Mother’s Day Is Here!

A Word from Mary Beth Chapman on Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is here! The act of selecting just the right Mother’s Day card for my own mother got my already constantly swirling and whirling mind spinning with thoughts even more. Mothers…they come in all shapes and sizes (I think I’ve been them all) and all mothers are on their own journey unique to them. Wherever you find yourself on the spectrum of motherhood, I pray that these random thoughts of Mary Beth encourages you in some way. May you feel God’s presence as some of you will laugh while others weep this Mother’s Day. Some will rejoice while others mourn. Some will celebrate being a mother for the very first time, online while others will be crushed by the pain of not having become one. From one mom who has laughed, cried and experienced a little of it all, I pray this will give some comfort to you…

I am a mother to six beautiful children. Emily made me a mother for the very first time, and Maria made me a mother for the very last time. Each and every experience has been just as unique as the qualities they each embody. I am the mother to three children through birth and three children through adoption.  I’ve been the young skinny mom, and I’ve been the older “fluffy” (as I like to call it) mom. I’ve mothered girls…and boys… I’ve been the mother of the bride, and the mother of the groom… I’ve had married, college, high school, middle school, and elementary school children all at the same time. I’ve cried over broken hearts, and broken bones, and I’ve laughed with and at my kids…  I’ve even been the mom that no one wants to be. The mom that buried her little girl. It’s been 7 years this May. It’s been a looooooooong 7 years. It is as if it happened yesterday, and that time stood still. I know I’m not going to say the right things here, I can only write based on my own personal experience, but that day in May, when Maria left for Heaven… my axis was forever altered and a new normal had begun. Obviously, I couldn’t stop being a mother to the other five. But I did change…it is different. It always will be. My fight is different. What is important has changed. The only thing that is important is my family. My fight is for the moment and for the day, the day that we are in… instead of a future… a future that may never happen. When I’m operating well and not so psychotic, I remind my family that tomorrow may not come, so we are going to enjoy the “today” that we have been given. Sounds like it’s easy and that I have it all figured out. Notice that I said “when I’m not being so psychotic”…  Yes, there are plenty of days that I can’t do it, don’t want to do it, and am simply still angry. I always have more questions than I do answers, and I think about May 21st, 2008 everyday. I have decided that I always will. Some may think I have not “done the grief work”, I say “you’re wrong, it’s just that hard.”

A Word from Mary Beth Chapman on Mother's Day

I know, I know… this is supposed to be a “Happy” Mother’s Day blog… it is! My point is that I am blessed beyond words to be a mother. I don’t take it lightly. It comes at a huge price. I’m thankful beyond words that God has allowed me to be one. I’m simply stating what I feel is the obvious: without hope, without hope in the One who has called each of us by name and has a plan for us, I would go crazy. I am holding on to that hope with all that I have. Some days it is a secure tight grip, and other days, I feel it slipping between my fingers. But I am actively holding on.

How about you? Are you holding on to hope? Wherever you are at on your journey, I encourage you to anchor tightly to hope. Grab tight and hold on with everything you have. The days are gonna come when you feel it slipping, but God even understands us in those times. If we actively do this, if we take hold everyday, readjust our grip, or simply hang on with everything in us, I know that we will experience more and more of the way God is making all things new. I can’t wait for the day, when all the striving to hang on goes away and the pressure is off to “do grief” right. I’m SEEing sweet bits and pieces of this unfolding this side of heaven, but it won’t be until with my own eyes, I SEE Maria run into the arms of Will Franklin, that the glorious part of that unfolding will be fulfilled. Until then, I will hold tight to the one true Hope. I pray that on whatever mothering journey that you find yourself on this year, you hold tight as well. And instead of  “Happy” Mother’s Day, I’ll just say….Have a Hopeful Mother’s Day!

Hugs,
Mary Beth

A Word from Mary Beth Chapman on Mother's Day

Holding On To Hope

IMG_7661[1]I’ve been in China since January 22nd and come home on January 31st. It has been an amazing trip…a reminder of what God is up too…a tangible visual exposure to the miracles that happen at a place known as Maria’s Big House of Hope.

Steven and I have had to privilege of working along side of Show Hope now for many years, recipe and the stories of each and every person affected by the work of Maria’s Big House and the surrounding Special Care Centers that Show Hope has in China is staggering. But on this trip… something very special happened. I watched Fahlin become Fahlin Maria XueFang Chapman. She is officially my niece.

Fahlin has been in care at Maria’s since 2010 and has a very serious heart condition. When I first met Fahlin, she was a tiny little person residing on the 5th floor palliative care of Maria’s Big House. I met her on a trip to China. I was drawn to her immediately and wanted to help. I searched high and low for help at a hospital in the US that would take her case. I finally got to talk with some folks at UCLA children’s hospital and what I feared the most is what I heard. Her case was too difficult…nothing can be done. So, Fahlin was going to pass away peacefully at some point in the loving care of Maria’s with dignity…except…she kept living.

IMG_7741[1]As time went on, I received great news. I heard that she was being adopted…Fahlin would have a home in New York…And receive care by a doctor there. Our whole family who had been praying for her was thrilled. She would finally have a home and a family. Then I received some news. The doctor who reviewed her case in the US felt that her condition was so severe that she would not be able to survive the transition or flight…she would not be able to receive her family. She would live out her days in the loving care of Maria’s…with dignity and peace…and she kept living.

But all along a family is what she needed. It is a long God story…a total miracle, but somehow in His infinite wisdom He made a way. My brother and his wife were immediately taken with her story, she became available for adoption, and now she is coming home. Fahlin is very sick. And she may not be with us long. We don’t know how long we have with her, but she will know the love of a family…and she will hear about her heavenly home and about the Father who waits for her there.

IMG_7634Our family has suffered loss. We have grieved the loss of Maria, our little girl who had to leave way too soon for our liking. We miss her, ache for her and long for the day when we will SEE her again. Our family knows the pain of saying goodbye before we were ready…we live gripping the hope that only He can give that we will hug her again and understand the plan that He had. We believe that Fahlin is also a part of that plan. We may have to say goodbye before we are ready again. We may have to lay her in the arms of Jesus when it seems time has not been a friend. But we know that in reality…it will only be the beginning of what God is doing in His redemptive work. The thought of Fahlin and Maria in heaven is all most too glorious to bare, while painful and sad…the reality that those two, former Orphans, will be glorious before the Father…and whole…no pain, no broken heart, no sad…just whole and complete.

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Until that time comes, and because this has been too much of a miracle to even try and pen…we will pray without ceasing for a medical miracle that will keep Fahlin with us for as long as He sees fit to allow. But with hope we lay her future in the hands of the One who gave her the name Chapman…For He is good, and His plans are for us…Even when we don’t fully understand. I long for the day that we see clearly and not as through a dim glass.

Holding on to hope,
Mary Beth Chapman

Colony House Review

Take time to check out the review at the link below! I am smiling todayvwith tears rolling down my cheeks… A very very good thing! I am humbled and thankful for all of our friends and family who have walked through the fire that forged this project. THANK YOU! To the Giver of all gifts… Thank You Jesus for holding Will Franklin Chapman in your grip every step of the way. This story is one of a marathon, and not a sprint… We will SEE one day the full redemption Willy… just you wait! You have been brave.. Your lungs are full and your body is indeed breathing… and Maria will indeed take your hand…she loves you so much. Keep your hope… and don’t be afraid of your questions, for it is in the questions that we find God. He holds all the answers and until heaven, we walk with a limp, but we walk together as family, holding each other upright. Caleb Chapman, there is not an older brother on the planet that has held what you have held… you possess the wisdom and the strength of a mighty warrior. In the bible, Caleb was the first to speak up and say… “let’s go and conquer this land”…. which is what I pray you do for the land your headed needs redeemed and conquered! Your name means whole-hearted, and that is how you have loved Willy Frank… stay the course and take the land! Scott Mills you my friend and “adopted son” have been a vital part of the journey. Your friendship to my boys couldn’t have come at a better time. You are faithful and we have noticed… I know your family is so proud… and you need to know we love you and count you as our own! Jillian Edwards and Julia Chapman…. you are the real rock stars….. you hold them up and send them out with so much love and support… It makes this Momma smile! I couldn’t have asked for better wives and partners for my boys… For you I have prayed… and God answered with you two … I love you both so much.. ok, I’m done… To everyone who believed… I am humbled…. be blessed.

READ THE REVIEW

When I Was Younger by Colony House

Never have I been so proud of my boys. The following video is a must see. Caleb’s video work caught a glimpse into what I have been watching for the last 6 years. When Maria passed away, my boys started on a journey that was unchartered and unclear. As young musician’s they took their sorrow and pain of loosing Maria, their youngest sister, and set out on a journey that has culminated to today, July 22, 2014. Colony House (my boys band) has released their first full length CD. This project is about their journey of moving forward and finding freedom… of not giving up and wrestling with the hard questions of life… When I watch this clip I get what our family calls “The Free Willy lump” (if you’ve seen the movie Free Willy, it’s the lump you get in your throat from trying not to cry over a whale when the sad part comes and they are trying to get Willy to jump to freedom). I tear up when I SEE will looking at the sun rise over the ocean… Believe me, it has been HARD, and yet he has fought so well…. The CD, which is titled When I Was Younger, is worth a listen. Watching my young men who have worked so hard at not only their music, but their survival of sorrow give this Mom….. A reason.. to live

My eyes are open
My heart is beating
My lungs are full
My body’s breathing
I’m moving forward
I found my freedom
I found a life that gave me reason…to live

Thank you Caleb for reminding me….

Purchase on iTunes or Amazon

What A Catch

2nd Annual KLOVE Fan Awards at the Grand Ole Opry House - ShowI Love My Husband. That’s really all I wanted to say. But… since blogging is about your opinion on whatever you want to talk about… I’ll expound. First things first…what made me say this? He left again (not that he necessarily “wanted” too) for the 12, 253,219 time. Yes, that’s a made up number and NO that can’t possibly be how many times he has left, but it sure feels like it.

This is a big year for me. I call it the 3050 celebration! October 13 will be my 30th wedding anniversary and you all can guess what happens on November 6… I’m not really talking about that one…. And next years number will be 3049 because I’m gonna be counting backwards from now on… so with that said… This indeed is a monumental year.

I met my hubby in 1983, married him in 1984 and in 2014, I (still) Love my husband.
1984-2014! There is a lot of life in that little dash between those years. We have been blessed with laughter and happy…. And we have been blessed with tears and sad. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it. It has all been God’s dash to tell through us, and all along the way, even in the very difficult, very painful private times, my husband has not given up and he has always breathed life into me. And trust me… I have not been easily resuscitated!

I got a message from him this morning as I do every time he leaves, telling me that he wished I was going with him. I supposed that in today’s world that may sound odd, but to me… it is what helps me put my feet on the floor to walk another day. He models Christ to me… What a catch!

Six Years Ago Today

photoProfound loss 6 years ago today. I miss this little girl with everything that is in me…. I must however thank the living God for sustaining and literally holding my family together. What should have torn us apart has made us stronger in our love for each other… we are still walking out the verse that says the enemy has been defeated. As long as I have breathe I will claim this over each member of my family… It hasn’t been easy and it certainly isn’t what I want to walk out but… We are doing it day by day, step by step, prayer by prayer. And… We are together. Thanks to you all for joining in the prayers for our family… I am truly grateful…

Maria Sue, mommy loves you to infinity….and beyond!

Pinterest Perfect

I saw a title of an article that referred to mothering not being a hobby…. Ya’ll it’s not a hobby to be perfected!!! I didn’t read the article but I loved the idea of the title… Because sometimes I feel like so many moms are wearing themselves out trying to give their kids a “Pinterest Perfect” party or experience, that they miss the mothering completely.. Is it about us or them?

It’s taken me a long time and a lot if mistakes to realize, but my kids just really want me…and my attention and time…. Don’t get me wrong, I need great ideas too, and Pinterest and the Internet are a great place to get them… But anything to an extreme at least for me can be paralyzing… Rest in the fact this Mother’s Day weekend that your kids love you… Mistakes and all! Not the decorations at their party… #idontwanttobepinterestperfect.

Today's Links

from http://blog.showhope.org/

Today's Links

from http://blog.showhope.org/

Today's Links

from http://blog.showhope.org/