This time last year we were unknowingly preparing ourselves to open our home to a homeless mom and daughter to live with us for an indefinite amount of time while we helped them get back on their feet.
We weren't necessarily looking for it.
We weren't even financially preparing for it.
But over the course of our 12 year marriage the Lord has clearly given Josh and I direction to make our home a refuge.
Whether that comes in the form of a safe place for our kids to come home to, or a fun place to invite their friends to come and play, or for family visits, or helping other people with their kids or small group gatherings and families over for dinner. It doesn't matter, we want to open our door to whoever the Lord leads to our front doorstep.
Now we know safety is an issue, so we aren't just going to open our door to any stranger on the street for them to come and live with us, so our open door policy might simply mean giving a ride to a person in need, a sandwich to a hungry mom, or allowing our neighbors to know that we are always here to help, even in the middle of the night to get their car out of a ditch:)
Our house isn't always in mint condition, but that hasn't stopped us from allowing people into our lives.
I want Josh to feel comfortable calling me at the last minute to have someone over for dinner if he feels the Lord's leading and not make him feel as though it's going to send me over the edge.
I LOVE having this policy, and I love that the Lord tends to speak so clearly to both of us in this area so that we are always on the same page (because we all know that sometimes it just NEEDS to be OUR family!). We want our children to know that they are priority and are certainly aware of the balance that needs to be present too.
I want whoever walks into our door to feel the Love of Christ in an undeniable way and to see a family who knows the hurt outside of our safe walls. I want people to always feel free to ask for help, unafraid that they are going to disturb us, knowing that we are confident enough to truthfully tell them if we can help them at that time or not. I want our kids to experience real life and know that we can find ways to help others, even if our resources are few.
We have NO IDEA what this looks like long-term. It's not like we have a 5-year-goal to reach, but this is a lifestyle we have chosen to adapt for our family.
Over the past 3 weeks we have had a 13-year-old with us. She is the sweetest, most helpful little 13-year-old I've ever met. She is ALWAYS willing to help. She never complains when I ask her to do something. She's the older sister Alethia and Rainy have always wanted, ha! I feel as though she is just one of the Colony. The rest of the kids adore her, even when SHE is the one reprimanding their poor behavior;) She changes dirty diapers, plays with the kids so I can get a meal on the table, cuddling with Jude and she LOVES hide-and-seek, which we play on a daily basis now.
I know our lives will never be the same after having her around.
The larger our family became the quicker I realized that my children are my mission field, and what better way to share God's love than through opening our doors and lives up to others.
Don't let your minimal salary, messy house, sleeping capacity or anything else stand in the way of sharing life with someone else. If you wait until you are capable of this kind of lifestyle it will never happen...God is the one who makes it happen, in His own way.