Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

It's a good thing I don't drink

Before we get too far, let me just say that I'm not opposed to drinking in moderation. It was not something that was done in my home growing up and so I never started, either. But I have thought about it, and have come to my own conclusions about why I don't drink. First of all, I remember my father saying that as a leader of youth at the church, he never wanted to do something that could cause someone else to stumble. Never knowing who might have a leaning or personality which could lead to alcoholism, he didn't want to be someone else's excuse for drinking alcohol which then led to a bigger issue later in life. He also said that knowing his own leaning toward workaholism, he didn't want to find out too late that he would also be tempted toward alcoholism. Those sounded like great reasons to me, especially with children in my home who have seen the negative effects of alcohol, some of whom are in my home because their birth mothers are alcoholics and/or drug addicts. But even more than that, I have decided that it's an expense that I don't need. How can I tell my children we don't have money for this or that when I'm spending money on something that I don't need? There are other expenses I forego for the same reason. In other words, how could I justify my daily nightcap or night out with the girls when the family is sweltering in a van without air conditioning? Again, it's not a decision for everyone but it's the right one for me and my family.

But days like today are how I really know it's a good thing I don't drink. It's only 11AM but it started bright and early when I needed to awaken a teen-ager who needed to go to a volunteer job. That child decided not to wake up so I went again, this time to say that we were leaving. That child chose to get angry with me for the second wake-up call and returned to the bedroom to get ready. So, in the meantime I had to leave to take a sibling to that child's morning event. This began a whole chain of events which ended with the first child being late not only for the volunteer job but also for the next event of the day and me waiting at multiple pick-up locations for a child whose morning became one late-for event after the other - all without apology or gratitude. This is life raising children who have grown up without responsibility and without the chance for small steps in greater independence. I know that. But somedays, it's overwhelming. And this morning, the thought crossed my mind, "I need a drink." It was a personal attempt at a joke and it gave me a chuckle for a moment as I would have no idea where to start or what to try first. But the second thought was more sobering, "I wonder what I would be like if that is where I went for relief from the chaos of this home."

Instead I got a chai and with my completely sober mind (albeit a bit more awake which is never a bad thing) I took it all to God. I prayed that He would redeem this situation, that in the end it won't be about disobedience and irresponsibility but about a lesson learned and a relationship that is stronger. That I would always remember to place my hope and trust in Him and leave the character development of my offspring in His much more capable hands. And that I would grow in grace.

Cheers! (Panera travel mugs of chai don't make a very nice clinking sound, do they?)

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