The Lord is our Portion

The Lord is our Portion

Monday, June 27, 2016

our "schooling" has begun...

Recently we found out that we were selected to be part of the Empowered to Connect (ETC) Train-the- Trainer course. This week Hubby and I started our 8 week course that will train us to lead Empowered to Connect parent trainings in our area for local adoptive and foster parents. This will be an intense 8 weeks of learning and coursework as we have been informed to plan at least eight hours a week completing assignments. The last week of the training concludes in a 3-day in-person training with the Empowered to Connect leadership.

We are so thankful for this opportunity for several reasons mostly because we know this works with kids from hard places and we have seen so much growth in all our children as well as how we are as parents. There are not any other parent trainers anywhere near us so we look forward to and are thankful for the opportunity to share this healing and connected parenting style with other parents that have kids from hard places. Lastly because we know by us leading classes on this it will encourage us to keep using these tools with our children.

How this all happened was...the short version is this all happened with us on our knees crying out for help and for God to use this situation and us for His will, purpose and glory. The long version of the story is like this-so you know that nudge you get from the Lord that prompting (often sometimes we try to ignore) and it just wont go away? Well that's how this happened.... Prior to bring blessing #5 home we read the book The Connected Child  we really loved and appreciated Dr. Purvis principles on connecting with children from hard places and it held a lot of the practices we already did with our four kids.  Then blessing #5 came home and we realized how challenging parenting a children from a hard place can be at times and how much more we needed to practice ETC connecting principles. In 2013 we attended an Empowered to Connect conference and talked with Michael Monroe about possibly becoming parent trainers-there were none in our areas so we knew too well of the need. We even talked with our pastor at the time and he was all for us using the church or helping us to connect with other churches in bigger cities near us to offer class at. We were in process for blessing #6 and with our older 2 graduating and starting college we just let that idea go for a while. All though many times through the years God kept bringing this back to our hearts.

This past year had been very rough for us for several reasons but one of the biggest issues was the feeling we had of being completely alone in this journey and the struggles it brought. By Gods providence we found two monthly support groups within an hour of our home that just started! We began attending them both and long story short the healing began - we realized the struggle is real and we were not alone...it wasn't just us not being "good enough" parents.

In the spring there was another Empowered to Connect conference we attended a simulcast of it. The idea to apply to become parent trainers kept coming to both our hearts/minds again along with the thought of doing the Created to Connect Bible study. The following week after one of our support groups Hubby and I met up with some couples after for coffee. A woman from the group she had also attended the simulcast sat down next to me and said "Did you see they have a Bible study to go along with The Connected Child - I want to do that?" (We had brought the guide with us to the adoption agency where the group is held and had just talked to the leaders right before heading to the coffee shop telling them how we think God wants us to lead this and would they share it in the agency) I said "yes my husband and I want to do this but don't have a place to have it" to that she said "I will have it at my home if you will lead it." Childcare came up next I had already told our middle two girls how we felt God wanted us to do this and if we do would they be interested in babysitting for our little two or even possibly being the childcare for all the couples attending...to that they had a resounding yes. So this lady said "We would just need to find childcare I have a big basement where the kids could all play while we do the study upstairs." I let her know about my girls and she loved the idea so we began making plans for the study -we ended up with five couples and 12 children!

In the meantime somethings were said to us from various people and we still were feeling like maybe we should apply to become parent trainers. Which we struggled with because we knew how much we fail as parents. We finally did the application - when hitting the send button we prayed if this is Gods plan what ever you will. Over a month went by and we never heard anything so we just assumed it wasn't Gods plan.
One day a friend who runs one of the support groups we attend sent me a text asking hubby and I to pray if we would ever consider becoming ETC parent trainers because her church wants to pay to have a couple in the area certified. I basically told her we had already applied and we were waiting to hear back. Two hours later we got the email apologizing for the delayed response and that they had been swamped with applications but would like to invite us to become trainers!

We are so humbled and excited to be apart of this and hope that we can bring hope and healing to families by giving them the tools to empower, connect with and correct their children. We surely do not get this right every time and are excited to be on this journey and see what God does in our family as well.

Now off to do some homework....


Saturday, June 18, 2016

Blessing #4 turns 14 years old

"Baby Girl" turned 14 years old this week! This was her "golden year" turning 14 on the 14th - that tradition typically holds getting something golden like jewelry. She has been wanting to get her ears pierced a second time so that is her "golden" gift. Blessing #4 has grown so much this year emotionally, physically and spiritually - it is so beautiful watching her blossom yet bittersweet watching her grow because we know how fast the time will go!
This year we had a pool party birthday celebration for her with some of her friends. Blessing # 3 & #4 had a lot of fun planning it and helping to get stuff ready. She had 12 girls over and thankfully the weather was perfect for a pool party. They did a flip flop craft, played several different games in the yard, went swimming and we finished up the night with a bomb fire and roasted marshmallows. 

When the girls were doing crafts we had stuff for the younger siblings too.
They had fun running around playing games-there was a lot of laughter and squealing in our yard!
Fun swimming...we did a huge ice cream sundae trough with brownie chunks on the bottom!
The Barbie leg is a joke between 2 of the girls and Blessing #3 & #4...silly girls!
It was sweet that Blessing #2 was able to be here too...Blessing #6 enjoyed the marshmallows!


Dear Blessing #4 You are truly a gift from heaven. Your sweet spirit fills our home with happiness. I love that you can be easy going, how quick you are to forgive, your quiet reserve and hearing and seeing how you include people so they feel comfortable and welcomed around you. Also you have a silly sense of humor and your laugh is contagious. I love seeing the crazy way you sleep and having to wake up you up! (you are your daddy's girl with the ability to sleep in late) I can not believe you are 14 already. Your daddy and I love you very much and are so blessed you are our daughter. I am grateful to be able to watch you grow and mature into such a beautiful young lady." I love you forever, I like you for always. As long as I am living my baby you'll be. "