Spend Yourselves . . .

Many of the women sharing their stories this month are ladies that I have had the fun privilege of meeting through internet blog groups. But today, I am sharing the words of someone I know in REAL LIFE. Selena and I have raised our kids in neighborhoods and schools together. I remember when she and her husband first started working towards certification to be foster parents. I was excited for them, but also a little scared. I knew this would be hard. Game changing hard. But over the years I have watch her step up and show up for kid after kid who needed a safe place to call home for a while. I’ve watched her and her family change lives. As an adoptive mom who’s daughter spent time in foster care in the first months of her young life, this ministry holds a special place in my heart too. For that reason and many others, I couldn’t be prouder to call Selena a friend. So, today. the words of a foster mom. Because there are all kinds of ways to mother.

mosaic of motherhood

Worn. Weary. Tired. Spent.

These are the words that immediately come to mind when I think about motherhood. These words are part of what defines motherhood for me. Some people say it’s just a season, but somehow, I kind of doubt it.

Before you ignore the rest of this post because it sounds too negative and pity-party-like, let me explain. You see, I asked for these words to define me. I prayed for this. I begged God for it. Some years ago, I came across this passage in the book of Isaiah…

“…and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry

and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,

then your light will rise in the darkness,

and your night will become like the noonday.

The Lord will guide you always;

he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land

and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,

like a spring whose waters never fail.

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins

and will raise up the age-old foundations;

you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,

    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.”

–Isaiah 58:1-12

To be a light in the darkness, strong, satisfied, flourishing… I was desperate for that. But how? How to make that a reality in my life? I studied this passage long and hard, and I have to admit I was pretty scared about the formula for making these ideals a reality. Spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry? Satisfy the needs of the oppressed? My husband and I began praying about what that would look like lived out in our lives.

Through a series of experiences and relationships, we were continually drawn to the ministry of Foster Care. It was an undeniable calling that God made very clear in our lives. We knew that was it. We knew that was where we would satisfy the needs of the oppressed and spend ourselves on behalf of kids who were hungry.

Kids who were hungry for food sometimes, but hungry for family always.

spend yourself

Foster care is love, but not always as glamorous as Annie makes it seem.

Foster Care has allowed us to be light in unimaginable darkness. It has been scary and tiring and difficult for us and for our two biological children. We have spent ourselves far beyond what we thought we had to give. But through it all, God has been so faithful to guide us, satisfy us, and strengthen us.

What has been the greatest privilege, however, is how he has made the last portion of this passage so real to us. He has allowed us to help repair the broken walls of homes and restore dwelling places for children. He has let us help to rebuild families.

So am I a worn, weary, tired and spent mom? Yes, I am. It’s not easy, but it’s what I asked for. And I am trusting that the rewards of being spent today are eternal and very, very worth it.

May is Foster Care awareness month. If you are in Georgia, and are interested in knowing more about Foster Care, please call 877-210-KIDS.

Selena Whitley is a wife of a children’s pastor, a mom of two, and a foster mom to many. She is passionate about equipping the church to serve orphaned and vulnerable children by advocating for The Forgotten Initiative and developing an adoption fund ministry called Reclaim 82:3.

One thought on “Spend Yourselves . . .

  1. What a powerful story, Selena. You are certainly doing God’s work and I hope you’re rewarded here in your time with these kids, too.

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