On Listening

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's funny, how sometimes God just has to thump you between your eyebrows to get you to listen. See in addition to the little funk I've acknowledged that I've been going through lately, it's been tough times in the toddler department. My Mom takes two weeks off around Christmas which means that Isaac's schedule was completely out of whack. He was just getting back into the swing of things, when last week, there was the sickness which resulted in a mess of days at home, with me or Tony or both of us or one of the boys at my Mom's. With all of this lack of structure, Isaac hasn't reacted well and it's been time out and temper tantrum city. It's been so hard to actually get Isaac to complete the simplest instruction without a mean look, "AUGH!" or balled fist.

Turns out as frustrated as I was feeling in wrangling my willful two year old, I think I only got a glimpse of how God feels about my listening skills.

For the past six months, I have had a burden on my heart to sponsor a child.

I have friends who are fostering and showing the utmost surrender to God's will in their lives, home and family, and yet here I was, unable to commit to a monthly payment.

I spoke with Tony about it and he was totally on board, but questioned the timing, as we're in the thick of knocking out another debt. And once this last one is gone, whew boy, we're going to be close to getting rid of both of Tony's remaining student loans! So we tabled it, but it's continued to press on my heart.

Finally, yesterday I was completely convicted about my smoothie's. Yes, I'm loving the Herbalife products and yes, they have certainly helped me get to a better place mentally and physically, but when I actually consider the amount of money I'm spending, I could be sponsoring more than one child a month!

And that sealed it.

I'm done.

With my nearly daily trip to the smoothie shop.

And ignoring God.

To be honest, I vary rarely have heard God speak. I would say, maybe a dozen times or so in my life, have I clearly and without a doubt known that my decision was directed by God and not purely coincidentally something that I already desired.

The idea to sponsor a child, was a seed that God planted in my heart and I shunned it, until finally it was too obvious for me to shove into the dusty corners of my mind. And for all of my grown up ways, I see that when I thought I was being patient with Isaac, God was showing me the same grace.

And so, I found our sponsor, Sebastiano of Tanzania, with the same exact birthday of Isaac. Tony made me choke up when I sent him this screen shot, by saying "Hes a cutie and now a part of our family!" I know they are just words, but I hope that we are able to make an impact on this child and Isaac for that matter.


Feels so good to listen.


Sarah (Mrs. Ruffled Flats) said...

This post hits so close to home! I don't feel that I've heard God speak to me that much either, just as you said, and the few times that I have, I am slow to listen because normally what He wants us to do is not easy. It's like I wait to make sure He really is speaking to me before I go about it, when I knew the whole time what I was supposed to do. I love that you were able to look at Isaac and see yourself acting the same way - that's a great skill as a parent. Thanks for opening up and showing us that we all struggle with our obedience to God, but we must jump on board some time!

Meredith said...

I can really only think of one time when I've clearly felt God calling me to something. In fact, I've been asking for specific direction lately and have been feeling like I'm getting NOTHING in response...but that's another story for another day.

I really want to sponsor a child too. I've been wanting to do it for awhile, but I truly don't know if we have wiggle room in the budget right now--there honestly isn't a coffee trip or something I could give up to do it. I hope that someday soon, there will be room though!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it funny how God uses our kids to display how much he loves us and just how much grace we are given every day? That is fantastic you are sponsoring a child :)

Molly said...

This is beautiful, Leah. I'm so glad you listened to Him.

Taking a mission trip has been on my heart lately, specifically a mission to Haiti. But I don't know how to make that happen. And I feel bad leaving my boys for a week.

Lee said...

I'm so happy that you're choosing to listen to Him. :) The few times I've clearly heard God speaking to me, I've felt kind of scared to follow through because I didn't feel in control anymore; but, after listening, it becomes clear that everything turns out better than I could have imagined because He was in control instead! Your sponsor child is blessed to be part of your family!

Unknown said...

I see so many parallels between parenting Eli and how I respond to God. Talk about a humbling revelation!

So cool you guys are sponsoring a child. As embarrassed as I am to admit this, we've talked about doing this WAY to many times with no action. Maybe we have to revisit things....

Kelly Bartlett said...

You. Are. Amazing.

Kelly Bartlett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adrienne said...

Oh my goodness! I’ve totally had the same conviction pressing on my heart, but it hasn’t ever seemed like “the right time”. Thank you for the honest and open blog post, and for the vulnerability  I definitely feel convicted to talk and pray with my husband about our sponsorship! P.S. Maybe in the same way they say there’s never a “perfect time” to have a baby or get married, there’s never a “perfect time” to sponsor a child!

Sarah Louise said...

Good for you! Jared and I started sponsoring a child a few months ago, and it is a blessing :)

Erica said...

We also sponsor a child through World Vision. My husband and I were both lucky enough to spend 2 weeks in Kenya a few years back. While there, we got to meet a few children who have sponsors and it's so powerful to see the bettering of their lives.

World Visions's CEO Rich Stearns has a great book, "The Hole in the Gospel." I think you should read it (if you can find the time!), it's powerful!

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I'm always amazed at how much God shows me about His love through my love for Isaac.


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