Thursday, February 6, 2014

Table for....one.



I share a house with a total, at times, of seven people. (Please ignore the clutter in this picture) We have three teen girls full time, Ryan and I, and every other weekend a visit from the little princesses we are trying to adopt. Does anyone see anything missing in this photo?

I was sitting tonight eating dinner alone, listening to worship music, feeling heavy heartened....and I thought what an appropriate time to share with all of you how life feels lately.

Ryan has been working 60 hour weeks for almost a month now. (Praise God for the extra money) Our littles are over every other weekend. Our teens are involved in dance club, dance class, members at the rec and attending fitness classes among church activities and school stuff. I am working three days a week interpreting, being full time mom and part time dad, going to school full time and as of the beginning of the year have partnered in taking over the youth ministry at our church. Ya'll I am BLESSED!!! I wouldn't change the craziness of our lives. But sometimes...even in all that crazy...I feel utterly alone.

Step into the past couple hours of my day:

7:30am- Ryan leaves for work, arrives in just enough time due to the weather to work his 12 hour day.
7:31am- I am awake and cannot go back to sleep. May as well do my quiet time and get up. Shower, eat breakfast, walk the dog, think about doing the dishes but instead take full opportunity of having the TV to myself and end up watching the Brave Little Toaster.
10:45-Do homework, check on my still sleeping teens, walk the dog again, hunt the internet for a bigger house. Get an email from a case worker informing me, "the teens have a visit with mom today, oh and by the way, forgot to tell you "my bad" they have court on Monday, let me know if you will be there..." I put my phone down, take a couple laps up and down the stairs to calm down...do more homework.
1:15- Eat lunch, girls start to trickle down the stairs
1:16-Inform girls that they have a visit with mom today. Mixed emotions ensue. House becomes mass chaos while they get up and around and ready.
1:30-Get an email from the new therapist for the girls wondering if wednesdays starting at 7:30 for two hours would be good. Shake my head and contemplate not emailing back until tomorrow. After all is there really a "good" night of the week???
2:30- Overhear girls downstairs yelling at each other, listen for a moment and realize it's normal, continue homework.
3:00- Knock on the door...(think to myself I wonder who it is...transport for the girls isn't coming until 3:30) open the door and viola! Transportation. Girls scramble and yell at each other while trying to get out the door. I stand there and sign the mountain of paperwork. (it literally gets longer every time).
3:05-Get the girls out the door, realize one of them is carrying her coat when it feels like -99 out and another is wearing slippers. Inwardly scold myself for not checking these things prior, shout Goodbye, see you soon and close the door.
3:30- Text my BFF and decide to go visit. After all it's been at least four days because of the snowpocolypse since we've seen each other and I have cabin fever and am feeling like a ran over cat.
3:32-Decide the dishes aren't going to do themselves and the cleaning fairy is on a permanent sabbatical so I get er' done.
3:50-5:50- Spend time with my sweet, precious, also a mom to many, BFF. Catch up on life, vent, feel a little better about pullin up my big girl panties and moving on.
6:40-Girls walk in the door and yell at me to come sign their mountain of papers from transportation again. Two stomp up the stairs, the other goes to the kitchen.
6:45-Evil mom award. I tell them no TV until they eat dinner, which they can make themselves, it's sandwich night and they are all ready for school the next day. (because after three snowdays in a row they are going back!) OH! and by the way precious angels...you will all go to bed 30min early tonight to be refreshed and ready for school tomorrow.
6:46-Cue up the slamming of cabinets, plates, complaining and tempers. They are pleased as punch with sandwiches, school and bedtimes. OH! And that visit with mom? Always sends my middle child into a tailspin. I ask how their visit was in my most chipper voice and get the response of crickets.
6:50-Clean the kitchen to avoid making eye contact or making my children in a "better" mood.
7:05-Girls are done eating, they rush upstairs, slam their bedroom doors, and stay there...I make my dinner, turn on some worship music and eat in silence.
7:38-Current time...I hear the girls in their rooms across the hall talking, sometimes yelling. Ryan still isn't home. The dog is snoring.

Welcome to our life. Welcome to parenthood and welcome to our world of life with teens in foster care.

Lately, I have felt like I am just surviving. Barely. I can't imagine being a single parent. Shout out to those of you who are....you are much stronger than I. Tonight as I sat at the table alone I prayed for our little (sometimes big) family. I prayed for these precious teens hearts to be protected against all the pain and turmoil in their lives. I prayed that they would feel loved in our home. I asked God to help me love them even when they aren't being loving. And I asked God to use me to break down the walls in their hearts.

The picture above is an accurate depiction of my heart right now. I love my family. I love the children I have been entrusted with. I try everyday to show them and instill in them that they are loved but I feel so empty at times and like a failure because their brick walls can't absorb the love.

It reminds me of the way I act in my relationship with God sometimes. I think I have it all together and don't need Him and I ignore or push away. Yet His arms are always open wide with love outpouring. His love never fails, it never gives up, it never runs out on me.....

Lord, fill me up. Help me to love my precious gifts as you love me, expecting nothing in return. Give me the heart to keep going to battle.

I love you Lord.
~Stephanie Rachelle