Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Springing into Summer

Today, I took my last final for this semester. I've just completed my first semester as a diagnostic medical sonography student. If you are unfamiliar with that subject, you might know it better as ultrasound. One semester down, three to go. For the last few weeks I have been consumed with studying for my first registry exam. The hope was that I could take the exam before the summer session of school begins. It is a major step in continuing in this process. If I don't pass it, I'll have to take an additional class this summer to review for it, and then I will only get one more chance. It costs money to take it each time. Money I really don't have. If I don't pass it by the end of the summer (I'll have to wait 60 days before I can retest), I will be removed from the program. That is scary.

Scary because I absolutely love what I'm doing, and I don't want to get kicked out.

Admittedly, the actual act of scanning a patient does not come easily to me. I have a pretty good grasp on the lecture and textbook material, but scanning is a challenge. That's a good thing. It means that I have to work to improve. As a student, I've never really been challenged. This is pushing me to rely on God and to focus on what he is calling me to do. I want to get better. My patients' lives depend on my ability to perform an ultrasound study with accuracy and completeness.

This first hurdle of the registry exam is looming large. I want to get it over with so that I can enjoy a little bit of a break before classes start again in two weeks. Unfortunately, the logistics involved don't seem to be working out for the timing I'd like. But, I'm not going to panic. Well, I'm going to try not to panic. I trust that God will work it out.

This has been a great Spring. I have learned so much and I am so thankful that God has called me to this new path. I'm not sure what exactly will happen when I'm finished, but I'm enjoying the ride so far.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Writing, Walking, and Waiting

Writing has always been a passion of mine. As a child, I wrote a soap-opera, if you can believe that! I have a decent collection of poetry from my teenage years that fills a nice folder. One of my poems was actually published in a poetry collection in high school. It was a joy to enter and win different writing contests when I was in school. My main emotional outlet was writing in journals- short stories, poems, etc. The point of this is not to brag, rather, it is to sort of share some angst over what has become of my writing as of late. This blog is an effort to place in written form some of the thoughts that I explore on a regular basis. Honestly, if no one else ever reads it, at least I will have cleared my own mind, and hopefully, will have shed some light on what God is doing in my life.

What is it about putting something down on paper, or on a computer screen? The opportunity to see in black-and-white, perhaps... the chance to see if one really is as crazy as she might feel... the opportunity to make a record of a life that others may one day find interesting... seems like a lot to ponder. Whatever the point, the result is often cathartic and clarifying. Writing this blog has definitely become a renewed outlet for me as I walk through a new season in my life. Perhaps writing and walking go hand in hand.

Walking is what we all do. It's the common exercise we each undertake as we progress forward in our journeys here on earth. Consider the fact that we must take the proverbial next step in everything we do. We must constantly move forward or backward from where we are in the present. When we stay in one spot too long, we can't grow. Sometimes the step is hard and strenuous; other times it just comes naturally. Hopefully, the next steps are always in the forward direction. God has me walking forward and it feels great. He is blessing me in this season. It can often feel foreign to take unimpeded steps in my life. That definitely doesn't always happen, but right now, God is leading me through a rich and fulfilling part of my life's journey. It is a beautiful example of His leading me beside still waters and renewing my soul. Certainly there are things I'd like to change in my life right now, but I can gladly say that I am content and blessed as He guides me. As I've written in recent posts, God is using this time to lead me into a new ministry and a new career. He is also using this time to strengthen me for the rest of my journey. The walk is a pleasant one and has come after much waiting.

Waiting is something I absolutely hate to do. Patience, unfortunately, is not my best attribute. Waiting in traffic, in the drive-thru line, for a grade to be posted, for anything really, is just almost more than I can handle. I struggle with waiting to see what God is going to do in my life. I know in my heart that it's in the times of waiting that He does his best work. One thing for which I've been waiting is a renewed relationship with my daughter. God has answered my prayers and has recently given me several opportunities to communicate with her. We even spoke on the phone for four hours one day. There is no way we can make up for the time we've lost by being apart, but these last few weeks of conversation have been a sweet nourishment to my soul. God has blessed the waiting. He's blessing me in my waiting. I want to wait on Him.

Wait for the LORD;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the LORD!

Psalm 27:14

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Three In a Row

Three weekends, that is. For the past three weekends, I have had the blessing of speaking with my daughter on the phone after a terribly long silence between us. Although we are separated by miles and life choices, I love her and miss her so much. It's hard not to get caught up in the emotion of communicating again. I often feel like we've been forgotten as parents. Our time as her parents has been so short in the grand scheme. Knowing that we've been replaced by people in her current life is sometimes hard to deal with, but I will gladly take any opportunity she provides me to listen and to speak with her. I know that God has a purpose in all of this. The emotions that I feel each day can sometimes be overwhelming. And, if I'm being totally honest, I can feel pretty jealous of the people that are pretending to be her parents. God is not surprised by any of this. He called us to become her parents- her forever parents. I long to see her in person, just to hug her and kiss her forehead. I desperately want her to know that she is loved and that she has value. God knit her together in her birth mother's womb. He knew her before she came into this world. She is here for a purpose. Life has made many twists and turns. I find myself sort of free-floating in a cloud of several emotions, and that's okay. I am so thankful to God for the opportunity I've had to be her mom. And, I'm thankful to Him for the plans he has for us, either together or apart. I know that when I do get the opportunity to wrap my arms around her again, it will be a moment truly made for worshiping and praising the One who made it possible.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Brief Update...

Seriously, I have been wanting to blog for so long now. Life gets in the way. Here we are- two months of 2017 in the rear-view. My husband and I are both in school, and things are getting real! I have started school to become a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (quite a leap from band director)! And my husband is working on a degree in counseling. We have also started a ministry at our church that recruits and serves foster families! I'll write a better post about that, eventually. Our grandson just turned two, and we have been so fortunate to visit him several times since he moved away. He is doing so well! Our daughter is still estranged from us at the moment, but we did get to speak to her this weekend. She finally answered our call. It has been fifteen months since I saw her in person, or hugged her. Before this call, I had not received a text from her in three months, and had not heard her voice in seven months. I miss her dearly. The call was an answer to prayer.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

On my heart...

I am writing this short post to apologize for the previous post. I've removed it. Although I believe strongly that I needed to post that, I realize it is not a post that reflects moments made for worshiping. We all experience times in our lives that are worth celebrating, and those that are require lamenting. The last twelve months have brought some very major changes into my life. The sad fact is that our daughter has chosen to return to her birth family. Thanks to research on the internet, I have found evidence that this kind of action by adopted children is not at all unusual. In fact, it is very common for children adopted as teenagers to return to their families of origin. This news doesn't make it less sad, just a little less personal feeling. I'm not the only adoptive mom that has endured the heartbreak of a child leaving.

God has shown his love to me this year in ways that are too numerous to explain in this short post. My grandson is growing up and I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of his life, even if primarily on FaceTime. My husband and I both have embarked on new educational adventures that are pointing us in totally new career paths. And we LOVE what we are learning. God has also given us a heart to lead a new ministry at our church that will focus on foster care ministry. No, I am not going to be a foster parent at this time. But, God has called us to bring our experiences into the lives of others as we join His Church in meeting the needs of foster children.

Stay tuned!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Little Girl, Lost

Have you ever kept something to yourself for so long that it finally just bursts out? You know, the beach ball you've been holding under the surface of the water only until it comes bounding through the water with such strength you can no longer control it? I'm there. My beach ball is coming forth with unstoppable force. I think it wants to see the light of the sun shining above the watery grave in which I've been holding it. My favorite comedian Chonda Pierce recently stated that "Everything that you drag out of the dark into light has no more power over you." So, for better or worse, I'm going to pull this particular story out of the dark and into the light. It will be just the beginning, and many details will be kept to myself, but this process must commence.

My daughter. My beautiful, intelligent, compassionate, daughter. My scarred, damaged, torn, lost daughter. I love you more than I could ever say. I love you more than a blog post could ever describe. You are my daughter. You are a frightened little girl inside. You are hiding behind the mask of adulthood and independent living.

You are my little girl, lost.

How could anyone expect you to not be hiding? You grew up too fast. You were the victim of poor choices. You experienced a life that no one should experience. You were lost in a vast black hole of abuse and horror that no one can imagine. All Dad and I have wanted to do is to show you that you are loved, to protect you, and to give you a better life...

How long will you stay lost? It's your choice now.

To be continued...

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Yes, Dear Reader, I am still here!

The blog world seems to be moving toward extinction, well at least my blog world. With the proliferation of Facebook, blogs are becoming a smaller vehicle for expressing one's self. But, I am endeavoring once again to record my experiences in a blog format. I have a deep urge to write about my life, and Facebook just doesn't cut it- just too much immaturity and re-posting of junk. So, even if no one else wanders this way on their browser, I'll be using this page to get some of my personal junk out of my head. **WARNING** There may be a slight bent towards melancholy for a while, but God is with me still and has never left. Even in the melancholy, I will praise HIM.

Unless you are family or close friends, you've really no idea what the last several years of my life have entailed. I find myself in a weird place in time. The last five years have been a very specific season in my existence and I am not exactly sure what to call the new season. My own life story might send some readers snoozing, but I hope that it may also instill hope in others.

Perhaps starting at the present and looking backward might be the easiest approach...

My feet are tired today from only a few hours in a classroom. I had my first substitute teaching job today after a break of more than five months. Thankfully, it was just an afternoon job to ease me back into the swing of things. The job came at a very important time in my new season. First, I need to make some money!! Debt is a horrible thing and my husband and I are trying to kick it to the curb. Secondly, I need to get out of my house. Nothing says "depression waiting to happen" like a lonely woman in an empty house. It's hard to go from having a daughter and a grandson living with you to not having them here at all. My husband is wonderful, but when he's at work, the house gets very lonely. And, lastly, I needed this dose of reality to get confirmation in my soul about my next transition. I AM SO TIRED OF TEACHING. Today solidified a desire in me to go back to school and start all over. Not only is my area of expertise not conducive to living the Army spouse life, spending time in a classroom just pours salt into a very deep personal wound. It is not possible for me to teach students without being emotionally affected by memories and thoughts of my daughter. At this juncture, the thought of my daughter not being in my life is just too raw and heartbreaking. I'll spare the details of this particular wound for another post.

Until next time, please pray for my husband and me as we learn to live life away from our daughter and our grandson. God has a plan. I'm not privy to it, but I don't have to be.