The BIG E at the top of the Chart

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The younger kids and I were supposed to leave for a weekend retreat today. I was a little worried about making the trip without Russ. I’m not sure why; I’ve made this trip many times before. But I’m coming off of a hard stretch and I don’t feel quite as strong and confident as usual. Despite that, we made plans to go because I was certain that once we arrived, the smiles on my kids’ faces would make it all worth it. The super extra blessing was that we were going to spend Sunday with Isaiah, and even see him lead worship that morning.

Monday morning came and the sun was shining – it was going to be a good week. I was ready. We would pack early, folding laundry and putting it in backpacks before it got mixed into the disorganized dresser drawers.

Wednesday my car died as I was driving. I managed to pull off the highway and into a parking lot, and as I did, I immediately wondered what I would do if this happened when I was driving 70 mph with my children and couldn’t get to a safe spot on the shoulder.

But a broken down car was not going to deter me. I checked prices for renting a car for the weekend, and quickly realized that it would make the trip way out of my price range. There were options, including borrowing a friend’s car, but I wasn’t sure if that was the best plan.

I woke up early Thursday morning running all of this through my mind. I thought and thought, then I prayed, “Lord I know that a broken down car should probably be enough of a message to make me realize I shouldn’t go, but maybe this is just an obstacle I have to overcome. If I’m really not meant to go, please make it very clear to me. I really don’t want to disappoint my kids. Amen.”

Thirty minutes later, Eby was vomiting.

It wasn’t funny, but I had to laugh. God knows I’m a bit dense sometimes. I laughed again when my friend, Signe, told me that sometimes He has to point me to the big E at the top of the chart. In my effort to make the right decisions, there are days when I need loud and clear direction.

And if you’re wondering, I did use the 10-10-10 rule, and it pointed me to staying home too.

What does your weekend hold? I would love to hear from you.

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. charity betts
    April 4, 2014

    I am smiling, tho i'm sorry your little guy will be sick! I have to agree, as I have more children (8) and they run from ages 20 to 2, I find my mind is so busy simply keeping track of their needs and schedules and emotions, I find it hard to hear Him somedays. I too have taken to reminding Him (as if He needs a reminder~)that I need the message LOUD and CLEAR, and sometimes TWICE…he is full of grace and a sense of humor, and as often as I ask, he sends tender mercies, and sick kids and broken cars and snowstorms here as well to get his message across….glad His hand is in your life as well, enjoy the weekend home! all is well. love ya.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 4, 2014

      Thank you, Charity. Once I realized we weren't going, I began to look forward to a weekend that isn't already packed full of plans.

      Reply
  2. Deborah
    April 4, 2014

    Oh I so need CLEAR and CONVINCING signs – I need things to be blantantly obvious….. especially now. I was once a research – decide – do decision maker. However, this little journey into the painful world of trauma parenting has taught me that no matter how intensive my research, I don't know what I don't know, until I know……. and by then it just might be too late. It has absolutely crippled my ability to make decisions for fear of making any more horrible mistakes that hurt my family. I wish my trauma kids had the same level of conscience!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 4, 2014

      I hear the complexity Deborah. I've never been a good decision maker and now it is even harder.

      Reply
  3. linedancergal
    April 5, 2014

    I have to ask God to yell sometimes too. But then look at Gideon. He had to do the fleece thing twice! You'd think one miracle would have been enough. I sometimes wonder which way round I would have gone with, the dry ground and wet fleece, or the dry fleece and wet ground. I also wonder if I would have needed both to convince me. Quite possibly.
    It would be nice if we knew ahead of time what we should be doing, but sometimes we don't know what is best until later. Hindsight is always 20-20. But often we have to walk by faith.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 5, 2014

      I hear you about walking by faith! And thank you for your thoughts on Gideon.

      Reply
  4. Kirsten Miller
    April 5, 2014

    This reminds me of an ill-fated trip we tried to take to Chicago. The weather was bad and about thirty minutes after we left, I tried to reach out of my window on the passenger side as we were going down the highway and pull an ice chunk off the wiper. It was on delay and came to life just as I grabbed it, resulting in the whole wiper blade flying off into the night. We pulled off at the next exit with a Walmart to buy a new one and while my husband was in the store, one of the kids started vomiting. Abort mission!
    I told someone else last week and was convicted that I needed to say this to you: I have been blessed by your blog. I have so much more understanding of the circumstances some parents are working in and the profound problems some of these children have. It has made me much more able to understand others' situations and be more equipped to be a better friend and support. Blessings to you and to all those who comment here. Not only do you help others in similar situations by sharing your stories, you also bless the Church by educating those of us who haven't lived this. My compassion has grown with my understanding. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      April 5, 2014

      Kirsten, I'm glad you can relate to my travel plans – or lack thereof! I truly appreciate your thoughts on my blog increasing your compassion for families who struggle. That is a huge blessing to me. Sometimes I forget that even local folks read my blog – it's a bit humbling. Thank you for taking time to encourage me.

      Reply

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