Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A God of Second Chances

"and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
2 Corinthians 10:5

OK Moms, we have all had one of those mornings.  Those mornings that kids aren't doing as they should, making the same wrong decisions...that they should know by now, a pile of things you wake up to that seem you are the only one that can do it.  You know, one of those mornings. 

I had that morning this morning.  One daughter skipped breakfast, while the other didn't take care of the pet.  A heaping pile of receipts needing to be entered in the registry and a house that just seems get messier and messier.  I admit it ... I took the wrong approach.  I blew.  I yelled.  I heard Duane's apology - again.  I was one step out the door, ready to leave it all.  Yeah, all the wrong approach.  I am tired.  We are all emotionally stressed out.  And we are all exhausted.  And to add to it all ... finals week. 

Well, I wanted to run.  I have thought of a plan of leaving and going to a hotel where I can escape it all and get a lot of sleep.  And be surrounded by quiet.  The romantic thought was very enticing, and when I left for work this morning I wondered of how to make it happen with all of today's events taking place ahead of me. 

I left work early for an appointment Katie had.  And a parent's nightmare was coming true.  I received a text from Katie stating:  "We are in a lock down.  It is the real thing this time." 

Shock.  Disbelief.  Fear.  Panic.  They all took place.

And in the moments that followed I remembered how I greeted them this morning.  I remembered that I didn't hug or kiss them.  I questioned if they knew my love for them.  And I pleaded to God to give me another chance.

The lock down, turned to be a lock out; meaning that the issue was on the outside of the school....where I was headed.  Things turned around.  Katie was the only one who had contact with me, and she knew that their was a gunman running around in our neighborhood.  Now she feared what I was going home to, and if anyone was going to run to our home. 

Our minds have such a way of imagination.  Perhaps that is what God means, when he says to "take every thought captive".  Don't let us imagine, let us pray, let our thoughts be the very thoughts God has, let us be reminded of the God He is and cast out any worse scenarios.  If we know our God we are reminded that it is not in His character and far from His thoughts to go against us.  Bad things happen to good people, but God isn't the One who creates the bad.  It is us that doesn't captivate our thoughts.  There is no reason to imagine the worse.  There is no reason to head down a pathway that is far from the nature of our God.

I don't have to wait until tomorrow for my second chance.  I received it this afternoon.  I have embraced the girls who jumped in my car, and stuck around me a little closer today.  I have loved them with a brand new love.  I'm also thankful to the One who yearns for me to spend time with Him so I can have the opportunity to know Him, and the One who continues to keep our family safe. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

God is Faithful, No Matter What!

If you could see my list of posts, you would see many that have been started, some edited, but none finished.  Thoughts have come and gone, as well as feelings.  I have questioned; "what difference does it make, whether I write or not", and I have had internal pressure of "what in the world do I write about, the stuff we're going through just stinks". 

As Christmas is quickly approaching, so is New Years.  I have grumbled a lot through 2013, yet also in what little wisdom I have I don't want to forget it all either.  Only for the fact, I have to see what God has done through our trials, and what He is going to do to change our "luck". 

It has taken a lot of time, counseling to mourn the loss of a boy we once called our son.  As we have grieved, we have also received a lot of judgment and condemnation.  We have gone through anger as well as hurt, all of which has left us isolated and alone.  As much as we hated being in such quietness, sometimes those places are a great place to be, for God reminds me time and time again that He is the One that is forever faithful and is our Forever Friend.  He never leaves us or forsakes us.  And for that I am eternally grateful.  I would be lying if I told you that these emotions are done and over with, we still walk through them.  A matter of fact, today was a day that tears streamed down my cheeks, as I was expressing my concern for the boy we let go of.

We have endured family members expressing how they have been against the whole adoption thing from the beginning.  And even though just writing those words sting, it is a reminder of how powerful our words are.  We have the power to bless and curse those around us.  I've tried to watch my words more these days, but I still need to grow in this area.  I definitely want to bless those I love, and even those I don't know.  God calls us to love one another.  Love is more than kindness and that fuzzy feeling.  It is support, understanding and walking with one another.  I have so much more loving to do ... I admit sometimes it is hard, but I want to master this command.

I have dealt with many health issues.  Nothing real serious, but a lot of time and money spent at the doctor's office.  It is amazing what an abundance of stress can do to one's body.  I even made a "splash", shall we say when I ended up on the floor at work, as I fainted.  Thankful not only for caring co-workers, but also an off duty fireman who was eating his breakfast at our store that day.  And that episode gave me the rest of the week off.  I've been learning how to eat, or rather, what to eat all over again.  I'm just starting to get the hang of it.  I've lost some weight, with the new diet, and look forward to loosing more!  God is our healer, and with a change of diet and time with Him, things are way under control.

A few years ago we learned how Courtney was allergic to sugar and honey.  We have managed to stay away from the honey, the sugar was always the battle.  She didn't want to feel "different" when in school.  Well, we finally decided to take it seriously, to Courtney's leading.  So she and I have been sugar-free since August.  The results:  no stomach issues!  She and I feel so much healthier.  God has shown me how I have been so addicted to sugar, and how much I don't need it ... but so need Him.  I haven't desired to go off this sugar-free and gluten-free (just me) diet, because I don't want anything to pull me away from Him.

We have had some challenges in parenting.  Out of respect of my family, the details can remain quiet.  I can just share though, I have never relied on God as much as I have lately.  I have questioned everything I've done.  And see that I'm so little, but also see how much bigger He is!  I am reminded of Proverbs 22:6:  "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it."  I wasn't and currently am not the best parent in the world, but I have given it my full heart was in it.  Now I hold onto God's promise in this verse, that He will bring each of my girls back to him and his ways.  Truth is in them, good is in them as well as love...they won't go away from it.  Parenting isn't easy, is it?  I don't think I make things easier on God either.  Not only do I have to learn to parent, but also be a better child to the King of Kings! 

Rumor has it, that Duane will be looking for a new job at the beginning of next year.  I admit that I was so fretful and worried over this.  However, once I remembered how God has gotten through each job change, God has given something bigger and better to us.  And with that I have swallowed hard, and told Duane to go ahead and look for a job - even outside of Colorado.  Ever since I released it, we have had peace ever since.  So much peace that I don't think we will be moving, and I'll even be so bold to say that Duane won't be needing to look for a job.  However, even if I'm wrong, I know God always gives us something better.  It is hard to imagine life better than Colorado, but if He moves us it will be better. 

We have lost some pets this year, and the soothing comfort they once brought, was gone when they left.  However, God has restored our joy and brought us a new kitten in our lives.  We all laugh almost daily for something she has done.  She is a great gift in a year of strife. 

Church has always been our home and family.  We were part of a church plant for a year, that was a hour away - door to door.  God has made it clear to me over and over, with a full burden in my heart to be part of our community.  I have enjoyed getting to know some of my "neighbors" at my workplace, but it still wasn't enough.  We attended another church, but it was too a half hour away...not the community where we live.  So we went back to the drawing board.  We had a frequent guest in our restaurant who was a youth pastor.  One thing led to another, and Katie and Courtney started at the youth group.  Shortly after, we started attending the church finding ... we LOVE it and being part of our community.  We are in the process of having a small group in our home, and Katie is heading to the Bahamas for a mission trip.  Life is opening up as we continue in what we are calling our new home and family.

My work continues to do well.  I'm getting to know our guests more and more each week, and am blessed to have so many friends.  I call everyone my "favorite", and each one encourages me more than they know.  Which is a reminder of how we don't always know how much we influence one another ... those we know, or those we don't.  I want to be a source of encouragement to all I meet each day. 

Courtney had another mole removed, which ended up precancerous again.  So she will permanently have dermatology appointments twice a year, instead of the year appointments she worked up to.  I'm thankful God reveals truth - even at the doctor's office and catches everything that needs to go.  As I write this I wonder if there is anything in my life at all that needs to be revealed and needs to go.  He is faithful and will do so if needed. 

I'm home schooling Courtney now...well, part-time.  Three subjects, soon to be four.  I will be thankful when this will be done, but thankful it is an option to be able to let Courtney accomplish all the classes she needs.  But it keeps me busy.  And now with Christmas approaching, finals in high-school and more busyness at the store, we're a bit behind.  But thankfully for a Christmas break that will get us caught up.

So yes, we have been enduring some lengthy and emotional hardships, God has remained faithful in 2013, as well as whatever is ahead.  We're ready for a change of "scenery" and hopeful new things are coming for the Archibald family in 2014. Even if not, we have learned to hold God's hand a little tighter these years.  And thankful for God who sees all.  He sees each tear, each hurt, each challenge we walk through ... he sees the heart behind it all.  And holds us closer than ever.  For Him, I am thankful.