Monday, April 25, 2016

30 Minutes of an Ideal Night

Last night I spent two hours in one of our cottages where we house teenage boys. It was not a perfect night. In fact, it was not a fun night at all. I won't go into detail to protect the privacy of our residents, but it was a really bad time. Let's just say it took five adults to get six boys to settle down and go to bed after the troubling event that got them riled up.

But on this perfectly beautiful night I sat with fun people on a porch watching all of the residents on this campus, all boys, play football, ride scooters, and play with each other. There were ten boys ranging in age from 8-18 and for a little over 30 minutes they all got along nicely. The weather was perfect, the grass green, the boys laughing and getting along, the adults joking together. I wanted to stop time and remember that these kind of nights are what it is all about.

I was thinking back to 2004 when my kids were ages 8-18. There were ten of them at that time as well and we spent a lot of time outdoors. We had a membership to an aquatic center and we spent a lot of time at the city park. We had some really great times -- and we had some really not-so-great times.
Ecclesiastes talks about how there is a purpose for everything under heaven. Chinese philosophy calls it the Yin and the Yang. But the bottom line is that in life there is always going to be ups and downs.

I've had a pretty rough week. I have been frustrated with myself. I have not known for sure what to do, but God has very directly given me the message that I need to trust Him. That I need to stop attempting to control things... fix things. My last blog post explained that.

Letting go, shutting up, and trusting God to take care of things is not my specialty. But I'm trying.

And this evening, even though I was tired and didn't say much, I enjoyed watching "our boys" play together. I enjoyed their banter, their hugs, and I'm even getting used to being called "Mrs. Fletcher." I realized that the pain and the crap (figuratively and literally) are all part of the big picture. Without the low times, the high times don't seem as good.

I know this has been a theme in my blog over the years. We have had some really really good times as a family. And we have had some really, really bad times as a family. But we have tried to err on the side of grace and to live, love, forgive and never give up.

I'm learning that this may be the way of life in my job too.

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