check. The family must've thought I was a "rubber neck" person who was just curious as to what happened.
I hopped out of my vehicle and I apologized for inconveniencing them and gave them my thoughts and prayers towards the sadness of what had happened to them. I didn't want to know what had happened, I just simply told them the Lord has impressed on me to stop and give them money and see if they had any needs. She stood there, with shock in her eyes. I told her that the Lord had a plan and a purpose for this sadness and that He was there with them during this time. The granddaughter, who was about my age, stated that her grandmother got out safely, but that the grandmothers disabled son, wasn't so lucky and he died in the fire. My heart broke as she was recounting what had happened and tears ran down her face.
I hugged her, asked if I could feed them, I told them of places they could go for clothes, for free and then she mentioned that the place where her grandmother was staying didn't have a working fridge. I told her not to worry, I would find her one. The Lord knew she needed that and He sent me to be His feet. I took her number and told her that I would put my feelers out and see what I could do. I came home, sent out a massive email and placed the need on facebook. No responders. There was one sweet girl, who had a microwave that she was gladly give this lady. How thankful I was for her. I was set out to buy her a fridge, if that's what it took. I let it go and this morning, I got an email from a friend stating she had an EXTRA fridge that she just defrosted and said she would give it to the lady. Oh.My.Goodness. I immediately praised God for His faithfulness and timing.
I called the granddaughter and told her that I had a microwave and a fridge that people were giving her and she sat there....and cried....thanked me over and over. I told her that the Lord deserves all the glory and the praise because He was the One who did all of this, not me. We are now trying to get a truck to deliver these items and I'm certain, we will....it may be tomorrow, but we will get it there.
May the Lord bless those who donated. May He bless those who have prayed for this woman. May He bless the family during this difficult time.
Woke up to the prettiest 14 yr old girl EVER waking me up. Jumping up and down...today was the day she waited her "whole life for"....she is 14, an even number..not 13 anymore, but 14!
My goal (because it is supposed to be all about me), was to lay in bed and have the kids funnel food/coke under the covers, but Peach had a whole different thought. She was ready for me to be up and ready for our day.
Got up, got rolling, got moving, rocking, rolling and shaking....we headed out the door by 9:30. Off we went to the BIG town of Paducah :) First up, heading to Jojo's house for some love. We were blessed to have my other mama there, Susie :) Got to love on both Jojo, Susie and Papa it just doesn't get better than that, but it did. My sweet great niece was there all full of snuggles and hugs. Happiness.
We left there and headed to eat at Peach's choice of Ryan's. Blessed again, cause my biggest sis joined us for lunch. Such a nice time of talking, laughing and thoroughly enjoying each other's company. After lunch, we headed to Books A Million to sift through the "million-o-books" that they have. Next door is the pet shop, so we went to love on the cats and look at the slimy things. You can't see slimy things without thinking of nail polish, so we went to the dollar store and picked up a pretty color.
Daddy had a request that we go to the local Christian bookstore to find the "chick basketball" movie that was on sale. Alas, it wasn't there, but I got a couple of good movies. We stuck around there, chatted with the employees, cause they are the bomb diggity and they all know me by name LOL. Once our time was up, we ran next door and picked up her birthday cake from the most FABULOUS cake maker ever (Teresa Thompson who runs Teresa's Sweet Tooth Confections..find her on facebook). It was a dog inspired, tie dyed cake and it was yummy!
We rush home and start supper. Thanks to Bug, she had most of it done and the kids cleaned up the house, for me. My mom and dad, other mom and MIL came for supper. So blessed to have family who we enjoy being around. So fun. It was WILD, but good. She has a friend over, spending the night, the kids are fixing to go to bed...so am I.
She had a great 14th birthday and it was pure joy to spend the day with her. Happy birthday, my sweet blue eyed girl!
I hate crying...even more than me hating to cry is crying in front of people. I'd rather stick pins in my eyes then do that. When emotions run high, though, it is inevitable that something has to give and sometimes that something is tears.
I have been going back and forth, in my mind, about the events of yesterday and how I reacted. Sad to say, the person delivering the message didn't see my face because, true to my nature, I excused myself to "take a walk" around, to get some fresh air and some perspective. I did that, a couple of times. I regained my composure enough to get myself home. Once home, I locked myself in the bathroom, sat on the toilet and cried. I grieve over what my RADish is and what she may become, as she gets older. How our relationship is now and how it might be, years from now. If there even is a relationship years from now. The future scares me, her future scares me.
What I do, when I'm down, is pray my sister is up and awake. She is old, therefore she goes to sleep at dusk ;) (love you T). I'm so thankful for her "scary calm voice" and the great voice of reason that she can be. She isn't perfect, she has her flaws, but she is my person and I'm so thankful my person answered the phone and allowed me to vent. I even used ugly words and she didn't tell me to stop. I deal with emotions in a certain way. I bottle it up till I explode. She let me explode, in her ear and her response is that she will pray for me to have peace, to realize the ignorance of those who chose to judge with the mask of "concern" and to not get in the flesh and beat the tar out of anyone LOL. It is what it is. My thoughts, before you throw your concern around, educate yourself first on the subject. If you choose not to educate yourself, then keep your thoughts, opinions and concerns to yourself. I'm still a bit angry (a lot angry). I'll get over it.
I took G to her appointment today. When she walked out of the office, she had that "grin". That grin says it all. It says "I have this lady snowed and she will yield and believe everything I say." I've seen that grin many many times. I was able to meet with the therapist, alone, and I told her that my inability to trust, that time will tell if this therapy match, between G and Sue, will work. I told her of the "grin" and she stated simply that G was a charmer, and A+ manipulator and she may think that G snowed her, but she didn't. She saw right through her and the therapist could point blank tell me that I AM NOT CRAZY. I seriously could've kissed that woman on the lips. We sat, we talked, I sucked back tears. Not only was she amazing and sensitive (and could see through the array of bullcrap that G pulls), I had an email from a friend who has lived through what G is going through. She has offered prayers, perspective and she will keep our conversations between ourselves. She is a Godly woman who is on the other side. She gives me hope that G can have a future.
I will not walk through the halls of places carrying around a disclaimer on my daughter and why she is the way she is and why I parent the way I parent. She is not to be explained away. Her story is not mine to tell and though she is DIFFICULT, it is HER story. It is not anyone's business and though she is young, she deserves privacy. What I share on my blog, she is aware of. It is my place to vent, cry, laugh and rejoice. It is mostly for family and friends and to save time (and to not be on the phone constantly), this is how I get my peace out and what I want others to know.
How great is our God to allow this crap to happen, yet He placed in my life a sister who never fails me, a husband who lets me rant, a therapist who sees through the smoke and a friend who can help me on a level that no one else can. I'm irritated. I want to physically hurt people. I want to yell and scream like a school girl. Yet, again, I choose to stand on Exodus 14:14....The Lord will fight your battles...I simply have to be silent (paraphrased of course).
It is a tricky thing, to judge someone. To judge their actions, their lifestyle, their words, their parenting.....is it okay, though when the statement comes through as "we are concerned about..." Yet, the words that follow are clearly judgmental and accusatory.
I will be the first to admit, I'm not "guilt free" of judging others. I try not too, I'm extremely conscience of it, but at times, I know that I judge. Then, I am saddened. I hear horrible stories of horrible choices made by lost people. I hear horrible stories of horrible choices by people who are saved. I see horrible things because of horrible choices. It is so easy to cast that first stone, but when you look closely, you should be dinging yourself with that stone instead of throwing it at others.
You absolutely have no idea what is truly going on in another persons life or family. You may see a small snippet, here and there, at Walmart, at church, at school.....but is that snippet that you see worth making a judgment call on that person's life? Do you live with them? Do you attend doctors appts with them? Do you attend therapy appts with them? Do you sit with your feet under their table and eat with them? No, you don't. When you think of the 15 minutes per week that you see this person, think twice before judging and covering that judgment up with the words of "I'm concerned".
This is the face that I see more times than not. Well meaning people with too much time on their hands who choose to show "concern" which is really a judgment call on how I choose to live my life and raise my children. Am I perfect, no...not by a long shot. I don't pretend to be, either. For years, I've put on a mask for people that I've encountered. A different mask for each person, including my husband, my family, my friend and my church. It was exhausting trying to fit the mold of what each person expected me to be. It was hard, feeling that if they saw the "true me" they wouldn't like me and I would be left alone. Then, I realized that the Lord created me to be beautiful, to resemble His Son and that I was beautifully and wonderfully made. That was the day the masks went away. I am who I am. I make no apologies for it. I do my best to live in the Lord's light and to raise my children according to His will. I will not change for anyone. I will only do what the Lord wants me to do and I'm still a huge lump of clay that He molds, daily.
I've had to develop a thick skin, when it comes to my children. My children are all different. They are require different parenting styles, especially as they grow older. When my RADish came to live with us, it challenged everything I knew, everything I believed, every parenting/discipline style I had....everything. I "shared" with "friends" about our struggles and about her issues and I quickly realized that was not the avenue to take. Those "friends" who were well-meaning, did nothing but judge and they did so very harshly. They saw the charmer, the angelic child, the unscathed child, the hurt little puppy who just wanted to be loved. They didn't, however, see the violence, the 4 hr rages, the lies, the manipulation, the hoarding, the gorging.....they didn't live with us, therefore when I spoke of issues that we needed prayer over, they informed me that I was too rough on her, that I was crazy, that she was fine and it was me. That love heals all wounds. I felt as if I was living in a glass house and "concerned" people would be gawking through my windows. They would be throwing those stones and cracking our windows.
That's when I stopped. I stopped "sharing". I stopped asking for prayers. I stopped. Until I felt safe, again.....once I felt safe, I chose to open up, a little...and guess what, a new crop of "concerned" people began casting their stones. Maybe I'm sensitive, that could be the problem. But my gut says stop. Keep to yourself. Pull back. Remove yourself from the situation. Put on your mask and pretend that you don't live with a time bomb. I'm hurt, right now, beyond imagination. I'm getting all that hurt out, in words, rather than doing what my flesh says to do. I know of 2 people who know the situation and are praying for peace, for me and for me not to get in the flesh. I know I also have a husband who walks down this path with me. He sees more than 15 minute snippets, his feet are under my table. He knows. He knows truth and he is the only one that truly sees my pain regarding raising a difficult child and being hurt by well meaning Christians who are "concerned". I am thankful for that. I'm thankful that I can be who I am, be the wife I am and the mother I am and all I see out of him is love and prayers.
I choose to remain silent I choose to follow the words of my Master in Exodus 14:14 "God will fight for you, you need only to be still."
We have so much excess....it is ridiculous. It isn't helping that I'm reading the book "7".
I read the "food" section, first and I must say, in that respect, we aren't too bad (aside from eating out too much). I make inventory of EVERYTHING in my pantry, cabinets, fridge and freezers. From there, I center my meals. I try and use everything that we have. I do make mistakes and buy too much of something because I had forgotten that I already had a bottle (or 2). I also freezer cook and when we have excess of a dinner, I freeze it for another dinner (rarely that happens). Generally, I sit down, with my calendar and make a detailed menu of the entire month, then I shop. It makes my life easier and I'm all about easy.
The next section is clothing.....I have 6 children. 3 girls and 3 boys. I'm blessed, beyond measure that I can "hand down" many clothes. The struggle that I'm having, now, is that #5 and #6 are the same size. On one hand, that is good, they can swamp clothes, on the other hand, when one grows out of something, the other does too. My older son, of the 3, we have to buy him clothes. We were, again, blessed, because I did work at a dept. store for 9 mths and I got clothes for as little as $2.00, so hopefully, that will last until next summer and then be handed down to the little boys. Downfall, socks and shoes. There is no way to save money on that because they go through them like wildfire. I did "weed" out things that I knew they wouldn't wear, so hopefully, they will benefit other boys.
My girls are a whole different ball of wax. My oldest, her clothes have to be bought (I bought them when I worked for $2.00 or so and we go to the thrift shop), then my #2 daughter sprouted up and is now the same size of my oldest....sharing clothes...doesn't happen. #3 daughter is short, but her pant size is bigger than #2. She has a different body type. She is PICKY when it comes to clothes and I will not buy the expensive stuff to satisfy her desire to "look" like the other kids. I weed their clothes out frequently, trying to hand down as much as possible.
Big Daddy and I (well, me) went through our (my) clothes. I am not a clothes hoard, at all. I have several "nicer" clothes that I had to have for work, but I live in t shirts and jogging pants. I was able to get rid of a lot of clothes that I would like to fit into, yet don't and that I like, but haven't worn, in years. I also weeded through jewelry, belts and shoes. So much. We have so much. When are we simply going to be satisfied with what we NEED instead of what we WANT.
Then....there are books........I love books. I'm a homeschooler and I love books. I have SO many bookcases filled with all different kinds of books. As we were weeding out paperwork and closets, upstairs, I tackled one of the bookcases. It was filled with Christian books that dealt with the following issues:
How to read the bible How to understand the bible How to mark the bible Read the bible in 90 days How to love your husband How to praise your husband How to be a Godly wife How to be a Godly parent How to change your child How to have a new child in a week How to deal with difficult children How to eat healthy How to eat and lose weight fast
The list goes on and on and on......I'm embarrassed at all the "How To" books that I've BOUGHT with MONEY that could've gone to those less fortunate than me. Waste waste waste. Embarrassing. There are children living, alone. There are children starving. There are parents starving so they can feed their children and I have the audacity to buy another book on How to Fix My Life.
Wanna know how to fix your life? PRAY. Wanna know how to be different, Godly, better? READ THE WORD. Wanna know how to live right? PRAY AND READ THE WORD. You don't need another "how to" book. You need to dig down deep into your life and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. That's it. It does take a book, it takes the Bible and prayer. That's it and it doesn't cost money. If you don't have a Bible, feel free to email me and I'd be happy to send you one of the 15 Bibles I have or buy you one.
Utilize; organize; pray
Take inventory of your food....work your meals around it. Need a book...go to the library Need clothes...utilize the thrift/consignment stores Need to change your life....pray, read the Word, find a church and get plugged in.
Have excess money? Go to http://www.hopearisingorg and donate to help the people of Dhera. If you want to keep your gifts local? There are people ALL AROUND you.....pray for God to reveal who He'd like for you to help and then DO IT.
I have a lot more to read and then I will pass on the book to someone else. We donated all our books to our churches library and the excess clothes to a wonderful organization "Angel's Attic". Oddly, that is also where we buy our clothes because they as cheap as a quarter for a shirt. All the proceeds go towards "Angel's Clinic" which provides free health care to those without insurance.
I'm on a soapbox, I know....I'm okay....hopefully I've at least got you paying attention and I pray that whomever reads this post will take inventory of their life and their belongings and use their excess to help someone who has less then you.
Those were the words from my dear RADish, who turned 11, yesterday. Not telling her anything, she woke up to no presents....NONE. Not a single solitary present. She came upstairs to tell me good morning, with a smile on her face. I wished her a happy birthday and then she left. She didn't question, anything.
After a bit, I called her back upstairs and asked her if she had any questions about not having any gifts. She wanted to know why she didn't have anything. I then explained that since she struggles with responsibility and being honest, that that was one reason. She isn't responsible with anything, ever. I also explained our excess of items and how most of the things we buy for any of the children usually end up broken, thrown away, lost or given away. My desire is for them to understand that we don't need a lot of "stuff" to be happy and content with life. That we need the love of Christ and He is enough. Period, the end.
Since returning from Ethiopia, we have been trying to rid our home and lives of excess. Giving to those less fortunate and having a simple life. Simple, chaos free (bwahahahaha) life. I have a long long way to go, but with our excess, we give to a wonderful organization, Angel's Attic. They have all sorts of everything and they sell it CHEAP. It is a place where anyone can go and get their needs met. If you don't have the money, then they will still provide for your needs. If there is a fire, in your home, then you can come and shop for free. All the proceeds go to the Angel's Clinic where people without insurance can get good, quality health care, for free. It is a win win situation. The people who run Angel's Attic not only talk the talk, but they walk the walk in their Christian life.
With all that being said, I told her to get dressed and we would go and pick up her cake, but first, we had to run an errand for daddy. We went about an hour away, ran the errand for daddy. We also went to see my sister, K. We don't see each other much....or talk much....life gets in the way and we are both super busy, but I do enjoy the moments when we can connect. While we were there, I told G that, for her birthday, we were going to go and get her ears pierced. GASP, SHOCK, EXCITEMENT. Then we were going to go out to eat, at whatever place she wants, we were going to the bookstore to let her pick out 2 books and then she had some birthday money that she could spend. My only restrictions were that they had to be something practical (except for one toy). She was OVERJOYED.
We went to the mall and got her ears pierced, while at that store, she picked out a feather for her hair. We left there and headed to Bob Evans for lunch. After that, we went to Jojo's house and loved on her. Then off to LifeWay where she picked out 2 books. We had to leave Paducah to go get her homemade fabulous cake. My good friend, Teresa who runs Teresa's Sweet Tooth Confections, made it...vintage barbie cake :) Got home, headed to church and then after church, daddy took her to spend the rest of her money where she bought a candy bar, a movie and a barbie.
She was beyond excited, all day long. It was nice to spend a day with her, with limited issues. It was good to hear her laugh.
Happy 11th Birthday, G! Glad it was the best birthday ever :)
Sometimes it is hard to see things, when you are so close to the situation and your view is skewed. My view of RAD is skewed. It has been a HARD 5 yrs since our RADish came to live with us. We knew we were her last chance before going to a girls home and I couldn't bear to send this doe-eyed little blue eyed girl away. I thought we could heal her with stability and love. LOL...that's what I get for thinking. God has a plan, He has a purpose and His purpose was for us to raise this little girl, in His light. Let me say...we have tremendously failed because we were trying to do it in our power and might and not in His.
Over time, it has affected every aspect of our life. We didn't seek His counsel, we sought outside counsel through therapists, friends, family, the internet, books, etc. We didn't seek His face. We were (and are) aware of this, now....after 5 yrs. I had a long talk with G and I explained what we had done and what we hadn't done. We wanted to put a bandaid on her past, love her, show her a real family and we "assumed" that would fix her. Reality check: WE CAN'T FIX HER. Nor do I really have the desire to fix her anymore. I'm tired. I'm tired of the fighting, I'm tired of the constant struggle, I'm tired of the pain, I'm tired of the yelling. I.Am.Tired.
In the Word, it states that when we are weak, He is strong. I am weak, therefore I look to Him for my strength. We can't fix her, we can't change her past. It is what it is and God has a purpose and a plan for the past that she has had. He will use it, eventually, to His glory. We have made a difficult decision (for those with kids with RAD, you know what that means)...we have decided to *gasp* home school her :/ I had no intentions of EVER bringing her back home. She needed the break from us and we needed the break from her. Problem is, is that, in school, there is a daily reminder of her past. There can be no healing when you, literally see, members of your past. I fought with God. I had my plan. I didn't want to stray from my plan. It was my plan, it was a good plan....yet He had other plans.
He chose to bring my son home. He chose for my son to come into this home with new eyes and to see the G the way He sees her. In doing that, I have gotten a glimpse of who He sees in her. He allowed the scales to fall off my eyes, for a moment, and allow me to see the child that He created. Abinet LOVES her. Not just a little, but a whole whole lot. He is concerned with her whereabouts, he wants to play with her, sit with her and in the still of the night...I hear him call from his room to her room "I love you G." He loves her for her. He doesn't know of the scars, the last horrid 5 yrs, the thoughts of sending her to a Christian boarding school, the thoughts of "why did we say yes." We said yes to this broken child because He said yes to us. God chose me, I have asked His Son to come in my heart and heal the brokenness. He took the "last chance girl" and He gave me a chance. He gave me unconditional love and He heals without bandaids. I see clearly now. I see how He has used my new son to show me the love of His Son. I am in awe.
So, I surrendered to His plan. She, along with the other 5, are home schooling. it has been okay, though we have our moments. I have, though, a daily reminder of God's love of us, broken "last chance" children and I'm grateful. I'm grateful that He sent His Son to die for us and I'm grateful that He sent my son to show me how to love. I will have bad days, I will have good days, and I will have days where I wonder what on earth He was thinking to call me to this task. I'm confident, that as long as I have a solid, growing relationship with my Master, that I can accomplish anything He gives me because He leads my path.
As I sit here, holding my youngest son because his belly hurts and my oldest daughter because her heart hurts....I realize that I really *am* a parent. I know, shocker, since I have 6 children, but my kids range from 16 to 5 and here I am, consoling them both for completely different reasons.
I am saddened, on so many levels. This is his first "tummy" ache and due to the communication lapse, I can't use my words to comfort him, but I can use the power of touch. Sitting, holding, playing with his hair, rubbing his belly....he feels so safe, so loved and so secure that he drifts off to sleep. It sends my mind racing on the years that I missed...was he comforted in his village when he was sick? Did he get held, at the orphanage when he was sick? Did the nannies, at the transition home comfort him? I don't know. I do know, that he was well loved. He was *so* loved by his mom, that she not only gave him life, once, but twice by allowing him to be adopted. I am humbled at her strength. I also know, that he was loved at KVI. There were *so* many children. Last count, I heard was 83 kids ranging from newborns to 12 & 13 yrs old. They did the best they could, with the resources they had and their hearts broke for each and every child. I also know that he was VERY well loved at the Transition House. The nannies adored him and our friends Woudneh and Betty and their 4 children came often to be a consistent face of love and comfort. I will be forever grateful to them for caring for our son, when we couldn't be there.
Then comes our oldest. So anxious, so beautiful, so honest and caring. I'm so blessed to be her mom. She reached the magical age of 16 and now, it is time where she can "say yes" *if* a boy asks her out. Yet, that hasn't happened. She questions herself. Her looks, her personality, her traits, her likes, her dislikes and how she can make herself more 'date-able'. I've been there, I've been 16. I've been the girl that no one wanted to date. It is hard. There is no way to make that better. What I tell her, over and over is that she is beautifully and wonderfully made. That she is perfect, just the way she is and that she doesn't need to change for anyone. She needs to be herself and if a boy doesn't like that, he can walk on because she is worthy of someone's unconditional love. Still, she aches because someone broke her heart. He was noble about it and prayerful of his decision and there was never really anything happening other than a friendship that had the potential to blossom. She was understanding and stoic....until she wasn't. Then, she needed her mama to hold her and to tell her that God has a plan and a purpose for her life. That he has a wonderful man that he is preparing for her and she is being prepared for him. That patience, is indeed, a virtue and as hard as it is, she has to stand tall, remain strong and realize, that this isn't the end of the world (although she firmly believes that it could be).
So, I sit here, holding my oldest and my youngest...reveling in the fact that God gave me these wonderful children and how blessed I am to be their mom.
Thank you, Lord for these children. Help me to raise them in Your light.