May has been a whirlwind month thus far in our crazy household, between social worker visits, baseball, therapies for both babies, doctor visits, baseball, specialist visits, sickness, baseball, daily household chores, school, baseball, (did I mention baseball?), we have been going nonstop. It has been hard. The kids have been wired, they are ready to be all done with school and outside, the babies are growing and into everything and well, life with a 9 year old a 6 year old, 3 year old, 15 month old, and 8 month old is shall we say, BUSY.
Most days I barely have time to shower or pee let alone anything else. I am a person who likes to have unscheduled time to just go with the flow and enjoy life with my family and this month I have something and most days multiple things written on every single date on the calendar. There are times where I feel like it is suffocating me. Foster care has stirred my heart in a way I didn't see coming and my intimate knowledge of the brokenness of the world some days threatens to consume me. A couple of days ago I had a day where I was pretty sure it would end with me in a straight jacket in a mental hospital somewhere.
It was nine AM on Monday, and despite my every effort I have yet to become a morning person. I had already fished an entire roll of toilet paper out of the toilet, changed four diapers, changed the sheets on a bed where someone had an accident, fished a barbie out of a different toilet, hung laundry on the line, burned breakfast, put dinner in the crockpot, swept floors, wiped tears, wiped three different behinds, text messaged with two bio moms, and it was almost time for a meeting to discuss some speech and communication issues that Jacob is having. I could feel my heart racing and I was grasping for some assemblance of sanity. I sat down to spoonfeed the tiniest mouth (that doesn't really care to be fed, resulting in me wearing more of the food than she eats).
I could feel every muscle in my body tense as Hope proceeded with her incessant demands and the boys began to bicker, Jake found himself atop the table next to the couch and was ready to toss the lamp we got for our wedding to the floor. Many friends and family members that week had taken the liberty of expressing their lack of understanding for why we'd take on kids that are "not our problem" and it had been weighing on my heart all week. As much as I try not to be a people pleaser, a running commentary was playing in my mind: "It is too much for you Kristy, take it easy for once", "Don't you think life would be easier if you sent the boys to school?" "You've already adopted one child, why even consider adopting another there are far too many families out there who'd just like one kid, you've done your part", "Finances will be too tight", and the list goes on. They'd been playing in my head all week, stealing my joy and robbing my kids of the mom they deserved. Doubt set in and I wondered if it all WAS too much, if it WASN'T time to take it easy for a while.
I sunscreened the older three and sent them to play in the sandbox, got Jacob settled with a basket of books to throw, and turned the TV to Pandora while I sat down to feed baby girl. One spoon of food in, one spoon of food sprayed across my once clean shirt, hearing the doctor's words of, "Adding feeding therapy, Shriner's Hospital, Pittsburgh Children's Hospital for feeding evaluation" all came to mind. I began to tear up and then...I heard a familiar tune. God was about to use Pandora to get my attention and change the course of that day and the days to come.
I breathed in the music as it played and through tightly pursed lips I began to sing, "Everyone needs compassion, a love that's never failing, let mercy fall on me..." I breathed deep and felt Him begin to fill me up, tears began to brim over..." Jeremy Camp's voice flooded my home as God bathed us in a mercy that was tangible. I sang louder and louder and the tears streamed down my face..."Saviour, He can move the mountains,My God is Mighty to save, He is Mighty to save." The words rang so true that peace came over me like I hadn't felt in days. I'd been so busy I'd been neglecting the ONE who could move the mountains and make it all possible. My priorities out of whack, I don't think I'd taken a moment to worship or sing in forever, my heart was parched and dry and seeking acceptance...trouble was...it wasn't HIS acceptance I'd been seeking.
"So take me as You find me,All my fears and failures,Fill my life again. I give my life to follow everything I believe in,now I surrender." I meant every single word as I sang...it was the most heartfelt worship I'd had maybe since, standing in church and forcing a weak voice through pursed lips as I sang "He gives and takes away, He gives and takes away...my heart will choose to say blessed be Your name" at Asher's memorial service. I am ashamed to say I'd forgotten the power of letting the words wash over me and just offering Him my whole heart and allowing Him to transform it.
I won't tell you that my life suddenly got easier that moment, but the peace I'd been missing was returned. My heart was full and His grace and mercy were so very evident. Perspective came, and I was reminded to find joy in the hard stuff, eucharisteo where to others it may not make sense. I know unequivocally that I am where God has placed me. Each of these children in my home are GIFTS, not burdens, GIFTS and it is an honor to love and serve them...and it is hard, and I am tired and sometimes I just want to hide away, but the truth is He has called me to this. I get to be the mom to two sweet boys and heaven, three boys and two girls HERE today, right now.
To many in today's world of American Dream Mentality, five kids, homeschooling, adoption, foster care, and self denial seems like an awful fate. I can tell you without a single doubt that it is anything but awful. It is such an honor that it brings tears to my eyes. I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but today...in this moment, He is choosing to use ME, broken, selfish and imperfect ME. I am only one person and when I begin to look too far down the road I become so overwhelmed that the anxiety sets in...but each day...he is reminding me...moment by moment, grace for each one and not a moment too soon...like manna from Heaven, He is there, we start with just loving His children, and he blesses beyond what makes sense. He grants us the patience, the love, the resources, the finances when the need arises and he guides our path as we allow our hearts to be broken for what breaks His and as we make a feeble attempt to be His hands and feet.
It is too much, it is hard, and it is much much more than I can handle...this life...it just is...but not for my God...no...He can move mountains...I have seen Him do it...he IS mighty to save. I am so grateful for this reminder...brought to me by Pandora...there really is something to the "make a joyful noise" business. ;)
Sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD! Psalm 96:1