Last night I had "dorm duty" also known as "relief" here at TCM. To inquiring minds that have no idea what that is: dorm duty is basically where staff who are not houseparents (houseparents being the people who live with the kids on a full time basis) relieve the houseparents by filling in for them on their days off. "Dorm duty" is split up into various shifts and we are assigned so many shifts a month. Right now we all are doing quite a few, due to being short houseparents for one dorm. Hopefully God will take care of that problem in the near future. :o)
So, basically, anyone over a dorm plays the role of parent to that dorm for whatever time period they are there..from making sure the kids are taken care of and not doing things they shouldn't do, to making sure their chores are done, they are fed,have taken their meds if needed,all laundry is done, and that everything is clean and in perfect shape for when the next shift arrives. Most dorms have 8-10 kids. So..that's what I've been doing the last 2 Saturday evenings and will be doing the next one.
The dorm I had last night was mostly Sr. High school age girls and an 8 year old. When it came time for bed for the 8 year old, I helped her get ready, tucked her in,turned the lamp on, said her prayer with her, told her good night, and closed the door halfway after turning the light out.
About 30 minutes later I came back by. She was lying in bed sobbing. I asked her what was wrong. Her reply: "I want my Momma." She continued to sob and say this. Luckily, I was actually on top of things at that moment. Most all of the house cleaning was done and the older girls were watching a movie I had brought (Little Women), so I was able to stay with her for a while. When I came in she was sitting up, so I tucked her back in, put my arm around her and laid there while she continued to cry and say that she wanted her mom. I had no idea what to do to console this little girl.
When you're babysitting you can always say, "she'll be home soon!" or "let's call her!" I know very little about this little girl, but I'm pretty sure her mom is not dead; however, apparently, though, her bad decisions had led to her little girl's tears that night.
Not knowing what else to do, I prayed over her and began singing to her. I didn't know what to sing...nothing seemed to come to mind. Finally I began, "I love you Lord and I lift my voice, to worship you Oh my soul, rejoice. Take joy my king, in what you hear, let it be a sweet sweet sound in your ear." Not exactly a kid's song, but I always feel peace when I sing it. After a while her body stopped shaking from her sobbing and she drifted off to sleep.
I sat there for a few minutes, not wanting to risk waking her up, thinking about how this little innocent girl didn't deserve this. Most people have experienced nights crying themselves to sleep; however, no one deserves them. Especially children.
My pastor preached once about getting out of God's order, (I think I may have mentioned this in a previous blog?)and how when that happens it causes chaos. When whatever decisions were made, that ended with this little girl crying herself to sleep, I'm sure a picture of this little girl crying herself to sleep did not pop into that parent's mind. Whether it was an illicit drug taken, the choice to live with an abusive boyfriend, hitting or verbally abusing a child, etc. The person who made that decision most likely did not think "this is what's going to happen and I don't care." They lived in the moment; not considering what that meant for the future. A future that belonged to not just them, but their children as well.
Today Bro. Judd preached on "Loving God More". Do you love God more than anything and anyone? If you do than you should never have to worry about getting out of God's order, it's when this answer becomes compromised that trouble results. I personally have a calling on my life that I know involves living away from my family. Sometimes accepting and embracing this is not an easy thing. However, God's word tells me:
And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. ~Luke 14:25-27
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. ~Matthew 19:29
When God's word speaks; we have to accept. It can't be sugar coated or made to fit our own agenda.
Back to the dorm...
When I became convinced that the little girl I was watching was sound asleep, I slowly got up, hoping not to wake her; however, she did wake up. I was then worried she was going to bust out crying again. Instead, she asked me for a hug and told me goodnight. Peace is precious. Especially when it's from God.
So, you may be wondering, what does this little girl have to do with loving God more? Well, most of the kids that come to the mansion are somehow connected to Pentecost. Either their parents are or were Pentecostal at one time or a grandparent or close relative usually is. That's typically how people find out about The Mansion. Therefore, there's a very good chance this little girl's Mom has known God, but has chosen to serve something or someone else instead, not only putting it ahead of God, but her daughter as well.
So, who or what do you love more? Is God at the top of your list? Above careers. Above people? Above your personal plans and desires? Above people's plans and desires for you? Above money? Above yourself?
We sang the song below at church today. It's one of my favorites. On this Valentine's Day, this is my desire. I want to "Love God More" and draw closer and closer to Him everyday.
The More I Seek You