I was asked an interesting question this week: “What are you expecting to get out of this?”
It was asked during our foster parent support group and it was a fair question but it took me off guard a little bit.
“Well, I don’t know. I guess we are just here to love this little guy the best we can today and tomorrow will bring what it will bring. “
It was the best answer I could think of in the moment and I’m not sure it really answered his question. I don’t know what I want to get out of this experience. I know that it’s hard. I know that it doesn’t seem worth it. I know that I have to jump through a crazy number of hoops to do even the simplest of things. But I know that it’s what we are here for: to love them the best we can today.
As I was processing it all, it occurred to me how much this also applies to our homeschool experience. What do I want to get out of this???
It’s easy to get bogged down, to feel like we are quite there yet. Our homeschool days have been hard lately. Lots of whining and not a lot of working. Complaints about math being too hard, hours spent reading books with no substance and writing that hasn’t seemed to improve in years.
What’s the point? What do I want to get out of it? Why are we doing this?
I guess, in the end, I just want to love them the best that I can for the time that I have.
Loving them well for today means giving them an extra hug or kiss. It may mean putting on an extra movie that day. It may be calling a truce and taking a step back, taking the day off school and starting again a new day. It may mean teaching your kids to do things for themselves so that when you aren’t there, they can fend for themselves. It may mean calling in back up and asking for help from a friend so that they don’t have to wait at another doctors office. Loving your kids well may mean going out on regular dates with your significant other to allow you them a chance to see what a great marriage can be. Loving them well does not mean we are perfect every day or we beat ourselves up for our failings. It does not mean walking on eggshells so that they avoid hurt or disappointment.
Loving them well means we work so very hard to keep that twinkle of wonder in their eye.
It means we model Christ, offer grace and walk this hard line together.
We aren’t guaranteed any number of days with our kids- biological or otherwise. We can hope for more. We can pray for more. We can be blessed with thousands upon thousands of them. But we aren’t guaranteed them.
I think for me, it takes the burden off.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34
So even when my everyday feels impossible, I have hope. I can choose joy and love well. I can jump through hoops and ask for help and we can still manage to accomplish that elusive schooling at home thing. What do I want to get out of this? Out of fostering and out of homeschooling? Out of being a wife and a friend?
I just want to love as well as I possibly can.