A Big Quiet House
A Yiddish Folktale from Eastern Europe
There was once a man who wished his small, noisy house was larger and quieter. He went to the wise old woman of the town and explained his need. She said, "I can solve your problem. Just do as I say."
The man agreed.
"If you have a chicken, some sheep, a horse, and a cow," she said, "bring them into the house with you."
"That's a silly thing to do," thought the old man. But he did it anyway. Now his house was already small, and with all those animals in it, there was no room at all. He returned to the old woman and cried, "I need more room! The animals are so noisy I can't think!"
"Take all those animals out of your dwelling," she replied.
When he had put all the animals comfortably back in the barn, the man went into his house. To his amazement, it suddenly looked remarkably bigger! Without the animals inside, his house was now quiet too!
My life of late is so much like this story. (Except at times when they acted like it, I did not have animals in my house but children!) I have amazing perspective. On any given day this past summer the moment I put my feet on the floor I was MOMMY! I went. I did. I made it happen. There wasn't a whole lot of processing, reading, talking or even thinking going on in my life. I had 5 kids age 6 and under and a teen foster daughter that were my responsibility. What that means is not to simply care for them but to CARE for them. Because God gave me these children for an unknown amount of time. And in reality, that is true about my biological children too. I am their Mommy for today and until God has other plans for them. For these children I was the one who not only made sure they had on clean clothes and clean diapers and ate healthy meals and got to their numerous appointments on time but I was it. There was no one else to care if they got sick or a diaper rash or got hugged or told that they were worth something. It was up to me. Being a mommy to six children is tough but being mommy to 2 biological, 1 adopted, and 3 foster children is truely a whole different ball game. Two days a week during the summer months I worked a 7 hour day. Three days a week I took care of Anna's two angels who were ages 6 and 2. Several evenings and some weekend days I watched sweet little Jimmie - one of our previous foster girl's baby who was at the time 9 months old.
So I put my feet on the floor and I went. I did. I made it happen.
Then God said...
But God, This is what YOU have called me to do. So clearly. So frequently I hear YOU say to me, "THIS IS WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO. THIS." What are you talking about...Rest? What am I supposed to do now?
In August Julia turned 18 and was determined to be on her own after 17 years in and out of the foster care system. I was afraid for her but did not blame her. And God had told us that we would not adopt our babies. So what now? God brought them a wonderful family who wants to adopt them. So now I hear that You have a plan but how is it that after 9 years of doing what you want me to do, now I am supposed to rest? What does that look like? And when do I stop resting? And what about the kids that need me?
This is what I see...
Miracles created in my family every day. And the perspective needed to truely rest and grow.
I trust therefore I rest. I rest therefore I grow. I grow therefore I trust.