Friday, October 26, 2012

My take on the "R" word

*****I may lose friends over this post but please hear me out*****
The topic of the "R" word is rather HOT right now.  A friend of mine was over the other day and she said exactly what i felt but hadn't put into words out loud.  I will tell you that part a little later.

 Ann Coulter is someone who just doesn't get it in one way.  I just listened (for as long as i could) about her response to Piers Morgan and was shocked that she doesn't think that her use of the "R" word was offensive to people with disabilities.  WOW!  She is DEFINITELY wrong on that one.  It was like wild fire all over my FB wall with my friends who have children like i do with special extra chromosomes!

I believe though that there is something that is DEEPER for me that is MORE offensive.  I have seen people have signs on their walls that inform people that they need to go to their thesaurus and look up another word instead of using the "R" word.  I am so sorry but i COMPLETELY DISAGREE!!!

Back to my friend.  She grew up having an uncle, who is still alive and is "old" for having Down Syndrome.  She just went on a long road trip with him last month.  She loves him very much.  She let me know that when they were growing up their whole family knew that their uncle was mentally retarded.  It was a medical term to them.  NOTHING MORE.  It is not a word that i can say that i am comfortable with BUT i can tell you that what she said next is the way that i feel.

She said that she is not offended when people use those words in that context as she doesn't believe that the person who is using it in that context is meaning it to be rude, mean or offensive.  I agree.  I also agreed with what she said next.  She said that if she was to have used the "R" word as in calling someone that word that she would have been in HUGE HUGE trouble!

THIS is the part that i am having a hard time with AND it is one that many may not agree with.  My problem with the word is the WAY that the word is used!!!   My problem with the whole thing is that someone is calling another person ANY name that is not respectful of that person.  Calling someone retard, moron, dummy, stupid, etc...... is plain ole' WRONG!!!  WHY are ANY of those words acceptable?  I can disagree with Ann on this angle here too.  If she thinks that people do not call people with disabilities "retarded" in the way that is rude and mean then she doesn't have any friends who have disabilities!  I am going to go against the norm again though and say this.....i also don't believe that those same precious people aren't called stupid, moron, dummy, etc......  I am sorry, but PLEASE do not go to your thesaurus and look up ANY names that are saying anything like these words!  ALL of them are WRONG!!!

I don't care if you are a Republican and can't stand the president who is in office right now.  I don't care if you think that his policies are ridiculous.  I don't care if you think that he should be taken out of office and believe that we need changes.  I don't care if you believe as i do that the policy that allows a full term baby to be partially born and then be aborted is disgusting and outrageously WRONG!  What i DO care about is....and ESPECIALLY if you call yourself a Christ follower....that you are calling a person, that God created, a name that shouldn't be on ANYONE!  You can despise the policies but you do NOT call the president of the United States a name! PERIOD!  NOR should you call your sister that, or your mother, or your cousin, or your teacher, or your student, or your co-worker, or your grandfather, or your pastor, or your parishioners, or your boss, or your neighbor or even your enemy!

SO, in my book.....PLEASE.....just stop calling people names that are offensive!!!  To me, ALL of them are!!!  I am ALWAYS BLESSED
PS I AM going to tell you this though....if i EVER overhear a person call either of my two children with Down Syndrome ANY of the words that have been used in this post as offensive OR for that matter any of my other five will be VERY hard for me not to be VERY passionately offended and angry in teaching that person a lesson in being respectful of their fellow human beings.  PLEASE guard your words.  TEACH your children to be KIND and RESPECTFUL!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Our birthday

I am just going to post what i wrote LATE tonight on my FB wall as i thought that you all may enjoy this!
I am WIDE AWAKE as the night was just amazing AND the fact that the "TWINS" keep waking up every twenty minutes or so!
I got to watch our daughters bring Vica's wishes to life as they gave her what she has wanted since Liz got HER first camera! ALL of our girls have LOVED photography so far (and History and Bible but THAT is another topic altogether ;})). Vica is just going to be a shutterbug wh

ich will teach her HOW to take improving pictures! She was the one who took MY picture when i opened MY presents. (in case you missed it....Vica was born on MY birthday, fourteen years ago ...on the 25th) OH!  Vica was given Liz's first REAL camera that SHE had ever bought...a REALLY nice camera!
You have to understand something....the last thing on my LOVE LANGUAGE list is 'gifts' SO to buy me something that makes me get REALLY excited is pretty hard! Tonight, our Catherine got me a HUGE chocolate candy bar...HERSHEY's! Chocolate is a good gift ANY day!!! LOVED her heart as she gave it to me!
Nate and Liz just about overdid themselves but oh my word....they hit the nail on the head for me! I got CHOCOLATE...dark at that...with Sea Salt ;}) THEN, if that wasn't enough....i got a hot rock back massage!!!!! OH MY WORD!!!! SO STINKIN' excited about that!!!!!!! THEN, i am NOT kidding you.....i LOVE this next gift BECAUSE it shows that our daughter KNOWS me!!! She got me a specialty mustard....I LOVE UNIQUE mustards!!! NUMMY!!! WHAT. A. NIGHT!!!
Later, after the 'twins' were asleep, the rest of us were all around the kitchen table (that was heaped high with paperwork that needs going through)....just chatting and gabbing and laughing. Just about the time that Liz and Nate were going to get ready to start going ...i realized that i needed to have us tell what we are thankful for for our Victoria on her "birthday" celebration. (the 25th) SO, we spent quite a long time sharing with Victoria the blessing she is in our lives and the blessing of the creation that God created her to be. As soon as we were done....Ethan started with his FIRST crying of the i ran up to comfort him as this was highly unusual. I came back later, expecting Liz and Nate to be standing and ready to go BUT instead all were still sitting. I went to the table and they said that they decided that they were going to tell ME what they were grateful for......well, did you see how excited i was over my precious gifts???
WORDS of encouragement.....where i didn't say a thing.... where i didn't have to help with... where it was from my very own family who knows me warts (i have MANY) and all....STILL able to find something to encourage and love and give this Mommy and WIFE enough LOVE in my LOVE TANK for a LONG LONG time.....WOW!!! WHAT AN ENCOURAGING NIGHT!
What was so encouraging to me was that they weren't just 'regular' kinds of blessings and encouragement....they were deep and detailed and Ally's floored me specifically ....she was grateful for my love, devotion, passion of .....YOU ALL and that i am using my gifts for other people that i don't even really know and that i am encouraging and helping people with their adoptions and their heartaches! JUST FLOORED me as i have felt SO very alone and disheartened!
I think that the reason there aren't nights like this more often is that i would NEVER sleep AND i would probably be up in the sky somewhere from flying so high in pure joy that i got to be the Mommy to these two boys and five girls and wife to one man that i will have been married to for TWENTY-FIVE YEARS next month! I AM ALWAYS ALWAYS BLESSED!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Miracle at a preschool...OUR children's and OUR miracle

 ***MIRACLE ALERT*** of many that have happened to me today so there will be more postings coming, i hope....we will see how long i can stay awake ;}) THIS HAPPENED IN MY PRESENCE TODAY!
Last night, Liz and Nate came over for supper and time with Grandma and Grandpa. It was a wonderful time & Grandpa bought us all Pizza AND had it delivered (NOT something that we have a VERY VE
RY long time). Lizzie knew that Grandpa wanted to go to Barnes and Noble (a bookstore) to look at and order a Nook. It was decided that for the first time, we believe, since Ethan was home....MOMMY-that is ME was going to be ALONE in our house for 90 minutes!!!

After Liz and Nate left, it was decided that they would have Lizzie drop Grandpa, Grandma, Vica and Catia back off at our house at 11:15am as Grandpa would be done in by then AND then someone could go with me to get the kiddos from preschool.
Let's just say that when one cleans with three other people for fifteen minutes.....things get done WAY faster!!! When one hour went by, i could not believe how little had gotten done! It didn't even look like i cleaned anything and i had been booking it through the house room by room the whole time (except for the time when i had to go to the bathroom and at that exact moment someone was knocking on our front door....let's just say that there were some tears of laughter when i told that part of the story to Grandma). I only had time to put in ONE load of laundry and that is a HUGE problem as my laundry is down where Grandma and Grandpa take their naps and my laundry is multiplying as if it was a pair of rabbits making babies!!!
My house was cleaned up and i noticed that they had five minutes to get to our house and i had a feeling that no one had told Lizzie about what time they needed to be back. It was true SO i asked if they just wanted to meet me at the preschool. YES....great new plan! SO, i said that i would meet them there in ten minutes.
As i was pulling up to the parking spot, i saw that they were all marching up the walk to the preschool. I hurried in and got to the door in time for Liz and Grace to let me in and they let me go into the preschool first. mind is screaming to let you know MORE details....
ok, remember that these are Scott's parents who will probably ONLY be here on this ONE day at this ONE MOMENT of time that would equal probably five minutes IF what happened next had not happened.
OK...back to the story....are you imagining me coming through the doorway and into the hallway and then you will want to see me scream out "STEVE"!!!! As i am hugging Steve profusely, i hear Grandma behind me tell Lizzie...OH! THAT is what you were telling IS Steve!!!
More back with me in time. There is a man whose wife has passed away and there is a woman whose husband has also passed away. Later they fall in love and they become husband and wife. They unite in matrimony with their adult children's blessing. Their adult children got along and got together a couple times a year. Later...much later, i come into the picture and fall madly in love with this couple who are my husband's mother's father and step mother. This step mother is the woman that i have talked of JUST RECENTLY....i miss her so desperately as she passed away over eleven years ago. Her husband, Scott's grandfather, passed away on Good Friday the year before she had passed away. Harvey and Lillian were one of the best blessings in my life. They were BOTH AMAZING grandparents! OH MY!!! JUST AMAZING!
Ok....MORE background....i ran into Lillian's granddaughter at our preschool on three different occasions since bringing the kids to school. I was so thrilled that God even had us see each other on our first day! THIS day, was even better, because you see.....for the first time in eleven years....step brother and step sister saw each other!!! In a preschool five hours away from their home at a time that they never had planned on being the EXACT time as Lillian's son who was picking up his grandson! (i had never seen Steve there before this date) there stood step sister and step brother catching up on the last couple years!
DO YOU REALIZE JUST HOW MANY MIRACLES HAPPEN EVERY SINGLE DAY that we take for granted???? NOT THIS ONE....this one, i have savored, relished and talked about over and over and over and over again! We serve an amazing God, don't we!?!?! I am ALWAYS BLESSED

God's miracles that we take for granted-NOT HERE, NOT TODAY

ANOTHER miracle?  I have never had a meeting where i know that it may be uncomfortable and come away from that said uncomfortable meeting feeling COMPLETELY at peace and having NO IDEA as to why.  MIRACLE!  I mean, COMPLETELY at peace with ZERO reason for the peace!
Then i came home and found out that Bonnie had a solution for our Ethan's destruction of his crib! She called me and let me know that she not only had the solution, she was willing to COME OVER TONIGHT and DO IT!!!  She is one of those who has been a blessing in our lives throughout our adoption of Ethan.  SO grateful.  YOU should see the crib too....just amazing!  What a gift she has and she used it for our family!  Have i mentioned that i am grateful!?
THEN, my phone rang AGAIN!!!  NOT a telemarketer either!  WOW!  It was Liz to tell me about an oil meeting where they would be giving me more information about know the info that i am eating up like crazy.  What was amazing was that she ENCOURAGED me as i told her how the oils were being used to help THREE of my friends.  She told me, WITH EMOTION, that i was a blessing to these three friends that i had just loved on.  No big deal BUT Liz told me that it was a blessing that i was putting on these people in more than just oiling their feet with the YL product.  I came away from that conversation feeling so wrapped in well, LOVE!  I felt cherished and as if i had a purpose that was valuable to others than my own family.  SUCH a blessing....more than she even knew.
THEN, my phone rang AGAIN!!!  THIS time, it was a call that brought me to tears as i heard a man from our church....i am weeping right now as only God knows how much this call meant, again, WAY WAY WAY more than he will ever know.  This was a call from a man that i have always greatly respected.  He called to tell me that for the past two weeks, the Lord has been laying our family on his heart.  You see, he has been reading a book that was about a VERY educated, highly smart family having a child with DS.  You see, this book had convicted this man in our church and TONIGHT, GOD asked him to call...TONIGHT!  OH MY!  GOD knows that my heart NEEDED this call TONIGHT!  I wept as i heard this man not say, I'm sorry BUT INSTEAD, WITH EMOTION, "i want to tell you that i have not done well with the way that i have treated you and Scott and your family.  I have not appreciated the 'crazy love' that you have had for not only your biological child with DS BUT THEN to go and bring home a child from another country who also has DS and i did not appreciate what you did.  I have not supported you in the way that i should have and i it was so wrong."  I wept and i gasp for a breath right here again!
GOD IS SO AMAZING, my friends, because GOD's TIMING is THE BEST!!!  It is NOT on MY terms, it is NOT convenient for me, it is RARELY when i think that it SHOULD be BUT GOD has just BLOWN my mind on this incredible day of blessings!  BLOWN ME AWAY!
To top it all off, my know, the one whom many (MOST) have not understood as to WHY God called us to have HIM as our son....well, (i am weeping again because it was another miracle in my life tonight) son, after all of the night time singing was done....i tried to see if he would "melt" into my body in a cuddling position that was COMPLETELY curled up against me....and he did.  He did it for a very short minute BUT.....that minute was one that i am VERY VERY grateful for tonight.

PS (i am gonna say...tomorrow, would you please PRAY for our family as the evil one will probably NOT be too happy that THIS day was SUCH a blessed and grateful day!  Thankfully, the Lord has supplied me with some pretty big amounts of HOPE, encouragement, love, and JOY!)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Suffering and the American Christian-the updated version

This blogpost has been rambling in my head now for several months and i've decided that i'm just going to start writing it out as i have MANY times during this time but this time i WILL finish it.

I have so many of my Christ-following friends who have been going through unbelievably HARD situations for LONG periods of time.  You DO know that when one is in these kinds of situations that an hour feels like a day and a day feels like a month...a month feels like a year and a year feels like a lifetime.  There have been moments where we have wondered what in the world God was doing.  The deal with God is that He often doesn't make sense!  The deal with God is that He often doesn't let us know WHAT He is doing nor why He is doing it!

For us, the first four of the past five months of our bringing home our son have been MOSTLY tough mixed with moments of HOPE, delight, joy, and pure amazing love being given!  The Lord has given me moments where i felt like i couldn't move a muscle or else the moment may end as it was just so precious.  Those moments had always been followed by some of the hardest and LONGEST moments of these five months.  It got to the point of my knowing that the Lord was giving me a blessing to hold onto for the day ahead that was coming. I thank the Lord for those times but to tell you the truth this blog post is going to try to tell you why i believe and KNOW that we are ALSO supposed to thank the Lord through those HARD LONG days, weeks, months and even years.  We, who follow after Christ and His teachings SHOULD NOT be shocked BUT RATHER, isn't that supposed to be the 'norm'?James 1:2-3 have been my 'life verses' since i was...well, a VERY LONG time...since childhood.

I have to tell you that i am appalled CONSISTENTLY by what i hear the average 'American Christian' believe and say what their lives should be looking like especially when i compare it to what the average American follower of Christ believed just one hundred years ago OR when i compare it to what believers in other parts of the world are going through on this very day (as i read ((with the LONG E) in the Voice of the Martyrs magazine or hear on the Mission Network News program on our Christian radio station).  I am appalled by what I think that God should GIVE me or DO for me!  UGH!

People are continually appalled that Scott and i adopted our son AND that he is having 'issues' that we will have to 'live with'.  The idea coming across is that WE have taken on 'too much'...WE.  Lately, my heart and mind freak out every single time i hear this idea (EVEN though there are many times where my flesh also wants to agree with them).  ARE YOU SERIOUS???  SO, am i supposed to be EXPECTING that my life here on earth is supposed to ONLY be easy, happy and full of sunshine and roses?  WHERE IN THE WORLD do we find that in the Bible?

What i am seeing is the Church (the American followers of Christ) is coming together to go golfing together, have swimming parties, have fun, just hang out, and do the things that just feel great and are thinking that "THIS is the life".  It seems that THAT is what Christians in general are feeling that life is supposed to be if God could ever ask US as believers to do something that would cause us to CHANGE OUR LIFESTYLE!?!?!   Why would God ever ask us to be stretched?  Why would God ever ask us to go through a serious health issue that could alter our lives forever OR end our lives for that matter?  Why would God give a family a child that had health issues that made it so their lives had to be altered, not only for a few weeks but for the rest of their lives?  Why then would God ask THEM to take on ANOTHER child that has health issues?  GOD would NEVER ask a family such a thing, WOULD He??!

SERIOUSLY!?!?! Have you read any missionary biographies lately!?!?!  We are reading a biography on Jonathan far this family has lost FOUR children to death that would probably NOT have happened had they stayed in North America but it DID happen because God had asked them to go to China as some of the very first foreign missionaries ever to enter China.  This wife and mother was asked by God to have HUNDREDS of people go through her home on a DAILY basis  (six days a week ever since THE day that they came back from their furlough back in Canada for SIX YEARS and from daybreak to dark- you may want to read this last sentence again).with people who would steal anything and everything that wasn't bolted down.  On one day that was in the same month that she and her husband had buried their THIRD child AND in the ninth month of a VERY difficult pregnancy for her...they had the MOST people come through their home. On this particular day though, they had 1,800 men and 500 women who had gone through their home.   Haven't THEY already done ENOUGH!?!?  WHY would God ask such a thing of a family???


I have been STRUGGLING SO much as i see what we are going through and fighting my flesh for thinking that THIS is SO hard but THEN i see another family who IS getting it and who IS ACTING out their FAITH, a family who is acting "crazy" when the world sees them, or i read a biography of a past follower of Christ who LIVED as if THIS was NOT the life but rather what is to COME, is!

For the most part WE aren't coming together to DIG in the Word, to meditate on His precepts, to help the widow on our streets or in our pews or the orphan or the single mother who has three children and no break, or the least of these or the untouchables of our day.  For the most part, we aren't hungering for the things that are eternal BUT for the things that satisfy our flesh....THIS IS ME!!  I could sit here and think that we have done enough of the changing our lifestyle and feel let off the hook BUT what i have realized is that....THAT is NOT true!!!  There are SO many people who are hurting and need ME and our family to change our schedules to care for the hurting around us.  THERE ARE SO VERY MANY too!

I have never in my life known how much i have been sucked into this American Christian belief that God would NEVER ask us to do "THAT" as i have from this adoption!  I would give excuses and i hear excuses -THAT would be too hard on our family, too much money, too tough for us to handle, an area where i am NOT qualified, and the excuses go on.  What is SO SAD is that we BELIEVE IT!!!  We don't even give it a second thought!  We hear God ask us to do something as simple as smile at the person in front of us or to open our mouths to be kind to a stranger even or to make a meal for a family we don't know or to shake the hand of a person in uniform and thank them for their service, tell someone about Jesus being the ONLY way to God/heaven.....the list goes on as to what takes us out of our comfort zone.  You know, the areas where we KNOW that the Lord would NEVER ask us to go to! SO we just dismiss it and don't give it a second thought!

GOD HAS ASKED OUR FAMILY TO ADOPT!!!  Yes, it IS hard!   BUT, my goodness guys!  LIFE is hard!  Ethan is a child....a child i might add who was created with a PURPOSE....a child who had NEVER been into a HOME where there is a kitchen, a living room, and for that matter had never been in a church!!!  Our son is NOT a burden even though he has brought me to my knees wondering WHY God has chosen ME....our family.....he is our son, our SON that GOD gave us!  IF he had been born from my own womb would people be acting as if it is too much for us to take on?  GOD is the One who chose our son!  GOD is the One who gave us/ME this opportunity to realize MY selfishness, MY pride, MY concerns about the THINGS of this world as being more important than JESUS and the PEOPLE of this world!  I have never been so convicted as i have these past five months and now a few days since we brought Ethan into our lives in Bulgaria and then home.

WHY is it that we think that when someone does something CRAZY that it couldn't be from God WHEN THE BIBLE IS FULL OF THAT KIND OF LIVING!!!?!?!  When our forefathers LIVED that way!?!?!   When there are men, women and children TODAY giving their VERY LIVES so that they can go and hear about Jesus with a group of other believers!!!  There are churches that will be FULL here in the US where people can't WAIT for the sermon to be done so they can watch the football game and won't remember what the sermon is by the time the game is done.  NOR will we take the time to digest and meditate on it long enough to have the words from our pastor that GOD HAS GIVEN him to actually CHANGE our lives!  Again, THIS IS ME!

MY challenge to you and CONTINUALLY to MYSELF is how is my life acting like Christ's?  How am i acting like the men in the Bible who were doing things that made NO sense to the world that they were in.....BUT GOD asked them to do know, let's like Noah!!!  Elijah, Abraham, Ruth,  HELLO...MARY, the mother of Jesus, and the list goes on!?  How am i being MORE like Christ and less like the world?  How am i caring about the things that matter for eternity more than the things that will pass away?   How am i changing MY plans to be what God's plan is for me!?!

My prayer is that if you and i were to hear that still small voice ask us to change the plans you or i have for the evening and to do something that TOTALLY takes us out of our comfort zone OR just makes our night NOT be what you or i were planning....that we would say YES!  My prayer is that if God is asking you or i to change our plans for this week or this month or even for our LIVES...that we would say YES!!!  I pray that the people in our lives who see our lives will see JESUS in us because we are living SO DIFFERENTLY than the rest of the world!  Remember that the Lord told us that we are STRANGERS in THIS world!  THIS is not our home so DON'T get comfortable!  God asks us to take up our cross and follow Him!  THAT does NOT sound easy to me!

My prayer is that people will ASK us WHY we are different and that we will be able to tell them that the things of this world are NOT what matters to us....but JESUS does and THEY do!  I pray that we will be able to tell them about having a relationship with Him that isn't that it will save us from pain, hardship or heartaches but rather that there will ALWAYS be ONE who will WALK THROUGH those times WITH us!  I pray that they will then be able to hear that we followers of Christ are SO NOT even close to perfect BUT we DO have a PERFECT Christ that we ARE following and who has brought us to Himself as His child AND He desires that for them too!  I pray then that they will repent.  Repentance isn't just feeling sorry that we made a few mistakes but actually understanding the depth of our sinfulness, disobedience, and pride and the amazing response of sacrifice, forgiveness and love that God has mercifully given to us.  I pray that MANY will desire the Lord and His forgiveness and His work in their lives to be what He wants from that day forward.  I pray that they will become followers of Jesus Christ.

REPENTANCE...something that i am convicted of lacking in understanding and pondering on-i wonder when the last time I(we) really thought about what REPENTANCE even truly is?  I pray that i(we) who call ourselves CHRISTians would also repent of my(our) lack of zest, my(our) lack of passion, my(our) lack of taking Jesus seriously, my(our) lack of OBEDIENCE, etc....that i(we) would TRULY REPENT and turn from my(our) wicked ways and NOT listen to this world and its toys but instead listen to what GOD is asking me (us) to do!  FOLLOW HIM!  He did not call us to a life of ease but a life where we will be on our knees asking Him how in the world we can do it and He will respond...ONLY WITH me!  GOD uses our weaknesses, our hardships, our heartaches, our struggles and will bring miraculously GOOD out of those times.....even death.  We serve an amazing God who uses even our hardest moments to bring amazing good to Himself, to us and to others.  Remember that God ALWAYS gives us more than we can handle OURSELVES BUT NEVER more than He can handle FOR(with) us!

THIS did NOT come out in the way that i have been wanting BUT i pray that whatever reason that it is out there will be for God's glory and for His good as i feel as if i have slaughtered THIS post!  UFFDA!  I pray that you see it as a heart of a mother who has been convicted and also prays that others will join me.
I'm just going to quit now.....
but know that i am ALWAYS BLESSED