It is awesome to say that our son, Michael, asked Jesus to be his Lord and Savior this weekend! Like with Savanna, he is adopted again, this time into God's forever family!
He told me on his own that he wanted to ask God into his life. When I asked him why he wanted this, he responded, "I remember all those stories of miracles Jesus did and how it helped people. But it also changed people's lives." I asked him what that meant for him. He responded, "Maybe it will change my life too." I asked him what it meant for God to be in his life. He responded, "I have to ask Him to be on the throne of my heart." ....
I've kept this a secret long enough. About two months ago, a man walked into the store where I worked. He needed a battery for his cell phone. The man was Chuck Norris!
It was quite exciting... Read on!
Words are a wonderfully imprecise at times. I often tell my kids to listen. I can feel like Charles Stanley some days! "Listen! Now, Listen!" But it recently occurred to me that I may need to define my terms a bit.
Listen, I recently told one of my children something he needed to start doing. He had that blank stare so I asked if he was listening and he said, "I heard you." Pressing further I asked, "What did you hear?" to which he honestly responded, "I heard words coming from your mouth." Now, listen! Frustration is not quite a strong enough word...
Handicap. Special Needs. Exceptional. Medically Fragile. There are different ways people try to label or explain situations like our daughter, Macayla. The designation is important as it keeps us aware, aware that everyone's needs are a little different.
Children like Macayla have uncommon needs. It is not common to need a feeding tube, wheelchair, or anticonvulsants. I guess that is why I prefer the term "special needs."
We are experiencing other uncommon needs. Adopted children struggle in ways that are uncommon in one sense, but in another sense, their needs are ones to which we can all relate....
This past week, our daughter Savanna was adopted again! Our kids went to WinShape Camp put on by Chic-fil-a. They had a blast and learned a lot about Christ and themselves. The theme this year was "Heart Castle" and they learned that their hearts are the throne room of their castle. The big question was, "Who is sitting on the throne of your heart?"
It was challenging to all three. They had to ask themselves if Christ was seated on their throne or if they were hogging the seat. Much to our joy, Savanna received Christ and trusted Him to forgive her sins. She admits that she is still struggling with letting Christ always sit on the throne of her heart, but we reassured her that is something we all struggle with.
"Get your book bag and get in the truck," I said to my son for the second time.
"Ok," he said.
I went to ensure the lights were off and house set. Upon returning to the kitchen, I find my son talking to his brother and sister about a Flat Stanley book. No book bag on his back. Ugh!
I got down on his eye level, put my hand on the book about a flat boy and said firmly with eye contact, "Get your book bag and get in the truck."
"Yes, sir," he replied with a touch of frustration.
My frustration was building and wondering if there was going to be a true life "Flat Stanley" in our home! I turned to get my gear for the day and walking to the door to leave, I find my beautiful, wonderful, amazing (not yet flat) son playing with an eraser!
No book bag on his back...
Adoption bring challenges that are unique. There is much to work through for both the children and the parents. There is much conflict and counseling is a must for families that adopt. We have found that the best kind of counseling for our family is, well, family counseling. One-on-one has been very ineffective with our twins.
Our counselor was creative, and most importantly, shared a very similar worldview and faith to our own. She was great with the kids and us. I am having to write "was" because due to a situation in her life, our counselor had to change jobs and could no longer see us. But, she left us with some great directions...
Christmas has become the big holiday among Christians. Reflective of the culture at large, we build up to it with advent wreaths, special "hanging of the greens" services, cantatas, etc. Unfortunately, Easter in many evangelical churches is ignored until Palm Sunday and sometimes until Easter Sunday arrives.
Easter is the "Superbowl" of the Christian calendar yet we treat it as footnote. So, here are a few ideas of ways to make Easter a bigger deal in your home. As I say at the end, there are many ways to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. The biggest problem among evangelical Christians is that we are not celebrating at all. We are missing the party! Here are some ideas...
Our children are little angels... fallen angels! All kidding aside it is interesting that we don't have to teach our children how to lie. They figure that out on their own. Disobedience comes pretty natural too.
One recent pattern in one of our sons has been to respond to our commands or assignments with, "But Dad..." It's not just an occasional response, but has grown to be the typical response. It's a form of disobedience.
This pattern has taught me a thing or two about my own disobedience in light of the coming celebration of Resurrection Day.
The lies. The manipulation. The cheating. The defiance that says, "I don't care what the consequences are, I'm gonna do it anyway!"
It is easy to become very fearful as a parent when you see these attitudes and choices in your child. It floods your mind with future criminal trials, drugs, teen pregnancy, violence, etc. As a former law enforcement officer, it probably stirs fears deeper for me than it may for others. These attitudes and choices were present in every criminal I ever arrested. Even in counseling others, these same attitudes and choices lie behind much of the struggles people face. Fear is an easy emotion as a parent.