We Didn’t Get the Memo

Lately some things have been whirling around in my head. Yesterday as I was getting ready for the day to start those whirling thoughts all kind of just stopped and the Lord spoke, pretty clearly too. And I knew it was time to share what’s been on my heart, and in doing so, I am confident I am sharing God’s heart as well.
So here goes:
Recently we have encountered some people who have asked if we are done bringing kids home. From a worldly and very human perspective one could think that our “hands are pretty full”. Adding four kids in 2 years, making for a total of 10 kids.
Losing our home to a fire. Rebuilding a new home. Bringing Uncle Mark home forever. Several kids with special needs and now Uncle Mark too. Finding out our newest daughter is hearing impaired, which was definitely not expected. Dw’s illness this past summer. Homeschooling. Pastoring. All just for starters.
Along the way, people have shook their head. Whether it’s when we’ve added another one, or are bringing Uncle Mark home or that Dw is leaving for Haiti tomorrow. It is apparent that many don’t really understand what’s at the heart of it all.

Friends, let me perfectly frank.

Dw and I didn’t get the memo.

You know what memo I mean?
The one that has been circulating for quite a few years now, throughout Christianity in the western world: that our lives are our own and our “reward” for accepting Christ is a life of pleasure. The one that says that we can pretty much do what we want as long as we “do” the Christian thing on Sundays and maybe attend a small group during the week. The one that says we can ignore the needs all around us. The one that says it really is all about making ourselves and the Christians around us very comfortable. The one that says if you’ve been on a mission’s trip than you’re pretty much covered for life….ya’ know….doing your ‘humanitarian’ thing. The one that says during the days you can throw a token in the meter of life and pretty much you’ve got that covered too. Better yet, throw some change in the Salvation Army container outside the store at Christmas and walk
away feelin’ pretty darn good. Drop a check in the plate once a year designated for Missions and that’s covered too.

There is no doubt that we all need times of relaxing and refreshing and “fellowshipping”, but when the relaxing and refreshing is 99/100 of what we do in our spare time, then the picture is all wrong. Jesus set the example when he ‘gave his life away’. He spent entire days ministering to the poor, caring for the needs, healing those around Him, praying, walking the streets ministering freely, telling all about the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.

But here’s what I Timothy 3:1-5 says the end days will be like:

“But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.” I Timothy 3:1-5

Yup, scripture is clear, in the end times men/women will be lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. If that doesn’t describe today – wow!! Me, me, me. The indulgences of pleasure: manicures, pedicures, travel, fashion, sporting events, shoes, massages, facials, purses, jewelry, straightening hair, perms, relaxing hair, hair extensions, follicle implants, color treatments, facelifts, butt lifts, tummy tucks, fancy restaurants and fancy cars – all aimed at making one feel “good” about themselves.

Cutting hair --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis
Cutting hair — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

In fact here’s a little test: if you and/or your family are spending more money on pleasure than you are giving, then things are out of whack! Giving does not mean your tithe. Your tithe is a no-brainer – that’s 10%. Giving means ABOVE your tithe. And if each year your total of travel, manicures, pedicures, fashion, shoes, massages, facials, sporting events, purses, straightening hair, relaxing hair, perms, hair extensions, follicle implants, color treatments, fancy restaurants, hunting, fishing, golfing, boating, camping, skiing, rock climbing, fancy cars, is more than what you give above your 10%, then time to do some serious re-evaluation!

The real truth is that not one of those indulgences really do the trick! Because God’s word is pretty clear…..You want to feel ‘good’ about yourself? Get out and do something for someone else {with no earthly reward in store} and meet a true need. Navel gazing just won’t ever make anyone happy. Ever.
Parents today wonder why their kids are so ungrateful. Could it be that all they know is indulging themselves? How many parents have taken their kids on a real missions trip? How many parents are indulging themselves and their kids are watching it all? How many parents are griping about their pretty cushy lives and ignoring the vast needs all around, all the while the kids are taking note? Gracious, even our pets have cushy comforts while the rest of the world suffers in tragedy…..

When I think of the great heroes of the faith that we have read about….women like Amy Carmichael who gave it all up and spent her life {single} ministering to the precious gems of India…..or Gladys Alyward who moved across the world to a land she had never been to to minister to the treasures in China….or Nate Saint who literally gave his life – martyred in Ecuador so that the Auca Indians would hear of Jesus……and then Rachel Saint who, after her brother and others were murdered by the Auca Indians, went to live in the interior of Ecuador to minister to the same people who had murdered her beloved brother..yeah, that’s true giving…and really folks, the change in the Salvation Army bucket is a joke…infact our best is a joke compared to Nate, Rachel, Amy and Gladys.

What are we thinking? Our perspectives have been so skewed by the world!!
Sweet Jesus help us!!

We only have one life to live and I guarantee when each of us stand before the throne of grace one day we will not be thinking, “Thank you Jesus for saving me and by the way I’m really sorry I didn’t do more, but I was soooooo busy – like you have no idea!” No! I believe many will have great sorrow and shame for their empty {yet expensive} lives. The “me philosophy” just won’t cut the mustard on judgment day.

Interesting that God called it in I Timothy, thousands of years ago….He knew what our hearts would be like in the end. The thing is that it doesn’t have to ‘end like that’. Each person has an opportunity to repent. To stop the nonsense. To quit the frivolities. To stop navel gazing and look around! The needs are soooo great!

So back to that memo…..No, Dw and I and our family did not get it – nor do we want it! {And many of you, bloggy friends, didn’t get it either.} We know we only have one life to live and we are gonna do all we can to minister to the needs around us. To bring home orphans. To feed the poor. To build orphanages in foreign countries. To spend time on our knees begging God to move on the hearts of families to open their hearts and homes to the orphan.

Jesus, personally, set me free from incredible torment. Jesus rescued my precious husband from plenty of yuk. Jesus changed the hearts of my loved ones.
How can we turn our backs? When the one who did so much for each of us only asks us to love others as He loves us? How can we look the other way? How can we sleep at night while people not that far from Florida have lost everything {not that they had anything to begin with} and are ‘living’ in deplorable conditions? How can we? How can we indulge one more moment on ourselves while orphans around the world don’t have food? How can we not help meet the needs? How can we do anything but give our lives away?
We have come to the conclusion that we will only truly “retire” when we meet Jesus face to face. Everything inbetween, we pray, brings honor and glory to the king of Kings and Lord of Lords…the only true living God…maker of heaven and earth….the one who we want the whole world to know as their Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God….and so we press on with more determination than ever….we will give our lives away as best we know how, always praying that God breaks our hearts with the things that break His and asking Him to continue to get rid of any traces of selfishness in our hearts.

112 thoughts on “We Didn’t Get the Memo

  1. Ooooooh, Linny!!
    So beautifully said. Thank you so much for those words, they truly minister to my heart. We too often hear, "Well, certainly you're DONE adopting, right?!?" and honestly, we doubt it!! God didn't open our eyes to the plight of the orphan so that we could close them whenever we choose!
    Thank you for the beautiful reminder to keep on keepin' on! FOR HIS GLORY!!

  2. Well said, Linny! :))

    I have just recently come across this realization myself. I know that GOD has called me to Africa after I graduate college this December. I am signed up for at least 3 months, but am praying about a more extended stay(6+ months).
    I LOVE this post, because it truly shows a glimpse of GOD's heart :)) Great job, and thank you for posting it. I'm glad you're not scared to tell people of GOD's heart! It's a hard thing to do. Trust me – especially to the ones you love the most.


  3. WOW! We must be thinking with the same brain. People also question my decision as a single mom to adopt. I must not have gotten the MEMO either!

    Blessings to your beautiful family in ALL of your endeavors to please the Lord and live out his calling in your lives!

  4. Perfect!
    People ask me if I'm done having kids. I tell them that my body is done. physically i don't think I could carry another safely, but we would love to adopt. I love to see the look on their faces.
    Any hoo, I feel like we (Peter and I) are actually just beginning. Where ever God leads us. It's a new beginning for us. I don't know if we will ever be able to adopt, but God does have a plan.

  5. These very things have been on my heart almost constantly here lately. I just started a little post discussion about that very thing and I'm going to delve deeper. Sometimes I think in America we are only hearing (or listening) to half the gospel!

  6. Preach on, sister!! God impressed some similar thoughts on my heart this morning– He asked me what I'm doing with all the advantages of living in a time when I don't have to chase down my own dinner, sew my own clothes (although I know many bloggy girls do), milk my own cow, etc, etc. I'm afraid you're right– we, the church (myself included), are wasting all of our privileges on our own comforts. Shame shame!

    Thanks be to God that your family has the courage to live like He has asked us all to and that you are willing to tell us all about it. Praying, perhaps alone, for a Haitian orphan that may have your last name?? 🙂

  7. Out of the people in my family, I was the only one to not "get the momo." I knew I wanted to adopt from the time I was in fourth grade and still can't wait for the day that happens! When people ask me how many kids I want to have I can't give them a definite answer, it's always, "We'll just have to wait and see!" I find my happiness in helping and serving others and volunteering my time! If we all expect someone else to do it, nothing would get done!
    Just the other day my older sister said, "I have no problem knowing I'm self-absorbed!" She describes our relationship as one where I want to save the world and she want's to star in it.

    To end my rambling, thank you for your words, they are so perfectly stated.

  8. There's a memo? Hmm, we've missed it too…
    I hope that one day I am blessed with getting to meet you in person, either on an adoption journey or on a mission trip. You are inspiring and I LOVE how God's word flows into your blog!
    (just home from China and already dreaming again…)

  9. I am almost 27 and I have been a Christian for some time but have been living the comfort/church-on-Sunday-only life for a long time.. The last 4 years have been changing that.. This is exactly what I have been thinking about lately.. I think I need to reread it again sometime soon to really process through it more.. thank you for sharing.

  10. Thank you!!!!

    We have just received news, that the family we were hoping/praying to learn from in Ch*na,.. they don't want us to come. We are feeling lost! We thought we were called to the mission field. Please pray for an open door for our family and for us to see God's guidance. And for our hearts to surrender completely to the Lord's will!!

    I will continue to pray for DW and the team.


  11. Yet another of your posts I'm going to link to. So true…so very very true. It breaks my heart, the blindness…the pretending the poverty isn't there, the orphans aren't there.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your heart which is also my own! We too have not gotten "the memo" and don't want it. I have long joked (in a NOT kidding way) that "Retirement" is not a Scriptural concept. Your post, with your photos interspursed, is exactly the mindset we need to be in….and more and more, deeper and deeper.

  13. I mean..you couldn't have spoken my from my heart more clearly!! LOVE it!! Amen sister friend!! Ok, so that is exactly how i feel these days as everyone says, "ok, now 5 is enough…can't you be happy with what you have?" NO, not as long as there is another orphan waiting in this world!! Amazing….keep adopting…love your heart!! kj

  14. AH, sweet sister! Don't EVER change…well, okay…you CAN change…but don't ever change your view of our walk with Jesus! I cannot WAIT to see what else God has for your wonderful, welcoming, God-honoring family. And I am praying for it to be OH SO CLEAR! God isn't finished with any of us yet, not til the moment we open our eyes and find ourselves in Heaven. Even I, with my "widow's mite" can impact this world for my Jesus! I can make a difference in the lives of his beloved children, those left without any family, the orphans. I AM making a difference in the life of ONE every day, but she gives back SO MUCH MORE than I could ever give to her. And we, as a family, will continue to look for ways to serve, and to inform, and to minister. One of the ways we do this is to give the beautiful beads from Katie's ministry, Amazima, for gifts. We include a rolled up scroll telling about the ministry, and telling the recipient that in receiving and wearing them, they too are part of this remarkable work of God. There are SOOO many ways to help. Even if you are strapped for funds, there ARE ways!!!

    Love you SOOOOO much!!!
    Nancy in CT

  15. Oh you are RIGHT ON THE MONEY!! And something Mike and I have been looking at as well.

    We are not wealthy people, especially not after his 4 months of NO paycheck. However, even we have pleasures that we could do without. And I was pleased to give one up in order to sponsor a child through Compassion International!

    It's a start. My ultimate goal is to add children to my actual household. Where they will come from, only God knows, but we do know more will come, and NOT from my body.

    I LOVE your post!

  16. THANK YOU for your post today! We are waiting for RA for our four year old daughter in China. We are also "older parents" with four adult children and our first grandchild on the way. We have been so criticizied for being "too old", etc. and have really felt no support from our extended family and friends. I have no idea where the money is going to come from that we will need to bring our daughter home, which will be soon, but we are trusting God to provide. Our friends and family, other than our children, just don't understand that this is not a choice or a luxury; this is something that God wants us to do! We are obeying Him!

    Thank you again for your words!

  17. Now Girl THIS is the MEMO we need to be putting in the church bulletins tomorrow!!
    Preach it sister!!
    Thanks for the reminder. Thanks Father for your forgiveness and for the grace You so often extend to me. Open our eyes Lord. Open our ears. Soften our hearts. Let there be CHANGE rampant among Your people…let us be known as a people of DO-ers..and let it begin with me.

  18. Amen… may it be so, Linny!!!
    I am convicted, encouraged and enboldened!
    We do think if we do a little good we are "covering our bases…" Not the right attitude.

    Oh, and thank you for bringing up the pet strollers!!! I was eating down town at a restaurant and a middle aged couple strolled their dog INTO the eating establishment. At first I thought, "Oh, older parents, maybe, grandbaby, how sweet."
    I am honest, I nearly choked on my food! Seriously, you are too lazy to walk your dog? It is disgusting… I will stop my ranting there… I could keep going.


  19. I appreciate your boldness with the truth. We are not called to a life that makes sense nor one that is easy. It is true that your eyes have be focused on HIM, heavenward, or you will be easily distracted by the ways of the world. Continually grateful for God's grace which I need daily! Thanks for speaking from your heart! -ER (in process of bringing home 2 from Rwanda)

  20. Love seeing God's heart reflected in yours over and over again! Love His truth that comes through in your words! Love how He uses you again and again to speak to, confirm, and encourage me with things that He's been teaching me! So thankful for the way He is ministering to my heart through you!!!

  21. Amen and Amen!!

    Oh I know that memo and was living in it quite miserably to be quite honest – me, me, me, mine, my kids, my house….I will take care of MINE! In fact that is what my earthly father said – "You just take care of what God has given you" and WHAM! then I remember Jesus said "even the tax collectors do that" – like a sword – cut to the truth.

    So now here I am with that memo in the garbage and spending my day planning and working on the details of Justin taking his third trip to Africa in one year.

  22. Beautiful and convicting post! Thank you for writing it!

    (on a side note- I did just come home from a manicure and a pedicure- LOL)

    BUT in my defense I was actually thinking of exactly the same thing as you wrote about- We are not done, we will never be done until God makes it clear to us and changes our focus to service in another way- IF that ever happens. We have had many of the same comments- I am tongue tied at the time but walk away just sick about others reactions- yes, they can do it and no we are not angels, nor are we crazy…

    Just happily serving our Lord.

    This post really put things into perspective for me… I have something heavy on my heart and may need to talk to you sometime…


    Do you know who is next for us? After our girls? Pretty cool huh! Our God is so incredible!

  23. Linny!!

    This is your Yankee friend who now is a Texas girl! I still linger on your site but I never leave a comment…..but NOT TODAY!!!! WooHoo! And the best part of your wonderful post? Your spirit!!! You were able to lay it all out there in the most amazing way. Powerful yet sweetly done!!! You still amaze me, & I still can't believe our distance connection!!!!

    MUCH LOVE!! Kelly

  24. very well said as she sheepishly hangs her head having blogged just today about a pedicure.
    i do give. and i do tithe and i am offering myself up every day.
    thank you for the reminder to be a giver.
    have i ever told you that you are a treasure??

  25. What a passionate post, Linny, speaking what is laid on your heart. We heard this quite a bit when we adopted. Not at first but after the first 3….and we only had 7 children total plus a foster daughter. For some reason it makes people uncomfortable…and it may just be that God is tugging on their hearts and they are ignoring His whispers. Max Lucado has a great book out called, It Isn't About Me…. And it isn't. It is about HIM! Continue your good works as long as God lights the fire in your heart. You are an inspiration.
    God bless.

  26. Thank you for sending out the letter to help those of us who have read the memo. I pray God will continue to bless you for your faithfulness. Please pray He will continue to change our hearts.

  27. AMEN, AMEN, and AMEN!!!!!!!
    I guess we never got the memo
    either. The world just doesn't get
    it and for that matter we have had
    very little support from our family. They barely even acknowleged the last 2 we just adopted. Thank God we have friends who totally get why we do what we do. Even at our age!!
    We also will not retire until we meet
    our Jesus face to face.
    Thank you Linny for sharing your heart, saying what I have on my heart but have a hard time putting into words. Preach it, Sister!!!!

  28. Thank you Linny, I needed this. We are very positively considering an international adoption. After feeling for a couple of years it was time to add to our family again, we got the paperwork to start another domestic adoption. Things got crazy, and we didn't go through with the adoption. In those two years, we both felt that we wanted to go international, but didn't know how the finances would work out. Well, in January, we decided NOW is the time. We received the DHS paperwork, started on it, and it has sat. We still felt like international was what we were being called to do, especially after the Haiti earthquake.

    A few days after the earthquake, our oldest son left on a mission trip to Uganda. Working with a children's home there, he has found a little boy in the home, who in a year or so, will be considered "unadoptable". We feel this is where we are being called. We know there are some who will think we are "crazy", our oldest daughter for one.

    I'm a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom. Our youngest three are still at home, and all have special needs. My husband is a counselor, and also runs a compassion ministry. Yes, there are CRAZY days. Yes, we could probably do without the extra "stress and chaos" that another child will entail. Yes, it is going to take a financial miracle to get the $12,000 or so for this adoption. Yes, it will be a challenge for both of us to be gone for a week, then me stay in Uganda for another three weeks by myself. Yes, we will have to get creative with the childcare/schooling during that time. But, YES, this is what we feel He is calling us to do.

    Thank you for the encouragement this post gave me. We know HE will provide.

  29. AMEN!!

    What a shame it would be to have a pedicure appointment, when people are scrambling to bring home their sn kiddos.

    Great post…can this be printed in USA today?!

  30. Amen, amen, amen!! I have soooo been thinking the same thing lately. I look around and sometimes wonder what in the world is going on with Christians today (myself included many days, I'm afraid.) It is not about comfort. It is not about wallowing in our blessings. It is not about US. It is about HIM. I have been thinking about starting a blog just because I have been wanting to scream this to someone. Thanks for screaming it too!

  31. Well said! We missed out on the memo too:-) I love how you can so beautifully say what is on the hearts of so many of us. Thank you for sharing.

  32. Guess I just need to forward all those comments to us about the same thing to you! Better coming from you than me!!! he he!! Really, thanks for writing the post that so many of us could offer to those who question and think we are trying to save the world!

    Love ya and miss ya!

  33. thank you so much for this. i'd LOVE to say positively "AMEN, LINNY! I DIDN'T GET THAT MEMO EITHER."

    but, you know what? my heart KNOWS everything you've said here is truth. and if i "compared" myself to much of the world, it would appear that we hadn't gotten the memo. BUT, He isn't comparing us to the world. i am standing before our great King on account of what I'VE done in His name.

    sure, I've done in His name. BUT I CAN DO SO MUCH MORE. my family can do so much more.

    thank you, Linny.

  34. I'm so glad you didn't get the memo!
    Why do people ask if we're finished?
    Perpahs it's their guitly conscience?
    I think they're hoping to hear us say, "Of course."
    I always say, "My flesh thinks our family is finished, but we'll have to wait and see what the LORD says."

  35. Thank you for saying this!! We hear the same thing all the time. It gets old. We are so spoiled in America. I'm sure God did not give us so much wealth so that we could hoard it all to ourselves.

  36. So well said, Linny. Goodness do I have a lot of work to do in my life. My bible study last night was about this same message pretty much. So true and something I think more and more about as time goes by and I work toward not falling into this trap. Thank you for putting this out there.

  37. Thank you for sharing this. I am sometimes caught up in the "me" world. Such a good post!! I say to the whole memo thing….I am glad you never got it you have way too much to offer this world!!!

  38. Beautiful! God has definately spoken and how blessed you are to have Him use you to reach so many. Keep opening your heart to Him and you will, in turn, continue to bless us.

    Thank you!

  39. Awesome post!! So True!!

    *the kids' bags are darling!! Love them!

    I love how Jubliee is smiling so sweetly at her siblings. What joy in her eyes!!

    I'm ordering that Bible study you mentioned…found it on Amazon.

    Do you use Sonlight at all? I have heard it is an awesome curriculum. Our children are not homeschooled, but I have been thinking about it. Have been reading about it tons lately. Just so many mixed feelings. I do know that I would love to BE WITH my children everyday. There is just so much that we could do. The other Friday I took them all to Barnes and Noble. We had a blast…even our 3yr.old (who I spent chasing, but oh well).

    I was helping my 7yr.old pick out a new chapter book, and this lady came up to me. She was very nice, and asked "Do you homeschool your children?" I said no, we are just here for a fun day off of school, then out to lunch. She asked if I ever thought of homeschooling. We talked for a bit, inbetween my chasing little Sophie. She told me she is a public school teacher, for 30 yrs and counting. We talked a bit more. She then told me that she has met some very neat families who homeschool. She smiled and said "some very cool families that homeschool!"

    She then explained how one family incorp. a trip to D.C. into one of their history sections..and so on and so on. She said there are just so many neat things a family can do. Together.

    Our quick conversation ended with her telling me, "Good luck with your decision. It's a big one."

    From the book store we landed at the learning store. The kids picked out some math games (unifix cubes, math dice, and dominoes). We had such a nice day.

    Just want to tell you that I enjoy reading all of your posts. I don't comment on all, but you truly have a gift for writing.

  40. Great post … and it makes me sad too. WAKE UP CHURCH!!!

    I linked to your blog post and added my own thoughts. I hope that was OK. As I am typing, I am sitting in the hospital room with our Li'l Miss who just had her 5th surgery in 18 months home.

    But we count it all joy … and God has been so faithful!!!! Why would we want to miss the blessing of CHILDREN?

    Love your heart Linny! Leslie

  41. Thanks for sharing your heart, Linny. We have had this conversation over and over again lately–we do not deserve the comforts we have been given, we are entrusted with them, perhaps even tested with them, to love as Jesus loves.

    Your words are perfect! Convicting? Yes!! That's a good thing.

    Much, much love to you, my friend!

  42. Linny,
    I am in awe right now…you have put into words almost EXACTLY what the Lord has been speaking to doug and I right down to the Timothy Scripture. I read it about a month ago and have been almost haunted by it since. The Lord's heart is SO clear! I cannot thank you enough! I hope it is ok that I linked this up on my blog!!!!
    hugs to you!!!!!

  43. AMEN, amen, amen! I am so sorry about the comments. But, believe it or not, as missionaries on the field for six years, some of our strongest opposition concerning how many orphans we have brought home, 8 in five years, has come from fellow missionaries. It is so sad, and I times it makes me down right angry. We have chosen to live a simple life so that we can continue to minister to the least of these in our home. And, "our God has provided ALL of our needs according to HIS riches and glory." Never once have we asked for help, and yet we are alway blessed with enough. George Muller is our HERO….Just yesterday, as we get were looking over our expenses from last year, I told my husband, our lives are so much like George Muller–all that makes sense (because it sure doesn't on paper) is that we have a BIG God who WILL provide for HIS children! Who are we that He would use us for such a task and to see daily HIS might provision. Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

  44. I agree! My heart completely understands what you are saying. And I want to live my life that way also. I'm just wondering what you think about the women whose husbands don't feel this way also. My husband is far from opposed to this sort of living, but there is nothing inside of him pushing him on. And he has unknowingly and unintentionally time after time crushed this desire inside of me.

    I'm sure that I don't handle these situations right, and I really desire to know what I am doing wrong in regards to this, but I have found that it is easier to let these dreams die than to have my heart broken over and over because I can't do these things on my own and, even though he will say he agrees, his heart and actions aren't in it and it quickly leaves his mind.

    I don't mean to disagree with you at all. But I don't know that I will ever be able to live that life, and although there is a desire inside of me deeper than any other to live in that manner, I'm not sure that I will ever be in a place to be that person.

  45. Hey Linny~ You put my heart beat into words:) Well done! I am so thankful for 50 yr old women who are still going strong and being an example to me. Thank you for this. I want to be just like you. My motto is to go out of this earthly life running the race at full speed!

  46. Love your thoughts friend. As long as you can feed them, get them the therapies they need, keep them safe, and love on them, then go for it…oh yeah and grow eyes in the back of your head!!! I cerainly respect your ideas and would hope that everyone would respect those who stop at one or two!!!

  47. i got here from "are all these kids yours?" i agree with a lot of what you posted, especially about what's important in life. I have to just mention that not everyone is capable of raising 10 kids. while serving and ministering and taking care of widows and orphans is what we are called to do, i don't think it matters whether that's 10 kids or 12 kids or 2 kids. For me, I intended to adopt at least 7 kids. i wanted all that. i wanted to love and heal the world. but now i have 2 (adopted from foster care) and i know that it would be beyond my limits to adopt more. at least as it stands right now. sometimes you just have to know your limits. for some it's a lot. for others (like myself and my husband) it's just two. but we will do the best possible job we can do for these two kids we are blessed to care for. my son has extensive special needs which is the main reason we couldn't handle any more.

    but i love this post in relation to our jobs as christians. more people need to read/hear this.

    p.s. there's nothing wrong with a good massage once in a while either 😉

  48. Linny,
    Thank you for your heart. We had a message today on love and how everything we do must be in the name of love. Jesus did/does everything in love. Even to the point of the death on the cross for our sins! My heart wants the heart of Christ too. Everyday it is a decision…..love or not to love….I pray we choose love everyday and have compassion on everyone.

  49. I got the memo. I will admit that I tried it out at first, but I didn't really like the person it was turning me into. So I threw it out. Crumbled it up and threw it out with the trash. And boy do I like the person God is crafting me into instead. I like her a whole lot.

  50. I linked to this post on my blog. Steppin on some toes sister…yep, maybe just maybe even a few of mine!
    Jesus CHANGE my heart!
    Holly-Purpose Driven Family

  51. Well said. I agree!!

    I have followed your blog for quite some time now. I pray for you and your family often. We too are a family with a heart for adoption.

    I am a teacher for the Hearing Impaired. I would love to help you in any way I can. Feel free to email me with any questions. I'd love to help.

    in HIS love and mine,

  52. Well said. I agree!!

    I have followed your blog for quite some time now. I pray for you and your family often. We too are a family with a heart for adoption.

    I am a teacher for the Hearing Impaired. I would love to help you in any way I can. Feel free to email me with any questions. I'd love to help.

    in HIS love and mine,


  53. WOW! Thanks for sharing from your heart and not being afraid to speak the truth. It is so easy to be drawn in by what makes us comfortable and forget what really matters.

  54. AWESOME Post!!! Thank you for sharing your heart! I want to scream these same sentiments to others on so many occasions. Just last week I had someone approach me about a marketing pyramid plan to make me millions! Jump on the band wagon! We're going places! We're gonna make money!!!!

    Ugh! it was all I could do to be civil! I wanted to say, "And what exactly are you going to do with all that money you make?" Because I'd like to see you give it away to people who could use it when you have more than you know what to do with!!! Sorry for the rant on your beautiful post, but it's hard to turn those kind of people's minds and hearts to the right focus.

    I'm directing a few people to come ready your eloquent words! Thanks girl!

  55. Oh my goodness, preach it! So true. My brother always says, "It's not about how much you give, it's about how much your have left over."
    It's all well and good to give, but if you still have room in your finances to do whatever you want, like have fancy cars and houses, you aren't giving enough.
    I personally have been working on this and still have a long way to go.

  56. This is so so important, thank you so much for sharing. I can not tell you how many "Christian" elders/pastors/marriage course leaders and homegroup leaders I've heard say "we've done our bit" recently. I can not undertand why there is widespread wordly ways within our Churches. It is as though they have become hardened to the suffering and need that exists.

    I know it is at times hard to stretch our time and finances as much as we'd like, but the answer is not to do nothing but to pray about how we can best utilize what we have and pray the Lord will give us the energy to push ourselves to do more.

    I never quite know what to say when leaders in the Church make these statements. I had one say to me recently that he's now taken the approach to "not worry about anything he personally can't fix" i.e. the homeless, orphans, the poor etc. Sometimes I feel so ostrasized for bringing up these needs, asking the Church if we can be involved etc.

    Thank you for the constant encouragement!

  57. You definitely put it out there for God!!! I am so thankful He has called us to adopt and I hope He doesn't stop!!! I am also so thankful to be a child of the Most High God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. I just got a card from someone today saying that they were praying for me, specifically that the world won't distract me as I am serving…oh, how wonderful to know someone is praying that over me. It is SO difficult to not get distracted!!!
    A quote that I love from Catherine Booth who prayed this over her children: "Darling, You are not here in this world for yourself. You have been sent here for others. The world is waiting for you."
    We are a pastoral family and just returned home from Ethiopia with our 4th child…and we didn't get the memo either.
    Thanks for your words and encouragement.

  59. Oh, Linny, thank you for putting it out there. We've seen God move in our lives in such a distinct way lately, that we are wondering "what's next" – how can we live our lives "godlier", and more purposeful!
    I AM excited to see where HE is leading. Thank you for being his voice

  60. Linny, thank you for being obedient and posting this!! It is amazing and you have beautifully put into words something I've been praying about putting into words 🙂 Beautiful..beautiful…"we will only truly retire when we meet Jesus face to face" AMEN!!!!
    Hug, stacy

  61. Amazing post! Amen and amen. I was just talking to my girls last night about the shallowness and self-absorption of people today and how that does not please God and in the end does not make people happy, either. How are people so self-indulgent (and I include ourselves in small ways – eating out, etc) when so many suffer and could use our help and our witness to our faith? My family sat in cold silence when I told them I was adopting my SECOND child as a single parent – an older special needs child. They just don't get it and never will but I am so glad I DID get it and I wish I could get it some more and pray God leads me to a place where I can.

  62. Oh my, thank you! I needed this soooooo much. You would be surprised(maybe not) how many people are shocked when they hear us say "No, I don't believe Madelyn will be the last child we adopt" and we only have four kids now!!! There is no way we can shut our hearts to the orphan especially after he totally DELIVERED Madelyn from satan's grip. Oh mercy, did he ever!!!

    So, next time are you bringing 1 or 2 kiddos home?????? Can't wait to see what the Lord has in store!

    Love your heart!!!


  63. Linny,
    My husband had the great privilege to provide medical care in Haiti less than two weeks after the earthquake. The Haitian people are so full of love and joy — he said that with nothing, they have more than most of us do. More of what counts. Contentment.

    Praying for Dw as he travels, that he will encounter divine appointments! God bless!


  64. Linny,
    Thanks for this timely word. I really neede it. Sometimes I wonder if I'm nuts or is the world going backwards. There aren't to many around that seem to be stepping out of their comfort zone to give Jesus all that He wants. Right now I have about 8 days and my husband and I will go pick up 4 children from Ethiopia and bring them home. Our first adoptions and we have 7 bio. children. Talk about warfare?? I've been praying through out the day God just give me Grace, I need your Grace and He does. Please pray for our family as this will be a big change for ALL of us combined. Most of the children are older that we have at home and the ones we are adopting are too. Look me up I'd love to hear from you 🙂

  65. Thank you – I needed to hear that. I found the piece about how much we spend on personal pleasure versus giving particularly convicting – I need to have a serious look at this in my own life.

    Thank you.

  66. I was asked to speak about this very thing at my bs next week….I plan to refer back to you:))
    Also, you may have had this offered but I have about 10 Signing Time DVD's I would love to send you. THey are PRECIOUS videos and the kids love them. My 4 yr old from China watched them over and over and we all learned from them. If you haven't gotten any yet email me your address and I will put them in the mail.

  67. I always wonder what gives other people the impression that THEY get to decide whats right for OUR life. I understand why you have so many children. I am right behind ya sister, all the way. bring em home. bring em all home. and if you cant be part of the solution then you are part of the problem! SOmetimes people are so into themselves wrapped up in THEIR world they can not even fathom that others have it worse. that others are starving, dying, suffering. I cant turn my head. I cant. I wont. My troubles are insignificant, I have PLENTY of food, heat, clean water, roof over my head, clothes, and all my other needs met. I have wonderful children, even though they are not perfect in the eyes of man, they sure are to me. I have everything I need. now what can I do to help someone else? adopt another child? OK! donate goods or money? OK! give of my time and energy? OK!

  68. Amazing! Awesome! preach it! I have been praying lately that God would show me what his will is for the now part of my Life as I feel I have a word for the future. Your words are so timely as time on this little round ball is to short to squander on ourselves.

  69. Wonderfully written. You have such a gift of saying the truth…and at the same time, people still love you. 🙂 I will for sure link this post to my website (as soon as Ms. Alexis has time to redesign it for me).
    And…love the last post,too. I love Chick-Fil-A!

  70. Thank you so much Linn for this awesome exhortation to live a life unabashedly for Christ – and thank you even more for *living* it. You post brought tears to my eyes as I realized how great the need is and how little I am doing.

  71. WHOA!! I have to admit, I'm shaking my head at you, too… but look closely, as it's a 'VERTICAL' shake! 🙂

    THANK you for being so truthful and candid…for speaking up the way more of us should. There are surely many parts of this that left me convicted, as I know there are areas of overindulgence in my own life. But I thank GOD that His mercies are new EVERY morning and that I AM a continuous and willing work in progress! May my heart be changed to reflect all that He has in store for my life…and may I hear His calls and answer! I have a feeling that our Khloe is only the beginning… but for now, we are so excited to travel and bring her home soon. Hopefully next month!!

    Praying for DW's time away…I have a close friend in Haiti for the next 30 days. He literally had just got home from another missions trip to Ecquador and got the call to go to Haiti…and he answered with a solid "YES!" PTL!! <><

    God bless you, Linny!


  72. I have friends leaving for Haiti this weekend. Prayers for them and your DW.

    Great post. Hard Truths. Ouch, my toes!

    Sarah, who is trying to "delete" that memo and forget she ever read it

  73. Funny, but I just did a blog post a few days ago with just about the same thoughts.

    Not sure what we're going to do yet, but not saying "no" to the Lord just yet!

    Keep the faith!

  74. AMEN SISTER! Thank you for letting Jesus use you to speak to all of us through this post! WOW! So thankful God is helping me realize more and more that I do not need to ever read or get that memo again! :0)

  75. I would love to email this but cannot figure out how to make it work! LOL

    I have been reading your blog for a long time and am so inspired by you. The love of Jesus in you literally jumps off the screen and encourages me.

    We are looking to move soon to a slightly bigger house with a little more land for my husband to grow a bigger garden. My eyes got bigger than my stomach and was really pushing my husband to buy a house more expensive than I really feel we should have…my spirit was uneasy but my house-lust was huge. Your exhortations helped reign me in. Thank you.

    Can I share my secret dream? I have 4 kids and the school-aged ones attend a private Montessori school (at my husband's insistence). I long to homeschool but he doesn't think I'm "up" to it. I am trying to be faithful in teaching my 4 yo so that he will change his mind.

    I would also love to do as you have done and bring children home until my house bursts at the seams. My husband says 4 is enough (though we give in many ways to suuport the orphans).

    I long to give 25% or more of our income…we can afford it. My husband, however, has "security" issues and is comfortable only with a tithe.

    Linny, will you pray that I will be faithful in the things that He has entrusted to me already and pray with me that He will move upon my husband's heart (who is a wonderful, amazing man)and make these "big dreams" come true??

    I am thinking about fasting over these things, but I am a nursing Mom to an 8 month old and I'm not sure how best to do that without threatening my supply. Suggestions would be welcomed!

  76. Wow! Thank you for the conviction. I've lived life the way you describe but have found myself in the comforts while longing for the mission field. I know there is more I am called to do, more I will do.

  77. I am a friend of Michelle and clicked on the link. Thank you for sharing. We have received our referral and in a matter of weeks, will be flying to Ethiopia to pick up our daughter. We have been amazed at who is supportive and who thinks we are nuts and have gone off the deep end….even in some Christians. Hmmm…I thought I was called to take care of the widows and orphans. What Bible are they reading? Thank you again for posting and thank you for living it and being an example to others!

  78. Amen! My husband got the memo, God is slowly shredding it from his hands 🙂 Hopefully I am being a help in this process and not a nag, I try to close my mouth and do something 2x more than I talk about this with him 🙂

    Our family got the memo, and they try to get me to believe in it daily, thank you Lord for Bible believing mentors in my life!!!

  79. Linny….I know you are busy in Uganda right now, but I just re-posted the link to this on my blogs today…I hadn't read it in awhile and there has been much stirring in me this week….I needed to read and I hope others are touched too! God bless you!

  80. MAN! That is just the preaching I need to kick my rear into gear this morning! I am a reader of Generation Cedar and she linked to yall today. Now I have another blog to follow! Can't wait to learn more from your family.

  81. One of the most powerful things I have ever read. Thank you friend. The Lord uses you more than you will ever understand this side of heaven. Thank you for your faithfulness and sensitivity to hearing His call. You are a gift.

  82. Yes! Yes! For a long time I was living "by the memo" unsure why my life was uncomfortable and why God seemed so distant. He called me out of "American Christianity" and set me on another path. I love hearing someone else say "we won't live this way!" Praise God for the army He is building of those that are willing to walk away from "wants" to provide "needs". I now have the amazing pleasure of working for a ministry encouraging just that!! Check out theyesclub.org and withthisring.org. Same thoughts behind these as what you shared!! Thankful for your blog post for the encouragement

  83. Thank you for your post. As my husband and I are preparing to bring home our 10th child we often have the same comments and yes, even criticized for adopting at our age (51). We simply feel called and are willing to answer.

  84. Dear Mr. & Mrs. Saunders, God bless you marvelously in Christ Jesus!
    The report and results of your obedience was wonderful to read. How blessed you are.
    Obviously not every saint has the same mission or function in Christ’s body. We cannot all do what we see others do. In the final analysis, we are to be obedient to our individual heavenly calling, which by necessity, will fall under the over head banner which reads; Love God, and Love your neighbor as yourself; on which hang all the law and the prophets. The eternal law is love. You have been given a wonderful work to do. Clearly God saw in you special gifts and talents and a super abundance of the Love of Christ to shed abroad. You have also found a place in my prayers. I thank God for your lives. In love with Christ, Victoria

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