Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lifechanger and a run

Hard week. Desperate, and deflated is what I can chalk last week to.  So what else to do but run. Running is a huge stress relief for me.  I hate the start, it takes so much energy to battle my my own thoughts. "Maybe today is a bad day, I have tons of laundry!"  "My knees hurt!" "I just don't even feel like it!"  I have to lay all those thoughts aside, tie up laces and hit the road. It always gives me a sense of accomplishment. Which in this season, I am coming up short with so many aspects that if feels good to start and finish something.  At the end I am always glad no matter the distance that I did.
 I found myself here,  this weekend At Hudson's graveside.  A song came on the iPod that took my breath away. So much so all I could do was right there in the middle of the grass bend my knees and weep.
  This is part of the lyrics:
All stand applaud, Your Father God
The Maker King who never tires
Who renovates the human hearts
And gives the broken brand new starts

Redemption flowing from His hand
We all can start at life again
Heaven stands to celebrate
For the ones who come today
So come just as you are
Come just as you are

Chainbreaker, Heart Savior
Jesus, the great Redeemer
Life changer, Liberator
Jesus, the great Redeemer

From slavery to bravery
This is the love that reaches deep
And Jesus cross split history
It lit the dark and set us free

  You really have to hear it to appreciate this song.  For me, this song represented something God wanted me to hear which was this
 " I was your strength to walk you through this time with Hudson,
 he was a game changer for you guys. I am the life changer for you and for your family. 
 I was there on those days you said you could no longer breath.  I am that same God, that Same Redeemer.
 I was your strength. 
                                      I am your strength. You are right, you 
CAN not DO this.   
                                But I can.
                                                      I will. 

                                                                    The fight is worth it. 
 My love of greatest sacrifice can do this. 
     Believe me for it!"

  I know I know this is not what the song says, this is just words that washed over me in this moment right there in 
 the  middle of good fellows cemetery.

  Ugh, Help me remember this when a week like this happens. 

Seriously, just send me a text that says. "lifechanger" and I 
will pull my big girls pants up and stop doubting.
                                         


Saturday, February 16, 2013

From the mouths of the Fortune Cookie

I put it out there last week, my soul. It was a hard post to write, to ask for help. I was so humbled by the amounts of cards, emails, texts and phone calls we received. The entire week, I kept getting random emails and texts about people letting me know they are praying for me specifically right at the moment where I need it.  I got offers from families on the way to where our therapy may be, friends says "come over after therapy for food!" I mean really blessed beyond measure. 
   The amazing part I found, most of these families are in the midst of changes within their families as well. They out of understanding stood stand up for us.  I love You guys for loving on us. 
   I am blessed to be in the fellowship with each of you.  Keep praying for me, I will for you!!
   

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Body of Christ: Would you Wrap us?

 I am pretty raw in many of my post, pretty honest too. However I have kept a lid over plenty of our struggles. To protect our children, for the right of privacy and well because its really a part where I may loose people. 
   This weekend I went to the refresh conference in Redmond Washington. Its is a conference for foster and adopted families. I have gone to plenty of adoption conferences and plenty of orphan care meetings and gatherings.  I walk away with convicting truths and encouragement from each one. New methods and understanding to the depth of our children from trauma.  New ways to help our unattached daughter to get attached, new ways to help us attach to her.  This weekend was different  I walked into refresh completely and utterly defeated.   Scared from the last 2 1/2 years of struggle with our kids from hard places. 
      I walked away with  plenty of information, truths, and permission.  Permission to be honest about our struggles and permission to put down our pride and ask the body of Christ for help.   
    A very strong and honest mama spoke right into my heart as if I was the only person in the audience. She spoke on her struggle with her daughter. she shared this quote  " If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence, judgement." (Brene Brown)     
     I am here to share with you  my shame has grown in tremendous ways.  Its has kept us in a deep sadness, and in turmoil.  We can not longer keep a martyr stance.  We are in much need of help. Saying this is even giving me such tension for fear, for fear of no one coming to assist us.
  Here is an analogy given this weekend that describes the church with adoption almost to a T.   When people share about adoption/ fostering there a big group of the church walking you to the end of  the dock saying "JUMP, JUMP, JUMP!" you get all excited and well you take the plunge. When you jump into the water you realize the water is freezing cold, you can't touch the bottom and oh no you can't swim! You look up to the people that said "Jump" and they say "we have no idea what to do we just know how to say "jump.''     Your left to thread the water on your own.  

    Let me tell you something friends. Adoption is NOT for everyone but the call for us to help the fatherless is for every believer. There is no question about this.  There should never even be a question. Yes after we say yes those fatherless children now have a father and a mother. But the journey doesn't end there at all. The call continues.
    When God adopts us he adopts our history our trauma our messes.  Can you imagine if after we said yes to his gift of salvation he says "all your past trauma we wont deal with, just forget about it ,ignore it, your a new creation that means those things wont ever bother you again.'' Or "ugh, this again, I made you new, get over it already dude!"  Or does he as a loving father deal with every single hurt we have, heal them, and when they arise remind us of our truth in Him.  That we are loved, beloved, wanted, accepted, adopted, adored, sacred to Him regardless of the ugliness  and the baggage we carry to come greet Him at the cross.     We go to conferences and the speakers have us do an exercise: we write things down on paper, hurts, ways we need Jesus, and we nail them to the cross . We say things like "leave them at the cross''  It would be awesome if they never followed us home right, but truth is it will it does. We have to continually nail them back figuratively speaking.  And we are adults. Our kids with trauma can not do this. Not even if they wished. Trauma has changed the chemistry of their entire beings.

   When we adopt kids with trauma we adopt the trauma the messes that come with the pain, we become punching bags for them, we hurt for them, we adopt the pain and it becomes unfathomably impossible to withstand. Worse we don't see rewards, we don't get thanks yous, some of us get words that tear the very center of our hearts. See hurt kids, kids that have severe trauma may find it hard to love back, or even impossible. Its not their fault its not MY fault, or yours but we end up with that feeling.  You then withdraw because of shame. Shame that you can't fix them, shame for the feelings and thought that come to your mind. Shame that anyone who said you should have not will remind you that you shouldn't have. So you stay in that closet of shame for a while, you wallow in it. 
   I have permission to ask you for help. So if you allow me I want to share Focus on the Family description regarding how to help families that foster and adopt. We both would be greatly and hugely blessed if you came along with us in our journey to heal our children mostly to heal our daughter  Our daughter that has severe trauma (we keep the details of this between mom and dad only)  We have not had many break throughs with her.  I feel like we are putting on temporary band-aids over her trauma and then when we have an outrage or she shuts down we wonder "what just happened?''  
 Reality is we don't have everything she needs. Love is not enough right now for her. She needs extensive help. We want to give it to her, we want to fight for her, but we need help, lots and lots of Help. 
          We need you to WRAP   your hands around us. 
W. wrestle in prayer: Prayer warriors. We need you to lift us up in prayer.
  Pray for strength and patience
  Mercy and Grace 
Pray specifically for our children by name.
 We need you to tell us your praying for us, to remind  us of the Truths.  We even invite prayer warriors to our house. Lay hands on us in all seriousness. Get all Pentecostal on us and bring oil if you want :)

 R. Respite:  Keeping on our toes and on high alert can become very tiresome for parents with struggling kids.  We are on constant alert waiting on triggers that make our kids take three steps back and leave us in exhausted. We need people to take give us respite. It may look like our girl coming to your house for a long day, so we can be with the other children and give them our attention they are craving.  So when she returns we are renewed and refreshed to help her. It may look like helping with other kids while I take our girl to extensive therapy we will be signing her up for. 

A. Acts of Service: I feel funny about this one. However this was also in the booklet from Focus on the family.  Errands, shopping, meals,   I would only ask for these  when we are doing our extensive therapy with our child.  The books says don't say "let me know if you know anything"  Because you wont be asked. So true.  I would never ask anyone to cook us a meal, to go to the store but truth be told. Our services will most probably be in Seattle and there are times I may not be able to make it the store.   I am deeply breathing cause this one is a hard one for me. 


P. Promises of God:
  From the booklet: Providing encouragement with Gods word through notes, calls, text, or emails can be a powerful source of comfort and strength for families. Hope-filled words combined with listening ears. understanding hearts, kindness and mercy will deeply resonate"
  Even if you have never adopted or fostered, we need encouragement we need you to remind of us scripture truths.  The big picture: that this is Gods design for our family that these children were indeed to be in our house, this is the truth, we need you to remind of this!

  Now if you can stand in this gap with us for us and be in community with us. Please raise your hand, Please tell us. We need to hear from you.  If you are in the same place, please allow us  to be in your community.  Gods writing a story for us for your wounded child and for you. We may have not wanted the story to be written like this.  Yes I know its going to be hard and well it will take time, but I wanted to sail into the sunshine and my horse is not here and it may not come, and I have to be fine with that. 
  For the meantime there is work to do. Please stand with us and allow us to stand with you. 
 Text us, email us, call us, look for us on facebook. Tell us your wrapping us up. :) 

    

"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”  Elisabeth Kubler- Ross

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Pray for sweet Abby Riggs!!