Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sintija and Matching Shoes

After all the planning, training, painting, and preparing - Sintija finally arrives tomorrow to the US!  It seems like hosting has been this thing we have talked about in the near future, but tomorrow this thing becomes a reality, a reality in the form of a young girl.  Tomorrow hosting stops being something we are doing and becomes someone we are loving.  

It's all a little overwhelming.

I am sure hosting is what we should be doing right now.  Mark and I have no doubts about that.  But we have no idea what the actual experience will be like.  Most everything is an unknown!  Will she speak much English?  (We don't know.)  Will she be able to relax and bond with us over time?  (We hope so.)  Will the boys overwhelm her with their...boyness?  (Hmmmm.)  For that matter, will the boys be able to hang out at home for five weeks in something other than their underwear?  (Oh, let's hope so for Sintija's sake!)  There is just no way to predict what will happen for the rest of the summer.  All we can do is pray.

That has been the biggest lesson for me so far in getting ready to host.  NHFC does an all day, very intensive training, and they give you all kinds of information about these kids and where they are coming from.  But there are no absolutes in this.  I can't "get good" at hosting.  All I can do at this point is...do.  

I realize that I don't often put myself in situations where I can't predict a successful outcome, at least most of the time.  I tend to stick to things I have some self-confidence in - especially when it comes to spiritual growth.  Even as I read that last sentence back, I shudder.  Not much faith walking going on these days in my life.  I probably haven't felt this out of my element since standing on the Supreme Court steps on a chilly November evening praying with red tape over my mouth.  I was afraid then.  I admit - I am a little afraid now.  

Hosting Sintija is beyond me.  This feels so far past my abilities.  That's not false modesty, friends.  There are days when I feel stretched beyond loving the three men who already live under this roof.  And now I am going to add a stranger to the mix - a girl whose background is totally foreign (in every sense of the word) to mine.  God has to help us.  That's the only way we can do this.  

A long time ago, I did a children's sermon where I walked to the front of the church with one high heeled shoe on one foot and a sneaker on the other.  I stumbled along very ungracefully until I got up with the kids and asked them if they noticed anything odd about my outfit that day.  They noticed right away that my shoes didn't match.  After showing them how hard it was to walk in two very different shoes, I told them that it can be hard to walk through life when what we say we believe doesn't match what we do.  It's awkward and hard to get anywhere that way.  

For so long, I have said that my heart breaks for children who are left hurting in this world.  God has challenged me to make my spiritual shoes match.  

I am counting on Him to help me walk it out.


Renovation Girl said...

Ann, you're amazing. You will all leave this experience richer. I'll be thinking of you and praying for all of you.

P said...

"I can't "get good" at hosting. All I can do at this point is...do. "

I bet the real issue is you cant really "do" and will have to allow yourself to simply "be" a host.

I dont mean to be so philosophical, but the reality is God chose you because of who you are, not what you do. The do part is easy, the be part isnt until you simply get to the end of your abilities, and allow yourself to be you. I have a LOT of confidence in Gods ability to move through that.

Not being critical, simply trying to encourage. Between Angela and Danie,t hey seem to think you are the most wonderful person, and I bet it has nothing to do with what yo "do" but rather who you "be".

Carrigan Family said...

Just thinking of you and praying you and Sintija are getting some rest .... I can't sleep, so trying to put my insomnia to good use by praying for the two of you ... somehow I can see you laying there in the dark with your big eyes wide open right about now wondering how you ended up in this hotel with this darling girl that can't understand a word you are speaking most likely and vice versa. I also came on here to remind you to just "be" ..... looks like "P" said it pretty well. I'll be checking in - I'm heading to Cookevegas tomorrow and won't be back until Sunday - but I'll call. Love you oodles!!