Sunday, August 26, 2012

Seasons of Mommy-ing

It's been a crazy summer here.  I realized earlier this year that my kids have all ganged up on me!  Not only do I close out another decade, but my kids are all in the midst of major milestones.  College son is getting married.  Middle son is a senior in high school.  Youngest son is a freshman and staring driver's ed.  Texan girl is packed full of perplexing learning/physical things.  And my Ethiopian baby of the family is starting Kindergarten.  SERIOUSLY.  It sort of all makes my head spin.  The crazy might feel a little high at times, but the JOY runs DEEP.  There are so many seasons of mommy-ing.  Sigh.

After all, isn't this what we work towards during all those years of early mommy-ing?  We pour so much love in, nurture through each transition and one day hope they will stand strong and branch out.

I have a unique relationship with each of my kiddos.  The oldest is no different.  Through his life, I became a momma.  During one of the most difficult times in all of my life, God chose to pour out the most incredible blessing on me.  The Enemy intended to bring destruction on my life - my Faithful Father instead brought LIFE.  It's taken me 20 years to comprehend the mercy and grace that God poured out.  I realize now, I'll never fully comprehend it.  Instead I just treasure it.

In about four months, we will lovingly let go of this one even more.  A new season will begin.  Realizing that he wasn't completely mine in the first place, makes that easier.  While I did everything I could to pour into his life, what is MORE important is that He has a Heavenly Father who is in complete control of his life.

I haven't done the mom-gig without flaw.  I messed up more times than I can count.  Perfection isn't what is needed in parenting.  Having eternal perspective is what is most necessary.  So if you're in the beginning stages of mommy-ing - take a deep breath.  You're gonna fall down at times.  You'll do things and say things that need to be followed up with "I'm sorry".  Don't strive for perfection - instead put your efforts in gently direction your littles ones to the ONE who will never let them down.  Maybe you're in the midst of the middle in the mommy-ing journey.  It can feel like a long and winding road.  Choose to lay aside anything that's keeping you in the way of what is most important right now.  You only get one chance at this.  You don't want to look back with regrets.  Maybe you're in a similar season to me.  Take some time to ENJOY and SAVOR all that God has done.  Let your big kids have the space to GROW and STRETCH.  Of course they'll fall down from time-to-time, but they have a Heavenly Father who is in control.  Let them feel your prayers, not your prying hands.  Let them know you love them - no matter what challenges might come.  Let them know you believe in them, especially during seasons of big decision making.

After we got home from dropping off our oldest back on the campus of MBI I took a second look at this picture.  I smiled seeing the words on his shirt.  My summer months have been spent pouring out words and drafts and edits for my first book project.  HOPE.  God has been teaching me so much about HOPE.  Our hope isn't in this world or our circumstances.  Our HOPE is in HIM and His WORD.

I am so thankful my son has his HOPE in the same.  The Father is with him, even when I can't be anymore.  And that is a comforting reality, friends.

Through every season - He is FAITHFUL.

Psalm 25:5  Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.



Tuesday, August 21, 2012

HOPE is COMING!

The PRE-ORDER special is going on for 31 Nuggets of Hope!  Check it out over at the 31 Nuggets website.

If you know of an adoptive or fostering mom, this would make an incredibly encouraging gift!  If you ARE that momma - there is MUCH HOPE waiting for you to be discovered!

Thanks to Jen at Ps 139 Photography for the BEAUTIFUL work on the cover.

Here are some things folks are saying about 31 Nuggets:

"As tender as it is insightful, Nuggets ultimately draws us to drink deep from the one wellspring that will never run dry:  the perseverant, self-giving God who first loved us."
     Jedd Medefind, President, Christian Alliance for Orphans


“The unique experiences that come with adoption like rejection, waiting, fear, and doubt should only be addressed with God's beautiful truth. Shelly has done this for you.  She's matched your emotions with the truth that can empower you. If you're an adoptive mom, you need this book.”
     Jill SavageFounder of Hearts at Home, author of Real Moms...Real Jesus, adoptive mom


"Wow!  31 Nuggets is a gospel centered treasure trove for adoptive and foster moms!  An infusion of encouragement that will reach deeply into the places where you most need strength, joy, healing & hope! Husbands - Your wives will be so abundantly blessed by this devotional that you'll find it overflowing generously to your whole family."
     Andy Lehman, Vice President of Lifesong for Orphans



“There is something moving in the heart of Father God for us adoptive mothers, and Shelly Roberts is one who has caught some of this great outpouring of His love. I believe as you read 31 Nuggets of Hope, you will hear God's voice speaking to you, full of encouragement, hope and true expressions of His love for you, His beloved. When you get to Day 31, be ready to turn back to Day 1 and start again-- you won't be able to help yourself!”
     Beth Templeton, Hope at Home



“Shelly Roberts' passion for adoptive families and moms is contagious! Her energy spills over into 31 Nuggets of Hope and provides daily scripture, wisdom, real life experience, and questions to ponder from someone who has been there. I am so thankful for this much needed resource that provides encouragement for moms -- and dads -- as they recharge and continue to nurture, love and pour the Gospel into their children!”
     Dwain Gullion, President of ABBA Fund

"Shelly Roberts 31 Nuggets of Hope is designed to be used as a devotional, but I couldn't put it down. As an adoptive mom myself, I identified with each nugget presented. Thank you, Shelly, for such treasure!"
     Kim de Blecourt, author of "Until We All Come Home: A Harrowing Journey, a Mother's Courage, a Race to Freedom"



"Finally! Shelly takes the difficult TRUTH in our trials as (often times) wounded mothers parenting the wounded fatherless, and applies JESUS. The TRUTH is always soothing balm to our hearts and souls. In every instance, we can triumph over tragedy and love over loss. These “nuggets” of HOPE…remind us that we are not the first to walk this road, and we are never alone. We are consistently prompted to remember that we can’t depend on our own strength, but His strength is endless. The TRUTH remains that our children, no matter how we get them, are truly a gift of God."
     Carolyn Twietmeyer, Founder/Executive Director Project HOPEFUL, NFP


"In our ministry, we've found that moms often face unique challenges when caring for the fatherless. Many even struggle with guilt as they process these physical, emotional and spiritual challenges. Shelly Roberts has provided a great resource that gives moms Biblical encouragement and hope. I recommend it to families who have joyfully decided to follow the Lord in orphan ministry."
     Dr. Daniel Bennett, pastor and author o “A Passion for the Fatherless”


As an adoption professional for over 22 years, I have read many books on adoption and this devotional has to be one of the best I have come across.  It brings moms back to God’s word when they are facing the daily struggles (as well as the triumphs) of being the parent of a child(ren) who did not begin their life with you.  Throughout the devotional, Shelly gives us a gift by allowing us a personal glimpse into her thoughts and feelings during her adoption journey, which I am sure will be an encouragement to all moms going through this journey too.”
     J. Scott Brown, Executive Vice President – The Gladney Center for Adoption


"Every adoptive mom or mom-to-be needs these '31 Nuggets of Hope' on her journey. We must never forget that we are not alone in this. Not only does Christ stand with us, but so does a community of women experiencing the same things."
     Julie Gumm, author of "Adopt Without Debt: Creative Ways to Cover the Cost of Adoption"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Aches of Grief

It doesn't matter how long a loved one has been gone, at times you feel the aches of grief. I've seen them in so many people over the years. I've felt them myself. Our family has been in major transition mode. Exciting things! Yet, the aches of grief come.

That's the thing about losing a loved one ... the rest of us are left to go on living. Living can be hard. It can take great effort. Two years ago this coming October my Daddy took his last breath. So much has happened since that time.

I launched a speaking ministry. Dad never even knew that was on the horizon - I was gonna tell him the next time we visited.

My oldest guy graduated high school. Dad {Grandpa} was so missed that day.

I traveled to four states. Often thinking of my dad's years out on the road.

Same oldest guy went off to college and got ENGAGED! ;)  Dad would have shook his head, yet been so happy for him.

My 'lil Texan girl worked hard to begin learning to read.  Dad would have understood that sometimes learning doesn't come easy.

My middle guy bought his first old pick up.  I can just imagine Dad's head tilted to the side with a grin bursting of great joy for him.

My youngest guy has grown at least a foot.  I can still hear Dad's words to me - kids need to both work hard and play hard.

My baby girl is starting Kindergarten.  She was hardly more than a toddler last time dad got to sit at the counter and color with her.

I wrote my first book!  Never got to tell him it was started.

Our family will grow this year in marriage.  No doubt the aches of grief will be felt extra.

You never know when the aches of grief will set in.  Sometimes it's a smell, a milestone, a memory.  Grief is unique.  No two people go through it the same way.  Grace is needed.

My Daddy traveled all over the USA in his big truck with trailer behind.  I smile when I think of the joy he found in knowing people from all parts of the country.  As a child, some of that I didn't understand.  Later though, as a grown woman, when I stood in a receiving line for hours as they passed through to pay their respects, coming from all parts of the country .... then I saw a bigger picture.

In this season, I, too, enjoy meeting friends spanning the globe.  I prefer plane over 18-wheeler, but the joy is the same.

Dad left his imprint on so many lives.  Half of them he probably wasn't even aware of how much.  At times when I feel the aches of grief, I am reminded to consider the imprints I am leaving behind.  None of us know the number of our days.  Heart attack, auto accidents and cancer don't ask our permission to invade our lives.

While I absolutely love traveling and enjoying making a difference in farther away places, I don't ever want to miss my opportunity in impacting lives right here in my home.

During the grueling last two months of completing 31 Nuggets of Hope, I experienced some of the fruit of my Dad's lasting impact.  Truth is - I wanted to just downright give up.  Quite frankly, it just seemed like too much to accomplish while being momma in this season.  But then I'd think back to how I was raised and how we were taught to see a job all the way through.

It's true, my Daddy spent most of my childhood out on the interstate.  I couldn't count the times he told me though over the years, especially after I was grown, that he knew I had a momma home taking care of me.  He was deeply thankful for that.

So whether I'm home with my kiddos, or off on another trip - I hope with God's help I can leave a lasting impact.  Even when the aches of grief come, I know I don't face it alone.

A heart attack may have taken my Daddy's life, but I have a Heavenly Father who is ETERNAL.  I never have to fear Him being taken from me.  For that I am so glad.  Because of HIM, I can keep growing and living.  He is my JOY, my PEACE and my HOPE!




Monday, August 13, 2012

HOPE!

Well, yes it HAS been a long time since I've posted here.  Why?  Because I've spent the last two months entrenched in FINISHING the writing project I was in the midst of.

I am thrilled to announce that "31 Nuggets of Hope - for Moms who said Yes to the Fatherless" is at the publisher!  It will be coming SOON.

It's been a deep and rich time.  I can hardly wait to share here a few of the many things the Lord has been teaching me through this process.

Be watching for UPDATES on the book schedule!  In a matter of WEEKS "31 Nuggets of Hope" will be available!  I cannot wait to have this resource available for the many mommas who have said YES to the Fatherless and are in great need of HOPE and encouragement!

If you'd like to get a glimpse of what is to come, watch the Intro photo trailer below!

AND - if you'll notice there is a 'lil project going on to the right in the sidebar.  I'll be selling "hope" Mudlove bands.  Go check it out!  Taking Pre-Orders NOW.