It was the perfect plan. Baby J came in July for respite foster care and left 3 weeks later in August. We couldn’t start a long-term placement in the summer because of travel plans, so God very temporarily brought us a 6-month-old baby boy.
My boys ached for another baby in the house. They would help me take care of the baby while I studied for my life insurance exam. I also registered the boys for VBS and music camps the first week of August, hoping to have the perfect opportunity to study while Baby J would take long naps.
But he didn’t nap. He screamed and screamed and screamed. Why oh why? Why wouldn’t he stay asleep longer than 30 minutes or so? WHY was he ruining MY plan?
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, declares the Lord” Isaiah 55:8.
Because my plan wasn’t God’s plan. While I was throwing my adult tantrum by complaining to friends, God gently and abundantly blessed me anyway.
Don’t worry, Michelle. I will take care of you. Tend to your children and baby and I will still give you enough time to study for your state exam.
Thus He rebuked me…not with harsh discipline, but with His gentle lovingkindness. My first job is to be a mother. So let me tell you what He did.
He sent me Audrey, Josie, Jenni, Stephanie, Tiffany, and Mom Yang to take care of my baby and my boys. He sent me Vanessa to drop off a surprise vase of flowers and a card of encouragement on my doorstep.
He provided numerous more loved ones to encourage and lift me up in prayer for the screaming baby, time to study and retaining this foreign subject of insurance, and to pass the exam.
And He gave me my precious husband and boys, who did their best to let me study. (It was quite difficult for all of them to stop telling me things and asking questions. I always chuckled when they would stop mid-sentence and remember to let me have a quiet setting.)
God humbled me. So I let go of my plan. Baby J never took a long nap during his short stay with us, but he was ok playing quietly by himself in the pack n play nearby. He stopped his nonstop screaming. The boys still had their needs so I set aside my frustration, turned to them, listened, talked, disciplined, hugged, prayed, loved them. By God’s grace I passed the insurance exam.
I learned to trust that God treasures my obedience. I learned to love a screaming baby who didn’t sleep well. I learned to die to myself and tend to my family lovingly without frustration…although this is still a daily battle when it’s summer and the brothers are fighting everyday.
Oh.my.goodness. Just now as I am blogging the end of my post, sitting in Josie’s Corner cafe enjoying some alone time, a beautiful young woman gave this to me with a smile. Thank you Jesus. I will put my trust in You indeed. I know You work everything out in Your perfect timing. Thank You for your realness in teaching me to love.
Michelle is a daughter of God, wife of one handsome hunk, homeschooling mom of three boys, foster mom, foster blogger, and foster care advocate. Over the past 9 years, her family has learned to love their foster children deeply, yet hold them loosely. You can read more from Michelle at lovingdeeplyholdingloosely.com.