Every day is a new adventure. Some days the adventures feel like sinkholes, some days they feel like the ultimate win. This is the life of fostering. Just when you think you have it all figured out, you realize you know nothing. Every journey is different, even though many stories sound the same. I think I thought I would be stronger, that my skin would be thicker. Alas, I realize how weak I really am and that my skin is actually paper thin and prone to shattering.
“Guard your heart, “ they say. When one of them figures out how to guard said heart while loving unconditionally, unreservedly, let me know. I bet top dollar, not a single person can tell me how. Those two things are incongruent. Like oil and vinegar, they will never mix. You will find the end of one before you get to the beginning of the other. You either guard your heart and hold back, or you dive head first, knowing, in the end, it will end in tears and brokenness. And if you have the wherewithal, you do it all over again and again. That’s what people with a purpose and passion do. Come hell or high water, you just keep trudging those weary days.
The grit and grind of life will take it all out of us; vacations restore us to sanity.
Do you want to know what I feel about fostering? It’s one of the hardest things anyone could ever do. If done right, you will feel powerless, spent and broken. You will also feel joy and love like never before. It’s a gamble to be sure. The payoff is not for this earth though. So why do I keep doing it? Why do I encourage others to do it? One simple fact, it’s not about me. If I do this for me, it’s the wrong thing to do. I’ve said it once, I say it a thousand times, fostering is the most selfless thing we can do.
Every year we have the gift of going to Florida and staying with my family on the beach. It is a much-needed reprieve from life. This past year has been especially hard, loving 4 foster kids and saying goodbye to them. We took this trip very seriously.
Vacations are necessary in life. The grit and grind of life will take it all out of us; vacations restore us to sanity.
Coming to the beach, I felt all the weight of the year leave me. The ocean calls to me. Personally I think I should live at the beach. I got to go deep sea fishing! I love deep sea fishing. I love being on the boat way out in the ocean, no land in sight. Appropriately, we had a massive storm while we were out. The boat rocked and rose with the waves to slam back down. It was hailing and the wind was howling. In the past, I would have been a puddle of mess on the floor of the cabin. This year has trained me to live in the storm. Instead of being afraid, of sitting in the corner hiding, I just laid down and went to sleep with the rocking and swaying of the boat. I woke up when the storm passed and went back to fishing.
I got to stand in the ocean, dig my toes deep into the sand, breath the salt air and let all the tears, the worries and stresses of the past year just slip away with the tide.
This vacation we started a new tradition. My sister and her crew were with us in Florida, my mom and step-dad decided they wanted to have a family game night of softball. We are all very competitive, but we had so much fun. To top if off, Chris, my sister's boyfriend, asked her to marry him! She of course said yes.
I’m happy for them. I get a brother in law that is amazingly sweet and funny. Lord knows there is a shortage of good brothers in law in the world. I hit the jack pot with this one.
I hope that you find time to get away this summer. Let God restore your weary soul and fill your cup for next year. Go have a family game night and make some memories.
I’m ready to jump back in now. I’m ready to open my home to more little ones who need all the love I have to give. My cup is filled and I’m ready to be poured out again.