Tuesday, January 26, 2016

When Others Fail Us

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My family and I moved into our neighborhood, one year ago this month.  Over the course of one short year, we have been introduced to many scenarios that have left our souls wounded and our hearts hurt.  My purpose in writing this, is to not agonize over what happened but to share the lessons I learned from this.

Upon moving into our neighborhood, we had many of the children in the neighborhood flock to our house.  We were still unpacking boxes, and the door bell would ring several times a day.  I wasn't sure if it was the curiosity of who we were as new neighbors, or if it was because they sensed something different about us.  Everyday, we would stop what we were doing and let our sons play with the neighborhood children.

Two of the children who are siblings started to come over everyday, multiple times a day.  They would be at our house for hours before someone from their house came looking for them.  This would be a normal scenario, had we known the parents and had a chance to develop a relationship or friendship.  It was usually another sibling that would come ring the bell to come get them to take them home.  It was months before we met their Mom.  Over the course of time, we learned that literally overnight, she had become a single mother left with four children and an ex who didn't want any part of her or the children.

My heart bled for her, and for her children.  I couldn't imagine being in her shoes.  My parents are divorced, and I remember the pain that caused me as a child.  I could now understand why these two siblings showed up at my door everyday.  It was not easy, as they had no boundaries and no sense of what was acceptable.  My husband, my sons and I all had to slowly teach them discipline but in a loving way.


Things were going well for a while, until it started to interfere with our family time.  The siblings would start to show up more than multiple times a day.  As a homeschool family, sometimes our day gets crazy and we end up homeschooling in the afternoon or early evening.  When we explained my sons couldn't play because we were busy, they began to ring our doorbell every hour.  Sometimes the doorbell would ring six or seven times in one day.  No matter how many times they were asked to not come back that day or ring the doorbell, it persisted.

It sounds ridiculous to be annoyed by something as small as a doorbell ringing, but it became a nuisance.  Holidays, weekends, and even family time after church on a Sunday became interrupted with our own doorbell ring.  One day it was so bad, I was left shaking and had to call my mother-in-law to help me calm my nerves.  I prayed on this intensely and asked God, what was the lesson in this and what was He wanting us to do?


I was reminded with the above scripture.  Even though I could feel myself becoming angry at the situation, I still proceeded with faith.  When we had free time and the siblings showed up to play, we would welcome them into our home.  Again, this was not easy as they did not play well with the other children in the neighborhood.  They didn't share, even when the toys were not their own.  They also had a way of instigating and antagonizing, almost as if they wanted to be picked on.   The oldest told me one day that my sons were their only friends.  

All of that changed last week. While having them over, the youngest in a rage flung a toy at our television.  Thankfully, it did not break and there was not a scratch.  Neither sibling showed any remorse, and I asked them to leave.  I knew at this point, it had to be addressed with their Mom so for the first time I went to their house.

I was not welcomed in.  The door opened a crack and one of the older siblings answered, and explained to me she would have to wake her Mom up.  I waited at the door, and when the Mom appeared, I explained what had happened.  Again, there was no remorse shown.  There wasn't a question asked if they had even broken the television.  She only suggested that if they didn't know how to act properly, then she would not "send" them to my house anymore.  I apologized to her, and told her I was sorry it had to come to that but I could not have my home disrespected like that.   This floored her, and she exclaimed, "I should be the one apologizing to you."

  I was angry that this constant ringing of my doorbell was not simply from a child in need, but a deliberate action from an adult to take advantage of me to not deal with her children.  I had her children in my home for hours, multiple times a week and yet was not welcomed into her home.  But the anger only lasted a moment.  We said a farewell, and I left her house with a sense of peace and like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I felt I had done what God had called me to do.  Here is what I learned from all of this:

  • We show the love of Christ (Matthew 22: 37-39): Sometimes situations are pressed upon you, that are not pleasant and may make you angry because you may not understand yet the lesson God has for you.  Show others the love we have received from God, that at a point in our lives we probably didn't deserve.  This is called grace. (2 Corinthians 1:4)
  • We keep our eyes fixed on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2): My faith let me know there was a lesson in this for all parties, and I knew God would be the victor.
  • We keep growing in the faith (Matthew 28:19) This scripture speaks volumes because it is about going out and creating more disciples.  It is about telling others about Jesus.  Sometimes, the best way to tell someone something is through actions and not words. 
  • Living intentionally for ourselves and our children: One of the local churches in our area, has a sign that reads, "You may be the only Bible someone reads." I want my children to see the love and faith in Christ I have, so that they can have that too.  It is so important to live a good life not only according to the scriptures and for our own personal salvation, but also for that of our children.  They mimic what they see.
  • Pray for others: I have no way of knowing what this family has gone through or will go through, but I know the power of prayer. I feel God has ended this chapter on whatever friendship or acquaintanceship would have been between my family and hers, but I know that I can pray for them from afar. 
  • Our homes and family are sacred: I made the mistake of letting children into my home, that I had no idea what they were going through at their home.  I thought I was showing the love of Christ (which I was) but ultimately, it was leading to what would become destruction in my home. I was glad of the blessing and warning from the Lord.
  • Your time is valuable:  Many people make the assumption that it is easy to be a stay at home Mom.  They think that our days are spent lounging on a couch, watching soap operas and eating chocolate.  My days revolve around homeschooling my sons, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, blogging, running errands and running my household while my husband is at work.  It's about getting all of this done, and having time left over to be at joy with my sons and my husband.  It is something that I am so thankful  to be able to do, and I love every minute of it.  
Don't let anyone take this joy from you, and treat you like you, your family, or time are not important or valuable.  You are valuable, and so important.  The Lord knows our struggles and He knows our hearts.  Don't let the ignorance or selfish actions of another destroy any part of you.  You are His.  Our job is to honor and obey Him, and He is our Shepherd, Savior, Provider, and Protector.
What are some things you have learned from being in a hurtful or confusing situation? 

Blessings,

Kelly 

#Christian #inspirational #bgbg2

38 comments:

  1. I loved your post, I need to learn not to let anyone steal my joy, You are such a blessing Kelly, I look forward to reading your blog again.

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    1. Hi, Mary! This is something I must remind myself every day. Many will come to steal, but there is the hope that others will share in the joy. I'm so glad you stopped by to read this. Thanks for commenting and hope you have a wonderful week :)

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  2. Wow, you went through so much, and kept a genuine Christlike spirit with them. I'm sure God will bless you and your prayers for this family. We can't always help others who abuse our goodness, but putting our families first is the right thing to do. God bless you :)

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    1. Hi, Lisa! Yea, it was a rough situation but I just kept following what I felt the Lord was telling me to do. It is a shame that people do things like this, but I know there are also amazingly kind people out there too. Thanks so much for leaving a comment and blessings to you as well :)

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  3. Beautiful. I think our frustration or disappointments come from our human nature, expecting too much or having our standards. Good on you to turn to your Christian faith when things like this happen and see the beautiful lessons it brings. Such an inspiration. :)

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    1. Hi, Lux! I am so guilty of this! I treat others the way I want to be treated, and expect the same from them in return. I am utterly left in disappointment when this doesn't happen though. I am so thankful to have the Lord, scripture and prayer. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! Blessings :)

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  4. Hi, Kelly! You are a kinder woman than I am because I have never allowed neighborhood children to come into our home. This reasoning has been for both of our protection. Sadly, people do take kindness for granted. Once we learn how to handle sticky situations like this one, the Lord can use it for His glory. I'm stopping by from After My Coffee.

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    1. Hi, Lori and thanks for stopping by from After My Coffee! It was definitely a hard lesson to learn but I am glad it didn't come with anyone, or anything being hurt. Thanks for leaving a comment and hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

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  5. What a sad story. The behavior of the kids is a clear cry for love and security. As someone who is a child of divorce and a single mom, I know the drill. I studied it and lived it. The children are scared the remaining parent may leave as well. Their sense of security is shaken beyond what they can handle.

    Sadly in this situation, the mother didn't provide that needed love or security. She is the one who needs to be ministered to. For when she becomes strong, she will be able to lead her children and give them the sense of security they crave.

    You were so generous in allowing stranger kids into your home. Honestly, as a single mom, I'm not sure I would have done that. Very brave and faithful of you. I'm certain your kindness will be used by God.

    Joining you from Grace and Truth Linkup!

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    1. Hi, Pamela! Divorce is very hard. My siblings and I lived with my Mom in a different state after my parents divorced, and it was very rough at first. I felt empathy towards these children and their Mom; having gone through it as a child myself. I pray that their Mom does get ministered to so she can offer these kids the love and security they are looking for. It's a sad scenario and I tried to help the best way I knew how but I do have faith God has a plan for everyone that was involved. Thanks for visiting from Grace and Truth Linkup and for leaving a comment! Hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

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  6. Oh wow! I could have written this post! We have next door neighbor girls who do the same thing and have broken every toy in our back yard. They come over for hours to play, they want to eat the food in our pantry, or try convincing my six year old to make them meals. They are morbidly obese little girls who I would say weigh probably more than me as a 100 lb adult and my kids are not welcome in their home. Its the same scenario, they send their child(ren) over to my house for a free babysitter and I don't see the parents until nightfall. Now since Christmas the kids have stayed in doors, so I haven't seen much of them lately, but when the weather warms up, I know we'll see them again, and I have no idea what to do. The Christian in me tells me to just handle, just deal with it, that the girls don't have much at their own home. But the mother in me is worried about their influence on my boys who are younger than them. Thank you for writing this. I think I may know what to do now.

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    1. Hi, Heather! I know exactly what you mean. Pray on it. I feel God kept giving me scripture to look at, and I had to trust in Him to know what to do with the situation. I will pray for you. Don't feel like you need to have the children over to play in your house. If your children are outside and they are outside, its ok to have them play together but then when you go inside, its ok to tell them no, they can't come in your house. Your house is sacred and so is your family. Thanks for commenting and hope you have a wonderful week :)

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  7. P.S. Just wanted to let you know I found your post on the weekend wind down link up. I'd love if you stopped by my blog at HeartfullyHeather.com sometime. Have a great Sunday!

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    1. Thanks, Heather! I am headed over to check out your blog now :)

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  8. Very timely post for me! I try to set up boundaries for our family to protect our family time together, but boy do people not appreciate those boundaries. They are offended when we don't allow them into our home on a regular basis. Thanks for this encouraging post to say that it's ok to do what is best for your own kids, and sometimes that is just what is right.

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    1. Hi, Jaime! I am glad this article helped you. I debated writing it, but I thought there might be others out there experiencing the same thing. You are not a bad person for not letting them inside your house. Your house and family are sacred. I have learned that people who don't like boundaries people set, will have no problem taking from you. That's not okay. We can still have a kind heart, and be able to say no. That was the biggest lesson I learned in this. Many thanks for commenting and hope you have a wonderful week :)

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  9. It is a blessing and refreshing to witness how you and your family handled the entire situation with grace. What a testimony to the Lord Jesus Christ!
    God bless you. :)

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    1. Thank you, Long Ladies! It was a small trial to go through, but I hope that the Lord was glorified in this through our actions. Thanks for commenting and hope you have a wonderful week :)

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  10. Such a hard situation but you handled it so well!! :) Thanks so much for linking up with us.
    Heather@ www.arrowsandwarriors.com

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    1. Thank you, Heather! It was definitely not easy, but I am glad I went through it if it can help others going through the same thing. Thanks for commenting and hope you have a wonderful week :)

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  11. What a tough situation, Kelly.I think the time those children spent in your home, was time well spent. I know it caused a lot of stress for you and your family, but I know God will use it for good and maybe somewhere in their hearts is a seed planted for the Lord!
    Blessings and smiles,
    Lori

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    1. Hi, Lori! Thank you, that would surely be a blessing if the time they spent in my home was not in vain. It was not an easy situation, but I know God had a plan and purpose for what it was we went through. Thanks for commenting and hope you have a wonderful week :)

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  12. You are so gracious for taking those children into your home multiple times a day. I understand the struggles of a single mother--I grew up in a household with one. And my family would not have survived without the help and grace of others, but still, there's a fine line that needs to be recognized. There's a difference between being grateful for the help and being an intrusion. And you are right to put the well-being and the integrity of your family first.

    Your neighbors are lucky to have you, but in the same token, your kindness and poise shouldn't be taken advantage of either.

    Thanks for sharing such a poignant piece with #SHINEbloghop, Kelly. Many blessings to you and your unending kindness...

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    1. Hi, Maria and thanks for stopping by from #SHINEbloghop! I understand where you are coming from; I grew up in a single mother household also and I had such empathy towards my neighbors because of this. Thank you so much for your kind comment. Hope you have a wonderful week :)

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  13. I love this post Kelly. I have been in situations like this many times. Taken advantage of, because of my kindness. It's hard to find that fine line between doing what's right and feeling used. Thanks for sharing your story and thoughts!

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    1. Hi, Arianne! It was definitely a hard lesson for me to learn, but I realized the balance between being kind and also protecting my family. I'm so glad you stopped by and left a comment! Hope you have a wonderful week :)

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  14. We live kind of out in the boonies, so we don't even know our neighbors. Good thoughts to keep in mind if we ever move, though! Thanks for joining us at #FridayFrivolity and I hope to see you again this week!

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    1. Hi, Lisa and thanks for stopping by from #FridayFrivolity! I am thinking about moving to the boonies after this, lol! I know there was a reason we went through it though, and my hope is that I did the best I knew how to do to honor God. Thanks for commenting and hope you have a wonderful week :)

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  15. What a touching post. Thanks for sharing with us all. This is great inspiration.

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    1. Thank you, Charlene! I wanted to find a way to encourage others who may be going through something similar. Thanks for commenting and hope you have a wonderful week :)

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  16. This is awesome and we have to at times protect what is our but do so with love.

    thanks for sharing

    Marie with spreading-joy.org

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    1. Very true, Marie! Thanks so much for commenting and hope you are having an amazing week :)

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  17. You found the right way to handle your situation, I hope there is peace now for you and your family!
    Thank you for Co-Hosting with us on the #OMHGWW I appreciate you!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Karren

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    1. Thanks, Karren! It was a journey there for a minute, but it gave us the experience to handle future situations. Thanks for allowing me to co-host #OMHGWW with you! It's been amazing! Hope you have a wonderful week and thanks for commenting :)

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  18. You are handling it perfectly indeed. It's not always that easy when it happens to us but I'm sure we can with patience and compassion we have.

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    1. Thank you, Indah Nuria Savitri! It was a hard thing to go through, but compassion was most definitely there. Thanks for commenting and hope you have a wonderful week :)

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  19. Dear Kelly,
    Just wanted to tell you how much I admire your courage, and love for the well being of children.
    May you always be Blessed.
    Much love

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    1. Thanks for the kind comment, Momma! So excited to see a comment from you. Love and miss you :)

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