But then the thoughts started to swirl and the doubt creeped in and I started to wonder... Can I do this? Can we do this? Can we love that deeply and then have to let go without it destroying us? Can we give them all of us, regaurdless of our fear that we will have to say goodbye?
But then I looked at her as I danced her to sleep the other night and I couldn't imagine what it would be like for her to be without us. Who else would fight for her? Who else knows her differen't cries and what they mean? Who else knows her story like we do? Who could love her like this...? Who else knows that she is shy to smile at people she doesn't recognize and needs her fuzzy blanket by her face to fall asleep? I know the smell of her hair and her long little fingers... I know that the glitter on the butterflies in her room captures her utmost attention and that being outside calms her. I know her.
And in the end, isn't that all we need... all we crave and desire and long for... to be known and loved for who we are... right here... in this moment? Isn't our deepest most sacred desire to be met where we are and to be loved there... in a way that makes us want to be better but doesn't require us to be anything more than we are? Isn't that one of our deepest longings to have someone know the things that make us hurt and the things that make us smile and care about them?
It's why I have pictures the girls next door made me on my kitchen cupboards... It's why I make my sweet husband hot beef sandwiches almost every week... It's why I call my dad for advice... I want people to know they are valued and that the things that are important to them are important to me... really important. I want them to know I love even the little things about them... even the seemingly insignificant things. And do you know the smiles that crept across those little girls' faces when they saw their artwork proudly displayed for the world to see... beautiful. And do you know how it makes me feel when my husband comes home exhausted from work and finds me trying my hand at canning salsa and stays up with me until 1am to help me and cheer me on for trying a new things? Valued. One of the things I love most about my husband is his ability to make me feel as if I have something to offer the world... When he cheers me on in the little things like learning to ride horses with him or canning salsa or entering in the ebay shoe selling world it makes me feel like I can do anything. So when I read the paperwork this morning my eyes welled with tears because eveyone should feel seen...
"My wife is the best person that I have ever met when it comes to dealing with children. She has a true gift and it is evident."
He sees my passions. He sees beyond the surface into the soul of me... into what I was made for... it's evident to him.
And isn't that all we really want?
And I look at him and I look at her and the love this house knows is so strong and yet so fragile and we hold each other with open hands. And what happens here isn't perfect but it is so so good. And we have this plaque in the entryway of our house that has all of the names of Jesus and every time I walk by it I reach out and touch the one that says Emmanuel "God with us" because there is no doubt in my mind that He dwells here.
And do you know what it feels like to have Emmanuel love you while you wash the dishes and do the 17 loads of laundry and scrub the remainder of the salsa from the floor? Do you know what it feels like to be loved in the midst of where you are and to know Him there?
I want the babes who come into this house to know that. To know what it feels like to be loved in the midst of the mess and to know that the very hairs on their heads are numbered... to know that He knows the story they've lived and the things they've seen.
And it isn't really a matter of can we really do this...? It's that I heard him whisper this life into my heart 4 years ago and it's been burning in me ever since... and the flame isn't going anywhere.
And the love isn't going anywhere and Emmanuel... well, He isn't leaving either. And I have to do this. This life. This way of walking it out. And I love that there are two sweet friends living in our basement right now and their laughter fills my house. And I love that there are children who fill my days with their giggles and discoveries and I love that we find canning salsa entertaining and shopping for shoes at thrift stores facinating... and I am blessed to have friends who jump in and do life and laundry with me when I don't exactly have time to meet for coffee.
I've always felt like people struggle with what they are "called" to do... and maybe I got blessed in the way that it's been so evident to me for awhile... but in my heart I feel like all each of us is called to is to live out the gospel in a way that is real and true and makes us come alive... in a way that makes His words come to life.
loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, share your food with the hungry and provide shelter to the wanderer, clothe the naked, do not turn away from your flesh and blood, take care of the widows and the orphans, be humble and contrite in spirit and tremble at My word. - Excerpts from Isaiah
And I've trembled at His words lately... the ones about the orphans and the loosing the chains of injustice.. The part that says if we do those things light will rise in the darkness. The part that says when we do these things He will become the repairer of broken walls.
And I think that's my dream for this house... that all who enter would know the One who repairs the broken parts... that these kids... they'd know what it feels like when light starts to overwhelm the darkness. That they'd know the One who dwells with us. And I'll shelter them as long as I'm given and I'll do my best to love them a lifetime's worth while their here.
And now it's time to stop tapping the keys and put pen to paper and walk this out.
P.S. I'm sure you've noticed the blog looks quite differen't... it's not my favorite background but I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to get my old one back... It may change more in the weeks to come... we'll see! Any techy readers out there??? :)