Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Strengthening Our Core

We had a word of encouragement shared about our family that has caused me to 
and take notice, and has made me realize I better get in the habit of SITTING UP
It was shared with us during a very early prayer time with some friends, and it was so sweet and simple and profound. 
 He shared how he saw our middle kids. 
 (I literally braced myself for a minute.)
 He felt like the Lord given him some insight and he was ready to share it with us.
  He was talking about our middle kids being the 
 in our family. 
We have 9 kids
 (that we have had the honor of raising in our home)
 from birth and from adoption. 
 I have always kind of grouped them in my mind as 

3 older
3 middle
3 littles

 Partly because this is my favorite number and it also makes it easier to put them into groups.

  As everyone knows....middle children just fall in the middle.  
They are the ones that have to look up to the older kids and look out  for the littles.
  I've always seen the middle, as the filling.
You just look at the olders and know how things turn out, because you learned a few things along the way with the olders, and then you have the littles that cause you to have to grab a gear because they are gonna give ya a workout.  
The middles are just caught right in the middle. 
They have to go with the flow and fit in with all that is goes on.

 Our middles are the most diverse in the whole bunch.
There is not a flow or fit to this bunch in the middle.

The middle stands out and makes ya 

When they line up like this, they call it the Brewer Oreo.  

  Luke, our middle (in age) of the middle children, is the only birth child in the middle 3.  
When I was pregnant with him, I had 5th disease, which can be very dangerous for the baby, then in labor, his heart rate would drop frighteningly low, then when he cleared the birth canal I had a FLOOD of postpartum hit me like a tsunami.
 I had never had anything quite like that. 
 I literally called Charlie from the hospital and told him if he didn't come get me I was taking a taxi home.
  I couldn't stop the crying, and I'm not a typical big cryer. 
 Then, when Luke was a toddler, he had food allergies that almost sent me over the edge.  He has definitely kept me learning and experiencing new things.  Just when I thought by #4,  I had a little bit of experience to draw from,
Luke came along. 

Esther came to us when she was 9 and that threw us all into a crazy spin of a new love and learning how to be a family to our adopted Ugandan daughter and navigate all the ups and downs of learning and growing as a family, that comes with this kind of change and addition.

Mik came to us when he was 10 and we had only known ANYTHING about him for less than 30 days when he came to live with us forever. 
 Within the first 12 hours of ever meeting him face to face he became ours forever. We once again, were off to the races trying to stay ahead of the waves of changes and uncharted territory.

So to think these 3 are the core of the family had never crossed my mind.
 Not even close.

But once he said it and the more I think about it, of course this is God's plan. 
 He has seen it and planned it all along.

 It is a beautiful picture of what God has given us in these 
3 middle kids.

 They are strong and they are solid and they just need to be strengthened  together and not just hanging out in the middle, but truly focused on and encouraged and strengthened as a core group.

I have never been good at core exercises.  I hate working my core.  I like to start and finish with running, and that's about it. You hear all the time, you are only as strong as your core.  This makes a lot of sense to me in our family.  
It's that middle bunch that connects the olders and the littles.
  The middle bunch are the ones that have seen the olders off and watched the youngers come on in.  
  Our middles have had the most challenges in life, in all different ways.  They all come from different places, different countries and backgrounds even.
 They have dealt with the most pain and challenge and change in their lives.
  I have felt like the middles are the ones I just hang on for dear life  and hope and pray for the best.  
Doing that necessary "core" work, sounded too far gone, like we should be satisfied with a healthy soft intact middle.  Strengthening the middle and believing they are the core sounded out of the range of possibilities, like it requires some new work out  that I'm just not equipped to do. 
 I didn't even realize I was thinking like this, until our friend was kind enough and brave enough to speak it out in love, what he saw in our family.
It's amazing to me, that often times takes someone one foot away  to see things so clearly and give encouragement and dig out the beauty that has been there the whole time.

 This core bunch will all be in high school this year.  We only have a few years left to strengthen this core together under our roof before they are stretched in different directions.  I think this was such a timely and positive and beautiful word over our family.  It's funny how just a change in perspective can change the focus and the work out routine.

Here's the other part to this that has been such a gift.....God uses His people to help change our perspective and see our strengths when we can't see them or feel them.   I have prayed plenty of times for these 3 middle kids and never got anything like this out of my time with the Lord, but He was saving it to be shared by another part of the body, a brother in Christ who was willing to listen and pray and share.
   I am so encouraged to gather and pray with others, I think God has special words to share when we gather for the sole purpose of praying together in unity, not just in spirit but in body.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-21English Standard Version (ESV)

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies, 21 but test everything; hold fast what is good.

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