Sometimes, I am slow to learn. I don’t quite “get” patience, though the last 5 years of my life have been one giant lesson in patience. I don’t always remember, “keep your house clean and you will be happier,” even though every time my house is clean, I feel so much better. It just takes me a bit to catch on.
We’re going through a study at church right now about being a good steward. Being a steward means being in charge of something that doesn’t belong to you. I’m learning about this, and I realize it’s been slow coming over the past few years, but my ideas of stewardship are changing.
God has given me an incredible urge to nurture that everyone doesn’t get. He’s given me this gift – this huge piece of me that is overpowering, this thing I cannot ignore – and I’m not using it to the best of my ability. Sure, I’ll babysit your kids for free. Yes, I’ll snuggle your baby all evening while you take a nap. But I could be doing more. I know God only gives us what we can handle, so I don’t feel like I haven’t been doing enough. I wasn’t always aware that I had options. It didn’t fit into the puzzle I was able to understand.
I’m starting to think of being a good steward like this: God didn’t make me wealthy beyond measure with fancy cars and piles of cash. I can’t fly to Haiti once a month to visit an orphanage with the money I have. Lord, how I would love to do that, I’m not telling you I’m unwilling. But He has made me wealthy beyond comprehension with love for children and a desire to nurture. I have been dwelling in the heartache (heaven help me, there is a lot of heartache) of not being able to use this gift the way I understood it – being pregnant, being a stay-at-home mama, toting my children around in their carseats while we sing along to Elizabeth Mitchell songs. Lord, how I would love to do that, I’m not telling you I’m unwilling. If you know me, or if you read the blog and “know” me via the internets, you know my husband and I have every intention of adopting. We are still trying to get pregnant. But lately I’ve had what feels like conviction toward foster care.
There was a man who lived up the road from us when we were younger that had foster children; it was my first understanding of what that meant. Kids come to his house, they stay for a while, and then they leave. As young as I was, I thought, “man. That must be really hard to not keep those kids forever.” That sentiment is still something I think about today. I know a couple who do interim care for newborns that are in the process of being adopted. I still think, “man. That must be really hard to not keep those babies forever. I don’t think I could do that. I don’t think I could let them leave. It would be too hard for me.” But what if God has given me the gift of nurturing so I can be a foster parent? Is it selfish of me to keep this gift to myself when it’s so needed? Am I being a good steward of this gift if I think it’s too hard to use that way? Not to sound cocky, but I would be a rock-star foster mom. I just would; it’s a fact.
I don’t think everyone who wants to be a mother has been called be a foster mother – that’s totally not what I’m saying. I’ve just been thinking a lot about it lately, and starting to feel like maaaaybe this is what God is telling me. Maaaaaybe I can take this thing that is so hard and turn it into something positive and wonderful and life changing. Maybe this is just a journal entry more than a blog post – but that’s kind of what I need right now.