October 2016 Evan & Natasha Richmond Update
My Failure of a Husband
With seventy-three girls in our dorm-there is never a dull moment. Simple daily tasks become mountains and hurdles. Take bath time for exemple; twice a day the girls shower. Imagine the challenge of trying to shower seventy three girls! Allow me to see the world through my lens for two minutes: As I deal with one girl refusing to take a shower, another girl runs up sobbing because her friend took her hair elastics, and then a group of older girls come running up because a middle age girl cut a younger girl's hair with a pair of sewing scissors. Now the middle age girl is crying and denying it ever happened but the chunks of missing hair on the little girl's hair are undeniable. And as I try to sort out the crowd of onlookers wondering who is going to get in trouble---our little one (who was refusing to take a bath) has now ripped off her shirt and is dipping her underwear in a bucket of water and then rubbing it on her little belly with huge shrieks of laughter exclaiming, "now I'm all clean, that was a great bath!" All within the span of two minutes.
Trying to solve constant disputes, figuring out who hit who and who hit who first, searching for lost or "stolen" objects, trying to make such everyone has a pair of shoes and nice clothes are never ending battles. But through it all Evan is amazing, planning fun activities for our girls, answering the constant door knocks, and buying sanitary pads in bulk for the girls while getting countless strange looks. His love for the girls is undeniable. But as hard as he/we try, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and feel like an absolute failure. Constant chaos abounds. And the reality is that no matter how hard we attempt to simulate a family environment for seventy three girls- a normal family does not have seventy-three children. And though we try at times to "pursue normal", this life is anything but normal. We are an emergency and crisis intervention centre providing temporary residential care for God's precious children in the time they need it most.
And so as dorm parents, we are failures. Try and strive as we may, we will never be able to fill the emotional, spiritual, physical, and parental needs that our beautiful girls have. There is no way we can fill all the needs and every longing broken heart in our own imperfect ways. We need a perfect father and mother figure for all of our girls. We so desperately need God, our perfect heavenly Father. And at the end of the day, the very best we can do is try to trust in Him and in His faithfulness. God our heavenly Father loves our girls even more than we could ever imagine. And we are so grateful for the smalls ways He chooses to use us to to share His love with our girls. We can't do everything, but we can do something. And slowly but surely, God is teaching and reminding us what success looks like to Him: love and simple obedience to His call on our lives. And so we press on past the things which we can not control and try to step out in love and simple obedience on the things we can do.
Surrounded by little girls, at time it is easy to feel like our life is a movie. Ironically, our girls love the newest version of the musical film Annie with Cameron Diaz. And by love, I mean they are obsessed with it. So a few months ago we decided to film our own little lip singing version of "Little Girls" featuring Evan as Ms. Hannigan. It is horrible quality and possibly one of the worst videos I've ever made, but our girls had so much fun and they gave it to Evan as a Father's Day Present. Watch video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J7p5MTcFEI It's true, I married a failure and I am a failure, together we will always fail to meets the unending needs of our girls. But I'm convinced, of all the failures in the world, I married the greatest one for me and there is no one else I would rather spend my life with. And together, through love and simple obedience to God's call, I know God has a way of turning broken failures into beautiful vessels.
Ps. For anyone wondering or feeling concerned, our little rascal did take a real bath in the end!
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