Romans 12:13 "When God's children are in need, be the one to help them out. And get into the habit of inviting guests home for dinner, or, if they need lodging, for the night."
I love the twelfth chapter of the Book of Romans. I think you can tell from that verse alone that it is a practical chapter, that helps outline everyday living for a person who is trying to live the way God would desire them to live. There are so many other gems in Romans 12, and I will probably come back to other ones sometime soon, but this verse seemed so appropriate for what is happening in our life right now.
Or, actually, in the last year.
Tonight, as I was washing dishes after dinner, I was thinking about the past year. It hit me...in the past 11 months, 10 different people have lived under our roof. Obviously, there are the four Humes'. Add in a set of brothers and a set of sisters who we fostered for a while, and then, our Spanish girls, Elena and Maria, and that makes ten! Yes, our little yellow house has had a revolving door for guests this last year.
Maria, who is a gym teacher in Spain, has been with us for almost a week. We've been celebrating America's Independence Day (all weekend long!), chatting in English and Spanish, watching Drop Dead Diva and Grey's Anatomy, and of course, enjoying all the American cuisine that Maria's belly can handle! Just like every other addition of our family in the last year, Maria adds new perspective to our life.
Watching Maria, who is in the USA for the first time, experience my little house, neighborhood, even fireflies for the first time has helped me appreciate all our little blessings even more. I told her, very honestly, that it's a little intimidating to have a foreigner in our home because many people from other countries expect all Americans to live in fabulous, big house, and to have a lot more money than what we have. Her gracious response was that she was happy to be able to spend time with our family. I know that God had a hand in picking both Maria and Elena (our Spanish guest last August) for our family. Both of them are wonderful to our children, and beautiful additions to our family. I think I say "Thank You" to Maria about 5,000 time a day because she is so gracious, such a good teacher and very helpful. I just can't help but be so very thankful for her presence here.
God's Word is filled with little pieces of advice on how to make each day better. Over the last year, we have been applying Romans 12:13 to our lives, and the benefits are rich. Sometimes, like as in the case of our foster kids, the situations are harder than we could have ever imagined. However, other times, with the case of Elena and Maria, the transitions are much smoother. Either way, the benefit is, we learn about accepting others, very much like the way God accepts us. We learn to think about others more than ourselves, to see the world through another person's eyes, and to enjoy life in ways we often overlook.
So, over the last 11 months, our home has been "home" to ten people. For me, that is the biggest blessing. With each visit, our family grows more. I add another person to my list of people I pray for every day. I always wanted a big family. Often times, I would joke that I wanted eight kids. Well, if you add all of our "kids" together (despite the fact that Maria and Elena are nearly our age), we've hit the number eight. And I've decided that simply put, I no longer want eight "kids." No...I want so many more!