Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Advent Adventures - Toddler Edition #8 & #9

Advent Adventure #8 - Sing Christmas Carols - Which we did at Church on Sunday and then Adventure #9 - Making Apple Dumplings - Tonight our 2nd Annual Apple Dumpling making get together - Hanna Alderfer is attending the Vo-tech for Culinary Arts and she loves to bake so last year we got together and made Apple Dumplings and we had a blast so this year was our 2nd time and we are a perfect pair.  We, along with Ella's help, were able to make 38 apple dumplings in less than 4 hours (including bake time which was 40 minutes).  They look so yummy!  While we were baking we also had a fun time singing Christmas carols together which was yesterday's advent adventure.  Just imagine the fun we had as we had a toddler, a girl who is deaf, and myself singing together - it was a joyful noise to the Lord for sure!  My heart just melted as we sang!  Tonight was nothing short of a blessing to all three of us! 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Advent Adventures - Toddler Edition #5 - Movie Watching

Movie night started with a very fussy little girl... the only way we could convince her to stop crying was to tell her about a present she had waiting for her.  She reluctantly got off our bed but continued to refuse to remove her coat so we let her wear it most of the night (really it wasn't hurting anyone). So she opened her Veggie Tale Christmas movie and we headed back to the room to watch it (our bedroom is the only TV that has a DVD player) She made herself at home and we decided to just have a special big bed picnic while we were watching The Toy that Saved Christmas.  She loved that idea and before you know it she even took off her coat finally.  Though our advent adventures don't always go as we plan - they are always memorable and we are grateful for time together as a family. 

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Advent Adventures Toddler Edition #4 - Garland Making

This momma forgot to buy the popcorn and the cranberries so we were forced to resort to the traditional paper chain garland which our little one loved just the same.... and she didn't feel the need to eat it like I am sure she would have wanted to do had we done the popcorn garland.  It was also good practice with her colors - though she is getting better - she still thought the paper strips were pink!  Hope you enjoy our newest crafting session with mommy!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Advent Adventures - Toddler Edition #6 - #7

Today is both day 6 and 7 - since both were completed by a fun morning at the Susquehanna Valley Bible church. We made lots is fun things, talked to Santa, and had a great breakfast. Day 6 was a Christmas tree craft (bonus because this one was edible) and day 7 was visit with Santa 

Advent Adventures - Toddler Edition #3 - Cookie Making

You can't have Christmas without cookies, right - well I guess you could but it wouldn't be quite so yummy!  This year our mom's group at church is doing a cookie dough exchange so I thought it would be fun to get my little baker in on the action.  We had a great time and only made a small mess!  Ella's biggest stumbling block - the M&Ms - she kept taking breaks to eat more - good thing I only gave her a few in a small measuring cup (yes I have turned into my mother - she would always give herself and sometimes us some chocolate chips in a small measuring cup).  Anyway I hope you enjoy our pictures and I hope the other mom's enjoy our cookies! 

Monday, December 02, 2013

Advent Adventures Toddler Edition #2

Today I am posting about both Day 1 and Day 2 of our adventure since we ended up doing both today because of napping and church yesterday.  For Day 1 - we were to set up our Nativity.  First we set up Ella's Little People set - it was fun to hear her say Baby Jesus - she was however a little frustrated when she pushed on the angel and realized that ours does not play music like Mim's (Grandma Snyder) does.  It is also pretty amazing that she would remember that from last year since she hasn't gotten hers out yet.  After we set up hers, we set up my Willow Tree one and had a talk about not touching it unless Mommy or Daddy is there... I actually think she will do well, Moses (the cat) is actually the one that I am more worried about.

Day 2 - Mommy Daughter Date - Today we had the great blessing of visiting one of my best friends and having a facial party.... it was fun to see many great friends and all the little girls running around we had 7 ladies and 6 little girls ages 2 months to 4 years.  What a joy as moms to have that time to fellowship and to get a little pampering with our little ones.  Ella loves lotion and make-up... I wonder sometimes how I ended up with such a girlie girl but I wouldn't trade her for the world.  Mommy daughter days are the best!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Advent Adventures - The Toddler Addition #1

We just finished a month of thankfulness, where each day we turned over a leaf and did some kind of activity that had to do with being thankful.... now we are kicking off advent with a similar set up.  I have taken foam Christmas trees and snowflakes and labeled them 1-25.  They are each hanging on a clothes line with our stockings.  Each day we will turn over one of them for an activity that we can do together with our two year old to help us enjoy our Christmas season as well as teach our child what Christmas is really about.  We want to invite you to join us on this adventure.  Maybe you already have something you do for advent - if so I would love to hear about it.  If not - you are welcome to "steal" our ideas.  Let the celebration of Jesus begin! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Flash back to the 70s

Okay I admit it - there have been times in my life that I may have accused my mom of being a pack rat... She saved everything! And as each of us have gotten married over the years along with our wedding gift we are also given our tubs of baby clothes and other such things that my mom saved. Seriously! I used to think it was quite crazy that she saved those things until just this past year. When I found myself pulling out some of my clothes and putting them on my little girl! How fun! So mom, sorry for making fun of you! I love that you saved my stuff and I hope to do the same! Check out my newest piece of shared clothing... My swimming suit from 1976!

Monday, April 01, 2013


April 1st is a day if remembering for myself and my family. It was on this day three years ago that we lost our first child to a miscarriage. It was 7 years ago today that I was diagnose with MS. Remembering doesn't hold me captive to my past, but remembering helps me to see how God has used both of those hardships to change me for His perfect plan. So to today I remember with our orange tulips that we get each year in our little ones memory! Today I am reminded of the verse in Job... The Lord gives and The Lord takes away, blessed be the name of The Lord!

Friday, March 08, 2013

Lent Photo: find

In the midst of a life filled with really good things I find myself struggling to make time for the best thing - God. Today's picture is of bath water full of fun bubbles with the toy floating in the midst. Ella's first thought is to go find the toys in the bubbles. I need to have that same kind of determination to not get so caught up in the bubbles that I forget about the most important things.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Day 5 - Lent post - Settle

Oops I skipped over the word settle from this weekend so if I have two day sixes that is why ... Loved the devotion for today about journeying And settling where God is calling home for you. He may not always be where you want to be at first but I can guarantee that while you are there God will teach you and use you if you are faithful to settle where he plants you.

I so thankful that God has planted my husband to be a faithful servant here in Richfield

Day 8 - lent Photo - Evil

Today we were asked to photograph evil. As I laid in bed I contemplated what a visual image of evil would be like. Then it came to me. The dark cd bitter night so I braved the cold for a moment and took a picture of the bitter darkness. So many times sin is referred to as darkness. But Also evil is similar to the bitter cold though you can't see it the effects of it are chilling!

Day 6 Lent Photo A Day - Wonder

The song walking in a winter wonder land just kept coming to my mind yesterday. As the theme is wonder. All I could think about is the wonder of God and his beautiful creation.

Lent Photo A Day 5 - World

When I think of this world I think of how God creates us and knits us together in our mothers womb. Welcoming babies into this world is a great reminder of that! Here is a picture of us with little Annie Noel who is less than one day old. Welcome to this world!

Lent Photo a day 4- Injustice

When I think of injustice I think of everything being broken apart instead of put nicely together. Today this represents injustice.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day 3 - Lent Photo a Day - See

Today I am focusing on seeing things through God's eyes and not my own.  I took a picture of glasses to show that when we look through different lenses we see people with a new perspective.  I pray that not just during lent but throughout my life I will look at people as God's favorites and treat them as such with my words and my actions

Lent Photo a Day - Day 2

Today the word is “Return” – using the verse from Luke 4:1-2 “Jesus full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.  He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished”  It asked you if there is something that you are returning or turning away from…. Well I at first I started thinking about all the things in my life that I need to work on and turn away from gossip and turn away from negative emotions and thoughts, but then I went back to the word of the day and began to think about what I need to return.  I left for school with that thought in my mind wondering what on earth would I take a picture of – what did I need to return. 

As I was sitting here in class as my kids were doing their work I decided that since it was Valentine’s day I would write a letter to my little Ella bean.  So I did, and as I was closing the letter, I was writing how I needed to be reminded each day that she is not mine, but a gift from the Lord and return her and trust her into his care each and every day…. There it was RETURN – Ella – I have to give her back to God daily so I don’t freak out about every little thing and worry if she is going to be okay – God created her, and she is just on loan to us – she is His and daily I must return her into His care!  He will take care of her! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Lent - Photo a Day - Day 1 - Who am I?

There is site called RethinkChurch.com – and this year for Lent they are asking people who would like to participate to take a photo a day to represent one phrase or word connected with lent.  Since I was sick yesterday I didn’t get a chance to blog by I did take a photo yesterday.  The phrase was Who am I?  When I thought of the phrase I immediately began to sing the old Point of Grace Song – Who am I, that you would love me so gently, who am I, that you would recognize my name, who am I that you would speak to me so softly, conversation with the Lord Most High, who am I? 

I began to think of what images reminds me of who I am in the eyes of God…. I thought about a lump of formless clay (but I didn’t have any available to take a picture of) so I began to think about how God sees me, as a child.  That image kept coming to my mind all day long.  And as many of you know if you have been following my blog, I recently met my birthmother and just yesterday had the privilege of meeting my half sister for the first time.  What a great reunion of which I will write more later, but while I was there she gave me a gift from my mother, Nancy…. It was a beautiful gold mother daughter necklace with our birthstones in it.  It seemed to be a perfect symbol of who I am…. I am mother of my little girl Ella and to one who was lost to miscarriage…. And I am a daughter, a daughter of Nancy, a daughter of Lynn, a daughter of Eleanor, but most importantly a daughter of the King!  So I took my first picture of my new necklace as a picture of the phrase – WHO AM I?

Friday, February 08, 2013

The Ultimate Family Reunion - Part 5 Finale

So Tuesday comes....  we get up and get ready for the big reunion.  I thought about what to wear and considered putting on make up and then thought - I never wear make up why should I wear it today.... I put on my favorite shirt my favorite mountain hardware pullover and my comfy jeans (okay one of two pairs of jeans that I can actually still fit into after having a child).  I included what I wore because I have had people ask me what I would where.... Joel's answer for any question I asked him in the whole process has been - just google it.... okay I can just picture myself googling - what to wear when you meet your birthmother for the first time.  Or what would be a good place that is semi private that you can meet a person for the first time..... and just an FYI - I did not google any of the previous statements.

We drove to the restaurant - took Ella, my scrapbook and headed in - I was looking around the parking lot but I didn't see anyone.  Joel had called to see if we could sit in the back room - good move on his part thanks to the prodding of his favorite wife :)  We went in got Ella seated and with my back turned Nancy walked into the room - Joel said she was here and as I turned I received a huge embrace... I didn't even see her face but I am guessing she must have seen mine as it would have been weird to just start hugging someone if it were not the right person.

We went to sit down and then she said - well I am left handed - oh my me too!!!  And that just started the list of things that I had gotten from her..... my favorite was the moment when we both said we loved Ketchup and it had to be Heinz - seriously -  who knew that was genetic!  We both love mushrooms and hate tomatoes, we have the same dimple, and much to my father's dismay (with me, not her) she also twirls her hair (I have tried to stop but hey - it's genetic)

We sat down at the table and talked about the scrapbook and the pictures she had brought for me - I have a picture that looks very much like her senior picture which she gave to me.  It was so fun to just see how much alike we are.  She told us about Mandy and James my half brother and sister - she gave me medical information - how strange I have the blood clotting from her and the MS from my Birthfather.  I also found out I have two more half siblings on my bfather side, and the daughter would like to meet me - so more reunions will be commencing soon!  As we talked she showed me her mother's ring - it made me want to cry - she had a mother's ring and my rubies were there with her other two children - that meant so much to me!

Then she told me the story - she was 15 - six months along when her parents found out, sent away to a home for pregnant teens.... knew that she could only give me love and not provide for me and knowing her parents wanted her to put me up for adoption that is what she did...  she held me and cared for me the first week of my life.  I can't even imagine.... she even got to see me one last time when I was two months old.  It was so appearent that you loved me so much.  I told her that I wasn't angry, I knew she loved me and I think that gave her a large amount of relieve.  I know she did the right thing - but it was the hardest thing she ever had to do .

She has been looking for me for years!  But PA is a hard state to find someone - she even petitioned the court with no luck.  It is hard to not second guess myself and think if only I would have looked harder sooner, but I have to trust that God's timing is perfect!  She loved Ella (I mean do you blame her she is stinkin cute!) and it was so neat to see them playing together.

We just talked and talked and ate - lots of Heinz ketchup and talked about what the future would look like.  We are taking it one step at a time.  I am so excited that I will soon get to meet my new siblings and get to know Nancy even better.  My parents are even planning a trip to meet with her.  I am just so thankful they are all so supportive.  I know that God will work all things together for the good of those who love him!  He has removed a huge question mark on my heart and has now given me a name and face to continue to pray for.  Nancy what you did for me was the most amazing selfless love any human could have demonstrated.  I am forever grateful and I can't wait to see how God will work in our new journey together.

Here is a picture of us at our Ultimate Family Reunion!

The Ultimate Family Reunion - Part 4

It's Super Bowl Sunday and we have a full day - good to keep busy when you have a tendency to be consumed by your thoughts but also not good because you never know when your emotions are going to overwhelm you.  In all honesty I was afraid to go to church - why you ask?  Alot of good intentioned people asking a very guarded processing type of a person a lot of questions all at once - causes me to have an internal meltdown - I was already overwhelmed trying to figure it all out - to have some control over a situation that I have no control over and then on top of it try to teach a Sunday School Class on Raw Emotions - can you see the turmoil I was experiencing on the inside while trying to hold it all together on the outside.

Also I worry - I worry what people think - I was so excited I wanted to post that I found her, not thinking about what others might think or say and then I thought maybe I shouldn't have posted that - then I could work through this on my own and when I had it all figured out I would post all about it.... (reality check - I will never have this all figured out that is why I am me and not God!)

I want to honor both my Moms!  I want to honor my siblings both the ones that I grew up with as well as the ones that I just found out that I have!  I want everyone to be happy and I like organization - but oh my - how do you organize this!  Then I panic - and realize how overwhelmed I am thinking about what this will look like, will we have another family to visit on holidays, will we do gifts, will I call her Nancy or mom - but then how do you call two people mom but yet they both are my moms just different (and if I may kindly insert in here - I am really not looking for any answers to these questions, though I value your thoughts these are all things that I need to work through and come up with answers that work for us! - Thanks for understanding!)  I can't explain to you what this all feels like unless you you have been through it yourself and even then - every situation is different.

So Joel found a place for us to meet in Burnam - it was set Monday 11 am in Burnam - Sunday passed - a few meltdowns but was busy enough to make it through.  Monday comes things to do but my heart feels like I need to make her a scrapbook - yes that is what I said - scrapbooks take forever to make but I had it in my mind so I decided that was what I was going to do - during nap one for Ella I began looking through all my pictures.... collecting pictures from different events and places in my life.  From when they brought me home until just this past Christmas.  To me it was theraputic to start looking at my life and what I would want for her to see to show her and experience through my pictures....  nap two I printed some pictures and after dinner I would start the scrapbook.  Oh and in the middle of this time - Joel finds out that the place we were going to go and meet was closed until 4:30 - oh no - finally I had gotten used to the idea of where we were meeting I had it all planned out then - wammo - another change.

New location - JP Pancake house 11 am in Mifflintown with Joel and Ella and meeting Nancy!

Back to the scrapbook - thanks to my friend Sheree - we finished 20 some pages in less than 3 hours - it wasn't fancy but it was exactly what I had pictured in my mind and I was so excited to give it to her.  As you could imagine my mind was racing as I went to be that night as usual Joel was fast asleep and I laid there thinking what my morning would look like - what I would say and what she would say when we saw each other for the first time.......

Finally fell alseep...... To Be Continued!

The Ultimate Family Reunion - Part 3

Well it seems like some of you are anxiously waiting for part three and my students are watching a movie, so I may have time to get part three in the books..... part 3 - The Oh my I just talked to my birth mother for the first time and now I have no idea what to do with all these emotions and oh my I still have a conference to attend.....  sounds like a good title don't you think!

After I talked to Nancy my birthmom - I did what every good daughter would do - I called my mom!  I told her all about it while it was still fresh on my mind.  She had tons of questions - she was so excited! So happy - I was in shock! (still excited but shock!)  I am so thankful that my parents are so supportive of this.  I can't remember a time in my life that I didn't know that I was adopted, and that there was someone out there that loved me very much.... that statement from my mom was confirmed by my birthmom - almost exactly!  My mom also can't wait to meet Nancy and share stories!

Breath Jana breath - it is now time to head to the conference.  So we went back to the hotel and looked Nancy up on facebook.  I added her as my friend - finally a picture.... I didn't know what to expect - I always wondered what she looked like.  And that was always one of the hard things for me - not looking like anyone since my family is all very tall (except my brother and I who are both adopted)  Anyway - I do remember when I had Ella - looking at her hoping that she would look even just a little like me so I would have someone to look like.  (Just a side note, though my sister Jill and I aren't blood related we have in the past 10 years been told of our resemblance to each other - always found that so funny, especially when they find out that I am adopted)

Anyway - in less than 48 hours I went from wondering, to searching, to finding, to chatting on the phone to seeing her picture..... all while I was preparing for and attending a conference!  Do you feel overwhelmed thinking about it.... honestly I had to go into "closet" mode just to hold it all together - I didn't have time to experience any emotions..... it was crazy... now Joel and I still hadn't even had a chance to talk about any of this yet - so that evening I was going to tell him about it but I was in the room and my phone was dying and there were people around so we talked for a few minutes and decided I would just tell him everything when I got home.

I slept well that night - I was exhausted.  Went through the day at the conference, got recognized as a team leader in the leadership march!  Then we headed home just to hit a snow storm - our 2 hour trip turned into 4.5 hours, a call to 911 when we witnessed an accident and watching a cop get out of the car and fall flat on his butt (has nothing to do with the reunion, but we thought it was funny)

When I finally got home - I crashed - both physically and emotionally - for the first time I just let it all out - I sobbed - all my pent up fears and emotions came spewing out on my poor husband - good thing he is a patient man!  After I calmed down I talked to my mom and made sure she was okay with all of this even though she told me numerous times she was.... she has been amazing through the whole thing!

Nancy and I messaged each other and decided Tuesday would work.... now the thought of where to meet began to consume me.  One of the things about me that I am not partiularly fond of is my need to control things when I feel out of control..... all my feelings were overwhelming me so I was trying to think of where the best place to meet would be - I thought about distance, location, would we have to meet in the parking lot or inside, would we eat or just sit and talk, would other people be staring at us wondering what the fuss was, would Ella come along - would she sit still, would it be okay for Joel to come along - would it just be her, or her husband, her kids - oh my - talk about a whirlwind.  And it was only Saturday and we weren't meeting until Tuesday.

It's only Saturday.... to be continued!!

The Ultimate Family Reunion - Part 2 "The Call"

The Story continues....

Friday morning I got up finished packing, said my goodbyes to my family and headed to Tastefully Simple on Tour in Baltimore MD with Ashley (my team member and new youth pastor's wife).  We were on the road by 8:45 am and ready for some girl time in the city - lunch at Cheesecake Factory and a great conference.  As we got into the heart of the city and traffic my GPS which is also my phone started spouting off directions as my phone was ringing with a call from California.  I had to answer - this was the call I was waiting for - but ... I didn't know where I was going so I answered quickly and asked if I could call her back when I could get off the next exit.  She said you will want to get off asap! Little did I know that it is also illegal to talk on the phone while driving in MD (so sorry MDPD, I won't let it happen again).  We had to drive for what seemed like 10 miles to find an exit so we pulled into this little run down gas station (which just happened to have a Wells Fargo ATM which Ashley was looking for)  It was a little sketchy but I figured God was going to keep us safe!  So I called Bonnie and she told me her name was Nancy!  A name - it may sound so strange but knowing a name was such a new thing - in my mind she was always a question, a thought, a mysterious woman that I was not sure if I would ever meet, so a name made it real!  And she said I have siblings - oh my - this just keeps getting more and more excitingly overwhelming.....  and Bonnie said she is waiting by the phone for you to call................

Waiting by the phone - I am at a gas station in the city - I have to get to the conference, we have a lunch all set up -  how do I call her now.... I don't want to call say hello and say I have to go... that wouldn't be very nice at all..... How do I tell her I want to talk to her but my day is insane.... and if it were me and I was waiting by the phone and no one called I would be worrying all day - doesn't she want to talk to me, maybe she isn't going to call.... oh my - what to do????????

So I did what ever good wife does and I called my husband and asked him the ultimate favor - can you call my birthmother and let her know I will call this afternoon..... what a jem - he said yes!  And even better he videoed himself calling her..... (however between you and me I still haven't watched the whole thing because he was all choked up and I was around a bunch of people and trying to hold it all together) so it is still on my phone waiting to be watched!

So we got to our hotel, went to lunch and at lunch I realized - my phone is dying I only have 20% left and my charger is back at the hotel but Joel told her I would call her at 1pm.  Thankfully Ashley knew a few tricks to helping my battery last longer.  Our cheesecake came at 1pm and i didn't even finish my whole piece (so you know I was nervous, because cheesecake is my favorite!)  I walked around the mall to see if I could find a place to talk but nothing seemed private enough so I bundled up and went out to sit on the pier (perfect until this really load boat kept coming back and forth right in front of me, if I moved he moved, not real happy with that guy, didn't he realize I was calling my birthmom for the first time EVER!!!!

So I dialed the phone and said this was Jana Snyder - Bonnie had given her my name so thankfully I didn't have to break the news to her that I was her daughter - I think that would have been even more difficult.  Many people have asked what I said, what she said, what we talked about, but I can honestly say it was so surreal and a bit overwhelming that I don't actually remember all the details - I only had a half hour to talk before we needed to head back to the conference.  I told her about my family, and she about hers, she told me about her blood clotting disorder (the same one I have)  I asked about my birthfather (who died of MS) and she didn't know too much as they didn't stay together when she had me.  She told me how much she loved me and thought about me, and prayed for me..... and I for her.  And we talked about getting on facebook to see pictures and set up a time to get together.

To confirm what Joel says about me - I am guarded - I knew the only way I could have this conversation was in a guarded fashion as I had no time to process any of this and being surrounded by hundreds of TS ladies was not helping me display my outwardly emotional side as you can imagine.

What was it like you ask?  Surreal, exciting, overwhelming, and oh my goodness I can't believe this is happening (is that an emotion, if not it should be)


The Ultimate Family Reunion - Part 1

I have been wanted to sit down and write all week long, however this has to be the busiest week I have had in months....perfect timing for a surprise family reunion right?

Let me start at the beginning to give a little background.  Many of you know from posts in the past that I am adopted.  But what you my not know is that when I was 18 I decided I wanted to search for my birthparents (but my birthmother specifically)  Pennsylvania has closed adoptions which make it very difficult to search so after trying for a few months I moved on.  Throughout my life there have been times where my mom has encouraged me to put an add in the paper (when I lived in Clearfield) or ask the courts to open my files since I had MS and a blood clotting disorder.... it just didn't seem like the right time as my life was already overwhelming with so many other things.  So instead of searching actively I just prayed, and wondered.... what was she like, I was confident that she loved me, but I just wondered how much she thought about me, did she miss me, was it her decision or was the decision made for her.... and so many more questions that are less meaningful but yet I wondered like - does she twirl her hair like me, is she left handed, and many more.

So this past month was sanctity of life month - it is always a special time for me as I think about her and pray for her.  One of my friends works at an adoption agency in CA so I wanted to do something for her organization so I offered to do a Tastefully Simple Fundraiser for her and donate all my profit to support what she was doing!  As I was closing out her party last week she asked me what my adoption story was.... well I didn't really have time to share it that night so I waited until Wednesday and sent her the message.  She asked me if I had ever searched and mentioned I had but no luck and hiring someone was way out of our budget.  She then said we have a woman here that will search as part of a her ministry - really?  Wow that is cool - so she connected us - I thought it would take a couple days to hear from her but instead it was minutes.

She asked me to send her any papers I had that might help with the search so and so I sent her what I knew and would scan the rest in the morning.  So Thursday came and I was off to school so Joel went in my papers for me - she got them around 2pm our time (yes the time is significant)  Around 4 pm our time I was meeting with a client but recieved 3 messages from Bonnie (the searcher)  So when I got home I was rushing to get all my coupons ready for our late night shopping trip - feeding Ella a quick dinner so I thought I will call her back to see what she was missing from my papers (that is why I thought she was calling)  She answered the phone and proceeded to say, are you sitting down......

Yes I am sitting - good because I found your birthmother, and your birthfather died recently from MS - oh my goodness - joy and sadness in one moment - shock in the next..... now what - seriously two hours.... but I guess if you know where to look and you find out she has been looking for you for years it makes sense.  Next step - Bonnie will call and try to make contact with her and I wait to hear back from Bonnie......  and I have to grocery shop, put four parties into the computer and pack for Baltimore.  I was a rambling mess - Joel didn't even know yet since he was at a game - let's just say I was in a whirlwind all night long - I am not sure he even knew what to say - I was in shock!  No news came back as I laid in bed trying to sleep, but it was late and I was leaving the next morning so maybe if I didn't hear until Monday the timing would be better.

To Be Continued........

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dealing with Disappointment

Life is filled with disappointments, life is filled with joys..... which way do you see life?  It is kinda the cup half empty or the cup half full scenario taken to a whole new level.  You see each day you have a choice, actually each moment of your day you have a choice in how you will respond to things.

Today I have a disappointment in my life and as I sit and reflect on it (lots of time to think today as I have three free periods subbing at school today) I am walking through some of the questions that I would talk about with my clients and I keep coming to end and asking myself the question... am I going to choose to let the disappointment rule my day or am I going to choose joy, self-control, patience, which will it be.

Are you dealing with a disappointment?  If so, I encourage you to ask yourself a few questions:

1.  Why am I disappointed?  Is it because I had a plan in mind and it didn't go my way.  Is it that someone made a decision that hurt me and it was beyond my control.  Are you frustrated with God because he isn't giving you something you want.  At the core of your disappointment can you figure out the main cause?

2.  What emotions or physical responses are coming out of this disappointment?  Are you angry, depressed, concerned, disconnected, sad....  For some people disappointment causes harm emotions, for others it causes withdraw and depressed feelings.

3.  Have you prayed about it?  I am often quick to be disappointed and frustrated but if I am honest I am not always quick to pray - I stew over things for sometimes days before I get to the place that I remember I haven't prayed about it.

4.  Have you already made a choice how this event will affect you?  Every moment of every day we must make choices - we choose what we will wear, whether we will eat breakfast, if so what we will have.  Life is filled with choices and how we respond to disappointments is a choice.  Not an easy choice but a choice none the less.

Choosing joy in the midst of frustration and disappointment can only happen when we are willing to turn it over to God.  On my own I will choose frustration because of my human sinful nature... it is easier to hold a grudge than to forgive, it is easier to be angry than to be patient!  But consider making a choice to do the more difficult - choosing to find joy in the midst of the disappointment.  Choosing to find peace in the midst of chaos.

Today you have a choice - which will you choose!  With God's Help I will choose JOY!!!  Take a few minutes and listen to this song called Unspeakable Joy - hope it speaks to your heart as it has spoken to mine.