Monday, May 18, 2015

A Transition Piece (Mostly About My Feelings)

A lot of people have been asking me about how the transition around here has been going thus far. In case you missed my last post, you can catch up here. Long story short, we now have six teenage boys in the Liddell house. Thanks to the monumental weekly grocery shopping, I think I may be getting teeny tiny biceps and triceps.

In regards to the kind of transitions you are probably actually interested in--as in, not how my arm gains are going--I will say that if every week during the summer goes like this week has gone, we are going to be a-okay. There has been minute drama here and there, but with nine people in the house, that's to be expected. The two boys who moved in from the McClendon house have adjusted really well thus far. Part of this could be because they are mainly thinking about getting school over with, or a host of other reasons, but I am thankful for their great attitudes and glad they are here. I like the feeling of our house being full. It feels like everyone is working as a team.

Honestly, my biggest obstacle today is figuring out how to get Adeline to stop saying "Crap!" every time she drops something. (P.S. I am definitely going to blame one of my six teenagers or my husband or one of her aunts and uncles and not myself for this problem). She also has learned the word "fart," and I know that wasn't me. I prefer for kids under the age of twelve to use the word "poot" or "toot" to describe gastrointestinal phenomena, especially if it's being discussed at Walmart.

I am breaking my train of thought here to tell you that we just had an angel and her little angels stop by and give us three paper sacks FULL of girl scout cookies. For free. So, as I happily munch on my Savannah Smiles cookies, I'll get back to what I was saying about transitions.

I wasn't exactly sure what to expect once we had six boys with us. My nervousness was mostly a result of feeling like I should be nervous, but I felt an overwhelming peace about the whole thing. If there is anything I have learned as a Christ follower, it is that God is God and I am not. Time spent worrying is often time spent wasted that could have been used for God to prepare me and teach me for what is to come. That doesn't mean I always apply this lesson perfectly to my life, it's just one that I have learned and relearn a lot. Our job requires a lot of flexibility and understanding who is in control (spoiler alert: it isn't me, and it isn't you). Sometimes, I operate best when I literally walk into a situation, simultaneously and mysteriously humbled and confident all at once, and say to myself, "I have no idea what I am doing, but God is God and I am not." That is how I have been operating all week. Confident in what God is doing, humbled that I get to be a part of it, and praying. Always praying for our guys.

Here is where I get to brag on the fact that one of our guys got an award for his great work in math at the school awards assembly. Considering the homework struggle in our house, this was really exciting.

Well, everyone, I just wanted to catch you all up on how things are going and how we are feeling. Or, mainly how I am feeling. Because I am all about feelings, I would go on, but I have to get started on the stuffed french bread we are having for dinner (psst, it has cream of mushroom in it, don't tell the guys).

Monday, May 4, 2015

What Has Been/Is Happening at Willow Springs

Hello, beloved Willow Springs supporters and readers! I have been thinking and praying about this particular post for quite a while now, especially in regards to when would be the best time to make all of the upcoming changes around Willow Springs known to the general public. Some of you have been informed individually about what has been and is happening at the ranch at the end of this week, and now seems like a good time to fully explain all that is going on and how you can continue to support us.

As most of you know by now, there are two houses on the Willow Springs property that house boys: the McClendon House and the Liddell House. Blake and I reside in the Liddell house with our four boys, and Jon and Whitney reside in the McClendon House with their two boys. When a couple applies to become house parents here at Willow Springs, they commit to being house parents for two years. Jon and Whitney became house parents in June of 2013, and as their first two years have wound down, they feel that God is leading them to continue in ministry in South OKC. J&W will be moving in the next couple of weeks back to Oklahoma City, and the two boys that currently live in their house will be moving into our house this coming Mother's Day Sunday.

For the time being, the Mac House will be closing its doors and receiving renovations. The sooner funds are available and the renovations are finished, the sooner the house can reopen. Until then, however, Blake and I will be the only full time house parents at Willow Springs, with six boys in our house. One boy will be returning home sometime in the beginning of June, as his story has been one of success and victory, and he is ready to reacclimate to life at home with his parents.

In this time of transition, please know that anything you do to support us will be received with complete joy and gratitude. Please think of us in your prayers, and intercede on our behalf for these things:

  • Provision and peace for all of the guys--but also especially for the two moving into our house--as they navigate through transitions and goodbyes 
  • An abundance of energy and grace for all of the staff as we work together through these changes
  • For relationships to flourish in our house 
  • For generous donors to give towards needs such as renovations for the Mac House as well as for basic living provisions to be met (groceries, bills, gas, etc.)
  • For the guys' hearts to continue to be pliable to the movement of the Holy Spirit; even in what has seemed like a season of hard conversations and all of the sucky parts of parenting, there has been a current of God's movement perpetually eroding away rough exteriors of hard hearts in our house. It is not a clean or easy process by any means, but it is a process we have full faith that God will complete and bring to fruition. 
For our fellow First Baptist Chandler church members who are wondering where we have been, Blake and I are still filling in leading worship for a church in Edmond several Sundays out of the year. We miss you and are looking forward to seeing you all at church again soon. We are so grateful for your unwavering support in our presence and our absence! 

Once again, and always and forever, thank you for reading, praying, caring, investing, and everything you do to support Willow Springs!