“Eyes Up Here, Please!”

If you’ve been round the adoption community for long at all, or read any books on trauma, I don’t have to tell you that transitions can be hard for the little people in our lives (and let’s be honest, they’re hard for us, too). Knowing this, it should be of no surprise to us that every year, as school starts back up, unusual behaviors frequently pop up. But for some reason it is.

Back in May, my girls started doing CrossFit twice a week. The thought was that it would be fantastic for my sensory seeking 7-year-old to get the deep inputs that she needs (and would help my 10-year-old with some much-needed strength training). The week before school started, the coach and I were talking about the incredible progress that we were seeing – the first few weeks, I had to stand beside Callie to keep her focused and engaged, and now she was fully participating, and not needing my attention. And then school started. Of the 4 classes since then, one found her rolling on the floor screaming because she didn’t want to do it, another had her doing the exact opposite of what the coach would say (jump left, she’d go right, stand up, she’d sit down), and the other 2, well, it seemed as if every other sentence out of the coach’s mouth was, “Callie, eyes up here please.” Each time I heard her name called, my body instinctively cringed, ready to unload deep apologies for the lack of focus. When I ask her about what’s going on, she usually responds, “I just don’t know, Mommy. My insides are all confused, and I can’t sort them out.”

If I’m fair, I struggle, too. I like routine and predictability. I like to have my plan. But if I’ve learned one thing from this adventure I’m on, God likes to keep changing things up and checking on my commitment and obedience. Heck, I’m now the single mama of 2 girls born on the other side of the world and still waiting for my Prince Charming to show up! When I struggle with parenting, next-steps in ministry, or a myriad of other areas and, like Callie, “my insides are all confused,”, I have developed some unhealthy coping skills – like turning to a bag of chips or camping out on the couch in front of the Hallmark Channel.

There is a better solution than Callie letting it all out or me burying it all inside. Just like Callie’s coach, the Lord is saying to each of us, “eyes up here please”:

 “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
Psalm 121:1-4

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Proverbs3 :5-6




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