Those are the words that I poured out to God this morning as I crawled out of bed. To be honest, I felt my other option was to sit & have a good hard cry in the corner of my bedroom before starting my day--but ain't nobody got time for that! While I could have justified crying in the corner, even in my exhausted state I knew it was not the proper path to choose.
You see, for the past three (or is it four?) nights, our "little kids" haven't slept through the night. They haven't gotten up just one time, but 2-4 times. And to make things even more difficult, the 3 kids have managed to wake up at the same time or overlap every single time. Mike and I tag team very well, but juggling a 2 year old, 9 month old, and 4 month old at 2:00am is no longer feeling comical. We have truly entered, "You have GOT to be kidding me!" territory.
I love my life. I enjoy having six kids in the house, and treasure how God led us down a path--and kid count--we never could've imagined. And I love that God called us to be foster parents. That He gave us a son who is 100% ours when we held no expectations for that to be our fostering outcome. That God has given us 2 little girls who light up our home and solidify that our walk of faith meant saying "yes" when common sense told us fostering 2 babies sounded insane.
But sometimes? When I'm tired? And the tiredness leads to a weariness that affects me emotionally & spiritually? My life feels a little lonely. And too hectic. And I wonder why God chose me. And, in the midst of my questions, my life takes an inward focus; I become absorbed in a pity party that's all about me. After snapping at my 14 year old this morning simply due to my own selfishness, I realized I had to find a way to have quiet time in the Word--even though it wasn't what I really desired.
I pulled out my Bible, and began reading the same passage I have read all week--hoping that the words would 'stick' today. And as I read, I remembered something: I hadn't watched the sermon from church when we were out of town 2 weeks ago. I thought of all the reasons I didn't have time to watch it this morning, but the following words pressed into my heart: weren't they the same reasons you'd had all week? Watch the sermon.
Because Mike is on staff at our church, I knew some of the general points of the sermon. I knew Pastor Steve was sharing about the ministry connection our church is building within the foster care community (already a huge passion of mine). And I knew a video of 2 of my favorite couples had been played telling of their foster care journey, a story of which I was already familiar. But what I didn't expect was to be stirred by the passage that was presented out of Zechariah:
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgements, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart" Zechariah 7:9-10
And combined with the words spoken from the Bible, Steve added an element that hit close to home: it is an act of obedience to follow those verses.
Obedience. I can often fall into the foolishness of, "God, see how I'm serving you? I'm exhausted, Lord, but I know you want me to serve in this way! Do you see me? Look here at what I'm doing for you!"
Obedience. It means I'm looking not how I am serving God, but how He expects me to obey His commands.
Obedience. For me? The fatherless Zechariah mentions? They are living IN my home. I needed to realize that obeying God's call differs from the selfish view that I simply serve out of my "own" kindness.
I finished watching the sermon, and found I was sitting up straighter. I wasn't slumped in defeat, but embracing the job God said to complete. And my current desire? To complete that call to obedience; in my heart, in my actions, and in my attitude. And it's so much easier to accomplish when I don't make it about me, but I see my whole journey as a way to obey my Savior.
To view Pastor Steve McGinnis's message, click on the following link: