Rest, Relaxation and Restoration

I was blessed this past weekend to be included in a retreat with some homeschooling mommies.  The retreat was located in Martinsville, IN at Shepherds Gate Inn (I’ve listed a link below).  Since hubby and kids were going to be in the same area that weekend it made the decision to participate an easy one.

When I first arrived, my nerves threatened to take over.  I’m not good at doing new things or meeting new people.  This retreat would entail both.  Some of the ladies I already knew, but others I did not.  As a ‘baby Christian’, I was nervous about looking foolish in front of these Godly women.

All of the wonderful women made me feel at ease as part of the group.  None of them gave even the slightest hint of judgement of me or my journey as a Christian, just the opposite was true.  They all strove to help me.  The staff at Shepherd’s Gate Inn were delightfully welcoming.  I quickly began to relax and enjoy just being in the moment.

As is expected when a group of women get together, there was a lot of talking, a little crafting, but mostly our time was spent working on our relationship with the Lord.  I learned a lot about myself and my relationships, both with my family and with God.  As trite as it sounds, I truly feel changed by this awesome weekend.

If you are a Christian and seek to deepen your relationship with God, I urge you to look into spending some time at Shepherd’s Gate Inn.  You will not regret it.  If you’re not able to get to them, I ask that you pray for their wonderful ministry so others can benefit from what they offer.

http://rest-ministries.org/shepherds-gate-inn

Before the journey began

A little background about before the journey began.

I had tried, unsuccessfully to deny my constant desire to add to our family through adoption.  Even as a child when thinking about what I wanted to be when I grow up, the first thing I’d think about was being a SAHM to at least 3 kids, some of whom would be adopted.  These thoughts subsided a bit as I grew and began my family, but I still maintained that I would like to adopt someday.

About 3 years ago my longing for adoption started growing again.  At one point I couldn’t see a baby without almost breaking into tears.  I wanted to grow my family, but my husband assured everyone we were done having children.

I cried myself to sleep several nights a week during this time.  My days were filled with begging, pleading, asking and praying to God about what His plan was for us in this regard.  At one point I was praying that He would just take the yearning from my heart if it wasn’t in His plan for me to add to our family.

I began seeing information about adoption and fostering everywhere I turned.  I convinced myself that I was just noticing it more because it was so heavy on my heart and mind.  Eventually I realized this was God telling me that He did intend for me learn more about adoption and fostering.  I began reading, researching, and attending any meetings I could informing people about all the options of adoption.

I wanted to adopt internationally.  God said no.

So I focused on domestic adoption (mostly, I was still trying to convince God to see things my way).  God again said no.

I was totally confused.  Why are You practically shoving adoption in my face when You keep saying no?  To say I was angry would have been a great understatement.  I let God know how unfair I thought it was that He would give me such a strong desire to help orphans and then not allow me to DO anything (I’m getting a little steamed just remembering it!).

Then I started seeing ads about fostering.  Talking to people and learning they have or are fostering.  Hearing people talk about helping children in foster care.  I knew that God wasn’t saying no to adding to my family.  He just had a different way of getting there.

Once I realized God’s plan was for us to foster (and I’m still hoping adopt through foster), I began praying that He would talk to my husband for me.  It took a bit more time, but He came through in a big way.  Hubby was on board (nervous, stressed, but ready to start the process)!