Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Lesson From Joseph...

I do want to blog about what God whispered to my heart after Bible study the other night, but first I just have to tell you about my moment at church this morning. I'm standing there worshiping with John and the Habuda's and I just stopped for a moment and soaked up how blessed I am. To look down the row and see hands in the air praising God. To be worshiping with friends who share our heart for Ethiopia, the orphan and adoption. To meet a new couple this morning at church and to have a pastor who has an amazing heart for the Lord. Todd totally rocked bringing the Word this morning. It has been such a wonderful weekend full of Thunder basketball, the Fort Worth Rodeo, family, friends and worshiping God. I am so thankful for those moments when the blessings just surround me and I just stand amazed at all that God has done and is doing.

Okay....I wrote this blog in my journal the other day because our computer wasn't working. As I was driving home from Bible study on Tuesday night it dawned on me that if I had just gotten pregnant when I had wanted to, I would still be the same person. God wouldn't have had the opportunity to change me the way He has through this adoption process. I am thankful for this journey; I can honestly say I wouldn't change anything about the road He's leading us on to become parents.

My eyes have been opened to the world around me. God has given me a heart for Ethiopia , adoption and the orphan. My infertility has a purpose far beyond what I can see or comprehend. It hasn't always been fun and I haven't always understood God's plan, but there is a purpose.

It reminds me of a verse I read this week in Bible Study. Joseph finally admits to his brothers (who sold him into slavery) who he really is - they have not seen him in years.
In Genesis 45:5,8 Joseph says:

"And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry at yourselves for selling me here because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of then, it was not you who sent me here, but God."

God had a huge eternal purpose for Joseph being sold into slavery. He has a huge eternal purpose for our adoption. I may not learn all of His reasons this side of heaven, but I can think of a few:

We are saving the life of ONE. Giving them love, hope, a future, a family. We can't solve the whole orphan crisis alone, but we can save one orphan.

We may be the only way this child (or children) ever hear about Jesus.

We might be the example for others to open their hearts; stop looking at color and love the way that God has commanded us to love. Maybe others will step out of their comfort zone the way God called us to do.

The story of our Missing Linck and God's amazing glory could turn a hardened heart to the Savior they desperately need.

God uses the ordinary, the obedient, the unlikely to fulfill His purposes. He used Joseph's slavery. He can use me and an Ethiopian babe.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fundraising Update....

I just took 3 dozen strawberry cupcakes out of the oven and decided I would post a blog on my newly fixed computer while they are cooling!
I am so thankful to have a working computer again. I seriously went crazy not being able to blog the past couple of days and the one time I did try to blog on my phone I went completely cross eyed.
This morning I checked some updated blogs and just bawled my eyes out when I read Shannon's post here.
When I delivered cupcakes to her this week we talked about how it sometimes feels like I'll never get my babies home. (Do you like how I'm using the plural form? I really think we're gonna get two!)
Shannon said there was a time when she never thought toys would take over her house but now they do and they belong to precious little Tate. Just seeing his cute face makes me so excited to become a mommy to Ethiopian babes.
I wanted to give a few updates on our fundraising. We have sold about 20 dozen cupcakes and let me just tell you that they are MUCH easier than cookies. As of today, we have raised $17,500. Seeing that total just blows me away! If you would have asked me in July how we were going to come up with the money we needed for our adoption I would have been completely overwhelmed and unsure. But Glory to God! He has provided in ways that John and I never could have dreamed of. It is only because of Him that we have ENOUGH money to cover all of our adoption fees! Thank you Jesus!!!  When and if God calls you to adopt, you can be sure that He WILL provide the finances to do it.
So....with that being said, we are now focusing on raising a bit of money to put towards our travel. We have to take two trips to Ethiopia and the total cost for those trips will be about $10,000. John and I will be putting our tax refund and his teaching checks towards our travel costs, but we will still need to raise some of the funds. The good news is we probably have about a year to do this....
We will continue our cupcake fundraiser through Valentine's Day. We still need to sale about 30 pieces of our puzzle and we are planning another garage sale for the spring. We are also in the process of planning a great fundraising event with two of our favorite couples - The Habuda's and the Ellis'.
Stay tuned for more details on the event that we will be hosting in April.
John and I will also host our golf tournament again in October and the proceeds will benefit the Habuda's and the Ellis'. We plan to keep praying, fundraising and working hard until all of our babies are home.
Thank you just doesn't seem adequate as I try to express how much I appreciate all of the prayers, encouragement and financial support we have received through this adoption process. I pray that each of you has been touched and has seen God's hand through our journey.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Few Quick Updates

Well the hard drive on our 4 month old computer crashed on Monday so we are without a computer until Friday. I'm blogging from my phone because I really wanted to post a few updates.
We received our FBI Clearances and have mailed those to Kate for our Dossier.
We also received a draft of our homestudy today and should have the final copy
very soon. I am excited about this and also anxious. Excited because we are a step
closer but anxious because I know so much of it is out of my hands and I am just ready to get
on that wait list.
I have spent the last few days making cupcakes. We have done well with the cupcake
fundraiser and have sold about 20 dozen.
I will blog a better post once our computer is fixed. I am going cross eyed trying to blog from my phone. :)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

What I've Learned About Fundraising....

I've learned that fundraising is hard work. Sometimes I think that people just assume we are begging for a free handout. That's so far from the truth. We are brainstorming every possible way that we can save more money, we are up to our elbows in cookie dough, we are packaging and shipping t-shirts, etc. We pray everyday that each person who donates to our adoption would see God's hand in our journey. Fundraising has given us a chance to share our story, which means people are hearing about God. Fundraising has a bigger purpose than just paying for our adoption.
I've also learned that it's the people you least expect who donate to your adoption fund. I've learned that a lot of people don't agree that we are fundraising to bring our baby home. I've learned that I always want to have an open hand; willing to help anyone who needs it even if all I can afford is $10. I have learned that as Christians we are CALLED to help the poor, the orphan and the widow. It's not a choice. It's what we are supposed to do.
The adoption community that we're a part of ROCKS! What's so great about this group is that we are all in this together - the massive stack of paperwork, the waiting and even the fundraising. Even though we are each trying to raise a large amount of money to bring home our babies, it is not uncommon for us to buy each other's shirts and participate in each other's fundraising events.
This morning I was reading a blog and came across this verse from Luke 6. Verse 38 tells us

"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

When we give, God blesses us. I think most people hold tightly to their time, money and other resources because they don't want to loose what they have. They think if they give it away they will have less. That's not what the Bible says. Give and watch what God will do....
Today I want to highlight several of our friends who are raising money to bring their Ethiopian babes home. Please consider helping one or all of them. Not everyone is called to adopt, but as Christians we are called to do something. Supporting one of these couples is a way you can help bring an orphan into their forever family.

Matt and Sarah Habuda blog here. You can purchase a t-shirt from the Recycle Love Campaign and a portion of the proceeds will go towards their adoption. They also sell Ethiopian coffee and bracelets on their blog.

The Shubin's are trying to raise the last bit of money that they need to take their first trip to Ethiopia to meet their little girl. They are having a t-shirt fundraiser and only need to sale a few more shirts. Check out their blog here and order a t-shirt. I have one and I LOVE it!

Kathleen and Clint are another couple that we just love. Kathleen is super creative and crafty and has all kinds of fun things that she is selling to raise money for their adoption. You can read about their journey here and check out some of her crafts. I just ordered this clutch for myself and one for my sister for her birthday (Sshh...don't tell her).

Jason and Joely are currently selling puzzle pieces and doing a give-a-way to raise money for their adoption. With each $5 puzzle piece you buy, you will be entered to win a ton of cool prizes. Check out their story here. Joely also makes awesome canvas art prints. Proceeds from her art sales also benefit the adoption.

John and I just met Lindsey and her husband about a week ago. They are in the early stages of their adoption and are selling t-shirts. Lindsey is also creative and crafty and is selling some handmade items. Check out their blog here and order something to support their adoption. Here is a picture of what their shirts look like.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Very Special Piece of Our Adoption Puzzle

God continues to provide for this adoption one puzzle piece at a time, a dozen cupcakes at a time and through generous people who mail us donations.
Today I went to get the mail and I had a card from my friend Marlo. I met the Salamy Family while volunteering at the Children's Hospital in Oklahoma City. Their daughter Anna had cancer and I would often hang out with her at the hospital or go visit her when she was stuck at home. It didn't take long for Anna to find a special place in my heart. We always had a great time...whether we were reading Junie B. Jones books or decorating cookies.

Marlo's card said that they wanted to sponsor one of our adoption puzzle pieces in memory of Anna. She said that Anna would have been so excited to follow our journey to bring home our Ethiopian babe. I love Marlo's idea to have a puzzle piece in Anna's memory. As I was searching through the pieces to find the perfect one, I came across a piece that has a butterfly on it. Anna loved butterflies and they have a very significant meaning to everyone who knew Anna. Here are a few photos of the special puzzle piece.

 You can barely see the butterfly but it's right by the parrot.

Thank you Salamy's for sponsoring a puzzle piece in memory of Anna. You don't know how much it means to me. I can't wait to tell our Ethiopian babe about Anna and the impact she had on my life.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Recycle Love Campaign - Help the Habudas!!!

Yesterday I posted about the Recycle Love Campaign and how it can help our friend's the Habuda's. Well... Lindsey, from Africa Bound Andrews sent me a message on Facebook to let me know that John and I could jump on board this campaign and try and sell some shirts to raise money for our adoption too.

I feel very torn about this. I think it is an amazing idea and John and I definitely could use some fundraising help BUT I do not want to steal the thunder from Matt and Sarah. I really want to help spread the word for them and help them sell some shirts.
I know that Lindsey is planning to feature John and I on her blog tomorrow and I think that is awesome. I would honestly be happy just to be featured, which might lead to some new people reading the blog and hearing the incredible story God is writing for us through this adoption.

If any of my bloggy friends want to participate in the Recycle Love Program, please buy a shirt for the Habuda's....I really, really want to help them out. God has provided in such amazing ways for John and I, and even though we still have money to raise, I have no doubt that He will provide.

So...tomorrow is the big day and you can start buying shirts. Here is some basic information about how it will work.....I plan to order mine first thing! Make sure you include "Habuda" in the memo line so that Matt and Sarah get the funds.

1.) The tees are $24.95 each. $4.95 covers shipping and $10 goes to the adoptive family of your choice. Remember that the family that sells the most tees will receive an additional $500.00! You can order t-shirts here.

2.) The Recycle Love campaign will run from tomorrow until February 18th. We will compile the list of purchases and order the tees after the close of business on the 18th of February and tees will be mailed 1-2 weeks after that.

3.) We are NOT limited to only helping families that we've highlighted here on the blog and Facebook. You can email us your family or a family that you want to advocate for at our address: and tell us their name, blog/web address, a little of their story and what agency they are using. We will continue to highlight families each day for every day of the campaign.

4.) As you spread the word, please let people know to place the family name you want to proceeds to benefit to be placed in the memo line of the paypal memo.

5.) Please lift us up in prayer! For stamina, awareness, communication and above all else that God the Father will be glorified!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Recycle Love Campaign to Help the Habuda's...

John and I met Matt and Sarah several months ago, first through blog land and then in person.
We are all on this crazy adoption journey together and we just love the Habuda's to pieces. They are in the process of adopting from Ethiopia just like we are. I absolutely love their hearts for God, orphans and Ethiopia. We have been so blessed by their friendship and I would like to ask all my blog readers to join together and bless the Habuda's by participating in the Recycle Love Campaign.
Head on over to the Africa Bound Andrews blog and see how purchasing a t-shirt this Valentine's Day will help support Matt and Sarah's adoption.
Spread some love. Buying a t-shirt to help support their adoption is much better than a box of chocolates....
To learn more about Matt and Sarah's adoption journey, check out their blog here.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Looking at MLK Day in a Whole New Way...

"I HAVE A DREAM.....that little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers." Martin Luther King, Jr August 28th, 1963 Lincoln Memorial, Washington, DC

I'm ashamed to say that in the years past MLK Day was just another day. It was a day that I didn't have to go to school or work. This year it has taken on a whole new meaning.
In the near future John and I will bring home a baby from Ethiopia. We will be two white parents raising and loving a black baby. I personally see nothing wrong with that. I can't even imagine our life without an Ethiopian baby as part of our family. BUT there are people in our lives that have questioned our decision. There are people who can't comprehend international adoption.
It's in those moments when people make rude or ignorant comments (or pretend like the adoption isn't even happening) that I realize there is still a lot of prejudice in our world.
I would be naive to think we won't encounter any criticism when we bring our baby home. I know that people will stare and ask stupid questions. I know that not everyone will support our decision, however, this is what God has called us to do. I pray that I will always be able to handle the negativity with grace. That I will extend the same mercy towards the people who criticize that God would chose to extend.
When we think of our child, we don't see the color of their skin. We see a child that God chose for our family long before the creation of the world.

I really liked what Kelly over at Ordinary Hero had to say in her blog post this morning...I wanted to share:

"What a wonderful time in history to be able to bring my son home from Africa, his native homeland, and show him the true meaning of America. My prayer is that he will live in a nation that lives up to every one of the dreams that Martin Luther King fought so hard for. That he "will not be judged by the color of his skin but by the content of his character", like MLK so nicely put it.

The simple fact is that we all bleed RED....blacks and whites alike. It is that life blood that so many have given for freedom in this country. They have given their lives as seeds that will not return void. Many of those lives that were taken sacrificially and many of those that were taken unjustly will see justice come to pass in the sight of America at last. We are then left with the task ahead and that is to live it. Live it like never before. Become and remain sisters and brothers like God intended."

You should also check out what Josh Bottomly had to say about this day. He wrote a great blog post about MLK Day. Check it out here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Scripture Memory Verse #2 and FBI Update

My second scripture memory verse for 2011 is Deuteronomy 1:31.

"The Lord your God carried you as a man carries his son, all the way you went until you came to this place."

In 2010 God carried me through infertility and a very dry desert season. He is still carrying me through this adoption process. He will continue to carry me to Ethiopia and to my baby. My friend Sarah commented on this verse, which I posted on facebook earlier. She said "Amazing idea that God carried us to this exact place. Even when our minds were full of "our" plans, God knew exactly what He had called us to and took us to this spot on our journey!

I am blown away by how much God cares about His children. He knows what is best for us and will carry us to that place. I am so glad He chose Ethiopia and adoption for John and I.

Well I called the FBI on Thursday and GOOD NEWS....our criminal clearances have been complete and we should receive them on or before January 18th. Praise the Lord. I have spent a lot of time praying that we would get our FBI results soon. It's really the only piece of paper we are waiting on aside from our completed homestudy.

I hope all my blog readers have a great weekend! I am super excited about tonight. My mom, sister and I are going to see George Strait and Reba McEntire in concert, thanks to my Dad's generous Christmas gift. It's going to be so much fun. I will have to post some photos later this weekend.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Will You Show Some Love for Our Ethiopian Babe??

What to show some love to our Ethiopian Babe this Valentine's Day? I am selling cupcakes to support our adoption. They are $15 a dozen and you can choose between strawberry, red velvet or chocolate with raspberry icing. Place your orders now and we will deliver! You can even pay through PayPal here on the blog.

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake


Yesterday was our homestudy and it went really well. Our caseworker was really nice and John and I weren't nervous at all. It was pretty much four solid hours of getting to talk about our adoption and all that God has been doing in our lives. We never get tired of sharing this amazing journey we are on. After lots and lots of questions, we showed the caseworker our house and then we were done. It was really pretty simple and laid back. I'm glad I didn't scrub baseboards because all she did was peek into each room.
After she left, John and I were emotionally exhausted. We felt like our brains were mush after answering all those questions.
We should have a draft of our homestudy in 2 weeks to review and then the final copy will be sent to the adoption agency in 4-6 weeks. We are one step closer to bringing our baby (babies) home. A BIG Thank You goes out to all our friends who were praying for us yesterday.....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Prayer is a Powerful Thing...Will You Join Me??

I was going to write about Holy Discontent today, but my heart is very heavy. It's been a week full of sad news and intense prayer and it's only Tuesday. I received prayer requests left and right yesterday.So many people are desperately hurting, have lost loved ones this week or have little ones who are sick.
I am humbled and privileged that I can go before the throne of grace on behalf of all these people (even if I have never met them) and lift up their concerns to a powerful and ABLE God.
Would you please join me in praying for these requests....
For the family in our church who lost a dear family member very suddenly...they are heartbroken and need the comfort and peace that only God can give.
For the family who is out of work and facing health problems. Pray that God would provide for their needs.
For two other families who lost loved ones this week. For comfort as they grieve.
For two precious babies who have been in Texas hospitals. One was born early and we are praying he continues to get stronger each day. The other has been sick and needs God's healing touch.
For the couple who was told that their unborn child could have something wrong with his or her heart - that God would place His healing hands on this baby and that the next sonogram will show complete healing.
I find great comfort knowing that God knows every single detail about the situations listed above. In a world where so many bad things happen, I am so glad that we can find rest in a sovereign God.
Prayer is a powerful thing. It moves mountains! It draws you closer to the heart of God. Will you join me in lifting these requests up to God? If we all lift up these requests together, I know that God will move mountains in these situations.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Homestudy Count Down and Other Stuff...

Several of my friends told me not to go overboard cleaning my house before our homestudy. I am pretty much a clean freak. I don't like clutter or a dirty house. So it was a guarantee that I would clean like crazy before our homestudy. John and I had a date Saturday morning with the Clorox wipes, toilet cleaner and mop in preparation for our homestudy on Wednesday. I'll admit I didn't clean every nook and cranny but the house looks good. I'm impressed that John and I kept it fairly clean this weekend. I will probably have to dust and sweep the floor one more time before Wednesday. Hardwood floors get dirty fast and those little dust bunnies drive me crazy.
Anyway...after spending Saturday morning cleaning, John and I went to the Thunder basketball game with our friends Matt and Sarah. Sunday night we had another adoption couple over for dinner. We had a BLAST hanging out with these friends this weekend! I was reminded numerous times just how thankful I am for the friends we have made along this adoption journey.
These friendships are another perk to "having a baby" through adoption. We have met the most wonderful people and formed some of the most meaningful friendships. It's so nice to have a group of friends that totally "get" what you are going through, who are just as excited about adoption and Ethiopia and caring for orphans as you are. These are the friends that you can turn to at any moment when you need prayer, when you are stressed about your FBI fingerprints or when you just need to talk about the ache in your heart to be a mommy.
These friends have been an answer to prayer. For several years John and I were in a weird place when it came to friends - everyone had kiddos and we were kind of left in our own little childless world.
It's amazing how it can sometimes take friendships years to become deep and intimate. Even though you have known someone for years, you can't always be yourself or you try to pretend you're someone you aren't. It's not that way with these guys. We are real! We don't mind being vulnerable or blurting out exactly what's on our hearts. These friendships are like a breath of fresh air.
Last night we were talking with our friends Sommer and Neil about the hard road of infertility and adoption. We have faced a lot of challenges and heartache but we all agreed that we would do it all over again for the joy that has come from the heartache. New friendships have been one of the greatest joys. I know that these friends will walk this journey with us until we bring our baby home. We will party when we get our referrals, go on shopping sprees to load up on all things baby and meet each other at the airport to welcome our little ones homes They are forever friends. We will raise our babies together, have playgroups and always share the special bond of adoption, Ethiopia and our faith.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

ABC and 123...

When I was a young girl one of my favorite things to do was “play school.” You could usually find me wearing one of my mom’s frilly aprons, her high-heeled shoes and using a laundry punching stick as my pointer. My mom kept kids and I could usually persuade a few of them to be my students. They would sit in yellow chairs around a small white table and I would teach the lesson.

I took “playing school” very seriously. I had a real grade book and one of those handy little things that tells you what grade your students make if they miss a certain number of questions. My 5th grade teacher used to send extra worksheets home with me that I could use in my classroom.

Why I didn’t get my teaching degree is beyond me. I’m the girl who used to drool at the thought of buying new school supplies. I started college with the intention of becoming a teacher and even took several education classes. But my love for writing took me down a different path – journalism.

I can’t say that I regret getting a degree in journalism. My journalism degree allowed me to work for the state newspaper throughout college and I covered some amazing stories. BUT….I still kind of wish I would have been a teacher.

When I worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman, I had the chance to be a teacher for a day. I got to live out my childhood dream and teach 1st grade and then write about the experience. It was so much fun and writing on the dry erase board was everything I dreamed it would be.

If you have been reading my blogs lately, you know that I have been a little discouraged and unsure of what I’m supposed to do when it comes to my career. Well, I have made a decision. I’m going to get my alternative teaching certification so that someday I will be able to teach.

I’m both excited and nervous. I was looking over the tests that I’m going to have to take and insecurity started to creep in. I see a lot of studying in my future. Some of the stuff on those tests I haven’t attempted since I was in grade school. My sister will probably have to tutor me in math – yes, I am that dumb when it comes to numbers. I am the girl who has to call my sister and ask about fractions when I’m baking. Thank the good Lord that I’m a writer and will be teaching English, Journalism or Creative Writing. Whew…..

Anyway…I requested my transcript from OU and once I get that I will submit my application to get my alternative teaching certification. I think this will be a good challenge for me AND it will keep me busy while I wait for my Ethiopian Babe.

I can’t wait to go buy some school supplies……

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Well if you head on over to Storing Up Treasures you can give your blog a boost! You may just find that a lot more people want to "follow" your blog.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Learning to Endure the Meanwhile Moments With God....

"But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more."
Psalm 71:14

Last night at Bible Study the lady leading our discussion shared Psalms 71:14. I looked the verse up in my Bible and discovered that I had already highlighted it at some point. Next to the verse I wrote the date and this reminder "remember this as I struggle with my job, feeling sad and the long wait for our Ethiopian babe."
I think I will make Psalms 71:14 one of my memory verses this year. What great TRUTH to meditate on. When I trust God and His plan for my life, I can ALWAYS have hope.
I learned another really cool thing at Bible Study last night....this semester we are studying the 5 women who were in the lineage of Jesus. Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba and Mary. We are starting with Tamar and are studying her story in Genesis. To prepare for our study we read the story of Joseph in Genesis 37. Our teacher pointed out verse 36 which says "Meanwhile, the Midianites sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's officials, the captain of the guard."
After that verse we completely shift gears and head into Chapter 38 which is the story of Judah and Tamar. You would think that Joseph has been completely forgotten and left to fend for himself. Our teacher asked us if we had ever stopped to consider what the "meanwhile" meant in verse 36....
She told us the story about a sermon she once heard her preacher share. It was about all the great "meanwhiles of God" in the Bible. The times where people in the Bible felt hopeless, abandoned by God, unsure of their future.
Our teacher encouraged us to think about all the "meanwhile" moments in our life - the times when we felt like we had no purpose, when we just couldn't understand what God was up to.
I'm having a "meanwhile" moment right now - I don't know what my purpose is sitting at this desk everyday. I know God is up to something in my life, but He hasn't revealed the whole plan yet. I had a lot of "meanwhile" moments last year when I faced infertility. I just wanted to be a mother but God showed me that He had a better way for me - adoption. It was in those "meanwhile" moments of sadness and despair that God was working in my heart to prepare me for the amazing journey He wanted John and I to
take - "Jennifer, go to Ethiopia and adopt the baby that I have chosen for you and John long before you were even created."
After Bible Study last night I was encouraged to rest in God and His perfect ways during this "meanwhile" moment I am in. I don't really like where I am but I know that God is working in ways that I can't see to fulfill His awesome plan.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In a Holding Pattern....

Warning: This post might rub some people the wrong way but I am not going to apologize for being real and honest and for sharing my heart. If you get offended or think I'm crazy talking about Jesus and how He is shaking me up, you should probably just stop reading.....

I'm in a holding pattern. Stuck in a spot I don't really like (all because I have to pay the bills)but not quite sure what it is God wants me to do right now (although I feel like He's asking me to stop being so dependent on my $32,000 salary).
Simply put, I'm very discouraged about my job. It's a job that I thought I would be passionate about, I thought it would be a great fit and I'm just plain miserable. Sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day makes we want to crawl out of my skin. I'm tired of crying in my car during my lunch breaks.
I get so frustrated with myself because I can't seem to find a job/career that I am passionate about - a job that I love going to everyday. I have wracked my brain trying to think of a career that would bring me great joy, then I remember that my heart's desire is to be a mom. I would much rather wipe snotty noses and clean toilets than have a big, fancy career.
I know I should be thankful for my job. I tell God all the time that I am fully aware of my crappy attitude. I know I'm not supposed to complain and that I'm supposed to be thankful in all situations. Thankfully God understands that I am an imperfect human.
God is changing me. He's up to something (although I can't exactly put it into words) and I am biting at the bit to figure out what it is He wants me to do.
When you've been consumed by Jesus and He's rocked you to the core, it's really hard to share what you're experiencing with others - especially people who do not have an intimate and personal relationship with Jesus. They just look at you like you're crazy....and guess what? I am crazy. Crazy in love with Jesus and desperately wanting to live my life for Him.
I can't even find the words yet to explain the transformation that God is taking me through. Let me try to give you some examples. I am the girl who used to worry about money until my stomach hurt. Now I want to quit my job, go into some sort of ministry and trust that God's going to work it all out. I am the girl who had $15,000 in credit card debt several years ago and now I would be willing to move into a smaller house and get rid of material stuff so that I can have more of Jesus. God is truly turning my world upside down.
I know many people have walked away from jobs to follow Jesus. I know people have sold their house, moved into something smaller and broke free from the bondage of a high paying job to follow Jesus - oh how I want to do that some days! But then I think - there's got to be a fine line between stepping out in faith and just being a complete moron. Because unfortunately I do have a car payment and student loans to pay.
I understand that not everyone gets this crazy talk! But I also know that there are many people who do.
When you are about to adopt a child from a country that lives on less than $2 a day your idea of what really matters changes pretty drastically.
God tells us in His word that living for Him won't be easy. He tells us that other people will think we are crazy when we pick up our cross and follow very small ways, I've experienced the weird looks and lack of understanding from others. Many of our family and friends looked at us like we were crazy for "giving up" on having biological children, for adopting a baby that's not white, for fundraising to afford the adoption.
It hurts when you see friends and family over the holidays and they don't even ask about your adoption - I guarantee you if I was pregnant they would be asking all kinds of questions and they would want to rub my belly.
The reason it hurts so much is because John and I are about to burst at the seams with excitement over this adoption. We can barely keep our mouths shut because we want to share the amazing things that God's doing. We want to talk about this baby. Talking about the baby makes it a little easier when we know we still have a long time to wait.
It hurts that not everyone's heart melts at the thought of a baby whom God has predestined to be a part of our family even though 8,338 miles separate us.
It hurts that we sometimes have to watch what we say because we see the blank stares on peoples faces who just don't get it. Who just don't see adoption as being as big of a deal as being pregnant.
Sometimes the only comfort I have is knowing that despite the reaction's and support of others, John and I are being obedient. God has called us to adopt from Ethiopia and that is what we are doing.
I pray that whatever it is God is calling me to do regarding my job/career I will once again be obedient - despite what other people may think.

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011 Is Going to Be A Good Year....

On Saturday I started the Beth Moore Scripture Memory Challenge. My first verse for 2011 is Philippians 1:6 because I can't wait to see the work that God continues to do in my life in 2011. He began great things in 2010 and I feel Him stirring in my heart, continuing to change me.

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in me will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Beth Moore posted a great verse on her blog on New Year's Day and it really spoke to my heart.

"The Lord your God carried you, as a man carries his son, all the way you went until you came to this place." Deut. 1:31

God really did carry me in 2010. I hit some of the lowest places and He lifted me out of the heartache and despair. I wouldn't be who I am or where I am today if God had not carried me, if my hope had not been in Him.
I look back on 2010 and see His faithful hand in every detail. He saw every tear that I shed over infertility, He felt every longing I had to be a mother and He experienced each burst of joy that I experienced as we realized His plan for us to adopt.
He feels 100x more love than I do ( and I already feel a ton of love) for this baby (or babies) we will soon bring home and call our own.
God is stirring in my heart - I feel like He has a big plan for me in 2011 - I wish I could put into words what He is doing in my life. I don't have the words quite yet to explain it.
I want to be radically obedient - I don't want to be in bondage to the things of this world and allow them to keep me from what God is trying to do in my life.
I don't want to sit at a desk for 8 hours a day because I trust my $32,000 salary more than I trust God to provide for my needs. I know I need to pay the bills but even more I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus - to make an eternal difference.
I want to share His love with the hurting world. I want to step out in faith and truly be His.
I think I might want to take a trip to Ethiopia before we travel there for our adoption. I want to burst out of my comfort zone, stop relying on my own strength and resources and let God use me the way He wants to use me for His kingdom.

Lord - Use me! Show me where you want me and what you need me to do this year. Help me to push my fears and hesitations aside and truly live for you this year; to be your servant in 2011. Show me Your glory! Guide me into your plans and purposes for your life. In Jesus' most precious name....Amen.