Clean slate…

As we’ve continued to settle into our roles here, despite the anxiety I’ve been experiencing, I have seen a continuous rhythm beginning to develop. This rhythm has come in the way the littles and I do school each day, the expectancy of J at lunch and his return after the buses leave for the day. It has come in the once monthly ‘“girls night dinner” and in the consistency of co-op meetings.

I remember thinking we’d never find any rhythm here. I remember feeling overwhelmed at the idea of creating new rhythms because it meant letting go, really letting go, of our old rhythms. The scariest part of moving here, for me, was the not knowing…

See, I’m a planner. I have our entire summer laid out on calendars on the fridge. I make my grocery list a full week ahead and I have my dinner menu written out at least two, usually three, weeks out. I thrive on consistency. The introvert in me needs the predictability. Moving to the Rez stripped that away…but God in all His goodness, has given us new rhythms. Rhythms that cause us to rely more heavily on Him, rhythms that cause us to pray boldly and speak life because that’s literally all we have at times. Our new rhythms have forced us to look deeper into ourselves, our marriage and our parenting to reflect on how we are best serving ourselves, our family and others.

Some of that reflection has taught us some hard lessons, especially the past few weeks. We’ve learned that even more than before we really must say exactly what we mean and then be prepared to fully stand behind our decision. We’ve learned that giving out of an overflow sometimes has to look different than we imagined or previously pictured. We’ve learned that walking alongside our partner churches and their congregations can’t look the same in every one. We’ve had to acknowledge those lessons, process them, accept them and choose differently in the future.

I was struck hardest by some of these lessons as I am the more emotional person in this partnership. (I know, that’s hard to imagine. Ha.) I can easily slip into bitterness when I feel an injustice has been done. I’m constantly working on that…working on forgiving and letting Jesus take care of the rest.

Several times in the past week, I’ve had some of my Navajo sister’s remind me that there are things I MUST let go of…there are things, moments, people, who will cause tension and I have to be willing to give them to Jesus. I cant be effective in my walk, in my home, in my classroom, my marriage or our ministry, if I’m holding on to things I can’t control.

On Friday evening, we went out to White Rock to have dinner with our Masani and to let Little Man see “his sheep”. While we were at the corral, I watched Masani as she called each of those sheep by name and they responded to her. I watched as she gently guided them back to the corral and was immediately able to spot one who was injured. I asked her a bazillion questions about why and how she handles them the way she does. I talked to her about when they’ll lamb and how many she expects and when she’ll shear them. And I was amazed at the knowledge, the gentleness and the fierceness of spirit in my beautiful friend. As J drove the kids up from the corral to the church and Masani drove her truck, I chose to walk. I chose a moment of peace. And I took this picture.

IMG_8051

You might see dirt, and a building with a blue tin roof. I felt Jesus in this moment though. That dirt reminded me that everyone deserves a clean slate . No matter their offense, it’s not my job to take it up. And so, I made a choice to breathe in the crisp, cool air and let out the yuck of the past few weeks.

Then, this morning, we live streamed our church in Hattiesburg, MS. I want to preface this by saying that one of the many reasons I admire and respect Pastor Jeff is because he has ALWAYS (in my time of knowing him) been a man who was about loving others well. He has been a man of integrity, one who is consistent in his dealings with people and in the decisions he makes as he leads his flock.

In his sermon, Pastor Jeff talked about the movement they are making in South Mississippi. He talked about how God has been pushing him to do things he wasn’t really been comfortable saying yes too. He spoke about the things he thought he knew a better timeline for-and then he talked about submitting. Submitting to the One who knows best and saying yes to God. He spoke about hard things, tough spots, wrong turns happening so that God can squeeze you. So God can use every bit of you and then refill. Because He DOES refill.

My heart needed to hear those words this morning. I needed to be reminded that sometimes saying “Yes, Lord, send me!” doesn’t look like what we imagined and it most certainly isn’t always comfortable. And…it doesn’t have to be what I WANT! Yuck, y’all! My toes were on fire after hearing Jeff’s sermon today.

I want people to do right by the Navajo. I want people to do right by my family. More than any of that, though, I want people to know Jesus. I want them to see Him in His fullness. I want them to feel His presence as they come and as they go and when they come in my house I want them to get knocked down because the Holy Spirit is so strong they aren’t able to stand!! I want to live BOLDLY for Christ. I want my family to live and walk BOLDLY in the knowledge of who they belong to and who created them!  I want my Navajo brothers and sisters to understand fully the beautiful miracle each of them was created to be and to find the purpose He’s lain before them. All of those are my WANTS though. Are they good wants to have? I feel like they are. Are they what God wants? I know some of them are, I also know some of them are Jesus with a little of my selfishness thrown in…and so does He.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, I want Jesus. And I’m going to continue to say yes-even when it’s hard…I’ll keep letting Him chisel me like the beautiful landscape in my desert because each cramp, bump and hiccup can cause me to be more like him…and to me, for me, that is my greatest desire.

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…the tiniest birds.

Happiness came today, in the form of a bird like this and his lady friends…

https://goo.gl/images/iKSuKj

This weekend, I mentioned wanting a bird feeder to hang just outside the picture window in our living room. After a tumultuous couple of days, more on that later on…I thought it’d brighten my mood.

Sunday, Justin and Sissy, went and grabbed one from the Ace hardware about thirty minutes away.

If I’m completely honest, the bird feeder was me grasping at straws. I have struggled with anxiety, a lot. Probably for longer than I remember and can actually articulate, simply because I didn’t have a name for “the thing” that made me flip out. 

After two years in LivingWell, I now have a name for it and I can only call it what it is, sit in whatever is causing the anxiety, process and move along as necessary. Certain things trigger me more than others…overall though, I’ve done pretty well in recent years. 

When we moved out here, I was a gigantic mess…if you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you already know that…anxiety played a huge factor…Fear of the unknown gets me every time..which is really based out of my fear of rejection. Anyway, after processing all that out, things were rolling along pretty much anxiety free.

However, in February, I began having terrible nightmares and LOTS of sleepless nights followed. Once I processed what was causing my flare up, they slowly went away. Fast forward to two weeks ago…I started having trouble sleeping, again, and this week I’ve been having terrible nightmares. I’ve been on the verge of tears more than I’d like to admit and I’ve been sullen, for lack of a better word. I hadn’t been able to really put my finger on what had me triggered until we were sitting at dinner this evening. I realized that in the past two weeks, Little Man has finally started sleeping through the night, in his own bed. It hasn’t been every night but 6 out of 10, compared to none…I consider that a breakthrough. Celebration, right?!? No cause for alarm. 

…unless you’re the Mama who woke up in the middle of the night, April 19, 2016, to your newborn not breathing.  See, y’all, these past two weeks, they’re the first time, since that night, our boy has slept-alone…all night. I have processed multiple times the impact his illness and the survival mode we lived in for months-gone over and over my feelings and fears and denial more times than I care to count. What I seem to always forget, though, is this…trauma is trauma and it doesn’t just go away. 

I am happy, our boy is healthy and healed and whole. I’m forever grateful for the Holy Spirit waking me that night-I’ve no doubt it was Him. I know our life could be very different. I also know, as a Mama, that night forever changed something inside my heart…it is still overwhelming and frightening and suffocating at times….so, tonight, as we read SkippyJon Jones, I snuggled Little Man a little tighter and told him what a beautiful gift he has been to our family…and when I kissed Sissy and Mouse, I reminded them what precious gifts they are, too.

So, what about the birds, you ask?  After dinner and in the middle of finishing bath time, J called me into the living room. There were at least ten tiny finches on our back wall, taking turns eating from my new feeder…and the handsome guy, similar to the one pictured above, gently stood watch for his ladies. Ha.

It was then I heard a still, small voice say…

“See, I even care for the tiniest birds…”

My anxiety doesn’t get the final say, my Jesus does. Though it is very real, though it is sometimes utterly crippling, I have all the necessary tools to push through to the other side-when I’m ready.

Jesus has constantly reminded me, when I am weak, He’s strong. When I doubt, He doesn’t flinch. When I worry, He reminds me, gently, that He has cared for me long before any one else…this move, living on the Rez, homeschooling, learning a new culture and way of life and still trying to hold onto who He designed me to be-it’s hard. Harder than I ever imagined. I’m not alone, though. He knew how hard this would be, He knows my heart and my head-and He loves me anyway.

So, tonight, I’m choosing to sit in my feelings, process through the fear and worry not. 

…and I think I’ll kiss all three of my babies one more time before I go to bed. 

“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your Heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you more valuable than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?” -Matt. 6:26-27

…even on a sick day

This week, the kids and I took some time to rest. We brought school with us on our trip back East and we worked each day. Let me tell you how crazy we must’ve appeared with me teaching in the middle of the Dallas airport. Ha.

Once we got home, we…I, realized we needed some time to rest. When I worked at the church, our pastor, my boss, would often remind us you work best from rest. I read an awesome book, highly recommended by two women I greatly admire, about teaching from REST. So, when I realized that the kids were tired and I was tired and no one was learning much of anything, I made the executive decision to have a restful school week. We did science experiments, we read partner plays, we wrote short stories, we went on a nature scavenger hunt and we PLAYED! We played inside and outside. We used sidewalk chalk to learn phonics blends and spelling words and we explored. And we took naps and we watched Magic School Bus episodes that matched whatever science lesson we were working on for the day. We just had fun and we rested…

…until Thursday. Thursday, the enemy came calling and he was determined to ruin our week of rest. Thursday mid-day, I spiked a fever. By Thursday evening, Mouse had a tummy ache and Little Man was refusing to eat. Fast forward to Friday morning, I’ve been up all night with fever and chills, Mouse wakes up vomiting and Little
Man wakes up covered in vomit from sometime in the night. J had left early for an out of town conference. It was not a pretty picture at our house. So-I did the only thing I knew to do…Sissy and I circled up and prayed. We prayed for healing and wholeness…and no more vomit.

And there was none…

By mid-day, all was well. I chalked up the one episode of vomit per kid to something they ate and moved on…

We’d made plans to attend our friends baseball game that evening in Farmington. It was a bit of a drive but we were excited to visit and the kids were excited to watch JayBoy play. So, off we went….

The enemy wasn’t done though. On our way home, I started to feel bad. Terrible, really. By the time we got home, I knew I was sick and was up all night with an upset stomach.

Here’s the hitch, J was leaving at 6:30 to go on a trail ride with the senior class…

Weariness…remember, that’s where the enemy gets me. As I lay in bed Saturday morning, husband off riding horses (with my blessing because self-care is paramount), I made a conscious choice that he wouldn’t get me. I made a choice that he wouldn’t win the day, that my Father would…so, I prayed.

My stomach didn’t magically improve…my kids were gracious to their mama, though. When I told them my tummy was very sick and I needed lots of help while J was gone…there were no fits…
It was a beautiful, 65 degree day…warm enough the girls could play outside with friends. Little Man was content to snuggle on the couch and watch movies…you see, God doesn’t answer the way we want but he ALWAYS answers. My stomach still isn’t quite right but my day was exactly right. There was grace. Enough for the day. Enough for today and the beauty is there will be enough for tomorrow, too.

I, we, have learned so much about God’s timing and grace and prayers since moving here. We have learned what a need we have for prayer…because when you’re in a literal desert, prayer is all you have at your disposal. We have learned and seen first hand that His ways are higher, better, more real than anything we could ask or imagine. We live, day in and day out, in a state of grace. There has to be grace…and as a Mama, I admit, my grace can run really short some days. His doesn’t, though. My Heavenly Father’s grace comes endlessly. And, that’s what made yesterday so right. His grace.

See, there’s something the enemy doesn’t have and that’s grace. The enemy’s fortitude has nothing on my King. He can not and will not be defeated because He’s already won! His grace is sovereign…how awesome is that?

So, friends, I was reminded yesterday of the beauty of His answer and not mine. I was reminded that when my grace falls short, His does not. I was reminded that His grace is enough for me…even on a sick day.

Covenant love…

When we moved to the Rez, we knew we wanted to find a church that would fill us and fuel us as we served alongside our beautiful family here. We have watched many services of Crossroads live stream in our living room, we have streamed our home church on SSI, we have visited churches in Farmington. There hasn’t been one thing that’s worked for ALL five of us. Last week, on the tail end of our trip back East, we visited a church in Albuquerque with friends. (That’s five hours from us.) We really enjoyed the pastor, the worship and the children’s ministry. Little Man was actually happy when we picked him up. Sissy and Mouse were pleasantly pleased and said they enjoyed themselves and were excited about visiting again. Now, I’ve told many stories since we moved here about the faithfulness of my Father…well, here’s another. The Albuquerque church has a campus in Farmington. Yes, three hours and three states from us BUT not only is there a campus there, they also have a Saturday evening service! We can attend Saturday evening, do our grocery shopping and still be available to our Navajo churches on Sunday!! When we set out on this adventure, I prayed for Him to be in every detail. I prayed He would cover us in His grace and mercy and that we’d feel Him at every turn, every fork in the road and every decision to be made…oh, how faithful is the Father’s love toward us.

We visited the Farmington campus last night. We had a picnic at the Aztec National Monument, we made our Target run and did our grocery shopping and I got dressed for Easter service in Safeway grocery store restroom. I laugh as I write this because it’s our life and there wasn’t a moments hesitation in doing so…the kids got dressed in the van and J loaded groceries into a cooler while I changed. It’s comical. It’s comical because I love this life. It’s hard. Don’t get me wrong, I have just realized one thing-a thing I was reminded of in service last night. When I gave my life to Christ, I admitted I was a sinner. I believe(d) He was the son of the Living God and then I COMMITTED my life to Him. I made a COVENANT with Jesus that if He’d save me from myself, I’d commit my life to doing His work. To honoring Him. I’d commit my life to following His lead and walking in His way. Now, at twelve years old, in a little Baptist Church on our island, I had no idea committing, making covenant with Jesus would take me to the desert…I did, though. I committed my life to Him. And this is the beautiful, full, magnificent, glorious life He’s given me.

The thought of the covenant I made with Jesus at twelve made me think about the covenant’s I’ve made since then. The covenant I made when J and I said “I do”. The covenant we made as parents when we dedicated each of our babies back to the Lord. The covenant we made when we moved here. The last wasn’t a spoken covenant. It wasn’t an agreement we made with any church or person. It was a covenant, once again, with Jesus, that we’d love these people as He loves us. In all our brokenness and human tendencies, we’d love with the same love.

It’s overwhelming really. This charge-this covenant because it wasn’t what I chose. It reminds me over and over again how little control we actually have over our lives. How little I control my own life. What’s even more incredible, more
overwhelming, is that despite my wandering heart, Jesus still chose me. He chooses me every day and He chose ME on that cross all those years ago.

Friends, He chose you, too.

He made a covenant on the cross that we could never deserve..and yet, He chose us anyway. He made a covenant for debts, sins that weren’t His so that we could live this beautiful, magnificent, full life. He chose us.

So, on this Easter Sunday, won’t you remember that you’re CHOSEN. You’re loved, with a deeper love than you can fathom. You’re given grace beyond measure from a Father who finds you absolutely flawless because of the beautiful covenant His son made on the cross.

Today, we’re celebrating our Risen King with some of our Navajo family. Celebrating the covenant He made and the one we made to love. Unconditionally and without expectation…just as He loves us.

Happy Easter, friends!

The greatest need…

I wrote this blog last Tuesday evening…

As I sit on the plane, bags all packed, babies tired and with full hearts, I am reminiscing over the past fourteen days.

Eight months.

…that’s how long it had been since my littles had seen our beautiful island. And we packed in the fun, friends and family. We packed in as much FUSE as we could, as much SouthernSoul and as much love as possible to get us through to the next visit. Amidst the fun, we all realized one thing…we love our island but it’s no longer where our hearts belong. Our hearts, are undeniably, with the Navajo.

I was able to share with several small groups of people about our lives on the Rez. I shared a few stories of the precious people we love so dearly. I shared hard stories, silly stories and God stories…of which there are many…

We had lots of folks ask us what our greatest need was…it’s a big one but necessary. In order to adequately serve the churches we are privileged to walk alongside, we need a vehicle…a vehicle of the four wheel drive kind.

You see, many, if not most, Rez roads are dirt, washboard roads that in the summer wash out due to flash flooding and in the winter turn to thick mud when the snow and ice melt. This often makes them impassable without the assistance of four wheel drive. We currently drive a mini-van. Now-don’t get me wrong, we do the best we can with what we’ve got and the little grey mini has roughed a lot out with us the past eight months…four wheel drive would be safer, more efficient and better all around.

We’ve had to cancel trips to churches. We’ve postponed trips and caught up two weeks later because even after the snow melts, our Navajo family calls to let us know it’s not safe for the mini van to drive down the three mile dirt road to the church…much less the three and a half drive over the tops of ice and snow covered mesas.

When we cancel on a church, we’re actually cancelling on several churches because it creates a domino effect. This is unacceptable, for many reasons, the main one being-each of these churches deserve time. Our time, God’s time and an ear to hear their dreams and someone to vision cast with them. Someone who will help without hurting. That’s our whole mission. Navajo leading, serving and loving other Navajo. When we cancel, God’s time is there…ours is not.

So…we’ve boldly stepped out on faith and are believing for His provision to provide us with a four wheel drive vehicle. One that comfortably seats our family of five and has room for some beautiful friends to tag along.

Want to help? You can donate to BHP via this link:   http://www.tabsmithministries.com/giving.

In the special instructions denote your money is specifically for BHP’s car fund. No amount is too small. You can also set up a monthly contribution via the link above.

love and warriors…

Our lives changed drastically, dramatically when J came to the Rez for his first mission trip in the summer of 2016. I didn’t realize at the time what an impact that trip would have on our family. I didn’t realize the enormous responsibility God was placing in our hands. Daily, I get a reminder just how much we are responsible for in our new home.

This week was busy. Full of light and laughter and long talks with precious families who love Jesus and who have entrusted themselves, their ministries and  their hearts to my family. By the end of the week though, I was tired. My heart was heavy with some things that were absolutely out of my control. Things I was praying through, people I was praying over and waiting on His timing…and I was weary. Weariness is the enemy’s greatest tool against me. When I am tired, when I am discouraged, the lies of the enemy hold so much power…because I allow them too.

We have many children who are in and out of our home. Some with strong families, some with no family, some with hearts so broken and untrusting they don’t know up from down. Some-despite all odds, despite the deck being completely stacked against them are joyful. These are the ones who break me. Jesus uses them, their story, their faith and hope that things will be better to teach me so much about myself.

I have fallen head over heels, madly in love with the children on this Reservation. My Father has allowed them to touch a place in my heart I thought I had worked through.

Several years ago, J and I began the process to foster to adopt a precious, beautiful baby boy. For reasons that didn’t make sense to me at the time, we were unable to move forward in the process. Losing that baby destroyed me for awhile. He had pricked a place in my heart I didn’t know was tender. The first time those chubby little tanned hands reached for me and he fell asleep on my chest, I felt I couldn’t breathe. Jesus had other plans for that beautiful boy AND for me. He had plans for Little Man and for a wild adventure into the desert. An adventure I wouldn’t change now, if I could. But-that beautiful boy, with his chubby little hands changed the way I saw life. I can look at that time now and see how He was preparing my heart for such a time as this. A time when every day my heart is pricked and pierced for the beautiful, brown hands that want to hold mine. For the beautiful brown eyes that look at me and trust me and wholeheartedly believe me when I tell them how much Jesus loves them. For the beautiful little boys and girls who stand in such stark contrast to my blue eyed, blonde haired Sissy and love our family anyway. Brokenness has become a way of life for me. And on really tough weeks, when I hear a really hard story, a story of a little one who just needs a safe, stable home or enough food or clean clothes or safety…period, I get weary. I get overwhelmed and tired and the enemy prowls.

He prowls but he doesn’t win. My God does. It is when I feel at my lowest that my Abba Daddy sends in the big guns…in the form of precious, beautiful prayer warriors. Ladies and gentleman who are passionate about prayer. Men and women who are passionate about obedience to Christ. Folks who genuinely love my family…respect why we moved here and see the ways in which we’ve grown. Yesterday, His warrior was the volleyball coach I met in the fall. A fellow homeschool Mama who lives three hours away. She sent me a text, telling me she had been praying Galatians 6:9 and            2 Timothy 2:1 over me and my family all day.

“…be strong in the grace that is Christ Jesus….”-2 Tim. 2:1

”…let us not grow weary in doing good…”-Gal. 6:9

I love that He knows my heart. I love that He is constantly at work for my good and for the good of my family. I love that He consistently drops people into my life who are willing to step out on faith and pray bold prayers.

So-if you’re reading these ramblings of mine, will you boldly pray for these beautiful children with whom I’ve fallen in love? Will you pray for their hearts to be soft in a world that is hard? Will you join me in believing their futures are bright and that His plans for them are only good?

We are blessed by these beautiful people and by a God who sees and loves us all.

Free

I have spent most of my life attempting to control the uncontrollable.  I have wasted immense amounts of time working to create an illusion that life was grand when really, it hasn’t always been.  That was never more abundantly clear to me than when I first started the counseling program I was a part of for two years.  I liked making others happy.  I would make myself sick with worry if someone was angry with me.  I would persecute others and victimize myself and then step back into a role where I felt I needed to rescue others from themselves and other people, from situations I felt I could better manage for them.  Once I realized how arrogantly I had behaved, how ludicrous to believe that I could control my life or anyone else’s better than the One who gave them life, I decided I was done.  I made a choice.  Freedom.  That was my choice.

What I also learned is that control, whether it means controlling and manipulating others or controlling and manipulating appearances, stories or situations, is an addiction.  If you’ve seen the movie Inside Out, I was “Joy”.  “I’m good, she’s good, we’re all good…”.  Things could be completely falling apart and I would find a way to make it look okay.  I was slowly killing myself with the lies I was telling me.  I didn’t realize I was hurting myself or anyone else though.  It was the only way I knew to cope with hard things.  I didn’t realize it was okay not to be okay.  Until some wonderful women, loved me enough to create a safe place for me to be “out of control”.  Living “out of control” as the world sees it is often looked down upon.  I’m okay with that opinion these days.  I’m okay because I know my value and worth doesn’t come from one single person on this Earth.  I know to whom I belong and His opinion is of greatest importance to me.

Yeah, yeah…let’s get on with it..I know, I know.  I had to tell you that part of the story because it relates directly to today’s part of the story…

I made a choice in 2016 to let go of control…to live my life in such a way that every move I made was in direct line with what God was calling me to do…to live my life doing exactly what He created me to do…I didn’t realize when I let go, I was letting Him lead me into deep water…or dry desert.

Here we are though….in the desert.

We are three hours and three states away from the nearest Wal-Mart in one direction, just under 3 hours from a Wal-Mart in the other two directions and as for going north, probably closer to five hours.  I’m telling you this because you should also know that even the nearest park is 30 minutes away.  The nearest fast food restaurant, 30 minutes away.  Most every church we drive to is a minimum of three hours away.  Most everything out here is out of my control.  For instance, last week, within a three hour span of time, we had both a sand storm with winds nearing 60 miles an hour and a two hour snow storm.  Some days I have cell phone service and some days I don’t.  Some weeks we have consistent internet service and some weeks its out, for weeks.  Sometimes the local convenience store has bananas (a staple part of Little Man’s breakfast menu) and sometimes they don’t.  Most everything about our lives here is unpredictable, except the One who brought us here…I want you to read those words again…my life, our lives, here on the Rez, on Earth, are unpredictable-He is not.

When our little guy got sick at three months old, my whole world became about keeping him alive.  I didn’t even realize how much of his environment I was trying to control until much later in the journey with his silent reflux.  Once I realized I couldn’t keep him alive, that Little Man didn’t actually belong to me but to the Creator, I had to swallow a really BIG pill of humility.  God’s gracious though and he loves us tenderly.  It is because of this love that I’ve sustained in relinquishing control over my children and giving them back to Him.

Then, last Monday, Little Man started coughing…was hoarse.  No fever, no runny nose…just a barky cough and hoarseness.  Croup.  No big deal, we know the drill.  All three of our littles have had croup a time or twelve.  However, by Wednesday evening, his cough began changing to a junky one…a cough I knew in him.  A cough that told me something wasn’t right…he still didn’t have a fever.  We were pulling out all the Mommy/Daddy breathing tricks we knew…but overnight on Thursday, he spiked a fever and his breathing went bad.  There were moments where the panic and lies of the enemy tried to take over.  There were hours (probably more like minutes) that almost drowned me…because y’all…we live 45 minutes from the nearest ER.  The closest ER that’s recommended by our doctor here is an hour and half away but the best is three hours away.  It’s still in the teens here at night and if there’s one puddle of water on the road, once the sun sets, it turns to ice.  All these thoughts were racing through my mind….if we need help, how do we get it?  It’s the only question I could think of at times…

I immediately went to what I knew…recovery is like that-in times of stress, its much easier to go back to what you know. I began developing mental plans for how I’d protect Little Man.  Plans for how I could get help if I needed it.  I began planning and making a list of all the people I’d need to get help from and how to reach them…plan, plan, plan…fix, fix, fix…control the uncontrollable.  Exhausting, y’all.

At 3:25 Friday morning, I was really scared.  I picked Little Man up and I walked him outside (yes in the freezing cold) and I prayed over him under the millions of stars in the night sky.  I asked the Creator of those beautiful stars to hold my boy in His hands and get us through the night.  And, He did.

We headed straight to the clinic on Friday morning and Little Man got a good double pneumonia diagnosis.  He got a big shot, oral antibiotics and breathing treatments.  The doctor suspects this was the result of residual fluid leftover from when he had the flu at the beginning of December.  Uncontrollable.  Not a single thing I did was going to keep him from getting sick.

And, y’all…our Navajo family came out guns blazing.  I got more scripture and prayer texts that I can count claiming healing for our boy.  I got phone calls of love and affirmation and requests to bring us dinner.  Our family and friends from near and far were praying over our boy….declaring his little lungs be healed and that he would breathe freely.

You see, not a single mental plan I made was needed.  God had it under control.  If we needed to get somewhere, we’d have gotten there, of that I’m sure.  My worry didn’t do anything but worry me.  My Abba Daddy wasn’t in the least bit worried about what was going on in this house last week.  I needed to see, needed to be reminded that I am not in control.  Not my way but His….this has been a theme since we started this journey…

You see, when we moved here, I was miserable.  I was miserable because I wanted to control what happened here.  How we got here, when we got here, who we spent time with or didn’t…I wanted to give God ultimatums and throw temper tantrums and be angry.  I made every attempt to manipulate the situation so that things seemed alright in front of my babies because I didn’t want them to see Mommy struggle.  See, recovery is constant…its never ending…my addiction may not be chemical but its real.  If I can control things, situations, then I don’t have to deal with how sad I really am.  I don’t have to deal with the fear that sometimes grips me like a vise.  If I can control things, I don’t have to acknowledge the panic the overtakes me at times.  I don’t have to admit that I’m not superwoman and I can’t do it all or that I can’t be everything for everyone.  And, friends, I’m doing my children a disservice by not allowing them to see that Mommy is human.  I’m harming them by making them believe in a woman who appears one way but deep down is another.  And I can’t.  I won’t.  I CHOOSE not to live in a fairy tale world where I see everything through rose colored lenses..I want them to always know that how they feel is just that, how they feel.  Its neither right or wrong because the feeling belongs to them.  I want them to know and understand that there are appropriate ways to express their feelings and that this house, our home…is always, ALWAYS a safe place to talk about how they feel…and that it’s absolutely okay not to be okay.

Tonight, Sissy and I had a long talk about Little Man being sick.  She gets scared too.  The trauma of his reflux didn’t just happen to J and I.  There are remnants of that year of our lives in most everything we do…and I’m okay with that…I don’t want those remnants swept under a rug because those remnants are a part of our story!! We openly discussed being afraid when he doesn’t breathe well.  We talked about the fact that we may always struggle when he is ill.  We prayed that Jesus would ease our fear.  We prayed that He would protect Little Man and that He’d remind us that we aren’t in control and that He is…that He would remind us that His love for Little Man is even more than we could ever imagine.

I have been reminded many times since our move just how powerless I am over my own life and the lives of my children and husband.  My Father has pruned me and molded me and is continually bringing me to my knees…when I think about his goodness, his graciousness and love.  Tonight though, tonight…I’m thankful He has the WHOLE world in His hands.  I’m thankful He knows the number of stars in the sky and the number of hairs on all my babies heads.  I’m thankful that He loves them more than I do because that’s unimaginable in real world terms.  Tonight, I’m humbled and thankful by the fact that I’m not in control of one single aspect of my life and for freedom.

I’m so glad I’m free.