Thursday, September 4, 2014

Oh water and whispers

I give you permission to call me Preachy McGee today. I will likely earn the moniker.

The past few days have been one heck of a roller coaster ride. The emotions, thoughts and fears that have been smashing around in my skull have been overwhelming and I got completely caught up in the whirlwind and I completely missed it.

A whisper.

A whisper that told me that all is not lost.

That hope exists.

That love DOES win.

That GOD HAS THIS.

I, once again....nearly missed it.



The grief that would have saved me is embarrassing. Once again; I am being prompted to stop, breathe, listen. To release my clenched fists. Someone far more capable has GOT THIS.

My idea of strength has been going through a metamorphosis for the past 20 years or so (yea, I might be the world's slowest learner.) I once believed physical strength made me strong. A strong intellect clearly exhibited strength. Then I threw myself into believing that a strong prayer life was the ticket. And again, controlling a situation and getting my way CLEARLY meant I was strong.

Sigh.

I look at this week. At my brokenness. My helplessness. The desperation. The noise in my life. The chaos. My goals, my hopes, my desires, my to-do list. MY, MY, MY.


And I was knocked on my butt by a whisper.

A whisper.

I can admit that I am the queen of mistakes and misnomers.

Today a whisper was more powerful that two days of internal shouting. Pleading and begging. A whisper carried more weight and promise. Effortlessly.

That whisper exuded strength that I have never heard in a shout. A strength that does not manifest itself in shows of physical strength or in masterful control of every possibility. That whisper did not need to fight fire with fire. That whisper quietly doused the fire that was churning inside of me. What is the point of fighting fire with fire anyway? It only yields more fire. Rarely does it achieve the result you are hoping for. You cannot build with fire. Fire destroys and ravages.

With a gentleness that I cannot wrap my head around, that whisper kicked my heinie.

Big, strong Becki was blown away by a whisper.


I spent more than my fair share of time today crying and surveying my kingdom. With new eyes, seeing all the little ways that love, kindness and gentleness are manifested daily. The fruits of these are indescribable.

I am committing myself to shifting gears. Gentleness shall be my goal. When I feel like shouting. may I whisper. When my fists and jaw are clenched may I remember to release them. May I remember that just because someone feels like arguing, I need not oblige. May I become strong with gentleness of mind and spirit. May my actions allow love in. May I be kind and in that kindness find my strength.

May I forever remember today and the strength of that whisper.



Monday, August 18, 2014

Carpe Diem, Amen

It has been well over 18 months since I have gotten a full night of sleep. I look like a cast member of the Walking Dead. Not exaggerating. (Yikes, I start WAY too many of my blog entries with this statement.)
Good thing he's cute!

Hubby and I were watching a bit of Shark Week yesterday while the boys were down for rest time and we were reminiscing about our life pre-kids.

Sundays were magically lazy days for us. After Church we would each pick a sofa and there we would stay for the majority of the day. We rationalized that it was all okay because we spent our time watching the History Channel or NatGeo...so even though our bodies were wasting away, our brains were somewhat active.

"Oh, we did NOT know how good we had it."

That phrase has been bouncing around in my head since noon yesterday. I have never really noticed, in the moment just how good my life was...except in Kenya. There, I was well aware of my blissful, blessed existence. Why Kenya? Kenya forced me to slow down. It eliminated all of the background noise and senselessness that permeates life here in the US. I didn't spend my day in front of a laptop, with my smartphone near by. I was not plugged in to anything but the wonder of life all around me.

It is no secret that I am desperately tired. All of the time. I fear I am a broken record about it. I cannot even remember the last time I woke up on my own; feeling rested and ready for the day ahead. I have managed to reduce my laptop time drastically and my phone is on the counter most of the day, NOT in my hand...and yet. . .I am missing it.

I thought about taking the boys to the Library today. But I cannot summon the energy. Doing just about anything with all three of my boys seems daunting and I end up wishing I could spend my day on the couch watching TV. What I wouldn't give for just a day or two of my old life.
Yes, cuteness...but at 6 am? Not as cute....

The boys are playing in their play room. I recognize that these precious moments free from screaming and wrestling boys ARE magical. To recognize that is progress but I also know that I want to cherish the chaos of taking my boys to the library. It can be so easy to appreciate the sweet moments but they can also be easily lost in the sea of work. The vast and unending laundry. In the energy that they love to expend in the most inappropriate of places. I want to embrace the sharpie all over the inside of their brand new playset with humor. I want to smile when remembering how it was BREAKING NEWS they just had to tell me every time they needed the bathroom. I want to remember cherishing the fact that my giant 4 year old still wants me to carry him to his bed and heft his form into his bunk bed. I want to be present enough to catalog the love and the joy that these kids bring every day....filling my heart and mind with all the good so that the chaos and exhaustion can be forgotten, pushed right out of my memory.

I often have rose-colored hind sight and I hope that remains true. I am certain that when my hands are curled and aching, when my hair has turned white and I no longer can get off of the sofa I will LONG for the noise and chaos of the angels in my home. That I would happily exchange a night of sleep for the exhausting joy that comes with children. To feel needed and used up. Peeing in privacy won't be the most coveted moment of my day.

My arms will ache to carry my giant children, clutching them close for just a moment longer.

I know that I will sit and stare off into space saying "Oh, I did NOT know how GOOD I had it." I will miss the moments that  drive me crazy today. I will gladly take all of the stress and chaos for a moment with a sweet baby asleep in my arms. I am so very blessed with chaos and noise; with exhaustion and laundry; with 3 little boys that love and need me until I have nothing left. I am SO VERY BLESSED.


God, give me the grace, the patience and the humor to soak in all of my blessings today and everyday. Amen.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Nap Time

Nap time is normally my down time. Sometimes it involves me reclining on the couch. . .feet up. Bowl of ice cream? Perhaps.

Today? Not today. Today I was on a mission. I am taking matters into my own hands.


   
 

Mission accomplished. That tennis racket. . .it's called The Executioner. I am hopeful that it is the destroyer of fruit flies. The solution to the battle that I am currently losing.

Thank you Amazon! Solving issues during nap time is better than a bowl of ice cream. Kind of.
Happy Tuesday!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Accelerated

It's Friday! My decades in the workforce ingrained in me the desire to cheer when Friday arrives. Now that I am a stay at home mama with littles. . .it kind of pisses me off. I still cheer despite the fact that I know Saturday and Sunday will not be much different from the rest of the week. My duties remain unchanged. There is no end to the work. hahaa. But HOORAY! It's Friday! UGH.

I feel a little like Scrooge McDuck today. That is your warning. You might want to click the pretty little x in the top right corner about now. I am about to start quacking. Possibly to the point of completely quacking up.

The fly infestation has waned. But *cringe* I found a bee in our house. . .which put a massive bee in my bonnet. I know bees are our friends.  .but not the kind of friend I would ever, ever invite into my house. Any bee that dare gain entrance into this house be warned....
So. . .I did what any logical person would do and I cleaned him with disinfectant cleaner until he decided I was the worst host ever and.....
I know I wanted to live in the country. . .but I am not sure I understood that meant all the country critters would move in with me.

It has been about a month now, in this here brand spanking new house. The toilet bubbles when the boys lift the drain in the tub. The dark wood flooring must be swept several times a day as it shows every speck and crumb the boys leave in their wake. The dishwasher followed the bee's example and committed hari kari three nights ago. My mailbox is a good 6 minute walk away. As I type that it doesnt seem far but that is a 12 minute excursion to go and pick up bills and junk mail and to send my money to these bill collectors. The hot water heater has been turned all the way up and the shower is slightly warm. I should be pleased that it is not frigid...I know.00

The front flower beds were filled with wet concrete. I am unsure how the plants are supposed to grow and thrive in concrete but we are watering the bejeebers out of them in hopes that we are wrong. The beautiful lawn is beginning to die in strange patches. Perhaps because it has been planted in concrete? Please, no!
I cannot find a preschool with any availability within a reasonable driving distance. Oh wait. . .I found one that will cost us $500 a month for 3 half days each week. GASP.
BUT the house is pretty! The view is incredible and a gurgling toilet and a plethora of buzzing insects in the house only enhance our daily soundtrack. Right?

I am going to a friend's house for dinner tonight. She asked me to bring a fruit salad.....and that stopped me in my tracks. Embarrassing admission #327.5. I *ahem* have never made a fruit salad. Ever. What would this mama do with out friends and pinterest forcing her to be a better mama?
I am making this for tonight. And by making, I mean. . .tossing all of it in a bowl. Voila. Why have I never "cooked" fruit salad before? Seems like my kind of cooking!


My boys are in their bedroom, supposedly making their beds. But it is awfully quiet in there. Not a good sign...but I am really relishing the break. . .and the quiet.
I have recently been told that 4 year olds should have learned to close the screen door by now. . .a month after moving in here. They should be speaking in full and proper sentences all the time and urine ON the toilet is completely shocking. They should know exactly why they do the things they do.

I think that is utterly amazing and clearly I have missed the accelerated parenting trend. I am clearly hindering my childrens' growth and education. Apparently after four years and a month my kids should be ready for life on their own.. . .incredible? RIGHT?  I have spent a few minutes googling this and have come up with bubkiss which is unacceptable. If anyone knows of this accelerated parenting miracle program. . please clue this mama in!
Quack. Quack.Quackity Quack.
Uh oh....there is far too much laughing in that bedroom now...

One final thought before I investigate what is going on with the boys.

This boy! This dear boy whom I have shouted for, prayed for and dreamt about met his Mama and his brother. Divine Providence. How I wish I could share pictures and more. . .anyone that does not believe in God and His beautiful plan needs to follow an adoption journey. The miracle will blow your mind.
As soon as I can I will share the wonderful pictures of Brett meeting his family.. He is incredible and I could not be more overjoyed to witness this loving miracle.

It's Friday! WOOOOHOOOO! Ugh.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Moving to the country...

Well we are here! Moved! An epic undertaking that had a soundtrack all its own. I like to think that the soundtrack was "moving to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches..." But that would be delusional.

Yes, it looks like he is waiting for a Police pat-down. 

Honestly, it was a lot of yelling and crying. Lost swimsuits (yippeeee) and misplaced toys. Glass breaking and tempers flaring. To be blunt, I miss the old house terribly. It was not pretty.

Somewhere in the midst of that my baby sister got married and my mother in law had surgery on her ankle and spent some time recuperating at my little casa....and she was also treated to our special soundtrack. Soothing, I am sure.

But...we are here and we are all accounted for. My boys are loving the house and the yard. The town and all its charm.

My Opie will take his first steps here in this new house. He gets closer by the minute. I love watching him grow and learn...but I also watch in fear. Once he is walking. . . life will get even busier. 3 uber active boys!! If only they all liked to clean!

But it is bucolic here.

The stars are brighter, the air cleaner. Waking up to the views here. .. it is hard to complain. Kind of.

For some reason, the idea of moving to the country did not include an insane amount of bugs....everywhere. Four year old boys do not grasp that the door must be shut behind them and therefore we are swarmed. I am covered in bug bites despite the citronella bonfire I light outside every night and my husband has resorted to decorating our new house with fly strips.

Yup. Here in the country we need Jesus and flytraps. Hubby did not want to have them just hanging around so he secured them all with blue tape. Currently, there are 4 such strips on our walls. . .and since there are no flies stuck to them, I bet there will be more up before the end of the day.
On the bright side, I no longer feel the need to buy paintings for the walls.

The boys just woke up and Eli tells me "I named the fly in my room Buzzer. He is my friend." New friends in our new town. Awesome.
There is currently a fly on the wall right above the flystip. Not on it. .. nope...

And allergies. YIKES.


My soundtrack has changed in the past week.

"I moved into the country. Gonna need alot of kleenex."

I have missed blogging!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Losing it.



Posting this early because if I don't it might get lost in the chaos here. 



Whoever said "Build a house; lose a spouse" was not kidding. I am ready to kill just about anyone that dares look at me let alone open their mouth. I am beyond being at my wit's end.. .. I have no wit left. I am completely wit-less. And honestly, if my husband comes downstairs with any more curveballs, I will make the above phrase true.

We were supposed to move two days ago. First the builder dropped the ball...now our mortgage company is following suit. So. . .as I has mistakenly joked many many months ago. . .we are moving at the same time my baby sister is getting married. Life is a complete disaster.

I am finding it difficult to live in my "living room" and there is no idea when we will actually get to move these boxes into our new living room. I would bang my head against the wall repeatedly if I could get to one.


Beckett would be two today. I really don't know how it really works in cases of miscarriage. .. is he 2 in heaven? I know it doesn't matter but the question came up in conversation today and my wit-less brain stalled. And I just sat there thinking about my sweet baby boy.

Funny how that works. He might not have been a sweet boy. He might have turned out to be as willful as his brother. As temperamental as his parents. Who knows... but in my head he is the sweetest ever.



My husband has been involved in some pro-life discussions online following the Hobby Lobby verdict. (Let's all pause and cheer because this is a big deal.) As I am spending a bit of time remembering my short journey with Beckett I am angered again by some skewed views of the "Pro-Choice" movement.

I had no choice when I received the news that Beckett would have Down Syndrome. I had no say in the patronizing, pseudo-sympathetic face my "doctor" gave me when he told me that it would be in the best interest of all involved if I simply aborted my baby.

I had NO CHOICE when he brought up abortion several more times as the only humane and logical answer to this "problem." I had no choice to hear or not hear him say "If you really love your baby, you should terminate this pregnancy" as he kindly handed me a tissue. Where was my choice in that situation. I had not gone out seeking information on termination.

My baby was/is perfect just as he is. He was NOT a problem. He was created in the image and likeness of God. Not only that, but he would have likely had my eyes. His dad's lips. My sense of humor (and hopefully intelligence.)

I may be overstepping here, or misspeaking, but before you call me out on it, take a minute and re-read my first quick take.

He was God's creation but he was also my masterpiece. He was part of me. Part of my husband. A perfect product of love. He was my precious baby and to repeatedly hear that he was not worth a chance...well that was not MY CHOICE. To hear in my moment of grief that I should simply toss him away. . .what kind of choice is that?

It simply breaks my heart. If I spend too much time reliving that moment I may end up in a dark place.

We all have a choice....if only we all chose love. So many people spend so much time defending the right to NOT LOVE. To not care and to act in a way that ends the life of a masterpiece.
The world clearly needs more LOVE.
It boggles my mind and I must stop here.


I got to witness a miracle this week. If any of you read my blog you know that I adore Brett. If I had my way, he would be here in my disaster of a house already. He speaks to me and he has been through the wringer waiting for a family to commit to him forever.

This week not only did a family commit to him (they travel to his country on the 21st of this month) but a generous group of angels banded together and raised money for his adoption. His adoption fund went from 10k to nearly 14k in a matter of hours. A matter of hours! I was blown away.

Thank you to all that have listened to my endless shouting for Brett. Thank you to all that have prayed, shared and donated.

Thank you GOD for listening to these prayers and for sending such an amazing family to him. Please bless the rest of this journey for them! If you feel called to donate, funds are still needed! DONATE HERE!
There are many children blessed enough to be born. Masterpieces waiting for their family to cherish them. Adoption is not easy. Trust me. I know. We are still in the trenches here, but there is joy and there is growth. Love is not always easy. Parenting is hardest when I let other irritants and distractions get in the way of love. Evan has been home for 20 months. AND LOOK! JUST LOOK! Every time I feel I am failing as a Mama. . .I need to stop and look.


In honor of Beckett, here are two perfect little boys waiting for their families. Open your mind and heart to consider adoption! These children are perfect just as they are!

Rogan

40331223243 RoganBoy, born May 2013
Down syndrome, Cleft lip / cleft palate, rickets, additional chord of the left heart ventricle, carrier of Hep. C antibodies

What a sweetheart!  He will be available for adoption in early summer.

Vaughan


AW! Look at this sweet chunky boy! 
Vaughan Photo 4 Apr-2013Vaughan-2014Boy, Born February 2012
Down syndrome

Brown hair, brown eyed Vaughan was born in February of 2012 with Down syndrome.  He has an infectious smile and big brown eyes.
Update April 2013:What a sweet and active boy. He always wants to play and brings your attention on him. He is very smiley and very happy boy. He moves a lot and likes to play with toys. He can roll over and sits up with support. He babbles. He eats and sleeps well and does not get sick very often.
Update July 2014: Vaughan continues to be an active, alert and happy child who loves to dance.  He walks, climbs, sits up, points, understands instructions, and finds ways to communicate his needs.  Vaughan babbles and is described as an all around fun kid.
Even though Vaughan was born prematurely at 36 weeks gestation, he is very healthy.  It is reported that he does not have a heart defect and currently requires no special care.


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Little does he know

What can I say that I have not said recently. I love this boy. Here is Brett.



This boy tugs at my heart. His story is one that should break all of our hearts.

He is living in a situation most dire. His needs are not being met. He is not somewhere that he can thrive and grow. He cannot learn in safety, he is being mistreated. He does not know what love is. No idea what family means or that he is precious and lovable. He has endured this existence for nearly 7 years.



But his story is not over.




Little does he know that he is already loved. That a group of warriors decided not to let his story end in an institutional bed.






Little does he know that he is famous and his sweet face has been seen by thousands.


Little does he know that his family has found him.

That there is a $1000 matching grant to help that family bring him home.


Little does he know how his life is going to change in a matter of weeks.

Oh that grin!




I honestly cannot see through my tears, so please read here. AND HERE. 

Please help this little boy by helping his family finance his adoption by donating HERE. All donations are tax deductible.

His story can have such a happy ending with your help! He will come home with a multitude of difficult behaviors and many medical appointments; the last thing his family needs is to worry about money. Let's gift this boy and his family a fresh start to their new lives.