More Opportunities to Love

I had a revelation the other day, just a small one, mind you, but a moment of personal insight nonetheless.

The greater the number of people we love, the messier our lives will be. So here’s the thing for moms of large families– chances are  that our lives are going to be messy.

Of course, this also applies to all who open their hearts and welcome people into their homes and into their lives. Loving people means letting them get close enough to spill over into your life – whether you’re a mother or not.

If we keep our worlds small, and our arms only slightly open, we may protect ourselves a little. But if we open our arms wide and embrace as many people as we can, our arms will be filled with both their joys and their brokenness. We may be hurt by the ones we love, and we will surely hurt with them as we share their sorrows.

The more children we have, the more opportunities we have to love the brokenhearted, the angry, and the frightened. We learn to loosen our grasp on things we hold dear in order to fill our hands with the work given to us by Jesus.

I am learning so much during these long, messy days  – and sometimes sleepless nights. Thank you so much for walking alongside me.  Today it feels like a cloud is lifting and the sun just might shine through.

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.

0 Comments

  1. Jenny Crowley
    June 30, 2013

    LOVE this. I know we don’t know each other personally, but do know as a foster mom and one who has walked many valleys, I have been praying for you with deep empathy and compassion. Continued grace, peace, and healing to you and your family.

    Reply
  2. angela
    June 30, 2013

    so that's why my life is so so messy!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 30, 2013

      That would be my guess, Angela 🙂

      Reply
  3. Lisa
    June 30, 2013

    "We learn to loosen our grasp on things we hold dear in order to fill our hands with the work given to us by Jesus." I've been pondering this for the past few months…you expressed it eloquently!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 30, 2013

      Thank you, Lisa.

      Reply
  4. Beth Templeton
    June 30, 2013

    Lisa, I really love this idea that sometimes we are hurt by the ones we love (this is so common in adoption), and that we have the opportunity to be hurt with them. God has really helped me to see my role as one who comes alongside my child and hurt with them, gently leading them when they are ready to walk up and out into healing. Help us Father God to do this!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 30, 2013

      Amen, Beth. Thank you for your thoughts.

      Reply
  5. Jen Lee
    June 30, 2013

    This is so encouraging, Lisa. We just added another child to our family a month ago. Although we now "only" have five kids 🙂 it feels very messy and cloudy. God really spoke to my heart through your post . . . Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 30, 2013

      Thanks for telling me, Jen. I really appreciate the encouragement. I am praying for strength and joy for you right now.

      Reply
  6. katie patel
    June 30, 2013

    Lisa
    You spoke to my heart! The Lord has recently been showing me how I am trying to protect myself from the messiness of loving my adopted kids well…and how I *think* its protecting myself, but its really not trusting Him to protect me, and fill me back up when they "drain the life" out of me. Does that make sense? Anyways your thoughts really reinforced what He's been gently whispering…..thank you , sweet sister ….may God give us all His strength and Joy in Him as we press on in the "mess"

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 30, 2013

      I completely understand, Katie. You put words to some of what I've been wrestling with too.

      Reply
  7. Katie Szotkiewicz Patel
    June 30, 2013

    The wisdom you are sharing so gracefully is blessing so many…Glory to God and thank you for letting us learn alongside you

    Reply
  8. Carmen
    June 30, 2013

    So true- great reminder! Keeping an eternal perspective helps. Glad your clouds are lifting!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 30, 2013

      Me, too, Carmen. Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  9. Laurel
    June 30, 2013

    Excellent insight. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 30, 2013

      Thanks for leaving an encouraging comment, Laurel.

      Reply
  10. Jennifer P
    June 30, 2013

    The older my kids get, the more I realize that I've only begun to learn how to pray. Messy, indeed! Lisa, you are a wise woman. Thank you for sharing this revelation. I often bring myself back to the saying, "There is no great gain without some loss," for some perspective.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 30, 2013

      Jennifer, I hear you about prayer – as my kids get older, I find that I often don't even have the words I need. Thankfully, the Lord knows my every thought. Thank you for your thoughts.

      Reply
  11. nancileamarie
    June 30, 2013

    Thankful for a hopeful day!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      June 30, 2013

      Me too, Nancilea. We all needed a day like today.

      Reply
  12. Lisa DeMoss Henderson
    June 30, 2013

    You expressed exactly what I’d just been thinking about a few days ago. The only way to avoid the mess is not to risk in love, and that’s NOT what we’re called to. And Brad and I have talked about the Apostle Paul…Beaten, shipwrecked, left for dead, etc….I imagine he/his life looked pretty messy at times…..A hug to you, friend!

    Reply
  13. Mary
    July 1, 2013

    How encouraging. as others have commented, the messier our lives get, the more our problems are only "solved" with prayer. I was just thinking this morning while gathering the laundry that my world has become full of things I cannot manage on my own–a big contrast to my world a few years ago. Ironically (or not), I feel more secure than ever before because the words, "Our Father, who aren't in heaven" have become much more real to me. It used to be something I said. Now prayer is life.

    Reply
  14. Annie
    July 1, 2013

    Beautiful, wise post. Thank you, Lisa.

    Reply
  15. Grace
    July 1, 2013

    Beautifully spoken! It truly resonated with me as the birth mom of 4, adoptive mom of 2 and foster mom (now retired from that profession!) to over 20 others…Glad to hear the day is getting brighter (been there and done that!).

    Reply
  16. Melissa
    July 2, 2013

    I will carry these thoughts with me for a lifetime–thank you for sharing this wisdom.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      July 2, 2013

      You're so welcome, Melissa.

      Reply
  17. Lisa Qualls
    July 3, 2013

    I hear you, Laurel! And sometimes it all hits at once. Press on.

    Reply

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