1st day of school ~ 09

we started 2nd grade and kindergarten today. the boys weren’t really in the mood for pictures this morning, but they perked up by this afternoon. everything went off without a hitch, even the 2nd grader picking the kindergartner up from his class after school.

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preschool for the munchkin starts in a couple weeks!

worth it all?

“i don’t understand Your ways
oh but i will give You my song
give You all of my praise

You hold on to all my pain
with it You are pulling me closer
and pulling me into Your ways

now around every corner
and up every mountain
i’m not looking for crowns
or the water from fountains
i’m desperate in seeking, frantic believing
that the sight of Your face
is all that i need
i will say to You

it’s gonna be worth it
it’s gonna be worth it
it’s gonna be worth it all
i believe this
it’s gonna be worth it
it’s gonna be worth it
it’s gonna be worth it all
i believe this

i don’t understand Your ways
oh but i will give You my song
give You all of my praise

You hold on to all my pain
with it You are pulling me closer
and pulling me into Your ways

now around every corner
and up every mountain
i’m not looking for crowns
or the water from fountains
i’m desperate in seeking, frantic believing
that the sight of Your face
is all that i need
i will say to You

it’s gonna be worth it all
i believe this
it’s gonna be worth it
it’s gonna be worth it
it’s gonna be worth it all
i believe this

You’re gonna be worth it
You’re gonna be worth it
You’re gonna be worth it all
i believe this
You’re gonna be worth it
You’re gonna be worth it
You’re gonna be worth it all
i believe this”
~ rita springer

this song was pretty much a daily part of the beginning of my infertility journey. i didn’t understand what God was doing or why He was calling me to something so different from what i wanted. but, i trusted that it would be worth it in the end if i just trusted His plan for my life. over the past three years, this song has come to me every once in awhile, always taking me back to those early days of wondering and waiting.

just recently, it has come back again as i face a whole new journey of wondering and waiting. parenting my children who experienced abuse and neglect early in life is a challenge to say the least. and recently that challenge has been quite difficult. i find myself again telling the Lord that i don’t understand His ways. i don’t understand why He’d allow my children to go through such pain. i don’t understand why He’d choose me to parent them. i don’t understand any of it.

somehow, through my pain, i am getting closer to Him. i do believe that all of this is going to be worth it. but i don’t think i will understand until i do see Him face to face. face to face with my Maker, my Master, the Lover of my soul. the Maker and the Master of my children, the Lover of their souls. the One who will somehow take all of this pain and all of this mess and turn it into something beautiful. something beautiful that will bring Him glory.

“i don’t understand Your ways
oh but i will give You my song
give You all of my praise”

this journey is my own

when i stand before the Lord,
i’ll be standing alone
this journey is my own
still i want man’s advice,
and i need man’s approval,
but this journey is my own

why would i want to live for man
and pay the highest price?
what would it mean to gain the world,
only to lose my life?

so much of what i do
is to make a good impression
this journey is my own
so much of what i say
is to make myself look better
this journey is my own

why would i want to live for man
and pay the highest price?
what would it mean to gain the world,
only to lose my life?

i have never felt relief
like i feel it right now
this journey is my own
’cause trying to please the world
it was breaking me down
it was breaking me down

now i live and i breathe
for an audience of One
now i live and i breathe
for an audience of One
now i live and i breathe
for an audience of One
’cause i know
this journey is my own

why would i want to live for man
and pay the highest price?
what would it mean to gain the world,
only to lose my life?

you can live for someone else
and it will only bring you pain
i can’t even judge myself
only the Lord can say, “well done.”
~sara groves

parenting is never easy.  well, i should say i am guessing it’s never easy, because i really only have my experience to speak from.  i have struggled with parenting since the day my kids came home.  i have spent a majority of the past three years questioning every decision i made, every word i spoke, every look i gave.  i have spent many mornings lying in bed wondering how i’d make it through the day.  what would we do all day?  where would we go?  should we go anywhere?  should we just stay home?  should i expect them to play on their own?  should i always play with them and/or direct their play?  is it okay for me to work on big projects around the house and expect them to leave me alone?  should i allow them to pitch in?  can they play in the backyard while i am in the house?  do i need to be outside with them the whole time?

once i was out of bed, i found myself on the phone throughout the day seeking advice from friends and relatives.  i just wanted to know if i was doing things the right way.  i knew others were going through similar things and i wanted their opinions.  i knew others had gone through these things before me, some many years ago, and i wanted their wisdom.  then i always needed to follow that up with a call to my husband to see if he agreed with what i was doing.

i was making myself crazy.  most of these people(except for my husband) didn’t agree with what i was doing and offered advice that was contrary to how i wanted to raise my children. they would say things like, “you’re too harsh! you have too many rules! i just have a different parenting style. i just don’t care about as many little things. you need to let them be kids.” recently(i don’t know why it took me so long) i had an amazing realization, “why am i seeking advice from these people? none of them have ever adopted any children, let alone an abused and neglected child. and most importantly, three of them at one time. how can any of them judge my parenting?”

the above song immediately came to mind. this journey is my own. i am the only one living in this situation day to day, moment to moment. i am the only one who can parent these kids the way they need to be parented. if that weren’t the case, God would have placed them somewhere else. somehow, in His divine, and i think kind of crazy, wisdom, He knew they needed to be here. i don’t understand it, but i have to trust it.

i have to trust that i am doing things the right way. sure, i’ll make some mistakes, everyone does. but for the amount of mistakes i make, i get just as many compliments, if not more. i can’t tell you how many times, yes i am bragging, we have received compliments when it comes to our children. we are frequently stopped at the grocery store, walmart, or target. people just want tell us how well behaved they think the kids are.

and one time the boys and i were getting the van’s tires balanced and rotated and an older man came over to us to tell me how much he admired my parenting. he said he had been watching us and he thought i was doing a great job and it showed in the boys and their good behavior. and another time i was desperately seeking new jeans and the poor boys had to endure me trying on 8 pair. when we left the fitting room we passed a lady who said, “i heard some good things in there. they are so blessed to have you as their mother.” wow. totally unsolicited compliments. and i appreciate them so much.

i wish that those moments trumped the bad moments. the moments when i feel like i am a total failure at parenting my children. the moments when i feel like they could have ended up with a better mother. the moments when i wish i could erase the last three years and start over, knowing what i know now.

but i have to remind myself(constantly) that things are how they are supposed to be. i am the mother my kids are supposed to have. i am parenting them the way i am supposed to parent them. and no matter what other people think, good or bad, this parenting journey is my own. and when i stand before the Lord, if i need to answer for my parenting, i’ll be standing alone. this journey is my own.