We have been here for six months today. For some reason, this has always been a big milestone in my mind. It's like saying, "We're not just playing around here. We're here to stay, we're committed to being here and loving these kids. This isn't temporary."
Saturday, March 3, 2012
When we first arrived on campus, something the other house moms told me was that it was a good thing I didn't know all there was to know about being here at the very beginning. Looking back, I completely agree. My brain wouldn't have been able to process everything from the get-go, and I might have gone a little nuts if I'd known then what I know now. Not because it's an impossible task (because nothing is impossible with the Lord), or because I would have changed my mind, but just because work like this is better meted out a little at a time, as you are able to take it in. That is what God has done for us in the six months we have been here. He has slowly eased us into this life, graciously allowing us to be naive for bits of time, until we were ready to handle more. It has taken this full six months to fully grasp what we are doing here and all that this work entails. I can say now that I feel like Michael and I understand, and that our system for getting things done and having a successful ministry here is being tweaked and refined very nicely. But it really has taken the full half-year to get here. (I'm pretty sure in another six months I'll look back and laugh at this post, thinking I knew nothing then, either :) ).
Everything has become more stabilized, and there is a ribbon of trust running through the house that grows thicker and stronger with each passing day. I'm learning to be more efficient with my time, I'm learning when to say "when!" and take a break. I've stopped getting sick every few weeks (thank goodness!) because my body has adjusted to the level of energy it takes to be here. We have formed solid bonds with each of our girls and now have a history with them, which goes a LONG way with these kids. We have memories together, which is precious. Being a mother of eight children feels normal. It feels full and happy (sometimes dramatic and stressful, but mostly full and happy :) ). I have watched God step in and intervene in a tangible, powerful way over and over and over again in our lives. He clearly wants us to do His will here - we are right where He wants us. There is so much strength and peace in that knowledge. God is for us - who can be against us?
I feel like I need to update from the "lunch money being stolen" entry a few weeks ago. The situation we found ourselves in was yet another example of God intervening in a mighty way. He stepped in and turned things right-side up again, which I am thankful for beyond words. I don't think I've ever been so stressed in my life, but God made a path that I didn't even know was possible, and smoothed it out before me. I am uplifted, renewed, and re-energized because God is GOOD. And He always will be - that's the truth I put my trust in here, because I know I am not able on my own.
Bennett and Jasper continue to thrive. Children are so flexible and resilient - it's like they have been here and had multiple female, teenaged siblings all their little lives :). Room sharing is still smooth sailing, they have both become more responsible with chores and duties around the house (especially Bennett - he is a ROCK STAR at cleaning his room and making his bed now), and they both enjoy going down to the big playground with the middle school girls more than just about anything else in life.
Michael has more energy than I ever thought possible. He just never runs out. That's one of the gifts God has given him that makes him so perfect for this. He comes home from work fresh as a daisy, ready to roll around on the floor with the boys, help the girls with homework, or cook dinner (he takes over two nights a week so I can take all of the kids to go work out). What a blessing that we both love this so much.
There are so many things I love about being here, some of which I've said before, but I'll say again anyway, and some of which are new. I love feeling like a girl again - getting to hang with my girls makes it easy and fun. I love being busy. I really do. Not stressed-to-the-max busy, like the first 4-5 months were, but more like this, where I just always have something going on, something to do, something to tackle. If I'm not busy, I'm sometimes lazy, which I really can't stand. So having a full day with a big fat to-do list is right up my alley :). I love how we are all learning more about each other little by little, and how we store our information up about one another and it comes out here and there, revealed through different situations and circumstances. I love watching these three new girls that we have gotten since we've been here slowly find their place, slowly begin to trust, and slowly realize that we really are here for them, because we love them, because God loves them. I love living on land where we can run and play and breathe deep and hang out on the deck and see the stars. I love knowing in the midst of a very difficult situation, that God is there with me, and that He alone will pull me through. I love how being here forces me to be dependent on God. I literally, truly, cannot do this without Him. It clears up any confusion over who's boss, which is good because sometimes I get mixed up and think I'm the one in charge. Being here sets me straight real quick :).
Six beautiful months - looking ahead at six more just as beautiful as the first.
Posted by Jennifer at 2:05 PM