Being a Houseparent

Ken and I were houseparents at Westview Boys’ Home in Hollis, OK, when our kids were young.  We are still in touch with a few of our boys and it is great to see where they are in their lives today.  There are many boys whom I wonder about and wish I knew how they are today.

Last June, Ken and I moved to Morrilton, AR, to become houseparents again.  We had each been feeling the tug on our hearts to return to this ministry.  Once we discovered that we were of the same mind and heart, we applied at SCCH.  This was the best decision we could have made.  Ken absolutely hated driving a truck for a living and being gone from home all of the time.  I loved my job at MRHS but missed Ken very much.  We both also missed ministry being our primary purpose in life.

We began as relief houseparents, but that did not last long.  We became houseparents to a group of girls on August 5th.  At the time, we weren’t sure that we were ready, but before long we realized that we love having these girls.  Since we have our own girls, we have gotten to know them rather well.

Being a houseparent is not for everyone.  It will break your heart at times.  These kids are here because their lives have not been easy.  Some of there stories will break your heart.  Some of the kids talk from the minute they come in the door.  Others, take lots of time and work to trust you enough to talk to you about things that really matter.  Some of our girls have been adopted or been able to reunite with their families.  This is the goal of SCCH.  But, even though we are excited for them, we cry because we have come to love them so much, and we know we will miss them.

This ministry is very rewarding.  When a child tells you “thank you” or “I love you”, it means the world.  When a child shares that she wants to be baptized, your heart soars.  I cannot imagine being anywhere else in the world!  Our team here is wonderful as well.  Everyone cares about the children above all else.  We all laugh together and cry together. We are always available to help one another out.  I cannot imagine working with a better team of people.

If you have a heart for kids and ministry, consider becoming a houseparent or a foster family.  It will be heard, but it will be very worth it!  If you believe SCCH is the place for you to minister, go to our website and apply  http://www.schome.org/employment/.

I want to end by asking you to pray for us.  Pray for the houseparents and staff as we work with our kids daily.  Pray that we have the strength and the proper attitude at all times.  Pray for our kids as well.

Spiritual Goals for 2017

I do not ever make “New Year’s Revolutions” because I never keep them.  But, last night in class, our teacher challenged us to list Spiritual goals.  Once I began, it was easy to come up with several.  As we discussed them in our small group within the class, I discovered my “word for the year” as well.

Here are the questions we were given along with my answers:

  1.  What are your spiritual goals for the coming year?
    1. Work on my prayer life
      1. Update my FB prayer request site and keep up with the prayer requestss
      2. Read “Too Busy Not to Pray” and other books on prayer this year.
    2. Be a teacher in Children’s Church at UCC
    3. Memorize Scripture
    4. Co-lead a women’s Bible study group on campus

2.  “As iron sharpens iron”, what do you need from your church family to reach your Spiritual goals?

Accountability:  Asking if I am praying, reading and implementing what I am learning.  Ask what I am memorizing and have me recite it for them.

3.  “As iron sharpens iron”, what can you do to help your church family reach their Spiritual goals?

1.   Hold one another accountable (responsibility).

2.  Be available for one another.  If someone calls, texts, asks to meet, be available to do this for them.  As a church family we are responsible for one another; therefore, we need to be available to help when needed.

My WORD for 2017 is:  TRUST

As Meredith was sharing that her word for the year is Trust, I realized that this is my word as well.  I need to trust God more.  I need to believe that he is in control, He knows what He is doing, and He loves me.  With things that are happening in my life right now, I need to trust God to handle them and NOT take them back from Him!!!

Several songs as of late are speaking to me.  Here are two of them:  Eye of the Storm

King of the World

 

Anger

I have debated for several weeks whether or not to write this blog.  I have decided that those who truly love me and value my friendship will read this and love me just as much as they did before.  So, here it goes…

My mother was diagnosed with ALS on October 26th.  We knew something was wrong since her speech was slurred much of the time, but we never dreamed it was something that would take her life.

At first, I cried ALOT!!  I was so sad and wondering how I would live without being out to call or text or visit my mother.  Every time I text her to ask a question about a recipe or something else, I think “soon I will not be able to text or call her with my questions”.  This breaks my heart and makes me cry.  My granddaughter, Grace, is not old enough to remember her Great Grandmother yet.  My mom loves this little girl with all her heart.  We will do all we can for Grace to know her through us.

The title is anger.  You may be asking “why”?  Well, here is the answer.  I am VERY angry.  My mother is a nice woman who has sacrificed her whole life for her children and then her grandchildren.  Why must she die the kind of death she is facing?  Why must she suffocate?

I have been taking my anger out on my husband sometimes without even realizing why I am acting the way I am.  As I was crying and telling him I did not know why I was being so hurtful, he gently said, “I do, you are losing your mother”.  I love this man so much that I do not even know how to describe it.  We have been married for 26.5 years.  He knows me better than anyone ever will…even more than I do at times.  He is my rock, and I know as my mother begins to struggle more and more, he will be there for me more and more.

My job, if you can call it a job, allows us to have one full week off each month.  This is perfect for what is going on right now.  I have been spending each of these weeks with my parents so that I can spend as much time with my mom as possible.  We have been able to shop. go out to eat, watch tv and movies together and just hang out.  Ken and I spent a day at Silver Dollar City with them earlier this month.  It has been great.  My family has ALWAYS been very important to me, but the last two months, time with them has become even more precious.  We are not guaranteed another day, hour or minute on this earth.  We must make full use of the time we have.  Cherish your loved ones every day as you never know when it may be the last day you have with them.

I know God is in control, and yes, I believe in him as much as I ever have.  Christmas Eve night, I was awake the whole night due to a prednisone shot the doctor gave me that evening.  I decided to listen to a playlist on my ipad.  I cried and cried because every single song seemed to be telling me that God has this and I just need to turn everything over to Him.  I am trying.  Trust me, I am. Sometimes are easier than others.  I am a person who likes to research things that I am dealing with.  I have researched ALS and how it will progress with my mom.  She has full use of all of her limbs.  Her speech, breathing and swallowing are compromised.   She has a feeding tube for when she needs it. She has a machine that helps her breath at night and any other time she needs it.  She has a cough assist machine too.  Soon, she will have a machine that will speak for her.  Technology is great in that it will help her with things she desperately needs help with.  But, it will not and cannot save her life.

I pray that I have been a good daughter.  I pray that my parents both know how much I love and appreciate them.  I pray for my dad.  I know it is hard for him to watch his wife of almost 48 years suffer in this manner.  I know he wonders how he will make it without her after they have been together so long.  My dad is a VERY strong man, but please keep him in your prayers.  This IS not and WILL not be easy!!

I have never planned anyone’s funeral before.  I have attended many funerals.  My husband has officiated at many many funerals.  When the time comes, I hope my sister and I give my mom a proper send off that allows everyone to know how much we love and cherish her.

Let your loved ones know right now and every day that they are cherished!!  Please keep our family in your prayers!!  Pray that I can let go of my anger and be there for my parents the way they need me to be right now.

 

Being a Grandma

People always say that becoming a grandparent is the best thing to ever happen to them.  I remember when Tabitha called to tell me she was pregnant.  I was very excited but also worried.  She and Shawn had not been married long, and Tabitha was a full-time student at Harding University.  

As the months of her pregnancy went on, I got more and more excited.  I felt so proud when Tabitha informed me that the baby girl she was expecting would share my middle name.  Everywhere I went, I would see baby girl items that I thought Grace would need.

The day Grace Renee Adams was born was both one of the scariest and one of the most exciting days of my life.  It was scary because Grace’s heart rate kept dropping with every contraction; therefore, the doctor decided to do a c-section.  I was so relieved and happy when I saw Shawn carry Grace into the nursery because I knew she and Tabitha were both fine.

I cannot imagine life without this little girl.  She smiles when she sees her Grandma.  She likes to play with me, snuggle with me and just hang out.  When I sing to her, she turns her face around and stares at me with her big beautiful eyes.  She doesn’t care that Grandma can’t carry a tune.  She just likes for me to sing to her.  I love it when she falls asleep on me.  There is nothing better in the world.

I LOVE BEING GRANDMA!!!!!!

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Broken Together

Broken Together by Casting Crowns

What do you think about when you look at me
I know we’re not the fairy tale you dreamed we’d be
You wore the veil, you walked the aisle, you took my hand
And we dove into a mystery

How I wish we could go back to simpler times
Before all our scars and all our secrets were in the light
Now on this hallowed ground, we’ve drawn the battle lines
Will we make it through the night?

It’s going to take much more than promises this time
Only God can change our minds

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we’ll last forever is broken together

How it must have been so lonely by my side
We were building kingdoms and chasing dreams and left love behind
I’m praying God will help our broken hearts align
And we won’t give up the fight

It’s going to take much more than promises this time
Only God can change our minds

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we’ll last forever is broken together

Maybe you and I were never meant to be complete
Could we just be broken together
If you can bring your shattered dreams and I’ll bring mine
Could healing still be spoken and save us
The only way we’ll last forever is broken together


I have heard people say that this is a sad song.  I love this song.  I believe this song means so much to me because Ken and I have been married 25 years.  We have been through many ups and downs together.  There have been plenty of times when we could have chosen to give up on us as many couples choose to do.  I think too many people believe that their marriage has to be perfect for them to stay together.  Too many people give up at the first sign of trouble.

Ken and I have chosen to stay together through thick and thin.  This song says “Only God can change our minds”.  I truly believe Ken and I are still together after all of these years because we both have a strong commitment to God.  Sometimes our lives are great…other times they are hard.  Right now, things are hard.  Ken is gone most of the time so that he can earn money to support us.  I am trying to find a job so we can move to Searcy.  We are getting through this time together.  We talk everyday and enjoy the time that we are able to spend together.

“I’m praying God will help our broken hearts align And we won’t give up the fight”.  I know Ken  and I have felt this way at times.  We choose to continue on and lean and God to get us through these times.  It makes me so sad to see couples give up the fight.  I see so many updating their FB with their divorces, their new boyfriends or girlfriends.  It breaks my heart as I know it breaks God’s heart as well.  I pray that marriages that are unstable at the moment will be saved.  I pray that these couples will decide to lean on God.  Work through the difficulties!!!  Trust me…it is worth it!!  Ken and I are closer than we have ever been.  We know each other inside and out.

 

 

25 Lessons I’ve Learned From 25 Years of Marriage

My hubby’s blog on lessons he has learned in our 25 years of marriage. I agree with him on all of them.

Poems, Songs, and Things I Believe In

Paula and I25 years ago Paula and I proclaimed our love for each other, said some vows, kissed and started our life as husband and wife. A lot has happened to us since that day. As I recall, we knew a whole lot more about marriage back then. After all, we were college students who had taken classes, read books, gone to seminars, been through pre-marital counseling, and spent hours talking marriage. We pretty much knew how to handle every thing about every situation we would ever face. Oh the blessings of naivety. Now that twenty-five years have passed, I would like to share some of the lessons I have learned along the way. 25 lessons just off the top of my head.

  1. I know nothing about marriage. I remember a movie where an older cop was speaking to a young rookie. “You know nothing,” he said. “If you knew you knew…

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“Be the Message”

Tonight I have begun a new journey. I have joined Bloggers For Books. The first book that I have chosen for this new adventure is “Be The Message” by Kerry and Chris Shook. This book grabbed my attention because too many of us do not share the message of Christ through our daily lives. This title grabbed me because it seems very relevant to my life. So…I am beginning the book tonight and will keep you updated as I read.

Sleep

When I get off work at night, I do not go to sleep for about an hour because I need to wind down. Once I go to sleep I usually sleep all night. But, when my alarm goes off in recent weeks, I cannot get up!!! I feel exhausted as though I had not slept a bit. It is very frustrating! I have never been a morning person, but I have always been able to get up when I needed to. I am hoping that when I go see Dr. Sessler soon he will be able to give me a solution. He checked my thyroid week before last and said it is fine. I have been on medication for my thyroid for 14 years. I do not like feeling fatigued! I miss out on time that Caleb and I usually spend together. He is moving to Searcy on June 2nd so I want to spend time with him before he leaves. A sleep study would be covered by my insurance because I have met my deductible for the year. I am thinking this may be a good thing to do. I have taken two different quizzes on line. Both quizzes came back with results stating that I have symptoms of sleep apnea.

Overcomer

Last night I was blessed to attend the Brandisa concert in Little Rock. I did not expect to be overcome with emotion. I have attended many Christian music concerts; none has found me teary-eyed as I found myself to be last night. Mandisa quoted James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. “. She talked about how too often we hold onto what has happened to us in the past; therefore, we cannot get to the blessings God has for us. She is so right!!

I wrote about my struggle with food a few months back. I have since lost 17 pounds and am wearing clothes that I have not been able to wear in a long time. I am also buying clothes that are two sizes smaller!! This is such an amazing feeling!! God is good. I find that I do not miss eating anything I want anytime I want. In fact, some days I have difficulty eating the number of calories that I am supposed to.

My daughter, Tabitha, has been an Overcomer as well. She recently returned from a trip to Illinois where she discovered that she has nothing in common with the life she left behind. She has grown so much since last July and continues to grow and encourage others to grow.

I know Mandisa has struggled with her weight and other issues as well. Her songs are a testimony to what God can do when we allow him to. Another story that was shared by Lindsay McCall last night was the story of Peter climbing out of the boat and walking on the water…until he sank. Jesus reached out His hand and pulled Peter up out of the water. I have heard this story a lot lately. My husband used it in a sermon as did the preacher in Dewey when I was there a few weeks ago. Maybe God is trying to tell me something.

Have you gotten out of the boat and walked on the water in faith that Jesus has got you? If not, what is holding you back? I truly believe God has great things in store for us if we will get put of the boat, let go of the problems we are holding onto that are in the past and have faith that He can and will bless us!!