Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Women in the Bible

How is it that the Proverbs 31 woman has become the only biblical woman that we hear about? Most of us are not and never will be her, and parading her about only causes us to strive to be something that we are not, or causes us to give up because we now have biblical proof that we do not measure up. This is a woman who stayed up all night and got up before everyone else, she was perfect, but everytime I think of her I think Bree Van deKamp. This lady had it all together, and is the only woman in primetime to read her bible daily. I may be wrong but give it some thought.

I'm more of a woman caught in adultery type. Naked at the feet of Jesus, too ashamed to ask for the mercy only He can give. Now before the rumor mill gets going, let me clarify. I have not committed adultery, this decade anyway.

Sadly we don't know all of the names of the women in the Bible, but I do know that most of them wouldn't be allowed through the doors of most churches. Well, they'd be let in, as long as they kept to themselves and allowed us to pray for them. The woman at the well who had seven husbands would be the perfect prayer project.

This all brings about the question of what does a Christian woman look like today. Is she fat? Is she thin? Is she married? Is she single? Is she divorced? Is she straight? Is she gay? Does she have tattoos? Does she work outside the home? Does she work inside the home? Does she cook from scratch, or go through drive thru? Does she sew or shop? Does she have kids, does she hate kids? Has she ever had an abortion, been a stripper or sold herself for drug money? I don't know. I do know that nothing on the list would exempt anyone from being a Christian, as much as we would like to keep our Christian circles pure, exempting another would by default be un-Christian.

God can deal with anything you bring. Anything. And the nice thing is the only thing that you get for having a bigger pile of junk to lay at His feet, is MORE grace.

So the advice this naked at the feet of Jesus lady has for all you Proverbs 31 wannabes is... turn off the lights, have some sex (only you married ones), sleep late and order a pizza. The world will not end.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Message for anonymous

First and foremost I will pray for you, and so will everyone who reads this, (right people, leave a comment), secondly God's love is not predicated on having your life together, which is good news for people like me. He wants your heart, when He has your heart his spirit will help you change your life. You do not need to be in church for Him to do a great work in your life. He would like you to be in church not for His sake but for yours. When you surround yourself with a church family you can see God's love played out on a daily basis. When the world comes crashing down on you it is hard to remember that you don't have to get it all together today.

I could tell you a thing or two about bad choices and bad boys. I won't, I've chosen to not give them any more of my time. I will let you know that someone good can love you. "No one will ever love you as much as me" is a lie that bad boys use to keep the girls that are way too good for them.

I know it seems like you have a lot going on right now, and it all seems overwhelming. If you haven't already done it, give it all to God. Just ask Jesus to come into your life and change it. If you don't know what to say, just say "I want to know you more, I accept you into my heart. I don't know all that I need to know, but I want to know more. I'm trusting that you will come into my life and change it from within and we can be together forever. I accept this as the free gift that it is, and that this gift is not based on what I have done, or what I will do, but it is a gift you gave, and I am accepting. Amen."

Now that you are a true princess, feel free to ask God to help with your situation. You are now His child and he wants only good for you. this is not to say that there will not be any natural consequences for the things that you have done, but He will be by your side as you work through them. Feel free to email me with anything that you might need. It's true that I don't know who you are, but I do know a few things based on what you've written to me, I remember the age well, and it sucked for me. To top it off I did things that made it suck even worse. Worse yet, is it took me years to work through it all. Looking back now, though, I am glad to have gone through it. It has made me into the woman that I am today. My email is linked on the bottom of the right side. I will pray for you, but would also like to help you with whatever needs you have right now. I can encourage you while you are going through it and would be honored to do so.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

And the winner is.....

Me. It was discussed at length today amongst every fourteen year old boy my son knows. I am officially the worst parent ever.

I had to repo a cell phone today. It seems that it is outrageous for me to require someone to pay for their cell phone usage. NO ONE else, on the whole planet, has to pay for their own cell phone usage. It's not like I'm shaking down the teens for cash to pay our bills. I am asking that they do a couple of assigned chores in a competent manner in exchange for certain privileges. My big boy is required to take out the trash and pick up the towels and stray clothes in the bathroom. I'm a slave driver.

When my nomination and ultimate win was announced this afternoon, it came with the reasons for the unanimous vote. I have come up with the dumbest chore system on the planet. You do a chore you get a point. You can exchange the points for cash or privileges. When my boy does 50 chores and is able to buy $50 jeans he loves this system. I love the system. The problem is, the boy doesn't have points, because he hasn't done any chores, and now he doesn't have any privileges. This is somehow my fault.

Of course I could have given him credit for all of the chores he didn't write down. I could have extended some credit, it was only two points. I could have waited until tomorrow to charge him, but that would have been the easy thing to do. It's not about the battle at this point, it is about the war. I'm not raising kids here, I'm raising adults. If you cannot take responsibility to write down your hours, you don't get paid. It is not wise to rely on credit. Bills are due when they are due, not when you get around to paying for them. I would rather he learn this life lesson when it is the matter of a cell phone for a couple of days, not when he's $50,000 in credit card debt. Although it would've made my day easier.

This is a lesson that gets played out in my neighborhood everyday. We have a couple of thirty something kids on my street. They are not living with their 'rents because of their parents declining health, or to be helpful. They are not living there temporarily, they've been there since we moved in six years ago. One of the neighbors has had to hire help in the yard due to a heart attack a couple of years ago, his sons only contribution to the yard is cigarette butts. The other neighbors kid drives a brand new truck that has been replaced every two years. I will gladly be the worst parent ever, if I can avoid the Peter Pan Plague of our street. Do I want my kids to hate me and never speak to me again? No. I just want to visit them somewhere else someday.

My daughter is a senior in high school. I'm hoping that she is excited to move out. I love my parents, but can't imagine living with them still. I would like to think that my parents are proud of the fact that I can not only live on my own, but also thrive on my own. I hope that I can share their joy when my babies are outta here. I of course corrected all of the mistakes that my parents made, but probably made just as many new ones. Luckily my kids will be able to correct my mistakes.

I would like to thank all the little people who voted for me, I would like to share the honor of worst parent ever with my husband, I wouldn't be here without him. I'm wondering if there is a cash prize associated with this....

Friday, October 12, 2007

Life math and science

We tried a little unscientific experiment at the house last night. The three little ones wanted to sleep in the tent in the playroom. Oh, what harmless fun that would be. We all have heard the law of physics that states each action has an equal and opposite reaction. I was nice and they have responded with the equal and opposite reaction this morning of extreme grouchiness. I sense this afternoon will begin with grouchy mom putting everyone down for a nap and happy kids awakening.

Life physics also applies to the teens. They want cell phones and computer time and friend time, but I'm still expected to change their laundry at midnight because they forgot. We have not yet gotten the message across that with freedom comes responsibility.

Life math is also an ongoing lesson. We add, add add, then when we need to subtract we gripe at the process. In order for my life balance sheet to actually balance, when I add something, I also need to find an area from which to subtract. Sometimes it starts with a subtraction and we need to add something so we are not in deficit. I recently began subtracting coke from my life, the a-cola type, not the ocaine type, but I had to add water. Sometimes after we've added a husband or a baby, we have to subtract friends.

In the end, after all the additions of friends and families and jobs and hobbies are subtracted through deaths and moves and retirements and declining health, I hope that the good and bad balance to the positive. With all of the different variables yet to play out I already know the answer. The sum total of my life here on earth will be One.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Isn't it hard?

That would be the most oft asked question of foster parents. The answer, surprising: Yes. But I have a follow up question. What worthwhile isn't hard? Being a parent is hard. Being married is hard. Going home for Christmas is hard. Getting a degree is hard. Jobs are hard. Sometimes just getting up in the morning is hard.

There are two schools of judgement on us. Either people think that we are saints, specially equipped to tackle the job of fostering, given a gift that they did not receive. Or they think foster parents are just in it for the money.

The kids who have come and gone were not meant for us. Some of the kids went back home, some went to grandparents. Some went back into the system. I can only tell you what has happened to one of the kids who has come and gone. The others I've had to trust that they are in God's hands and we did the job as well as we were able. The kid that I know what has happened to is much better where he is now, than he would have been had he stayed with us. There are some children who cannot be integrated into a typical family situation. This is not my fault, I was not sad to see him go, and I am very thankful that God has made many different types of foster families to deal with many different types of children.

Our first official placement was three teens. One who had a milestone birthday in foster care. This was their first removal from their home. In the two weeks they were with us the cops were here three or four times. Half the time one of them was missing. The CPS worker couldn't believe that we stuck it out for two weeks, was it hard: yes. Was it worth it to see a fifteen year old boy run across a parking lot crying because he was so happy to see his mom, and getting to go home. Yes.

We also had children who have been in dozens of homes. After so much time not belonging, they could not be comfortable belonging. They could not wrap their heads around someone being there for them FOREVER. While they were here we did our best to keep them safe and happy. We tried to teach them what we could and prayed for the rest. Was it hard, OH MY YES. We miss them terribly, but know that we could not have kept them here any longer.

Do I worry everyday that someone is coming for the kids that are here now? No. Does it cross my mind? Yes. Most people comment to us that they "could not do it" I want to tell them they could, I don't. While some people may have physical constraints to prevent them from doing it, like not having enough space in their homes. Most people have room in their hearts to do this. I am not immune to the hurts that come along with this, but I have received blessings that I cannot explain.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Abigail is in the house

Several weeks a little invisible friend came to live with us. Her name is Abigail, it is NOT acceptable to call her Abby. She is 69 years old and doesn't go to school, but she still rides in her carseat. The interactions with baby girl and Abigail are the absolute cutest, but I hesitate to tell people about this because baby girl is under the watchful eyes of others.

Now read any child development book and you'll see imaginary friends are acceptable at this age, I doubt, however, that the "watchful eyes" have read a child development book. I'm worried that this will be classified as hallucinations or something of a psychotic break to gather more funding for baby girls special needs, (the buck is not subject to trickle down economics and stops well before it reaches my hands)we of course would be scrutinized as to how we parented baby girl to the point where she interacts with persons who cannot be seen by others. Since Abigail "can't like" boys does she have gender issues that we have been insensitive to?

It would be funny if I were kidding. But in a world where I can be cited for not double locking neosporin, I may have legitimate concerns. I am also concerned that they find out the horrible care that has been provided for Abigail while she has been here. I have left her home alone. I have forgotten her in the car, in stores and at school. I have sat on her and thrown her out. I demolished her living quarters and am always stepping on her hair. She also gets to watch tv whenever she wants and gets to have chips for breakfast, of course my babies would NEVER have chips for breakfast.

I have not had to deal with any imaginary friends since I had my own. My born of the body babies did not have any that they shared with the family. But I am in awe that baby girl has come up with such a complex ecosystem for Abigail, her great concern for Abigail, baby girl knows her likes and dislikes and they love spending time together without the boys. I feel lucky to see the creator/created relationship through the eyes of a child.

This is the day...: ...I get a do over.

This is the day...: ...I get a do over.