big things

oh how i wish i could know God's plans.

one year has passed since sj came home. and in remembering i found myself simply overwhelmed at what God did to bring her to us. and to bring her to full health. she is absolutely the cutest thing on the planet (i've been teaching her how to say that!) and she is a picture of God's miraculous hand, walking around in our house. what an incredible privilege, and one i completely take for granted, that we have witnessed God's miracles over and over and over again. truly, who can say that?

over the past couple of weeks i have been trying to wrap my head around it. i mean, the things God did were huge! why? or more pressing to me right now, why not? why don't we expect God to be big all the time? why is it so overwhelming and surprising? what else does he have planned for us and he is just waiting to be given the opportunity? he is simply waiting for someone to have enough faith to follow God into something "crazy" and then watch Him do his thing? but instead he gets us, who have our lives neatly packaged. we go about our business with absolutely no need for the supernatural, so why would he ever show up? we don't ask for anything miraculous so we never get it! we never launch out to that place of crazy discomfort so that it can only be God who meets our needs.

i know that God does not always choose to do the miraculous. if he did, we wouldn't have nearly the pain that we live amongst. i would never want to encinuate that i was one who thought that miracles simply don't happen in certain situations because someone didn't pray enough. my 36 years have had way too much reality for that to even enter my brain. nor am i an advocate of irresponsibility and then waiting for God to bail you out. no. not my thing. at all. hear me LOUD and CLEAR.

but what i AM burdened about is the idea that God may be calling us to something way out of our comfort zone and we don't go simply because we are scared. we're afraid God won't show up and do what he needs to do. we're not willing to risk the chance of looking like a fool as we patiently ponder God's arrival. and what sarahjoy's story reminds me is that God showed up! he really did! we prayed that he would provide and we completed her $30,000 adoption with a few extra dollars in the account! we prayed he would match us with a little girl who fit right into our family and whose health needs we could manage and out of the hundreds of thousands of orphans available for adoption, look who we got! you don't have to be around her too long before you will say, as so many do, she is a SANZONE! and as is God's way so much of the time, he gave us far more than we could have asked or imagined. not only did he provide adoption funds, but he kept providing through his people's generous gifts towards SJ's medical bills. we didn't ask for that! we didn't even have a chance to pray about that, or expect anything! but it was as if God wanted to say, "HEY! not only can i do the miraculous, i can do miraculous on STEROIDS!" and yes, God brought us through heart surgery and lots of question marks and gave us back SJ. he did miracles for that child to walk out of the hospital. but not only did he heal her little body, he gave us a 100% healhty little girl! one year later there is not a thing wrong with her. MIRACLES PLUS MIRACLES!

my heart aches to see God do something big in our family again. i feel as though through my rememberance he has placed in me an unsettledness. a "feeling", a gut thing that says let me do it again. oh boy, it's scary. don't get me wrong. but the reality of God's vastness and longing to do great and mighty things through his people trumps fear. at least it does when i stare at what happened in the last 24 months to bring sj home. when it's in front of my face and i can't deny it i KNOW i want to do it again. i want to be up close and personal with God's faithfulness and his miracles!

so who knows what is in store for us? i don't know. all i know is that eric and i are praying and asking God to be really clear. REALLY clear. there is nothing more invigorating and pleasurable than being in the center of God's will. and there is absolutely zero that is more frightening than being outside. so our prayer is simple...show us your will God. show us what big thing you want to walk us through next.

and hang on for the ride!



it has been a year since we brought sarahjoy home and as we mark that anniversary with krispy kreme donuts (i mean what else would you mark it with?) i have found myself remembering the journey. why is it that we forget the past so quickly? forget how MUCH God did to bring her home! really, folks, he did above and beyond what we could have ever thought or imagined and i am embarrassed to say that i have rarely reflected on that reality in the past year. the present fullness of life so often edges out the past stories of the miraculous. and yet, we must remember. we must reflect on God's faithfulness lest we forget.

i went back and was looking at the list of people who invested in sarahjoy's little life. i was completely overwhelmed. i didn't count them, but they took up two pages when i printed them out. so many people who came together to bring her home. i can't really wrap my mind around it actually. there were even people on that list that i didn't know. friends of friends who were prompted to give to a little girl's journey. over $30,000. a miracle. God moving individuals to come together for a greater cause. i stand amazed.

and that's just the people who financially supported sarahjoy. if i tried to make a list of people who prayed for her it would have to remain unfinished. i don't even know many of them. it is not uncommon for me to meet someone at church who tells me they have prayed for sarahjoy. i don't know them, but they knew my baby and prayed her home. they prayed for someone they didn't even a know. an "unknown" little girl in a faraway country. why? why were so many prompted to do so? the only answer i have...the miraculous hand of God. the hand that brings families together across continents and moves people's hearts to come together and plead for God's blessings on a faraway little life, on our life.

i remain undeniably indebted to so many people. they brought my baby home. they brought my baby into my arms, out of death's grip, and back to life. i am so thankful. i shout to the world, my God is great, he is greatly to be praised. he looks upon the orphan with compassion and cares for them. he uses each of us to bring his will to fruition. he blesses those who follow him. he is a God of the miraculous and completely unfathomable.

and here i sit, as the recipient of so many blessings. not the least of which is a precious little girl, full of spunk and feisty energy. who has been given a new chance at life. who brings joy to our days. who is mine. and who is a product of hundreds, if not thousands, of people's prayers and gifts. a picture of the true nature of God.

because of you, she's mine.

may God use her story for his glory.



over the years i have had a number of people ask me, "why don't you adopt from the U.S.?" i actually hate that question. because behind it, whether they are willing to admit it or not, is the assumption that a child from the usa is more important than a child elsewhere. for some reason we feel like a child in our own country deserves adoption more than a child somewhere else. and of course, that assumption is simply symptomatic of the great american mindset that we are God's greatest gift to this earth. that there is no other country who could rival us, even their PEOPLE are less than ours. their HUMAN BEINGS are of less significance than our population.

i know that most people who ask that question are not even conscious of this mindset. at least, i will give them that benefit. but truly, it is an arrogant, arrogant thought process that questions why someone would adopt anywhere other than the usa. and it really bothers me.

recently i came across this video. it will make you sick to your stomach if you have any sense of compassion. it is truly unbelievable to many americans, those who haven't been exposed to the realities of the world in which we live. i challenge you to watch it. to open your eyes to the horrors going on in other countries. and maybe you will have the opportunity to bring a little light to that question that i hate.