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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

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Surviving the Valley Series
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Making time for small things and space for big things

Learning how to say NO so you can say YES to the things God has prepared for you takes a lot of wisdom. And patience. And self-control. And prayer. 

Sometimes God wants us to stop running around like a chicken with our head cut off so we don't miss the small blessings standing right in front of us. We get so busy chasing the next big thing to brighten our life that we miss the little sparks that could light our whole world.

I shared recently about being able to drop my "to-do" list for the day in order to connect with my son in ways we never have before. I also got to join in on his first skype call to his sister, one of the greatest gifts God has given to both of us as God filled his room with that precious voice we both have missed more than we knew. Small things, small moments that have warmed my heart and reenergized my faith in exponential ways.

Yet sometimes God wants us to clear some space in our lives to make room for the big stuff we don't even know is coming. I think He just dropped one of those big things right into our laps.

Let me back up a little bit here to explain. Right before Shane, our previous Student Ministries Pastor, left to serve as the High School Pastor at the main campus, he pulled Juan aside to tell him about an upcoming mission trip he's leading to Guatemala this summer. It will be the first time our church will take a group there, so they are purposely keeping the group small. But he specifically chose Juan to be a part of it. It was completely unexpected, but the more we thought about it, we realized this would be a great way to continue bonding with this Pastor, letting him continue to invest spiritually in our son. So we said as long as the dates worked out, we'd like for him to go. 

Shane has since left our campus, and Mauricio has taken over his position (another very key player in both boys' spiritual lives). But he finally sent an e-mail last Wednesday with the dates of the trip, the cost, the projects they'll be working on, and the informational meeting date. We went to the meeting (where we knew absolutely no one except for Shane) and listened intently.  They will be installing some home kits, leading some Backyard Bible clubs, and training the nationals on effective ways to lead their own 5 Day Backyard Bible clubs. The more he talked, the more my heart started to stir within me. If you know me at all, you know my heart beats for missions, specifically in Central and South America. I whispered to Mike, "I want to go, too!" 

At the end of the meeting, Shane also made the comment that they could really use another female leader if any of the parents wanted to come along.

We walked up to Shane to give him Juan's card saying he's interested in going, and immediately he looked right at me and said, "Do you want to go?" Of course I said I wanted to go, but I'd obviously have to pray about it first. He introduced me to the other male leader of the trip, and he told him, "If she decides to go, it's a win-win. She's got a big heart for the Hispanic people, and she's bilingual!"

So, here I am, praying about it. Mike thinks I should go. I want to go. Even Juan is okay with me going. We'd be the only Spanish speakers on the trip, so he said, "Mom, they need us."

It's a lot of money to raise in a short amount of time since it would be for two of us, but the more I think about it, it seems like a no-brainer. I can't think of a better way to spend my summer than serving on a cross-cultural mission trip with my adopted son. When he first came here, David wanted to participate on every mission trip opportunity he could, but Juan didn't have any interest. Now that he does, I want to encourage it as much as possible. Mission trips are truly life-changing. Not only do they teach you that we are here to serve others rather than live for ourselves, but it's also where relationships are built that can last a lifetime. Most of our dearest, closest friends are people we've gone on mission trips with. 

This seems like an an opportunity to do something extraordinary with Juan that I will never forgive myself for missing out on. I'll never get the summer between his senior year and college back. 

Would you pray with me that God would make this absolutely clear to me? Thank you!!!!

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