Sunday ended another wild summer of ministry and travel- and I’m still finishing the long exhale of a crazy, exhausting, beautiful, JAM-PACKED few months. (I’m also still finishing laundry and its days like today that I wonder: WILL. IT. EVER. END?!?!?!!)
I woke up on Monday intent to pause- to take a minute to rest, to celebrate and reflect on all that’s come with the last few months of insanity.
In the silence of our bedroom that morning, I was quite honestly just overwhelmed. The last 60ish days have felt something like those spinning teacups at Disney World: stomach knotting, hilarity inducing, and an absolute blur. YOU GUYS, WASN’T IT JUST APRIL?
Being a Youth Minister, I’m learning, is blinking in May and looking up to see August. It’s a job specific time warp and even five years in, I CANNOT MAKE THE SLIGHTEST SENSE OF IT.
In addition to the trips and tours and travels (and attitudes) with 300ish teenagers, add a darling husband and job responsibilities and five hundred degree weather and a 19 month old WHO THINKS HE WAS BORN TO BE MY BOSS.
WHAT I’M SAYING IS I COULD SLEEP FOR THIRTEEN AND A HALF YEARS.
BUT- while this introvert would much prefer to take a lonnnngg sabbatical under a (very quiet) rock, life does in fact go on and on Monday morning I felt the Holy Spirit’s nudge to focus my mind less on the busy and more on the blessing. To give thanks for all the good the crazy brings. It’s easy for my thoughts to get wrapped in the hustle of it all and I’m always tempted to wallow in complaints, but chaos is not always synonymous with difficulty. This season has been more than brimming with good things.
I may be a very tired version of myself, but I have never, ever been more thankful than right here, right now. When I tell you that I’ve seen God EVERYWHERE this summer, I really really have.
I’ve seen Him in the faces of my students as they spackled and painted and pulled weeds to make a run down plot a home for our new veteran friends. I’ve seen Him in the mountains and by the ocean and in the summer rains that pass by our house in the afternoon. I’ve seen Him in Herschel as he has juggled all his responsibilities (and mine) so that I could be free to go and work and serve. I’ve seen him in the face of my niece, Collins, as she proudly lives into her “Big Sister” role to my new teeny tiny baby niece, Quinn. I’ve seen him in the toothy grin of our little babe and every time his darling voice calls out to “MomMEEEEE” it’s as if God is giving me a hundred of the biggest, most cuddly bear hugs. I’ve seen glimpses of Him here, there, and everywhere.
And I’ve seen God in YOU. Yes, you. Every single one of you who have joined us on our journey to Baby French #2. Sixty days ago, we shared the news that we were jumping into this adoption thing again and you didn’t waste ONE SINGLE MINUTE in sharing your excitement. Summer has been insane, sure, but your support, encouragement, and friendship has provided us FUEL THAT WILL SUSTAIN FOR MONTHS AND MONTHS AND MONTHS TO COME.
Endless “thank you’s” for the love you have shown us. We absolutely mean it.
SO THE NITTY GRITTY? WELL, I WANT TO TELL YOU ALL THE THINGS. There are so many adoption-y updates and I need to do a little catching up. I’m going to bullet point it below (because my brain is, as mentioned, working at half capacity and I DON’T WANT TO MISS A THING):
T-SHIRTS AND SWEATSHIRTS AND WATER BOTTLES AND STICKERS were a big hit. Over 120 shirts SOLD! There are a few extras in the online store. Many of you have asked about these and I’d love to get them to you!
In June, a few of our friends rallied to throw us the SWEETEST adoption fundraiser. You guys, it was BEAUTIFUL. I have to be honest, the whole idea was WAY out of my comfort zone and I had no idea what to expect- but our friends reallllly stretched me and I am so thankful they did. Being that my love language is acts of service, one of the best parts of the experience for me was watching my friends exercise their gifts in planning and executing the night. My friend, Sarah, literally moved heaven and earth to make the most GORGEOUS invitations. In 3 DAYS. THREE. Other friends coordinated food and deliveries, while another went all in on managing donors. One friend decorated, another mastered the cheese tray, and another played an acoustic set as our guests came and went. Our gracious friend, Karol, offered her home for our gathering and Y’ALL. IT WAS PERFECT. They truly delivered the most relaxed, humbling, encouraging night in our honor and I will never forget their hard work. We got to share our story, they circled around us in prayer, and we left the night with $8,062 to add to our adoption account. THANK YOU, JESUS.
Herschel started a little campaign to fill 29 envelopes before my birthday, June 29. You guys filled 31 envelopes for a total of $1262 dollars. BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT EVER!! (well, besides my 2012 gift.. Ben and Ash gave me a NIECE for my birthday #canttopthat)
We celebrated Sellers official adoption day with some of our people. I can't believe how fast time is flying!
Another group of friends rewrote and filmed a version of Housefires “Yes and Amen” in an effort to share our story. It was the sweetest surprise - and again, it’s an incredibly humbling thing to watch your people use their talents and time on YOUR behalf. Especially when everybody has their own schedule and life and crazy. One of these friends is moving across the country in 4 days, another got home Sunday after a MONTH away, and the sunshiney girl on guitar is GETTING MARRIED on Saturday. Yet they made time for US. That feels really, really undeserved and really, really special. Thank you Juan, Molly, James, Olivia, Michele, Stephanie, Mason, Libby and Brooke. If you have a minute, I hope you’ll take a listen and be encouraged.
YES AND AMEN DAY is THIS Saturday, July 28th. Wear and use your Yes and Amen gear (old shirts work too!) and tag us in them on social media using the hashtags #yesandamenagain #thefrenchesadopt #bigbrothersellers. We can't wait to see your smiling faces!
If you have read this far on the blog.. you’re either a)recovering from some major life event that keeps you from doing ANYTHING else or b)half dead and definitely c)really annoyed that after the 9000 word essay above I STILL haven’t spilled the biggest beans of all: our current financial status. So without further ado….
WE ARE 1/3 FUNDED!!
We have a little over $12,000 in our adoption account with about $29,000 to go. WE ARE GETTING THERE PEOPLE.
There are days when I look at the numbers and I want to cry my eyeballs out. How will we EVER do it? But that’s fear, the opposite of hope. A hope we KNOW we can trust in because God has used you to show His faithfulness before and we believe He will do it again.
We’d love for you to continue to pray for us as we carry on with fundraising. Specifically- earlier this summer we submitted an application for a grant that could majorly impact our financial goal. We should get word the first few weeks of August if we were selected. Will you join us in praying for this opportunity? God knows our need.
Thanks for hanging in for this long overdue and WAY-TOO-WORDY post (I’m sorry.. I have tried for years to be short winded but it’s JUST NOT WHO I AM, FRIENDS.) We love you to the moon and can’t imagine this road without you.