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Sunday, August 21, 2016

JUST BE A MOM

  This is so far out of reach for me.  

  Yes sometimes I feel strong…
but most of the time I feel like I could crumble at any minute. 

  Dignity, that flew the coop when the first little blessing came along.
  Laughing without fear of the future? 
 Well sometimes I laugh about what our future looks like.
  Like when I am writing our families' fall schedule and we have some sort of "activity" every night of the week, every week through the month of October.  



  I'm pretty sure that is not "without fear of the future".  

  I'm pretty sure it is a coping mechanism.  


  You know that whole it is better to laugh than to cry.


Last fall, the Lord said, "Just be a mom."  

Just Be A Mom

In my mind that meant rest. 

That meant I was being relieved from my responsibilities.  

In my mind that meant I was getting the year off.

Last year my wonderful husband was Interim Minister of Music at a Church.
I was the Director of a very large and thriving Classical Conversations Community.
I was on Leadership for Community Bible Study.
I home schooled my children.
We had just gained custody of a baby boy. 
I was also taking care part-time of his 1/2 sister.

My life was full and so busy.  

So I just knew without a shadow of a doubt that GOD being the good father and knowing how tired I was…

 HE said "Just be a mom" it must mean rest.

So I hung up the CC Director Job title.
I prayed earnestly about CBS because that is my lifeline to my Savior when life gets crazy so I just knew HE didn't "REALLY" want me to step down from that leadership role.  

I must have heard HIM wrong.  So I asked and asked again.  Nope  "Just be a mom" kept coming back as my answer.

  So I embraced the "Just be a mom" idea.  I began bragging to my friends and saying "Nope the Lord said I get to "Just Be a Mom" this year!  I get to REST this year!"

Fast forward a few months….

    In January, we came back to our home Church and they were discussing Mission Trips. 
 My girls are very missions minded.  

 We talk about Missions and missionaries as a family.  
 We study the lives of missionaries.
 We talk about "unreached people groups"
 We talk about Martyrs.
 We talk about hostile countries.
 We learn geography and study these places.

It is just who we are.  It is what we do.  We are Missions Minded.

So it was no surprise to me when my oldest daughter came to me and said,


"Mama can we go to Ecuador?"

  My response was I don't know I'll think about it.  I thought about it and it wasn't possible.  

I couldn't possibly pay for not only her trip but my trip too.  Because I would never send her by herself.

I couldn't possibly leave 3 other children and my husband behind and fly to another country.  So much could happen to them.  Who would help my husband take care of them?  What if they got hurt while I was out of the country?  What if they got sick?  What if I got sick and couldn't make it home?  What if the very active large volcano I was traveling to erupted and I couldn't make it back to them?  

So many reasons we shouldn't go.  So I said, 

"No Emma, maybe next year.  Let's pray about it."

A week or so later, we were sitting in Church and the Lord just shook me and said to me,  

"Take her and go this summer."  

WHAT?!?!

  I lean over to Donny during the message and whisper, 

"I'm pretty sure the Lord wants me to take Emma to Ecuador this summer."

  His response,

 "Ok….Can we afford this?  You pay the bills.  If you think we can afford it and you are sure that is what you need to do, then go."

Nope we can't afford it but the Lord said go.  So I signed us up.
Then I prayed some more….

"Lord I don't know how were are going to do this but…I trust you."

Guys I'm not kidding you when I say, "HE PROVIDED!!"

He provided every single dollar.  Even our food and spending money.  HE PROVIDED!

So we went.  It was life changing.  My girl begged me not to come home.

She wanted to stay in the Andes Mountains and live there.  She was scoping out colleges.  She was looking for places to live.  She asked if we could just stay and send for Donny and the other children.

  It wasn't an easy trip.  It was a hard trip.  A very hard trip.

She came home and started devising plans on how she could raise money for her next trip and trying to figure out how she can get more bibles and take them and how she can learn to speak spanish.  

She is a GIRL with a MISSION now.  


She sees past her own needs and sees the needs of others.  Her heart is forever changed.


  Just be a Mom!

It took me to Ecuador.

Just be a Mom!

We then came home.  
And I thought okay Lord now it is time for that rest.  
That Just be a mom rest you have promised me.  

We renewed our Foster parenting license. 

   We weren't sure we were going to do that because of somethings that were possibly on the horizon but we prayed about it…and God said, renew the license.

  We received calls for several weeks regarding placements that just weren't manageable for our family situation so we said "NO".  We said "NO" about 5 times.

Then the call came.
The one we had been waiting for.
The "YES" call.

We had been saving our "YES"….

It was for a sibling group of three.  We were only suited for 2 children, but they were having trouble finding a placement for this group of 3 so if we could possibly take all three of them and help keep the group together.  

It was the plea.

We said yes.  
We weren't prepared for that.
 
We had no idea how we were going to do it.  
We weren't prepared for this.
 
We didn't have enough beds for them.
We weren't prepared for this.
 
We had no clothes for a little boy….there was a boy in this group and he wasn't a baby.
We weren't prepared for this.
 
It wasn't payday.
We weren't prepared for this.  
We didn't have any extra money in our account. 
( I had just gotten back from Ecuador a couple weeks earlier.)
We weren't prepared for this.
 
School was starting back.
We weren't prepared for that.
Then they arrived.
We weren't prepared for that.

All three of them had everything they owned in an "Outback" take out bag. Everything.
We weren't prepared for that.

The investigator that removed them from their home had taken them to Walmart and bought them 3 outfits each, a pack of socks each, a pack of underwear each and a toothbrush. It all fit in the "Outback Take Out Bag"…..

WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE WE GOING TO DO?
We weren't prepared for that.

WHAT WAS GOD THINKING?!?!  
BUT GOD....

They walked in the door.  They were sweet and loving.
We weren't prepared for that.

They walked straight to the back door where I had a bag of trash sitting to be taken out when the husband got home. 

They started rummaging through it digging stuff out and asking if they could keep it.  
We weren't prepared for that.

My heart sank.

Then the first two days, they ate everything in my house.
We weren't prepared for that.

So I robbed Peter to pay Paul.

Went to the grocery store and when I tell you I bought $680 in groceries.  I bought $680+ in groceries.
That was with coupons, a menu plan and sale papers.
We weren't prepared for that.

They ate everything within 2 weeks.
We weren't prepared for that.

You see they now realize, that we will have food tomorrow and we will have food the next day.

The food isn't going to run out.


They will get to eat at least 3 times a day.

I still remind them that I will feed them breakfast and lunch and dinner….  I still remind them that I will have snacks available.

They have relaxed a bit.  They now eat a normal amount of food for their ages.

However, that being said….I now have 7 children in my home.
We weren't prepared for that.

My husband:

He has a great job.  
He has a job that pays very well.  
He works very hard for our family.  
He is an amazing provider.

Our family in 1 1/2 years has went from a family of 5 to a family of 9.  

We have doubled in size.
We weren't prepared for that.

So I asked the Lord….Lord you called us to this.  You placed these kiddos in our life.

I know you will provide.

I just don't know how.

You called me to homeschool.  Do you want me to quit and get a job?

I don't see how this is all going to work.

Please show me.

I get an email…."I've got some clothes for you for that little boy."
BUT God was preparing her heart for it….

I get a phone call….  "I have a bed for you."
BUT God was preparing her heart for it….

I get another phone call….  "I want to help you with school supplies. Tell me what you need."
BUT God was preparing her heart for it….

My response…THANK YOU LORD!  Thank you Lord for showing me that I am listening to you.  That I have heard you correctly.  That I am not hearing "voices" like my baby mama.

The next week….  I get a card.  $200 cash.  From a person who doesn't even know me that well.
BUT God was preparing her heart for it….

I begin to cry.  I cried.  I thanked God.  
BUT God was preparing my heart for it...

The very next day…My husband walks in the door from work and says you are never going to believe this!  He then tells me in his very long drawn out storytelling style…that a TOTAL STRANGER walked up to him and said, "The Lord has impressed it upon my heart to give you this!" and hands him a $50.  
BUT God was preparing his heart for it…..

It doesn't stop there.

Other friends, walk up to us a few days later and say, "Hey we just want to help with those children you have living with you." and hand my husband $100!
BUT God was preparing their heart for it…..

These are answered prayers.

So when I say "Trust and Obey"…

OR….

"God is Faithful even when I am faithless"

It's no joke.

God continues to show up and show out big time.

"JUST BE A MOM…"

He said….
He didn't say rest.

He said Go….
He didn't say rest.

He said give them everything you have…
He didn't say how.

BUT God has truly revealed himself to me this year.

Through him we have also obtained access by faith[b] into this grace in which we stand, and we[c] rejoice[d] in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  

Romans 5:2-5


HOPE 
I have a name for this HOPE I have….His name is Jesus!

HOPE does not put us to shame….

My oh My…
So now…I bring you back to this little beauty…

Clothed in the "Strength" ……...OF CHRIST!
dignity……  OF CHRIST!
Laughs without fear of the future…..BECAUSE OF CHRIST!

You see when you have the right perspective.  It all comes together.

This old cracked pot, can be strong, dignified, and laugh without fear of the future…not in my own self but because of CHRIST in me.

Because God is FAITHFUL when I am FAITHLESS.

JUST BE A MOM

  This is so far out of reach for me.  

  Yes sometimes I feel strong…
but most of the time I feel like I could crumble at any minute. 

  Dignity, that flew the coop when the first little blessing came along.
  Laughing without fear of the future? 
 Well sometimes I laugh about what our future looks like.
  Like when I am writing our families' fall schedule and we have some sort of "activity" every night of the week, every week through the month of October.  



  I'm pretty sure that is not "without fear of the future".  

  I'm pretty sure it is a coping mechanism.  


  You know that whole it is better to laugh than to cry.


Last fall, the Lord said, "Just be a mom."  

Just Be A Mom

In my mind that meant rest. 

That meant I was being relieved from my responsibilities.  

In my mind that meant I was getting the year off.

Last year my wonderful husband was Interim Minister of Music at a Church.
I was the Director of a very large and thriving Classical Conversations Community.
I was on Leadership for Community Bible Study.
I home schooled my children.
We had just gained custody of a baby boy. 
I was also taking care part-time of his 1/2 sister.

My life was full and so busy.  

So I just knew without a shadow of a doubt that GOD being the good father and knowing how tired I was…

 HE said "Just be a mom" it must mean rest.

So I hung up the CC Director Job title.
I prayed earnestly about CBS because that is my lifeline to my Savior when life gets crazy so I just knew HE didn't "REALLY" want me to step down from that leadership role.  

I must have heard HIM wrong.  So I asked and asked again.  Nope  "Just be a mom" kept coming back as my answer.

  So I embraced the "Just be a mom" idea.  I began bragging to my friends and saying "Nope the Lord said I get to "Just Be a Mom" this year!  I get to REST this year!"

Fast forward a few months….

    In January, we came back to our home Church and they were discussing Mission Trips. 
 My girls are very missions minded.  

 We talk about Missions and missionaries as a family.  
 We study the lives of missionaries.
 We talk about "unreached people groups"
 We talk about Martyrs.
 We talk about hostile countries.
 We learn geography and study these places.

It is just who we are.  It is what we do.  We are Missions Minded.

So it was no surprise to me when my oldest daughter came to me and said,

"Mama can we go to Ecuador?"

  My response was I don't know I'll think about it.  I thought about it and it wasn't possible.  

I couldn't possibly pay for not only her trip but my trip too.  Because I would never send her by herself.

I couldn't possibly leave 3 other children and my husband behind and fly to another country.  So much could happen to them.  Who would help my husband take care of them?  What if they got hurt while I was out of the country?  What if they go sick?  What if I got sick and couldn't make it home?  What if the very active large volcano I was traveling to erupted and I couldn't make it back to them?  

So many reasons we shouldn't go.  So I said, 

"No Emma, maybe next year.  Let's pray about it."

A week or so later, we were sitting in Church and the Lord just shook me and said to me, "Take her and go this summer."  WHAT?!?!

  I lean over to Donny during the message and whisper, 
"I'm pretty sure the Lord wants me to take Emma to Ecuador this summer."

  His response, "Ok….Can we afford this?  You pay the bills.  If you think we can afford it and you are sure that is what you need to do, then go."

Nope we can't afford it but the Lord said go.  So I signed us up.
Then I prayed some more….

"Lord I don't know how were are going to do this but…I trust you."

Guys I'm not kidding you when I say, "HE PROVIDED!!"

He provided every single dollar.  Even our food and spending money.  HE PROVIDED!

So we went.  It was life changing.  My girl begged me not to come home.

She wanted to stay in the Andes Mountains and live there.  She was scoping out colleges.  She was looking for places to live.  She asked if we could just stay and send for Donny and the other children.

  It wasn't an easy trip.  It was a hard trip.  A very hard trip.

She came home and started devising plans on how she can raise money for her next trip and trying to figure out how she can get more bibles and take them and how she can learn to speak spanish.  She is a GIRL with a MISSION now.  


She sees past her own needs and sees the needs of others.  Her heart is forever changed.


  Just be a Mom!

It took me to Ecuador.

Just be a Mom!

We then came home.  
And I thought okay Lord now it is time for that rest.  
That Just be a mom rest you have promised me.  

We renewed our Foster parenting license.  We weren't sure we were going to do that because of somethings that were possibly on the horizon but we prayed about it…and God said, renew the license.

  We received calls for several weeks regarding placements that just weren't manageable for our family situation so we said "NO".  We said "NO" about 5 times.

Then the call came.
The one we had been waiting for.
The "YES" call.

We had been saving our "YES"….

It was for a sibling group of three.  We were only suited for 2 children, but they were having trouble finding a placement for this group of 3 so if we could possibly take all three of them and help keep the group together.  

It was the plea.

We said yes.  
We had no idea how we were going to do it.  
We didn't have enough beds for them.
We had no clothes for a little boy….there was a boy in this group and he wasn't a baby.
It wasn't payday.
We weren't prepared for this.  
We didn't have any extra money in our account. 
( I had just gotten back from Ecuador a couple weeks earlier.)
School was starting back.
We weren't prepared for that.
Then they arrived.
We weren't prepared for that.

All three of them had everything they owned in an "Outback" take out bag. Everything.

The investigator that removed them from their home had taken them to Walmart and bought them 3 outfits each, a pack of socks, a packs of panties and a toothbrush. It all fit in the "Outback Take Out Bag"…..

WHAT IN THE WORLD WERE WE GOING TO DO?
We weren't prepared for that.

They walked in the door.  They were sweet and loving.

They walked straight to the back door where I had a bag of trash sitting to be taken out when the husband got home. 

They started rummaging through it digging stuff out and asking if they could keep it.  
We weren't prepared for that.

My heart sank.

Then the first two days, they ate everything in my house.
We weren't prepared for that.

So I robbed Peter to pay Paul.

Went to the grocery store and when I tell you I bought $680 in groceries.  I bought $680+ in groceries.
That was with coupons, a menu plan and sale papers.
We weren't prepared for that.

They ate everything within 2 weeks.
We weren't prepared for that.

You see they now realize, that we will have food tomorrow and we will have food the next day.

The food isn't going to run out.


They will get to eat at least 3 times a day.

I still remind them that I will feed them breakfast and lunch and dinner….  I still remind them that I will have snacks available.

They have relaxed a bit.  They now eat a normal amount of food for their ages.

However, that being said….I now have 7 children in my home.
We weren't prepared for that.

My husband:

He has a great job.  
He has a job that pays very well.  
He works very hard for our family.  
He is an amazing provider.

Our family in 1 1/2 years has went from a family of 5 to a family of 9.  

We have doubled in size.
We weren't prepared for that.

So I asked the Lord….Lord you called us to this.  You placed these kiddos in our life.

I know you will provide.

I just don't know how.

You called me to homeschool.  Do you want me to quit and get a job?

I don't see how this is all going to work.

Please show me.

I get an email…."I've got some clothes for you for that little boy."
God was preparing her heart for it….

I get a phone call….  "I have a bed for you."
God was preparing her heart for it….

I get another phone call….  "I want to help you with school supplies. Tell me what you need."
God was preparing her heart for it….

My response…THANK YOU LORD!  Thank you Lord for showing me that I am listening to you.  That I have heard you correctly.  That I am not hearing "voices" like my baby mama.

The next week….  I get a card.  $200 cash.  From a person who doesn't even know me that well.
God was preparing her heart for it….

I begin to cry.  I cried.  I thanked God.  
God was preparing my heart for it...

The very next day…My husband walks in the door from work and says you are never going to believe this!  He then tells me in his very long drawn out storytelling style…that a TOTAL STRANGER walked up to him and said, "The Lord has impressed it upon my heart to give you this!" and hands him a $50.  
God was preparing his heart for it…..

It doesn't stop there.

Another friend, walks up to us a few days later and said, "Hey we just want to help with those children you have living with you." and hands my husband $100!
God was preparing their heart for it…..

These are answered prayers.

So when I say "Trust and Obey"…

OR….

"God is Faithful even when I am faithless"

It's no joke.

God continues to show up and show out big time.

"JUST BE A MOM…"

He said….
He didn't say rest.

He said Go….
He didn't say rest.

He said give them everything you have…
He didn't say how.

God has truly revealed himself to me this year.

Through him we have also obtained access by faith[b] into this grace in which we stand, and we[c] rejoice[d] in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  

Romans 5:2-5


HOPE 
I have a name for this HOPE I have….His name is Jesus!

HOPE does not put us to shame….

My oh My…
So now…I bring you back to this little beauty…

Clothed in the "Strength" ……...OF CHRIST!
dignity……  OF CHRIST!
Laughs without fear of the future…..BECAUSE OF CHRIST!

You see when you have the right perspective.  It all comes together.

This old cracked pot, can be strong, dignified, and laugh without fear of the future…not in my own self but because of CHRIST in me.

Because God is FAITHFUL when I am FAITHLESS.

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