I'm breathing deeply.
Right now, I was suppose to be on a surprise getaway with Sweet Man James for my Christmas present, coordinated to the detail by him and some of my precious foster family friends and my family.
Enter Cinderella with cough, throw up, fever and the most pitiful puffy eyes I've ever seen.
So instead of a fancy dinner rendezvous at Taco Casa, I'm cuddling with our newest Little Bit for the fourth day in a row. I know every Little Pony's name, and I can do a pretty smooth samba to the Bubble Guppies theme song.
When we first realized it wasn't going to happen, I had a fleeting thought, I'm giving up my precious time away of rest for a child who isn't really mine, a child who will break my heart in the end. Is this even worth it?
I remembered the verse Lifeline director Herbie Newell shared at our foster parent Christmas dinner, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me." - Mark 9:37
It's not the way we planned this weekend, but it's exactly what our Father had planned for us. Instead of whispering sweet nothings in my man's ear, I'm hearing, "Momma, I love you," while I wipe a nose and clean up throw up that was meant for only me to clean in this season of my life...of her life, because I'm not sure how long I'll have the honor of doing that for Cinderella, and it is an honor.
It's been a few weeks since I've blogged because this was perhaps the most insane season we've lived in all our days. There's busy, and then there's insanity. We passed the psychosis state right past insanity. But, as I look back, every moment was orchestrated by my Father's hands. Time after time, we saw a child enter care, and we received an anonymous gift in the mail for the exact amount needed to cover that child's Christmas.
We witnessed one of our children's parents need an exact amount to cover an unexpected bill; the cash was in our mailbox with her name on it by the end of the day, without our telling anyone...You were the hand of God whoever you were.
I had to give myself time to open each of these Holy treasures before I set them on display for all to see for HIS glory. I'm still processing. I never thought I (we) would be the ones who would have a chance to live this kind of life, dependent on God's provision, interdependent with our covenant family. And now, I can't go back.
I can't wait to introduce you to radical children who chose to pursue justice this Christmas, rather than selfish gain, or families who opted to "do the season" in a new way, as they poured themselves and their resources out for the least of these when it wasn't comfortable.
I'm giddy for you to meet the new children in our lives, children who've entered the safety of our home on a regular basis, not through the system, but through doors only the Father could open.
And then there's Cinderella...
And our girls and their momma...
And our Baby J, isn't a baby anymore...
There was one Sunday this month when I looked down our church pew: there were the girls and their momma, Baby M's family, my boys, Jamie, Cinderella, and J's family had asked if we could have him for the weekend. He sat in my lap, and I breathed the Holy, set apart, moment in deeply.
Never in my life would I have dreamed...
However, as it is written: no eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human mind has conceived, the things God has prepared for those who love Him. - I Corinthians 2:9
I'll take that over a weekend away any day, even if it is with my favorite man on earth.