Yesterday someone asked me if I planned on continuing to foster children in the future. I said an outright NO! And then, after a pause. Well, ok. In the end, God gets the final say. I just hope it’s no.
I thought about it some more and wanted to add to the conversation, You see, the problem is, I don’t feel like I have very much Margin in my life. Margin, according to nourishedplanner.com is “the boundaries, the rest that is built into your every day life. It is the space between our load and our limits. Margin is the gap between rest and exhaustion, the space between breathing freely and suffocating…”
I was thinking about margin and thinking that it feels like I have been going full-throttle for twenty years now and my margin has been very small. `I would like to have more margin. Having more foster kids would definitely not fit into that plan. At least, not in this stage of my life.
While I was thinking all this, I put out a little prayer, Lord, I need more margin!
Then last night I had a crazy dream. The simplified version is I realized someone had a baby hidden away in my house, and it had been there for months, and no one had been taking care of it, and it was severely neglected and needed care Immediately. I was rushing the baby to the doctor, making plans in my head of how I could wear the baby in a carrier to try and establish a good bonding between us. Maybe I could nurse it? I was in full-blown FIX IT NOW mode, and at the same time feeling overwhelming guilt that I had somehow let this happen right under my own nose. I woke up and there was a complete thought planted in my head.
“There are so many babies that need someone to take care of them. Aren’t you going to do it?”
And all my thoughts about wanting margin in my life came flooding back and I cried out to God, “What do you want from me??”
And this verse came into my head.
Philippians 2:17, NLT: “But I will rejoice even if I lose my life, pouring it out like a liquid offering to God, just like your faithful service is an offering to God. And I want all of you to share that joy.”
And then I just lay there in bed. And now today, as the whole thing lingers in my mind, I think more about margin. I remember all the times when I felt like I was on the edge, I could do no more, I was, in fact, Done, and God provided Rest. Restoration. Reset.
My grown up life has seemed to be a series of long hard gallops, followed by some really slow, meandering walks. And sometimes, just periods of time when I am completely still. And when I’m restored again, the pace starts picking up and the gallop starts again.
And it doesn’t seem correct to me. I mean, slow and steady wins the race, right? Pace yourself. Take care of yourself first, and then you will have something to offer others… All of these statements have been my go-to for the last couple years.
Not taking on more than you can handle sounds like wisdom to me. Of course, when you do that, you kind of negate the Divine. God never said that we could handle everything. He said that if we are relying on him, and walking in His Spirit, His Power, working through us, can accomplish anything. And when that happens, it’s so obviously God, and not us, that God gets all the glory.
I have no idea what the future holds. Our current foster arrangement was miraculous in itself. We did not fit any of the parameters for fostering, but when the need arose, the court was willing to jump through a bunch of legal loopholes so we could foster. I don’t know what will come next. But, I am feeling led to just say, Lord, I’m available. Whatever you want. I’m here.