Monday, November 23, 2009

Stop limiting God

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.

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.

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natali said...

wonderfully said :))

Anonymous said...

So I'm reading your post and realizing this is exactly what God has needed me to hear...Thank you for being his hands and typing this out! I could write more BUT there's some kids here that need to have more play time with mommy!

Renee said...


Rachel Goode said...

I loved this! Here's to learning to let go!

Megs said...

I've been reading your blog for awhile now but this is my first time commenting. You have a beautiful family and spirit -- it's very inspring & refreshing to read your posts. Thank you for writing this today, this has been weighing on my heart lately and it's so so true.

Andrea said...

Thank you for sharing! ;o)

Laurel said...

Beautiful post!

When we had 3 kids, dh said, "We're done." After 5 kids in 4 years, dh said, "We're definitely done." After 7 kids, he said, "7 is the perfect number." Then ... he said, "Okay, Lord, how many do you want us to have?"

Right now ... 13 is a "good number" ... but, who knows what tomorrow will bring.

Laurel :)

FruitfulJenn said...

amen and AMEN!!!

Unknown said...

Sweet Friend - looks like God woke us both up with the same hearts once again!

I love you and the only words to say here are AMEN!


Shonni said...

Great job...we must continue to encourage each other and challenge our society!!

Recovering Noah said...

Love you, love your heart.

Sean and Lisa said...

You have such a beautiful heart and much wisdom! Thanks for your willingness to be transparent and to share with us. My heart is often convicted and stretched after reading your posts. Thank you so much!

Anonymous said...

I cannot tell you what this post has just done for me.

Thank you, Thank you!!

Stacy said...

I love how you have such a way with words and say what I have a hard time saying!
So many times I have heard, "I would love to adopt but......"
It gets really old.
We just accepted a referral 2 weeks ago, told our families last week and are soooo excited!
Check her out-

Thanks for always sharing your heart and the truth.
Love reading your blog!

Valerie said...

Very wonderfully well put!

Unknown said...

Thank you for a great message. I agree completely. I am the oldest of nine. My sister just younger than me was adopted from the Philippines when we were both 2-years-old. I cannot imagine life without my "almost twin" or any of the seven who came after her. I love reading about your family even though this is the first time I have commented. This post is incredibly honest and truthful. Thank you so much for posting it. Good luck with your new addition!

Dardi said...

It never ceases to amaze me how God works the same messages into many hearts all over the place!

Our sermon yesterday was "Living Out the Kingdom while Living in an Empire". It was awesome...wish I could share the whole thing, but I will abbreviate & share this much: We (the church) are commissioned. We don't buy into the Empire way of thinking. By living for the Kingdom (which typically entails not looking "normal" large families, giving away lots of money, etc.) we can liberate the imaginations of others showing that there is a different way.

Keep on liberating imaginations! Love, Dardi

Unknown said...

Just thinking on this very thing today. Thanks for sharing your heart. Love you!

Dawn and Dale said...

WOW! I could have written this blog post exactly.....but not nearly as good as you did! lol ;o) Thank you for sharing!

I've just recently started a blog roll of large family blogs and have your on it! We have 4 bio sons and have adopted two little girls in the last two years. To everyone here we are already a "large family" but from what I've been coming across on here we seem so little now! lol

Blessings from Canada!


Jenny said...

Very good. I have a similiar family design - 5 biological, 1 from foster care and 3 from Liberia. I am now interested in Ethiopia for #10.
Jenny at

Andrea Hill said...

Ha Amy, you are way too good. Your posts are so convicting or true all the time. So the next time you say "nothing to write", I am gonna come to Texas and kick you in the buttocks:) because God has gifted you immensly to write for HIM. So the days you cannot write you just building up steam to write a knockout post like this. Gosh, why are you so far away?

Andrea Hill said...

I gave you a blog award

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

Love this post....and yep....we do the same thing. Now we laugh at that. Now we are trying to open up to whatever God has for us. What HIS plans are. Thank for this post!! We have never said...after adopting any of our children...oh I wish I would have had more____ instead of our child. Just never happens. :)

Haley said...

Amen, and thank you. So encouraging!

Kelly said...

Amy...your words always inspire me...I count you a kindred spirit. This post really spoke to me. Every day I must give over my life, child, dreams and desires to my God and live out the life He wants me is hard and I normally fall short...but I'm trying.

trina said...

Hi Amy. This is a great post. I'm so thankful for your heart and having 'met' you. I just had the chance to add your blog to the 'story' I shared on my blog awhile ago. :)

Karen said...

Beautifully written post!! Do you mind if I link it on my blog?? I feel as if I could have written this myself!


Theo and Lisa said...

I have been reading your blog for a few months, you are a blessing to my life! My husband and I are in the process of adopting a sibling group of 3 from Ethiopia. We are saying YES to God and keeping the faith for all that we need to stay the course! God has used you, to keep us encouraged! Thank you for saying YES to God, you have a beautiful family...

junglemama said...

Beautifully written Amy. Thanks for putting into words my own feelings.

The Gobble's (Lanetta) said...

AWESOME!! AMEN, PREACH IT SISTA, and All the above!!
WOW! You just wrote out my heart!!! AMAZING..
do you mind if I post this to my blog... share your writing that is?!
Wow.. VERY well said!!
Love ya,