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Sunday, March 21, 2010

DEAR ANONYMOUS

THIS IS NOT A SHOW ... I am writing this to stand up for my sisters Katie and Suzanne ... You see I have been blessed (so far) by a blog family that is both encouraging and prayerful, but lately my two sisters have been criticized in ways to me that are just not right and by people who sign their name as ANONYMOUS ...

I will tell you what I think is the REAL issue here ... When ANONYMOUS reads the passion, situations, or stories in other blogs ANONYMOUS begins to feel guilty for NOT being obedient to what God has called ANONYMOUS to ...

Why not try this ... I hear stories all the time about what God is doing in other people's lives and IT INSPIRES ME WHERE I AM ... It doesn't make me feel guilty or make me feel like they are telling me to be just like them  ... I am beyond excited to go visit Katie and see all that Amazima is doing, but I clearly know that God has called me here to answer Katie's emails, share the Amazima story, work on the 147 project, and be a mom/wife ... I don't feel like my life is any less important or impactful because I am doing what I do to bring GLORY TO THE LORD ... bottom line  ...  My family, 147, Amazima, and all that is  "Oatsvall" belongs to the LORD ...

I think we all know that the body of Christ is the real picture of how God has orchestrated our callings ... I have a precious aunt. who is called to the prison ministry and when she talks about the lives God is allowing her touch, or the changes in the women's faith walk or their hopes and dreams for the future, I feel her passion and I stop and pray for her and the ministry ... It doesn't make feel guilty for not giving my time to the prison ministry, but makes me appreciate all those who do  ...

I have friends ... who work for the mission downtown, a few who are are true prayer warriors, others who share their adoptive stories to encourage others, those whose mission is to give godly counsel, some friends just starting out on their journey w/ the Lord, those who give financial blessings to those who have a need, others who tirelessly volunteer to package 147 gear, those who daily give their lives away to orphans around the world, and even a  sweet young woman who has given up this week to come stay w/ my family to help us prepare for my trip to Uganda ... My point is if GOD is calling you to something then do it and don't harp on trying to tell everyone why you AREN'T CALLED to something ...

The beauty of a blog is that it is a place for someone to put their thoughts, dreams, or rants and if you don't like them then JUST KEEP ON GOING !!!  RED X, DELETE, GO BACK, OR DE-FAVORITE THEM ...

I have never said that EVERYONE should adopt or go to the mission field, but I do KNOW that the more we give ourselves to the LORD the more we will bring HIM glory ... OUR LIVES ARE NOT OUR OWN, so figure out where God has you SERVING HIS PEOPLE ...

A THREE CORD STRAND IS NOT EASILY BROKEN and I will always have Suzanne and Katie's back ... that goes for all my peeps ... I am there and supporting all my sisters out there journeying w/ the LORD  !!!

54 kind words.:

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

AMEN!

Enough said!

Love you and I got your back too!

Praising God for the obedience you all display - God says if we are friends of the world - we are His enemy. We must be His friend and be OK with the world NOT liking what we do in His name, by His power and all by His grace, ONLY for His glory!

Walking the narrow gate with you!
Jill

Kristin said...

Amen, sister! I am so inspired by all of you and it makes me want to go out and do what God has called me to do. I'm not quite sure what that is yet, but whatever it is, I am so encouraged by your stories and your blogs and your obedience to Him!

redmaryjanes said...

I have seen your faith in action for years Gwen. I have seen you take on many roles depending on the situation. You have always been a hand to grab onto, a friend to talk to and a source of support and prayer whenever needed.

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

AMEN and well said! God has called each of us to a different ministry.....and if we all did that- there would be so much more healing going on in the world!

Our TRUE JOY can be found in CHRIST ALONE! Reading blogs, being encouraged, ENCOURAGING OTHERS, is a privilege that we should all take seriously. As a body of Christ we should do this on a regular basis- to be uplifting!!!

Praying for all to receive that JOY THAT IS ABUNDANT!

Erin said...

Gwen, thanks for this post. Thank you for the words that our responses to adoption passion aren't to be of guilt, but of inspiration where we are and where God calls us to serve. Your words encourage and challenge me.

Tonya said...

Thank you for writing this post! Seriously! One thing I have realized in voicing what the Lord has convicted me of, is that some (who the Lord may be convicting through my words and obedience to His Word) get angry... and then they go on the defense. What I love the most about this post though is that you are so right on about each of us being on our own journey. I remember you or Suzanne posting on this months ago and it hit home then too; the Lord has created us with His plan in mind and it is up to us to be open to receiving it. If we are seeking the Lord with the intent of wanting all of Him and less of ourselves, we wouldn't be feeling guilty, we would be making changes in direct obedience.

You go ahead with answering those emails, raising awareness for the orphan, and supporting those who come on-board all the while being a wife and mom. You are an inspiration to many; even those who call themselves anonymous and say rotten things... they just don't know it yet ;) I wish they would come clean so I could get them a 147 shirt!!!

Thank you for all you do. May God continue to bless every effort of 147mil and Amazima.

(((HUG)))
Tonya

Teresa said...

Which is exactly why I moderate the comments left on my blog. Anonymous posters either need to post their name in the body of the comment if they want to leave a nasty comment or I won't post it. If they don't have the nerve to back up their opinion with their name, then they don't deserve to have their post on my blog.

You publicly challenge people's thinking, Gwen. There will always be those who don't like to have their thinking challenged. They prefer to keep their life unchallenged, but are embarrassed about it so they criticize anonymously. As you said, not everyone is called to orphan ministry. Some are called to other ministries. But all believers are called to reach the world to let them know that heaven waits for them through salvation in Jesus.

Gwen, we have your back.

Erica said...

AMEN! Always love reading your heart :-)

Kelly said...

Well said friend. Praying for you, Katie, & Suzanne.

Mean people w/unkind & mean spirited things to say are just BLAH!!!

♥♥♥ U sister!

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

GREAT post!

I don't do the anonymous thing ... if I have something to say, I let them know who I am. If someone wants to say something to me, they need to let me know who they are. Period.

It's actually quite sad ... all the people that hide behind the "anonymous" label. If they are really so passionate about the things of which they speak, why can't they "show their face" and tell us who they are.

Laurel

The Summers said...

beautifully said.

MacNicol Clan said...

Amen Sister! Love this message! XoXo Gwen

connie said...

Amen, Sister!
Blessings~
Connie

Kim said...

Beautifully said!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,
Kim

Lynn said...

Amen sister!:)

thereisnogray said...

Gwen,

I think you are right on with this post. It is so easy to make excuses when we avoid surrender. It's so easy to just pull those blankets up and sink deeper into the bed rather than find our Bible and get alone with God somewhere. It's much easier to BE busy, than it is to get busy with what God has for us.

Somehow we all have to get past the fear of failing in man's eyes and get to the point where we are only concerned with succeeding in God's eyes.

I am blessed to have found 147 and Amazima and will continue to pray for you all.

And not that you need encouragement from 'man', but thank you for being an example of what it means to live out your calling.

God Bless. We will be praying for you as you journey to Uganda.

Jeff

Gillian said...

Gwen, I LOVE this posting--thank you for writing it--you have brought some very precious truths out into the open--what glory is in store for ANYONE and everyone who is abandoned to Jesus--"great and mighty things" that we can't even imagine yet. Sweet, sweet blessings as you prepare for Uganda.It brings me much JOY to know your time has arrived!! You have waited so beautifully. I'll "have your back", sister :) as you go --will be praying you along.
Love, Gillian

Over-Caffeinated X 4 said...

All I can say is that as long as I am standing, my sister, you will have a place to lean your head!

Mrs. McGoo said...

"I hear stories all the time about what God is doing in other people's lives and IT INSPIRES ME WHERE I AM ... " - Amen! We are called to give a testimony to what God is doing in our lives - if He's moving, how can we NOT share?! We're supposed to be a city on a hill - sharing the light of Christ.

I'm so sorry that folks attack - but be encouraged that with that attack (2 Corin 12:10) - you, Katie, and Suzanne are doing work for the kingdom and our enemy is not pleased! Amen!

Jessica said...

I have been reading all 3 of your blogs for the past couple weeks because we have decided to adopt and I came across your blogs. Your stories have been so encouraging to be and it makes me sad when people are so negative. I actually was just writing about this the other day on my blog. Keep your chin up and tell Katie and Suzanne to do the same. I will be praying that you all can focus you eyes up instead of the negative!

Shonni said...

AMEN!!!!

That Fresh Feeling said...

love you Gwen!

Mama 2 three said...

Amen! The beuaty of being part of the Body of Christ is that we all have different gifts and callings, but we all work in unison to keep the body moving!
Don't feel guilty anonymous, get up and join in!!!

Erica said...

Amen!

Holly said...

Amen and Amen! :)

emily said...

I have always had issue with anonymous- it is such a cowardly way to get a point across. Zero credibilty is established and usually they are simply just mean spirited. I have there backs with you sister! Count on that.

The enemy is hard at work, would love to discourage the work to love, and care for the least of these but the Victory is already ours in HIM! Love you girl. Miss you.

Kendra said...

well said. i can't imagine what is being said, but i will be praying that anonymous will have a softened heart through the love you and your girls have shown. i think God will work on their soul.

Momto3 said...

I have no idea how anyone could "anonymously" attack either of these two servants and warriors for Christ who you mention, but I am so glad you had the courage to speak the truth in your post. I have been so blessed by reading each of their blogs and God has used their stories as another way to encourage and inspire me to radically give and go for the sake of the lost and poor. It is so wonderful to know that even though I don't know any of you personally, I see the love of Jesus Christ and the heart of God in all that you are doing. Praise God for sisters in Christ who are willing to speak the truth in love -- truth from scripture, truth lived as you put feet to your faith! I will pray for each of you and your families, and for the "anonymous" poster who is like all of us, a sinner in need of a great Savior. Praise God for His grace and thanks for all you do. Blessings to you!

Tony and Heather Snyder said...

AMEN!!!! There will always be perscution for doing what is right. However it stings more when it comes from a fellow believer!

Lesley said...

Your blog has been a blessing to me and, I believe, something that God has placed in my life to help guide our family to adoption in the future. Anyone that can criticize what you ladies are doing needs Jesus! You are being His hands and feet, which is what He calls us to do. Jesus didn't go with the flow when He walked on this earth, and He got a lot of negative comments too. Thank you for striving to be like Jesus. I wish more "christians" would.

Amy Murphy said...

Amen! We are wasting breath when we try to talk everyone in to being called to what we are called to. Thanks for all you do. :)

Carol said...

PREACH IT, Sister. God has "grown" me in SOO many ways through the blogs of many these past months. My thinking has been stretched and my heart challenged as to how I live out my Christianity and follow after His heart. I hope I am never again the same.

You are in our prayers as you finalize all of the details to bring your babies home. I can't wait to hear the way God has blessed as you take this next step.

Blessings, Gwen. We love you...

Deena / TEAM MARQUIS said...

Awesome post Gwen! Thanks for setting Anonymous straight (or at least trying to...)

Diane and family:) said...

And, another...AMEN:)

Hugs to all the Team!!

The Ferrill's said...

That's right, Gwen! RED X it if ya don't like it!

I'm feeling way out of the loop these days, but I'm praying for ya and checking in to see when you've got those babies in your ARMS!!!!!!!!

TanyaLea said...

Well, I'm keeping the 'echo' going...

AMEN!!!!! is right!!

What is it with people like that. It means NOTHING to me when they speak up and don't have the gutts to post who they are. I have a really hard time with those types of 'annonymous' commenters. Like you said...just hit that red X up in the corner and find somewhere else to hang out. OR better yet, ask God to OPEN your heart and speak to you, so that you might be a vessel that He works through as well... Just like the Oatsvall clan! You might not be called to adopt... but you are called to serve and to help the orphans in some way. We ALL are!

La Dolce Vita said...

Amen! Your posts and lives are liquid inspiration to me. Keep 'em coming. :)

Jenn in GA said...

we studied jonah the past 3 weeks at church, and our pastor taught that the reason why people are judgmental of others is that they are not submitted to God's global purposes in the world. jonah didn't want God to spare the Ninevites, and he was mad that He did.

may we all be more willing to ask God what He wants from us and not run to Tarshish when He asks!

one last thing: i wouldn't EVER want to cross you! :-)

Heather said...

You keep their back and I will drive the bull dozer to knock down "anonymous" a few knotches. Ooops, that probably was not very Christian like, but the visual made me giggle. :) We all know where hate, meanness and confusion comes from...
Heather (who is proud to give my name)

The Byrd's Nest said...

Seriously...someone was not nice to Katie? Her site is awe inspiring...I am 46 years old and she inspires me with her youth and her strength and her incredible faith in the Lord EVERY time she posts! I feel the same here Gwen....on your precious blog. I praise the Lord for blog friends every day....they are such a blessing in my life.

Jewels of My Heart said...

I couldn't agree more.

ASH said...

The way I see it, if you are being opposed, you must be doing something right! Jesus said the world would hate His followers, so y'all must be following Him well! Amen to everything you said, and keep on following in obedience!

Andy, Charity, Noah, Heath and Elijah said...

AMEN!!! So beautiful. Thank you for that - you said it just right. God has called us all to SOMETHING - not everything.
Blessings sweet friend (and we all have each others' backs! That's what brothers & sisters are supposed to do)
-Charity

Sophie said...

I love how you are sticking up for your friends. I've visited Katie and Suzanne's blogs and they are doing amazing work, and so are you. Some people don't understand it because they can't grasp what it means to be obedient to the Lord, it's too hard to step out of their comfort zone. Any time your doing God's work your stepping into the line of fire, but be encouraged because
"The One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."
1 John 4:4
Blessings :)

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Hi Gwen,

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog this evening. So good to hear from you.

I will be praying for you ... :)

And, I read a little comment about "a secret" on my friend Dawn's blog. Can't wait to hear more.


Blessings,

Laurel :)

Carrie said...

Amen indeed. Satan likes to attack all the time. I love all 3 of you ladies and get so much from your blogs. Prayers. So excited you will be going to Uganda soon! Can't wait to see your family all together!

lisa Kindred said...

Though I have never had the opportunity yet to meet Katie, I have you and suzanne and am incredibly blessed to have. Your heart shines like none other and you have the hands and feet for Jesus that really don't stop.
Thanks for the post and for standing up like you did. This should put those downers in their place and now you 3 are only here to Glorify god and nothing else matters!!!!!
So excited your time to rescue your two babes is so close. Your army here is praying!!

Love you, LIsa

Amy said...

Well said!

Beth said...

Signing annonymous = cowardice

Katie & Suzanne are fortunate to have a friend such as yourself! I'm sure you feel the same way about them! I have been inspired by all you have to give and the love you share...makes me want to make the lives I touch better. Thank you for allowing us into your lives and giving us gentle encouragement to go out and change the world!

Ignore the ignorant. They aren't worth your time or energy! Don't let them bring you down! ;)

Sending God's blessings your way...

Amy said...

Well said. I haven't met any of you in person (heard you in Bloomington,IL) but I love your heart for the Lord and your faithfulness to do what He has called you to do.

So excited that you are so close to putting your family all on one continent.

Blessed Mom of Four, Now Five said...

I can NOT imagine how anyone could criticize...except that they have never experienced that moment when they hear the Spirit speak.

Jenny said...

Very well said! Your blog and the life you live continues to be an inspiration for me. Hugs! :)

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...

I just have to add one more "Amen!" It grieves me to hear that you and Suzanne and Katie have given your time, your resources, your families, your lives to advocate for orphans and someone has had the arogance to criticize your beautiful offering to the Lord. Pearls before swine!!!

Thank you for your obedience to God's call. Thank you for your openness on your blog. Thank you for your boldness in not watering down truth. Thank you for letting your readers go on this journey with you. Just know that for every cowardly Anonymous, there are hundreds of friends cheering on the Oatsvall team (and the Suzanne and Katie teams, too).

Praying for you as you prepare to get your two newest blessings.

Much Love,
Kathie

Single_Mama_of_3 said...

You go girl!! I can't wait to read about Uganda!