Monday, May 24, 2010

A little step of faith…


Sam and I were talking about some of the funny conversations we have had with our little gang of kids recently and it got me to thinking of all that we would be missing out on if we hadn’t taken that first little step of faith in trusting God with our relationship with Hannah. We have all come a long way throughout the last several years and it is amazing to look back and see what God has done and is doing through it all. I wanted to share a little bit about how God had to really work on me and hold my hand if you will to get us to the point of hosting 4 kiddos in our house each week. I strongly encourage you to step out in and trust Him in whatever way God is challenging you in your own life. I read something today that resonated with me in a big way and is so very true “ a lot of things the Lord asks us to do will not make sense to others..,even those who love you will shake their head and say “She is nuts!” when this happens it is almost confirmation that you’ve heard from God”.

A lot of baby steps were involved to get to the point where we are when the above picture was taken. I would have thought you were nuts if you would have told me a few years ago that I would be taking this particular group of 4 PLUS my wild toddler to church each weekend. You see, just the thought of taking Hannah out of my house in to a store, restaurant, the movies, or really anywhere was honestly a little frightening. The girl had many issues and to say she that she was difficult to control at times is an understatement. Some of you probably remember hearing me tell of the day long ago when she and I were actually kicked out of Kmart. That’s right.. we were asked to “kindly not return- EVER”. Thankfully I learned what works and doesn’t work with her and her behavior is much improved, to the point that there are hardly any traces left of those early behaviors. Then came Sammy. I was pretty scared to take Hannah and my newborn out in public, alone. Yes, with just me and them. I was still getting the hang of caring for a newborn and then to throw Hannah in the mix, well, it was daunting. What if he cries and I have to nurse him and she runs away while I’m nursing?? What if she causes a scene and he starts crying?? I decided we couldn’t stay cooped up my house forever though and thankfully we ventured out and I became confident when having them both out. Sure there were times when I wanted to pull out my hair but there were many more of the amazing,tender moments.

I often would let Hannah pick a sibling to come along with her on a visit usually as a reward for something she accomplished. Very rarely would I bring all 4 kids along and on the few occasions when I did, I felt the most appropriate thing to do after their visit was over was to drive myself straight to the looney bin because I thought I was going to lose my mind. The kids would all fight with each other and they were loud and out of control. I became so burdened for them though. Sam and I began to pray for God to use our family in their each of their lives too, in whatever way possible. As we prayed together I began to see each one of them in a new light. My patience grew and I felt like God gave me some great ideas of how I could handle having all for of them at once. The next time I picked all 4 of them up I sat them down and had a serious talk. I explained that we loved being with them but the way they behaved was unacceptable and I simply refused to expose my own child to that sort of thing. I would not be a good mommy and would not be taking good care of Sammy if I allowed him to be around such chaos. They responded very well to our talk and even helped to come up with some rules for when we are all together. I changed my way of dealing with their disputes and set some firm rules/consequences for the breaking of those rules. Most importantly I always prayed while driving to pick them up  and once we were all together and I started praying with them. Praying with them and having a time where they all all take turns talking about real things and praying for each other has made all the difference. I try to help them realize that the four of them need to stick together rather than tear each other down but of course they are only kids so who knows how much actually sinks in. I want to strengthen them as a little family unit because regardless of what life deals them in the future most likely they will all be together somewhere. Sure they still fight and some visits are better than others but for the most part we all have a great time now and I miss them when they aren’t here with us. 

I don’t really think anything of picking up the whole gang anymore (unless we are going somewhere with admission, tickets for 5 kids= ouch!) and that my friends is a “God thing” all the way. He has stretched us and grown us and just like we found with our experiences in Guatemala, WE end up feeling just as blessed or more than these we set out to help. We get so much more back than we invest in them. It reminds me of the verse 1 Corinthians 2: 9, “Eye has not seen and ear has not heard… all that God has prepared for those who love him”. You never know all that is waiting for you when you take that first little step of faith.

Here are some pics of the kiddos on our car wash day!


Mark wasn’t too interested so that is him on the scooter in the background..

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They had a water hose fight with our neighbors Joe & Gloria who were washing their truck, so fun!




These are pics of the little man who started the car wash.. That’s right, Sammy sprayed us all down, he giggled and squealed as he drenched each one of us, thus since we were all wet, why not wash my car?


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