God has granted me a sense of peace and patience that is not at all characteristic of ME. I am not really a worrier - but, I am also not a wait-er...I am a DO-er!
We had no clue where we would be living since this lease is up and the rent is increasing by $500 a month! We wanted to DOWNSIZE, but Americans think it is nutty to have 7 kids - and - want to house them in anything less than 3,000 SF. It is almost amusing how the same person who will say to us, "Oh, that is so wonderful that you have so many kids and you are taking care of foster kids and you are willing to adopt them," are the same people who look at us like we have 3 heads when we want to rent THEIR house. (Or any house belonging to a client or friend.)
Well, we just kept looking.
Finally, a friend told us her next door neighbor wanted out of the remainder of his lease and was willing to take less per month than he was paying the landlord in order to get out AND he wanted to connect with good sublease tenants referred by people he trusts. The neighbors spoke highly of us, as did the listing agent who used to volunteer for me at church.
Icing on the cake God handed us? The house is only one street over (same school, same local friends, same close commute to jobs!), it has 4 bedrooms and a finished basement. I am a tickled that it has a FENCED backyard and the view of the pond across the street - where we spotted a BIG white-tailed buck in the middle of the day - is a perk for the boys! Oh - and, Pete likes the fireplace.
Add to that....we were starting to wonder if we were ASSUMING that God wanted us to walk through doors we were ASSUMING He was leading us toward. One such "door of opportunity" seemed to be a seasonal job here in the US that would generate support for us if/when we moved to Ethiopia. Well, there was a lot of talk and excitement about it at first - and then....nothing! We struggled with not hearing more, not knowing details, not knowing if this opportunity had actually vanished. In that timeframe of several weeks, we realized something important: We were placing our trust in situations and opportunities offered by men. We were not placing our trust in God and God alone - regardless of who or what He might work through. We had to shift to: "We will go - period." Rather than: "We will go - if...."
Our new lease will be for a year...taking us to August 2012. We have a sense of peace about this - and we are even excited about what we might be able to accomplish FROM here! Our hearts' desire is to visit Ethiopia at least once over the next year...but....we also have tangible ideas to keep us connected and busy from here, too!
God is GOOD!
Did I mention we are still working on the adoption of our foster baby who has been with us since he was 5 days old and he is already 20 months old - as of TODAY!?
Add to that a "foster" boy (3 yo) who bounced back to us a few weeks ago...whose mother wants us to adopt him! If this actually happens, it will be very fast since he is not a ward of the state - making it a private adoption.
Is God REALLY planning on sending us to Africa as the parents of SEVEN children? Hmmmm?! (For about 3 days, we thought another foster-to-adopt baby girl was coming back to us....and, yes....we would have kept her forever, too!) Never a predictable life!
It is so much easier to SAY you will trust God than to actually TRUST him. This past week has been "trying."
Our almost 7 year old has been diagnosed with scoliosis. First doctor said it is a 24 degree curve, they do not brace until 25 degrees and - given his young age - we should "wait & watch." Second opinion at a reputable children's hospital showed a 36 degree curve less than 6 months later and we were sent to get him measured for a rigid brace. After living the not-so-wonderful dream of 20 hours a day in a rigid brace, I started looking for other options. A soft brace seemed like a possibility - but - it is only used by chiropractors. (I wonder if I will live to see the day when chiros are considered part of the medical community - for real? Maybe not until less of them try to con people?) Anyway...after an exam and x-rays (to the tune of $600 out of network!), I left with the opinion that my son only has a 20 degree curve! Wait? WHAT?! I am not a doctor...but...I think a 16 degree descrepancy is too big to fit into the "give or take" margins...especially since patients are usually sent of a surgical consult at 40 degrees! Urgh.
When I shared this information with a young friend of mine in Ethiopia, he mentioned something about God healing my child. Hmmm? Me of little faith. That had not even crossed my mind. I HAD been praying - not every day - but, I had...and I believe others have, too. Did I think God could or WOULD take his 24 or 36 degree curve down to only 20? No...I did not claim in my mind that God would answer prayers in that way. In fact, I do not recall ASKING God to heal him...my focus was on finding the right or best treatment. (And, in case you are wondering, NO...my child did NOT wear the rigid brace often enough or long enough each day for it to have had any noticeable effect.)
So....what do you think? Gosh....what do I think? I think I need to re-examine my mustard seed (or lack thereof) and re-think how I believe I SHOULD be praying. Especially for the children I love so dearly.
Lori (847) 650-7144
Pete (847) 650-8022
Our Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are an ordinary family simply trying to follow where He leads. We want YOU to see the amazing things HE is doing...