Today I’m sharing something extremely unconventional. It’s a Gutsy story with FMT.
You will heal. I will help.
Seems like forever since I’ve done one of these. So here we go today with Leaky Gut and More: Why Trinity is A Gutsy Girl.
The Sunday Reflections post today revolves around the nudge to connect.
Since moving, Sundays have become such awesome days (except for the fact that we still haven’t found a church – and that is killing me). I told you last Sunday, but the weekends are now a time for less work and more personal downtime.
This weekend and today are no exception.
Yesterday morning, Samarah and I went on a little “hunt” with my brother JJ, and then she and I headed to a nearby town to get groceries. Guys – our fridge is finally filling up again, after a month of being back, with all the things we are used to eating on a day-to-day basis.
In the afternoon, Ryan took Samarah to run errands and grab more things from his parent’s house that we had forgotten. Meanwhile, the babies napped, and my mom came over to help me work on the house a little more. My friend Meg came over late afternoon to see if Samarah could go with them (she has a daughter Sam’s age and a son in between Maya and Isaiah) to her niece’s hockey game. Samarah went with, and by the time she came home it was dinner and bed for all three of them. Sleeping – all of them – at 8pm. Ryan and I were totally winning yesterday.
I’m telling you – what I have just described never, ever could have happened a month ago prior to the move.
Anyways, today is Sunday and I’m spending time writing, placing some online orders (Beautycounter, Thrive, and Amazon), getting a workout in (the treadmill + set of dumbbells did find their way to the rental!), working on the house a little more, and then Ryan and I are taking the kids to my cousin’s to hang out for awhile (and have Ba Ngaio’s spring rolls!) and just enjoy Sunday while saying a little prayer for our beloved Vikings!
And that’s it for today – no real “work” or focused blog post about life or health or anything, just another Sunday Reflection, as I promised I’d do last week,
I decided to just share something from a reader each Sunday during the series that is a reflection of the hard work I’m putting into producing and sharing.
What I’m sharing with you today is an email I received this past week. I’ve read it a few times now and each time I do, I have a new thought. There is one thought, though, that stays in my mind more than anything. In the email she said,
So I am reaching out because I feel a nudge to connect, as I realize we actually, now have so much in common.
I am going to share her email with you (with names and other personal things changed, of course), but I can’t help but continue coming back to the idea that she and I, you and me, all of us…..we are not really all that different.
People reach out to me a lot, and the first thing many say is, “I didn’t know how to approach you….” or “I wasn’t sure if you’d even read this or care to hear from someone like me, but….”
Listen – I wish I could pass along the responses I send to every single person who has ever emailed or messaged me something like the below because there has never been a time when I have not responded with complete gratitude.
You hear from me all the time, currently 7 days a week, but there are thousands of you and I don’t know your stories. If I did, I can assure you they would make me smile.
I hope you enjoy her email to me, and my hope is that this email is your nudge to connect with me, too.
I think if you saw me, you would recognize me. I live in xyz, and we once had the opportunity to meet at the Tracy Farmer’s Market. We chatted about connecting over food, but it was never really my thing…. Later, I learned that we both attended Southwinds Church, that you were from Minnesota, and Peter and I even sat behind you when you dedicated Samarah, Isaiah, and Amiya. We were geographically and proximally so close, and even though I knew we were meant to eventually connect, the time never felt right.
I knew you had your blog, and not being a natural food foodie, honestly, I partly read the blog and mostly enjoyed your family posts…while always wondering when/how we would connect. Well, when you posted about your dad’s cancer, something in my heart moved. Then you posted about your intent to move and then your move home to MN, and the full-on shift occurred. So I am reaching out because I feel a nudge to connect, as I realize we actually, now have so much in common.
A little of my background for you…
Your family posts have always been fun because I have two adult stepchildren in their 30’s who were 5 (Ben) and 7 (Molly) when I met them. And Peter and I have an 18-year-old son, Josh (who Isaiah reminded me of at the day of his dedication. Little boys are crazy busy and amazing, but don’t think that the girls will give you a minute of rest either, they are just different! ???? And viva la difference!! – I’ve always said that boys change their moms, and girls change their dads), and a 12 ½ “I’m a tween, Mom!” daughter named Carrie.
The story of Peter and me begins in 1992 when we married (actually earlier, but, well, you get it), in Pleasanton. In those early years, we lived in Fremont, and in 1996 we felt we needed to move out of California. We wanted a better place to raise a family, we took on the adventure and moved to Maple Grove, MN. We had made a pact that we wouldn’t buy a home for a year until we became more familiar with the Twin Cities. We stayed in Maple Grove, and, in fact, 14 months later we moved one exit south to Bass Lake Road and stayed until 2004. Josh was born there, in Robbinsdale. He was 4 (like Samarah) when life shifted. Without boring you with all of the details, we decided we needed to be closer to family. Peter’s family was in Washington state, my family Pleasanton (the town I grew up in). We came back home to the Bay Area. We arrived July 1, 2004. Carrie was born June 11, 2005, in San Ramon, and at that same time, Molly was living in San Francisco, and Ben had 2 years at the U of M, Twin Cities, left. And, Josh was just finishing his kindergarten year of school. A lot happened in that year and has happened since then….
But, honestly, through reading your posts and “watching” you make the reverse, inverse trip that we did has brought a smile to my face, and amazed me at how very similar our life journeys have become! I understand the importance of family…that is what brought us back and keeps us here. And tax free clothes and shoes doesn’t hurt one bit! Truth be told, I NEVER got over it. I always braced for the tax the whole 8 years that I lived there and was ALWAYS delighted! Your Dad’s cancer diagnosis touched me, because my brother was diagnosed with leukemia back in late April. My father turned 80 in July and my mom is 77. They caught this flu and it turned to pneumonia for both of them. I savor every day, enjoy every smile and laugh with my children, every moment with my parents and am amazed at my brother’s progress. And I know that this is what the Lord brought me back to, and I know that it is all His purpose. In fact, our story is not sad. My parents are getting over the flu. It’s a nasty one this year, (I am just turning a corner after 3 full weeks) and though we hit some hiccups, my brother’s chemo is working. He looks good and he is back to himself! ….This is my story today. I don’t know what the next month, year and decade will hold for me, but I know the Lord has us all in His hand, and I live in that. Ryan will make it back (our transition back to CA was similar, but again in reverse….Mark travelled ahead to CA while I stayed with the boys to wrap up the house)! Yours, Ryan’s and the kids’ bodies, and psyches, will need time to adjust to everything. It took us a year to adjust and acclimate to everything when we went to MN and again when we came back to CA. But rest assured that you all will acclimate, and in 5 years time, this one year will be a blink!
I will stop here because I am aware that I can easily overwhelm… I am obviously not afraid to write. I have loads of MN stories, I have loads of CA stories, I have tons of Josh and Carrie and Ben in MN and Ben and Molly stories. I had a fantastic, corporate career in MN, that I walked away from. My children are my purpose and the family that Peter and I built hold my greatest blessings. Not all of life is always good, but, God is always good and my life reflects that. Please know that, no matter whether the time is right for you to connect back with me or not, I will continue to periodically read your posts. I am enjoying your 101 blog fest. And I am especially enjoying hearing about Minnetonka, Waseca, Target back in MN (it is different) and Caribou Coffee. It all brings back good, sweet memories. And if you want to connect, and continue sharing journeys beyond the post, please feel free to connect with me. Obviously we can no longer connect at Barista’s, but maybe you can get a Caribou, I will get a Peet’s, and we can build a long distance relationship, …if the time is finally right for both of us.
Take care, Sarah. I love that you touch so many in so many ways. Keep going!!
A California Friend,
Have a beautiful Sunday!
p.s. Yes, dear California friend, I’d love to build a long distance friendship. It’s one of the greatest joys my blog has given to me! xox
If you don’t have time to read these posts daily, but don’t want to miss them, be sure to follow via Bloglovin’ and/or join my personal e-newsletter HERE. I am doing my best to send a once per week email recap of prior week’s posts.
If there is a topic surrounding change that you would love for me to include in this series, please just CONTACT ME.
I run a private Facebook group called Born In Our Hearts. Last week in the group, a woman stated, “I feel like parenthood is a celebration no matter how it comes. Foster parenting isn’t a consolation prize for us, it’s an appointment from God.”
I loved it so much that I asked the woman to share more of their story if she was interested. Almost immediately, she emailed me.
I title Jesse’s post, “Consolation Prize” because of the deep impact those two words had on my thoughts once she stated them. There is zero consolation in Samarah, Isaiah, and Amiya. They are the prize. The only prize. And Jesse is about to see first hand how true her statement really is.
Click HERE to save this post for later.
Earlier I posted this picture to the Born In Our Hearts Facebook group. I was excited! We are officially licensed foster parents in the state of Texas. Honestly, this picture was a little bit of a brag moment for me. It felt a lot like I imagine pregnant moms feel when they post their beautiful baby bump photography. I was excited to share and celebrate the next step in our life. I felt like there was no better place to post something like this.
My post was very well received, but I still felt the need to justify it. You see, some of my friends and initially some of my family have been weirded out about what we are doing. They didn’t know how to react or how to celebrate it. It was new and different, and even among people who are doing the same thing I am, I felt a need to explain myself. So, I made this comment
I feel like parenthood is a celebration no matter how it comes. Foster parenting isn’t a consolation prize for us it’s an appointment from God.
It was as if God had hijacked my Facebook comment. This is truly the way I feel but I let my fear of misperception cloud that. (There goes my Jesus setting me straight!)
When Sarah asked me to write about that statement I prayed the Lord would continue to speak.
My husband and I so badly want to be parents.Successful pregnancy hasn’t happened for us. The further we get into this journey, the clearer it becomes that this is because we have been specifically crafted by God for us to be foster parents. We both have experienced struggles that make us more aware of what a hurt child has experienced, what that feels like and means. Even our own perception of our infertility lead us to understand more what loss is.
Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” As we get closer to our first placement, I continue to research and consume every little piece of information on foster care and foster children I can find. The profound way that God has used everything in, not only my life, but in my husband’s life, to prepare us for the specific task ahead is astounding.
God didn’t just say “I think I’ll have Jesse and James be foster parents.” It’s as if he said, “This thing happened in their lives. Ouch! Let me lead them to grow from it in the perfect way so that they can fulfill the need these children have.”
And being a foster parent was not a backup plan for us. It was what HE had set aside and designed. Maybe it’s not what we thought would happen first, but in my experience, God’s plans are always better than my own. These beautiful babies are precious children of God. Whether in our home for a season or forever, they are His.
When I said that foster parenting is not a consolation prize for us but an appointment from God, I wasn’t bragging, although it started that way. Foster parenting is a beautiful appointment that God has given to all of us. Whether it be by supporting those who open their home with our prayers and our help or by opening our home ourselves.
Foster care is part of God’s design and it is our privilege to be part of it.
p.s. Interested in sharing an adoption birth story, from any angle? Click HERE to learn more!
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