Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Love Your Story

My friend Steph knew she wanted six kids from the get go. 

I thought she was crazy.

There's a friend who lives down south who's longed for treasures for years and the Lord has seen fit to write a different story for her. 

Another friend lives out in CA and the Lord has given her this contagious passion for adoption.

One treasured friend of mine has nine, and her heart is wide open for more.

This week I read Amy Carmichael's story. She never had her own children, but man, did she LOVE children. 

There are godly women who spread the gospel on soccer fields, those who travel the world and share His story while passing out fresh water and grains to malnourished villages. 

There are those who have found themselves in situations they've never dreamed of, who have been broken and betrayed, those who are raising their treasures on their own because their spouses have died, those who are raising their treasures on their own because their spouses have left. There are those who have found redemption and hope through the sting of it all. 

There are those who thrive on adventure and those who humbly pour His truth into weary souls through a bowl of soup at the local soup kitchen.

All these godly women, seeking His face, seeking His will for their lives, and yet no two stories are alike.

My story looks quite different from the ones above. 

I never knew I wanted five treasures until they got here. My journey with my kids has been a slow one. The Lord has made my heart brave, one kid at a time. 

I never knew I wanted to live on this little farm, a safe-haven way out in the sticks. I never knew that the simplicity of this place would naturally help my heart to slow down, to choose less, to cook more, to sit long, to ponder much. 

I never knew that patience takes practice, that treasures bring opportunity for practice, that practice lasts for years before the patience becomes perfected.

I never knew that hospitality could be the way that the gospel might flow out of this home, that a meal and a conversation on the farm porch could inspire folks to press into their Savior more. 

I never knew that the way my man and I love on each other, that the way we come together in the dark, that the moments spent in quiet conversation after the kids are all in bed, that the things that go on between him and I that nobody sees, that the simplicity, the consistency of these things can testify to the world of Christ's extravagant love. 

My story doesn't involve many extra curricular activities, or overseas missions, or writing of books.

My story has a lot of kids, a man who longs to lead to well, a woman who wants to live humbly but who is often heavy with the weight of her own pride.

My story is full of messes... a baby who dumps a bucket of paint all over himself, cups spilled at every meal, mud on the floors, chocolate-covered faces.

My story is full of joy... kids running through sprinklers, belly laughter, wild flowers in vases, a chai tea latte on the front porch.

My story sometimes feels loud and full and joy-filled.
My story sometimes feels plain and quiet and mundane.

Sometimes it feels small, but in truth, it is being perfectly written by The Creator of all things. 

My story is about a woman who longs to love like He does, a woman who strives and fails, a woman who knows that her Savior is constantly pouring out wild grace like rain on her humble farmhouse. 

My story has called me to surrender to His will, not mine.

My story is enough, because He is enough.

He is the author of our stories...

No two stories alike.

Love your story...

Because the God of love has written it perfectly, intentionally, with purpose and tender care, all for His glory.

I'm learning to love my story.