The Power of Yes!

Three and a half years ago we received a phone call and eight days later I sat in a hospital room rocking my new seven pound three ounce son.

We had eight biological children then and had briefly considered adoption when we went through multiple miscarriages.  Up to that point adoption had never crossed our minds.

I see families where it is obvious that some of the children, as Sesame Street would say “are not like the others.”  I have wondered what makes a family adopt out of their race, culture or even adopt children with disabilities.   I have come to the conclusion by my own experience that God asked of them the same question He asked of me, “Do you have room in your heart to love like you’ve never experienced love before?”

I must admit, I have waited for God to ask me many questions, “Can you be responsible enough to be a good steward of a million dollars?” or “You’ve been so faithful driving that 13-year-old, 15-passenger van, could you drive this Mercedes around for a couple of years?”  The answer would not have taken me but half a second to yell, “YES!”

Adoption is nothing like you would expect.  First, it does cost you something.  MONEY.   Most adoptions are not cheap.  But through our adoption, we have seen God use His people and allowed them to give, sacrificially.  So, money was not an issue.  Second, your family structure will be forever discombobulated.  With our adoption, the addition of our son has proven positively life changing for all of us.  Third, extended family and friends may not understand.  Our adoption has opened the hearts of our family and friends to adoption.

I know everyone is not meant to adopt.  But everyone can help with adoption.  Without the gifts of family, friends, strangers and ministries (ShowHope contributed to our adoption) many children would still need homes.  As an adoptive family, I could not make it without the prayers and encouragement from so many people.  We now see adoption as critical and necessary.  Children need families and I had no idea how much my family needed this beautiful child. We laugh more, sacrifice more and hug a whole lot more.

Three and a half years ago, God changed my heart, opened my eyes and changed my legacy with one phone call. There was an unexpected voice with one question, on the other end of the phone.  My response and the overwhelming response of my husband and children has interrupted our family and made us a part of a new classification called, “forever families.”

It took a three letter word to change our family’s core for our lifetime.  We will never be the same.  A phone call, a question and a response – “y-e-s.”

There is No Fear in Love

I’ve always been passionate. Passion for me spills over into just about everything I do. I cook with passion, trying to improve each recipe. I write with passion, about the things I really care about. I speak with passion and I am easily charged about things I deem right or wrong. I am raising nine passionate kids and they have an opinion about everything they deem right or wrong, too. Unfortunately for me, somewhere in the mid-teen years, some of my beautiful children have decided that most of what I say is wrong and all of what their friends say is right.

So it overwhelmed my heart with joy to hear the interaction from my college-aged daughter’s speech and debate class. Her passion led her to stand up for abstinence and when her instructor asked, “Who is your example?” she passionately stated that she was. When my son recently came home from college he was passionate about all that he was learning and I see a new zeal for Christ in him.

I now have four kids off preparing for life and career. My new oldest at home are three girls (less than three years apart) who are passionately growing in PMS, hormones, and teenaged self-centeredness.

Recently it was getting real close to one of my girls’ birthdays and I knew we needed to prepare for her party. I approached her and said, “We need to prepare for your birthday. But no slumber party this year.” She not-so-gently told me that I always squelched everything she wanted to do and that she would just ask her daddy. Now, I don’t know about you but the passion in me was asking me to get up and turn the chair over that she was sitting in. It took everything that was in me to deny my passion at that moment.

As I tried to sleep that night, I remembered that Jesus was persecuted, mocked, spat on, and crucified by those that felt that he was wrong though everything about Him was right. He could have come down off that cross and flipped every taunting voice off their feet, silencing them by death. But our Savior instead asked God to forgive them (Luke 23:34).

My sweet daughter and I talked the next day; both of us having had adequate time to cool off our passions.

Passion has its place, but passion should never cause the ones we love to fear us. There have been many times I have so desired to “put the fear of God” in my children by doing something so crazy that they would fear me. Yes, fear may bring compliance for a little while, but I am more concerned with my children’s heart for Christ.

I thank God for His truth. True love will always look for ways to forgive.

Can I Have a “Do Over”?

I believe every mom has a day or a moment that she wishes she could “do over.”

I laugh when I watch my kids play games and the little ones scream, “Do over,” because they are not pleased with what just happened or their score. Most often the older kids allow the younger ones to have the do over, and the game continues.

This past Thursday, I needed a “do over.” Exhausted from much activity around our home, I was winding down for the evening. One of my kids then reminded me I was scheduled to go out. I had been talking about the evening’s events all day but just forgot as exhaustion set in. Rushing to get ready, I left in a hurry, leaving sanity and wisdom at home.

The evening turned out to be fun, but during the fun, I made a huge mistake — a big lapse in judgment.Can I have a “do over,” please? How I wish I could take it back or, better yet, not have gone in the first place. This appointment wasn’t a have-to. It was just supposed to be a get together with some girlfriends.

I am thankful to God for the Holy Spirit who awakened me that night with the awareness that I had made a mistake. I needed to seek forgiveness.

Whether forgiveness is granted or not, I love the blessed assurance in knowing I am forgiven. I am so grateful to have a Father in heaven who cares about me.  He loves me in spite of my mistakes. Thank you, Lord, for Your loving mercy.

As moms, there may and probably will be times when we disappoint, neglect, or sin against those we love the most. When we are aware of those times, we have to be willing to seek forgiveness.

Even though my mistakes have caused me great pain, I am so grateful for the times I need a “do over.” These are the times when I am so humbled that I run hard after God. He is the one that has taken care of all my “do overs” on the cross. I am forgiven, and nothing I do or say — out of stupidity or exhaustion — will ever change my “forgiven” status with Him.