Sunday, January 11, 2015

Happy 14th Birthday, Michael

Dear Michael,

Today is your 14th birthday.  It seems like in this past year, you changed overnight.  We looked across the breakfast table one morning and wondered what happened.  That cute adorable 5 year old boy had turned into a handsome young man.

As we look to this coming year, we pray for you.  You will be entering high school this year.  You will daily make decisions that could affect your future.   May you make those decisions with God and His ways in mind.   

We were proud when you decided a month ago to start reading your Bible on your own.  It made tears come to this mom's eyes to find you up early diligently reading.  Don't give up just because you miss a few days or even weeks.  We understand.  God understands.  Our flesh is weak.  However, we have to remind ourselves that we don't live by our flesh but by the Spirit of God in us.  God's Word in you is power.  Satan does NOT want you to have that power.  May you determine to keep fighting like a soldier with the sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God).

Struggles and temptations are a part of life.  We pray for you as you face these each day.  We love you whether you succeed or fail.  And there will be times of failure, but that is often how we learn.  When failure happens, come to us.  Turn to God.  May we work together towards living a life of victory.

Michael, you are a chosen son.  It is a choice that we have never regretted.  It is a choice that we would make again in a heartbeat.  Why?  Because we love you.  Don't ever forget that!

You are a gift from God.  You make us smile.  You are good brother.

Christmas 2014
  

May your day be blessed.  May this coming year be one in which your life glorifies God.  He is the one who made you and loves you even more then we do.

Happy Birthday!

With much love,
Mom and Dad 

  

  


Saturday, October 11, 2014

To post or not to post

It is always hard for me to decide what to publish on my blog.  I want to be real and transparent.  Yet I must protect my family and especially my children. I really struggled with whether to post "What's in a Name."  It was not my intent to make my son look bad.  I love him with all my heart.  Growing up is difficult.  I remember some of those struggles myself.  I'm sure I made choices and said things that were hurtful to my parents.

I decided to go ahead and post because of the lesson this experience taught me.  So many things I learn about myself through my children and parenting.  It's as though my children's relationship with me often reflects my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  I see myself in them.

My second reason for posting was because when adoption is involved "identity" can be a big issue for children.  They often feel like they don't "fit" in their adoptive families.  They wonder what it would be like with their birth parents.  In addition, whether we like it or not, it can become an issue for us as parents too.  We want our children to accept their identity with us...sometimes even blindly without looking back.  I'm not sure that is fair to them.

As I look back on the event I realize my son had no intention of hurting me with his action.  He is searching.  He's trying to figure out who he is and where he fits.  Was it wrong?  I don't know that it was.  His birth family is part of who he is.  He has the difficult job of figuring out how to put it all together and make sense of it.  That is not something I can even begin to understand.

I am proud of my son.  He has taken difficult circumstances and risen above them.  He is a well-liked and respectful young man.  He is happy and fun to be around.  In the past couple years, our relationship has taken a full turn around.  I know he loves me, and I can always count on him to give me several big ole' bear hugs each day.  He's a beautiful gift from God.

So as I struggle with whether to post or not to post, please bear with me.

Photo from www.freedigitalphotos.net



Thursday, October 9, 2014

What's in a name

"Hey, Mom, do you want to read this?" my son said as he handed me his ipad.

"What is it?" I questioned.

"It's my obituary.  We had to write one for an assignment in English."

I glance down and the name at the top jumps out at me.

It glares at me, and that's all I see.  Our son's name...but he has written down his last name from birth.  Not our last name...the one we were so proud to give him eight years ago when his adoption was finalized.

I read through the rest of the obituary, but I don't remember a word of what it said.  I was stuck on the name at the top.  I was hurt.  I was angry.

I asked him why he hadn't used our last name.  He said something about his birth family being his "real" family.

I had to walk away.

Even writing about this a couple weeks after it happened, I have to hold back tears.  There is still pain there.  However, God has given me understanding. 

Our son is a teenager struggling with his identity.  Adolescence is difficult.  Just tonight the conversation centered around feeling insecure with his peers.  "Who am I?  And where do I fit in?  I feel so different from you.  I am a preacher's kid...you don't understand what that's like."  He is trying to establish who he is and where he fits in this world.

Although I understand, in all honesty I admit my flesh desires for our son to acknowledge us.  I want him to fully embrace and claim our name.  I want him to recognize that "real" are the ones who walk beside you through the tough passages in life, the ones who never give up on you, the ones who choose to love.

As I seek to come to terms with all this, conviction grips me.  Deep down I grudgingly admit I have some of the same struggles.  I try to find where I fit in.  I become consumed with pleasing people.  I am a Christian, but I don't always claim the name.

I cringe.  I remember the pain I felt the other day and still feel...And I catch a glimpse of how my Heavenly Father must feel.  He's done so much for me, yet I don't acknowledge Him as I should.  I don't allow him to be my security and my all.  I struggle to find my way on my own.  I almost defiantly write my name and say, "This is who I am."

God looks at that name and says, "No, daughter.  This is who you are.  Remember what I've done."

I sought you
I saved you
Adopted you
Made you my own
My child


And tears flow...

"Father, forgive me." 

Photo from freedigitalphotos.net


 I struggled with whether To Post or Not to Post.




Monday, September 15, 2014

Do Not Worry

A little comment from my husband, "I think we are falling behind on the budget." 

A trip to the grocery store.  The price of milk up to $4.50 a gallon.  I can't afford the hamburger at over $4.00 a pound.  I opt for chicken.

It is time to fill up the tank on the van.  Well over $100 is guzzled by that hungry beast.  My husband makes the hard choice to skip one of Troy's football games to save a little gas money.

I see the college bills.  Yikes!  Thankful for responsible children who are working hard to pay their own way, but I sure would like to be able to help out more.

Then it happens.  I start to worry.  I know I shouldn't.  God has always taken care of us. 

I persist in my worry.  Fretting and even complaining.  I didn't deserve grace.  God gave it anyway, just like he did for those Israelites wandering in the desert so many years ago. 

A friend stopped by out of the blue.  She said, "I have this coat.  It's brand new.  It hasn't ever been worn, but my son outgrew it before he could ever wear it.  I wanted Kaishawn to have it.  I know it's a little big now.  But maybe you could save it for later."

God's gentle voice telling me, "See I am big enough to take care of the future."

Shared some time with friends from a distance.  He commented on the few tomatoes I had sitting on the dishwasher.  I offered them to him.  We are tired of them now...having eaten on them all summer.  He handed me a slip of paper and said, "This should pay for them."  I opened it, and it was a $120 gift certificate for the grocery store.

God's gentle voice telling me, "I promised to provide food."

Shopping with a friend today.  Some of the boys were needing jeans.  I found 3 pairs at the thrift store that looked like new, but still needed a few more.  We stopped at Walmart and found 3 more pair on clearance. 

God's gentle voice telling me, "I promised to provide clothing."

We stopped at Braum's on our way home to pick up milk.  The lady who checked me out said, "Since you spent more then $15, you get a free loaf of bread."

And I repented of my worrying.  Why did I ever doubt?  God has always provided for our needs.  He promised he would.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

Lord, forgive me for doubting.  Forgive me for complaining.  Forgive me for worrying.  May I seek You and You Alone!  Amen.



"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

 "And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  So do not worry , saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Matthew 6:25-34