Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Monday, September 28, 2015

Jones, Party of 18

I got up this morning and found a blog post from my daughter in Moldova.  I began reading it in the wee hours of the morning and my heart swelled.  There is an eight hour time difference from here to Moldova and right now it is 5 here and right now it is 1 in the afternoon there. I hope you enjoy this post.  I am proud of the two of them and what they have accomplished with God's help.  God is so good.
Sunday, September 27, 2015

Parenting is not for the faint of heart.  Parenting teenagers is not for the weary of mind.  You have to be tough and smart.   I applaud all of you who have been doing this work-this joy giving, heart wrenching, frustrating, emotionally driven, life breathing, hilariously wonderful thing called parenting.  I'm new to it, so I am sure some day I will look back and laugh at my naivety and I am sure you parenting veterans will find flaw...but bear with me:)
Brian and I are now experiencing parenthood for the first a way that is quite different than anything we ever expected. It is not your conventional "family structure" -but our family is ours just the same.  We are responsible for the love and care every single day....and they outnumber us....and they are all teenage girls....and they all speak a language/culture that is not our first language. Its real, y'all.  There are always attitudes, tears, perceived injustices, urgent needs that must be met...and there are always hugs to give and receive, encouragements to share, special notes or surprises, lessons to teach and learn- A parent's job never ends. 
I am going to be real with you all....even in the moments where I feel at the craziest end of my rope...I love it.  Even when I secretly want to hide out for just a moment of peace...I would not change one thing about my temperamental little family here.  We are a family...a party of 18.  Do you know if there are any really good books about parenting 18 teenage girls...all at the same time?  Perhaps I should contact that famous TV family that keeps on counting.  Maybe they could offer wisdom.
Yeah.  So parenting in our home can sometimes be a little tough.  But I truly believe that God equips the called and He has been showing up everyday and giving us the tools we need.  Have we mastered parenting in just a few short months?  Um.  NO!  We are daily praying- DEAR JESUS PLEASE OH PLEASE SHOW US WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO DO THIS ALL YOUR WAY. Some days-I think...God, we totally rocked I just parented like someone who has been a parent many many years!!!  When I hear myself offering wisdom that does not sound like anything my peabrain could find...I say...THANK YOU JESUS FOR THAT....and I remember that anything good in me, is NOT Kathryn.  It is God. 
So-like I said- parenting is new to us.  I like to try to use all that I learned in my three educational degrees...but theory and practice are often very different....all those times I thought..."when I have children, I won't_____" Have been thrown out the door!  Picking battles is my new I haven't mastered it yet...but I'm working on it.  There are always those who love to challenge rules or decisions...multiply that times Moldova.  Seriously-Moldovans have a tendency towards rule bending-even our youth pastor told me that. Every rule has a way around it here.  And my 16 lovelies are very fond of sharing their opinion on what things we need to improve...or how I should discipline other girls.  Its loads of fun...and super tiring. 
This week we had a moment that parents fear.  We had a past curfew, non-caller, unable to locate situation.  My heart was beating out of my chest and I was praying angels and hedges and pretty much just saying words that made no sense to me -but God knew....I was so worried that our dear one was somewhere hurt or alone or just feeling alone.  My whole being ached.  I was full of fear...but I knew that I need not be -because God had her in the palm of His hands.  Ten minutes felt like ten years...but, thankfully, we found our dear one (I will spare you all the details).  When I laid eyes on her precious face, I just burst into tears and held her so tight....and told her "I LOVE YOU SOO MUCH!! I have been praying so hard for you...I love you. I love you. I love you"  I know that Brian and I will make mistakes in this.  I know we will have more scary moments.  I know I will fail miserably some most days...but I want to always always depend on Him...the good, good father to get me through it.  This new role of ours is teaching sooo much about God as father-the perfect parent.  Brian and I love these girls.  They are our family.  I won't say that we love them like they were are own.  They are our family.(PERIOD!).  I just wanted to let you in on our little secret.  Our family is growing...The two have now become 18 (really there are 18 more girls next door who are ours as well...but I just wanted to tell you about the ones who are "under my roof"...yep I have used the phrase as long as you are "under my roof".  Parenting skills level-novice)
Guys.  I would love your continued prayer in this journey.  Life in Moldova has not been easy...but lives worth living rarely are.  Pray that we can walk every step of this out with Him.  That our Good Father will guide our every step and show us both how to love His children and How to grow them stronger in Him. 
All you parents.  (Especially the three of you who actually read my blog-mom, Courtney, and Mandy).  I salute you and all the self doubt, joy, fear, frustration, beauty, and amazing love of God that you have all experienced so far in your path of parenting.  Thank you for being examples for me...and for also keeping me a bit sane.

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