If it seems we are crazy...

(Written on Saturday, April 9 and had to wait to post until all parties involved were informed.)

"If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. And if we are in our right minds, it is for your benefit. Either way, Christ’s love controls us. Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life." 2 Corinthians 13-14

I love this verse from the New Living Translation because I'm pretty sure that people will think we're crazy when they've found out what we've done. I'm okay with that. We're crazy in a God way. :) God has opened doors this week that I never knew existed and never would have known existed had the whole mess in Washington D.C. never happened. Because of that, the closing on our land was cancelled last Friday because funding would be unable to come through on the following Monday if the government shutdown. Needless to say, I was a bit disappointed when we found out Thursday afternoon that it wouldn't be happening the next day. I have pretty strong intuition and kind of had a feeling something was going to happen. I had actually told God earlier in the week that if He wanted us to give this up, as much as we wanted it, we would. This final surprise delay had me definitely wondering if God had other plans. Seth went to a foster care conference last Tuesday and picked up a brochure about a foster care ranch in Guthrie. I looked at it and thought, "Wow. That is awesome. I would love to do that if we weren't building." Well, while cleaning up Thursday afternoon after receiving the call from Seth, I turned over a piece of paper on the floor and it was the brochure from Pepper's Ranch. I thought, "Okay God, we'll check this out." Seth called and set up a meeting with the lady who runs everything. They met for lunch on Friday, at the time we were supposed to be closing on our loan. Seth came home and said, "This is where we need to be." That's a big statement coming from my husband because he didn't want to feel led there. He wanted to build our house. I had surrendered everything earlier in the week, so it was a pretty easy transition emotionally for me. God took the blessings that we were given to build our house and he multiplied them by 10. We would be living in a brand new house in a Christian community overlooking an 8-acre stocked fishing pond. They have a community garden, horse barns, ag-barns, a learning center with a library and gym, soccer fields, baseball fields, I could go on and on. They have a woodworking workshop that isn't being used right now because no one living there knows how to build stuff!! I mean, it's like it is just waiting for Seth. They even have weekly support groups for the foster parents with a psychiatrist. This place is heaven on earth for these foster kids and foster parents. We would be able to help more children even sooner than we thought possible. The ranch has been built completely debt free, so we would live there for an unbelievably minimal amount. We're hoping that Seth would only have to work part-time and would be able to devote his days to helping these children and working on the ranch. This is the crazy part, we have not officially been accepted to live here yet. We are walking by faith that we will be accepted and turning down our construction loan and land that is set to close this week. From my devotional this morning,

"God rewards those who are faithful. Throughout your life God will seek to grow you in your faith. He will continually bring you to times when you must trust Him. He will lead you into situations that require a “little” faith, and if you are faithful, He will then take you into situations that require even greater trust in Him. Each time you are able to trust God at a higher level, God will reveal more of Himself to you. Your faith and experiencing God are directly linked."

Lord, we trust you and believe that you are able to give us more than we can ever ask or imagine. We thank you for all the random situations and "problems" that you have orchestrated to bring us to this point. We pray that everyone that was inconvenienced during this process would be blessed abundantly. We also pray that any fees we may be charged would be minimized and that you would provide the money to pay them. We believe that this is your will and we ask that you will continue to guide us, give us wisdom and the faith and strength to obey. Where you lead, we will follow.  

"For we live by faith, not by sight." 2 Corinthians 5:7
3 days later... April 12

I cannot begin to tell you how in awe of God I am right now. I keep thinking back to 6 weeks ago or so when Seth and I were looking for confirmation on how we could honor Him with our lives. Matthew 6:33 kept popping into my head over and over again, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." So we sought and we sought. Seth and I are impatient people, so when we seek, we expect things to happen quickly! lol One afternoon while sitting in my backyard, a complete and utter peace washed over me about becoming a foster parent. The same day, Seth called and said, "God is calling me into ministry." I was like, "Well, he's calling me to be a foster parent." I knew that somehow God would merge them and I am so glad he didn't wait very long. Seth is meeting with the pastors at our Life Church campus tomorrow to talk about starting a foster care ministry up there. God is so good.
Looking at the horse barn from the fort at the playground at Peppers Ranch.

We officially cancelled our construction and land loan today. We toured Peppers Ranch this afternoon and it is everything and more than we could have imagined. A couple weekends ago at church I noticed this beautiful family of 6 very young children and wondered if the parents were foster parents by any chance. I thought about introducing myself, but I'm not the most outgoing in the world, so I held back. Little did I know that a week later while googling "Peppers Ranch," this same family would pop up in a news article about it. This family, that I could not stop thinking about and goes to our church, lives 30 miles away at Peppers Ranch. Really God? This is too crazy. Unbelievable. I facebook stalked her yesterday, called her and met her and her amazing family today out at the ranch. This could only have been orchestrated by God for His glory. So, what did we learn from this? Seek HIM first! He is so good and faithful and we believe that this time next year, we will have 6 kids under our roof at Peppers Ranch (and hopefully a Mimi on a regular basis). Whew, I feel like God is saying, "Was that quick enough for you?" :)

For more info on being Weird, check out the current message series our amazing church is doing and the book our pastor just released.

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