Not So Independent on Independence Day

This made me smile this morning.

My plans for an Independence Day post faded away  last night as I lay next to Dimples stroking her head as she fell asleep. I was discouraged — honestly, I was much more than discouraged. As she drifted off, I whispered, “You’re going to be okay.” Her eyes shot open and she said, “No, I’m not!”

I breathed slowly, trying to calm myself after a long and stressful evening.

“Daddy and I love you.” She was quiet.

Resting next to her, I thought about how utterly dependent I am on the Lord. Any independence I think I have is a joke – I breathe in and out, because He gives me life.

Dimples wrapped her arm tightly around me and I silently prayed, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” It was all I could manage; this simple prayer flowed through my mind. I wanted more — more love, more kindness, more of Jesus.

Then I remembered my 27th anniversary prayer from Psalm 27, and my heart lifted just a little,

I would have lost heart , unless I had believed, that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! Ps. 27: 13-14

Yes, the goodness of the Lord, that is what I want in my child’s life, in my heart, and flowing down over our family.

Utterly dependent on grace,

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. Lori
    July 4, 2011

    While my parenting issues come in a different form from yours, I cling to the same verse over and over again. That waiting sure is hard.
    Love you lots,
    Lori

    Reply
  2. Ashley
    July 4, 2011

    Thank you for this. This is exactly how I've been feeling the past week. So completely incapable of raising these children on my own. I need Him to teach me how to love them, how to help them, how to train them. Whew.

    Reply
  3. Cindy
    July 4, 2011

    We all are Lisa. Thank God we don't have to walk this journey alone.

    Love Your Sister in the Battle,
    Cindy

    Reply
  4. Jillian and Crew
    July 4, 2011

    I often say we believe in healing…at times it is because we truly believe in it, at other times it is because we are scared of what life would be like without it…but we hold to healing…with hope or desperation, we hold to healing.
    I often beg God to restore the years the locus ate…in all of us.

    I couldn't do this without HIM, there is simply NO.WAY

    Reply
  5. Mama D's Dozen
    July 4, 2011

    So true.

    You are blessed that Dimples will even allow you to lay next to her … that she will cling to your neck … that she will allow you to pray for her. My Little Miss gets violent if I try to do any of those things.

    I do pray for her … but she resists it with every ounce of her energy. She even says, "I hate it when you pray for me." So so sad.

    It is a long, hard road … and I could certainly NOT walk it without being completely dependent on the Lord.

    Hoping your day is BLESSED!

    Laurel

    Reply
  6. dawn
    July 4, 2011

    Amen.

    Reply
  7. Julie
    July 4, 2011

    Oh Lisa…praying your Dimples finds true joy. You are so right. It would be easy to lose heart…except for God. He is the One who is working in her life behind the scenes. He is the only one who can give her a new life.

    Reply
  8. Eileen
    July 5, 2011

    I hate even asking this trite question in the face of such a beautiful and moving post, but…….what type of rose is that in your garden? It's so beautiful.

    Blessings you your sweet Dimples and the rest of your family as you navigate her needs.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      July 5, 2011

      Eileen, I don't mind at all, but I'm afraid I don't know the answer. They were planted before we bought our house. The roses are great – there are seven bushes that form an informal hedge on the border of our backyard. If we deadhead them after the first bloom, we'll get another great bloom later in the summer.

      Reply
  9. sleepyknitter
    July 5, 2011

    Thank you for this post. This is the way I feel so often! I have made so many mistakes in raising our sweet children. Often I think, "If I had truly understood attachment [or whatever] from the beginning, life wouldn't be turning out like this for my babies. If only I had done [whatever], everything would be easier for them — and, quite honestly, for us." But maybe our children are like your roses, and we'll get another bloom later, a healthy one. I don't think I could "deadhead" my kids, though. 🙂 So I'll just wait on the Lord. And PRAAAAAAAAAAY.

    Reply
  10. shannon2818
    July 5, 2011

    Thank you for being so honest.

    Reply
  11. Learning to Abandon
    July 6, 2011

    Lisa,
    I am 18 years old and big sister to 4 adopted kids (ages 10, 9, 6, and 4). My mom got a link to an article of yours in and Empowered to Connect e-mail, and I believe it was of an encouragement to her. I wanted to stop by and let you know how thankful I am to read your blog and your thoughts, and for your vulnerability in doing so. It is so encouraging to read an adoption blog that has so much truth! We have had a long, hard year and there are more days than not that we cry out in distress as we try to unify this family. Some days it seems like we're being torn apart, in stead of woven together, and that worries me.
    I have to continually remind myself that the Lord has a glorious plan in this and that it IS good and it IS beautiful. I know He called our family to this, and I believe without a shadow of a doubt that His plan is better than my plan. He IS so, so good! Sometimes, though, while going through the trenches that is hard to remember. Thank you for giving me those reminders on your blog and for answering the Lord's call in looking after orphans. It is such an encouragement to see!
    ~Kylee
    Learningtoabandon.blogspot.com

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      July 6, 2011

      Kylee, thank you for your words. I'm sorry your family is struggling and I pray that life will improve as the new children settle into your family. You must be a great encouragement to your mom, who probably needs that right now. I've done a lot of thinking about the impact of adopting children from "hard places" on the children already in the family. My daughter, Mimi, is working on an article for Empowered to Connect right now. Your voices need to be heard right along with the parents and the adopted children. I hopped over to your blog and saw your beautiful family, thank you for sharing the link.

      Reply
  12. Jen
    July 10, 2011

    Lisa,

    I am praying for you and for Dimples and for all of the other kiddos and your husband! It truly is such a spiritual battle that we fight and it is not for the faint of heart. . . and so we wait and pray, wait and pray, and trust the only One who is truly trustworthy.

    Reply
  13. cassc
    July 11, 2011

    The Jesus prayer is simple but powerful. When I find myself being knocked by the waves of life unable to hold onto much it is often the last prayer I can still grasp onto while I ride out the storm. May HIS mercy be upon us all.

    Reply
    1. One Thankful Mom
      July 11, 2011

      Me too! When life is too much, when I am very distressed, I turn again and again to that simple prayer which I think I learned from one of my heroes, Elisabeth Elliot. She laid a deep foundation in my walk with Christ.

      Reply

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