Monday, August 25, 2008

Trust, revisited

It is theme week here at Katy's Mommy Musings. Yes, that means that I am actually going to attempt to write multiple meaningful posts in the same week! The key word here is "attempt"—the next several weeks are going to be quite hectic for me, and it's difficult to find time to sit down and write. But God has really laid some important things on my heart, and I want to share them with you.

It all started this morning when I sat down to create this post, and I kept getting off-track from the original point I wanted to make. As I typed, thoughts and conversations and events from my past few weeks kept coming to mind, and I realized that I have a lot to say on the topic. What topic is that? Trusting in God's goodness and sufficiency.

I wrote a post about trust a while ago… but apparently I've got a thick skull, and God has to keep pounding the same lesson into my brain. And since I have to review it, so do you. J

So here's what I originally sat down to say this morning: Our idea of God's goodness can sometimes be warped by our humanness. We equate goodness with happy endings, and that's just not always the case. We read the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and we think that it was awesome that they trusted in God even though they didn't know whether or not He would save them—and then of course He did save them. God is good.

And then there are stories like John the Baptist's. He trusted God and followed His will, and then he was beheaded. Was John wrong about God's will? Did he somehow misread what he was supposed to be doing, so God allowed him to be killed? No. He was serving God in his life and his death. And God is good.

I've been thinking a lot about the moms' conference lately. (Ha! That's an understatement!) I've been telling myself and anyone else who will listen, "I trust God with this conference." It's become a bit of a mantra for me, something I chant without giving it a second thought. "I trust God with this conference." But what I really mean is, "I trust God to make this conference wildly successful." I'm realizing that those two statements aren't the same thing.

You see, the conference is not working out quite the way we had hoped. This fundraiser for our MOPS group is right now costing me… well, let's just say it's costing me. We need 150 attendees to break even, and as of today (less than 3 weeks before the event) we have 32.

I have spent a lot of time going over the past eight months, since I started planning this conference. Did I do something wrong? Did I not pray enough before I went ahead with the planning? Did I get off-track somewhere, making this conference about my glory instead of God's? OK, I'll be honest, I have struggled with that, but honestly—after much prayer and reflection—I completely and totally believe that God has led the planning of this conference.

And He has led the promotion and publicity and led every single registrant to register. And He will continue to do so. And maybe He'll choose to bring in another 200 new women on the day of the event and it'll be a roaring success.

And maybe He won't. Maybe I'll lose money on it. Maybe our break-out sessions will each have 5-10 people in them. Maybe half the people who have already registered won't even come.

And He'll still be good. It will still have been His event. I will still feel confident that I followed His leading. He will still use it for His glory.

God is good. In fact, "…we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) Sometimes that happens in a way that makes sense to us, like saving three faithful servants from the fiery furnace. And sometimes He allows sacrifices to be made to better serve His purposes, for the good of all those who love Him.

Today I rest in knowing that God is good, no matter the circumstance. He sees a much bigger picture than I do, and I will trust Him, even if………

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

The kids and I just got back from the fair, and I was going to post one of those pics... but my camera is still in my car, and frankly I am just too lazy to go get it. So this is a photo from our vacation back in June that I've been wanting to share; it is Gracie wearing her "good listening ears." :-)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Katy’s Family Forest, part 10

So much of the next few years, Jan and I just spent time redefining our relationship. Who were we to each other, exactly? What were the expectations? The parameters? Honestly, we're still working on that.

After all, to Jan I have always been her daughter… but that's still a little bit weird for me. I mean, I have a mom (and a dad J) and it's not her. She was always a family friend, and someone who I really liked, but I felt no real connection to her, no familial love. It was difficult to just flip that switch. And I think we both struggled with how much we should expect to be in touch, how often we should see each other, that kind of thing. No real template exists for this kind of relationship, you know? We had no Robert's Rules of Order to follow, no Miss Manners to consult. So we muscled through, and though there were times that I was frustrated with her—and I'm sure vice versa—we managed. J

And now comes another sticky part to the story. Although most people who know me "in real life" know about this, I'm hesitant to put it out there on the blogosphere, because I know not everyone is going to have the same viewpoints and opinions that I do. That's OK. Please understand and respect that this is my story, and I am not trying to put anyone down, but just to tell the story from my perspective. OK, there's my disclaimer.

So a few months after Jan and I had "reconnected," I started to notice a pattern. Yes, Jan moved a lot, as I had mentioned before. But she also rarely lived alone. Most of the time that I had known her, she'd had a roommate—and not the same roommate, but a series of them. Honestly, this had never struck me as odd, that two single women might just want to share an apartment; but shortly after that first time she came to see me as my birth mom, she introduced me to her new roommate. Let's call her Pam.

The very first time that I met Pam, I knew. They weren't just roommates. And THAT is really when I started to think about the fact that Jan had lived with several women in the years that I had known her. Now that doesn't mean that every one of them was a girlfriend, but looking back I'm pretty sure that Pam wasn't the first one.

Still, I was only 19 and honestly had never known anyone who was gay, so I asked my parents if they thought that she was. They weren't sure either, but weren't ruling it out. I decided that at that particular point in time, Jan and I had enough to deal with, and I was going to leave well enough alone. It didn't take long for me to be certain, though. I could just tell every time I was around the two of them. Sometimes I could tell by the way they talked and laughed together, other times by the way that they fought; but each time they interacted, it wasn't just as women who shared an apartment to cut rent in half. Oh, and then there were the matching gold and diamond rings that they wore on their left hands. That too.

I could tell that Jan thought I didn't know, and I could tell she preferred it that way, so I still just chose to leave it alone. Still, it raised a lot of questions for me… I mean, obviously at some point she wasn't gay, so when did this happen? Why? How long ago? And yes (please remember, this is my story), I believe that homosexuality is a sin… So what did this mean for her salvation (as she was—and is—a professing Christian)? And how would it affect our relationship?

These are, by the way, questions I still ask myself. To this day I don't know all the answers.

In the meantime, my own personal life was getting back on track. After my big heartbreak the same summer I learned about Jan, I had a few more rough months… but then God really got ahold of my heart, and fortunately He's never let go. Things turned around dramatically sometime around Christmas of my sophomore year. I realized that I was weary of being so darn stubborn, and I just needed rest in His arms and His love—as hard as life as a Christian can be, it's so much easier to let God lead than to attempt to do it on your own.

Fortunately, this also seriously changed the type of guy I was looking for. Whew! (That was me breathing a sigh of relief for myself.) I had one semi-serious relationship with an old friend from Bible quizzing, but honestly that was over long before we broke it off. Still he was a decent, intelligent, nice, respectful guy—nothing like anyone I had dated for the two years prior.

And then while I was home for Christmas break in my junior year, I got a phone call from my aunt. Her youngest daughter—3 or 4 younger than me—was making some bad decisions in the boy arena, and my aunt asked if I would try to talk to her. Ha, like I had been a great role model. At least I could speak from experience! So I called and asked if I could take her out to lunch. She asked me if I would pick her up from work to go.

Julie was still in high school, but was also working… hmmm, now that I think about it, I can't quite figure out how that worked. Maybe she worked after school and during breaks or something, I don't remember. Anyway, her boss was a man named Jon. She had gotten the job because her sister was married to one of Jon's best friends, and her family had gotten to know Jon over the years… And by "her family" I mean both her immediate and her extended family. As in me. I had met Jon when I was only 12 (he was 17), and I had a HUGE crush on him. For YEARS. All through junior high and high school. The last time I'd seen him was when my cousin and his friend had gotten married—we were both in the wedding. I had a boyfriend at the time, and I cried the whole way home from the wedding, because I still had such a crush on Jon! My poor boyfriend had no idea what was going on. Poor kid.

No wait. I had seen him one time after that. Yikes, this is even worse. He was the owner of a teen club, and I went to it with Julie… just to see him. YEAH, like the fact that I was still young enough to be admitted to the teen club that he owned would be real impressive……. (By the way, he does not remember that night. Just as well. Not one of my shining moments.)

Anyway, that had been two or three years ago. Since the wedding, I had graduated from high school (valedictorian of my class), gone to college (with a huge scholarship!), excelled in all of my classes (the only girl in my particular field of study!), and was doing just fine, thankyouverymuch. I was not nervous in the least to see this guy I had drooled over for a good six years of my life, and I of course had no interest in him now. That, by the way, was my pep talk to myself on the way to Julie's office, where I was quite likely to run into Jon again.

I went in, anxious both about seeing him again and trying to have this serious talk with my cousin who I was quite certain didn't even want my advice. I didn't need to worry about the second one. She had known what was coming and decided to avoid it by playing off of my first anxiety… she invited Jon to come to lunch with us.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Thank you!

A big old THANK YOU to Brooke Taylor and Trish Berg for plugging the Moms' Conference during their interview on the Fish this morning. They both also posted about it on their blogs--Trish's blog is Simplifying Motherhood, and Brooke spoke about Trish and the conference on The Mom Squad.

Thank you ladies! I look forward to seeing you both (and you--yes, YOU, the person reading this!) in September!

For more details about the Moms' Conference, go to

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Katy’s Family Forest, part 9

I think I was in a fog for the rest of the day, maybe the next several days. My mind was working overtime, putting together all of the pieces of my relationship with Jan over the years. I may have come to the conclusion that she was my birth mom before my parents told me, but that doesn't mean I was really able to wrap my mind around it right away!

The next morning I decided to call Jan and let her know that I had found out everything. Did I mention that Jan moved around a lot? The last time I had seen or talked to her was at my high school graduation, about a month before my 18th birthday. I am assuming that she backed off after that because she was giving me space—she probably figured that I would find out about her within a few days of turning 18, and she wanted me to be able to get in touch with her when I felt comfortable. I'm sure she didn't expect me to wait over a year to search her out.

Anyway, apparently in that time, she moved. The previous summer she'd lived with a roommate in Columbus, and we called that apartment first… only to find out that she had moved suddenly and not left a forwarding address or phone number. We had one other contact—the family Jan had lived with when she was pregnant with me. We called them, but they didn't know where she was either.

This was getting more complicated than I was ready to deal with.

And then… are you ready for this? The phone rang. Guess who.

Yep, I hadn't heard from Jan in over a year, and now, WHILE I WAS TRYING TO FIND A WAY TO CONTACT HER, she called. Out of the blue. She had no idea that we were trying to get in touch with her.

Honestly… I don't remember much about that first conversation. I know that I answered the phone. I know that I told her I knew she was my birth mom, and I know she was relieved. But that's really all I remember. I don't think we got into any great details that day, but we set up a time for her to come visit.

That is when we were really able to talk.

It's difficult to relay to you my full story without telling hers… but I really don't want to betray her privacy. So let me sum up a lot by saying… Jan didn't come from a stable background. She'd had a lot of struggles as a child and teenager, and she finally decided to join the Air Force. She felt that would give her some stability, some discipline.

And then she met him. Jan was a mechanic in the Air Force, and there was a crash involving aircraft from her base, so the Air Force sent an officer to investigate. The man who would become my birth father. I honestly don't know how much of a relationship they had—I know that she still says she was very much in love with him. I also know that he lived in a different state. And he was married. Not the makings of a healthy, committed relationship.

When Jan got pregnant with me, it was mandatory that she leave the Air Force—adultery is not allowed. My birth father would have been asked to leave as well, except that she wouldn't tell anyone who he was. So suddenly she was on her own again. She returned to Ohio, to a pastor and his family who had taken her in during her late teen years, and then decided to go to Bible college.

In the meantime, by the way, my birth father was not offering any help to her… until a friend of hers basically blackmailed him. She threatened to tell his commanding officer that he was the father, which as I said before would have ended his career in the Air Force. So he started paying for her medical bills—although he didn't know that she had insurance that was already covering that. (Remember way back when I said my parents had wanted to help with her expenses, but she didn't need it? And the judge said if they had given her any money, he would have taken the baby away? Yeah, God works in mysterious ways……….)

And that was really all she could tell me. She knew his name, where he was stationed when the two of them met, and… well, that was pretty much it. Not much to go on if I wanted to find him… but then again, at that point, I really didn't. Right then I already had enough on my plate.

We had a good evening of just catching up and exchanging memories and filling in some gaps. And we promised to be in touch more.

But believe me, the story is far from over.

Woo-hoo! I'm saucy! :-)

I've been listed as a "Saucy Blog" on The Secret is in the Sauce! Thanks!!! And welcome, SITStas. :-)

I will post more in a few hours, but right now my kids are down for naps, my house is a disaster, and my husband (who has been out of town for the weekend) will be home tonight! I'm a woman on a mission to get my house back in order!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Are you surviving motherhood? Check out Trish Berg!

My new friend, Trish Berg, is a wonderful author and speaker. She is also a featured speaker at the upcoming Moms' Conference I keep talking about. And now... you can hear her on the radio!

Trish will be interviewed by Dr. Kevin Lehman on "Focus on the Family" tomorrow and Friday (August 7 & 8). (Dr. Lehman was guest-hosting for Dr. Dobson.) Here in NE Ohio you can listen to the interview at 4 PM on 103.3, WCRF. For other air times, please visit Focus on the Family's web site.

AND Trish and fellow Moms' Conference speaker (our keynote speaker, no less! :-)) Brooke Taylor will be talking on 95.5 The Fish soon too! The interview is being taped tomorrow, and Brooke indicated that it will likely air on Friday. I will update this post if/when I have more details.

These are great opportunities to hear Trish and what she has to say about motherhood and Christmas (the topic of her newest book). I hope you'll check it out!

Wordless Wednesday

To follow-up on yesterday's Graduation post, here's my little Frankenstein...

Yeah, I know, I know, it doesn't look that bad. Now. And he doesn't seem too traumatized. Now. But it was my first ER trip--cut me some slack.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Well, today I graduated to the next level as a mom... I made my first Mommy ER Trip!

The day started like any other... The kids and I got up, got dressed, and had breakfast... we went to the gym... then I asked Gracie what she wanted to do today, and she said, "I want Nana." So we headed out to my parents' house.

We played there for the morning, the kids watched a little TV, and we had lunch. I wanted to get home for naptime (Often the kids will just nap there.) b/c I had TONS to do, both around the house and for the MOPS Conference. So I carried our stuff out to the car and started the engine (read "air-conditioning"), then went back in to help the kids clean up their toys and get them in the car.

And that's when it happened. I picked up a few toys and directed Matt to pick up a toy and carry it back to the toy room (my old bedroom). He turned around and ran out of the room, and then tripped... and fell right into a hallway linen closet... into the handle of the bottom drawer. I saw him fall but didn't realize he had hit the handle, but I HEARD his forehead hit, so I knew it was gonna hurt. But then when I picked him up............. oh my goodness. Let's just say I'm not a fan of head wounds.

So I asked my dad to put Gracie down for her nap, and my mom and I headed for the local ER--fortunately just 5 minutes away. It was not a fun ride. But by the time we got there, the crying had stopped, the bleeding had stopped, and Matt felt the need to personally greet every person in the ER. :-) He didn't look too injured at that point, and I was feeling like a fool for 1) bringing him in, and 2) calling Jon and making him worry enough to reschedule all of his afternoon appointments to come join us.

But when we did get taken back (about an hour later), they said that it was deep and oddly shaped, and they recommended stitches.

Have you ever had a small child get stitches? It was WAY worse than the original wound. First they wrap him up in a sheet, then they velcro him into this big board with flaps that wrap around him, and THEN a nurse holds his head still while the doctor does his business. And of course, his business involves a shot in Matt's head (which didn't work to numb him, by the way), irrigating the wound, and doing... something else, all BEFORE he actually does the stitching! OY!!!

It was not a fun experience. For any of us.

But a few minutes later, a nurse brought him a popsicle. We didn't hear any more crying for the rest of the day.

Until we went back to my parents' house, and he fell and hit the OTHER side of his head on something else. Geez. At least there was no blood this time--just a big black-and-blue welt.

Here's to life with a boy: Cheers!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Raisng money, one razor stroke at a time...

No, I'm not shaving my head... but someone else is. Nate over at Confessions of a CF Husband is attempting to raise $3,000 in one week for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. If he succeeds, he is going to shave his head live on the Internet. While I don't have a particular desire to watch someone shave his head, it is a very worthy cause, and also one that hits close to home for him--his wife Tricia (who has Cystic Fibrosis, hence the name of the blog) has recently been diagnosed with Post-Transplant Lymphoma following a lung transplant (that was necessary due to her CF). If, by the way, you haven't checked out this blog before, this is only the tip of the ice burg for this family--you really have to read their blog to get the full understanding of all they have been through.

Anyway, I would really like to support Nate and his baldness-for-a-cause. :-) If you are interested in participating, check out his post about it.

Have a great weekend!