Living the Dream

Living the Dream

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Dawson Goes Home

Dawson's second night was amazing.  He slept like a champ, and didn't even want to wake up to eat.  He was just amazing.  He woke up in the morning, after I got there and was so alert and so cute, I had to call Aunt Lacey and cousin Deaton and show him off.




It was OH SO cute and so very special.  Deaton wanted to know if I was bringing Baby Dawson to his home, and just where I was exactly.  I told him California, and he said,  "I want to go to Falicornia".    And I think he should.  How sweet are they!

Dawson was so alert this morning for about an hour, then he ate twice like a champ, pooped the grossest diaper and initiated his lolly into the I Pee Freely Club.   I mean like drenched me, drenched his bed, and his clothes... the boy has mad skills.


He is also so strong he pulled his head off my shoulder and turtled around like he's a month old!  We just were amazed. 

After he got an A on his hearing test, and an A on his oxygen saturation test and another A on his bilirubin level, we were packing up all our gear and heading home to meet his giant black sister. 


I just want to tell you that preeclampsia is a big big deal, and I am so thankful for my prayer warriors sending up prayers to heaven for me on my flight out and all day on the 5th as she labored, with that horrendous magnesium drip keeping her blood pressure down.  Nothing about that stuff is good and Kip (and Dawson)rocked it like a boss.  She is a natural at this mommy thing.  
However, her feet look like staypuff marshmallow man, so we could use prayers that all that mess subsides and she is able to start feeling back to normal.  I mean, wow.  

Brielle did amazing.  She was so respectful of him, and really left him alone while mommy held him and the funniest thing when I held him, she felt compelled to come and stick her nose on him and see what in the world lolly was holding.  Both Dawson and Brielle did amazing.  Baby didn't even budge when Brielle barked when the door bell rang.  He's totally used to hearing her bark.  


And the highlight was Aunt Nancy and Uncle Lavonne bringing us some delicious chicken tetrazzini and all kinds of goodies, including her famous lemon cake, that I love and adore.  
I am so full this evening, full of yum food, and a full heart, so filled with joy that we have such an amazing family, and such a precious, little angel baby that really is so chill, it's just almost too good to be true.  I remember Hallie being an extraordinary baby (and she was one ounce smaller than him), and someone commented that big babies are so much more content, and man, I believe it.  He is just really the best baby.  I thought Deaton was a great baby, and Dawson is joining an elite club of amazing young men.  He is just a precious little gift. 


I love this picture of Kip and his GIANT FOOTPRINTS that didn't even fit in the little newborn box !


So first night home, big Brielle doing good, Mama doing better (I will feel better when her swelling subsides somewhat) and a big day planned tomorrow, with Uncle Brad (his namesake) and Auntie Brooke coming with his cousin, Rhett and grandma Pam and Grandpa Don.  Should be another fun, good day.   Brandon's doing great, loving on the big dog and easing into his role of loving dad with no problem at all, and all is peaceful and full of love in Redding, California. 

I didn't think I could love anything more than I loved my kids.

And then they gave me grandkids.

God is oh so good, All the time.  

Friday, April 6, 2018

California Dreamin'

I've been planning for Kip & Brandon's baby's arrival since August, when she told me. 

In fact, when I moved on the ranch, I told everyone involved, I was going to be gone two very important weeks....

one for the baby

one for my yearly company trip.

So fast forward to April 1.... due date.....

Nothing going on in California...cancel flight and engage in Plan B.

Meanwhile, teachers go on strike and there is NO SCHOOL FOR ALL THE CHILDREN.

While I am solidly BEHIND THE TEACHERS and believe they are absolutely doing what I want them to do....

I HAVE ALL THE CHILDREN.

ALL OF THEM.

AT HOME.

ALL DAY.

Thank the lord for Henderson Hills Baptist Church, who allows the K-5th graders to come to a program from 9-3 (which stretches from 8:45- 3:15, if you're single and HAVE 2000 children), so the littles have all been partaking of the day camp.

HOWEVER, it is a LOT of driving.  So when my phone rang on Wednesday and it was KIP, calling from her appointment at the doc's office with these words to her mom,  "I was going to go shopping at Michael's after my appointment, but I guess I'll have a baby instead"..... my mind went into hyper mode.

I called my reinforcements  (Johnelle Evans (and don't forget Jon), Katelyn Magruder, and Cameron Ramsey) and told them all systems were go.

I had typed a somewhat funny "How to Live through the Eight One Eight One" guide, and left it for the adults, and had somewhat packed some clothes (shorts and underwear and a few tshirts, come to find out) and had made a sketched out itinerary for the home front.

THE BABY is COMING, is all my brain can manage.

I had already cancelled my flight from the Friday before, so one Southwest App flight booked later  (it's almost 11:30, and I booked a 2:55 flight)  seems easy, right?

Wrong. 

I ran in the airport at 2:18.  I was suppose to BOARD at 2:25.  I threw my luggage at the lady at the counter who acidly informed me "That we will NOT guarantee this bag's arrival", and all I could think is, "Fine, I'm not even sure what's in it anyway", and ran for security.   I'm having flashbacks of a "wallet Incident" Hallie and I had had a couple of years earlier, and dang it, I'm still not in shape for the running in the airport thing. 

Group A was lining up at the gate, and I was a far end B, so I skipped to Schlotsky's and grabbed an ice tea, and jumped on the plane.   Prayed a fervent prayer that my bag might just accidentally make it.  and sat in front of one of my LONG TIME Laynie fans, Sara Avery, who said,  "LOLLY? is that you?" and had on a TEAM HOPE tshirt and made my entire day.

11:00 pm I drive into Redding (WITH MY SUITCASE) and head to the hospital.    Seems that Kip had a touch of preeclampsia, and the doc was NOT going to take any chances, and DANG, that baby was a solid basketball. 
I knew that they were going to decide what they were going to do at 3:30 am, so I thought I would just hang around and see what they said, until I sat in a straight up chair for about 45 minutes and at 1:30 am (3:30 OKlahoma time) I bade them good night and blearily made my way to their house to catch a few z's. 

Brielle (their very rotten spoiled great dane) greeted me with kisses and hugs and Brandon's parents, Don and Pam were already there awaiting my arrival (along with the grandson).

I lay down at 1:50, totally wide awake, and here comes the grand daug, up beside me, all in my grill and in short order was lying right beside me in bed, snoring her head off.

2:30 rolls around and I drift off.   3:30 my message beeps and it's Kip with some questions. 

About 6:00 am (and 3 hours ish of sleep)... I head to the hospital with the Hall's because Kip's water breaks about 5:30 with a contraction.



YAY, that means the baby has to be coming, right, right, right?

Wrong.

Stop by a MacDonalds for the much needed sweet tea, and find Kip, finally starting to have some pain with contractions, and crap of the crappities, it's back labor.

THE WORST.

Then figure out the baby is facing up, instead of down, and then miraculously get him turned and her back labor isn't as severe.

EPIDURAL time.   The elixer from Jesus Christ himself.  If you think you need to have a baby natural for whatever reason..... you just need to take your temperature and think again.

Epidurals are the ONLY WAY TO GO.  She went from kicking our butts out because she couldn't even string a sentence together, to having us all back in.   HELLO.  To inviting Pam & I to stay and witness.  WHAT?  Epidurals all around!

3 hours of pushing later, our miracle baby made his miraculous appearance.   And what a beauty!


Even though I gave birth to 3 babies, and witnessed Laynie being born c-section (behind the veil), this was my one and only time I've ever witnessed a birth.

And it was miraculous.

Awesome.

Breathtaking.

And so many words I can't even put to paper.  It's just something else. 

I knew he was a giant when he made his way out, but we got kicked out fairly quickly after (which really was fine with me) 7:19 pm  April 5, 2018

Dawson Bradley Hall made his way into the world, came out crying like a champ weighing 9 pounds and 10 ounces.   My skinny little beanpole daughter gave birth to a 10 pound whopper.  21" long, he might walk out of the hospital on his own.

And dimples for days, (like his dad)  dark hair (like his mom) and soooo sleepy (like his lols).


So much love for this little man.   So much love.



We had a wonderful first day of life, with Kip still solidly stuck to the IV poles for 24 hours, still monitoring her blood pressure, and Dawson, sleeping all day.   Aunt Nancy brought us the most amazing taco salad for dinner and we ate it like starving wolves.  Deliciousness.  And homemade choc chip cookies, so .... Yum.

Expect the crew to come home tomorrow, so I am resting up with my GIANT GRANDDAUG staring at me, wanting to sleep with me, ALL IN MY BUBBLE. 

So enjoy these pics.  I will share more over the next few days as I cherish my days with the newest little in my life. 

Grandbabies are a special gift.   And I am amazingly blessed. 

Thanks to  my village for making this trip possible, and thank you to the Lord above, for the miracle of life and the protection He bestowed on my Kip. 

God is so good, all the time.

Never mind my turkey neck.  I don't even care. 
 Hi Lols, I'm bright eyed and it's DAYTIME isn't that so smart of me?
 Yes, you sweet little boy, let's keep our days and nights straight.
My cup runneth over.  

Friday, March 23, 2018

Life at the Eight One Eight One



It's been a while since I've written.

I've been a bit overwhelmed.

I'm going to rant first.  Then Praise.  Because, well, I can.  It's my blog

And my LIFE COACH (i suggest everyone get one) tells me I should "Self-care."

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHgaspBAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
BAHAHgaspBAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

(wiping eyes)  So, I've decided that writing is my self-care.  (and my love of cookies in my room)

Newbie #2, if you recall is female, 7 yrs old going on 12 and full of sass and fire like no other, has really taken a turn and become one of my favs.  She is hilarious, and just enough sass to appreciate now.  She suffers zero fools and will tell anyone like it is.  I do have to tell her to take it down a notch when she feels slighted but WHOA, that girl.   She watched bio mom beat every one up in her path her whole life, so I'm guessing that would color relationships a bit for her.  She is learning and I am learning, and we are settling into a routine.  She is much more content now that newbie #1 (her brother) is gone, and seriously, this kid rolls me. 

She does visits every other week with sibs and mom.  Last visit, Gina had tried a new hairstyle on her, and I have to tell you, it wasn't our best work.  Our mornings around here rival a stampede, and that morning, we failed her on her hair.  She left semi ok, but when I went to pick her up from mom at the visit, she had managed to give herself a full out fro on one side, and the other side was still arranged the way we had worked it that morning. 

In other words, kid looked like a hot mess. 

And in addition, she had put on something other than I had laid out for her to wear, and in the rapid fire of assault that is our mornings at the Eight One, Eight one (my new name for our house), she slipped out dressed in mismatched clothes, her high heels shoes and a hot mess hair do.

Her last home she lived in took immaculate care of her,  made sure she had the perfect hair, the perfect clothes, the right "look".  I mean, kid has CLOTHES FOR DAYS!  And for this particular day, she dragged out clothes I had NEVER EVEN SEEN and picked those to wear.  And buzzed by me so fast for the bus, I didn't see that little stink for her final approval before hitting the door.

So, fast forward to me going to pick her up at visit.

I'm sitting here typing, deep breathing because my heart is palpitating so much.  Lamaze breathing, people.

My little sassafrass is sitting on her mom's lap, with her hair looking like Girls gone wild, wearing clothes, I didn't even know she had, and where she dug them out of , it's still a mystery to me, just laying such a line of "Poor me" to her, it still makes me sizzle. 

In these visits, the bio and sibs stay in one room, and you and the case worker stay in the adjoining room with a one way mirror so you can watch the goings on.   It's really awesome.  (Can you hear the sarcasm?)

So imagine my delight when I got a load of her.  Just imagine.  I turned around in horror to her caseworker and said,  "What the absolute HELL?" and he, I'm not kidding, rolled on the ground laughing at me. 

He told me, "I figured you didn't know she looked like that"...  I just shook my head, with my mouth hanging open.

THEN, mom asks case worker to speak with him away from the kids.  And of course I can hear everything and she tells him she is NOT happy with Sassafrass's care. 

OH REALLY??????

I walked in the room, and everyone (especially Sassafrass) went silent.  I walked up to her and said, "So you picked your own outfit today?" and "What did you do to your hair?" as I pulled the ponytail holders out of it, and pushed it to a bun on top of her little sassafrass head.   "I am figuring out how to do her hair" was all I managed to say to mom, when inside of my head......

I wanted to say,  "Well I'm not happy with your inability to GET YOURSELF TO YOUR CLASSES for the LAST TWO YEARS"

but WWJD  ???

So we left the premises and I didn't even bring it back up, except to tell her that I expected her to wear the clothes and ONLY THE CLOTHES that we AGREE ON and we lay out the night before. 

Bro. 

I'm tired. 

HOWEVER. 

I got Kid #6 (newbie #5, if we are keeping count) and she is a 13 yr old female, taken from a hoard.  Sewer backed up in the home, food sent home with her from school on Fridays to keep them fed until Monday.  That kind of bad situation.  Came with zero clothes. 

Imagine, if you will, her wide eyed wonder of the Eight One, Eight One.  (remembering Gina's "I can't live in this mansion" her first day at Norman home).    Multiply Gina's overwhelmedness by a million.  Humbling, heart breaking. I know I still look around in wonder at my new home, so I.  can't.  even.  imagine. 

This kid.  I got her clothes from the closet at the ranch,and a quick trip to TJ Maxx, and you would have thought I had taken her to Neiman Marcus and bought her designer.   New shoes, a bra (imagine that) and girl clothes.  She's lived with grandpa most of her life and has zero female influence.

Gina took her over and now it's a different story.  Plucked eyebrows (ouch), clean hair, fixed in a stylish little messy bun and her "designer" clothes. 

God is good.  I don't expect to keep Kid #6 very long, grandpa is doing all he can to clean up the place, but she has already expressed that she would like to "Stay" and "live here". 

Slap my face and call me shirley.

It's hard, friends.  This fostering life.  It's brilliant, and humbling, and  sometimes, HORRIFYINGLY EMBARRASSING and amazing and life swallowing and did I say, brilliant?? 

God calls us to be more than ourselves.  He calls us to be missionaries on a battlefield. 

My battlefield is here, and I WILL win this war at the eight one eight one. 

For He is Good. 
 


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Faithful

Just because I've been quiet doesn't mean it's been smooth sailing.

Not

At 

All

Newbie #1 had to go to another home this week because behaviors escalated to the point, that it was far beyond my pay grade.  

I breathed a big sigh of relief because 1) Zach was starting to act out  2) Steven was going into depression and 3) I can't spend 12 hours of my day talking this kid off the ledge when there are 5 more that need me just as intensely. BUT then the minute everyone went to bed, sadness and guilt seeped in and I went into my bathroom and had a big old bawl fest.

I feel like I let him down. Yet  I feel relief.   I feel anxious because will he be cared for?  I feel helpless because I didn't know how to even begin to help him or get through to him.

I used my contacts and connections and found him a program that might help hiim, and as of today, I hear he is getting an intake next week.  I have offered to drive him EVERY DANG DAY to school because HE NEEDS help.

Lacey helped me through my anguish of feeling inadequate by reminding me how many SKILLS I developed over the course of the month he was here.  New tools in my tool belt.   God stretching me beyond my wildest dreams on patience and understanding and needs and development.

S  T  R  E  T  C H  I  N   G   G   G   G  G  G   G    GGG   

And how I know I am being obedient, my cash coffers were getting low toward the end of the month, and I will be ding dong darned, if 5 minutes after I had inventoried my fridge and pantry, making our lunch and dinner menu... my friend Jill Self Perry drives up in my driveway with GROCERIES FOR DAYYYYYSSSSSSS.   I mean.   And Thin Mints.  For me.  In my closet.  Secret Stash.  Amen.  

"God told me to do it".    (cue crying into kleenex here)

God is forever faithful.

FOREVER FAITHFUL.

When you don't think you can take one more step because of the burdens you are carrying, you lean into HIM and let HIM carry you.

He can CHUCK NORRIS carry you through all of it.  I mean.   yeah.



With Kip and baby getting ready to take full stage in about 2-3 weeks, I'm going to try and hold off on getting kid #6 in here.   I wish beyond reason that Newbie #1 could get some behavior help and come back.   I like having siblings together, even if they FIGHT EVERY SECOND ALL THE LIVE LONG DAY.  Sibs belong together.  

So we will see what God has in store.  It's always interesting.  Newbie #3 has a 9 month old brother (she's 10) and I told caseworker that he could come over and have overnights if his foster family ever felt comfortable about it.  

Now don't go thinking I am going to lose my mind and get a baby, because NO that's not going to happen, but I'm in the business of health and healing, and if snuggling with your baby brother one whole night puts this little girl to rest(that has stolen my heart OUT OF MY BODY)and help her find her happy smile, then I will put aside my sleeping need for one night every month or so, and let the good times roll.

It's just sleep.  What's that all about.

And in other EXCITING NEWS.   

I

SOLD

My

HOUSE!

and to a FRIEND!  She will tell you it's just one step short of amazing, but I will tell you it is ALL GOD AND that I have a FRIEND next door to my mom, and any worrying I ever had going on is GONE.  And my friend is ridiculously OVER THE MOON about ADULTING and buying her first home, and it's just a WOW EE MAN  awesome good feeling.

April 13, Friday the 13th this year is going to be a very very good day.

Guys.

God is faithful,  He is present.   And He Is Good.  Even when we are Sad.  

All the time.



Sunday, March 4, 2018

Reckless Love

I have so much I want to write on here, I'm a bit overwhelmed.

What has transpired this week, in me, in the kids, and overall, is just short of a God given miracle.

I'm just going to back up and start at the beginning of the week.

I was defeated.

I was tired.

Satan was having a field day.

I had a counselor appt with my Newbie #1 (8 yo male).  I'm not going to lie.  That appointment was all for me.

I'm a hammer.  I've always been a hammer.  I've raised children without a 2nd parent.  No good cop, no bad cop.   So I have all the roles to be.  So the most effective parenting skill for me was being a hammer.  It worked.  I raised pretty awesome kids.

However, I find myself in a new season.

New kids, new triggers, new problems.

What I was doing wasn't working.  At.  All.

AND Satan was Clapping his hands in GLEE.

So, sitting in the doc's office.  Defeated.  Saying, "Help me fix this little mess kid.  I'm just over my head and he's about to get kicked out of school, and he stays in trouble 23.5 hours of the 24 hr day".

He looked me square in the eyes, and said,  "Have you focused on the .5 hour of the day, what he is doing right?  Ever?"

B U S T E D

No, that's not how I parent.  He asked me why I foster, and what is my goal?   (then ironically, my son in law asked me the same thing yesterday, but I digress)....  To help kids.  I feel it is a calling.  I feel God has brought me to this season for a reason, and I'm trying to be the face of God to these kids.

He re-wired my hard wired way of thinking into finding the positive in EVERY THING THEY DO.  I'm not going to lie or say I'm perfect, but our house changed that first evening.  (Yes, I carried the sheet of affirming statements around with me, so I could cheat, but whatever works, we are trying)

Satan isn't happy.   Since things were changing at home, he followed newbie to school and kept him stirred up there.   After a conversation with teacher, things are changing.  Friday was for the most part, principal office free. 

We focus on the positive.  We give no energy to the negative.  If you screw up, you do your time out, no energy from mom is given to that....it's not personal, it's business.   "I care about your well-being, and setting the porch on fire, doesn't work in this house, so it's 5 minutes time out". 

These kids have been so verbally, physically abused their whole life, my hammer didn't even phase them. 

Love phases them.

We have been singing a song in church the last little bit, and it resonated with me, to my very soul.




God NEVER EVER leaves us.  In our greatest and most trying times, HE IS THERE, asking us to trust HIM and love Him.   TRUST.   Trust   TRUST.


We think that if we ask God for something, that we will get what we ask for exactly the way we ask.

God takes our pleas, the heart felt prayers that we fervently pray over our lives and finds a way to refine us, to work our hearts to HIS good.

That's where so many people get so off track.  "If I ask God for it, He doesn't Listen!"   Oh, friends..  He listens. 

I've been praying for patience and God's love of people to flood me for years (since Laynie) and LOOK what He has done to give me the answer to my prayers!   He gives me the most challenging and heart stretching trials.

I'm such a work in progress.

Lacey told me about a netflix show yesterday and I watched it this morning (since my body is already preparing me for the SPRING FORWARD debacle that happens next week) since I was awake at 5 am.

Spend the next 75 minutes watching this powerful, life changing video.Get on Netflix.    Friends, God LONGS for you.  There is nothing He won't do for you.   You may have walked away from Him, but He is sitting there WAITING and LONGING for you.


Let Him find you.   Take up your violin and play with your Father, who loves you beyond any reason. 

There is nothing, NOTHING, that can keep God from Loving you.

Just open the door and let Him in.

Be free.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Lolly's no good, all crap, very upsidedown day

Mercy.

Lawdy.

This whole day has been a crap factory of the highest and utmost magnitude.

I don't even know how or when it started.

Maybe when I OPENED MY EYES this morning.  Hang on to your hats. 

SOOOOOOOOOOOOO....  I had to MOM hard today. 

Newbie #1 had to do a cleanout because of poop accidents at school.  So turtle mcturtleson had to drink 2 giant bottles of gatorade with an equal amount of "tasteless" miralax stirred in it.

One bottle in, kid about to throw up their cookies.  I get it.  I've had a colonscopy and that clean out is for the birds.

After an hour we had some success, but this kid being the turtle speed, didn't get the second bottle drank.  So all that work, and I'm pretty sure we still have a problem.... so that means back to the doctor.

Yay.

Then newbie #2 decided that newbie #3 was being too successful (learned how to ride a bike today, PRAISE) and sassy mcsasserson said so many mean spirited things to newbie #3, that newbie #3 had an anxiety attack in the closet and I had to pray sweet thing through it.

Newbie #1 and Newbie #2 have SERIOUS issues.

I'm trying them at counselors this week to see if we can get some of this under control, but in the meantime, I'm growing an ulcer the size of Montana.... I just might be.

BUT WAIT.....There's more.....

Newbie #1 triggered and SHUT TOTALLY DOWN for 2 hours, then after the drama that was my house, came out of the episode and ACTED LIKE I WAS THIS KID's BEST FRIEND.

And THEN BECAUSE THAT WASN"T ENOUGH,

 Zachary (bless his heart) MELTED down, and I don't mean a little I mean FULL DOWN melt and I had to teach him to inhale in his nose and blow it out his mouth in an effort to calm him, and WHOA.

People.

It's been a day.

Somewhere in there, the Vietnamese boys and I managed to clean the Learning Center here at the ranch (part of our community service) and I enjoyed that.  You know the day had to be straight out of the crap factory for me to enjoy cleaning EVEN ONE SECOND.

Oh, and I let Steven (age 14.25) drive us to the Learning Center.  He did a super duper job except when he turned.  He can go STRAIGHT LIKE HE'S THE BIG BAD BOSS OF IT.

Gina bo Bina drove us home from church yesterday, and rocked it like a pro.  She spent almost 2 hours with an instructor on Saturday who deemed her "a natural" so I guess I better get on board and let her start driving, so I don't have to drive her to college.

So, there's my day.   It's a shame I don't like wine.

But I found I like an entire box of lucky charms, a can of caramel peanuts and french onion dip and potato chips to be just the ticket, rocking myself in my rocking chair in my corner of my room, just rock...rock....rocking. (just shy of sucking my thumb)

Then Newbie #1 wants to come in my private sanctuary and pray before bed, and offers a sweet prayer of apology to Jesus (see yesterday's blog for the LOUD and exuberant prayer I had prayed before this newbie in the car the day before), and proceeds to tell me "I'm the nicest person they know and they are going to learn RESPECT."

Yeah.  Tomorrow's a new day.   Now for that last box of lucky charms.


Prayers are welcome.  At this point, I am wondering what in the living HELL I was thinking.

But It's 7:35 pm and there is NO SNOW in the forecast, so that means in less than 12 hours, the school bus will come to my house and drive them all away for 8 hours. 

So tomorrow will be better.  I have a good friend that visited with me this past week, and told me that He LOVED hanging out with me, so that way he feels better about his own life.  So there's that.

Please dear LORD let it be better.


Saturday, February 24, 2018

A Sinner Saved By Grace

Boy, did I squirm in church tonight.

Pastor Craig talked about hypocrites, and I'm not going to lie, I felt super convicted.  Mainly because he kept talking about social media, and how we portray our lives, and then live an entirely different way.

Eek.

Do I do that?

I wrestle with this a lot.  I'm a big ole sinner.  That has thankfully been saved by grace.

Do I write this blog to seek accolades?  I hope that's not what is the root of the base of the bottom of the reason.

But then as he unpacked the message more, and he called himself "an honest sinner", I felt myself relaxing.

I'm a sinner, saved by grace.

I have said that so many times.   I sinned my way through life, sitting in a pew almost every weekend, thinking I was a "Great Christian"  and then Lacey prayed a dangerous prayer and God sent us an angel to save us all.



Laynie's life changed me.  Her pure goodness and my constant need to seek God, because I was so out of anything I had ever experienced before, brought Him to me in a way I had never dreamed possible.  I had heard all the stories about "peace that passeth understanding" and "redeeming grace", but never experienced them first hand.

Dangerous prayers are necessary to bring you to knees, because only on your knees, do you truly, recklessly seek and desire God's hand.  

When I searched for answers on Laynie's "Why" in the pages of my bible, I became a sold out, believer of the one and only who can give you the peace you forever need, and it changed my life.

Sometimes, like today, I am so plagued with Self Doubt that I am worthy of God's love.  The enemy seeks to destroy my peace by always plaguing me with my sins of the past, but GOD INSTANTLY forgives you when you seek His forgiveness.  His forgiveness is DEEP and Strong and constant.  If only we could forgive ourselves the way that God forgives us!

But I'm still a born again sinner.   I said,  "Damn" in front of my children and maybe the S word, when school was let out for the 2nd day in a row this past week.  I felt like I was stuck in a "punk'd" episode, Weekend, out Monday for president's day, barely back to school one day and out TWO MORE DAYS, then back on Friday and Hello, Here is weekend again.

For one thing, there's all the cooking, and the eating, and the gooming and the goming (which is my mother's term for anything not done neatly) .  There is the ENDLESS fighting between the two new siblings (which is wearing me thin, SO VERY THIN) and just so much.......constant.

So, yeah, I feel like I may have been a hypocritical messazoid this week.

Then Craig continued to make me feel better by saying,  You have nothing to fear, if you have nothing to hide, and mercy, that hit me where my mama lives.

If you aren't honest and open about everything  (I may have a problem currently with Girl Scout Samoas, just sayin), then chances are you have a problem.   It really opened my eyes when he said, "if in the morning you open your youversion app and read the bible, then on that same phone, look at porn in the afternoon.....there's a gap."

"The single greatest cause of atheism in the world today is Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, then walk out the door, and deny Him with their lifestyle.  That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable"  Brennan Manning

With the journey since Laynie, at first it was to keep people informed of her well being, and then it became a heart matter with me.

People private messaging me, and telling me story after story how my words helped them, caused massive relief, or encouraged them...made me believe that I was sharing my spiritual gift.

Only God can lead a sinner from the life I was living into the grace one only gets with a sold out love of Christ.

I share my story because I hope that you will see, if this born again sinner can do the things she doing, you will be spurred to do more.

Life is one time, guys.

You get one shot.   ONE SHOT.

If my time on earth is limited to the time my dad was given, I have just over 3 years to leave a legacy.

Three

years.

I'm praying I am granted more than that, but my goal every day is to show God to my client's, and try to raise 6 little kids that society had pretty much given up on, into a life of action for God.  That's my life.

Some days it's just perfect.

Some days it's a giant crap factory.  (no pun intended, as tomorrow we are doing a clean out of the highest magnitude, gatorade and miralax bought and ready)

It's frustrating, exhilarating, but never boring.  Sometimes I want to pluck my eyelashes out ONE at A TIME and just pull every single hair out of my hair.   And that's before the bus arrives. 

BUT, I seriously, have never felt more content, more alive, more aware in my life.

As I prayed out loud in the car, after asking for prayers from my friends over an issue with one of the newbies,  I was just pouring my heart out, (with the newbie in the car with me), because honestly, I didn't even know what to do,  my heart kind of stopped and skipped a beat, when I ended my prayer with an "Amen" with maybe more gusto than was warranted, a small voice in the backseat, echoed, "Amen".

We're all going to be ok.

One day at a time dear Lord.  One day at a time.

Please let me show your face and your mercy and your grace to these mostly, thankless, little stinkin, fighting, punching, mouthy, eating machines that have been given into my care.  .  Give me patience and unending grace.

I have the music to this song, and I play it on the piano a lot lately,and sing it as loud as I can, (mainly to HELP ME LIVE THROUGH THE DAY, Dear Lord and AMEN)  and how I love to hear the little voices, still singing it after I have left the piano. 


Never let me Go, Lord.