My husband and I are adding to our family…
And I’m having mixed feelings.
Just to clear the record, I should mention, this won’t be our very own child…instead we’ve accepted the offer of hosting a foreign exchange student next school year. When this was first planned I was fairly excited, but then I quickly determined I’d rather bury my face until June of 2020…
March has been a rough month for our family and maybe that’s the reason for my recent, negative approach about this whole thing.
It was a long and cold Winter, and Spring hasn’t really sprung in the midwest (even though the technical date is here)…so we wait in anticipation of warmer temperatures and lively shades of green to make their grand entry into our part of the world.
With that, I’ve had stir-crazy kids with wild attitudes, who are seriously overdue for some outdoor play time.
The end of the month brought sad news as we lost my husband’s grandpa. He was such a sweet man—thirteen children he and Grandma Beverly have so you can imagine their numerous grandchildren as well. He always knew each of the grandkids by name and wanted to take them home as his own whenever he saw them at family gatherings. Grandpa Witt will definitely be missed by all of us.
During his last days he was really suffering, but we all knew he was Heaven-bound whenever God would call him home—now he’s pain free and with Jesus, which makes it so much easier to grieve.
So why am I bent out of shape about this new (and hopefully sweet) young gal coming to live with us for a whole school year??? Well it has nothing to do with her and everything to do with me, and my family, and our sass-tudes!!!
Selfish sounding, I know, but…
Here I am, not even four weeks past my “lemur-post”, which included that little lesson on self-control and ‘gently’ handling one another’s differences..and umm, I’ve already failed in following that lesson more times than I can count since hitting publish on that particular post!😔
As my kids’ attitudes have flared this past month, with arguing and competing against one another, so has Mama’s. I’m exhausted. I’d like to say I can just Martha Stewart everything and deal calmly and rationally with their disagreements but I’ve carried an unruly tone in my voice when lecturing them.
I get disappointed by their behavior, then more disappointed by my response in dealing with it, and honestly I’m afraid we’re going to frighten this poor Russian girl off…I have it all mapped out in my mind—she’ll spend a few weeks here, determine we’re nuts, we’ll fail to show her an amazing Jesus, she’ll secretly pack her bags and then drag them across a few corn fields to the nearby rural airport and take the first little puddle jumper over to DIA, heading back to Russia in a mess of tears and an extra baggage fee of regret!!
So there you have it, I’m worried that we’re gonna scare her off before she even gets a chance to know us.
The beautiful part is that I’m aware of the problems:
(A) that my family isn’t allowing mercy and grace to abound with one another
(B) that I haven’t been trusting that God can bring peace over our crazy
So I’ve been praying that God would speak hope to me through His word…
Last week I was doing my Bible reading and happened to be in the book of Joshua, where God had called Joshua to lead the Israelites into the promised land. It would be a most-difficult task indeed, as the Israelites were a stubborn people, and the men they would fight against were cruel and relentless. Three times God tells Joshua throughout chapter one, “be strong and courageous…”
In Joshua 1:6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.”
In Joshua 1:7a “Be strong and very courageous…”
In Joshua 1:9 “This is my command, be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Then we read in Joshua 1:18 where the Israelites encourage Joshua with those same words, “…be strong and courageous.”
And later in Joshua chapter 10, as Israel continued wiping out their enemies, Joshua tells his men in verse 25, “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged…Be strong and courageous, for the Lord is going to do this to all of your enemies.”
This was no longer a phrase only God was using…the Israelites had learned and trusted those words…Joshua had learned and trusted those words. But it was God all along who encouraged them at the start—“be strong and courageous” and God’s chosen people believed and celebrated in victory.
After I read through Joshua last week and came across that phrase so many times, I then helped my son with his Awana book (I don’t think it was a coincidence) my son was also studying over the story of Joshua and his memory verse was from Joshua 1:9. This past Sunday as one of our elders at church prayed over our congregation he quoted Joshua 1:9, and then later on I read through a devotion and there again I came across Joshua 1:9 as the author had used it in her writing…
Joshua 1:9 “This is my command be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
I believe God is telling me, in my very own circumstances, ‘be strong and courageous’ and the more I read, trust, believe, and rely on God’s truth the quicker our family will overcome obstacles and glorify Him in doing so.
Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed about something that just seems too big…wondering how the money will stretch to cover this month’s bills, fearing an upcoming job evaluation, or you’re like me and fretting over how your family is going to represent America when your foreign exchange student arrives…Satan is going to stand against us, there’s no doubt. But whatever the pressure might be, we need the reminder to be strong and courageous—not in our own strength and courage—but in God’s!
1 John 4:4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.