Tuesday, February 3, 2009

There was an old woman...

...who lived in a shoe. She had so many children, she fantasized about housekeepers and a laundress.

Laundress; is that such a thing or am I making that up. Laundrywoman, or man - in my fantasies, I'm not even a little picky. I just want the laundry done without me actually having to enter my laundry room. I do like cleaning out the lint thing though. It's unusually satisfying.

Now, just imagine what it would look like if we added four more children to the mix.

What the...?

We have a beautiful momma in the neighborhood who has five children and, a month ago, had twin boys. Seven children under 13 including twin babies, public housing, no car, no family in town, no church, no daddies; life would be almost impossible for anyone, even with lots of resources.

A couple of the guys from the ministry have been helping with the boys, helping her try to find a job, etc. but, since the birth of the babies, she quickly declined. We'd been taking meals and offering help but she wanted to be able to do it all, even in the midst of incredibly tough circumstances.

Friday, she had a nervous breakdown which left seven children with no place to go. Thankfully, she has a great friend across the street who took the month-old babies and the oldest daughter, and the four boys came here. Let's do that mental math together; 6 chil'ren + 4 chil'ren = 4 chil'ren. Ok, my math isn't great but it helps me live in denile about how many people are living under our roof.

I can't even close the door to my laundry room and my washing machine has started asking for health coverage and stock options.

Seriously, we have spent the past five days overwhelmed by the provision of the Lord through his people. Families from across the city have stepped in to offer help and it has been incredible. A friend unloaded a Suburban full of necessities, and when I told her it was more than excessive, she replied, "My husband shows love by going to Sam's Club. He's loving ya'll alot."

Ok, admittedly, a tiny part of me wondered if he could show his love with Nordstrom Spa gift certificates.

It's so wrong, I know. I know.

What's been really a blessing to get to see is the way Dea and Darius have loved these boys. Darius came with me once last week, before all of this happened, when we were taking the family dinner and when we left, he said, "MaMelissa, I know how hard it is. I have been there".

The oldest boy is twelve and totally looks up to Dea and Darius who have given him shoes, clothes, and pep talks that have made Trey and I so proud. They've played with the little kids, helped corral them, and at times, even corrected them for fighting or being disrespectful.

Tee, Olivia, Graham, and Sadie have welcomed these boys with Wii remotes, bubble gum, and turns on the Ripstick.

I could have sworn our Ripstick was broken was but, in fact, it was just me. I'm very uncoordinated.

The situation is temporary; until their mom can get out of the hospital and back on her feet. Their Granny and Auntie came in this morning so the boys may go home as soon as this weekend.

Needless to say, I've had enough things to write about to fill a book, but absolutely no time.

Thank you, Lord, for giving us the opportunity to participate in your work in caring for the fatherless and those in distress in this community. And thank you that your people respond to need in ways beyond comprehension.


Amy said...

I LOVE reading about your ministry...your generosity. I love reading about the ways God is using your family to bless sooo many. Thanks for taking the time to share a story here and there:)


p.s. I have dreams about a laundress...and a laundry fairy. I would take either.

PinkLemonade said...

Heavenly Father, I pray that You would put your arms around this household and grant them Your peace during this time. I ask that You will provide comfort, strength and hope to each person here. We know that where the ways of man would lead us to think that this is a heart breaking situation, You can use this for Your Glory. Please, Father, let us see Your glory in your servants' faithfulness and obedience to a Life centered on You. amen

Henley on the Horn said...

I have been wondering where you are because I missed you!!! WOW. Thank you that the Lord allowed you all to bring these boys into your home, and that aside from lots and lots of laundry, it has gone well. Thank you, Lord, for the provision from people in Dallas. May you continue to work through the lives of the MaMelissa & her family to reach those in their neighborhood!

cynthia said...

I knew you were up to something. So glad to know what. I will pray for the woman who lives in a shoe... and her neighbor... and all those little ones.

~s said...

Good morning Mrs. Dugger. I hope you have a great day.

Rachel said...

WOW! You are so giving it's great to hear there are people out there like you and your family! Those kids will not forget what you have done for them!

Ha! That Mrs. Dugger comment is killing me....to bad she has like 5 commercial washing machines!

Scott and Erin said...

um, so, what's a Ripstick??? I'm kind of afraid to ask, but if it can entertain a whole brood of kids, i want one!

Jess said...

What an awesome example of a family who truly "walks the walk". You are teaching your children things that are so valuable and they are storing up treasures in heaven. I love your heart, your courage, and your sense of humor with your everyday willingness to serve. I am so thankful for ALL missionary families, whether they serve far away, or in a community not far from our own backyard!

Jen said...

I love ya'll's heart and the williness to even be more dependant on Christ and open your arms. Praying for you...

Guard Wife said...

I show my love by going to Sam's Club too. :) And, I've even taken laundry home on occasion to help new or overwhelmed moms. Wish I lived closer as I would definitely churn up the old Kenmore for you. :)

Thank goodness for folks who will stand in the gap & hold things together when need be. And, how very wonderful for you to be able to see the ripple effect of your kindness...the big Ds taking care of the wee ones. THAT is something to smile about.

Will be praying for all of you. :)

Jill said...

You ALL are making those angels do some shouting...praising God...I would love to see the beaming smile and full heart God has as you and yours extend yourselves to these people in need...I was wondering some time in the future when the laundry is not three feet deep, could you please tell me how your original four deal with sharing their parents. Ours seem to find selfishness so abundant when we come into a season of opening up our house to different needs. I love what God is doing.

emily said...

You guys are living out the gospel- wish I were available to help. Know we are praying though.

Lori said...

Praying for you all! We had 4 extra kids on Monday and Tuesday just during the day and it was CRAZY. I can't even imagine how crazy it is at your house. My heart breaks for that family. I'm sure you must be exhausted yourself. Please keep us updated on how we can pray for you!

Jennifer said...

Wow. You're such an inspiration to do more in my little community. Oh, and that Mrs. Dugger comment has me rolling on the floor. Too funny.

Candy said...

I think a girl's outing to the laundromat is in order. We could knock out that laundry in no time with multiple washers, dryers and helpers. I think there still are such things too!!

pcb said...

Love your blog and admire your family so much.

Thomtiger said...

I rejoice in your faith and compassion. You are truly an inspiration! Prayers are lifted for you all!

saucymomma said...

You are such a living example of brotherly love. Thank you for witnessing and leading by example. God uses you to teach me something or reveal His word every time I read your blog. It's a good addiction, right?

I hope that you are finding peace in the midst of all the noise and chaos at your house right now. Have you tried hiding in the dryer?

These Three Kings said...

you and Trey will be some RICH people in Heaven
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rustdestroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I can just imagine the number of angels you have entertained in your home! The way the hood see you using that home will show them just how much you treasure CHRIST!! I am praying for you all!


Kim said...

Thank you for loving those kiddos. I teach in an area much like the one in which you live. In your words, I see the faces of my students. I ache that there are days I send them home to empty cupboards and cold floors on which to sleep.

Thank you for loving my kiddos.

Abbie said...

Love you, Melissa. :)

Kim said...

Thank you for your living example of all that Jesus taught! Praying for you all! Love & Blessings, Kim

Anonymous said...

I love doing Laundry. What would your dream day for a laundress be? I would also love to add an extra child anytime...just let me know when your shoes get too tight!
(I also have a pair of Heelys I would love to get rid of, size 5 - wuold that fit a 12 year old?)

much love and prayers,

Garden Girl said...

Your heart brings me to sweet tears. As I 'watch' you join the Father in what He is already doing, I am so blessed.
Your children will rise up and called you blessed as well. What an amazing thing you are doing and I just cannot wait to see what your children will do as a result.
Your effect on eternity is staggering.
God abundantly bless you.
And give you a gift card for the spa.....:)