I woke up with some thoughts on my mind at 3 something this morning. I was so wide awake that I thought it must be my “get up” time. Each night, before going to bed, I ask the Lord to wake me up when He wants me to spend time with Him. I often “hear” a knock or what sounds like someone calling me. I usually instantly get up. In fact, yesterday I jumped up and out of the bed with such a start that Dw woke enough and mumbled, “Don’t get out of bed so fast!” Ooopsie. Sorry babe.
Always very exciting to me that the King of the Universe wakes me to hang out with him. And yes, He wants to do the same with you. If you’ve never asked Him to wake you up to hang out with Him, just do it! After spending time with Him, I am even more convinced that He wants me to share my heart. So here goes…
Being an adoptive mom I have often heard (what seems like a zillion times), “ I would adopt, but we just don’t have that kind of money.” Let me be real honest here. Those words actually kind of tick me off. What is it that the general population has the notion that everyone who has adopted won the lottery or inherited a boatload of money or their income generates enormous amounts of money? Seriously?
This is what I want to say to each of those who have said that to me:
God’s heart is for the orphan. He longs for every single one of the orphans to be in a family. When a family purposes in their heart to bring one (or a dozen) home God will move every single mountain, hill, bump, embankment and obstacle (financial, immigration, job situations, health issues, etc.) to bring them home. Bar none. There is not one thing that He cannot and will not do or move to bring home an orphan to a family (or single mom) whose heart is willing.
That being said, I am convinced that Almighty God is looking to see how serious we are.
In fact let me go out on a limb here……I am equally convinced that HE will bless each one’s home immensely when they choose to bring a little one home. He will bless beyond measure, beyond what anyone could have dreamed or hoped. The blessings won’t necessarily come in ways that were expected, but they will come ~ and hearts and homes will overflow in abundance.
Over the years I have run into many nice and often well-intentioned people who are “pursuing the American dream”. They have duped themselves into thinking that this is where happiness and joy come from, that this is their “right”. They’ve gone to school for “it”, they’ve then worked for it, thus they’ve earned it and so they most definitely deserve it. Really?
Friends, God did not put us on this earth to indulge ourselves. He put us here for one purpose and one purpose alone. And that purpose would not be to die with the most toys. In fact if a person is someone who easily generates money, it is a gifting from God and it is only for the purpose of giving away. It is not to hoard or spend frivilously. It is to give to those in need.
He put us here to love Him first and serve others. Period. To care for the orphan and widow. To minister to the poor. To live selflessly. In fact “selflessly” is defined this way:
“having little or no concern for oneself, especially with regard to fame, position, money” OR “devoted to others’ welfare or interest and not one’s own”.
But serving others boils down to a few basic things…..like giving up our selfishness and our stuff. Giving up the pleasures as we know them. Giving up our time (ouch! That’s a big one, probably equal to the “money thing”). Giving up our freedoms. Giving up the things that tie us down, both financially and materialistically.
And frankly speaking, if you don’t want to give anything up, then you’re right – you can’t adopt. It takes an intentional act of our will to live selflessly – to be able to “afford” to adopt.
We could have hid behind the “we can’t afford it” and rightfully so. Dw’s a pastor. We have had many, many medical bills and expenses (wheelchairs, canes, handicap accessible ‘stuff’) over the years dealing with my Multiple Sclerosis, etc.
But here’s the bare-naked truth. We decided to go against the flow (just like many of you did!). We decided to “throw caution to the wind”. We opted to cause all our peers to shake their heads. We voted for sleepless nights (at our age!) – waking up to put little ones who’ve fallen out of bed back in, or snuggling with a little one who’s throwing up or coughing or having a bad dream. We chose more kids knowing that we would be denying ourselves more “stuff”, fewer invites out, endless clutter, more medical bills, more teen years to maneuver through and more weddings to pay for. We knew what we were getting into and ran for it anyway!
So how exactly did we pay for each of the four adoptions we’ve done in the last just over 2 years?
Well! We opted to sell our big home and get out of mortgage debt. We had lived mortgage free for many years, until we moved to this expensive town. So we took our equity, built a sweet home and then turned around and sold it, so we could, once again, be mortgage free.
With our equity we opted to buy something half the size and in wrecker condition, but not have a mortgage. We opted to have two yard sales where we sold everything that we could. (Both yard sales together we made $3,300. – that’s a lot of junk sold!) (On a separate note, only the things that were most loved of all did we not part with, but ended up losing in the fire. I sometimes wonder if there is a spiritual nugget in that, and one day if the Lord should give me clarity I will write about it.) We opted to sell our beautiful camper that held tons of fun memories….
And since many are visual learners and can picture it better…..let me put it this way….
By our choice, we said good-bye to this beautiful home we built:
To trade “up” and have no more mortgage at this little log home:
That meant trading this kitchen that held some really fun memories…..
And the beautiful Colorado great room with a huge loft…..
For this log home with this view from it’s loft:
We chose to SIMPLIFY our lives….and that became our “theme song”…Ya’ know? A Place Called Simplicity
So that we could snuggle with this treasure from China…..
And this treasure from Africa……
And this Princess from Africa…..
And this Princess from China…..
Knowing that our view would no longer be this from that home….And our family picture would no longer look like this…..
But instead we would have our arms full and our hearts overflowing…..
And, no, we wouldn’t trade the journey nor do we wish for our old lives back….We are so grateful for the simpler life (even with all the pain we have walked this past year)….our hearts are thankful that we’ve heard the cry of the orphan and we were obedient to God’s plea…cause serving Christ and serving others is the only way to true happiness.