Thursday, December 17, 2009

Still here

This time of the year is so incredibly busy, yet God has continued to echo His desire for me. I continue to pray that Brad will feel as I do. Until then though, I'm at a bit of a stand still. I know that He wouldn't have put this so strongly on my heart if He didn't intend for Brad to be beside me. So until Brad is ready I will just continue to pray and wait. Ugh, waiting. It's hard for me!

Today I had the opportunity to help a single mother with a small foster child by purchasing clothing and shoes for him. I got really weepy standing in the kids clothing department at Wal-Mart trying to find the right thing for this little boy. What started out as an easy task just broke my heart as I thought about this little boy and the fact that he doesn't have a mommy and daddy caring for him. I just wanted to get him some new clothing but the t-shirts stating "Mommy's Angel" and "Daddy's Helper" got me thinking about him and his circumstances. I don't even know this little boy but for me he represents so many children that are without loving families. Children that I've never really thought much about until recently.

This Christmas as we all celebrate surrounded with plenty of gifts and loving families I will be thinking of children around the world who are without so much. Children who desperately need families to care for them.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Just thoughts...

Still here. Asking Him to continue to lead me. Not only in this process but in all aspects of my life. I know I can't do it alone. Brad's still uncertain as to whether or not this is something that we should pursue. So I continue to pray and ask Him to not only continue to tell me what steps I should take but for Brad as well.

Thinking and praying a bit earlier. This song came on and really made me think. Kinda seems like my life right now. I know I'm made for more. What AM I waiting for?

You look around
It's staring back at you
Another wave of doubt
Will it pull you under
You wonder

What if i'm overtaken
What if i never make it
What if no one's there?
Will you hear my prayer?

When you take that first step
Into the unknown
You know that he won't let you go

So what are you waiting for?
What do you have to lose?
Your insecurities try to alter you

You know you're made for more
So don't be afraid to move
Your faith is all
It takes in you
You can walk on the water too

So get out
And let your fear fall to the ground
No time to waste
Don't wait
Don't you turn around and miss out
Everything you were made for
I know you're not sure
So you play it safe
Try to run away

If you take that first step
Into the unknown
He won't let you go

(step out)
Even when a storm hits
(step out)
Even when you're broken
(step out)
Even when your heart is telling you telling you to give up
(step out)
When your hope is stolen
(step out)
You can't see where you're going
You don't have to be afraid

So what are you waiting for?
~BRITT NICOLE - Walk On The Water lyrics

Sunday, December 6, 2009

O. Ver. Whelmed.

Seriously overwhelmed with what God wants me to do.

I shared my blog with Brad last week. He knew what I was feeling. We'd talked about it on several occasions over the last few months. I'm not very good at articulating my thoughts which is part of why I started this blog. So when he read my entries and I shared with him some other details I think he was pretty much shocked. Shocked at how seeing everything all laid out there in black and white seemed to be so real.

Brad is very practical. He needs answers to how this could work. Answers that I can't give him because I have no idea myself. For so long now I've said I would love to have more children. So I can understand why he might see this as something I've gotten into my head and decided it's "from God". Here's the thing though, as much as I love the idea of having more children the thought of actually doing it scares me to death.

My youngest child is 7 years old. How can I possibly start over with a baby? (Because I truly feel that He is leading us to adopt an infant.) We don't have baby stuff anymore. Where on earth would we even put a baby?!

We started having children very early in our marraige so I always imagined that there would be a time when the kids were gone and we'd still be young enough to enjoy each other. Is that possible if we start over now?

I have a new business. One that God has truly blessed me in. But how can I do my job if I have a little one to keep up with? This is actually a question that Brad brought to me last night. He had been praying about the adoption and that concern came to him, making him wonder if it's something that we shouldn't pursue for a while. My answer? I don't know.

I just don't know. My head is absolutely spinning with all these thoughts and concerns. I know the smart thing to do would be to give them to Him. So I do and then once again I am overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with His peace that covers me and reminds me to just trust Him...and obey. Overwhelmed with the thought that this is something He's been preparing me for much longer than I'm aware of. Overwhelmed knowing that somewhere out there I have another child.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I mentioned in my last post that I have been doing a Bible Study called Sacred Echos. The author of this study, Margaret Feinberg, says that "when God really wants to get your attention, he doesn’t just say something once. He echoes. He speaks through a Sunday sermon, a chance conversation with a friend the next day, even a random email. The same theme, idea, impression, or lesson will repeat itself in surprising and unexpected ways until you realize that maybe, just maybe, God is at work. The repetitive nature of a sacred echo gives us confidence that God really is prompting, guiding, or leading."

Over the last couple of months I have had several instances where I believe God is whispering to me to adopt. Like when Sadie who never plays with baby dolls anymore comes downstairs with one and tells us that she'd adopted a baby. Or Teagan's small group leader telling me that Teagan prayed for a baby to join our family. Or the main story during our family devotion time being about a child in an orphanage in another country. Or the bumper sticker on the car in front of me that reads "invisible children" with an outline of Africa on it. These seemingly small things all group together to make me think He truly is whispering in my ear.

A conversation that I recently had with Brad turned into more of a shout from God saying, "Hello. Can't you hear me? THAT'S what I've been saying!" Madi had helped me during a newborn shoot and as usual she and I ooohed and aaaahed over the baby. It's not uncommon for Madi to look at me during these shoots and tell me that I should have another baby but this day she looked at me and said, "Mom, you should adopt a baby." Up until that point I had been very careful not to mention adoption around the kids because I didn't want them thinking it was an option unless it really was. So I later texted Brad about it and he said, "I'm open to the possibility. I aslo know that when you think and talk about something all the time it can seem like you see it everywhere." I was on my way out the door and got in the car thinking about how he was maybe right and HOW was I to know if it was truly from Him. As I turned the car on the song on the radio blared out to me singing, "I know you hear me won't you give me a sign." Wow.

That's the day that I thought I might start a blog. Just as a place to keep my thoughts. So that night during our devotional one of the verses that came up was 1 John 4:19 "We love because He first loved us." That and Esther 4:14 both had come up that day and I thought I might have the title of my blog be one of those verses. So after our devo I'm sitting on the couch and the tv had been paused because Sadie was watching an episode of a show she hadn't seen before. As the tv is unpaused it goes to a commercial thing where a viewer has sent in a story and it's a girl talking about her new little sister...that her family adopted...from Africa. Seriously. So I went to the computer to start my new blog.

Before I began I thought I should maybe google the verses that I was considering using to make sure someone else hadn't already had that idea. I googled "because He first loved us blog" and "for such a time as this blog". They are actually both being used for blogs which isn't really that strange, they are both fairly common verses right? Here's the weird thing, both of the blogs that I first found using those titles are adoption blogs. One from China and one from Rwanda. I didn't start this blog that night. I was too overcome with the fact that the whisper was getting so loud.

I spent a fairly good amount of time in prayer yesterday. Well, I say it was a fairly good amount of time but I don't pray nearly enough and in all actuality I probably should be spending that much time or more every single day. You have to start somewhere though, right? Anyway, I spent the day just going about my normal business and whenever I felt the urge I would drop everything and pray. There were several things on my heart yesterday and one of them was of course the adoption issue. God really just layed it all out and told me what I needed to do. Even with all of his whispering getting louder and louder I still had my doubts. And then yesterday happened. And now, no more doubting.

I'll end today with a verse that has come to me multiple times in the last month or so. A verse that has been more than a quiet whisper in my ear. A verse that tells me to be obedient.

"I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink. I was a stranger and you did not invite me in. I needed clothes and you did not clothe me. I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me. I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." Matthew 25:42-42, 45

Monday, November 30, 2009

My story

When I was in 8th grade I took a class where we had a parenting project that consisted of having "egg babies". We had to care for these egg babies for a week and treat them like they were our own little children. There were people in the class who left their babies in their lockers, who lost their babies, who pawned them off on their friends. Then there were some of us who dreamed of our future families and embraced the idea of playing Mommy even though it was just a project. Some of my friends were so excited about the project that they had "twins" and even "triplets". Then there was me...I had sextuplets. Yep. SIX babies. I remember caring for those little stinky eggs like they were my own babies. I also remember at the end of the week we turned our eggs in. I don't know what I thought my teacher was going to do with them but I soon got wind that she was going to just throw them away. I was heartbroken. I ran from my bus line back to my class to try to catch her but she'd already gotten rid of them. I'm not sure what I thought I would do with them. I couldn't have kept them for long without my own Mother making me get rid of them. I just knew that my heart was breaking for the loss of my babies.

Silly story, I know. But my point is that I've always wanted to be a Mother and not only that but a Mother to many. I don't know why but I always wanted a large family. I had dreams of being a famous actress someday, I studied Japanese, I thought I would go to law school and become a judge. But when it came right down to it, I knew my biggest calling was to be a Mom. I was married in January of 1994 at the age of 20 and by that August we were expecting our first child. It was unexpected but we were both thrilled and just 9 months after Madilee came along we were expecting again. Elijah was born in August of 1996 and we were a happy young family. Brad was done having kids, we had a boy and a girl and they were healthy and beautiful. I of course wanted to have more. After lots of discussing we decided to have just one more child and in June of 2000 we welcomed our little Y2K baby Sadie. I was going to have my tubes tied after she was born but had some serious health issues while I was pregnant with her and so at the last minute because of some concerns of me going under anesthesia Brad suggested that he'd just get fixed. He did. But not until after Teagan arrived in 2002.

Over the years it's been a big joke that we would have more kids by now if Brad hadn't had the surgery. It's no secret that I'd love to have more children. I've felt in my heart for a long time that someone was missing from our family. I've researched vasectomy reversals. (Too expensive.) I've prayed that Brad's vasectomy would fail. (It's not gonna happen.) One thing I've never really thought about is adoption. Why would we adopt if we can have babies ourselves? That makes no sense.

Then about a year ago my brother-in-law and his wife adopted two beautiful baby boys. I was able to see the absolute joy that these children brought to our family. My selfish thoughts of "how could a family love a child who wasn't biologically theirs" were totally smashed. These boys ARE our family. Their biological Mother was unable to care for them and they were able to join a family with a Mom and Dad who had prayed for them for many many years. Still, being around them didn't have me yearning to adopt. Shortly after that I found out that a friend from church was going to adopt a child from Rwanda. Whoa. Scary! I thought it was a great thing that they were doing but that was so not for me. Little did I know, the seed that had been planted long ago was starting to sprout.

A few months ago while having a discussion with Brad he asked if I really wanted more children. I told him I did and he said, "Maybe we should adopt." What?! Are you kidding me? First of all...who are you and what have you done with my husband? The fact that I knew we would NOT be having more children kept me safe in asking for more because when I really thought long and hard about how that would affect our family I wasn't sure it was the right thing to do. Now if he's on the bandwagon too things were going to have to change. I couldn't be selfish anymore and get everything I wanted if we were going to add to our family. That made me pretty uncomfortable.

We decided we would pray about it and just see what happens. Initially I thought that perhaps we would adopt a newborn from the US. That would be easy enough right? But the more I've prayed about it, the more I am being led to adopt internationally. I've followed the stories of the two families in my church who are currently adopting from Ethiopia and Rwanda and my heart is being pulled to adopt a child from Rwanda. If I sit and think about it too much I get pretty overwhelmed with the idea. So I pray. And then I am overcome with a feeling of peace in my decision. This past weekend I woke up just knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was to pursue this. I don't know how it will all end up. I have no idea if in the end we will add a child from Rwanda or anywhere else to our family. I think we will but I know that sometimes God puts things on our heart to lead us in a direction that will take us somewhere completely different.

So for now I continue to pray and have faith. Francis Chan, author of "Crazy Love" says, "Having faith often means doing what others see as crazy." I'd say that we are going to get a whole lotta "are you guys crazy?!" Know what though? I'd rather have people think I was crazy then to be disobedient to something He is calling me to do.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I am...interruptible

He entered Jericho and was passing through.  There was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich.  He was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was not able because of the crowd, since he was a short man.  So running ahead, he climbed up a sycamore tree to see Jesus, since He was about to pass that way.  When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, because today I must stay at your house." 

So he quickly came down and welcomed Him joyfully.  All who saw it began to complain, "He's gone to lodge with a sinful man!" 

But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, "Look, I'll give half of my possessions to the poor, Lord!  And if I have extorted anything from onyone, I'll pay back four times as much! 

"Today salvation has come to this house,"  Jesus told him, "because he too is a son of Abraham.  For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost."   Luke 19.1-10

My church has been doing a series on Life Interrupted. 


The interruption of Luke 19 is not a challenge to move to another land or confront a quick-tempered King. Zacchaeus’ interruption is maybe the most difficult of the three. Zacchaeus is challenged to repent of his damning sin and give himself completely to Jesus.

Some stand and watch Jesus. Some climb trees in order to see him better.

Some surrender completely to Jesus. Some think they are good enough already.  Jim Johnson~Sunnybrook Christian Church 10/09

I know it's not a coincidence that this has come about at the same time that I've been feeling a big interruption evolving in my own life.  Or that it has come about just as I've joined a Bible study by Margaret Feinberg called The Sacred Echo.  Margaret says, "As I've been growing in my relationship with God, I'm finding that I'm not listening for the whisper as much as I am the echo. Often when God speaks, He will say the same thing through a sermon, a passage of scripture, a chance conversation, or an unexpected encounter. When we begin looking for these sacred echoes then we are better able to recognize God's voice in our life and more confidently walk in the fullness of what God has for us."

God has a huge interruption in store for me and my family.  H U G E.  Something that I thought I have wanted for years and now the more I think about it the more I think it just doesn't make sense.  However, anytime I think that I just can't do it I feel his love and grace and know that I can.  And I will.

What do you do when it seems that Jesus is calling you by name and issuing a challenge that will radically change the direction of your life?