Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Road Trip One

Sometimes I don't know where my crazy ideas come from.  Maybe a stubborn refusal to let life circumstances keep us from living is the motivator.  Maybe I am just nuts. Maybe a good mix of both!

I planned a couple of trips this summer. (not vacations note that).  My first trip was planned as a little test run for the second trip, and it was planned because this part of the trip didn't fit into the plan for the bigger trip I ultimately wanted to take.

We visited my cousin Shantel and her family in Indy for a couple of days. We, being Jadon, Kiahna and myself.  Everyone else has summer jobs that they can't take that much time off.  I need them to work so they can pay for their lives! Adulting isn't always fun.

A couple of things, we purchased new bikes.  Our old ones were horrible.  We made an investment and got nice bikes, hoping to spend lots of time riding them this summer.  And we did!

We also invested in a tent and some camping supplies, but I have yet to sleep in that myself. I blame the heat & rain, but that might be an excuse too.

A photo journey of our indy trip!

Anxious to get started! She has her smile, what more could she need! (yes thats my white leg)

Happy with new Dvd players on their laps!

SWIMMING! Carmel city pool with Dylan & Kyla

Jadon and Dylan selfie I found on my phone. 

Super happy after riding bikes over to Butler University campus.

Not even going to smile for ice cream... I see how it is.  Bike rides to ice cream shops!

When in Indy... you visit the Colts shop!

And take weird elevator groupies and cut people out.

Lunch downtown Indy at Pie Five Pizza!  Kind of like a Subway for Pizza!

New bakery downtown Indy, Frona Mae... excellent!

She gave me this fake smile, she wasn't happy and wouldn't' eat the expensive dessert we were all supposed to be sharing.

Because.  I should have take one with me in it.  Duh.

Climbed to the top of the Soldiers and Sailor's Memorial in the Circle.  Well, they climbed.  I paid to take the elevator with Kiahna.  Pick your battles.  

Visited our first Rocket Fizz shop! Crazy, crazy drink flavors!  We did not buy these

Dylan and Jadon purchased sodas, but not the crazy flavors!

And then it rained and we went to a movie theater downtown in the Circle Center mall with recliners... saw Finding Dory.  Much to 12 year old boy's dismay.

Another bike ride to beautiful Butler campus... much better mood...

And ice cream. again.  I actually had a watermelon sherbet this time, it was really different and good!

She's proud of her improved mood!

Kids took a photo of Shantel & I before we left! 

Bike ride on the Monon Trail and some interesting sights at the Art Museum along the way!

After having to call 911 because we couldn't find Jadon on the Monon Trail... we headed home.. sweaty and ready for more adventures!

Thankful for police officers who help you find children who think they are grown ups and get themselves lost.  Wasn't a big deal, thankfully!

Great to spend a couple days exploring Indy!  Looking forward to more adventures to come!

In His Grip,


Monday, June 27, 2016

April-May-June 2016

Oh wow, I knew it had been awhile since I had written here, but didn't realize it was that long!

I am not going to get too detailed, just a quick update.

Life keeps going on.

I finished my first semester of online college courses through Huntington University! I ended up with a surprising all A's! I have no idea what God is going to do with this or why His favor is resting so fully upon this adventure... Exciting to see what happens!

No lie, its one assignment at a time. Many times, I have no idea what I am going to write. Usually its all just from the hip, from life experience, mixed with the reading assignments, somehow it comes out impressing the teachers... Go God!

Leah finished her first year at HU also, she loves it! I believe she has finally chosen a major of business finance and accounting. She's home for the summer working at Pizza Hut in Berne again.

James is switching jobs, going to the Sheriff Dept in the county he is already in. He is really enjoying the work and prayers for safety never stop. His wife Brookelyn decided to go back to school for her masters and become a PA, she is one amazingly smart woman... she chose my son after all! :)

Zach's still living here at home, working at a factory in Berne, figuring out life.

Lucas will be a senior next year! I am not sure I am ready to have another one become an adult, but the option of them not becoming an adult doesn't work so well for me either, so I guess I will go with it. Lucas decided not to play football this fall, so I will be a double cross country parent for him and Jadon. Should make life a tad bit easier.

Jadon will be in 7th grade next year, and is planning to run cross country. It's not easy for him to grow up without a dad. The struggle to overcome the obstacles can be made worse by living in a community where everyone else has their dad and he finds himself often without one. My dad chose to spend Father's Day weekend one-on-one with Jadon. To say this is a blessing is not even coming close to how I feel about it. Praying God keeps filling his void with His Love.

Oh Kiahna, life just isn't easy. I get asked so often how it is going. Even on her good days, life is hard for her. The world is hard to understand and confuses her. The amount of daily guidance she needs is concerning. But, she is making some great strides in overcoming some fears, accomplishing some goals. She jumped in the deep end at the pool last night at the Sunday School party! She went down a water slide TWICE last week! She let someone work on her toes and get them all cleaned up for a pedicure! All things she really was afraid to try!

As she moves into the sixth grade, her school will not change. Same classroom, same teacher, same building.  All good things for us all. She is changing therapist again, approval for the Medicaid Waiver came this spring, which should follow her through life now and provide services for her as she becomes an adult.

The next few weeks should be fun taking a few weeks off of work. We will have our annual lake week with my family and then I am hoping to take a road trip with Jadon & Kiahna... you can follow along on my Instagram if you wish!

God is really amazing. I am overwhelmed with His provision and His peace. I can't say I understand His ways. There is a struggle with emotion as we go through the seasons of a year since Jim was back in our lives and then gone again. I still feel God is saying to wait on Him. I still feel the call to pray for Jim. It is not lost on me that the world we live in is not one that we are trained to wait in. Everything around us screams fast and now! But, God has never worked that way.

Just this morning, I write again in my journal that I want the rewards of being a woman who waits on God. Who lives in a place of service and honor to Him and not to my own will or flesh. 

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint."  Isaiah 40:31
This is what I want. This is why I wait.

The enemy tells me I am wasting my life. The enemy tells me it's pointless.

God says It's to His Honor to Wait on Him. I don't want it if it doesn't come from Him.

Thanks for reading, loving and praying for us...

In His Grip,


Friday, April 1, 2016

March 2016

I just reread my last post, makes me laugh.  I should have posted many times in March, huge, hard, amazing month.

I finished class number two! "A" number two!  It was a time consuming class.  I was trying to work a week ahead so that I could finish a week early, before we left for Florida on Spring Break. Crazy, but I did it. I learned a lot about writing.  Thankful. (I am too wordy!  Working on that! haha!)

Jadon had some issues at school, early in the month, made some twelve year old mistakes that aren't tolerated in the current world we live in & ended up with in-school suspension for a few days. Upsetting to say the least, we are dealing with lots of things, my dad helped a lot. I felt like we ended up in a better place than we started out. He lost the privilege to finish the season on the swim team in the process.

About the middle of the month I was feeling the overwhelm, class, vacation preparation, work, kids  in trouble, events to attend.  I knew that Revive Adams County was in town.  I really wanted to check it out, but with all that was on my plate, how could I?

I watched the second night's worship gathering on you tube. After I watched it, I knew that I needed to be a part of it.  Prayed that God would multiply my time and help me be able to go as much as I could and get all the rest of my work done.

I did and HE did! It was a really growing, stretching week.

One story I want to share from this week.  (and you can see me in the video sharing it on the mic) I had went out with a group Tuesday. We were driving around looking for encounters. It was very awkward. Driving around Berne, and not finding anyone to talk to.  We drove past one house and a lady was outside with her daughter, I recognized her, but it didn't hit me to stop and talk to her and pray for her. (I am slow)

After I went home that day, I kept having the lady, I'll call her "K" ,on my mind. I was so burdened that we didn't stop and talk to her. I woke up a couple of days later and knew I was going to have to make an effort and go find her and talk with her.

I went out again on Friday, (groups are different each time) I ended up being a leader for the first time too. Crazy stretching! We didn't know what we were going to do or where we wanted to go, the goal being going out in the community, loving on people and praying for them. As our group talked no one had any direction where to go, so I said "well, I need to get my sister a gift for her birthday, maybe we could go to Walmart and find some flowers I could give her?" another girl said she was thinking go to Walmart too.  So we did.  We walked across and back the front of the store and I didn't find the flowers I wanted to give my sister for her birthday. We stopped and were talking about what to do next and how awkward we felt. I looked up and there in the produce section of Walmart was "K" and her husband and 2 girls! I couldn't believe it!

I quickly told the group the burden I had about missing the opportunity to pray for "K" a couple days before. The man in our group said "you mean you see her right now!? (shocked!)"

"YES!" So, myself and Paige, in my group went over and talked to them, prayed for them in the produce section at Walmart & felt totally amazing! As we walked away Paige said, "well you found one of your flowers."

I looked at Paige and said, maybe we should buy some flowers to pass out to people today! So we did! We went to the hospital, where Paige works and felt like she wanted to go. I told her I had a friend in the hospital that we could go pray for too.  We spent some time talking to people, prayed for a few, passed out our flowers and went to lunch.

When we all gathered back together to share about our day, one person shared they had the opportunity to lead someone to Christ. As they shared their story, they mentioned that the lady that had accepted Christ was with her "fifth grade daughter Shantel". Another light bulb went off in my head. How many fifth graders named Shantel do you supposed there are in Decatur? Well, Kiahna has one in her special needs class that Kiahna and I have been praying for! I had to share with the group that we have been praying for most likely the same girl and her mom!  I had just told Kiahna earlier that week that "we didn't know what kind of mom Shantel had, and we need to pray for them"

I was very blessed by the whole week. The challenge is to keep moving in that direction and sharing Christ. The next week, as I woke up and started my day, I thought, I really wish that I could go out and do that again. And it struck me right between the eyes, how much easier it had become to love on people who were strangers. The people in my life who had hurt, and let me down were not nearly as easy to love as those strangers were. I needed to work on loving the people close to me better. Ugh.

Musical week happened!  Lucas had a great lead and did so well!

I had a wedding during the last performance and that just added to the crazy of the week!

God came through and I got all my work accomplished, class, editing, cleaning up the house, vacation planning, and time to leave for SPRING BREAK!

We enjoyed a week with these people!

Went really well, Kiahna's behaviors compared to the year before were so improved. I left out that we had increased her meds the week before we left, after a huge incident that sent me spinning out and behavior reflected back to where we used to be.  What a mess I was.  But the increase in her meds seemed to do the trick.

I stayed in Florida a couple of extra days with my two girls.  Leah didn't have class until Tuesday. It felt like I was getting a vacation after my vacation.

We got home Monday evening and reality hit hard.  

I discovered that Zach had many friends over while we were gone.  The clean house that I left had been very "lived in". The messes and the things that were damaged sent my peace flying right back to Florida, where maybe I should have stayed forever.

The worst part of it is that he was angry at me for being upset. My levels of disappointment and frustration just kept mounting as I found more and more things that had happened while I was gone all week.

Wednesday, I get a call from Kiahna's school that she had hit a teacher. I have to go get her and she is suspended, and we have a big meeting today to decide what to do.  This is the second incident with hitting a teacher this school year, which could get her expelled.

So many frustrations, I won't go into detail.  Just pray.  I think of her being expelled and how I would add her being home all day and needing to homeschool and I wonder if I am supposed to be doing that, and how I would even do it! Spinning.

**UPDATED TO ADD:  I was surprised by how the meeting at Kiahnas school went today. It was determined that her hitting was related to her disability and they could not expel her.  So, we moved on to do some tweaking to her behavior plan and provide more monitoring and supports.  Hoping they are staring to get the picture of who she is and we won't have too many more of these meetings.  My nerves can't take it!

To say that I have had a hard time finding my balance since I returned home is an understatement.

What a month. 

Somehow we are still, In His Grip,


Monday, February 15, 2016

February 2016

I have told myself that if I can update on the week I don't have class that would be good enough in this season.  So, this morning, Monday, I have officially finished my first college class!  I have a week off and then the next class starts up.

I am happy with how it went.  It wasn't easy, but I feel like I did my best & that the grade reflects that.  I am still waiting  on the grade for my final project, but I know that even without that grade, I won't go lower than an 80%, should be in the upper 90's unless I did something really crazy wrong on my final project!

Leah made the Dean's list on her first semester of college.  She sends me a photo with the caption "get on my level"... I told her I am trying!  Not sure what she thinks of her mom going to college the same time as her, but I think it's kinda neat.  At least I am not showing up on campus and walking to her classes with her!  Pretty sure I know how she would feel about that one!!

This past week marks one year since I had Kiahna admitted to the behavioral center.  I have been just thanking and thanking God for the progress and the miracles He has done in the past year of her life.  A year ago was one of the lowest points for me ever and to see the way God has provided and brought hope again is overwhelming.

One day at a time, the disability isn't gone, but is sure is livable at this point.

Zach has moved back in to my house.  It's going okay.  His life is on the top of my prayer list.

Jadon has started middle school swimming, and he is doing really well!  Thankful he is finding his talents and working hard on them.

Lucas is working hard on his part in the musical.  It's less than a month away.  Always love musical time.  Lucas is a Junior this year and has a pretty big part in the play.

God keeps speaking to me daily about Jim.  I definitely don't feel released of the situation.  I love how God is teaching me and the way He leads.  I have no idea what is going on with Jim in the natural.  None.  I am sure that if I did, I would deal much more with discouragement over the whole situation.  But, God is doing something.  He confirms it to my heart over and over again.  I don't understand what it is but I know it's something big.

My personal goals at this point are to be obedient to God's plan.  To learn what He needs me to learn for whatever is ahead.  To take steps forward when I feel His leading, even when I don't see why.

The Bible's reporting of this event shows Abraham's stoic obedience to what God had said:...But the irrationality if this divine command could not have been lost on him... It made absolutely no sense--the same way some of the events in your life perhaps seem to make no sense.  You can't believe as you pray, that this is happening.  What is God doing?... God was revealing Himself vividly as JEHOVAH JIREH" -The Lord our Provider"     --The Battleplan for Prayer, Stephen & Alex Kendrick

Just one example of how God is confirming, speaking and teaching me in this season.  I read this, this morning.  After God has brought up Abraham, Sarah & Isaac's story to me 4 times in the past week in different places.  Starting to take note that He is trying to get a message through to my thick head!

Thank you for your amazing prayerful support through this long, crazy journey.

My next class is a writing class... we will see where that takes me!!

Be blessed, and I won't probably check back in here until March, unless something huge occurs!!

In His Grip,


Friday, January 15, 2016

Walking by Faith, Sure not by sight.

We were driving home from taking Jadon to swim practice last night, and Kiahna and I were talking about Leah being baptized this weekend.  Kiahna asked me if I had been baptized.  I told her I had.  She asked how old I was.  I had to think.  I guess it would have been twenty years ago this month.  I would have been 23.

As I reflected on that conversation ,I remember the lie that I swallowed that came along with accepting Christ and being baptized.  The lie that somehow my life was going to get better now, easier.  I was going to get to live the life of ease, because I was finally making better decisions with my life.

I realize even today I still deal with that lie on so many levels.  This morning as I was working on a question in my Bible Study of Hosea, the question presented was, "Do I trust God is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do, or do I keep a plan B just in case?"

There is a real battle to settle for a plan B.  To say "You are too slow, silent & confusing"  I want something I can see and believe.  I am tired of walking in the darkness with You."  There is a constant battle going on in my life.

I told God last week, after having a frustrating issue with Jim, that I really would like for Him to give me something believable to have faith in.

Wait.  What?

I know.  Such a struggle.

I finished my first week of college courses last night.  I was so frustrated.  My first class is a simple Introduction to Microsoft.  BUT, the text book is directed towards non-Mac computers, and I have a Mac.  Everything is set up different.  I am spending tons and tons of time trying to find simple commands in Microsoft word that the book is showing me, but I have to struggle to find on my Mac.

I was in tears last night thinking "WHY DOES EVERYTHING I DO HAVE TO BE SO HARD!?"  For real! This is supposed to be a simple class!  But, no!  Then I began to think that I should just quit.  I am too old, it's too late, and I am too alone to do this.

Oh the battle.

Zach was here yesterday, he asked for a ride home after work.  Then last night he asked if I would take him to work at 6 am this morning.  I don't want to.  I don't know what I am doing, I need so much wisdom.  I don't want to be an enabler, I don't understand what is going on with his life.  I don't even want to understand.  I want to pray for him from a distance and not have to get my hands dirty.

Of course, I took him to work.  And decided I would stop at the gym to get my workout time in since I need to go to Ft Wayne with Kiahna for a doctor's appointment today too.  I was on the treadmill and my usually HGTV shows were not on that early, I turned the channel and settled on a Joyce Meyer sermon that was playing.  Joyce starts talking about how we want our life here to be easy.  How we often look at how someone else is walking out their lives and how they seem to be "getting away" with doing things that we are denying ourselves, and how much it's going to pay out in the end if we are obedient.

I think full circle back to my commitment to Christ.  How much I have struggled with the lie of life being easier when I accepted Him, and how much it has not been.  How I struggle with taking steps into darkness & how many days I have to force myself to keep going.

Intense battle of the thoughts going on.  Pushing through.  Needing prayers.

Looking forward to a weekend celebration of my daughter Leah & my nephew Colton giving their testimony & being baptized.  I already feel the tears coming on.  I am so blessed.

I will push forward to week two of college.

I will keep praying for God's direction and the grace to be obedient to Him as I walk out this crazy life.

In His Grip,


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Reflecting on 2015

I didn't think I was going to write this post.

A couple of weeks ago, as we prepared for Christmas, I started sorting through the photos of 2015.  It hit me really hard, just how difficult of a year this has been.

If it wasn't for the photos that I have, I would have no evidence of some of the things that happened.  You wouldn't know it from the circumstances I am in here at the end of 2015.

I took some time after looking through those photos to cry.  To accept that it was a hard, confusing, frustrating year.

And then I decided it was not going to be the year that destroyed me.

I pushed through the project and ended up spending hours and hours working with the 2015 photos on a photo book for my parents.

Ringger Family Shutterfly Book

It ended up being quite the healing process for me.

I had to make a conscious decision to look for all the positive, God things, making the book helped.

Kiahna has come so far this year.  At the beginning of the year there wasn't much hope.  I came to a point in February where I was so "done", so angry, so hurting.  Putting her in the hospital with so much hopelessness.  The aloneness of her disability is overwhelming.  The lack of support and understanding and insurance coverage.  The list of frustrations with this mental disability is so high.

Incredibly thankful that we have currently found a medication that is helping her considerably.  She has pushed through all the hard things this year and come through so much better than I ever could have hoped.

She dealt with having Jim in our lives and then leaving again incredibly well.  She has not had a dad in her life at all, and it was beautiful to watch her connect with him.  These days she prays for him, some nights she tells me that she doesn't want to pray for him.  And I tell her that I understand, but we are called to pray for the people that have hurt us, and it's the right thing to do for our own hearts... some nights she still decides not to, and I get that.  Mostly I think I am speaking to myself when I say those things to my kids.

Kiahna changed school buildings and teachers this year.  That was cause for much anxiety and fear.  Not long into the year the aid in her class was let go, the main teacher had family health issues and needed to take off a couple weeks, new faces, new kids, new building, and all these changes... I don't have to think long to recognize how much of a miracle it is that she is doing this with as little of issues as she has.

I realized about November that there wasn't a real good support system going on at the school, and had to call a meeting and get some things dealt with.  After she hit a teacher and threw something.  I know well enough to see that this is her only way of saying how incredibly overwhelmed she is & that the support system isn't doing it's job.

Hoping that the new year brings her more success and progress.  Praying that she will.

Jadon & Lucas, my two boys living at home with me have been a blessing.  I think I will just keep Lucas home with me forever and not let him grow up and get all adult on me.   He is such a gem.  My quiet, patient, hard working, constantly willing to do anything I ask him to do, son.

Jadon has entered Middle School and all the  "joys" that go with that.  It didn't take long into the school year for me to see that he couldn't handle the amount of freedom that Middle School was offering.  I had to reign him back in and get some perspective on that.  He has done better since then, and is growing very quickly into a mature young man.

As the youngest of 4 brothers he wants to be grown up.  I am thankful for the good role models he has before him, and the way he can see that wrong choices will take you to wrong places also.

Speaking of wrong places.  My prayers for Zach continue.  I am thankful for peace of mind.  We rarely see Zach at this point, and I am thankful for the times he comes around and seems to appreciate who his family is.  Many many prayers needed.

James and Brooke moved to Ossian this year and bought their first house.  They seem to be settled into their jobs and enjoying the "no kids" season of life.  It's good.  Their third shift jobs are hard sometimes, no doubt, but I am thankful for the sacrifice they make in their sleep to be at family functions.  Can't say I would do well with those kinds of hours!

With a growing negativity towards police and all other public defenders, my prayers for protection over James are always on my mind.  The sacrifice is very great.

Leah is enjoying Huntington University!  What a blessing she is, she has decided also to become a member of our church and will be baptized in January.  I love that our relationship has grown into a friendship.  I miss her horribly when she is gone, but I am thankful all the same she is growing up into an incredible woman.

The hurt of Jim leaving us again hit her pretty hard.  I continue to pray for her and the other kids hearts.  That they would have the grace to keep forgiving and keep loving as Jesus has called us to.

For me the processing of what happened this summer with Jim being back in our lives for two months and then just being removed again with no notice and no more contact has been long and hard.  The battle in my mind and in my heart is intense.  I won't say that it is over, because it still rages, though less intense and less hurtful as time passes.

I know that I witnessed a miracle unfolding this summer.  I have zero doubts that what I saw, felt and what Jim was saying was real.  I won't sit her trying to justify or analyze or figure it out, because I won't figure it out.  It's too complex and too many things I don't understand.

I just know that in the months since he stopped being in contact with us the same message just keeps coming to me over and over and over again.  And that is one of Faith, Trust, Hope & Love.  The message of a Restoring God who does not lie or let things happen for no reason.  God's ability to work through any circumstance.  His amazing ways that don't make one bit of sense to the human mind.

I will never let myself believe that what I experienced was not of God.  That God let all that happen for no purpose.  That God isn't still at work in this crazy circumstance.

So, in 2015, I witnessed miracles.

And in 2016 I will expect to see even more.

Hanging on to my hat!

In His Grip,


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Quietness and Trust.

Not long after Jim left this last time, I met with some friends, one of them said this to me as we were praying, "I would find healing through repentance and rest, quietness and trust is your strength".

It resonated with me, we talked more about how I quickly things had developed (although my thoughts at the time they were developing were along the lines of "I WAITED 10 YEARS FOR THIS, QUICKLY ISN'T REALLY WHAT I WAS FEELING!")

Her wise advice was that there was too much, too fast, and we were not prepared, social media and public appearance were too quick, in her opinion.  And she was right.

At the time it was like a perfect storm though, things happened, and then there was this brick wall I slammed into where God said, "Okay, this is stopping now."

Because, He won't give me more than I can handle, and He won't let me settle.  And he knows my personality and He knows Jim's, and He knows best.

So, last week I was in a little shop downtown Decatur, and there was a canvas photo that had the verse on it, "Quietness and Trust are your strength".  And I confess, I didn't even put it together or realize that what was quoted to me earlier and I wrote down, and had been taking to heart, was Scripture.

It's in Isaiah 30:15 & 16...
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,    in quietness and trust is your strength,    but you would have none of it. 
You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’    Therefore you will flee!You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’    Therefore your pursuers will be swift!
It was good for me to see it in the Scripture, good for me to see it in context.  Because, when God told them that their Strength is going to come from their quietness & trust, they said, "No."  They had their own ideas of what needed to happen.  Actions to take and plans to play out.

And they failed.  Because that's what happens when we decide we know better and we take matters into our own hands.  We fail.

Oh how I want to walk this thing called life out God's way.  How I want to rest in His plans.

But, I can sit here feeling like my life is being wasted.  The enemy will tell me I am wasting my life.  That I should do something more.  Somehow make something happen for myself.  And it's a temptation.

Oh, Lord, give me the grace to walk out Your plans for my life.  To pray, to wait, to hear Your voice.  To have a quiet heart and trust You with my life and the lives of my family... because that is my strength.

In His Grip,