I started Camp Gladiator boot camps at the start of the pandemic. With virtual teaching, home schooling, parenting, and staying at home…I just needed something for me. It started virtually then I moved over to in-person. It has been a great way to self care, connect with others, and improve my health all while setting goals and working to achieve them. Especially, when we started the foster care process, I needed something about me and to not let my frustrations explode. So 100 check ins was a huge deal celebrating discipline and sticking with something even when things got busy. January you get the workouts for free so sign up and join us online!
As we restart our adoption journey, but this time through foster care, one major difference is all the courses available online. We lose the community…we loved our adoption community and still keep in touch with those families…but learning in your pajamas is pretty awesome too. In fact, doing the courses online is one of the big reasons the fire was lit to start. I learned today even CPR was online so that is pretty amazing also! I say all this to say if you have been praying about adoption then now is the time!
On another note, Happy Law Enforcement Day!
The biggest reason my husband got out of police work, is we adopted our son. Now we had a baby to care for and working nights, weekends, holidays just would not work anymore. He struggled that he was missing all the good stuff needing to sleep so he could go to work. He also realized the reality that he could be hurt or killed while on the job and there were other things he could do…so he resigned and started a new career.
Staying married while doing that job was hard, so I will always have respect for those that serve others and risk their lives for strangers.
I have some friends going through the adoption process and I hate to say it, but when they ask how it is my first words are “really hard”. It takes a lot of time, paperwork, classes, background checks, videos, meetings and so many questions!! I think what makes it harder is you know you are doing a good thing so why so many obstacles? Also compared to giving birth, you have to prove yourself as a parent. Even 8 years later, the thing I remember most is how hard it ended up being.
The thing is you have no control. The timing, the person, the process…it is out of your hands. A lot of praying and trusting that others are looking out for you. But in the end…it is so worth it! When you meet your child and it all makes sense…adoption is the best gift from God!
One of our best blessings is our adoption is open! I posted this pic today and the first person to like it was his birth mom. Love we can keep up in this way and she can share in these moments with me. If God has put on your heart to adopt…go for it! No one I have met has ever regretted it!
Last week, the weather in our vacation spot said sunny all day er’ day…this week weather reports say storms and overcast all week.
Disappointing as sun just gives life to the soul, but a blessing as no one is hurting from a sunburn and we still play all day in the ocean…win-win! Yesterday, we grabbed our boogie boards and went out when the wind was blowing hard. Kinda crazy, kinda exciting, kinda stupid…those waves hurt! But man, such good waves to ride…tall, fast, fun…so many laughs and squeals. Constant sounds of “that was a big one!” We went back at night and we had fun, but the waves were back to being calm and consistent…we began to miss the waves that were hard, crashing and furious and wild!
Isn’t that life? Storms make the best waves. The waves in a storm knock you out of your comfort zone.
Waves in a storm give you the restlessness and sense of urgency to..
Look for a new job.
Make the budget.
Have the tough conversation.
Go to the doctor.
Dry the tears and begin the next chapter.
Say yes to family.
Mourn the loss.
Stop wishing and start trying. In short, the biggest life changes come from the biggest storms. It was in my storm, we began to both work on our marriage and adopt our son. The storm gave us a new perspective to pack up or camp out. We chose to stay.
Storms make you stop complaining about the rain and start playing in it. And the reward to withering the storm is so beautiful and a direct promise from God that He sees you, loves you, was with you and will never leave you.
Rainbows are best seen after the rain. God’s perfect design for his children.
Today I ask you to pray for this family and their fight to beat Colon Cancer. You can google Staggs family to read more about them. They have used their storm to share about Jesus and the fight is stronger than ever right now. The most ferocious of storms are made easier when we stand together…I am standing with them in prayer.
It is officially 2020 and it seems that everywhere you look it is about weight lifting or weight loss…getting thin or getting bigger…going to the gym or going to the grave….everyone has an opinion. Something I have learned from being married to a man that seems to also be married to the gym is that the better they look…the more insecurity there seems to be. I am not saying everybody, but surprisingly more people than I thought struggle with this idea of getting older, getting fat or getting behind. Some go to shortcuts to create an edge through shots or surgery or pills etc. All of that leads to a quick fix for the moment, but if the mind is not right the self doubts will always come back. In short, it seems some choose vanity over sanity and the issue does not seem to be disappearing anytime soon.
My husband and I argue about this a lot because with Lupus, I need to work out, but I always feel so tired. I always feel like if I had an extra hour in my day it would be for anything else than the gym. However, what I am finding is I actually do feel better whenever I get in there. I am not like my husband with the discipline to go at whatever cost, but I have found myself trying to make it more than I ever had previously. Something about the pre-workout, the right music, the right protein shake and being by myself in the gym excites me. There are all kinds of workouts, but I am still a good old fashion gym rat through and through. (Just do not check my attendance please!) Here lately my go to has been nutrition shakes that cost half my salary, but make me feel like I am putting forth effort to have that beach body by July.
If you saw me you would likely roll your eyes that I am even writing about weight loss as I am a small girl, but my issue is to turn fat into muscle and not look like the wind could kick my a@#. It is true…my arms are weak, but my mind makes up for it. I pray at some point that we can all get to a place of appreciation, of self check when we need to get it together rather than others opinions deciding for us, a place where vanity and sanity can coexist and aging will be just as sexy as Carrie Underwood’s legs. But until then my plan of action is to tell myself and others they are beautiful and worthy and enough. To stay healthy for life, to stay emotionally and mentally grounded for the good of your well being and be okay with the person God created whatever phase of life you are in. 2020 will be the best year yet!
My Facebook feed is full of Resolutions, Vision Boards, Goal setting and so much more to welcome in the New Year. I love a good goal setting party and I especially love having a plan, but reading these exhaust me each year and I have been trying to understand why.
Here are some ideas:
I am a quitter so I quit even before I start? (Enneagram 9 problems)
It exhausts me to plan for all that work.
Jealousy for that kind of vision.
I think for me it hypes up the I will, the I want, and the Someday leaving behind the right now. (This is also why I cannot do Pinterest.) I know we all need vision and goals for many jobs, projects and ideas, but I want to live my life in the present. I refuse to miss out on the many moments of now. All of this writing will be frowned upon by many successful people including the great Rachel Hollis that has built her empire on goals, visions and more. I cannot wrong them as they are sitting in private jets while I am behind this outdated computer, but I want contentment. I want to be a visionary while appreciating the magic of today. I choose to celebrate the new year with a new word and a new saying to live by.
Previous words and years:
Do it afraid. Do not let your fear be greater than your faith. Change is an opportunity to do something amazing. Wherever you are, be all there.
The words that went with these sayings were balance, faith, fearlessness, presence and selfless.
This year my big word is VULNERABLE with the saying “What you know matters, who you are MATTERS MORE.
I want my year, my experiences, my adventures to be full of connectedness, whole-heart and all-in kinda-live-in-the-moment opportunities. Vulnerable is hard for me since it can be seen as weakness, but I see it as courage to put myself out there and really feel. No holding back. I always say that I do not choose the word-it chooses me. God plants a seed and then I wait and listen until he speaks up to confirm. I thought at one time it was journey, but then the V word just kept popping back up until I finally surrendered.
So good for you if you can handle the resolutions and goals of tomorrow. Not knocking the idea, but just saying it does not work for me. I do have all the supplies for a vision board that may someday come to life, but for now I am excited about what being vulnerable in my relationships and moments of now might bring. For my first vulnerable step of 2020, I upgraded this blog to a premium site! It may not bring me any more traffic, likes or comments, but I feel it validates (another v word) that I want this to be more than just for myself. So I am putting my words out there to see what might happen.
This is my workspace 30 minutes after my son gets out of school
Every once in a while, I will have one of those parenting moments that are hard to put into words. Those moments that you cannot believe you are here. I have had a few lately as we cross the path into medicine for my son.
My son was diagnosed with seizures at 3 1/2 and has been on meds ever since. We have always known we live in a world of EEGs and MRIs, but we thought that was the bulk of it. We knew he had a bit of a wild side, but many boys do and then he started school…we learned his wild is wilder than normal and it is affecting his learning
So now we are on new uncharted territory. Riding the rapids of ADHD medication and testing for learning disabilities for all the time that focus might have kept him from learning. Hard to be sitting here having these conversations of side effects and dosage but here we are. In the middle of the chaos, God spoke to me at a worship night.
“You were made to be his mom. You were created for this.”
No one will advocate, fight, champion, and dig my heels in the dirt more than me. No one is more stubborn and will do all things possible to ensure he learns. God chose me to parent him…I was born to love this child. This may be new territory, but we will conquer it together.
We noticed when he was around 3 that he would have these moments of going blank. At first, it was so quick that you would have to be staring at him to see it. Over time, it became more often and more noticeable that it was pretty obvious. At his worst, they would occur 20 times an hour and his eyes would roll back in his head. After much testing, we were finally able to get him diagnosed and on medicines.
Now, he has been on medication for over a year and we notice some academic delays. These are delays that could have always been there or delays caused by the seizures, either way we want to be able to make the best decisions for his schooling. As part of the process, we were instructed to get another EEG and thankfully we could do it over the summer. He did a great job! This test is stressful for this mama as they flash lights in his face, make him sit still for 30 minutes and strap him up to a machine. We are hopeful the results will give us more answers that the medicine is working. His testing was done at a hospital just for children which feels more like a playground! One of his favorite things is the trains…they are amazing and such a blessing to a nervous mom.
He is smiling so big because we timed that shot perfectly so he was in a pic with a train. God has been so good to us during this process to get him the treatment he needs. We are hopeful that he grows out of the seizures in a few years and continues his path to greatness.
So you may remember, we put our house on the market in February. It was sold a week later and we closed in March. Moved into grandma’s until May then moved into our new home and finally got everything settled and decorated by July. Yes, it finally feels like home. For a girl that resisted and prayed against the move it was God’s will and I can see that now. We save money by not going out as much…I cook way more since it is easier. We have more time as a family and the area is beautiful. I fought the change but am thankful I said yes to God.
I accepted a position as a Literacy Specialist which took me out of my comfort zone in the classroom. I felt God calling me to this position but I do not like change and I had already moved three times in six months. I know God has me here for a purpose but I still really miss the relationships of a classroom. I still feel lost and love when I get to sub, but on weekends when I am playing with my son I know it was what God called me to do. I can be present with him and I have been called to do a lot for the school to help others. It has been a blessing to have the time and energy to help others rather than drowning in my own mess. Glad I said yes.
Finally, amazing how God works when you obey. Our church is planting a new church in Kaufman and needs member to help start it. God knew we would be there so the pieces are starting to fit. Awesome to see the changes make sense when you were blindly going where we felt he was leading. I have a feeling my job may change in the future as well but I am still in prayer for that direction. We are leaving a great community group and people for Jesus but we know new relationships will be built.
For a girl who hates change she has had her fill of it. But change is inevitable so I must learn to embrace it. I am thankful God has chosen us and I am relieved we said yes. Be in prayer with us for the things yet to come!
This is normally our Fair Day, but instead we went to the Dallas Zoo. It was perfect! I crowded, great weather, no major meltdowns, ice cream, animals, rides, toys and glory to God for safe travels. Now that we live in Kaufman, trips to the zoo require a drive and directions but I got there and back safely and without getting lost…go me!