I recently came across this revised version of the old Mother Goose rhyme:

Old Woman in a Shoe
By Jordan Riak

There was an old woman
who lived in a shoe.
She was a kindhearted mom
who knew exactly what to do.

She raised all her children
with patience and love
never once did she give them
a spank, shake, or shove.

Her children all learned
to be gentle toward others
and good parents too
when they became fathers and mothers

From their days in the shoe
they learned this about living:
Kindness, not force,
Is the gift that keeps giving.

I have been praying that the Lord would show me what I’m suppose to do next to contribute financially. I dream of the day when I no longer have to clean houses or keep other people’s children, but I know it is only for a season to help us get out of debt faster.

I figured it would make the most sense to pick up a few houses to clean again since it’s the most money for my time. I’ve been trying to get the word out for anyone who might need me. However, God’s plans are not always our plans.

Two weeks before our last foster children were scheduled to go home, a friend text me to tell me her daycare had given her two weeks’ notice and would no longer be caring for 0-2 year olds. I asked her what she needed. She has twin two year old girls and needed someone 8:30am-4pm Monday thru Friday. We talked a little more about details, I talked to Josh, and with his approval I offered to keep the girls myself. I thought and thought (and prayed) about whether or not this was really what I was suppose to do. Afterall, one of the BIGGEST reasons I felt we needed to give up foster parenting was because of how difficult it had become to homeschool while taking care of someone else’s young children. At the same time, I weighed the cons of cleaning three or four houses every week. I would have to find childcare for my children while I cleaned, there would certainly be a lot more strings attached and it would take me away from my children for at least ten hours a week. Most of all, I prayed that if I wasn’t suppose to keep the girls, the Lord would shut the door and have my friend find a wonderful daycare to replace the old one.

In the end, she picked me. When I recalculated our budget without being employed by the foster agency and then added the income from keeping the girls, it was exactly the amount we needed.

This has been a week of trial and error. We usually take the entire of month of December off from everyday school work, but we’ve been doing a little bit of work everyday this week to see where it fits best. The girls and Owen sleep from 12:00-3:00 everyday. We’ve tried doing some school work in that time and other days I use nap time to do laundry and rest. One day we waited until the girls left at 4pm and did all of our school work then. I’m still not sure exactly what we’re going to do. Probably we’ll do a little in the morning before they get here, a little at the beginning of nap time, and finish up after they leave; before I start dinner.

Today ends week one (because I’m going out of town tomorrow). It has been a week of adjusting, but I can tell you it has been absolutely wonderful to walk back into my house at 4:01pm, after helping load the girls back into their car, and it be just my three boys. Some of my friends may think I’m crazy (or even foolish) to be jumping right back into caring for someone else’s children all day, but for us, it’s a blessing. We still have our evenings, nights, and weekends to ourselves and a small part of me takes joy in the fact that I saved two little girls from being in daycare 40 hours a week.

I take comfort in God’s constant, faithful provision for our family.