Can’t believe it’s been since March since I last updated my blog… So much has changed in the last several months. Both Jake and I made some “minor” career changes, we moved into a new house, the kids all start new schools this Friday, and the only constant seems to be that change is inevitable. It seems like life has been so busy, I haven’t even thought about updating my blog. Not that I would have anything worth saying (as if I ever do) or even have the mental capability to articulate thoughts.
Slowly but surely, we have made the transition into becoming a family of 7. Chaos is eerily normal now. I love the reaction I get from people when they ask me “how many kids do you have?” I have close friends who have had the challenge of blending families of children and step children. Some of our struggles have been similar to that with the added element of blending two cultures and trying to learn to be parented when you have grown up most of your life without parents. I’m so proud of the progress the new boys are making and the sacrifices our other kids have made in order to love on their new brothers.
Summer is by far the busiest season in a youth pastor family’s life and with 5 kids this summer was more challenging than most. Over the last 12 years in youth ministry, we love all the bonding and memories that come with summer camps, conferences, and mission trips. But we dreaded the time away from home and family (so much so I have joked about putting Jake’s picture on missing person milk jug) that goes hand in hand with creating those memories. This summer was bittersweet because we knew it would be our last summer serving as youth ministers. Loving teenagers and ministering to them has been our lives for over a decade and knowing that God is calling us to do something else has been exciting but filled with a lot of soul searching and some blunt conservations with the God who first called us into ministry.
After spending some teaching nursing students on labor and delivery floors, I decided that I missed working full time with laboring and new moms so I am putting teaching aside and accepted a new position at a local birth center. It’s been such a long time since I worked in the hospital setting so I feel like my nursing skills and physical body are more than a little rusty but I feel blessed to be where I am at and even more blessed to see the miracle of new life come into this world almost everyday.
Our precious church family is going through an intense time of transition the last few months as our senior minister left. Because we would want to love our church family through this time of healing and because our newly adopted sons have some intense counseling and therapy to walk through the next few years before they will be ready to go back to Haiti for even a short visit, we felt like we needed to put our plans to move to Haiti on hold indefinitely. Jake has accepted the position of lead preaching pastor and is enjoying his new role within the church. I know I am biased but he is really an anointed preacher so I love seeing him serve in this way. This is not the path we would have chosen but we have no doubt that this is where God wants us right now and know that His timing and His plan is always so much better than ours. We had planned to be packing up moving to Haiti right now but instead we are settling into a new role God has led us to. It’s funny how we can keep brainstorming options and plans, but GOD's purpose prevails. Proverbs 19:21 says “many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” We were convinced that God was calling us to be full time missionaries to Haiti last year… never in our wildest dreams did we foresee the boys coming to live with us here BEFORE we went to live there. The January 12 earthquake changed so many aspects of our life and our calling to Haiti. We feel like we ARE full time missionaries to Haiti right now and right here in Oklahoma. We feel that loving our 3 adopted sons and raising them to be solid Haitian Christian men can impact Haiti in ways that we can not even imagine. Our prayer is that one day they will share our passion for Haiti and we can all serve full time there full time but God continues to use us, prepare us and equip us until the timing is right for us to move to Haiti.
So there have been a lot of changes in our lives the last several months. Change is inevitable. Change is VERY uncomfortable for Type A personality people like me. But I can not find anywhere in the bible where the word “comfortable” is found. I’m learning to live in a constant state of being “comfortable with being uncomfortable”. Does that even make sense??
I love this quote from Donald Miller about change and waiting on God’s timing….
“It is always the simple things that change our lives. And these things never happen when you are looking for them to happen. Life will reveal answers at the pace life wishes to do so. You feel like running, but life is on a stroll. This is how God does things.”