Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Expanding My Tent

Isaiah 54:1-3 ‘Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband, says the LORD. Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; our descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.'

This verse began taking on personal meaning for me last year. I'm not a widow nor am I barren; however, I do feel like the Lord is calling me to enlarge my tent...both in my physical home, but also my heart. Last year I first opened my heart and home to a teenager who is a ward of the state. I got to know him when I volunteered to be an educational surrogate parent. I met with him twice a month throughout the school year, we had him in our home several holidays and weekends, and I called him when I didn't see him. In my mind he became one of my children. Unfortunately, when he graduated from high school this summer, "he dropped off the face of the earth." Not even his social worker has heard from him.

Half way through the school year, our family took in an exchange student from Spain. He lived with us for seven months. He has become like another son to me. He's back in Spain now, but I'm happy to say I still get email from him about once a week. I've "adopted" some of my teenage son's friends. One is a freshman in college this year. When I say adopt, I've taken them into my heart and pray for them as I do for my own children. I try to keep in touch with them the best way I can. Jorge, seems to like e-mail or Skype. Thomas seems to prefer cell phone texts. I can't reach Terry, but he seemed to prefer the telephone when we were in keeping touch.

I have another person I've adopted...only I've adopted him as a bigger brother. I say bigger because he's a foot or more taller than me. I don't know if he's older or if I'm older. I don't really want to know. I'm content to think of him as being older.

Dave is a great guy and the longer I know him, the more I admire him. He is involved in his children's lives. He plays guitar and plays drums, when necessary, for our church Praise and Worship team. He has a lot of knowledge about gardening, which I need. For the first time since I moved into our house (ten years ago), I actually have some gardens which are living. He's very creative and has made some fun cakes. I volunteered him to make a cake to celebrate our church purchasing property to expand our building. He made a beautiful church with stained glass windows. When we were studying the book of Joshua, he made a cake of the Israelites crossing the Jordan. The people were represented by almond silvers and the altar they built on the other side of the Jordan was 12 chocolate covered raisins. He's made many more creative cakes for birthdays of people in the band.

He's loved by kids. You'll hear the little ones calling "Mr. Dave! Mr. Dave!" and they'll try to crawl all over him. He' been a great addition to our small group bible study. He brings his guitar and we start each week off with songs. He's been an answer to prayer, we've prayed for music for nearly a decade. He's quite for the most part, but when he shares something it's usually profound. I've seen him grow a lot over the last few years...grown in faith, in humility, in confidence that he has something to offer others.

I've opened up the tent of my heart for him. I even told him recently how much I love him...in a little sister sort of way. Now he thinks he's entitled to pull my hair. Well, Dave, you better talk to my younger but bigger biological brothers about that before you try. They'll tell you that I'm small but I can hold my own against the three of them....

Happy Birthday, Dave! Glad to make room for you in my tent. (P.S. I don't want to know how old you are.)


  1. You have a wonderful "tent" of a heart. Sounds like Dave is a great addition to your family. Hope he has a terrific birthday! Lovely post.

  2. Well....my younger but bigger brothers are bigger than your younger but bigger brothers. Thanks for you and your family making room in your tent for me and mine.

    P.S. Can we get an RV????

  3. Oh YOU are so wonderful.!!
    I should do this many years ago.I hate I didn't.
    I loved your post and thank you so much for passing.I'd love both of us to be added to our followers list:)Nice to meet you.

  4. Thanks for your comments and following.

  5. I'm glad you have someone like that! And thanks for the comment on my blog. I'm always happy to find people who have the same values with raising their children, especially when it comes to special needs. I think it's great that your son doesn't even know he is different, that is pretty much what I want for my son too. Well I'm hoping basically to teach my children that everyone is different from each other, whether they are blind like Skyler or in a wheelchair, or have to wear glasses, or can't have peanuts. Whatever the case may be none of us are exactly the same as each other. Basically I don't want him to feel excluded or singled out.

  6. What a beautiful post. You really have quite a way with words. If we all expanded our tents what a wonderful world we would be living in.