• The butterfly effect

    Date: 2012.07.16 | Category: Adoption, Family Life | Tags:

    This song is so appropriate for what I have been feeling lately. I want my life to matter.  I don’t want another day to go by without doing what God is calling me to do.

    And I believe God is calling me to do more.  I have had people tell me that it is only my emotions, that God really isn’t speaking to me.  I can tell you for a fact when God speaks, you know it is from Him.  It’s not like I’m hearing voices or God has my cell phone number. I’m not delusional.  What it is though is a feeling to the very core of your being.  It is knowing something with such certainty, such clarity, that even you are amazed by it. It may be accompanied by dreams.  I’m never sure if  the dreams are my subconscious living out what I am feeling or if I’m really having a dream based on something God is trying to tell me.  Either way when you have one of those dreams, you don’t just wake up, shake it off, and go about your business.  It is life altering.

    Then in the coming weeks you hear sermons, read devotionals, talk to others and their words all line up with those deep feelings.  Things you have heard or read before take on a new meaning and you wonder how you missed it the first time.   Things like the song above which hits home or the verse below that was in my devotional.

    Luke 12:47-48: “And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”     or….

    Os Hillman’s devotional stating this – Satan’s strategy is to keep us distracted with the urgency of the moment versus the importance of eternity.  Ask God what your priorities should be today.  Make His priorities your priorities.

    God commands us to take care of the least of these.  He states over and over again to take care of the injured, the hurting, the widow, the orphan.  Pastor’s sermon this week was on the Good Samaritan.   Which made me stop to think, would I stop and help?  Would I give money to help?   Or would I  just say the words “I’ll pray” and then move on and forget about it?  It’s not that I don’t think praying for others is important.   It is very important!  I stopped to really contemplate this a few years back.  After that initial moment was gone and I had said my prayer, did I remember to pray again?  Truth was I wasn’t as good as I should have been about it so now I write it in my phone notepad.  I open it to remember people that I’ve said I would pray for so I remember to pray every day while it’s needed because I’m busy and more forgetful than I want to be.  I want others to know that if I say I’m praying for you then they will truly be in my prayers.

    Luke 12:47  says that if we know better and do wrong than the punishment is worse.  Somehow I missed that verse or it didn’t stick as well as it should have.  I’ve heard verse 48 over and over again.  Even Spiderman paraphrases it – ” With great power, comes great responsibility”.  But being held more accountable because I knew what I was doing was wrong – was a new idea.  There is such a thing as prosperity testing.  I know I scoffed at the idea when I had no money.  Who would be tested with more money? If you could pay your bills and have some left over, where would the test be in that?  I’m mean seriously bring on that test, I’m sure I could pass it with flying colors.  Well, at least those were my thoughts.

    But remember the widow who gave her two last coins?  The Bible talks about how that is worth more than those of us who give a little of what we have.  The thought of how much is enough drives me crazy some days.  Every time I order pizza for our huge family, I think about how another child could have been sponsored.  It’s not that I think that you shouldn’t spend money, take trips, eat out.  I just don’t know what is enough to give.  I fail miserably at not wasting money.  I hate that about myself.  I look back at things I thought I really needed – only to be discouraged as I’m taking it to Goodwill.  Why did I buy it?  Why did I waste the money?  So many people are doing without and I am being wasteful.  I give to others.  I help out when there is a need.  I care for orphans and give to World Vision.  But deep down in my heart I know I’m not doing all that I could be doing.  For that reason Luke 12:47 frightens me.  I know better.

    I often wonder will there be a list when I get to heaven?  I believe things will become known to us.  That smile you gave to the person at the store, may have turned their day around and you will hear about it.  Those Bibles you donated, you will have believers coming to you thanking you for the word. You will see the people their lives touched after they were saved.  The child you sponsored will come forward.  BUT the other stuff is more scary.  Will I see all those people I drove by – the homeless and the hurting?  Will I see the people I hurt when I was distracted and unforgiving?  Will there be a list of all those mental attitude sins that I did each and every day?  Gluttony – too often.  Judgmental – more than I care to admit.   Envious – it’s too easy to do that.  Angry, lazy, the list goes on.  I know Christ died for my sins and they are covered, but the fact that they are keeping me from being who I could be bothers me.

    I don’t believe God promises me wonderful vacations and an easy life.  I do believe He says eternity is wonderful.  The blessings will be more than I can even comprehend.  I sometimes forget that it’s not about my life here on earth according to the world’s standards.  It’s about fulfilling His purpose for my life here.  I know people think to be adopting at 48 is crazy, but there are at least 2 more babies that are waiting for me to mommy them.   2 more babies that I should love and protect for as long as I am allowed.  I believe this to my core.  I’m hoping for more than that.  I know that it sounds crazy, but I am so happy to think about more babies.   When I was young I had hoped to have 12 children and then I let fear get in my way.  God’s plan is much better though.  Now I get the chance to have 12 (I do so hope) and I am old enough, with enough life experience, to truly appreciate what that means.  I get to have my dream when I thought that dream was long gone.  It makes me cry sometimes that is how blessed I feel.

    God is calling Dan and I.  It’s not just to adopt either.  I’m not sure where it will lead but the stuff that has happened on Dan’s end has been amazing.  God is truly an awesome and wonderful God.  Watching everything fall into place has been truly amazing.  If there is anyone who is busy, it is Dan.  He works at Mercy; he is the Director of Clinical & Quality Improvement for a national company; he writes articles, journals, and books; and yet, when the opportunity to volunteer for Love Without Boundaries came about he stepped up.  He goes above and beyond and I love that about him. God is calling us.  I’m excited and scared senseless at what that might mean.  We have so many ideas some of which are coming into play.  Helping orphans has been laid heavily on my heart and God will provide the direction.  There are so many hurting children.  If you could see the pictures that I have seen you would cry and have your heart hurt right along with mine.  I can’t share most of them because of confidentiality, but I can share one blog that recently came to my attention.  http://aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/search/label/Ruby%20Grace  Read the headings The Miracle of Ruby Grace – Part 1&2 and try not to be moved.

    Which leads me to where my thoughts have really been lately.  I have heard people say I understand about adopting, but my life is so much simpler now.  The kids are all in school.  Life is good.  I don’t think that I could add that to my plate or afford it or I’m too scared.  I understand that.  Adoption isn’t for everyone.  I get that.  But you can mentor, volunteer, donate, sponsor a child, etc.   There are a million ways to do what God is calling you to do.  I just have a really hard time with the “my kids are growing up and life is easy now” statement, because in reality what you are saying is your are more willing to leave a child in an orphanage rather than make your life harder.   A hard statement I know, but I believe it.  I’ve said the “I’m too busy to…”  “I don’t have any money to spare.”  “It won’t make a difference.”  But none of those things are true.   That is why I’m having difficulty with my own life.  What am I saying by not doing more?  What am I saying by not giving more?  You can have an effect that goes on and on – the butterfly effect is what it is called.  Dan likes to say you can have a butterfly effect or a maggot effect.  What do you want your life to mean?  Spread those wings and shower love on those that you can.  You never know who’s life you are touching with something as simple as a smile.