Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Painful good-byes

It's been awhile since I've posted.  It's not for lack of ideas.

I've actually had quite a few things going through my head with this season of thanks and celebration upon us.  I've just usually gave into exhaustion and a cup of tea at the end of the day instead of typing it all out.

But what has spurred me on to type tonight has my heart all twisted up.  My emotions on the brink of spilling out.

We've had some ups and downs this fall with the different kids coming through our door.  We've gotten 4 new residents in the last 2 months.

Each has come with their own baggage.  Their own challenges.  Their own demons.

But tomorrow we have to say good-bye. 

Good-bye to the kid who sees the Truth laid out in front of him but yet chooses a different path.

The kid who is 14 but inwardly feels about 8.

The kid who never really knew what it was like to have a mother love him unconditionally.  Who placed his needs above her own.  Who had his best interest at heart.

Those kind of things weigh heavy on a kid.  And those kind of things effect that kid's day to day decision making.

I know he wants to be a part of a family, to feel included and loved.

But when you feel like you have no one at home (or no home at all) cheering for you, rooting for you.  You kinda don't see the point in moving forward, making progress.

Tomorrow Paul has to stand in court beside this kid as his parole officer requests that this resident be taken out of placement and placed in a more restrictive environment.

My heart hurts, weeps, for what could have been.  We've made room for this boy in our family, and he has found a place in our hearts.  Despite his attitude and belligerence, he's grown on us.  My prayers go with this boy, that the seeds that were planted in his 14 weeks here could find fertile soil in his young heart.  That he would not forget the time spent here.  That he would know that we are not abandoning him like so many others in his past.  That our thoughts, and prayers, and a bit of our heart goes with him. 

It's just out of our control.

But, thankfully it is not out of God's control.  And that is what I will rest in tonight.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans' Day reflection

I don't know too many people personally that have gone to war for me.

Although I do have some family members who have served in the armed forces.

Cousins.

Uncles.

Grandpa.

My dad.

I think that is that one that strikes me the most.  Even though my dad didn't know me yet as he signed up to go fight a war.

To leave family and security behind.

To trade it for nightmarish reminders and medical affliction that still plague him today.

I don't know all the reasons behind why he signed up.  But I believe he was wanting to see freedom for others who did not have it.  Freedom that he enjoyed here in America.

He went, along with many, many others to fight a controversial war.

I don't know many details.  As one could guess, my dad doesn't share too many of the stories of his time oversees in uniform.  But that's OK.  I've seen him suffer physically over the last 20+ years to know that all things were not pleasant.

My dad was exposed to disease and toxic gases while serving this country.  Things that followed him home. 

I know there are countless other veterans who have and are suffering like my dad.  Their sacrifice for this country did not end when their feet once again touched this American soil.  Their sacrifice continues, follows them around daily.  Physically, mentally.

I don't say all this evoke pity.  I don't think my dad, or other veterans necessarily want that.

But I want to stir appreciation.

I know there are some who do not always agree with all that Armed Forces are doing or have done.  But regardless, these people sacrificed their lives, then and now, for each of our freedom.

The least we can do is say "Thank you."

I love you, dad.  I so glad to be able to call YOU my Dad.........Thank you.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Reflections

And just like that.....we are in November.

October has been a month of lessons learned on love.

What does the Love of God look like in our lives?

How are we showing this to those around us?

So often I fall into the pit of believing that I can show other's God's love on my own strength and will.  I try it and I find myself exhausted and wrung out and sitting in my closet, crying on the floor.

You might think I am exaggerating.....I'm not.

But God, in His patience and mercy, shows me how I am not capable of this.  It is only when I allow Him to work through me that other can start seeing God's love in my life.  Then it is not MY love being poured out to others....it is HIS love filling me up, overflowing into the lives of those that surround me.

So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
Let my love look like You and what You're made of
How You lived, how You died
Love is sacrifice
So let my life be the proof,
The proof of Your love
 
-For King and Country
 
 
Hannah working on her cutting skills
This girl makes me laugh daily

Owen's birthday cake

One of my cake decorator helpers.....

.....and the other one.

Owen is 6!

Hmmmm....I believe it is time to retire the umbrella.

Loved the couple of 70 degree days we had!  Clothes on the line, children in the sandbox, blue skies above...beautiful!

Thankful for a few donated pumpkins - a night of pumpkin carving

A cowboy, and kitty, and a 'pretty dress'  Managed to throw it together in 5 minutes and they loved it.  Success!

Heading to the Church's Harvest party. Beautiful sunset over campus.

Yeah, some days I feel like that too.