Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Jackie Chan Meets Pink Linens
Surrounded on four walls by athletes including Kobe Bryant and Jackie Chan, I find my pink bedding a stranger to this boyland. My new place is fantastic. I have my own space and ample storage. But the best part: three new brothers.
I recently moved to Forest Lake after feeling that I needed to move from my sister’s 750 sq. ft. apartment. For the six months I was there, I bunked up with my two-year-old niece. At the beginning of our room sharing experience, she would often shut me out of the room saying, “Kenna’s room. Get out, Doy.” However, by the end of it all, I found that I love her more than really any other kid.
I remember one night when Mel and Stefan went to the airport at 4 a.m. Just after leaving, McKenna woke up and began searching for them. I was in a deep slumber. McKenna reasoned that going outside on this chilly night in November, without shoes mind you, would be a great way to remedy her problem of missing parents. Wandering around the neighborhood, wailing, my neighbor awoke. Praise God she brought her home. I’m sure the neighbors thought I was a delinquent aunt, but at 4 a.m., what would you expect? After she was returned I watched her with eyes wide open until Melody returned.
I don’t anticipate that my new brothers will be doing anything like this. However, stories will be told.
Here they are, eldest to youngest,
Ryan, who is 17 years old, lives in the basement. He’s tall and thin with beautiful blue eyes and a small gap in his teeth. But he’s become very shy. For years his identity was vested in sports. Ryan wasn’t a boy; he was an athlete, complete with detachable glove and shooting arm. After being cut from the basketball team last November, he has burrowed himself deep into a cave of depression. He remains reclusive in a dank and chilly basement.
Nate, the middle child, is amazingly gifted with music. He is trendy with a thin figure. When we were younger, he joked with me about all sorts of silliness. I often stole one-liners from him. He coined the phrase, “That’s the way it should be.” But now, he closes himself off with an iPod. He attends a charter school where he says there isn’t much diversity. Watching the kids disperse after I picked him up from school yesterday, I find this to be true. There are two black kids. The third was expelled after selling her Adderall to classmates, he says. I’m not sure if this is the diversity he speaks of, but if so, he’s dead on. I ask him about friends, he says all the kids at school use drugs. I say, “Good boy. Stay away from that stuff.” Tough he remains solo at school, I find him great company.
The youngest, Dylan, has become a bookworm in his short 10 years. His silliness has taken the space where once Nathan’s was able to use his quick wit. Though he was chubby for much of his childhood, a newfound excitement in baseball is becoming his haven for weight loss and friend making. Slimming out, he’s becoming less of a little kid and more of a boy. He always has something new to talk about and much of the time will tell you new and interesting facts about children’s fiction. I adore his precociousness and buzzed haircut.
I don’t live with them because of the free rent. I feel that God has brought me to just this place for one reason: love.
They’re all going through things, even the parents. I won’t get into detail, but I will say, the only reason I’m living in this place is because God made it happen. I prayed for a family to take me in. The next day Julie asks me to live there for the summer. I knew I needed to take time for the boys, so what happens? God works out my schedule so my jobs consume fewer hours. All the while, the income remains the same, if not more. My God is good.
Though, I’m finding myself caught between patterns of the past, which are not desired anymore, and the near future. The choices are clear. I can lazily take my days as they come, or be intentional, setting aside hours of the day for the boys and making the days off meaningful. I can procrastinate writing assignments or I can work them out quickly so to have more time to do other things. I can fill every hour with lunch dates or coffee dates with people at church, or I can slow down and limit myself a bit. I want to make wise decisions. With God’s help, I will.
If you think of it, pray for this family. I’ve been interceding for them. Every time I think something should be happening, and I get frustrated, God reminds me, “It’s just a matter of time.”
I’m still waiting on a few promises, but that doesn’t mean my God isn’t faithful. It means that he’s giving me time to take in the goodness that he shells out to me everyday. If he fulfilled everything now, I’d have a heart attack. It’s how Peter explains it in 2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
As my faith increases, God puts more on my plate. I find this all a blessing. Though, sometimes its difficult and I feel like a screw up, I know he’s got a plan. And because I’m weak, he’s stronger. We are weak warriors. And will we be overcome? “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37