Monday, January 30, 2012

Failure is not an option, but what is failure?

Friday was Evelea's birthday.

On  Friday morning, I picked up our newest Safe Families child, and on Friday evening, I drove him back the case worker.

Epic Fail, right?

After whole-heartily agreeing to host this precious boy with special needs, I quickly realized this little one's behaviors were far beyond the scope of my ability to handle.  Not an easy thing for me to admit.  I had a lot of tears over this little one's desperate situation and my inability to help him.

Oh, Satan got on that one good.  He whispered lies to me like "how could you put your own children at risk like that?" and "so you actually thought you were good at this kind of thing?".  And "you messed up your own daughter's birthday!"  "Think of all the people you let down".  Yuck.

But when I received this poem from Evelea, how could I possibly have thought for a moment that I had failed?

I promise you it will be okay,
but I know you wanted Andreas to stay.
God will bring another little child
into our love-filled home,
one to temporarily be
our family's very own.

I know this really can't replace
that adorable little boy, Andreas.
But he was just too much for us to handle,
we couldn't even light a candle!

But as terrible as this may seem,
think of it as a sort of dream.
In Heaven,
this won't have to be,
No Safe Families, or special needs.

Until then, God will pull us through,
just keep on going with all the good work you do.

No birthdays were ruined!  No one failed!

In fact, my honesty about this little one's needs made it possible for him to get the kind of care he actually requires.  We all learned lessons about telling the truth, seeking help, and loving everyone- even if its for just a few hours.  And I learned to show some grace to myself.

I am learning how to show grace to myself.

Thank you, Evelea Grace.  And Happy 11th Birthday.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

7- Are You In?

 I am almost done reading a book that is rocking my world. It is 7 by Jen Hatmaker. The book focuses on fasting in seven areas of excess in our lives. Media, food, possessions, clothes, stress, waste and shopping. We reduce in these areas, so that we can have more of God in our lives.

 I am not one for gimmicks or formulas, so the premise of this book was off-putting to me at first. But then I started reading it at the recommendation of a friend and I haven't been the same since. I have never read a book that has caused me to laugh so much or want to throw up so much. Ms. Hatmaker is hilarious and hard-hitting. She puts into words so much of what I have felt these past few years and her candor has given me the push I need to act on what I know is true.

 I am accepting the challenge to battle this excess in my life, and I'd love for you to join me. If you live locally, contact me, because we're going to be having a party to kick-off the challenge of these next seven months!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hooping it Up, Solgos Style!

You are never going to believe this, but Therese hula hooped for FIVE HOURS straight yesterday.

Yes, you read that right.

Previously, she had hula hooped for over an hour at a time, so when I left the house yesterday to pick up our babysitter and she was an hour into hula hooping, I was amazed but not totally shocked.  When I returned from picking up the sitter and she was still going, I was mighty impressed.

However, when we got back from dinner and she was STILL GOING, I couldn't believe it!  She ate pizza, played the Wii, and brushed her teeth, all while hooping it up.  Who knows how long she would have gone if we had not made her try and put her jammies on while hula hooping!

Evelea looked up how you get in the Guinness Book of World Records and apparently you have to be fourteen years old to enter- what a rip off!

Therese really wants her friends in Yako, Burkina Faso to get some hula hoops, so if any one is making a trip there soon, we'll be contacting you!

Martin Mick, Jr.

Ahhh, Carter, my son.

How you made me laugh when you asked me, "Mommy, I just don't get why Abraham Lincoln shotted Martin Mick, Jr.!"

After a brief review of the history of civil rights in our country (a shockingly dismal and embarrassing history), I realized a few things.  My son cannot grasp how a GOOD man could get shot.  In his world of superheroes, the bad guys always lose and the good guys always win.

How can a good man get shot to death?

I don't understand either.

I am really grateful that we observe the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.  This weekend our house has been filled with amazing discussions about civil rights, we read the Rosa Parks story, and even Evelea's school for her dolls included lesson plans revolving around the good work of Dr. King.

Casey and I even drank I Have a Bean coffee from this organization that provides employment for ex-cons on the path to a new life!

I'd like to leave you with the words to a song that I find to be especially powerful in the light of the freedom that Martin Luther King, Jr. died so that we could enjoy.  This song can be found on the Odes Project cd collection.  They are collections of songs written by the early Christian church put to modern music.

Rise Up! (Ode 8)

©Schreiner/The Odes Project

You who sometimes were brought so low, Rise up, RISE UP
You who were in silence: now raise your voice , Rise up, RISE UP
You that were despised be lifted up, Rise up, RISE UP
For the right hand of the Lord is with you right now Rise up, RISE UP
Open your hearts, All you who are saved, IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER
Through all generations, abiding in His love, IN THE NAME OF THE SON
Now and forever, Let your love abound, IN THE NAME OF THE SPIRIT
For the right hand of the Lord is with you right now Rise up, RISE UP

Christ in us, this wondrous mystery
Christ in us, from age to age
Christ in us, the hope of glory
For You have sealed us in your name

You who sometimes were brought so low, stand tall, RISE UP
You who were in silence: may you shout for joy, RISE UP
You who were despised may you be lifted up, RISE UP
For the right hand of the Lord is with you right now Rise up, RISE UP

Monday, January 9, 2012

It's a New Year

As you may remember, I am not a New Year's resolution type gal.  Goals freak me out.  Resolutions make me want to rebel.  But the thought of being left out of the New Year, Fresh Start world leaves me feeling a little lonely and hum-drum.

A couple years ago, I started picking one word to focus on for the new year.  In 2010, it was HOPE.  In 2011, I chose PEACE.  Through the year, I looked up every verse in the Bible pertaining to these words.  I used them in my decision-making process.  In deciding between Plan A or Plan B, which would bring me more HOPE?  or more PEACE?

So this year, my word is GENEROSITY.  This will come as no surprise to my church family as we are about to embark on a four-week, church-wide study on this topic.  I am captivated by the idea that generosity has relatively little to do with the amount of money one gives.  It is more about humbling yourself to give like Christ gave- his whole life.

It is Jesus washing the disciple's feet.

Gordon MacDonald teaches:

"As God sacrificed His Son, so we follow and give even those things that are most precious to us in our personal worlds: our time, our convenience, our creature comforts."

Do you have a word of the year?  If you do, I'd love to hear it!