family fall 2016

family fall 2016

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Continuing memorial

 

Aaron was to wear the "breastpiece of decision" over his heart as he entered the Holy Place. (Exodus 28:29-30) 

Decisions flow from the posture of our heart. His breastpiece contained the names of the 12 sons of Israel as a "continuing memorial" to the Lord. 

It was a constant reminder of the Lords faithfulness that he was to remember as he made decisions for the Israelites. 

Do you have any "continuing memorials" to the Lord that you see every day? Are they close to your heart guiding your decisions? 

When we remember and recall his faithfulness; it helps us to take the next small step in faith. 

One of my continuing memorials is the picture above. It's in our living room and I see it every day.

It came from a season of gratitude and counting 1000 gifts. A season of waiting and naming our girls. 


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Wisdom in delegation

I know as a leader, delegation is important. Knowing and doing are two different things. I have grown in this area but often have to check myself and have others point out the need as well.

Delegation has provided rest and cultivated surrender and trust in me as God prys my little fingers of control back.

Moses learned the value of delegation and letting go from his father in law. 

Exodus 18:13-24

"The next day Moses took his place to judge the people. People were standing before him all day long, from morning to night. When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, “What’s going on here? Why are you doing all this, and all by yourself, letting everybody line up before you from morning to night?”
Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me with questions about God. When something comes up, they come to me. I judge between a man and his neighbor and teach them God’s laws and instructions.”
Moses’ father-in-law said, “This is no way to go about it.  You’ll burn out, and the people right along with you. This is way too much for you—you can’t do this alone. Now listen to me. Let me tell you how to do this so that God will be in this with you. Be there for the people before God, but let the matters of concern be presented to God. Your job is to teach them the rules and instructions, to show them how to live, what to do. And then you need to keep a sharp eye out for competent men—men who fear God, men of integrity, men who are incorruptible—and appoint them as leaders over groups organized by the thousand, by the hundred, by fifty, and by ten. They’ll be responsible for the everyday work of judging among the people. They’ll bring the hard cases to you, but in the routine cases they’ll be the judges. They will share your load and that will make it easier for you. If you handle the work this way, you’ll have the strength to carry out whatever God commands you, and the people in their settings will flourish also.”
Moses listened to the counsel of his father-in-law and did everything he said."

Is there anywhere you are doing too much and all by yourself? Are you burnt out? Are you looking for competent men and women to share in the work? They may need you call out their potential as a leader. 

Do you know what your job is? More importantly, do you know what it's not? Jethro never told Moses to stop working but to make some changes. 

Did you know that you are not the only beneficiary of delegation? The people you are serving will "flourish also". 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Racial mirrors

 

I recently got this book for the girl's Easter basket. 

Before they came home, I searched multiple stores for black baby dolls but I continue to learn more and more about the importance of racial mirrors in their life. The value of black children and adults in their daily life. 

This includes real people at school, church, and extra curricular activities as well as those in media and print. This sometimes requires an intentional move or change of tradition and plans. 

In the small arount of research I have done, there has been an improvement in diverse racial representation but there is still a major disparity. 

Sadly and humbly, I just recognized that all of the people in our "Clue" game are white. Thankfully, "Guess Who" and "Chutes and Ladders" have people of color in them. Before my girls came home, I would have never noticed this 😞 

I would encourage you to pay attention to the commercials on TV next time you are watching and count the people of color you encounter. It's eye opening. 
 
Families of transracial adoptees, let's be intentional about incorporating racial mirrors in our lives- not just as a "token" to check off our list, but as a true investment. 


Monday, March 27, 2017

❤️️Heart and soul assessments ❤️️

The western world clearly values physical and cognitive assessment and milestones.  

We spend countless finances, time, and resources on our physical health and rely mostly on the education system to assess cognition. I'm quick to jump in when there are gaps or regression in these development areas for myself or my kids. 

There is nothing wrong with these focus areas. I wouldn't be writing this or holding my current job without them. 

BUT... what if we placed the same value or even a fraction of the priority on assessing emotional, social, and spiritual milestones in ourselves, our children, our patients? 

My home and my practice would be radically transformed. 

I'm reading this: 

 



The first few chapters are excellent. 

What if we started not only assessing these soul/heart/ relational areas but identified gaps earlier and trained them. 

The emotional/social/ spiritual realm is the one  where you function as a son or daughter, spouse, or coworker. 

We would be foolish to neglect them. Yet we do everyday. 


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Suffering

 

My reading thru Job was timely as 2017 has brought 4 deaths of family members or close friends. 

Some had the hope of heaven and some I don't know. My heart deeply grieves over this more than the deaths. 

Job faced the loss of property and resources but more importantly -10 children.  My momma's heart doesn't even want to go there. He was personally physically tormented. These statesments can't even begin to describe his living hell. 

As I started reading, I loved that his 3 friends traveled far to be WITH him, sat in the floor WITH him for 7 days in silence and were QUIET until he spoke first. As I read on, I realized this is the only thing they would do well in his grief. 

His friends go on to give him advice, condemn him, and call for repentance. They continue to teach him the false gospel that self righteousness, obedience, and repentance = physical prosperity in this life. 

God may choose to bless the morally upright with wealth, health, and prosperity BUT he may not. And that doesn't make Him less God, less good, or less sovereign. That's an easier thing to say than believe. 

Try teaching it to your kids 😜 

The thing I am most blown away with  Job is that as far as I know, God didn't choose to reveal to him the schemes of the devil and spiritual warfare. Job did not have the clear understanding of the gospel, Jesus, heaven and an eternal glory that we have today. 

For him, there was no purpose in his pain. Can you imagine the despair and hopelessness? It almost chokes me thinking about it. 

Suffering is determined by intensity and duration. When I think about my (unintended) natural child birth; I don't see it as suffering. Was it intensely painful? No question. But there was an end and a beautiful physical purpose - my baby. 

I think about Mabel and her suffering in this time on earth. It is long in worldly standards. It will continue intermittently through her childhood and most likely have lifelong repercussions. BUT...

It is temporary. This life will end. The suffering she endures now will produce a greater eternal glory in Heaven for her. I'm jealous of that. 

I will learn to be WITH her in her suffering. I will choose to be WITH grieving friends and family. My gut is to give guidance and help direct emotions but that's not my job. They don't need correction or explanations. They need the hope of the gospel. 

Teaching eternal glory to your child when you're not quite sure of it yourself is challenging. I don't have all the right words and thankfully I don't have to. 

As you continue to pray for Mabel, pray for an unexplainable deep peace and understanding of eternal glory. 

Would we love "successful surgeries"? Yes. 

But those are temporary too. 




Monday, March 20, 2017

The book

 


This was taken after I sorted thru my shelf of journals, Bible studies, and self help books. 

There is nothing wrong with these but I found myself continually adding more books to my Amazon cart only to realize I have never read the entire book that most of these were inspired by. I reread "Radical" by David Platt with Jeremy this month for his final module in CLC. At the end Platt provides 5 one year challenges. 

One is reading the Bible in its entirety. I love a good challenge but even more I love the discipline and character it brings about. 

So here's to day 4/365. I'm using this. It's the first one that came up on google. 



Friday, February 3, 2017

"Money, Possessions, and Eternity" book review

I finished my January book "Money, Posessions, and Eternity" by Randy Alcorn plus a bonus book "The Road Back To You" which I reviewed here
 

Practical implications as I read thru Alcorn's book:

- A deep and sincere repentance first to the Lord and then to my spouse for my "hands and mind free" attitude towards money my whole life. 

- A commitment to be "a prudent wife" to Jeremy (Proverbs 19:14) so that he doesn't continue to carry this vital piece of our marriage and family alone. He's over here giving me Econ 101 lessons 😬

-31 days of setting a budget and recording giving, saving, and expenditures (and a commitment to keep going and growing in these areas) 

-Gratitude for a church leadership who is transparent and committed to administer their funds "in order to honor the Lord himself and to show our eagerness to help" - 2 Cor. 8:19

- A challenge to radical, biblical generousity 

- Introduction  of "GIVE, SAVE, SPEND" jars for the girls. 
 

February book is "Seeing With New Eyes" by David Powilson. One of our biblical counselors at work recommended it to me. Has anyone read it? Anyone have any future recommendations for me? 

 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Special needs parents

Parents of children with special needs. You are loved. I'm on your team and cheering for you daily.

Yesterday, my last patient was a 40 year old man and his mother. He has significant special needs and she has been his primary caretaker and advocate for 40 years. 4-0!! I managed to get out the instruction I needed too but the only thing I really wanted to do was soak up her humility,  wisdom, and warrior mentality. 

She shared a story of how she advocated for hers son's LIFE at a local hospital, standing up to physicians and other medical professionals. She had called her husband saying she may go to jail over it but she was fighting for him. My insides were cheering so loud! 

They came in for a service but I left with renewed strength, courage, admiration, and grit to continue the fight for the children the Lord has entrusted to us in our time here on earth. 

This mother showed no signs of burnout. Granted I was with her for 45 minutes out of the last 40 years. I know there must have been and will be seasons of tears, frustration, asking "why?", isolation from friends, and mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual exhaustion for that momma. 

But yesterday afternoon, you better believe she showed up and fought the good fight for her child and gave him a voice and dignity. 

I only pray that the Lord shows up big in the way I care and advocate for my kids special needs. My flesh is for sure not cut out for it. May I never forget the eternal implications. 

Parents of special needs. I see you. Your battle is not lost on me. 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The enneagram

For Christmas, my dear friend Hannah gave me this book: 

 


Our small group read it together and have been discussing our "numbers". It has been so life giving and led to many wonderful discussions with friends and family. It has also widened my perspective of how others see the world and helped me be slower to anger and frustration and quicker to offer grace. Not everyone is like me... nor should they be.. novel concept. 

Do you know anything about the enneagram? If so, have you discovered your number? What about the ones you love? It has been fascinating to be able to put myself a little more into my parent's,, children's, friend's, and Jeremy's shoes. Don't guess others numbers. Let them tell you. 

I used this free questionnaire. Often, people will tie in a certain number or need to do more research on their top 3 or so before typing themselves. 

I am a 2 with a 1 wing 😀 so when my kids decide they don't need me anymore, let me do something for you 😬 I kid, I kid (kinda)

"Who am I if I'm not needed?"

Jesus has me wrestling with this identity question of course. 




Saturday, January 14, 2017

Self-regulation

Between the holidays and doctors appointments, we have had some high stimulation, intense moments over the last month. 

I have watched my girls flip upside down on couches and hang over my lap. They have intentionally  isolated themselves at times and craved our laps. 

These forms of self-regulation are not limited to vulnerable children or even children.  I do yoga as much as I can these days in attempt to regulate myself. 

 




BUT... 4 years ago, they had very little idea how to regulate themselves and were dependent on us to help and protect them from over stimulation. 

We would have meltdowns lasting multiple hours. Even when we knew they were safe, they did not "feel safe". Department stores, loud noises, strong scents,  large family gatherings, meal times and parties are common triggers. 

When you are caring for a vulnerable child or love a person who is highly sensitive (pronounced responses to stimuli regarding any of the 5 senses), helping them learn to avoid triggers and coping strategies will serve you well.  

As a parent, my gut reaction is to have them sit down and be still, look everyone in the eye when they are talking, and stay in the middle of the party. This does not help them and will often lead to melt downs then or later and draw more attention than the coping behaviors. 


Excellent read to understand why self regulation is compromised in children who have endured trauma no matter their age. 
Caught Between the Amygdala and a Hard Place


Friday, January 6, 2017

1:1 time

We have talked about intentional 1:1 time with our girls for awhile. 

Talking and doing are two very different things. 

We would grab a date with our girls a few times a year once we started seeing bad behavior and attachment issues crop up but we wanted to be more proactive. 

Jeremy and I both have this thing of setting real high standards for ourselves... sometimes good and sometimes totally unrealistic. 

So last night he had Portia change out of her pajamas and took her to play cards and get hot chocolate for 1 hour. 

It wasn't the elaborate ice skating date we had envisioned but it was "the best part of her day" and we will cherish these moments. 

Be intentional about investing in your people 1:1. Let them know they matter. 

 


Monday, January 2, 2017

"Money, possessions, and eternity"

I love to read if I can manage to stay up past my muchkins or wake up before. I'm starting with this one this year. Anyone read it or want to read with me? It was one of jers required readings for CLC.

Lord, may we be good stewards of the resources you have entrusted to us in 2017.