Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Telling Your Inner Monologue to Shut Up (and a Little Bit of Rock 'n' Roll)

Oh, I was growling, bleary eyed and  ready to take on the world with a scream of a very angry goat. (Hey, have you ever heard them mad?)  Waking to jobs that weren't done and a mess where it had just been clean, I was weary.

We had planned this day for awhile though.  It was our annual (ok, as of two years) pilgrimage to a large outdoor ALL DAY Christian music concert.

I grumbled as I got the kids ready, the younger in matching shirts and ID bracelets.  I growled as I put up hair up and made special little braids.  I rebelled as I gathered bags and camping chairs, coolers and a canopy.

I texted my friend.  "I am in such a bad mood.  Pray for me please."

I didn't smile easily, but I knew in my heart that the battered and weary feeling would abate when the praise abounded.


I knew the music would make my "bearishness" (Kat Dictionary) ease (at least a little bit...I hoped...I REALLY REALLY HOPED).

Who could resist the praise (to Steven Curtis Chapman) of a formally institutionalized son, knowing the 
neglect and abuse he suffered.

Who could not crack up at that little face as she danced for 
all of us.

Part of me fought it.  I wanted to be in a bad mood.  The day was hot and humid...the "Stick me with a fork I'm done Kentucky Fried" hot and humid.

But this little girl....


...and this little boy...

and these girls....


touched this Mommy's heart.

I had been fighting and inner battle. I will tell you the truth.  I don't know of many who aren't battle worn and weary right now.

I found myself giving the same lecture over and over again (to myself).  Actually, I'm not sure it was a lecture.  It was more of an order..."LISTEN.TO.ME"

#1-"I don't have to understand what God is doing.  If I understood everything God was doing, He wouldn't be the All Knowing Mighty Stunning God He is.  I would be relegating him to something small enough for me to understand.

#2- "Take captive my inner monologue."

It's the second one that may need a little explaining.

I'm finding most of us have a voice in our head.

No, not the "Your just jealous because the little voices are talking to me" kind.

It's our own voice...our own voice that tries to plan the steps of God.
"If I do this, this may happen and I will reply this way."
"I bet this is happening, shoot."
"It's my fault this happened."

Though the inner monologue can give us something to do and be fairly entertaining (laughing), it can keep us from truly throwing your hands up in the air and saying, "God, I don't understand, but it's all yours."

So I've been telling my inner monologue to shut up lately. 
(My children would all gasp that Mommy said shut up.)  

That's what I'm having to do though.  That's what I had to do this day.


I silenced the inner monologue.  I enjoyed head banging to TobyMac with my husband and kids.

(You should have seen them.  Seriously "into it" rockin' out!)


I told the voice in my head to shut up and enjoyed being with friends.


I gave up knowing.  I gave up understanding.  I gave it all up to God.

For those of you struggling to understand, I get it.  I really do, but there are many things we are not supposed to.  We can't figure it out.  God is much bigger than that and the inner monologue does no use except bring a feeling of anxiety and defeat.

“Who has known the mind of the Lord
    so as to instruct him?” I Corinthians 2:16a

I am right there throwing my hands up with you.  It's okay though, God does understand and He can handle it.



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My friend Betsy shared this thought with me today.  I thought making a visual was the way to go.


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Family Update:
Sarah spent today creating "Save the Date" cards for her wedding in a few months.  We are really needing to get on the ball. The time is coming up quick.

Benjamin has now been home over two years.  At the concert, with a thumbs up from our Occupational Therapist, we use a animal backpack on him with a tail made for us to hold on to.  He is a runner, strong, and used to be indiscriminate in who he went with.  This backpack gives him more freedom and is really about his safety.  At the concert, as they were walking to get food, my husband just held onto the tale to give Ben this freedom.  As he walked through a crowd, Ben reached up and grabbed his hand and held on tight.  THIS IS HUGE! He sought safety from his daddy.  LOVE IT!!!!

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Therapy and the Shepard Speaking


It has been such a amazing experience to sit in therapy with Benjamin.  I do it weekly.  Just me and my little man....

Ben at Speech therapy with Ms. Jessica.  

He come so far.

Our Occupational Therapist has set new goals.

Our Feeding Therapist (Ben does not chew) is creative and we have seen beginning signs of Ben trying to mimic chewing.

Our Speech Therapist has Ben using signs more, two signs at a time, giving Ben more picture choices successfully to communicate his needs.  We even started the VERY beginning of seeing how Ben will do on an IPAD speech program.

This little guy went from a life of total neglect, to a life of hope.

It had me thinking, "What if we had not listened to God, but man?"

There are so many times that would be easy to do.  Going against the flow of the waters is hard, scary, it feels like you are going to drown at times.

A friend texted me this (from Hinds Feet in High Places) when I was heading out this morning.

Shepard speaking: "...believe me, when you get to the places which you dread you will find they are as different as possible from what you imagined, just as was the case when you were actually ascending  the precipice."

I ponder the drug withdrawal Ben went through.  I realize how things "could have been".  Instead we have come through fire to the other side.  We don't know what honing the future holds, but we know (as our family expands) that we will follow our Heavenly Father through whatever furnace we need to walk through.

Again, I have to post this quote below.

“But God doesn't call us to be comfortable. He calls us to trust Him so completely that we are unafraid to put ourselves in situations where we will be in trouble if He doesn't come through.”  
           Francis Chan~Crazy Love


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Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Husband


He's my best friend, my fairy tale, my love, my groom.

He's a father that doesn't claim perfection, but loves his children to distraction.


They joined us today to celebrate their father.

Sarah and Ivan (her fiance) being goofy
They didn't plan this, but still made faces when the camera came up.  My getting even? Posting it....bwahahahahaa.

Rachel, Jael, and Gabriel

Anna, Sarah, and Ivan
He threw a napkin over Sarah's head at the last second and Anna was impressed.

Tom and Elizabeth, his girlfriend (with Bekah photo bombing).  He was dressed 
for work.  I mention that because this shirt makes 
my retina's burn.  Bwahahaa...sorry Tom! (Kinda)

My husband loves (and messes with) all his family (and extended family).

Thomas and my Mom

My brother Steve and our Max


The older I get (and the longer I am married) the more I realize how much responsibility a husband holds.

It's been an honor growing with my other half and watching him become more of a man of God.  He listens to our Heavenly Father with less fear, follows Him quicker, and desires to follow Him more.

The last twenty-two years knowing him has been an honor.  The last twenty-one years of marriage has been a privilege.

Happy Father's Day to a man who doesn't choose the easy path, but the one that always ends up the most beautiful.

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 To My Daddy,
   
It's been seventeen years since I heard your voice.  I miss you.

There are many days I still get tears in my eyes (and smile) as I long to hear you call me "Turkey" or "Wart".

I love you Daddy.
Shooting was a big part of my daddy's free time.  I think I was
around five the first time he took me.  
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The last three weeks have been full of extreme highs and some rough lows.  Thank you for all the prayers as we go forward.

Several I know are hurting right now.  Many have lost children and several have lost fathers.  Please hug, love, and pray for those in your life who may not have an easy Father's Day today.

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Saturday, June 20, 2015

The First Road Trip

I'm about done in tonight.  We've traveled about eight hours in the van today.  Midday we hit the 1000th mile in the Mobile Ark.

Today we traveled about four hours to one of the cities where my husband grew up.  A matter a fact it's where my husband and I met and his father now lives.

This van...wow....

(Don't I sound profound?)

My friend calls it the party van.  I have to admit it feels a little like that after today.  Don't worry, we're not changing the name from the "Mobile Ark", but the room in this van alone...wow.
The row in front of Anna (who is cracking up) and Jael is where Ben's sits.  It's a row of three seats behind my husband and I.  I couldn't get it in the picture.  That is five rows (including the driver).  The van is THAT big.

It's blurry, but is typical of our crew.

We made it (after a spoiled and luxurious trip) to visit my father-in-law and his girlfriend Maryanne.  We don't make it up there a ton, but love EVERY MINUTE!!!  We actually got to sneak in a flash visit to our friends Alan and Jen (and their sons Jacob and Andrew) and then ran to visit "since I was a kid" friends Mike and Lisa.    It really was a good trip.


Three generations (missing Tom though, he had to work)


My brain is now shutting down.  Though this is not unusual, this time it's because of very little sleep.  I am now going to ........zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

The End

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Friday, June 19, 2015

A Visit


Yesterday...yesterday was awesome!

I was able to meet a long time friend (through adoption) in real life.  (No, she's not imaginary.)

She was the first to wade through the deep difficult legal waters of bringing a child home from the rural institution where Ben and Jonathan were.  (Oh Aaron, someday I will be able to meet him.  He's her precious son from Eastern Europe.)  They also just brought home their new son John from Eastern Europe as well.  Forget it, I want to meet her whole family!

They are in the midst of circling the wagons and the transition from institutional life.

Yet here she was at my back door.  Happy sigh...



There are just so many of you I long to hug in real life.

I was so thankful I got to squeeze one in with Julia Nalle.


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