Seasons Change

Posted on: November 24, 2011

Our year 2011 has had so many changes. We’ve lost one very dear friend to death. We’ve lost two other family friends to moves. Our support has changed. The kiddos are growing exponentially. I no longer have young children.

We are also about to face another season. We will no longer be home owners within a couple of months. The reason why is another post for another time. But we are looking into living in apartments/condos. Being a single homeschooling mother to three children by adoption is not an easy task. Add owning a house to the mix, neighbors who take advantage of kindness, insurance companies that are uncooperative, I frankly cannot keep up this pace. My kids are first and foremost important and I feel CHAINED to our house. I feel as though it is slowly sucking life out of me.

So, approaching this Thanksgiving, I am so thankful of the many and safe years we have spent in this house. But I realized on Sunday night, I was NOT created to live in this type of setting. I don’t want my focus or the focus of my kids to be on things material. I want them to see the things important, to see others’ needs first, and to see the things eternal. I don’t want them thinking that all they have to look forward to as a mother/father is dealing with a house that owns THEM. Because that is a LIE. It doesn’t have to be. And I’ve done been.

I met a beautiful woman on Sunday in downtown Knoxville. Her name is Edna. She was elderly and homeless but I noticed her immediately. Sydney and I had been accosted throughout the day by young people needing money but I felt disgusted at their request instead of led to give. So, when I saw Edna, I had my guard up. Edna asked me  if I had anything to dry off the bench that she was trying to sit on in the rain. I told her I had a few Kleenex and attempted to dry the bench. She had some newspaper and we made her a dry spot. She said she had been sitting on the bench at the bus stop but there were some bright lights on the street that were concerning her and that she didn’t like bright lights. I asked her where she planned to sleep the night and she said she didn’t know but that she was NOT going back to the shelter because the women there were “on drugs and called me names and harrassed me.”

Edna asked me if I was from somewhere else besides Knoxville. I told her that I was from out west and asked her how she knew. She told me because “you see me and others don’t.” My heart skipped a bit when she said that and I kept waiting for a scam. She then asked, “Can I ask you for something?” My heart kept sinking and Edna continued. She asked me, “Will you pray for me please? I am tired of people harassing me. I just want to be left alone in peace.”

It took everything within me not to start crying at that point. Edna said she knew that God was looking out for her but that she just needed some help praying to make sure she would no longer be harassed. I told her I would pray for her. Sydney told her that she would pray for her. And then I did something that doesn’t need to be told in detail but she was so gracious in receiving and even tried to give it back. She then said, “Bless you. Now I won’t have to worry for awhile but please also remember to pray for me and God bless you for seeing me.”

I felt so dumb. It was raining and I had my umbrella closed up. I realized what I was doing and I told Edna to take the umbrella to keep her bench dry. Miss Edna. She was so beautiful. She didn’t have any teeth, she was so dirty and was wearing many different clothes to keep as close to her personally. She was pushing a small grocery cart that had a few blankets and newspaper in it. I asked her if I could just give her a hug and she was so surprised but accepted and I just held her praying that she was hearing God tell her how much she meant to Him.

We said our goodbyes… but I lingered. I didn’t want to leave. There was something so beautiful and Holy happening that I didn’t understand.

Sydney and I went to the Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith concert (another story). But while I was listening to the beautiful worship music, I started crying. I wept and I knew something profound had occurred. But I realized I was NOT meant to be in the middle class world. My joy in living this life comes from being involved with the Ednas of the world. My prayer all night and this week has been, “Lord, please, just open my eyes to those you WANT me to see.”

I do not know what the next 60 days is going to look like or any days following. We will start researching apartments and packing up our material stuff. What I do know is that we are going to shed the weight of so much stuff and become people that live simply. Well, at least that is my heart’s desire.

So, this Thanksgiving, I am thankful, so thankful for my children who teach me something everyday. I am so thankful for the day I had with Sydney on November 20, 2011, and the miraculous moments of that day. I am SO thankful for Miss Edna who ONLY asked for help to dry a bench seat downtown and then for prayers that she will no longer be harassed. Will you pray that with me as well?

When I told my other two children about this story, my son immediately said we should go and find Miss Edna and bring her to our house. But I don’t think that is where she wanted to be. I am so thankful for her showing me where I am supposed to be. And that is in a place where I see others like her who are content with nothing but a grocery cart with a few blankets and a God who is abundantly more than any material goods.

Happy Thanksgiving.


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