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Saturday, May 8, 2010

"How do you do it?"

This seems to be the most frequently asked question that I receive. My normal reply is "day by day...I do not look ahead or I get completely overwhelmed with LIFE."

I had an interview with a journalist yesterday for 147 Million Orphans. Gwen and I usually "tag team" at this type of thing, but she had commitments with her children at school, so I went alone. The journalist had moved here from the North and our casual "chit chat" led her to tell me that she was appalled at some of the statements that she hears from "these southerners in the bible belt"(I don't know if that was her EXACT quote but it is close) She asked me what life was like to "look so extremely different" than everyone else in my community...and how I handle it. I started my answer by saying " I have no idea how liberal/conservative this newspaper is, but my story is a COMPLETELY faith-based walk, so you might have trouble writing this article. She replied with a smile, "you share, and I'll write." By the end of our interview, she was partially perplexed/TRYING to understand, with a smile on her face. She shared that she had never heard a story quite like it and was trying to digest it all. I could tell her heart had been opened, but mentally she had no where to compartmentalize what I had just shared.

The rest of the afternoon I pondered several of the questions that she asked. I couldn't help to wonder about some of the answers that I had given her....many of the "how's and why's" I had no answer....except "we just walked by faith through it." (not really what people want to hear...they want REAL answers.) But in reality the answer is the Holy Spirit. I read "the Forgotten God" by Frances Chan awhile back. He does a fabulous job of explaining that the only TRUE way to know that you are living the life that God has designed for you is to seek out the Holy Spirit. It is truly our only connection from earth to heaven. It is a gift that our Savior gave us to be able to follow Him. The problem that I have found, is that the people that are full of "the spirit" are deemed as Jesus freaks. (haha) To be "filled with the spirit" throughout my life, meant that you were religiously charismatic (snake handling and such).

The following of the Holy Spirit is what we are lacking today. This is something that I wrestle with on a daily basis. First, I forget to invite him in every morning. It's not until I am about to scream AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS at everyone in my path that I think "Holy Spirit...PLEASE give me patience". (and honestly the only reason that I do it then, is because I do not want the neighbors to think that I have lost my mind when they hear my voice ring through their windows) Why is it that when Christ beckons the storm clouds, they come. He tells the wind to blow and the rain to fall and they obey immediately. He speaks to the mountains "you go here" and to the ocean "you stop here" and they do it. IN COMPLETE OBEDIENCE. And when he asks something of us we have the AUDACITY to look God in the face and say "no".

I have learned the past few years. All it takes is a simple "yes." He intentionally puts His people in situations where they come face to face with their need for him. In the process He demonstrates his ability to provide everything that his people could ever have imagined. In the end, He brings glory to himself. I have giggled several times thinking of our time in Uganda when we traveled to bring Josie home. Mike and I are so stubborn, He KNEW that we would not give a simple "yes" to a child with HIV. So, instead he took us to the other side of the world for us to learn of her sickness where we were looking HIM in ALL of his sovereignty DEAD in the face. I have NEVER seen Christ as much as I have through watching Josie Love thrive and by watching miracle after miracle through her little life. He desires to give us these gifts. I often think, "what if I had missed this?"
In our humanness, we seem to think that He would choose the people with the most talents, gifts, and money to accomplish what He desires. After all, those are the people that can "make it happen!......can "get it done!" right? The disciples were Galileans, disrespected by the higher classes in Jerusalem as lower-class, rural, uneducated commoners. THAT is who Christ depended on to spread the word that he was the Son of God?!?!?!?! What I have also seen the past few years is that Christ uses the "normal people" to do MIGHTY works because in OUR humanness it seems MORE of a miracle when THEY could accomplish something so grand! hhhhmmmm......In the end, He brings the glory back to himself. What a sweet, sweet blessing to watch.
Don't we all just think of ourselves as "normal?' Then why is it so hard to speak a simple "yes?"

I am reading "Radical" by David Platt right now. A lot of what I just shared I got from this book. When I say that this book is smacking me right across the is a mild understatement. IT IS AWESOME! BUT it is RADICAL! If you dare.....put on you armor! My goal is to wake up not only speaking "yes" but singing it with joy in my heart each morning. Won't you join me?


natali said...

i love love LOVE this post!!

A.Lindahl said...

LOVE IT! Just got done teaching from Crazy Love and Forgotten God to our HIGH SCHOOL GROUP at our church! Awesome Books!!! Can't wait to read the article when it comes out! - AMY

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

Joining you and thanking GOD for a place to share our hearts with those who want to lock arms with us in the greatest battle - GOD LEADING THE WAY, FIGHTING FOR US and SHINING HIS LIGHT AND LOVE onto all who He brings our way!


Praying for the journalist who sat and listened to HIS story of love - for her and all who will come to His feet!!! Thirsty, hungry and broken!

Hugs sweet friend!
Jill* said...

Thanks for sharing this! :) I feel so refreshed! YES! I AM WITH YOU! GOt my armor on!

Shonni said...

What a perfect day for me to read this...I want to live radically for the LORD...but today...well, I let myself get stressed again. I am all with you friend. Thanks for writing and encouraging me.

We Are Family said...

I have to tell you. This is one of the most poweful posts I have ever read in the "blog world". Come Holy Spirit, rule in reign in our lives!!

Gail said...

Amen sister, proclaim His greatness from the mountaintops!! Thank you for putting into words what needed to be read today. You are an inspiration from God to so many! Many blessings to you this Mother's Day!!

Jim and April said...

I want that book so bad! My birthday is on the 22nd and I asked my husband for it for my birthday! what a wonderful post, thanks for sharing your heart and how God is working in your life!

The Siler Family said...

Thanks for sharing your heart and "keeping it real"! BTW - when you finish reading Radical... maybe you should forward your copy to the cuious journalists:0) Hope you have a very blessed mothers day!

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

What a MOST BEAUTIFUL POST!!!!!!!!!!!! AMEN!!!! I love it. Why do we think we can or should say no....why do I not run straight to HIM?? OH Thank you Lord for FORGIVENESS. Please help my hands, my voice, my life to be dependent on YOU & YOU ALONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Melanie said...

This is excellent! My pastor was preaching on the Holy Spirit and I'm a few chapters into "Forgotton God". Then, today...your post. I love it. It is convicting me...actually hurting my heart....I too rush into my day, drop one kid off at school, take the other with me, and jump into teaching 20 first graders...Then, I'm like, "HOLY SPIRIT HELP ME". I am also realizing the importance of asking the Holy Spirit to be with me before I hit the ground running. I read your blog and sent an email to you last year asking about interracial adoption. Since then God has called us to adopt and our dossier has now been approved and we are on the list for Ethiopia...There is no way to explain that to people other than God...I was always one of those one boy, one girl, I'm good to go. My son is also on the autism spectrum so that presents it's own set of challenges. God has called us out though for such a time as this....Thanks for inspiring others in your walk. Thanks for "keeping it real".

Tony and Heather Snyder said...

My husband and I heard you speak in Normal IL at the adoption conference. Before that I had mentioned adopting a child w/ HIV and he thought I was ridiculous and pushed it off w/ a "maybe after a LOT of prayer." (translation: are you kidding me, no.) However, a few days after the conference he said to me "you know, I don't know if we will but I am willing to adopt a child w/ HIV. If we don't then they have NO chance of living and they loose their chance to hear the word of God too. We condem them to death." All I could think was "WOW GOD!!! THAN YOU!!!" God bringing your husband and you to that point has helped to bring others there also. I'm sure my story is not uncommon. Thank you for sharing your story and being faithful.

Anonymous said...

I cannot tell you what this post has done for me...first off, I am going to get the books Radical and the one by Francis mentioned the Holy Spirit...I need so much more of that...and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this post and your heart with all of us.

Lynn(I don't have a blogspot account.)

Jenna said...

I want you to know that you and Gwen and Katie have change our lives! I have known for about 5 years that God was leading us towards just never seemed like the right time. I love the way God works...I stumbled on a friend's blog who had heard you and Gwen speak at her chruch, I went to your site and then on to Katie's...all I can say is wow! My husband and I have prayed and sought the Lord and we are filling out an application to adopt from Ethiopia! We have NO clue what we are doing but we know that HE is here we go! Thank you for your inspiration and for letting God use you! I want to be used by God to speak out for the precious orphans in our world. My husband is a pastor and we are praying that God will use our adoption expereince to open the eyes of our people to the great need. We are so excited but nervous all at the same time. Please let Gwen and Katie know how God has used them to change our lives!!

Kasey- said...

Suzanne, Today I stood In church on mothers day, and as the worship minister began to sing "Mighty to save",I knew without a doubt that the Lord has called my family to India. I felt a stirring in a womb that isnt even physically there!!!!I know today,more than ever, that he is calling us to serve the orphaned and abandoned in India. The things the enemy has tried to do to stop this have been unbelievable....but my faithful father has continued to bring wisdom and scripture to me. So much of that has come from you and your noble and Godly husband. I thank you so much for that.Please pray for Ben and Myself, and Shelby and Landon and Carter as we start this amazingly confusing,scary,but wonderful journey.We covet your prayers and the wisdom that comes from walking this road three times.You are amazing, and your words only make me realize just how amazing the great "I am " truly is.

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...


This is just what I needed today. Thanks for sharing what's on your heart.

My husband and I feel God is calling us to do something radical. Yet, our friends and family already think we've played all our "crazy" cards. I guess if we are hearing God's voice, it doesn't really matter if others hear it, too.

Thanks for your boldness to share your testimony--even though few will appreciate or even understand your calling.

Happy belated Mother's Day. I know the day must have been difficult for your family with the recent loss of Lane Ann. You all continue to be in my prayers.

God Bless,

Tonya said...

Love it! If our lives don't look drastically different from the unbeliever or the luke-warm Christian, wouldn't that then mean we are in fact one of them? Call me Radical if that is what following Christ looks like… call me whatever you want as long as it is recognized that it’s because of Christ that I am what I am.

Hope to meet you some day in Ug!

kathy55439 said...

I am a single Christain women hoping to adopt out of foster care in the next year. I enjoyed your story

Deana Watson said...

Your words touched me and reminded me of words I would hear from you mother 20 years ago! You sound SO much like her, and to hear how you are letting the H.S. guide you is SO wonderful. You have such an open spirit, not dictated by church rules, but by His teachings! May He bless your efforts!

Anonymous said...

Hi Suzanne, I'm from Melbourne and have been following Katie, yours and Gwen's journey for a while now...felt that God wanted you to be blessed by this song, 'Mighty to Save' (Hillsong).

May God continue to strengthen you for He is indeed, mighty to save.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say that Josie Love is in our prayers with her surgery today.

Mandy said...

Thank you for sharing. You spoke just what I needed to hear. I too have recently heard the David Platt radical series and am currently reading Forgotten changing! Seeing your example brings the words to life for me.

Karin Katherine said...

I am reading Radical too. Its amazing how when you listen to certain people talk---you know they've read it or are reading it.

How humbling for me to read that you feel you are just starting out on your radical journey. For some of us, it looks like you're already there!

Blessings to you and your AMAZING family.

Erin said...

This post ministered to me in so many ways...ahhh, to be Spirit filled moment by moment! I was just so discouraged today with my sin and lack of patience, and to read that little part in your post about that really spoke to me. God used it to remind me that there are GREAT moms that are in the same boat. So, THANK YOU for not wearing a mask! It is so refreshing! I have been hearing about Radical, and I look forward to reading it! It is on my list to read!!! Thanks again for being so real.


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I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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