Monday, September 23, 2013

It's Alive!!!

  "Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!"   - Psalm 27:14

  That verse...oh how I sat and pondered on it one day when I felt that life was just not what it should be and God was not answering. Okay, just wait on the Lord, that's what I'll do. Then I set about my day waffling between impatient "waiting" and whining.

  Late in the day, about the time my husband arrives home from working, I ventured outside because it was nice weather. Walking out back, I noticed that two of my chickens were missing so I decided to try to wrangle them up just to be sure all was well. A family of hawks had been very active the last few days. 

  Wrangling chickens is easy. A canister of dried meal worms is the secret. Just shake it a few times and you will get a re-enactment of Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" in chicken form (it is a lot less frightening). Two birds. Two more shakes...still seven birds only now they are in much more of a frenzy. By the third set of shakes, seven chickens are practically performing the Nutcracker Suite trying to get me to toss out some worms. Two chickens were still AWOL. Finally, I toss out some worms and head towards the creek where occasionally a few brave chickens will wander close to hoping to score a new variety of bug. 

  After calling a few minutes, all I spy is a hawk that flies off from a nearby tree. This worked wonders in curing me of my earlier woes because now my mind is imagining that Poe and Nilla have become hawk feed. Then I hear chicken sounds further in the woods but I cannot see a thing so not sparing a moment, I run to get my dog that sometimes helps me chase chickens back to the fenced area. 

  Nacho could possibly be an amazing duck hunting dog if he weren't afflicted with a dog form of attention deficit disorder. He stalks around outside following wherever I go and running off to investigate anything that distracts him. We find nothing. An hour later, I'm trying to juggle cooking dinner and finding chickens. Outside 5 minutes. Inside to stir pots for 5 minutes. Back outside searching for 5 minutes. 

  One last trip outside, I resolve that I have definitely lost two chickens. As Nacho and I make our way back to the house, something jumps under the rose bush by the house. An exhausted, distressed Poe has somehow from somewhere returned confused. Trying to herd the chicken to the fence, I can tell that she is too tired to flap enough to fly over so I will have to get her to go through the gate. Sounds easy but I can attest to the fact that chickens have an aversion to open gates. Thinking that Nacho can help me, I call him over and we set about coaxing her near the open gate but she runs past it. Nacho thinks this is great and he continues to chase her around the fence. After two passes of the open gate, I am beyond frustrated and dinner is possibly burning...blackened green beans, anyone? Finally, because this is always a good option, I yell. "Ugh! Why can't you just learn to stop and wait when I need you to Nacho!" 


  That was the sound of God's Word showing itself to be living right in my face. Oh yes, I got it. It was loud and clear. 

  Why can't I wait upon the Lord? Why do I just run back and forth in a tizzy like a chicken with an open gate phobia? The whole time God just wants me to wait. Then the rest of the verse made sense. I am not being strong or taking courage. I am scared and weak, which ultimately boils down to not trusting the Lord. A little object lesson is all it takes for me sometimes to see my huge need for repentance. 

  Sometimes when you are praying and praying for something, you need to batten down the hatches, throw out the anchor, pull down the sails, and just sit and wait. Waiting is not the absence of action. It takes a lot of effort to get out the anchor and toss it into the water. It takes a lot of work to strengthen your heart. You are going to have to get deep in the Word and fight against your desire to "do something" and your thoughts that want to drag you to despair and frustration. Wait on the Lord. He is doing something but it just does not involve you yet. Wait on the Lord. He is answering but it is not the solution your brain has concocted. Just wait on the Lord. 

  By the way, Poe did run through the gate after my yelling episode but I am sure it was in spite, not because, of my effort. And, right as the sun was almost set, Nilla also returned home from somewhere. Hawks, 0. Me, humbled. God, all the glory.


Friday, September 13, 2013

God Changes the Seasons

  It is not happiness but maybe it is that strange joy spoken of in the Bible that I feel. It is there albeit tangled in a mix of other emotions, mostly sadness. We had to attend a CFTM, which if you don't know is basically a meeting of all the people involved in the care of a foster child. Granted, we had not seen ours in a week since her run and DCS only sees her once a month for 5 minutes, we were all there to discuss the child's best interest. Sort of ironic that one lady asks to be given a little briefing since she doesn't know the child.

  The meeting was not what I imagined. Our foster daughter refused to participate or be in the room, which was what I imagined since she loathes meetings. She finally agreed to sit in another room and be on conference call. She adamantly refused to return to us when asked if she wanted to come back. She also adamantly refused to give a reason why. She did state that she wanted to change schools. In the end, a home was found in a different school zone and in a few months she will be the only child in that home, which is really ideal for her. She did agree to have contact with us. She did allow us to talk to her afterwards but she only stared in her usual zombie mode. We expressed our care for her, our wishes for her to succeed in school, and to see her. We apologized again that we could not do more.

  It is completely logical that she could not handle coming back to us looking at her history. She would have to face the consequences of her choices and it overwhelmed her. She wanted a do-over - a new school and a new family. Maybe just maybe, she learned something about being in a family and being back in the community and with a new start, she will succeed. I think we will see her again and I think once we have sorted through all these emotions, we will foster another child...maybe a little younger but who knows.

  Walking out into the warmth of a hazy day caught between summer and fall, I realized something. There is one thing I do know for certain, God changes the seasons and He has reasons why He does. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm Gonna Sleep That Pain Right Outta My Head

  We are no closer to a resolution in our situation. As soon as we feel like it is clear which course we should take, we halt in our steps doubting. Our foster daughter has been in respite for 6 days. Yes, the dynamic in our house feels settled and like a home again but there are those moments when you walk past her room and realize she does not have this comfort. The moments lead to thoughts of how terribly sad and traumatizing her life is and may always be. Those moments do lend you some relief because it reminds you that you can not do anything more than you did before to help her. It is selfish to want an easy answer.

  I pressed. I pressed to find out what was said at the meeting the counselor had with her. The counselor was reluctant so I kept pressing as if the information  was the solution but it wasn't. The refusal to come back here was stated right out of the gate but later it changed to not caring where she ended up. The counselor presses back, "We are not sure where she will go yet so if she does not come back to you, I may have to come get a few things but not everything." It is selfish to wish this did not hurt.

  We stayed up one night playing out what it might be like to have her back and we could see no way that things would change except that we would be more resigned to her getting help and not losing control in our  own home (we were not sure we could uphold this part).

  Sometimes I think about what she is possibly doing at that moment. Is she talking to the respite family? Is she holding all the anger in pretending that she has no problems or are they seeing the explosions? Did we wound her? It is selfish to want an answer. 

  If we bring her back, we risk everything that was crumbling before she left - our marriage, our family. If we do not bring her back, we risk adding to the years of wounds in a child's life. If we do bring her back, there is no guarantee that she would not be wounded anyway and in a year she would likely disappear after she aged out. If we do not bring her back, she will possibly disappear anyway when she ages out. But, what if she ends up in a home that is a better fit? But, what if she ends up in a home that is worse? 

  This is why I am sleeping most of the day away everyday. The only solution I have so far...