Has it really been over a month since I wrote last?
I can’t seem to keep up with time. I am falling behind.
This past month has been full of LIFE.
My children continue to do school here at home. We’ve had a few fires going in the fireplace already this autumn season, and we (for the most part) are enjoying the school year. I’ve had many moments when I’ve asked God if the time has come for my kids to do something else for schooling…but He hasn’t given me a clear answer yet. So, I stay the course.
Last week, we had my nieces and nephews up here. Five precious little people that God used to move a truth from my head to my heart.
About a month ago, I began to have serious doubts about my ability, or rather, my willingness to make the sacrifices needed to become a foster parent. Sleepless nights, toddler in tow, rearranging the house, diapers, and no more…me time. There was a serious battle going on between what “me” wants and what “He” wants. (The “He”, of course, being God).
And then, He began to work.
He reminded me of Susanna Wesley, who was the mother of 19 children. Nine of those children died very young. Susanna was a woman who desperately loved God, and who was absolutely devoted to raising her children for Him. She recognized that the most precious thing that she could offer God was time invested in her children. This is what Diane Hopkins says of Susanna Wesley, “She wasn’t looking to relax, but to fulfill her duty to raise her children, sacrificing her own leisure time in the process.”
He reminded me, through a song we are singing in choir, that God is trusting us, His church, to show the world what mercy and love look like. To bring hope to hopeless eyes, to show this world that mercy is alive! There are little people who, because of the actions and abuses of adults in their lives, are already-at such a young age-hopeless. Jesus doesn’t shower me with love and compassion so that I can hold onto it, collecting more and more. He wants it to flow through me to someone else. I came away from that choir practice telling Him, “God, you can trust me with Your love.”
When we offered to have my brother’s kids here for the week, I simply thought I was helping them out and thought it would be nice to get to know the children better. But God had better plans for me. He knew this is just what I needed. He knew this was the experience that would cause me to throw up the white flag of surrender.
Yes, having small children was exhausting. Yes, there were dirty diapers, disobedience and toys strewn all over the house.
But, oh my!
There were cuddles and giggles, stories and snacks, prayer times and bath times, sparkly eyes, cute questions and moments when you see their eyes light up with pride when they figure out something for themselves. It was absolutely precious! (I have tears as I write this. They went home two days ago, and the house is oh-so-quiet.)
And then, there was the gentle words He spoke every morning during my quiet time.
“God will sometimes disturb the tranquil waters of our life to achieve His desired purpose.” ~Pastor Gary Hylander, when teaching about Jesus calming the storm in Mark chapter 4.
“Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Mark 5:36
Jesus, being tired and dealing with his cousin’s death, invited the disciples to “come away with me to a quiet place and get some rest.” But, on arriving at His “quiet place” was met by a large crowd, and yet He was filled with compassion for them.
“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their own life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and the gospel will save it.” Mark 8:34-35
“Taking the little child in His arms, He said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.” Mark 9:36-37
But not just surrendered. In repentance, He turned me around and instead of fighting what I didn’t want to give up, I not only have peace with it, but I am excited to serve Him in this capacity. I love Him so very much, and I am honored that He is trusting us with precious little people to love and protect!
And that’s where my heart is today. Next time I write, I will tell you the rocking chair story… (which means I will write soon, because it is such a neat story that I am really excited to tell!)
Thanks for letting me share my heart in this! And if you feel so inclined, you can thank Him with me for the amazing way that He works!