Sometimes the Journey is Scary but God's reward for Trusting is GREAT

I turned 37 at the beginning of June.  It's not a "big" milestone but it is the year I became a mother to now 4 precious kiddos that give me the title of Mama and keep me busy all the live long day.  I had always dreamed of becoming a Mom it was what I wanted to "do" in life.  I truly never thought about a "job" until I was a senior in high school and we were driving down the highway to visit a college I was seriously thinking about attending in the fall.

Well the Lord had big plans for my twenty's and took me all over his creation bringing my fears to life and teaching me to trust him through each of those steps.  It was a rewarding and totally crazy time in my life and I have a few pictures to prove it happened.

But when people look up my name a 100 years from now I don't think my 20's will be anything but a footnote and stepping stone to the next great adventure God has for me to live out.  I actually fully believe this will be true of every decade if I let it.  IF I'm not scared of the new and "out there" experiences the Lord leads me (and us) on.

With God every day is a decision to stay the course but occasionally he presents a path not on your map.  A path that will change the direction of my life.  So far I have had 3 "paths" that have lead me into the unknown to a place of fear and faith:

1. Saying No to a Teacher Career and Yes to a Ministry Career.  Huge step of overcoming fear. Telling my parents who just paid for my bachelors degree.  Raising support by ASKING people to fully fund my life and ministry.  Talking to Strangers and Sharing the Gospel when I didn't even know their last name, if they would let me (and most would!). My selfish tendency is to avoid awkward small talk at all cost and this was now my full time job!

2. Dating Grant (my husband).  Dating him was way, way, way harder than marrying him.  I knew of Grant and I knew his family well.  I knew if we dated where this would end (marriage) and what that would mean for my life as I knew it.  I was a fully independent world traveler who had a job that was thrilling and rewarding.  But I also knew I was alone with my memories and that I wanted someone to be by my side through the rest of my life.  Enter Grant and I came home, settled down, got pregnant and thought I might never fly again. (Little did I know!)

3. Adopting a our littlest daughter from China when my hands were full with 3 little bio kids already.  I just knew I must have talked Grant into this... but there are times when the waiting grew long I knew he was a Daddy with a missing child who would do whatever it took to go get her and bring her home.  So many times I saw God's heart through him as he loved her from afar and then loved her in person when it was hard and trying; when he had to perseverance to "break into her heart" to allow her "to trust" him.  When she finally meets Jesus one day her view of him will be shaped heavily by her Daddy who came for her, loved her when she was reluctant, and persevered when she rebells.

I don't know what the big number 4 thing will be but it will come.  There are days when you have little ones where one can feel trapped and isolated.  All I do is go on trips to the zoo and teach kids to share ALL DAY LONG.  Where if my routine gets off meltdown and fits happen - guaranteed.  Where I miss the small talk with a stranger (what!?!) I've never muttered that before in my life!  I'm craving real, honest, deep, life giving friendships where I can be challenged in my faith.  Not to be super Mom and have the cleanest house and kids in town but for someone to encourage me to say yes when God's next challenge comes.

 "Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
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