That means I have an hour…an hour before the doorbell starts ringing and the dogs start barking. An hour before the banging and laughing and cries of it all being “unfair” begin to rain down from the upstairs. An hour before MY food gets eaten by a bunch of vagabonds invading MY space and annoying ME!
And I can’t wait.
Every day our house becomes a home not just for my kids, but also for kids up and down the street. Some of them have great families and others I’m less sure about. Most of them are (somewhat) respectful kids but a few of them look at me blankly, like I’m trying to teach them latin, when I ask that they say “thank you”. All of them feel like they belong.
I had that growing up. It changed my life.
When I was young I spent every day annoying, err, sharing life, with a nearby family. I was an annoying kid and I’m not sure why they tolerated my constant presence. Perhaps it was to keep an eye on me or maybe they were just too nice to send me home. Then again, maybe it was on purpose. Maybe I was their ministry.
It doesn’t feel like much – making sandwiches and pouring milk, all while simultaneously being a referee and jury, but it’s changing lives I know it is. It’s hard, and it takes patience I often don’t have. They are just…always there! Yesterday I stuck my head inside the refrigerator and silently screamed out my frustration! Then I shut the door and delivered another snack to another kid that isn’t mine.
Can anyone relate?
Yea, they get on my nerves sometimes, but I’m so GLAD they are always there! These kids, they aren’t my kids…but the ARE my kids. God has put them in my life and provided me an opportunity to minister to them the same way that family ministered to me.
And when I forget it, I get hit over the head with my own selfishness…
Like yesterday, when one of these kids who I have complained about and been impatient with, knocks on my door looking for a friend or just someone to talk to. Yesterday was the worst day of his life & he needed more than snacks and a room to bang around in. He needed someone to sit with him and talk to him about life, hope & Jesus.
As Kristan told me the story about their conversation I realized that every sandwich made and every scratch on the wall that we didn’t freak out about was currency used to purchase trust.
So the countdown begins. It’ll be noisy. Someone will get hurt (probably Asher). There’s a good chance that I’ll lose my mind for a little while.
It’s worth it. We want them here.
The only way to make a difference in a life is to be in the life.