More on Feathers, God’s Message To You and a FREE Printable

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Over the weekend, this feather thing did not die down at all (read this and this to catch up). In fact, more people have contacted me telling me that they have found feathers. Scott even had someone stop him while he was out to tell him she reads here (Hi, Lara!) and she and her friend had found one each!  It’s so crazy!  Two ladies, 8 states apart were both apple picking this weekend and each found one (Hi, Abby and Katrina!). I have zero idea if that has any significance, but it’s awfully cool!

God would just not let this go for me either.  I found some more feathers while I was doing some yard work on Saturday morning. I have an entirely different post to write about that.

Through the weekend, God began to recover some memories of a sermon I heard a long time ago about the Jewish traditions and the significance of feathers and wings with the tallit, or prayer shawl that Jews would wear.  After some digging and researching, I truly believe that God is trying to speak to us and has some comforting words.

In the meantime, God has been pulling me out of my comfort zone lately and asking me to speak instead of just write.  It’s so entirely not in my wheelhouse to speak.  However, it was so much to wrap my head around, I’m not even sure I could have written it all.

I know it’s long, but if you have a few spare minutes, please watch this.  I’m far from a scholar (give me grace), but God can still speak to you through my stumbling words. He wouldn’t put me through this if he couldn’t!

If you can’t watch, know that God loves you so much and you are not alone in your struggles!

As a thank you, I created a FREE printable for you. Even if you haven’t found your feather yet, you can print this and let it be your reminder.  Click HERE for the download or feel free to pin the image below.

Psalm 91:4

Keep sharing your feathers with me in email or on our Facebook wall and we can all share on Friday on social media with #FeatherFriday.

Remember, it’s not about the feather, but about a God who wants to remind you to draw close to Him in your struggles.   He is ready and oh so willing to protect you, love you and provide for you.

More on Feathers, God’s Message To You and a FREE Printable is a post from: Amy J. Bennett

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#FeatherFriday

Y’all, something is going on with these feathers.

If you aren’t on social media, I should tell you I had totally forgotten that Jacob had been collecting feathers at his foster home.  Can you believe that? We now have a legitimate collection.  And do you know notice the blue theme?  It happens to be Jacob’s favorite color and his birthstone.

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Since Wednesday, several people have posted to my wall, tagged me on Instagram or have texted me and let me know they have also found feathers.  And it’s not like they’re going out and looking for them.  My friend Sarah said for the first time in 5 years of living at her home, one was lying on the ground right in front of her car door.  My friend Beth said she found one right in front of the door at work.  My sister-in-law found one INSIDE the door at work.  It’s like God is placing these feathers right in their paths.  And I’ve noticed a pattern with many of them–it’s when they are coming and going to and from work.

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I believe he wants to remind not just me that I’m loved and provided for, but also these ladies too! The point is not the feathers.  The point is God is talking to us!!

So, let’s make this a thing, feel free to share during the week, but if you’re on social media, use the tag #FeatherFriday and we can all see the feathers together in one day.  If you don’t have social media, I’ll be glad to post for you!

Scott and I had to go to the Apple store today (Friday) to get his iPhone battery replaced under warranty today.  Of course, we had to swing into Cheesecake Factory for lunch and I did some window shopping.  There, in Pottery Barn, I stopped in my tracks when I saw this display.

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Pottery Barn doesn’t know it, but even they are on board with #FeatherFriday.

Apparently feathers are a thing right now because they had this pillow for sale.

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I couldn’t not get it.  I mean, really, I NEVER buy anything at Pottery Barn, but I had to have this one.

Oh my goodness, it is perfect in my living room. Seriously made for our house. You can’t tell in the picture either, but it has lots of blue in it.

Thanks to all your suggestions, I’m going to get a shadow box hopefully this weekend to display the feathers we have found as a family.  I love these visual reminders that God loves us and will provide for us right in the space where we are doing life together.

He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4

And speaking of, life was good this week, thanks to some adoptive moms who have reached out and therapists and some good ‘ol hormones acting right.  It’s amazing how much good it does to just hear everything is normal and expected.  This is a huge transition time for all of us and even though I was a little blindsided by some of our issues, I think I’m in a better place emotionally to handle it.  And as God has been using the feathers to confirm, we’re gonna be alright.

 

#FeatherFriday is a post from: Amy J. Bennett

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Three Feathers

My fingers are flying across the keyboard this morning. I witnessed a straight-up miracle and I can’t tell you fast enough.

The Lord has provided so many confirmations throughout this process and there was a new one that I began to recognize last week.

On our first visit with him, Jacob found a black and blue feather in our back yard.  He asked that we keep it for him for the next time he was home.  Since then, he has found at least two more.  We only have 2 trees in our yard and not many around us in our suburban neighborhood so it’s not like we have droves of birds visiting us.

I thought it was just kind of cool until I remembered the significance of feathers for me in the past.

You  might remember this post which I detail out this significance, but if not, I will quickly recap.

When I began thinking about what I wanted this space to look like, I completed a practice that Holley Gerth recommends where you pin any picture on Pinterest that feels like what you want your blog to feel like.  You don’t think about it too hard, you just do it.

I didn’t realize when I was doing it, but in a consultation, Holley pointed out feathers or wings were a theme, a symbol of encouragement or lifting others up.

Well, when I went to the blogging conference Allume last year and was questioning a lot of things around my writing, I not only won 1 of 10 paintings that artists painted during a session at Allume, it was a painting of a feather.

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There’s a whole lot more to this story, but the bottom line is God was saying, I see you broken, I love you, I want to replenish you and call you out for my purposes. You just need to be available.

So, this morning, I just really wanted to share with you how I felt with the feathers and Jacob that the Lord was still saying this to me, and based on the past few posts, you know how desperately I need to hear this message.

I got home from taking the kids to school and I really felt the Lord asking me not to do my normal exercises but to take Bella on a walk.  She stared at me in eager agreement so I went.  I was thinking about writing this post and simply asked the Lord if he could possibly send me a feather on my walk this morning.  It felt so silly, but I told him I believed he could do it.  I would watch and walk.  God has provided for me in a walk before, so I had faith he could do it.

So I go around a turn, up a hill and start to turn back.  As I was walking back down the hill, normally I would turn left to go back home,  I felt the Lord prompting me to turn right.  And I felt this message in my spirit: sometimes you have to go to the unfamiliar and uncomfortable places to find God.  I never turn right at this place because in the past, there has been a dog that lives down that way that is not so friendly with my dogs.  The dog has since moved, but it still feels a little scary to me.  It’s ridiculous, I know.

So I did it.  I hadn’t found my feather yet and I thought, well, that would be pretty cool if I did find it there.

I turned the corner and wouldn’t you know, almost immediately there was a feather sitting right on the side of the road.

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I literally gasped when I saw it.  He had done it! The Lord had provided a feather!

I picked up the feather and felt like I was holding a miracle in my hands.  And so I believed even more, we are in an uncomfortable and unfamiliar land right now with this adoption, but if we ask and seek the Lord, he will provide.

So I started back on my walk to my house and I got to the house and I felt the Lord once again prompting me to go beyond my house, where I don’t normally walk my dog.  I asked the Lord, really, do you think you can provide another feather for me this morning? It just feels like so much to ask.

I didn’t get another 50 feet and there it was.  A feather right in the middle of the road.

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I gasped again.  Lord, you did it! Another feather!

I went to turn back to home and still, the Lord was prompting me to go to the end of my road.  It’s a big hill down and back up and really, I just didn’t want to go.  I thought really, Lord, could you provide even one more feather for me if I go?

Guys, I got to the very  bottom of our street and there in the cul-de-sac sat a little baby feather.

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One for each of my three kids.

Listen to me. God is with us.  He’s with you. He needs us to be available. He needs us to ask him for help.  He needs us to believe that He can provide.  He needs us to be aware and attentive to how he is providing. He loves us so, so much that he can provide whatever we need for us to believe this is true over and over and over.

Thank you to those of you who are praying for me. I see Him and I hope you are encouraged that your prayers are powerful and effective. God is so good!

Three Feathers is a post from: Amy J. Bennett

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Learning to Trust

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soultga

Last week was hard.  We got Some News and we’ve been dealing.  But even more than that, we have been trying to get through every day life.

I have no desire to air the details of our dirty laundry, but at the same time, I feel a burden to honestly share what adopting an older child from foster care looks like.

The short of our main issue right now is that Jacob simply doesn’t trust me. I’m so happy that the bond was formed quickly and strongly with Scott.  But, when I am the main caretaker, particularly when he works long weekends like this past one, it makes life not so fun.

Truthfully, I have been blindsided by the lack of trust.  I get it, though.  He has no reason to trust anyone, especially any mother figure. I guess I just thought our issues would be some sort of behavioral or anger issues totally unrelated to me.

You don’t realize how much your kids trust you until you have one that doesn’t.  Simple things like administering medicine is not within the realms of trusted duties.  Overall, Jacob is a super sweet kid who wants to please, but he seems to be simply tolerating me right now.  No major outbursts, but it’s clear I am performing the functions of fixing him food and cleaning his clothes and not much more.  The bond that he has with Scott where he wants to please him, wants his opinion and trusts wholly what he has to say is simply not there for us yet.

It will come in time, I know. I am trustworthy. He just needs time to learn that. It will be my great honor to earn his trust one day. And I do see moments where he’s reaching out to me. I am trying my best to do the same.

The few incidents we did have this weekend, though, seemed to all trigger some sort of painful memory from my past.  It seriously felt like spiritual warfare.  I know he had no idea what was going on, but it was like Satan said let’s pick every single painful memory Amy has and let’s have Jacob say or do something to not only hurt her now, but remind her of that time in her past where it hurt her then too.  My junk is coming to the surface. It’s so not his fault, but I felt a little beat up.

On top of this, I had PMS the past few days which always dramatizes everything. It was a toxic mix.  I cried for hours on Saturday and in front of friends—which I never do.

We’re getting help. The Lord is sending people to us. I’m making calls to therapists, having conversations and getting a ton of support through the school.  Adoption certainly is not for anyone lacking a good support system.

We still feel so much peace that we’re right where we’re supposed to be.  Just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s bad.

I was listening to the book of John Saturday morning and the verse John 1:11 stood out to me like never before:

He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

I have always passed by that verse without a thought, but I had to pause the recording.  It was exactly how I was feeling.  I’m putting myself out there to Jacob. He’s my son and yet, he is not receiving me the way I hope.

I am learning just a tiny sliver of what Jesus experienced.

And what did Jesus do?  He was faithful until his work was accomplished even when he was rejected, mocked and beaten.

God has been turning this around and asking me if I trust Him enough to do this.  Do I really believe that He is making us a family? Do I trust that He will supply all my needs? I am asking for Jacob’s trust, but am I giving the same to God?

I am so thankful that God has been showing me over the past years how much he loves me and delights in me.  I have been resting in that the past few days.  I admit, it’s hard to press in, knowing I could get unknowingly hurt again and again, but it’s the very definition of unconditional love God calls us to and what Jesus modeled for us. The good news is I don’t have to do it in my own strength.  He loves me and I am to receive that and love Jacob with that overflow.

Will you pray specifically that I would be bold in my parenting—to correct when needed, that I would forgive quickly and that Jacob would begin to glimpse my faithfulness to him?

I know I’ve been single-minded lately and this blog looks a little different than it has in the past. Maybe things will return to normal, whatever that is, one day.  But for now, thank you for traveling this road with us.

Learning to Trust is a post from: Amy J. Bennett

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Praising and Begging

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MaRabelo 

I’ve heard of people, that in face of great danger, sacrifice, turmoil or opposition, they praise the Lord instead of complain. Many find it inspiring that someone would have such great faith to actually praise the Lord in terrible circumstances.

I’m beginning to believe, though, that they praise him not because of great faith but because of their need for great faith.

These last days have been hard. New things have arisen. Jacob is safe. Everyone is safe. No one’s going anywhere. We are more certain as ever before that things are happening as they should. But things have happened–things which I cannot talk about it and I’m sorry to be vague. But I need you to know even though this is exactly right and you’ll see smiles in the pictures, there is more going on. Isn’t there always?

When I have been at my lowest, I have been singing praise because I need to believe. I need more faith that He is good, that He’s working everything out for our good and that He can be trusted. I praise Him because if I do not, I am lost in despair, in grief, in anxiety, and in anger.

My heart is longing more than ever for God to rescue us forevermore from this sin that entangles us.  We are all slaves to these feeble bodies. And the consequences are sometimes more than I can handle.  I do not want to beg for his coming so others have time to know him, but today I do.

Today I praise and today I beg.

Pray for us?

 

Praising and Begging is a post from: Amy J. Bennett

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