Monday, February 9, 2009


Our four extra boys went home Saturday morning to their momma, granny, and Aunt Lulu. Each vacillated between feelings of excitement in seeing their momma again and sadness in having to leave.

I think the latter had a lot to do with the Wii and homemade chocolate chip cookies.

In an amazing example of the Lord's providence, last week, H. and I were at Target. It was the middle of the day and he had been suspended from school so we were out running errands with Sadie. As we were checking out, one of the checkers said something to Sadie about her red hair and H. said, "Mrs. Melissa, that lady is a friend of my momma's."

I introduced myself and she immediately recognized H. She had been friends with the kids' mom for a long time, knew of her recent hospitalization and wanted to help. She ended up calling me after she got off work, came by the house and spent several hours talking about the family's history and how she thought we could best help.

She is a great woman; strong and a little feisty so I immediately liked her. She says what she thinks and at one point said, "Melissa, you have to remember, you can't fix her, these kids, or this situation. She's going to live how she's going to live and all you can do is help where you are able and in ways you are led. You can't make her live like you do or think like you do."


She had only known me for a few hours and had nailed me. Of course I want to fix this. Of course I want to be able to give her and her kids tools, and love, and ideas for planning meals, organizing closets, and doing homework, then tie the whole family up with a nice little bow stamped with 'Good to Go'.

I really do know better. I know the gospel is lived out in relationship; in mutual relationship of respect and long-suffering. The fruits of the Spirit are not the abilities to give an effective and manageable to-do list but love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. If I've forgotten one, blame it on the song. That's how I remember them.

I prayed this morning that the Lord would teach me how to love this family where they are, help how I can, and that He would build a relationship that can weather all kinds of circumstances, cultures, or decisions.

Three of the boys showed up at my house and the Smith's for breakfast and rides to school. They got hugs, bowls of cereal, and rides in warm cars. They gave us the joy of knowing the Lord is faithful and using us still.


emily said...

You are indeed loving them well...... :)

Best Life said...

You wabout giving them what they need...when right here is a story of Him giving you what you need. That woman's wisdom is precious. He knows what we all need and He meets us where we are...amazing.

Best Life said...

Oops! In my last comment you'll see that "wabout" is a new word I came up with on my own (a couple of sleepless night helped!). It is two words put together. It means "worry about" LOL! Lisa~

saucymomma said...

When we try to control life we are living from the outside in. I don't know a woman out there who doesn't try to fix things and package life up all neat and tidy. Don't we all want a place for everything and everything in its place?!?

What God taught me through your story is that He wants us to live inside out. By sharing what is broken we are transformed. Only then can we change and grow and all those fruits of the Spirit are able to flow from the inside out. Thank you for this precious reminder today.

happygeek said...

It's tough when we can't do it our way isn't it?
Great post.

Henley on the Horn said...

You are a wonderful example of how to love others like Christ loved us!!

Angela said...

Thank you so very much for sharing this with us, and for loving this family--

I so wish I could come help love on this family...this situation is my heart....please know I am lifting you up and loving you all through prayer!!

God Bless

Kim said...

God made us to want to fix things :-) But of course the lady is right, WE can't fix people or situations, only HE can. We've all seen Him do it. With us, with ones we love. We can pray He'll do the same with this dear mom and her kids. Pray and be there. That's all and yet that's everything.