Pure Joy

… when you find this on your porch !MaddyChristine Hope Photography-7101.L

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Grateful for the fight

But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
Psalm 52:8

Yesterday Tim and I got talking about how good it is to have something to fight for!  From the beginning of our lives, we both learned how to fight quickly so we just do not know life without a fight.  And now that life is good for both of us, we see ourselves fighting again, in lots of different ways, for lots of different things.  And it wasn’t till yesterday that we stood still and realized the blessing of a good fight.  We just can’t imagine living life without having something to fight for.

The blessing is that the fight is hard, and we can’t fight alone.  We are required to spend time with God daily to get our focus, our strength, wisdom, to get care for our heart.  And that is such an amazing thing.  Any fight is hard, and painful, and a great source of stress.  It takes energy and to sit in my car last night being filled with God’s presence is such an amazing thing.  I just can describe it, you have to live it to understand.  And all I could do was praise over and over again: God, thank you for being faithful to my heart!

I write this post in honor of my friend Vicky , who fights a good fight.  Her fight, like so many, is pretty unfair, yet, she won’t tell you that.  Vicky only speaks of how good God is in the fight!!

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Treasure in Jars of Clay

MaddyChristine Hope Photography-4610.Scripture

Not crushed, not in despair, not abandoned, not destroyed.

I am sitting on the plane, back from Haiti, and taking in these words.  It has been an unbelievably hard week and I need to read those words over and over again.  God is allowing me to be hard pressed on every side, he is allowing me to be perplexed and persecuted and He saw me get struck down.  And he is bringing me to this: His promise that I always carry with me the death of Jesus.  Death is at work in me, so that life can be at work in you (those around me).

I am to be a source of life.  It takes determination, selflesness, constant forgiveness to be a source of life in the midst of the hatred, brokenness, and cruelty I have been through this past week.  At times, I doubt I can do this.  But God brings me back to this treasure I have because of Him.

I do not know the outcome.  I just want to believe it can be done: Every child from a hard place can heal!!

We are back in the therapist’s office as soon as we are home.  I am ready to reconcile and love but I have to wait for our boy to ‘break’.  The question is not: Do we want to keep him?  The question is: Does he want a family?  Does he want us?  And if so, will he submit to the natural authority that parents have over a child?  Will he let himself learn to love and be loved?

Please pray for what we are trying to do in our home.  Please pray for our boy, he is in desperate need for rescue but he has got to submit.  Pray he CAN maintain in a home and accept love.  Pray he stops resisting out of pure trauma and brokenness.  Please pray for perseverance for Tim and myself.  Pray we WILL BE Christ like and continue to know and feel we will not be crushed, in despair, abandoned or destroyed.  This all-surpassing power is from God.  In Him it is possible.  Pray for Hope!

I love that you are here and I would certainly love to hear from you.  To leave a comment go HERE ! ~ Also, be sure to check back in (or sign up for ‘Notify me of new comments’) because I may have left you a word or two in response ~

Coffee for the Heart is a place where we just see ourselves sitting down for coffee and sharing, accept it is on the internet, never the less it is very real.  Go HERE for more stories!


The roller coaster

UnknownPicture a roller coaster.  You are on it.  You go up, you go down, you even go upside down.  And there is no way to control any of it.  You can’t skip the part where you go upside down, there is no getting out, and you certainly cannot get to the controls. It is impossible to get out midstream to push the stop button or let it go faster through the lower parts or stop at the top so you can enjoy the view.  The only thing you can do is ride it out and trust the person who manages the controls.

We are on such a roller coaster ride.  Our emotions are like the roller coaster.  The journey with our boy is hard and painful.

However, our boy is booking great progress.  In the midst of crises he can now put his head on my arm.  Just for a few seconds but it is there.  We can tell his heart is healing, slowly.  Today I realize again that working out brokenness hurts.  We cannot expect our boy to heal without a battle.

Last week when I sat with Jesus He reminded me that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.  But there is no easy at the moment so somehow I am doing something not quite right.  All I could do in that moment was see the roller coaster and just breath through it.  There is no easy in our home but RESTORATION is written all over us.

I realize that I am doing so much caring for, that sometimes I feel like a little girl and I need some caring for me.  Because the journey is so crazy and unpredictable, my head has been full, my nights are broken, and my body is weak.  In that, it has been incredibly hard to sit and be still with God.  I was too consumed.  And all this when I know all too well I cannot do this in my own strength.  I stopped to look at my needs and I stopped to look at God’s work.

So just sitting with “My yoke is easy and My burden is light” gives me peace.  It might not be much, but maybe all I need to do is sit in it.  Without answers.  I need some care and God is the best person to turn to.  And since, I have put up pictures in our home, pictures that remind me why we do all of this.  Photos of high moments with our boy: the photo that tells me of the first time we took him to the beach and how priceless that was, the photo that reminds me of the moving speech he held at his 8th grade graduation ceremony that made parents, students and teachers cry, the memory of our boy setting up table in the middle of two rooms so he could be with both me and Tim at the same time.  I need to remember who God is in all this, why we are doing what we are doing and when I do that my eyes lift to Daddy and my yoke has just become easier and my burden got lighter.


I love that you are here and I would certainly love to hear from you.  To leave a comment go HERE !                                        ~ Also, be sure to check back in (or sign up for ‘Notify me of new comments’) because I may have left you a word or two in response ~

Coffee for the Heart is a place where we just see ourselves sitting down for coffee and sharing, accept it is on the internet, never the less it is very real.  Go HERE for more stories!


A sincere question

I have been wondering if my walk with our boy is extra hard for me because of my past.  Is it this painful because of the pain I have seen before?  Is it so hard because I am still broken?  There is no answer yet, I am just sincerely putting this question out there and wait for the outcome.

It is a question I have asked our therapist, and I did so again last week.  Our therapist, who is awesome!!!!, said she never answers questions for clients and then she got quiet… She said she had a strong feeling about it and withholding it didn’t serve anything, so she told me.  Like she told me last time.

She believes that because of my past, because of my pain, I relate to our boy in a way he very much needs.  Besides my husband being awesome, we are also making progress because I understand our boy so well.  I don’t question his attitude, his behavior because I know he hurts and that is where it is coming from.  And our boy needs someone to hurt with him.  It is how he connects. And right now, he needs to inflict pain on someone else, he hurts and so someone else will.  It’s just part of the process.  And I carry the pain well because I am familiar with pain.  I know it all sounds so crazy but she did a good job explaining the psyche that I understand so well at times.  To continue, he also needs to hurt someone as he tries to trust. He is wanting to see what I do when he hurts me.  Will I go away?  Am I able to handle it?  Will I go crazy?  Will I say he is a bad kid with problems?  Will I send him away?  And beyond that, he is looking to see what I do with my pain.  He has never had a good model.  What does someone do when he/she hurts.  His eyes are on me.

And so all the pain I am feeling is not necessarily bad.  It feels AWFUL yes, but it is needed.  And allllll my years of hard work, of therapy are paying off.  I can handle the pain.  I do not walk away from it or pretend it is not there.  I might get quiet, I withdraw at times, but I always will address what is going on inside.  I share with those around me.  So our boy sees I do not inflict pain on others just because I hurt.  I take care of myself and he sees it.

Our therapist believes our boy knows I have had a rough past.  He recognizes things in me he doesn’t recognize in people often.  Some how he has figured out I got better, he just doesn’t know how and he is watching me.

So that day last week, I walked away with more peace.  I do not have to worry about my past and I don’t have to be insecure about hurting our boy when I hurt so much in our current circumstances.  It is my past that makes this work.  And whenever I forget, I just go back to the therapist and let her tell me again…

No matter how painful or broken a past… God can always put it to good use.  Would I trade my past if I could?  Absolutely! Can I?  There is no way!  But God does write beautiful stories with those dark pasts.


I love that you are here and I would certainly love to hear from you.  To leave a comment go HERE !


I forgot

‘I am barely holding on’, that is what I have been saying the last few weeks.  It felt like no one really understood the debt of what I was saying.  Even the therapist, she and friends have been telling me we are doing great.  That we are doing an awesome job in this trial with our boy.  But all I felt was exhaustion and emotions.  I was barely hanging on.

We are constantly trying to read our boy.  When he behaves a certain way we are constantly processing our best next move. When he is angry we try to find ways to love him, and we certainly try to control our feelings and anger.  It’s not an easy thing but we do not want to mess up and so we invest, invest, invest in doing the right thing and not become angry.  When our boy is disconnecting from us, our house turns into this place of tension that is sometimes unbearable.  We have to be okay with this uncomfortable feeling.  We have to be okay with our boy either loving us, or hating us.  For now, there is nothing in between.  And it changes all the time.

Today I was reminded that God’s yoke is easy and His burden is light.  Boy, it has not felt like that at all.

I forgot.  I stopped seeing.  Seeing the truth.  Seeing God’s work.  Seeing God’s call on our life.  I am a hundred percent sure that God chose us for this boy.  And we ARE doing an amazing job with him.  And our behavior, in many ways, shows Jesus. I really feel we are being Jesus and it is so very powerful.  We are SO determined to be the difference for our boy.  We constantly remind ourselves that our boy is hurting and broken and he’s been through too much.  That is the reason for the hardship, not the boy himself.  It’s his past that get’s ‘in the way’.  So when he yells three days straight, we try to keep it together and speak with calm voices.  When he ignores me I still will speak to him and reach out knowing he is not going to even give me a glimpse.  I still make him his lattes that he loves, knowing it will go to waste because on bad days he will refuse anything I do for him.  And Jesus has given us the honor to be like Him.

But it is hard work.  It is exhausting.  My body aches and faints (literally) because I am drained.  I cry, oh I cry a lot.  Tim and I, we are working hard to hold hands through it all and not turn against each other.  Our margins are gone and if we do not watch it, we will no longer be a good team.  So we find ways to do life in the midst of all this: we ask friends to come over on days that it is hard, we go out for drinks at a bar close to us, or we just visit a batting cage and play together.  There is still life in the midst of battle.  What a precious gift to have.

Today I thought about the cross.  Jesus was never able to reach heaven without the pain of the cross.  And He could not suffer the cross without knowing what was beyond the cross, heaven and life for all.  There is no way our boy can heal without getting through all the fear, the doubt and pain.  And there is no way we will be a family without us going through the tests and the rejection of this hurting boy.  We have to let it be okay that we hurt before we get to a better place.  And very important is that we do not forget to look beyond our now.  We know where we are headed.  This boy has a great chance of healing his heart and someday even being able to do relationships to the point he can even care for a wife.  He has great desires to one day be married and have 4 children.  He is convinced that he will be a great dad.  And we are convinced that if he stays with the hard work now, that one day, yes, he will make us into very proud grandparents.

So today Jesus let me see again.  He reminded me of the bigger picture.  He reminded me that He has picked our home for this boy to heal.  He reminded me that the future is worth getting through the pain now.  He reminded me of the privilege to be Jesus like.  We just have to remember the bigger picture.


I love that you are here and I would certainly love to hear from you.  To leave a comment go HERE !                                        ~ Also, be sure to check back in (or sign up for ‘Notify me of new comments’) because I may have left you a word or two in response ~