Tonight, our tiny, nearly microscopic subdivision yard held eight children on its soft green blades.
I always find myself dreaming of lots of acreage for my boys to run and play; I try to block out the desire because the price of land is so outrageous in the state we live.
I have four boys and my neighbor down the street has three biological and two foster children at the moment, four boys and one girl. She’s an incredibly sweet person so full of love and dedication.
All of her boys were riding their bikes past our house, and they asked my oldest if he wanted to play. His face lit up immediately. Then one of the foster kids came in our yard and started throwing the football with my husband.
My son thought they’d wanted him to go ride with them but before we knew it, everyone joined in a good ol’ game of football. Even our baby loved watching them. I enjoyed seeing them have a team-minded attitude with each other, and they roughed each other up like typical boys do.
A few minutes later, a little girl stopped by to watch the commotion. She sat by me and played with my baby and kept him company. She mentioned a few of her 9-year-old insecurities and I listened as my heart broke; no child should have to be concerned with what she was telling me. I often see her riding her little bike alone.
My thoughts shifted to how much fun the boys were having; there’s nothing sweeter than kids having fun outside and it brings me such joy.
Then, these thoughts crossed my mind and filled me with shame.
These kids must be thirsty.
We don’t have bottled water.
Maybe I should have picked some up at the store.
I’m not that strategic with planning.
All of my dishes aren’t even clean today.
You’re so unorganized, Amber.
At that moment, the husband-wife intuition kicked in, and I heard my husband kindly asking me to make everyone some drinks.
My face went blank.
I didn’t really WANT to get up to find eight separate cups. Couldn’t they possibly just share? We did when I was little. Wait that’s weird. I’m not asking them to share.
“OK, babe. Be right back.”
So the little neighbor girl watched my baby while I went and made ice-cold water.
I felt the Lord gently nudge me and remind me about all the dreams I have to buy a big house with lots of land and adopt a ton of children and give them a home.
Then He gently whispered, “Serve them.”
Two words for eight children.
Children who, no doubt, are facing hard times.
Children who have seen and felt so much in their little lives.
Children who have a future.
Children who deserve a special cold glass of clean water.
So I hopped to it, bringing them out a few at a time.
After they had gone home, I was helping my boys with their baths. As my oldest was running his bath water he said, “Mom, God answered my prayer. I was so happy when they rode by, I wanted to play with them so bad but I was too afraid to ask, so I said a prayer in my head to God that they would ask me first.”
I just sat with a lump in my throat, trying not to cry.
“God answers prayers mama.”
Yes He does, baby.
Even a child wanted them to be his friends.
When Satan lies and wants those foster kids to believe they are unwanted or unloved, I beg to differ—they are wanted.
When Satan shames me for my shortcomings, I’m still going to serve them.
When you, my friend, have a dream and you’re not seeing it come to pass, serve them.
When you feel like your little is too little and so insignificant, I promise you have exactly what someone else needs.
They just may be closer than you think. Look around. And serve them.
Tonight, after everyone goes to sleep, I’m going to wash those eight cups with a smile knowing I did something for the kingdom of God.
They did something even greater for me.
They taught me that love is beautiful.
Originally published on the author’s Facebook page.
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