Adopting Olivia.

Olivia’s in the Soviet Union,

He told me, as we sat across from each other in a boat.

Who the heck is Olivia, I thought, completely baffled, all the while knowing that He wasn’t telling me to gossip or to simply be factual. He was telling me in a manner that was a call to action.

He wanted me to adopt Olivia and take her as my own.

The day of our accident, the Lord reminded me of the vision I had before falling asleep the week before that lay waiting for me to pick apart in the notes section of my phone.

The day was slow and empty, caught up on work with nothing to do aside from pick up Allie a little early from school. As Emmy napped, I pulled out my computer and, having recently read in The Divinity Code that names can actually be for their meanings in dreams, I searched the name meaning of Olivia.

Olivia means olive tree. Or, peace.

Will you adopt my peace?

Will you take it as your own?

As much as I wanted to pretend I hadn’t been struggling in the peace department, I was. The week prior had just begun to feel clunky and hard. Parenting felt like nagging. Listening ears felt turned off. It was all getting to me.

I even sent a snapchat to some friends, confiding them my struggles and praying grace over my mothering.

Little did I know what the evening would hold.

When the initial collision first took place and the swirling of the car finally came to that abrupt halt, Donny shouted me out of my shock.

Get the kids!” He commanded, as he jumped out of the car to start ordering people to call an ambulance and take control of the situation.

After trying to open my door and realizing it was hopeless, I climbed back between our seats into the back where our four children filled the four corners and I just screamed. I cried. I cried out in horror as a mother, grieving my children’s experience. A sort of innocence feeling stripped.

Donny climbed in by me, unbuckling Leo, telling me to unbuckle Emmy and get her out. My brain wouldn’t work. I couldn’t remember how to unbuckle her. How to pull her out. She was crying. And I was screaming.

The older two filed out the car with no help from me. Next thing I knew, they were sliding between the seats, climbing out Donny’s door to cross over to safety. And there I sat trying to remember how to unbuckle a carseat. How to pull arms out of the straps. How to press the button to release her from the seat.

I didn’t even notice she was missing a boot until we were in the backseat of a women’s car.

Sometime between climbing out of that car, and getting to the side of the road where Allie lay crying for her arm but pausing in her own pain to say she was just worried about me, asking if I was okay, its like the Lord reminded me,

Your children cannot experience peace in this without you.

You need to adopt my peace.

Olivia is in the Soviet Union, and you need to be a vessel.

The second the reminder hit me, I turned my crying to praying. Just yelling because I couldn’t even lower my voice because of the shock and horror of what we went through, but yelling prayers. Yelling thank you. Yelling His goodness. Yelling healing.

When I turned my shouts to prayers, the dams of peace opened to flow to our children. The three youngest stopped crying and started asking things like, “Can we get a new toy because of this? Is this a good reason that we can sleep in your bed tonight? Do we get to ride to the hospital with Bah & Papa?!”

Even Allie, though she was in extreme physical pain, was at peace when I adopted His peace as my own, allowing it to flow through me.

Catherine Mullins once said that as mothers, we get to cultivate peace in our homes and our families. I thought I knew and understood what that meant when she said it, but these days as her words echo in my mind, I see a whole new depth.

It’s been over a week now since our accident. Things at home aren’t as spontaneous, filled with new toys and favorite door dash meals every day. We are back to trading in the gatorades and juices for waters. People aren’t coming up anymore to coddle Allie over her broken arm.

It’s like after the initial shock of someone dying wears off, and the line of mourning helpers disappears, and suddenly. Here you are. Left to grieve in silence. Left to pick up the pieces.

There are always those empty moments when the helpers disappear and the noise falls silent and it’s time to pick back up the school work and figure out how to live life now. And how do we handle it?

Allie has been struggling. Not good with words, and honestly I’m not even sure she knows what she is feeling to put it into words, but she has been visibly frustrated, annoyed, and just in a bad mood. To be honest. Ask her to play a game and life is great, but ask her to start figuring out schoolwork and she is angry.

Because she is struggling, I’ve been struggling. I’ve been allowing her lashing out in anger and frustration effect me, myself in turn having a bad attitude and just growing so weary. It’s been difficult, to say the least. The tension is felt. But then I’m reminded that Olivia is in the Soviet Union, and her story isn’t over. Nope. He still is sitting across from me in that boat, beckoning me,

Will you adopt my peace?

Will you take Olivia on as your own?

When the babies crying, what do they say? The baby senses our frustration. The baby knows. Why? Because we are vessels.

Then, one day, the kids grow and suddenly we forget. Why do they have such a terrible attitude? Why are they so pessimistic all the time? Why do they complain? And we forget we are vessels.

What are we like in our home? Are we peaceful? Are we depressed? Are we joy-filled (this is a fruit of the Spirit so it is within us whether we access it or not. Sometimes accessing looks like choosing to wear it rather that waiting to feel it)? Are we gossipers? Do we complain often? Are we patient? Are we worriers?

We are vessels.

Its what the Lord is calling me to. And it doesn’t mean not disciplining when a lack of respect or honor is being extended. But it does mean pouring it all out in the same Spirit we want them to cultivate. We can correct our children and still be at peace. We can tell them to take their clothes down for the eightieth time but still be joyful.

We are vessels, and how important it is for us to yield to that yearning to match our emotions to those around us. The cashier who couldn’t say hi. The stranger who ignored your apology for being in the way. The friend who always is complaining about someone new or how terrible their life is. We don’t have to match other’s emotions to be polite. It isn’t rude to keep the fruit of the Spirit and not encourage complaining, gossiping, etc.

It is time to be intentional. Its time to adopt His Spirit and His mindset.

Olivia is in the Soviet Union.

She’s there, too.

It’s your turn, love. Break the silence. Spill your guts.

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