Cliff Notes: part Four

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All in.  Sure, after eight months you would assume we were “all in” … but sometimes you find you guarding your heart from being “all in”.  You want to ration your love to protect it when something/someone goes away.  You want to reserve parts in your heart from getting hurt.   We are discovering that is no way to love.  It’s all or nothing.  Somedays it seems harder that way.  But, we are banking on less regrets in the end.  We are all in … no matter what.

(parts 1 through 3 can be found by clicking on the “fostering” tab above)

Chapter Twenty Six:  Illogical.

Robert (bless his heart) sees texting purely as a means to transfer information.  Well, some days I need a little more than his consistent one word answers.  Some days, I am a bit more emotional.

K:  … the boys’ dad has been released!  he will be at visitation!!!! …
R: okay.
K: … the visit went great, all were there, they all showed up!!!! …
R: nice
K: … dad looks sweet, I love this picture. my heart needed to see this …
R: good

Aaarrrghhh!  I discussed with him how I need a tad bit more emotion out of him.  I understand that we are a perfect balance for each other … he is the ying to my yang, the peanut butter to my jelly, the sun to my moon.  But it just is hard to get the “one word answers” on highly charged days.

“I just wish I could be stable like you,” I say.
“And I wish I could be um,  more. erratically. emotional. um, like you?  Right?” he replies.

Ugh.  Why does logic make illogical look so ridiculous.

Chapter Twenty Seven:  It doesn’t take much.

We have a new Head Start Caseworker.  In one of the (kajillion) meetings that comes with fostering, there was a lull and he asked us if this if the first time we had fostered.  Loved that.  He couldn’t tell that we were as stinking clueless as we were.  He encouraged us by saying that even if the boys don’t stay with us, they have seen a different life that is out there and they would remember.   He went on to tell his story.

Coming from the same type of neighborhood as our boys, he and his siblings had a limited view as to what opportunities were to be had.  One man invested in his brother.  That one man spent time with him, showed him his potential and that what he did with his life mattered.  He simply took a little time.   This turned the  brother’s life around.  He finished his education and did well in life.  Their sister noticed and took the same path.  They were making a change in the legacy of their family.   At the time, our new friend didn’t  follow his siblings paths, but years later, he did.  Even after a few side steps on his path, he went back to school and finished his degree.  His daughters followed in his footsteps and example.  He now is mentoring many young kids through HeadStart and making a difference in so many.  All because of one man, spending some time with a kid.   It doesn’t take much.

Chapter Twenty Eight: Dang it.

Our five year old said “damn” out of the blue last week.
Dang it.  The blame has shifted.
It’s not the younger one teaching us new words … it’s me, the older one.
(the savory language has ceased(ish)

Chapter Twenty Nine: No matter what.

It’s hard to look down at your text feed and read  texts like this.

*My suspicions were true.  He is coming home early!  The seven month deployment is almost done!
*Pray now.  My niece has run away and is way too close for comfort to human traffic circles.  Pray.
*Test results are back.  Cancer. is. Gone.
*Pray my dad goes quick, we don’t want the suffering.  He is ready to be in heaven.

I don’t even know what to do with my heart to read such extremes.   But each of the “senders” did.  Each person went on to speak of the story God had been and will continue writing in these lives.  Each person has been and will continue to trust the Lord with the one they love … no matter the outcome.  That takes some guts.  Each story could have taken a turn in a moment’s notice and looked very different.

Oh how I want guts like these friends.  If and when the boys go home … or if and when they stay, may we continue to trust the Lord with the ones we fallen in love with … no matter the outcome.

Chapter Thirty:  Mine not his.

It has been a rough stint with me and the (now) four year old.  (we were really hoping for that snap out of terrible threes).  Although I love him,   I haven’t desired to be around him or like him.  At all.  I loathe that about me.  But I blamed it on him.   

Isn’t that the way it’s always been.  I blame my stinky attitude on someone else. “THEY made me feel this way.  What THEY did made me act this way.”

Poo.  I can justify my actions like no one else … until left alone … then I mourn my grand ability to sin.

As I wrestled with this, the Lord whispered to me, “honor one another”.  It stopped me cold.  Honor him?  He is four.  And He makes me crazy.  Yep, He whispered again …  honor him.

And with that, I dwelled on what honor looks like.  Respect. Love. Care for. Think highly of.  Give preference.  Honor.

My heart softened.  My soul had a new perspective. My attitude changed.  The eggshells the family had been walking on were swept up.  The joy was on my face again.  And ya know, I liked him again.  

He hadn’t changed.  He’s four.  changed.  God’s sweet, patient reminder changed me.   

It was a little freeing when I had this “aha moment”.  I am not responsible for his sanctification.  I am responsible for my own.

Sure, the change in my heart started a chain reaction that effected our home and the hearts dwelling in it.  I  am grateful for my  part in changing and moreso for the grace God gives me to do it!  (Oh the grace … He hands me costco size portions!)

Chapter Thirty One:  That lady.

You know that gal at church that used to be chipper all the time … that could pull off more by ten a.m. than one person could in three days … that had children that behaved … that didn’t sob the ugly cry whenever the first chord was strummed?

Be nice to her.  She’s changing.  Changing for the good.  She might seem different and a bit emotional.  It might just take her some time to find her brain cells and get them all going the same direction to let you know about just how rich her life is right now.     But talk to her, be patient with her, ask her how it is going and be willing to listen … it will mean so much to her.

Oh, and be nice to her husband.  He has to live with “her”. 😉

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