This year is wrapping up and for us there have been many changes. Changes that were born in our hearts November 2013 and finally came to fruition in July of this year. We've had several small people rest under our roof for the past several months. The room that was prepared for boys has housed mostly girls. The two that we prepared for has turned into three. Young children turned into feisty teenagers. Every single plan we had, every list, every "this is how we are going to do this"......He wrecked it. As I think about it, I really don't know why I'm surprised. He is the BOSS.
The days aren't always easy. Truthfully, some are hard. We referee disagreements. We remind young people to say "thank you " (when it's the last thing they wish to utter.) Laundry is 10 feet high and I haven't learned to hate it any less. We sleep less and work more. It isn't always "Beaver Cleaver" land under our roof. The ugly truth is this is as hard as we anticipated and some days it is even harder. BUT we didn't come into this thinking it was going to be a picnic and so far we haven't exceeded our own expectations.
There are rewarding moments. Moments when the family is restored. When the parents do the required work. Moments when a 13 year old's happiest moment is sitting down to breakfast with her family whom she hasn't shared a meal at home in months. Moments when the 15 year old sends you the sweetest text telling you how much she appreciates all you have done for her. When the 7 year old draws you a picture or ask you to read her a book. When she learns a prayer and ask to pray every night before we eat as her tiny hands rests in yours. When they tell you they "get a good feeling being here." Those are the moments that make it all worth it. It's the moments when God smiles and you catch a glimpse of it.
Christmas was a phenomenon. We had inspections in the midst of the chaos. One that no one showed up to inspect and we waited for an hour and a half with no call. The hours I had spent preparing for that one person left me drained and my patience waning. It seems a phone call to cancel never entered their thought process. It was simply "a break down in communication." I hate when that happens don't you? We rallied though and piled 7 people into the truck with hot chocolate laden hands to sing "We wish you a Merry Christmas" to the drive through McDonald's worker who said we made her night. We patrolled the neighborhoods for the best lights and watched Christmas movies that made us cry...or rather made me cry. We ate our favorite dishes and hugged our favorite people. We stayed up late into the night because we had no reason to get up early.
We wrapped gifts and our friends and family called for ideas. The 1000 pictures we had stored on our phones went out in messages and God was good. Gift wrap was knee deep and I have no idea where I will put all the things that came home with our little people. My house is full to the brim.
More importantly so is my heart. Our people came. They dug deep in their pockets for extra to meet needs. They sewed late into the night. They gave up family time on Christmas Day to come. They blessed us. That verse? The one that says "'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!" You were. You were doing it to HIM..you were doing it for HIM. And he smiled. Thank you to all of you who thought of them, who thought of us. It meant so much to Ken and I. You truly breathed the spirit of Christmas into our hearts and our home. You were such a blessing!
I always have these grand movies that play out in my head. Christmas will look like this..This will happen like that..You know what? It rarely does. I'm learning as my sweet husband reminded me this Christmas Eve that everyone has a different movie playing and different doesn't have to mean wrong. I guess when things aren't going like WE planned maybe God is at work. It seems that he specializes in having a plan of his own and showing up in a hay bed surrounded by barn smells and animals wouldn't have been my idea of a grand entrance for a KING.... but then what do I know?