It wasn't a "throw my head under the faucet and wash my hair before I head out the door moment".
And, not a "fast as I can before the toddler sitting on the couch realizes I'm gone so I'm trying to get out of the shower before he tries to climb in with me".
Nor a "I'm so exhausted & want to go to bed, but I'll be even more tired in the morning, so I'd better go shower with my eyes closed then stumble into bed with wet hair and I'll deal with the consequences in the morning".
It was an honest-to-goodness shower. Hot water. Shampoo AND conditioner. Brand-new razor & sudsy body wash. Once my fingers were as pruny as possible, the shower was complete.
- Why was the moment so treasured? Because my friend Daneen and her children had insisted on watching my 3 little ones for the day.
After my shower, I pulled out my crockpot & had a difficult time choosing our dinner because of the wide variety of meals stocked in my freezer.
- Why was the dinner decision so full of variety, which allowed me to feel so organized? Because my precious friends Carrie & Kelly had taken meals from their freezers and stocked mine.
Once dinner was in the crockpot, I had a smorgasbord of wonderful leftovers for lunch.
- Why the wonderful variety of food choices to warm up and enjoy? Because numerous friends had brought over dinner the past several days and had provided abundantly.
After my quiet and filling lunch, I reorganized baby clothes. Darling, adorable practically brand-new outfits that filled FOUR laundry baskets!
- Why did I have such an abundance of baby girl clothes? Because last spring, when we began fostering a newborn, my friend Gina made 3 trips to my house in a matter of 2 weeks with sizes newborn-6months that had been her daughter's.
Friends, THIS is what it means to be an amazing support to a family that fosters!
Two weeks prior, we had gotten a call from our caseworker that stunned me & for a moment left me speechless: "Your son has another sister. She was born yesterday. Would you like to take her in as a foster placement when she leaves the hospital?
Our home already held five kids, ages 13, 12, & 10. And 2. And 5 1/2 months. How could we possibly? Could we? Should we?
Foster parents don't have 9 months to know a baby is on the way. Or even a week. Rarely a few days. If you get the luxury, you can wind up with as much as an hour to make your decision--but that is extremely rare. No, you need to make your decision within minutes. Have you ever prayed to God for clarity and discernment and needed an answer in under a 1/2 hour?
All the logic in the world pointed to one very clear answer. Our own logic pointed to the same answer. But we knew--for this specific placement at this specific moment in time--it wasn't the right answer.
God was taking us down a road of faith & trust like nothing we have ever experienced.
You see, we are pretty self-sufficient. With the exception of extended family, we don't ask for help. Honestly, we've never really felt we've needed anything. Pregnancies, newborns, foster placements and surgeries, we have always plugged away and enjoyed providing for & taking care of our brood as much as possible on our own. Our new circumstance would bring a need for us to accept the help offered by others.
The first week with our tiniest addition is a blur. Very few people knew we had added another baby to our home. But because of God's amazing timing, my friends Kelly and Carrie (who "just happen" to be foster moms themselves) found out about the baby within 10 minutes of me telling our caseworker 'yes'. Before I could even notify family or panic, God was already providing. One hour after hearing about the baby, these gals had stocked our freezer with meals. And that 'standing in the trenches with us' friendship truly got me through that first week!
By week 2 as a family of 8, I graciously and thankfully said 'yes' to meals, baby diapers, transportation for my big kids, and care for my little kids. I was finally beginning to realize that in order to truly follow Christ, I need to let others follow Him, too--even when I'm the recipient of their ministry.
Today I took a shower. And I thanked God for working on my heart, deepening my faith, and for giving me such caring and thoughtful friends.