Sunday, December 07, 2008

No Vacancy!

The NO vacancy sign is lit in front of our home. We are officially at full capacity. When I purchased this house three years ago, I had difficulty justifying the need for five bedrooms, but I always wanted a “study” and thought it was important to have a “guest room” for occasional visitors, so I was able to justify the purchase. Now I am sure why I “needed” to purchase a house too big for us at the time—to fill it up.

Two of my stepchildren came to live with us this past month. Though temporary, it has been an adjustment for all of us. I know that I have looked upon this new state of affairs pragmatically. I understood it would be difficult at times. I understood that there would be adjustments. I understood that everyone would have to be flexible. What I underestimated, but should not have, was the many blessings that often accompany graciousness.

One manifestation of generosity is evident in the loving nature of my family. They have accepted, valued, and even loved my new step family. My mother, as the matriarch, has covered our situation in prayer. Dad has been encouraging; always accepting as usual. The brothers have done what they do best—created opportunities for the Z and J to connect, with the family, with friends and with the church, of course this is accomplished through playing board games, but it works.

The outcome of embracing the boys into our lives has been that, though cumbersome at times, the transition has been smoother than I anticipated. Do I think this is it; that now we will live in some euphoric commune with little struggle? Not a chance. I recognize that we will be unable to circumvent frustration, irritation and confrontation. What I am hopeful of is that when confronted with these circumstances we will act in a loving manner that strengthens our character and fortifies our faith.

I have heard it said that when we become closer to God, we do not become more spiritual, we become more loving. Delving into the quintessence of God and who he is, radically transforms us and creates within us a less selfish, more generous, more productive and more loving spirit—the essential qualities that sustain us through ANY life circumstance--especially those that stretch us and those which call us to a sacrifice beyond what we ever imagined.

As a retrospect---this I know for sure...