Stuck in the Middle of the Storm!

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On one hand – Hands shook and heart pounded as I ripped through the glue on the envelope. Hope absent, but adrenaline still raised anticipation. Not bolded, but the words drew my eyes, “Your request for SSI has been declined.” The long list of disrders diagnosed, hospital documentation, school records and Dr. reports could not overshadow the pay stub of my husbands “too large of income.”

On the other hand – My heart surged with hope. The voice on the other end related to every struggle with our adoptive son with RAD. Treatment options that resonated with what we believed our boy needed, what we needed in respite care. Six years of fumbled treatment, dead end counsel and unapplied tools proved we, as parents, could not provide what his mental health required. A slight exhale of relief escaped, all to soon. “Our program requires 12 -15 months of treatment at the cost of $9,000 a month.” A brief elevation of hope dropped to the pit of my stomach. 

We aren’t low income, but we aren’t Bill Gates either. 

“Sorry, your income exceeds our requirements for assistance.”

“Quality treatment costs money to keep the patient to staff member ratio low. The benefits are worth the price.”

We are stuck in the middle class conundrum. 

Too much for state or government programs yet my husband’s income falls too short to pursue treatment plans that could pay the monthly mortgage for 10 families.

Frustration and desperation led to prayer, as it often does. And as He often does, a revelation brought light to the dark cycle of “too much, not enough” and being stuck in the middle. 

Perhaps being in the middle is the breeding ground for God to cultivate His glory.

One the one hand, we can’t rely on state or government and on the other, we can’t rely on ourselves.  Who’s left? 

Who indeed. 

Just like Peter! Jesus called Peter out of the boat. Too far for the other disciples to pull him back, not far enough to grab onto Jesus or he would not have panicked. He had only one choice when the waves grew stronger, when he began to feel the water rise. He shouted, “Lord, save me.”

God called my husband and I to adoption before we even said, “I do” over 20 years ago. We stepped out in faith with knowledge of storms that could rise on the journey.

We knew our adopted kids could have disorders from alcohol in the womb or early life in an orphanage. Yet God called us, so we jumped out of the boat, not knowing where it would lead us. 

Here we stand, in the middle between stepping out in faith and not yet reached the destination of healing and wholeness for our son. The waves are crashing as we tread the waters of Reactive Attachment and mood disorders and learning disrders. The storm surge of suicide plagues our son. We are desperate as we feel the water rising and weariness as we fight to keep our head above the waves. 

Our journey finds us in the middle of surging waters. The boat behind us and the end too far, yet to see the calm. 

God is still before us. “Trust! Have faith! Come to me.”

Peter couldn’t help himself, only the one who called him would be faithful to lead him to his destination. To be his rock, unmovable by forces that surround. 

Maybe your in the middle, between honeymoon and restoration not yet seen. The new born cry and the dream unfulfilled for your adult child. The last meal and the next. The last bill and the next payment. The foster placement and court papers signed.

You’re out of the boat.

Know that God has called you and He stands firm in the rushing tide. Shout as Peter shouted!  Jesus is there, the calm in the storm.  The voice that controls it. Stand firm and keep moving toward Him. 

  

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Joy Comes in the Mourning!

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Deeply grieved today, I am forced to choose. Stay fixated on the circumstances that plague our family and the sorrow of my journey or find a different angle.

No story this time, that would be fixating, but I trust you have your own. Loss, wounds, frustrations; impossible situations as parents, coworkers, friends, or children weigh us all. Insert your heavy-hearted situation here.

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Perfect Timing!

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Left leg crossed over right knee, I bounced it out of boredom, partly, and partly out of irritation.  The clock behind the receptionist counter revealed the Pediatric Ophthalmologist to be 30 minutes behind schedule and nothing in the pages of the Health magazine between my fingers was to hold my attention or the attention of my 3 young children in tow.

Grace, Teresa, have some grace. (Sigh)

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Just a Little Venting!

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“Do everything without complaining and arguing.” Philippians 2:14 NLT

Blatantly obvious words that leave little (actually zero) room for negotiation. Don’t consider, but a direct command to just “do.”

Little or big things, hard or menial tasks all categorized into one lump sum of “everything.”

Exclusive of, not partaking in or allowing an exhale of grief to cross lips during said “doing,” equals “without” and is mutually exclusive with non-existence.

Three “all or nothing” directives offer no wiggle room, “what if” scenarios or “but I was just” excuses.

Why does He have to be so stringent and uptight? What’s a little whine before dinner done to harm anyone?
Venting our annoyances is therapeutic, right?

Guilty! I justify my “arguing” in ways that could turn a jury’s vote. But God’s word lacks an addendum that rights my wrongful attitude of grumbling.

I texted my 19 year old to find out how it was going. His reply, “sitting in these stupid lines for the 5th time is not cool.”

It wasn’t a painful process and he had no where more important to be, as I did, so I implored him to accompany his sister, a freshman in high school, to her “essentials day” by walking her through the picture line, locker assignment line and “pay for everything line.”

Lines are annoying, waiting is cumbersome but his expression of dissatisfaction was more than venting. It stung. What I heard was “you’re not worth my time, Mom.”

All has been resolved since this first text began an elevated discussion on complaining where I threw this verse in his face while, myself, complaining that he isn’t more sensitive. Crud! It’s so annoying when God convicts me while I’m convicting my children. Oops, did it again.

Truth…complaining ALWAYS takes our eyes off of opportunities God may be placing before us to serve and encounter others.

Blinded by our own selfish desires for comfort, whether it’s a mountain or a mole hill, we will stunt our growth in Christ if we focus on the annoyances or grievances of a task or obstacle that blocks our path. . We become stumbling blocks with the contagion that is complaining by breathing negativity rather than the joyful spirit of Christ. God cannot be glorified in the midst of whine and pessimism. Only if we reflect His nature in EVERYTHING we do will true joy be found in all circumstances.

So why risk it?

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The Golden Moments when my Teenager Messes Up!

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DAY 8 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

Character development is a constant conversation between myself and my teens.  Eye rolls occur, “I know, Mom” are spoken words and sporadically, on remote occasions, there is a remorseful apology given without prompt when a mistake has been uncovered.

“I’m sorry,” he said, with tears in his eyes.  Tears not from getting caught, not from the consequence poured out, but salty drips of remorse from the disappointment he sensed over his choice.

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I long for someday!

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DAY 5 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

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Some days I detect a longing that penetrates deep to the core of my soul. Nothing can draw attention away from this aching. A thought that does not pass, a hope, no, an anticipation for relief. Near haunting is this awareness that life will one day be indescribably peaceful.

Distant memory of pain, brokenness and frailty no longer will  mold me, hold me.  An awakening to an eternal where survival, healing are no longer a goal but a feat.  Feeling is not feared. As it now is, life will be no more.

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Actions don’t Always Reflect the Heart

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DAY 4 (Read Day 1 “OK, Honey. Challenge Accepted!” Post)

Claws extend
a swing and your hit
daggers launched by tongue
declaring words painful as boulders
crushing, weighing on you
denial of inner-reflection because
it’s easier to spew accusations instead

They push away
they run away
hate spills, eyes spray fire
you, their target but aim
at their own reflection
they scream, yell, not at you
at the anguish inside
cold shoulder says leave
tormented heart begs you stay
wounds, scars, insecurities
need love unconditional proven

It seems a fight they seek
or even an end, but unspoken
is the plea to prove
they are worth fighting for
justifying behavior if you give up

I identify with attacker and prey
burdensome is both giving and accepting fervor

Battle ready
They boast lies
hold on to Truth
they want out
dig in your heels
they rage
hear only the still small voice
love so deep, when they shred you
your roots remain grounded
when ready
love will be reciprocated

Until then, fight

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