My husband came down the stairs this morning and greeted the children as usual. I was in the kitchen making our first pot of coffee. He wrapped his arms around me and pulled me close as he kissed my cheek. I looked over at him and smiled. “You look tired sweetie, try to get some rest today” he said to me. I laughed, there is not time for a nap with our beautiful chaos.It was only 6:30am but my morning started around 2am when our five year old woke up not knowing where he was at. I spent the next thirty minutes rocking him and singing to him. In his world I am his comforter, his safe place to break down, and his 2am cuddle buddy. By the time I got him back to sleep Big Al, one of our three year olds, was up. He is now showing signs of autism. My nights and days run together so often now. I told him I would try to fit it in some down time between the mountains of laundry and picking up our car from the shop before school pick ups started. Then he said, “Sometimes you need to take a few minutes for yourself and reboot. Don’t worry about the laundry today, I’m sure we can survive” The word reboot stopped me in my tracks. Yesterday my devotional said the same thing. Was God trying to tell me something?
It is so easy to get lost in our busy world. With our seven sweet yet at times very demanding children sometimes its easy to get caught up in the worry about all their needs and forget about my own. I spend so much time researching about Autism, sensory issues, and RAD that every now and then the basics of life fall in the cracks. There are days that I get nothing except meetings, therapies, and doctor appointments. I could not tell you the last time I slept for more than 2 hours straight or the last time I actually ate a complete meal that was still hot. Life with children, especially those with special needs, is always full of surprises and at times exhausting.
As I looked at my husband I knew he was right. I needed to take a few minutes for myself today, to regroup, refuel, and recharge. So after he went to work and two of our little loves left for school I poured myself a nice warm cup of coffee, curled up under my favorite blanket, and pulled out my daily devotional. I needed a few minutes for myself. As I sat and read over today’s encouraging word I found myself thinking back to yesterdays church message, Lord thy Will be done. The message hit home. When we decided to become foster to adopt parents we did not know how much our world would change. Before foster care our world centered around the two of us and our two teenage children. We were making plans for college for them and plans for us after they were out on their own. We would load them up and drop them off to the college of their choice and then set off on our Harley and see what all the different states had to offer. However God’s plan, HIS WILL for us, was different. So so different. So we started to foster children. And with that our world centered around caring for those that needed someone, anyone to step up and show them love and give them a safe place to lay their heads at night. As child after child came into our care our journey become more clear. When wild man was placed with us our lives changed again. He needed us more so than the others. Many seen him as a burden, we see/seen him as a blessing. His beginning was hard but he is a fighter. When we adopted him and his sister we knew things would be different, yes he has autism and sensory issues, and stomach issues, but there is so much more to him. It was not until a few years after the adoption we discovered divas underlying issues.
So today I took time not to center on all the worry that my normal days involve. I read my devotional and ask God for His Will to be done in all areas of my life. I did not do the laundry, instead I got dressed (jeans not yoga pants), boots, and a dresser shirt (not a stained up t-shirt) and even did my makeup (and its not a Sunday or church Wednesday) and took the three little loves out to lunch. We stopped by and picked up their dad so he could get out of the office for his lunch while we went and picked up the car from the shop. And even though I did not get a nap, I do feel better. The thing is we are a family of 9 (when our older kids are at college we are at 7 at the house) we will ALWAYS have laundry. We will always have dirty dishes and toys in the floor. With a child with RAD and one (possibly two) with autism we will always have therapy appointments and doctor appointments and meetings. We will always fight for a “normal” education for them and fight for classes that will accommodate their unique needs. Their lives and ours will never be as carefree as our older children’s were, but that’s okay. But for today we will not worry about things, for God promises to take care of His children. Today we will not worry about meltdowns, breakdowns, stressful situations, meetings or judgmental people whose wandering eyes and shaking heads never stop while we are out. For today, like most everyday, we will center around the love that we have for these precious children God placed in our lives. I am thankful for a husband who reminds me from time to time what I truly need in my life. And when he gets home, I will take him up on his offer to care for the kids and go and rest for my night shift will be be shortly.
From our beautiful chaos to yours don’t let worldly things be the center of your life. Focus on what matters: love, patience and understanding