Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It feels like ChAoS!

Sometimes God brings great trials before a blessing in our life. This stretches us, grows us, and ultimately prepares us to appreciate the blessing.

Other times trials come to teach us something. Maybe even to have a greater appreciation for what He has already blessed us with. Perhaps, to remove some junk out of our hearts.

I'm not sure what direction God is taking "this trial" in our lives. I can't see the ending point.

Sometimes, I have "feelings" or "vibes" about the direction a situation is going, even "peace" of what will be. This time, I don't have that. Instead, I have an ache. A painful, crippling ache in my heart. I am powerless to affect the outcome and I have no idea what will come forth.

Admitting that I feel this emptiness is humbling. I'm allowing my self to be vulnerable and out of control. I'm confessing that I am struggling. My hard exterior is crumbling away to reveal my gooey center. And there is nothing that I can do. But wait and believe.

I have to believe that God is in control. I know He loves all people. Everyone involved in this situation. In my flesh, that is hard to swallow. Yes, God loves EVERYONE in this situation. EVERYONE.

I have a lot of fears. Some are legitimate, some not so much. Regardless, they all feel real. Each jolt is valid within my mind and heart.

So for anyone thinking thatthink I'm perfect, you can rest assured that is all wrong.
I'm a wreck. I fail. Often.

I know that I should not be anxious for anything but instead I should pray and receive peace. Yet, fear sneaks up on me.

I trust God, yet I struggle with each footstep on the path.

God is definitely stretching me. He has a plan. I do believe that. I trust that. I trust Him.

For the moment, there is nothing I can do to impact this situation. It is out of my hands.
However, I can allow God to personally impact my heart. I can feel Him working in me.
It hurts. But a grapevine must be pruned to produce good fruit. So, I welcome the shears- tearing off the dead stuff hanging around in my heart.
I'm learning some lessons on this journey. Greater appreciation for what God has already done is one of them.

With sorrow, I can see clearly, things that I have needed to change in myself. Maybe if I had learned that already, this lesson wouldn't have to teach me that. Better to learn it now, than later, or never.
So, prune away. Even though it hurts.

Smile (at least a small one) :) donnamusing

I caught these lyrics recently:

Whatever you're doing inside of me 
It feels like chaos somehow there's peace
It's hard to surrender to what I can't see
but I'm giving in to something heavenly

Here is the song:

Saturday, October 27, 2012

There's a hurricane a'brewing!

There's a hurricane a'brewing!

The craziness of my life right now falls in line with this hurricane.
What?! What hurricane? Where did it come from?
How many different paths could it possibly take?
How much destruction will come to pass?
How much heartache?
Where will it hit land? When?

So many questions surround this hurricane.
So many questions surround this new element unfolding in our midst.

The first thing to do is to have a safety plan in place.
"God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble." Psalm 46:1

The next thing to do is wait. You can't speed up or slow down a hurricane.
"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

When the storm hits, go to the safest place.
"He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday." Psalm 91:4-6

Remain calm during the storm. (This one is often hard.)
"Be anxious for nothing, but in every situation, through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus". Philippians 4:6-7

Do not be afraid. The winds may howl but have faith.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

There are many paths this hurricane may take, some making it last longer than others. Keep holding on.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4

If you need help, ask for it!
"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5

Realize that the world is still turning. Rejoice.
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Emerge after the storm. Continue to walk in faith.
"Walk by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7
"Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people." Galatians 6:9

The storm will come and the storm will go.
Whatever changes the storm brings will alter life as we know it.
But I'm holding on. This ride of life is about to get a little crazier.
I don't know what the end result will be but I have to have faith that it will all be okay.

Smile :) donnamusing

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Seeking HIM . . . Not "the plan"

I call out to you, Lord seeking your face but mostly wanting to know your plan. What is it, Lord that you have planned? Could you just let me see what is up the road? The waiting is hard. The uncertainty is crushing. But I know that you are strengthening my faith when you bring a journey that stretches me. You have given me a glimpse, a very small glimpse of something that "could be." I struggle to know "will it be?" "when?" "how?" 

Of course, I don't want it to hurt. I don't watch to stretch so far that I feel it. Can we skip all the hard stuff and just receive the blessing? Could you just allow it to be easy? 

What if I am "hopeful" for nothing? Is this carrot dangling in front of me something that I can grab on to? How long will we chase it? How tired will we be? Or will you simply lay it before us?

I know you only allow us to see your plan in your time, as you choose to reveal it. Am I being impatient? Will this require sweat and blood?

As a parent, I often only allow my children one piece of information at a time because I know what they can handle. Sometimes, I withhold all of the information and surprise them with a car packed down for vacation. Sometimes, I make them work for it so the prize will mean more to them. What is your plan, God? Why have you allowed this tiny glimpse? Will it become nothing and fade away, leaving me with an ache that never existed before? Is it even from you? Will I pass it by and always wonder what could have been? What is this?

In the midst of the struggle, a friend pointed out Jeremiah 29:11-13 
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

With special emphasis on verse 13: "You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." 

You have a plan, Father. But the plan isn't what my heart should seek, it is you that I must seek with all of my heart. As the deer panteth for the water so my soul longeth after thee. 

Driving home tonight from coffee with a friend, my heart fled back to a song that God gave me to pen about ten years ago. Here I shall share the words:

You are the peace that passes understanding.
You are the calm in my storm.
Jesus, you are the Holy One. The one true begotten Son.
You speak, peace into my life.

You hold me when the storm is raging.
You catch me when my grip is fading.
You love me when I'm holding on.
You smile when I desire you.
You grieve when I've forgotten you.
You run to me when I run to you.

You are the light that guides me everyday.
You are the shelter when I pray.
Jesus, you are my Savior. The one and only sacrifice.
You speak, love into my life.

You hold me when the storm is raging.
You catch me when my grip is fading.
You love me when I'm holding on.
You smile when I desire you.
You grieve when I've forgotten you.
You run to me when I run to you.

You are my peace, my life, my strength. 
You are my calm, my shelter, my guide.
Whether this is something from you or a stepping stone along life's path, have YOUR way in my life, Lord.

Smile :) donnamusing

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To "waste" food or "waist" food?

My two children are so OPPOSITE!

My daughter almost never over indulges, even if she is eating the most delicious banana split covered in chocolate, strawberries, whipped cream and of course, a cherry on top. She has amazing restrain to stop when she is full.

My son on the other hand will have finished his own banana split, to the point he is already miserable and will beg to finish hers off. Then, he will spend the rest of the afternoon begging God to ease the ache in his tummy, promising to never eat too much ever again.

I tend to fall somewhere in the middle. But unfortunately I do tend to "waist" food instead of "waste" food. Even if I'm full, if it tastes good then I'm probably going to find a small corner of my stomach to stuff it in.

This familiar scene with my kids played out the other day. I told my daughter that I wished for her amazing self-control. Which of course led me to explain the definition of gluttony. They were surprised to realize that over-indulgence is a sin.

During this conversation, a friend pointed out to my son and daughter, "Isn't it great that God loves us enough to forgive us of all the silly things we do?" That is so true! And while I'm thankful for every seed bearing plant He provided in the Garden of Eden, I am also thankful for banana splits and caramel lattes!

And let's be honest, as I've heard Lisa Whelchel say, "Carbs can't be all that bad or Jesus would not have called himself the BREAD of Life!" ;)

Maybe next time, my daughter and I should get one banana split to share. Less to "waste" and less to "waist!"

Smile :) donnamusing

Sunday, October 14, 2012

My Personal (non)Fashion

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a fashion diva...

Unfortunately, I'm quite the opposite. Somewhere in my mind, I'm stuck in the 90's grunge fashion. And fall is just the season for the grunge-girl inside of me to rear her ugly head! Yep, dirty ripped up blue jeans with a flannel shirt tied around my waist - that's me!

Comfortable shoes are a must- sneakers, flip-flops, clogs and clunky boots- now we are talking! Oh, and don't forget my BIG earrings, I'm talking about peace signs that are visible from across the street.

Unfortunately, my hair is natural 80's curl, instead of the long straight hair that would match my grunge look a little more perfectly. That's okay, that's what baseball caps are for.

After scouring the internet, I found a photo that suits my style. I would be the girl on the right - the one with the gigantic cross. (minus the dangerous skateboard, of course) And change her hair to my infamous curls and well, that's where I'm stuck with my fashion.

If I ever wore a dress- I was known to do the "babydoll dress with boots" look:

These boots would be "too high" for me (I don't do heels) but otherwise, this would be me- cutoffs and a flannel with some boots a little closer to the ground:

Okay, now that you've seen where I'm "stuck" at in my head, you can understand that it doesn't fare very well for a 32 year old MOM!

This is how I see everyone else around me and how I wish I could look:

Trust me, I am HARD to dress up! These ladies all look great but when I attempt something like this, it comes out more like:

Yep, underneath all that "outfit" is just an old cow!
Since I don't work in corporate America so the classy pin stripes can stay safely tucked away... I'm not in my teens anymore so I can't revert back to the age of grunge.
I'm thinking a subtle compromise is in order... let's say "classy grunge"
Something like...


OR: (minus that watch and with a slightly more flow-y shirt for my apple shape!)

I definitely am not a fashionable girl but I do believe it's only 10% what you wear and 90% how you feel wearing it!

So, here's to comfortable- the best fashion of all!

Smile :) donnamusing

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Call That Changed Our Lives... Forever

On this date, three years ago, Matt and I woke up to go for a hike up Sharp Top- something we had not done since our first date six years prior.

On the way up, we stopped several times and honestly, I just wanted to turn around and begin the slow trek down. Nevertheless, we pressed on to enjoy the view from the top. Finally, we reached the top and the view was grand but the bugs were horrible. I let Matt go to the very top to snap a view pictures while I stayed near the cabin.

Then I noticed that I had four missed calls. On the way up, service was unavailable on my phone but at the top, standing on one foot and leaning just the right way, I could see that our adoption agency had been calling.

The past few months, they had told us about a sibling set needing a home but we were passed over twice for families that lived closer to the county working with them. Can imagine how excited I was over receiving the call that these same two kids were coming to live with us? -> ON MONDAY! 

Monday sounded perfect! It was Friday so we would have the weekend to prepare for a whole new adventure to begin on MONDAY!

Excitement, hopefulness, nervousness, anxiety, and so many more emotions began to flow through our veins as we began our downward hike. Both of us were fearful of being let down... again. We had already thought these two children would be placed with us previously and hated to think we would be let down, another time. Matt even said, "They better not be jerking our chain, again!" The good news mixed into our "let down" was we had prepared for exactly these two children in June 2009 so everything was "ready!"

As we started down the mountain, Matt's phone picked up a faint signal. He answered the call, although he had to walk off the trail and basically up a tree just to hear the caller. It was our agency again stating that they wanted to bring the the kids that very night!


It was about 3:30 in the afternoon, we were over an hour from home and both in desperate need of showers. Not to mention, it would take at least forty-five minutes to get down the mountain. Oh, and by the way, our house was a MESS!

We ran down the mountain as fast as we could. (Which I highly discourage doing, my legs were cramping for over a week!) We prayed for safety as we dodged the rocks and tree roots! What an adventure! Only once did I feel like I would face plant if it weren't for a tree that I grabbed- so thankful for its perfect placement.

Once we reached the car, we were both dripping with sweat! I began making phone calls while Matt drove. Our adoption worker planned to be there with us at 6:30 and the kids would arrive at 7:00. A couple of friends, my sister, and even one of my sister's friends went to our house to start cleaning up. In hindsight, the dirty dishes and un-mopped floors were of little consequence.

After we got back home, Matt threw trash on the back of his truck. Then, he came running in saying that he needed stitches. Yes, blood was gushing up from his arm and asked, "Can you just put a band-aid on it?" No, a band-aid would NOT do.

While Matt went to the doc in a box, I jumped in the shower. As soon as I got out, our worker called to let us know that she wouldn't be there until after 7:00 and the kids wouldn't be there until after 8:00. Whew... a little more time... before my life changed forever.

I remembered that after we painted their rooms, we never put the locks back on the windows so our friend, Mike tackled that for us. I was so afraid that the worker would check the windows and say they couldn't stay OR think my house was too messy and they couldn't stay OR say something about Matt having to get the stitches and think we were suddenly unfit. And somehow, I even had time to wish that my dog had been freshly groomed.

After Matt got back from the doc in the box, we inhaled some spaghetti. At this point, we were starved! We signed paperwork and then the kids arrived!

When they pulled up, we all headed out the door. Before I knew it, I was face to face with a handsome little boy who immediately began talking (and hasn't stopped since) and introduced me to his toy, "Larry the Lobster" - only after that did he introduce himself. He was so eager to get into the house and look around that he smacked right into the clear glass storm door. I ran to his side, rubbing his head, and asking if he was okay. He was fine- that should have been a clue to how hard-headed he would be. ;)

We went in the living room to meet Sunny-puppy. His tail beat inside the cage as he lapped up the new sights and smells of unfamiliar people. And then, the sweetest girl I've ever seen popped around the corner. "What's hims name?" she asked in her squeaky voice. Both kids were beautiful and the thought of them ever leaving me already terrified me.

They brought in their trash bag full of clothes and checked out their new rooms and toys. Alec brought down a new Lego set and it was then he called me, "mommy." To say it shocked me is a vast understatement. My heart snatched in my throat. It took me a minute to realize that this was his fourteenth placement and I realized that he called whomever was taking care of him, mommy and daddy. I hoped for a day when he would call me mommy and mean it.

The workers left and there we were. The four of us in our new reality.

It hasn't been easy. None of it. No part. It's been hard. Extremely hard.
From the certification process to the waiting for a placement to the fear of having them ripped away to the insane court processes to begging God for this boy to behave for one whole day to realizing the things I lost by taking on this endeavor to finding out they could stay but we couldn't tell them... It's been the craziest ride of my life!

But it has been a blessing. The journey. Being able to see God move and work in the entire situation. Finding hope in the most broken moments. Hanging on, when throwing in the towel would have been so much easier. Gaining a new identity while providing two very hurt kids with unconditional love.

Yes, October 9, 2009 was just the first day of our forever...

Smile :) donnamusing

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Writer's Block...

After having "Writer's Diarrhea" for quite some time - keeping me up at night because I HAD TO WRITE - now, I've been stricken with the dreaded "Writer's Block." 

I've found "writing" to be therapeutic for me and, ultimately fulfilling. Even if I am the only one to ever enjoy the stories I have written, I delight in them.

I'm sure I will jump this hurdle and continue to finish this story. In the meantime, I had a dream last night that has inspired me with another story. The problem is that the story from the dream is twirling around in my mind disrupting my focus from my current project. 

One day at a time. One story at a time. One scene at a time. Until, one day it is completed. Eventually, these 32,000 words will double and I will reach the end. 

Find something that you love and do it, even if it's only for yourself.

Smile :) donnamusing