Monday, May 9, 2016

My Boys

If you follow along on Instagram, you've seen and heard me talk about my family. My boys. 

Left to right: Moses (22), Terry (21), Jean d'Amour (No.41 Program Director), Richard (16), Innocent (17), Chazzo (19)
On the heels of Mother's Day, and in the spirit of owning my story, I'd like to say, maybe out loud for the first time, that I am mothering these boys. I am their mother. Not their only mother, not their legal mother, but their mother no less. I didn't intend for this to happen. I didn't set out to fill my house and my heart with boys. I hurt and I prayed and He answered in the most unexpected way.

Most of you know the story of Innocent and know he is the primary reason I moved to Rwanda. And most of the other boys fell into place in similar ways. Instantly and accidentally. Maybe you get tired of hearing me say that I stumbled into it (whatever it happens to be), but it's quite honestly the truth. I didn't have a well thought out plan for how all of this would go. I didn't have parameters in place, no list of rules, no safety net. Just a feeling (and faith) that this was how it was supposed to be. For as long as it was going to be.

I like what Ann Voskamp has to say:
....family is a verb, family is an action that we choose because family is not just what we are, it’s something that we actively keep on making. Turns out we aren’t merely born into families, families are born out of our reaching out & holding on & serving anyways & giving always... Always. Turns out it's not only the blood in our veins that makes us family — it’s the blood & sacrifice in our days that make us a family.

Turns out? Parenting isn’t quite as overwhelming when we simply understand how to serve in this minute. Sometimes figuring that out is hard. Sometimes what serves best is simply our open arms & the close beat of our own breaking heart. Love breaks & gives away your heart. Every time.


God sets the lonely in families and loving these boys is the closest to the heart of God I think I've ever been. We live this tangled, messy life, steeped in grace and overflowing with love. We belong to each other and that is powerful. We fight and makeup. We laugh and I cry. They try to protect themselves and push me away, yet I relentlessly pursue their hearts and it has been the best way to learn about God's relentless pursuit of my own heart. I've heard it said, "If it doesn't hurt, you're not doing it right."

Y'all, then we are getting this so(oo) right. More soon. xo

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