For the past three days, our home has been filled with children. Not just our ‘at home’ children but more children.
There have been laughter, games, music, sports, conversation, food – a lot of food, and even some homework. It has been wonderful. Children from seven through 14 have run through our halls, flopped on our sofas, sprawled on our floors and consumed our kitchen.
People have often asked me how we do it, having a whole herd of children in our home at once. “White noise” was how I described it to my mother one time, I just knew that it was going on in the background. But this was not white noise. This week, the noise was living, breathing and all around me. It was amazing!
Watching our children build relationships and connect with friends was so special. Growing up, I never really ‘fit in’. I was always on the periphery of any group. It was difficult for me to make close friends. Seeing our children bask in the blessing of building friendships and being invited to share in them is one of the most incredible gifts I have ever been given.
Hearing the children talk about what is important to them, what their dreams are, learning their values and enjoying their senses of humour has given such insight into their hearts. Having my friend’s children call me “Mum #2” or another friend’s children say that it is so much fun to be with our family is like being wrapped in the biggest bear hug and told that I am loved.
My house looks like a hurricane blew through. The refrigerator looks like the aftermath of a plague of locusts (empty). Yet, those seem like such little things when considering that we have been able to play a small part in helping these young people develop friendships that may last a lifetime and at the same time have been blessed in enjoying the exuberance of these young people in our lives.
I may not have given birth to each of these children (my husband is sighing in relief) but each one is loved and precious to me. I am so thankful that the Lord is blessing me with all of these arrows in the quiver of our extended family!
Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him.
And when Esau lifted up his eyes and saw the women and children, he said, “Who are these with you?” Jacob said, “The children whom God has graciously given your servant.”
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!