there may never be a "good time" but now is the time
This has been a busy and exhausting week. We are hosting 2 sisters for 3 weeks at our home through Safe Families for Children. Some days I've laughed and felt my heart burst at my girl's ability to share, love them, and be welcoming. And some days I've cried and felt defeated at our inability to get anywhere on time, the selfishness that emerges so quickly from the girls (and myself..ahem), and the death of our "normal routine." It is hard but the best kind of hard. The kind of hard that Jesus asks of us so that we know for sure with every ounce of our being that we are not self sufficient. It has been almost one week and there have been days I was ready to say "this is just too much" but in those moments God has sustained. I have visited a friend who is on the journey with us and has 2 of the siblings from this family as well. I have remembered that when we come to the end of ourselves then God shows up and we cannot take credit. And He does things better and more beautiful then we ever could.
The timing may seem crazy but as I sat in the Safe Families conference last week I felt so convicted that I always can think of a reason why right now is just not the right time. And my reasons are pretty good ones: I'm still feeling sick, I am almost 8th months preggers, we have two kids, we don't have tons of extra space. But as I examine my heart I know that those are excuses. The truth is there is never a "great time" to serve and love and welcome in a stranger into your home because it is messy. But yet that is exactly what Jesus calls us to do. It is so important to Him because it costs us something, it transforms relationships, and it requires us to live in faith and not just talk about it. It changes others but mostly it changes my selfish heart. I read that the Bible instructs us to love, welcome, and care for the stranger over 100 times. But yet I can always think of a reason why now is just not the best time. I cannot recall a time in recent history when I have sat happily on my couch while perfectly behaved children played in a completely clean home while dinner cooks in the oven. There will never be a "good time" to do this. Our life is messy and real hospitality means inviting people into that mess and chaos and saying we love you. We don't love perfectly but because we are desperately loved and have received outrageous grace from our heavenly Father we gladly can extend what we can to others. The grace we have been shown is not just nice or great it is ridiculous and life changing. And it spills from us.
We want to support their mother in a difficult time and really show that we take seriously the command to love our neighbor as ourselves. You see it is easy for me to think I am pretty good at that until my personal space and time is threatened. It has been hard for us all to share our lives, our space, our stuff, and our time. And the opportunity to do so has allowed us to loosen the grip on those things. Anni and Evy are counting the cost with us and I am so proud of them. Not because they perfectly share but because they are struggling through and living what it means to love others. It has afforded us so many great chances to talk as a family and work through this all. I am bursting with stories and it has only been a week but this morning as I was puking in the sink and thinking to myself "I just cannot do this one more day" I saw this....
The girls getting their hair did and then Annikah brought me this....
A note the oldest girl wrote about her time here so far (we eat a lot of fruit...be still my heart).
And I remembered that God knows best and His grace is enough. And friends and family are supporting us in this and one will be here with pizza in an hour (crowns in heaven I tell you). It is these things that convince me more and more we are meant to live exhausted and spent for His glory but full of abundant love and peace because of His scandalous grace.
Boasting in my weakness because that is where He is shown to be strong,