Sunday, November 27, 2016

Post Thanksgiving 2016

"Did you have a good Thanksgiving?"

I know this question is the holiday version of, "How are you?" or "Nice weather we are having."

In the past, I gave the typical, "It was good!" While raising my eyebrows and voice for umph and to come across sincere.

I can remember a few Thanksgivings in my past... One last year, wasn't so awesome. The one soon after my parents split was horrible and I opted to be the gal to show up to work A&F all day and night just to avoid the awkwardness. There was the one when my Grandmother said something rude to me about my mother. (This was post divorce.) It hurt so bad and the turkey tasted different from then on. It is amazing how dark events can almost completely overshadow good. I thought this Thanksgiving would be spent in mourning, grieving. I thought it would be a dark sad day.

So when people ask, "Did you have a good Thanksgiving?"

I want to scream, "HELL YEAH I DID!"

It was one of the best ever. It was a Thanksgiving that felt new. It felt like a gift.

It WAS a gift!

As Matt and I were getting ready to leave the house for his parent's, I said, "You realize your Dad shouldn't be here today?"
"Yep."

I will treasure these two days in November for the rest of my life.

Pretty sure each person in that house, above the age of 18, will treasure this Thanksgiving for the rest of their life.

What will Christmas look like? I have no idea. I DO KNOW, don't take for granted those gathered around the table. Reality is, no one in my family thought my FIL would be here. The humbling truth is that any one of us could be the empty plate for the next family gathering.

By the way, I hugged 5 people over this holiday. Well, 6 if you count a friend that 'hug greeted' me at church this morning.... I'm sure there were some rogue hugs in there somewhere.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

People often ask if I am ready for Thanksgiving or if we have plans...
Four years ago, this was the Knox crew.



We now have 1 more grandkid, 1 in college, nearly all 15 in school, job changes, lots of Tooth Fairy visits aaaaand cancer. A lot can change in four seemingly simple years.

This year, when you expected an empty plate at the table and now that plate will hold food? You are READY for Thanksgiving and your plans are SIMPLE.

Who am i kidding, our plans are simple every year but this year will be a lot of attempting to imprint memories on our hearts.

When my kids were little, I would go in their rooms and watch them sleep. I would sit there and stare in an effort save those moments in my heart, my soul.

It is so hard and even as I type this, I can't truly 'feel' that feeling I felt in those late hours staring at my kids. It is like a breath-taking sunset, your heart sings in the moment but once the sun sets, you can't remember exactly what the sunset looked like, only that it was amazing & your heart was incredibly happy and at peace.

The Knox crew will gather on Friday, hold hands and I will overcome my dislike for holding clammy kid hands(for this moment) to pray and sing,
"Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below, Praise him above ye heavenly host, Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen"
I will eat lots of food.
I will listen to the men and kids play moon.
I will watch my family like a sunset and pray it imprints on my heart forever.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Orphan Sunday

Today was Orphan Sunday at church.

This means we have been with Jenks First Baptist for one year! 

Sitting there, listening to the pastor and thinking how this time last year we were working through our foster care classes. 

As the year ends, we will have had two kiddos in our house since we joined Jenks FBC. 

One thing struck me though, that needs to be pointed out in a weekend geared mainly to adoption...

Not all kids need adopting. 

But all kids need love, support & safety. 

Adoption isn't something we have felt called to do. Maybe one day but I haven't been told to do that yet. We may never be called to adopt a child but I know for sure our hearts are called to reunify families. Just because a child is in foster care doesn't mean he/she needs saving, it means he/she just needs help while their 'people' get help or work a program. Sure, some in foster care do indeed need a forever home!!

I don't know... I just don't want people to think all kids in care need to take your last name. 

Standing at the table in the lobby with my friends that have adopted.. there were 3 of them and between them, they have adopted 9 kids. 

Maybe you don't feel that tug to adopt but you feel that urge to give kids a safe place and a warm bed and food for a period of time. THAT is needed TOO!! 

I was sitting in church, wanting to yell to everyone that there is another way to help kids in crisis. It takes those called to adopt and those called to reunify. It takes those praying and those that can run errands. It takes the church. The church once had a roll in taking care of orphans. We need to return to that.

This started as a FB post so forgive the lack of structure. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Update

"How is your Father-In-Law?" I have been asked this question a few times lately.

I apologize for not updating sooner!

As I've said, at least I think I said, I got word of my FIL's illness while Matt was in Kenya. It was Day 5 of him being gone. Five days left on his trip. I can't even begin to tell you how hard it was to get that news and Matt not be here to tell let alone cry with.

I remember worrying that Matt might not make it back in time to see his Dad one last time this side of Heaven. He wasn't aware of the seriousness of his father's health. When Matt left, his Dad had not been feeling well but that was about the extent of it. Things went downhill fast while Matt was away.

Matt got home September 25 and I believed we had very little time.

So, how is my FIL doing?

He went from unable to stay awake for extended periods of time to mowing the church lawn this past weekend.

A miracle. Truly.

"Teach me to number my days that I may gain a heart of wisdom." Ps. 90:12

In my weekly Bible study at the Kirk, we are going over the life of David in 1 & 2 Samuel and the Psalms. Love how God meets you where you are when you need Him to be. This study has been incredibly fitting for our life right now.

My FIL is a an amazing man. His son is just like him. Determined. Calm. Peace that passes all understanding. Gentle. Patient. They don't get flustered. They trust in Jesus wholeheartedly.

Keep praying for our days to be multiplied!

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Live With Purpose

Every encounter Jesus had, he had it with purpose.

His purpose.

This has struck me as something I think most of us wish we did more often.

In a random series of events one day last week, I had lunch with the President/CEO of Fine Airport Parking. He began to tell his story. A midst the chatter at the table, I hung on every word. If you want to be great, you learn from the great.

I didn't have much time but I knew I wanted to ask one question. I had purpose, a goal in the brief time I had.

I've been fortunate enough to spend some time with my father in law in the past week. I listen to him talk to his son, his grandkids and wife. He is the one person that will talk theology with me. I'm gonna miss that. The time spent with him is a treasure. A true treasure. I don't know how to emphasize that enough.

There is purpose. There is intent. There is 'the knowing' that this meeting could be the last.

The stuff with my FIL has been life altering, heart changing and focus shifting. I'm grateful to those that have walked the path before us & brought us comfort.

I'm not sure any of this makes sense. The journey thus far has been so mind blowing that it can be hard to absorb, and even for ME to put into words, but I am trying to be mindful of His nearness,

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." -Psalm 34:18

Live with Purpose.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Shattered Screen, Shattered Hearts

Matt is back from Kenya.

When people ask, "How is Matt recovering?" I want to tell the truth but most aren't ready to hear what I truly have to say.

Truth is, he hasn't. He won't. He can't.

Cooper dropped my iPad a few days ago. I was in the lobby of our karate school when he told me what he had done.

I looked at the iPad this morning, shards of glass were stuck to the case. If I touch it, shards of glass stick in my finger tips. The screen is completely shattered.

Just like our lives right now, shattered.

I look at that screen and I see my family and our hearts. We are broken, shards of heartbreak & pain protruding from each one of us. If you touch us, you will feel our pain. You will see our tears. You will hear our cries.

Our hearts are shattered.

It feels like this isn't happening but it is.

I'm sitting here, typing this while Matt is sleeping next to me. So much on his shoulders right now. The weight of his family. The weight of his job. The weight of jet lag still lingering a bit. The weight of pain. The weight of loss. Shards of glass piercing his heart.

Our family will never be the same.

Our family will be stronger.

Our family will be better because from great sorrow comes great victory!

So yeah, Matt is back from Kenya and he loved every single second of it.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort." 
2 Corinthians 1:3-7








Saturday, October 1, 2016

Perspective

I always thought I had perspective.

That's probably what people say that don't have perspective.

I realize now, I did not have perspective.

That's probably what people say that now indeed have perspective.

The Bible talks of our life as a vapor, "you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away." James 4:14

I always thought I understood just how quickly life can change.

That's probably what people say that have never felt life fall out beneath them.

While Matt was in Kenya,  the family got word that my Father-in-Law has cancer.

Perspective.

A biopsy was ordered and done.

Matt returns home from Kenya and two days later hears even more devastating news on his Hero.

Perspective.
Vapor.

Life literally changed within a matter of days and continues to change quite rapidly.

The man that gave life to my husband, the man that raised my husband, the man that taught my husband the love of Jesus, the man that baptized my husband, the man that prayed for me before he knew me, the man that stood in front of me and married my husband and I, the man my kids call "Grandpa" or "Papa."

He will soon be healed.

Vapor.

"So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12

If you don't hear from anyone in the Knox family or we miss an appointment or we fail to ask about something that is important, whatever. Please show every one of us some grace because right now we are hurting but we rejoice in our hurting hearts because God is still oh so very good.

Perspective.

Heaven.