Our life has become so VERY hectic over the last 6 weeks when we welcomed 3 little ones into our home.
It has been incredibly busy, as we are all adjusting to each other, learning likes and dislikes, character weaknesses (in the children and ourselves), figuring out where they are in their school work, retraining some bad habits (in them and us), and most of all squeezing 3 extra people into our tiny house.
I’ll be honest, it’s hard, but it is a good hard. There are days I ask myself ‘why in the world are we doing this’? I was done with the tedious part of homeschooling, having to sit… and listen to little ones read…slllllowly, o n e s o u n d at a time. I was done drilling additions facts every.single.day. I was done with looking for missing shoes and matching socks. The most time consuming part of my parenting was over.
Many evenings it was just me and Jeff, watching movies, talking…kind of enjoying a second honeymoon stage of our life.
Overall we had it pretty easy.
Just being real with ya…
Although life was good and we kept ourselves busy, it seemed kind of lifeless. Our children, the youngest about to turn 18, don’t really NEED us a whole lot, and after supper we’d settle in for a quiet evening.
I felt old.
I think when you stop having children when you are young you do enter an older phase of life sooner. Here I am, mid 40′s and my biggest job is about over. There is a huge gap between raising my children and helping with grandchildren…shoot, no one is even married yet!
I can completely understand why so many people have a mid-life crisis. Unless you have life and a LOT of purpose/mission life gets dull. We NEED work to do, we all NEED to be needed! When we strip away our work/purpose it is so easy to become critical, bored and a gossip. When you are so busy all day, doing whatever mission/work God has given you,so that at the end of the day you just drop in bed and sleep soundly, you don’t have time or energy to nit-pick what other people are doing, gossip or run after a girl/boyfriend!
There has got to be more to life than this.
THEN the Lord gave us some work, some real mission work. The kind of mission work that lasts longer than 2 weeks in an African field. The kind of mission that keeps people scratching their heads asking, ‘where are you going to put them and how in the world are you going to feed them?’ The kind of mission that is 24-7 IN YOUR FACE. The kind that strips away sleeping in, or staying up late. The kind that never allows your floors to really be clean or the laundry completely done. The kind that does not bring notoriety and that you do not have to raise $1200 for a 2 week trip. The kind that makes you be patient and kind. The kind that forces you to examine your heart and questions if you really do have a love for people, or is it just what you want people to think about you; can you walk the talk?
I really wanted our family, but mostly our girls to experience a mission trip to a hard place this year, like 2 weeks in Africa or something. I wanted them to see that there were hurting people and that there was so much more to life than the American norm. Even these desires/plans were selfish. Going and doing is NOT about us, how it will improve US, it is about others…about Jesus. When we love people, care for the lost and needy and share who Jesus is, only then will we be better. We must become less, so He can be more.
God had a better plan than a 2 week trip.
He chose to bring us a 2, 6 and 8 year old; three little ones who have a totally different world view than we have. He also brought their mother for us to pray for and to encourage.
This is a 24-7, in your face mission that we must do, not knowing what each day will bring. We have no idea how all of this will turn out. The only thing we do know is that there is work to do TODAY! These little ones need love, stability and truth. As long as they are here we will give our best while constantly pointing them to Jesus.
If the Lord moves them from here tomorrow we will know that we gave all we had. We pray that the seeds planted will take deep root.
Today I had a 1 year old (the baby Olivia cares for), and these 3 precious ones. Olivia was gone doing her counselor training at a crisis pregnancy center and Emma was working with Jeff. By the time we finished school, cooked food (even baked some cookies), put littles down for naps and tried to make the house look like a home rather than a disaster zone I was beat. It was just one of those hard days…I’m not complaining, I’m just being real.
Both of the girls (17 and 21) came in from their day’s work and stepped up. Emma insisted on taking the kids down to the park for an hour while Olivia cooked supper. Jeff still had some work to do, so I had an hour to go in my room and be alone! After supper the girls took the kids across the road to gaze at the BEAUTIFUL full moon!
I was so overwhelmed by God’s goodness. He reminded me of His great mercy and how He did not create any of us to be a one man show. WE ARE A FAMILY. It takes a FAMILY to properly minister to these children. It takes a FAMILY to make others feel like FAMILY. It takes all of us working together, pulling in the same direction to make this work!
Do we always have harmony? No, we have bad days once in a while and the Lord has a way of teaching us, reforming us to His image.
This mission is not just about these 3 little kids, it’s about ALL OF US! God is purging us of our sinfulness while He lets us bask in His glorious work. We get to see glimmers of hope in the eyes of children that are soaking up Truth. He allows us to know Him more intimately as we come to Him empty at the end of the day and ask Him to fill us up to do what is next.
Oh, to hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”
We are saved by faith, not by works.
But, once saved, we do good works because we are already saved.