One month ago, our family nearly doubled in size.
Yes. I know. If life were a math problem, mine would look like this:
Mom + Dad + 3 Teenage Boys + Twin 4 Year Olds + 5 Year Old = Impossible
I’ve hinted at it here and there on Twitter and Facebook, little references most people would miss but a few have noticed. I’ve purposefully kept it quiet up until now, at least online. The situation is complicated and private. Not for mass consumption.
Yet now I wonder if perhaps part of God’s purpose in all this is for Troy and I to share the journey, authentically, story by story. For that reason, I’m drawing the curtains today and giving you glimpse inside our home.
Almost 6 months ago, we received a phone call. A relative asked us to raise her three small children. I won’t give you the details of the situation; I love her too much for that. But you can imagine the circumstances and heartache surrounding such a decision. I’ve never been more proud of her.
Without hesitation, we agreed. Naivete does that. Within 48 hours, these three children were in our home, running, playing, being kids, and changing the decibel level. Still, the situation was and is complicated. Within a few days they left, only to return a total of 3 different times, culminating in their moving in to our home permanently a month ago.
As we’ve shared this news with select friends and family, we’ve received varied responses. Most think we’re crazy. Others say we’re “saints.” I can assure you we’re neither. Nearly everyone looks puzzled. Without posing the question, they wonder, “Why are you doing this?”
Excellent question. And one I’ve asked. We were on the verge of empty nest. Two months before the phone call, our second son graduated from highschool. Three weeks before, we sold our 8-passenger Ford Expedition for a small car. One month after, our youngest son started highschool and older two started college. Eight months before I received a diagnosis that completely changed my health and life. On paper, it made no sense. Impossible even.
And, yet, we’re doing it anyway, because:
- We Can. Three years ago we bought a fixer-upper home nearly twice the size of our former house. My contractor husband has spent three years remodeling it until it’s beyond anything we could dream of or deserve. We have more than enough space for everyone. Additionally, we’re self-employed, allowing us a little extra freedom to rearrange schedules and adapt. And our three boys are nearly grown, not to mention fully supportive. It’s not convenient, not simple, not affordable, certainly not easy. But we can do this.
- It’s Right. In 2008, after returning from two weeks in the poorest area of South Africa, I tattooed Isaiah 58:10 on my ankle. I didn’t want to forget, didn’t want to get so comfortable in my suburban life that I’d forget the faces and the stories of the lost and discarded. I wanted it to matter to me for more than a two-week mission trip. Over the past several months as we’ve considered this change, I’ve been haunted by that verse, not to mention countless others testifying to our responsibility to the poor, needy, wounded and unwanted. Compassion is nothing but 10 letters unless it’s active. As my youngest son said, “Mom, this is what family is all about.” Exactly.
- He’s In It. For most of our marriage, Troy and I have talked about selling everything we own and moving to a mission field once our boys are grown. After that first phone call last July, we both felt as if God was saying, “You said you’d go anywhere for Me. Instead, I’m bringing the mission field to you. Still game?” Trust me when I say it’s one thing to dream, another thing to DO. One thing to say, “Here I am, send me” and another thing to strap on your shoes and start walking. Still, I don’t believe God asks us to do the impossible and then passes it off like a baton in a relay. Instead, I believe He is with us in it. And we’re going to see Him. There’s nothing I want more.
A friend recently told me, “Just because something is hard, doesn’t mean you’re not called to it.” This is hard. One of the hardest things we’ve done. Our early naivete melted into stark reality. We’re tired, overwhelmed, and grieving our old, simpler life. But we’re also excited, blessed, and embracing this beautiful new one. It’s not the adventure we anticipated, but it’s the adventure we’ve been ask to take.
And we’re saying “Yes.”
Are you facing something that appears impossible right now? How are you coping with it?