Saturday, May 23, 2009

Time for a Respite

For some reason, these past few weeks have felt more challenging to me than normal. I've decided to list some of them (some of these I blogged in great detail earlier), trying to figure it out why I have felt that it was more than the normal challenging.

  1. Mark and I have spent numerous hours communicating with our children, helping them understand the errors of their ways and how to learn from them.
  2. My work has been more stressful than normal. And I found out on Thursday that there are lay-offs in the near future and the number of people will be high, so July 1st I may not be employed anymore.
  3. The end of school year had Mark working in overdrive with little sleep until yesterday.
  4. My most recent college class got off to a rocky start as the on-line website experienced a huge outage the first week and this is a reading and paper writing intensive class which are causing me great frustration.
  5. I am still recuperating from my severe upper respiratory infection from several weeks ago, as I've been having respiratory issues again these past two weeks.

I know that all of these issues in my life were for a purpose and God was once again reminding me to let go and let Him, as He is enough. However, I'm tired. I haven't been getting enough sleep and I haven't been able to spend much time on my marriage. Between that and not feeling well, it's no wonder that the normal challenge feels more than just normal.

How fortunate for us that God's timing is perfect. I'm at my limit and next week, I am leaving my three children in the care of their wonderful Aunt Julie and heading down to Tucson for three nights. I get to relax at the Loew's Ventana Canyon Resort while Mark attends a conference there. I do plan on working on my school work so that I don't get behind, but I'm bringing some scrapbooking along with me.

I take a lot for granted, as I have other friends who are at their limit and aren't going to get any respite time and I am very thankful for this opportunity. My focus during these four days will be spending time with God, while restoring my health and energy so that I can be the best wife and mom as we head into summer and that I will be a better prayer warrior for my friends. I will intercede in prayer on their behalf that God will continue to strengthen them and bless them in all that they do and that they will not get discouraged.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Mother to the Next Level

Mother to the Next Level - That's how my friend Jennifer labeled my last twenty-four hours earlier today. And she isn't aware of the continuing saga tonight.

Three adopted girls, 15, 12, 9; two are from the foster care system, with the 9 year old having lived with us for only 11 months. I forget! My bad! I forgot that it can take years to feel safe and secure; as it seems to Mark and I that all our children have been with us from the beginning of their lives.

Last night we served a "family" search warrant on the room shared by two of them. We found what we had named in the search warrant along with some other "borrowed" items. I had forgotten briefly that our behavioral specialist says that we live in the Land of Perjury, and that I had specified in the Den of Thieves. Well, after serving the search warrant, our living location had been confirmed. Once we got everything returned to their rightful owner, it was time for the jury trial. Tried and found guilty. Sentencing was completed by 11:15 PM; she will have to do the chores of the victim for the next four Saturdays under their supervision.

I thought the drama was over. My bad for thinking. Tonight we discovered that our web safety program wasn't set with the correct settings for one our children. They had viewed some very disturbing web sites in a manner of 10 minutes last night while I was tending to another one of the children. Now, before you point fingers, our computer is in the main family room and we do have a great family safe web program. That is, if the settings are set correctly. We had recently added this family member and evidently copied over the wrong profile's safety settings. So, back to the Land of Perjury in the Den of Thieves we go. However, the trial and subsequent sentencing were over by 9:40 PM, so we made some progress (however, we also started much earlier tonight than last night).

So, for all of you who are wondering, yes, I still have my sanity. Yes, I shed quite a few tears these past 23 hours. Yes, my knees are sore from praying so much. And Yes, God is Enough! He gave me a little glimpse into how damaged one of our children really is from having been exposed to some not so nice things before coming into our lives. We have a lot of work to do in trying to help this little one heal and learn to trust. I am so thankful for this little glimpse tonight. And it opened up a door for me to share something with her that I had been longing to tell her about her biological mom, but I never found the right time and tonight, God provided it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Lesson's Over; Time for the Test

God is Enough... God is Enough... Still not feeling it... Maybe if I keep thinking it I'll start believing it...

Today was a very crummy day for me at work. For those of you who know me very well, you know that I LOVE MY JOB! (And for those of you who don't me all that well, I'm not being sarcastic, I really do love my job.) I have a great group of men who work for me and we make a great team. We have accomplished so much in the past two years since I became their supervisor. They accepted me right away and (still) respect me. And today I found out that I may no longer be their supervisor and could be forced to take a position at a lower level.

The reason is not due to anything that I've done, nor is it related to our current budget crisis; it is more of a retaliation issue that may result in my being removed of my current duties. My immediate supervisor and director are very supportive and are doing to do whatever they can to make sure that I stay in my current position, but it may not work.

I cried when I read the email that instigated this relevation and I was angry at the person who initiated the email. I was also very sad that I could be losing everything that I worked so hard for and I knew that my employees would be very upset if they lost me, especially for this reason.

I managed to compose myself and finish out my day and accomplish the tasks that I had set before me. I then climbed into my SUV and the tears immediately started flowing and they flowed all the way home and well after I walked into my house and sat on my bed.

My eldest came in and sat down on the bed next to me and asked me why I was so upset, so I shared with her. She was very sympathetic and asked me if I had prayed about it (which I had just finished doing when she had come in) and she said that she would pray for me and this situation. I felt so comforted at that very moment. As she left to finish getting ready for another visit with her bio. mom and half sister, she also said that maybe it was time for me to be a stay at home momma. I did not fall off the bed from shock that these words of wisdom came from my eldest, but I'm glad that I wasn't sitting on the edge or I probably would have.

We left and stopped by Mark's school to pick him up so that he could join us in our trek out to Chandler. His first comment was how excited he was for me, because I am so happy in what I'm doing, that if God takes that away from me, that He must have something totally spectacular to take its place.

Okay, I'm feeling it now. God IS ENOUGH! If I lose my current position, it won't be the end of the world and I've trained my employees to carry on without me and I have been working on training each of them to do my job when I'm not there, so I have no doubt that they will be fine without me. Whether I move to another position or I lose my job completely, GOD IS ENOUGH and I'll be just fine. I also forgive the person who is behind all of this and can't wait to find out what is in store for me at the end of this latest test.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

God is Enough, Really!

Today was a great day! Sure, I had the normal "I hate you" attitude (she didn't say it aloud but the way her head was spinning and the smoke rising, it was easy to tell that was what she was thinking) from one our children before they walked out the door the school. Not the way I like our mornings starting out, especially as they are leaving for school. I feel sorry for the first person they encounter along their journey from our house to school, which is Ms. Janette, our wonderful crossing guard!

But, it was still a great day! I came to this conclusion after I had cried about this "beautiful" interaction with one of my daughters, to another daughter (and was shocked that she felt I handled it quite well) and had started my day at work by glancing at all of my friends' Facebook updated statuses. I do this every morning via my blackberry while I'm waiting for my work computer to log me on and load up my email so that I can start my daily ritual of putting out the fires that occurred from the time I left until we closed at 2 AM. As I was glancing through them, one caught my eye. It was from my favorite Christian music composer. His status was:


Thanks Michael for this reminder! He is enough for me! It is with this great reminder that I was able to put aside my grief and focus on my tasks at hand and go through my extremely crazy day that ended up with back to back meetings the entire day that all but one was a walk-in. So I got very little work done, but I survived without being the slightest bit stressed (which is NOT my norm on days this like).

I am focusing on that and remembering not to be disappointed or frustrated in the things that I don't have (and really, really want, puhleez!). God is enough and even at this moment I cling to that. We found out today that we are possibly expecting (the way us fost-adopt families do it) and we will know in three weeks whether or not we are going to have a new addition to our family sometime this summer. I won't be disappointed if this child is not ours when the decision is made as to which family best meets this child's needs. God is enough!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day as an Adoptive Mom

Yesterday was Mother's Day. And for me, it was a stark reality check, as I am not the biological mother to any of our three children, as all three are adopted. Granted, I know that I am not their biological mother. However, I somehow forgot that until Friday. After all, I love them as much as I would love them if they were my biological children (I hope).

As I am no novice at Mother's Day as an adoptive mom, I do dread the school Mother's Day art project. I try to prepare myself for not getting the token art project, as in years past, these are sometimes addressed to bio. mom and sometimes to me. (The oldest child has been with us since she was 2 days old, but is no longer doing these token art projects, a lost art in high school). This year was no exception. Out of the two children who did art projects, one was addressed to bio. mom and one was addressed to me. Woohoo! I got lucky this year! That was until the child who did hers to bio. mom realized that we didn't have a way to get it to bio. mom, so she gave it to me after all, telling me to ignore the first page. After I read the first page, I realized that this heartfelt note really did belong to bio. mom and I kindly gave the art project back to her and suggested that she put it in her keepsake box with hopes that someday she would be able to give it her bio. mom. My heart was broken after reading the note to bio. mom, as my child misses her, even though it has been many years since she's seen her. That is a void that not even I can fill, no matter how much I want to. I took a "mommy time-out" and headed outside to cry my eyes out.

As the weekend progressed, we celebrated as a family by going out to dinner on Saturday night and then going to the Matt Maher and Shane & Shane Concert. We had planned to eat at a nice restaurant and then attend the concert. We forgot that we live with a teenager who struggles with the concept of time. So, fast food it was. The concert was awesome and the girls loved being able to meet Matt Maher afterwards. He was really sweet to them.

Sunday was a nice morning at church, followed by lunch at Cracker Barrel with Nana and Papa. We then stopped at the Mesa Cemetary to visit Mark's mom's gravesite. Our youngest daughter had a hard time understanding why were there, but that wasn't important. We were there as a family, support Mark.

We then headed to Nana and Papa's for dessert and to exchange gifts. I got individual cards from each of the two younger children and a beautiful card from Mark, along with a set of dessert plates that I had picked out (I've learned from 19 years of marriage to get the catalog or website and mark what I want - it saves on the amount of time spent in return lines at the store). My dad made me a leather bible cover and my mom gave me my Grandmother's thimble to add to my keepsakes of sewing tools that I have shadow boxed in my living room. The comment that I overhead my oldest say, "I hope mom didn't notice". Well, mom did notice that there wasn't even a signature on any of the cards from her , not even in someone else's handwriting.

As I have spent the last twenty-four hours trying to process through all my emotions of this weekend, trying to figure out how and where I fit into Mother's Day, I realized something. It isn't about me, it isn't about them. My job is train them up in His way's, not mine. Nowhere is it written in the Bible that moms get a special day of recognition. At the end of the day, I just need to look back and see if I've accomplished my task.

This life lesson that God is teaching me is very painful, but I am so thankful that He finds me worthy of the trouble.