Sunday, March 9, 2008

Life reflection

I have had this one part of a song stuck in my head for 3 days. It's from Brandon Heath's "I'm not who I was". I keep singing these lyrics in my head.

"I wish you could see me now
I wish I could show you how
I'm not who I was."

Last night at Vision of Hope I had a really open talk with two of the girls about all that I've been through in my life and the healing that I've found in God. I think I really surprised them with some of the stuff I've done, and where I'm at now. It's had me thinking about all of the people from Cincinnati, or from my first 2 years at Purdue who I wish could see me now. I'm so glad that God heals and we don't have to be defined by our past mistakes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Happy Salvation Birthday Me!

It's my salvation birthday! I think my family might be the only ones on the planet who celebrate such a thing. But without fail, every year on March 4, we celebrate the day that little Mindy asked Jesus to live in her heart. When I was little we even got cake, it was a very exciting day. I love that my family celebrates these days, it's something that deserves a celebration.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

RVCkids and patience?

Teaching patience to 5 and 6 yr olds is always funny. Today's lesson was on God promising Abraham and Sarah a baby, and then the birth of Isaac. Ann and I both found it a difficult lesson, as there wasn't an abundance of great material on the story. In the interest of not wanting to explain reproduction or polygamy to little kids, I had to skim some of the story and chose to focus on Sarah and Abraham's patience, and how nothing is impossible with God. However, because of the events of the past week, I didn't prep my lesson well and had to come up with an activity to teach patience on the spot. My brilliant idea: play connect four with all 6 people, but turns were taken one at a time going around the circle, and no one but the teacher could talk. I spent so much time saying "It's not your turn right now so please take your chip back, isn't it hard to be patient!" Teaching five year olds patience is just funny, as they don't seem to posses that fruit of the spirit yet. I found myself getting frustrated because they weren't being patient and waiting their turn. Of course, I then realized I wasn't being patient either! I was expecting 5 yr olds to learn patience instantly. It seems that I'm always learning some kind of personal lesson while teaching the little ones, and it almost always involves patience. Maybe I should play some more connect four with 5 yr old kids.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Mom of 10?

I feel like a mom of 10 kids right now. I have 10 kids on my caseload right now, ages 1, 4, 5, 7, 10, 11, and four 16 yr old girls! Most of these kids carry some combination of the following diagnosis: fragile x syndrome, oppositional defiant disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, dissociative disorder, shaken baby syndrome, encopresis, pervasive developmental disorder, sensory integration disorder, aspergers syndrome, bipolar disorder, ADHD, and depression. I feel like a walking copy of the DSM-IV right now. Anyways, I've decided that this job essentially throws you into parenthood of 10 kids. I have to keep track of things like when the kids need new socks, when their next doctors appointments are due, who has parent teacher conferences tonight, who needs haircuts, who can go swimming, who can go to their friends house, who can participate in girl scouts, when are they big enough to be out of their booster seats, who's having nightmares, etc. Then I do the professional stuff, like think of therapeutic activities to do with my kids who are struggling, transport kids to appointments, attend important games or events, figure out what resources foster parents could use, attend numerous case conferences, consult with all the different doctors and therapists, supervise visits with biological parents, and write 10 weekly reports. I really do like this job a lot, I just feel like a mother of 10 right now. My four 16 yr old girls are really pushing limits and giving me a run for my money. I feel bad for my own teenagers someday, they won't be able to pull anything on me.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Update on Life

Well, it's been like an eternity since I've blogged. Ann pointed that out to me. So, here's an update in some kind of organized fashion.

I'm actually enjoying my job now. At first I didn't think it was a good fit, I felt ineffective, I had no supervision or formal training, and I wasn't connecting with my coworkers. Well, it really seems like a good fit for me now. There are 3 other girls in the office. Crystal does independent living, Rebecca is the foster home coordinator, and Kasey is my fellow case coordinator. I've learned to take everything that Crystal says with a grain of salt, Rebecca might seem annoyed with you but she's not, and Kasey really cares about her job even if it doesn't seem like it. I'm becoming pretty good friends with Kasey. We have spent a lot of time just talking about life and where we're at. She's not a Christian and lives a totally different lifestyle, but she totally respects me and my beliefs. God's really putting her on my heart, and I fully intend on inviting her to our lifegroup breakfast for dinner and jammies party this week. The kids are stressful, but I'm coming to love them.

Things are still going pretty good. I've met his parents, he's met mine. The current crisis is that my parents are not at all supportive of me getting married any time soon, and are not supportive of my and Eric. It's a big learning experience in setting boundaries with my parents as an adult, and trying to come to terms with the fact that I will never be able to met their standards and will always fail them. Lots of hurtful things have been said, a few tears cried, and I'm doing what I can to move on.

I feel like I'm regressing lately. A year ago, I went through this 6 month phase where I could not pray. I stopped hearing God, and physically couldn't open my mouth to pray. I'm feeling like I'm moving back to there. I haven't been hearing from God, and I don't feel like I have anything to pray. Today I really resonated with the whole "you're not rowing the boat, you're just sailing" analogy. No wonder I'm exhausted, I've been trying to row the boat all by myself. I think a lot of it comes down to my personal time with the Lord, or the lack thereof. And my inability to be quiet.

Well, I'll try to return to the blogosphere in the near future and keep you all updated.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Top 10 Tuesdays

Top 10 signs you need a break:

10. You knit the same row of a baby blanket 6 times, and it still isn't right.
9. A long drive to a foster parents house is the best part of your don't have to answer your phone because you can claim it's "not safe".
8. You actually said the sentence "The TFP called the FHC about the FCM, and the FHC told the CCC and CC about the problem". Apparently, using full words is too much of a hassle.
7. A large bag of gummi bears qualifies for lunch and dinner.
6. Scrubbing the stove top makes you burst in to inconsolable tears.
5. Your shoulders have risen to your ears and seem to be stuck there.
4. You blow through novels in 2 or 3 days, because it's easier to read than sleep.
3. Someone asks you how you're doing, and your honest answer is "I don't know".
2. Everyone's name comes out wrong, like Darlene becomes Dianne.
1. You refuse to drink a beverage that does not have caffeine.

I'm definitely feeling stressed and burned out. I can't wait to relax tonight at faux family dinner and bake biscotti.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Melodic Monday

This is my current favorite song for my winter blue mood. I am feeling very caught in the middle of life right now. I'm done with my undergrad degree, but not really in to my career and haven't decided yet if I'll be going back to get my MSW (more on that later). I'm living on my own but in a college apartment with other girls who are still in college and supported by their parents. I'm dating Eric and it's getting serious, but we're not married yet. Things with God are pretty lukewarm right now and I'm feeling not totally connected. I am starting to feel very out of control, I really want some clarity!

"Somewhere In The Middle" by Casting Crowns
Somewhere between the hot and the cold
Somewhere between the new and the old
Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me

Somewhere between the wrong and the right
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Somewhere between who I was and who You're making me
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle
Are we caught in the middle

Somewhere between my heart and my hands
Somewhere between my faith and my plans
Somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves

Somewhere between a whisper and a roar
Somewhere between the altar and the door
Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more
Somewhere in the middle You'll find me

Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle
Are we caught in the middle

Lord, I feel You in this place and I know You're by my side
Loving me even on these nights when I'm caught in the middle