Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Last on the list, Chappy and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary. We went to dinner at a favorite restaurant (Sperry's) and then caught a Michael McDonald concert while the big kids did some babysitting. McDonald performed some of his favorites with the Nashville Symphony, and it was fantastic! After all these years, he's still got it!
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
My "Spiritual Comfort Zone" is easy to describe.....one word....here it comes....ORPHANS!!!
In addition, I have a passion to be a part of the special needs community because of my little "special ones"....to love them, accept them, and be a friend to them.
Last November, most of you will recall, our daughter Lydia (with help from her brother and sister, Caleb and Natalie, and some dear neighbor friends) raised close to a whopping $30,000.00 in seven days last Thanksgiving so our family could travel to the Ukraine to adopt a little orphan girl who has Down Syndrome. Can you begin to imagine just how much this was IN OUR COMFORT ZONE? It met both of our "Spiritual Comfort Zone" criteria....orphan and special needs.
We began to plan our trip, gather our documents, and spread the word. Then God, in his "way", halted everything. Chappy, ten years my senior, had aged out of the program. In order to make the adoption work, I would have had to enter the Ukraine under false pretenses....stating I was a single woman seeking adoption. Deal Breaker!!!
Soon after learning our adoption of Darya was not going to go through, our family learned that Hope was (and is) again having major issues with her heart. The "Love Balloon" (aneurysm) within her heart continues to grow and change it's shape. As a result, her prognosis is uncertain and our staying within the confines of the United States "just in case" suddenly became vitally important to us for Hope's sake.
We forwarded the money Lydia had raised for Darya's adoption to Reece's Rainbow to be used for another family to become her adoptive family. Without delay, the Fick family stepped forward; and remarkably, the only thing that had been preventing their adopting was money. God used Lydia and her faith to raise the money, but chose the Fick family to be the recipients of the honor of raising little Darya. Today, her adoption was finalized. Praise the Lord!!!
We could clearly see God's hand in all of this....and decided the issue was "timing", but felt certain God would send another child our way to adopt since all of our homestudy paperwork is complete.
Then, on a trip to the beach in June, Chappy and I quite randomly learn of our current Senator, Jack Johnson's, proposed bill (SB2517). If that bill had passed, educators in TN would have had the right to physically restrain and LOCK special education students, mentally/physically disabled students, in isolation rooms at school! Outraged doesn't adequately describe my feelings on this issue.
Chappy laughed: "The only way to change that kind of thinking in the TN Legislature is if you replace Jack Johnson and speak up for all the special needs kids."
I thought about his words for several minutes and then replied: "I'll do it!"
"Are you kidding me?" he asked.
"No, I don't think so." was my answer.
Forty days until the election, and I am running for State Senator, District 23.
OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE!!!! (Ok, I am screaming that to both the reader and God!)
OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE!!! (screaming again, just in case He didn't hear me the first time)
God put the brakes on our journey to the Ukraine so fast he left our heads spinning. We tried to fanangle and bedangle and do whatever we could do to get to the Ukraine to adopt Darya, but God just kept saying "no"and the rules just would not change (poor Chappy, no matter how hard he tried, could not take those two "too many" years off of his life).
On this State Senate race, God keeps saying: "Yes, Yes, Yes!" and I keep asking Him "Why, Why, Why aren't you stopping me?"
In my search for answers (and assurance), I have completed the book "Radical", and watched the above video this morning (and other videos on the same "Radical" topic) by David Platt. I received my answer; actually I already knew the answer, but wanted God to pound it in my head a few times. His Word? "Follow Me Out Of Your Comfort Zone!"
I have been told more than once, if elected, I will be placed on every committee that no one else wants to touch...and will be given a basement closet to set up as my office. Afterall, I am completely "non-establishment" as a write-in candidate, right? That alone will supposedly earn me some "hate". Imagine being told this a few too many times....sound like fun??? Not really. But I am reminded again: "Follow Me!"
All the more reason to stay on my knees....RADICALLY in love with my Creator, my Savior, and my Lord! Trusting Him. Faithing Him. And following Him. Winning or losing this election just doesn't matter. I am a winner because of the cross! And by the way....so are you!
Friday, September 17, 2010
Natalie: "Mom, some girl socked me right in the eye on the school bus today".
Me: "Oh my word, you have a bruise! Did you do something to provoke the little girl? Were you arguing?"
Natalie: "No mom, I was just being her friend, and then she punched me. I never saw it coming."
Me: "Mr. Principal, I don't know what happened, but Natalie was punched on the bus and says she wasn't fighting or arguing with the girl that punched her."
Principal to Natalie: "Natalie, did you do anything to provoke the girl who hit you?"
Natalie: "No, I was just being her friend."
Principal to girl: "Did you punch Natalie in the eye?"
Principal to girl: "Why would you do that?"
Girl: "She was flipping me with silly bands."
Principal to Natalie: "Did you flip her with silly bands?"
Natalie: "Yes, but I thought she liked the game."
Me to Natalie: "Couldn't you read the girl's face and tell she wasn't enjoying being flipped with silly bands?"
Natalie: "Can you teach me how to read faces so I don't get punched again, because I only know how to read books."
Charlie and an extra chromosome:
Lydia, Charlie, and I meet some good friends for lunch this week. Charlie was sleepy after playing all morning and had a full tummy, so I decided to let him sit in a stroller while I enjoyed visiting with our friends (hoping little red-head would take a nap). After a while, I noticed he wasn't sleeping but seemed content to play with his hands. It wasn't until I put him in his carseat that I noticed at some point during lunch he had reached into his diaper, pulled out a "poo poo ball" and rolled it up into his hand to squish. Content? Yep.....content and playing with a "poo ball" during lunch. I am sure there are LISTS of health codes against that!!!
Hope, an extra chromosome and a heart defect:
I picked Hope up from preschool today and learned she had not wanted to eat any food or drink any liquids all day no matter how much the teachers attempted to coax her. In addition, her teachers said she plopped herself on the ground during playground time and wouldn't play. After hearing the report, I scooped the little bundle up and made a quick stop by McDonald's for some famous french fries to tempt the hungry one to eat. McDonald's always works, but not today. Upon entering the house, I quickly turned on Elmo and wrapped her up in a blanket to cuddle on the couch. Hope not only shunned McDonald's, but she also shunned her favorite red monster. My sweet girl has no words yet, so she is unable to communicate her feelings to me.....therefore, I am left to fret and worry...which I have done since 12:30 this afternoon. "Could it be her heart?" I fear. "No, she is probably catching a cold or something", I quickly decide, but then am quickly checked by my own heart and emotions: "What if?" This will be another sleepless night......
Life with Special Needs Kids can be summed up with four words:
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I came away with this:
If I had been placed in Jane's poisition, I am certain I would never have achieved the level of integrity that she maintained. Her love for "right" transcended her every action, word, and deed though emotionally, she often struggled. Jane's very nature was to stand up and speak out; however, she learned, through much practice, to honor God with her actions through love, humility, servanthood, patience, kindness, and self-control.
Unlike the great Jane Eyre, I am not a heroic fictional character. Truthfully, I have more faults than could possibly be listed on a blog page, and too often, my emotional struggle leads to sin. My worst struggle? selfishness. Daily, I have to consciously slaughter the evil enemy of "It's All About Me" and remind myself that I am but a tool to be used by the Almighty to help others....a servant. Most often, the enemy wins and I fail.
While you might pick up this book for wonderful entertainment, be warned it will stick the knife of conviction in your back when you least expect it. I dare say, there is not a female alive who could read this book and not compare herself to Jane and then desire to strive to be more like her.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
"Love never gives up....it cares more for others than for self."
"Love doesn't want what it doesn't have."
"Love doesn't strut or have a swelled head; it doesn't force itself on others."
Love doesn't fly off the handle or keep score of the sins of others."
"Doesn't revel when others grovel"
"But takes pleasure in the flowering of truth."
"And it does trust God always."
"Love looks for the best and never looks back."
"Love keeps going....
to the end."
Have You Loved Someone Today????
(From: "The Message"---1 Corinthians 13)