Seven of us clamber out of the mini-van for a short hike in the Colorado mountains.

I step out into the sunshine. The warmth brings me healing.

I breathe the chilly mountain air. I feel a wisp of cold winter wind underneath the warmer layer of summer breeze.

Hiking works for our family, despite our challenges. Because of our kids medical and behavioral needs, hiking might not be considered as a go-to activity, but somehow we do this.

On the trail, we have a common goal we move toward. While occasionally emotions run high, we rarely have all-out rages or melt-downs.

The kids handle tough trails, too. They enjoy the challenge and are curious to find what is around the next curve.

We are explorers.

Dad hiking
How to Find Peace…When You Don’t Get a Happy Ending

Castlewood Canyon View
This past summer has been crazy hard.

The mountains solidness brings me steady comfort. The blue sky is expansive.
When I became a parent, I could not have imagined a summer like the one I just experienced.
We became foster parents knowing it would be hard, and we adopted children willingly offering our lives and family as a living sacrifice.


I expected it to be incredibly hard. I figured it would be painful.

I had no idea it would be like this.
We are still standing, and that is a miracle.

Still Standing
Be Still and Know|The Holy Mess

I am still standing, and I am standing still.

How do I find peace?

I stand still.

Peace is found when I stand still before an Almighty God, who holds my future, and my children’s futures’, and the whole world in His hands.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10How to Find Peace...When You Don't Get a Happy Ending|The Holy Mess


Thank you for reading the Still Standing series.

Writing this 31 day series has been one of the most challenging yet meaningful tasks I have undertaken since starting this website.

I have received many emails, messages, and comments from readers. This means so much to me. I hope to encourage other parents going through similar situations. Parenting these challenging children often feels like a lonely road.

Thank you to everyone who is not parenting a child who experienced trauma, but read along to gain a better understanding. I appreciate your willingness to open your heart and mind to new understanding.

Our family spent just 6 months with Aaron as our son’s attachment therapist. As is so often the case with therapy, it seems there is a continual revolving door of service providers. This is a frustration for parents, especially when you find a therapist who is a good one. There are a select few therapists I would consider great ones we have worked with — he was one of the top few.

Our son spent most of the school year at the day treatment school. This was a mixed blessing. The school had fantastic teachers who truly cared about the kids, and they were willing to deal with my son’s behaviors. Few facilities are willing to work with a child with our son’s high level of need. Yet there were significant downsides. Putting together children with such high levels of behavior issues is traumatic. They are reactive to one another. Our son experienced chaos and he created chaos.

As the year progressed, our family realized my son needed a higher level of care than what we could provide in our home. We met strong resistance. What happened next is the stuff of another blog series or even better — a book. It involves the court system and the county. God testing our faith, our marriage, and our family in even more ways we could not have imagined. But we are still standing.

My husband, who is a Lutheran pastor, received a call to a church in another state, and we began the process once again of advocating for services in a new state with a new system. The new system is overall better, although each system has positives and negatives. Our son is receiving a higher level of care here, and we were able to obtain it more quickly than we were in our previous state.

How is our son doing now? The events that I wrote about in this series took place 2 years ago. In some ways our son has matured, and in other ways he is still dealing with similar issues. We take each day as it comes, and we thank God for new mercies every morning.

Our son is living at home with us as I write this, and he has been stable for the last few months.

The best advice we ever received as foster and adoptive parents was to “learn to ride the waves” of managing the system and living with someone with mental health issues.

With God’s favor, I hope to turn this series into a book proposal, plus add additional new content and approach a publishing company. These days publishing is about numbers, so every time you like, comment, and share a post, it’s a help to me in that endeavor. I consider it an honor when you take the time to read what I write as it comes into your very full email box or across your social media.

Thank you.

How to Find Peace...Without The Happy Ending|The Holy Mess

Still Standing

Still Standing|The Holy Mess

Bible Verse

“Be still, and know that I am God.
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46:10

Journal Prompt

What has God taught you from this series? What do you want to change in your life going forward?


Be Still and Know that I am God|The Holy Mess

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