Please be Gentle in 2016

 

Christmas morning - minus a few Qualls
Christmas morning – minus a few Qualls

My hand was in his, on New Year’s Eve, as Russ prayed words of hope and encouragement before dinner. I was listening and praying with him, when I realized that the words of my heart were also spilling out. My heart was praying, “Lord, please have mercy on us. Lord, please be gentle with us.”

As I wrote on my Instagram post New Year’s morning, “It’s a brand new year, friends; I’m hopeful and just a little afraid. What will this year bring? Whatever it is, I’m confident that Jesus will be with me in every breath and ever moment. I’m asking the Lord to please be gentle with us.”

This new year comes with apprehension. The worst has happened, and we have lived through it, and maybe we’re even a little stronger than we were before. But I don’t want suffering to come upon us again, at least not suffering like this.

I can say with Job, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him,” I do trust Him. He is a good father and I know he loves us, but frankly, I don’t want to be slain. I don’t want to suffer, grieve, or have my life stripped away in a moment.

So I cry out for mercy, I beg for kindness, and I lay our lives in His loving hands.

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I press into God, beginning each morning with New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional, followed by reading the Word. This year I’m following The Bible in a Year reading plan on the She Reads Truth free app. Please join me; we’ll be so glad we started our mornings this way. I’m yearning to organize my days in ways that draw me closer, and the Bible is a good place to start.

I don’t know when I’ll stop being afraid every time my kids get in the car, or each time we round a curve bearing hard to the left, or every day when I see snow and know that somebody I love has to drive in it.

Grief is a long road, and we’re walking down it with as much grace as we can. Some days we’re weak and do a rotten job, stumbling along, kicking up rocks, and stepping in puddles. Other days we walk with grace, as if it is a smooth path.

I love this,

In your most brilliant moment, you will still be left with mystery in your life; sometimes even painful mystery. We all face things that appear to make little sense and don’t seem to serve any good purpose. So rest is never found in the quest to understand it all. No, rest is found in trusting the One who understands it all and rules it all for his glory and our good.

New Morning Mercies, January 2.

Can I trust him enough to simply walk with my hand in his, not peering down the road at every curve or looking back over my shoulder?

I’m trying, I really am, and I know that is enough today.

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.

15 Comments

  1. Holly hawes
    January 5, 2016

    Thank you for your recommendation. My husband and I were looking for something to read together and this has been helpful already. Today's hit me as I am quitting my job ( at a ministry) to move home and make space for an adopted kiddo we pray will join us soon. I am not more loved based on where I work, ministry we can or cannot do in different stages of life, or even just doing the right thing. His love for me spans beyond that limited scope and goes before I even desired to love Him back.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 5, 2016

      So good, Holly. I've read some of the days to Russ. He is also going to start the daily Bible reading plan with me.

      Reply
  2. Siri
    January 5, 2016

    Lisa, I just finished a wonderful book. I thought of you often as Iread it. It is called A Grace Disguised, by Jerry Sittser.
    God bless. Love, Siri Whitmore

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 5, 2016

      Siri, that is amazing because I am reading it right now. A friend from CO gave it to me; interestingly, I think his accident was on the same highway as ours. I would love to talk with him one day. Hannah is reading one of his later books. Love to you and your family.

      Reply
  3. Cindy Mc
    January 5, 2016

    I'm reading with you. Praying for his mercy and love to fill your days, your life, your paths.
    Love,
    Cindy Mc

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 5, 2016

      I'm glad we're reading together, Cindy! Thank you for your prayers – I'm cautiously optimistic.

      Reply
  4. Angela Arnett Stone
    January 5, 2016

    I love this post. 18 year ago my older brother committed suicide and last summer another brother committed suicide. It was hard the first few months because I knew that the first time it opened 3 years of hell for my family. I knew I could grieve and recover if nothing else happened. Then each following month for 3 months there was a major tragedy in my life with friends and family. After that there were health challenges and on and on. I am no longer afraid of what this second suicide might bring but do realize I have to be really on top of self care.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 5, 2016

      Angela – that is unbelievably hard. I'm so sorry for what you are going through. You are right about self care. I need the Word, friends, prayer, sleep, walks, and more,to get me through this year. Many blessings to you.

      Reply
  5. Charlotte
    January 5, 2016

    Hey Mrs MK’s Mom!

    The feelings of apprehension will never go away. They will be there every day of your life. And they are so so annoying! For me, it’s every time I get any feeling of a sore joint or bone (which is often since I’ve had runners knee since I was a kid). What if I have the dreaded “C-word”!? Even though I know I’m just as likely as the next person it doesn’t make the feelings of apprehension go away.

    I’m just over 4 years into my grief and sometimes it just hits me like a wave, and I cry and I cry and I feel like the pain won’t stop and I’m mad and nothing seems worth my effort. Then other days I will think “how lucky was I to have my little brother in my life! I’m going to do all this for him!”.

    You don’t get over it, you just find ways to cope. Sometimes you feel like you are back at square one, and that’s okay too. No matter what you feel or want to do, that’s normal and that’s okay. Don’t ever listen to anyone ever tell you you’re grieving wrong. You, Russ and each of the children might all grieve in a different way, but each of those ways is just right for them.

    I wish so badly that I could say or do something to make your whole family’s pain go away but the reality is, there is not. Believe me, I would do it in a heartbeat because I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone.

    I wish nothing but the best for you and your family in 2016!

    Love Charlotte ♥

    Reply
  6. Jeri
    January 5, 2016

    We're reading together as a family. Praying mercy.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 5, 2016

      So glad you're reading together, Jeri.

      Reply
  7. Debbie
    January 5, 2016

    The first book I read when my husband was diagnosed was A Grace Disguised. A most excellent testimony . Praying for God's gentleness alongside you, Lisa.. Happy New Year!

    Reply
  8. Glenda
    January 5, 2016

    Oh, Lisa. You put into words how I have felt the last few days. I have not experienced what you have, but 2015 was my hardest year ever. And prior to that, 2014 was. I cringe when I wonder if it's a progression and I have been begging for mercy. Thank you for your words. His grace is sufficient and I'll try alongside you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 6, 2016

      So true, Glenda, that his grace is sufficient. We will get through this year, no matter what comes, but I hope for both of us, it's a gentle year.

      Reply
  9. Lisa Qualls
    January 6, 2016

    I'm praying the same for you, Deb. I hope we will see each other this year.

    Reply

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