Chapter Forty Four: The basics
There is a moment each day … actually there are about forty five minutes … where there is an irrational dance of an angry four year old and frustrated forty four year old. It’s not a pretty. At all. It’s hard, it’s exhausting, it’s frustrating. There is a commissioned group that prays at 1:30 each day. Occasionally, one of our oldest children will peek their head in to the room, dodge a few flying objects and ask if they can help. One of these days, I stood up, looked Allison square in the eyes and said (ahem, yelled) MAKE. HIM. HAPPY. And exited stage right.
Not two hours later, I was juggling some situations with the older three kiddoes and attempting to do what I had barked at Allison to do for our four year old. Make. Them. Happy. The light bulb came on in my heart … um, that is not my job. Making no one happy is my job. Ever.
If I have learned anything in this journey of fostering, parenting, marriage, being a part of God’s Church it is this … We have two things to do: Love God and Love others.
I am a simple gal, so sticking with these two simple rules is good, it is doable, it is freeing. Making people happy, keeping up appearances, juggling way too many things … that is hard, that is frustrating, that is impossible. Love God Love Others, that’s it. And ya know what? A lot more people in my world are “happy” when I stick to just the basics: Loving God and Loving Others.
Chapter Forty Five: Bad Theology
Situation: four year old throwing a walleyed fit in the back seat. It was a “mama pulls over to the side of the road to visit the back seat” kind of fit.
As I was pulling over, his brother, our five year old, steps in to say,
“Do you see how Mrs. Kelli and I are acting? We are being calm. We have Jesus working in us. You are acting bad. You have nothing but Hell working for you.”
Um. I love how a five year old’s bad theology said with passion can make me laugh in the midst of a tough moment. You have to love it … and then you have to quickly revisit some simple truths with your newest kids.
Chapter Forty Seven: In the bubble.
Each summer, I direct two Family Camps. It’s my “job”. But really, it is like Christmas for Team Boyd. Friends that we call family gather to end the summer together. We serve with 100 plus college students that are truly Jesus in Chacos. Christ is the center of it all and no fun is wasted. It is indeed a sweet bubble to dwell in for a while.
On day six of eight days, the boys had visitation with their mom. Talk about a shock to the system … leaving this “bubble” to go into the world … the not so perfect, hard reality world. The step out of camp was just for two hours. But that was enough. Our ride back to camp was less than ideal … there was a war in our souls and in our car. As we drove back into the gates of camp, there was a peace. A peace that passes the understanding of the world these boys live in right now.
Leaving a happy place, an ideal situation, a peaceful moment and stepping into the world that has been tainted is hard. So hard. But let us not forget that those peaceful, ideal moments are used to strengthen us, to have us ready for what is next. We are able to step into those hard places and show the world just how good our God is to His Children. We hear often “the boys are in such a better place, they are happy and peaceful.” You see, they have been in a place of peace and consistent love and when they go into a place that lacks that … they stick out. When we dwell well with the Lord and His peace … we, as His children, will stick out too. Even though it is hard, it is a good place to be.
And just like longing to leave CPS and get back to camp … we long greatly for Heaven … the greatest joyful, peace filled bubble we will ever step foot into.
Chapter Forty Eight: Posting Particulars.
Tis the season for posting pictures. Summer vacation. First day of school pictures. Social Media is full of happy families. And I love it. I smile seeing how friends are doing. I take joy in seeing children grow. I enjoy “going” on adventures with so many. I do indeed treasure keeping up with relationships and finding a brain break as I scroll through facebook or instagram. I have noticed as our posting privileges have been altered in the world of fostering, it has given me a new perspective.
We can’t post the boys (oh, but if ever we can, beware, I will BLOW. UP. YOUR. FEED). Our pictures are of all seven of us. So, we don’t share online. I can’t imagine saying, “alright boys, yall step out, we are going to take a picture of just us so we can post it without you”
But that’s what we do. We exclude others to post what we want. I’ve done it. You do it. In this season, I have been prompted to think deeply about what I post now. Posting the selfie from your girls night out can be hurtful to so many. But in the same amount of time, you can text the picture to those that are in it … with a intentional message and it wala … it is a blessing. Social media is like anything the Lord has given us, we can use it to bless others or hurt others. We have learned to be careful with social media to protect our boys by not leaving them out … and in turn have been reminded how to protect so many others in a similar way.
Chapter Forty Nine: We made it.
I love summer. I love the travel, the lazy days, the countless hours in the pool. For the most part I delight in working my job at crazy hours. I try to look past the house that is never clean. I relish in summer days. The past 94 days have been good for us. We have learned so much. I have learned to depend on others and ask for prayer. I have grown closer with the Savior I call on daily and I have fallen deeper in love with my husband. I have seen our three oldest step up and shine and help and blow me away with their selflessness. I have enjoyed it thoroughly. I have survived it well.
But School on Monday can not come quick enough.