Saturday, September 8, 2012

we have a teenager!

a few weeks ago, the radio interviewed a member of the nnec (northern native education council), who was asking for families to host high school students for the school year. they were short on housing for 30 kids.

i was at home listening to the radio, and felt God tapping me on the shoulder. my first response was 'no way! we have a new baby on the way, and only 3 bedrooms! that's crazy.'  i didn't really entertain the idea seriously because - well, seriously!  we've got a baby on the way! but when they played an excerpt later, again i felt like God wanted us to volunteer to host. 

but because i'm stubborn and it's kind of scary, i decided to give God an opportunity to reallllly make it clear (haha aren't i nice?). so i told Him that if He wanted us to do it, patrick would have to bring it up, and i wouldn't worry about it until then.

of course, patrick came home from work for lunch that day (this happens maybe 2x a month?) and so it was probably an hour after i had made my request to (or deal with?) God that patrick goes, 'so, the nnec is looking for host families for students. i wish we were able to host one.'

and i knew we could do it, because God wanted us to. so i told patrick about my conversation with God, and he just grinned at me.  so we applied.  we moved sam to the bigger room so he and vava could share, then cleaned out his old room, and painted, and bought a desk and lamp and bedding ... and now we've got a student living with us for the school year!

whew :).

it's not how we imagined our year to go - but we're pretty confident that it's how God wants it to go.  so we'll get a little experience in substitute parenting a teenager, and hopefully share a little love with a lonely kid who's far from home.

 some questions i had, and some answers from God:

me: we're a family of 4, and only have 3 bedrooms, and you want us to give one up for the year?
God: whose bedrooms are these anyway?  and whose house? 
me: oh.  right.  Yours.  always.  (because anything we have - it's all from His hand, isn't it?  plus, earlier that week i had been reading about the wise men who offered their treasures to the baby King, and i thought about my treasures - my family, my house, my happy life - and offered them to Him.  so they are doubly His.)

me: could we be putting sam & vava in danger, by having a stranger in our house?
God: I am your safety.  they are safer in My Hands than behind locked doors.  and if you say no to Me, you're putting them in danger - the danger of having parents who are afraid of man instead of fearing Me.  trust Me.  and consider this - i want this student in your home for his safety.

me: patrick and i aren't exactly wise or experienced enough to substitute-parent a teenager.
God (laughing): no, but I am.  and this is all on Me.

so.
God has brought us a student, and we are excited for the awkward newness to wear off and the fun to begin.
pray for us?

26 comments:

  1. Wow...have you ever thought of being a writer, Janelle? You have such a talent!! What a special time for you all. We will pray. Warmly, Pamela McClelland

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    1. thanks pamela! i love to write - not sure that i could ever be published, but i definitely wouldn't complain if it ever worked out. thanks so much for praying for us!

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  2. Bless you...for saying YES and even being willing to have the convo with God. That's where it all begins. How much do many of us miss out on b/c we won't even have the conversation...? Praying for you. <3

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    1. thank you, janice! i so appreciate your prayers, and i know you understand the scariness&awesomeness of trusting Him first hand :).

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  3. Great post, Janelle :) Best of luck with your quickly growing family :) Sara Limpert

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  4. Sounds exciting! Can't wait to hear stories of the happenings in your house in the coming year!

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  5. praying, praying... This teenager is going to fall in love with you guys and your two kiddos and you will have another son/daughter for life! :) Love that God answered your "fleece" right away with sending Patrick home for lunch! God has this teenager on his mind for sure!

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    1. oh melissa, your last sentence is exactly what i was thinking! and it gives me peace in the middle of my worries :).

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  6. Great news and I wonderful chance to meet a new person. I know they'll love you!
    Marchy

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    1. thanks marchy :). he is a shy kid - hopefully my craziness doesn't scare him too much! :)

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  7. Congratulations on your new (unexpected) addition, Janelle! Everything happens for a reason. This student is lucky to have such a wonderful host family. I'm I'm sure your family will also benefit from and enjoy the experience. I look forward to following how the year goes for you!

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    1. thanks wendy! we are really looking forward to getting to know him and settling in to life together. he's sporty, so our athletic little son is already a huge fan :D.

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  8. Such great news! We will pray for all of you as you adapt to the new changes coming your way. God is so cool...a child through adoption, an expected bio baby, and a child through advertisement on the radio! When times get tough and a little hairy, at least you will know that all three of your little blessings came to you through direct intervention by God. Good on the two of you for daring to step out in faith in this way. We will pray for this teenager's blessing while living with you!

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    1. thank you, sara! we really value your prayers for him, especially because we know you understand the hard side of culture & family shock!

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  9. HI Janelle,
    I recently saw a wonderful video of a family inviting a teenage girl into their family. It touched my heart and made me realize that there are many teenagers who need a home. God bless you for answering his call with a yes. We'll be praying for you.

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    1. thank you, glenda! wish i had some of your sweet nature to help me be more loving and compassionate :).

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  10. Isn't amazing how organic true faith is? I don't mean 'organic' in the new grown-without-pesticides way, but in the older grows-without-borders,and adapts-to-its-surroundings kind of way. I am so happy and wish I could meet your newest 'family member'! Pics?

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    1. i love you josephine! i wish he could meet you too!! and your incredible family. we'll probably be picture-comfortable a little later, and i'll share. (his birthday is in october, and i want to celebrate it with a big party, so i'm sure we'll have pics then if not before!)

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  11. you seriously have the best adventures! i'm so excited to see your family grow. watching you constantly open up your home to others and serve the lord is a huge encouragement. i can't wait to have a phone chat with you and catch up. love you, doll!

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    1. gotta say, i love my adventures too! and i miss you - call me sometime when the pressures of school ease up, i want to hear all about it!

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  12. Janelle and Patrick, we can't begin to tell you how proud we are! God is so amazing. He always keeps His promises. We have always felt a close relationship with you as you grew up and as you started your home and family, but it is so thrilling to us to see "Jesus Himself draw near and go with you."
    Dad says you are amazing. You have three or four chapters on the go and the first one isn't finished yet. We are behind you all the way! Love you oceans.

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    1. aw mom, you guys are too sweet. thanks for loving me and teaching me about God.
      i love you oceans too! and three boogles ;).

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  13. Janelle...my heart warmed as I read this-it is wonderful how you and Patrick have such open and loving hearts to others but first of all to God's leading! The student will be so blessed to have such a loving and safe home and God will no doubt bless you in so many ways through the experience.Love,Patricia

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    1. sweet patricia, thank you! your encouragement means so much to us. <3

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