Saturday, August 19, 2017

Back to School, God will Make a Way

I love back to school.  I love school shopping (for the most part), I love getting new clothes, picking out back packs, learning, and all the good that comes from school.  I have always loved it and would still be in school if it made sense and wasn't too costly.  All the kids we have had come in and out of our home mostly have loved school as well.  My parents are teachers, mother in law works in a school, my husband works at a school, and I have several friends who are teachers.  You get the picture, though I didn't want to be a teacher myself I do love all things school!

Back to school this year though has not been all smiles.  You see I have a child who struggles with trauma related anxiety.  I have been asked by several other parents in the same boat what we do and how we handle this time and also we have been asked by our friends what can they do to help.  So I write this today to share a glimpse into our life for nothing other but hope that another family doesn't feel alone and to help those who may not have this issue know how to help/love on a child who deals with anxiety.  

Even as I write this my daughter is sitting in my lap with her arms around my neck.  This has been my last week,  Lots of snuggles, needing hugs, asking questions and saying " I don't think I am going to go to kindergarten"  Her little brain is in high alert and bless her she can feel the changes coming.  There is a lot that goes into back to school that I never thought of before.  New classes, new room, new hours (we go all day now), no naps, new friends, new routines, new things to learn, new sounds, new smells, new new new.  We have practiced walking down the hall to the kindergarten rooms, we practice getting up and getting dressed, eating breakfast and getting out the door.  

We have gone over who are her safe people.  Who do you tell when you feel scared, when you don't know what to do, when the newness becomes too much.  We are blessed to be in a school district that loves my kids.  They love them well and who allows for our quirks.  My daughters knows her teacher is there to keep her safe,  she knows her principal will help if her teacher needs it and she knows her daddy is across the parking lot in his office if she just can't make it.  

What is hard is though she knows this she has a hard time feeling it,  We read books about being in school (The Kissing Hand is my favorite) and we have rituals we do about feeling safe and how mommy's and God's love is with you everywhere you go.  But again, for her 5 year old brain she doesn't always remember.

I have been dreading this week all summer.  Telling my friends how hard it's going to be and asking for prayers.  As I have been praying this summer I keep asking God to take her fears away.  Today while showering (it's my only alone time and that's only if my husband is home) I was praying again and then laughed.  I remember praying God will take my daughter's night terrors away when we found out we were going to have a bio daughter.  I was already super tired and couldn't imagine a non sleeping infant as well in the mix.  God is faithful and funny.  My bio daughter is an excellent sleeper from the day we brought her home and the night terrors didn't decrease for another year.  But God made a way.  

And that's just it...God will make a way.  I don't know if we will rock the first week, if it will be hard, if we practiced enough or if I told her enough that I love her.  Trauma is a tricky beast.  What I do know and what I have been singing in my head all day and have made it my theme song for the week is God will Make a Way 

God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me

He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a way


Look it up if you don't know it.  It's an old song that honestly I forgot about until today.  

God will Make a Way (this is not my youtube and just found it so you can listen to the song if you do not know it)

If you are a parent of a child who shares the same struggles know I am with you.  I know this time can be hard but I also know God gives a strength to you if you ask to be the best parent for your child.  He will make a way!

If you see a parent struggling or a child please feel free to ask how they may need help.  You may just be part of the way God is providing. Please feel free to teach your children how to be kind to kids who are a little different but most of all show us patience.  We may be late, we may look like there have been tears, we may look tired, we may smile and feel nervous about the day or we may just need that nod that acknowledges you see us.  Pray for our children and their teachers and classmates.  Back to school though full of fun pictures and new beginnings for some is not as picture perfect.  

Yet I hold on to this God will make a way and happy back to school to my Texas friends!










Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Seasons

My child touched a dog today! You may read that and say so what?  However in a season of one hard after another, a season of having to say no and a season of no sleep I have been praying a lot for God to give me little shout outs, almost like a little pat on the back to keep me going.  I stopped asking for the hard to go away but for the ability to do the hard.  
While other parents are excited school is starting and their kids are super ready to get back to see their friend and to be in their activities , my house does not.   I have two who will be starting kindergarten, two whose backgrounds are much alike but so different.  Back to school is a time of hard here.  There are so many changes and for a child who needs to feel safe, her safety is taken away and we throw her to the masses and say "good luck"  OK for all you teachers I know it's not quite like that but it can feel that way to her and me. And we do love our school!  We've been preparing and practicing and doing everything the books, counselors, and  my gut tell me to do but fear can be a hard thing to overcome especially for such a little one.

Ok back to the dog.  We were at some friends house today for a birthday party.  Everyone had an excellent time.  On the way out my daughter asked to touch the dog and even feed their dog.  My child is terrified of dogs and even cries just thinking there might be a dog wherever we may go.  I was happy she wanted to pet this dog.  

When we got in the car I was telling everyone how great they did at the party and she grinned and said "yeah mom, I touched a dog."  I knew she wanted me to make a huge deal out of so I did.  After we got on the road to head home, I could feel that still small voice say "there's you a pat on the back."  What true joy came for her and for me just from touching a dog!

I know we all have seasons.  We are all in different seasons at different times.  Some are happy, some are sad, some seem impossible, but God is the same God in all those seasons, that we can count on.  And today (well actually tomorrow now)  I am choosing to rejoice big in even what seems like a small thing.  Thankful for a God who reminds a friend to send you a card or text or who slows your brain down enough to see the beauty in the mess.  

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Alexander and the no good, terrible, bad day

So it's 1 am and I should be sleeping but not tonight.  It's been a day for the books as in Alexander and the Terrible No Good Very Bad Day (I think I might just go to Australia).  I have tried all the normal things to help me sleep, pray, read, watch tv, and ended up scrolling through all the social media outlets. Just something to get my mind off of the events and the adrenaline to wear down.  

I have only truly been scared 4 times in my life.  All of those time involved children in my home.  Once a child got lost, once a child had a mental break down and I no longer felt I could keep him or the other children in my home safe and the other two were medical things with kids.   I also usually find myself pretty calm in a crisis. But then there was today....

Back story we have had a summer- we have had a fridge flood the front room, car that would start, a chimney that needs fixed, dryer that died and a dishwasher that gave up.  All of these are things and to be honest though annoying I never was mad.  I get it things happen.  I can remember praying and telling God "hey I trust you to get us through this."  

Now back to today, we had a smallish accident that ended us at the doctor's office (all is ok), then I am not kidding not an hour after all kids were back at home, we had to call the paramedics (which side note, everyone was excellent and talked to me so calmly).  As I am calling trying to get my husband to answer his phone I could not stop shaking.  I finally get a hold of a friend who left her work and came to be here until my husband could get here.  I am pretty sure all I said was "I need you, paramedics are on their way."  While trying to stay calm on the outside my insides were shaking and I had two other kids who needed to be consoled as well.  I was in pure panic mode inside.  

Once things had calmed down and we knew my little one was going to be ok I looked at my husband and said " that's it, I officially call defeat and I am quitting.  I will try again in the Fall."

So why do I share all of this with you?  Two things I have been reminded of today.  One, we live in a fallen world.  Sin is everywhere and bad things happens-sometimes due to our own fault and sometimes others fault and lots of times just because evil exist.    Two, good does still exist.  The paramedics, the police officer who stopped by, my friend who left work to get here because I needed help and my husband wasn't home yet, to the friend who watch my kids today and the others who listened and checked in on us. Oh my neighbor even came to pray.  What a blessing that was to my heart.

And while I am ready for the summer to be over and want a change of seasons and a new start I pray that we all take time to see the good God has done.  Today the evil and good battled over my day, my thoughts and my children but I truly can claim Psalm 34:8



O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

Also, to end  with a cliche, Hug your children, those you love but more than hug them, show them what they mean to you.  And on another side note, remember not all children have a safe environment to know they feel loved in.  I cannot imagine how my day would have gone if I didn't have people in my corner.  Please ask me if you want to know how to be in a child's corner and become a foster family.  We all need a cheering section!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Don't Worry About A Thing….I'm Still Standing

As many bloggers (or blogger wanna be like me) have said before, it's been a while and  I have sat down to write this many times but never quite finished.   

This time of the year (for the last few years) has been a time that causes me to pause and try to grasps the beauty and ugly that seems to co-exsist in our world.  Maybe it's the springtime that symbolizes a new start or the fact that from Feb to May we have about 10 birthdays, mother's day, one of our child's gotcha day, end of school year, dance recitals, and the lists go one of events that occur which cause me to want a break to pause and think.

In our house it is not uncommon to hear songs playing,  my husband or I singing, or even the kids singing.  My oldest daughter loves to sing.  She will sing about her day, she makes up songs all time and even will sing her prayers from time to time.  Due to our love of signing we recently watched the animation movie SING.  Of course it was a hit and we have had the sound track on non stop.  

One of our favorites from the sound track is an original Stevie Wonder song,  Don't You Worry About a Thing.  Here's the chorus  

Don't you worry 'bout a thing 
Don't you worry 'bout a thing, mama 
Cause I'll be standing on the side 
When you check it out...Yeah 
When you get it off...your trip 
Don't you worry 'bout a thing...Yeah 
Don't you worry 'bout a thing…Yeah 


Call me crazy or just a lack of sleep but one night while singing this to my daughter, who can struggle at night time and with her sleep, I felt as though God was saying these words to me.  I didn't quite understand exactly until this weekend what this really meant to me.  We traveled back home to celebrate a family friend who is graduating high school.  In this short trip home I got to see several people I hadn't seen a while, I had to deal with some "drama" going on here, and also my dad's aunt and uncle were in a terrible wreck.  Through out the weekend this song kept coming to mind and here is what I heard.

Don't' worry about a thing because God is God
Don't worry about a thing because God provided me a tribe to do life along side of 
Don't worry about a thing because no matter what's going on in the world God ultimately wins in the end

On our way home my kids crashed hard in the car and I was telling my husband about this and another favorite from the sound track came to mind as well, I'm Still Standing (originally by Elton John).  To be truthful I don't know all the lyrics but we sing this part at the top of our lungs in the house maybe just as much as the above song….I. still standing, yeah yeah yeah….I'm still standing yeah yeah yeah

Truth is that I am still standing in big part due to the people God put in my life.  A few weeks ago my son saw this picture of me. 


He said "mommy look how strong you are and look what you can do."   For a second I was like "yes you are so right look at me"  but then has he gently does, God reminded me, you are strong because of people in your life.  You are physically strong because you have a friend who has invested in you, who loves you enough to push you and to listen to your struggles.  You are emotionally strong because of your group of friends who invest in you and love you enough to push you and listen to you.  You are strong in life because of family who loves you and pushes you.  You are Still Standing yeah yeah yeah because when  you feel like you can't these people stand for you!

All this to say my friends, is take some time to thank God for the people He has given you to do life with and if you feel alone pray God will show you what you can do to change this or that He will bring someone to you.  He is clear, He does not want us to do this life alone.  It can be hard, scary, mean, ugly, rude and sad but God promises to be with us in those moments and I am convinced one of the biggest ways He is with us in those moments is by using his people.  If you are not doing this for others people, figure out why and start.  I promise you this, with God in the middle of your friendships (we call them our tribe) you "don't have to worry about a thing because you're still standing yeah, yeah, yeah."