Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Encouragement through retelling our story

If you read my last blog post, you would notice that I was feeling a little bit lost. So many questions, but not near enough answers. God's timing is always right and after I posted in my blog, our friend Tim asked Bryan and I to do a podcast for his new ministry, Oceans. We worked out how to be at BG at the same time so we could do the podcast (usually Bryan or I am home with the kids).
We were asked to tell the story of how God called us to Beautiful Gate, how our family was impacted, and the story of our adoption. As we retold these stories, ( http://ourbeautifulmission.blogspot.com/2010/06/brief-history-of-our-family-and-our.html )it was like I was hit over the head with God's faithfulness. Why do I let satan beat me down with doubt and worry when I see what God has done. I see where He has taken us and I see clearly that we are far better off having followed Him. Just listening to the things my kids say as they share with teams or our friends, shows me how much God has impacted their lives. Just the fact that I have 5 kids, shows how God moves and paves a way for our future to be good. We would not be so close as a family if we did not come. We would probably not have adopted if we did not come here, at least not the 2 precious little girls who are our daughters now. Our love and desire to serve God would probably not be as strong if we had not come because I don't think our faith would have been tested the same way where we were before. I know it would have been tested because all of us all over the world face trials and testing of our faith, it just would have been different. I don't regret for a single second coming here because of how God has shown up in our lives.
So why do I freak out when I think about going back to America? If He carried us through everything here, will He not do the same for us there? Sometimes I am so disappointed with myself because I see how much like an Israelite I am. Trusting and singing praises one minute, and complaining the next. He is the same God here that He is there. Why can't I trust that? Just like forgiveness has to be a choice, I am seeing that trust has to be a choice. I need to let go and trust that He has what is best for all 7 of us in His heart and in His hands. He did far more than anything I could have expected or imagined in the last 5 1/2 years, and I know He is not finished with us yet. So anyone who reads my blog already knows that I can be fickle, trusting one week and panicking the next, but I am going to be trying my best to trust Him. Whether our timing is shorter or extended, whether our family has to live apart for 4 or more months, whether Elijah has to leave as an exchange student for a year, whether we have a job or car lined up when we get home, whether we have anything at all planned or figured out, our God already knows what is BEST and He will carry us through whatever choice we are faced with, as well as any lack we are faced with.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Feeling a little lost

For the most part, everything is going well in our lives. The children and staff at Beautiful Gate are pretty healthy and happy. One really sick child has made an amazing recovery, and we have all been praising God for His goodness. 3 of my 5 kids have colds right now, but they aren't too bad. They should be feeling better in another 2 - 3 days. We have been blessed by watching some high school teens be broken for the kingdom of God through their outreach to Beautiful Gate. Our youngest daughters are adopting us as their family. We chose them, but now they are showing that they chose us too and it is beautiful to witness. Days are not without conflict and confusion, but they are still good.

So with all that good, why do I feel so lost right now? I have this really overwhelming feeling of being lost and unsure of the future. We are starting the training for our friends, Peter and Lindiwe to take over BG, and I know it is the best. They are such a perfect fit. Maybe I am feeling lost cause my purpose is switching? We are starting to plan for the future education of our kids, but we don't know what kind of job/ jobs we will have when coming back to MI next year. Where and when do we enroll them in school? Should we split our family up next August so 3 of them can start school on time while the other 2 have to wait out the 2 years before they can enter American soil? So many people are asking questions, and I have no answers and now I am beginning to feel worried. God has brought us this far, and I know I need to trust Him.

My girls have shared more of their past, and it just sucks. To not feel wanted and to be left alone, those are emotions that will haunt them for a long time. I feel so lost in how to help them. Then there is Mercy who is trying her best to be an amazing big sister, but she struggles so much with not being the youngest. She struggles desperately with controlling her emotions, and I feel so lost as to how best to help. These struggles are nothing close to what other families face, but it is hard to try to help and to know what is the best. I guess all these things are showing me and pointing to how much I need to depend and rely on God to help us figure it all out. He planned our 7 years in Lesotho. He knew who and when we were supposed to adopt. He knew when it would be time for us to start letting go and raising up the new directors. He knew, before we even said yes to come here, where my kids should go to school and where they will thrive and serve Him the best (He just hasn't shown us yet). We long to do all things well and we know with God helping us, we can work through all of these situations and questions. Your prayers would certainly be appreciated though!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

First Family Vacation as 7

One month ago we took a trip to South Africa with my brother, Bob and a few friends. I have not done a good job getting the pictures off of my camera so here they are a month late. Highlights of the trip were... Polita and Nthabeleng seeing the ocean for the first time. They were amazed at the size and sound of it. I was amazed at how hard it is to get sand out of their hair! Elijah, Faith, Mercy and Bryan went zip lining for the first time ever and it was a crazy big and high gorge that they went over (Oma - you are next for the zip line!!!). I can not believe how brave my 3 older kids were with the zip line. I would have gone too but.. someone needed to take photos and watch the younger two cause they did not weigh enough to try it, even if they were brave enough (which they weren't cause they take after their new mommy who is a chicken)!!! I just loved being with my family and some close friends. Polita and Nthabeleng fit so well into our crazy family and they did super amazing on our first of many family adventures. Here are a few highlights in picture form: