Saturday, January 8, 2011

Reflections of 2010: Part 1

I have been thinking a lot about this past year.  2010.  It just seems like A LOT happened in 2010.  A LOT of hard things, and a few wonderful things.  I guess I am trying to make sense out it all. And these things...these hard things and wonderful things all seem to be connected somehow.  I think.  I am asking the Lord to show us what He is up to in all of this.  I guess I am kind of thinking out loud, and bringing you along for the ride.  If you dare.  So here we go.

Yahoo Number Three (LiLi)...came to us from an organization called Safe Families.  At some point I'll share with you more about this amazing kid and all the Lord has taught us through her life.  Quite frankly, she has been a hand full, and a year into her life we thought we may had reached our kid limit.  Actually, Jeff was done, and I was fretting about it.  I do not ever feel like I am done.  But in the summer of 2009, we felt the Lord calling us to trust Him in all things, started working with Safe Families once more.  We once again opened our home to these little ones who need a safe place to stay for a bit.  And I was in awe of my husband.  Opening up our home again was, for him, was a huge leap of faith.  He was trusting the Lord would provide us with everything we would need, to care for the yahoos we had, and the yahoos who may come for a visit!

Last March we were asked to care for a 9 month old girl for a few weeks.  After a few months went by, it became apparent that birth mom would not be able to care for her, and by July of 2010, we were being asked to become guardians of another little sweetheart. Jeff, who had been saying all along he would NOT add a forth permanent child to our family, was befuddled. We were in over our heads with yahoo number three.  How in the world could we manage this?

But God made it clear that this little girl needed a family.  Birth mom even went through the heartache of seeking extended family for help.  It became clear there was no one.  She wanted us to be the guardians. She asked us to keep her.   Jeff, ever my hero, decided that walking in obedience to God's word....loving those in need and taking care of those who cannot care for themselves, was what he should do, even though he felt as though he did not want to do it. He walked in faith, in obedience, even though it was difficult, and not at all what he really wanted to do.  Complete and total obedience.  Sheer faith.  Doing what he was asked to do only because it was the right thing to do.

You see, before yahoo number four came along, we were struggling with patience. Jeff and I were really struggling with how we were responding to the three yahoos we had been blessed with and the craziness that is our household. We were raising our voices and just loosing patience much too quickly.  It started affecting the kids.  THEY were screaming and shouting, too.  Not good, right?  Jeff and I would even say to each other..."We can't live this way.  This isn't right."

Now, Jeff is one of those laid back kind of guys who just kind of reacts to life as it happens. He is a pretty willing guy.  If you have something that needs to be done, he will probably do it for you. But he has not been someone who purposefully and actively looks for ways to serve or lead. He does not like to make decisions.  He just serves as he goes...know what I mean?

Do you have a hubby like this? 

Laid back.  Easy going.  Funny.  Adorable.  Indecisive.  And honestly...kind of hard to....follow.. 

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE so much him.  He is open hearted and willing.  He is always helping someone, somehow.  It's just...he helps in a one-day-at-a-time kind of way.  And the days just seems to race by.  It's not really like the blind leading the blind.  It's more like an aimless happy helpful wandering goose leading a gaggle of goofy gossipy geese.

Funny how FOUR little yahoos can shake up that mentality a bit. Adding that fourth yahoo put us in crises mode.  The decibel levels hit an all time high.  Our level headed preteen suddenly became a hormonal mess.  Yahoo number two became an vicious victim.  LiLi learned how to use words as a weapon.  And Kiki, the new addition, discovered the fine art of whining.  I have to say, she is our most "pathetic" yahoo.

What in the world were we going to do?  There was no way to ignore the situation anymore.  Just "responding" to every incident was NOT enough.  It was ineffective.  We hit meltdown.  I remember sitting in the car, listening to all the girls bicker.  Jeff lost his cool. I started to sob.  He pulled over.  I remember trembling, wondering if I should actually say what I thought.  The words puddled out of my mouth..."I do not want this anymore.  No more, God.  No more."  The girls were stunned.  Total silence.

Something HAD to change.  Jeff grabbed my hand and started to pray for us...all of us...that God would help us walk in love and kindness.  That He would change us, change each one of us, into selfless loving lights in this dark world.  It was a start.

I started praying more fervently for Jeff.  I started begging God to help me know how to help Jeff.  I pulled out my copy of  "The Power of a Praying Wife."  A book that walked you through the power of praying scripture for your husband.  A book that encouraged you to see your husband through the Lord's eyes.  A book that encouraged me to come alongside  Jeff so he might fulfill the role God has given him, in our family, in our church, in our community, in our world.

Jeff started to pray more fervently with me and to work purposefully, daily, on how he was speaking to his kids. He started holding me accountable and seeking the Lord in ways I have never seen him do before....so persistently...so lovingly...and in a way that makes me want to be a better person, a better mother, a better wife.  When a skirmish starts, the man is there, patiently guiding the perpetrators through the motions.  What would be the best way to react?  How could we do this better?  What would the Lord say about this?  How can you show kindness in this situation?

And my favorite...(not really)
Kat, STOP!  STOP talking.  It is doing no one any good!

I have to say....I have always adored my hubby...but my respect for him has grown so much over the last 6 months.  Watching him trust the Lord with all these things makes me feel safe.  It makes ME want to trust the Lord, too.  Watching him become more of a Godly man makes me want to become more of a Godly wife.  A wife that can come alongside him, and help him

And you know what?  We are all learning how to talk to each other.  We are all learning to listen to each other.  We are all learning how to work through conflict.  We are all learning to "be of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on ONE purpose." Phil. 2:2
We are learning to...'do nothing from selfishness or vain conceit." Phil. 2:3

My girls are beginning to..."regard one another as more important than themselves..." and "look out for the interests of others." Phil. 2:3-4

And Jeff, my dear sweet Jeff, has been a living example of..."working out his salvation with fear and trembling..for it is God at work in him, to will and to work for His good pleasure." Phil 2:13

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