So today makes a little over 3 months that we've had our new kiddos. There have definitely been ups and downs with adjustments but I seemed to have hit rock bottom this past Sunday. On Valentine's Day, Craig worked hard on preparing our traditional fondue dinner and dessert. Phoeby was screaming with tummy pain and ended up throwing up on Craig after dinner. That night Emily threw up in her bed...a lot!!! She likes fondue but it's not meant to come back up. Over the weekend Phoeby's swelling continued to get worse and Craig and I ended up with that nasty bug. We were up all night making trips to the toilet but due to DiGize
oil was able to keep it down. But we felt terrible!! Satan had been working on my mind for a few weeks, slowly creeping in thoughts of defeat since we had been struggling with certain children's attitudes and heart issues, along with fatigue and sibling selfishness. I had also been working so hard on doing natural oils to keep Phoeby healthy so when she got sick, I felt like I just wasn't good enough. I had been having my morning devotions, but they were more routine and rushed with 6 kids and needing to start the day with homeschooling. Plus, time for myself or for Craig and I had been very little. People may not understand, but it is not exaggerating when I say that every bit of the time and energy we had was given to bonding with our new kids, keeping ongoing relationships with Emily, Liz, and Stephen, as well as put out sibling problems, answer a million questions a day with new experiences for Christian, Duan, and Phoeby, and just keeping our heads above water!!! My energy and love tank had been running on empty for weeks. I even felt like I had lost joy and didn't even want to be around my family. Thoughts began in my mind of feeling trapped in a prison that I couldn't escape...because what a TERRIBLE parent I would be to say that I didn't like my family that we had prayed so hard for!!! My comfort started to become the pieces of chocolate that I hid in my nightstand and the hope that if I could just survive today...time will pass. God definitely knows what we need when we can't even express it in words! So back to Sunday with me laying on the sofa feeling terrible...physically, emotionally, spiritually, and totally defeated! In an impulse moment I posted how I felt on Facebook. Then Craig and I talked and I sobbed in his arms as he prayed over me. I couldn't even pray except to ask the Holy Spirit to intercede for me. I just sobbed and rested in my love's safe arms. It's hard to humble yourself as a mom and to admit when you need help...at least it is for me. I didn't want to burden anyone or expose anyone to the "bug" that had invaded our house since Christian even got sick on Monday. But God sent his angels of grace and mercy to come to my aid in a time of need. I had numerous emails and messages of prayer and encouragement. Since Craig was already better he had to leave for work on Monday. Friends came over to clean my house, do laundry, and one saint even gave me an amazing massage! Even my children helped take care of their mom and had more peace in the house...at least for a day or two! A friend sacrificially watched my other children when I had to take Phoeby to the doctor. Some friends are planning to bring us a meal, and the list goes on. The amazing thing about this is that most of them are not blood related who came to lift me out of the pit I was in...but all are sisters and brothers in God's family! God has used this week of weakness for me to remind me of His provision and that He is always with us. I needed to rest in Him to see it though. I would never have believed it, but due to prayers, encouragement, and the saints who served me so lovingly, just 2 days after feeling defeated and down, joy returned! I laughed and even had fun with my kids on Tuesday. I wanted to hug them and tell them that I loved them! My strength and energy was restored as well. God's medicine truly is miraculous and life changing! There is still a long, winding road ahead for our family as we continue through this transition time, but I know it is not a road I have to walk alone. That's my God story!
***Due to having a "gone wrong" Valentine's Day...the kids had to postpone their Valentine Concert for us until a few days later. Here's "God's Not Dead" Hamstra kid style!