Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Sandusky Case

I need to make a confession, I become obsessed with news stories that deal with crimes against children. Case in point: Jon Benet Ramsey. I went to an investigation seminar for my job during the fallout of this case where we used the "ransom" note left after her disappearance to study handwriting analysis. This opened a door of a self admittedly embarrassing obsession with all things Jon Benet Ramsey. I read everything I could get my hands on and save taking a flight to Colorado, I knew in my heart with a little of my investigative prowess, I could break this case wide open.

I guess my second confession should be that I suffer from an inordinate amount of self-confidence.

Over the past several days I have become a bit obsessed with the Jerry Sandusky accusations and grand jury report. I find myself reading every article I can get from every news outlet writing the story. My obsession is not to "crack the case," but instead to try to understand why grown men of power made the decisions they made. The repeated ignoring of damage to children in the case of Jerry Sandusky's actions is a 15 year reenactment of the two year old who was run over in China and no one helped. (Don't know what I am talking about, google it and be prepared to be even more disappointed in humanity.)

I come into this story with a peaked interest for two reasons. I am currently involved in the lives of foster children. Secondly, I have a 12 year old son. As a foster mother for the past two years I have grown a very special interest in the lives of children who are in the system. I have seen first hand the effects of unimaginable abuse on children at the hands of trusted adults. The abuse of these children, in my experience, is rarely hidden from other adults. It takes a community to allow these kids to be repeatedly abused. A prevalent drug culture is usually the first environmental red flag to sexual abuse, the second is the history of the abuser. Studies and experience show sexually abused children have a propensity to sexually deviant behavior as they mature.

How do you counter this sexual deviance? First, you acknowledge it. I think the thing that is of concern to me in the case of the alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky's victims and the cover-up that followed is that these boys likely were not given therapeutic care to deal with the trauma and subsequent mental health issues that will follow such a trauma. For the age of Sandusky's victims,I would hope these sexual experiences were likely the first they had experienced. Their sexuality, their view of sex, and their self concept all were compromised with each incident. Adding the element of same-sex abuse and the stigma of homosexuality to the mix, these boys likely felt limited in their outreach. I can only imagine the boys who knew someone saw their abuse and did not stop it, felt further limitations in the acceptance of their stories.

I have struggled to walk a mile in the shoes of the men who knew what was happening, but chose not to speak up or step in. Why would you not step up? I think the easy answer is that they were all protecting their own reputations and the reputation of their football program. Yet, I am not convinced that this was the sole reason. I have batted around the idea that we as humans click over to denial when faced with atrocities. A pillar in our community surely could not have done this thing? Last year a conservative fundamentalist preacher in our area attempted to fake his own death in order to run away with his 13 year old lover. A mother kills her children in order to allow for herself the freedom to party. A philanthropist football icon could not be a sexual predator. Our brains can categorize these into unbelievable things. Further, I believe there is an inability for us to talk about sexual activity, positive or negative, without turning to embarrassed whispers or jokes. How many times have you found yourself talking about sex and felt compelled to whisper? I wonder if in sharing the information to one another each in the chain of information in the Sandusky case found their need to make the story believable in their own brain and their own discomfort in speaking of deviant sex acts, indeed downplayed the incident to the point that those further from the witness did not fully understand the extent of the incident.

Please understand I am appalled and disgusted that there was not action. But, the truth is each of these men were not in and of themselves the monster Sandusky appears to be. I imagine before all of this came in the open, they would have been described as upstanding, truth loving, community protecting citizens. So would it have been different in my circle of friends, your circle of friends, or another University? Is it possible that humanity allows this to happen? Or is it just protecting the program at all cost? Maybe that is just so atrocious to me I am trying to make it believable? I believe if we don't figure out the root cause of why there was no action, we as a society will have failed ourselves in preventing it from happening in another place at another time.

As a mother of a pre-teen son, I am so torn up by these stories I have felt physically sick. I think of my child and where he is in his development. Who he is and how each event in his life molds his thinking and direction. I think of the adults in his life whom I trust and rely on to form him and wonder what if I were to learn they were not only not protecting him from the monsters of this world, but were the monsters themselves. It is a nightmare to me that we live in a society where you, if only for a moment, have to take a mental inventory of the people in your children's lives and wonder, even if only for a moment, if they are protecting your child or harming them. The Sandusky's of the world strip us all of our peace and confidence in our fellow man.

At the end of all these thoughts lie the reality that this world is a fallen world. It is my belief that stories like these will become more and more prevalent as days go by. We live in a world where we don't protect the weak, we kill our unborn, we protect our own hearts, rather than take in the fatherless, and we strip family of any importance. We demean masculinity, confuse femininity with sexuality, and we cheapen sex to the point we package it and sell it. We live in a society where we fear financial suffering so we watch a two year old lie in her own blood in the street and we value our own job to the virtue and well-being of an abused child. We riot the firing of a coach, but are apathetic to the raped child he failed to protect. We live in a society that says anything goes. In a society where anything goes, anything will go. Are we prepared for what that means?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Becoming a Jones

October 10th came and went with nothing to show for it. The only thing that happened that day was the birthparents of E and J received subpoenas stating the state of Kentucky was filing for Termination of Rights.


Now that I am a couple of weeks away from the absolute frustration the 10th brought into my life, I can tell you that it could be worse. Our family is still our family, the kids are still safe with us, and we know God is in control.

My problem is that I want to be in control too. Paperwork, inept caseworkers and etc all add up to a delay. We do not know a date for the end of this journey. We assume it will happen, but the truth is we don't know what is going to happen. This is very difficult for me. I am a doer. Maybe I am being taught to be a have faith-er (poetic license is my friend!). I like being a doer better. I need to get over myself. We hope to be subpoenaed soon. With that subpoena will come a date and at least a few answers.

I told my Mother the other day I am pretty excited about being subpoenaed. This has never happened to me before. I have visions of a pizza being delivered with the legal documents tucked away or a floral arrangement that needs to be signed for. Ridiculous I know. Most likely we will get a certified piece of mail. But I have entertained myself for days thinking of all the ways I would subpoena people if I were the subpoena deliverer. I think I may watch too much television. Maybe I am just a big nerd. Pick C for all of the above.

I digress, so we wait for the subpoena and we wait for a new date. Tick Tock....

At dinner the other night we had a conversation about names. Emma wanted to know everyone's full name. We went around and talked about our names. Jordon piped in and said, "My name is Jordon Mowhatavich-Jones." (To hear him pronounce his last name is pretty funny.) Emma said, "I want my name to be Jones too."

Friday after visitation, Nathan was at the courthouse to pick up the children. As they ran up the stairs with their gifts from their parents, the children yelled, "Daddy, Daddy look at our stuff." Nathan told E she needed to say goodbye to her Mom and she turned her head and said "BYE" and went immediately back into her conversation with Nathan. We are seeing such a change in her. I think she is as ready for this to be over as we are and although we may be biased, it seems she is done with her other life. At school, she is doing a unit on what is a family. She was asked by her teacher to draw a family portrait. When she brought it home she showed it to me. It was a picture of a family of 7. She said, "This is my family." and then went on to point out everyone in our family.

What lies ahead is for the subpoenas to arrive. Nate and I will testify as to the well-being of the children. We have been told the trial will most likely last no longer than a day. The judge will have 30 days from the end of the trial to make a ruling. From the ruling date, the parents will have another 30 days to file an appeal. While we are waiting for the appeal period to pass, we will be working with our caseworker to fill out all the adoption paperwork that will need to be done. Hopefully on the 31st day, if there is no appeal, we will have all of our paperwork completed and we can petition the court for an adoption date. I doubt this will happen by the end of this year, but I would love for it to. There are still a few things that could be problematic. We have to believe that all familial contacts have been exhausted and that there is not a blood related relative who will step up, be accepted by the state as a parental alternative. It is my understanding this has been done, but honestly my faith in the caseworker is shaky. Reality is the judge could just give the kids back to their parents, but I just can not imagine this will happen.

When we began this road with Emma and Jordon, I wrote a letter to their mother on this blog. I never sent that letter to her. I have told her face to face many of the things that were in that letter. Over the past 15 months, my attitude has changed towared her. Today I write her this letter.

Dear Birthmother,

It is a strange thing to be waiting for you to stop being my children's mother. I hate the feeling of waiting for you to fail enough. I wrestle with the feeling of guilt that I want you to fail. I am haunted by placing myself in your shoes and wondering what it would be like to know I could never see my children again.

I look into the eyes of these children and I burn with anger for you. Not only have you allowed these children to suffer and failed to protect their innocence, but you have become a source of pain for them. You refuse to do what you need to do to be their mother and yet you selfishly refuse to let them go. You have placed them, as well as my whole family in a state of limbo. You daily steal security and permanency from their lives. You comfort yourself in dollar store gifts for them and I have come to realize those gifts mirror your love for them, cheap, useless, and easily broken.

I have tried for more than a year to empathize with you; to understand your point of view. Yet, the truth is you don't live in the same world I live in. You live in a world of denial and self destruction. You live in a world where children are used as pawns for your own purposes. I no longer want to understand you. I no longer want
to be compassionate to your circumstances. Month after month, you look at these children and blatantly lie to them. Month after month, you to save face with them, fill them with false hope. You can not think of them enough to think what will befall them when they realize you have lied. And what you can not know, is that no longer do they mourn you, instead your inabilities are something they acknowledge as something totally disconnected from them.

You have the ability to give these children one last gift. The gift of removing them from the cycle of destruction that you are currently spinning in. You tell them you love them, and I have no problem believing you, for they are very lovable. The problem is you have loved them too little and loved things that could destroy them too much. My one wish is for you to give them the gift that requires you to truly be a mother, put them first. Let them go so they may feel the security of permanency that could be theirs.

It is because of you I am their mother. Your choices created my role. I will not be shy in advocating for their best interests. I will not compromise their well being for your feelings. You have chosen. Now I fight for them.

May you become well. May you find a way out of this life you have chosen.
Let them go,


Thursday, September 22, 2011


There are moments in homeschooling when I think, "Hmphhfff." But then there are the moments that I cherish. As my children grow and develop, I foresee these moments presenting more and more. It is an absolute joy to be intimately involved with their learning experiences. I love the discussions that happen around the table over books. The insight to their thinking, enriches my own, but mostly makes me just fall more and more in love with these children.

Noah is taking a rhetoric class where he is learning the theory of Evolution and then being asked to make a decision to reject or accept it giving arguments as to why he believes what he believes. Yesterday he asked me to sit down with him, as he had some questions he wanted to ask and he wanted to run some things by me. He layed out an argument for why he believed that certain tenents of the theory of Evolution when combined with his Faith based beliefs of God as Creator were not mutually exclusive. As I sat listening to him make his arguments, I realized we are fully in the dialectic/rhetoric levels of his learning. I was so impressed with his thinking, and while I did not agree with all of his arguments, I understood how he could reach the conclusions he made. Most impressive to me was when he was finished making his arguments, he said, "Mom, this is what I have been thinking about today. I want you to tell me what you think. I feel certain I have more to learn." Oh how I hope he keeps this humble yearning to learn. I want to be more like him in realizing my understandings are limited and to not be so set in thinking I know what I know that I am not, like him, willing to admit that there is more to learn and that my current understanding could be faulty by limited knowledge.

Secondly, he pulled out his Bible and said he had some questions about the creation account, specifically Genesis 1:24. He read to me how the land produced the animals and then shared his feelings of how God used the Earth in creation. He went on to make an argument as to why he can see why people in the past have mistakenly deified the Earth. My favorite thing he stated was, "I think that the ancient people who worshipped the Earth and the scientists today are not very far off the mark. The Earth is a source of creation, even for the animals, and there is no doubt that there has been evolution and adaption, but I think they are missing God in it all. It is like they are almost there and quit before they truly understand. If you see that God used the things they are talking about you get the whole story. And that is truth. I don't understand why they are willing to accept just a portion of the truth."

What a thrill to watch my children develop their own understanding of the world around them. What an amazing thing to see them tackle faith. I love this stage of their learning when everything is so black and white. I love the confidence on Noah's face when he states a belief (even if what I think he is saying is completely false), and I love that he asks questions, asks if we agree with him or not. I love that he is willing to recognize the limitations of his understanding. The mixture of this idealistic confidence and humility is so precious and endearing. Oh how I look forward to witnessing this boy becoming a man. I look forward to seeing just who he becomes. I anticipate it will be amazing!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

They look just like you...

One of my favorite parts of being the Mom to children I did not give birth to is hearing the phrases, "I see so much of your husband in this one" or "The little one and his big brother really favor." or "Your children favor so much." I usually just smile to strangers, but to acquaintances who we have known for some time, but have not been in recent communication with, I will share our story of Emma and Jordon and how they have come to us. I believe it is true that the longer you live in relationship with someone, you begin to favor them. Nathan is extremely lucky!

As I have thought about the mannerisms Emma and Jordon have picked up from living with us it makes me think they do favor us in many ways. It is true their coloring, eyes and hair do match up to our family's. They have sweet Eastern European faces, very unlike our round American faces, but really the way they talk, the way they move, the way they express themselves with their faces, bodies, hands have come to be very similar to the rest of us.

Being created in the image of God, I wonder just how much I look like God. That has always been a curiosity to me. What exactly does it mean to be in the image of God? How much likeness do I have to Him? I can not control the basis of how I look like God any more than I can control if I favor my mother or my father. But my thoughts this morning have danced on the realization of what makes my family look similar to one another more than the shape of noses and location of eyes is the mannerisms of our actions. We favor because in spending time together in close proximity causes us to share sameness. This reflects to people who are viewing us. This is why I believe people will say, Emma and Jordon really look like (you, Nathan, Macy, Molly, Noah). We favor because we act alike. We act alike because we spend so much time together.

In my journey of discipleship, I fear I am not spending enough time with God to allow myself to pick up on His mannerisms. Could this familial sameness apply to my spirtual family? Is the intimacy of living in family, being in constant contact and proximity a condition in being recognized as a child of God? I believe it could be so. I am an adopted child of God. I want to be recognized as his child. I want to challenge myself to be more intimately involved in relationship with Him. How great would it be to have someone say, "I see so much of your Father in you?"

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

October 10

October 10th is the birthday of Tanya Tucker, David Lee Roth, Brett Farve and the amazing Mario Lopez (that was a joke!). October 10th, the day Wayne Gretzky debutes in the NHL and the last day Joe Namath plays in the NFL. October 10--as you can see has very limited signifigance to the world at large, however it will be a very important day, at least this year for our family.

October 10th is court day. There have been 3 court days since Emma and Jordon were introduced to us, but this one has some signifigance. We have been told the state of Kentucky will be suggesting TPR (Termination of Parental Rights) for the children. We have been told there is a possibility the judge could rule from the bench on that day the ultimate fate of the children. The judge could also take her time to make a decision, but we have been told there is little for her to consider. As always, the judge could say the TPR is premature and extend time to the parents. However, we have been told the likelyhood of this is small.

I have very mixed feelings about the whole thing. I guess this makes me human. I can not stand the idea of a mother losing her children, but I understand that the welfare of the children dictates this is necessary. I can not stand the idea of what grief will lie ahead for Emma, who will most assuredly grieve her parents, but realize in so many ways she is fully invested in our life and considers Nathan and I her parents. I am not anticipating the moment I will have to tell her she will not be able to see her parents again, yet she has told me on more than one occassion she does not understand why she can't just be Emma Jones. I don't look forward to the conversations with Jordon as he grows older and begins to understand this part of his history. And to be honest, it scares the bejeezers out of me to be responsible for five little people all the time, everyday for the next forever.

So prayer warriors, we have 1 month, 3 days to be praying this out. Please pray that the Lords will be done in all of this. Pray that the decisions being made on behalf of these kiddos by the powers that be will be wise, will be just, and will be made in the best interest of the kids. Please be praying for the five of us Joneses to be spending the next month communicating well with one another, prayerfully considering the next phase of this journey. Finally be praying for the birth parents who will be faced at a minimum with some very hard decisions to make and most likely with the realization they will lose their children. I can not imagine.

Blessings and thanksgiving.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Daddy

At the risk of looking like a real blogger, I am going to post twice in a single week. Well, actually since it is Sunday, I am posting twice in two weeks, but let's not get caught up in the details.

Today after our church services, we were standing around visiting with our church family and Jordon was standing near two boys that are Noah's age. Jordon looked at the first boy and then pointed at that boys father and asked, "That you's Daddy?" Ben replied yes with a smile. Jordon turned to the next boy and pointed at his father and quiried, "That you's Daddy?" Jack nodded yes with a smile. Jordon with a very huge smile on his face pointed at Nathan and said, "That's my Daddy."

Oh little boy, I hope so!

Last night, we celebrated my nephew Bradyn and Jordon's pending birthdays with a small family party. Jordon's biggest response was to a gift receipt at the bottom of a gift bag. The boy loves to hold the receipts. It's the small things. The funniest part of the evening however, was when he was holding a Rex the Dinosaur flashlight which roars when you turn the light on. He said, "Hey look, " and closed his own eyes with the flashlight pointed at himself. He pressed the button, the dinosaur would roar, he would throw his eyes open as startled as he could fake and then run with his hands in the air as if scared to death. This boy is truly the funniest person I have ever met!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Moments of Silence

It has been months since I have taken the time to write and share the events of our lives as they relate to our journey of faith. I would like to say that there have been major mountains climbed, but we find the slow continual hills are the terrain of our lives right now.

Emma and Jordon:
We have celebrated the one year mark of Emma and Jordon being a part of our family's story. July 14, 2011 was their anniversary as pseudo-Joneses. To say it has been an easy year would not be truthful. Honestly there have been many times I have doubted we were doing the right thing. On particular days, I would be ready to throw in the towel. But a quick dose of perspective and the mercy and grace of God has kept us going. Jordon will be celebrating his 3rd birthday with us in a couple of weeks. He had just been with us a month when he celebrated his 2nd. In this year he has changed so much. He is such a charming little boy with an acute sense of humor and a sweet and loving disposition. He is a bit selfish, as 3 year olds tend to be, and it could be said he was spoiled with the attention of three older siblings. Lucky for his long term character, Emma keeps him inline and humble. Today, the children had visitation with their parents. Jordon did not want to go. I fear he sees them as the people who give him Coke and treats every couple of weeks, and not as parents. Nathan and I took some time away and put Emma and Jordon into Respite Care, short term relief care for foster parents. When we brought them back to our house, they both said at different times, "It is so good to be back home." What a conflicting statement that is. My heart scarcely can think of the impact of this being home for these children. There is still so much uncertainty as to where they will finally be at home.

Emma is four and she has come such a long way in the past year. She is as sassy as they come and her desire to win approval often leads her into making less than desirable choices. It is hard to remember some days that this childs life has been turned upside down. It is hard to remember some days that this child has known more abuse, pain, trauma, and conflict than Nate and I have known in all our years combined. It is so easy to forget her past and just have her be ours, the little girl who lives with us, who is our daughter, who is loved and knows peace. Maybe somedays we expect too much of her, too much normalcy, too much appropriate behavior. It is far easier to think of her in terms of her life from July 15, 2010 until today than the three years preceding. But it is her history and the long term effects of those three years need to be appreciated and addressed. Emma, through counseling and a stable environment has and is overcoming many things. We are so proud of her and strive to remember to meet her where she is. My hearts desire is if you meet her you will not know of her troubled past, not because she is not facing it head on, but because she is growing comfortable in her personal history and not allowing it to define who she is and how she conducts her life. This is my prayer for her.

Having Emma and Jordon in our lives has been by far the most difficult part of mine. The children themselves, while bringing with them special challenges and issues, have been the least of the difficulties we have faced. More than anything, I am often riddled with doubt, self-pity, weariness, and frustration. How is it you mother children who have a mother? How is it you love a child as if they are your own, yet keep a comfortable distance to protect your heart? It can't be done. For to try is frustration and heartache daily. I proclaim to the world that it is a most un-natural thing to mother a child who has a mother living and involved with them. I have come to realize you have to just be their mother, come what may, because that little buffer that instinctively you place around your heart leaves just enough room for doubt, for bitterness. It leaves just enought room for statements like, "These are not my kids, I don't have to put up with this" and "I am over this!" In that buffer there is room for fear and resentment to grow. And the pain, the guilt, the aggravation of that day in and day out is much more painful than the possibility of the child being taken away. So I have reached the point where I am praying for my own selfish boundaries to be removed and where that fear has resided be run out with unconditional love.

The hardest mental burden of this has revolved around the Jones children. Through our decision to parent Emma and Jordon, they have been exposed to many things we hoped would be reserved for never or much later than now. Their own personal stories are effected by the time and energy we must devote to Emma and Jordon. Are we asking them to sacrifice too much? Are we meeting all of their needs? To count the nights I have laid awake with their best interest on my mind and sleep a stranger would require more digits than Nathan and I have combined. But then conversations happen like one tonight with Macy where she asked if I thought Emma and Jordon would go back to live with their mother. When I shared with her I was not sure, she said, "I don't want Emma and Jordon to go back, but sometimes I think they should go back because I think Emma is still so sad she cannot live with her Mommy. Maybe she would be much happier if she could just go back home." Oh that precious child. She inspires me to be more loving.

So what IS the long term prediction of how this story will play out? God knows. In July the children's official goal with the state of Kentucky was changed from "reunification with parents" to "permanent adoption". Sounds simple enough. This really means nothing in practical matters save the biological mother is being given one last chance to show large strides to regain custody of the children. The court will reassess the situation in October. It is our understanding that in October or in December (depending on the leniency of the courts to the Bio Mom), if these strides are not made, then the state of Kentucky will begin the process of removing the parental rights of the parents. We are not sure how long that could take but we have been told six months by more than one person. How it will all play out is still unpredictable. We have our opinions and we hear the opinions of those who may or may not be telling us what we want to hear to placate us.

I have become very self aware in this process. I am seeing my true nature and in many ways it has been humiliating and disappointing. I have prided myself in the past on my strength and energy, and I have come to realize they are very faulty. I have had more "doubting Thomas" moments on this journey than I care to admit, but I can testify to you with great faith that in each moment of doubt, God revealed Himself to me so clearly that I might believe. Mainly I have learned that I arrogantly thought that my willingness to take this journey of faith would give me a pass to an easy, peaceful journey. Who do I think I am? This journey is a journey of discipleship. Discipleship is looking like your leader and my leader is Jesus Christ. Who am I to think that I would not know pain, know rejection, be disappointed, feel enormous anguish. Who was I to want the benefits of discipleship without bearing the cross? While my faith has been tested and at times disbelief has been the battle winner, I find comfort in the realization that my God is victorious and has promised that on the other end of this journey is celebration and peace.

I have traditionally closed these entries with a prayer and the prayer of my heart at this point continues to be, "Your Will be Done."

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

Noah was asked to give a short talk to his Bible study class this morning. Thought I would share:

John 20:1-16

When God created man He put man in a Garden - The Garden of Eden must have been a beautiful garden. It was on high ground, with four rivers flowing through it. It had trees and plants everywhere. It also had The Tree of Life and The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In the garden's rivers there was gold. In the ground there was silver. The fruit on all the trees where luscious and good to eat. It was, probably, the most wonderful and beautiful place on earth!

In the garden, Man was able to talk and walk with God. Adam and Eve were able to talk to God face-to-face! Wouldn't it be just amazing to see and talk to God face-to-face?

But after all the gladness, sin enters the world. God said not to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, but Man disobeyed. Sin is the reason we die. Ever since Adam and Eve ate of the tree and sin entered the world and with it death. As a result of this sin we all die. In fact, death is a reality for all living things in this world. And as another punishment they were kicked out of the garden, the most wonderful place on earth!

Winter, more than any other time of year, reminds us of the power that death has in our world. When winter comes the trees start to lose their leaves, the flowers lose their petals, the grass turns brown. Everything loses its beauty and begins to look dead.

That is what sin does to us. We lose our beauty, the beauty of man created in the image of God. The end of this loss of beauty, is that we die.

But we are in the season of Easter, in the season of spring. When I think of Easter, I think of when Jesus was risen from the dead.

What is so special about Easter is that when Easter comes all the plants and trees bloom. In the winter all the plants are dead, but in the spring, they all come back to life. In the bible when I think of plants, I think of the Garden of Eden. The Garden of Eden was the place where Man could be with God. He could talk, face-to-face, with God. But since sin entered the world, man has been longing to get back to the garden. To have the face to face communion with God in the garden. To get back into Eden.

So know we see that Jesus' tomb was in a garden. When Mary Madeline saw Jesus she thought he was the gardener of the garden. So, what John is trying to saying to us, is that because of the resurrection of Jesus, Man can be able to walk and talk with God, face-to-face, once again. It can be like we are back in the garden!

So when I think of Easter I think of being dead one day then blooming the next, Jesus death and resurrection and of that sweet taste of chocolate bunnies .

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Molly Jones

Today is a day of rejoicing. My beautiful daughter, Molly, has decided to give her life to Christ through baptism. She will be baptized tonight and I have a heart so full that I wanted to take a moment to write down my thoughts.

It is unimaginable to me how great our God is. I think about the sacrifice God made of his Son so that my daughter can live. Can you imagine it? My daughter has promises and blessings unending because of a God who desires a relationship with us. How can I not be full of praise? How can I not fall down in the awe of such a God?

There are few people I have known that are more faithful than Molly. Molly is faced daily with special medical challenges that cause her to rely on her faith. It never fails that in the midst of these challenges, Molly will be the first to say, "I really think we need to pray." She recognizes that it is only through God we can be sustained and she relies on Him in a way that humbles me and encourages my own faith.

For more than six months Molly has talked to Nathan and I about her faith, her hope in Jesus, her desire to be claimed by Him through the act of baptism. We, in our own weaknesses, detered her, but she stayed persistent. In fact, Nathan shared with me today that he feels we have made a huge error in judgement, by asking her to face her challenges without giving her the peace that she will receive by God's cleansing hand, we have added to her burden. We became that one who would be better to have a millstone around our neck, for we prevented OUR little child to come to Him. May we be forgiven. May we now lift her up to Him with boldness and thanksgiving.

As a mother, the dreams and hopes I have for my children abound, but in the end the one thing I desire for them is the peace and comfort that comes from being in relationship with God. Tonight my biggest desire for Molly will be realized and I will be lifting my heart and hands in praise to My God, who is MIGHTY to save.

God in Heaven, There are no words that can properly express the thankfulness, the fulness of joy, the overwhelming love that fills my heart. You, My Father, are extending Your Hands to my beautiful little girl, and my heart cries out, Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Because of Your Son, I rest with peace and hope for my daughter.