Wednesday, I enrolled my foster kid into school. I walked in there and there was a mom who was livid from waiting. Grumbling and complaining because she was late for work. I could relate, I smiled and sat there quietly. Lord, I am trying to bring You with me. I am trying to remember You taught me to be patient. That WWJD bracelet they gave us in the 90’s rocked ya girl’s world. When she later stormed out and said she would be back tomorrow, I smiled again. Fussing ain’t gonna move anything any faster. It’ll only rile that frustrated mama up more and it’ll stress the lady working in the office out more.
After our turn was finished, we filled out all the paperwork, we were approved by the school board, got our locker and class schedule, I went to get an oil change since my day was halfway over. It started to pour rain. I called when I arrived. They said just pull up to the gate and we’ll get you taken care of. I waited outside for twenty plus minutes and called again. Again, I remembered WWJD. This time they opened the gate and took my keys. I smiled, said thank you and went inside where I was greeted by two different groups of people waiting who grumbled and complained about how I better get comfortable because it’s gonna be a while. I smiled at them and went about my business.
Almost an hour later, my car was ready. It took another 15 minutes to get my keys back. I sat, I smiled, I waited. I went through the pouring rain to my car and opened the door. And right there on the driver seat’s was a big black greasy hand print. On my 2018 brand new, hardddd earned car. I shut my mouth, and sat down. WWJD? right. Yelling would not make that hand print disappear. A little bit of Dawn would though.
This morning I drove my foster kid to the bus stop. She started putting her nose on the window and rubbing her fingers in the frost, just a laughing. I heard my dad’s voice in my head saying: “get your hands of my window, you’re leaving dirty fingerprints!” I near about burst laughing. They are only kids for a precious, little while. I’m enjoying the innocence and joyful heart for as long as I can. I can spray some Windex on the window later, that’s what Windex is for: messy kid hands. Right now we’re sipping hot chocolate and making up a song about being cold: I can’t feel my toes when it’s cold outside…
There is going to be Dr. Pepper spilled on the monopoly board and the pieces will wind up missing. There is going to be hot chocolate spilled in the backseat. There is going to be a candy wrapper in the cup holder. There is going to be towels on the floor. There is going to be tardiness. There is going to be shoes tripped on. There is going to be glitter slime leaving residue. And that was all just the first week.
I know that paint on the carpet, nail polish on the table, and sooo much more is coming. But those are all signs of life. And she is going to talk all through the Service at Church and ask 150 questions. I ain’t worried about messes because I’ll be right there with grace to help clean it up and show her how to move forward. I ain’t worried about questions because I got answers and I’ll be right there reminding her for 85th time to say please and thank-you. And I’m coming with Dawn, Lysol wipes, Tide, and Jesus.
I’ll just turn on Miranda Lambert and sing: “It’ll all come out, all come out in the wash. Every little stain, every little heartbreak, no matter how messy it got.” If I act a fool for all these little things, when the big messes happen, she’ll be too scared to come to me. If I act a fool, she’ll repeat my foolish behavior. If I act a fool, I miss the freezing cold waiting on the bus laughter and it turns to yelling that’ll ruin a whole day, if we let it. Everything will get cleaned up, stains will come out-or they won’t. Either way it’ll be ok.
I am Heaven-bound, that greasy hand print or spilled drink don’t matter to a hill of beans in Heaven. I know I’m in that honeymoon phase of fostering and trouble is always a-brewing. But we will worry about trouble when it comes. Ain’t no sense in the pre-worry. I had plenty of foster mom fails already. Like not bringing gloves on Halloween for pink and purple fingers. There’s grace for all that too. Right now, we’re singing and dancing and learning how to feel safe again.
So, this is my prayer. Thank you for miracles only you can provide. Thank you for laughter and joy and safety. Thank you for teaching me and preparing me for this. Thank you for moving mountains and parting seas. Thank you for rainbows and sunshine after the rain. Thank you for Titus 2 women leading me. Thank you for grace and forgiveness when I don’t look for the way out that you provided. Thank you for cleaning up my messes and showing me a different way. Thank you for courage to move forward and try again. And as always I pray for my family and sorority sisters. I pray for my university. I pray for guidance for our government, church, and school leaders. I pray for protection for our troops. I pray for all of those that need you now and for those that haven’t met you yet. In Jesus’ name, Amen.