“…once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.”
~Proverbs 24:12

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Preview Service Eve And All That Is Racing Through My Mind

So, what is on a church planter's mind 12 hours before their first preview service...? Honestly, not a whole lot!

Wait, wait. Let me explain.

Crazy, direct, perfectionist, Type-A personality me ALWAYS has what feels like a bagillion things on my mind. Tonight, thanks to the peace of the Holy Spirit, an efficient and passionate God-made Launch Team, an anointed husband and the prayers of hundreds of friends around the world, I'm practically worry-free!

Why "practically," you ask? Well, the things I'm "worrying" about (and I use that term loosely), are ridiculous things, really. What if we run out of shirts? What if our preschool area isn't big enough? What if our snacks and coffee are devoured 20 minutes before service starts?

Seriously, Kat?

Yes. "What if?"

When planning for our first preview service (goodness, this isn't even our official LAUNCH!), we were optimistic. We thought, if we have 100 people at our very first service, that would just be absolutely amazing. And it would be! 50 people would be phenomenal! But God is reminding us yet again that what He has planned for those who love Him is greater than anything we can imagine! So tomorrow, "what if" we run out of food? Or free t-shirts? Or space? What if...more than we dreamed show up?

Well...that would be a very blessed problem to have! And it DEFNITELY would not be because of anything we have done. No, it is all, ALL His doing.

...and I'm humbled that He would include me in this party, even if it's just a party of 4.

And with that, I'm heading to bed before 10:00 PM on the eve of Restoration Community Church's first preview service. Crazy!

Friday, June 1, 2012

When Your "Nice Date Night Car" Is a Minivan

Derek and I got to experience something we don't normally have the opportunity to...date night!

Thanks to one of our second families, the Clarks, we had an entire evening to ourselves as the kiddos had their first non-family sleepover. And boy was it nice!

It started with me coming home, after dropping off the kiddos, to a beautiful $4.99 bouquet of flowers. Yeah. You read that right. Derek knows the discounted Kroger bouquets are appreciated much more than something more superfluous by this frugal gal.

We went to a new-to-us restaurant, The Red Pony, and enjoyed every savory bite of our two hour meal as we chatted away. (No toddler talk, people! I didn't have to ask anyone if they had to go potty. I didn't have to bribe my dinner partner to finish his delicious roasted beets or melt-in-your-mouth blue cheese and sweet corn risotto. And I didn't have to wipe anyone's fingers or face with a baby wipe when we were all through!)

But before all that, as we were getting ready to leave our (very quiet) house, I looked at Derek and asked him, hopeful of his answer, "What car are we taking?"

He looked at me. Smiled. Chuckled.

"The van, of course."


We hopped in and were off, like two giggly teenagers on a first date. And it hit me... my how life has changed...

Instead of hoping my date picks me up in something shiny and fast, I'm thrilled we're riding in the Swagger Wagon. Instead of choosing between a Dooney & Burke or Louis Vuitton, I'm lessening the load of my purse by taking out unneeded matchbox cars and crayons.

As our lives change, so do our concepts of contentment.

There is very little I need to be happy. My God. My family. My friends. The rest is just...stuff. And what's the value of all our stuff, really?

Not much, says this frugal gal.

(Well...except baby wipes. Those things are worth their weight in gold when you have two toddlers 13-months apart!)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Type A's 4-Letter Word

Get on the computer and do marketing contract work. Water the garden. Organize the playroom. Take the kids to the pool. Work on my "tough calling" project. Organize the playroom. Read more on church planting. Help D work on vision-casting. Organize the playroom. Do some writing. Organize the playroom. Organize the playroom.

Sometimes life can be a long list of to-do items. Even the playful things become actions to check off a list. Fellow high-strung Type As will know what I'm taking about. More qualitative evidence in support of the research that shows we are more likely to have a coronary episode.

Yet we continue on this pace until life gives us an ugly slap in the face, leaving us with no choice but to slow down.


Unless we make a conscious effort to make R-E-S-T a requirement.

For some of us, we may have to physically write it down in our day planners. "Do Nothing Today." "Take a Break." "Just Hang Out with the Kiddos."

Other times, we'll notice that the crazy pace we have become used to is slowly catching up to our over-stimulated children. We take a rest for their good.

Other times our awesome spouses will make the suggestion. For our own good.

Either way, we have to face our 4-letter word. Put off work for another day. Web sites can be updated later. Research can be done tomorrow. Playdates can be rescheduled.

Clear your schedule. Go with the flow. Stop to enjoy the sunshine, your kids laughter, the Word of God, a hot cup of coffee.

It'll be better if we make rest a requiement, before life gives us no other option.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

I'm NOT Praying For Moms Today

Nope. They aren't on my prayer radar. Not today.

Sure, they're (we're!) pretty awesome and all... We give baths, wipe snotty noses (and other areas I won't mention), kiss boo-boos, pick up toys, pick up toys and pick up toys. But today my heart is focused on a different group of women. The waiting-moms-to-be.

I was there once. I felt the emptiness, the void, that seemed to be roped around my heart on Mother's Days--any day for that matter... I felt the helplessness that comes when you yearn for something so greatly, but know no amount of will or action of your own could make it so. I felt the isolation from friends who just "didn't know what to say," so said nothing at all. I felt hopeless. I felt frustrated. I felt broken.

I waited what seemed like ages until we finally had our children in our arms. I thank God so often that what seemed like an eternity, was only just over 3 years. Looking back, and knowing what I know now, we had it easy.

Once we accepted God's call for us to adopt, the weight was lifted. Actually, it evaporated. My husband and I now hope that it is God's will for us never to have biological children, but to adopt again. But there are so many of my dear friends who are still in this cycle of frustration, helplessness and pain. There are so many waiting to hold their children in their arms, however they come to be--be it through adoption or birth.

To them, and to the rest, you are not alone.

There are many who are praying for you on this particular day. There are many of us who think about how shout-outs on the radio, cheesey Sunday afternoon movies and Mother's Day sermons affect you today... So many of us love you and support you, even if we've never met.

We pray for you. We pray for your children to be. We pray for the preparation He is doing in you to be AMAZING mothers. Mothers whose compassion is unparalleled because of the hard journey you are now on.

God has great plans for you. There is no doubt. And as you wait to see these plans come to life, we will be there holding your hand, waiting for test results, waiting for a referral, waiting to hear His will for your family, and on our knees in prayer for you.

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ developing and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. Philippians 1:6

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Birth Mother's Day!

I recently tip-toed into the world of Twitter. I can't say it's been life-changing, but being able to connect with people with whom I share common interests and goals has been very motivating for me. God has planted some faith-testing seeds in the last few months--I hope to share more soon!--and communicating with these people whom I would otherwise not be able to has ignited in me a more ravenous fervor to keep moving forward!

Adoption is definitely one of the trending topics I've been following. A fellow adoptive mom reminded me that today is Birth Mother's Day. A reverent and important day for us, to be sure. I think about and pray for B and C's birth mother often. Sometimes questions pop in my head... "Does she think of them?" "Is she still in Russia?" But mostly I pray. I pray that God soothes her heart. I pray she is safe. I pray prayers of thanksgiving for the courageous decisions that she made.

I have no idea if she still pains over giving up these two amazing children. We may never know. But we will never forget her. She gave not only my husband and me the most amazing gift anyone could ever give, she did the same for her children--an unconditional, loving forever family.

Our family story was birthed from loss. The loss felt by a birth mother after leaving her two children in a Russian hospital. The loss felt by helpless newborns over not being nurtured by a mother. But from that loss came a miraculous, redemptive blessing. The blessing of adoption.

Funny how, in hindsight, so many blessings come from past loss and pain. God never makes mistakes. We do. But God is there, offering His sustaining grace until we are ready to accept the blessings He has in store for us.

To B and C's birth mother - we can never thank you enough. Though we may never know the specific why's and how's of your decision to leave your children, I can only assume that it was a very courageous and honorable decision. Proverbs 31:29 says, "There are many noble women in the world, but you surpass them all."


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