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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Adding More Craziness

Several years ago, I read a piece by Francis Chan where he asked this question... "What are you currently doing in your life that requires faith?"

For months, that question haunted me and troubled me and sometimes even made me downright angry. Because the truth of the matter was, at that time, there was pretty much nothing going on in my life that required faith. At least not much of it.

Oh, but times, they are a changin'...

Lately, I feel like we're constantly up to our eyeballs. I wake up most mornings with more to tackle than I can possibly get done. Yet with every new step and every new thing that has to be added to our plates, we witness the Lord's provision more and more. Somehow, it all comes together, everyday.
And so we've decided we might as well pile on a little more craziness. At this point, Dan and I have grown so confident in His provision and so thorougly convinced that we, in our own strength, can't do anything anyways, that we know all things are possible -- but only through Him.

So we're taking a new flying leap of faith. We've made the decision to homeschool next year. Madeline for 2nd grade, Davis for Kindergarten, Hannah and Joseph for preschool and Baby Charlotte for whatever lessons she and her blankey would care to audit.

This was a hard one. We LOVE our little private school. I think it's the best kept secret in Atlanta. This school has a community like no other. It's a place full of like-minded believers who support and care for one another -- they are people that Dan and I are proud to do life with.

But for now, the Lord has chosen a different path for our family. We think there are many benefits to having all five children at home, together next year. But just being really honest, we're also having a hard time stomaching the cost of private school tuition. Top notch Atlanta private schools are unbelievably expensive and, at this point, Dan and I just don't think this is way the Lord is directing us to use the resources He's put at our disposal.

And on top of homeschool, we're adding a little more craziness. We learned last week that Joseph has massive holes in both of his ear drums. He is not deaf but he has some hearing loss. The hearing loss itself presents a lot of challenges for our family -- but it's harder still because this will, at least for a time, impact Joseph's ability to learn and speak English. We're looking at upcoming surgeries, temporary hearing aids and all kinds of time with the ENT. Dan and I are trusting the Lord to heal Joseph's ears completely -- or help us cope with (another) new normal if He doesn't. In this, and in all things, we want His will more than we want to get our way.

This time last year I never could have imagined what was in store for us. It makes me shudder and cringe to think of the blessings we might have missed if we'd been unwilling. This time last year I honestly had no idea how abundant and overflowing the Lord's provision really is -- because, in reality, I didn't need Him to provide much for me.

I praise Him for taking the blinders off and for giving Dan and me the courage to walk in faith. As a mom, I can't imagine NOT having had this experience of adoption and not ever really understanding what it means to walk each day in full faith, dependent on Him, knowing that I simply cannot do it.

It's that kind of faith that prompted Joy Portis, mother of 3 biological children and 4 adopted children with special needs to take on more and become a foster parent. It's that kind of faith that prompted my friend Amy to adopt a very sick, hearing impaired, HIV positive child last year. It's that kind of faith that prompted young Katie Davis to leave behind her family, friends and college career to raise 13 daughters alone in Uganda. What these amazing ladies all have in common is that they KNOW they can't do it. But He can.

That same kind of faith that gave us complete peace thoughout this last week (by the way, my cyst has completely taken care of itself and will not require surgery!). In this life, there will be trouble and hardship and heartbreak. Dan and I know we're not really equipped to handle any of it. Fortunately, He is equipped to handle it all. And in Him alone we put our hope and keep walking forward.

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." -- Hebrews 11:1


Jennie said...

Love your heart, Shelly. Wow... big decision to homeschool, girl. God bless you!
And I LOVE that pic of M and H. Precious sisters!

Shannon Evans said...

Oh I pray that the Lord heals sweet Joseph's ears!

Wild Olive said...

Preach on, sister! So proud of your big decision. :)

I feel like, even with the added craziness, I STILL don't have to totally walk out in faith at all times. I felt that way a lot in Uganda because I was totally out of my comfort zone. Hmmm....are we ready to go yet?


Melissa said...

So encouraging to hear of more and more people starting to homeschool...This confirms our decision more and more not to put Henry in fulltime school for next year, yes because of the cost and I am not fully ready to have him gone sooo much, just quite yet! He will probably go a couple days a week to the spanish school, but I hope to use the same curriculum you did with Davis to teach him how to read myself on the other days. A couple of families at my church are also going to homeschool. So neat to see God provide others along this journey! So glad your cyst is heal. Now praying for sweet Josephs ears!!

Heidi And Jason said...

praying for healing!! the pic of those beautiful sisters literally warmed my soul. looking forward to our time together!!

Lara said...

Thanks for stopping by - I'm a little star struck that you read my little ole blog :-)

When you get a chance, e-mail me - I have a couple of Uganda questions.

Alysia said...

You will LOVE seeing your kids minds be opened up by the loving hands of God each day. Nothing in this world compares to watching these little hearts and minds grasp the bigness of God and His world as you sit around the table in PJ's with math books in hand. It will be crazy, it will always seem like it could be going better, smoother, etc...but I'm telling you- this is an investment that reaps eternal rewards like you cannot even imagine! Go for it, Shelly!!!!!!

anything but LoKEY said...

Just started following your blog and have spent some of the day reading up. Loving it!

But I also wanted to say about this post in particular...

I felt I was the LEAST likely candidate to adopt and the LEAST likely candidate to homeschool my children. "Lord, pick one of those calm, sweet mommas. Not me!"

And here we are two years later (3rd grade, K-5 and starting nxt year Pre-K) and one child more (courtesy of China). Somehow we are all still alive and surprisingly LOVING it! The grace of God is sufficient. Be blessed in your journeys! :)