We Do What We Want

I have always said, “People do what they want.”

When I’m disappointed in the outcome of something based on someone’s actions, I remind myself of this. And if I am being totally honest, I try to point the finger back at myself when I don’t want to do something and feel terrible about it.

Honestly, think about it – you do what you want. You spend your time how you want to.

This is a time I did exactly what I wanted and I made my husband go along with it – I searched LA for the Golden Girls House. Yes, please.

My husband and I were having a discussion the other day about the things we spend money on and how that shows what we value/where our hearts are. This conversation started because we feel we are spending too much on our television choices and we do not want TV to be that big of a thing in our family. We do not want the amount we are currently paying to be reflective of how much we value TV- so we were assessing a change.

We tell the world who we are internally by our outward purchases and actions.

I was driving downtown with my boys the other day (we live in Nashville and we were going downtown to get into the CMA Fest madness. If you have never been … umm it’s crazy-town; especially for those of us who are local.)

As we were driving, I pointed out some of the government buildings to my oldest and I said, “You see those buildings? Mommy went to those buildings a bunch of times to fill out paperwork and turn it in so that they would let me come get you and bring you home.”

A: “Those big buildings? You filled out paperwork so they would let you bring me to Nashville?”
Me : “Yes baby. All the paperwork, because I wanted to bring you home.”

Our first trip to Grenada – this was right before we took him back to his orphanage at the end of our time with him

As I was saying this, I remembered all the times I drove downtown. All the trips; all the parking fees I paid; all the hills I walked up to a building and down to another one – all the hours  of filling out information about myself and my husband.

(This is where I will insert my two cents for those who always ask me, “Why do they make it so difficult?” Because it SHOULD be difficult to adopt a child. We SHOULD have to jump through hoops to make sure these children aren’t trafficked or headed to their doom. It isn’t easy, but nothing worth fighting for should be easy. Every ounce of blood, sweat, and tears is worth every ounce of his protected life.)

A: “Mommy, when I was in Grenada I would cry and cry because I never thought I would have a family. But because you filled out all the papers, they let you bring me home to my family.”

(I proceeded to cry my eyes out for quite a while over this statement. I don’t believe he actually cried about it, but I do believe he longed for a family and he now, as a 6-year-old, has the words to tell me what his 3-year-old self was feeling.)

You see, I showed my son the other day what mattered to me. I showed him that I did what I wanted and what I wanted was to give him a home. I showed him that I would fill out all the papers in the world to bring him home to me. He doesn’t know it also means I spent all the money I needed to make it happen as well; that I raised every penny I could to make him my son.

What do we show our loved ones with our actions?
Do we show them that when we do what we want, we want to love them well?
Do we show them that when we spend our money, we aren’t wasting it on things that don’t matter?

What do you show your children?
What do you show your family?
What do you show your friends?

Challenge : Do what you want and let what you want do a world of good.




The Cornerstone {As Seen In Lifeway’s Journey}

{This devotional was first seen in Lifeway’s Journey devotional magazine for women. This devotional was one of mine that was featured in their March 2016 issue. Enjoy!}

Lifeway Journey March 2016

The Cornerstone

“The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” (Psalm 118:22).

Throughout my life, I have struggled with self-worth despite having a very supportive and loving family. Oddly enough, I did not struggle with my beauty but with my brains. It wasn’t my family who brought me down; it was some of my childhood teachers.

There was a lot of emphasis put on education in my family and as a result, I put pressure on myself to be perfect when it came it academics.

While many of my teachers were amazing, I had a few bad apples that led to my negative thinking patterns.

The straw that broke the camel’s back came for me in eighth grade. My band teacher was sponsoring an event that I didn’t fully agree with. When I told her that I wouldn’t be participating, she laughed at me and said, “I hate to tell you this, but one person will never change the world by standing on stupid beliefs.”

I was crushed. It was heartbreaking to have one of my educators tell me what I was taking a stand for was stupid. I never wanted to believe her, but I carried her words with me for a long time.

Then the time came for college, and I had an incredible English professor. He introduced me to topics and ideas I fell in love with. One of his assignments was for us to write about someone we believed made decisions that changed history. When our grades were given to us, my professor approached my desk and laid the paper down. He looked at me and said, “The greatest thing about your paper was, I could see you being the person in your story. You will make a difference in this world. Keep it up.”

My English professor had no idea the impact his words would have on me. He was a willing vessel for God that day and delivered redemption to my wounds.

I love the wisdom Psalm 118 gives us: “it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust a man.” Sometimes people of influence in our lives tear us down with words rather than build us up. However, God reminds us the “stone” others want to throw away is actually the rock He wants to build His kingdom on. The qualities we see as inadequate are often the qualities God gave us for a specific purpose in His kingdom.

Steps of Faith: Lord, help me find my worth in you and not in the words of other. Help me see myself as You see me.