Monday, June 30, 2014

Day 378 Prayer Request

Please pray for more energy to help my little ones navigate through the day.

Marie (Momma to 4)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Barefoot and Surrendered

Sometimes I am forced to just stop and breathe.

The sign posted at the Baptist church on the path to worship this morning read:

"God can use your greatest weakness as His greatest strength."

Yes, He can use this weakness.

The Warrior Daddy has been gone for almost 31 hours now, and the punishment began about 28 hours ago.  This Momma is tired, cranky, and a bit shaky as my weaknesses are screaming all kinds of you-are-not worthy phrases into my heart.

By His grace, we arrived at church this morning.  But, family worship proved a bit too much for my three sensory seekers.  After two unscheduled trips to the bathroom for two intense chats, a pair of shoes flung into the pew in front of us, an all out slap fight over a little pencil, and three loud meltdowns, this Momma grabbed her beloveds and exited the building.

Amazingly, the ride home seemed like an exhale to my girls, as their bodies just relaxed and enjoyed the victory of freedom.

And my heart flamed abaze with hurt. 

The pressure to keep tugging at my bootstraps is intense, but the whisper to slip off my boots and dare to relax in my bare feet is gently inviting me to surrender,...

...and, it is the Sabbath.

We have been home now for about an hour.  The man-child has retreated to his basement, while legos and hotwheel cars have invaded the living room and bedroom floors.

In surrender, they are occupying themselves, and He is speaking loudly to this weary soul. 

Bare feet and a surrendered heart can bring rest.

"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

Day 377 Prayer Request

Please pray for our child's transition back home from time with grandma.

Marie (Momma to 3)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Day 376 Prayer Request

Please pray for transition home from vacation with tired kids.

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 375 Prayer Request

Please pray she will regulate her body and make good choices during stressful times.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day 374 Prayer Request

Please pray for me to not grow weary.

Annette (Momma to many)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Pray for Shepherd

Please pray for Shepherd and his family.  Shepherd is struggling for his life right now.

Day 373 Prayer Request

Please pray for wisdom concerning our child's behavior and discipline.

Ann (Momma to 5)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

He is the Rock

"The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold."
Psalm 18:2
"For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock,
except our God?"
Psalm 18:31

Day 372 Prayer Request

Please pray for me to speak words of love.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Monday, June 23, 2014

Day 371 Prayer Request

Please pray for us as we see if another adoption is still the path God wants for us.

Marie (Momma to 4)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Day 370 Prayer Request

Please pray for peace and encouragement.

Jane (Momma to 2)

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Day 369 Prayer Request

Please pray that God will speak truth and love into our daughter's heart.

Ann (Momma to 6)

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hope is a tree of life...

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12

Who has time to listen to the birds in the early morn?  Watch the cotton float gently across a crystal blue sky?  Notice the baby new growth sprouting under shade of the ash?

"Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul,
'Therefore I hope in Him!'"
Lamentations 3:22-24

I am making time, and He is speaking.

His love is the lavish kind. 

Hope in Him. 

Day 368 Prayer Request

Please pray for a great vacation with the kids.

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day 367 Prayer Request

Please pray for my child to have a good visit with her grandma and that it will be a sweet visit for both of them. 

Marie (Momma to 3)

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Spewing Curse Word

I watch her intently. 

I can't help myself, she is fascinating.

She spewed out that profanity five times in a row within eight feet of me.  She used that word in context.  Then, she looked me right in the eyes and smiled.

My mind wondered:

Did she know it was wrong?

And, if she did know, was she really that hungry for attention, even negative attention? 

Or, was she like I used to be as a child, trying to be "big", walking around in my sin without really knowing it was so bad?

"Arise, cry out in the night,
At the beginning of the watches.
Pour out your heart like water
before the face of the Lord.
Lift your hands toward Him
For the life of your young children,
Who faint from hunger at the head of every street."
Lamentations 2:19

He is challenging me to parakupto search, look deeply, into her. 

He is asking me to not just notice, but to really see.

I have to cry out, at night and at the very break of dawn.  It may seem a little drama-queen like, but I have to puncture my heart and let it's contents flow fresh and open before His throne. 

What does she need?  I find myself weary in her constant brokenness. 

When will I see results from all my redirecting? 

Will I try and try in vain? 

More times than I care to admit, I find myself so angry I don't even know how to muster up the strength to choose to be nice to her broken, little frame.  She travels from one bad choice to the next.  She craves negative attention.

Two days of retrospect.  He lands me right in the middle of 2 Samuel 16. 

There is that crazy man, hurling cuss words straight at King David.  And he is chasing David, and all his mighty men right down the dirt road.  They are all running from David's son Absalom, who had recently usurped the throne. 

I can read between the lines.  I'm sure they are stressed.  I imagine it is not that easy to be in hiding, running from your own son who is trying to kill you.  A shouting Benjamite, with nothing but filth spewing from his mouth, doesn't make reality any easier. 

"And David said to Abishai and all his servants,
'See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life.  How much more now may this Benjamite?  Let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD has ordered him.  It may be that the LORD will look on my affliction, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing this day.'"
2 Samuel 16:11-12

He is always in control. 

My LORD always holds the reigns.

Although I find it difficult that He would place that ugly word inside her mouth (I'd much rather blame the sin factor!), I so believe He is blessing me with insight - good insight. 

She is broken and needs protection.  That protecting is my job.  She will hear words and be told they are naughty, but her curiousity will sometimes get the best of her.

She is bold.  She is brazen.  She curiously used that word, five times in a row, and she discovered the consequence.

I'd like to share with you I seized the opportunity to grab her, bond with her, gently teach her with love.  Instead, I reacted with anger and hurt. 

Which left her probably feeling a little bit dirtier inside.  A little bit more hungry for some sort of attention.

In her failing, she is learning.

In my failing, I am learning.

She is no people-pleaser on the surface.  But when she really knows she's pleased me, she glows.  And all her glowing shines right through this weary Momma, warming my soul. 
He is calling me to arise, cry out to Him, pour out the contents of my heart like water before His face.  Lift up my hands towards Him.  Cry out for the life of my young child. 

And I do, I raise my humble hands high.  My child has been starved, physically and emotionally.  If patient waiting is what He requires of this Momma, I pray He will continue to forgive, and continue to give me the strength to endure. 

She is my starving child. 

She is worth it.

"Let us search out and examine our ways,
And turn back to the LORD;
Let us lift our hearts and hands
To God in heaven."
Lamentations 3:40-41

Day 366 Prayer Request

Please pray for my child who is having her wisdom teeth removed on Friday.  Please pray for peace, no adverse reactions to medications, and a good healing process.

Marie (Momma to 4)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day 365 Prayer Request

Praise the LORD for all of you.  For one whole year I have had the honor to pray for you.  Thank you for blessing me with your friendships and experience. 

Mandi (Momma to 4)

Monday, June 16, 2014

Day 364 Prayer Request

Please pray for my words to be kind and edifying.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Daddy Day

Happy Daddy Day Warrior Daddy!
We love you!

Day 363 Prayer Request

Praise the LORD for all the Daddies! 

Mandi (Momma to 4)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Day 362 Prayer Request

Please pray my child will make a lot of progress this summer while we have all of this time together.

Jane (Momma to 2)

Friday, June 13, 2014

Day 361 Prayer Request

Please pray that my husband and I will have the right words for our children in the right moments as they process their stories.  Please pray we will not give them more information than they are ready to process.

Danielle (Momma to 3)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Day 360 Prayer Request

Please pray for my adult children to make wise decisions and to know the truth, which will set them free.  Please pray for deception to be removed.

Annette (Momma to many)

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

God's LOVE Revolution: (Worm) Verse #2

Dear Sister-in-law and best friend of mine,

I have been overtly agitated since your departure.  Your eloquent, yet passionate words playing over and over in this brain of mine. 

You are right.  We have become complacent.

My mind keeps traveling back to my passionate life, some fifteen years in my past.  I remember feeling more at home than any place I'd ever lived within the walls of that classroom.  I covered up the bullet holes gracing the windows with stitched together sheet curtains, scrubbed the cabinets and floors until they shined gray again, and moved my colorful white self right in. 

I prayed my father would never figure out my exact location.

Art teacher was just my disguise.  My secret mission was really to try with all my might to make some sort of difference.  I thought He'd use me to share a different path with some little hurting, lost, defenseless one. 

Instead, He used about 360 beautiful, chocolate brown-skinned students to change my insides forever.

I fell in love. 

And isn't that just where He wants us to live?  Right in the middle of passion?  Right in the center of Love?

He calls us to serve.  We each have our own distinct beckoning.  

I know I have been waiting.  I have been vicariously living through my heroes, reading vigorously about their adventures while I quietly keep to my business of homeschooling, caring for my orphans-no-more, feeding my soul with Him.

But, I long for the missing passion.

He planted us here, not Africa, not the inner-city projects.  He sowed us right here in middle-town America. 

He never makes a mistake.

So, sister, I am ready.  My heart has been pierced and I'm feeling brave.  My kids are prepared.  He is calling.

We learn to love when we surrender and give our lives away.

God's LOVE Revolution:
Verse #2 :
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." 
John 15:12-13

He is moving, and I don't want to miss a single opportunity. 

Thank you for your honesty.

I love you sister!

Day 359 Prayer Request

Please pray for summer harmony and not summer dissension.

Marie (Momma to 4)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Day 358 Prayer Request

My husband is exhausted!  Please pray for efficiency in his work this week and early bedtimes.

Ann (Momma to 5)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Day 357 Prayer Request

Please pray that we will have wisdom to make the right decisions for our child.

Ann (Momma to 6)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Day 356 Prayer Request

Please pray I will use my kind words.

Reagan (Momma to 4)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Day 355 Prayer Request

Please pray for comfort in our choice for school next year.

Marie (Momma to 3)

Friday, June 6, 2014

Squacking Robins and (Worm) Verse #1

So, I'm sitting out on my deck this morn, settling right into a peaceful conversation with my Jesus, and low and behold that Momma robin is perched right there in the same high point of the neighbor's home.  She is holding her one worm in her beak and squacking up a storm.

I sit back in amazement.  Could this be the same beautiful robin that just yesterday painted such a magnificent image of His mercy to my searching heart?  You remember, the one who chirped politely once and waited (see post: God's Love Revolution - June 5, 2014).

She finally relents, and in the distance her lover squacks up the same sort of storm.  Although, this storm was in no words an echo. His was a fast, loud, and furious reply. 

Before he even completed his response, she began her obnoxious squacking again....

...and I am not kidding, this conversation (or shouting match) continued for the next twenty minutes! 

I tried really hard to concentrate on those Jeremiah verses.  I finally gave in, and sat staring in shock. 

Had I misinterpreted His illustration? 

No, surely not. 

He really does cherish relationship. 

I'm not getting off the hook and shoving all my plans in His face without His loving interruption.

But that beautiful family of robins were confusing me to my core, and beginning to annoy. 

I mean really, I arise early every summer morning and escape to my deck just to experience a little piece of quiet.  I need this alone time with my Savior before I even see their wonderful little faces.  This time grounds me, renews me, and prepares me for all the adventures sure to come my way each day. 

I don't give this time up willingly.

I stopped, wondered if He was just trying to grab my attention away.  I pondered if I had forgotten to pray for something; someone. 


The robin took flight.  I relaxed. 

Maybe just a distraction.

But no, she returned in less than 5 minutes, and the racket began again.

I love robins.  I love that this family of robins chose my maple tree to make their pretty nest.  But at that moment, I did not like them.  I couldn't even concentrate.

And that's when all the squacking finally whammed me across the head with His illustration for today.

His one worm for me to feed today.

Worm #1:
Nobody can concentrate when this Momma is squacking.


And this one is a really bitter worm to taste at first, but with continued chewing really turns into a quite pleasant experience.

I do not want to listen to all the drama that takes place in my home every single day.  It distracts me, and takes my focus off the important aspects of my relationship with my beloveds-like choosing kind, lifegiving words to feed their little hungry souls.

In turn, they cannot concentrate, or even hear one single word I say when I choose to use my squeaky, loud, squacking voice.

"Gracious words are like a honeycomb,
sweetness to the soul and health to the body."
Proverbs 16:24

So this is my first (worm) verse to memorize.  I hope all you adoptive mommas out there who see me will hold me accountable.

He is faithful, loving, and full of answers. 

June 6, 2014

Dear Warrior Daddy,

I am so proud of you.

There are consequences for your obedience.

And I see the rippling waves, flooding over a young man-child's heart. 

He is beginning to glimpse that hard, scratchy surface of humanity.  He is starting to recognize the you God has genetically implanted deep within his soul. 

His young, transparent boy is beginning to withdraw. 

My Momma heart cannot always touch his heart now.

Life is crazy, and hard - filled with intense careers, challenging schedules, and very VERY busy children.

I am honored you call me wife.  Your integrity and faithfulness have proven your love.

You are so wonderful Warrior Daddy.

Happy Birthday.

Day 354 Prayer Request

Praise the LORD that our son is showing that he does care about his adopted family.

Ann (Momma to 6)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

God's Love Revolution {and the longest post ever...}

I am always waiting until I know how to put all the puzzle pieces together. 

I am that kind of girl.

I live silent through the searching, pine for the figuring out, and gush passionately with pride when I behold the finished piece.

It satiates this control-freak's soul to place a complete picture in front of another, because it provides false-proof.  False proof I know what I am doing, where I am going.  False proof I really do have a well thought out master plan.

I have to stop and chuckle.  The enemy sifts this perfectionist! 

It's not really funny the emotions involved through his consistent back-and-forth shaking. 

It is quite comical my perception of power.

I mapped it all out months ago.  I scratched it all down, point-by-point.  My plan to love better.  My plan to shower love upon my precious little ones.  My plan to make some permanent changes within all the hearts residing in this home.  I named it:

 The LOVE Revolution.
I didn't share, because as you've already read, I prefer silence through the processing stage. 

Time traveled speedily, and I longed for minutes to concentrate on my strategy.  But, life just kept nosing itself into my business, filling up all my freedom.  Amidst the chaos and end of school drama, I relented and placed my scripted out design aside until the summer.

Summer is finally here, and wouldn't you know, I can't even find it?!!

Through the frustration of searching, I am feeling a bit like a drowning fool, grasping at waves.  I'm ashamed to share I've shed more than a few tears.

I so desperately want to love them well.

My quiet tears were interrupted this early morn outside on my deck, by the calling robin.  She sat perfectly perched upon the highest point of the neighbor's roof, beak full of worm.  She chirped a single chirp, and waited.

From a distant location echoed her mate's single chirp response.

I can always trust Him to provide the perfect, beautiful illustration.

"The LORD is near to all who call upon Him,
To all who call upon Him in truth." 
Psalm 145:18

He is near!  He is waiting for me to call upon Him with my whole heart, and just like that robin's mate, He answers.  This is how He perfectly formed our relationship. 

I call, He answers

I ask, He guides

I question, He comforts.  

I surrender, He catches

I wait, He teaches.

But what that robin did not do was chirp repeatedly, letting her mate know all her plans.  She chirped once, and waited for the response.  

She also didn't wait to call until she was overly prepared.  She didn't have a whole mouthful full of worms, worms packed tightly under her feathers, and worms wrapped snuggly around her little twig legs.  

She just had one worm.

Does she unconciously know that trying to catch more than one worm at a time will really just weigh her down and inhibit her flight?  

I followed her flight path.  Watched in awe as she reconnected with her mate - right in the middle of that beautiful autumm-blaze maple.  They perched ever so gently over their beak-built love nest.  The two worms dropped, and the little chirping symphony began. 

Sometimes the joy just wells right up and has no choice but to seep right out.  

"Cast your bread upon the waters,
For you will find it after many days." 
Ecclesiastes 11:1

I often feel like I have obeyed His voice, gathered these loved ones into my nest, and thrown all my bread out upon the waters.  Yet, instead of feeling satisfied, I remain standing in this dry land, watching the water, waiting to see some return from the giving of all my food.

And truth be told, I am hungry.  I am tired of giving my bread when they don't seem to even have a taste for it. 

I sometimes want to jump right in the water and swim away. 

"If you will remain in this land, then I will build you and not pull you down, and I will plant you and not pluck you up.  For I relent concerning the disaster that I have brought upon you." 
Jeremiah 42:10

He asks me to resist the urge to dive.  He beckons me to stay, remain right here.  He promises He will build and plant.  He reassures He will not pluck me up. 

I look all around me.  I can almost taste the hope fluttering all about. I just can't see it. 

But He says He will relent concerning the disaster that He has brought upon this family.  What I view as disaster, He can turn into victory and cherished memories of growth. 

"'Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid; do not be afraid of him,' says the LORD, 'for I am with you, to save you and deliver you from his hand.  And I will show you mercy, that he may have mercy on you and cause you to return to your own land.'"
Jeremiah 42:11-12 

He views my fear, and reassures. 

His character never changes.

This is a faith issue.  I may perceive the waters rising high around my foolish body, but He is right here.  I do not need to be afraid of this battle.  He is my Lifejacket.  And He is carrying me with His almighty, merciful arms.  He is here to save me and deliver me from this battle's grip.  Through all this hunger and flailing, this battle is leading me to my own land. 

This battle is leading me straight to His heart - my true home.

Am I willing to wait? 

Am I willing to keep my eyes wide open in eager anticipation for every single little grace kiss that He purposefully puts together? 

All these grace kiss pieces fit together perfectly. 

He is the Master Artist painting this family's beautiful redemptive portrait.

I want to see it so badly.  He is gently asking me to snuggle deep within my faith and wait in belief.  He is asking me to seek out one worm, call out to Him, and keep feeding their little hungry bodies. 

Just one worm at a time.

There is great Love in this plan. 

This could be our Love Revolution.

Day 353 Prayer Request

Please pray summer sports will be a good choice for my special one.

Jane (Momma to 2)

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Day 352 Prayer Request

The summer is going great so far!  Praise the LORD!

Jane (Momma to 2)

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day 351 Prayer Request

Praise the LORD!  We found a great summer program that meets our child's needs.

Ann (Momma to 5)

Monday, June 2, 2014

Day 350 Prayer Request

Please pray for tests to come back with a good report.
Marie (Momma to 4)

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Day 349 Prayer Request

Please pray for our son and his summer job.  Pray he will not be discouraged and it will be a good learning experience.

Susan (Momma to 1)