When we took on the 6th child we knew it was going to involve a few breathless weeks of what I like to describe as plate spinning. I shed tears of fear as I imagined some of my plates would likely fall and get a little chipped. Frankly, I have grown to like my collection of metaphorical plates. Some I chose and others were gifts, but regardless of their origin--this quirky collection is uniquely mine and keeping them spinning is my daily work.
I want to be a sold out servant, holding nothing back, until of course it starts to hit too close to home. I want to give, but I want 'my stuff' (physically, emotionally & spiritually) to stay intact.
Last week, a mere 4 days into being a family of 8, I felt like a Cirque du Soleil plate spinner on a trapeze wire--the balance was precarious, but with constant adjustment, doable.
Just when I felt we were at absolute capacity, we hit a bump. My sons, after weeks of being ill, were diagnosed with bilateral atypical pneumonia--and one was briefly hospitalized for IV antibiotics.
Six kids, busy husband, really sick boys--and did I mention a major court date for our foster children and the grandmother I adore in hospice?
When I got this text from my friend Cabell I couldn't help but laugh.
Plates spinning, flying, in danger of crashing to the ground...but a miraculous thing happened...He didn't stop seeing me. As I hunkered down with the ones who needed me and braced myself for the destruction, God provided and I saw Him more clearly as a result of the way my community showed up.
Within 30 minutes of checking in the hospital, my family was covered. As I played Monopoly in a quiet room with an eleven year old boy who reveled in my undivided attention, rides home were provided from three different schools. Someone brought me lunch. A kid friendly spaghetti dinner was delivered to my home. Babysitters were arranged to hold down the fort at the house. A teacher supervised homework. Somebody took care of my field trip money, someone else went and picked up contacts. Plates were flying, but none hit the ground.
And the only thing that got chipped was my pride.
I was reminded that these plates were all given to me through the generous hands of my Father--and it is HE that set them in motion and keeps them spinning. To think otherwise is a prideful illusion.
Once again the humility of being in totally over my head and His faithfulness to our family are searing lessons on my heart I hope we never forget.
And this fiercely independent woman is truly coming to embrace the real beauty of swallowing my pride, getting out of the way and allowing sisters to serve out of their God given gifts. There is truly nothing more awe-inspiring than to watch the body function as it was designed. These are our community's children and to watch them be cared for by our 'village' makes me weep. There are dozens of fingerprints making precious and healing marks on these broken hearts.
I am grateful.