The Pursuit

Do you know how much God loves us? It was not until I have lost my son, that I realize how much He pursues me. He wants me to love him back, not because He is so big, so powerful, because He gives me life or that He demands it. He wants me to freely choose to love Him back.

Love Him with no guilt. No threat. No persuasion, No manipulation.

Today was especially hard for me. I had my son, but even though we had a beautiful day yesterday, he couldn’t wait to go back home to his dad’s house, today. I became so bitter. So angry. So resentful. I wanted to guilt him. I wanted to cry and let him see how much he was hurting me. I wanted him to feel bad, as bad as I was feeling.

I know how I was reacting wasn’t Christ-like. But I have to believe what I was feeling, was. I am after all, made after Him.

He made us. He gave us life. He breathed into us. He walked in the garden with us. He gave us everything we would ever need. He found joy in us.

And then one day, we were gone.

How quickly we started to resent. How quickly we started to forget.

I know how devastating this had to have been on Him.

I lost my son.

One day, he was here. One day, I prayed with him every night. One day, I gave him everything he needed. One day, I laughed and cried with him. And then one day, he was gone.

Not because he was taken. Not because he was lost. No, because he chose to leave.

Oh how God’s heart must hurt when he sees His children not choosing to be with Him. Or those who chose to walk away and then return, as if nothing had happened. Or those who may believe there is a God, but they don’t need Him. And worse yet, those who never seek to be with Him.

There are a few places in the Bible I have seen where God grieves for his children. But mostly I see how He loves. So maybe that’s what I’m suppose to focus on with my son. Instead of grieving him, maybe I should be loving him.

But what does that look like? What does it look like, when he wants to go to his dad’s? What does it look like when he tells me how much he doesn’t want to be here with me, and then acts like nothing hurtful was said?

I feel he doesn’t want a relationship with me. So what does loving someone who doesn’t want to be loved look like?

Peter says, God is patiently waiting for us, because He wants everyone to repent and be saved (2 Peter 3:9). Maybe I should be patient.

And while we were still sinners, He sent His son to die for us (Romans 5:8). Maybe I should get over myself and continue to do what is best for him.

I believe God responds out of love, not out of hurt.

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it. (Matthew 13:45-46)

Did you know we, His children, are the pearl? I had always believed that God was the pearl. It’s not true. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

I need to love my son. I need to love my son, even when he’s being unlovable.

I want my son. I want to pursue my son. Not with guilt. Not with threats. Not with persuasion. And certainly not with manipulation. That’s not choosing to love me.

I want to love as Christ loves. I want to pursue as God has. I want to believe, in the end, everything will be, as it should. Because I have faith that God is working in us both. And I believe if I continue to pursue he will come back just like I have returned to Him.

When Your Village Is Hostile

They say it takes a village. I love that concept and totally believe it works. But what if your village is hostile?

Our family is blended.

It’s funny, it’s such a simple label for a very complicated reality.

I have four kiddos. Three boys who have one father, who has since remarried. I also have a daughter who’s father is not allowed to be apart of her life.

This alone is complicated since the boys have a second home that comes with two sets of parents, a couple sets of step siblings and a few sets of grandparents.

My daughter just has me, and the extended family that comes with me.

Now Mike has a couple of kiddos so they also have a second home with a mom, half siblings and a couple sets of grandparents too.

I’d say we definitely have a built in village.

I’d love to say it’s a friendly, well  adjusted, harmonious village, but who am I kidding?  However, that being said, I do believe for the most part, all three sets of parents work relatively well together.

I’ve seen sets of parents just be completely horrific towards each other and really it just destroys their kids.

Our current situation involves my boys with me for one week and then their dad for one week.

My daughter is stuck with us everyday. She doesn’t get to have two birthday parties or two Christmas’. (See, blended families have their advantages.)

One of Mike’s boys is with us Monday through Thursday, then with his mom Thursday night till Monday morning. And his other boy is with his mom the whole week, but with us every other weekend….for now. Starting in January they will be with us full time again. Yeah, it changes.

Blended families are tough. They’re not fair to the kids. In fact, spelling it all out, like I have, I wonder how it even works!

Thank God for His grace. Without it, this wouldn’t work. It’s one more way He brings me to my knees.

There are times when we don’t all agree with on their priorities. There are times when we’re all so angry at each other because we parent differently and there are times when we are so angry at the kids, because they know how to play us against one another.

We have a village. It may not be the best village, but I know that each adult involve takes a special interest in each one of our kids. That means something.

And when it is the most difficult, I have to remember that they are just doing their best, like I’m trying to do my best.

Finding Our Voice

I think it was two days ago when my daughter started telling me about a boy in class who liked her. She was laughing and giggling as she told me so I was thinking this was normal kid stuff. She told me he asked her if she wanted to date and she didn’t know what to say to him. I told her to tell him she’s too young to date, so no.

Then yesterday she showed me a note. At first I just dismissed her thinking she was talking to me like one of her girlfriend and I don’t do that well. I told her again to tell him she’s too young but she got upset and said she didn’t know how too. She said she was afraid he would embarrass her and be mean to her.

I then took the note from her and became upset myself. He kept asking her over and over if she would date him, yes or no. She kept responding “idk” and “I have to ask my mom”. He told her he would take her to Jump Street and to keep it a secret. Then he drew a heart and said he liked her. She responded with, ‘awkward’. She said at this point she was going to write “no, I’m too young”, when her teacher caught her and she put the note away.

What upset me the most was him telling her to keep it a secret. What upset me most about my behavior was I almost did nothing even though I could see she was upset and she told me she had been crying over it. She tends to be highly dramatic and the whole thing was triggering me from my past hurts.

This morning I woke her up and told her we would go tell her teacher together. I wrote a note, and included his note, incase I wasn’t able to talk to her this morning. Well I was able too but still so glad I had written the note because I completely fell apart. We even asked my daughter to leave the room for a bit so she wouldn’t see me like that. I didn’t want her to feel bad for reporting him to her teacher. It was during this moment when I realized I have to teach her how to use her voice, which made me so sad but it also triggered me back to when I was a child and my voice was taken.

I told her teacher that my “Danger Meter” was broken from when I was a child and that I didn’t want to get the boy into any trouble if this was all just innocent, but that she was very upset by it so we wanted to come forward. She told me this student does have other issues and that the threat was real. This would be one more thing they will need to be addressing with him. She said she understood her being scared because he could be aggressive to adults too. She is moving her away from him, and he won’t be able to communicate with her. She’s going to inform her other teacher, principal and his parents about the incident as well.

I can’t tell you how proud of her I am. I told her she is an awesome little girl and boys are going to be attracted to her awesomeness too. But that doesn’t mean she has to be less awesome so she won’t attract this kind of attention. Don’t let them take your awesomeness.

Today We Became A Family

Our boys, I tell you, they find it so difficult to get along with each other. And forget about getting them to help each other out. Not a chance. They are all out for themselves. It drives me crazy. None of them were raised that way. We’re constantly on them about helping their brothers, watching out for each other; sometimes just being nice is a stretch for them. But today! Today, I watched my boys and Mike’s boys turn into brothers.

This is the first weekend in years that we’ve had all the kids home at the same time. Butterfly and I went to the library for this thing she has on Saturdays. We asked everyone if they would like to come. They never do, but we still ask. My husband was at work. We had no idea when he would be home.

We were probably there for 10 minutes when I received a call from my oldest son that our house was on fire! I think what scared my daughter the most was I was running. She’s NEVER seen me run. Even though I told her everything was fine, we just needed to get home, she was pretty upset.

When we arrived I was greeted with crying kids, excited kids, and agitated kids, but I got to tell you, when I got the full story, I was such a proud momma of all my kids. THEY ARE ROCKSTARS!

Once Tunes realized that maybe the smoke detector wasn’t really trying to be annoying, but trying to tell him something, he found flames coming from our laundry room. He immediately started getting the kids out of the house and after calling 911, he called me to let me know the house was on fire, but everyone was fine. It was easy not to panic when I heard his voice. I could hear he had everything under control.

Justice…boy I don’t even know what got into him. Fire Chief asked who was the kid with the hose. The what? He wanted to shake Justice’s hand. He said if it wasn’t for him, we could have lost our house. Yeah, but I could have lost my son!

Gamer, he was the one helping Justice. He turned the water on and off for him. He also was who was taking care of our dog, Tank.

Fun and Smart…well they were actually listening to what the older kids where telling them…or yelling at them. They were awesome. This never happens either.

Now I may never be able to brag about my kids’ awesome grades. They may never be known for being gracious or generous. But I tell you what; they are fearless. They are the kids you want to go to and be with in times of trouble. They act fast and they DO work together.

This is the first traumatic experience they have had to face alone, and instead of acting separate, instead of dodging responsibility, instead of acting on their own, they came together, they problem solved, they protected each other and their home. They became a family. There was no us against them. There was no, I didn’t do it, you’re on your own. No. They were brothers.

I’m so stinkin proud of my boys! Of the brothers.

When I first got the call, I wasn’t able to reach my husband. I kept him informed via text though, not being sure when he was going to get them. He finally called me to make sure everyone was ok. I told him we were. He then said he was going to finish up what little work he had left. His Super asked him why he didn’t leave to get home?

He told them, “I don’t need to. I just talked to my wife. My family’s got it under control.”

Dinner is Done? What?

One of my most favorite parenting decisions was creating and implementing our dinner menu. During the summer, Mike and I found ourselves running crazy, trying to get everything done within the day. And yet, our kiddos lived it up, staying up all night, sleeping in late, and waiting until the last minute to even do their chores.

We would leave the house, first thing in the morning, and often times not getting home until after 5:00 only to find six starving bums who complained about what’s for dinner.

Dying to play with some chalkboard paint, I picked up an old picture frame from our local thrift stop, and some washi tape, and pieced together a Monday through Friday chalkboard calendar.

Every month, after Mike or I decides who is cooking on which day, we then turn the chalk over to the three oldest boys, Tunes, Gamer and Justice. They then fill in what they will be preparing for dinner for the month.

The interesting part is when I was cooking dinner, everyday each and every kid would come in, asking, “Mom, what’s for dinner? Aww man, again?”

After we put the three in charge guess what happened? Not only do they make the exact same thing week after week, they make the same things I made week after week! Seriously, we’ve even encouraged them to pick new things and we’ll help them learn how to cook them.

Nope, we have the same ol’ stuff day after day, after day. Hamburgers, wings, spaghetti, tacos, chicken, pork chops and nachos. Still not a bad spread. I know they can whip these together with ease. Which is probably the problem. They don’t want to put much effort into it.

The funny thing is, is naturally because this is something we don’t allow the younger ones to do, the younger ones WANT to do it. Our 11 year old is always finding recipes he wants to try. So on weekends that he’s with me, I try to plan on cooking something with him so he can practice too.

He’s almost 12, so maybe we can throw him into the routine too. Although, I know when we do, he’ll soon lose interest after its something we expect from him.

I have to say, the main reason I am sharing this post today, is because I am SO proud of my Justice! Yesterday, I came home late from an exhausting day, knowing I had less than an hour to get ready for a baby shower and needed to all make sure the kids ate. My husband wasn’t home yet, but the scuttlebutt around the front door was Justice had ALREADY made dinner and the kids had ALREADY eaten!

Seriously? How could this be true? I hadn’t called him earlier in the day to remind him. Upon entering, I was met with the beautiful bouquet of cooked bbq wings, hot off the grill. Seriously!


I never claim to have this whole parenting thing, together. Everyday presents a new challenge and everyday I kneel and ask God, now what? One thing I’m learning is if I expect more, I get more.

It was really hard for me to give up control around the house, after all, I’m the mom right? But I’m seeing that even though it took three months before someone got up and took the initiative to start dinner without being told, the day still came. And Monday, I’ll probably have to remind someone again to start dinner, but yesterday was a glimpse of what’s to come.

And I’m encouraged that Mike and I are doing something right and so excited to see what else they can do!

Blending This Mess

I love hearing Fun ask if Smart will be staying home this weekend, because he will too if he does. Or Tunes, yelling down the hall for Gamer to get up, so he won’t miss the bus.

It makes my heart smile, because this wasn’t always the case.

Four years ago I married my best friend,  Mike…and his two kiddos, Gamer and Smart. They joined my crew, Tunes, Justice, Fun and Butterfly.

I love my family. We have the best family, ever! Ok, sometimes the kids need to be reminded. Sometimes I need to be reminded.

In the beginning, it was rough. I mean things were fine, until we all moved in together.

Holy cow! What a mess.

Everybody was up in everybody’s space. We got kids crammed on top of kids. And their stuff is everywhere.

Our backyard looks like a used bike and scooter lot. Laundry is done everyday.

The fighting was ridiculous.

That’s mine!
No, it’s mine!

Oh the tattling…the blaming…the Oh, I really don’t know how the remote to the tv got in my room.

THE YELLING!  Oh, our house is loud. Too loud.

Then there was the whole…”Mike, Honey, what’s up with your kids? They’re weird.”

And the, “MY kids are weird? You just spent five minutes waiting for your kid to organize a whole box of books by color, at the bookstore.”

Yeah, that IS weird.

That’s when we found out his kids were living with ADD and mine had anxiety.

It took some doctor appointments, education, rules, boundaries, and time, but I’m thinking we got this thing starting to turned around now. Oh it is not perfect. But it’s getting better.

We’ve started chore lists. Yeah, that was popular.

We’ve color coded our bath towels and drinking glasses. You’d be surprised how many towels and glasses end up in the backyard, and no one knows how.

We have a laundry system, a bathing schedule and bed times.

Now, things are great! Well, ok, maybe not great, but I have faith that we will be!

Yeah, we got kids sneaking out of the house together now. Well, we did. They were busted. Now we have locks on our doors and windows, not to keep people out….but to keep kids in.

I just love my family. BEST FAMILY, EVER!

Now we’re not so messy, but we’re still pretty sticky.