meet the sojourners..


Friday, December 16, 2011

Ahhhhhhh LOVE!!!


with lyrics

live performance

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Um, yep...

Wow. AhMaaaaazing! Someone actually GETS it, AND they wrote a song about it.

Friday, November 25, 2011

What's that?

I use this at least 2x a week. It is absolutely fabulous! I buy it here @ netrition.com it's $4.49 for a 16oz bottle.

What is it? Well.... 

Bragg Liquid Aminos is a certified Non-GMO liquid protein concentrate, derived from healthy soybeans, that contains the following essential and non-essential amino acids in naturally occurring amounts: Alanine, Arginine, Aspartic Acid, Glutamic Acid, Glycine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Tyrosine, Valine, and Lysine.

Liquid Aminos is an all-purpose seasoning that is an excellent, healthy, gourmet replacement for Tamari and Soy Sauce. It is great on salads & dressings, soups, veggies, rice & beans, tofu, wok & stir-frys, tempeh, casseroles, potatoes, meats, poultry, fish, jerky, popcorn, gravies & sauces, and macrobiotics. 

Bragg Liquid Aminos are made from health-giving, Non-GMO soybeans and purified water. It is not fermented or heated. Gluten-Free. No chemicals, artificial coloring, alcohol, or preservatives. Bragg's Liquid Aminos has a small amount of naturally occurring sodium. No table salt is added. If less sodium is desired, dilute with 1/3 distilled water or to taste.

Sometimes... I miss something I never had.





"God sets the lonely in families..."

What to do when you're in the mood for "comfort" food?

Well you could eat that whole bag of Oreo cookies in the pantry... or you could order out for a veggie pizza with extra cheese. But really, about 10 minutes after you eat that food you were craving, chances are you will be feeling worse, MUCH worse about yourself, then you did to begin with.

So, next time you want to shove your face full of the kids Christmas cookies remember, it's not about comfort NOW, it's about comfort LATER. In the long run what food choice is going to bring you more comfort? One that adds weight and gulit, or one that is just as satisfying, will give you energy AND a boost in confidence because you can be absolutely certain you made a good choice??

I'm talking to myself as much as I am to my whole, well, two readers... 
Today for example... I am in pretty melancholy mood.... I have this gingerbread cookie mix sitting on the counter that I promised the kids we'd make next week. BUT I could make it now, eat oh.... say 1/2 the dough and the kids would never need to know. 
However, I know that I am DETERMINED to run my first 5k for my birthday. I also know I am so close to my goal of an unassisted pullup I can taste it. And next on my list of fitness goals is a one arm pushup. Now, If I eat 1 lb of cookie dough is that going to make me feel better? Yes. For the 5 minutes it would take me to inhale it. But then I'd feel like crap the rest of today, tomorrow and all next week because ultimately I'd be sabotaging my goals.

So while I wondered back and forth between my kitchen to living room for oh, 3 hours deciding if I was more interested in my immediate comfort, or future comfort I thankfully decided on the future and made my home version of one of my favorite restaurant salads. 

Chipotle Roasted Veggie and Black Bean Salad.

You will need:
 Romaine Lettuce
 Salsa

 Vegetables to roast, you can use whatever you want. They use onions and peppers, I had onion, celery and carrots on hand so into the roasting pan they went!

 
I added some sea salt, pepper and Bragg's Liquid Aminio's which I use whenever I get the chance. YUM!

Then open up a can of black beans and microwave them til warm. I use about 1/3-1/2 can on each  salad.

I topped it off with some low fat shredded cheese.


If you're a meat eater add chicken or lean cuts of beef.
And if you're not as concerned about calories and carbs, add some low fat sour cream and guacamole for your healthy fats.

Yay! Now it's time to go run some intervals!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Keep breathing

 Job cursed the day he was born-so, I'm not alone.
I'll keep breathing-Lord you do the rest.



You wait in darkness
For answers that you can't see
You know what you deserve and
You’re wondering why your life is
Not what you thought it should be
When the night breaks, your heart still aches
How can you face the day, you just

Keep breathing, you'll make it

Don't give in, you're not done yet
Sometimes all that you can do is
Keep breathing and believing
Don't let go, just hang on tighter, a little longer
When you feel like you’re dying
Keep breathing

When every moment

Is almost more than you can take
You've got to know some tomorrow
Will bring you a breakthrough
That’s the reason why
You’ve got to get through today
When the night's gone, you will be strong

Keep breathing, you'll make it

Don't give in, you're not done yet
Sometimes all that you can do is
Keep breathing and believing
Don't let go, just hang on tighter, a little longer

With every breath you bring hope

You're letting go of all your doubt
When nothing is easy, you’ve got to keep going
Even when you don't know how
You don't have to know how, no

Keep breathing, you'll make it

Don't give in, you're not done yet
Sometimes all that you can do is
Keep breathing and believing
Don't let go, just hang on tighter, a little longer

Keep breathing, you'll make it

Don't give in, you're not done yet
Sometimes all that you can do is
Keep breathing and believing
Don't let go, just hang on tighter, a little longer

Keep breathing

Don't give up
No you're not done yet
Don't give up
Don't give in
Don't let go
No you're not done yet

Girls night in

Got my:
 Italian Stallion

Snacks

Sips

What more could a girl want???


Ok, a lot. But we're trying to be content and have a positive attitude here folks.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Aidan sings

Lamentations 3:22,24
"The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease,
for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
"The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I have hope in Him."

Proverbs 18:10
"The name of the Lord IS a strong tower, the righteous run into it and are safe"

Sometimes being a child is a great blessing. Sometimes watching a child is a greater blessing. 
The boys have a pretty big event coming up tomorrow. Something, that as their mama just rips my heart to bits thinking about. I can't go with them tomorrow, I can't hold there hands. I can't take away the pain, fear, embarrassment or discomfort they feel. But what I CAN do is remind them that even though mommy can't be with them, they won't be alone. Aidan has Psalms 56:3 written on a piece of paper that he can tuck into his pocket and carry with him, and I told him to pick a song so he can sing in his head if he gets nervous or scared tomorrow... this is what he picked.... and this is the way we ended our night.


Kutless-Strong Tower
(click play button to hear my boy sing)
When I wander through the desert
and I'm longing for my home
all my dreams have gone astray
when I'm stranded in the valley
and I'm tired and alone
 it seems like I've lost my way
I go running to Your mountain


You are my strong tower
shelter over me
beautiful and  mighty
everlasting King
You are my strong tower
fortress when I'm weak
Your name is true and holy
and your face is all I seek


In the middle of my darkness
in the midst of all my fear
Your my refuge and my hope
When the storm of life is raging
and the thunders all I hear
You speak softly to my soul


You are my strong tower
shelter over me
beautiful and mighty
everlasting King
You are my strong tower
fortress when I'm weak
Your name is true and holy
and Your face is all I seek




What time I am afraid, 
I will trust in Thee.
Psalms 56:3





























Sunday, November 6, 2011

I love him

What a gift God gave me in this precious child. He light's up my life!

One day Aidan, you'll understand the significance of this year. You amaze me everyday with the way you handle yourself - the way you cope. I'm astounded by your unending love, compassion and grace. You teach mommy something everyday. I am SO very proud of you.

I remember years ago,
you were so little then.
Sometimes,
I can't help but wish,
that you were small again.
I've cried when you've faced heartaches,
and saw, that as you grew,
nothing broke your Spirit,
instead it strengthened you.
I'm filled with mixed emotions,
as I hold back all the tears
and, with much pride remember,
back so many years.
When I first held you in my arms,
if only I'd have known,
the years would feel like moments,
after you had grown.
You aren't a child,
though in my eyes,
I guess you'll always be,
that baby boy who changed my life,
and means the world to me.
-Synthia A. Sieving

Saturday, November 5, 2011

What's for dinner...

So I totally stole last nights dinner from my friend MaryBeth, and her post here @ TheBrokenBohemian

Well, except for the eggplant... I think it'd gone bad, but I have to confess I'd never bought an eggplant before, so it could have been perfectly fine for all I know... it just smelled weird. Oh and I didn't have the zucchini, but I added spinach.

So, I started with a Boboli pizza crust, spread on some garlic and basil pesto, added spinach, and my roasted concoction of red onion, yellow squash and red peppers, and then topped it all with gorgonzola cheese.

It was AaaaaaaaaaMAZING!!! My kids even devoured it, though they did give it scornful glances upon first inspection.



Ok, and YES that is a muffin pan that I cooked the pizza on. Hey, when both cookie sheets were dirty from roasting the vegetables I had to get a little creative. A pizza stone is still on my "to get" list...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How about you let GOD do the molding.

So... I don't fit into your box now?
You'd rather stick me on a shelf then hear me out.
I don't play by your rules,
and you call me a fool.
I say: you can't see my heart - and-
good thing you're not God...


God is faithful. GOD IS faithful. 

You know, about two months ago, a severe tragedy hit my family, and it centered around my children. And though I was half expecting it, nothing could have prepared me for the pain I saw in my child's eyes. I nearly lost my mind from the grief, and I sinned, yep, I did. I was devastated and angry and frustrated and I blamed God for what happened. You know what, it took me a few weeks, but I recovered. I repented and when THAT SAME TRAGEDY struck my youngest child - instead of running from God I ran to Him. I told Him I would trust His goodness in the midst of the pain and chaos. But you know the beauty of it all? God could take my anger, God knows my weaknesses, He knows my imperfections, He heard the broken heart cry of a desperate mother grieving for her child.... and though I sinned in my doubting His goodness and love He saw through that to my heart, and loved me in spite of it. Better yet, He didn't and doesn't hold it against me. Nor does He use it as a measuring stick of my Spiritual maturity or faith. People do... and I wrestle with that.
People are imperfect - people don't see my heart, sometimes because they won't stop talking long enough to hear me, other times because they simply refuse to... they're right, I'm wrong end of story. But you know what? That's ok. I'm imperfect too. Some of the greatest men of God doubted His goodness and His compassion, some could not be comforted or see His mercy. When King David's world was falling apart He didn't think God cared. King Asaph questioned God's fairness. Thomas refused to believe and rest in the truth until Jesus was standing before him and he touched Him. Yet, David was called a man after God's own heart and Thomas was one of the 12, and the only Apostle believed to preach outside the Roman Empire. God did not judge these men and point fingers at their imperfect human hearts, no, He showed compassion, He was patient, and He met them where they were. AND He used them to shape history. 

Not that I'm a history maker or world changer... but, you get my point..

I'm studying Job with my boys right now, and it's humbling. To see Job stand firm in His faith, to admit to my children, that you know what? boys, mommy is NOTHING like Job... it'll bring you to your knees and make you plead with God for a faith that stands firm. So we do, the boys and I, on our nights together we pray that God will help us trust Him. That we will be full of integrity like Job, and trust God when things are good and happy, and trust Him still when things are hard and sad.

And... right now, things are hard and sad. Very hard and sad. Unfortunately most of the pain comes from judgement and misunderstandings, or the simple refusal of people to see another point of view, or admit that perhaps THEY DON'T KNOW the whole story. When in all honesty the whole story is none of their business. And just like that in a blink of an eye, those people you've known for years decide that you're not capable of making a Godly or wise decision, they make statements that subtly or blatantly disregard your grief, thoughts and feelings. And you're left scratching your head wondering... what the heck just happened? I make a decision you don't understand or agree with and somehow I am now less of a person, and you don't even speak to me like we're on equal levels anymore. My feelings, my experiences, and the fact that I've brought it before the Lord are a moot point and essentially fall on deaf ears... 


But really those are MY imperfections... I care far too much what people think. I don't stand up for myself and I let other people bully me or manipulate me into making decisions I don't want to make. But this life is a journey, it's about change, and progress and growth. If I have peace and I've brought something to the Lord in prayer and my conscious is at rest then what other people think, feel and say should not sway me. Could I end up being wrong, sure, and I admit that. But my friend, you could just as easily end up being wrong as well.

I guess my point is, before you go trying to mold someone into what YOU think they need to be, remember it is the LORD who does the work on their heart, not you. It is the Lord's job to graft us and shape us into what HE wants us to be. Besides He'll do a much better job then you or I could even dream of doing.

So I say again, God is faithful. Though other's may fail me, or leave me, or push me aside. My God will not. Though I may look alone, and at times feel alone. I am not. Because God is faithful and I can trust His promises.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Been

one of my favorites since I was 16... STILL one of my favorites. Hadn't heard it in forever but was on the radio last week and of course is now on my I-pod playlist. Just what I needed when it feels like no-one on earth understands me or can see my heart.... and when making the right choice leaves me feeling so incredibly alone...


I know there are times
your dreams turn to dust
you wonder as you cry
why it has to hurt so much
give Me all your sadness
someday you will know the reason why
with a child-like heart
simply put your trust in Me

Take My hand and walk where I lead
keep your eyes on Me alone
don't you say why were the old days better
just because you're scared of the unknown
take My hand and walk

Don't live in the past
cause yesterday's gone
wishing memories would last
you're afraid to carry on
you don't know what's comin'
but you know the one who holds tomorrow
I will be your guide
take you through the night
if you keep your eyes on Me

Take my hand and walk where I lead
Keep your eyes on me alone
don't you say why were the old days better
just because you're afraid of the unknown
take my hand and walk where I lead
you will never be alone
faith is to be sure of what you hope for
and the evidence of things unseen
so take my hand and walk

Just like a child
holdings daddy's hand
don't let go of mine
you know you can't stand
on your own
 
Take My hand and walk where I lead
keep your eyes on Me alone
don't you say why were the old days better
just because you're scared of the unknown
take My hand and walk
 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Pardon me

 I Love Incubus! Brilliant. Simply Brilliant.

Pardon me while I burst
Pardon me while I burst

A decade ago, I never thought I would be at twenty three (or 29..ya know, whatever)
On the verge of spontaneous combustion, woe is me
But I guess that it comes with the territory
An ominous landscape of never ending calamity
I need you to hear, I need you to see
That I have had all I can take
And exploding seems like a definite possibility to me

So pardon me while I burst into flames
I've had enough of the world and it's people's mindless games
So pardon me while I burn and rise above the flame
Pardon me, pardon me, I'll never be the same

Not two days ago, I was having a look in a book
And I saw a picture of a guy fried up above his knees
I said, "I can relate", cause lately I've been thinking
Of combustication as a welcomed vacation
From the burdens of the planet Earth
Like gravity, hypocrisy and the perils of being in 3 D
But thinking so much differently

So pardon me while I burst into flames
I've had enough of the world and it's people's mindless games
So pardon me while I burn and rise above the flame
Pardon me, pardon me, I'll never be the same
I'll never be the same

Pardon me while I burst into flames
Pardon me, pardon me, pardon me

So pardon me while I burst into flames
I've had enough of the world and it's people's mindless games
So pardon me while I burn and rise above the flame
Pardon me, pardon me, I'll never be the same

Pardon me, I'll never be the same, yeah





Monday, August 29, 2011

Edit "Dear God"

Dear God,

I hate you.

*and I'm glad you can deal with my honesty*


The end.

Letter to God

Dear God,

I hate you.

The end.





Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sometimes

 Sometimes I don't.

 More often then not - I don't.

BUT, sometimes I do - like tonight.

Tonight.

 I still believe.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Bye bye masquerade


Is there anyone that fails

Is there anyone that falls

Am I the only one in church today feelin' so small



Cause when I take a look around

Everybody seems so strong

I know they'll soon discover

That I don't belong


 
So I tuck it all away, like everything's okay

If I make them all believe it, maybe I'll believe it too

So with a painted grin, I play the part again

So everyone will see me the way that I see them


 
Are we happy plastic people

Under shiny plastic steeples

With walls around our weakness

And smiles to hide our pain

But if the invitation's open

To every heart that has been broken

Maybe then we close the curtain

On our stained glass masquerade

 

Is there anyone who's been there

Are there any hands to raise

Am I the only one who's traded

In the altar for a stage



The performance is convincing

And we know every line by heart

Only when no one is watching

Can we really fall apart


 
But would it set me free

If I dared to let you see

The truth behind the person

That you imagine me to be

 

Would your arms be open

Or would you walk away

Would the love of Jesus

Be enough to make you stay
 
 
 
 
I have heard this song SO many times over the last six months and probably shed tears each time because it was sooooooo EXACTLY where I was, and... where I still am, depending on the day, the time, the situation, and the people involved. The difference now is that there ARE those, albeit few, that I trust enough to be completely totally honest with. It's risky, they may think less of me. They may see my weaknesses, they may see my ick... but they LOVE me, FOR ME. These precious people God has given me actually WANT me to be real, and honest, they WANT to be there for me and WITH me... they don't want the pat answer that everything is fine, and our adoption journey has a storybook fairytale ending. Yes there are some people I'll always wear a mask around, BUT there are others who continue to shatter my walls and creep closer to my heart, daily .
 They are the most beautiful people in my life.










Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Another note.

 Show me that my tears will make my rainbow.

I am totally NOT taking credit for the following story, as it was originally posted on another "trauma mama's" blog, and I want her to get the credit. But boy, did it reiterate some things that have been spoken to my heart lately. The original post can be found here: Marty's Musings.


The Blessing Of Thorns


Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes as she pushed against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like a spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole her ease.

During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son. She grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her husband's company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose annual holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come.

What's worse, Sandra's friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder.

"Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she wondered aloud. For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of her child?

"Good afternoon, can I help you?" The shop clerk's approach startled her. "I... I need an arrangement," stammered Sandra. "For Thanksgiving?"

"Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the Thanksgiving Special?" asked the shop clerk. "I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued. "Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this Thanksgiving?"

"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months, everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. " Sandra regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."

Then the door's small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, "Hi Barbara...let me get your order." She politely excused herself and walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared, carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses. Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped...there were no flowers. "Want this in a box?" asked the clerk.

Sandra watched for the customer's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems with no flowers!?! She waited for laughter, but neither woman laughed.

"Yes, please," Barbara replied with an appreciative smile. "You'd think after three years of getting the special, I wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it right here, all over again," she said as she gently tapped her chest.

"Uhh," stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with, uhh... she just left with no flowers!"

"Right... I cut off the flowers. That's the Special... I call it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet."

"Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing to pay for that?" exclaimed Sandra.

"Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling very much like you feel today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she was facing major surgery."

"That same year I had lost my husband, "continued the clerk," and for the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel.""So what did you do?" asked Sandra.

"I learned to be thankful for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked God for good things in life and never thought to ask Him why those good things happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I ever ask! It took time for me to learn that dark times are important. I always enjoyed the 'flowers' of life, but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from His consolation we learn to comfort others."

Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God." Just then someone else walked in the shop.

"Hey, Phil!" shouted the clerk to the balding, rotund man.

"My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement... twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the refrigerator.

"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that?"

"No...I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we slogged through problem after problem. He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from "thorny" times, and that was good enough for me. I took home some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific "problem" and give thanks to Him for what that problem taught us."

As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"

"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life." Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too... fresh."

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love. Don't resent the thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident, she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take those twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.

"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them ready in a minute."

"Thank you. What do I owe you?" asked Sandra.

"Nothing." said the clerk. "Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me." The clerk smiled and handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you'd like to read it first."

It read:
My God, I have never thanked you for my thorn! I have thanked you a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorn. Teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed to you by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbow. ~ George Matheson

Praise God for your roses; learn to thank Him for your thorns!

-- Author Unknown

And my prayer, God, help me TRUST YOU enough to thank you for the thorns in my life. Help me TRUST YOU in spite of the fact that you have GIVEN, or trusted me with significantly more thorns then roses. Let it be said of me that I have climbed this path, and all the others, and that those and this WILL bring me to you.
Amen.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Note to self.

---------------------------------------------------

'Cause this is not about what you've done

But what's been done for you.

This is not about where you've been,

But where your brokenness brings you to



This is not about what you feel,

But what He felt to forgive you,

And what He felt to make you loved.



You are more than the choices that you've made,

You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,

You are more than the problems you create,

You've been remade.

---------------------------------------------


So you thought you had to keep this up

All the work that you do

So we think that you're good

And you can't believe it's not enough

All the walls you built up

Are just glass on the outside



This is where the healing begins

This is where the healing starts

When you come to where you're broken within

The light meets the dark

The light meets the dark
-------------------------------------------

Someone told me the other day, "you have to let yourself just be. Just getting through is enough. It.is.enough. One day there will be more but for today it is enough."

And for today, I'll take it. For today, having permission to stop pretending and "just be" IS enough. And for today, I'm O.K.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

What I need.

I keep getting asked this question, repeatedly.

What do you need?

 How can I help?

What can I do?

I'm finally going to answer that.

  • I need you to let me be sad. I need you to let me be angry. I need you to let me be discouraged.  If you don't, I will put my mask back on - And if I put my mask back on I can't heal, and if I don't heal, my family won't heal.
  • I need you to stop pushing me. I need you to stop making me feel like "come on already" or "it's time to  just suck it up and deal with it". Just stop it. Grief does not have a timeline, and it is NOT linear. The more pressure I feel from you, the harder it becomes.

  • I need you to understand you are not me. I need you to know that you don't know everything about me. You may have bits and pieces of the puzzle that makes up who and what I am, but I guarantee you, you don't know the whole story, so please don't think you have me "figured out" and please don't talk to me like you know what the solution is.

  • Please DON'T tell me I need to pray more. I have.

  • Please DON'T tell me I need to exercise my faith. My mustard seed has been misplaced. I've looked for it, but I can not find it. Anywhere. So, until I do, this statement from you, just heaps more guilt on the guilt I already feel.

  • Please DON'T tell me to just give it time. I have given it time, and our family is falling apart. Very few, precious few, know how bad things really are. I don't know how much time we have.

  • Please DON'T ask me, What would Jesus do? I am not Jesus. Yes, I am to imitate Him. But I am HUMAN. 100% totally and completely HUMAN.

  • Please DON'T stick your finger in my face and waggle it at me. It just really doesn't accomplish anything. Depending on the day, I'll either want to bite it off or go home and retreat further into my shell and comfort zone.

  • Please DO understand that I am not by nature an open person. I do not typically bare my heart and soul with people. I just simply DO NOT do that. It takes alot of courage, I mean A LOT. Respect that.

  • Please understand, my blog's purpose, one of them anyway, is for me to write out and work through MY thoughts and feelings. Right or wrong, they are MINE. They are REAL, and yes they are RAW. And this is MY blog. It's also a "safe place" for me, or at least I want it to be. Home is not always a safe place to say exactly what I am thinking and feeling, church is not always a safe place to say what is really going on, I NEED a safe place. Right now, my blog IS that place, and I desperately need it to STAY that way.

  • A friend of mine said this just yesterday. "You need to know in your heart that I love you...you need to know that I care about you, you also need to know that I have ears to listen, and arms to reach out" and she is SO right. I need to know that despite where I am, where you THINK I should be, despite what I FEEL and what you THINK I should feel, you love me, you're willing to not just listen, but HEAR, really HEAR me. And most importantly, no matter how long it takes, or what the end result you'll be here when the storm is over and the sun shines for me.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Esau and Jacob, Lisa and Lorelei

Okay, so I don't actually know a Lorelei, but that's not the point.

I'm convinced I'm Esau. Ok, not really. Obviously I'm not a man, I'm definately NOT a hunter, nor am I  red all over and covered in hair.

However, for no reason whatsoever God chose to hate Esau. It's true. The Bible says so. In Romans. Romans chapter 9 to be exact.

"And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (for the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to elevetion might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, the elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on who I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore he hath mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth."

God also apparently hates me. No really, I'm obedient to what I felt God was calling our family too. Our family sacrifices and sacrifices and sacrifices. And yet God shows no mercy, no compassion.

It's ok. Really. I get it. He's God, he can do whatever he wants. He can love who he wants, and he can hate who he wants. And he can harden whoever's heart he wants, even if that person is asking him not to. He doesn't need a reason, Understood.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Friggin Father's Day



I hate this guy, seriously I do, I hate him. This guy has it all together.

No, really.

Even when he's a jerk, forgetful, says hurtful things and handles things the wrong way. Even when he makes me feel incompetant and like I'm totally alone in my already isolated world...

He has an unwavering faith that I'll never be able to wrap my head around.... sometimes I love him for it, other times I hate his guts because of it....

 But ALWAYS I am grateful for it - for my kids sake.

This man I call husband, works a  50+ hour work week at his civilian job, takes 9 credit hours of GRADUATE course classes a semester, and drills with the Navy Reserves once a month JUST to make ends meet because of RADison's adoption debt. When he comes home he is immeadiately put in charge of RADison because I can't deal with him. He usually attempts to do some sort of cleaning after the boys are in bed. All of that and he puts up with a wife who has lost her mustard seed faith, who is exhausted and discouraged. He never complains that the house isn't clean anymore, that his clothes aren't ironed, that dinner's not ready or that I haven't gone grocery shopping... still. He loves me through it, and in spite of it, and he does the same with the kids.

So, today, honey, even when I don't act like it, even when I don't say it, especially when I can't say it, I LOVE YOU, and I appreciate all you do for ALL of us. You are the best father-Ever.



Disturbing Dream

Not that I don't already have enough problems sleeping. Between my bad back, arthritis or whatever the crap is up with my knees, the stress of the day, neverending headaches and the worst, not to mention OLDEST matress in history... I really don't need to add freakish dreams to my repertoire of things keeping me up at night.

But seriously, besides the reoccuring dream I had as a child about someone wanting to slice the skin off my back... this was the most disturbing and random dream I've ever had. Or at least ever had and remembered.

So I'm asleep, minding my own business I might add, when all of a sudden the x-boyfriend of a daughter of a dear friend of mine and I are walking up a hill together. Now, the hill exists in real life, I know the hill well, the bottom of the hill starts at a football field and at the top of the hill sits the elementary school the Whizkid attended last year. In real life this young man just graduated high school and is a tremendous athlete. In my dream I, apparently had just graduated from high school as well because as we're walking up this hill together we're talking about the future and what kind of plans we have for the future. In real life I'm aquainted with this boy, but in my dream we must have been fairly good friends. Anyway, we're walking up the hill, that really does exist, except in my dream there are train tracks on the hill (no train tracks in real life) talking, when all of a sudden this guy says "I really need to think about how I'm going to pull this off, I need to pull this off and make it believeable" in my dream I thought well, that's a really odd thing to say, and has nothing to do with what we've been talking about but it didn't really seem like a cause for alarm to my dreaming self...

A few minutes pass and I keep walking up the hill, aparently thinking the guy was a few steps behind me. Then I hear the sound of a train coming and as I look behind me, this young man was PURPOSELY lying face down on the ground with his right arm draped across the train tracks. In my dream I knew immeadiately what was going to happen, maybe I should mention that in REAL LIFE, this boy is an amazing athlete, football is his sport of choice. Unfortunately because of poor grades he did not get a scholarship to his dream school like he had planned, and last I heard he was feeling pretty sorry for himself. Anyway, there I am near the top of the hill frozen and horrified because I know what this guys plan is, and there he is with his arm draped across the track, and there the train is racing towards him. I scream, the train runs over and rips off his arm and he's a bloody mess. He rolls from his stomach to his back screaming and writhing in pain. I continue screaming and start running down the hill...

As I race down the hill towards this boy, I see a vehicle driving up the hill. The vehicle belongs to my  real life dear friend whose daughter used to date this guy, I half mime, half shriek what just happened. My friends husband was driving the vehicle and her daughter was in the passenger seat, her reaction was heartbreaking. They speed away to where I told them said boy was on said hill...

I wake up soaked in sweat and tears... I pray for T.W.

An hour later and I still can't get back to sleep.

So there, now, interpret this for me.

Friday, June 17, 2011

R.A.D.

Oh shit.


Shit!


Shit!


Shit!


No, I have not come down with a sudden case of turrets syndrome.


About a month or so after being back in the US the thought crossed my mind that we may be dealing with R.A.D. I quickly dismissed it believing I hadn't given SV sufficient time to adjust, after all he'd only been home a month. And I can't decide if the month he spent with me in Russia counts towards his adjustment period. Now, six months into this I've decided he is going to be adjusting the rest of his life.


About 3 months ago R.A.D. made it's way into my thoughts again. It was the day he punched his teacher in the stomach. And a week later R.A.D. was knocking on my brain yet again because SV got in a fight on the playground. And again I made R.A.D. disappear. I didn't want to think about R.A.D. I mean who does R.A.D. think it is? How dare R.A.D. suggest my child could be a "son of R.A.D." a "RADison"? No way, uhn uh, I am NOT inviting R.A.D. into my house! I told R.A.D. to shut the hell up and get out of my brain. Thankfully R.A.D. left...


Until yesterday. Then R.A.D. came crashing back. First gently into my brain through an email from a new friend who has two RADlings of her own. Then furiously and without remorse like a semi crashing into my chest. I followed my new friends advice and checked out RadKid.org and I looked over the signs and symptoms of R.A.D. in children. The semi truck hit my chest at that moment, it showed NO MERCY and I could hear R.A.D. laughing at me inside my head.




Yep, I'd been avoiding R.A.D. for 6 months, and now R.A.D. was having it's revenge. I hadn't wanted to think about it, I knew then, and I know now if R.A.D.  was what we are dealing with then not just MY life will be forever changed,  but the lives of my other two children, my marriage, even the lives of my friends and in-laws will be forever changed. I don't want that. I DON'T WANT IT. I DO NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH R.A.D. I do not want my other children to deal with R.A.D. and I do not want my MARRIAGE to have to deal with R.A.D.


R.A.D. however, does not care what I want. R.A.D it seems is here to stay, the univited guest. And whether SV is ever "properly" diagnoised, this is all the proof I need: all of the signs/symptoms that are highlighted and/or underlined SV exhibits on a daily basis. 


Symptoms of RAD in Children




Superficially charming and engaging, particularly around strangers or those who they feel they can manipulate


• Indiscriminate affection, often to strangers; but not affectionate on parent’s terms


• Problems making eye contact, except when angry or lying



• A severe need to control everything and everyone; worsens as the child gets older


• Hypervigilant


• Hyperactive, yet lazy in performing tasks


• Argumentative, often over silly or insignificant things


Frequent tantrums or rage, often over trivial issues


*Demanding or clingy, often at inappropriate times


• Trouble understanding cause and effect


• Poor impulse control


• Lacks morals, values, and spiritual faith



• Little or no empathy; often have not developed a conscience


• Cruelty to animals


• Lying for no apparent reason


• False allegations of abuse


• Destructive to property or self


• Stealing


• Constant chatter; nonsense questions



• Abnormal speech patterns; uninterested in learning communication skills


• Developmental / Learning delays


• Fascination with fire, blood and gore, weapons, evil; will usually make the bad choice


• Problems with food; either hoarding it or refusing to eat


• Concerned with details, but ignoring the main issues


• Few or no long term friends; tend to be loners


• Attitude of entitlement and self-importance


• Sneaks things without permission even if he could have had them by asking


• Triangulation of adults; pitting one against the other


• A darkness behind the eyes when raging


And the very first symptom up there, this one "Superficially charming and engaging, particularly around strangers or those who they feel they can manipulate" that explains how we didn't know... that explains the DRASTIC difference between the child we thought we were bringing home, and the child we actually have.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

You know what I want?

Besides to take this all back?

I want my mommy. I want to sit in my mom's arms, I want her to hold me and comfort me and just listen. I want her to cry with me and then wipe away my tears.

I want my daddy. I want to lay my head on his shoulder, and I want him to look at me, smooth back my hair and kiss my forehead. I want him to tell me he loves me, that he's proud of me and that I'm gonna be ok, that I'll get through this.

I don't have a mom. I don't have a dad. Never did. Yet... I miss them now more then ever.

For the record

this isn't fun. I'm not proud of my feelings. I don't enjoy being ANGRY. I don't enjoy being FRUSTRATED. I DON'T enjoy being COMPLETELY EXHAUSTED every day, ALL DAY LONG. It drives me CRAZY that a year ago I could function and get through a day on 4 hours of sleep and not be the least bit tired, but now 8 hours of sleep isn't enough to feel rested, let alone energized.

I am NOT proud of the fact that if I have ANY feelings toward my adopted child that they are, at best, feelings of tolerance. I tolerate him, that's it. What kind of mother, what kind of CHRISTIAN mother merely tolerates her child? What kind of mother has to WORK at FORCING herself to show interest in her child's day, and offer a single hug before bed. No, seriously, I'm asking you... what kind of mother behaves like this?

What happened to the mother I was a year ago?

What happened to this mom? I don't even recognize her anymore? Who was this woman? so devoted, so loving? so sure of herself... so SURE of her LOVE FOR HER SON. NO, I'm NOT proud of my feelings, in fact I'm HEARTBROKEN over them. I'm DEVASTATED because of them....





Borrowing words/lyrics from Matchbox 20...

"This ain't good, in fact it's phony as hell,

but things worked out just like you wanted too (or thought you did)

if you see me out, you don't know me (because I'm not who I once was)

Try to turn your head, give me

some room

to figure out what I'm gonna do.

Everyone here, hates everyone else for doing just what they do

It's best if we all keep this quiet instead (is it? or is it better to be honest?)

It's over now, I'm sorry now

and I don't know how, to get it back to good"





Pretty much sums it up right there, I don't know how to get "it" that is, our family "back to good"...







Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Forced positivity

Okay, here's a little exercise in uh, well, in some extreme digging and searching and struggling to find that needle in the haystack. Or pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, yes, that's more like it, as everyone knows the pot of gold is fictional and therefore ENTIRELY impossible. Yet, one could conceivable find a needle in a haystack if they had an enormous amount of patience, and spare time on their hands. I happen to be lacking in both of those areas, not to mention, what kind of moron throws a needle in a haystack anyway? Don't they know the minute they do that they'll need the flipping needle to darn their kids socks? Because of course said kids continue to wear their socks outside after being told, oh, I don't know, only A MILLION times NOT to.

Alrighty, off the bunny trail. Today, I am FORCING myself to find something positive, ANYTHING, no matter how BIG or small about our current situation. And, I am going to share it with you, because although things suck, really REALLY SUCK 99.9% of the time, I know there has to be a .1% somewhere that I am missing out on.

Um....

Ok, I got something. SV is at the YMCA-all day, every week day. Because I just CAN'T handle him being home. He is totally incapable of entertaining himself, or playing alone. He just CAN NOT do it. He will flip through books-though he COULD read beginner books-IF HE TRIED. He will pass lego pieces back and forth from hand to hand, he will draw the same picture over and over and over again. He will wander around the house from room to room like a lost little puppy, he will walk in circles like a puppy chasing it's own tail. I know that sounds harsh, and mean and even uncaring. BUT it's TRUE, and it's exhausting, and ok, it ANNOYS me. I admit it. I can't not entertain this child and provide structured activities all day long, I just can't, nor do I want to. Hence the YMCA day camp. He is there from 730am to 5pm Monday through Friday. This is a good thing for our WHOLE family. I feel like I can function like myself between these hours and be the mom that Aidan and Asher remember, I know they miss that mommy. Hell, I miss BEING that mommy. But something that makes me exceptionally happy, is that SV is getting to experience things at the Y daycamp that I KNOW he would have never experienced in Russia, I also know if he was home with me I would NEVER have the patience to take him to some of these places. Take SV horseback riding? Um, I don't think so. I'd rather eat squid, and seeing as how I am a vegetarian with severe food texture issues that should say alot. So, for me the Y is not just positive because I can function while he is there, but because he is getting to experience some really cool things that he otherwise wouldn't.

His language. He uses next to no Russian anymore. Originally we had hoped he would keep his native tongue. Now I am so THANKFUL he has lost it. The communication barrier was SO much harder when you couldn't decipher if he understood you. NOW, I KNOW he understands. On the other hand, that also brings more challenges because then the disobedience is downright defiance because he DOES understand. His vocabulary still needs to grow, and it will, but he speaks full, intelligent, comprehensible English sentences. This is good.

I shaved his head. Yes, I am really digging here, and I said no matter how big or small, I would share the positives. He has CRAZY hair. It actually has a really pretty wave to it, however, it grows at a superhuman speed. I was taking him to get his haircut and within a week he needed it cut again. And while it looked good "longer" he does this obnoxious thing where he rubs his head on the ground.. wait, no POSITIVES... Uh, so for reasons I won't mention his hair wouldn't stay "nice".  Plus, although it has a pretty wave to it, once it started growing back, or got "xyz'd" that I won't mention the back of it would stand up and he looked like a little peacock. The front would lay flat, and the back stuck straight up. So, one day I'd had it with "xyz" and the peacock effect and buzzed it all off. My bank account thanks me, which is a good thing. And he likes it. And I like it, now that he's stopped rubbing it CONTINUOUSLY.

He's slowed down with his eating, some. Not enough, but some. And some is better then none. So, that is another good thing.

Maybe I should do this once a week? Hmm... that may be pushing it. Perhaps once a month. Yes, I think that's a good idea. Once a month I shall sit down and report on "positives". It'll be good for me.

Thanks to those of you who reached out to me after my last post. And a special thanks to Courtney. I wept when I read your blog, especially your posts about older child adoption. Oh my gosh, there is another person out there who's been there, and that feels SO SO good to know.