Been a little while….what is on my mind……

It has been a few weeks since my last post. Life is full and I have been T.I.R.E.D…. both physically and emotionally…I have a lot on my mind and sometimes the words escape me…..But I decided instead of going radio silent during the crazy times I would go head and lay it out there for the blog world to see a glimpse…

1. I have been thinking a lot about our culture…American, Christian, Southern, Church, Southern American Church….

~~~~~maybe it is left over shrapnel from the election and the division among my friends, maybe it is the fact the we just celebrated the 9th anniversary of our church which is a gospel centered racial diverse church that celebrates and embraces cultural differences right in the middle of one of the most racial strained cities in the USA…Memphis… the city known for murdering MLK….

~~~~~~maybe it is the fact that many “Christians” this time of year seem more worried about their parties and Christmas cards than making sure their neighbors and the fatherless children of their city have food on the table and the love of Christ in their hearts. I try not to get bitter and judgmental. I try to see all the church IS doing. All the ways we are fighting for the injustice and serving the oppressed. But I still see so far we have to go. Is there a place for a strong women with leadership gifts in the church? Is there are place for the marginalized HUMAN BEING that identifies as GLBT in the church? Is there a place for the young girl eat up with regret over past choices or the young man or women struggling with addiction. I just don’t know. Some churches…. yes…but I fear most churches….no. Are we really being the hands and feet of Jesus?  “Little children, let us not love in word or speech, but in deed and in truth.” 1 John 3.18

I think the WORLD needs us to have a lot less church services, meetings, classes, and buildings….and a lot more dinners, open homes, life on life, and relationships……LESS DOING and MORE BEING.

2. I have my heart T.I.E.D. to 3 precious waiting babies in China that are all very sick with liver disease. They are on their way to being paper ready for someone to say “YES” to them. They are almost ready to be chosen….but who will? My hubby and I have prayed over them faithfully since we learned about them (I call them the terrific trio)…and we are pretty certain God is not calling it to be us…but WHO LORD? Who will you send? Who will you call? I know you do not need us. You own the cattle on every hill….you can RAISE UP YOUR PEOPLE who HEAR YOUR VOICE to say YES!!!!!! So I wait and pray and get NO sleep….and I think what if we had been too scared or comfortable to say YES to the four blessings I just tucked into bed??? Please don’t get me wrong….EVERY time God began to knit our hearts to another one of our children….we are TERRIFIED…..mostly of the unknown….but HE IS FAITHFUL …..he has sustained us through EVERY day of the last 12 years of parenting our blessings…and I am confident HE will continue to do so.

So I lay awake and pray and wonder who will be the ones that get to steward the blessings of the “Terrific Trio”?? Or will HE call one or more of them home to Him before they know the Love of a FOREVER family? He might…and maybe that is a tender mercy. They are sick….they will probably need liver transplants which they can not get in China….I know that road… it is hard and long. So I find myself asking myself and God tough questions……like… maybe it would be best if God just took them now???  Should these sick babies be adopted into the USA and then go through the physical pain of a transplant? Maybe God will choose to take them to glory instead? Maybe that would be better….I know hard thoughts right?…..BUT then my sweet DAX will walk into the room….so FULL OF LIFE…LIVING….HOPING….DREAMING….and I remember….yes, GLORY is what we ALL long for….when there will be NO more suffering, no more pain, no more illness….but LIVING is what He created us to do before eternity. God made us to LIVE~~~~ EVERY LIFE is worth it. EVERY ONE!!!

The Terrific Trio deserve someone to do all the paper work, raise all the money, travel around the world, bring them home, take them to doctors visits, stay up all night and rub their itchy backs from jaundice and yellowing skin, they deserve insurance companies to spend millions of $$ on their medical bills, they deserve a family who has found themselves experiencing a great loss to choose to donate their loved ones organs so they can have a chance to live….JUST LIKE MY DAXIDO……b/c they were made IN THE IMAGE OF A MIGHTY GOD ……and b/c every life matters….every single one!!!!!!!!

3. I have been grieving over the last 6 months. It comes in waves for me as a mom, but it never goes totally away.

What am I grieving?……..that most likely, based on the medical special needs of several of my kids, they will not “live the American dream”…..you know the dream most of us started playing into subconsciously the day we were born an American =). I have some unique and special kids. Kids made in the image of a creative God, living in a fallen and broken world, subjected to the pressure of Southern American Culture. And I FIGHT IT ALL the time.  Things many parents take for granted…I don’t. Like your son playing soccer or t ball. The dreams you play out of your children’s futures, them graduating high school and going off to college, or them getting married and starting their own families.  These are not dreams I can assume will come true for all my kids.

We are having to walk to the beat of a different drum over here at my house. Most days I embrace it with much joy and hope, but some days I grieve it. I am feeling it more intently as the two oldest kids are approaching their teen years which are marked by body changes, image issues, and for my oldest a new round of health problems.

I am constantly having to make sure my eyes are fixed on eternity. This is not our final home. As a Christian I do not have to “play by the rules” of the cultural expectations of this world. I do not have to value what the world values. I hold fast to what HE values and the promises He lays out in His word. Those are the things I want to run after. Those are the things I want to point my children’s heart towards and put my hope in.

I am certain there will be more grief ahead for my momma’s heart…but I am thankful I have a Jesus that weeps with my deep sadness. As Charles Spurgeon put it-  “A Jesus who never wept could never wipe away my tears.”

I have a million other thoughts but for now my bed is calling my name…. (and please excuse typos….it is 1 AM and I will not be proofing this before I hit “publish”)

Until next time,

Tona

8 thoughts on “Been a little while….what is on my mind……

  1. I love your heart, Tona! I am honored to call you friend!! We love your sweet kiddos!!
    Praying for your heart on all of these issues!! Praying for you to continue to sense the peace of God that evades the understanding of man!
    Always know that you are LOVED by me!!

    Leah

  2. Thank you for sharing in honesty and openness, Tona. I do not even suggest I understand all that you go thru. Only glimmers. But I do understand grief and anxiety. From the moment of my oldest’s birth, I have never been able to “make assumptions” for her. Even now, as she goes thru her teens, we face issues that seek to steal her future, in a spiritual sense. And I grieve for her, until I am emotionally spent. I empathize in the relinquishing of “The American Dream.” I’ve had to give that to God, too. And give her to God. And have faith that HIS DREAM for her is SO MUCH BETTER than America’s. Or even mine. Praying for you and your family.

    And thank you, too, for the Christmas reminder. I sit in my house ready to throw up my hands at all I “have” to do for Christmas. I appreciate the reminder to make other’s needs the priority this Christmas.

    • Jill – I will be prayerful for you too!!! Thank you for sharing…don’t all us momma’s have to lay down our expectations and let the Lord do His work and have His way!!! Praying you have a blessed Christmas!!!!

  3. Tona, Said with such understanding words from a very special lady. I do understand how you feel and acknowledge all that you said is the same for my girls. When you choose to take the path that God has called us for (and I can tell you it was fighting and screaming) that I was chosen to be God’s hands and feet in this world of unknowns, heartaches, pain and Love, smiles, laughter, tears joy, we must always look forward not behind and be able to help our children achieve THEIR American dream…..it just may come in a different package than the one most people assume their dream is. The American dream is something that we all have and we all can achieve in my opinion, freedom of speech, freedom to worship as we desire, freedom to love, laugh and share with each other….that is what my American (Wallace) dream is…….I do know what you meant by your statement and I also cry for the fact that a lot of life’s expectations placed upon us by others will not happen for my Girls, but the most important thing they have is our love and support, God’s love and direction in their lives….At this special time of the year I am especially touched by the grace of God in allowing us a little peek into his big plan for all of us. Thank you so much for all that you and Mark do for your children, community and all the children in this world that need your love, prayers and support. You are such a special family and we are blessed to know you.
    . .

  4. Pingback: We are going to be a family of E.I.G.H.T.- Meet our SON!!! | Tona Ottinger

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