How do we live with Satan in our home??

Now I know, every Christian has this thought. Be it over television, internet, and even sometimes people we invite in as we work to show them God. However, when we live with what is perceived as evil. What do we as Christians do?

This is where I find myself today!! I have been working through Revelations and 1 John 3-4….and goodness I am truly in a spiritual battle with how I am feeling towards one of the kids.

Now I am not flat out saying he is Satan (it sure feels like it sometimes), but I am questioning how I respond to him and his behaviors as not just a mom, but a Christian mom?

This kiddo has been with us for just about 4 years now. I also know that part of his behaviors is attributed to being on the autism spectrum. LOGICALLY, I understand that he will not handle social situations anywhere near appropriately. I know he will never function at his level, but do I have to face a life time of raising a child and young adult that is so self centered and unwilling (yes, I said unwilling because I truly in my heart of hearts believe that is his choice) to be a part of any family unless he is the center of the universe.

How do I work through this and keep my heart for Jesus?? How do I safeguard myself when I would typically plant my seeds and walk away for God to work His will in this life? I just don’t know what to do, or truly how to be in this situation! Turn to the word right….

And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. Acts 2:42 ESV

So, I reached out to my mentors. Tearfully and full of fear I might add!! This was God’s word through them:

Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times. Concentrate! Learn it by heart! Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they’re bursting with health. Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth; avoid careless banter, white lies, and gossip. Keep your eyes straight ahead; ignore all sideshow distractions. Watch your step, and the road will stretch out smooth before you. Look neither right nor left; leave evil in the dust. Proverbs 4:20‭-‬27 MSG

Yeah…..let that one sink in a little!! I have to keep my focus on God and His plan and will!! He has brought this child to me not to torture me or him, but to grow BOTH of us! Walking with my son has grown me and minute by minute continues to grow me!!

When I step back and evaluate our walk as a family….yes we let Satan in!! We bring in the trauma, heartache, and corruption into our home. HOWEVER, this is where Jesus met people and made the biggest change in their lives!! We are following Jesus by walking with this child as he fights to stay with what he knows. While God battles for his soul, we are entrusted with his care, protection, and …dare I say it….shaping him for his future.

I guess one could ask ….. how are you not letting Satan in? How are you following Jesus, and keeping these elements/frustrations out?

So worth the battle!!

Normal…… um Does That Exist???

Not in my home!! I am not a firm believer in normal, or any sense of the word, but especially when it comes to our household.

We live with thievery, verbal abuse, and unfortunately a heightened level of fear. Yeah, you read that right…..and I am not just talking about the kid’s in the home either!!

As adoptive parents of traumatized children I have some pretty extreme fears about doing things that most family’s count as normal. For example, going to a school function with all the “normal” families, that have children dressed nice, hair looks good, and while they can be a little louder than usual, they are not being sexually inappropriate or seeking out free items from teachers or other parents due to their foster history or just flat out stealing from those in the classroom.

Another example that is in my face right now is camping. Most families can pull this off with little effort from all involved, right! Well here we are with one kid unable to function because he is excited,  one kid unable to communicate or even think through making his cereal for breakfast because he is excited, and one kid taking this opportunity to steal items she has been eyeing because everyone is focused on something else at the moment!! Um yeah so this is our normal!

She has found a heart!!

While in my heart of hearts, I long for a clean house with laughter and festive decorations. I find myself barried in a house of messiness that is never anyone’s fault, or doing, so they are unable to clean anything unless they are actively partaking in the mess alone.  So while others are decorating their house for the holidays I am still fighting with every fiber of my existence to find my kitchen counters and walk on a floor that is not sticky!!

I guess this is our normal, and it is what we have signed up for as we look to each day!! I truly feel as though we are stuck in a horrid, “Ground Hog Day” film with these guys. Honestly, it is overwhelming to think that it will not improve any time soon! I know our ultimate goal is the long term. Where these children are adults and able to handle the stress of day to day life, but right now it is nothing short of overwhelming.

Now, I don’t want to scare anyone away from being foster or adoptive parents, but I do feel the need to be brutally honest. This way, if you do choose to walk this path with a kid that is struggling to find their footing and you are thinking it will be all picture perfect moments. This is a challenging life, but it is also a VERY blessed life! We have helped children experience life events that are taken for granted by many. For example, we have walked with kids through the first time things like birthday parties, participating in Halloween, and even getting to open a Christmas present. Working to keep the other kids from making comments of “the wrapping paper doesn’t matter just rip it off” when the child is cherishing every feeling, smell, and thought of the moment. Sure, every parent gets to experience this with their newborns, but we are talking with 8, 12, and even 15 year-olds. This is heartbreaking and rewarding all at one time.

We love them all and this moment has definitely gotten me through this crazy year!!

The pictures that are covered are kid’s that are currently in the system, and are experiencing a true family Christmas for the first time….ever! They had received presents, but had not done activities such as reading the Christmas story, making cookies or gingerbread houses, and looking at Christmas lights. Would you look at those smiles!!! These, my friends, are the reasons we walk this crazy path! This is our normal. I guess I need to take more time to step back and look at where we are, and where we have been. This is what we live for each and every one of those smiles!!

The Adventures of Homeschooling

What was I  thinking!! Our circus of Flying Monkeys are going every direction but the one I need them too!! So here we are on week three and we typically start the week out crushing school, however, by Wednesday the fighting begins!!

So we have a few kids that love school and they will always get going, this is our two girls. Go figure!! Where we struggle the most is the boys. We have two that have attention spans of nats and two that just want to plow through about an hour and then feel they should be done. So how do you tackle this?

No really!!! I am open to suggestions!!

I am also struggling with my choice of curriculum.  I have some that are doing great with the curriculum and others that are hating it!! This has really opened my eyes to what the school’s go through and just how much my kids needs can’t be meet in the classroom setting. Not for lack of trying!

So here I am stuck in the middle of fighting the curriculum and fighting the kids to work the curriculum! My homeschooling heart tells me to focus on the kid, but my master level student brain says that is not going to make a difference on their future where focusing on school will make their future brighter!! I think I am having multiple personalities. I think I have cracked!!

These kiddos need a curriculum that combines school topics with self bettering skills. They need to learn the basics of being nice even when no one is looking!! We have kids that have learned to survive by cheating, stealing and being untruthful. How do we fix this damage?

How do we show our kids that just because we love them and accept them for who they are that doesn’t mean society will? When we have discussed some of the rioting issues it has been completely shocking, apoling, and beyond disheartening to hear our kids voice that they would love to just go smash a window and get items they want or that people deserve to be treated horribly because they have more. How do we make a change in this when it feels like it is a part of their DNA??

What can we do to make a difference? We have had our kids for varying amounts of time from 12 years to 1 year and I have heard “be consistent”, “lead by living your life as an example”, and my favorite “they will feel the love you are pouring out and it will change their DNA” (um, science major here, that would be environmental changes, but not making a huge difference).

In my feeling heart, this is not working!! In my logical brain, you know it takes a lot of repetitiveness to make a difference! In the trenches of every day, what have I gotten myself into!! Here I sit in a no win situation. If I focus on their hearts and accountability they will be good humans with no skills that allow them to survive in the world outside of our home. If I focus on the skills I will have kids that have street skills, but steal and riot when they see an opportunity. Which way do I turn???

I never had to think of this with my bio kids as they knew what was right and wrong and how to be a caring individual in all circumstances. This allowed me to simply just focus on teaching school and relating it back to daily life. Oh what I would give to be back there now!!😳

I guess the moral of this story is that morals are hard to teach an older child with mental health issues and while we are constantly feeling like we are not enough we need to remember that God is in control and he is MORE than enough!! HE CAN TACKEL THIS PROBLEM!!! It all comes back to putting it in His hands and being willing to take that step! And the next one! And the next one!!