If you have to ask…

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Recently, I friend asked me what I thought about her giving a credit to a friend (who didn’t ask for it) before she left her current company and went to a new company.  She’s allowed to give credits when people ask.  I am what my pastors describe as a “very black and white person”.  In other words, I see things as either “right” or “wrong”  there is very little “grey” with me.  I explained to my friend why I wouldn’t do it.

As I thought about it, my answer with most moral dilemma should simple be, “If you have to ask, you know the answer.”  Seriously, think about situations in your life when you have “taken a poll” and asked others “What do you think?”  97% of the time, you know the right answer.

There is a second side to this too…if you do something or say something and then have to call three people and ask them what they think about it, then you know you probably didn’t handle the situation correctly.

If you do or say something then have to call three people to make sure it didn’t offend them…then you know that it wasn’t handled correctly.

The Hubs told me about an incident in which a co-worker basically stole a sell.  The Hubs told his co-worker that a call had dropped and the customer would probably be calling back.  The customer called back the co-worker not only took the call, he took the sell.  Then he began telling other co-workers why he did it (justifying the action that he knew was wrong).   If you have to justify what you did to others…then you know it was wrong.

If you have to take a poll and ask other people’s opinions about your actions or your words…then you know it wasn’t right. You are just covering your butt.

We have all done it.

We have all asked a friend before making a decision.  (Hopefully we asked someone who would give us godly advise. )  We have all called a friend after we did or said something to ask them how they took it.  (Sometimes this is good because we may have said something that sounded fine to us but to someone else’s ears it was wrong or conveyed a wrong attitude (arrogance, condescension, etc) that we weren’t aware of in ourselves.  A good, godly friend will let us know if it sounded harsh or unkind…believe me, I have lost a friend over something like this…usually over unsolicited advise offered in a harsh manner.

As a parent, I’ve been teaching my children to take personal responsibility for themselves.  If you did it, own it.  Stop blaming others for your actions.  If you said it, then own it.  If it was wrong, make a proper apology.  If your apology includes the words, “if you had not done…” or “It’s your fault” or “you shouldn’t feel this way.”   It is NOT a valid an apology.  An apology goes like this…”I’m sorry I said, ‘what you said‘.  I should not have said it. Please forgive me.” (or “I should not have said it like I did”)  It’s hard for our children to “own it”.  In our family, we are not longer allowed to say the words, “It’s her/his fault” or “It’s your fault”.  I’m done with pointing fingers.  We are owning our our own actions and our words.  We are not going to be finger pointers.

Over the past few months, I’ve been stopping myself, and saying, “If you have to ask, then you know.”

I wrote this blog a while back. I often write and then shelf the blog until I can re-read it and decide if it’s solid.

Today, I had a family member ask me a question about something…should I do this, to get this free then switch it back later?  I was thinking…”If you have to ask…”  I said, “You know the intents of your heart…”  and before I could say it, He said, “If I have to ask then..”  and I finished, “…then you know.”   :D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Bertha

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Sometimes healing comes in weird way ways, at strange times and through the most obscure ways.

When I was growing up things weren’t as politically correct as they are today.  We used to play “Old Maid”.  It’s a kids card game and every card has a pair except the “Old Maid”.  That particular deck had a bunch of matching cards like, “Slim Jim” (featuring a skinny guy) and a fat lady named, “Big Bertha”.   Just to be clear, I was not a fat child.  I was pretty average.  I was active and healthy.  My three cousins, who (as you will see from this story) I counted as brothers loved to torment me by calling me fat.  Of course,  it really bothered this 8 year old girl.  They were merciless, like brothers can be.  Once they realized that I didn’t like being called “fat”, they found new and creative ways to call me “fat”.  Since we had all played the Old Maid game, they started calling me “Big Bertha”.   I hate to admit it but at times, this would bring me to tears.

Our family had a saying, “Boys will be boys”.  That was often the answer I would hear when I would tell on them for tormenting me.  That doesn’t fly with me.  Boys being boys at our house is getting dirty, wrestling, and going fast…not being mean to others.

I love my cousins…they are still my brothers.  When I was in my early 20s, I was a size 4 (I worked pretty hard to get to that point) and I realized I wasn’t a “Big Bertha” any more (I never really was but kids will believe anything).

Lance Wallnau has been hosting prayer every night. It is a great concept, he goes live on Periscope and Facebook and hosts prayer.  About 2000 people have been joining nightly for prayer.  If you “like” Lance Wallnau on Facebook you be alerted when he is live.  You can also watch past videos (Last Thursday, December 3rd, was powerful).  Mr. Wallnau is kind of loud man who is passionate about praying for politics, the nations, etc.  One night he was being very loud.  He said, “Some of you are very loud and it’s because God has given you a militant voice”.  He said a few other things.  He talked about being in military school and how they were taught to use a loud voice when responding to their commander and how we should be responding in a loud voice.  I’ve never had a problem being loud.

All of this reminded me….

You might remember be posting about going to the University of Texas game a few months ago.  We had such an enjoyable time.  While we were there, God spoke to me…what a weird place to hear from God.  The band took the field and they have an enormous drum.  The announcer said, “Big Bertha is coming onto the field.”  That’s right.  UT’s giant drum is named, “Big Bertha”.  Of course, I was immediately brought back to being called “Big Bertha”.  And then it happened.  I hear God’s voice as clear as day say, “You are my drum.  You set a beat to march to.” Drums are loud, by design.   Leave to God to take something that was negative and turn it into something powerful.

What my cousins meant to tease me with; what took root as “you are fat and will probably always be fat”;  what I had verbally denied because I didn’t want to be that person, God turned into something positive.   That was a healing moment.

This season can bring up many emotions.  For some people the sights, sounds and smells can bring back the negative. LISTEN! Pay attention!  God wants to speak to you.   God will speak when you aren’t expecting it; at unlikely times, in unlikely places.  

Momlog 2015: day 5 pooping in the potty

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Potty training has been very “hit or miss”.  My sassy daughter put a package of “Newmy” (Minnie  mouse) panties in my buggy one day at Walmart.  I’ve been trying to bribe her to go poop in the potty for months.  The deal being, if she does, I will let her wear the panties.  She knows how to pee in the potty but is too busy to take time go to the potty sometimes.  I’ve been trying to bribe her with m&m’s too.  Which is not allowed with foster children… They say it causes eating disorders.  This is how we were all trained…m&m’s or candy corns.  Not sure if that is ridiculous or explains some things.  Haha.

My mom came for coffee one morning last week and she suggested I put the panties on her and keep taking her to the potty. Let her experience the wet.  She hasn’t liked having poop on her for a while.  She would go and almost immediately come tell me so I could change her.  

I took mom’s advise and yes, we used all 7 pairs of panties in 4 days (she had two wet accidents).  We are on day 5 of pooping in the potty. 

This mamma is so happy.

This reminds me of the Johnny Cash song, Folsom Prison Blues.  Random right?  We grew up on Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Elvis, Marty Robbins, Willie, Roger Miller, Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, Johnny Horton and a whole, whole lot of the Gaithers and other gospel music. Basically, gospel music and old school country.  I knew the words to most of Johnny Cash’s songs.  Here’s what I remember..”my mamma told me ‘Son, always be a good boy and never play with guns. I’m shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die…”   I always thought, “if only he would have listened to his mamma.”  People, listen to your mamma.  

I also thought about how sometimes things have to get messy so we can grow up.  That might preach.  

Worth

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If you are a follower of my blog you know that I have a passion for the fatherless…both spiritual and physical.  Yes, there are spiritual orphans and spiritual step-sons out there.  You can read about Spiritual step-sons here.  Here is a blog about spiritual orphans.

When I read this blog, What is Your Love Lid?,  by Kris Vallatton it resonated with me.   Naturally, I wanted to share it with you.

When I read it, what resonated with me is often the person who has trouble receiving from others is a person who hasn’t yet recognized who their Dad is.  When your Dad is the King, you learn to graciously receive.  It’s part of being a thankful son.  It’s not a matter of anyone owing you, it’s just a matter of knowing that He is a “Good, Good Father.”  It’s who he is (to quote one of my favorite songs lately).

 

Has He Answered?

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I have a card in my Bible with a list of prayers from 2011.  I came across it today.  Many prayers were answered and checked off. One of the prayers not checked off was a prayer for my church.

Some of the prayers were…

That we would buy a house (check)

That Nic’s adoption would go through (check)

My prayer for my church was that it would be “healed, delivered, become a place of Kingdom and GROW!”

Something in me at that time knew that our church wasn’t healthy…that think inside me would be the Holy Spirit.  I was praying for Spiritual health, I was praying for Kingdom, I was praying for growth (good prayers).

That church pretty much dissolved.  We are in a different church now.  We are in a healthy church, that is place of Kingdom and that is GROWING!

Sometimes God’s answer to our prayer is to move us!  

I count our current church as an answer to a prayer I prayed five years ago.

Think about some of the prayers you have prayed.  Has God answered and you just haven’t realized it yet?

I would love to hear from y’all about different ways God has answered your prayers.

Our Girl

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Hi All, just wanted to share with you all that our daughter’s adoption is complete.  We are so excited.  Just as every birth mom has a birth story, every adoptive family has an adoption story.

You can read a little about the back story here.

While we were attending a Kairos event almost 2 1/2 years ago, our fostercare agency called us and told us, “We have a brown baby for you”.  My Husband is Hispanic and we had been offered two other babies who were blond-haired, blue-eyed (like our son).  I had turned them down telling our agency (who told our CPS worker) that we wanted a “brown baby”…I really didn’t care if the child was Hispanic or African-American or middle-eastern, etc. We did want a dark-headed, brown-eyed baby.  We said, “Yes, we will take her.”  But we were four hours away in Dallas and she was in the hospital near Austin, where we live.   The placement caseworker at our agency suggested we start praying. If a foster parent is available for placement, the state will move down the list to the next family.  Apparently, this baby was baby number 10 for this mom and all the rest of her children were in fostercare or with family members in other words,  they believed she would be “adoptable”.  The family that had five of her siblings and were adopting those siblings did not want to take on a newborn.  The systems does attempt to keep sibling together.  The adoptive mom in that family had a health condition and did think she could handle a baby.  (Thank God).  My prayer at the time was simple…”God, if this baby is the one for us, please work this out. In Jesus name.”  Two hours later, the caseworker called back and said, “Are you at a church right now?  Because the state just agreed to allow the baby to go with the other foster family for a “sibling visit” and you all can pick her up anytime tomorrow.”  WOW!

This is our “brown baby”  (She isn’t really all that brown) as a newborn.

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We picked her up at a baseball field.

We had not had newborns in the house for almost two years.  I wasn’t entirely prepared.  Thankfully, a friend from Church, went on a shopping spree at Target and brought us everything from diapers and formula to sweet baby girl cloths (Thank you Leilani Owen! Seriously, you were one of the only people who came through for us.  I will not forget that act of kindness and pray often for God’s continued blessings on you and your family…one of the many reasons that God will continue to bless you!).

Here’s the kicker of the story…when our sweet girl was only a weeks old 5 or 6 weeks, her bio parents convinced a family member to take her.  The family member had four children of her own that were five years old and under and they lived in a two bedroom place (This is significant because in order to be a licensed foster home you must provide a specific amount of space for the children…this is not required for “family” or “fictitious kinship”).  She didn’t want to do it because her significant other was illegal and did not want CPS in their home. She took our baby girl anyway.  I’m not going to lie…I was very upset when they came and picked her up.  I started to pack away baby items.  I prayed.  I remembered something my friend, Esther had told me when I had my miscarriage, She said, “You can trust God with your children now or you can do it later.”  I prayed and I told God, “Please watch over my baby girl.  I know that you worked all this out for us.  I trust You.  Please keep Your hands on her and protect her.  I’m very disappointed.  I wanted more than anything to see her first smile and hear her first laugh.”

Three days later, her CPS caseworker called (a precious lady named Bonnie – who was an angel to us and who even attended baby girl’s Adoption yesterday.  God Bless, Bonnie!).  She asked if she could bring our baby girl back.  I will never forget her setting down that baby seat and saying, “The aunt said she screamed for 3 days straight.”  Baby girl, had already fallen asleep.  Bonnie looked at me and said, “She just wanted her momma.”  And with that, I was her momma no matter what the papers said.

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one happy momma.

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Every CPS case is a little different. Except for one thing…the one thing is, if you do what they ask you to do, you can get your child back.

Seriously.

Baby girl’s bio parents could have gotten her back if they had done what CPS asked them to do instead of fighting the system.  They didn’t do what was asked of them.  They got into trouble and ended up in jail.

We know their names.  I am not sure what we will tell our daughter when that time comes.

Their parental rights were terminated.  They had the opportunity to mediate a plan with us to see or at least receive pictures of their daughter, they choose to fight instead.  I am not even sure they know our names…

After two and half years, we adopted this little Texas tornado.

   
 
As you can see she charmed the judge (legalizing adoptions has to be a more enjoyable aspect of her job).

Although yesterday was one of my most memorable days with my daughter, my “best day ever” with her was the day Ms.Bonnie brought her home.  

Momlog 2015: Potty Training Saga

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Eventually, they all learn to use the potty…right?  (Yes, I need some affirmation).  My compliant son was potty trained at age 2.  My “do it her way daughter” is becoming a challenge at 2 and 1/2.  She is simply too busy to use the potty and will not poop in the potty.

Conversation today:

Me: You have to poop in the potty. No one wants to clean this up.  You aren’t going to be able to go anywhere.  

Her:  You no clean me?

Me: No, I don’t want to clean you.  No one does.

Her:  Cha (aunt Sheila) clean me?

Me: Cha doesn’t want to clean you.

Her:  Meow, clean me?

Me:  No, the kitty will not clean you. Kitty can’t clean poop.

Her thinking…

Her: Deb (our niece Devri) clean me?

Me:  No, Devri is too little to clean you.

Her:  Aunt Jeanny clean me?

Me:  aunt Jenny doesn’t like to clean poop either.  

Oh my goodness!!  She is going to give me a run for my money!