Monday, January 23, 2012

I am a REAL Bunny ...and so is she...

Oh, little Velveteen Rabbit...its not like I'm mad at you or your story is heavy sometimes...I don't want another one...I'm just saying,

"Ouch, it HURTs to be a bunny."

And I hope I do not offend you when I let you know that I have decided that I am not going to take your definition any more as a statement for my life as an adoptive mommy.

  Did you not say,

"Real isn't how you are Made, It is a thing that happens to you."?????


There, I SAID it.

I AIN'T REAL cause of my difficult circumstances

or in the moment that the beloved child whispers it in my ear.

What "happens" to me does not make me.

I am not a product of the days events --be they pleasant or hard, or of  my thoughts and expectations, or of fleeting feelings from one day to the next.

I am not what the other "bunnies" say I am

or who I am in those little eyes...

Or What I sometimes see when I look in the mirror on an especially hard day...

You didn't get it completely ,Velveteen Rabbit---although I just love you so...

Cause I find my Wisdom in another another story...of a young, perfect KING who came from a far off heavenly land...He left His Father's come and find this ole find me in the garden...all dishelved and burnt on the rubbish heap...He found me in my helpless failings...and while I was quite lifeless and stuffed with sawdust and other junk...

He stooped down to make me REAL..

to BREATHE REAL Life into me

and He tells me...He has begun to show me that...

Oh, His promises are much GREATER than those nursery promises little rabbit...

I am alive, I am REAL because of ONE who burns with Life and Hope on my insides.

I am a REAL Bunny.

And here is a secret my gentle little friend,

Your story does not end with becoming a real bunny.


And there is a Bunny Shepherd who has ointment for our wounds.

Now you will know thirst and hunger...

But there is the gardener in the midst of the bunnies who IS the living water AND the Bread that brings life...

You will have an awareness of will have to be a little warrior

but He will cover you with His great big shield, and under it you will find security and victory.

for Real Bunnies still have fire to go through...beyond the bonfire of the toy pile...

But it is  REFINING fire.

And it really is O.K.

For once  this type of grooming session is over, and I have been through so many lately little rabbit,

You will find that "toy fur" burnt off to reveal...not a Real "me" but "Christ IN me...the HOPE of Glory".

Behold, the new WILL come, little bunny...

My Story

 O.K....Here is my very real story from last week.  I want you to to have this view so that you may know a bit more how to love and support adoptive moms.  Perhaps know how to more fully love an adoptive child?  And if you are "stuck" in suffering...that Jesus is your answer to.  There IS hope for you, my friend..

First, the REAL High

We hit the highs and the lows here at the Tucker house last week.  We celebrated an 11th birthday, my husband experienced a wonderful first week of continued training for ministry, and my children all had an unusual blessing of encountering God at school all week in their assembly times...God was especially present and visited the kids with much power and joy...true revival broke out this week among the students.  The joyful worship rocked their building and broke out of the assembly time so that for three days, the schedule of classes were pushed back as the kids experience the fresh presence of God in Worship,prayer, and in God's movement on them in restoration and in healings.  More, Lord!  I love that He broke this out among children--it has been so powerful!!
There were kids that were delivered of self-hatred.  There were kids that wept over love for God. There was prayer for our city, prayer for our nation. Adoration, Worship.  They prayed over each other for hours.  Joy came. So did travailing prayer.  These kids have been crying out for God to visit them. He came.

                                             [Our Ashley and friends this week]

This is what "revival" looks like.  and He started with the children--how like Jesus who put children before Him and instructed us to look like them!

Genuine revival has Christ walking within it. "The Hope of Glory" changes our lives...He truly does.  The kids all of them--carried this home and our home was been so full of the tenderness of the Holy Spirit's love.  It was one of those weeks, so full of  glory that it takes your breath away...

To add, the children's school was not the only place where God was blessing His people in this way last week.  As Richard came home from his Bible classes and from the prayer room at International House of Prayer the SAME wave of God's presence and love was moving in his classes and in the prayer room.  All classes were cancelled so that  they  could just move into a solemn assembly and worshiped with  expectancy.

  There was MUCH JOY on the mission's base. Healing was a part of God's strong presence in our midst. Richard was blessed with actually seeing God's power move in love in this way. On Saturday, Richard was ministering at our Saturday service.  He was laying hands on and praying for anyone who had a need.  There was a man who had a condition with his hands that he had had for over ten years, it made his hands gnarled and curled up with pain.  As Richard prayed for him, the man's hands began to straighten!  The two men joyfully continued on asking for Jesus' healing until Richard watched the man's hands relax and straighten.  It was powerful~ the man felt so loved~ and this was only one of the miracles that swirled around us this weekend!

In the Midst of the Garden...

With all this beauty...that we have asked for, fasted for...pressed into God in prayer for...and as we saw it breaking would think we would have been immune from any pain or trial last week.


It made me a TARGET for attack...and since our enemy is not fair and is a MEAN BULLY he targeted my adoptive mother's heart and my little bunny, Ava.
You see, if Jesus was breaking out...if so many kids were getting delivered and this is truly what Mama Gillian has been declaring with much strength lately...then a surprise attack...could it knock her down so that she and Ava might not receive the promise of healing all around them?...

 Nothing happens to me that does not pass through  my loving Father's hands.

and like I said above, my circumstances do NOT determine who I am or what my destiny is.  But OH, this does not take the pain away as you walk through the fire...

 Thursday could not have been sweeter...Anderson made sure all the other siblings felt included in his celebrations and it was Ava who got to share about her brother who tickles her and makes her feel "all loved and tickley" we laughed and played and ate too much cake...and after the party there were snuggles for little girls and a book read by an older sister and a special connection at Bible time and singing that blessed us all...

Kids were excused to get on jammies before one last game before bed...and as our little happy bunny went downstairs...

A serpent was waiting...
and a lie was hissed in her ear...

It may have been something like,

"Are you REALLY part of this loving family?"

"Is this REAL?"

"Come on, are you a REAL Bunny?  Who do you think you are?"

And my little bunny looked down at something that she considered to be shabby...and then she tore up her little girlie room. 

I was setting up the game, that is one of my little bunny's favorites, and as she entered the room she declared in a really loud, kind of overly cheerful way,



she turns to the other adoptive child in my home who had just had SUCH a normal, great day...and birthday days can be a trigger for him so this was a huge victory for him and that tongue that lied to her now lied to him,


... and words, what are they?

  They could have been passed for childish expression until..

They continued and continued for the rest of the night...

until...I went down to get something for my bunny and I saw the ripped up bunny's nest downstairs in her room.

A firey dart tried to find its way into my Mother's heart...this is familiar war ground...
familiar battle over the identity of this little soul, and who she is

familiar battle over who I am as her mother...

and all I could say, inside my heart in that moment was,

ouch. OUCH! OUCH!!!!!

I tucked my bunny in bed with many kisses and prayed fervent, silent prayers in the only name that has true power, Jesus' name over her.

Sword, Shield...Engarde!!

Oh it's ON, serpent. This mama bunny is a warrior bunny!!

And yet, the words picked on me as I went about my chores..I carried them into prayer ..and they bothered me through the night..

Friday morning is a work morning for me at my children's school.  I LOVE my job!  I am the school's librarian.  I joke with my husband that I'm the fun kind of Librarian not the bun kind!!

Friday, my bunny and I spent the morning getting the house in order and then driving to work.  All morning long I was followed literally around by my bunny who repeated over and over that I was not REAL and that our family was not REAL.  I am not exaggerating that EVERY word that came out of my little girl's mouth was on this subject of REAL.  It was wild and I was acutely aware I was under attack and that so was my little bunny.  I tried leading her into a loving conversation about her birth mom , tried to trace her story with her...but none of this satisfied.  hiss,hiss, was continuous in her ears that morning...poor little bunny...and all the language was a searing wound in my heart...

I cannot express how intense some of these times are with our adoptive children as they wrestle and rework the puzzle of who they are.

..the problem arises when not all the puzzle pieces can be found...then what???

And the question of this morning was, "am I REAL?"

"am I REALLY in a forever family?"

am I REALLY a blood daughter, loved like all the rest in this nest?"

...And the question intended for me was,

"Has everything you have poured into this child...

...all the "hair falling off" REALLY MADE ANY DIFFERENCE?..

ALL those times you served and laid it all down...

ALL those prayers...

all the trust you believed to be building up...where is that now???

...Listen, here she is declaring right now that

'any mother could be her mother after all'

and that

'maybe we should get some more moms for our family, or another mommy for us wouldn't that be better?'.

and' living here is o.k. but...'

..Have you REALLY become her mother?"

The language and the questions continued...but as I turned off the car in the parking lot of school, something turned on inside of me.  It was a declaration.

"This is attack and for Ava's sake and mine I am going to make a stand.  I am going to RESIST this until it flees from her and from me today.  There is a victory coming for this little girl.  I'm not backing away.  I see this for what it is, attack.  I'll stand and wait for deliverance."  Sometimes, as the Word says, all we can do is "stand"...

It wasn't over yet

As we walked into the building and talked to a lovely friend at the sign in desk I felt nauseous.   My stormy day did not seem to "fit" with the revival that was going on in the building...or maybe it was perfectly fitting!! was 11a.m. and I still heard the vibrations of worship from the teenagers coming through the walls next to the auditorium as I made my way to our little library...

As I turned on the light and started to re shelve books I felt overstimulated among all the books...

One of the administrators, who I love, suggested I display the books that day in a way that would draw the children's eye more.  I started turning the faces of the book covers around to greet and face the children...while I bunny was at my side...the subject was the same one as the rest of the morning.

Wow, was this truly going to last ALL day?

  A lady popped her head in the library and greeted us.  The distraction was wonderful!  As I shelved, we visited a little...

"How are you?""

I wanted to shout, I"M TERRIBLE!!  and scream and tell her that I feel like the WALKING WOUNDED...don't you see my head wound?  Can't you SEE it?...but I was held back...and this was good for...
You would not believe the next question that came out of this well-meaning mouth...I don't fault Peter, we can say glorious mysteries that are right on in one minute and then in the next , if not dialed in and listening to God's voice ...out of that same mouth...we can say words tailored by the enemy...

"Hey, I've been meaning to ask you,

How many REAL kids do you have?"

Oh no, you didn't!!
Oh, yes, she did.
It was that kind of a moment.
It was that kind of a day...and this was the PERFECT fire for my heart.

"Well,"  I looked down at the books in my hands, and then over at my bunny,

"I have SIX REAL KIDS, right, Ava honey?"

Ava came over and clung on my leg.

{People,people... please NEVER ask this question to an adoptive mom and especially in front of her child!!}

But I knew why I was getting the question...and I was going to keep standing until I saw Jesus step in and bring HIS message to my little girlie and my heart that day.

We dove into our little project and then had the LOVELY distraction of six classes worth of students coming through the room.  Ava played mommy to her dollies and pretended at my feet and looked through books and hugged sweet children who I helped to match with books.  Its a great job!  I took it because I believe that finding the right book is all about blessing that child's uniqueness and identity.  I have prayed that the children who find their way into the library will also be blessed by love's presence through Jesus' simple love through me and that they may walk out confirmed of their beauty as hearts are revealed as they choose their books...

That the Librarian and her child were  needing confirmation this day was and unexpected turn of  events among the collection of books..

As one group of students went out, the books needed refreshing...more needed to be pulled out and displayed..and I was handed this returned book...that had just made its way back to needing to be reshelved.

It was the Velveteen Rabbit.

The more I live in Christ, the more I find that He, the most beautiful of authors, writes my life in just this way.

"Hello, sweet Jesus, this is from you." my heart prayed.

It was a beautiful edition of a well-loved classic that I have read over and over and mulled over through my years.  Recently I have found that not only I but my adopted children as well identify with this little rabbit...

I had just a moment to "pet" the beautiful pages of the book ~ if you love to read you know of which I speak! ~ and then I propped it open to the page of the little bunny, REAL and dancing all among the other real bunnies.

"In your name, Jesus, this is who I am in you.  This is who she IS in YOU.  We are REAL in you.  YOU are my REAL."

Our last group of students came into the library, it was one of my favorite classes--my son Bruik is among them and I have watched and love them grow for a while now.  One of my FAVORITE children in the class is a precious little girl who is full of life and glory.  She is FUNNY, she is WITTY, she is so loving and has a real gift for connecting to God's heart and understanding His ways.  She butts heads with my little Bruik half the time and the other half of the time squeeze hugs him with love. She is a blessed special needs girl who is wiser and more spectacular than most girls you'll meet.  and, oh, yes...she's also been adopted...and is SUCH a blessing to her astounded mom who comes to me with precious stories of this incredible creation--I JUST LOVE HER.
So this little girl is trying to pick out a book and this day she is having a BEAR of a time finding JUST the right one.  "Do you have any mysteries, Mrs. Tucker? thanks don't want a mystery...oh,oh,oh!! I KNOW what I want."..and the choices went kind of on and on that afternoon...until the check out computer is about to be shut down and this little one is the last child along with me among the shelves.  She was the LAST student.

She slowed.  She stopped....right in front of the Velveteen Rabbit book...
I don't really know why I did it but my hand came in front of the book--almost guarding it from her view...
I did't want to have this conversation. Today. Right then. With her. Precious her.

What about THIS book?

I heard myself talking in that falsetto adult voice, "OH, this is a GREAT book, honey." Smile.  I felt uncomfortable.  I half lied. "Its a story of a toy bunny that becomes, REAL."

She looked up at me through her little glasses. "HMMMNnnnn."
She's thinking.
I'm nailed.

"Isn't there something about a sick boooooy in here?  and  some tooooys?"

"Ah, Hem...Yes."
She looked  like she was grasping for something lost...
"OOOOooooh...Mommy read this book to me"  She looks like she is searching....for something forgotten...for something that may not be so pleasant..."

"Tell me about the fire, Mrs. Tucker"

She looked up at me as if to say, 'Don't lie to me, Mrs. Tucker. They burned that bunny. Tell me the Truth Mrs. Tucker."

She was waiting on me for an answer about the broken bunnies.  And, Lord, I don't want to give her that answer....she's not the broken one anyhow in this moment...I am!...

And in that moment, we looked down to see the page that she had turned to in the beautiful old  book.  It was blue, and at the center of the illustration was a gorgeous fairy and dancing bunnies all around her.

"OH! I remember!  There's an angel!!, " she sighed and smiled BIG..."Tell me about the ANGEL, Mrs. Tucker."

"Oh, yes." She smiled.  "That's what I remember."

She picked up the book and hugged it to herself. Then,  "I won't be needing this."  She set it back gently on the shelf,  and turned to land on her final decision... after several other final decisions...she plucked up a fluff bit of book called,"Pinky Dinky Doo" and I totally laughed out loud and sailed a goodbye toward her as she bounded out of the room to check it out. :)

Later, after my shift at school and piano lessons that fill my home with the reminder of what is glory...I was still feeling tattered...

like a big ole bunny...

But settled and at rest.  Ready to continue to press in to being a REAL mom to all of my REAL children.  I was deciding on dinner as well as deciding to keep standing on Truth even though I had not seen it in my parenting of that day...when I heard another little person sit down at the piano...and worship sounds started coming from the piano... REAL joyful noise, the kind that God mentions and asks for in the Psalms...

And my family is my witness that I actually heard my little bunny turn not only into a REAL bunny but metamorphosis into a SONGBIRD.

Now, worship and speaking out Truth is a gift from God that He will bring on this little one in certain sweet times, and had I subcombed to the attack and fought with HER instead of the lies...we might have missed out on this GLORIOUS moment...really...our warfare is THAT REAL.

Little Ava's hands were making BEAUTIFUL sounds on the piano
Chords...musical progressions...melodic notes...REAL melody...

Richard and I gathered in the kitchen, catching each other's eyes, "Are you HEARING THIS?"

And then this clear little voice started singing...the bunny is a songbird!!

"OOOOHhhh, Jesus...I just Looove you...
You made me on purpose.  And everything you make is REALLLLLly Goood.
I want to be with you every day.  You are the hero and I want to be with you every day.

We NEED you, come to us, Jesus!
We NEED you.
Come to US.

Oh, there's worship and there's the pain! ...and I'm growing...I'm GROWING UP LIKE A DAISY (the meaning of her African name we gave her, Aday)

Yeah, I'm growing up like a DAISY in the house of the Lord.
We NEED YOU, Jesus!
Come to us..."

She sang and sang and we cried and Richard put his head down on the counter in the kitchen and shook with laughter that is the surprised kind that comes when God just puts his glorious foot down in your midst.

Oh, don't ever stop! my Heart cried out!  You are worth the "stand"

And then we heard,

"Fill our house with angels are fillin' it Right now...I feel you comin' to us...just fillin' our house UP with your angels...We NEED you Jesus...We worship you..."

Who's the Mommy?  Who's the REAL Daddy?  He showed up in that moment.   Who are we REALly?  This turns out to be the WRONG QUESTION.  So take that, enemy!!

The question that sets us FREE was asked 2 millennial years ago by Jesus, the King of all broken hearts and the Shepherd of all "bunnies and songbirds"

...the question is, "Who do you say that I am?"  and when we get this before us...and find our identity in Him...when we lose ourself in THIS fire...we raise up out of that pire with power, life, and REAL joy in knowing that He who is IN us IS our HOPE of GLORY.

  He is enough.  He is THE solution for each of us.  Because HE is REAL, I live.

  Because HE lives there is INCREDIBLE HOPE for my children. ~  All six of my REAL kids!

Love, Gillian

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