Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Rat Race

I have spent a couple of my most recent posts  begging for your prayers of wisdom. I have been at a loss, not knowing how best to love a family that is close to ours that is having some difficulty, and now that we do  have some concrete ideas I find that I am back to begging again because the ramifications of putting these ideas into action would have a significant effect every member of our (not so) little family.

Big changes.

So, here is where we are at:

1. We are considering inviting the teenage-girl we have been praying for to live with us for however long God would have her stay. She has before, but she was a preschooler then and well... did I mention she is a teenager now?

 Our hope is that this would give the family some space to breath. There is a lot of raw emotion in the home and we all know it is easier to deal with things clearly when our emotions are not constantly raw or agitated. Our biggest hope is that there is restoration of fellowship for everyone (in the broadest sense possible), and oddly enough this seems to fit.

Logistically, for us this means more cramped quarters, especially for the little girls who would be sleeping four-to-a-room (I never in my life would have dreamed that one day I might need three sets of bunk beds to house my children). We don't live in a large home, but God usually does not seem to care that all the conditions are 'right' when he asks us to do things, now does He?

Darn. I love it when my conditions are 'just-so'.

2. None of my children have ever set foot in a public or private school. We do a home school co-op on Fridays as a family and that is the closet thing they have ever gotten to institutional learning. Our guest, on the other hand, has never known anything but public school and at the current time, traditional public Jr. High is not doing her any favors. However, I am completely overwhelmed at the thought of homeschooling someone who may not welcome it and who will be having enough changes to deal with, thank-you-very-much, without me yanking her out of her comfort zone entirely. So What to do?

Like I said, traditional Jr. High? Not a pretty picture. There is one option that has come to mind, and that is the K-8 magnet school in our town that resembles what an unschooling home might look like if they had a couple hundred children.

We are thinking of taking this route and putting the three oldest girls in together.
One of my girls really wants to go, the other wants-to-want-to-go, but has always had to own the idea of something before she dives in.

We are going to go visit next Tuesday; It is a lottery process to get in but if one member of a household is accepted, any others who apply get to get in too.

We like the size of the school, the fact that it places emphasis on bringing the whole family into the school community (I would probably volunteer one day a week), and yes, I do love the fact that the only assigned homework they give is nightly reading.

That leaves our evenings for us, just as it should be.

We are also hoping that we will be able to still attend our homeschool co-op on Friday mornings while it is in session, because the relationships we are forming have been amazing and our kids L.O.V.E it.  I also want this sweet girl to see true Christian community and only hope that lasting relationships would be formed for her as well.

So yeah, we may be entering The Rat Race.

If you remember, it would mean the world to me to know that you were lifting our situation up.

Not going to lie -I am a bit anxious.

If this is the way He is calling us to serve, then I'll get over the anxiety; Mostly I just need clarity.

We are committed to walk through any door that He opens.

Any words of advice or encouragement are welcome too.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Poured Out

"...[the] power of prayer can never be overrated. They who cannot serve God by preaching need not regret. If a man can but pray he can do anything. He who knows how to overcome with God in prayer has Heaven and earth at his disposal." Charles H. Spurgeon

I carry yesterday's conversation around in my heart, revealing it to nobody, not even my husband. It is too big and too heavy to be named just yet; even I am not sure what it all means. The weight of it causes my everything to ache but I am not ready to pour it out for others to share.

I have listened to another's burdens and walked away feeling so small, so inadequate, so without resources or answers.

I am wondering at what point I will know if my prayers are to become action or if my prayers are action enough?

What does that look like, anyway?

Am I trying to micro-manage or is this a God-nudge?

All I know is that there is a family hurting and a young girl who does not come home anymore on  weekends or until past dark on school nights. She is not doing well in so many ways, and her absences put her in danger.

She is just 13, I think to myself.

Every day after school I can't stop wondering where she is and I pray for her protection. I resist the urge  to call her mother and see, because I know the answer.

Is she home?

I want to bring her home myself because that is what you do with your children.
You go get them.

I have been praying like mad that the fellowship that is completely absent in that home be restored. I want to see a family healed.

I want to love them all, but I don't even know what that means.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Two Little Monkeys

This little monkey is all smiles because his best friend turned two this week, and he knows what two year-olds are like.  

Not only are they super affectionate (prone to toting you around by your tail, just as you prefer), they also know how to make some mean mischief.

Not to mention the fact that two year-olds appreciate jumping on the bed almost as much as monkeys do.

(Note to Monkey, from Mom: I am on to you! Please observe the cautionary tale 'Five Little Monkeys' sitting next to your bed- it is just as much for you as it is for her.)

Yes, I am pretty sure that Monkey looks so smitten because he is dreaming up adventures for the two of you, Ailish.

He is thanking God for the days that he gets to share with you, and
rest assured, he is not the only one.
We love you, 'baby'.

Happy 2nd Birthday!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

If You Give a Kid a Camera...

Do you ever go to grab your point-and-shoot and discover that the memory card is full of pictures you know that you did not take? I was planning on letting myself off easy today by doing a Wordless Wednesday post, but when I started to review the contents of the camera I noticed that exact 'something-amiss' going on at my house.

The bulk of which just cracked me up.


So here you have it- a boys' eye view of the morning through a finger-print smudged lens:

Myles! Myles! Wake up- I have Mom's camera!
This thing still on?

Look, Myles! Inky wants his picture taken! Don't blink, Inky.
Okay, fine! Bear-Bear, you can get in too.

Dude, Yoda! Do you always have to 'Force' yourself into the action? Guys, let's just hurry this along so we can sneak down to the fridge before mom wakes up.

It really does take The Village People  a village to raise a child, doesn't it?

I am just wondering where they were while I was still in bed.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Restorer of Broken Walls

"This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life." ~Deuteronomy 30:19-20

There is a young girl and her family that need your prayers right now and in the coming days. A young girl that I firmly believe was given the chance at life 13 years ago because of another community who committed to stand watch on her behalf. 

 They prayed for a baby that was being knitted together in her mommy's womb; For her mommy and daddy who knew a life that was so difficult that they could not see enough hope in their circumstances to consider bringing another child into the world. 

They pleaded before God alone, and on a November day that I will never forget, the little red headed girl was given a gift.

 Her first breath.

I thank God for that gift and I thank Him all the more that He is not content with giving us breath alone; that His plans for us go beyond what we could ever hope or imagine; that His plans for us are for abundant life.

Would you pray with me for this family that they would find this?   There is what seems like overwhelming rubble surrounding them right now. Discouragement. Confusion. Lies. 

So much hurt.

Would you pray to rebuild the wall of protection around them?
Pray for wisdom and truth and hope and healing.

Would you pray that there would be a way through the destruction and that it would be as clear as day?

I have confidence to ask for a miracle now because God has done it before.

 Would you stand with me in prayer?