It was one of those days today.
Getting three kids ready for church is no easy feat in itself, especially since Justin was catching up on some much-needed sleep, so I was doing it alone. We had tears and a few minor tantrums, but we made it, and we were only 5 minutes late. I shuffled Cora & Noah to class, but Noah refused to go in. After several fruitless attempts, I decided to take him with me to drop off Evan in the baby nursery. By the time I got into church (with Noah in tow) the last song was just finishing. We had missed all of the worship, my favorite part. We settled in to listen to the message. Less than 10 minutes later, a nursery volunteer came to tell me Evan was really fussy.
Have I mentioned that church is during his nap time?
So we went back to the baby nursery, where I ended up staying. At first, I was a little peeved. I had really hoped to go to church and be spiritually filled after a long, (LONG), tiring week. But then I picked up a friend's sweet little baby girl and cuddled her for a while. A precious little toddler came up to me and handed me a book, then settled in next to me in expectation. As I read to her and bounced the baby on my knee, I realized something....
There is no place I would rather be.
It's as if God said, "This is your ministry. This is your act of worship."
We just love kids. There is no doubt in our minds that we want more children, and want to pursue that through adoption. I know God gave me this love for children, because I used to pray I wasn't asked to help out in the nursery. (Embarrassing, but true.) I liked children, and knew I wanted my own, but was never really interested in spending most of my time surrounded by needy little energy-draining people. But God isn't interested in what we want as much as He is interested in teaching us to care for those He loves.
I met an adoptive mom once, shortly after my oldest was born. I remember reading a sentence in her Facebook profile. It said something along the lines of, "I'd rather be reading a children's book to little ones than the latest novel." I thought to myself, "that's crazy, that'll never be me. I love my daughter, but I'll never choose a children's book over a book I want to read!" It sounds selfish, and it was. I didn't understand why someone would be that "into" hanging out with their kids. I didn't get it.
Now, I do.
Because taking the time to read to a sweet child is something beautiful.
Seeing those big smiles and hearing those giggles fills my heart with unspeakable joy.
Hugging them while tears fall are moments that shape them for eternity.
See, we're not just loving these children. We are shaping them, molding them, teaching them. This is a legacy, something that will last, something worthwhile.
God has flooded my heart with love for these children. All of them. The least of these.
This is my ministry. And I would have it no other way.