Monday, January 28, 2013

Needing to be Needed

I'm sick.

Not anything horrible or life threatening. Just the same old crud that has been circulating for awhile and it finally fell on me.

It started Saturday night and by Sunday morning it was clear I was going to be best friends with my bed, lots of soup and some favorite movies for the day. 
I'm not a good sick person. I am a real baby. Its the time, more than any other during the year except Mother's Day when I want my mom more than anything else (for those new to this blog, she's been in heaven for almost 10 years). I cry easily because I can't stand feeling so bad and have many a pity party until I am well.
My hubby and boys are always so good to me and don't let me do anything!

Its times like this, when I am so needy that I recognize I NEED to be NEEDED. And not only do I feel like its a need but I like it.
A couple of weeks before Jared moved out he got sick and I mean really sick really fast. He was not in a good way. I remember one morning before church going up to his room with water and medicine to wait on him. Giving him instructions about not going anywhere and resting for as long as he could before he had to go to practice that night.
As I walked down the stairs the thought hit me this will be the last time...what will he do once he is alone and is sick. I was suddenly sad as I thought about my not-so-little boy being sick in his apartment all on his own.
He doesn't need me in general anymore. Boys are different than girls I think in that way. I didn't have any brothers so I didn't get to see those differences growing up but even with my boys now, my boys are tough. Even when they do get sick. They don't lie around and whine. They keep on. They do need me though and for that I am grateful.
I always needed my mom. I always wanted my mom around. Well, once I got over being rebellious. I called her EVERY day! More like 5 times every day. I needed my mom.
I will admit though, it wasn't until she died I realized that I needed her in an unhealthy way. Our relationship in and of itself was healthy but my leaning on her wasn't. I almost didn't need God because I had my mom.

And that's the lesson I am learning and want others to learn, especially my kids. Not to need anyone the way we are supposed to need God. To do all of our leaning on Him and His word. His word will never fail us and His word will give us truth where others can't always do that. His word will always be there to inspire hope and change in us so we can be victorious. His word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our path. Ultimately, we should never look to others to guide us in a way that only God can and does. Don't get me wrong I am the first to encourage seeking godly counsel but that should never take the place of God and said counsel should always line up with God's truth.

Bottom line...I will always have a need to be needed but I will always point myself, my kids and whomever else to need their Heavenly Father more than they need me.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with ALL your heart and LEAN NOT on your OWN understanding, in all your ways ACKNOWLEDGE HIM and HE will direct your paths. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Changes, Choices and Conflict

HAPPY NEW YEAR, albeit a little late.

There have been so many things going on around here I don't even know where to start. Most things that are happening have no manual so I've kind of been stumbling around in the dark trying to find my way.

The biggest change was Jared moving out. This has been coming for awhile but because it happened so quickly after the New Year I didn't have time to really adjust to the idea. He had been saving for several months and January 11th 2013 we moved him into his new apartment. We really are proud of him. He is living alone which I think is huge at just 19 years of age and yes we helped with some "stuff" but as far as deposits, electricity and rent, he's on his own. It was very bitter-sweet for us, for me especially. I remember that afternoon running errands with the younger two and suddenly being hit with this huge wave of emotion. I thought, I can't do this. Where is the manual on how to navigate these uncharted waters. I was so upset. But several hours later as I pulled up to his new place to unload I found myself overcome with excitement and pride. It was great.  Jared even let me stay and hang his shower curtain and put away all his clothes. Then the next morning I went early, took him breakfast and we went food shopping. That was fun. Watching him pick all the foods I've avoided as a parent because they are so bad for you. But this is the joy of living alone and away from your parents. I'm glad he's doing well. I wish he would eat better but HEY, he's 19. He's got a little longer before it all starts to catch up to him.
He's only been gone two weeks and already has two more tattoos and although I don't really like him covering himself its better than drugs and sex.
Its been different not having him around. I can't really explain it. What's weird is not seeing him. Yesterday was the first time in over 7 days that I've seen him. It was an accident too. He looked good but I think he's even skinnier than normal. Sigh.

So, with Jared on his own Jayden (the youngest) moved upstairs to Jared's old room to make way for their sister. Jayden definitely has resisted the idea of moving. He liked his little room and was really cosy in there but once we moved him I wondered how he fit in that little room. He has so much stuff. Now he is settled all is well and I can think about getting her room all ready.

Onto our little girl. Our agency sent us immigration and visa paperwork to fill out on her behalf which meant we had to finalize her name.
This was tough at first because we have called her and prayed for her by the name Grace for so long we just thought that's what it would be. But as I thought about it I really wanted her to have a J name like her brothers. So then the question was do we give her the J name then call her by her middle name. Oh what to do! We talked to a couple of different people who had done that and they said it was pain. So we decided (after much prayer) she would have two first names. The second question was do we keep her Chinese name at all. I didn't want to at first, Brian did. He felt it was important we not discard what she started with. I agreed. So, her full name will be JENNA-GRACE YUAN YI (PRONOUNCED YOU-WEN YEE) MACIASZEK. WOW! Poor kid. She's gonna hate us. ;0)
So, Jenna Grace. We didn't hyphen on the paperwork so we will see if we change that at some point too.
Now, about her. Yesterday she turned 16 months and we also received an update and new pics. She was smiling in one of them. FINALLY! We also got pics of her foster parents and siblings. So precious. We did not get updated measurements yet but she looks huge for her age. I am no expert and its been a long time since I had a baby that age so we will just have to see when the measurements come in.
Such a beautiful smile. 

They are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Here are some of the things they said about her: she loves any and all toys and cries when she doesn't get the toy she wants. Cool, so she's normal. 
She has great disdain for strangers and will cry loudly and hide under the table when she sees the stranger with the camera. I told Brian we might have to forget about trying to capture any gotcha day footage which saddens me greatly. 
She sleeps in a crib and still wakes up twice throughout the night and get a bottle both times...Oh help me with this one. I pray this is somewhat better before gotcha day even though I am sure being united with her will only add to the sleeplessness. 
She isn't talking yet, just babbling. 
Her nickname is Yee-Yee
And my favorite, she hates green vegetables. I'm not really sure why I laughed at that, maybe because its such a staple part of our life. Regardless, I will be working to change that. 

A little bit of good news on paperwork. They told us almost 2 weeks ago that our dossier (big packet of info about us) is in the review room of the "powers that be". Typically from this time it take 3-6 weeks to receive the LOA (letter of acceptance). This was really awesome because we weren't expecting it until the middle of March so this new info puts us potentially receiving it before the end of Feb. 
Now, Chinese New Year is Feb 10th and everything closes for 8-10 days so that could set us back but we'll see. 

The conflict is life itself. Family issues and a little drama. And sometimes no matter what you do it still happens. You know what I have decided? I can't control any of it. I can only control how I choose to repsond. I can only do what I know God has shown me to do and then I have to let go. I have been wrestling and been so broken there aren't even the words for prayer. Just tears. But the word says "he has collected all my tears in his bottle" Psalm 56:8. I love my family and my heart breaks for some of the choices that are made but I have to know and believe that God loves them even more than I do. And as I lament and cry out for something to change I know the Holy Spirit hears me and intercedes on my behalf and for that I am thankful. 

So, as you go on your way if you think of us please pray for these final steps of our adoption. We are so close yet at times it still seems so far. We can't do it without your prayers and encouragement. 
Thank you so much. Be blessed.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

First World Problems

The dishwasher only cleaned half of the dishes again was the text I sent my hubby this morning. These and many other things are what we call in our house, first world problems. 
I mean really? Who complains about that kind of thing? We complain we are stuck in traffic, that we are driving a car that's over 5 years old, that our boss was mean to us, that we weren't invited somewhere, what we didn't get that we thought we deserved and the list goes on and on. 
We need to WAKE UP! 
There are men, women and children on the other side of the world who are starving, half naked, sick with no hope for recovery, some are being bought and sold for sex everyday and we get mad because the girl in the drive thru at McDonalds was rude to us! And its not just the other side of the world. They are in your back yard. In your church, in my church. Single people, people with families who have real genuine needs. Basic needs. Needs you and I could meet.  And I'm not just talking about stuff. I am talking about time, love, encouragement etc. 
I challenge you to take time today to pray about how you could help someone else. How can you be a blessing to someone who is without? 
And most of all I challenge you as I do myself to stop all the complaining. We are blessed, more blessed than we realize. So, think before you speak, think before you complain and grumble about your first world problems. Ask God to help you in this area and when you're tempted to complain GIVE THANKS instead. 

Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. 
Hebrews 13:16

Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others. 
Philippians 2:4

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need yet closes his heart against him how does  God's love abide in him.
1 John 3:17

Do EVERYTHING without grumbling or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure "children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation" then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. 
Philippians 2:14-15