My new life: 13 people in our house! :)

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I’m very excited to tell everyone about what God is doing in our family! We have felt, for quite a while, that God was preparing us for something…we just weren’t sure WHAT! Almost a year ago, our youngest daughter, Savannah, told us she wanted us to “get a kid” (meaning, a foster child, or maybe even adoption). At first, Don and I just looked at her like she was crazy and told her we already have 4 kids! But she kept on. She even set up the Pack-n-Play in her bedroom to get ready! Pretty soon, our other kids were joining in, asking us to “get a kid”! So we agreed to pray about it, but really had no desire to go there. Over the next few months, though, God completely changed our hearts! Don and I went through the book Crazy Love with our shepherding group, and then I decided to read it with Ashlyn and Kristen. The conversations about that book, and the Scriptures that it highlights, made us all reevaluate our lives in light of eternity. What were we doing for God? What were we doing that would count for eternity? Were we really laying down our lives for others? In light of Christ’s sacrifice, how were we following His example and sacrificing for others? In our shepherding group, people were noticing that God was working in our lives. Our leader even asked us if God was calling us to the mission field. It was obvious that God was up to something!

Meanwhile, God was also working in the heart of a friend of mine. She and I had gone to church years ago, but she had walked away from God, and we had only maintained occasional contact. Recently, she began to feel the Holy Spirit’s conviction, but didn’t know how to get out of the life she was in. She emailed me a few weeks ago, and we began to talk through her options. She’s single, but had been living with the father of her 5 children. The relationship was very unhealthy and dysfunctional, but she couldn’t imagine leaving him because she’s studying nursing, and would have to drop out of school, and try to support the kids on minimum wage.

Remember how God was preparing my family?? When I heard her story, I wondered if God was going to ask us to open our home to them. I told Don about it, and his reaction was immediate. He said he would love for God to use us that way! We discussed the details, prayed about it, and began to really feel God leading us to make the offer. Sure, it would be hard. Very hard. But hard is good! And what a great way for all of us to learn how to sacrificially lay down our lives and unconditionally love the way God loves us!

When I told my friend, she just couldn’t understand it. Why would we do that? 9 kids in one house?! Were we CRAZY?? (Did I mention we were all reading Crazy Love?!) She thought it over but decided she didn’t want to do it. She just couldn’t get up her courage to leave him. But then, a couple weeks later, their relationship went from bad to worse. He became abusive and she called me in a panic. She finally had had enough, and decided to come to our house for the night. After talking things through with us, she decided to stay. And here we are, living a whole new life! Her kids are 2, 3, 9, 10, and 13. Mine are 10, 12, 16, and 18. Then there’s my mom, too! (who is completely supportive and wonderful, as usual!!)

We all realize this arrangement could last a long time. We also realize that it won’t be easy. But we know that God did this. Pretty sure He plans to transform us ALL in this process! It’s been amazing to watch Him pursue her, and also change our hearts to prepare us to reach out to her and these precious kids! And guess what? Savannah finally got “a kid”– actually…several of them!! πŸ™‚

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8 Responses to “My new life: 13 people in our house! :)”

  1. Sara Says:

    Again, I have to say how incredibly proud I am to call you my sister!!! You amaze me in your (and Don’s) willingness to, not only listen, but REACT to the Holy Spirit. I know the lessons you all will learn and the blessings you will receive will be numerous. Can’t wait to meet my new “family”!! You’re in my prayers and on my mind continuously!!!!Btw…yeah Savannah for planting the seed!

  2. Cathy Says:

    Wow…wow…wow!!! This is what happens when we miss girlz time too many weeks in a row πŸ™‚ I read Crazy Love sitting with Brooke while she painted…and I totally understand. I’ll be praying for all of you. Let’s try to resume our study soon…if you have a minute to spare πŸ™‚

  3. Charity Says:

    Awww, Sara, you’re too sweet! Thanks so much for being so supportive! I can’t wait for you to meet them too (and did you know their last name is Rice??! How weird is THAT?? God has such a sense of humor!

    And yeah, Cathy…just a couple of weeks, and look how much things can change!! I’m really missing you guys and our study (and I need to dig into that book now more than ever!) We MUST resume!! SOON!!

  4. Meredith Says:

    I’ve been praying for you all as you go through this journey together. Hope all is going well and I’m excited to see the amazing things God has in store through this!

  5. Diane Says:

    You never cease to amaze me, girl! You are such an inspiration to all of us! God uses you in such incredible ways! Can’t wait to see you this morning and get a “first-hand” account in all of this. Luv ya! P.S. The kids are really excited to see your kids, also. It’s been sooooo long!

  6. Karie Rice Says:

    Charity-this is my third time reading this and I cry every single time! I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am to you and your family for opening up your home to me and my kids the way you have. I never dreamed I would have an entire family be so supportive of me and love me and my kids the way you guys do. I am so excited to see what God has in store for me and what the “master” plan is! I am truly blessed to call you my friend!

  7. Charity Says:

    Meredith, thanks so much for your prayers! We all realize how important it is for us to keep our eyes on God, but ya know, the business of life can distract us….so please pray that we’ll constantly be aware of our need for total dependence on Him! He’s working on all of us, and it’s so amazing!

    Diane, thanks for the sweet, encouraging words! It was so great to see you again. Thanks for taking time out of your busy life to come over and hang out a while! So excited about what God’s doing through you and Bill at Genesis! I’ll be praying for you guys and your ministry!

    Oh Karie! Now you went and made ME cry with that sweet comment!! Have I told you lately how much I love you, girl?! I can’t tell you how thankful I am that God has brought us together again. We are going to grow so much together, and I can’t wait to see all the great things He’s going to do!! So…here we go!!! One step at a time…one little step at a time! πŸ™‚

  8. Phyllis Says:

    Loving God, loving each other. If we could all grasp that concept, what a different world we would live in. You are definitely doing both, Charity.
    God bless you for this.

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