Personal Blog by Rhonda Crowdis Hardisty

Archive for March, 2014

Letting My Heart Go

gudbye-let-me-go-heart-move-on-ballons-balloons-hearts-letting-go-lost-b47c8c174dc05d52a9daf1b2bbed76c3-h-jpgTwo years ago on Easter Sunday my family was given a fabulous opportunity to minister into the lives of two little boys who were then three and five years old. Their mother needed help starting over and making a way for her children where there seemed to be no way. The boys needed stability so the oldest could start Kindergarten in a safe and loving environment where he knew he would have food, clothing, a roof over his head, and a bed to sleep in every night. He needed stability where he could focus on his education and not worry about the hurdles his mother was jumping. They moved in with us that day and began to spend only weekends and holidays with their mother, allowing her to work and focus on school during the rest of the week.

For two years these two boys have grown like weeds. They are three sizes bigger in pants and shoes, and the youngest is about the pass up the oldest in both! The oldest is a straight-A first grade student with perfect attendance this current school year, and one missed day last year for a random high fever that only lasted long enough for him to miss school. He has learned to read and write with the help of his teachers, his Aunts, and his favorite in-home reading teacher, Ms. Beth. Thanks to an amazing football coach, a Christ-centered karate program, and a two-week intensive outpatient ADHD program at Cook Children’s Hospital, he knows his boundaries and explores life to the fullest within them.

The youngest has learned how to talk and correctly pronounce his word after two years of at-school Speech Therapy with Ms. Cross last year as a walk-in, and Mrs. B this year in Pre-K in addition to his in-home Speech Therapist, Ms. Stacy, who he calls his favorite teacher. He has also increased his ability to use his hands to open things, write, color, and tie his shoes with the help of two in-home occupational therapists this school year. The difference between then and now is light night and day. He continues to struggle with an executive functioning disorder which makes it difficult for him to sequence events or even steps in a process such as putting on his clothes or going to the bathroom, which I am working to ensure will be addressed by his new school next year. I know God has great things in mind for him.

The boys have become big brothers to my 3-year-old granddaughter. They laugh and play every waking moment they are home. She’s the boss, and they typically do what she says. When they left for 5 days of Spring Break about a week ago, she didn’t know what to do with herself. She asked one day, “where are the boys?” and stated “they miss me” as if she needed to go find them. She and the youngest spend most of every day together as he attends half day pre-k and she is home all day with her mother who acts as caregiver for the boys while I am at work, and even when I’m home in many cases. They greatly impact all of our lives.

God has been so faithful to us for the past two years, providing for all of their needs and ours. I know that He will continue to do so into the future, but it is with mixed emotions that we now prepare to return them to their mother and her new family on the last day of school in June of this year. I know that God has planted in them seeds that will flourish throughout their lives and I could not be more proud and thankful to have been able to plant some of those seeds. I know that my God is in control and has another area of ministry to move my family into as this chapter comes to a close.

I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity and look forward to where He will lead me from here. When God is in control there is never a reason to fear. There is never a reason to question. His plan is the way of peace and I will begin to soak in His peace and love as I struggle at times to accept this change. Fear is what is causing me pain at this moment. Fear of the unknown; letting go and letting God take it from here. Not being in control is hard for me, but God is good and His ways are so much higher than mine. At moments I smile and rejoice in the things that God has next for them and us, but then I cry when I think about letting them go. That’s my big lesson in this season of change is just letting go. Letting God be the Lord of my heart in all things, not just the things I allow.

Please pray that we will allow God to take the reins and through this difficulty show us more of who He is and what He would have for each of us.

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5 Minutes from the Heart: Joy

62c1a63f9acb3d52c7a9863d42623ef7Linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker this morning for what she calls “a flash mob of people who love to throw caution to the wind and just write without worrying if it’s just right gather to share what five minutes buys them.”

Today’s prompt is Joy!

Start: 6:41 AM

The first thing I thought of this morning was the verse that says a joyful heart does good like a medicine. This is so true. Joy is infectious. Not only does your joy infect other people, but it also takes you further in your own heart and mind. You often hear people say fake it until you make it. Joy is one of those things that you can set your mind to, and eventually you will have it overflowing in your soul.

I have always made a conscious effort to have a smile on my face, and no, that doesn’t necessarily mean that I am always happy, but it does mean that I want to pour joy into the hearts of other. I want others to receive from me a bit of hope and love. Knowing that my smile may be the only one they see that day gives me purpose in sharing it with others. I make a special effort to smile at people who look like things may not be going their way today; the people who have that serious or distance look on their face. Often people smile back, and I may never know what that small gesture did for them, but I have faith that God can use that little seed that I planted. He can take a simple smile, a gesture of joy, and use it as medicine in their soul.

Whose soul will you pour medicine into today?

5 Minutes from the Heart: Crowd

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Every week a prompt is given to a crowd of people who choose to write for just 5 minutes. Here is my contribution to that crowd. You can find more at http://www.lisajobaker.com

Start – 7:20 am

Crowds scared me as a child. I was so shy that I was practically afraid of my own shadow. I didn’t make eye contact. I looked at the ground most of the time. I stayed hidden so deep within my self that I didn’t know how to get out most of the time. It was my protection from the crowd. I remember being about 5 years old at a party of some type; it may have been a class or family reunion. I was hiding under tables and behind my mother so much that i suddenly hit my head on a wall and went into convulsions for a moment. I remember being in my mothers arms, hidden from the world around me, protected from the crowd. Maybe that was all I needed; for my mother to pick me up and secure me in her embrace.

As I reached pre-teen years, my parents separated and soon divorced. I once again retreated into myself, scared of the world around me, afraid of things over which I had no control. I will never forget being at school and hearing a much older student in my private school say of my unbrushed hair, “Look. It’s Medusa!” I drew that deep into my inner being and retreated further from the crowd on the outside; it’s still tucked away there in a pocket of my scarred heart.

As a teen, I began to pull close to friends from that crowd that used to scare me, and I learned that I was not alone. There were others who, like me, were guarded and insecure; they too feared the world outside themselves. I began to open up and be part of the crowd that previously scared me. I heard someone in typing class say that I would be the type of person who would be divorced one day, and a tucked the fear that they were right away into my scarred heart.

As an adult, it’s only been in the last 5 years that I have learned I was never alone in my fear. I was never really hidden from the crowd. I was never really that different. I never had a reason to fear. It’s only been though the exploration of Facebook and learning more about the lives of those people to whom I felt inferior that I have seen the truth. That crowd that I feared, those people who I envied, those groups I wish I had the courage to join, were all filled with people just like me. Some feared the world more than I and some less, but we were never on fields so far from each other that I should have reason to hide. Even when they expressed hurtful thoughts, they were not doing this to hurt me, they were doing it to protect themselves.

Today, when I’m in a crowd, I remember that some of these people need me to step up and be the voice they cannot express for themselves. Some of them feel like Medusa and need me to tell them how beautiful they are. Some of them come from a broken childhood or are dealing with an unfaithful spouse; they need to hear that they are not alone. Having come from a place from where I thought I would never escape, deep within my own shell, in a corner of my own mind where negativity was my guiding light, I now find myself in such a place of irony where I am thankful for the crowd so that I can support and encourage others who have not yet learned to embrace it.

Stop.

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