I now know why families with more than five children choose to homeschool. There is no way they can get to all the end of school year activities: field days, field trips, science fairs, awards, talent shows … and the list goes on. I waved the white flag this year. I waved it high. I asked for help. Which might shock those who know me well. I often (read as very often) choose not to ask for help. Which puts me in a pickle … a tight spot that I cause for myself. Well, I am here to tell you I am cured. “Help” became a word I used frequently these last two weeks and will be the next few months. I can not do it alone. Can you pick up kids after school? Can you cheer on my child at their field day? Can you practice for the talent show at your house? Yes, I will gladly let you watch our younger boys one day a week this summer.
I asked and I received help. And (listen up my fellow control freak friends) … I survived and I was blessed. We are not meant to do this alone. Whether you have five kids or two dogs or are just hanging out with your grandma … we are meant to do this together. Bear one another’s burdens. Except they don’t feel much like burdens when you are doing it together.
Chapter Thirty Three. Love never fails.
There was a trial yesterday to discuss/decide the boys case. With dad just coming into the picture and showing great strides, an extension was asked for and given. The next court date is set for September. So, we press on to September … balancing the thought in our mind and hearts that at any moment reunification could happen. It’s hard to live not knowing the details. It’s hard to move on with life if you rely on the details. We are learning not to rely on the details, and just simply love. Love God and Love Others. Heck … Jesus could come back to get us before some “reunification” could happen and well, I don’t want to ration love while waiting for specifics.
But I find something happening … subconsciously you begin to ration your love. You do. I think (hope) it’s a natural thing. I know I am doing it when I grow horribly inpatient, there is not a lick of forgiveness in me and greediness begins to show it’s ugly head. It’s obvious. (ask anyone in my family). We have quickly realized that you can not bear ANY fruit unless you are willing to love completely. It just can’t be done. You have to love all the way, to the very end. Do we fear the crushing of our heart when they leave? Yes. Do we wonder if loving them to the fullest will just set them up for disappointment when they go home? Yep.
But we have to remind ourselves daily. Love. Never. Fails. When we pour all our love into them and then they leave … we will not be empty. When they walk away with the Love of Jesus, they will not be disappointed.
Chapter Thirty Four. You look Tired
It was family lunch at the boys school. We had invited their parents to come. Their mom sat across from me and we visited. Quickly into the conversation she said, “you look tired.” Hmmm. You think? I smiled. I nodded. I held my tongue.
Chapter Thirty Five. Allison’s view
Allison, our eleven year old, tells me that she thinks we are all foster kids … and God is ready to take care of us each.
I love that she thinks that and I love that He does indeed love all of us needy kids.
Chapter Thirty Six. Our name
Our five year old LOVES to know people and loves to be known. He says hello and begins a conversation with every one he meets. His silly little smile will melt your heart when you call him by name. He simply loves to be known. At camp, we each are given a name tag … mostly so they won’t put our kids in a cabin when we are in a meeting. We went to camp this evening and had our name tags made. Oh. My. Goodness. He could not stop grinning when he was given his name tag … with his picture … and his name. He showed everyone. If you were near, you knew who he was and that he belonged there. I pray so deeply that these two kiddoes … that our three children … heck … that I know … that we have a name called by God, that we belong exactly where we are, that we can grin from ear to ear that we are known by the creator of the Universe.
Chapter Thirty Seven. Break Time.
Reunification. I am not too ready to write that chapter yet. At all. A kajillion thoughts and emotions go through our hearts and minds. A kajillion jillion. It is been so sweet to see that after we dwell in each emotion, there is a peace that only God can give us. A peace that passes all understanding. Some of the emotions though … can be dangerous to dance with. This one: “ah, we will have a break, life will get back to normal.”
But, I really wonder how long that “break” will last. I honestly don’t know. I do know that we have been asked to “take care of the orphans” “to love our neighbors” “to bear much fruit”. And I think I am hearing the whisper of “get ready … there won’t be a break. Instead, there will be another adventure, another soul to love, another person to share Jesus with. And I want to be are ready (after a good nap). Fostering or not … there won’t be a break, there will be another story that God writes. September or today, there are people in our paths to introduce to Jesus and His love.
Because really … I haven’t found in God’s letter to us … take a break.
Sit, be still, listen to me, rest weary ones … yes, He urges us to do that.
Quit serving, loving, listening … nope, don’t see that anywhere.
There is always something to be done … and He will equip us to do so.
Chapter Thirty Eight: Fill er up!
Even in the unknown waiting, we are giddy that these two boys get to experience camp family community. Simply giddy. Trusting and knowing that these downtime, play hard moments will fill their hearts up even more. And it KILLS me not to show you there name tag pictures … they would melt your butter. They are so darling.
And folks, refer back to chapters 1-8 … this mamas heart has come a long way in loving these two kiddoes! I promise you, the five of us have been way more changed than these two little guys.