My heart is full.
I am sitting here in the living room, thankful that I have had some extra time this morning to spend in God’s Word. The room is lit by my favorite lamp from World Market, soft music is playing from my iPhone, a cup of coffee is next to me and I have just had my heart poured into by Jesus. Reminding me that He is oh-so-good and He has such amazing love for me.
“Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:5-6
“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
The past couple of days, I so wanted to email all our friends and family with an update of the goings-on of our life here, but thoughts and words just kept swirling around in my mind, and I just couldn’t seem to make them all come together to make sense. I couldn’t figure out how to share our life without invading the privacy of our boys. I couldn’t find the way to explain the emotions and thoughts that both Chris and I are having. And yet, I know I want to share what God is doing here.
“This is the hardest job you’ll ever love.”
This is what one of the supervisors told Chris and I during our training. He was right.
This past week, we had to see a little guy leave after only a few weeks here at the Acres. We were simply not equipped to handle the emotional and mental issues that he had. We were both weary of the wrestling, and yet, the love that Jesus had put for him in our hearts was deep. The day he left, I was heartbroken. I questioned God, and angrily asked him why He brought him for such a short time. How fair was it to let him experience freedom and love only to take it away so quickly?
And then I remembered. A few nights before our little buddy left, he asked Jesus to be His Savior. With tears running down his face, he prayed with us and thanked Jesus for paying for his sins on the cross.
Was it for that particular moment on that Saturday night that God brought him to the Acres? I believe it very well could be. And I am so thankful to God for bringing him our way.
While my heart still aches every night, and many times throughout the day as I think of him, Jesus keeps reminding me that He is the one who loved this little guy while he was here, and He will continue to love him where he is now. He will simply find another person who is willing to be used by Him to continue to love this little boy!
Yes, this job is hard. We spend our days training children-many who don’t want to be trained. I get it. Training and discipline are not fun. It is hard to change habits that have been years in the making. It stinks to have to do something you don’t want to do. Especially when one is accustomed to doing what they want when they want.
Sometime, I think the only difference between me and the kiddos is that I am old enough to see the value in discipline. I have known Jesus long enough to trust His love for me and the way that He trains and disciplines me.
These children are just getting to know Chris and I. They have yet to learn that when we say “I love you”, it means “I will take care of you, I will protect you, I will comfort you, I will keep my promises, I will pray for you, I will laugh with you, I will cry with you, I will be there for you.” Most of them are at the point that they WANT to trust us, and are testing us to see how deep this love goes. Thankfully, it is the love of Christ, not the love of Nichole and Chris, that is being tested. And we know that this amazing love is so very deep, there is no end.
So, I guess right now, our biggest “job” every day is to lay the foundation of our love. Which is difficult, because there is the practical disciplines of chores, homework, behavior, etc that still need to be addressed. And it is often very difficult, especially with our younger boys. Please be praying for us that we will have moment by moment supernatural wisdom!
I am so thankful for our high school boys. What a blessing they are! One of our boys has been bringing home a treat for the kids who have been cooperating and contributing to peace in the home. Another of our boys brings such a sense of calm to our house-the kids love him and he is so good about encouraging them and reminding them when they are out of line. The younger boys all love him, and I am often looking for ways to give him a little breathing space!
I am still adjusting and from what I’m told, it will take a year or so. I am often tired (I really wish I was one of those people who can nap!) I forget things that I am supposed to do (even though I do have a list) and it frustrates me greatly. I still have not organized my kitchen cabinets. My back has been acting up. I am at a loss many times with how to address behavioral issues. I deeply miss my friends and family! I miss getting to study God’s Word with other women. I don’t like seeing our four boys struggle with lack of privacy.
I love our family. I’m thankful for days off when I can catch up on rest. I am thankful for the grace shown to me when I forget something important. I’m thankful that my boys don’t care if my cabinets are organized. I’m sure I’ll eventually find a good chiropractor and massage therapist for my back. God will give me wisdom-He promises. I really like all the other staff members here-what a great group of people! And while privacy is a thing of the past, I’m so thankful that we have boys that feel completely comfortable coming into our apartment and hanging out. That they call us Mom and Dad (in fact, our 10 year old informed me the other night when I was tucking him in that he is part staff kid, anyway, because he is ours. *heart smile*)
Yes, indeed. My heart is full.
And now, I need to go make Breakfast Tater Tot casserole for my dear boys.
Hoping each of you have a blessed day!!