There are two things I despise most in life(yet have become all too familiar): (1) making life-changing decisions, and (2)learning to accept CHANGE as a constant in my life.
Two weeks ago we hesitantly put in our notice here at the Home for Children. It was such a hard decision that we have tossed around for months now. It has taken me two weeks to come to terms with the reality of the decision we made, but my husband always has a way of bringing reality to me no matter how much I bashfully back away. We came back from our last time off from our Home for Children job today and he immediately began to pack, knowing that our move from here is just three short weeks away. Of course I joined in and helped, but my emotions kicked in full-swing and as I swiftly worked to keep up with my husband’s pace, I couldn’t help but reflect on our time here; remembering when we first moved in and our exciting and despairing times we’ve shared. I fully believe that every experience you have in life prepares you in some way or another for the future and destiny God has for you, so I can’t help but wonder the full extent of our future as we follow Christ and the part these lessons in life will play for us.
Over the past two years, we have…
*washed approximately 992 loads of laundry
*served approximately 3000 meals
*changed approximately 5460 diapers
*given over 20,000 sentences for children to write (a common consequence)
*helped with numerous homework assignments and school projects
*picked lice out of long hair twice (and that was enough thank you!)
*Taught three girls how to shave their legs
*Held sobbing children because they just “didn’t understand” (and sobbed right along with them!)
*Played Santa and Mrs. Claus into the wee hours of the morning, making sure the gift stacks were even
*Watched one too many episodes of Hannah Montana
*Tried to keep our house in shape for surprise inspections
*Redecorated the kids’ rooms into a more home-like space
*Read “How to Have a New Kid by Friday” X 5 or 6
*Taken approximately 340 trips to Easley for church services and other church functions on our shortbus
*Learned what “tough love” is
*Raked umpteen thousand sweet gum “gumballs”
*Laughed a lot
*Cried a lot
*MOST IMPORTANTLY: taken the temporary parenting role of 17 children, and full-time of our three
WOW! I’ll always wonder if I used the time wisely. Did I take every possible opportunity to show them Christ? When your mission field is your home, and your home is your mission field, the essence of the word “integrity” becomes a harsh reality. You come face to face with the reality of who you are; without the make-up on.(Literally and figuratively speaking!) Every breathing moment, you are ministering to kids. They see you at your best and worst and unknowingly compare you to what they’ve seen in their parents. I can’t tell you how many times in the past two years I’ve been transported back to my college freshman honors seminar as we read and discussed “How Now Shall We Live?” by Chuck Colson. Our very first class discussion was about integrity, which we all best defined as “the quality of being unimpaired and honest about EVERYTHING even when no one else(or in our case, just little ones) is/are around”. Our experience as house parents has supremely challenged us in becoming people of integrity. Kids have a way of exposing your own insecurities and fears. Multiply that by even 3, sometimes up to 8, you really begin to learn a lot about yourself. Ever learning!
As we get ready to close this chapter in our lives, I am feeling the entire spectrum of emotions, yet just as much as I hate change, I’m expectantly looking forward to the future God has for our little family of five! Stepping forward in faith, and taking all journey experiences with us to aid with future endeavors. Completely settled and at peace that even “when we don’t know what to do, our eyes are on YOU!”(2 Chronicles 20:12) Here we are Lord, send us!