I’ve never been very good at sitting still.
Constant DOING helps me to feel less anxious and more in control.
People comment that my house is always so clean. “How is your house so clean with 4 little ones living inside it?!”
Truth is there’s very little I can control in this roller coaster journey of foster care. So I clean and (try to) keep a tidy home to cling to even the tiniest allusion that my life is in my control. I waste any chance to be still and rest by trying to maintain a level of clean that quite frankly is pretty unrealistic and dumb.
Then the next day, the kids wake up, and it is all a mess again. Within maybe 10 minutes. What’s the point?!
Bottom line: My life is out of (my) control.
It’s chaos. Pretty much every day.
Sometimes I pretend I’m on one of those prank under-cover shows and the host is going to pop out any moment and yell — “Gotcha! Ha ha ha…” Because it is (almost) comical around here at times. Like when there’s poop on the floor, the 4 and 2 year old are fighting over a toy screaming and yanking, the 21 month old slaps the baby in the face while she’s napping in her swing waking her up screaming too and then he (the 21 month old) grabs a mug of juice off the table and slams it to the floor shattering the mug and sending it and its contents all over the kitchen floor…. Scenarios like that. Never a dull moment.
But it is in those times that I have learned I need to take a step back (away from the poop and the shattered ceramic and the chaos) and remember 2 things: what REALLY matters, and WHO IS IN CONTROL.
I don’t want to be remembered as the woman who kept a spotless home and appeared perfect on the outside (so far from reality). I want to BE STILL more often and allow room for God to fill up my less than perfect life & home with what really matters. I want others to meet Him and see Him by stepping in our home and into our chaotic yet beautiful lives created by Him. They may have to step over some messes and smell the turkey I burnt the night before or tell me that my mascara is smeared across my face… but I hope they feel Him in the love in our home, that they see Him in the smiles on the kids faces, and hear Him in the belly laughs and excited squeals.
Because when I am weak, He is strong. When I am a hot mess & crumbling, He provides. When I am not sure I can do another day, He re-energizes and reminds me of WHY we are doing this in the first place. To point others to Him. To show others what HE can do if you just say “Yes”.
We are NOT special people. We are not any better than the rest of you all. And we are NOT in control. But we do trust the One who IS. And we say yes each day and ask for His strength and His patience and His goodness to do what is before us.
This next month is going to be a huge test of faith. There are going to be some TOUGH days I know. These kids we have parented and loved for 6 months (one since she was 2 days old)…their lives are going to be in the hands of their judge and caseworkers… we will have NO say in the outcome. We have ZERO control. But we trust that God is steps ahead and 100% in control. And that He is good, His plans better than any we could try and manipulate to be.
*** Please pray for His will! And for anyone else out there struggling to be still & to TRUST Him (no matter the challenges you may be facing), listen to this song below. It is my newest “go to”. I crank it up when doubt enters my mind or when life feels too heavy & I am always in a better place afterwards.
Embrace the chaos & the messes (with me… I am working on this too) and allow yourselves time to BE and to remember that HE turns a mess into a message.
Still By Hillary Scott & The Scott Family
I believe that You are God alone
But sometimes I still try to take control
Cause I get scared when I can’t see the end
And all You want from me is to let go
You’re parting waters
Making a rain for me
You’re moving mountains that I don’t even see
You’ve answered my prayer before I even speak….
“He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’” Psalm 46:10a (NIV)