Last week, ALL of my siblings came to Chicago! It was the best time!
Shopping, dressing room party, watching movies, eating too much chocolate and ice-cream!
There was even a couple, intense 10 minute ab workouts that were far too embarrassing
for me to elaborate much more on. I'd rather laugh than work-out.
Few calories were burned, but many happy memories were made!
I am the oldest of the five.
The second oldest, Nellie, is also married with children.
The "kids" (as we call the three youngest) are all homeschooled - so it makes vacations...
I mean... er... educational/home economic field trips... like this possible!
But on a very serious note... having them in my home stirred my heart.
I love them fiercely.
There's not much I wouldn't do to protect them or let them know they are loved.
There once was a time when I stooped to save them from every traumatic moment
that came upon our family. Things were good - most of the time. But we grew up with parents
who were fighting hard battles with diseases they could not escape. That they still cannot escape.
I was 12 when my mom began to seriously struggle with clinical depression.
I was 16 when my dad openly admitted to being an alcoholic.
My brother and sisters were just babies. The age of my own little ones now.
There were days my parents could not be there for us.
Weeks would go by - and I mothered them.
Homework, dinner, play time, laundry... prayers, stories, and kisses goodnight.
I ushered them away from emotional situations and tried so hard to protect them
from the weight of anxiety that crushed me... as just a child myself.
I fought so hard to hold it together. For them. For me.
A good day, or week, or month would come... but it was never enough time for
my heart to heal, for me to catch my breath, or emotionally re-charge.
I remember being so tired. So very tired.
I know that God wanted me to trust Him more along the way.
I regret "playing Jesus" and setting about my own plan of salvation for my siblings.
He was holding on to all of us - every day. I was just too busy holding on to everything
else to be able to feel His arms around me.
And now, with my own babies, I have to tell my heart from time to time that
I cannot play "Jesus" anymore. I can love and serve and sacrifice to the degree
that I am called - to the degree that is humanly possible.
God comes down and rescues me from there.