Yesterday we went to our favorite second hand shop to buy some spring clothes. It is fantastic, they have all these wonderful, expensive if you were to buy them new, girls clothes for 5 and 10 dollars. Lena found a great overnight bag for next to nothing, and she was thrilled, because today she and Julia are going with the youth group on a trip to Dallas.
Oh my, I just have to tell you about Lena and Julia for a moment because sometimes when I am ready to do them both in something great happens. These two have so much in common, they are both very outgoing girls. They laugh a lot, they both love singing and music. They both have the ability at times to be little girls and enjoy the simple things. Yet they seem to hate each other, and it is so frustrating to me.
I am always trying to teach the girls that many hands make light work and to offer to be helpful, even when it isn't our chore. I brought a basket of laundry out the other day and it belonged to Julia. I said, OK everyone lets dig in and get Julia's laundry folded. We all started and Lena stood there. I said, Lena come on and she walked over picked up a piece of laundry held it out like it stunk, dropped it back in the basket and said, "I not help Julia with laundry, she not help me." I said, "oh really, maybe she didn't help with your laundry, but if I recall she helped paint your room all day one Saturday." I said, she made chocolate chips cookies that you will eat tonight. She shrugged her shoulders and refused to help. Now normally defiance is dealt with in a big way here. This time I felt the Lord giving me a peace that said, let this one go we are not done here. The next morning Julia got up first and we talked about giving and giving to Lena because we need to teach her, and the way we do that is by showing her. Julia put away all the dishes that were Lena's chore that morning. She then went in and got Lena's clothes and folded them. After they were folded she put the laundry fairy on top and left them on the table. We talked about how you attract more bees with honey than vinegar, and if she was nasty back it just keeps the cycle going. We talked about how people hated Jesus and he loved them anyway.
When Lena got up she barely acknowleged what had been done for her, that was OK God wasn't done with this lesson.
The next night Julia was in tears she said, I just asked Lena to move the dog gate for me so I could go upstairs because my hands were full. She yelled at me, and told me to do it myself. Mom I just hate her, and no matter what I do it doesn't matter. She then said, can we get Lena and go to your room and talk? I was so impressed because I am usually the one who says lets go talk.
Well, it started off with accusations and tears, the tears on Julia's part. They went back and forth for a while and then they started yelling in Russian. I said, you need to lower your voices, but you can continue. I sat there and said not a word, but at one point I wanted to jump up and say I am finished I can't handle this anymore I am sick of your fighting. I wanted to scream at them and rip my hair out in front of them. Instead, I intervened and quietly said, girls God put you in this family for a reason he brought you safely here, and I expounded on all of it. Then I was quiet, while they continued going at each other. I was just about ready to say, I am done with this you two you are hopeless and leave, but God spoke quietly, Rhonda you need to pray while they argue. Thanks God, couldn't you give me a little quieter venue than these two jibbering in a language I don't even understand. I did not want to pray for them, I wanted to bop their heads together. I am sure God was patiently smiling at me as I wanted to be defiant to him, can't you see this is hopeless I am giving up on these two, and I don't really feel like praying for them right now! But I did what he wanted, and guess what happened, for the first time since Lena arrived I could tell the conversation was taking a turn. I could see the expressions and the voice inflections. I could tell that each girl was pouring her heart out to the other and really talking and sharing all the hurts and slights they had inflicted on each other. Praise God!! This went back and forth until they were both spent, and then they started laughing and sharing. At one point Lena looked over and said, mom you so quiet. I said. Lena I have been praying for you two while you were talking. She said, I know mom, I at the orphanage 8 years it hard for me to learn in family, only other kids, so we fight all time. I learn here, have family loves me, I hear about God at orphanage but I like you talk about God." Then we went on to talk about a bible story. Julia asked, how can I know for sure about Jesus? which led us into a long dicussion about so much and they hung on every word and had many questions. I prayed with them and at the end Julia said, OK group hug!
At the end Julia said, I am so glad we talked I feel a huge pressure has been taken from me. This was an amazing accomplishment these kids come and they can't talk they only solve problems by fighting and being mean to each other. I told them they needed to sleep together last night and they were both very happy to continue their conversation upstairs.
All is peaceful and I praise God for nudging and pushing me to do what I really didn't feel like doing. He knows what is best I just need to listen the first time. How very similar I am to my children I bet sometimes God just shakes his head, but unlike me he never feels things are hopeless and how thankful I am for his guidance and wisdom. Lesson learned-never ever give up unless God is the one who changes your course.