Hope does not disappoint

June 29th, 2013


“If you must have your own bow and sword, then the battle depends on you, and you cannot plead God’s promises.  Put the bow aside, hang the sword on the wall, and go to Him who is better than bow and sword.  Rest in Him, and He will gloriously work so that His name is magnified and you are blessed.” ~Charles Haddon Spurgeon


Hey friends, I thought about just emailing the three ladies who were at our home last night, but decided it’s something I’d rather share with all of you, because I know you’ll pray.

Could you pray for Joe and me and our older children as we form a family schedule that will take everyone’s needs into consideration and proportion the work load in a healthy way?




We’ve been taking mental notes since Tommy came home as to what will work best, and now we all need to collaborate and agree on a preliminary schedule to work from and adapt as we go along for the foreseeable future, and that’s not going to be a simple process.




I’ve been trying hard this week to fly solo (not wanting to ask others for help for various reasons) and it is impossible.  I completely exhausted, overwhelmed and stressed myself this week.

When we thought through whether we were ready to commit to Tommy last fall, we had no idea God would also send a baby, and caring for Benjamin’s needs in addition to those of the rest of the family has truly been hard.  Tommy and Katie are relatively easy to care for compared with an infant, although I know Ben won’t stay this way for long and he is so very, very sweet.  *smile*




The thought of sitting and listening to the Love and Respect seminar last night was…well…I’d rather have scrubbed one hundred public toilets stress-free than hear even one more thing I had to remember to do, more needs I had to meet, and be reminded of even more failures on my part when I was already so exhausted and stressed, feeling like I was miserably failing everybody in every direction.

I want Joe to have the kind of wife that the Love and Respect seminar describes, but the last straw was hearing what a gift it is to a man for his wife to sit quietly and watch him work for an hour at a time.  [I was thinking sardonically that it might possibly work if he was doing my work and I was sitting and watching!  Did that occur to Mr. Love and Respect as a loving option for a husband to consider?!  You see the state of my emotions last night, haha!]





The thought of adding therapy and school this fall was making me panic.  Not because it’s impossible, period, but because it’s impossible for me to fly solo, even though that seems on the surface like the simplest option.

After everyone left our home last night, Joe and I stayed up and talked (and I cried my eyeballs out) until about 1:30 am, so I’m tired and headachy today, but not stressed.  It was a very good talk, and I am thankful beyond words for Joe’s compassion and leadership.





We would love to know that others are praying specifically for needed planning time and insight for the strategy team, our ability to help motivate the rest of the family and encourage personal responsibility in a positive way, and above all, that everything that we do be done with love.




I’m so thankful we didn’t know about the coming baby while making the Tommy decision.  There is a reason most people are not choosing this life that I am living every moment of every day.  God was so merciful to take matters into His own hands and plan the timing like He did.

We know He will not leave us in the lurch now.  He is our hope.  He is helping us and will continue to help us, and we pray that He will show Himself to be the strong and sufficient God that He is through our family.

Thank you all for listening and for praying.  I love you all.



P. S.  And just last week I was exclaiming to the children how remarkable it is that I was feeling terrible stress with just one baby and feeling no stress now, with fifteen of us.  I’m learning all over again that stress really is a choice that reveals to me the unbelief in my own heart.  It’s not an inevitable consequence of outward circumstances.

Hope in God, O my soul.


“…we also glory in tribulations, because tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”





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63 Responses to “Hope does not disappoint”

  1. Paul says:

    Ah Suzanna,
    Many have stated such wonderful supportive words to you. The only thing that I can add as a friend who is a father and husband that both you and I know that Joe in no way sees you as a failure. You are a wonderfully organized and loving mother and wife. Those qualities are groomed and nurtured through your spiritual relationship with God and is then manifested in your family relationships. Anything that does not get done in a given day has no bearing on these qualities.  Having gone through the Love and Respect stuff I can see where the “ideal” is laid out yet there is no way anyone can be all things to another person.                                                                             
    We will be praying Jeremiah 29:11-12 for you and your family. God will reveal His plan for how the things that need to get done and the appointments that need to be kept will all come together. 
    Paul & Maureen 

  2. Tami says:

    (((Susanna))) I’ll be praying for the specifics of scheduling wisdom and such…  and rest and peace and strength.  I so identify with what you’ve said and how you feel.  Thinking about it, I realize as a mother – I don’t expect my children to learn or do all that they need to learn or do at once; it’s spread through years and decades.  Some things are needed and necessary – but not all at the same time.  Our heavenly Father is patient and works over our whole lifetime to grow us and to make us perfect.  The day you are perfect is your last day.  :)  I’m SO thankful we don’t need to tackle everything now.  We only need to listen to the Lord’s To-Do list for us, and determine what HE wants us to do AT THIS MOMENT.  It’s sure to be different from what he’s wanting the next person to be doing.  Anyway, if it makes you feel any better – you far surpass me in all the areas you mentioned feeling discouraged about!  I can only hope to do so well!!!  :D  Try to get some sleep – much love and prayers and cheers of encouragement to you!!!!

  3. Colleen says:

    I am sending you big hugs from Indiana and lots of love!!! I understand and I have been and will continue to pray that the Lord would pour out His lavish grace upon you every day… God bless you, dear sister!!! 
    BTW, as I was playing catch up on your blog Bekah walked up behind me and saw the sweet photos of your last post with Laura and Tommy. She started shouting “Laura pushed Alexandra!!! Laura pushed Alexandra!!!” :) We had such a great time with all of you. I haven’t been able to download my pics yet, but I’ll send them to you when I do! 

  4. Colleen says:

    Absolutely, I will pray. 

  5. Sarah G says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart on this. It’s such an encouragement to me as a young mom, with much growth needed in my life and mothering, to know the growing and stretching never really stops so long as we are seeking to follow God where he leads, not in our strength, but in His. I have been praying for your requests for wisdom and for you and your family throughout the day yesterday and this morning. I will also be praying for the upcoming fall/school season and for your peace as you prepare for it.

  6. Amy says:

    I just received a beautiful candle in the mail today with your adorable daughter Katie on it. It smells delightful too. I will think of her and your whole family everytime I see it.

  7. Julie says:

    Praying for you!  I am feeling the same way these days, with just two little ones and one on the way.  I know our real needs are very different, but that’s right where I am emotionally, with thinking it’d be far simpler to fly solo and knowing that it won’t really work.  Praying that God pours out His abundance on you and you can find something that works for all your children!

  8. Cassandra says:

    This post makes you an even better wife, mother, daughter and friend in my mind.  God created us to be intra dependent. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say I agree with Hillary’s, “It takes a village to raise a child,”  I will say that choosing your village to help you in the journey of raising a child has to be a good thing. 
    I’m all in.  I’ll pray for you if you’ll pray for me :)

  9. Gina in Spain says:

    OH SUSANNA…..first of all a BIG HUG…sceond of all, OF COURSE you can not do this SOLO…..and why should you??? I pray that yu will find the help and schedule you need among your family…..to be honest it is not surprisingly you feel so overwhlemed…you have taken on alot …YOu are awesome….This will pass…Newborn hood is very hard….Praying for you….XXXOOO

  10. Rachel says:

    Oh, I can soo relate. It’s always tough after a new placement, whether adoption or foster. And we always go through a stage where it feels like we are just surviving. But things eventually settle down and fall into place. I know how it is with special needs kids, no matter how much we truly love them, enjoy them, and want them, it does take lots of time. They need to be dressed, fed, hair done, meds given, therapies done. Not to mention the constant diaper changes and the really stinky blow outs at the most inconvenient times. Also, at our house we have a very time consuming and messy daily enema to administer. There’s often nebulizer treatments, special cooking for food allergies, braces to put on. When you figure it all out, let me know! I’m overwhelmed right now too! I don’t have any answers, but rest assured, you are NOT alone! And my kiddies are thriving and yours will, too. My motto is “I always try and do my best and then I leave to God the rest.”

  11. Molly says:

    Susanna,  I don’t know you in “real life” but I love your blog and read it all the time.  Since I read this post I have been praying for you.  I think we have similar temperaments and I know how much better I feel with a schedule or routine in place.  I don’t know if this will help you at all, but I thought I would share something that has really helped me.  my 8th is a 11 month old baby.  For me,if I can get a really good nursing time with him in the morning,I feel better and don’t start out as frazzled.  So I take about 20 min in my room with just me and baby.  While I nurse him, so I don’t go crazy with all things on the other side of the door, I read the Bible.  After I finish, I take the time to dress myself and dress him.  While I am doing this my other children are getting the day started.  Someone starts the laundry, someone makes breakfast, someone sets the table, and someone takes care of the toddler.  I know this is just a small piece of the day, but for me it gets us off on the right track.  Your children are beautiful, and I really appreciate your posts. Thank you!

  12. Neysha says:

    100% agree with Cassandra, it does make you a better mom.  Of course we will pray for you. Sometimes we need to make dramactic changes to our lives because our children need us first.  Our life and schedule was totally different before bobby was wheelchair bound.  Let the Lord guide you every path.

  13. Ruth says:

    so good to read all of this “real life” stuff. I am a widow with 6 adopted/foster kids. Oldest 4 are 7-9, middle one with severe brain damage is 6, and we have a baby we got at 2 days old, and is now 8 weeks old.  I also homeschool. I have been feeling extra ordinarily weary lately. My landlord sold my  house sold over auction 2 weeks ago. Its been a journey of trusting and faith. baby has been colicky and rarely sleeps more then 2 hours at a time. To see all this encouragement is so inspiring.

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