Give to a greater capacity.
I just finished reading an amazing (must-read) book, called "In a Heartbeat: Sharing the power of Cheerful Giving". It is written by the adoptive parents of Michael Oher, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy (The Blind Side).
I am not being paid to do this. I got this book for Christmas and was glued to every page. This family did much more than adopt a teenage boy who had slipped through the cracks of a broken foster care system. Their lives have been an act of giving, before and after Michael.
They write (Page 262):
When we see children - children who have previously been invisible - and see them not just with our eyes but with our hearts and in our souls, it's one of the most critical gifts we can give. If Michael, with all of his potential could go missing, then how many other bright, wonderful kids are slipping through the cracks because people don't notice them?It's not just about adoption. Yes, we need more people to rise up and fill a need. Yes, if one family from every church in America agreed to take one child we could eliminate the registry of waiting children. But, what about the kids that never land in foster care? What about the kids whose neglect isn't as visible?
There are so many parts in this book that moved me to tears. One was when Michael is a freshmen in college and his parents tell him to bring home any of his teammates that don't have family or homes in which to spend the holidays. Michael brings home 25 players. Their spirit of giving is contagious and was built into their children. I am so inspired to reach further and love harder.
Sometimes Ben and I talk about being "done", once we adopt a little sister or sisters for the boys, but then on days like, today, Ben will say, "Do you really ever envision us not raising kids?" We were talking about what life would be like one day when the kids are all grown up. We don't foresee us having an empty house. There's too much to do. Too many babies (big and small) that need love.
We have been house hunting for nearly a year. Our little condo has served us for ten years, but it has reached capacity! We have had two realtors and both would tell you that I am high maintenance. It's more than just a home to me. I am looking for a sanctuary. A place to hold as many beds as possible. There has to be enough room for our kids to be loud and crazy and have room to explore. There has to be room to hold impromptu worship services and prayer sessions. I need a dining room table that seats a minimum of ten. Because I only have a glimpse at what God is doing, I have to be prepared. Of course, my list of must-haves must also fit within a tight budget. But, that's where I trust God.
Our pastor once said, "If you can accomplish your dreams on your own, they're not big enough." That word burrowed deep into the secret place of my heart. I am asking God for BIG things. I am asking him to use me in ways that don't make sense in the natural. I want to be a supernatural giver. Every area of my life.
Won't you join me, this year, in looking for extra ways to give (and tell me about them when you find them!)?
Let's see what God will do.