Guest Post // Our Mustard Seed Life

Friday, October 10, 2014

As most of you know we just returned from Thailand, which for our family, was an introduction to a life in missions. We wanted to experience the highs and lows first hand on what it is to follow God's lead even if it meant moving our whole family to another country, another culture, another way of life. This was one of the greatest and hardest journeys we as a family have experienced. And now when we hear of other people doing this we have a newfound appreciation for their faith to follow after God regardless of the sacrifices and challenges they may face.

Which leads me to introduce Catherine... she and her family we just met, but I feel like we know them without ever meeting them! It's pretty cool! She has written a little something for O+M so we can have a glimpse into how in the world they ended up in Africa! Hope your inspired by their faith and check out her blog for more good reads! Thanks for joining us today Catherine!

Hello Owls + Monsters readers! My name is Catherine and I blog over at Our Mustard Seed Life, where I write about mommy hood, missionary life, adoption + orphan care and life in Africa!  So excited to share a bit of our story today!

Our first years of marriage consisted of bicycling around our small, sleepy college town campus, seeing how far we could make $50 stretch on groceries, and playing intramural sports late into the evenings.

The orphan crisis, widow care,  and adoption weren't words we threw around at the dinner table. In fact, our dreams consisted of: graduating from college, getting jobs, and saving up to pay off our house. We knew how many kids we would have, how many years apart they would be and at what age we would retire. You might say we were the "oldest 20 year olds you ever knew."

And then, God completely trashed our plans. Through some difficult events in our lives: still birth, miscarriage, a health scare and infertility, He caused our plans to take a complete one-eighty. We found ourselves sitting in a pile of ashes begging God to do something beautiful with it.

And, He did!

One year ago, my husband and I kissed our two boys good-bye, and loaded up on a plane headed to Africa to meet 2 little girls that shared our last name. The 3.5 years we spent pursuing them through adoption taught us so much about God's never-ending, unrelenting fight for us as His children.

Six weeks after we returned to the States with our girls, our family of 6 loaded back up on a plane to move to Malawi, Africa.

Talk about transitions, huh!?

This past year we have had the privilege of getting to work at Esther's House orphanage in a rural village in Malawi, Africa. We have:

transitioned into a family of 6
watched our girls become fluent in English
became students of a new culture
moved onto campus at an orphanage
began new jobs
stumbled through language barriers
fell in love with 79 children we call "our own"
attempted to balance family life and ministry
tackled the learning curve of village life
functioned without our American luxuries (hello, electricity?!)
and began full-time homeschool

When I look back at our first years of marriage and our grandiose plans for our life, I am so thankful that God's Plan for us was so drastically different than our own. I think of all we would have missed out on if our plans had come to fruition.  His creativity and purpose for our lives completely knocks my socks off!

Following God has proven to lead our family on quite the adventure!

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