Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Why is it so hard?

Think drama people...DRAMA!

No, not the Britney Spears, Rhianna, Kardashian kind of drama.

I'm talking Vacation Bible School Son Surf drama. This is where I begin.

My role: Sunrise Sunset...the beach jewelry stand hippie. (Yes, one day I even sang a song that my mom actually wrote during her good ole REAL hippie days of burning bras and reppin' the peace sign).

Erik's role: Tanner McBuff...the oh so fine beach lifeguard with a slight ego problem. (I kind of have the hots for him!)

Our last couple of weeks have been filled with drama. Skit practices, performances, and getting to know the fine people that have put all of this together. The Davis Family.

And really, that is where this post brings me today. It really has little to do with skits and way more to do with the Davis'.

Let me introduce you.

Matt and Kimberly and their 3 kids are completely amazing. Not only are they the most real and transparent family that I know, but they fully live each day into the grace of God and His call on our lives. 

So much so that they are puttin' on their boots, packin' up their bags, and heading off to London to be full-time missionaries in an often overlooked city that desperately needs Jesus. (You can check out their website here!)

Talk about being the hands and feet of God. 

Our conversation today brought us to the topic of fundraising. Fundraising for Missionaries and fundraising for adoption. As many of you know, Erik and I are fundraising for our adoption (to which the Davis kids contributed by bringing us an envelope of hard earned lemonade stand money and praying with us about our adoption...um...hello awesome!). 

And as many of you may or may not know, most Missionaries (such as the Davis's) are fully supported financially by fundraising. 

Fundraising is hard. I mean like...REALLY hard. There is a part at the beginning when you are fired up and the world is your oyster and the sun is always shining and nothing can hold you down. You have a rapid fire of people who can't wait to help out and an outpouring of incredible blessing. 

And that is exactly what it is. Incredible blessing. 

But then...you hit the incline. It is like riding a bike downhill, lifting your feet off the pedals, coasting halfway up the next hill and realizing that you forgot to stick with the momentum to make it all the way up. 

It is hard and it is slow. 

So why is it so hard? 

Why is it easier to critique the way people are fundraising or if they actually really "need" to be supported than it is to just not spend money at Starbucks everyday and trust that your willingness to love someone out of what you have is better than a 3rd cup of freshly brewed coffee. (Me = guilty). 

Matt quoted on his Facebook one day that if every one of their friends committed to give their family $25 a month to support them as missionaries, they would be fully funded by support and ready to go. 

$25. That is it. That is nothing. 

But fundraising ISN'T nothing. It is a big fat something that scares people away from saying, "I want to walk along side of you, no strings attached." 

For some reason, I think that we have it in our heads (and I am speaking for myself) that supporting missionaries or people who are fundraising means that we have to hand them a check for $500 in order for it to mean something. 
I don't know about you...but I can't afford that. 

We have received several cards with $10 or $20 to go toward our adoption. Those cards mean just as much as the $500 checks, because they say "I am willing."

So why aren't we willing? What are we protecting by not giving out of what God has given us? 

And what are we missing out on by not allowing ourselves to immerse into a much greater and bigger picture? 

We have been so supported and so loved by a TON of people. In huge ways and in small ways. And for that, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. 

I think that those people get it. 

I...well...I'm still working on it. 


Monday, June 25, 2012

AND....We're back in the game!

Summers are crazy. That is just the truth.

Everyone looks forward to summer because they are ready for a break...and then all of a sudden, summer is halfway over and everyone is thinking, "Holy crap! Where has the time gone!"

Don't get me wrong, I love me some summer. Warm days, cool evenings, tan skin, slushies till you turn blue in the mouth...yes...Youth Ministry summers are the best.

It is nice to get caught up in the tidal wave of activity and even nice to get lost in the busyness of not being busy with the usual tasks of life.

We have had some great moments...
Summer kickoffs, BBQs, Hawaiian vacations, Weddings, VBS skits, pit stains (sick), twinkly lights and fine beverages enjoyed with friends...

And lets not forget about the anxious awaiting of our USCIS approval for adoption. :)

Oh yeah...that whole adoption thing.

My life has been so consumed with adoption for the past 6 months, I sometimes forget that there are other things going on...you know like...life.

And honestly, the "Summer Sweep" has been a welcome distraction.

This new found busyness has become so unfocused on the future of our lives and way more focused on the life we are living presently.

I'm learning that God is all about our present just as much as He is all about our future. And I think I often miss things by being so consumed with what is to come. I forget that the life that is happening NOW is the life I am meant to live NOW.

So, although Summer is...well...summer...

The tidal wave is refreshing. And perspective changing. At least for a little while.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The Gift of Rest

You may not be hearing from us for a while.

No, we are not swearing off Facebook or Twitter or Blogspot or Instagram or...any other social media facet of our lives...for the sake of a June version of Lent.

No, we haven't joined a commune...although there are days where the idea seems tantalizing.

But yes, we ARE moving away to a far off land. For 10 days.

Let me start from the beginning...

About a year ago, Erik and I were sitting at a dinner that we had been invited to with some friends of ours, when I felt a subtle squeeze on my leg.

Erik tends to do this when he wants me to say something like, "This has been a wonderful evening, but we must be going now." I told him before we even got there that if he played this card...I would ignore him. (I know...sweet wife.)

So I continued in conversation, pretending that I didn't feel the squeezes getting harder and more anxious. Being the very understanding and gracious spouse that I am, I started bringing up new topics of conversation and asking more and more questions to our hosts. (Seriously...so sweet, right?)

As the night finally came to a close, we said our thank you's and goodbyes and hopped into the car to go home, about an hour after the squeezes began. I was about to lay into Erik with a huge lecture about how we had discussed this habit and its ceasing when he blurted out...

"JESSA!!! I think we have just been given a trip to Hawaii...plane tickets and all!!"

Um....come again?

Needless to say, the following 20 minute drive home included a lot of "WHAT THE HECK?!?!"s and a lot of screaming.

The good kind of screaming.

We have felt so blessed in unfathomable amounts of ways...encouraged, uplifted, prayed over, supported. Especially in this last year.

We have been overwhelmed with love and kindness. And as we look back and think about this moment (almost exactly a year ago), we see this awesome outpouring of God knowing exactly what we would need, exactly at this time.


And we see a family, so generous, so caring, and so open to listening to God's call to love His children through what they have been given.

So, in approximately 48 hours, Erik and I will be boarding a plane to a far off land, filled with rest, relaxation, restoration, and well...just good plain ole fun. We will have space to laugh, enjoy each other's presence without interruption, adventurize, and spend some time with people we love very dearly (my sister and brother-in-law will be joining us for part of the trip)!

We want to be very clear that NON, NADA, NOTHIN', NOT A CENT, of the money that we have worked for, fundraised, and been given for our adoption is going toward this trip. We feel that it is super important to state this because there are a ton of people who have graciously supported us in our adoption journey and that is incredible sacred and special to us.

This trip is a gift. A huge gift of rest. A welcomed, anticipated, and completely humbling gift that we are ready and excited for.

Yes, my bag has been packed for 1 1/2 weeks...

...and yes...Erik is still yet to pack. 

So...I bid thee farewell. At least for a little bit. 

Need us? We probably won't answer. We will be at the beach.