As I woke up today, I asked God to give me some inspiration for this post. By mid-morning, I wasn’t feeling very inspired. I was already wound pretty tight, eye twitching, claws bared, not very enjoyable to be around. And that’s actually when it hit me– that moment of divine revelation. But honestly, it really felt more like the sting of conviction. It came like a palm to the forehead; reminiscent of a V8 commercial….I should’ve had this light-bulb moment a long time ago.
Have you heard the country song, “I Just Want to be Mad for Awhile” by Teri Clark?
One of my kiddos can throw the most spectacular tantrums, especially when she was a three year old. These tantrums could come out of no where. Sometimes they began when I had to say no to something she wanted. But sometimes, they appeared out of nowhere.
To me, seemed as if my child was singing, “I Just Want to be Mad for Awhile.”
While I am no tantrum expert, I have found a few things that do and do not work for my own family.
Adopting the Older Child
Part 2 of Adopting the Older Child features Darren and Cheryl Macdonald, who share their family’s experience of adopting an 11 year girl from Russia.
Last night I worked at the after-prom party for my oldest daughter. She is a junior and that is the job for the parents of the juniors at her school. We were actually the chair persons for the games committee for after-prom party….but that is a different story. As I was saying, I was hard at work, from midnight to 3:30am at the afterprom party, supervising the games. I walked around at midnight to start our part of the prom night, supervising the games, and another mom walked in beside me and said, “I like your shirt!” We both had on the same shirt with the verse: Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. It was a shirt sold by a local family to help them raise money for their next adoption. I love this shirt. It is soft, it says something I believe and it is a perfect smoky shade of grey and goes with everything in my wardrobe.
At about 2am, I was running out of steam for this very social event. I was exhausted physically, emotionally and socially. I found this other prom mom back, on my rounds at the party, and checked to see how her game was going. We started talking, because, well, we had the same shirt on and obviously supported the same family on their journey to adopting a child. She knew that we had bio and also adopted children. She knew the work I did regarding families in community and she wanted to talk. She wanted to talk about becoming foster parents, and what the Safe Families program was about and how to navigate feeling called to foster when her husband wasn’t feeling the same calling.
We had such a good conversation. I think she was God’s gift to me. I was more than done with all of the glitz and glam of prom. I was tired and spent. This prom mom was searching, wondering, waiting for how God was going to use her to care for His children who were fatherless…..and God placed me there to have a meaningful conversation with her during the after prom party. I wonder if the main reason I ended up on the supervising assignment of after prom this year, was just so that I could have a conversation in the middle of the night with this mom.
My advice to her, about a husband who was reluctant, was to commit it to prayer. To ask her husband to also pray and let God lead and decide. I told her that she should search her heart and mind and work at becoming the woman who could handle this hard thing, and to look for opportunities to serve other families in foster care work. Make meals. Offer to clean houses or help buy things they need.
Together, we will both do what the t-shirt verse said, and we will remember that God let us have a few moments alone to share this calling at 2am at a prom party. Lord God, may we be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and above all else…..faithful in prayer.
We as Christ-followers are called to be influencers. We are called to be set apart and holy (Lev. 20:26, Heb. 10:10) and in doing so influence (Matt. 5:16) the world around us for God’s good. In my church, we are studying through the bible with a reading plan call Love this Book. I have been challenged again about God’s beautiful design to have His people look different from the other people around them. Different in a way that is intriguing and desirable, a way that leads those far from God to want to draw near us and hear about our God. We are just beginning this reading plan and are in the section of the Bible where the Israelites are failing to be set apart. They want to be like the cultures around them. And if you read the book of Judges this desire does not lead them to anything good. I don’t want to be like the Israelites in this way.
Adopting the Older Child
Part 1 of Adopting the Older Child, features Paula St. John discussing the unique challenges and rewards of adopting older children.
Our first adopted child joined us as the fourth child in our family. When we told our parents/siblings we were adopting, there were questions and doubts. Many had a story of someone who had adopted a child who ruined their life, was a “black seed”….(oh my word)……and we had to stand firm and with conviction tell our family that our decision to adopt came from a call from the Lord and a long season of prayer and discussion……..