Saturday, August 20, 2016

Holy Yoga

I participated in my first Holy Yoga class this morning! My arms are still shaky some 5 hours later and even typing this is hard as my fingers are wanting to do their own thing, but it was awesome.

The whole "Holy Yoga" thing is completely foreign to me. I guess it was 3ish months ago, I listened to a friend's podcast where she interviewed a woman who had a pretty incredible story of redemption. This woman found Holy Yoga, became an instructor and it changed her life.

She gave a brief description of what Holy Yoga looked like and I'm probably going to butcher it but this is what I took from the description; letting Jesus speak to you while you are focusing on relaxing, praying, breathing and getting stronger in spirit and muscles. Less 'mother earth' and more Jesus created this Earth and us.

Months after reading that description our karate school welcomed a Holy Yoga instructor into some extra space at the school. Finally, this morning, I took my first class!

Listening to Scripture, worship music, while breathing, pushing myself and relaxing was more needed in my heart than I realized prior to getting on the mat. I left feeling centered even though my arms were spent. haha

There has been a lot lately that I have been seeking Jesus for and it was nice to show up, roll out a mat, get a good sweat going and just listen with my heart. (And try to breathe.)  At the end of class, we thanked God for ways He has shown up this past week.

If you have not tried Holy Yoga, I encourage you to find one near you.

I fully plan to take another class!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Lately...

Someone asked me recently why I hadn't posted about any foster stories.

We are on a break.

Our last placement sucked all the happy from us. The longer he was with us the angrier he became. The longer he was with us the more like zombies my family became.

I don't blame him. Let's make that clear.

His anger was 100% justified.

He was 6.

Not many 6 year olds have an understanding of time. When you are 6 and can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, that brings rage in your tiny body. There were more 'things' that brought his rage and I would tell him how those issues made me mad too. Some things did not make sense & I couldn't get answers. Let's say I did get answers, it wouldn't have helped him to feel better.

So when I talk about how hard he was, I feel the need to defend him bc it wasn't his fault.

That being said, our family couldn't serve him like he needed.

When I tell people how hard our last placement was, I tend to get the "Oh yeah well duh." Like "of course he was hard! He came from a hard place." Basically everyone assumes bc I say words like "hard" "life sucking" "rage." All words that bring hesitation, people think we have thrown in the towel. And I think for a moment they feel a sense of relief like I proved that THEY shouldn't foster.

I can totally see the faces of people. They ask how it was or "how it is going?" Matt and I get honest and their demeanor changes and all of the sudden they act like Jesus just spoke to them, through us, that they shouldn't foster bc we said it is hard. Look people, Christ is not justifying your hesitation bc we say it is hard!! That is the devil my friends. Jesus doesn't say "Oh yeah Joe and Jan, Megan said it was hard so you are right. Don't foster." I am not giving you an out!

I hope that makes sense. And when we tell people it is hard they think we are done. Like it was too much so we give up. Umm news flash, we haven't quit.

So when I say how hard it was, we are not tapping out! Things are hard! That doesn't mean we throw in the towel!

Yes, we will be a family of 6 for many months. Yes, we will do this again. Yes, it will probably be hard but we are compelled. I did ask Jesus to take this calling away.

He laughed. That is His typical reaction to my silly requests. We are cool like that.

The next few months have lots going on with Matt's trip to Kenya, birthdays & our 14th anniversary & spiritual refilling. And lots of praying!

The Holy Spirit will tell us when the time to open the door to the spare room has come.

Caleb still talks about him. I can't quote him bc Caleb says his name but lots remind us of him. Green Gatorade being one thing.

I feel like I've come up out of the weeds and see my kids. In the past month, they have matured. It is mind blowing how they have grown this summer in life lessons and physically.

Chloe turns 10 in exactly one week. On Sept 11, Caleb turns 4.

So that is a vomiting of what it going on in the Knox house pertaining to fostering.

I have more to say but it would be changing lanes so I'll save it for another day.


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hiatus

I can't remember where I heard it but I heard someone say "Christians are like sponges. You have to get filled up with the Word then you get squeezed and the Word comes out but eventually, like a sponge you become dry if you aren't being filled."

This has always stuck with me.

My sponge is dry.

Our last placement sucked all the Word I had in me. I wouldn't say I'm completely dry because that sounds awful but I am needing a fill.

It is my fault. I let emotional exhaustion win. If given the choice to pray or be alone, I would choose to be alone.

He has been gone for just over a week and I feel like at least my humor is returning.

When he left, there was a physical release. It sounds weird but my body literally felt better as soon as he was gone. I didn't realize I had gotten to that point of survival. I mean, I felt mentally there but physically I was on auto pilot.

Once he left, I felt lighter. I smiled. I hugged my husband. I laughed.

It isn't AG's fault. I blame the evil in this world. It isn't his fault he has had a shitty life. It wasn't our fault he raged against us.

Didn't make it less draining though.

After every placement, we take a break. This break will be an extended one. We literally have relationships we need to work on with each other and with our children. This whole mission is a huge sacrifice.

Tucking AG into bed first meant my kids got the rushed version. Meeting AG's needs over my children meant they got the annoyed mom. AG came first in a lot of ways and my kids came second. Some will say "Oh that is so sad and this is why we can't and won't foster."

Yeah, I get that but my kids will bounce back. They get to have us when each child leaves. Sacrifice is part of this mission and it isn't just Matt and I sacrificing. It is our whole family.

There are six sponges that need some filling. We will spend the next handful of months being 'normal.' We will jump back in to the chaos after we have healed and filled up.

I will wash the sheets, shut the door to the room and when the time is right the door will be opened.

For now, I am going to reconnect to Jesus, my husband and my children.





Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Where We Are At

My senior year English teacher would throat chop me for putting 'at' after 'where' but in this moment, it needed to be said.

We are in a season of, gosh, not sure how to describe it. Hmm, simply put, we are in a hard season.

Before I elaborate, let's get something clear... When I speak of the difficulty and strain fostering puts on my family, I do NOT mean we are done.  Most people seem to think my complaints and struggles are leading us to end this journey.

Nope.

I don't know what else to say as to not sound all 'boo hoo.'

The fact that I haven't had words since May 12th says a lot.

A friend told me, "Some kids fit and some don't." Our home isn't going to be ideal for every single child that walks through that door. It's hard to realize that because I think we should be able to handle anything buuutt we can't. My kids can't.

I'm not sure I even answered the title.

Where we are is in a season of needing rest.

I heard an analogy once. I love analogies.

Christians are like sponges. We soak up Jesus and then we get squeezed and out He comes but eventually there is nothing left in the sponge.

That is where we are.

A dry sponge needing a refill of Jesus.

P.S. My posting about our journey is not in any shape or form for pats on the back or sorry feelings for us... It is just my telling of our story.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Soldier On

Soldier On

I'm gonna be really real. Generally speaking, im real but I do tend to watch what I say so I don't sound negative or pursuade folk in a direction.

Here it is...

Since getting our most recent placement, life has been hard. 

He is a tough kid from a hard place & it shows, daily, minute by minute.

The real-ness is when I tell you I wanted him to just go back. NOT to the troubles that landed him in foster care but to someone else's home. I wanted my kids to not have to worry about him bothering them anymore. I wanted Matt to not worry about him throwing fits anymore. I want to not worry about him screaming at me anymore. I want to sit and be still. I want to drive and not hear the amount of bickering in the backseat that sends a sane person insane & want to jump from the car...while it is moving!

It has been a hard, gosh I don't even know how long, three weeks.

THEN, once I'm done whining, my Spirit says, "Soldier On." My flesh argues. I am weak. I am mentally done. His deliberate disobedience is so incredibly hard not to personalize. 

"Soldier On. If Paul did his ministry with his thorn then so can you."

Am I calling our friend a thorn? Yes, sometimes he is. Lots of the time he is. Most of the time he is BUT that doesn't change our mission. 

It didn't change it for Paul, in fact I would argue it made him better. 

"Soldier On."

This fostering isn't easy at. all. It is a calling. It is our calling. We didn't do this bc of a message at church or bc of an event. It wasn't like going to a concert and leaving with a Compassion Child. 

I would have quit tonight had this been some quick decision. If this wasn't literally, told to me that we must do this. I would have quit. "The thorn is too much today." Then I would return back to my four kids, carried on about our life and planned some absurd vacation. 

"Soldier On."

Paul had a mission. He was called. It wasn't a warm fuzzy feeling. Warm fuzzies get cold after a while. This was in him to do. It was in Him to grow believers, to teach them, to deal with super apostles, to bridge the gap in the churches he started. 

"Soldier On."

So when you ask me how I'm doing, I really do not know how to answer you. Part of me wants to sit in my closet with mindless books, Netflix, Hulu & Amazon Instant(for variety) and never come out. Part of me wants to say, "I'm over it."

But the part of me that has been called says, "Soldier on bc he is worth it."

Friday, April 22, 2016

One Roller Skate

You know that whole, "If your house is on fire and can only grab 1 thing. What would it be?" scenario? 

That's a real life scenario for foster kids. Here is the foster kid version of that question,  "You can only take to a complete strangers home what will fit in this Walmart sack (or if they are lucky they get a trash bag). What do you take?" 

Our first foster child, I will call BH, came to our home with a trash bag and a "Together We Rise" duffle bag. 

I helped him 'unpack' his trash sack and found 1 roller skate. 

My bio kids asked him, "Why do you only have one skate?" 

I overheard his response, "I didn't have time to look for the other one." The tone in which he spoke, literally broke me.

Talk about making me cry. Still gives me the lump in my throat. 

To this day the vision of that lonely roller skate by my front door will always remind me of the struggle these kids go through. 

When I was 5, 6, 7, 8... Had a stranger come to my home to 'take me' and they had said I could only take a few things, I can't even fathom how that would have felt or what I would have grabbed! 

Our new friend, AG, came to us with 2 pairs of jeans, one he was wearing and another that was too big, two shirts, one plain white and one that was too small, two shoes, one pair nice and one pair too big. 

That's all!

No socks.
No underwear.
No toothbrush.
No toys.

He is 6.

One roller skate.

Such an odd thing but will always remind me why we are doing this. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Who's Who

I do my best thinking in a few places. One happens to be the shower. I have solved ALLLL the world's problems while lathering and repeating and shaving my armpits.

A few days ago, the choo choo train of thoughts in my head, while showering, were moving at lightning speed. I can't remember how I arrived at this destination but one part was thinking about a friend I graduated with.

He and his wife are in the pits of adoption. It is rarely as glamorous as the world makes it out to be. It is hard and it is tiring. I was feeling really proud of them. Thinking how they have been married since high school, have jobs, making a life for themselves. I laughed because he was not quite like that in school. He truly loves the Lord now and it is wonderful to 'see.'

Then my thoughts went to another friend I graduated with. He has been working hard for well over a year to prep land and build a house for his little family. Due to the economy, he recently lost his job but has spent time training his young son in the ways of farming, building and just bonding.

Both of these men were not voted "Most Likely To Succeed."

Those that are generally voted are the ones everyone thinks will go on to be doctors, lawyers... Jobs that pay a lot.

Why is success measured by the dollar amount on a paycheck?

A girl in my class, she spent some time as a single mom, fighting to raise her children. She married someone and they have a son together. She is a happy, thriving, wife and mom.

All three of these people are successful. No, they aren't doctors, lawyers or surgeons. They are people who despite the dollar amount on their checks are winning at this life thing.

I stay home with four kids. I have an expensive piece of paper telling me I graduated from college.

Am I less successful because I'm at home wiping asses and cooking dinners?

Nope.

Are the doctors and lawyers more successful?

Nope.

We all are successes from our class. (I mean some probably aren't. Im talking about everyone NOT in prison or jail.)

Some, the paths are a little rough and it took more time to find the right one, but you did it!

When my kids grow up and graduate from high school and this Who's Who thing is still around, if they don't make it, it doesn't matter. My prayer isn't for a really cool slot in the yearbook but for them to have a lasting impression on the world. I want them to do what Christ called them to do. To make the best of their journey. To try.

So here is to all of us that didn't get named Who's Who when we graduated.

You ALL are awesome in my yearbook called LIFE.