Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Frozen, another context

I'm seeing a lot of flack about the movie Frozen, so I'm going to weigh in....oh don't act surprised, you know I'd have to give my opinion sooner or later. :)

From left to right we have the Queen who has magical powers, and is scared and conflicted because she's afraid to hurt or be hurt. We have the goofy guy who is a loner and his best friend Sven the animal. Top of Sven is the snowman who is, at his core, the bond between sisters and the voice of reason they don't want to listen too. He also happens to be the most lovable character. Anna, the sister who has been hurt but ready to forgive and lonely. And the prince...who's a butthead for once in Disney history.

There. My little rendition of who is who. And I didn't even give anything away! ha!

Soooo many people are saying some really bad things about this movie. But, I just don't get it. I don't see it, and I'm more conservative than many of them so it baffles me honestly.
Here's my thought. I think maybe we are getting to a point in history where people hear what they want to hear and get offended by everything else. They see what they want to see and don't like what they don't want to see. Or they look so hard for what they want that they find it, even when it's not intended....or maybe it is and I refuse to see it only seeing what I want.

So here's what I saw, let me bring you into MY WORLD for a minute here, and as usual  my world involves all those in it and how things affect them. Keep this in mind.

I saw a movie that, for once, taught about what real love is. I saw a movie that taught loyalty, and family is actually meaningful. I saw a girl, having trouble with a really scary past watch this Queen who is troubled with a really scary past make choices to shut herself away from the world....much like my own girl's current choices. And I watched her big brown eyes as she watched this Queen struggle and fight, and eventually make a choice to love and open herself up to others while trusting herself NOT to hurt those she fears hurting the very most. This Queen, who was quite content in her isolation, chose love and chose to let go of her hurt, her fears, and her past.

People. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is going to be as important to my girl as learning this lesson. The Queen learned to forgive herself and others. She breathed and allowed her family in to love her even though it was scary and she was afraid to lose her sister (family). She did what was right, even at the risk of hurting others. And along the way, her sister the princess, never gave up on her. She always chose the right path and loved her sister no matter what. My girl needs to know there are people in this world that will do this.

You don't know much about my girl yet...she's not really "mine" and that's why you don't know much about her. But let me tell you, this lesson was not the only one this movie showed her...but it was by far the one she needed the most at this time in her very scary life.

For these children in the system, they have scary pasts and they've done scary things. They are sinners, just like us. But they don't know they can "Let it Go" and learn to forgive and love and be loved. Most have attachment issues and they refuse to let anyone in. They are trapped within their own jail cells they've created for themselves so that the hurt is minimal and they don't risk hurting anyone with their words of truth about their past. They are scared, VERY ANGRY, and in agony. Even though they put themselves in this jail, they don't know how to let themselves out in many cases. Because what then? What if they go back to a scary place or to scary ppl that hurt? What if those they expose themselves don't love them or give up on them? What if what if what if?

This is her struggle. This is why I cannot hear that stupid song without ugly crying and praying and pleading with God that one day soon she'll "let it go".
This is why I spent several nights up way too late to make this for her birthday to put on her walls, as a daily reminder.

I'm not saying that's the ONLY lesson of this movie. But it's enough. It's enough to buy it and endure the 239753957350 times I'll have to hear that song and watch this movie.
It's enough to look at the ppl calling it all kinds of other weird things and ask...."Have you thought of another perspective outside of your own mind and what you want to see"??? yeahhh....I didn't think so.

Alrighty, enough for now. I think I need to go listen to the song and have a good ugly cry while I'm letting it go that you haven't.

Monday, February 10, 2014

What they don't tell you about being a foster parent

I'm going to preface with two things. 1-It's been a REALLY hard month, and day even. And 2 takes more time. Here, let me make it official with an : mark.
So 2:
Second you need to know that I DO NOT subscribe to the guilt ministry that it haunting local churches right now and misusing scripture for DHS's agenda. I am currently asking our church, and doing research on it so I cannot conclude all my findings but I know this. Taking care of foster care children is NOT a command, and you WILL NOT answer to God on judgment day if you do not choose this route. Wheeewww I said it, I finally got it out there in the open. Many of my friends will disagree with me, and that's ok. Some may even discount me as a friend based on that one statement, and that's not ok but it is what it is.
Like I said, I cannot defend that statement TO IT's FULLEST, yet. But here's where it starts: (see, I use that symbol when it's important)

James 1:27 (ESV)

27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

Ok so the basics are this: in the current foster care system where DHS (or ICW to be fair) rules in a very unGodly manner, refusing Him in EVERY can you dive into being a foster parent and still keep yourself unstained from the world? Or your own children. Ahhhh and that is where my first point and distinction lies, see that last part of the verse is often left out. They only quote the orphans and widows part. Also, in this letter (and it is a letter to a certain tribe, or group of people) he's speaking specifically to the church, thus why he mentioned keeping themselves unstained. So, if my best friend within my concentric circle and church passes away and I do not help her children when I could...yeah I believe I'll answer for that. Not being a foster parent? No. I'm sorry but it's just NOT what the text says.
It is good if you're called. It can be noble if you can figure out how to stay that way within this system. It's absolutely needed yes. But it's not a sin if not.

*Falls back in chair sighing a sigh of pure relief for finally getting that out.*

So having said that let me get back to the subject at hand. I didn't realize that foster parents play the part of the abused, the beaten FOR the child when they are in our homes.
Maybe I'm being dramatic *say it aint soooo*, maybe I can't handle it like others can. But I seriously feel like every time I get bad news, or every time I see Bio making a REALLY BAD choice, every selfish move, everytime I realize they don't actually care about these kids (once again, because you never get used to that news and it doesn't matter if you see or hear it 43543 times a week, each time still shocks and rocks you to your core), every. single. time.....I myself feel pain and heartache. No. I'm not being selfish. I'm being protective. It literally feels like I'm leaning over covering this child taking these whiplashes and beatings on my own back so that she doesn't have to feel them. I'm taking every bit of bad news and information as a scar so that she doesn't have too. She hurts too, don't get me wrong. She doesn't know what is happening nor does she understand and that is very scary in itself. Not to mention her own pain from her past, and from missing her family and friends she once knew.
But I never realized that would be a particular part of my job. I was naïve and thought I could just love and keep safe and be "a soft place to land" like so many others say right along with me. But it's so much more, and so much more painful too.

I shouldn't gripe or complain. I should take these scars and lashes Jesus did for me. But I'm not that good, graceful, or loving.
Pray for us. We need it.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

a warning to all those who enter

I had a Car Finance guy in my house this morning (don't worry, my boys were home and my husband has said this is ok, plus it was to sign 3 papers they forgot to have me sign and he was here a max of 8 minutes). I will have a caseworker in my house tomorrow afternoon.
My house is a MESS.
In Midland, TX (where looks are often more important than anything else) I would have been shunned for how messy my house is right now. You simply do not invite others in when it's a mess there. It's just not done. And it's shameful you cannot keep it up, you should (and most do) get a housecleaner if you can't, because that is better than a messy house.
But you know what? 
Ok I care a little. But not much, and certainly not enough to change it...much...ok I'll proly do a teensy bit before caseworker comes but ONLY to make myself feel better.
But honestly I shouldn't. And honestly it doesn't matter.
GASP! How can it not matter???
Because this has been my week:
I've had 6 doctors appointments, next week we have 3 (one being 120 miles away)
I've held a hurting, crying child who misses her mother.
I've been in crisis learning of new steps being taken, heartbreak about to happen, and fear about what's going on in people's heads, not to mention about court and actions thereof.
I've gotten behind on schooling my boys because, let's face it, in crisis SOMETHING is often left behind...and wayyyyy too often do my own children feel the brunt of this.
Our car was dying and sputtering. We had to buy Daddy a new one.
I've had to fight credit companies because of mistakes and stupid stuff, that never seems to resolve after 6 years.
I've learned of bullying and had to address it.
I've learned of scary, dark, horrible things that make me fear the future for one of our children...and also the others as a result.
I've learned my vision is worse, my eyes popping out more getting closer to needing surgery.
I've been so dizzy I feel like I'm buzzed. All day. Not since my college years has this been "Cool" nor is it now when I cannot walk or think straight.
I've had Bleeding Ulcer issues. Again.
I've held my dog wondering if she's going to keep breathing in the midst of a severe seizure and taken her to the vet after she recovered only to learn she needs meds...TWICE a day now.
I've put off infant adoption, by my own choice. Because life is too hectic and up in the air right now. If you know my story and yearning for this you realize how devastating this alone is.
I've talked with a friend who's heartbroken because another baby was ripped from her arms and put back into a not safe environment.
I've chatted with a friend (my closest) who is so young, beautiful, and healthy but all of a sudden is having severe and scary health issues.
I've consoled a friend who is also in crisis and her body is hurting because of the stress in her household (she happens also to be a foster parent, imagine that).
I've discussed in depth what is best for our household with my husband, and all those in it. And we still have no answers and are fearful of the future.
There's more. I know there's more because I feel like I've been hit by a whirlwind this week. I just can't think of it all cuz of this stupid brain fog.
No. You might disagree and you're perfectly welcome to pay your housekeeper and cheer her on if you do, but no it does NOT matter if my house is a mess. It's lived in. It's hurt in. This house hold hurting children as they cry softly. It watches over scared children as they are influenced by others. It silently sees when the parents within are desperate for answers and don't know what to do. It holds life. And life, well it's not always pretty. So neither is our house.
I know. I have few friends because of my mess. I'm a mess. My family is a mess. My house is a mess. It's just a mess. And no one likes mess. They like neat pretty smiles with CAN-DO attitudes (high five in the awesomeness of our pretending everything is ok..YEAH!!).
But it's real. And it's raw. And sometimes we'll clean it up a bit and sometimes it'll be messy. Such is life.
You're welcome to come into my mess, but just know you might get dirty, cuz I'm not going to hide my mess for you.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bye bye Firebird, Keep singing darlin!

Yesterday was one week since Firebird left to go with her Bios.
We knew she may be leaving, we did stand up against it a bit since it was not the right time or in HER best interest, and we dreaded the day when it was scheduled. We were a family in crisis for several weeks prior. She was scared, and showing all sorts of signs about it, as well as verbalizing her fears but still that day still came.
However, when that morning came to say goodbye we all woke up with peace. Her fears which had rendered her into a 3 year old state of nervous reactions, and trauma behaviors just the night before had melted and she was able to smile again. And somehow we were all able to smile for her too, even my most dramatic son. We didn't even cry that morning as we had the night before. It was completely phoenominal that peace that overcame us, and has been with us since. A God given gift, to tell us to let go and give her life into HIS hands.
No, I don't believe all is perfectly ok in her life now. No, I still don't think it was time yet. But the peace is there and I'm so very thankful for it.

She was never meant to be ours, and it made me realize how each of our children are just gifts from God for a season. Only he knows how long that season will last. Hers was a short season but it was not without many a lesson, some very difficult to learn, and some marvelous.

I hope she sings. Not because she's trying to make someone love her, or impress those around her...but for herself alone. I hope she dances, even when she's see that life is beautiful even in the rain. I hope she is scooped up by our Heavenly father and taken as one of HIS own, in His perfect timing and used for a great purpose.
We did all we could for her while she was here, and as a foster parent that's all you really can do.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Homeschool 2013/2014

I thought I had updated what curriculum we are using this year but I can't find it now so here goes.
Our year in homeschool

Charlie is still having issues with his Dyslexia, and Character Training as well. He refuses to write more than a couple of sentences, even though his handwriting is pretty good for his age! He loves to read, unless it's an assignment and then he breaks into tears while striking the fetal position.
Kung Fu Roo is still learning to read, and enthusiastically although slow. He is showing some of the same signs as big brother in writing, speaking backwards so it makes me worry so slowly is best I think. He's all of a sudden struggling a bit in math but hanging in there.
Neither have a love of school at the moment, and just want to have fun.

Taking all into consideration here's where we are currently.

Bible: Answers for Kids Bible Curric
Didn't finish it all last year so finishing it out this

Charlie: Teaching Textbooks 3 and 4 (hoping he'll finish 3 soon but he's struggling SOOO much)
Kung Fu Roo: Horizons Math 2 Workbook

Science: Answers in Genesis Science - World of Plants workbook this semester, choose another next semester

History: Mystery of History Volume 1

Handwriting: Handwriting without Tears #3, and Cursive for Charlie

Journal: Wildcrafting, learning about native plants for food and medicinal purposes
Alternating with Bible Verses and discussions

Extra Curricular Science: Lego Robotics Class month of October

Having said all that, I'm also looking into Unit Studies because I want them to love school, and love it big time. I want them to look forward to it and us to have fun. An October Unit Study, and a Thanksgiving one that includes colonial times, and a character training one. I bought these three this morning and am going to see about them. We may just learn to love learning this year.
Before I go further let me say this. You don't have to agree, this is my school and my choice. I am doing what I feel best for my children's future, and eternity.

Friday, September 27, 2013

1 year since Total Thyroidectomy!

Hello anniversary! I must admit, this is proly my weirdest claim on anniversaries. I have many really great happy ones, and a few sad ones but a "had my Thyroid taken out anni" just seems weird to me!
But really, it's more of a thankful anniversary. It's more of a one more chance at life anniversary.

So it's been 1 year and I feel.....FANTASTIC!!!
Like. I never really knew how crappy I actually felt every single day before fantastic. Like I thought feeling like this ended in my early 20s because that was what getting older just...was. I was SO WRONG! I mean, don't get me wrong I'm not skipping around like a flippin teenager anymore (so wish I was though), but I feel good. I have energy, but am working on getting more. I am actually ABLE to lose weight for the first time in 10 years!!! That started 3 months ago if we're being really'll see how much below. ;) I can assess things without getting too emotional. I'm generally pretty positive...although still way to sarcastic and ornery for my own good but apparently that part doesn't go away when you change your body chemistry and it's just my personality...YA...who KNEW?! I'm WAYYYY more calm most days. We won't talk about the other day when I envisioned my hands around my certain oldest preteen's neck as he was screaming back "no" at me...we just won't go there mmmmkay?! I get to enjoy most days, and I am much more thankful than I ever used to be. I have realized I am stronger than I ever knew, starting with how much I was doing back in Midland with being a VERY busy Photographer, Homeschool mom, etc to now when I wonder how long I'll be able to walk without tiring today. I am much less fearful (thank the good Lord) and am still working through some of my remaining fears. It's scary, you know...being told "there's nothing else we can do, but you still have several few good years left I'm sure" while you're body is failing, you can't stay well, your bones are breaking from dancing in the kitchen with your husband (he still feels guilty about that one), and you can't walk one block without falling over from exhaustion.
God has richly blessed me more than I deserve and I intend to be thankful!
But it's not all cookies and rainbows (Ok, it proly is more cookies than I'd like to admit). I still have things to work out, get better with, etc. My cortisone is still too low. I still have several autoimmune issues possibly due to Addisons Disease but right now nothing is being done. I still have ALOT of weight to lose, a lot of muscle to gain, and energy to get back. There's.....errrrrmmm more issues that start with an H and has to do with sitting....yeahhhh we'll not go there either (my blog, I'll do what I want). I still have Graves Disease and it's still affecting my eyes. I will proly have to have surgery on my eyes to remove some of the swollen muscle behind them that is causing them to push out buggy like. They hurt most days and now I have black spots every day. Not sure why. I have a bleeding ulcer that needs to be seen about...ok so I said I'm more positive, I did NOT say I've learned not to worry. I still have Sleep Apnea (proly due to weight) and have to mess with that hot masky mess (sleep ap know what I'm talkin-bout). And I still battle with being tired more than I'd like.

But you know what?! I chose to see the good. I choose to be thankful for everything I HAVE now, and for most of all...the hope. I lost that hope once, I do not intend to lose it again. I am so thankful God gave me another chance and I will not lose sight of that. I have bad days but then I put on my big girl panties and deal...or vent to the nearest friend who's not tired of hearing it...and THEN deal but either way...I deal. So many lessons he's taught me. I'm thankful for being sick, thankful for the healing, thankful for today, and thankful for the Hope.

Ok so for my Thyroid peeps looking to see what it's like and where I'm at....
I am on Synthroid 125mg  daily, Cytomel 5mg 4 days a week
I also have to take: Vit C, Vit D 6000 Ius, Iron (always low), Omneprasole, Potassium, Fiber, and Tylenol PM. These are my required...sometimes I'll take others like fish oil or CQ-10, Essential minerals, etc.

Here's my scar
really?! It HAD to be crooked??? ;)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Reasons not to help foster children...

So many ppl are worried that if they foster it will negatively affect their family.
We've been actively fostering Firebird for 6 weeks now and I have to tell you, they are right.

We've discovered that fostering makes it extremely difficult to keep my house up in the same manner. I'm too busy healing a broke heart and that takes ALOT of loving/training 24/7. AND I now have to spend more money on clothes for someone else rather than myself.

Our budget is now very tight. We have another one in home to buy clothes for, school supplies, entrance into movies and anywhere else you go, extra food, etc. Yes there's a reimbursement but it doesn't cover all your expenses usually, just helps a lil with them. And you don't want to know when it is well probably start receiving that reimbursement!!  Yeah. Proly more like 4 months in before we see any of it the way it looks now. I can't purchase things I want too. I can't have money to myself and I certainly don't get date nights at the moment.

It's REALLY hard to sit around all day while trying to teach 3 children to love each other and how to act/ react appropriately with patience and love.

I must listen to talk of another mother when I am the one doing all the work on a daily basis. And I cannot hold grudge or be upset about that. I have to love the mother too, for the sake of the child. And I have to be ok with the fact that no matter how much I adore her all she wants is another.
Envy / pride

I am forced on a daily basis to love someone that has very little love for me in return. Her main focus is her Mama. And some ppl don't even get a lil love because of how broken these kids are. I have to be kind when I'm not getting anything in return. I have to show love when I don't feel like it. I have to hold my tongue when there's plenty I would love to say that's not so nice (not towards the child of course). It's all give give give with these kids. And sacrifice. Oh don't even get me started on the daily sacrifice of the above things.
Grace and love like Christ loved us

That training/loving I spoke of? It really is 24/7. You have a broken child now therefore all your attention is on them, not for safety sake (usually), no, it's because you have to teach proper behavior, give reaffirming words so often you get sick of saying the same thing. Stupid low self esteem, ugh!

And my BIGGEST struggle is that I'm FORCED to believe that my plan may not be the best plan for this lil life I'm Caring for. I will have to let her go, where I won't know into a life I'm not in control of. After loving and caring for her as my own for so long I have to release in a cruel twist of the plan. And I have to be happy and sad both to be fair.

It's obvious how this is hurting my family isn't it?! I mean, we're being forced to learn things like giving up: 
Laziness / sloth

And beyond all comprehension we're being forced to learn in the most difficult capacity things like: 
Loving like Christ loved us
Self Sacrifice

Seriously, I don't know why anyone would want to do this thing...this caring for the orphans?! 
"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." James 1:27

"Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute."
Psalms 82:3

"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

"To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more." Psalm 10:18

Because it's not about you. 
It's a command from God.

Ok so excuse my weird sense of humor, what can I say?! I'm REALLY good at sarcasm!
I won't lie though, it really IS hard. Like HARD HARD. And it's not for everyone, but everyone can help the orphan in some capacity. And foster parents aren't perfect, or saints. We struggle, daily. Again-HARD. 
Look in your local community and see where you can help. The bottom line of the issues with our foster care system is that the government has taken over the churches problem. And it really is a completely broken system, just like the broken children in it. The system is failing the children, what can you do to help??