Welcome to SneAdventure!

Jesus said, "I have come so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of." (John 10:10)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

For any parent who's ever messed up...

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for including such a long line of screw-ups in your genealogy:  liars, adulterers, illegitimate children, prostitutes, murderers, law-breakers, home-wreckers and outcasts, to name a few.  I’m finding some serious grace in that list of names today, and feeling right at home among them.

Today, I showed up at Samuel’s 1st grade school field trip (upon his request, mind you) only to have him completely ignore me – I’m talking wouldn’t even say “hi”, clinging to his friends.  (I know what you’re thinking, “what’s so atypical about that?”)  Probably nothing, but coming off the heels of my 3rd grader-slash-momma’s boy’s field trip where the child HELD MY HAND the entire day, it was a little hard for me to swallow.  (see momma's boy pictured on right...)

And there’s also the fact that this is Samuel’s first year not being homeschooled by me, and not a day goes by that he doesn’t let me know how much he loves it, hated school BEFORE this year, wants to live at his school, etc.   So I continued on the first 30 minutes, taking photos of all the kids/teachers, helping when I could, etc.  During a brief lapse of judgment, I decided to take a quick photo of me and Sam (just like I had with my momma’s boy), I held out the camera and said “hey, let me take a picture of us real quick” – to which he rudely, emphatically protested, to the point of groaning and putting his hands over his face.   I put the camera away and whispered in his ear what any …. 3 year old… might say, “Fine, I don’t want a picture with you anyway, you’ve been rude to me since I got here”.  Yep.  I did.  Not proud of that, btw…

I know you’re out there thinking, “get over it”, but I’m just being real with you, I COULDN’T.  See, my love for this kid has come at great personal cost.  He’s got so many issues, you’ll want to be on meds just to READ the list.  And I spend a lot of emotional, physical, spiritual and mental (not to mention financial) energy to try and help him cope with his early abandonment,  perpetual fear of, well, EVERYTHING, adoptive insecurities, lack of empathy, hyperactivity and extreme insecurity.  (And yes, I’m well aware of the fact that my giving you that list only made you more sympathetic to HIM, and less to ME…. that’s ok.  Apparently, I’m the grown-up).

So I did the natural thing that any … 2 year old… would do.  I told him goodbye (very solemnly, and sadly so he’d know how hurt I was) and LEFT.  Yep.  Walked right of of the store.  Began to cry.  Resisted the urge to text my sweet hubby who I KNEW would NOT have my back on this one (since, again, I’m apparently the grown-up), and began the short drive home.

A drive which began with me to declaring to God how hard that incident was for me.  I know Sam won’t have any regrets about it. Because while it very well could have just been typical behavior among peers, it also was a potentially good indicator of what I’ve already been thinking lately:  this kid is not experiencing healthy and whole attachment with us yet.  My adopted 6yo (the one who was suspended TWICE…in KINDERGARTEN….really?) at least knows when she’s crossed the line with the people in her family and has remorse, even tears at the eventual knowledge she has alienated or hurt them.  That’s an indicator of attachment – empathy.  But after 3 ½ LONG years, we’re not there yet with Sam.

What should I have done?  Stayed there, avoided Samuel, been thankful that I was dealing with attachment and not drug rehab or juvenile incarceration, and said to Sam (by my actions alone) loudly and clearly:



Wasn’t that beautiful?.... You have no idea how I wish that had been my response, darn you, 20-20 hindsight!

So the rest of the drive included  (1) confession – God, I’m an idiot who is completely selfish and not fit to be this kid’s mom, forgive me for choosing the toddler response,  (2) repentance – God, help me not make this mistake again!  Help me see beyond the here and now to what WILL BE by your grace and power as I continue to love him UNCONDITIONALLY, and (3) thankfulness – God, thank you that the end of my story (and his!) is not dependent on my non-existent perfection, but on the finished work of the cross where you died for today’s bout of stupidity and rose again to LEAVE IT THERE!, and (4) resolve – God, this afternoon when he asks me why I left early (because as I mentioned earlier, he will be COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS), help me to say with love and compassion, “I thought maybe you were embarrassed that I was there.  I’m sorry I left, sweetie – I promise I will never do that again.  I love you, and I want you to feel secure, safe, and happy.”  End of discussion.

So thankfull that the walk from my SIN to your HERO HALL OF FAITH is as short as THE CROSS.

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”  Romans 8:1.  Hallelujah.  Movin’ on…

(the one photo I did manage of him - guess it wasn't a complete failure...
he's the happy black kid in the center...:-)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"So, when are you moving?"

“So, when are you moving?...”

This is the most-asked Snead question since our last post in February (only slightly more popular than other FAQ's like "Are you a day care?" And, "Do you need help out with these?"  ... Which always confuses me cause I'm not sure if they mean the groceries or the kids....course, the answer's the same for either....)

Anyway, after 6 months of not being quite sure ourselves, we can finally say "As soon as we find a house!"  Art began his new job as Director of Lifeway's Ridgecrest Conference Center and Summer Camps over a week ago, so we have hit the ground running preparing for a move to Asheville, NC!  As we said previously, we lived there from 1996-2006, so although we will miss our Nashville area friends soooo much, we are also excited about this opportunity as we begin this next leg on our family's faith adventure!

I (Shelly) have had a lot of time to think and reflect over our journey this far, and stand amazed at where God has taken us - individually and as a family - as we have begun to yield each area of our lives to him.  It hasn’t been an “all-at-once-surrender” but as we’ve given (and sometimes taken back, then “re-given”) Christ control (of what he already owns anyway), from agendas to finances, from fears to family, we’ve had the privilege of experiencing some pretty cool things!  Geographically we’ve been able to live in places where experiences have included Kayaking the rivers of Tennessee and North Carolina to exploring ancient ruins and snow skiing in New Mexico.  We've had the honor of meeting and serving some neat people, from orphans in Haiti and Uganda, to flood victims in Mississippi and Alabama.  We have been blessed by and allowed God to use us however he saw fit in our church families of Biltmore, Christ Church and Long Hollow.

We’ve seen our family grow physically and culturally as we were able to adopt two (quite active!) children from Rwanda, and be able to help others in small ways who were adopting as well.  Even the struggles along our journey have produced great opportunities, like the wonderful relationships with our son’s nurses over the 5 years that he required home health care, including a precious native American grandmother who read the Bible for the first time in our home while caring for Josiah.

We have waded the rougher waters of marriage and child-rearing among friends, family and mentors who have made our family so much richer, and taken risks that have deepened our faith in God and increased our awareness of his amazing love for us.

It really has been an endless “string” of adventures, which is why I look forward to this move with great expectancy.  His faithfulness and sovereignty in the life of our family leaves us no other response than gratitude and trust.  And we can say with the prophet, Habakkuk, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, HE ENABLES ME TO TREAD ON THE HEIGHTS.” (Hab. 3:18-19)

So now I’ll turn the question back on you!  When are you moving?....  Maybe He’s not calling you to pick up and move across the country.  But maybe it’s time to take a risk and go out of the comforts of your “safe zone”… this could be across the ocean or across the street.  It could be releasing your hold on some resources or releasing some spare time.  The result will be SO WORTH the RISK!  He will enable YOU to tread on the heights as you seek first HIS Kingdom!

Many Blessings, and thanks for stopping by!
The Snead Family 6
(Art and the 4 kids taking the plunge at Cummins Falls)

Friday, February 1, 2013

So, it's been a long time since our last blog post...well, at least when we post there's big news!

The next stage in our SneAdventure will involve moving from our TN home back to the Asheville, NC area!  God has opened some doors and we feel this is where He's leading us next.  As far as timing goes, that's not finalized at this point, but we anticipate making the move sometime this summer (due to school year, selling our home, finding our next home, and all of the other craziness of our lives right now).  Art will still be with LifeWay and will work even more closely with the conference center and camps there in a CFO role.  Several of his co-workers in LifeWay's Camps and Conference Centers Department will also be making the move over the next year or so.

the "twins" 
                               family b-ball in the back yard...

silly Savanna 

How do we feel?  Having lived in (and loved) the Asheville area for 10+ years prior to moving to NM, it feels like we're going home to an area and friends we miss and love, and we're excited about that.  However, the hard (very hard) part is that we feel like we're leaving home to go there.  We've been in TN for less than 3 years, but we have been blessed beyond measure by our friends, Long Hollow Baptist church, small group, and so many other people and things in the Nashville area.  Even with a great opportunity available in Western NC, our love for our friends and church here made the decision to go very, very difficult.
Some other things you might want to know:
- Josiah has visited the Asheville area recently and his health handled it very well...obviously this was a key consideration!
- While our kids are all handling it well, the news was harder for Silas, who has had so many great opportunities and friends here.  He's o.k now, but please pray for all of us through the transition! 
- Where in Asheville area will we live?  Probably east or south, but we don't yet know for sure.

Silas with some Long Hollow buds

Well, that's it for now!  As we go through the transition, we'll try to do a better job keeping you updated on this blog.  However, as parents with 4 kids we often find it easier to provide Twitter (@artsnead and @shellysnead) and Facebook updates more often than the blog, so you might want to follow us on those networks.  Thanks!

Art Snead
2 Timothy 1:7