Tuesday, August 20, 2013

twas the night before school starts...

Hey, did you hear that school starts tomorrow? I love the beginning of the school year, not only because my house can stay clean for seven minutes instead of three, but also the excitement! New shoes and new haircuts and ROUTINE! Our house can go back to a finely oiled machine instead of the frat house it becomes over the summer. Now with five kids starting back, I start preparing early. No procrastinating! By this past weekend I had bought 132 glue sticks and enough tissues for a hospital and at least ten one direction themed items. I was pretty proud of myself for being so on top of things! Until Monday...when I realized Esme has to wear uniforms at preschool. Complicated by the fact that nobody makes uniforms in 2T because when on earth does such a tiny person need a uniform? No worries...we'll just throw something together and I'll shop this weekend. Then I realize that somehow I forgot to get left handed scissors for Aliyah. I'll just run by Wal-Mart on my way to work today! Can I just say that they should warn people that going to the school supply section in Wal-Mart the day before school starts is like wandering into a den of angry wolves? Or maybe a crack house? Or possibly a den of angry crackheads? But I got the scissors. It's gonna be smooth sailing from here on out. I went to work and got home around 6:30. Now keep in mind, theMr is still at work also. That means the house looks like it should be condemned and the kids are VERY excited about tomorrow...which translates into running around screaming and punching each other. It's now 7pm and all I have left to do is bathe five kids/find the storage bin of uniforms/iron the uniforms because apparently I packed them away unfolded and they now look like homeless people's clothes/pack lunches/paint tiny nails/and get them settled down and to sleep before midnight. Easy peasy! But after all the chaos, I'm kissing little cheeks and saying bedtime prayers and reminded why I do all of this when Esme says to me, in her sweet little voice,
"I hope I learn where stinkers come from at preschool tomorrow!" 

happy first day of school from our family to yours :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

concerning the children...

Hey friends!  I've had a few people lately asking why I haven't talked about my kids here in a long time. I'd like to address that. Basically, my kids are older now. They have their own stories to tell that are not mine to share. I feel that I need to respect their privacy. For many years, this blog filled a void for me as I was home raising (lots!) Of young children. But as its evolved, I've come to realize more and more my childrens need for privacy. So I've pretty much moved to only sharing my own experiences. It's all I really have the right to share. I'm not saying I'll never talk about the kids again, but it won't be my focus. I've also had comments about my lack of posts. It is what it is. I write when I feel strongly there is something I need to say. My days of blogging my every day are long gone. While I still have moments that I feel compelled to share a piece of my journey, they are fewer and farther between. I share a lot about my personal life on Facebook, which is all people I know in real life. I just don't feel the need to share those details in a public forum. So that's about it. Thanks for asking!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

one year

this post has been brewing in my mind for weeks... and every time the Lord said "write it", i said "i can't". then i go to church today and the whole message was to share  your God story. i get that, i love that. but i have resisted because my story is not a warm fuzzy one. it's not a finished testimony with a bow on it. it's a story still in process. but here it goes...

i've been reflecting lately how much can change in a year. in April 2012, i was in a very different place. i was preparing to quit my daycare business of ten years to pursue my dream of safe families. i was excited, passionate and sure of the road before me. this was my destiny, what i was created to do. i had just gotten a hebrew tattoo on my arm that says "He turned my mourning into dancing, my sorrow into joy". i naively thought it was a testament to my past. i had no idea it was a glimpse into my future. i thought all of the ducks in my life were in a row. little did i know that events were transpiring, unbenownst to me, that would change the course of my future. i was coasting along, so sure of my path. i was forming a board and meeting with local social service agencies and getting people excited for the vision. fast forward to august... my world crashed in a way i never saw coming.  one moment in time, one shocking discovery and it all fell apart. my life, my marriage, my mental health, my sanity. i found myself facing a darkness like nothing i had experienced before. to say it was overwhelming does not do justice. for the first time in my 20 years with Jesus i wanted to die. i just wanted the pain to stop, in whatever way possible. in the pit of that agony, i was angry. angry at Eli, angry at myself but more than anything...angry at God. how could He let this happen to me? where was He? i had spent so many years trying so hard to follow him, to obey him, to do what he told me...and this is where it got me.  my pride blinded my vision so deeply all i could do was ask Him why? i spent days and weeks raging at Him. i mean really raging. i yelled at him, i begged him, He remained silent. in all honesty, maybe He was speaking but my rage was so loud i could no longer hear him. i don't know. as i tried to put the pieces of myself back together, i found myself starting to heal but my anger at the Lord remained. i couldn't shake it. over and over i asked him WHY? over and over... silence.  i've believed my whole life that He doesn't allow us any suffering that can't be for His glory. i was desperately trying to cling to that truth when it was the antithesis of what i was feeling.
     so one day i was driving home from a women's Bible study that i didn't want to be at and i didn't want to hear. i was listening to music while esme chattered in the back. i was overcome with rage. i said out loud "how could you do this to me?" and in His still small voice, when i was quiet enough to hear, He spoke.
"what if I used your greatest nightmare to be the thing that set you free?"
i was so stunned by that response i had to pull over my car. is that what happened? was i being set free from a bondage i didn't even know imprisoned me?
i was. 
i was being set free from the chains of codependancy. i was being set free from the fear of abandonment. i was being set free by a God that loved me too much to let me keep going the way i was. 

in that life-changing moment i realized that sometimes God lets it all fall apart so He can put it back together in a way only He knows how. a peace washed over me that i had not felt in a long, long time. i wept with thankfulness. he gave me a tiny glimpse of the forest through the trees. he allowed me a glimpse of what he was making me into and what he had delivered me from. and it was beautiful.

i wish i could tell you that it was smooth sailing from then on. it wasn't. it has been so hard, finding my way back. it is a process that at times i have longed to end. it has been filled with moments of doubt, fear and steps backward. but through it all, He has carried me in a way i have never experienced before. He has shown his majesty in the broken pot that is my heart.

i'm not there yet. we still have work to do. there are still far too many days where i am overcome with fear and anxiety. when i revert to my old coping mechanisms. when i forget.

but those days are fewer and the darkness is not so dark anymore. when they come, i recite truth to myself and meditate on it instead of the lies my mind is feeding me. i surround myself with his praise when my emotions are betraying me. i soak myself in His word when the world is screaming "you're not going to make it!"

i find that i am no longer the person i was a year ago. i am prone to tears, i am humbled by my own failures, i am no longer sure of my path. but i have a hope that was missing for so long. i have a peace that transcends the chaos that is often my life. i have dancing, sometimes sprinkled with mourning.

this is just a piece of my God story, a tiny morsel of the tapestry He is weaving of my life.  it is not the end, really a beginning. as my mother told me as a child..."Abby, don't write the ending to a story God is not finished with." 

He is not finished with me.

Praise Jesus He is not finished with me.