I always seem to have something to write about when things are stressful in my life but sometimes I struggle to find anything to write about when things are going well! LOL. I've always used writing as therapy and there is just something about typing words or writing them on paper that calms me and makes me feel as though I'm spilling my emotions/thoughts/troubles OUT which allows me to move on from them! Anyway, My husband and I have been doing Respite Care this past week for some friends of ours who were going on a cruise! We were so happy for them to be able to have a much needed break! However, if I'm honest, when she reached out to me for help.... my immediate thought was "NOOOOOO!!" LOL. We have 4 kids already and while we have had 5 kids before ... it wasn't easy!
However, my husband (the sweet, patient, kind hearted, helpful person that he is) encouraged me to want to do this for our sweet friends who we know would do the same for us! After some convincing (sad to say but true), we agreed to do it!
The sweet 8 and a half month old baby boy that has been in our home since last Friday is the most precious thing ever! He has the BEST laugh and he is just an all around great baby! However, he is in a new place so his sleep at night hasn't been exactly the greatest! We have been tired and a little more on edge because of that! THEN... we realized we were supposed to have company Wednesday evening. There was a couple from church who had some questions about fostering and wanted our insight and we had invited them over for dinner a few weeks ago and it slipped my mind! So, when I remembered...
we tried to find some sort of sitter for one of the babies! That way at least it wouldn't be SO crazy when our company was here! We ended up finding some help for our 1 year old who we call our "squawker" because well... he squawks and screams a good part of the day! lol. Oh, we love him so, but on this particular day he started running a fever which made things even more stressful! He had some viral cold (nothing major) but the squawking that is his "normal" turned into more of curdling screams ....... The type that makes you want to lock yourself into a room by yourself for a few days! So, instead of having someone watch him like we had planned, he ended up having to stay home with us!
My mind started rolling and I started saying to myself out loud, "These people are NOT going to want to foster/adopt once they step foot into our house!" "We are going to run them away from this whole thing!" "How are we even going to be able to have a conversation with this couple when we have 2 babies and 3 other children all under the age of 7?" "We don't even do this whole fostering thing that well so why would someone want advice or info from US?"
All of these thoughts quickly turned my mind to STRESS, which turned my actions into ANNOYANCE and FRUSTRATION toward anyone who came around me.... which happened to be my husband more than anyone that day! The house was a mess, the kids were crazy, one child was sick, one just got home from daycare, the food needed to be cooked and I was about to explode! This, of course, led to my husband and I getting into an argument 10 minutes before this sweet couple arrived in our driveway!
I wanted to run away from the whole evening but my husband knew that Satan was fighting to make this night NOT happen at all! To make a LONG story short: the couple arrived in the middle of our argument, we put on FAKE happy smiles and decide to finish the argument later! I had to wipe my tears away and act like we had it all together when I knew we didn't ...Or better put, "I" didn't!
Now that I have had a few days to think about all of this..... I am so thankful it happened because I realize how badly Satan wants to destroy, devour, manipulate and drive us away from the things of God! John 10:10 says that "Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy...". Matthew 16:23 says that Satan is a stumbling block and that he does not have in mind the concerns of God.
The couple that came over plan to go through with the process of fostering! Needless to say, we didn't ruin it for them! LOL. They needed someone to encourage them in it and help them understand the process more..... and Satan did not want that to happen! Obviously! WHY? Because fostering/adopting is something of the Lord and Satan hates all things that are of the Lord! So he worked overtime to prevent it from happening! Just like he worked overtime to prevent me from wanting to help out a friend in need who needed respite care for a child in foster care so she and her husband could go have a break and breathe a little easier for a week!
I realize how badly Satan wants us to sit in our comfort! I pray now more than ever that I would not SIT in my comfort! That I would force myself to do things that I know I should do, even when I don't want to .... like read my Bible, help out a friend, say YES to another child in need of a loving family or home! Whatever it is I pray I would force myself to GET UP from my comfortable chair, comfortable couch, comfortable bed and comfortable life and do more for Jesus and His kingdom! I pray this for each one reading this as well! I pray this for you.... knowing I struggle with it myself!
After this couple left our house that night, my husband and I looked at each other and realized how we had left things earlier! We decided to forget about everything that happened before this couple arrived at our house (the dirty house, the crazy kids, the argument, the stress) and just move on because we knew it was spiritual warfare and, why let Satan win right?!
I thought about how I acted before they arrived at our house that night and I thought of Mary and Martha! I thought about how Martha was so busy, so distracted by the things that didn't matter for the Kingdom... that she MISSED simply sitting with Jesus at his feet! I was Martha the other night..... I was so concerned by things that simply do. not. matter.
God is so good not to give up on me! He gives me chance after chance! He doesn't want me to prove myself to him, he simply loves me because I'm His daughter and wants me to engage in things OF HIM!
I'll be honest (again)! I thought about leaving the house the other night and letting Jeff do this "ministry thing" on his own! How close I was to allowing Satan to get victory! It makes me sad to think about it. I'm so thankful I forced myself to do something that was uncomfortable and maybe even inconvenient! Not only were we being a blessing to someone else (even if we WERE forcing smiles), WE were also blessed by them.
That night after the couple left, the house was a mess, the child was still sick and the other kids were still crazy.... but our hearts were in line with God's heart and there WAS and IS joy !!