Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Backpack Full of Stories

I've had a pile of stones in my heart for a long time, and from time to time, in various places I set stones in a pile that I can see and touch.  I've got lots of other piles in my life, ugly ones that have slowly built over time, piles that I don't like, didn't ask for, that suck the energy out of me.  Piles of laundry, piles of things to do, piles of papers to file, and more piles of laundry.  This pile is different.  This pile is mine on purpose, I've built it.  This pile puts a spotlight on Jesus that breathes life into me as it grows, makes me feel solid and settled and lifts my foot up for the next step of faith. 

The stones remind me of moments, moments that have built my faith.  Just like the children of Israel, I've erected a monument in my soul to point my heart, and the hearts of future generations to the powerful God who is working in my life.  Looking at these rocks reminds me of the things I know, the things I've seen Him do on my behalf.  They remind me that my heart is safe and make me willing to risk a little more and be a little bolder.

Our family has built a stone pile too.  We're picking up a new stone to add, one that's big. We have begun the process of  adding to our family through an Ethiopian adoption.  It feels like a big stone because we already have a house full of 6 kids and a schedule full of much ministry.  It feels obvious, though, when we dare to imagine the life of one of the 5 million orphans in Ethiopia who need us to have room for one more .  God's been whispering in our ears for 10 years about adoption, but His voice has gotten much more insistent the past 6 months.  He has made it very, very clear to all 8 of us that He is calling us, as a family, as a team,  to adoption.  We've already collected a backpack-full of story-stones and I'm worried about losing some if we don't have a chronicle, hence the birth of this blog. 

Our kids kept asking if we were done thinking about adoption and were ready to sign the papers.  Sometime in February, Scott & I felt like we were ready to take the next step....the one that required many signatures and a non-refundable deposit.  The kids were excited, we were excited, with a heavy dose of nervous. On a sunny Sunday Scott asked me what our next step was.  I called from the other room that it was time to fill out the formal application and come up with the $750 fee to go with it.  "How are we gonna come up with that fee?" I asked.  Scott walked into the room with his hand in his pocket.  He pulled it out, full of a roll of bills, the 50's and 20's type. Earlier that day, out in the garage, he had sold our 4-wheeler for, you guessed it, $750, exactly.  Now you've gotta know that we had been trying to sell this thing for months.  We had it listed on Craigslist for a couple months before Christmas, the perfect time to sell, and got no action on the listing, not one inquiry.  We tried again in February, and had a firestorm of emails in our inbox with multiple cash offers immediately.  Scott made some calls, set up some appointments, and met with a guy in our garage on a sunny Sunday afternoon.  After the test drive and the haggling, the 4-wheeler was loaded into a truck and a bunch of bills rolled up with God's direction was loaded into Scott's pocket.

There's the first story-stone.  Like I said, we've already collected a backpack full.  Every time we've taken a deep breath and stepped, God has responded.  God has shown Himself to us in the ways that you read about in missionary biographies.  Too many things have happened to chalk up to coincidence.  We're convinced that there is no coincidence in this story, this new stone on our pile, only a whole lot of faith-building providence.  We want to share that, with the people we love and anyone else who might be watching.  We want to put a spotlight on Jesus.  We want to be faithful to the stories of the moments, big and small, that make it obvious to us that God is working.

So feel free to come by every now and then and take a look at our pile of stones as it grows.  It's there for you as much as it is for me, or any of us Floridas.  It's there because God is faithful and He's strong.  It's there to put a spotlight on Jesus that breathes life into us, make us feel solid and settled, and lifts our feet up for the next step of faith.

3 comments:

  1. He's gotcha, Sister, all the way. What an adventure He is Guiding you all...and us with you...through! I am so excited for this chapter, and so proud of the bravery and faith you and Scott and your kids are choosing to live. We are in this with you, too, and yes, I so admire my big sister.

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  2. Thank you, friend. Yes, I already cried reading through it. My heart is beating so fast right now thinking about all that God has done and will do through this beautiful pile of stones to bring glory to His name. I'd better stop typing and starting singing a song of praise to Him. So that's what I'll do. Love you, Lori.

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  3. I am so excited for you! I cannot wait to see how God is going to make this happen- I love you guys and am so thankful that I know you. You make me dare to dream :)

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