Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Would you rather?

I cannot figure out how to get these pictures where I want them on this blog, so enjoy some out-of-order pictures.

The first set of pictures shows Jason on the slip-n-slide with the girls. They had so much fun. Their swimming suits were actually keeping them from going very fast, so we let them take their shirts off---excuse the partial nudity. You can see that we cannot go anywhere or do anything without the participation of the girls. They hopped on Jason's back every time he tried to go down the slip-n-slide by himself. Oh, the laughs they shared. You could have heard them a mile away, I bet.

These are some pictures of our latest visit to Freedom Fire. The first picture is our dear friend, Joey, laying on the ground so that the boys could jump off his back to dunk. You should've seen his back later that night! Ouch! The second picture shows the view from the last row, where I sat next to a new buddy, Kendren, during the message part of the night. They are all very good listeners and this week's lesson was about the prodigal son---very meaningful. That one never gets old. The last picture is of a middle school girl who was excited to get her nails done. She remembered me from last week and has quite a story to tell. I look forward to seeing her again Friday.

Finally, these are some pictures of the girls at a birthday party for their friend, Mattingly Rodgers. It was a princess dance party. Does it get more girly than that? How fun! They got to wear pretty dresses and glitter, learn a dance, and do a craft. It was a sight to see! I feel so lucky to share these fun times with my girls.

Now, on to the subject weighing on my heart this week:

On our pre-children road trips, Jason and I used to play a game called "Would you rather." It was a hilarious way to pass the time, pondering numerous impossible scenarios that would never occur, but were great to visualize anyway.

There have been some moments of "would you rather" in my heart recently.

I have so cherished, beyond expression, my summer time memories with our children. I started teaching in 2001, so this is my 10th year of teaching. I have enjoyed every summer from 2004 until now, relishing the casual-nature of summer. I get to enjoy the stay-at-home-mom model for about 12ish weeks every year. Our summers have been full of library visits, pool days, trips to Farmington, small vacations (not this year!), sandboxes, Popsicles, and lots of down time.

I couldn't have asked for a better gig. We have felt very comfortable and extremely happy with my career choice. It has allowed lots of perks, of which is my all-time favorite: the snow day thrills we get every winter. I knew that when I became a teacher, I would be able (more than likely) to bring my children to the school where I taught. That's why the Rusts moved from Liberty to NKC school district attendance area back in 2006. We knew we wanted to move before Evan started kindergarten. Oh, what a joy this past school year was! Evan and I had some one-on-one time before and after school, and we were able to see each other at lunch daily. I taped a pink construction paper heart on my classroom window, so he could see my room from the playground and remember how much I loved him. We had a super secret hand sign we gave each other if we happened to see each other's class in passing. It meant "I love you so much, but I'll give you a hug after school." I knew if I didn't come up with something like that, he'd jump out of his class line or out of his lunch table when he saw me everyday~and I didn't want him to cause that much commotion. It's hard for a 5 year old to understand why they can't hug their mom when they see her at school. The hand sign worked like magic. We still do it to each other when we are leaving to go anywhere.

When we answered yes to God's adoption plan for us, it included a not-so clear vision of the future of my career. We plan to give these children (biological and adopted) all they need. Most adopted children need to be with their parents and not put into a daycare (that really looks and sounds like an orphanage, if you really think about it~~~how scary for a little one who was just rescued from that life!). Besides their needs: who can afford 4 children in daycare? So, we knew that my job would probably go on hold for at least a year, if not more. We feel like it's part of this test of faith---do we really believe God will provide for us since we said yes to His calling?

The closer we get to a referral, the more my brain is playing "Would you rather" with me. I have gone through all the pros and cons of me staying at home and I know that is what we will need to do. However, having said that, you can see that I have treasured my job as a teacher. I have gone "back to school" in August every year since I was 5. What is my heart going to feel next August, when I am sitting at home? It is likely that we will get young ones for our referral, probably not school age. That means I will be home with 4 children, 2 of whom won't speak my language.

The fact that there are 500 applicants for 7 teaching positions doesn't give me a whole lot of reason to want to hand over my job, either. My tenure has been a safety net, if you will. Jason could lose his job, as could any person who works for a private company, while the chances of me ever losing my job is slim. If/when I want to go back to teaching, will there be a job for me? What about my nice salary? I'm no millionaire, but 10 years of teaching with a masters degree brings home a nice salary, at least one that makes you think twice before walking away from it.

I let myself fall apart over this and shed some tears with my sweet accountability group of girlfriends. I hope you all understand that this is all part of accepting the cost of following Jesus and the plan He has for the Rusts. It doesn't matter what Jesus asks us to do~doesn't it feel better to be in His plan? Is there any other place you'd rather be? Don't you think that the Prince of Peace and the Creator of the universe has a plan for our future? Either you believe that, or you don't believe that He is sovereign. And, if you don't believe our God is sovereign, why do you believe in Him at all? Who wants a God who is not in charge of it all?

Would you rather live according to your plan and your comfort, or relentlessly beg Jesus to show you His plan? I had a peace this morning in knowing that all the tedious, mind-bending, earthly, here-and-now details of our family's life-change are not eternal concerns. I have to keep my eyes on the end-goal. We want to love others, and love these children of our's into the kingdom of God. What else matters?


  1. Great pictures, Wendy and great message about what's been on your heart and keeping an eternal perspective. :)

  2. Great! I was so reminded of how I needed a more eternal perspective the other day when reading Psalm 92:8, "But you, O LORD, are exalted forever." That is what really matters.

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