A few weeks ago, we received word that my dear friend, Elizabeth, would be getting a very special delivery soon. They were expecting the son she was adopting, Moses, to arrive from the Congo in about a week!
As you can imagine, there was a frenzy of activity including trying to gather the last bit of funding to bring that baby boy home (as an aside, he is home now and you can click above to see pictures of the fine looking boy, if and when Elizabeth ever has time to update her blog with them!).
It was about this time, when one evening, I entered my bedroom after putting Kylie to bed. Every night, I go there and I'll do some digital scrapbooking, read, watch TV...I have about 90 minutes to myself every day and this is where I spend it and what I spend it doing. This particular night, I had plans to watch a couple of TV shows that had DVRd. I only watch a couple shows regularly but due to our China travel, I'd missed the season finales and so I needed to watch those before I could watch the season premiere. When I got to the bedroom, there was Jenna, on the floor, counting all the money she had saved through the summer doing chores and what have you. She had saved enough money to buy a hamster, but we were making her wait until we felt she was responsible enough to handle another pet. Obviously, it was taking a while. :)
I climbed into bed and cued up my show on the DVR. But because I wanted to keep the TV low so as not to disturb Kylie, I couldn't hear over the jingling of coins being counted. I finally got so frustrated with Jenna, I told her how selfish I thought she was to be in MY bedroom making noise while I was trying to watch one of the ONLY shows I watch in the ONLY 90 minutes I get to myself.
Yeah. I know. Shining parenting moment. Just keeping it real here. And trust me. It gets worse. WAY WORSE.
So, she quickly finished counting, placed the money in yet a different container (because keeping it in the same one would be too easy) and climbed onto the bed with me and laid the nearly full container on the bed with her.
|That's supposed to read "Yancey Adoption FUND (not found)"|
Lord have mercy on this Mama Failure. A few months ago our church did a series of sermons on Epic Fails and man, I blew that out of the water. Whatever is bigger than an epic fail, that was ME.
I accused my own flesh and blood of selfishness because she was interrupting what *I* was doing which ironically, was the exact epitome of selfishness. Had I stopped for 1/2 a second to see what she was doing, I might have been involved in God's direct work in her life at that moment.
How do I know God was working that night? Because, again, in all my Christian parenting brilliance, I said (with a HUGE lump in my throat), "Oh Jenna...WHY are you giving it all????" and her response???
"Because I feel like God is telling me to."
Period. The end. God told her to move and she moved. No questions. No doubts. Not even the blink of an eye.
She gave all.
Ever notice how God uses our children to highlight our own shortcomings. How often do I miss a blessing God wants to give me because of my selfishness? I struggled with not telling her to only give part and that I'd make up the rest. What about THAT requires faith?
And I didn't prompt her to do this. I didn't ask her to give a little. I didn't even give myself so that she could witness such sacrifice.
$42. It was ALL she had. And she gave it. And she didn't only give it, but she emailed her friends (the ones that had email) and asked them to give. And had she the time, she would have needled every person she knew to give money to help the cause. Steve was so touched, he dumped his nearly full change jar in too.
That's my girl. No...that child-like faith didn't come from me. It's been God-taught. She's GOD'S girl. And my guess is that He was as pleased as I was when He saw her acting on the call He'd laid on her heart.
This mom was humbled. Again. As I see the world through her eyes. And I want to encourage you to share this story. Not so I can get some recognition because very clearly it wasn't MY influence that drove her to obedience. But so that in our selfishness, we don't miss the blessing.
In the end, Jenna was thrilled to take this money to the Yancey family and while they also struggled to receive it (how to you accept a gift like this?), they did so with a joyful heart.
And now, Jenna has the privilege of looking into the chocolate brown eyes of a child named Moses that she helped bring home.
She gave all.
And in return...she gets it right back.