So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised. Hebrews 10:35-36 I thought getting to the … Continue reading
This time last year, in a moment of reflection, the word that landed in my heart for 2014 was fulfillment. Today 2014 draws to a close, I’m pausing to reflect. It has indeed been a year of fulfillment.
And the child grew and became strong in spirit….(Luke 1:80) I often prayed over the children who would come. That seemed to be the key – being strong in spirit. I knew then and know now that in myself, I can’t fix the many issues. I can’t take away the real pain of loss. I can’t wipe away rejection. There are things I can do to help. I can be a place of comfort, encouragement, and stability. There are things I can do and try to do consistently to ease the discomfort. But in the end, it’s the God of all creation who can bring healing. Knowing that, I prayed fervently for the day that I live in now.
…You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.
Friendship… is not something you learn in school.
But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship,
you really haven’t learned anything.
Friends are my greatest earthly treasure. I can’t imagine life without them. Some have been around a long time – like Erin who I’ve known since I was a toddler and Kara came along when I was 13. Others I’ve met more recently and we share a more immediate history.
Often, I’ve wondered if my girls would have the same joyous experience of having each other and a close circle of friends to see them through life. There were times when Raine’s behaviour made me mournful. She couldn’t see how vehemently she was pushing away her peers – including her sister.
Daily, I choose what values are imparted to my children. Sometimes I’m intentional. When they catch me exercising – which is rare – I’m quick to say, “I want to stay healthy and keep my body strong.” Never do I hint at the fact that I need to lose weight. I want them to be comfortable with their appearance. Most of the time I am as well which is why the exercising doesn’t happen nearly enough.
There are other values I may not have been so intentional about. This week Raine’s perseverance surprised me. After a warm couple of days, snow hit us once more. We woke up to a winter wonderland again. Tuesdays are always hectic and it’s garbage day as well. Raine’s been a big help in getting the bins out. Without mitts (since I’d packed them all away), she wasn’t happy to do her job.
I opened the garage for her and got back to packing lunches. Raine returned to tell me her hands were too cold. I advised she abandon the mission then carried on getting Athena ready for school.
When we piled into the car, I discovered all the bins were out and carefully lined up along the curb. There was the regular trash, compost, paper recycling, and plastic recycling. Despite the cold, Raine had persevered.
This, by far, may be the most important value I can impart.
Praying for my girls…..
May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
2 Thessalonians 3:5
You may have noticed I’ve been posting on Sunday & Wednesday lately. This week I’m a day late. I’ve been busy getting ready for a mom 2 mom sale this weekend. I have a little coffee & tea business (www.believebistro.com) but that’s a whole other story.
Today I’m back to talking about Raine – who used to go by Sloane in this space. Since the pretense with Athena’s name has ended (Saying Her Name), I thought I might reveal my other daughter’s true name as well.
About a month after the adoption, we started seeing the girls’ birth grandparents. I knew them from visits when Raine & Athena were still foster children. If you want all the details on our situation you can review Open Adoption Part 1 & Part 2.
In the greater scheme of things, I know our connection is immensely valuable. In practicality it’s been challenging. Raine is generally very wild during the visit. And afterwards we endure several days of tantrums lasting hours on end. She screams about how much she hates me and wishes she could be with her birth mother again. The encounters bring to the surface intense emotions generally bubbling under the surface.
At times I’ve considered putting the visits on pause – offering Raine more time to come to terms with her situation. But she is immensely eager to see them. So instead my mom and I have collaborated on things to pray. And I’ve added my own parents to our get togethers. The two couples get along famously. My goal was to show Raine that she has one family who love her. So the past few times we’ve been one big happy family – all of us except Raine that is. She remained agitated during and distraught afterwards.
In an unrelated moment of frustration, I asked Raine, “What can I do to help you?”
“You need to pray a lot more,” she quickly answered.
For the most part she’s resistant to me praying with her. But after that statement we began praying before she went to bed. And I started having her list three things she’s happy about at the end of each day.
This past Saturday we celebrated Raine’s birthday with her birth grandparents (a little late, but their schedules are quite busy). My parents weren’t able to make it but I trust my mom was praying for us.
During the visit Raine was relatively calm. Even her grandmother noticed a big difference. Afterwards I was ready for the onslaught of anger. Instead we sat together looking at the gifts she’d gotten. When bedtime came around we made the list of what she was grateful for. “That you love me every day,” Raine exclaimed. The distance that normally crept between us after visits with birth family wasn’t there.
There haven’t been any outbursts or meltdowns. Raine’s continued to be content and emotionally stable.
So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
Raising my girls can be challenging. There are times my confidence fails me. But in this area I’m glad to have persevered so that Raine, Athena, and I can receive the benefits of their grandparents love for us.