Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fresh Perspective

I'm back, friends!

I had an incredible week with the Lord. I wanted to blog through my fast so that I wouldn't forget any details, but I stayed committed to my word and settled for writing in a paper journal. I went into the week with five burdens. The first night, I opened in prayer and laid out the cries of my heart, asking God to direct my time. Interestingly enough, I ended up spending all of my time on two areas, trusting God to take care of the other three!

There is too much to share in one night, but I want to start with LJ.

In the last couple of months we have really struggled in parenting LJ and I went to the Lord with great expectation. I was desperate for revelation.

Out of the blue (well before our trip to Colorado), LJ started acting up at school. Every week were getting consistent reports. He was extremely defiant with his teachers and was spending a lot of time outside his classroom. Ben and I were shocked because LJ is never defiant with us (no exaggeration).

When we left for Colorado, LJ was staying with our best friends. He did great, but fell right in sync with his friends and started calling his Aunt Meme, "Mom". My heart wept. I wasn't upset on a personal level, I was broken over the fact that even after a year of living with us, he still harbored so much insecurity.

A couple of weeks ago, I came home from work and could tell that LJ was battling inside. I got down on my knees, cupped his face in my hands, and said, "Buddy...do you know that Mama will always come home to you? Do you know that I am your Mom forever?" Tears streamed down his face and we sobbed, silently, together. I held him tight for a long time and smothered him with kisses.

I had been praying about what to do, with no definitive answers. One night, Ben and I were laying in bed and Ben poured out his heart to me and shared what God was doing in his prayer time. It was one of those conversations that left me in awe of God's goodness in bringing me such a good man. We decided that night to change our parenting approach. At the crux of it, we understood that our boys were different, but in times of challenge, we seemed to slip into our experiences - using tools that worked for Ty.

But, they weren't working for LJ...

We are big on the love languages theory by Dr. Gary Chapman. LJ's love language is, unmistakably, touch. A close second is words of affirmation.

Ben led our decision to flip our discipline style and smother LJ in love. Oozing, over the top, genuine, heart-on-our-sleeves, love. It's not that we weren't loving before, but we made a plan to be more intentional.

On my first night with the Lord, I prayed for creative solutions in reaching LJ. The more I prayed, in the weeks leading up to my fast, the stronger I felt that I was the missing piece to LJ's full security. Our relationship has grown so much over the last several months, but there is still a disjointed link...I can feel it at the gut level. I represent failure in his life. Every mother, before me, failed him.

After a wonderful night in prayer, I woke up with a song on my heart...encouraged that my time of fasting was feeding my soul. I dropped the boys off at preschool and on my way out a woman asked if I had a minute to talk. I knew her as the grandmother to one of the girls in my boys' class. I had told her some pieces of our story at one of the school parties and found that her and her husband had fostered many kids over the years.

I must have told her that LJ is still struggling with insecurity and bonding to me. She said she had been thinking about it a lot and invited us out to her horse farm. She went on to explain how healing horseback riding can be for children and talked about the significance of having me walk alongside the horse as LJ's spotter. I was mesmerized listening to her talk about the trust and companionship that is created between the horse, child, and spotter. We agreed to get together as soon as the cold weather breaks.

I walked to my car with tears in my eyes, thanking God for his faithfulness. The night before, I prayed for a creative solution to help heal the wounds in LJ's heart, and God delivered. I don't believe for a minute that the connection with this woman was coincidence.

During night two, I felt compelled to continue praying for LJ. I spent hours reading my Bible and crying out to God. Half way through, the Holy Spirit led me to the boys bedroom. I spent time on each bed, laying hands on my sweet boys, covering them in protection and peace. I prayed, specific, prayers for each one and focused time on the gifts and talents I see in them, asking God to grow them in Truth. I prayed for their friendships and wives and callings in life.

I went to bed with an ultimate high. We have laid our hands on our kids and prayed for them before...but never like this. Never when they were sleeping, never with such fervor.

The rest of my week didn't disappoint. God met me. Every day. I have a fire burning in my belly. My outlook is fresh, my strength renewed.

And I fell madly in love with my kids. I have always loved them, but this is different. God allowed me a peak at his heart for my family and my heart nearly burst at the discovery.

My sacrifice of time was more fruitful than I could have imagined.

I look forward to sharing more in the weeks to come.

13 comments:

  1. What an awesome week you have had! I truly believe if you ask you shall receive, but you must do so with an open heart. Your boys are lucky to have a role model in their life showing them the way to the truth and the light through God. He will watch over them and over you and your husband as you parent these precious children. I'll say a prayer for you guys! There's something about praying in numbers :)

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  2. Thank you for sharing your experience. You have encoraged and inspired me to be different toward my children. I will be considering a fast to seek the face of God in regards to my own children- their hearts, their needs, their futures. May God continue to bless you and draw your family together. Thank you again for sharing.

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  3. Thank you so much for you openness! This post encouraged me in many ways. To God be the glory.

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  4. this is why i read your blog...your love for God and the way you communicate and trusting your readers to share all this... God have big big plans for your life xx
    Lin xx

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  5. This is so encouraging!!! Thank you for sharing! I love reading what God is doing in your lives and your heart. He is so faithful and compassionate! Your words are inspiring!

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  6. You have inspired me to go deeper with God. We are weeks away from picking up our daughter and we have been preparing and praying but I need to go deeper. Thanks!

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  7. My heart cries for this blog!!!! I love it!!! Thank you Rebekah from another adoptive mama who needed to read this! God is AMAZING and ALWAYS on time!

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  8. Awesome. Chills. God is so good! Inspiring me to plan a similar week. A week to bathe a precious baby boy in prayer that may being going back to his bio parents soon. A week to bathe my own children in prayer more than I do, more like I should.
    I love seeing "non-coincindences". God has been putting people and situations in my path over the last couple years, that I know so obviously that He is working and there is no way they are coincindences. I love to hear about in other peoples lives too. I can't wait to hear about the horse therapy.
    Another idea that I'm sure you've explored for LJ. Just babying him. Most parents want kids at his age to become independent, but sometimes kids from foster care or tough family situations need to get the "babying" that they haven't received. I did this with a three year old girl that we had. Carrying her, rocking her, and cuddling her....I did see a big change. My four year old was jealous of this special treatment, so you do have to be careful with Ty, but there is a balance. I will pray you see changes as you speak LJ's love language.

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    1. Anyone with foster care experience? Check out notofourhands.blogspot.com to share your experience/wisdom with me.

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  9. Rebekah - I am honestly not judging you - just think you need to really think about this before you go on another family trip and leave LJ behind. I know you feel you had good reasons for doing it, but someone who is already struggling to feel he is loved and part of a family, then gets totally left out of something the rest of the family is included in - how would you feel. Just something to think about. If you can't afford to take him, then none of you should go.

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  10. You are one of the most beautiful writers I have ever laid eyes on. I swear, your words captivate me and I keep wanting more and more!

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  11. Sounds like you had quite a breakthrough. I have been praying, too. I hope our combined answers can make a huge difference in L.J.'s life.

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