Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making our way through it...


I haven’t talked a lot on here in details about us going into full time missions because honestly, we are still wading through a lot of the mud.

It was like this when we first decided to adopt- and each time after that. As questions, comments, and concerns from well meaning individuals all piled up- we had to wade our way through them.

One thing I am learning is that most people feel comfortable as long as we are just ‘lukewarm’ Christians. Lukewarm, as in, Christians who attend church and claim to know Jesus- and that's about as far as it gets. But the second you do anything radical like adopt a child of a different race or a child with special needs or announce that you are going to give up everything you have ever owned and move to another country to serve the Lord-they are not so comfortable with it anymore.

Why is that?

So far we have literally been disowned by one family member. We have endured the ‘you are crazy’ comment more than I can count. We have been told we have 'given up on Americans’ and asked why we would do this to our children. We have been told that we will regret it- with a few more "you are crazy" added in. We have been asked why we would even want to move to Guatemala and told flat out not to expect financial support from them. We have been told that "all missionaries do is beg people for their money" and mocked for saying the Lord has called us to the mission field.
Those who have walked this road before warned us that Satan would be working over time to try to stop us...

and they couldn't have been more right.

And yet each morning when I open my bible- I once again find confirmation. His words are crystal clear. I don't know how anyone could miss them.

In the worlds view it may not make sense for a family with 9 children to walk away from a good job and rely on God to be God and on his people to be God's people.

In the worlds view it may not make sense to live in a country where we could be putting our family at risk to help those who are at a greater risk.

In the worlds view none of it may make sense- but in God it is the way He intended all along...
to put others before ourselves, to follow him at all cost and to trust in Him alone.

But unfortunately this is so hard for most of us to understand as the world calls out to us louder and louder. Perhaps that is why the bible says the gates are narrow and only a few will pass through...

We have been brainwashed our entire lives by the lies of this world.

We are brain washed into thinking we have to be strong enough, good enough and smart enough and do it on our own.
We have been brain washed into thinking it's all about us.

We have been brainwashed into believing that money = security.

We have been brain washed that we can ‘control’ our lives and our futures if we make the right plans.

All lies.

Because the truth is, no matter who you are and how much money you have in your savings account or what plans you have put into place for your future- one thing you will never have control over in this life- is death.
You and I, we will die one day and there is nothing we can do to change or control that. Whether it be tomorrow in a car accident, 5 years from now from cancer or 15 years from now serving the Lord in a 3rd world country- when God says our time is over- it's over.

And one thing I can promise you is- I would WAY rather stand before the Lord broke, broken and exhausted from fighting the good fight- than stand before Him with my bank statement clutched tightly in the palm of my beautifully manicured hand.

We have been brainwashed, lied to and deceived-and at some point we are going to have to make a choice- believe the lies this world has told us...lies that cannot hold up over the test of time- or believe in Gods word- that are unchanged since the beginning of time.
You get to choose.

This morning as I was crying out to God for comfort, for confirmation and for strength this is what I read in the study notes from Philippians 1:20-21...

Read them and just for a second let them sink in…

“To those who don’t believe in God, life on earth is all there is, and so it is natural for them to strive for this worlds’ values, money, popularity, power, pleasure, prestige. For Paul, however, to live meant to develop eternal values and to tell others about Christ who alone, could help them see life from an eternal perspective. Paul's’ whole purpose in life was to speak out boldly for Christ and to become more like him. Thus, Paul could confidently say that dying would be even better than living, because in death he would be removed from worldly troubles, and he would see Christ face to face. If you’re not ready to die, then you are not ready to live. Make certain of your eternal destiny: then you will be free to serve- devoting your life to what really counts, without fear of death.”

So while the comments and questions sometimes sting- I simply cannot do the lukewarm Christians thing anymore. I.cannot.do.it. I cannot pick and choose the parts of the bible that are safe and convenient for me anymore. With God it’s an all or nothing kind of deal. No half way Christians, no middle of the road Christ followers, and no (as my son Keegan calls it) Christian Couch potatos. We have chosen to live out our faith and to give it all- regardless of the outcome. We are sold out. 100 percent committed and 100 percent on board- and I will no longer apologize if that makes people uncomfortable.

Yes we are definitely crazy- crazy in love with the God who gave us more than we could ever deserve.

As we begin to scrape this mud off our boots I will continue to share on here how amazing and faithful our God truly is.

And for those of you who have prayed for us, supported us and encouraged us- I cannot thank you enough. Through your genuine love of Christ and through your examples- we have the courage to keep moving forward.
For those of you who too are stuck in the mud somewhere because you too have chosen to truly live out your faith- I am here for you and I'd love to be able to pray for you.


Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:15-16

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80 comments:

Lindsey said...

I am so thankful for your truth. It's like inhaling spiritual oxygen to my heart. I am so excited for you all and am heart broken for those who would try to blemish the light emmitting from your lives. Cannot wait to continue to follow your journey and how Christ will shine in Guatamala because of your family.

Emily and Justin said...

Hi Amy. I don't know you personally but love following your blog and seeing what great things your family is doing. I am praying for you and your sweet family. My husband and I are doing the international adoption thing right now and can relate to what you are experiencing on some level (I'm sure definitely not to the level you guys are right now!). I appreciate you sharing this post and look forward to hearing all the great things the Lord is leading you guys to do. Isn't it great to know that He is all that matters and, ultimately, His opinion of our life is the only one that counts?

I hope you can find comfort in knowing that you are running after Him. He is the only one worth chasing!

Praying for you guys.

Emily

Michelle G said...

Smiling and thinking of the comments Noah must have gotten :)
Most people are probably uncomfortable with the fact that if YOU do it...what is the reason THEY do not?

A quote on the wall of my office says:
"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows porverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it."

"Well why don't you ask Him?"

"Because I am afraid He would ask me the same question."
Anonymous

My you be truly blessed in your calling.
Michelle

Christy said...

I have been so challenged by reading your blog - thank you for speaking truth. Thank you for sharing your passion, your calling. . . may that passion transform my life and the lives of every person who comes in contact with you.

Chantelle said...

'Couch Potato Christians'... uh oh, I feel a blog sermon..I mean POST.. comin' on!! :)

Oh Amy. To the disowning relative - it's their loss. To the nay-sayers - THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX, people!?!?! To you and your gorgeous, dedicated family - I LOVE YOU!!!!

Talk more about moving as you feel able. I've been wanting to hear it!!! ((((hug))))

Sophie said...

Amy the people that are making these comments don't understand what Christ is about and how His love extends beyond our borders.

We have many people in our lives that carry that same attitude and indifference, it's because they don't want to step out of their comfort zone and they feel convicted by the Holy Spirit.

What they fail to see is that Christ our King never lived a comfortable life neither did any of the prophets or His disciples.

While there may be dangers in some of these countries, nothing seems more dangerous to me than one of my children forfeiting their souls just so they can live a life of luxury and comfort.

Be strong and know that you are being lead by God on your new journey.
Blessings friend, my prayers are with you and your family.

Ben, Angie & the greatest kids :-) said...

I know it has been awhile since I posted here, but I have still been reading when I get a chance. We are no longer TX neighbors...we came back to the midwest to be near our family again. Ever since the move we have just been so busy!

Today I had to comment. I love the verse that you referenced, and the "christian couch potato" thought. We felt the exact same way when we adopted our fourth (#8 total) from foster care last December. How could so many people see these kids faces and just turn away? God has called all of us to do a great work for Him...thank you for answering that call, and for being willing to step out of your comfort zone for him! Your family IS sacrificing, but God will provide for all of your NEEDS. He will bless you as much, or even more, than He blesses the people you serve!

Boy oh Boy oh Boy! said...

I think people act like that because they ultimately want what you have. They want your joy, but are just weighed down with the lies of this world. They could even feel guilty because they know the truth, but choose not to listen to it. It is so much easier to be lukewarm and so uncomfortable and scary to do exactly what the bible says to do. Your family is doing it! I love reading your blog! It's challenging and uplifting! I'm praying for you.

Blessings,
Amy

Kristin said...

Amy,
If you keep reading in Phillipians in verses 22 and 23 Paul is conflicted about whether or not it would be better to die and see Christ face to face or continue to live and be persecuted for the sake of telling others about Christ. And then going down to verse 29, he says "not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake." Sometimes we forget that we are going to suffer for Christ when we live for Him. It just comes with the territory. We have to "count it all joy"; we've had to do this quite a few times and we haven't even adopted yet. We've only just begun! And most of the criticism comes from our Christian family, for the "sake of our children". What wonderful lessons you are teaching your children, go full on sister!

Anonymous said...

Hi there. I found your blog today (long story, after clicking on a few links from other blogs) and wow. From the moment I read the quote on the header I was challenged. And moved as I read your posts. I am currently a luke warm, couch potato Christian and I am sick of it. I need more. I've lost sight of God in amongst the pleasure seeking ways of this world (and many Christians). It is so hard to move outside of that sphere. Reading your blog today has been a breath of fresh air and God has really spoken to me in the areas I needed it. From the few posts I have read on your blog today, I have found you and your family to be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Thanks so much.
Jennifer

missy said...

i was looking at the picture of havyn on your sidebar and thinking she has this "i know something you don't know" kind of impish grin on her face. i think that fits this post since you all seem to "know something others don't know" in how living for god's glory is where true joy is found. i am excited for your journey!

erica said...

Amen. I am so happy and excited that you are living the life that God called you to. After all, we have to stand before only Him and no one else someday. We have to give an account to Him, and to no one else. And we will be standing in front of Him alone - no one else can answer for us. I had to remind myself of this, too, when we were getting not-so-nice comments about our adoption. I would much rather please God than men. Thank you so much for sharing your heart - we will pray for you and your family.

Heather said...

You are so amazing and have inspired me in ways you will never know! I wish that I could have the trust in God that you do, Im trying, I my husband and I were raised in different faiths, and when we married were young and sick of listening to whatt our parents wanted now after years of wandering I find myself longing for that comfort! I love that you are listening to your heart and going forward with this! Good luck I am sure it will be amazing, with God on your side how could it not be!!!

Freedom Hollow Farmgirl said...

ROCK ON AMY!!!

Tiffani said...

A former pastor at our church left the ministry to be a full-time missionary overseas, I forget where. He had several children, six I think. Before they went, one person said to him, "Aren't you scared to take your children over there?" And he replied, "I'd be scared not to." The center of God's will is the safest place to be.

My Thoughts said...

I feel the same way that others who have left comments do. I'm with your family 100% and I love what you're doing. I can't speak for anyone else and I think there is no excuse for anyone to have treated you or your family because of this issue or any other. I do want to point out, though, that sometimes people have a difficult time verbalizing their concerns and fears to others, so they wind up lashing out, otherwise saying things that are hurtful or "disappearing". There is no excuse for this sort of behavior and I'm not saying that is behind what anyone has said or done to your precious family. I'm just sharing something that I've learned that may not even have anything to do with this situation. Again, this may very well have nothing to do with anything you've been presented with so far from people, but sometimes, when people seem to abandon us, treat us poorly or something else to either effect, it is because they are afraid for us or feel helpless. It's wrong, but sometimes their concerns or sense of loss are at the foundation of poor choices and behaviors.

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

I think you are crazy- actually know you are! In a GREAT WAY!!!!!! Amen to that! Why would you want to settle for "normal"? Don't! NEVER GIVE IN!!! Praying for you all because the enemy definitely doesn't like this, but WE DO!!!!!!!! & MOST IMPORTANT GOD DOES!!!!!!!!!!

Chris and Sarah said...

I think what your doing is awesome!!!

Hey, do you know any mission trips families with younger children could go on. I would love to be able to take our 7 year old on a mission trip to an orphanage.

Jennifer said...

Amen, Amy. You have spoken the truth so well. Why is it so hard for some people to hear and others to see? Thank you for going "radical" before us and being willing to share the ride. God will honor your commitment, good and faithful servant.

April said...

Hey Amy,
I don't think words could really describe how much I am blessed by reading your blog. What pure joy for you and your family to be in the center of God's will. What an example you and your husband are setting for the the little eyes that watch you at home and the eyes of the world that watch you daily.
"Blessed is the man who perservers under trial because WHEN he has stood the test, he WILL receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him" James 1:12
We'll be praying for you!

Ethiopia here we come! said...

Keep being crazy! I read somewhere that it is when people start to think that you are crazy that you are really living as a Christian. I read through Philippians yesterday and reflected on these vereses.
Philippians 3:17-21.

the Philpots said...

You know we're praying for you girl!

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-11

Kathleen said...

Amy,
Have you been reading Radical by David Platt??? You sure sound like you have been:)Platt states that you cannot live the American dream and serve Christ. You simply can't...His book has turned my whole walk with Christ upside down and I feel that for the first time I can truly see what the cost will be in following Christ. My life, my family's life, will all look very different than what should be "typical or normal"... My favorite quote from Platt is, " the gospel does not prompt you to mere reflection; the gospel requires a response."
Praying for your family and cheering for you as you take this step of faith.

Blessings...

His Hands His Feet Today said...

Your eyes are on Him ... right where they need to be!

Keep walking on the water :)
Kim

Deborah said...

I'm praying for your beautiful family and you navigate this new journey. I'm praying for all of the people trying to discourage you and hope that one day they will know the blessing your family has.

Jill - FNA Photography said...

as i wrote in my email to you I love you! so excited to journey with you in prayer and cheer you onto the goal of Christ Jesus!
xoxox
jill

Lexi said...

Ms. Amy and family -

First off...I love you guys so much! Taking the stand and choosing to be obedient to God rather than listen to the world's comments is what it means to be a true follower of Jesus. A lot of people could learn a lesson or two from your family.

I'm praying for you all and am cheering you guys on for the journey your family will soon embark on. Keep holding to God - He'll never let you go!

Hugs and Blessings,
Lexi

A Heart after His said...

Hello,
I had stumbled on your blog a few months ago, and have been so encouraged by all your posts. I just want to encourage you and thank you for taking the leap of faith. A lot of people would have ignored God's voice, but you have followed it joyfully. I know that God will bring many blessings to you while you are serving Him! Something to remember (and will make you laugh) my friend Katie(who has adopted 2 boys from Rwanda) always says "Opinions are like butt holes, everyone has them and most of them STINK!" In her journey through adoption she encountered a lot of opinions, but she just remembered the call that God had! I can't wait to read the stories of what God will do. I will be praying!

Marie said...

Amen! I don't think you could've said that any better than you did! You are definitely an example to me. I was really convicted by the your statement about grasping my bank statement with my manicured nails. Thank you.

Jamie said...

I think you are amazing!! I think you are Awesome! I, also think your treasures in Heaven have just been multiplied!!! I will be praying for you!!!

Lisa H. said...

Here's what this post made me think of:

Three Dollars Worth of God -- by Wilbur Reese

I would like to buy three dollars worth of God, please.
Not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep,
But just enough to equal a cup of warm milk, or a snooze in the sunshine.
I don’t want enough of Him to make me love a black man, or pick beets with a migrant worker (or care for orphans!-my addition!)
I want ecstasy, not transformation.
I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth.
I want a pound of the eternal in a paper sack.
I would like to buy three pounds of God, please.

Amy:

I LOVE that you are always ready for more of God and what He has for you. Just this morning I was reading how God is a jealous God and He wants all of us! You're a challenge to me in the way you hold nothing back! And I laughed out loud at you saying you don't think you'll be holding your bank statement in heaven with your manicured hand. But I bet you'll be holding some white and brown hands that will feel pretty sweet! You're taking Jesus at His Word and living it, and that's what we're called to do. And really, do you want to be like all the naysayers? I didn't think so...Neither do I!

Love to you!

Lisa

Courtney said...

Amy,

I've been following your blog for awhile now, and want you to know that you are a blessing to me! My husband and I are going through our first adoption, and have experienced, in a small way, what you are talking about-- people who say we are crazy, friends who have slowly disappeared from our lives, and family members who have decided that we and our children will not be their family. It was something I did not expect at all-- I thought that adding to our family would be a joyous thing, not something that would turn people away! But I am learning, like you said, that people are more comfortable with us when we are lukewarm. It's sad, but there is so much more JOY in following Jesus. Praying for you and your family-- we are so excited to see what God will do for you and through you in your mission work.

Courtney

Dardi said...

One of my very first blog posts was called "My Last Lecture", & it was based on a question our pastor had posed. If we had one thing we wanted to say about our faith, what would it be? I think as Christians we are sometimes the worst examples of Christianity b/c we forget that God has a unique purpose for every one of us. Not only do we deny the calling on our lives, but we wrinkle our noses at the calling on others' hearts. Instead of iron sharpening iron, we are stabbing each other in the back. I pray that you are encouraged as much as you are an encouragement to others!!

Love you!!! :o)

Jolene Shrock said...

Wow Wow Wow! :)

his, mine and ours said...

I NEEDED this post. Now, we aren't giving up our jobs and moving to a foreign country, but we have had many of the same reactions when we told people we felt like we had been called to foster. Isn't it AMAZING how blind and ignorant people are?!?! And the majority of the people we heard the same or similar comments from are supposed to be CHRISTIANS! No wonder there are atheists in this world. I prayed that God would break our hearts for what breaks his, and the orphans in my very own county (yes county, not country)are what started tugging at my heart strings. I'm praying for you Amy!!!

Joy: said...

So many thoughts are going through my mind. You've heard them all I'm sure...

The Lord funds what he favors.

The Lord goes ahead and prepares a place for you.

If you lose anything, even your life, serving the Lord, it is worth it. Always.

Those who do not understand mock.

Blessed is he who goes in the name of the Lord!

Karin said...

Amy...this post totally resonates with me. We are not packing up to go into missions but I vividly remember the "you guys are crazy' comments when we decided to adopt #5 (they would have freaked if they had known we would eventually be called to 10--haha). It hurts...but like you said, NOTHING would make me go back to living a lukewarm Christian life. ugh. Satan is so good at lying about 'giving up our lives' when really...the truth is that we trade purposeless for exhilerating purpose.

Marisa said...

It's hard to see the challenging times you are facing with some people, but praise God for the many supportive ones around you. People thought I was crazy for turning down a job offer in underwriting insurance and risk management straight out of college to go in the mission field. However, as I always says - while it's not always been easy, it's been well worth every up, down and in between I wouldn't change where I am for anything, not because I love every moment, but because my heart resonates here in Thailand more than anywhere else, because it is where God has called me!

I pray as God desires, hearts of those around you be challenged, changed and remade being led by your beautiful example! God bless!

Andrew and Esther said...

I appreciate your words so much. HOW TRUE! It doesn't matter what others say. Love God and live for Him. There will be no regrets when you stand before God - wondering if you'd done too much. We all will wish we had given Him more.

Jillian P said...

Hi Amy,
I have followed your blog for quite some time now, but have not written to you since you and your family were doing the rice and beans challenge. Tonight, I felt I MUST remind you what an encouragement you are to others. The Lord truly flows through you, so thank you for your obedience to Him! We are called to live for Him, and your family is a beautiful example of that (even if it seems extreme in the world's eyes...remember: HE IS WORTH IT)! May you be blessed abundantly by Him! Thank you for your refreshing words that renew my spirit :)
Love and prayers for you and your family,
Jillian

Jodi Widhalm said...

Amy, What a blessing you and your family are to SO many...and so many more come! My family and I are in the process of moving off the couch ourselves, and it is so true how many "Christians" don't seem to understand. For us, it seems to be our very own family. We are getting ready to adopt from Sierra Leone and haven't even made the "big announcment" yet, because they didn't even want us to go on a week-long mission trip. Today, I felt God tell me it's time to stand up and take a step of faith. Let the chips fall where they may. If we are persecuted and tested or disowned...then so be it. And, wow, was your post confirmation of that very word!

God is SO good! Thanks for sharing your heart in this post and allowing God to use you and your family! I'm so excited to see all the He has in store for you!!

Praying God's richest blessings upon all of you!
Jodi

Rossana said...

So touching.... Thank you for this post.

Jen said...

Amy,

I was so encouraged by this today. Thank you! We are SO feeling the same way - we are DONE with the Christian Country Club Church. We are DONE with the idea that being a Christ follower is about "just be nice and make everyone feel good about themselves." UGH!

And, yet, it has been a struggle as the stinging comments come and as friends just don't get it. My greatest prayer lately has been that we will fear only God and not man.

Here is one of my most FAVORITE quotes which is, interestingly enough, from the sweet lady who we travelled with to pick up our three Liberian children (she was picking up her Liberian twin babies at the same time!):

" it's interesting..that when we PROFESS likeness with Christ, nobody's feathers are ruffled, but when we begin to be identified with Him by how our lives are lived out, it becomes a bit offensive, mostly to other Christians. Shouldn't we be cheering one another on in the fight for faith, the battle for souls, seeing the captives set free? No matter where it takes us or how "radical" it may look..we only get one chance." -D'Lynn Watts

Courtney said...

This encouraged my socks off! God used this post at such a crucial time in our journey.

connie said...

Amy~
I'm SO sorry the enemy is waging such a battle (even through others claiming to be believers). It's not surprising. I totally agree that others are more comfortable with us as lukewarm, but when the flame of our love for Jesus burns brightly people will keep their distance, and some even deny our existence. The Lord spoke this message to me in March 2009 as He prepared our family for the biggest adventure of our lives. He reminded me that though many will forsake us, He will never (ever) leave nor forsake us! And at the end of the day, there is only One we must truly answer to.
Blessings to your family!

JJ said...

Amy-When we started the adoption process for our 2 kids (that have now been home for almost 1 year)we heard so many negative comments. We had a family member that disowned us also. It simply amazes me how selfish, closeminded, ignorant, and self-loving people can be. It's truly the devil doing his best work. But it really got to me sometimes. Never did it make me want to stop our adoption process, but it made me want to somehow get these people to understand, and see what God is INSTRUCTING ALL OF US to do. We are NO MORE important than the people of South America, Africa, or any other continent. The money that is in our bank account, IS NOT REALLY OUR MONEY. It is HIS money and we need to use it wisely. We need to share it with those less fortunate. It's a test to see how selfish we are going to be. Pass this test in life. Share your blessings and talents with others. Don't store them up for yourselves. Pray for those who curse you. It's so hard to do, don't let them trip you up. Keep on running your faith marathon, not just a 2K walk of faith.

Amber said...

You know when the people around you are calling you crazy that you're doing the right thing. It's really that simple. The more our fellow Christian Americans criticize you all for your faithfulness the more you know you're following His lead! Find it all a compliment.
You leave me feeling convicted ALL.THE.TIME. I know it's not your intentions but well, maybe it is! ha ha You are good at what you do-and you are good at it because you follow your Heavenly Daddy's lead. Amen to that, Amy! I adore you and your sweet family.

Hugs & Prayers and ENCOURAGEMENT!!
AmberK

valerie in TX said...

Oh Amy, I am so sorry for all that you and your family are going through - although I know you count it all as joy because of your confidence that you are exactly in the middle of God's plan for you. I want to say that I want to be where you are. No, I don't necessarily WANT people disowning me and calling me crazy, but what I do want is to be at the place where I am done with mediocre Christianiy and sold out to all that God wants for me, no matter what. I'm not there. I want to be. I want to be, but I'm not yet. Struggling with knowing how to get there. I know it's a choice, but getting my "chooser" to line up with what I know is true is sometimes hard. Not to mention that my husband's not on board with that at all. It's hard enough to make that choice on your own, but when your spouse doesn't agree, well, I don't even know how to begin. So thank you for your posts. Thank you for your sold-out choices for Christ. If you have a moment, please pray for me, that God would show me what to do to find that place, too.

the johnson crew said...

i haven't checked your blog for a while, but I will try to more often. I will be praying for you! i was blessed and challenged in reading this post. God bless. - Janelle

MnM said...

Wow. It's hard for me to believe that people would not celebrate and support you and your family as you follow God's calling. May you hear the many voices of those who think what you're doing is AMAZING! Blessings on your journey. :)

Designed with Purpose said...

I love your post, thanks for writing it. My family is in the process of going on the mission field and I so understand everything you talked about. I constantly have to take every thought captive and ask myself if I am listening to the world or to the Lord. You go girl!

Laura said...

I am so sorry for the enemy's attacks. Even though it may be easy for us to say "don't worry about that one family member" it is still your family and it still hurts. I am so thankful you continue to find confirmation and encouragement for your call! I am praying praying praying that the "mud" you are wading through becomes clearer! Many blessings to you and yours...Laura

Kristin Ferguson said...

I fully support what you are doing and I pray that many more will too. Your story is inspiring and convicting and crazy in the best way possible! You go girl!!!

Lauren said...

Praying for you and your family! Thanks for always encouraging and challenging your blog readers!

angie said...

Amy!
My prayers are with you and I'm excited for you! What an amazing experience and thank God for you and yours. love u

Sean and Lisa said...

I can't be more excited to pray for and follow with you all on this journey! You are so right...when we follow Christ with abandon we often make others uncomfortable because they are convicted but not enough to change their lives. I could not imagine one minute of my life without what others called stupidity, craziness and not our problem...our 5 beautiful treasures!!
Praying for your family and for an outpouring of support, encouragement and honest to goodness, let me get my feet muddy too, LOVE!!!
Much love!
lisa

Stacy said...

I'm so glad you are doing what God wants and not what everyone else wants. You are such an example to the rest of us.
Are you raising support for your mission field?
I would love to support your family.

Much love and blessings!

Debbie Doughty said...

Amen and well said, Amy! Love and prayers always, :Debbie

Jami said...

Amy - I just love you!! I am with you. Keep standing strong sister! He is proud of you!! :)

Andrea H. said...

Oh this post got me really choked up because it is so true. This is were the part comes in that we are persecuted when we are with Christ and to me, that is the biggest reward one can receive. Oh Amy, you know I love your heart and with so many haters you will get so many supporters. But yes, so many luke warm ones and often they don't even realize they are lukewarm.

Laurie said...

Amy,
I can't say I know how you feel in this situation. All I can say is I'm sorry. People's words are so hurtful and their understanding of a calling from God ~ well, they can't understand. (We've experienced most of the same critisism when we announced we wanted to adopt Anna and Sophia - never mind that we hadn't shared their medical status with them. Oh- you can imagine how that will go over when God allows the day for them to join our family ~ Oy Vay!!)
God has gone before you. He has laid that path straight. He wants you to continue to believe and trust in Him only. Not man. Keep looking up, ask if there's any truth to what is being said. If there is, deal with it with God, if not move on. Just know people get uncomfortable when they are asked to step out of the boat and trust only in God. And the fact that you and Todd are willing to be that "uncomfortable", make that kind of "sacrifice" makes them feel bad about themselves. Not your fault. It's ours as a society. We are spoiled and to think about living somewhere other than our cushy homes and being able to run to the store at a moments notice to pick up whatever we need, well... you get the picutre.
Go, and live out the gospel even louder than what you have been already. Don't look back. Keep looking forward. When you stand before the LORD on that day, you will hear what all of us hope we will, "well done, my good and faithful servant." (((((HUGS))))) Proud to be joining you all on this journey. :)

Shauna said...

What you do and are preparing to do is wonderful. Following God's will brings such amazing blessings, and sometimes such huge challenges.

You and your husband are so blessed to be on the same page, desiring to serve God with your whole hearts and life.

Have you read any of the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series by Janet and Geoff Benge? If you get a chance, check out the ones about George Muller, Gladys Aylward, and Lillian Trasher. Probably others would be great too; those are just the ones I've read that would be a definite encouragement to you.

I'm praying for your family as you prepare for Guatemala.

Holly said...

sweet Amy. How the Lord has used you to encourage me and so many others these past few years I have "known" you.
it sure is hard to walk in His calling sometimes even when you know wholeheartedly that obedience is worth it. HE is worthy of sacrifice.
What people see is the sacrifice but not the blessings. Oh how He is going to bless you with treasures you wouldn't have gotten anywhere else but where you are going!!
It breaks my heart that so many believers actually persecute "radical" Christians.
Shouldn't we ALL be radical?!?
It makes me wonder when I see the WWJD bumper stickers and such and then hear those people sporting those letters tearing other believers down for living "too radically".
I wonder how often we consider Jesus' life? It was pretty radical!
Love you girl.
Press on. He holds all your tears, knows those who persecute you and will use it all...ALL for good and for His glory. And the real honor and joy is that He has chosen to use YOU to do this work, to be His hands and feet in Guatemala.
Isn't it amazing?!!?
Love,
Holly

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

So sorry for the pain you are experiencing from family members. I can so relate.

We were told we were CRAZY when we had our first 5 kids in 4 years. By the time we adopted children #11-12, most of the family had stopped speaking to us, so they no longer called us "crazy". :)

We were shunned by our family of educators when we chose to homeschool ... 21 years ago.

Friends and church members didn't even support us when we decided to adopt.

Then ... Jim gave up his "secure" teaching job in order to go into full-time ministry. This was beyond crazy ... this was just plain foolish in most people's eyes.

Now ... the teaching job is gone ... the ministry job has ended ... we are left with no savings acct. and no income. But, you know what? We don't regret any of those decisions. No.

God called us to step out in faith. God called us to choose Him over financial security. And, we are trusting God to provide for our every need (NOT our every want), just as he clothes and feeds the lilies of the fields.

We are at PEACE, even though the world says we are crazy. Actually ... I think our friends are more worried about our finances than we are.

We have lived by faith for 28 years, and we are trusting God for the next 28.

Keep living radically. Keep being crazy. Keep doing what the Lord calls you to do. Keep walking in Faith.

Be BLESSED!

Laurel

Adeye said...

ROCK ON sweet friend....you're doing it! You're following the Father with reckless abandon...there is no sweeter place to be than right in the center of His will for your lives. I cannot wait to see how tings unfold. So incredibly exciting!

Kelli said...

"And one thing I can promise you is- I would WAY rather stand before the Lord broke, broken and exhausted from fighting the good fight- than stand before Him with my bank statement clutched tightly in the palm of my beautifully manicured hand."

AMEN ALL THE WAY! You are my hero. Thank you for being real, being honest, and following God's call. I can't wait to read more! I wish you and your family the greatest of blessings as you walk this journey together. LOVE WINS!

Brandy Wade said...

I have been thinking about this post for days. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your family is an inspiration. Thank you for showing us what it looks like to live out the word.

Stacy said...

What an inspiration you and your family are! Many of the naysayers are probably acting out of fear. They may be genuinely afraid for you and your children but also afraid to take an honest look at themselves. I'm praying for your family as well as praying to let go of any fears I may have myself as I try to follow our Gods will.

Suzette said...

Amy,
There isn't anything I can say that hasn't already been said, but I need to tell you what an inspiration your family truly is. You are living the life God has called us to live, so of course, Satan is going to try to steal your joy. Praising God with you that our God is SO much bigger and has so much more joy than we can even imagine. We have seen again and again that we can't outgive God and everytime people think we are crazy we are the ones who are blessed abundantly...so, I think I will choose CRAZY! Praying you are blessed on the journey.

darci said...

Dearest Amy--oh how my heart hurt for you when I read this post. I read it quite a while ago, but just have been praying for you and thinking about it..so many times your posts move me to tears, adn yet I feel inadequate to comment-but yesterday I was reading in Hebrews 11 and just felt like it was for you. (1)"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (you are stepping out in faith, convicted by what so many others cannot see-but still just willing to FOLLOW!!)(2)"For by it (faith) the people of old received their commendation." ( to be commended by God..wow!!! that brings me to tears!) Then of course it goes thru a long line of the faithful..who against all odds, in the midst of persecution and mockery and impossibility just DID WHAT GOD TOLD THEM TO DO..and were "commended as having pleased God." (5) This next is the part that really sent shivers as I thought of your family..(8) ``By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place....and he went out not knowing where he was going.`` (can you imagine how stupid people thought HE was?) (9) "By faith he went to live in the land of promise (love that!), as in a foreign land..For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God" (eternity!!) ..(14)"for people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland." (again, eternity) (15) "IF they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. BUT AS IT IS, THEY DESIRE A BETTER COUNTRY, THAT IS, A HEAVENLY ONE. THEREFORE, GOD IS NOT ASHAMED TO BE CALLED THEIR GOD, FOR HE HAS PREPARED THEM A CITY." oh my friend, we are praying for you. We have so much respect for your family as you FOLLOW CHRIST and abandon the typical northAmerican life of prosperity and shallowness. Please know you have our prayers and our support.
We would really like to support you financially too, if possible. It won't be a ton. :) but if you could let me know how the best way to do that is, that would be great. (if there is a way not to post that last part that is great. :) Much love and prayers Amy. Darci :)
mhovdestad at hotmail dot com

Kelly said...

well, finally had some time to do blog catch up today.... I've enjoyed catching up on yours. Love this post.... love what God is showing you and teaching you through this. Keep your eyes on Him.... let Him teach the lessons... let Him refine you... and of course let Him deal with "them". Yes... I know them too... It's a sad thing.... it's a hard part of missions .... well just living your life out loud for Christ... you already know this. Satan will continue his attack even when you leave these "couch potatos" behind..... stay in His word. God Bless you and your family.... love what you're doing. Know you're in my prayers!

One Big Fat Sugar Mama said...

I am so sorry that "family" is treating you that way. I am also not surprised. I am excited because this is confirmation that you are where you are supposed to be AND I couldn't think of a better person to go love on these kids. Wish I could pack a suitcase and go with you. I am proud of you and I see Jesus in you. All my love

Bruce said...

Amy,

Hello from Fort Wayne! I have read your blog a few times from links from Gabe & Shelley's blog and have been blown away. We have been on a similar journey (not with adoption, but trying to live a "radical" life and being told we're crazy) and understand how you wouldn't ever want to go back to living a "safe" Christian life (whatever that is). You are making an eternal difference and are inspiring others to do the same. Thanks for being on the journey. Tell the family we said hi!

Brandi said...

Excited for your Family and the adventure of following God's calling on your life. Your heart beats like mine, to be more that what we have been for Christ. I love it!

Thank you for sharing! Praying blessings over you as you set forth to follow God's calling on your lives.

Marie said...

Do you care if I repost this quote from you?

Because the truth is, no matter who you are and how much money you have in your savings account or what plans you have put into place for your future- one thing you will never have control over in this life- is death.
You and I, we will die one day and there is nothing we can do to change or control that. Whether it be tomorrow in a car accident, 5 years from now from cancer or 15 years from now serving the Lord in a 3rd world country- when God says our time is over- it's over.

And one thing I can promise you is- I would WAY rather stand before the Lord broke, broken and exhausted from fighting the good fight- than stand before Him with my bank statement clutched tightly in the palm of my beautifully manicured hand.

It really hit me hard. In a good way :)

http://thelincbetweenus.blogspot.com/

The Beaver Bunch said...

At comment #76, I don't know if this will show up on your radar BUT...

We have 6 kids. 4 bio and 2 adopted. We are following the call to Africa next year, with all SIX kids (who at that time will be 8 years and younger).

Family has taken it rough and the enemy is attacking us - though I'm sure the harshest attacks are yet to come.

I'm linking to your post today because everything you wrote it truth and exactly where we are at. I've had a very close family member ask me how a decent man (my husband) could have all these kids and then BEG other people to support us. It hurt but the truth is, GOD called us to Africa. He alone will provide.

Blessings to your sweet family as you walk in obedience. I'm adding you to my reader FOR SURE.

The Beaver Bunch said...

By the way, I also posted a portion of this post, giving you full credit and linking to you twice. Hope that's okay.

If you'd like me to remove that portion, email me at beaverbunch (at) gmail (dot) com or comment on the post and I'll remove it.

Thanks.

Genesis said...

I just found your blog through Christine's and interestingly enough, I live in Guatemala. I'm not a missionary, but everyone called me insane when I came down here, too. It's been close to a decade now and I'm quite happy, have a latino husband and two little boys here. You AREN'T crazy for following God's will and I think you'll love it here, as will your kids.

Feel free to email me if you have any questions about living here with kids, I'm more than happy to answer them.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I wish you and your family the best. Where are you going? I am a missionary returned from Pakistan in the past year. If you are going to a Muslim majority country I would love to exchange e-mails. I am Sophie at sophiek1842@yahoo.com.

Shari said...

Hi Amy. I'm not a very good blog follower but occassionaly I check on the CCI family blogs for a little encouragement. We lost our referral of a 2 1/2 year old little girl in Dec when her birth mother changed her mind. I had kept her for 3 days in Ethiopia and was there for her mothers court date. Not only did this child touch my heart but also her mother. God has a bigger plan but it doesn't make it any easier! So we're waiting for another referral.
I always love to read your blog for inspiration and down right here it is commentary! I read this one talking about all the comments you've received. I received those same comments only they were about us adopting! Primarily from my own family!! We don't want to be lukewarm and I'm not looking for that easy road. There's nothing I can go through in this life that Christ himself did not experience! Thank you for being so candid about your life and for the inspiraton I get from you and your family. I will pray for you and your family!