Complicate or Simplify?

Over the last couple years I’ve made an effort to simplify my life both materially and mentally. One does tend to lead to the other. I’ve gotten rid of stuff mostly, but I’ve also made decisions to spend my time in ways that are deeply fulfilling. I’ve cut back and let go and it’s been very rewarding. I have a life that is peaceful even though it is sometimes demanding. I have a full time job, a husband, two small children, three dogs,  a horse, and I volunteer with two different charities; and yet, I don’t feel overwhelmed. The responsibilities I’ve taken on are all things I enjoy and so they don’t feel like work to me.

As I’ve begun to think about adoption, I’ve asked myself whether it is something I should take on. Would it be too much to add a third child into the mix? Am I taking on something I can’t handle? Would it upset the easy rhythm of life that my family enjoys? Sometimes I think adoption would do all of these things, but I am then forced to ask myself, ‘In my quest for simplicity am I refusing to allow God to complicate my life with his call?’

I believe with all my heart that sometimes we must do the right thing instead of the practical thing. I also believe that many American Christians are too hung up on being ‘called’ to do certain things. I think people assume they’re not called to do something simply because it doesn’t appeal to them. For example, when someone is asked to volunteer in the church nursery, you might hear them say, ‘Oh, I’m not called to work with children.’ I think this is a cop out. We’re all called to step up and serve where there’s a need. Adoption is like this for many people. It’s complicated and expensive and so many families believe you need some sort of special dispensation of grace to adopt. I disagree. As long as there are children with no parents, I think we should ALL be examining whether we have room for one more. Many of us would find that we do. There are certain things that don’t require a special commandment from God. We are ALL supposed to be concerned about the widow and the orphan.

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