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    Archive for May 2015

    A School Year Gone By

    Friday, May 29, 2015

    I walked him into his little classroom, my grip on his hand whitening knuckles for sure.

    This was big, this Kindergarten thing, and I knew my mother/smother hen nature was fighting letting go as we made the trek inside. It's inevitable when it's school time.

    What was once a choice was now a command.

    We made our way in and found his desk and said hi to the pretty little girl sitting beside him. We took pictures with his teacher, helped him unpack his backpack and left him at a desk coloring a picture.

    We waved goodbye to other tear filled eyes of parents as we walked out the door of the school.

    Throughout the year, drop off got easier. We settled into a routine and eventually were able to drop him off at the door. And eventually he didn't look back and wave, he just ran right in like a flash of lightening.

    That's how it's supposed to be in Kindergarten; exciting, carefree and full of expectations.

    My boy graduated his first year of school last Thursday and is officially now a first grader. Looking back on the year is a bittersweet feeling. I'm so proud of how far he's come, how much he learned and   more importantly of the little man of God that he is growing into.

    Next year I will have another Kindergartner and the whole process starts all over again.

    But what sticks out in my mind more than anything at this point is just how quickly it all will go.

    We will get little Ms. Q up and ready come the first of August and pack her lunch for the very first time. We will help her find her way to her class and I'm sure I'll cry as I leave the building on that first day.

    Days will pass, she will grow and become more and more confident. I will see her blossom as she starts making friends and finding her little place among her peers.

    Along the way, just like we did this past year, I'm sure we'll have some bumps in the road and some hurdles to overcome. Tanner had a few days of "yellow" this year but all in all it wasn't too bad.

    I'm sure Quinley will do the same. If she's anything like me she'll probably talk too much and get in trouble for not being quiet.

    She'll be emotional some days and come home crying after little situations among her friends that is typical for girls her age.

    And we will watch it all again....one sunrise after another and one year after another until there is a cap and gown and the routine doesn't start all over again.

    I read a caption not long ago that said the days are long but the years are short. I couldn't agree more.

    I intend to fully enjoy this summer with my kiddos but I can not believe how quickly a year has come and gone by.

    The grip on their little hand has gone from tight with white knuckles to a looser hand hold at best. Most of the time they are running off and going ahead of me. And I'm not far behind them, with a grin as wide as the state of Texas and a sense of pride that nothing could surpass.


    The Best and Worst of Me

    Saturday, May 9, 2015

    One of the biggest misconceptions from this social media driven world we live in is that everyone else's life is perfect.

    It's human nature to want to post cute pictures of our littles, the good things we've done this week and what all we're involved in and put it out there for the world to see.

    And while there's a fine line there that I think need's to be drawn as far as airing our dirty laundry, I do tend to think it might be helpful if we were all a little  bit more real. How good is our testimony if all we broadcast is perfectionism?

    So on that note, I'm sharing this story because the last thing I want people to think about me is that I'm all Mother Teresa-ish. Not because that wouldn't be great and wonderful, it would.

    But that's just not reality. Anything good that I do is all because of Him....it's really none of me.

    Last week while we were caring for our house full of sweet little girls plus one boy of mine, I had a not so wonderful moment. I have them quite often actually and when it only affects me, that's one thing. However, on this day, I let my meanness spill over and it was not good.

    The day had been long and eventful, spent in court fighting for the very life of three of five babes under my roof. The outcome had been good and my mind was relieved, but exhaustion quickly set in as soon as I got home and most of what I was pouring out of me and into these little lives was like lemonade that needs a lot sugar if you know what I mean.

    I was tired and my patience was getting pretty thin as the day lingered on.

    I stepped outside with the four littlest ones when I heard my boy and his precious neighbor friend announce that the electric scooters didn't work anymore. They tend to do that when submerged into a pool.

    "Really?!" I said yelled. "You really think that something like that is an ok thing to do?" They tucked their heads and my boy went inside and the neighbor child turned and headed home.

    Shame settled nice and heavy on my shoulders in about five seconds. I tried to pick it up and throw it off but there's just something about that weight called guilt; it can't be removed with human hands. That can only be done with words of apology from a broken heart.

    I'm not saying that I was wrong for correcting my boy. He does have to learn to respect his and anyone else's property. But it was not my place to raise my voice at either of them and definitely not my place to scold the neighbor child. He has a sweet mother who has handled that job for many years without my help.

    So I did what I had to do.

    Donning my big oversize t-shirt and ponytail high on my head, I strapped one baby in the stroller, put another on my hip and the other three followed me down the sidewalk to the neighbors house. Now that's quite a walk of shame let me tell you that much for sure.

    I knocked on the door and made said apologies and we walked home talking about how sometimes mommy messes up and has to apologize too.

    The only way little people are going to learn about grace and forgiveness is to see big people putting it into action.

    Did it hurt my pride? A little.

    But it made my heart feel so good that it was worth every bit of it.

    Some days I give the best of me and some other days unfortunately, I give the worst.

    At the end of every day though, I'm just like every other woman/wife/mother and that means I'm in need of a whole lot of grace. I'm so glad He has it to give.




    Downstairs

    Wednesday, May 6, 2015

    Today my house is quiet.

    The littles are at school and here I sit out on the back deck reflecting on the whirlwind that has been the past five days. Birds are chirping, I can hear the pond ripping and the sun is shining bright.

    Anyone one would think that's a great day, right? Yes, matter of fact it is. Except that I miss those three little voices.

    The floor has been mopped and those little feet aren't tracking dirt across it anymore from playing outside. That floor looks pretty but oh how I would love to paint those little toes right about now. Or watch them make tracks across my kitchen.

    My hands have washed dishes and made breakfast and lunch today. I've written out bills, run errands and folded laundry. But oh how I would love to reach down with these hands and pick up a little saying, "Hold me, Miss Angel."

    My heart is content knowing that the Varney family is living out it's purpose but it aches a little too.

    The sting of loss still comes even though peace has now been found and justice served.

    When we first signed up for foster classes I was sure that I wanted to adopt as quickly as possible and be done with fostering as quickly as possible as well. "We'll take about a one year old," I thought. "Hopefully we can adopt and then be done."

    But God seems to have other plans.

    Because at three am we received a phone call Friday morning not for one or two but three littles....we knew the time was right. These children needed us.

    It was a pleasure caring for them Friday and Saturday but it quickly became apparent that they had a loving father who had flown in from out of state unaware of the situation. That precious daddy loved his girls and he needed us to be his advocate. He didn't ask, I just knew.

    So one event led to another, all set up by our amazing heavenly father and yesterday I found myself in a courtroom going to bat for dad.

    As I sat there I remembered all the times that I had thought this is EXACTLY the kind of situation I would never find myself in. I never intended to go before a judge if it wasn't required. I'd rather stay home and play and rock children and leave the rest to the professionals.

    Matter of fact, I met a sweet lady who has walked this road ahead of us earlier this year. "Be the advocate for these children," she said. "You put on your three piece suit and hold your head high. Fight for these kids." She freaked me out a little and I really thought I'd just never have to do that.

    But again, God had other plans.

    She was the first one the Lord brought to my mind as the weekend unfolded. I knew what I had to do. And although I don't own a three piece suit, I did put on my Sunday best and apparently it worked a little because when I arrived yesterday no one knew who I was without my hair in a ponytail and my t shirt on. Big smile.

    I knew that if thing's went dad's way I would be grieving a little today-but he needed his girls more than I did. With a lot of prayer and a God sent lawyer, things did in fact go his way and when I walked through the door last night and told three little girls that they were going to daddy's house you should have heard the squeals of delight.

    Our God is so good. He is so faithful.

    Those three little girls slept in two of our rooms upstairs while they were here. Several times today I've cleaned up toys, folded laundry and headed that way. But I always stop at the bottom of the stairs. And that's ok.

    I've learned that sometimes walking in God's will comes with a little pain. You know what? My sins cost Him pain too. If I can bring a little redemption to a broken situation?

    Well you better bet your last dollar that I'd do it all again.

    But today I think I'll just stay downstairs.