I'm not a people person. Most of the time I find myself quite irritated by people, in fact, and fully identify with Christ in those moments when he got away by Himself to connect with His Father (as documented in the Gospels). However, unlike Christ, I'm not always wise enough to walk away so I can talk to my Father about it, unless it's to pray, "Lord, help me not to blast them. And can You please make them use the brains You gave them?" Let's just say that to "love your neighbor as yourself" does not come naturally for me.
And then people surprise me. Stun me, actually. And those experiences remind me that I am not, in fact, a happy little island (à la Bob Ross), but a part of a wider community of people who ignore me when I'm snippy, irritated, and generally unpleasant to be around, and genuinely care about impacting 5 little strangers from Costa Rica. I find myself "full to overflowing" with gratitude for people who choose to bless us through their generosity towards our kids.
You see, if left to my natural INTJ tendencies, I'd pack up my books (and Peter), move to a Paris apartment, and leave no forwarding address. I'd hide in the middle of a city full of people whose language I cannot speak (makes not talking to people so much easier), walking to the local boulangerie each morning for my daily croissant or baguette, and revel in the introversion of it all. But God didn't put me on this earth to hide, no matter how much I might like to at times.
There are days - even currently - when I am "full to overflowing" with people who need things from me, and I get worn out. My stress level goes up and my emotions hover right under the surface, just waiting for a reason to be let loose. But a very wise friend reminded me yesterday, "It's all good preparation for when you have 5 little people who need you ALL.THE.TIME." I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about that, and I thanked God for the opportunity to practice now, and for a friend who is willing to say what I need to hear, not just what I want to hear.
Whether I feel up to it or not, as Christians, our purpose on this earth is to be a reflection of the light of Christ, not to hide in our house and hope people go away. Three weeks from today we will be in Costa Rica, settling into our home for the next 6-8 weeks, knowing that in a few days it will never again be just the two of us. For some unfathomable (to us) reason, God has chosen us to be the parents of 5 unique opportunities, entrusting us with their lives to raise with love and for His glory. I don't understand why He picked us - the least likely candidates for the job - but #iamthankful I serve a God who is so much bigger than my self-sufficient, Paris-loving, INTJ, hide-away self.
I'd be lying if I said it wasn't still overwhelming at times, but we also cannot wait to see how He will continue to write, not only the story of our lives, but of theirs. To GOD be the Glory.
PRAISE: We booked a car for our stay in Costa Rica - Thanks for Praying!
FINANCES: My YouCaring math was a little off last week (hello - English major!), and we still need around $3400 (extra helps cover the credit card fees from YouCaring) to meet our goal. The account will remain active while we are in country, so gifts during that time would help as well since our income will be decreased. CLICK TO DONATE.
$$$ TRANSPARENCY: We have been paying (and continue to pay) for items for the kids (school, clothing, etc.) and our trip (luggage, toiletries, etc.) out of our personal income, and so far have only pulled from this fund to cover the costs of our 2 airline tickets and the condo payment. $20k was our estimate of what we would need, and it's probably going to be pretty close when all is said and done (perhaps a little under our final costs). Your monetary gifts have helped SO MUCH - THANK YOU!
CO$T$ COMING UP: We still have to pay for the car (just under $2700), the final agency funds (just over $5300), and 5 one-way tickets home (last estimate was just over $2000, but that could change) + food, gas, immigration, and physicals for the kids in Costa Rica, and travel expenses in the U.S. (car storage, motel). Additionally, everything is currently booked for 6 weeks, but if we find we need to stay longer, there will be additional cost to both the condo and the car.
GRATITUDE: There are only 26 items remaining on our Amazon Registry (CHECK THEM OUT)... WOW!! YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING!!