Next week is my birthday and I feel a bit of hesitation now that I am in my forties as the day draws closer, yet I am can honestly say I am right where I feel I am supposed to be. That feeling doesn’t come along every day so I am grateful for the days I feel headed in the right direction and living out the call that has been placed on my heart to serve. The calling is just there. It is even heavy at times as I feel a bit strange or perhaps selfish in that I feel the need to get back to Ethiopia to live out the calling I keep hearing in my head. It is an extraordinary life I lead and I am grateful every day for my faith, my team and my family. This mother of four definitely knows that I could not be doing all that I do in planning for the future without my village of support and the hand of God.
Tonight was so amusing as I had to punish one of my sons for his nasty talk toward his brother and he was yelling from the basement, ” I mean the rules around here make me want to hitchhike to another house.” Yep that is how it goes for a moody fifth grader when he does not like to be punished but while we were up here in the kitchen choking back laughter all I could think about was immersing him in a world where hitchhiking is not an option and where choices and opportunities do not abound. It is theme that keeps replaying in my head as I go through my days after visiting Ethiopia twice and wondering why we feel so compelled to have it all. Some days I want to give it all away so we can head back to Ethiopia with open arms in support of those children who have no one.
The night is then topped off with whipping cream and a beautiful red cherry when my third grade son says. “Mom I know you are going to be on a call tonight to learn more about going back to Ethiopia but when you and I take our trip this summer, a special thing I plan to do with each of my children after third grade, can we go somewhere that is not like Ethiopia. Somewhere that is a little less poor where we can do things and stay in a hotel? I mean no offense to those who need help in Ethiopia.” I fought back my chuckle and my tears as I looked into his eight year old eyes and said, “Yes Carter we can go somewhere where there will be things for us to do and a hotel.” This for me was an Ah-ha moment in that all the dialoguing we have been doing for some time as a family is starting to sink in. Carter is beginning to see and feel what I see and feel. That is my prayer. Stretch me, Oh Lord, so that I may stretch and encourage others. Help my children hear my hope of giving to those in need and serving those who need it most, the orphans of the world, who are left with nothing. Help me to have my kids see me living out the change that God has so generously placed on my heart. Help my children to see that my life is now your life in being the hands and feet of service to others.