Friday, September 14, 2012

The Call List

There have been a couple times that we've gotten ourselves off the foster care "call list". This just means that they won't call us asking if we can take in a little one in desperate need of care. One time was after Brecken was born. Another time was recently after we adopted Aven. Both times we needed a little break. A pause to settle in to what our family looked like now. Both times I didn't put a timeline on myself for when we'd start again. I did kind of think it would be a few months. Both times, however, I've experienced an overwhelming feeling of urgency...or maybe pressure...or need.

It is hard to explain. I'll be washing dishes and this sense will come over me, there's a child in need. Someone is supposed to be with me that isn't. God has pulled my heart back to His calling for me.

Sometimes sooner than I expected but never sooner than He planned.

There are times I sit with women who are struggling with a greater sense of purpose. "What is it God is calling me to do?" "What task or mission should I be acting out?" I can sit in these times and be so thankful that I don't have to wonder. I know what I'm called to do. In my core I know that God has called me to love His children.

And yet, it is so easy for me to put that calling aside. I like to placate myself with the knowledge that I've taken care of a couple. Pat myself on the back that we listened to His calling after Brecken was born and now we have Aven. Then, that still, small voice comes back.

"Lindsey, you aren't done."
"Lindsey, there are more. More hurting. More in need. More who others are saying no to."

I listen to others -- friends and family members who truly love me -- and I know they think they have my best interest in mind. They insist that I've got enough on my plate. Three young girls is a lot. An adoption waiting in the Congo is enough. I start to happily agree and try to release myself from that voice. But it persists,

"Lindsey, I will decide when you're plate is full."
"Lindsey, I will be your enough. Do you trust it?"

This summer I read Kisses from everyone did. And if you haven't, do it. I read it quickly, tears streaming. I finished it, put it down and a couple hours later picked it back up and started again. Not because it has some deep theological truths that I still needed to work out. It was almost the opposite. She made it so simple. I felt like God was trying to tell me something through it. I hadn't gotten it yet. I think I was so drawn to it because Katie cuts out all the crap and the lies we tell ourselves to let us off the hook are called out and the truth is laid bare.
"I have learned to accept it, even ask for it, this "more than I can handle." Because in these times, God shows Himself victorious. He reminds me that all of this life requires more of Him and less of me. God does give us more than we can handle. Not maliciously, but intentionally, in love, that His glory may be displayed, that we may have no doubt of who is in control, that people may see His grace and faithfulness shining through our lives." (pg 136)
I don't need more bedrooms, more matching bedroom sets, a bigger house, a fancier yard, a bigger car. He is enough and if He brings us a child He will give me enough. I don't need my girls to all be at a certain age or for everyone around me to feel comfortable with us taking on more children. I just need to answer my mission.

So, we got back on the list. It was so freeing. I had been fighting the pull for so many weeks so to just be able to say, ok, God, "I'm in" was such a release. By saying yes I could trust that if we didn't get a call for weeks that it was ok too. At least I had made myself available.

Of course, the call didn't wait weeks. Two precious boys showed up late last night. Hungry and tired. Dirty and scared. And we had enough. Just as God has promised. Enough food. Enough clothes. Enough love.

I've spent today fighting tears. Even through the playing and feeding and caring. When I see this baby whose legs are too spindly for his age or this toddler whose language is far too underdeveloped. This baby that doesn't cry enough and this toddler who doesn't run to an adult for comfort when he falls and scrapes his knee because his defenses have taught him to comfort himself. I wonder at what God has called them to see and hear and feel at such young ages. But, thankfully, it isn't my job to solve all that. I've been called to love. And heck, compared what God has called others to (Katie - in Uganda - adopting THIRTEEN girls!?!) I've got it easy. : )
"People are people. They all need food and water and medicine, but mostly they need love and truth and Jesus. I can do that. We can do that. We can give people food, water, medicine, love, truth, and Jesus. The same God created all of us for a purpose, which is to serve Him and to love and care for His people. It is universal. We can't do it in our own strength or out of our own resources, but as we follow God to wherever He is leading us, He makes the impossible happen." (pg 95) 
People often seemed amazed at what we're doing but I'm more amazed at the number of people not doing it.
"The truth is that the 143 million orphaned children and the 11 million who starve to death or die from preventable diseases and the 8.5 million who work as child slaves, prostitutes, or under other horrific conditions and the 2.3 million who live with HIV add up to 164.8 million needy children. And though at first glance that looks like a big number, 2.1 billion people on this earth proclaim to be Christians.
The truth is that if only 8 percent of the Christians would care for one more child, there would not be any statistics left.
This is the Truth. I have the freedom to believe it. The freedom, the opportunity to do something about it. The truth is that He loves these children just as much as He loves me and now that I know, I am responsible." (pg 91)
 Now, you're responsible too.  : )

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Lake House Fun

We spend several weekends at the lake house this summer and somehow I've been  behind all summer long on getting those pictures up. I got the one's up from my birthday but the massive amount of photos that follow are from our other weekends that the kiddos and friends went with us.

Get ready for a photo dump...

T tried really hard to learn to knee board but her little arms just didn't have enough strength.
I think she'll be ready next year!

Derek showing off.

He's hot.

Papa and his shadow.

Boat naps.

This looks more violent than it was.  : )

Taryn thought she was hot stuff every time they passed someone.

Sporting her crazy "lake hair".

Seriously, the lake did a work on that hair!

Ok, prepare yourself for the funniest picture of the year: 

Oh my, that picture makes me laugh! Something about that life jacket just made her prop herself right up on her knees causing some sort of  little person effect. Love it!

Sweet sisters

Best Friends

Eating, meeting up with friends, and feeding the ducks.

Daddy entertaining the crowd.

Watching Derek wakeboard.

The kids dancing on the boat.
We are crazy blessed to have the house in Shell Knob as a retreat and place to laugh and play. This summer was full of many great memories made there. Can't wait for next summer!! 

Oh, and for fun here's a look at how our family has changed the last three summers...

Summer 2010:

Summer 2011:

Summer 2012:
Funny to see....always three kids, only one stayed constant all three years. What a wonder that next year all three girls in the last picture will still be ours! Praise the Lord!!