Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Part I

I feel something bubbling up on the inside of me. It has actually been simmering all my life (since I was 12). At times, it is a simmer and at times it is close to bubbling over. The problem is that I have never allowed it to- to bubble over, that is. I have always seemed to keep it in check. Either out of fear or just plain laziness.

Let me start by back- tracking. I became a Christian at the age of 12 and always knew that my calling involved children. I knew that I would be an elementary teacher and I knew that whatever else I did would involve children. I don't remember the age I was when I decided that I wanted to adopt. I do, however, remember sitting in my church service one Sunday night in the mid- 90's when the African Children's Choir was visiting. I sat in that service with tears streaming down my face. I left that service with tears streaming down my face and cried for a while into the night. I decided at that time that I wanted to one day be in another country living (not just visiting) with the orphans of the world. Loving them as MY children.

Many of you know that Jeff and I went through 6 years of infertility. Adoption was always our first choice, but I am VERY hard headed and let the cost of it get in the way. I would always tell people that I would rather adopt to grow our family, but I could not afford to adopt... that was for "rich" people. I was limiting God and planning it all out for myself. I am a planner. REALLY. I . Am. God let me struggle and strive, but eventually we found His way and Isabella joined our family.

I am guilty of allowing the cares of this world, along with MY desire for things and such, to cloud God's plan for my life. Lately, I have been feeling like I am just missing "it", but felt so far-gone that I could not get on course again. I felt like my prayers were hitting a brick wall. You see, I struggle with the concept of 'grace'. I am a perfectionist and seem to require it of my self and others. This can be catastrophic to one's Christian walk. Defeat is inevitable for someone like me who will not rest in His grace.

Two weeks ago, I was reading blogs on my break at school. I left to go make a copy and when I returned, my computer screen was not on the blog that I had left it on. I have never read the blog that was on the screen! I scrolled down and saw a post talking about a book the writer was reading. It was called Crazy Love, by Francis Chan. My heart started to pound as I read about it. I immediately clicked on the book link to find out more about it. I knew I HAD to buy this book. I called Life Way Christian Bookstore to see if they had it and they did. I planned to stop after school, but when the time came, I was too tired and traffic was heavy. I just went home. I was up ALL night long that night, tossing and turning, hearing the words I read on the books website. God wanted me to buy that book and I knew if I didn't, I would be in direct disobedience to Him. I bought the book the next day!

Crazy Love is changing my life! The Lord has used it to rock me to my very core. It is turning me upside down! I have been a Christian since the age of 12 and I am now realizing that I have never fully served and loved Him as I should. Everything looks different, feels different and is different. I HIGHLY recommend you read this, but be warned that you will be faced with some major decisions about yourself and your walk with God. I have not made it through the book. I am an avid reader and can finish books in no time, but this one is different. I am having to slowly digest it and allow God's word to infiltrate every fiber of my being. It has not been comfortable, but it has been necessary. This "stumbling" onto this stranger's blog has set me on a course-- one that is prepared by God for my life!

Before, we began the adoption process, God gave my husband a dream. In it, he stood at an altar and Jesus approached him and told him "GO". Jeff asked "Where?" Again, Jesus said "Go". Jeff, again said "Where?" Jesus replied, "I have something for you, Amanda, Jake and Isabella to do." Jeff, of course, asked "Who is Isabella?" to which Jesus told him "It is the daughter am going to give to you. Now, GO!" Jeff waited a while to share this with me. In fact, he didn't share it with me until we were already involved in the adoption process. You see, at the time, we were trying to have another child and my endometriosis was getting worse. It looked like a hysterectomy was inevitable and he did not think the timing would be right to share that dream with a VERY emotional woman that was unable to have the one thing she desired most in this world. He was right. I would not have received it!

When we started our adoption process and Jeff shared this with me, we were both very excited! We felt that our adoption and Bella joining our family was going to be what God used to launch us into the ministry He has for us. Along the way, things got very rough for us with the adoption and we allowed the weight of it to overtake us. By the time Bella came home, we were so emotionally, physically, and spiritually worn out that we have just become stagnate. I KNOW that God led me to the book Crazy Love for a purpose. I believe that He is beginning to stir up my spirit, light a fire and passion in my heart, and turn our lives upside down!

I hope I have expressed what I wanted to without confusion. It is all jumbled up inside, but I HAD to get it out or I felt as though I would explode. SO much more needs to come out and I will be sharing much more in the next few days. Check back with me soon... Part 2 to follow...


  1. Wow...sounds like a life changing book! Good for you!! I will have to check it out. Praying for you on your continued journey! All the best!

  2. Wow! After reading that, I can't wait to read Part 2.
    I loved talking to you today. You have been on my mind ALL week and I was planning to call you tonight, but you read my mind. ;)
    Thanks for sharing your heart. The "bubbling" is so hard to describe, but you're right, you have to talk about it or you'll explode. I remember feeling the same way when I met with you in November....feeling like a quack because I had so much to say, but nothing came out right. Honestly, most things still don't come out right.
    I'm also seeing a huge transformation in you and it is incredible. I'm praying for BOTH of you and am so excited to see what God has in store for your lives!
    You bless and inspire me! No matter what "it" is for your family, whether it involves AAB or not, it is a pleasure to watch it unfold and walk this journey with you.
    Hope to see you tomorrow night.
    I love you, girl!

  3. Wow, that book sounds AWESOME. I need to read it. Where did you buy it? Did you get my email about the startup special in April? You get all the paperwork to start up plus the website free for 3 months for only $25. It is really a great way to start. Sounds like you are extremely busy. I just did not want you to miss out on this opportunity. Let me know if you are still interested. If not, that is okay. Cant wait to read part 2.

  4. I will be praying for you and your family as you seek God's will. I tend to be a perfectionist too so I understand where you are coming from.

    I will check that book out.


  5. LOVE this post! LOVE your heart! LOVE that book!! Preach it sister! :)

    I love you too! :)

  6. Hmm, can't wait to hear what He is speaking to you.

    I hope it is adoption, because I am an adoption junkie and am just praying for others to catch the addiction. ;)
    May God be Glorified.

    bless you;
    mama to 7
    one homemade and 6 adopted

  7. Can't wait to hear what all God is teaching you!

    I've heard of that book on several blogs. Looks like something I need to buy more myself and my young adults.


    mama of 13 :)

  8. i so hear ya ... it took me a while to read CRAZY LOVE ... it wrecked my daily life !!! God spoke so clear on a few things that as a family we are trying harder to walk by faith and put our YES on the table to ACT ... thanks for putting my button on the side ... it really does help more than you know ... what size shirt are you looking for exactly ??? XXS ?? My daughter is 5 and wearing the small ... Now it is big, but in a cute way ... We cuff her jeans and put the t-shirt on w/ cute flip flops ... I will check into a smaller size for ya ...

    have a great weekend !!! may blessings flow all day from the Lord ...

  9. LOVE the book. It has had an amazing impact on one of our son's life. Praising Jesus for using this book to draw so many people closer to Him.

    mama of 13