Monday, August 31, 2015
Sunday, August 30, 2015
I'm not a patient person by nature. I'm a go getter. A get things doner. ;) I like efficiency. I like to be early. I like a plan. I look at things and I see how they could work. I typically have a plan a, plan b and plan c. I research. I process. I ponder.
Posted by Angel at 10:34 PM
Saturday, August 15, 2015
Friday, July 24, 2015
Posted by Angel at 8:00 PM
Sunday, July 05, 2015
Jesus says the options are clear. On one side there is the voice of safety. You can build a fire in the hearth, stay inside, and stay warm and dry and safe.
Or you can hear the voice of adventure—God’s adventure.
Instead of building a fire in your hearth, build a fire in your heart. Follow God’s impulses. Adopt the child. Move overseas. Teach the class. Change careers. Run for office. Make a difference.
Don’t listen to the whines of those who have settled for a second-rate life and want you to do the same so they won’t feel guilty. Your goal is not to live long; it’s to live.
Sure it isn’t safe, but what is? (Max Lucado)
Luke 17:33 Whoever seeks to save his life loses it, but whoever loses his life preserves it.
I worried about my children who have all already faced so many battles in their lives and wondered about the load for my precious husband. To ask them to leave so much and take on so much.. could we be ok? I paced and I prayed and I cussed and I cried. (Look.. I'm not saying I recommend cussing while you pray. I am just getting real about how this went down.) It took a few hours of the praying and the pacing but..
I opened my hands and let go of what I expected my life to be and then I began to feel the joy in the adventure.
I know like 99.9% of you KNOW this information. However, just in case some poor unsuspecting soul stumbles innocently upon this blog there it is.
I. Live. In. Thailand.
I only found out I was moving here in March. My life since then feels like a complete whirlwind. There's been so much intensity in every way. There has been, of course, the intense loss of leaving all that we know. There has been the unbelievable excitement of the adventure in front of us. For EVERY single member of our family there have been gains and losses and bonds made and some severed and hurts healed and hearts broken and then strengthened and dreams rediscovered and challenges faced and truth realized and character revealed.
I knew that a move abroad would grow us. I didn't fathom how hard and fast that growth would come. What I see now is that in this moment of us having our lives turned upside down the heat shot up all around us for our family and everyone who loves us. It's in those moments that we discover the truth about ourselves. Then we choose what to do with that truth .
There are times now we feel we are flying and times we feel we are drowning. Sometimes all these feelings can happen in a day.
I live in Thailand.
I am happy about that. I'm scared about that. I'm amazed by that. I'm grateful for that.
I CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT.
And this blog that has so lovingly captured so many special moments over the years... I feel that it's finally MAYBE.. I HOPE the moment to pick her up and dust her off and begin to blog again.
There's this world I want to share with you if only I can find the words.
So..... I live in Thailand now.
Friday, November 30, 2012
We all know that the first step to recovery is admitting there is a problem right? So here's the question... ARE YOU A STUMP?
What is a "Giving Tree Stump" you ask? For that answer just click here...
I myself discovered I WAS indeed A STUMP.
I wasn't always a stump but I became extremely stumpy.
As I have visited with more and more women have I realized this is not a just me thing. There are a lot of stumpy women out there. So how to recover?
Here's step 1. Are you a stump?
You might be a stump if.....
1. You think life is like a metaphorical pie and if you take a piece for yourself it leaves less for everyone else so you try not to take much for yourself.
2. You feel guilty... like A LOT. You feel guilty anytime you take care of yourself. You might even sometimes feel guilty for feeling guilty.
3. You feel proud of yourself when you are able to keep going even if you are completely drained. You don't stop to rest until you are completely spent.
4. You often give to others to the extreme and sometimes feel hurt or resentful that people can't see what you feel and need. You may wonder why they don't give to you the same way.
5. You have quit doing things that used to be extremely important to you because you just don't have time for that.
6. You have lost your spark.
7. You find yourself resenting it if you see people close to you taking care of themselves because you "can't" do that.
8. Things you used to love (like being a mom, homeschooling, helping people, planning events, or fill in the blank) now leave you feeling stressed and exhausted.
9. You begin to wonder if you will ever be that person you used to be or if this is your new personality.
10. You find worth in how much you sacrifice and feel frustrated by those you don't feel are sacrificing to the same degree.
If you identify with 4-5 you are approaching stumpy. 6-7 and you are pretty stinkin stumpy. 8-10 and you are the stumpiest stump in the woods like I was. So let me know... how many of us are there?
Are you ready to dustump with me?
There's hope my stumpy friends. I believe we can be way more than stumps. Who's in?
Part 2 coming soon....
Posted by Angel at 3:08 PM
Thursday, August 23, 2012
That's the reality. The thing about a cracked foundation is it must be repaired or the structure is unstable. It's likely to be a messy job during the process. It may look HORRIBLE for awhile. It may require intense work. It may require special tools and skills.
Here's the amazing part though. If repaired correctly and with skill the foundation will be stronger after the repair than it ever was originally.
That's the beauty of things... people that are broken and healed are stronger in the end. Our children come split wide open with trauma and grief. They have most often endured more than the average adult.
They were not easily broken. They have endured an emotional earthquake. The very fact that they are ALIVE is a testament to their strength.
So here they are... by no fault of their own... cracked wide open. We walk into brokenness and pain. We have to walk into that house with that gash in the floor knowing the mess that's going to occur.
Even when we DO know it catches us off guard. We wonder what we've gotten ourselves into. We wonder if we will survive. We wonder if we can ever find the skills to help repair the foundation.
And it's slow.. and it's hard.. and it's messy.. but we usually figure it out with some help. Our children heal. The cracks close. We find the tools or help or resources or knowledge and we DO THE WORK. AND IT'S WORTH IT!
I'll tell you why it's worth it. A person who has been broken to bits and keeps fighting is the one we scream the loudest for isn't it? A person who loses everything and keeps going... THRIVES.. That person is different, unique, special.
That is who our children are inside. Just as sure as some children are born without limbs many of our children are established with deep wounds that they overcome. The overcoming and healing of these obstacles, wounds and grief makes them MORE. They become MORE. They have been rejected and learned to love again. They have been ridiculed and continued to try. They have been denied food, shelter, care and attention and survived it to find a home. They are not weird. They are MIRACLES.
They are being forced to learn lessons in forgiveness, kindness, survival, empathy, determination, courage and surrender that most adults don't learn... ever.
Posted by Angel at 4:21 PM
Friday, August 10, 2012
My dad is not always a man of many words. When he does say something it's usually because he HAS something to say and it's worth hearing.
One sunny day, years ago, I was sitting on my parents front porch while my dad was working in the yard. I was explaining some very big life decisions Russ and I were facing. I explained to him how hard it was to make these choices and I asked for his advice. This is what he said to me that day...
"Angel, there are things you want and there are things you want MORE. You have to decide which is which."
I laughed and agreed with him. It didn't seem like rocket science but it kind of was. Sometimes the most difficult things to do are so simple at their core. So much of what it comes down to is what do we want MORE.
Sometimes it's not good and bad or black and white or right or wrong. Sometimes it's just so many good things we could do and we have to really listen to what God is whispering to our hearts... Which means getting quiet enough to hear that still small voice. Which means drowning out the guilt, obligation, dream scenarios, romantic lenses, selfishness, anger and frustration to just be honest with ourselves... And KNOW our own heart.
I can't tell you how many times over the years that advice has rung in my ears. I can tell you that it's ringing in my ears over and over for the past couple of months.
There are things I want... And there are things I want more. Which is which?
I just wish my dad could tell me what I want more cause I OFTEN have trouble figuring that part out. Dad??? ;-)
Posted by Angel at 9:38 PM
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Recently I was contacted by a parent who is fairly new to Trust Based Parenting and feeling a bit overwhelmed. She found herself overcome with emotion as she saw parenting in a whole new light. As I wrote to her I wondered how many of you have felt the daunting fear of failure. As I have taken on this monumental task of parenting outside of "normal" I know I have felt that terror.. Many, many times. So I thought I'd share my response in hopes that it might encourage someone out there in bloggy land. I will edit a bit for clarity.
... I am so glad you got them (The Trust Based Parenting DVDs from TCU) and am grateful to hear they are hitting home... Though I know that can be so very painful and understand that feeling well. :-( It's hard sometimes. I can relate. This week, seeing hard truth, was so emotional for me too.
I have to hold on to knowing and embracing this is what has and what is going to help us all thrive as a family.
It's what we ignore that we can't fix.
It's not an ability to be perfect that makes us good moms. It's a willingness to be vulnerable and grow that makes us great moms.
So don't you dare become discouraged. ;-)
THIS is the stuff great moms do. They are weak sometimes and get real and break and grow.
I'm really proud of you for putting it all out there emotionally. It's courageous.
I have to remember not to let my mommy guilt or fear overwhelm me. When I first learned all this I had to forgive myself for not knowing what I didn't know. :-)
The Bible says we are responsible for what we know. Giving yourself and your children tons of grace is so important in this process. It's not about being perfect. It's about compassion and putting more and more tools in your toolbox.
I have talked to family after family who has been RIGHT where you are... The beginning of something beautiful. It's a scary, wonderful place to be but if you can let those emotions just flow, forgive yourself for being a human and then use your new tools to connect on this deeper level you will start to see some amazing things happen. I want to hear about them when they start.
OH!!! And don't try to start using all your tools at once. You'll be EXHAUSTED. Just choose 2 or 3 favorite new tools.
When I first started learning all this I remember realizing how punitive I was. Ugh! I had no idea how I would take this kinda thrill in making things "just." I felt awful. One of the first things I wanted to do was learn to do something different. I immediately started really ramping up giving choices about everything I could and doing re-dos.
After that I moved onto things like the IDEAL response, giving yes, empowering their bodies... And then sensory, and regulation techniques and... And... And...
Don't let yourself get overwhelmed by it. Learn to use one or two tools at a time and be grateful there are so many to choose from.
Now most of this comes very naturally. It was VERY hard at first. It was like learning to build a house. ;-)
You can do this slowly and surely with us all cheering you along and handing you any tools we know about.
PS um this kinda turned into a blog post... I may just copy it on there. I bet we aren't the only ones who ever weep during TBRI ;-)
Much love, Angel
Posted by Angel at 8:03 AM