We found hope in surrendering.

In the Old testament it says that Abraham had been given a promise of a son. For Twenty-five years he waited for God to keep that promise. God kept his word and gave Abraham a son named Isaac. And then this happened in Genesis 22:2

“Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’”

Can you imagine what Abraham must have felt. He begged God for this son, he waited so long for this child and he finally had his boy, and now God was asking Abraham to give this child back to him?!  And somehow Abraham mustered up the faith to do just that. 

The Bible says it was a three-day journey that Abraham and Isaac took together. I wonder how many times during their journey, Abraham looked over at his son with tears streaming down his face knowing what was to come. 

For the last year we have cried, more like sobbed, with many of you, but to one person in particular, it has happened more often. I would tell her that I couldn’t do what the Lord was asking of us, that it was going to shatter me, shatter us and change everything and I desperately did not want it to change. Every time this conversation would come up between her and I, she would respond to me with, “I see a vision in my head of Abraham and Isaac and the faith it took for him to obey God.” And each time she would say this to me,  I would respond back with, “I do not have that kind of faith, I am not that strong. I can’t do this.”   I wonder if Abraham said something like that internally to God during his three-day Journey with his son to the top of the Mt. 

But still Abraham and Isaac eventually did reach the top of the mountain and In Genesis 22:9-12 it says, 

“He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham! Do not lay a hand on the boy.”

A few Monday nights ago, Ben and I reach the top of our mountain. I was laying on our bed and Ben was on his knees next to the bed. With a pen in his hand and a document between us that we both knew once signed would change everything forever. The grief was unbearable. I started sobbing in ways I have never cried in my entire life. Ben was also crying and he didn’t know what else to do, so he prayed. He asked the Lord to give us strength to hand our son over to him and that we both knew that He loved our son more than we did and to help us to trust that.  Then Ben stopped praying and said, “I feel that the Lord is asking us to dedicate little man’s life over to him at church this coming Sunday.” So after talking for a while together and with others people we decided that we would take that week and on that Sunday we would dedicate him and his life to the Lord. We went to bed that night smiling and something was lifted from us for that moment because, we knew we had a few more days with him, a few more days before our hearts shattered in ways we can’t describe. But three days later on that past Wednesday, we woke up like any other day and seemly out of the blue things came to light and transpired quickly regarding him and about where he was staying. Everything got flipped upside down and by 4 o’clock that afternoon he was home, in our house for the first time in 18 months. We still do not know what the future holds for him or for us as a family. But we did find hope in surrendering. 

God didn’t ask Abraham to surrender because he wanted to punish him, but because He wanted to bless him. And God did exactly that. When Abraham surrendered to God, God blessed him above and beyond. When we surrender, God blesses us and in our case he blessed us with hope. This doesn’t lesson the pain or struggles of this journey but it does give us hope and a trust that we needed in order to continue on. So no matter what God does in all of this, we are learning to trust and believe it will be good and perfect because God really does love him more. 

So in this moment and for the last 12 days, we are a whole family, under one roof and my heart is more at peace than it has been the last four years combined.IMG_2611

Victories and Struggles

Your child’s story is his to share….

It is and much of it is also our story.  Trust me only those closest to us know the deepest and darkest parts of our story. There are valleys of sadness that aren’t shared, mountains of victories left unsaid, days of desperation that only a few have held us through. Moments of great grief that I was literally carried, like, physically held and carried by family and friends, because I Just couldn’t. There are things ahead of us that most know nothing about. But I strongly believe our lives are meant to be shared and I hope I always share our story with dignity and truth, without compromising anyone’s own story. Sharing the hard parts comes with sharing the good. Isn’t it deceiving just a little to only share the victories and blessing, while leaving out the valleys and the storms? I have shared very openly of my childhood of abuse but I also left out a million pieces to the story and yet, what I did share, helped many, healed myself deeper and led me to a healthier and better version of me. A book came from it, a non profit was started and friends were made that will hopefully last a life time. All because I chose to share my heart. We live in a world of secrecy, privacy and where we only share what is safest with those that are safest. But what if our stories have bigger purposes than just for ourselves to learn from? What if what we walk through can help another person? Would you share differently if you knew it would? I know for me personally I am drawn to people that let folks into their own struggles and not just their victories. I share our world openly, because that’s me, I enjoy writing, I love what it has done for me personally and I love you all enough to let you in. One day I hope to share more of it and I pray it helps someone that’s also in the trenches of life. So many of your struggles and victories have blessed me and encouraged me to do more, love deeper and be braver than I was the day before and I am thankful you trusted me enough to let me in. Sharing parts of most areas of our life isn’t a bad thing, it’s an okay thing to do, even if it’s a little terrifying. Each and every time I have shared a part of us, I have always been scared with being so vulnerable, but so far, I have never regretted letting folks in.FullSizeRender

A gift to each other

This last year has been so hard at times for me. It’s been filled with many new hurdles, some really big days, many new scary diagnosis, tons of doctors, therapist and maybe I have even lost a little of myself along the way. I miss my head phones and my running shoes so much some days, I miss my husband sometimes when life is so crazy that finding silent time alone seems nearly impossible. I often need to go get ‘milk’ three minutes after Ben gets home from work. For some reason the four walls around any grocery store can bring me such serenity and peace. Funny I know, but for some reasons, us moms can recharge a tired soul with a 30 min trip to grab some random, not really needed grocery item. Being a Mother is so hard, you are raising little adults, that you really really want to grow up to be amazing adults, that do really awesome things. I want more than anything all my kids to grow up to love Jesus so much that the world can not hinder them from what He has in store. I want my boys to be men like their daddy, and my girls to be a tender yet strong world changer. I want to love Ben so much that he never questions if he is appreciated in every way, shape and form and somehow through it all have three healthy, gluten , dairy, egg and taste free meals on the table each day.
That’s a lot for a women to carry. Raise great, God loving adults, love a man completely and somehow keep the home running perfectly all while wearing heels. Now none of these things are put on me by others but I would gather most of us women carry the same strong convictions and set our bars so high we often feel like we can not measure up. What if  we all give ourself the okay, to be okay, with not always being okay. What if we are honest and say Mother hood is not always awesome, worth it, absolutely, but not always awesome. What if we stop comparing out chapter one to someone else chapter 8 or 16. What if we stop for a moment, let the 42 loads of laundry wait, the dishes pile up, let our kids leave the house in whatever crazy, mismatched stained outfit they pulled out of the bottom of the, ‘maybe it’s clean, maybe it’s dirty, pile of questionable clothes’ and enjoy the day and the looks from the others that are doing it perfect, obviously. I was asked by a person this week if I would still do it all again and my answer without question is, YES!! I wouldn’t change our home, kids, or life for any other. They are mine and I am theirs and that is a beautiful place to be. Somehow each day when I just know I am failing completely, I have 8 kids that are clueless to that thought and they just see what each of us saw in our own moms as children, perfect people.
To each of you ladies that think you are failing and yet if you really look into those little eyes staring back at you, I dare you to tell me that they don’t say the complete opposite of that, because they do. You are doing so much better than you think and your kids hugs, cards, smiles, burnt breakfast in bed or simple cuddles are proof of that today! Happy Mother’s Day to all of you! Thanks for walking this road before, with and after me. You guys are awesome.

My first thoughts

I am the queen of distractions, of busyness and filling my free but often fleeting moments with pointless web browsing, TV channel flipping or doing anything but being still and silent. Am I the only person that has a hard time being still? I don’t mean being lazy. I can do lazy, I can do pointless things but being still and silent in His presence is hard, so hard for me actually. I try to get up before my crew to read the word, to wake up and be prepared to face the day, but often I wake and find myself first checking my phone, emails, Facebook, text and my list of appointments for the day. First, that is typically what my first is. My first thoughts are aimless, pointless and add no real value to my life or favor to my day. So, why do I do it. Why is sitting in a quite personal conversation with Jesus so hard for me somedays? My intentions are always good, really they are. I wake up with the heart to seek, to be, to learn and to be better than the day before, but distractions are every where, my mind being my biggest distraction. I finally sit down and open my bible to start reading and then I hear a conversation in my mind that goes something like this, ‘oh that coconut water downstairs sounds so good, should I take a quick shower before the kids wake up? I wonder what time I should leave to make it to the appointment I have down town? Oh yea, I am reading, where was I again.” Am I the only one like this? Do any of you find your brain just doesn’t do well with one task at a time? I am often texting, cooking, doing dishes and fixing a tantrum, all at once. Why? Why can’t I do one thing, at one time and do it really well. Some of it, I think is the gift of multi tasking but more of it is the gift of distraction and stress. My life is hectic enough and full of plenty of stuff to do. I need to simplify what I can, take away more of what doesn’t really matter, let go of the need to have things always okay and done. I need my savior and time with him each day, to be the best mom, wife and friend I can be. I need what he has for me each day and I don’t want to spend more of my days walking around as a half filled up cup of water!
Do you have distractions in your life, things that are keeping you from a close relationship with Jesus or maybe just genuine good relationships in your life? Let’s change these things together.M

Bent low

This quote is beautiful and couldn’t be more truer than true. We are tired and stretched thin, but we are happy and closer to His face than ever before. If being bent low puts us in the dirt with the KING of kings, than there is no other place I would rather be. If you are a parent today to one child or fifteen children, remember, what you are doing matters and it is the hard work that one day will make all the difference in the world. So as you bend low today remember you are in the trenches with greatness. IMG_2308

Growing……

Our family grew by two feet, two beautiful brown eyes and one beautiful, strong and independent little girl this week. We went back on the call list and received several calls in a very short time period. This whole process can be so overwhelming at times to say the least. How do you say yes to one, and say no to all the others? There are parts of this whole journey that are hard on a momma’s heart, but through circumstances and a failed attempt at bringing home a little guy first, the last call I took was for a beautiful little princess and she is perfectly perfect. If I haven’t said it before, you should know, I love this calling, I just freaking love it, even the no good, exhausting days, because the next day is a new day to start over and try again.

Priorities change as love grows

We have one open bed, meaning, we can, if we chose have one more sweet child come into our home. Six kids is a little scary to me, for three months, awhile back we had six kiddos and it was hard, rewarding and worth it, but, it was still six kids. We are waiting and praying but it seems God keeps tugging at our hearts about bringing another kiddo into our home. So many things cross my mind, we have the whole five kid thing down pretty good, our life works and flows pretty good too, do we really want to change that? Then on the other hand I think how my comfort, sleep and easy flowing life shouldn’t be what keeps us from bring another child into our home. Last week, on just one night, in just one DCS office in Phx. there were over 30 kids sleeping in the office. That means, kids sleeping on floors, next to DCS workers desks, no showers, no real beds, no HOME, all because there is no where for them to go. So, maybe my priorities changed as God has been reveling truth to my heart. Yes, somedays I want life simple and easy but God hasn’t called any of us to a life of leisure, security, or easy. He sent Jesus as the example of what our lives should look like and that is humbling because His whole 33 years on earth was spent serving, loving and giving of all of himself for others. If my life is to even slightly imitate Jesus’ life I can’t be worried if I will sleep 8 hours every night, be able to watch my favorite t.v. show each night or keep my life flowing smoothly. He said “follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” He wants us to follow him, live his life style, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who had no home, dirty feet and sacrificed His life for others. Wow, loving is hard and loving people the way God has asked us too, is crazy hard, but find one person at the end of their life that will say it wasn’t worth it to love another person unselfishly. I dare you, because I don’t think you will find one

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