One Less Orphan T-Shirts

Support our adoption and raise awareness for the advocacy of orphans by purchasing our original T-shirts

Sunday, June 27, 2010

What is your story?

Here I go again.  I'm in church and this flood of revelation comes over me again. (singing the song below!)  I have another blog to write.  I have to tell you, that I am NOT a writer!!  (my family, especially my mother, will attest to this!)  So the fact that I keep feeling led to write I know is from God.  I guess someone out there needs to know what is on my heart.

A song I love and that is most convicting:

There is no one higher, 
No one greater,
No one like our God.

There is none more able,
Christ our Savior
Great and Glorious.

So I'll stand 
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all
So I'll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

Can you even begin to imagine what the world would look like if we all truly believed those words?  What I've been convicted of, is we are all supposed to have stories.  A story to glorify The One who gave it all for you.  I believe the story starts when you realize there is so much more to this life.

The week we decided to adopt our paster said something was exactly what we needed to hear to confirm the decision we had made.  We are all called to be radically devoted to Christ.  What most of us do is strive to live the American dream.  We live for life to become easier and more comfortable.  That is not what we were called for - we were not called to live the American dream, we were called to change the world . .  for Christ.  Most likely, if we were pretty comfortable we were not radically devoted.  

Through this journey, that I'm sure God is getting impatient with me for taking YEARS to realize, I have gone from being the selfish Christian thinking I was doing okay, to realizing I have fallen very short of what Christ expects of me.  Hate to admit it, but we had become very comfortable, again.  All 3 kids in school, I have a job that I work 2 days week - sweet!  We were set.  But had I truly impacted the world in a way that would have an eternal impact? This is the exact question that led us a few years ago to leave our very comfortable church. A very difficult decision.  We were sunday school teachers, worked in the nursery, took food, volunteered for VBS, etc.  All important things, don't get me wrong here, but for most of us, that is all we do.  We surround ourselves with what is comfortable and what is comfortable is being with people like us.   We were not radically devoted.

We, the whole family, spent yesterday serving in Nashville in an area that was devastated by the flood.  We served in a single mom's home who had no money to hire contractors so she was doing everything herself.  My girls vacuumed and mopped for hours.  Jay and I power washed and Carter jumped in on all activities.  I was so proud of my kids - we got no whining, no complaining, just dedication to what their job was.  I had reminded them when we woke up very early, that today was not about them and it was not about having fun, but rather today was a day we were giving back.

"Remember why we are out here."  Those were my words on the way.  We get the car to come home and they all were in great moods, saying how great they felt and that they really had a fun day.  I realized yesterday this is the culture our entire family needs to have consistently.  We give money (something the kids never see) much easier than we give our time.  
To whom much is given, much is expected.  I am constantly being convicted with that verse.  What I realized is if I don't start creating the culture of giving back with our time as well, will our kids ever find their story? 

I don't write all of this to bring light on what we are doing, but to inspire someone else and to glorify Christ.   It has taken me years to find my story.  What I now know is, my story is about orphans.  I have fallen in love and my heart breaks for those who need a family.  Your story might take you years, but I pray you realize you have one - an incredible one.  

So get out there.  Start creating a culture in your family that inspires every member.  I promise you will find God and He will lead you to be apart of His story. I know all of our stories will come together one day and glorify Him beyond our wildest imaginations!

There is no one higher, No one greater, No one like our God.
There is none more able, Christ our Savior Great and Glorious.

So I'll stand With arms high and heart abandoned In awe of the One who gave it all
So I'll stand My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What are you waiting for?

Feeling very led tonight to share some deep thoughts again. This will make two blog posts by me (wow!) and both kinda personal, but when you're led, you're led! Right?!

This journey has been a roller coaster of excitement to total fear!  I have been pondering that today.  My thoughts might be random, but do have purpose, so stay with me!  The excitement is that same feeling when you're pregnant and anxiously waiting to see what your child will look like.  The fear is the same as when you are pregnant when you think, what in the world have we done! How will I ever do this?

My husband's mother died of ALS 8 years ago, the week our 2nd child was born.  She lived for 2 years following the diagnosis and required frequent care quickly and actually lived with us her final year.  That time period was the hardest thing I have ever done.  I knew we had to care for her, she was only 56 and a nursing home was not an option.  I can't even put into words what that 2 years was like.  We were very young and not prepared for that journey and we grew up very quickly.
I remember during that time my mom telling me God was preparing me for something big.  I might not know what it was and it could be years, but I would know at some moment that God used those 2 years to prepare me for a greater purpose.
Fast forward to February of this year, we tell my family we are going to adopt from Ethiopia.  A couple of days later I'm on the phone with my mom and she, being the good mom, says "I have to say this as your mother, but I hope you have thought this through, you do know how hard this is going to be?"  At that very moment and those words I knew this was it!   Her words from 10 years ago came flooding back.  I had faced hard things and came out better from going through them.  My husband and I had faced more things by the time we were 27 than most will in their lifetime.  We have really struggled to even connect with couples our own age (that is so hard to admit!) because in 2 years we had gone from being 25 to 55.  During that time period we felt so isolated.  It was a hard journey , BUT if we had not gone through that and really grown up (that's what we call it!) and let Jesus wake us up to our selfishness we would not be on this journey now.  I KNOW that in my soul, and all this came over me in a split second from that one question out of my mother's mouth!  This was it.  God had a big plan 10 years ago.  ALS never makes sense.  Prior to Jay's mom being diagnosed with ALS, I will tell you honestly, we were very selfish people.  We thought we knew what being a Christan was and played the part well.  Very active in our church and taking meals when we should.  But that journey woke us up!  Since then we have been on a spiritual journey that I have been glad to be on.  We ended up leaving a church that we had been apart of for 17 years.  That was very difficult but we knew was leading us else where.  At this moment on the phone, I'm realizing that God used something that was so heart wrenching and shook our lives up for decade now so we could get on the real path.  We still have a lot of growing to go, but I am so grateful to be in the middle of his will, his plan and I am so grateful to be used!

So, why I am telling you all this, because I know everyone of you reading this has fears.  I can't even type all the fears we have faced over the last decade.  God has used what ever life experiences you have had to prepare you for an awesome work.  I truly believe that.  I pray that as I feel led to share more of our story that you will be challenged to find your calling.  We have faced many fears.  It was not easy to take care of  his mother.  It was very scary to leave a church that we were very comfortable in.  It has been very scary to decide to adopt.  But we are stepping out on the water.  Peter was scared to, but Jesus was always there.  This journey I have been prepared for.   I might be scared and clueless, but prepared because I know this journey is God designed.

So, what are you waiting for?  God has plan and you are apart of it!  Step out on the water!
I think many of you need to go listen to this song and listen to what He is stirring within you!

If you are in the middle of a rocking ocean, remember, Jesus is there with you!

Love you all!!