Isaiah 64:8: But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.
A potter works with clay to make something new out of a lump of mushy, wet dirt. They don’t pick up a solid rock and wet it down and attempt to mold it; it won’t work. The verse above says we are God’s clay, He is the potter. Just like a potter cannot mold a solid rock into something new, neither can God mold us into something new if we are so set in our ways that we are unwilling to change. If we look at life from the perspective that it is too scary to change, especially major changes, then we are being unwilling to let God mold us.
God made us all, from Adam and Eve who were made of the dirt of the ground, a rib, and God’s powerful breath, to you and I who were made from DNA and God’s amazing power to create life. He is our builder, our creator, and our guide. Therefore, He has the power to change our lives. Sometimes things just happen to us and it changes everything. We don’t necessarily plan or even anticipate these changes, but yet they still come. Maybe these changes happen because we are being too inflexible and unwilling to let God mold us, or perhaps they happen because God is checking our level of flexibility and faith in Him. But, sometimes, God gives us permission to grab life by the horns and rearrange it. With prayer, He guides us in a new direction and sometimes new directions. I feel like that is what God is doing for my family right now. We are praying that our family can get to where He wants us to be so all of us can be happy and doing a work (or works) for Him.
I think the unrest started in me about a year ago. One day I woke up and realized that I was not really completely happy. I felt like I was going through the motions of everyday life simply trying to survive each day until it was bedtime again. I wasn’t enjoying things like I knew I should and I couldn’t just attribute it to my depression (there will probably be a future blog about that one) this time. I didn’t feel depressed, I just felt like I wasn’t living the life I had always pictured. I began praying and that is when God gave us the job of being foster parents. Then we got our first foster-daughter and it has all been SO insanely hard that I started to question if we had made a huge mistake or misinterpreted God’s plan for us. I got lost in the daily struggle and took my eyes off the end result. I prayed for His help and He comforted me and reminded me that we were helping a sweet child be safe and reassured me this was part of His plan. When she came to us she had trouble sleeping, so we put a radio in her and my youngest daughter’s room to help block out the noisy rest of the house. I, of course, turned it to a country station because that is what I have always listened to. But, as I sat there with them and listened to the words of the songs, I realized that very few of them were a message I wanted to send to my children. What if while they slept these ideas were being subconsciously burned into their little minds? I reached out and turned the dial a little and landed on a Christian radio station. Wow! What a difference in the message! Now this was what I wanted to be burned into their growing minds! I began listening in the car, too, and the whole atmosphere changed. The fighting got less in the back seat and I began to hear my eldest two singing along with God-praising songs and it warmed my heart. Then, Josh changed his radio station and I saw a change in his attitude too. It’s funny, too, that I don’t grow tired of hearing any of the Christian songs over and over again. I enjoy them every time I hear them.
Then, He gave me this devotional and, though it may seem strange, it feels like me writing these devotionals is part of my “therapy.” He allows me to write down thoughts and through prayer about what I’m going to write opens my eyes to new ideas and understanding of Him. I have felt more at ease, less stressed, and more confident since I started writing these and sharing them with all of you. It wasn’t easy to break out of my shell and share my thoughts, but now that I did I am so grateful to Him that He directed me to do it.
This past summer break, the closer we got to school starting, the more sad I got. I didn’t want my kids to go back to school and not be home. I would miss them like crazy. We went to Myrtle Beach and camped for 5 days and we were all so happy there. It wasn’t because we didn’t have to work because, trust me, camping in a tent on the beach with 4 kids is a TON of work. We were exhausted at the end of each day but we were happy because we were all together and we were able to teach our kids new things in the park and do learning activities with them at the ranger station. We came home to have only a week left before school started and I dreaded it. Somewhere in there we began praying about homeschooling, which is something I never thought we would do and was absolutely terrified of. It simply seemed like such a monumental thing to cram so much information into my daughter’s heads and not mess them up. But, two weeks after school started, as we drew closer to our foster-daughter going home, on a Wednesday night at church I felt led to go to the altar to pray about everything that had been happening and all the prayers we had on our hearts. As I knelt there and cried and listened to my church family praying with me, I heard our pastor praying that we would continue to raise our girls in a Godly way and suddenly the answers were so clear. Homeschooling is what God wants us to do right now. Destiny is going home and it will be okay. You should continue to be foster parents, even though it is hard. You should stay right here in this church and continue to raise your girls in church as much as possible and start a Bible study at home, too. I rose up with a weight lifted. On the ride home, I told Josh I had my answers and he should let me know when he did too. He said he got them while we were praying too and was on exactly the same page as me (duh! cause God is not the author of confusion).
I feel really, really special that God has allowed us to grow and change and work for Him lately and I hope it continues. We are now homeschooling and I am so happy to have my beautiful children home with me daily. I love teaching them and watching them learn new things! It’s interesting, too, that all these changes are things I never, ever thought I would do. I never thought I would be a foster-parent, or listen to Christian music, or write a blog for the world to see with my very personal thoughts, or home-school either. But, as I told my mom the other day, God is so smart! He knows what we need and sometimes we don’t have a clue. I am so thankful for all these changes and I only hope they continue. I wonder what He has planned next?