Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Finding YOUR way...

As I posted previously I have gotten so many emails from people who after hearing our story have been refilled with hope. And that blesses my heart beyond words because when we have hope- we begin to see a way… a way to get the 147 million orphans in to loving homes. A hope that God wants to use you and me and will.

But I wanted to say that while GOD IS amazing to drop that money into our laps- He is STILL just as AMAZING when He doesn’t do it that way.

For Mya and Aleigha’s adoptions from Guatemala we worked our tails off to come up with the money. Trust me, IT WAS WORK. It took time, it took TONS of effort, tons of faith, and we were still left with some debt that we had to pay off in the end. We created and sold Adoption cookbooks- there was major hours of work involved in that. We gave up eating out, had garage sales, scrimped and saved and much, much more. But the cool things is- God brought them home and I don’t for one second regret what we gave up or the work we did. It was worth it all. And when I look back now and see how He was using that time to change us, stretch us, grow us- it all makes complete sense.

When faced with moving forward or not-we can’t just focus on the cost and say “Nope, no way- can’t do it- it’s too much.” If we know that God is calling us (and I am thinking He is if you are bothering to read this blog post) we HAVE to take that leap of faith… just like we did with the pickle jar... knowing it more than likely will NOT be easy- knowing it would take time- but being willing to do it anyway.

And please understand- we are not patting myself on the back-we were scared to death. I promise you I could NOT have seen this coming… But God did. And He see’s your way too- if you are willing… willing to GIVE IT ALL, GIVE IT ALL UP and GIVE IT ALL TO HIM.

I think for us, starting our pickle jar this time around meant confessing to him we were willing to sacrifice ourselves, and our lifestyle in this world- for something bigger. We were willing to give up eating out, we were willing to wear garage sale clothes and willing to not lavished each other with gifts at Christmas. We were willing to give up vacations and much more.

Do you get your nails done? Can you give that up?
Can you cut your own hair and your kids? If not, learn- I did. :0) (they had a few bad ones but I eventually figured it out LOL).
Keep looking- watch carefully what you are throwing into your cart at Walmart
Drive less-car pool.
Is there a boat, camper or motorcycle sitting in your garage? Sell it.
Give up bottled water, Starbucks, and coke- drink tap water.
Turn down the air conditioner or the heat.
Hang dry your clothes.
Get a 2nd job.
Don’t give expensive gifts-make them instead. Or better yet- give someone your time and attention.
Make a budget.
GIVE to others (even while you are saving)
Spend less on entertainment. Use the library, take walks, go on picnics.
Make do with what you have.
Do without.
Tell God- or better yet- SHOW GOD how serious you are. What are you willing to give up to follow Him? Ask Him to point out the difference between your needs and wants. Then really search yourself and be honest.

The month of September (we are not starting now because we are using up our groceries) our family is committing to eating beans and rice every night for dinner to save on our grocery bill so that we can put what we saved off our grocery bill in our pickle jar for someone else’s adoption. Are we going to get sick of beans and rice? You better believe it. Will it be fun? Um, NO. But children living on the streets would be thankful for beans and rice- so who are we to sit down to steak and potatoes when we could be giving it up to GIVE MORE? Our kids also wanted to be a part of this- and what an great way to teach them to give of themselves for someone else. Can you image what God will be able to do through them one day when they 'get' this?

So my challenge is for you to ask yourself-How bad do you want make a difference? What are you willing to give up to GET a child home?

You CAN do it.


It’s not a question of 'can we?'- it’s a question of will we?

Will we do what it takes?

And I also want to encourage you to really listen to God and where He is calling you. Have you prayed about adopting through the foster system? It’s way cheaper- virtually free. God brought our beautiful, perfect, precious Kaden to us this way and we were blessed in an even greater way than having $20,000 handed to us.

However, only you know where God is calling you- ALL children matter- not location. So whether God is call you to China, Ethiopia, Uganda, Russia, Taiwan, Columbia or the US foster system for your child- listen and then obey.

Let each one do just as he has resolved in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

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Allisyn (aka the Mrs.) said...

i absolutely love EVERYTHING that you said! I can tell your heart is overflowing with love for all the orphans :)

Recovering Noah said...

I really think you should issue a blog challenge, Amy. We can't do beans and rice (everyone except me hates beans and Noah would starve), but we could do tortillas, rice, and veggies. Or cereal and milk. Or salad. Might defeat the purpose, but we would definitely save money and be able to contribute that way. :-)


Valerie said...

Your post brought tears and of course ideas to me. I've been toying around with adoption again and last night I felt that God sent me a dream letting me know this IS the path for us to take. I love the pickle jar idea and am going to start one this week!

Holly said...

I love your ideas!!
We are already living on $75 a week for our family's grocery budget. It would be super duper hard for me to get it down any more...but God will show us a way. I just cut our cable bill from $68 to $10 a month but am planning to use that extra money for gas since I'm driving my high schooler to swim practice every night of the week! The reality is....where are TREASURE is...that's where our hearts will be. God CAN make a way...if we are really interested in storing up treasures that moth and rust can't destroy and where no thief can break in and steal!
I still need to email you!
May this spread like wildfire!!

Barry and Amy said...

LOVE your attitude!!

And thank you for mentioning the children in foster care!

Laurel said...

I was thinking about taking a road trip to Texas in September with my 6 younger kids, so maybe we'll come eat some beans and rice with you. :)

Great post! Love to hear your heart!


Kendra said...

I agree with everything you've said! We've always kept things to a minimum, even before adoption. So it's very hard for us to find areas to scrimp even more. God has been faithful to provide unique ways of providing things so that we can put more in our adoption fund or have more to give to others. My latest blog post is one such example--amazing!

I hope many are inspired by your story and shared thoughts, to spend less so that others may have MORE!

Charlow Family said...

Very relevant and a welcome reminder! If God leads us to WORK instead of dropping things into our laps, it's not because he loves us any less! I think sometimes he makes me work for things a little harder than others to get the lazy out of me :)

Amy Jo said...

A friend just shared your blog with me. So glad she did. This is a powerful post and oh-so-true!

Praying God's sweet and abundant blessings upon you and your BEAUTIFUL family!

With JOY,
Amy in OR

Unknown said...


You can have lots of fun with beans and rice - they never have to taste the same twice. We eat them three times a week at least!

When you want a new recipe let me know!

Everyone is called to help the orphan and widow. Whether that means praying alongside of others adopting or fostering - we can all do something to help the children and widows around the world!

We can all give up things we DON'T need!

We can all go without so others can have.

It really is that simple. Choose life or death this day!

Listen and obey Me say the LORD!

My choice is to obey!

Walking in obedience with you every step of the way!


Pedro and Felis Patlan said... guys are such an inspiration...! Let me just say that this post is exactly what our sermon was on Sunday....talking about listening to what God is calling us to do and just do it by trusting Him. It's something I am praying about everyday to allow myself to do. Thank-you for sharing this...

I like your rice and beans know when I was little my parents said that we lived for a month on just potatoes when my parents were in Bible College getting ready to go to the mission field. :o)

Tonya Brown said...

Okay girl, please take note when you receive the letter with my pickle jar money that it was written yesterday, before you wrote this post. It is so awesome having a personal relationship with The King!!!!! Something so huge is going on here!!! He is using all of this to "grow and stretch" me, and you are going to just start laughing when you read what God placed on my heart 19 days ago that began coming to fruition with your pickle jar post. And this very post just solidified another prayer for me about His wishes with something else in my life regarding finances. I can't wait to talk to you! Hurry up mail delivery person!!!!

I'm all of the sudden craving beans and rice, ha!

Hugs from Phoenix!

Sha Zam- said...

I wanted to post yesterday- but was so moved I couldn't think of words. Again today. He continues to astound me. Thank you for having the words to share.

Adeye said...

Oh my goodness, I am just catching up. How absolutely incredible to read what the Father has done. Surprising? Not at all. Just amazing. How deeply He cares for His beloved orphans. I am speechless.

Rejoicing with you!

Jacksmom said...

Amy, do you have any beans and rice recipes you can share? I love this idea and we've been trying to lose weight and while my 2 year old won't eat beans if they're not lima beans, he will eat rice. We've been trying to lose weight so we've been buying fish filets in bulk and eating lemon baked tilapia probably 3 times a week. It's cheap, easy and low fat. I'm proud to say we don't eat out as much as we used to so we're saving some money there as well! I need to find a big pickle jar to put on our counter like you did. I just used the money we had raised with a yard sale, silent auction and car wash earlier this summer to fund our next fundraiser and I'm having a coronary!! I just pray it's successful and brings us that much closer to our next child!

angie said...

AMY!!!!! What in the world... how did I miss the post about someone giving you guys 20,000??? That is a miracle and SO awesome! Whoever that is will be blessed for giving up money for a greater cause. I am so happy for you guys! You are a great family and I can't wait to see the beautiful children that will soon get to be yours! congrats!

Melinda said...

Love this Amy! Everyone just needs to start somewhere. It can be done and if we all work together and share our ideas, just think what God can do! We have always lived on a budget, but definitly have room for improvement. I am always calling our cable company to downgrade and in turn they cut the cost. We only have basic cable at $15 a month, but our internet is through them. I recently called the cell phone company and lowered our plan there as well and saved $40. We don't have a home phone line which also helps. I am really liking your rice and beans idea. I just told my kids and they are all open to it, my daughter just said that she didn't think her dad would be so we will see. :)
Maybe you could get a paypal account started to help with this idea. That way people could send money every so often as they felt led.

Gardenia said...

Thank you for this post.

Pam said...

This was an awesome post. Another way to lower the grocery budget is to coupon! Other families can check out for great ideas to lower monthly out-go in order to give more! I can't wait to see what God is doing here! If your story to your son Kaden is on your blog somewhere, I'd love to read it. We are half way through our foster training. I know so many "stories" of international adoptions, not so many foster/adopt ones. ;) Anyways, this is great what God is doing here. Wow.

natali said...

i love this post! such great thoughts! :))

Meredith said...

I loved this post, love your thoughts on adoption and are so inspired. We're days away from the birth of our "special" baby and until about 2 minutes I so close to the verge of freaking out about how to pay the last deposits to our lawyer and agency but now I'm calm... because we've given things up, scrimped and saved and God provided and He always will. Thanks for the encouraging words... you're passion for adoption echoes my own. God Bless

Andrea Hill said...

Amy you have no idea how much I love you. I mean how much more clear can you get? I bet everyone could find at least 2 things they can give up. I did love the clothes drying. Since I am from Germany I have done it all my live but I could imagine it being a huge inconvenience for someone not ever doing it before. I love the rice and bean idea. I just love you to pieces and surely saw a few things I can do with my family. Lets bring those babies home, lots of them.

Jman's momma said...

oh Amy I just love you heart! I love that you write and share that beautiful heart. Your obedience to God's heart is an inspiration. We know we will be adopting again as soon as Chris is finished with surgeries and well enough to pass inspection ;) No reason to wait until then to save up for the homestudy, agency fees, and travel costs. We need to do it TODAY!

Love you girl and praying one day I can actually meet you precious family in person.


The Blaske Bunch said...

Amy...I know this is an older post...but about 4 weeks ago my husband was poking around and found your blog and this post. Honestly the blog world has been a hard world, as an adoptive mom of two, and another coming...making us a family of 9, it is hard to see through the "reality" of some i have been on a blog fast, as I felt my heart being pulled away from God and toward opinions I was having to form or not form.
I say all of this to you as a HOPE that you are a BRIGHT light. I know there are many God size stories and amazing families out there in the world living by the power and humility of the Holy is WONDERFUL to see that in you!
This post: husband read the post, we are preparing for our 2nd adoption, 3rd child. (Ghana Africa) God used your "Pickle Jar" idea to EXPLODE God's love for us. I have not blogged in almost a year...but tonight I blogged..."Pickles for dinner" and in honor of the GOd size obedience you had to take your family to this place...I wanted to personally THANK YOU!
MAy you continue to walk humbly, but be full of power as you continue to let God shine through you!