Monday, April 24, 2017

Why is it?

Why is it that some kids endure unspeakable trauma and still become functional adults? Why is it that one child of an abusive alcoholic becomes a loving parent and another child from the same home abandons her children? Why is it that one child of a mentally ill parent spends the rest of his life in therapy and another child escapes the dysfunction?

I certainly do not know all the answers to these questions, but for me there are two main reasons.

The first and most important reason is Jesus. Because of Jesus, I knew with certainty someone loved me. Because of Jesus, I endured. Because of Jesus, in my darkest hours I could retreat to the nest in the back of my closet, curl up in His lap and cry. He cared.

The other reason is teachers. I was blessed to have teachers who knew what was happening to me and supported me through it.

When I was late to fourth grade because I had to get my little brothers and sisters to their classes and daycare, Mrs. Triplett would smile, put her hand on my shoulder, and tell me what page everyone else was already on. The smile said "You're okay. You can do this."

In sixth grade when the storm was overwhelming, Mrs. Gill pulled me aside and coached me in life skills. She taught me that, even at 12, I could chart my own course.

In high school, a Sunday school teacher prayed with me and taught me to smile no matter what.

I didn't escape unscathed, but I escaped. A childhood which should have doomed me to lifelong dysfunction is at its worst a reminder of how strong I can be when I look to Jesus and lean on those who have gone before.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Some Thoughts on Clay

But now, O LORD, thou art our father;
we are the clay, and thou our potter;
and we all are the work of thy hand.
Isaiah 64:8 

Several years ago, I took a pottery class in college and I learned so much.

Any time you work with clay, you must take time to gather all the necessary tools and set up your work area. There are a few building tools you need but those vary depending upon what you are doing. One thing you always need is water. The water keeps the clay from drying out while you are working with it. It also lubricates the clay. You cannot work with clay without water and lots of it.

I hand built a teapot and I used lots of water.  I smoothed the coils together as I built. I smoothed the surface of the pot. I used buckets of water to accomplish my purposes.

Working on that pot reminded me of the verses in Ephesians chapter 5, verses 25-27: “… even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

The phrase “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word” jumped out at me.

Working with the clay took an abundance of water to keep my work from drying out. As a Christians, I know I often “dry out” because of a lack of the Word. I realize I need more of God's Word when I feel dry.

I also used water to smooth out the rough surfaces just as the Bible smooths out my rough surfaces. Am I grumpy? Time for Water. Am I discontent? Time for Water. Am I impatient? Time for Water. Water smooths the lumps and bumps and flaws.

After a while, I learned to feel whether the clay was cooperating. The least cooperative clay is dry clay. The first thing I would do when the clay was resisting was add water. Since I don’t want to resist the working of my Potter in my life as He molds me and makes me into a vessel fit for His purpose, I make sure I add plenty of Water every day.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

If Adoption was the same as Giving Birth, It wouldn't be called Adoption

The first time I saw the newborn baby that would become my daughter, I was stunned. I didn't feel it. I only felt.... fear. There was no instant connection. There was no instant love. There wasn't the unseen biological thread binding us together.

As an adoptive mother, it has taken me years to admit that it's different. It's not less, it's just different. There are other human beings on the planet who have a biological connection with my children that I won't ever have. I have never had the joy of watching my child's mannerisms or habits and thinking, "That's just like me!" They don't look like me. They don't sound like me. They don't laugh like me.

Are they like me at all? Yes. They are sarcastic, like me. They are messy, like me. (Do I ever have to force myself to stay neat so they will!) They are hardworking, like their dad.

Are we connected? Yes. Even when they live far away, I seem to know when they are struggling. If we are in the same room, I can see a glint in their eyes and know if it is joy, pain, or mischief.

Are they my children?1000 times yes!!

But it's different.

I was always so defensive of being their "real"mom because I am, but so is the woman who gave birth to them.  In a perfect world, adoption wouldn't be. Children would be born to parents who had all the needed strengths to raise their babies. Parents wouldn't die. Father's wouldn't feel like they needed to leave. Mother's wouldn't feel like they just couldn't do for their children all that they longed to do. Couples could conceive.

But we don't live in a perfect world and adoption, though it is beautiful, isn't a perfect solution.

Like everything else in our jumbled world, we do the best we can.

The first time I held that baby, I felt the weight of responsibility and the hope for the future. We put her in her carseat and headed home. Part of me watched warily behind us for sirens and lights because we were taking someone else's child.

On a hot April day, some 29 years later, I entered a house and met the woman with whom I shared a most precious gift. We embraced and she thanked me for loving her child while I thanked her for giving me my child to love.

It's different. It's precious.

Back to Writing

This crew keeps me on my toes.

Instead of writing,  I've been nursing sore toes. But now, the words are demanding to be written.

Since I last blogged, almost 3 years ago, so much has happened. The boys are all in school and doing well. We bought a bigger house! Our church bought a beautiful church building. Life.

I'm making a commitment to post here at least once a week. I'm sure most of my followers have moved on, but I look forward to meeting new people and maybe reconnecting with some of my old friends.

Watch this space!