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Thursday, April 30, 2009

On My Heart ...

I can't tell you how many people say they would adopt if they had the money ... Well, I am here to tell you we are on our 3rd adoption and we didn't have one extra penny for any of our adoptions and God provided it ALL ... Today, I am officially OUT OF UGANDA MAGAZINE BEAD NECKLACES ... I picked up 160 necklaces Monday night and as of 3:00 today they are ALL SOLD OUT ... I am truly feeling humbled by the Lord's provisions ... We are very close to unveiling the newest Member of the OATSVALL TEAM ... Please continue to pray as God works out the details ...

I have a thought I want to share and I pray no one takes this the wrong way, but I feel like it is a great look into God's eyes and it is perspective that has been stirring in my heart lately ... Scott has been working so much over the past year (most weeks 7 days) and it is not something we like, and I am beyond proud of the provider he is for our family ... I am humbled by the way Scott never ceases at working for his family and I love all that he brings to our family as father, spiritual leader, teacher, and friend ... He is fabulous at including his children in even his work time ... He always puts our family first ... I pray one day soon he won't be working so much, but I also know there are millions of fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters all over this world that work 7 days a week for 12-15 hours a day just to put one meal on the table a day if that, so why is it that we here in America feel that we deserve something more than what the least of these or the poor of our world must endure EVERY SINGLE DAY... They dig in the dirt, plant in the field, labor to build things they will never be able to step foot in, they clean homes they can never afford, they walk miles with pounds and pounds of items on their heads, they take their children to work everyday (sometimes strapped to their backs), they work in swelting heat and freezing cold, they never stop WORKING and hoping for a better day ... I have no doubt as I lift Scott up to the Father each day that My Lord and Savior is proud and honored by my husband's hard work, his heart to provide, and his willingness to be a father again to a child who doesn't know what a father is ... I know he will teach him about what UNCONDTIONAL love is that comes from our Savior the way only an earthly father can do ... So my challenge to us all (myself included) is to never feel entitled to free time, extra curricular activities, birthday parties, or vacations ... Let's feel honored to be able to do those things and lift all our thanks for our life to the Father and to never forget those closest to His heart "the least of these" ...

Blessings all ... Thanks for all your prayers and support ...

39 kind words.:

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

You are amazing..
I wish I had your amazing ideas,,,,
I sooo cannot wait to see your new little one.. and sooo hope he loves his blanket..
Wrapped in love..
Hugs..
Have a great weekend..
You are the most AMAZING family..
Love ya..
two more days till we spread the word with those amazing shirts and beads..
HUGs..

Kristin said...

Beautiful post, just beautiful. :-)

Kim K. said...

I can't wait to see the newest member of the OATSVALL TEAM!! I'm thrilled for you. You and Scott are such amazing inspirations. Hugs!!

~love said...

oh, gwen...how the sin of entitlement has been on my heart lately. its driving my crazy and i'm listening as He shows me what He will help be to do about it. i think it is one of the things that i despise the most and i need to not let it eat away at me, but instead ACT and live out just the opposite!

i've been praying for you and your family. i think of you every night as i sit down to hammer out some more of this paperwork. looking forward to praising God with you thoughout our journeys and shouting for joy when we're both holding our babies! =)

blessings

anna said...

I am so blessed by you!!!!

love,
anna

anna said...

I am so blessed by you!!!!

love,
anna

Vanessa said...

I'm so exicted that the fundraising is working out for you guys! We tried this when we were adopting and let's just say it did NOT go well here in the deep south! I'm praying that God provides once again and we can add another child to our family!

Amy Jo said...

Amen! Just got done listening to one of Francis Chan's sermons called Living to Display the Gospel. Wow.

Congrats on your huge fundraising success! God is SO good. Received my necklace in the mail today and LOVE it. THANKS for taking the time to package and mail it. You've been busy.

SO excited to hear more about your new kiddo(s)!

Sweet blessings,
Amy in OR

Teresa said...

And that, my friend, is why I am working so hard on this business plan. I truly believe it was God-inspired and will free up finances so that we can do the most good, not only with the finances, but with our time!

Kelly, Mom to the Putty's said...

I needed that little reminder...

Mark, Rebecca and Sophia said...

As I sit here wearing one of your Ts, I am inspired once again. It is SO true that we are not entitled to all the extras that we have designated as expectations. You go, girl!

Leigh Ann said...

Can't wait to hear more about our new nephew!

Carrie S said...

Love this post, love you, love your family. I am inspired how God has provided for your adoptions. I have a design, but my husband's pride doesn't want to ask for money. Pray for us on that.
Can't wait to hear news on your next child and prayers are with you!

Beautiful Mess said...

Thank you for this perspective! Amazing and beautiful.

So glad to partner with your family in bringing your children home. So proud my 15 yr old son "asked" if he could get a shirt-out of nowhere-I was so happy we got necklaces too. Now I am even more thankful. Anything we can do.

God bless you all! Jen

amy said...

thanks for the reminders and sharing your heart again

Jewels of My Heart said...

I am humbled...... Once again my friend you have allowed Jesus to work through you...... I love how you Shine Bright for the Lord and through Him.
Words of wisdom and encouragement. God will continue to honor your faithfulness.
That is so cool about the necklaces.
All the wonderful things you shared about Scott.... What stands out the most is his walking in faith that the Lord will continue to provide for his family even if it is bigger.
God's Speed to your Uganda Heart
Love you Sister

Jenn in GA said...

i love this post, and i will keep your thoughts in my mind as i work a full week next week. i was dreading it until reading your column today. good thoughts, good reminder about how the rest of the world really lives. we are so soft here in the US.

Eight Isn't Enough said...

Oh Gwen...what an amazing post. It speaks volumes to my heart. Thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts with us.

We continue to pray for you and your family.

Blessings,

Connie

Erica said...

Absolutely amazing post. Perfectly put, beautifully worded. So so true. I am THRILLED that all of your necklaces have sold and you are that much closer to your sweet children. The Lord doesn't call the equipped, he equips the called. Thats my usual response to those that use the "can't afford it" approach to adoption. God provides....so many of us are walking, living, breathing examples of that. To God be ALL glory, honor, and praise!

Bev said...

Just wanted to say I so appreciate what you are saying. As a school social worker I work with kids who don't feel entitled to much of anything so I have very little patience for that attitude. One little 1st grade boy last week was trying to console another boy whose parents are getting a divorce and he said, "I know, it can be real lonely without a mommy sometimes." I asked him where his mommy was and he said he didn't know. It broke my heart and it made me so aware of how rich we are just to have our families. I am so thankful for this job because it has taught me to always be thankful.

I so appreciate your ministry. It keeps me encouraged when I am tired.

Bev

Tracy said...

amen! He is paving the way!!! your family is a beautiful model of HIs faithfulness! love you!

The Ferrill's said...

Yes! Yes!
I thank God everyday for my husband's willingness to work so hard for our family and pray that God will redeem the time he spends serving Him in the workplace, at church, and most importantly in our home.
And thank you for that gentle reminder to be GRATEFUL and THANKFUL for the "extras" in this life. We should never hold tightly to them...but only to those treasures of eternal value! Speaking of...can't wait to meet your new children! ;)
I love your heart!

Beth said...

Amazing post and just EXACTLY what God is doing in my life right now. He is stripping me of things I have always had and thought I deserved. I realize now that we have it backwards in the US! We have taken so much for granted (including myself here) as a nation of such excessive wealth.

The Monroe 6 said...

I received my shirt and necklace yesterday and LOVE LOVE LOVE them!!! What a fabulous fundraiser!!
Will you be ordering more necklaces? They are just beautiful!!
Husbands are awesome too! ;)

Anonymous said...

I came across your blog while researching adoptions from Uganda. Would you mind emailing me? I'd love to learn more about how you are adopting from this amazing country.

Thanks so much.

Salem R.
sis2kensia@yahoo.com

Diane said...

:)

Waiting with you to see him!!!

Tracy said...

Gwen,
Always moved by your post. Today especially though. I had just written to a friend on facebook who asked everyone- "give me 3 real reasons why you shouldn't adopt a child?" I answered her and said, I adopted the first time because I believe in adoption and I wanted another child. Now, I have a strong desire to do it again but I feel paralyzed by the financial restraints. Then, after I posted that I came here. Ok, I think God is using you in big big ways. You know that already. Thanks for being a vessel. That being said, I know some of the ways you raised your money, but could you do a post or give us a link of all your fund raising endeavors? I know it's not like you are busy or anything :) Just a thought. For our adoption we did a huge auction at our church (FBC) with another couple (The Bells). It was successful, but didn't get us all the way there.

Thanks for your time Gwen. I truly admire your walk with the Lord. God bless!

Tracy

Kristi J said...

Amen, Sister Friend!!! Loved this post!!! Way to go!! Move the world girl!! Oh, I mean "Strong Y Woman of America"...(or something like that, ha)...Come on, tell the world about your newest "title", :) Come on before I have to brag on you...kj

Noboyz said...

Gwen,
you amaze me.... I cannot wait to give you a huge hug one day... and I am sure it will be soon...

I am so thrilled for you to have another baby to love... a child to cherish..... no matter what age, they are our babies.... and we cherish them all.... no matter what!
Congrats to you....... and your family...
and yes, "Dad" works so hard..and does provide... and you are extremely blessed.....

Wife of the Pres. said...

So well spoken.

I have a bit of a different post on my blog, but I touched on some of the same thoughts. Why we in America (myself included too!) feel entitled to anything and why is it truly so easy for us? It all seems so unfair. I don't understand. Our daughter was dying from heart disease, but we took her to the best children's hospital in the world (VCH!) and then our insurance co. paid almost the whole bill. But there are parents all over the world who feel the ONLY choice they have for their child with heart disease is to abandon them in order for them to live … it breaks my heart and makes it physically hurt.

I can't wait to hear your NEWS! We have some too that we are hoping to share VERY SOON!

Blessings, Leslie
roomforatleastonemore (dot) wordpress (dot) com

Kelly said...

Well said my friend. Your family is blessed beyond measure, because of your obedience. Thank you once again for your inspiration. I love you.

Kelly

Ally said...

Gwen,
Your post could have been my post if I had your way with words. I too have a husband who has worked so hard over the past 26 years to provide for our large adoptive family. After baptism, 20 yrs ago, our first act in obedience to our Lord was to pursue caring for the orphans per James 1:27. In our twenties with two biological children we couldn't figure out where the money would come from to adopt,so God called us to foster care. That first child we fostered became our son 1 yr later. Each time God has called us to step out on the water and walk with our eyes on Him. We've been parenting for 27 yrs and will not have an empty nest for at least 12 more! What a joy to use what God has blessed us with for the least of these! There is no talk of when my husband retires! Where in the bible does it say we are entitled to stop working and play for the last years of our life? When I see such large homes with just 1 or 2 children living there, my heart breaks! Flat-screen tvs in every room and so much more spent on things that in the end will burn. Why??? My daughter from Ethiopia asked at the dinner table, "Why are some countries poor?" "Why did my mother have to work so hard, even harder than Daddy, and still she couldn't feed me?" Christians in America need a huge wake up call! Thanks for being God's voice with words that pierce the heart.

Kim said...

I SO needed this reminder. I have felt like I am drowning in my "to do" list lately as we try to juggle life with five blessings, school activities, Bible Study, church events, baseball games, track events, ballet, preparing to sell our house and packing for Hong Kong all while Tyler is working overseas to provide for our family. Thank you. I pray my "to do" list will become an "I WILL" list for King Jesus!
Love ya!
Kim

redmaryjanes said...

I agree.
I have a heard a little about your newest member, can't wait for the unveiling. God is good.

Shelly and Family said...

Hi Gwen - got the necklaces yesterday & I already gifted them to my sister & mom last night and they loved them!

I so know what you mean about the hubs doing everything he can for his family. Keith works in DC from Mon - Fri without his family and it kilss him but we know that this is what we need to do in order to live (our home is in PA where in his line of work - no many jobs). Anyway...I am so there with ya...Gotta love those hubs of ours!

Michelle said...

What a beautiful post, Gwen. Your light shines so bright, and it is so apparent that Scott's does, too.

I can't wait to see your big unveiling. And I received my necklace. It is amazing!!

Cheryl said...

Can't wait to hear more about your newest blessing!

Thank you for sharing your heart. Good reminder... Our Father has not called us to a life of comfort and pleasure, but to a life of service and love.

Praying for your precious family!

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

So completely true- is there a way to get this on the primetime news!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It needs to be!!! Bless you all and thank you for encouraging (kick your back side) kind of words that need to be spoken much more often to all of us. May God continue to Bless You!!!!

emily and mike said...

okay, that was an amazing post. Thank you so much for writing that. I love the challenge or change in perspective that you have put forth to us all.

thank you!!!