Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What do you do when your home, your place of rest, feels like a battlefield?

Every morning when the stupid alarm goes off at 6:15am, and all I can do is whisper prayers of desperate pleas for help. Help for patience. Help for peace. Help for love when there feels like there is none.

Is your home ever like that? Because I often feel completely alone, completely and utterly alone in that. My house is not a Pinterest-filled, cookie making, dance party house. Sometimes it is, and yes, we do tend to have quite a bit of dancing in our home, but sometimes it feels like it that has more to do with how much Usher and Beyonce we listen to rather than true healed happiness that has overflowed into a freedom to let go.

I know I'm feeling the way I am because Eric is gone and the kids are still sad and adjusting. I know I feel this way because being a mom is a thankless job 95% of the time and when you don't have your spouse by your side to constantly cheer you on or tell the kids to say thank you, or give you a hug, you end up going all day, begging for hugs and kisses and trying so hard to enjoy the sweet moments you can find in the hardness, just surviving the day with no real time spent with them.

I'm tired of the complaining. I'm so so tired of the fighting. I wish Britt would stop snatching toys, books, crayons out of her siblings hands. I wish Fiyori would stop whining about something at every mealtime, or use some small scrape or bump on her face or arm as an avenue to get attention by whining for hours about it. I am tired of being told "no" when I ask the Kobe to do something. I'm tired of asking for hugs instead of getting them willingly. I am so so very tired. And we are only on week one.

I spent 20 minutes listening Fiyori scream at me because she didn't want to do our regular quiet time. She threw herself on the floor, kicked and thrashed. And as I watched, I begged for mercy. I spoke outloud and prayed for patience by faith. For love by faith. Because I had none. We had already had a verrrry long morning, full of whining, complaining, begging for things at the mall, unkindness towards siblings. And I was tired. I was so worn through.

But there is redemption. I know a Hope that is greater.

When she finally came to me on her own accord and told me she was so sorry. That she was sorry for screaming and that she is sorry she made me sad. She wrapped her long skinny arms around my neck and told me Jesus loved me. And that was when I burst into tears.

I know He is here in our chaos. Which is my calm. My rock. But in reality, its not pretty people. Its more ugly than pretty right now.

I know you see our family on Facebook or Instagram and we look like a happy family that has done the unusual. We have been called heros, celebrities, rescuers. I have shown you highlights, the awesome fun moments, but in reality, redemption is so full of ugly, so full of sweat and tear-filled days. We are broken and in need of so much grace. Our children are socially awkward a lot, they don't know personal space or physical boundaries. Britt is selfish, needy and angry a lot. I lose my patience over and over. I often drag my feet or pout my way through serving them. We aren't a pretty picture.

And I constantly battle with how to tell you that we need grace because even though there is so much beauty happening, there is so much messiness. And we are not heros, or awesome people who have rescued children. But in reality, we have been rescued from the pit and filth of our sin and only long to live in a manner worthy of the Gospel. And as hard as the past 5 months have been, and wonder at times what the heck were we thinking, I know I would do it all over again in a second. Because being obedient to Him and walking in His will for your life is the most liberating, the most perfect, the most glorious thing. For He is worth it all.

A sweet (and wise) fellow adoptive mom wrote this to me and it spoke my heart exactly:

"I think nothing makes you SO aware of your sin as having children. Add to it they are hurt kiddos and we are starting now in the middle of parenting them, really apart from Christ it all spells disaster. I always say why can't I just respond in grace why am I one gigantic ball of sin but it's a process and he is sanctifying us. Because of that even the worst days are deemed worth it. I want to stand before him and know that I choose serving him over an easy comfortable life. 

Please pray for us. Please pray for healing for the kids. For grace, patience and wisdom for me. We are broken vessels longing for the healing and redemption of heaven. He is present, and enough, and our joy and peace even when it feels like a battlefield.


Kristen said...

Anna- thanks for your realness in all of this. Being a mom is no joke, even when adoption isn't involved, so I can only imagine. It's hard a messy and some days I want to give up. But as I often hear you saying - Jesus is so kind to you and me both. He makes each day new and brings new mercies every morning. May you see them my friend!!! May there be bright spots and ways that Jesus speaks to you in ways that only he can and that remind you that he is right in the thick of this with you! Praying for you and with you! xo

Brittni and Daniel said...

I just cant help but think of us as children of God. We act out, we rebel against all we know of him, we sin, and we often times just flat out don't listen. And yet the sweetness and peace we get as we go back and apologize for hurting him so deeply. God is such a merciful and forgiving God. And I just picture we as Christians as she goes back to you and apologizes after a rough day. We do it so often, we are so similar to children in our walks, it continues to amaze me.
**This is just a sweet note, and something that shows me this picture of us and God. So glad you shared this part.

Will continue praying. God will restore these precious children, his heart is there - right in the middle of all this pain and mess. I am sure its so hard to see the end of it all... but he will pull you through.
By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days.Hebrews 11:30
Keep marching friend!!! Those walls that surround the precious promise land will fall... they will eventually let you in. Just keep marching :)

Ruth said...

Oh Anna. Wish I could give you a long hug, love you all so much and will be praying for you all. Thank you for your honesty and inviting others in to walk alongside you and your family in this time. Thankful that even though circumstance may not change right away/remain tough God promises His grace is sufficient......His grace is sufficient. Praying you experience the all-emcompassing suffiemcy of His grace in this season

Rebecca Lindquist said...

My prayer for you is that those rare "I love you Mommy"'s with wide eyes full of innocence carry you through the dark when innocence is not something that is even resembled. That those few and far between bouts of throw your head back laughter drown out the unrelenting meltdowns. And when things are at there absolute lowest may you look at those faces and see the love that words can not describe looking back at you. Just when you think the verdict is in and you have bitten off more than you can chew remember that time is your ally and things will get easier. Remember that even when you are feeling at your absolute least heroic, you are a daily hero for three little hearts. Even Wonder Woman needed help on occasion, remember it is ok to reach out when you can not go it alone. No matter if all you need is a sympathetic shoulder or your own Justice League, you are not alone.

Sydney McFearless said...

Anna, this is really tough stuff. I just wanted to let you know that my home -- and there are only 2 adults and 1 dog in it so far!! -- often feels like a battlefield. Sometimes it's within us, sometimes between us, but it's always difficult. You are most definitely NOT alone in that. There are a lot of sins and mistakes made that I would have a hard time openly admitting, but you know what? James 5:16 says, "Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working." You have led the way in this. THANK YOU for being a leader and working out your faith in this way. What you are facing is so challenging and painful. My sister said something to me this morning, in the midst of a very painful situation with her youngest son, she told me that she believes God is trying to give her a gift that right now looks like a torrent of pain, and although she wants to reject it, she has this feeling that she will be glad she received it in the end, although it's forced upon her now. I bet you feel a lot the same way as she does. We talked about the passage that says our momentary afflictions are preparing for us an eternal weight of glory, and she said something cute -- that she is in weight training. I thought it was a good analogy!
I know you are doing a way better job than you think you are, and you are giving your kids something priceless, which is an understanding of sin, forgiveness, grace, and our one and only Savior. Prayers go up for you from here, Anna. I hope my mangled thoughts are making some sense.

Christine Fontaine said...

thanks for sharing and being so real! you and your family are in my prayers! you can do this because He has called you and will never let you fail! bless you!

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