Celebrating Priorities

I started writing this post this morning – now it is nearly 4:00, but that is the life so many of us lead.  Children, laundry, appointments, making dinner, all take their place above time on the computer.  So here I am, dinner in the crock pot and the little window air conditioner trying to cool the family room to a level that keeps the shirt from sticking to my back.

Earlier today I was updating my planner; I got to September and saw, written on the 14th – 16th, “Nashville – ETC!”  A small wave of sadness came over me as I erased those words and replaced them with “Nebraska.”

I love the Empowered to Connect conferences ; it is an honor and a joy to speak with the rest of the ETC team.  I love these people and continue to learn from them.  When I heard from The Attachment and Trauma Center of Nebraska that Dimples’ week of intensive therapy would likely be in September, I knew that I would have to let go of the Nashville conference.  Even if the dates had been further apart, I need to devote myself to this work with Dimples.

It took me several days, but I finally sent an email to my Empowered to Connect and Show Hope friends telling them that I will have to miss this conference.  They all replied with kind and encouraging words.  I especially loved what Karyn Purvis said, “We will miss you but celebrate your priorities!”

This is the way it should be.  My priority is my children and their healing.  I could speak for hours about parenting children from “hard places,” but if I neglect to give myself fully to the task, my words are meaningless.

When we parents said “yes” to adopting children, we knew there would be sacrifices, and we would need to say “no” to other things that would pull us.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find this very hard to live out.

Today, let’s celebrate our priorities!  Let’s rejoice in the good work God has given us and the precious children we have.

Lisa

 

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

16 Comments

  1. Steph-Justin Smith
    August 20, 2012

    I wondered if you would be speaking at the Nashville conference when I heard about it from several different places. We actually havent adopted but I want to in the near future. I thought perhaps the conference would give me some "real" expectations regarding the challenges of adopting. We have two children under two right now so we know that it is not the best time to bring in another child with lots of emotional needs when we wouldnt be able to fully give our best. But in the meantime, Im soaking up what I can learn so that when the time comes we will be as prepared as we can be! Thank you for your blog, I appreciate it so much!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 20, 2012

      I wish I could be there – Nashville was great last year. Even if you don't have children home yet, you will gain so much by attending and ETC conference. Michael and Amy are great teachers, and Dr. Purvis is one of the most gifted communicators I've ever known. You will love it! Thanks so much for reading my blog and commenting.

      Reply
  2. Carrie
    August 20, 2012

     Lisa… Your post is timely… Like always!

    While out doing many of the things you mentioned above, appointments, groceries, running around to important things… The car ride brought out some HARD memories with some of our kids. The kind that make you glad they are sitting behind you do they can't see you wiping tears streaming down your face…

    Here is what my hero husband texted me today while we were out when memories starring flying out! It's good stuff!
    Im standing in it today!
    Lisa I celebrate my priorities today even though I'm gasping for air as my heart beats in big deep thumps that shake my very being! Thank you again for your post!
    C
    Adoption reality.  I am having an eyes wide open reflection.  
    When God  calls someone to adopt He is calling you to walk thru and discover potentially unimaginable horrors that go way beneath the surface of what the masses believe is giving these kids a forever family.  
    When these kids are not adopted as infants the likelihood seems to be plan on the unimaginable more than not.  
    Sad but glad God chose us as we won't give up or let go of these kids no matter what!   Sadly there arent as many warriors ready for this battle as are needed .  We also have to remember this isnt all older kids but for some reason God saw fit for our kids to have gone thru this and be placed in our home.   Love you!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 20, 2012

      Carrie, thank you for your encouraging words. I had a car ride like that with one of my kids this summer, when memories poured forth that I had never heard before. I was so honored that my child trusted me enough to tell me such hard things. I can imagine what your day was like. Thank God for wonderful husbands who parent alongside us and for Jesus who holds us all together.

      Reply
  3. Shonni
    August 20, 2012

    Amen! And yes, we definately say no to many things now too, but we also get to say yes to the amazing journey of loving these tender little people. Thanks for the encouragement as always.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 20, 2012

      Shonni, you're right! The "yes's" are amazing. Blessings on your family!

      Reply
  4. Katie Patel
    August 20, 2012

    Love you girl. Hang in there. Big hugs!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 20, 2012

      Thanks, Katie!

      Reply
  5. Mary
    August 20, 2012

    This is encouraging to hear and very thought provoking and I'll be "stewing" over it, in a good way, tonight and maybe all day tomorrow.
    May he gives wisdom to formulate the best priorities and then as you encourage us, rejoice in them. Even as we have to say no to other things.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      August 20, 2012

      Mary, I'm glad to hear that I am making you "stew." I read a thought in a book today that I've been stewing over all day, myself. I love the Body of Christ and the way we can build and encourage one another.

      Reply
  6. Emily
    August 21, 2012

    I love this post. On another note, what beautiful painted fingernails in the picture 😉

    Reply
  7. Cat
    August 22, 2012

    Celebrate the priorities. Celebrate the small successes. You can't see the big picture yet – no one can – but you guys are moving in the right direction, hard as it is. So thankful you are willing and able to share here. Gives others (including me) hope. 🙂 Thoughts and prayers will be with you these next few weeks.

    Reply
  8. Paula Miles Spears
    August 22, 2012

    Hey, Nebraska is AWESOME. You'll see. 😉

    Reply
  9. Traci
    August 22, 2012

    Lisa, I'm sorry to hear that we won't see you in Nashville, but I too celebrate your priorities. As a group of us here prepare ourselves to start a support group for adoptive families that have children from hard places, I read this post and the next with concerns that perhaps we are saying yes too soon. Our newest daughter, home five months and 13 years old, went through crisis quickly after coming home and seems to be doing remarkably well as she blends with the family. (We had twelve weeks of weekends with her before she came home so the timing wasn't a complete surprise.) Even though I believe that God has asked us to order Dr. Purvis' material and bring it to our area in order to equip others that are on this road, you make me take pause. We are in the planning stages and that includes much prayer time as a group. We will move cautiously. My prayer is that He will help me to see what is my passion for equipping those doing the hard work and what He desires for our family and for those in our adoption community. Thank you.

    Reply
  10. Sharon
    August 23, 2012

    I have let my priorities get too out of whack lately (think tryanny of the urgent!)…thank you for the reminder.

    Reply
  11. Amy D
    August 24, 2012

    Timely post! We've been adoptive parents for all of 10 days now… My whole family is still out of the country for that, and just found out tonight that our stay here while we wait for documents to come home will be much longer than it seemed like it would be (think weeks)… So much is being sacrificed by the rest of us, just by that extra time out of the country… Grieving it tonight. Time to celebrate tomorrow (or the next day 🙂 ). Thanks so much for your ministry to us other mommas!

    Reply

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