Mustard Seeds // Following Yahweh

Dear friends, today is an extra special day on According to Laura Jean. Not only is it Friday but I have the joy of sharing one of the most genuine blog friends I have. Catherine is a fervent follower of Jesus and has the world's cutest family. Soak in her words of wisdom on this glorious day. 
Hello According to Laura Jean 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 and 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, hunh!?

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!
Don't you just love Catherine's captivating words and compassionate heart? Hop on over to her blog this weekend and show her some love.

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