I'm having an awesome time at the Created for Care retreat. I didn't spend much time preparing to come and didn't have many expectations of the weekend but I have to say it's been amazing so far.
Last night we were challenged by the speaker to live life at well and not wail. She talked about Genesis 16 and 21 and how God saw Hagar in her distress and being in His presence allowed her to do what he called her to do. Good stuff.
There's been a recurring theme in the things that I've been learning in my life lately and I've been hearing it here too... that I need to be seeking the Lord and not looking for an exact formula on how to deal with issues in my life. Each of my children are different and I need to parent them the way that the Lord leads. So, pretty much I need to spend more time in the Word and less time concocting plans.
This morning we heard about parenting children like Samuel, who hear from the Lord themselves, not just from us. 1 Samuel 2:18 and 1 Samuel 3, really the whole book is good so you should read the whole thing. But she highlighted a few key things...
~Eli encouraged Samuel to lay down quietly and listen for the Lord.
~Our children don't receive a baby Holy Spirit, the spiritual things they say aren't just cute, it's from the Lord.
~Isaiah 45:3-4.... God's going to help me know who my children are and can show me how to parent them.
Then I went to a breakout session about adopting siblings and older children. Cris did an awesome job of sharing so many amazing things that she's learned along the way. She had really good insights here's her blog if you want to learn about her family.... Adopting our Little Sweet Peas.
Here were a couple of things that struck me...
~You view adopted children by their "family age" (how long they've been home) not by their actual age. This helps with having accurate expectations of our children. If they've been home a year then they'll deal with things emotionally the way that one year olds do. For those of you awesome people out there who haven't been called to adopt but you are really supportive to us adoptive mommas (I have some of you in my life who I don't know what I'd do without you!) This might be helpful to remind me of on hard days :)
~I need to initiate connecting with my adoptive child (but really should do with all my kiddos)
~Our children from the outside my look all put together but they are broken inside and need healing.
~As hard as it is for us, it's way harder on them--- treat them with grace!!
Oh, and it's also been great to meet blog and AGCI mommas face to face that I've been connecting with for awhile :)