For Christmas this year our older batch of children, the man-babies and the lady-babies, gave my husband, Justin and me a priceless gift.
Wrapped in fancy paper was a coupon, offering free babysitting and dinner for two at our favorite restaurant in Dallas, the Nobu.
I had a speaking event in the Dallas area so we planned accordingly and then peeled out of the driveway, kicking up dust as we sped out the front gate of our ranch last Saturday.
Dinner was lovely.
That’s about all I remember. We got back to our hotel at 8:00 pm and at 2:00 am I woke in pitch darkness with no recollection of where I was, who I was, or what year I was participating. I was fully clothed, spanx, boots, jewelry, and my jacket. My turquoise neacklace was forever smelted into my bossom and my pillow was soaked with drool. I felt around in the dark for my iPhone and illuminated the room.
Justin was next to me on the bed. Fully dressed, boots still on – snoring peacefully.
I adjusted my pillow, remembering that we were in the Metroplex, and all was well, and rolled over and went back to sleep.
We slept until 7 the next morning.
In all truthfulness, we haven’t slept since the early ninety’s.
Don’t pity me. I know the song and dance about nurturing romance. This was nurturing. We are exhausted. And I don’t need pity. We are just old. Justin is 48, I am 45 and we love the vandals, our five and two-year-old adopted sons. Furthermore, we love our role as foster-parents to our young foster-love. But there is a reason people have children when they are young – because it is arduous.
The teething, one more story, one more glass of water, the nightmares, constant care and keeping of young lives is burdensome. All the while, we are entrenched in the management of beings that have full beards and just joined the Marines or got engaged, can’t maneuver through federal student aid websites, or need help studying for biology. Currently, we feel like we are in every stage of parenting… all at once.
There is some comic relief and in this case the reprieve of much-needed slumber, but as we packed up to head home there was a hint of remorse.
Perhaps we should have gone dancing, made out like teenagers, or sat on the balcony watching the sunrise sipping mimosas.
Alas, the heart wants what the heart wants… and we crave sleep.
We joke, we are sleep whores.
We will do it anywhere, anytime, with anyone.
Certainly, I don’t regret the path we’ve chosen, even if it is lined with turmoil, tragedy, and long sleepless nights.
[Tweet “we are #sleep whores. We will do it anywhere, anytime, with anyone.”]
I am grateful for our large mismatched family, even the ones that wake at 4 am to watch “Rocket” (Little Einstein’s).
But it occurs to me, I am also much braver in my exhaustive state. I am more in tune with why we are where we are, and how good God is to provide. Someone asked me the other day if I was terrified about John joining the Marines. Another said the usual, “I could never do foster care, aren’t you terrified at the idea of losing her?”
And for the first time in my life, I yawned and said, “No, I am not afraid.”
Sure, maybe I am too tired to feel any other emotion, but I propose it is greater than that.
I propose, I believe God for the first time in my whole life.
[Tweet “I propose I #believe God for the first time in my whole life.”]
Before we adopted our youngest vandal and his future was uncertain, I was slain with the reality of what a mess I was. My prayers for him were prayers fraught with the terror of how God would rule. Would He pick us to raise the boy or his birth family? Make no mistake, I wanted to keep him. But I also wanted restoration for his birth family. And truly, while there may have been “bad” things that went on with his lineage… certainly, we were no better.
In the throes of his impending removal, I could list my shortcomings on both hands, both feet, and, also on a few of my husband’s digits.
So how does a just God decide among sinners?
Where does His favor come from?
And it was then I discovered the message of Grace.
I am still undone by the communication. Jesus died to give me life abundant. The veil was torn, nothing stands between me and God… or His favor. His love is so grand and so far reaching I could sleep through and never lift a finger and He would still adore me. Free from condemnation and guilt.
[Tweet “#Jesus died to give me life abundant.”]
He moves how He moves and saves how He saves and I am not a follower of the rules of theology. I am in an intimate promenade of relationship.
This is freedom.
This is the GOOD NEWS.
While I have wrestled in the past with how to make Him rule in my favor, I now rest in the truth He already picked me. While I was still a sinner He loved me unto His death.
And the blood worked.
I may lose that which I love. I will face hard times; sleepless nights, toilet clog calamities, lost lunch boxes, diaper rash, tuition increases, weight gain, adult onset acne, and faucet leaks. Still, He is for me. Jesus alone will comfort me and make all things new. It isn’t that I need to impress Him, although oh, how I want to. It is that no matter the trial, mistake, or folly – He already is for me, just as He was for the birth family of our son… and all of us. All who are invited.
No greater rest have I found than the slumbered lullaby of Grace.
[Tweet “No greater rest have I found than the slumbered lullaby of #Grace.”]
The blood worked.
Grace is the consequence.
Eternity is the prize.
Friends, if that’s not romance….
1 Corinthians 13:13 (NASB) “But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
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