Friday, December 27, 2013

The Love of My Life

Tomorrow is December 28, 2013.  I finally get to see my sweet sweet baby again!  He will be ten months and one day old.  He's going to be so big!  He had so much personality when he was born, and now it is going to be that much bigger!  I can't wait to see how much he has grown-I've seen pictures, but I can't wait to see him in the flesh.  I can't wait to hold him and look into his beautiful eyes!!  It's going to be great!  

While I am so excited, I am also terrified.  What if he rejects me?  What if he doesn't remember who I am? What if... what if... what if... All of the normal rational things that very well may happen, because he is just a baby.  Those things terrify me.  But that is ok.  It is worth it to see my sweet love.

I will definitely be posting soon to let you know how it goes!!  Stick around guys! 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

God The Father

This is going to be a long post but bare with me!

I originally wasn't going to include this in my post, but I feel like it flows well with what I want to say so I will.  I attend Agape Baptist and I absolutely LOVE my church.  We have gospel communities and the one I attend meets every other Friday.  

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Currently our Gospel Community group has been focusing on how God desires believers to interact with one another, love one another, and the types of relationships they should have.  Tonight we talked about how to truly disciple children.   Here are some of the highlights:

1. Lead by example.  Do not just tell your children what you expect from them, but do the things you want them to do and avoid the things you don't want them to do.

2.  Repent to your children if you wrong them and be willing to repent in front of your children if they see you sin.

3.  Train a child in the way they should go.  Raise them with the values and lessons they need for their whole lives.  Give them the tools to make the right decisions when they have to make them without you.

4. Take advantage of the moments in everyday life when you can point them to Christ and show His hands-on activity in day to day experiences.

5.  Tell your children you love them and are proud of them just because of who they are, not just when they've done something to "earn" it.  Show them unconditional love.

6.  This one was huge.  There is a difference between punishment and discipline.  If you look at the new testament, Jesus endured the PUNISHMENT we deserve.  God doesn't punish us, but He disciplines us because he loves us.

      A. Punishment: has an aspect of revenge; action=consequence
      B. Discipline: pointing a person in the right direction towards improvement;                             done in love

There was ALOT more included in the conversation, but this is my summary. 
It's funny because you often think of parents being proud of their children. However, the whole time we had this discussion, all I could think about was how proud of my parents I was!  I have the most amazing family in the world.  And my parents did things right in raising us.  I remember them doing all of these things growing up.  I remember every time we got a spanking or disciplined it started with an explanation of why it's wrong and it was followed with a hug and an I love you.  My parents truly discipled us  and raised us in a Godly and biblical way.  They loved us unconditionally.  We may not have realized it in the moments as children, but looking back it is clear they always had our best interest in mind!

Now I am going to narrow in on my Dad a little more.  I have always been a daddy's girl.  My dad and I still, to this day, go out on "dates".  We have long talks late into the night.  We laugh at things nobody else does.  He is the most amazing man I know.  I love my dad so much!  I am so thankful for him.  
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God/Jesus plays many different roles in our lives-husband, master, friend, Lord, Savior, and also Father.  I have never felt the need to see God as my heavenly father.  I have often pointed other people to that, especially people who don't have their fathers in their lives for whatever reason.  But I do have my dad-and he's the best dad ever.  So I didn't ever feel the need to look at God as a father. I say this humbly as well.  I battle with whether or not that is right or wrong.  However, I do see him that way now.  

It's always been easy for me to see Him as master and Lord.  Unfortunately it hasn't always been properly balanced, and so therefore I tried to earn His love/approval.  After having a child of my own, I understand how He loves me a little more.  There is NOT A THING Brody could do to make me stop loving him.  He could become a rapist and a murderer-and I would be completely disappointed in him, but I would still love him.  That could literally never change.  I've always "known" God loved me unconditionally, but to realize it and experience it is a completely different thing.  To know that I can approach God the way I can approach my dad is so liberating.  It helps me to trust Him more in knowing that even if He gets disappointed from time to time and has to discipline me, it will always be surrounded by love.  As I realize He sees me as His child and He adores me, I don't have to worry.  I don't have to struggle with the pressure of what I do.  I can rest in what Christ has done.  I can be free from myself and works and religion.  I am free to love Him and be loved by Him.  A huge weight has been lifted.  I am a free child of my precious heavenly Father.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Iron Bowl

So the great thing about living a life following Christ is that you never fully arrive.  The farther I come, the more I grow and improve, the more I realize I will never stop needing to grow and improve.  Not only that, but I NEVER would have thought God would have used a football game to gently humble me.  

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As most of you know, along with the Thanksgiving weekend we also had the annual Iron Bowl.  It was intense to say the least.  Alabama made a lot of mistakes and Auburn, who is just incredibly lucky, brought the competition.  I'm not mad that they won.  I was mad at the referees.  The game was very close the whole way through, and there were some game-changing calls that screwed Alabama up completely.   I didn't feel like it was a fair game, and I would love to know who would have won the fair version of that game.  So what's the point?

Like I said, I was very mad at the referees.  I automatically assumed they were dirty.  They had to be getting paid from someone else to throw the game.  I've noticed that as I have gotten older I have no faith in people with power.  My assumption of every single politician in this world is that they are dirty, unhonorable, scandalous, untrustworthy, etc.  I have always looked for the best in people, but for whatever reason I have been completely and irrationally judgmental on those I honestly don't really know anything about. 

I realized this after "seeing" myself react to the game on Saturday.  In the game there were clearly and indisputably bad calls.  However, it could have been honest mistakes.  It doesn't automatically mean the officiators did that on purpose.  There are so many problems in our government, it is ridiculous.  That doesn't mean that every politician is crooked.  However, what I realized this weekend is that even if they are, it DOESN'T MATTER!!  

The honest truth of the matter is I'm no better than the worst of the worst and neither are you.  The truth is that those of us who have been saved had to be rescued from ourselves.  The truth is that there is an active, living, and sovereign God who knows all of our hearts and our intentions.  He knows the ones with good intentions and the ones with bad intentions.  I don't need to know.  I just need to trust him.  As the only one who can control anything, He is the only one who needs to know anyway.  So, I don't have to worry about the crooked politicians, or the unfair games and life circumstances.  I just have to trust my Savior.

I say all of this to say that I hope Brody doesn't grow up with the same cynical mindset as me.  I think it is getting more and more difficult not to be that way.  Things are slowly getting worse and worse.  I hope he can stay strong through the immorality, but also in a love for others that is balanced with wisdom.  That is my hope for him.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

I'm A Warrior!

So, I mentioned in previous posts that I wanted to get into shape.  I've been running and working out a lot.  I went from not running at all ever (except for when you had to "run" a mile in PE in school) to running a 5k!  yay!  Granted, I run at a very slow pace, but now that we have accomplished the distance, we are working on the speed. 

Anyway, my cousin, his wife, my brother and I did the Warrior Dash on November 2 of this year.  It's not just a 5K run, but it's also filled with crazy intense obstacles (at least for me; they were nothing for my brother).  I did them all and I ran the whole thing! logo
I feel so accomplished after completing it!  If you feel up to, you should visit their site, and see all the crazy obstacles.  It was so much fun!  And I have to give a huge shout-out to my brother Robbie.  He encouraged me and coached me all the way through it.  If it weren't for him I would have never accomplished it.
Now I am working on getting faster.  I'm enjoying (and hating at the same time) the process of getting stronger and building endurance.  
If you have goals, do the work to reach them!  It is completely worth it.  Everytime we are working out my brother says, "If it was easy, everyone would do it."  Stand out.  Don't give up on yourself.  YOU CAN DO IT!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

A Daughter's Response

My previous post was a post written by my dad and his response to the whole situation.  The specific part I want to respond to is where he said this:

"As a believer in Jesus, I wanted to respond in the proper way.  Don't know if it was right or ever will be, but my thoughts went to what to do now to help my family.  You see, as a father and husband, the hardest thing I have dealt with is failing.  Failing to protect my daughter.  As I look back on it, my failure was the reason for the embarrassment.  My kids, my family are a reflection of me and ultimately of Jesus.  When something like this happens, you find out where you are in your relationship or walk with the Lord.  Is your foundation or trust and well-being on your image of how people see you and think of you and how things are going in your life, which is pride, or is it on THE ROCK - JESUS?"

It breaks my heart that my father sees MY failures as HIS failures.  However, that is a great dad's heart, and I have the greatest dad in the world.  However, this was not his fault in ANY way. He couldn't have changed it.  I am stubborn, and God had to allow things to happen to get my attention.

You see, I have a very strong-willed, independent personality.  I have ALWAYS struggled with the balance between faith and works.  Faith without works is dead, but we are saved by grace through faith alone.  My issue is, I wanted to get myself right, and then go to God perfect and flawless.  That's not how it works.  If I could do it without God, I wouldn't need him and He wouldn't be who He is.  So, right before I got pregnant, I was doing pretty good.  However, I was doing it in my own strength instead of my Saviors.  As much as I hate all the heart-ache I have caused those I love, I am thankful for my story and my heartaches, because without them, I would still be religious without even realizing it.  I hate "religion" and I was doing it in complete oblivion.  I was studying the word and trying to be a "good" Christian, but not really depending on my Savior.  That's pointless.  

God used this situation for great, amazing things!  I have focused more on my relationship with God than my works, more on what Christ did than what I do, and more on what I can do for my Savior than what He can do for me.  That's what we are supposed to do, and it took this to get me here, so it is completely worth it in my eyes.  

I am so thankful for my father's heart, but so broken at the thought of him seeing himself as a failure in my weaknesses and the journey God had to take me on.  However, if he sees my failures as his, he has to see my successes as his also.  So, he should feel very proud at this point!  Not because I am great, but because God has done a great, powerful, hands-on evident work in my life, and is continuing to do it!  I am so thankful for my families love and patience with me-which is just a tiny reflection of the love and patience our Lord and Savior has for us as well.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Father's Perspective

Here is something my dad wrote giving his perspective from the whole situation.  Thanks dad!


            When Kadie first told Patti and me, it was disbelief, I was waiting for the punch line.  But then I realized it was no joke and she was pregnant.  It was definitely one of those surreal moments. I couldn't believe this was happening, I was in shock.  Of  course all the emotions of anger, sadness, rage, disappointment and embarrassment were there.   Yes, embarrassment.  I had been in church long enough and had been judgmental  enough to know  now it is mine and my family's turn to be judged. 
            As I was learning to deal with the shock and anger and disappointment of the pregnancy itself, I had to deal with the anger towards the biological father….I wanted to lay into him physically and at the very least verbally.  And that disappointment I had in Kadie, because she knew better.  And, I knew the hurt that Kadie was going to go through.  And then the thought of does she even realize what or how this effects more than just her. 
            As a believer in Jesus, I wanted to respond in the proper way.  Don't know if it was right or ever will be, but my thoughts went to what to do now to help my family.  You see, as a father and husband, the hardest thing I have dealt with is failing.  Failing to protect my daughter.  As I look back on it, my failure was the reason for the embarrassment.  My kids, my family are a reflection of me and ultimately of Jesus.  When something like this happens, you find out where you are in your relationship or walk with the Lord.  Is your foundation or trust and well-being on your image of how people see you and think of you and how things are going in your life, which is pride, or is it on THE ROCK - JESUS?

            As time goes by and it sinks in, I started questioning how did this happen.  Well the signs were there for sure, but I ignored them.  Some out of not knowing how to handle the situation and others out of fear and others just didn't want to look at them, you know, ignore them and they will go away, but even most of all, didn't want to believe the signs.


            The disappointment is for Kadie, herself.  As her father, I want what is best for her, for her to find a good man, settle down and be a virgin when she is married, and to be in love and be happy.  She would miss out on so much because of this pregnancy.


            Abortion was never an option for us.  (Let me stop right here.  The biological father wanted the baby aborted.  Thankful, Kadie had a friend named Neely who told her not to, and Nick and Lisa, who are her mentors, that would not have let her do that.  To them, I say thank you!!!)  But what to do and where to go from here was not my strong suit.  Patti and I were in no position physically or emotionally to take Brody for ourselves to raise him for Kadie.  So then it became about what was best for Kadie and Brody.  The first mention of adoption was a definite no way - it's not right.  My first thought was this is not the responsible thing to do and it didn't feel right.  Patti and Kadie had many, and I mean many conversations about what to do and the truth of the matter about Kadie's ability to raise a child, and us not being the ones to do that.  I mostly listened.  About my only advise was to make a decision and stick with it, settle it in your heart so we can proceed accordingly.  Somewhere in there when Kadie decided that adoption was what she was going to do, I accepted that idea and the grace of God has helped me with that. But, in all this, one of my ways of coping with the situations is to stay disconnected in a sense.  Not getting vested, not taking Brody as my grandchild.  In blood he is, but in life and seeing him and interacting with him, he is not. When I first saw him my heart melted.  He was so precious.  I had the thought of this is a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.  But, by the grace of God, I have been able to let him go.


            They are great.  Like Kadie said, we just knew they were the right family.  They had a great spirit about them.  Some trusted friends of ours spoke highly of them. (Let me take a moment right here.  If it weren't for our friend whose name is also Patti introducing us to this family, this would not be the same story.  This family was meant to be Brody's family and God used our friend in such a mighty and wonderful way to bring us together.  To her, we will always be grateful!  God uses her more than she knows, but this time, it was a BIGGY!!!  Thank you, Patti Rosenow, for being open to hearing God's voice and following his direction to make this all happen for Brody…and for being there for us through the tears!!)  Now back to the wonderful adoptive family.  Patti (talking about my wife again) and the grandmother got along great and seeing the grandparents helped in the transitioning a great deal.  The fact that Patti never meets a stranger is great and she is very honest and open about everything.  And Kadie is getting like her more and more.  They both asked great questions and the family answered them honestly.  As a father, I more wanted to make sure Kadie was okay and settled in what she wanted and let her do what she wanted.  The open adoption has been great with being able to spend some time holding Brody and seeing pictures and updates.  The adoptive family has been great with that.  I had my reservations about the open adoption simply because of my disconnect from Brody.  The closer I get to him, the harder I felt it would be and that was a concern for Kadie I had.  I mention this but left Kadie to make the decision for I know she is the one that has to live with the decision she makes.  She knows what she needs and since we had seen progress in Kadie and her determination on the open adoption, I was okay with it.   Because of the unity in our family with even our son and daughter-in-law, we all were in agreement that this was the family.  Nobody had a bad feeling.


            Patti and my marriage is great.  Our personalities compliment each other.  Patti talks, I listen, she gets it out there, she asks questions, I listen and observe.  She is more of a disciplinary, strong-willed type and I am more of the grace and mercy, at ease and quiet type.   So for me, the biggest challenge was to balance our personalities for I knew changes needed to happen, but how much and how long.  What perimeters or boundaries for Kadie and deadlines for her to meet or goals to get her life in order.  Taking responsibilities for her actions and her cost.  Questions arose had we been too easy on Kadie or too hard?  Had we given her too much?  The hardest decision was to make Kadie find a place to stay by a certain deadline.  That worked itself out because she moved in with my mother due to her and Patti arguing so much.  Kadie thought that would help their relationship, which it did tremendously.  And, It helped me because I didn't want to pass the buck - make somebody else pay for her actions when we were her parents, yet, knowing down deep it had to be done for the better good.  As it turned out, I think it was the best thing done.  It gave separation and allowed Kadie to stay with my mom and they had some great talks.  It also gave Patti and me time together.  Ironically, also it seems like since Kadie moved out, we have seen a lot more of her than when she was living with us.  Because we both love and care for each other, and for Kadie, we both want what is best for Kadie so we are able to come to agreements about how strict and how gracious to be.  We came to agreements and as the Bible says, the wife is our helpmate.  We are together in this, parenting never really stops, it just changes as the children grow.


            When I told Kadie's brother, Robbie, about her being pregnant, his reaction was lived up to what I thought.  He was very angry.  As the father I knew I had to let him talk and get it out but also had to give him a little background on some things I had seen in Kadie's and his life.  I have a responsibility for Kadie and wanted to put that in perspective to him.  Robbie did bring up some issues or lifestyles in Kadie's life that I hadn't thought about also.  He and Kadie are like their mom, full of wisdom, and can talk, especially when they are emotional.  One of the most impressive things Robbie said was to Patti and me.  That something like this can tear a marriage apart and to make sure we spent time together and watch out for that.  This is something Patti and I did do.  We still had dates and still do.
            I was so glad Robbie and Joanna were there for Kadie and us.  They spent a lot of time with Kadie and helped Patti and me, giving us breaks and knowing that Kadie was around people that loved her.
            I had concerns how family would respond to finding out about Kadie's pregnancy and was prepared to do what it took to protect Kadie from whatever.  But, ultimately, our extended family has been great from both sides, mine and Patti's.  Everybody, even our friends have been there and are supportive.  From my perspective it has been challenging, but out of all this, so far we have gotten closer to Kadie.  She has grown and is involved and engaged in making a difference.  Train up a child and when they are old, they will not depart from it.  I guess Kadie is getting older, cause I can see some of that in her.  Without the Lord, family and friends, I don't know how I would have made it through all this. I cannot emphasis how much family , church friends , & coworkers helped in their encouragement and prays and being there for me and my family.  I don't know how I would have been emotionally without their support.
            You see ultimately it doesn't matter what Kadie does or has done, I will always love her.  I, as her father had to forgive her and I believe forgave her right away.  I had to look at the way God looks at me.  How many times do I mess up and sin against my Father in heaven and the same sins at that and He forgives me.  For I have known the Lord for a long time and having gone through this with Kadie, it’s a great picture and help for me to realize if I being a man can forgive and love Kadie after this, how much more shall God forgive Kadie and myself.  God loved us before we loved Him.  It's God's love and goodness that leads men to repent.  Kadie knew what she did was wrong and that it was sin, but out of this we all still love her.  My family and friends loved her, not just in words, but in actions.  Kadie has seen that and that takes fear away, allows her to be able to come to Patti and me with struggles and can keep going.  She can grow and take it day by day because she is not alone.  As a father, I am for Kadie and if she can't get me she has a Heavenly Father that loves her.  And Brody has a Heavenly Father that loves him so much He sent His only begotten Son to die for the world, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have Life.  You see, God loves me and has forgiven me so I can love Kadie and forgive her.  We love Brody in a way that is best for him.  He has a family that loves him no matter what.
            So I trust the Lord to keep us and to see us through whatever is in store for us.  I take it one day at a time and hopefully I can grown and be there for Kadie and Brody however I can because I love them and I want what is best for both Kadie and Brody.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A Season (or lifetime) of Singleness

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First of all, I'm sure some of you are wondering, "What does dating have to do with adoption?"  However, dating in an ungodly way is how I ended up having a child outside of wedlock that I couldn't take care of the way God wanted me to.  Secondly, this blog is about my journey through this situation. Unfortunately I am stubborn, and this is what it took for me to learn.  I am hoping others can learn from my mistakes so they don't have to learn the hard way.

Now, I also want to make it clear that ungodly relationships and sex outside of marriage were the parts that were sin.  Brody is not a sin or a mistake or anything bad.  He is a great blessing, and adoption is a great thing.  But the situations usually arise because of sin.  Children are ALWAYS a blessing from God even when the "situation" isn't. 

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I always wanted children, until I became an adult.  Then that desire slowly left me.  Sometimes I wonder if it because God knew what would happen later, so he took that desire away so I would be able to do what was best for Brody.  I am not sure.  I wanted Brody.  I fought against God on it, and tried to make it happen to where I could keep him.  Ultimately, I couldn't.  My love for him is no less just because I didn't want children.  You feel differently about a child you create that grows inside of you and you deliver.  That kind of love can't just go away because initially the desire wasn't there.
However, ever since I had Brody, I don't desire to have other children later in life.  In fact, I think I want other children even less.  First of all, if I can't have him, I don't really want anyone else.  Secondly, I don't want to risk making him feel uncomfortable or unloved.  Several people in my life tell me God will change my heart when the time is right.  I respectfully disagree, however, I am willing to be proven wrong IF that's God's desire for my life.
Regardless of if I am to have children later in life or not is not completely relevant right now.  I am nowhere close to being married, which leads me to my topic: Singleness.
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I know I am in a season of singleness.  I think it is possible that God may be calling me to a lifetime of singleness, and I am completely okay with that.  And let me tell you, that, in and of itself, is a miracle.  I have always wanted to be a wife more than anything else in this world.  Now, I just want to be used by God and be in His will.  If that means that I am not meant to get married, then so be it!  I haven't gotten a clear cut answer on that from God yet, so I don't know.  Either way, I am willing to do what He wants.  Either way I will follow His will.  However, recently I have had an interest and a heart for doing foster care for older children.  I wouldn't be able to do that without a husband, so who knows.  Only God for now.
It is so great to actually be single, and be single.  Let me explain:  I have never truly been single in all that that requires.  Even when I haven't had a boyfriend, I was talking to someone, or had a crush on someone that eventually became all I cared about.  I was constantly flirting with guys and looking for the next person I could possibly date.  That's not being SINGLE!
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Some leassons for those of you in a season of singleness:

1. Actually be single.  

In our society it is normal to see sex and flirting and teasing as common, casual things.  We see nothing wrong it, because that's how society is.  Society says, "I don't have time for relationships but I need companionship" or "Marriage doesn't last; but I want to have fun while we still get along."  That is not healthy for anyone, nor is it how God intended it to be.  You have to change the way you look at dating and interacting with the opposite sex.  If you are single, act single.  There shouldn't be physical contact with a person of the opposite sex that you are not in a relationship with-and if it's not a marriage, that physical contact should be very minimal.  You don't have try to get the attention of guys.  When it's the right one, God will work out the details.  The man you are intended to be with will notice you.  A crush doesn't have to consume your every thought and action.  A guy who isn't interested in committing to you shouldn't get all of your time and attention.  Be single.  Focus on you-your goals, your dreams, your growth, your friends, your family, etc. 

2.  Stay faithful to your husband.

You may be thinking, okay, you are talking about how to be single, so clearly there is no husband.  No, not yet.  But chances are, there will be.  Nobody deserves or has a right to all of until you have all of them.  You date in order to find a spouse.  Don't act married when you aren't.  It's not fair to you, your future spouse, the other person, or the other person's spouse.  Just think about that.

3.  Enjoy that time!!

Singleness is a gift!  For most, it only lasts for a while, and that time is precious.  It is healthy to go into a relationship knowing who you are and having and individual identity.  It's not good to go into a relationship making the other person your whole life.  When you get married you make a person a part of your life.  You have to have something to offer-which means you have to be established in your personality, your beliefs, your hobbies, your friends, and so many other areas of life.

Also, while being single, it is a great time to grow in Christ.  Christ should be at the center of every marriage anyway, so if He's not first in life beforehand, how do you expect to make that work?  Use the time wisely and seek God and grow in Him!

4.  Trust God.

God will bring you the right person in the right timing. You have to trust Him.  Don't try and force it.  It won't work.  God knows the desires of your heart; we just have to be patient with Him.  His ways are always best.

5.  Don't prolong your singleness.

What I mean by this is that usually if we don't follow 1-4, chances are we are just prolonging our time of singleness.  If you aren't happy with yourself, how can you expect someone else to be?  If you haven't allowed God to be a part of your life, how can he make you the wife you need to be for the type of husband you desire?  If you aren't acting single when you are single, how can you be available for the right person when they come along?  Do you see how it all fits together?

Understand, that I again, have done everything the opposite of what I have recommended.  Therefore, I know from experience.  Don't learn the hard way.  Trust God and enjoy your life.  He will make it happen when the time is right!

Friday, August 30, 2013

The Father

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I could easily sit here and tell you all about Brody's father and our relationship and how crazy and intense it was.  I could tell you all about why I was in love with him and the good times we hand and the bad times we had.  But honestly, that doesn't matter.  Our story doesn't matter.  His name doesn't matter. None of those things matter.  What does matter is what I LEARNED from knowing him.

So what have I learned?

1.  Do not try to change a man.  

Chances are that you can't.  99.9% of the time your life will not end up like the movies where you were special enough to break through the walls a stubborn troubled man has put up and completely melt his heart.  That's unrealistic.  It's not to say that you are not special, but it is to say that men don't always care to see it.  They want what they want when they want it, and if you will let them take advantage of you, then they will.   

If by some miracle you are able to impact their lives in a real way, it won't be enough.  For instance, Brody's father is a different man today than he was when I met him, and I know I had a little bit to do with that.  He knows I had something to do with that.  His friends do as well.  However, he still isn't saved.  He married someone else.  The goals I had when I put all of this effort into him never came to pass.  They just didn't. 

Also, if you are somehow able to make a difference in who he is, it will drain everyone of your resources and leave you completely empty and weak.  The work it takes-emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially-it's too much to take on.  Chances are you will end up neglecting everything and everyone else in your life and just look for opportunities to give yourself for him.  Then, when he is gone, or when you realize your tired of fighting for something that will never happen, you are left with nothing.  No strength, no life outside of him, no energy, no direction; pretty much just pure chaos.  When you are that invested in something or someone, TOO invested, you don't know which way is up when it's no longer a part of your life.

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The point is, regardless of what you think, hope, or how great you may be-don't try and change a man.  IT'S NOT WORTH IT!!  

2. Do not be unequally yoked, and put God first.  

Brody's father is not a horrible person.  I don't hate him.  I wish him well.  But we were bad for each other.  The main reason we were bad for each other is because I was saved and he was not.  He didn't want to be.  There's problem one.  At that moment I should have not continued in the relationship.  But of course, I was stubborn, and I wanted him, so I ignored what I knew was right, and thought I could handle it.  I couldn't.  This man became so important, he became an idol.  I loved him and wanted him more than I wanted God.  I don't know if I realized that or not-but the thought of it now makes me sad.  My Savior deserves better from me.  Jesus is actually worthy of my devotion and worship, while no man is.  Because this man was not saved sex before marriage was not an issue for him. He didn't feel guilty about it or see anything wrong with it.  Because I loved him more than God, I ignored the conflict I had with it.  Because I had made him an idol I lived in sin pursuing this man, instead of living in purity pursuing my Savior. 

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3.  Do not use a relationship to try and bring someone to God.  

HELLO!  This seems like common sense right? Yeah, well clearly I didn't have that for a long time.  I wanted to see Brody's father saved so bad, and I wanted to help bring him to Christ.  But yet, I had made him an idol, and I was living in sin with him.  Explain that.  I was a hypocrite at the time.  But how often do we girls do that and justify it?  How often do we think that if we can win their hearts, then we can convince them to be saved?  First of all, a man shouldn't become a Christian for you.  Then it's not based of the real thing.  And chances are, if the relationship ends, then so will their "relationship" with Christ.  From my experience, it is usually an act rather than something sincere when it is for a girl. 

Not only is it dangerous to use romance to try and bring someone to Christ, not only is it disobedient to be unequally yoked, it's also just a bad idea.  Chances are you are trying to disciple a person rather than just share the gospel with them if you are using a relationship to try and point them to Christ. WOMEN SHOULD NOT DISCIPLE MEN!  This is unbiblical and dangerous.  Just don't go down that road.  It'll lead to disaster.

4.  Do not date a man for his potential.

I say this with the understanding that nobody has fully arrived, and everyone needs to grow as their life progresses.  That isn't what I mean.  The point of dating is to find a husband.  Wives are to submit to their husbands.  I refuse to submit to someone who isn't submitting to God (on a regular basis; nobody is perfect).  So, why date someone who isn't following Christ?  If he has the potential to be a great Godly man, but hasn't reached it yet, he doesn't need you in his life and you don't need him.  He needs Jesus.  Only God can do that work in someone; we can't.  So use the time to grow in Christ, and trust God to bring you the right man in the right timing.

It is worth the wait to wait on God's will.  If it's not God's will can we really call it a good thing?  It has taken me a long time to get this point.  I have done all of the things listed above more than once.  It's kind of ridiculous how stupid I was when it came to dating, and ironically, how smart I thought I was.  As you get older you get wiser.  Thankfully, I have finally learned.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jealous For You

This post may seem a little off subject from Brody or adoption, but ultimately it can still relate in its own way.  We will get to that at the end.

Lately, I have known several people who have either passed away or been close to people who have had loved ones pass away.  Some of them, it is just known they are in heaven.  Others, only God knows, and we are unsure. And then, sadly, there are some who openly denounced God, and were not saved.  It has been a very sad journey.

I think as Christians, especially when we are "going strong" in our walk with Christ, have a tendency to, even if not on purpose, feel superior to those who aren't saved or are "struggling" more than we are in our walk with Christ.  After the past few months, I have been able to identify this in myself.  I have had to repent of it, and make myself aware of it so it doesn't happen again.  Now, I am jealous FOR those people.  

Seeing unbelievers grieve is one of the hardest things I have ever had to watch.  Knowing they have to get through their difficult journey's without Christ is heart-breaking.  Seeing saved people mourn those who were not saved and are gone is also just devastating.  

Looking at the world around me, along with the recent deaths that have occurred, serves as a wake-up call.  So many people who surround us are deceived on a daily basis into thinking they are whole and complete and happy and ok.  And we just allow this to happen.  We have got to stand together, grow bold, and make a difference in our environments.  This world is getting sadder and sadder.  People need hope, and we know what that is, and we just keep it to ourselves.  That's not the way it's supposed to be.

How does this relate to Brody?  As the world gets progressively worse, I pray that he has the boldness to stand up for Christ.  I pray that he isn't afraid to tell others about God.  I pray that he doesn't become deceived by the enemy.  Future generations are going to have be stronger and braver than the ones before them.  That's how it affects him.  

Let's start the fight for them.  Let's put on the armor of God and go to battle everyday for our Savior.  Otherwise, what's the point of this life?

Friday, August 16, 2013


Hey guys.  Just letting you know I have not forgotten about you.  I had a friend pass away this week, and life has just been crazy.  We will have some good posts next week though, I promise.  I just wanted to keep you updated.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

For Our Loved Ones

I have a wonderful support group, but being a situation that none of us are very familiar with, almost all of my friends have said that they want to be there for me but they don't exactly know how.

Every person deals with grief and difficult situations different ways.  For me, and I'm sure a lot of others in this situation, what helps the most is acknowledging it.  No, it's not the only thing I ever want to talk about, but it's okay to ask how I am doing.  It's okay to ask me about Brody-being an open adoption, I'm in contact withe family and get updates on him.  For those I am close to, ask to see pictures!  

It's real and it did happen and he is a part of me.  So it's ok to talk about it and ask about.  If you acknowledge it, and show you are comfortable with the topic, I don't have to act like it didn't happen.  I don't have to hide it.  I can embrace it.

That's just my advice for my loved ones who care, but don't know how to react.  Acknowledgement is key.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Other Children

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After having a child that I placed with an adoptive family, it's strange having interactions with other people's children.  Every time, however, it's a different reaction.

There are some children that I absolutely love being around and click with; it's like my maternal instinct has stuck and I am a natural.  There are other children who I used to get along with marvelously, and now it's awkward.  Strange huh?

Some children remind me of Brody and just make me feel sad.  It's weird, because I don't why they do.  If all little boys reminded me of him (since Brody is a boy) that would make sense.  But it's not just boys.  And there are some boys who I don't get that feeling from. 

It's just interesting how it affects your everyday life.

Has anyone else who has placed their child for adoption had experiences like this?  Or do you feel the same way around other children as you did prior to having your child?  Just curious!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Coming Soon!!

Don't worry... I know it's been a little while but exciting posts are coming soon!  Including but not limited to:

More letters to Brody

Posts from my family

Posts from Brody's adoptive mother

Stick around!!  It's going to be great!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I Am Weak

One thing I hear from people all the time on this journey is, "You are so strong!"  While I would love to soak it up and boost my pride, I can't take that credit.  I am human and I am very very weak.  The pain of leaving a hospital without your child and seeing someone else raise him and make him happy and provide for him causes on overwhelming pain.  It's a pain that I could never overcome in my own strength.  God has done a supernatural, evident, permanent work in my heart.  I suffered because of sin and disobedience, but God turned it into a blessing, and I was obedient and surrendered myself to God He was faithful to do an amazing powerful work in my heart.  I am so thankful and so blessed!

Also, surrendering to God and being obedient to God is something I have to do daily.  All believers do.  You never completely arrive.  There is always room for growth. 

Either way, I just had to get that out there, that it's not my strength.  It's God's strength and goodness and love and mercy and power that have gotten me this far.  I can't take His credit.

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Dreaded Post

This whole situation was very humbling, but also very frustrating.  I hated the fact that everyone would know I was pregnant-because there is only one way to get pregnant.  Somehow all of my dirty laundry gets exposed; I never get to keep my secrets to myself.  I hated it, and I hated that everyone would know I messed up...again.

I have talked about my immediate family's reaction, but as far as my extended family, it was a little different.  Everyone had questions.  That is just going to happen.  Especially in my family.  We are about as nosy and open as you can get.  REALLY.   My immediate reaction was defensive.  It wasn't just that I was pregnant, but the father was a big deal.  I didn't want that to be known.

 I truly appreciate my cousin Derek. At the time, he and I were living with my parents.  We had many talks.  Yes, he was disappointed, but he never talked down on me or was harsh towards me.  Since he lived with me, people came to him looking for answers, and he didn't answer their questions.  He was loyal to my privacy, which I appreciate.  When I was trying to decide whether to keep Brody or not, he was so supportive.  He expressed that it was my decision, but unlike some other people in my life, he believed that I could do it either way.  Ultimately, I had to go with what I knew God wanted, and he fully supported that.  I don't know what I would have done without him.  Our late night talks kept me sane.  Derek, you are amazing!  Without going too much into, with everything that happened all at once, you showed your true character.  You freely gave forgiveness that resembled Christ.  I was truly humbled by your love and compassion.  You have no idea how much you mean to me!!

Getting back to the rest of the family.  There was so much people didn't know.  It wasn't like I just wanted to have a good time and thought that would be a good idea.  From the time I met Brody's birthfather I had unknowingly (or maybe I chose to ignore it) made him an idol.  He was my world in a very unhealthy way.  Not just for me, but for him as well.  I was addicted to him.  All I wanted for 3 and half years of my life was to be with him.  I wish him well in life, but I am glad it didn't happen.  He is not a follower of Christ, and God commands us not to be unequally yoked.  It probably would have ended badly.  Anyway, I felt judged, whether I was or not.  I know I was by some.  There are others that I feel bad for getting defensive against.

Ultimately, even though there were some rough patches at the beginning, I know my family loves me.  My Aunt Susie has been wonderful!!  She was there in the hospital.  She often asked if I needed anything or could do anything.  She bought me my favorite pajama pants.  She thought of me on MOTHER'S DAY!!  I remember being kind of hurt and disappointed by the people who didn't acknowledge that would be a hard day for me... Some of them didn't know what to say; others just didn't think about it.  But she was very loving!  She is proud of what I did for Brody.  Her love and selflessness are greatly appreciated!!

She's not the only one who has been mature and loving enough to look past my initial reactions.  I am proud of my family.  I am proud of the support we have in each other.  I am proud that for the most part, we all stay connected.  We have a HUGE family, and usually there are a lot of fights and grudges and people who won't talk to other people in the family or go to family get togethers because they want to avoid certain people.  We are all stubborn, but we all love each other, and ultimately, we all have each others backs.  I am truly blessed!

I called this the dreaded post because it is never fun to say I was wrong.  It's not fun being humbled.  But it is necessary.  It's necessary for healing; not just for you, but for those involved.  It's important to be willing to admit your faults and right your wrongs.  It's not fun, but it is worth it.