Questions from Strangers: How in the World?

February 7, 2018 adopting again, adopting later in life, homeschool, large families, questions from strangers, Sharon 1 Comments

People ask all the time, “How in the world do you do what you do?”

Psalm 105:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.”

This verse sums up exactly my response every time I’m confronted with this question. “It’s not me, It’s God!”

I believe with all my heart I could never have lived this life without His strength and provision each day.

What’s the secret? It may sound so simple and almost too good to be true but it’s a daily walk… and I’m not speaking of the one down the street and back (although that would definitely clear the mind and lift the spirit). No, I’m referring to ‘Our daily walk in life… one minute, hour, day at a time.’ It’s all we’re given. Choosing to make this one day awesome is our greatest privilege and it could totally change the path we journey down.

Today in its dailyness has the power to make or break tomorrow. So make it good!

This week we had an eye appointment about an hour and a half away right at lunch time. I decided instead of rushing through lunch, we would eat a snack on the way and lunch late. The appointment took forever and I will admit my kids weren’t alone in wanting to storm to the front and demand our turn to be seen. I kept encouraging patience (in my own mind) with the promise of a delicious late lunch. Seriously it probably just made it worse to be dreaming of Mexican but we finally were seen and on our way.

Finally at 2:15 we were shown to a big table at our favorite Mexican place by a waitress that remembered us from our last visit. That’s usually the case if we have been somewhere before. It’s hard to forget us and I love that! She cheerfully seated us, took our drink orders, and answered menu questions. By the third trip to our table and everyone settled, I got the question…

“I gather you homeschool all of them since you are out in the middle of the day lunching. How in the world do you do what you do?” And just like all the adoption questions we all field on a daily basis, they are always right in front of our children. So what’s a mom to do but speak honestly and positively. After all, this may be the only time this person is given an encouraging witness to a life given away just to be given it back tenfold!

The waitress shared she had two children and couldn’t imagine being home with them all time and it must take tons of patience to do what I do. She went on to say she had thought of homeschooling but she wasn’t a teacher so what would she do when they were middle and high school age. She even asked me if I was worried about that. (Her kids were 4 and 2.) Imagine my hidden smile as she spoke and the thrill I would get as I shared my heart for so many life issues she was bringing up.

I love more than anything sharing our adoption stories and helping people understand the heart and soul behind our journey. The supernatural courage God gives us to believe our adopted children are accepted, loved, and cherished equally to biological children is gospel truth. But today I was given the opportunity to share the beauty of living a daily life – nurturing the little souls God has loaned us on earth. What a monumental privilege.

And it is a monumental privilege whether our children are biological, adopted, grands, foster, respite, or visiting. There is no greater love than a life laid down for another human being. John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” That’s the ultimate answer to the question, “How in the world do you do it?” It’s not me. It’s God… We lay our lives down every single day and take His strength, power, mercy, and His plan for our day to accomplish what He has for us.

I believe this is a mindset we have whether we homeschool, out school, work full-time, or stay home. We are called to give away our lives for something bigger than ourselves. Stop and think about that. We are all laying down our lives for something. Is your something for eternal significance? Nurturing our families daily is one such opportunity we are given and we get to decide how we will do it.

I read a blog post by Rick Warren: Happiness Habit: Give Your Life Away. Take a minute and read it before moving forward.

Rick Warren says, “Happiness comes from service and giving your life away. Until you understand this, you’re not going to be happy for much of your life. Happiness does not come from self-gratification. It comes from self-sacrifice.”

Scott shared our family story at his men’s Bible study. He presented the lie: Success in Life is living the American Dream… and the men were instructed to extinguish the lie with truth.

They asked questions like:
How do you define success?
If don’t know any widows or orphans, am I really called to take care of them?
How are you going to use your life from this point forward so that it has an eternal significance?

We as adoptive moms can ask ourselves these same questions.

His scripture reference was James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

In the end, it is not how much we have to retire on or where we are going to live comfortably for 20 more years, it is about the people around us right now and the joy found in serving them! JOY: Jesus, Others, You (notice the order).

Valentine’s Day is almost here and it’s about showing love for the ones in your life. My life couldn’t be fuller. Scott and I have celebrated Valentine’s Day for 33 years now, from my freshman year at UGA in braces to now with wrinkles in our hometown…

Now when asked, “How in the world do you do what you do?” we share in love…

When each of our children came into our family, our lives were not our own anymore. There was no room for selfishness. Our needs came secondary to the needs of these souls, and we can say without a doubt… We are taken care of too beyond words. All the love and joy poured out comes back tenfold.

So, in giving our lives away daily, God blesses it right back to us! And the next day we do it all over again, in His strength.

Lastly Warren wrote,

“If you were asked to fill in the blank, what word would you use? “For me to live is ______.” Would it be entertainment? Sports? Clothes? Family? Friends? A career? There could be a lot of good things you could answer, but nothing deserves the place of the One who created you and gave you your life: Jesus Christ.”

“How you fill in that blank will determine how happy you are in life. Because if you answer “money” or “success” or “pleasure” or “power,” you are going to be unhappy for most of your life. There’s nothing wrong with those things; they just don’t deserve first place. You weren’t created to make a bunch of money, then die, and give it away. God has a far greater purpose for your life. There is only one answer that leads to happiness: to live is Christ. Give your life away. It is your purpose!”

Giving our Lives away has Eternal Significance and that’s how and why I do what I do every single day of my life! In the end, it’s the life I want each of these souls paying forward in their own lives as they live the big life God has for them, too!

How are you living out John 15:13? Because – whether you realize it or not – your life is not your own if you expect to have eternal significance…

One response to “Questions from Strangers: How in the World?”

  1. Love this!!! I have adopted kids too!! Also live in ALPHARETTA Georgia!! Are you in Georgia???

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