I Make Cool Spreadsheets…

Disclaimer: Kamden writing today. I tend to write on behalf of both Mitch and myself. But for today, I’m only speaking about some personal spiritual lessons. Blogging is a little like letting the world read your diary. Much of our adoption journey is pretty personal, and somewhat emotional. So why share? First of all, because our family and friends want details. But we also share our story so that God can wow everyone in our community through His astounding work along the way. International adoption never goes as planned. You’ll always encounter unwanted challenges – financial barriers, government regulations, inter-country delays, a child’s unknown health needs. We know the journey ahead will be filled with stories of God’s intervention, and maybe one of those stories will help someone understand just how BIG He really is. So for today, I’ll introduce you to unwanted challenge #1. God is still writing His miraculous ending…

I know my own vices. I’m a master manipulator of circumstances, highly skilled at taking situations into my own control. So while you would think that a financial fortune in impending adoption expenses would force me to rely on God, the real me prefers to practice hard work and disciplined savings so I can satisfy my inner control freak and prevent my need to rely on anyone. Dependence makes you feel so vulnerable.

We’ve spent the last 10 months saving pretty diligently for the adoption, and this week we watched most of it disappear due to a really big and really unexpected expense.

No amount of disciplined savings or budgeting detail can remove our need for financial dependence. God’s taught me that lesson before, but He tends to remind me on an annual basis.  So with almost nothing remaining in our adoption savings fund, I somewhat re-initiated my control efforts. I created an excel spreadsheet outlining every available adoption grant, complete with color-coated rows and columns, a listing of due dates, and an inventory of paperwork required.

I guess there’s a happy medium between being responsible and attempting to control your circumstances to the neglect of trusting God’s sovereignty. I’m still trying to find it. Perhaps, the difference between the two extremes lies mostly in the heart’s intent.

Deep down, I know that my maker is in control. If He holds the entire universe together, I bet He can handle a small detail like our family’s adoption. And when He does, I want my entire community to be amazed by God’s mighty deed, not by the diligence of my budgeting or the detail of my grant spreadsheet.

So while part of me cried when we watched our savings be spent on a boring necessity, the other part could laugh at God’s not-so-subtle reminder that He will take care of it all.

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
~Matthew 6:25-26

I revisit my excel spreadsheet. Some grant applications are pending review. Some still need to be submitted. “God will fund what He favors.” Breathe in deeply. Repeat. And cease worrying!

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3 thoughts on “I Make Cool Spreadsheets…

  1. We are in the paperchase process to adopt from Ethiopia and live in the central florida area! I saw that your tshirts were made in Tampa so I guess we aren’t far from each other. Maybe one day our Ethiopian kiddos can meet up together! Congrats on your DTE! Would love to see your spreadsheets 🙂

  2. We are in the paperchase process to adopt from Ethiopia and live in the central florida area! I saw that your tshirts were made in Tampa so I guess we aren’t far from each other. Maybe one day our Ethiopian kiddos can meet up together! Congrats on your DTE! Would love to see your spreadsheets 🙂

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