I have been struggling with my kids a little lately. Not my classroom kids, my own, the ones who I gave birth to and live in my house. During the summer, my house is the neighborhood house. The one all the kids hang out at. It’s a really good thing and we planned it this way.

My husband asked me years ago, “Should we get a pool?” I whined about the work it would be and how crazy it could get. “It will keep them home.” My husband wisely pointed out. And it has. So has the playground, the den and the game systems. As a result, all of my kids and the kids in the neighborhood (who would be alone at home during the day) are at my house.

It is crazy, loud, and my grocery bill is astronomical, but it is heaven. What then is the problem, you ask. Well, my kids aren’t picking up the extra work. Dear old mom gets stuck with all of it. Washing loads and loads of towels, making endless sandwiches and snacks and putting band-aids on scratched knees. Instead of being grateful that there mom is home for them (and their friends), I hear complaints about what I don’t let them do. They let me know right away if the snacks aren’t the right kind, or if my no sleepover rule is ridiculous. Let’s face it, it is exhausting to be a good and vigilant parent!

As I complained in prayer to the Lord one day, He whispered the response loudly in my ear. “This is your mission, to mother them all. To keep all the children safe. To make them all feel loved and give them a place to belong.” I was suddenly humbled at the task the Lord had given me. How could I provide enough love, safety and, uh, food, for all these kids? I realized that my home may be the difference between a child sitting alone at home and meeting strangers on a computer and swimming in my pool with a bunch of friends.

The second response was about my children, but applies to the neighborhood and to all our students. The Lord said, “Bring the children to me. I’ll do the rest.” I admit, there have been times I have been frustrated and have screamed to the Lord, “You gave all these kids to me…..Now YOU deal with them.” I guess, in His mercy, the Lord chose not to hit me with a bolt of lightening, but to hear this plea and answer me.

My dear reader, all we need to do is keep our hearts open to all the children. To give them a place to belong and to bring them to the Lord. The rest is up to Him. Many Blessings.