Embracing the difference

Here it is 10:17 p.m. at night. I have a rampid of thoughts pouring through my mind. I have had the urge to write – just get my thoughts out onto paper and maybe, just maybe, let someone read them.

I might have felt the inspiration shortly after watching Mom’s Night Out for the first time a couple of months ago. Like before it came out – yes, before – that’s just so my life.  Random. Blessed. Full. My friend Christy (who is also a blog writer – www.joyinthedailylife.com ) asked me if I could go with her, since she had gotten FREE tickets. She is SO my friend! What a Hoot! I still laugh just thinking about it and can’t wait til it comes out on DVD! I seen it twice after the release. It is just THAT good of a movie to me. NOW, on the other hand, there is an individual who is related to me and seen it and didn’t care for it – said it was cheesy. Guess that’s a difference of opinion, but I’m learning a lot about those – THAT is JUST what they are. So many people have them. Little know that they aren’t meant for forcing it onto someone else.

I love this post I found while scanning through FB awhile ago. Why work so hard to fit in

Thinking about how much I, personally, try to fit in and then realizing how much we are all molded from the same clay.  God is constantly reminding me of that.  Yet, although HE made us all out of the same clay -HE still has given us each unique tendencies that make us who we are.  We ALL have troubles.  We ALL have insecurities.  But that just makes us human.

Kim, an amazing individual, who is a mother of five and loves and lives life with passion (well, so I think), was the first one to point this out to me so many years ago – like wow – 9 years?! ago.  She would listen to my woes and then tell me who she had talked to prior in the week or day and they had the SAME issues.  Yes, the names and drama was jacked up a little more, some less, but STILL THE SAME issues!  I was just amazed – here I am 9 years down the road actually seeing it for myself.  It’s OK!

But just here in this past week, I have reconnected with a friend, someone I met just over a year ago but is struggling – with life in general.  She wanted to come over and talk.  I had a couple of visits with her this week – crazy thing is – I did ALL the talking, well most of it, in between cooking and the chaos of having 9 children in my house both times she was here, but it worked for us.  So many times we put people in a different category thinking that there is no way their life been affected by illness, lack of finances, short tempers, and those crazy moments that we really think are just happening to us.  But yes, I think I was able to ease her mind.  Sitting now and reflecting on this shows me how God’s grace and mercy can carry us out of the fire and into the peace – we just have to be willing to have a heart change and be willing to stand out – be different.  I was able to share with her that my life is not perfect.  I shared with her my journey that I have traveled this past year and then some.  She watched me interact with my kids.  Yes, I am crazy – wildly – out of control – with my parenting, or so some think.  But at the same time, that is who God created me to be.  I AM different!  My friend reinforced that today – my mom has told me a number of times (more so recently) – there is no one like ME!  But that is good!  God isn’t into making cookie cutter Christians – HE is into transforming lives.  Lives that STAND out and make a difference.

There are many times I feel defeat.  I feel as though I have not yet made a difference.  I beat myself up.  But in THIS moment Here and Now – I know that God has a purpose for my life.  For the longest time I just couldn’t figure it out.  I thought it was having babies – apparently – a lot of other people did too, as they STILL comment on my brood of blessings and whether there will be more or not.  Well, let me tell you – I was standing at the kitchen sink and wiping down the counters around it and it was as if God told me that my purpose was TO make things happen.  Like, really?!  What kind of purpose was that?  Even now, I feel emotional, giddy – did I really hear God tell me that?  Was it my imagination running wild?  What was I supposed to do with that?

So here I am – trying to make things happen.  You know what – I CAN’T.  That’s THE message.  “I” am not supposed to make things happen – that’s HIS job!  I am just a tool used to help others see that life isn’t about carrying it all on yourself.  You have to be able to know where to look for the resources, where to find the right people and the timing in which to do it in.  HE is using me to help others.  HE is using me to show others that their need isn’t so much for me to help them find the right resources and make things happen; it isn’t about what “I” can do but about what HE can do through me AND THEY need Him!  It’s really crazy, deep – I hadn’t given much thought about the paragraph above and how it played out for me until I just wrote what I did……..  I stumbled through it.  But it feels like it makes sense to me.  WoW!  just WoW!  So God tells me that my purpose is to make things happen – I can ONLY do that through HIM.  Here’s why……

Life.

Yes, the time is now 11:50 p.m.  I have been sitting here for over an hour writing and how else would I be able to have such a whirlwind of a week and be able to sit up this late (last night it was 2:30 a.m.) and still function the next day.  THROUGH HIM!  Just a week ago and 6 hours – so last Thursday night around 6 p.m. – I was feeling stressed, overwhelmed.  It happens a lot.  So no biggie, right?!  I was told about a job opportunity that could possibly be my “dream” job – ok, well – dream benefits.  I had to fill out the application online and get it submitted online STAT.  WHILE I am filling in this information – making a resume – trying to remember dates of colleges that I went to and when…..I get a message – “Can you be at the airport at 8 a.m. Friday, for an interview?”  I don’t even have the application done and I have an interview!  I continue to let Lydia “fix” my hair while I sat at the computer inputing information.  Supper was in the oven and ready to eat, except that Silas didn’t want to have our meal  – he wanted to fix his own.  Let’s just say the microwave macaroni and cheese smells REALLY bad when you don’t add water and put it in a Tupperware cereal bowl.  Even that didn’t move me – I was intent on getting this in.  After had spent almost 2 hours getting it in, I breathed a sigh of relief.

YIKES!!  I couldn’t do that  – I needed to plan on how to make the interview happen.  Thankfully, Randy was able to go in to work after getting the kids on the bus and I was able to drop Lydia off at my parents.  I then spent two hours at the interview filling out paper work and such.  I was hired!  Uhhh, …….. I remembered – I was filling in for a friend and babysitting her 3 kids and that was when they wanted to start training.  I had also started a “job” helping a relative out with sorting files and I could only do that at nights or weekends.  And then there is my usual things that I do on a normal basis – such as “elderly-sitting” that I do on Thursdays and Saturdays.  So I was able to still plug that in on Saturday, go on Sunday and help my relative with files and then I arrived at Monday.

Nathaniel was supposed to start swim team and because I had just registered him the day prior – we weren’t exactly sure where/when it was going to be, even after talking to several employees at the Y.  Thankfully we FINALLY got this sorted out on Wednesday after several phone calls, tears and frustration.  My extra children came at 7 a.m. – And, yes, I am recollecting it now – I was at Children’s Hospital from 8:30 p.m. Sunday until around 12:30 a.m. with Lydia, who for the 3rd time in the last month and a half had a constant cough which landed me there, usually around the same time, on a weekend.  She was cleared from pneumonia – which she had, along with an ear infection, the previous visit just 3 weeks prior.  She was put on another antibiotic and back on the inhaler.  We got home and I wasn’t asleep very long it seemed when at 3 a.m. she woke SCREAMING with a nightmare.  I was tired.

My extras came, we got through breakfast and lunch.  My caring Nathaniel, tried to keep the kids quiet, while watching a movie, while I lay on the couch to catnap.  My husband came home – 2 1/2 hours early – so I could go to training.  He was then with my extras til 3:30 and then I got home around 10:00 that night.  Only to get up again the next day and do it all over again.  Mercifully and by God’s grace with little coughing and a bit more sleep than the previous few nights.

Now here I find myself at the end of my week and taking a big deep breath preparing for the next.  God is good!  HE will carry me through and you know what?  if you see someone running through the parking lot on the back end of the cart and suddenly jump on and take a ride – that will be probably be me – cause God made me to stand out and I sometimes just do crazy stuff like that.

Princess - you are beautiful

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A light at the end of the tunnel

I went back and re-read this, having marked it private after writing it two years ago and I feel that I need to share it because much (not all) of it is true of how I feel at this point in life, yes again.  I hope that it can help someone even just to know that you aren’t alone.

After much debate with myself – I have decided to come clean.  I am depressed.  I don’t want to be here in this state of mind but by admitting it to the world I hope to achieve several things – 1.  Let people who think that I have it together realize that I too am human and have a fault (single though it is ….j/k) 2. Maybe help someone else who is going through or went through know that there is someone out there like them.  3. Maybe by putting it down in words will allow me to make heads or tails of it and get a “grip”.

I have had a very negative attitude lately and really struggled with what my purpose is in life.  I feel that I am not worthy for many things and that life struggles have overcome my ability to be what others seem to be ~ happy.  I realize that there is a cover that many people wear that allows other people to think that they have it together.  I am taking it off!  I have dealt with depression at many times of my life and have traveled many roads to deal with it.  I have a firstborn nature – very driven and wanting perfection.  I do understand that life is not like that and thus have really tried to succeed all the while either driving people away or wearing myself down to this point.  I have found that I am the one who is the pursuer in relationships.  If I am to get together with someone – it is “I” who makes the call.  It has found me at a point in life that I wonder do I truly have friends or just pursued them and they feel stuck – so I sit here and await for the calls to come in(not really).  I have found that sometimes honesty is awakening to people.  I was talking to someone the other day and told them pretty much that.  I have allowed people to expect me to call when we haven’t talked in a while and initiate the conversation, meeting, etc.  So I have to step back and realize that I not only have taught people how to treat me but I now either have to teach them how to initiate the call or just let the relationship go as it will if I don’t see it as having a positive impact on life.

I have searched God in this and found that he is still there.  My day may sometimes be as dark as my night, but I can talk to him at any time.  When I am awake at 2 a.m. because I wake fearful or when I am laying there at 11 p.m. unable to fall asleep.  I question myself and wonder if maybe I have drifted out of his will thus allowing me to be in the state I am.  So in searching I went to www.gotquestions.org.  This is what is said, “Clinical depression is a physical condition that must be diagnosed by a physician. It may not be caused by unfortunate life circumstances, nor can the symptoms be alleviated by one’s own will. Contrary to what some in the Christian community believe, clinical depression is not always caused by sin. Depression can sometimes be caused by a physical disorder that needs to be treated with medication and/or counseling. Of course, God is able to cure any disease or disorder. However, in some cases, seeing a doctor for depression is no different than seeing a doctor for an injury.”  I do not use this quote as an excuse but as maybe a better understanding for someone who sees depression as something that can be a “quick fix”.

Sadness overcomes me and I feel the tears stream down my face as I recall past things that seem to have impacted my life.  The difficult first year of marriage, the birth of our first child (second, third, & fourth), the loss of my babies – 2 miscarriages 6 months apart, the death of my cousin very shortly after my 2nd miscarriage at the young age of 34 – my current age,  then most recently the death of a dear friend at the young age of 25 and then 2 other individuals that I knew at the ages of 29 and 23 – all parents of young children.  I can only stop after writing that and Thank God that he has allowed me these struggles and sadness so that I am able to have compassion and be able to help someone else through the loss and sadness that I have been dealt.  I am not asking for pity.  I feel that I am a strong individual with a weakness as everyone else, that it catches me and I have to go to my “hiding” place and dig deep within to overcome the darkness that wants to overtake me.  It is a fight that I have within me and know that it makes me stronger to deal with whatever lies ahead.

Many people have the image that I have it “together”.  Well, here is the memo that I am sending out – Priscilla Adkins does not have it together.  As Linda recently said to me – you are too hard on yourself.  I am – always have been – and probably always will be – It is who I am.  BUT on the same hand it holds truth as I need to realize that I am the one that is accountable for me and that I can say No!, I need to realize that Rome wasn’t built in a day and thus I am not the SuperMom that I want to think that I am and get the house packed, laundry done, dinner on the table every night, dishes done and put away, homework accomplished and still be raring to go with a great attitude.  I need help!  I have to ask for that help.  I have to realize its ok for the parents of the children that I babysit to see a messy house every once in a while.   I have to be ok with having good and bad days and as long as I have put forth my best and some days even my best isn’t good enough – but its ok.

So now that it’s out there – please don’t flood me with emails letting me know how much I mean to you unless of course you plan to keep on the charade so I don’t find you out.  I would ask that you pray for me.  Pray that I find a peaceful spirit and one that is humbling unto God.  Pray that I keep the faith and keep pressing on.  Just pray.  Recently, Randy and I went to Holmes County and I had a magnet that has PUSH on it – standing for Pray Until Something Happens.  That is what I need to do.

So for now – I see light at the end of the tunnel but I ask for a friend or two to keep their light shining for me until I reach the end.

Chicken-Pecked, friends, and having it ALL together

Yes!!  The title says it all.  I love when a blog surfaces out of the experiences of the life I am blessed to participate in.  So,so many times I find myself discouraged by a circumstance and I get wrapped up in the darkness of it.  I allow it to spill over into other activities and relationships that are good and healthy.  It makes the waters muddy and causes my vision to become tainted.  It is times like these that I step back and look asking myself – WHAT did “I” do to destroy or mess up that part of my life?

This round – I can’t say?  I had my heart open, ready for communication.  I received “I’m good” in return.  Those that know me – know that I’m real.  I’m straightforward.  I’m ME.  And I, in return, want that back.  There are parts of me that has come from a deep struggle, pain from my past, that has made it difficult to trust.  I do my best but there are times when these types of things happen, it’s the EXACT reason WHY I don’t trust.  People can’t BE REAL!

I understand I HAVE FAULTS!  Yep!  Don’t tell my husband and kids that it’s in writing but I admit it.  Regardless of what the title says – I don’t have it all together.  I get kudos from many people who think just b/c I have 8 kids in my care that I have it ALL together.  No – not even close……it’s by far, the grace of Jesus that takes me through each and every moment.  I operate in an organized way b/c that is my sanity.  I have chores for my children b/c we are a team.  I need them and they need me.  You know even now – I haven’t had a quiet time with Jesus in – well it’s long overdue and  I am sure it was an open-door bathroom moment.  That’s what I mean about being REAL.  I don’t have to tell ya’all about it, but why not?  Doesn’t mean Jesus and I don’t have a relationship – just means I’m not up to par on what I need to be up to par on.  I need a come-to- Jesus meeting, preferably out of the bathroom!!

Fostering – BIG life changing moment that created our family on a journey that has changed every single one of us.  Nine months now, Sept 9th, 2015 was the day that we brought 3 new siblings for our original 5 and meshed lives together.  It wasn’t an easy thing.  There has been pain, hurt, laughs, memories and so much more etched within our family unit.  We have been introduced to a new world and society/culture in life.  It has broken us, it has shown us the ugliness of ourselves and it has shown us how God sees us.  It’s not a story that I would EVER want for a child.  But it has given me new eyes.  It has given me a perspective had I never put my hands and feet AND heart into this journey, I would not of had.  Thank YOU Jesus.

There has been an overwhelming amount of blessings in our life this year.  I can’t help but share them as I am sure some of you are wondering what the chicken-pecked is in the title for, hang on….  One of the blessings we received was when we had another couple in the church, hand us money to go out to dinner on them, while they watched the kids and fed them .

Just this past spring Randy and I took a class at FBCV where we attend.  It was a Re:Engage class for married couples.  Honestly when I first got in the group, I was critical (by nature, I am).  I just wasn’t sure this group was the best one for us.  But you know God so knows what we are thinking and he says in Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us”   After one particular session our group leaders wanted to know how to help us as things had piled up and I was feeling particularly overwhelmed.  I was talking to her how just couldn’t get much done as there was always a need and always someone asking me a question or needing something.  She was yes, it was like getting chicken pecked.  Instantly – it was a relief!  Someone understood the constant barrage and attack that I many times felt like I was under.  It wasn’t that I didn’t feel blessed.  Deep, deep down – maybe if I was alone, I would feel it more – I knew that I was, but in the midst of the attack, I couldn’t see the positive in it.  She sent a young adult who comes over two times a week to straighten up the house and unload some of the housework.  We also have a couple from the group who has been over several times and played with the kids and been a valuable asset which releases me from the chicken pecking.

Just this past month, we as a family  (yes, all 10 on a 6 hr road trip) have taken a trip to Missouri, for 3 days to meet up with my sister who lives in Reno, NV (and I don’t see but every few years).  We were back one day and went into a week of VBS.  This led us into Nathaniel and Isaiah going to Nashville, TN on a mission trip for a week, and within days of them getting home Randy and Sarah were off to church camp.  We typically have weekly visitations for our extras, and have recently started swim lessons for the 4 younger ones 2 days a week.  I have had several friends give me a hard time about caring about them anymore as I am doing good to complete a load of laundry some days.  But I give no promises, as this is my mission field, and I can only be where God has called me.

 

My Hollywood Life

Having saved this title 4 years ago, I came across it today while pondering a blog that allows me to “blow of a little steam” and let the world in on my crazy life, that seems so well put together by many others.  That’s the FB world that we view so many others by and yet don’t see the REAL person – the lows that went with the highs.

Let’s just say that after waking up this morning at 6:45 a.m., which was sleeping in for me because my 5:30 a.m. (to 4:30 pm.) 2 and 5 yr old wasn’t coming until 9:30 and my 6:30 a.m. before and after school kids didn’t come today – I thought TODAY was going to be a good day.  What a great day to start my birthday Week!  But guess what…..the devil is constantly on the prowl, my 3 and 4 yr old wake up with not only a wet pull-up but also having peed through them and through the sheet and mattress cover.  Let’s say frustration was just a bit of the feeling as I had just taken off the dust mite cover protector and washed it AND wiped the mattress down in bleach on Friday due to the excessive peeing on the toddler mattresses.  So we start our day off with 2 full loads of laundry in addition to the already built in daily laundry of 2 loads.  I began to do hair and such and get the lovelies off to school.  I am SO thankful that Spring Break has ended – TWO weeks of spring break is enough to break an individual of any sanity when there is a constant barrage of questioning of what are we doing, where are we going, I love you, I don’t know why I did that, can I play?, when are we going to eat? etc……  Yes, 2 weeks….One week + 2 days of the older kids and then one week of the ones that went to Headstart, plus additional children woven throughout most of those days.  So I’m back at getting kids off to school.  I have another 4 year old come downstairs and after about 10 minutes of being up says to me, “Mama, I’m sorry I peed in YOUR bed.”  What’s a mother to do?  I immediately prescribed myself a nap.

The last few weeks have been challenging for me but I have plunged through it without thinking about the mounting pressures.  I am positive had I stayed on my bible study and done them daily then I would have found life to not be as challenging and would have found comfort knowing that God was there beside me and called on him daily for help.  But I allowed myself to slack.  He was still there and He definitely held me up.

Our 14 year old has battled with incoming wisdom teeth that gave him an infection as the skin was not moving for them to grow in – it resulted in me taking him to urgent care and then to the dentist a couple days later.  He was put on antibiotics for this.  Wasn’t long after this that he developed a swollen outer ear on his left ear canal that was quite painful and we again ended at urgent care and again on antibiotics.  He had a difficult time eating during these times as it hurt to chew and he dropped about 15 lbs.  Just having finished up his antibiotics – the right ear became swollen on the outer ear and his jaw was tender to the touch along with his neck so it was off to Children’s.  He ended up with some meds to help him sleep, ear drops and again an antibiotic.  Two days later we followed up with a ENT doctor (yes, with all 8 children) who cleaned some of the stuff out and although it was still swollen could see that it was still painful.  Our 4 year old caught strep in the midst of this and 2 others had to be taken on different occasions due to sore throats which were due to drainage b/c of our great Ohio weather.

It was Christ who helped me keep and maintain sanity having a 2,3,4,5,and 6 yr old at a 2.5 hour urology appt, while I had a 3,4,5,6,8,9,12,and 14 yr old at home.  I even had a sweet older gentleman give me a kiss on the cheek and a hug and thank me for my service at my appt.

I went back again to the same office 2 days later for an ultrasound with a 2, 3, 4, 4, 4, and 5 yr old of my bladder and thankfully it went well, although I didn’t realize I hadn’t done my hair that day til after I had left the doctors appt.  No wonder people were so kind to me.  I must have looked frazzled.  We then went to Kroger to get some milk and a few other things and we all came out alive!  This was the same day that I looked at my Vectren bill and realized that it was in disconnect if I didn’t pay it in the next 8 days – seems like I was living on the edge.

One of the bright things in all of this is caring for my friends newborn as she started back to school.  The baby was only 2 weeks old when I started watching her.  I have her just 2.5 hours 2 times a week.  LOVE this age!!  She is now 4 weeks old.

As I write this, I have the stench of a dead goldfish that just died behind me.  I am in debate as to whether to flush it or leave it and let the children see that it was actually dead, as I am sure that I will be accused of killing it – since I am the “animal hater”.   Silas was given it at a birthday party on Saturday that he went to.  Sarah was elated that we finally had a pet.  For some reason, I am pretty confident, I will somehow be blamed for this.  The scars of motherhood that we bare for our children.

This past Saturday we were invited to a skating party for the little girl that I babysit for.  She turned 7 – today actually.  So our whole family was invited.  It ended up being me and 9 children as Nathaniel had a friend with him.  Thankfully I had Marlee’s family who helped out with the littles because I was truly outnumbered.  It was the first time the 3 extras had ever been skating and I am sure they had a great time.  They want to go back even though they spent more time on their bottom than their feet.

Well, its time for that prescribed nap – maybe there will be more later……

 

2015 in a Nutshell

This past year has brought many changes.  As I typed in the title it occurred to me that I am officially nuts and our home has become our shell – thus it is encouraging to see that it is a very fitting title.

The year began as a typical first of the year begins.  We had great ambitions and started off with making goals.  I have to laugh as I reread the goals of 2015 (blank copy found here) as Silas said that he wanted to stop “reading books”.  There are things that we aim for and sometimes miss by a long shot and then there are paths where we never thought we would venture.

Fostering was one of those aspects – we bought a 12 Passenger van in May.  We hadn’t committed yet but figured it was a step in that direction.  We started our classes in June and had completed them in August.  Just 1 week after completing the classes we were called with a case.  We received 3 siblings ages 3,4 and 5, a boy and 2 girls.  We have had them with us for almost 5 months now and life has changed for us and them.  It has opened our eyes.  It has made us grateful for the blessings God gave us.

Nathaniel turned 14 this year and has grown in many ways.  He started 9th grade at Wayne High School and has done fairly well carrying a load with several Honors classes and also taking a College class at Sinclair.  He has taken over cooking the majority of the meals – which is a job feeding a family of 10.  He does it very well and enjoys it.  He would like to have a culinary degree along with a computer degree as the end goal.  He would love to spend all his free time playing video games, but is typically gracious with the couple hours a week he is given.

Isaiah turned 12 this year.  He is still our witty, educational loving child who is still quite the affectionate one.  The little girls tell him no often as he is constantly kissing them.  He also tested at college level and he took a computer class at Sinclair with Nathaniel.  He carries an A average in all his classes, some of them being honors.  Isaiah still has a love for soccer and is looking forward to playing in the Spring.  His love for legos and his ability to make incredible art is still his favorite pastime.

Sarah is 9 now and has a great love of “mothering”.  She tends to the little ones as they are her own and yearns to be big so that she can do so many more things – like babysit.  She is still big hearted and wants to own a zoo – well at least a couple dogs and cats.  She has become a great reader and doing well in school.

Silas just turned 8 on the 27th of December.  He an intelligent kid.  Quick with numbers and letters, Silas excels at most things.  He is still trying to find his niche in the world but being as bright as he is  – the world has a gift coming to them.  Silas enjoys playing with legos and cars.  He also enjoys drawing and coloring and takes much time in making it just so.

Lydia although only 4 is still the one who wins over most.  She is our child that is cute and sassy and adds a lot of drama but is also the most accessorized child that picks out her own outfits and accessories with great consideration.  She started preschool this year and it was with great concern that we did so.  It didn’t start off so well, but now she is doing well learning and doing what the teacher says.

Randy said goodbye to MSD after 15 1/2 years and started a new position at Central NICC at Wright Patt AFB.  He is a project manager there and it has provided him with greater responsibilities but with greater potential for growth.  He enjoys going to work and has found that it was a great move.  He still enjoys drawing in his free time and still has a love for the Dallas Cowboys.

Priscilla is a full-time mom along with babysitting for extras when needed.  Two before and after school kids along with a variety of others throughout the week in addition to the 8, bring much busyness and fills the schedule up but also allows her to fulfill her dream of mothering.  She attends bible study weekly and although enjoys reading and relaxing, it is difficult to find many free moments for that.

Our family was able to go visit Randy’s parents for a long weekend back in August as they live in Somerset, KY.  Other than that we make our home our haven and don’t venture out much.  We look forward to a new year with great anticipation for the coming of Christ.  No matter what happens or where we are at, we know that preparing our hearts is what matters most.  We hope to encourage others to have a personal relationship with Christ in how we live for Him.  May your year be full of blessings and you feel the grace and mercy God so kindly shows us on a daily basis.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the Adkins Home

Lineup family 2014

As we embrace a New Year, we would like to reflect on our previous year and update you on our family’s lives.  We are very thankful for the blessings that God has given us and at this time of year, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, we can’t help but think of the ultimate sacrifice He made by going to the cross to die for our sins.  As we raise our family, we want to impress on them the TRUE meaning of Christmas and becoming more Christ-like.

Randy celebrates his 15th year at MSD working as an estimator.  He has a very serving heart and you can find him many times doing a project for someone – from roofing to putting in a water heater.  He still enjoys cars and drawing but doesn’t find much time to engage in it.  Being the sole provider he does a great job at managing all that needs done.

Priscilla had a short junt of working for the Dayton Airport as a ramp agent which gave us the “perk” of flying for free, which we took advantage of a couple of times.  She spends her time these days caring for needs that arise.  She enjoys a couple weekly bible studies at First Baptist of Vandalia where we have been attending for 5 years now. Couponing is an asset in which she is skilled at and has taught a couple of classes for a program at church.  When she isn’t busy…..she enjoys reading and eating peanut butter goodies.

Nathaniel turned 13 on July 6th.  We are very proud of him as he is in Honors Geometry and Advanced Reading.  He still hates writing but enjoys most other things.  He has taught himself how to yo-yo, solve the Rubix Cube (with some help), and most recently how to knit – in fact, selling hats and scarfs at school.  We are very blessed to have such a gentle spirited teenager that is loved by many.

Isaiah turned 11 on July 27th.  He is still quite the comedic, witty and creative .  He recently was in our church play as a main character and did a great job.  Isaiah excels in school and loves spending time with his friend(s).  He also enjoys reading and playing with legos.  He is a very sweet and loveable pre-teen and we are blessed to have him in our lives.

Sarah turned 8 on August 18th.  She is a loving child who is always looking for a way to help people, in fact wanting to carry a first aid kit around just in case she needs it.  She has an amazing teacher this year that is helping her excel in reading.  She is working on conquering multiplication and will be moving onto division after the first of the year.  Littlest pet shops and baking is what she enjoys the most right now.  We are blessed to have her in our family.

Silas will be turning 7 on December 27th.  He is mostly a quiet child who enjoys doing his own thing…….in so many ways.  He is learning some tough lessons in life about obeying but still has a sweet nature and tender heart.  He really loves cars and excels at school in all areas.  A bright child who we love and feel very blessed to have in our lives.

Lydia turned 3 on June 20th.  She is a firecracker that is full of life.  She appears to be sweet and loving but as we have video to prove, it is not always that way.  She is growing fast and is becoming very independent.  She loves to laugh and is quite drawn to “Frozen” right now.  We feel blessed to have her in our lives.

So much to be thankful for as we are in a season of giving.  We send to all of you a greeting of peace and joy.  Peace in that you find a relationship with Jesus and Joy in the everyday things.

Blessings from our hearts to your homes,

Randy, Priscilla, Nathaniel, Isaiah, Sarah, Silas and Lydia Adkins

Pictures taken by Elizabeth Kessler : Blessed & Redeemed Photgraphy

A Trust Issue

I had an incident earlier in the year that brought this subject to mind, actually a couple of incidents.

First I was driving our van in route to home as I had taken our youngest to the Dr. since she wasn’t feeling well.  I remember the drive well because the van was on E.  It was on a prayer that I made it off the exit and to the gas station to get gas.  I remember going to fill the van and my credit card being declined.  It was one of them “WHAT? You’ve got to me kidding me moments.”  But no, I later found out that there had been fraudulent activity on it and I was unable to use it.  I resorted to my debit card, praying that a check hadn’t cleared that would allow me to put enough gas in my tank to make it home.  I breathed a sigh of relief when the pump turned on and I was able to FILL up the van.  I was truly thankful that God had heard my prayers.  I knew I needed to pick up the medicine that the dr. office had called in but as I went to leave the gas station and head across to the pharmacy, things were not as they should be.  I went to hit the brakes and they weren’t there!  I pumped fervently thinking “Oh, Lord, help me be able to stop”.  I began to pray again and trying to think it through the best way to make it home without just pulling off to the side and calling my mom asking her to load up the rest of the kids and come rescue me.  I prayed all the way home that day and I know that God heard me.  He helped me make it all the way home and pull into the garage, without going THROUGH the garage.  What a nerve-racking experience!  But my lesson had only begun.

My husband came home and examined it finding a brake line that appeared to have broken which caused me not to have compression to utilize my brakes.  It happened that my dad and he decided to fix it …..there’s more to this story, but we’ll leave it at that, resulting in them dropping the fuel tank,. Ummmm, I had JUST filled it up.  It turned out to be a not so easy fix.  When dropping the gas tank, a part on the fuel pump had broken which resulted in waiting for the part to come in before I would be back on the road again.  I was not feeling so safe about driving this vehicle again. Yet, it was prayer that kept me sane.  I prayed that God would keep me safe.  Thoughts tumbled through my head.  Really could I trust my dad and Randy to have done a sufficient job in putting the brake line on and the gas tank back together that this vehicle would not only carry me safely to and from my destinations but also my children.?  I didn’t feel confident in the fact that in them trying to fix one problem, it created another.  But on the other hand, I had someone who loved me from birth and had proven time and time again that he had my best interest in mind and someone who had chosen me to not only be a partner for life but also to bear and raise his children, these men would never intentionally put me in harm’s way; yet, I was distrustful.

I did some deeper thinking on this and knew that I wanted to share this with others.  Here WE are created by HIM (God) and not only were we CREATED by HIM, but we were designed by Him!!  Wow!  Go ahead, let that sink in a bit.  Our parents gave life to us AFTER God not only designed us and knitted us in our mother’s womb, but also after He had even added the little details – like freckles and dimples.  Wouldn’t HE have our best interest in mind?  Wouldn’t He know how to “fix” us?  He made us!!  Yet, we have more trust in someone who isn’t even connected to us to take care of our needs and wants?  Amazing realization on my part, maybe on yours too!  We trust that our employers are going to pay us every pay-day, yet God already knows our needs and has made provisions for us.

I know that its difficult for some to swallow – asking “Does this mean that I sit back and just let God take care of everything?”  No, we have to have a servant’s heart and be willing to do our part BUT He is there!!  He wants YOU to cry out to Him!  He wants YOU to sing His praises!  He wants YOU to talk to Him – and Yes, I believe that sometimes he allows us to have these hurdles because its been awhile since we have talked to Him.

Another illustration surfaced around Easter of this year not long after this situation had played out.  I was visiting my sister (see I didn’t mention your name Elizabeth….lol) in Virginia Beach for the weekend and so happens that I was riding with her.  I will insert a disclaimer here that I have never said that I am an outstanding driver BUT with that being said its a little worrisome when you are the sidekick in an adventure and your brake isn’t working on your side of the car.  It was another moment in which I realized that we put our lives into the hands of others so many times in a day, yet we are reluctant to give/trust God with our lives.  We are afraid that he isn’t someone we can trust.  He is trustworthy!  He has YOUR best interest in mind.  I challenge you to think about the situations in which you put trust in and then think about the situations in which you don’t trust God to take care of for you.  HE MADE YOU!  He Loves YOU!

I have to also mention that it makes me think of the potter and the clay.  A potter has time and energy invested in his work – so he is going to want the best for it.  He isn’t going to just leave it sit out to ruin.  He isn’t going to be careless with it.  So many times we don’t see the value in something because we don’t have the time and energy invested in it or the money.  Think about it~Call out to Jesus, He cares for you!

Where I am

Sitting here late at night with the family asleep and I alone with my thoughts.  They have been jumbled, sporadic, real, constant, and many.  Today, February 2nd marks 7 years that we lost a baby at 13 weeks in utero.  I have cried tears, tears that stream down my face and make me question so many things.  Just in the past few days my stomach has had an ache that just seems to be there.  Not having let up and then realizing the time of year, it seems as though I may be able to put a finger on it.  My body responding to the loss?  The change in things from 7 years ago?  My blessings that have been added since then?  Maybe I can’t put a finger on it but it leads me down the road of trying to figure it out.

I pulled out my memory box that I put together shortly after the loss – not sure what to put in it but so VERY thankful that I did.  Cards from friends –  people who I have lost touch with, cards from family, cards from our church at that time.  A small figurine of a baby at 10 weeks sent to me by the March of Dimes foundation, a small set of feet to wear as a pin.  Some dried flowers in a frame.  They are all just reminders of the pain that I went through then.  It has changed me in so many ways.

Yet, there still is a very core part of me that is so scared – scared to let the world know who I am.  Afraid to step out and stand up and be ME!!  My loss has allowed me to be “real” with individuals on a personal level – knowing that if I hadn’t had some individuals be “real” with me – I would not have known how they dealt with their loss and in turn able to help someone else who dealt or deals with it today.   But to put it all out there for others to critique, criticize, or even fire back is a struggle.

I go through a mirage of emotions at times wondering what my purpose is here on earth.  Feeling as though I don’t make a difference in the world, yet some days being absolutely certain that I have impacted a life or two along my journey.  It stirs my soul to reach out and let others know what a blessing they have been to me, just as much as I want to withdraw into myself and shut out the world – to take a break from the constant demands of my world around me.

Knowing that you have impacted someone’s life gives one a sense of meaning, accomplishment – something to return to when life seems to have them upside down, blindfolded and emptied out.  I encourage anyone that takes the time to read this to reach out to someone……let them know that they mattered in YOUR life.  I know I would LOVE to know if I have made a small difference in your life.  So leave me a comment (if you don’t want me to publish it, let me know) and share with me.