In my last post, I explained that I'm not amazing. I had intended to get to "Part 2" sooner, but life has been coo-coo crazy. While life has been that way a little, I would like to let y'all know that I am not! :o)
On one end of the spectrum, we get the "You're amazing!" comments, but then there's the other end...the folks that flat out say, "You're crazy!" Just recently at my son's football practice, I was introduced to someone, & when my friend told her that I have 8 children, without skipping a beat, she looked at me & said, "Why!?!" She was not at all mean-spirited about it, so I took the opportunity to tell her why I am NOT crazy, & how God is amazing!
Quite frankly, I am thankful. We are told all the time in church to be a light in this world. Me? I am only one, & not a real fancy one at that! What could I possibly do?
A couple of Sundays ago, my pastor had this to say:
"Your story means just as much as anyone's in the Bible."
How cool is that? But wait. How do our stories become important? This is where it gets tricky, because we have to give up trying to be the author.
"The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living." Hebrews 11:1
Pastor Dave asked the following question:
"Are you in your own story or God's story?"
He went on to say that we can be completely consumed by our own perspective & that other people or things can hijack our stories.
"Your identity should not come from outward sources. Rather, it should be that of your inner self." 1 Peter 3:3
Easy enough, right? Not really. What I've been learning along the way is that when God becomes the author of our stories, it doesn't look like what the world tries to define as being success or happiness. As a matter of fact, God's material tends to appear like pure craziness.
And I'm learning to be okay with that. Actually, I'm learning to be excited about it, continually amazed at His provision for me to live out this story as it's unfolding. I've begun looking at others & instead of raising an eyebrow at what they're doing, I want to raise my hands & clap as I see that they've surrendered their copyright, & God is doing amazing things through them!!
You know that I'm passionate about adoption...about children having hope. That's where God has me right now. But it's so exciting to look around & see His hand at work in so many ways. I have a friend that just moved her whole family to Guatemala to do missions full time; I have friends that are pediatricians that shine their light every day in the lives of families; I have friends & family that are educators, & they use their gifts to teach children; I have a friend that just spent the last year traveling around the world doing mission work; I know of a man that walks up & down the streets of this town letting people know that Jesus loves them. The list goes on, & each story has it's own unique twist.
To some, it may look a little crazy. But I think that most everyone wants to see that you're "all in". And "all in" typically does not follow the norm. Which is what God is all about.
So, why do I have 8 children, with a 9th on the way? Look at these pictures I took today.
K'Tyo & Kaya had their first days at kindergarten & preschool, respectively.
Only 15 months ago, K'Tyo was living in an orphanage.
When Kaya came into our lives, I didn't know if I would get to see her go to preschool.
When I see these pictures, I see hope, & I am on-my-knees-kind-of-thankful that I have gotten to witness redemption firsthand. And I'm not just talking about the redemption of my children's lives, but of my own.
And "beauty from ashes" takes on a whole new meaning, & it satisfies my soul like no "thing" in this world ever could.