In His eyes

The lady who touched Jesus’ cloak and was instantly healed.  Jesus stopped in His tracks and asked: “Who was the one who touched me?” This woman had to confess it was her, in front of all the crowd.  Rising shame.  Would He be mad? Would the people laugh?  Would they make fun of her?

I am watching, I’m part of the crowd.  I want to choose the woman’s side and stand by her but I am too worried about the crowd singling me out with her. So I don’t.  But I know what it is like to stand alone.  Surely she shouldn’t have to.  But I am too scared to be made fun of.  I won’t risk it!  So either way I don’t feel good. It’s either pain and quilt or shame and fear.

But there is a good I can choose.

Good.

There is good.  What is it?  Surely walking up to this woman laying in the dust, feeling so alone… afraid… ashamed… not knowing what she did was allowed.  Shame weakening her.  I reach out, one arm reaching underneath hers, one hand reaching for her hand.  She gets up in the steadiness of my body.  I let her lean into mine.  She’s no longer alone.  If there is to be any shaming, we’ll be shamed together.

We’re deadly afraid, not knowing what’s to come.  Both trembling on our feet, our hands shaking.  And then… there He is. We face the Lord.  And even though the crowd is loud and rowdy, mocking us, we see it in His eyes.  The woman, now my friend, has done what is good.  And I have chosen what is best.  We no longer hear the crowd.  The crowd has no meaning to us.  Because… it is in His eyes.  Her and I are one.  I’m grateful for what she did, her courage.  Without her I would not know His eyes.  I did not lose out.  I guess I was courageous too.

~ For I know the plan I have for you.  Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you hope and a future. ~

 

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Being like Him

We are there again… exhausted deep into our soul.  Sad, angry, hopeless, living in a stressful environment 24/7.

It’s been a week since Boy 1 spoke to me.  Blow ups are happening constintently and like never before do I see his manipulation and the fact that it is hard to trust him.  I am sad about him walking this path of not talking again, angry about the fact I feel he’s not pulling his weight. He could be going to therapy once a week, he could be showing us he’s all in by going to group therapy, and he certainly could put in every effort in school rather than ignoring all the help that is there for him.

I am that tired that I know it is okay to not pursue him right now.  I can take a break and make sure I stay well in it all.  So my schedule is emptier and the ‘only’ things I do is take care of the home chores, work just a little, drive them places, go on daily walks, sleep when I can, visit the boys’ soccer games, focus on my marriage, focus on the other 2 kiddos, sit with my Father on a very regular basis and meet only with people that understand or energize me. That is all I can take.

Still the anger and stress is getting to me.

Then my husband joins me on the front porch this morning, sharing his thoughts with me.  I am blessed with a husband who always strives to be better, who has the ability to SEE and always desires to be Compassionate and have Love.  He reminds me that we don’t want to become indifferent to our boy.  That we do not want to loose our compassion for him.  That our disappointment or anger can not take over.  We have to remember where he comes from, his reasons for his rollercoasters and getting out of control.  We have to keep working with his brokenness and let God fill us with Hope.  I start shaking my head as if to say yes yes yes. And even though my anger is trying to hold me back, I know Tim is right!  I realize it is okay that I am not fully pursuing this boy, that it’ll come back to me… I can take space for me, at the same time I can foster compassion and love.

So I get still even more… just trying to sit in God’s presence who in mysterious ways fills me up and changes me. Compassion will come back, love will overtake once again, I don’t have to worry about it.  We will always strive to be better!

 

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Art by Jean Keaton

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From special to glorious

I wish, I wish, I wish I could have taken pictures last night. Instead I just took in the most precious moment. Imagine your children gathering around YOU as parents, to pray for you! That is what happened last night…

We had our annual Last Day of Summer ~ First Day of School Dinner Party last night.  It is nothing big but just another reason for a party.  And I want to make this special, special attention for our season changing and children growing. With that come some small gifts that are suited for the new school year and more importantly, personal notes from mom and dad.

It was fun, and endearing.  Our girl starting COLLEGE, feeling like she’s not alone and huge joy over what seems a small gift. But we knew what she wanted and so her joy was great. Probably because we just paid enough attention to her small desires.  Boy 1… we are there!!  We got him a shaving kit because it is time.  Today dad will teach him.  We could no longer let him go to High School without taking care of those furry hairs under his chin and the dark mustache on top.  Boy 2, was he in for a big surprise… Freshman’s we give locker fillers like emergency foods when sugar is dropping, things that make you smell good like deodorant, and chapstick and tissues for the winter.  But in the very bottom of his new lunch bag was a PHONE.  He’s been begging for it since he came to us but with life being complicated enough we did not want to add any complications, and adding a phone brings stress, fights and discussions.  We were not ready until now.  So his gift was actually huge and as it was unwrapped tears flowed richly, for him and me.  So precious.

We moved from outside to inside for dessert and before we devoured that, Tim gave time to pray for each and every child. Our girl going first, and I called on the boys… “Listen to the Spirit” I said, “See, what He may want to say through you” and we prayed.  And down the line we went to pray for Boy 1 and lastly Boy 2.  I was amazed when all 3 jumped in to pray for one another, and some things were right on when it came to encouraging each other.  After praying, something did not feel finished to me, I felt that maybe it was time for Tim and me to humble ourselves and get very small in front of God, asking Him for help, asking for Him to continue to grow us in the roll of parenthood.  But something stopped me and we sat in silence. That is when Boy 1 stood up.  He told Tim and me to sit down in the ‘hot seat’ as he wanted to pray for US. He gathered his siblings, their hands on us as each took a turn to praise God for us.  They praised God for finally knowing love, for their healing and growth since being part of our family.  For having parents who do not give up and always believing in them.  And then they prayed for energy: “God, please give them energy to keep doing what they are doing for us.”  We were all emotional for we all felt the depth of the moment.

I realize we are a crazy bunch, I also realize we are a very special bunch.  Being surrounded by these 3 precious hearts who have it in them to make a special evening into a glorious one!  And then we turned on music and we danced danced danced…

 

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Respite in my Sanctuary

I have organized respite for boy 1.  He does not like me to call it respite for he has many bad memories when it comes to respite. I explain to him that it’s time to give respite a positive connotation.  After all, he is not being send away, this respite is because HE can request a respite; when he is so tired of life, tired of the hard work he constantly has to put in in order to be part of a family. He gets exhausted and then behavior gets too painful for all of us.  We have learned to give him space, and a place where there are no ‘have to’s’ and he can just be.

So off he went yesterday, at the same time when I was supposed to have my time away from life.  I was scheduled for time in my Sanctuary, something I try to do on a regular basis.  I go to this cute little cottage where I get quiet, I don’t see anyone, I don’t speak out loud, and I practice sitting in the presence of God.

As I arrived I was still working on the respite for boy 1, this was an unexpected circumstance that was trailing behind me. But even before this current circumstance, I knew I was going to arrive tired and full the begin with.  I had already let myself know I was there to rest.  For me, being quiet turns out to be work, it is not easy to let all feelings and thoughts just pass. And so, I told myself I should just read novels instead of study books,  And I could sleep the time away.  I also brought my computer this time, so I could have fellowship with friends overseas who were long due for a special devoted connect time. And I ended up binge watching some things I had not seen for over a year, something I just can’t do in daily life.  But… it didn’t feel like rest.

I started to ponder on God’s love for me, as I am.  Was it really that hard to know He loves me, even in this?  In the not seeking Him in obvious ways, in the not using this Sanctuary the way I usually do.  Why is it so hard to be loved as is?  And I realize why I don’t rest.  I can’t have peace about being here in this amazing place and not use it for what it is made for, in my opinion.  I really do not believe it, I really cannot grasp His love for me… as is!

And I think of boy 1, who I’ve encouraged to get away so he does not have to talk to us, so he does not have any ‘to do’s’ like doing dishes or cleaning up after himself, so he can just be a couch potato and rest.  I love him none the less.  I might show him my love even stronger because I am the one setting this up, because I am the one guiding him to what he needs, because I am the one that makes it okay to not talk to us right now and not be capable of doing anything but breathing.  My love is nothing less!  I cover him in my prayers and love from a distance, knowing very well what he needs. I tend to him.

I can be confident that God is tending to me.  I might not even have the energy to think about it just like boy 1 is probably not thinking about me and my love for him right now.  I might be far away of feeling His love just like boy 1 is probably only feeling defeated, alone, lost and plain tired right now.  I am still here, still tending to him just like God is tending to me.

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The time he held my hand

We had gone through a rough set of weeks. I was feeling weak and yet I knew that what I was enduring was for the benefit of our boys. Boy 1 had been challenging and was in a season where he was out to hurt me. There are times he looks back and admits: “Yes, my goal was to hurt you.” We were there. We were making our way out of it but it always takes time for me to recover. And I was emotional as I healed from the season.

It was lent season and during the season of lent church decided to committing to pray for our children. But this Sunday was different. The worship leader said that today we would not pray for the children, instead we would pray for those taking care of the children, the parents. At that moment boy 1 reached for my hand as the worship leader prayed. I cried as I took in the prayer that was for me. The prayer that, due to my son’s hand around mine, was going deep into my soul. Our son saw me, and with holding my hand he was saying: “Mom, you are a good mom.”

After the prayer we went back to singing and boy 1 just fell into my arms and we both cried. It is quite incredible for a 16 year old boy to fall into his momma’s arms and letting go of pain and regrets. Feeling the toughness of life, and choosing to share it with me. It was incredible and I understand that what we have going is indeed unique and special.

More of this God, more…

 

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Call us crazy

We are expanding our family. Last night we celebrated our last dinner as a family of 4. We looked back, we looked ahead and we spoke about how we are scared.

What we are doing seems truly crazy. But, we can’t help it.  The brothers have a sister, and she needs a home. And we want to be that home. How can we not?

That girl is something special too and during the duration of 2017 we have bonded with her. 5 short months has created a calling. Boy 2 has his sister back. They went through darkness together and a very special bond was created during it. Boy 2 had to deal with the loss of his big brother, and because sis was around, it made the incredible loss somewhat bearable. Boy 2 feels complete, like boy 1 felt complete with him. For boy 1… this is a dream come true. It started with him, he set this train in motion and now he gets to rebuild what was stolen from him. He has expanded this family and we are blessed.

The road will be hard. When we had that girl over for spring break it was cause for great emotions. Past was called to the front, loss was remembered and the new dynamic of nothing being the same yet happy to be together again was rather confusing for the boys.  But we fought through it, we all did. But we are not kidding ourselves. We are not taking this lightly. We are gearing up for battle. When we get through it, we will all be better, we will have conquered and left behind.  We have our support networks lined up. People are praying and the therapist is ready!

Tim and I will need to soar on the prayers of those around us. We too will go through valleys again. We have done it once, we are doing it twice, and while in the middle of the roller coaster with boy 2, we add this dynamic. Yes, it is crazy.

This morning I awoke before the birds sang a single song. I thought to pray and all I could pray about was the powerful ‘God healing’ happening in our home. The love that is going around, the love the boys are now passing along to their sister, this is a calling on the whole family. The past 2 weeks especially, us 4 have all stepped in. We have all worked hard to literally create space in our home for that girl. A room was build. Setting up walls and painting was done. Family meals were cooked together. A trip to Ikea was made. Savings were felt as money needed to go towards that girl. We have been blessed through this process of combined effort. The family of 4 is stronger because of it, and even for that, this was totally worth it.

“Oh God, we will be Your channel. We will love and we want your healing to move through us. Give these siblings life. Give back to them. Help them heal. Help them persevere. Help them be special beings to this world as they come through deep valleys. Let them rise on top, all three of them.”

 

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