• Convicted with a capital “C”!

    Date: 2014.03.05 | Category: Adoption, Jasmine (Shuang Shuang), Thoughts to ponder, Videos | Tags:

    I have been convicted.  Yes, you heard that right….CONVICTED!  Heck, I’ll even spell it for you.  C.O.N.V.I.C.T.E.D!!!!

    CONVICT  (verb) (v., adj. kuh n-vikt) –  1. to prove or declare guilty   2. to impress with a sense of guilt

    Over and over again God has been showing me signs that He is not through with me yet.  He’s definitely saying there’s more that I can do.  I admit that I argue with Him.  I have told Him, “Are you kidding me? Do you see how busy my days are?  Do you know how much money we have spent over those two years we were adopting?”  But God quietly whispers, “You aren’t listening Lisa.” and I proceed to stomp my foot like a two-year-old.  (And no I haven’t lost my mind. I’m not actually hearing those words…He’s just been sending me signs.)

    Signs like the Francis Chan balance beam video.  Have you seen this video?  He talks about us, as Christians, how we start out good, but then life gets hard and we just drop to our knees and hang on to the beam for dear life. We live tidy little lives and then it’s our last day, we slide off the beam, end in our finish stance, throw our arms in the air, a big smile on our face, and expect God to judge our performance.  How is He supposed to judge that?   (Francis Chan – Balance Beam Video )

    We live comfortable lives.  We forget about all those that are doing without.   Those that God has commanded us to care for and we expect Him to say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”

    It’s not enough to just show up on Sunday, tithe your 10%, and live a “good” life.  It’s not enough to try not to sin and do a little good every once in a while. It’s not enough to just raise children who will walk in the way. He is asking us to get uncomfortable.  Really uncomfortable.  He is asking us to make it hurt, and not just a little.  He is asking us to really dig deep and trust in Him enough to let go of all that makes us comfortable.

    The next sign I had was another video by Francis Chan.  His fearless video.  This video talks about how everyone told him he was crazy to live on $36,000 a year and give everything else away.  People tried to tell him he needed more.  He needed to protect his children and save for their futures. But Mr. Chan says, “People are crazy to not trust God for everything.”  Mr. Chan talks about how going to Africa changed him.  He says that he could no longer live extravagantly while others were doing without clean water and the most basic necessities.  What Mr. Chan has been able to give away is truly amazing!   ( Francis Chan – Fearless Video )

    I’m still living a very comfortable life. My cars are older but they run and they are paid for.  I even own a bus.  Albeit a 1998 bus with rust and 100,000 miles but the fact is I own a bus.  I live in a very nice home.  I live on three acres and have more than I could ever possibly need.  I eat out.  I can buy all the food I want.  I pack up sacks of stuff to take to Good-Will and still my house is overflowing.

    So it’s safe to say, I am not doing enough.  I have not given up enough.  I am blessed beyond measure and yes, we do give but I think C.S. Lewis says it best.   ”I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare…If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us,… they are too small.  There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditures excludes them.”

    I don’t know what to do about it but I do know God is working on my heart.  Every time we order pizza, I wonder if I should be doing it.  It’s not a guilty feeling as much as it is a “you can do more with that money” feeling.  I don’t want to get to heaven and have regret.  I don’t want God to show me the “how your life could have been” recap and have my heart be filled with regrets.  I don’t know if you are like me but I have lived safely in the “I am saved, God paid for my sins” way.  I don’t have to worry about my sins.  I am told to go forward and sin no more when those sins become known to me, but once they are confessed to God, they are wiped clean.  That is pretty amazing.

    But then what?  I’m made as white as snow and get my free pass to heaven and all is ok?  Do we really think that God isn’t asking more of us? Do we really think there won’t be some accountability?  I used to think just that.  I mean the verse says no more tears, no more pain, no more sorrow.  But then I really started to think about it.  It says God is the judge.  There will be accountability.  I’ve started to picture it like a movie that God will show me when I enter His gates.  A movie of what I could have really done had I given up the comfortable.

    I believe we have gotten so used to the comfortable that we do everything we can to not see the hurt that is going on.  We don’t read blogs or watch movies or listen to stories that will bring us down.  We have lost sight of caring for our neighbors and truly loving one another.  I recently read this verse….

    All the believers were one in heart and mind.  No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.  With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.  And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them.  From time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet and it was distributed to anyone who had need.   Acts 34:32-35

    Sure, I would sell land if my child needed surgery, but would I do that for a stranger?  Would I do that for someone else’s child?  I don’t want to be the person that holds on so tight to my possessions that I lose sight of what God is calling me to do.  I want to be open to His plan.  I do feel he is leading us to do more in the way of adopting.  I’m trying to wrap my head around what we can handle, but I know it is more.

    I took the time to write down what is really stopping me from adopting?  First, coming up with more money.  Really?  He has already provided for seven adoptions.  Seven!  And I’m going to question His ability to help us afford more?

    Second, I’m really, really busy, but part of why I am so busy is because I refuse to hire help to do the housework.  I would much rather be with my kids, but I don’t want anyone else to clean my house?  It sounds so prideful and it is.  Do I really want to stand in front of God and say, “I would have taken in more girls, but I had to clean?  Really?  Or better yet leave the house only half-way presentable.  It’s clean enough.  It’s just not sparkling.  Should not having an impeccable house stop me from taking a child out of an orphanage and giving them the love of family?

    God has always chosen to speak to me through my children.  He did it when we adopted Hope.  Zach and Cassie were so adamant and open to taking her in no matter what the outcome.  God did it when we adopted Maisey. Cassie had just learned sign and she was so certain we were to adopt Maisey.  And then again with Ben, Hope wanted to adopt a little boy with a heart defect.  Ben knew that Eli was his didi. Ben prayed daily for Eli.    All the girls fell in love with Jasmine.  And now it is Jasmine’s turn.

    This is the video we secretly took while she talked one night.  She does this almost every night.  My response has always been, “I’ll pray about it Jasmine.”   Now she says, “I’m praying about it.  Are you mama?”

    What can I possibly say to this?  Every day she tells me how happy she is here.  So very, very, very happy she says.  She tells me she just wants to make more little girls happy and I am convicted.  Convicted because I know in my heart I can do more.  I can.  I have so much love to give.  We have a huge house.  We have more than enough.  We have so many people to love them.

    I continue to pray.  He has been faithful in so much these past three years.  I am absolutely blown away by all that He has done.  I am truly blessed by all that I have gotten to be a part of.

    What am I going to do, you ask?  I’m not sure yet.  But for now I wake up to the subtle hints of pictures of bunk beds, and this picture saying family and the number 18, and I pray even more.