Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Called to Love..... By Grace

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend for the 3rd year Called to Love.  Called to Love is an amazing retreat for adoptive and foster mom's.  This was a much needed resource for our region and I am so blessed by the fact that a group of women felt called to provide this resource for us mom's on this sometimes unique journey.  The fact is, in day to day life our families look and act much different than your "typical" family.  I almost feel bad for any waiting mama's at this thing, because they hear a lot about the "hard" with adoption.  As our last speaker stated, adoption is a calling, and it's not always an easy path to walk.  For us or our children.

In our previous years of attending, the focus has been a lot on our children and things we can do to help them on their journey.  It has always been good.  This year, I didn't really know what to expect. Seeing the list of speakers and breakouts, I was just kind of indifferent but sure something would stand out to me this weekend.  Can I just say, I was truly blown away this weekend.  The theme was Grace, and the focus in my mind this year was not so much on my kids, although I gleaned lots of wonderful information for parenting them too. But it felt more soulful in restoration and grace for us mama's. This season of life with 4 little's has just been exhausting for me. In a good way, but also it can be extremely difficult.  All the kids are quite little and constantly pushing us in different directions with appointments and extra-curricular activities. Then you throw in the normal daily life stuff and homeschooling and things have just been exhausting.

 This weekend was great for self care.  I came home truly refreshed and with fresh perspective.  This journey with ALL my kids is soooo not about me and I can't do it without much grace from God.  Even in the days since retreat, I have focused on taking care of myself.  If I take care of my needs, I am better equipped to take care of my kids. And if the day to day stuff is going to stress me out and in turn make me impatient with my kids, then it isn't worth doing. It was much needed to take a step back right now, let me tell ya, and just let go of some of that mommy guilt.  

I truly just adore the family God has given me.  They are a true and wonderful blessing from above.  I will finish this post with what I believe is a very simple but profound word given to us adoptive mama's because this is at the heart of why many of us chose adoption in the first place.  Not only did one speaker feel led to give us this word, but two.  Now when two separate speakers are given the same verse to share with us, I think it is worth paying extra close attention to.

John 21: 
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep."

In the past few days, I have been reminded and reflecting on the 3 themes the retreat has had thus far, they combine quite wonderfully into one theme:
Called to Love, love like crazy, by grace!