All those years ago when Brian and I were dealing with the sad reality of infertility, we began talking about adoption. There was never a time back then that the word adoption was ever put with “more than one child”. Nope, never. It was always, adopt “A” child. So, as many of you already know, we NEVER intended to adopt THREE children. After we were, miraculously, able to get pregnant, we didn’t talk about adoption for quite a few years. And then, it wasn’t because we wanted more kids that it came up again...but it was a strong calling on my life that I couldn’t shake...didn’t want to shake. So, we started talking about it again. But, it was always one. And, it was an Asian one. We had a name picked out, we had a face in our heads, we had a plan. HA!!! So, when all that fell through, we stopped talking about adoption again. But, not for long. Two years after the original plan fell through, I saw a picture of the twins. And I couldn’t get it out of my head. Didn’t want to. But, then there were three. THREE!! Oh my. Never in a million years did we ever think we would adopt three kids. But, God knew. And, yesterday, as I stood next to my precious Ethiopian three in church, singing, “Your Great Name” at the top of my lungs, the words, “the fatherless, find their rest, at the sound of Your great Name” caused a lump in my throat and tears to stream down my cheeks. And, in that moment, I was reminded again that God had fulfilled a calling on my life by bringing those sweet babies to me. To us. What an honor it is to be their mom. They are precious.
Following the adoption were the hardest two financial years that Brian and I have had in 20 years. Doesn’t that just figure. Listen, I thoroughly believe that Satan comes after us BIG TIME if we’re trying to do something good for the Kingdom of God. And, our finances were under attack!! It was very stressful. There were so many nights that I’d lie in bed and wonder how we were gonna make it. I had said (while we were making our adoption decision) that we’d eat peanut better and jelly forever if that’s what we needed to do, but in reality, I did NOT want to be forced to do that. Yet, that’s where we were. The crazy thing was, only two years prior to the adoption, we had had our very best year, financially. We had gotten a cut on a Miley Cyrus record and the residual money had started coming in. It was a little bit more than I made back in my “Sierra” recording/writing days. ha! It was a huge blessing. Because we had finally made some great money, we decided to invest in our retirement fund, which had been seriously neglected. Well, to make a very long story short, the year before the adoption, the company that we had invested with declared bankruptcy, and it was devastating to find out that there had been embezzlement and fraud involved, and money that we thought was very safe, was not. We lost ALL of our retirement funds. All of them! And so, there we were, three more kids, less money than we’d ever made, and no savings or retirement funds to pull from. It was a little stressful, to say the least. BUT, Brian and I looked at each other and said, “If the Lord allowed this, then the Lord will provide for us”. And He did. Looking back on 2011, we don’t know how we made it. It was all God. We laid our rocks of remembrance at the end of that year!
So, this brings us to another thing I never thought I’d do. I never thought I’d have a job like the one I have now. Nope, never did. I’m a song writer, singer, worship leader. Last year, when my sister started telling me about how well she was doing with Rodan + Fields, and that she wanted me to join with her, I was like, “how about I write them a jingle”. Cause y’all, seriously, I did NOT think that was the cloth I was cut out of. Months went by as I watched my sister become very successful in her new business venture. I would lie in bed and be sick to my stomach wondering if we were going to have enough to pay all our bills, or any extra to do Christmas presents, or pay for Bennet’s school (which is so important to me because she’s doing so well there). And, as I kept fighting the worry, and as my sister kept singing the praises of Rodan + Fields, I was reminded of this story.
An old man who had clung to his faith sat on his roof and prayed. "Dear Lord, Please save me from this flood" After a while a boat came by loaded with rescuers and victims. "Come with us, we will take you to safety", they cried. The old man told them, "No Thank you, My Lord will Save me". Once more the same boat came by. "Please sir, let us save you". Again he turned them down. "My Lord will save me" he said. Hours went by and the old man looked around. All of the other families had been taken from their roofs to safety. "Where are you Lord?" He prayed. Just then a helicopter came and lowered a basket. "Please sir, get in the basket and let us take you to dry land" they yelled. "My Lord will save me" he told them and pushed the basket away. The next day the waters rose over the rooftops and the man was swept away and he drowned. When he got to Heaven he asked his Father, "Lord I prayed and prayed, why did you not save me?" The Lord replied, "Old man, I sent you two boats and a helicopter."
So, I decided to jump in the boat. I had no idea exactly where that boat would take me and I wasn’t exactly sure it was the perfect boat for me, but I made a decision to at least get out of the stressful flood waters! Don’t worry, I’m not going to try to sell you on Rodan + Fields here, but I will tell you that there’s a point and time where we have to step out in faith and get in the boat. We have the ability to change our circumstances. “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind”. My sound mind was telling me that I needed to participate more to help out with our finances. Brian has always worked SO hard, but times have changed, and the music industry isn’t what it used to be. These days, Brian works twice as many hours for half the pay. So, I needed to step in. I couldn’t choose just any job because I have five kids and am running around in a million different directions at any given time. I keep the books for our home and Brian’s business. I am a part-time worship leader for our church. I am the scheduler of all things “Cooper and Gatlin” in acting and music land. Thus, I needed a job that was flexible that I could do from home. That was my situation and that’s why this was a good choice for me. I set a few short-term goals when I started, and have met all of them already. Very blessed, very humbled!!
Sometimes in life, we have to do the things that we never thought we’d do. We have to take the chance. Walk in obedience. Do. For real, the two I’ve just written about have taken me out of my comfort zone...they’ve stretched me....but they’ve also blessed me. Big time. I pray that you, too, will jump in the boat (whatever boat it is) and not miss what the Lord has in store for you!!