My Soul is Singing

>> Thursday, January 25, 2007

Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to thee,
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art,
Then sings my soul,
My Savior God to thee,
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art.

Who can ever get tired of those words?


Calm Assertive

>> Wednesday, January 24, 2007

My newest obsession is watching "The Dog Whisperer". Obsessed with a capital "O". When I first started watching it I heard the dog psychologist, Cesar, talk a lot about "energy". It rubbed me the wrong way because it sounded almost "new age" to me. But the more I watched...and I've watched a lot by now...the more I understood his principles. When you are tense and frustrated your dog will sense your frustration and become frustrated himself. A lot of bad dog behaviors stem from this bad energy. In the dog world, dog's don't use verbal communication, they use instinct. They sense each other's energy and draw from it. When their pack leader is fearful or frustraed the whole pack is unstable. But when the pack leader is calm and assertive the pack becomes balanced.

Ok, so call me crazy...and maybe I've been watching The Dog Whisperer too much...but it seems to me this principle can be applied to all areas of life. At work today an issue came up that someone became very passionate about. This person became so passionate in fact and outspoken about it that it started rubbing some other people the wrong way and turned them off to her ideas. Her very same point could have been made a lot more effectively if she had remained calm and assertive instead of frustrated with heightened energy.

It seems this could also be true in parenting as well. I've noticed that when I approach my kids with a calm, assertive energy I get a better response from them. They feel more respected and understood, more balanced. But when I approach them with anger, frustration or confusion, I generate more frustration and anger.

I am a very passionate person myself. Very high energy. I think I'd like to make it my mission to channel my energy differently. There's nothing wrong with being passionate. But when passion reaches an elevated level to the point that it diminishes the effectiveness of the communication then it ceases to be passion.

Calm Assertive...that's my new mantre.
And by the way, Cesar's philosophy is working wonders on our new dog, Owen, too.


Fitting In (or not)

>> Monday, January 22, 2007

As you can tell by my "About Me" section, I am a foster mom. A very fulfilled foster mom. I love what I do!! It's definitely not for everyone, it takes a different mindset. I'm not even sure how I got this mindset. I can't explain what it is I love about it, it's just part of who I am. I've had 28 kids within the past 3 years. Whew! I'm tired but can't imagine giving it up. I can imagine a nice long nap but I dread the day I have to say goodbye to my last child. Maybe you can even dare say I'm addicted to it. I guess its my proverbial "calling" in life.

I am most comfortable when talking to other foster parents (well, good ones that is). The issues of foster parenting are like no others...even different than that of adopting. It is not uncommon for us to talk about going from a family of 4 to a family of 6 in a matter of an hour or so. Shopping for clothes at midnight because the child only came with the clothes on their back. Coming up with names to call your child because you either don't know how to pronounce their name or don't know it at all. And ALWAYS, ALWAYS where to find a good buy on a bigger vehicle!!
These topics don't normally come up in your average everyday conversation. And yet these words come as natural to me as white on rice. But I forget that this is uncommon conversation. I slip and start talking freely about crack cocaine as if I was talking about McDonald's french fries. I mention that we don't know what race the child is or how they stayed awake all night after a visit with their mama. I think it might turn people off when all they want to talk about is their plans for spring break.

I just got back home tonight from picking my daughter up from ballet. She takes classes at a very well respected dance studio near the downtown area. Most of the people who attend this academy have a very different lifestyle than we do! We had our new baby with us tonight. Well actually we had all 6 kids with us tonight. I feel the shaking of their heads when I turn my back. I feel the wagging of their tongues when I walk down the hall. I know my family is different. They tease me and I know there's truth behind their words. I know our lifestyle is not one they would choose. That's ok. I wouldn't live my life any other way. But part of my mind flashes back to high school where the cool kids are standing by their lockers and looking me up one side and down the other, sizing me up. I never sized up well. I never really fit in with the cool kids. I REALLY wouldn't fit in now...not even with the nerdy kids. I live in a whole different world now. There's a part of my soul that still wants to be accepted. I still want to fit in. There's a price to pay when you follow your calling I guess. It's refreshing to know there are some people out there who are wacky enough to know and understand my mind set. They are few and far between and I praise God for their support. But wouldn't it be nice if we lived in a world where we could follow our calling AND fit in???


Good Grief

>> Saturday, January 20, 2007

A close friend pointed out to me recently that I say, "good grief" a lot. She commented that it's refreshing considering that most people take the Lord's name in vain or something else derogatory. I didn't even realize I said this until she pointed it out to me. And now, the more I think about it the more I really like this phrase..."Good Grief". It's kind of an oxymoron but if you think about it grief can be good too, right? One of my favorite sayings is, "it's not what happens to you it's how you react to it." We all grieve...some of us more than others. But not all of us grieve well. Some of us grow bitter, resentful, start pointing our fingers at other people. We want life to be comfortable but when things don't go our way we throw a temper tantrum and start striving for comfort again at whatever cost. God didn't promise that our lives would be comfortable. Actually, he guaranteed grief. And I believe He wants us to approach our grief, our pain, our everyday inconveniences with grace, selfless abandon, humility, most of all thankfulness.

I named this blog "Good Grief" because my life is full of grief. I hope to chronicle some of that grief here. But I also hope that as I encounter, wrestle, struggle with my own grief that I can come out in the end by saying, "Good Grief!"



I guess I screwed up my settings and set up some of my friends as authors. See? I told you I was new here. This whole process makes me feel so vulnerable and well...stupid. But I'll learn. It's kinda exciting to be a this kind of journey. I wonder where it will take me.


New Addiction

>> Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Ok, I can definitely see how this might become addicting. In the middle of the night last night I was thinking of all the things I could potentially write about. Creativity is already flooding forward. I love that kind of inspiration! And I love that I have a new creative outlet. Besides, I process my thoughts best through writing so I can see how this might become very therapeutic for me at the end user's expense. Of course, that's the glory of this invention...I can write till my heart's content whether anyone reads it or not.


New Here

>> Monday, January 15, 2007

This is a test. I've never blogged before and frankly, I'm scared. My thoughts for all the world to see. But I'm doing this as an inspiration for my kids. I want to improve their writing skills and would like them to create a blog of their own. If they see me maintaining my own blog maybe they'll feel more motivated. This is going to be an interesting homeschooling experiment. We'll see how it goes.


About Me

>> Monday, January 1, 2007

Welcome to my blog! This blog is based on my personal experiences with grief and loss and how I've learned to live well through it. I am a single mom of 5 adopted children, most of whom have special needs. Among them, I have a daughter has a rare chromosome disorder resulting in a mental handicap. I also have a son with a rare neurological disorder called schizencephaly. He is unable to walk, talk and is legally blind.

Several years ago I myself became sick and bedridden with pancreatitis, amongst other things, and as a result needed a feeding tube. But if that wasn't bad enough, it was misplaced by doctors and I needed emergency surgery. It was a very long uphill battle to recover. My own illness was the catalyst for researching better ways to heal my body. Every time a traditional doctor touched me, I got sicker so eventually I started looking outside the medical community for answers.

In 2007, I radically change my diet and haven't been sick since. My body has not only healed, but I am full of energy and have a much better quality of life than I did before I got sick. I am more equipped to do the things I feel called to do.

And even though my son has a feeding tube I found ways to blenderize whole foods in place of the mainstreamed, highly processed, commercialized formulas. He has not had a single seizure since feeding him whole foods and he doesn't have digestive issues anymore.

I feel passionate about good, whole foods. Good food nourishes my body, but Jesus Christ nourishes my soul. He is the ultimate Healer, the great Physician. He is the One who delivered me from illness. He nourishes me better than good food. He gives me the strength and the wisdom to deal with all of life's many challenges. And more importantly, gives me hope for my eternal home which I so long for. Without Him I have nothing.

I'm glad you're here. Feel free to post any questions you might have.


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