I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have had people say to me “Oh I always wanted to adopt but we can’t because________ and then they fill in the blank. Typically that blank includes them feeling like they do not have enough time or money. Can I just tell you that I understand? I understand fearing the lack of money and lack of time. As I have said in the past- we are not rich and of course with seven- soon to be eight children- are days are full. However, what I have discovered is that while on paper it doesn’t make sense that we can ‘have’ as much as we have and get as much done as we do- the only thing I can say is- it is God’s will and He can and will provide.
Following God’s will for your life is no simple task. It takes effort. It takes time- time with God and time reading His word. We have to make a conscious effort to align our priorities with God’s priorities and examine them often. It takes a willingness to forgo our plans and follow His. It means staying in constant relationship with God- seeking Him for the answers. It means running to God- instead of google.
In the past, as each child entered our family- whether through birth or adoption, inevitably we would always say ‘this one is the last one'.
We laugh at ourselves now.
Laugh that we tried to limit God.
No more telling God when ‘we’ are done. Now the ball is in His court. Our lives are completely His to do with as He wishes. No more holding back. No more restriction. We threw out the excuses, let go of the fears and the what ifs. We are trying our hardest to live in complete willingness and obedience- always remaining open to what or who He brings our way.
Having said that, I do believe that God wants us to act in a responsible manner. We have to use the good judgment he gave us when it comes to how we spend our time and our resources. We have to continuously examine our lives- again aligning our priorities up with Gods. We have to be responsible- to God. Not responsible to our bank account and our lifestyles that we cling to so tightly.
For us, and I believe for many as well, it comes down to being painfully honest. Most of the time what it really it boils down to is our laziness or unwillingness to make changes. Our unwillingness to let go of a few of life’s luxuries- that we cling to out of selfishness. Not an easy pill to swallow I know, but that is a part of that self examining we need to do. I am not saying this is always the case- but perhaps something that needs to be carefully examined in our lives.
Sometimes, often times, following God’s plans for your life including makes changes, giving up, sacrificing. Perhaps God is asking you to examine your life- how much time are you wasting watching TV or sitting on the computer? I know that each time Todd and I open our homes to a new child we have to sit down and really take a long, hard look at our lives and reevaluate the way we are living. Where are we spending our time and our resources and are those things important to God? Sometimes we have to give things up that we like to do in our spare time- to have more time to spent with our children. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices, like giving up having our nails done, eating out or a game of golf. Because after all, one day we will all stand in front of God and He will ask us what we did with Him- what we did with the cross. God knows that you and I know there are 147 million orphans in this world. And honestly, I’m kind of embarrassed that we often put our comfort before them. We turn our backs and go on with our lives- the lives God gave us- and do nothing. We don’t want to give up our cable TV, the 45+ shirts hanging in our closet (and we still have ‘nothing to wear’) our iphones, our golf game, fishing or hunting equipment, our 2nd automobile, eating out, or anything else really. We want to have it all and then some.We complain we are 'broke' and stressed out. And I wonder if perhaps God is trying to teach us something?
Because one thing I can promise you is that one day when we stand in front of God and He asks us what we did with the cross- He will not be impressed with our iphone or that our nails looked good.
Perhaps it boils down to us needing to let go of our constantly trying to impress or prove ourselves to everyone else. Maybe we need to quit worrying what others will think and just live the life that God created us for. After all, it’s our life-and we get to choose what we are going to do with the cross. The decision is ours and we are the ones who will be held accountable for it. Who are we trying to please? God or man?
Or maybe it’s about fears? Fear that it might cost you something? Fears that the child God gives you won’t be perfect? Can I ask you something? Are you perfect?
Or maybe it’s fear that it might be hard? Honestly though, do any of us have so much control over our lives that nothing but good will ever happen to us? Has life ever been completely easy?
So whatever it is you decide to do with the cross- whether it be go on a mission trip, foster children, volunteer at a homeless shelter, adopt, teach Sunday school or whatever- go ahead and do it for Him. Stop limiting God. Drop your plans. Loose yourself for Him. Because you may just find that when you finally loose yourself -you may truly discover who you really are.
My prayer for each of us this Thanksgiving is that we clearly see each and every one of our blessings. Then as we reflect on those blessings, we thank God for them- and then hand them right back to Him. All of them- especially the ones you are most thankful for. Then, sit back and watch. Sit back and be amazed at how when you are fully and completely offer your life to Him- you will have more to be thankful for than ever before.