“Jesus called His followers to be a lot of things, but I have yet to find where He warned us to be safe.” – Katie Davis, Kisses from Katie
“I believe that we were each created to change the world for someone. To serve someone. To love someone the way Christ first loved us, to spread His light. This is the dream, and it is possible. Some days it is excrutiatingly difficult, but the blessings far outweigh the hardships.” – Katie Davis, Kisses from Katie
We’ve just returned from a 12-day trip out east to visit family, and one of the biggest blessings of the trip for me, aside from our time actually spent with our families, was having some time in the car to read. One of the books I read was Kisses from Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis. In it, she shares the story of how God called her to Uganda and how she has served as a teacher, nurse, mommy, non-profit organizer, and a multitude of other roles. She shares her life, her food, her home, her knowledge, her love, her time, and her faith with those God places in her path.
And in her words I read encouragement and grace and love and a challenge. God is good. Do you see it? He is with you always. Are you walking in communion with Him? He will provide. Are you trusting in Him or in your own plans and efforts? Jesus spent His time on this earth serving those around Him with patience, love, and graciousness. Are you serving? Are you doing it in a loving way without the expectation of a reward from those you serve?
I must confess that far too often, my honest answer to each of those questions would be a resounding “no.” That’s not how I want to live my life. In reflecting on my life, I want to be able to say, with Paul, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:6-8).
And what does that all mean, practically speaking? I don’t entirely know. I don’t know what God may call our family or me specifically to do. And that’s part of what makes it faith instead of some grand self-improvement plan.
But I have some ideas of what it might look like. Matt and I talked during our drive about some of our goals for the next five years, and on that list is to go back to China to adopt again. I feel like, even now, God is drawing my heart toward slightly older, slightly harder to place little girls, girls who may be 5 or 6 years old, who may have some special needs, but whose biggest need is the love and care of a family and to know the God who made them. In a few years, both Miranda and CaiQun will be old enough that we could adopt a child of that age who would still be younger than them, and my hope is that that’s exactly what we’ll do. Hopefully more than once. And that means that right now, we need to be faithful in how we earn and spend our money, and we need to be establishing good routines and patterns with our girls that would allow us to make room for more.
And even now, our hope is to move the girls back to sharing a room later this week, which would free up a bedroom in our home to be a guest room until more children join our family. I wonder how God might use that room, that space in our home, and I want to be open to opportunities He places in our path.
And beyond that, I want to be faithful and gracious in the small things. I want to pursue Jesus fervently, to spend time in my Bible, and to pray throughout my days. I want to serve my family consistently and cheerfully. That means getting up closer to 7:00 than to 8:30 and preparing for the day. It means spending time at home. It means making time for the “why” questions, not seeing them as distractions but as opportunities to love and teach my children. It means leaving my phone in the other room and playing Memory with the girls or reading books or inviting them to help me cook. It means responding to their disobedience graciously and kindly, not out of frustration and a sense of entitlement. It means setting aside time for Matt and pursuing his heart. It means sweeping the floors, spackling and painting the walls, and cleaning the bathrooms. It means putting in some more hours of work to enable us to accomplish some of those 5-year goals. It means having plans but also being open to what God lays in our paths. I expect that most days this work will not be glamorous – but it will be good. Being in the service of the King is not about the specific tasks given, it’s about the King, and I want my days to be about Him.
Lord, let me abide in you, draw life and light from you, exist to love and serve you. Let me cling to nothing before or beyond you. Let my guide be not safety and the supposed guarantees of this life but your calling and the true, eternal guarantees you offer. Let me be about your business, serving someone, changing their world in some way for the better, loving the way you love, not because I can do any of these things, but because you can. Let me love and serve my family and those you place around us in our community. And please lead us toward those pursuits you would have us chase after long-term, be that adopting more children or anything else you desire that we do with you.