For eight months, Grace loved to take a bath. Then she turned three. Whoever named the “terrible two s” very obviously had not done three yet. Three is when all my girls learn to say “no.”

I don’t exactly remember when it started. One day, she just wouldn’t get in the bathtub. So I didn’t make her. Judge me if you want; she got in bed dirty that night. The fight just wasn’t worth interrupting everyone else’s bed time. But on the second night when she refused to bathe, I couldn’t just ignore her again. She really needed that bath. So we began the struggle.
Every night it is the same. It starts with me asking her to come and get in the bathtub, to which she quietly replies, “I don’t want.” I, in my kindest, sweetest Mommy voice explain to her that she is three years old. That she does not always know what is best for her and she does not always get what she wants. I tell her that this is about her health and well-being; everyone has to take a bath! She just looks at me, not getting it.

I try a different approach. I say excitedly, “Come on Gracie! Let’s go play in the bathtub!” And she blinks her eyes very fast, big crocodile tears beginning to run down her cheeks. One more plea for sympathy. When she sees that the tears are not getting her anywhere, she begins to shriek, “No bath, no bath, NO BATH!” as if the water may indeed melt her.
I say it more sternly this time. “Grace. Bath time.” I lift her to her feet and half drag her down the hall to the bathroom. Her sorrow turns to anger. She makes her best “I don’t like you mom” face, folds her arms and plops to her bottom. “I DON’T WANT,” she shouts.
So I pick her up. She kicks and screams and eventually I get her into the bathtub. She flails around in there for a bit, letting me know with her wails that I am ruining her life and she may never be happy again.

And then a funny thing happens. As she splashes water on herself she remembers. She likes the bath. The bath is fun. Not to mention a really great way to get clean. In fact most of the time, she doesn’t want to get out of the bath. You see, the bath time struggle is not at all about the bath. It is about obedience. She is three years old and she simply does not want to obey. She thinks it should be her decision whether or not she gets in the bathtub. She is three years old and she is trying to figure out just how much control she has in her little life (at this point, not much).

Maybe I am a really bad mother for not disciplining her more severely for her disobedience, but the reality is, little disobedient Grace reminds me so much of me.

A year ago, Grace was not my daughter. She was a two and a half year old little girl who could not walk, speak or use her hands. She lived with her very old great grandmother who had a very hard time taking care of herself, let alone a very special needs baby. Her grandmother, hunched over and with little Grace strapped on her back would walk seven miles to my house and beg me to please take her burden, her child. And I would say, “No.” It happened at least five times. I didn’t know this woman and I didn’t know anything about her or her child, but I knew this: I was NOT having any more children. I was maxed out. This was it. There was nothing I could do for a child that would never walk or talk. Only an insane person would take a special needs child as their twelfth daughter. I would give Grandma a bag of food and send her on her way. But sometimes, after I sent them away, I couldn’t get that little smile out of my head. Sometimes, that little smile would wake me up in the middle of the night. I would like to tell you that I prayed fervently about whether or not to take her. But I didn’t. I just told God straight, “I don’t want.” I told myself that eleven was enough, NO MORE KIDS.

Weeks passed and I forgot about the little lame girl and her great grandmother. About a month later I couldn’t sleep. I knew God was trying to tell me something, but I couldn’t figure out what it might be. I prayed and I listened. And he spoke as plain as day, “Your next daughter’s name is Sarah.” OK, funny God. I already have a daughter named Sarah. I went back to sleep. The next evening I was chopping carrots for beef stew and there it was again, “Your next daughter’s name is Sarah.” I prayed harder, “God, Sarah already lives here. I’m not sure I can hear you. God really, I don’t want another daughter. I think that eleven is enough, don’t you?” I continued my chopping. As I tucked the girls in bed that night, the extra bed in their room really bothered me. Bunk beds come in sets of two. We had to have six sets of beds to fit all eleven of my children, and with it came that extra top bunk. I had never paid it any attention, until now. After they fell asleep I went and sat in the bed and prayed. And God said it again, “Sarah, Sarah, Sarah.” I began to cry. “Lord, where is she? Where is Sarah? How can she be my daughter if I don’t know where to find her?” For the next several days, I dreamt of Sarah. I prayed for Sarah. I longed for Sarah. I missed Sarah.

A few days later, Grandma showed up at the gate again with her not-so-little baby tied to her back. “Please,” she begged, “God keeps telling me to come here for help.” It finally clicked. “What is her name?” I asked. “Sarah.” The little girl beamed, looked up at me, and said in a squeaky little voice, “Mommy”. Grandma looked as if she had seen a ghost. “She has never spoken,” she said, astonished. We both just turned our eyes heavenward. Ok, God, you win.
I asked the grandmother to please make herself at home while I called my children to have a “family meeting”. We always talk and pray together before making a big change in our home. I always ask the kids for their opinion, but of course my sweet children never say no! They were so excited to have a new little sister, their only concern was that they would now have two sisters named Sarah, and Sarah was feeling a little uncertain about sharing her name. I promised that we would give her a new name once we thought of one that fit.

As I carried my new little girl into the bedroom and put her in a new dress, fear overwhelmed me. What was I going to do? What does one do with a child that may never walk? How would I keep a semblance of normal life for my other girls? Would I have time to continue loving them enough while caring for a special needs little girl? Oh, what were people going to say? God just whispered that His grace would be enough, that His grace was sufficient, that His grace was going to allow me to raise this little girl, even after I had turned her away from my gate five times. Grace.

I took her to several doctors, all of whom said she had cerebral palsy, resulting from a lack of oxygen at birth. All agreed that while she may begin speaking (she had continued to utter only one word, “Mommy”) she would never walk. The fear still overwhelmed me. Some days I felt such sorrow for her poor little body, other days I felt anger. I wondered what life would look like from now on. And God continued to remind me that His grace would sustain me. And only by His grace, a month later my Grace began to walk. Within two months she was speaking, using her left hand a walking several meters without assistance. Today she runs (still a little awkwardly), has full use of her left hand and minimal use of her right, and speaks in full sentences in that same squeaky little voice.

I shudder to think what I could have missed in my disobedience. I am so thankful that God in His grace does not allow me to win. Because usually, the fight is not really about what He is asking me to do. It is not about the bathtub. It is about me, trying to figure out just how much control I have over my little life (at this point, not much). I would like to tell you that now I always do exactly what the Lord asks of me. I would like to tell you that I always seek Him first when a difficult situation presents itself. But sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I still think it should me my decision what I do with my life. He asks, and reasons, and encourages. He gently explains that I do not know what is best for me and that I do not always get what I want. And I just look at Him, not getting it. I whine and sob and shriek, just like a tired, angry three year old.
And so He picks me up, exhausted from struggling, and plops me in the center of His will for my life. And then a funny thing happens. As I kick and scream and struggle, I remember. I like being in the center of God’s will for my life. God’s plan is usually pretty great. It is a whole lot better than mine anyway. I am so glad that He does not allow me to win.

If you were to walk into my house at bath time, you may think I was a pretty horrible mother, letting my child kick and scream and wail on the floor like that. But I think sometimes we have to throw a fit, to been horribly resistant, to appreciate how awesome it is when we finally obey. I am hoping that one day soon, Grace will begin remembering how much she likes the bath before she begins crying, maybe even the first time I say that it is bath time. I am also praying that one day soon, I will begin remembering how much I love and desire God’s plan for my life before I begin questioning, maybe even the first time He asks something of me.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you Katie. Thank you for being such an inspiration to me and to so many others. Thank you for being honest and vulnerable. Thank you for being you, you are a beautiful wonderful daughter of the KING! God bless you. CC

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13256431792935883542 Melissa

    THAT is a beautiful post. None of us are any different, we are all the same. Thank you for the reminder that God's will is always best.The little child shall lead them….

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05887341902503234844 Betsy

    Thank you Katie. Obedience is a lesson I'm learning too right now! Grace and her bath time is the perfect image for this universal struggle! You have my prayers.In Christ,Betsy

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16652243862329017082 Shonni

    What a perfect story…thank you for sharing it!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01221954899806662602 Brit

    i think you are amazing ♥

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02738693377806799666 Kat

    Thank you for this encouragement! You've put into words exactly my own attitude.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13251699587621835032 Jim and April

    oh katie! how beautifully written! Thanks so much for sharing that! I needed that! Just today I was thinking how different God's plans are for what He is calling Jim and I to do now compared to what I thought was going to happen, you know, my plans! Of course, His plans are far better and so I am excited as He takes us on this journey of adopting our daughter from Uganda. Thanks for those encouraging words! i look forward to meeting you hopefully towards the end of this year when we hopefully will go to Uganda to get our little daughter!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12316447804006046943 HMK

    You're doing a great job with your children! It is so true that we adults can throw temper tantrums just like little children.. I've thrown enough of them to know that!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14485406690863800462 Ria Thurston

    You are amazing! God IN you is so evident, Katie. I have read your blog for awhile… Bless you & your sweet family :) -Ria

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08801475653537826888 Staci

    beautiful Katie, thank you so much. Parenting really brings home God's way of raising us, doesn't it? Thank you for sharing

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13963931911436397173 miss mary

    That is so awesome. I love to hear your stories, they touch my heart so. You know if you have another child (sorry) that has the same name as another one of your children you could keep the name and add to it (like Sarah-grace) So one would be sarah and one would be sarah-grace -just a suggestion- as to which I'm sure you get enough of. Loved hearing from you again. Makes my day. You put a smile on my face every time. Thank you for sharing your world with us. God Bless . You are still in my prayers. It is so wonderful to know how well your daughter is doing now. God does miracles still today. Praising the Lord here..

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01456824502277644338 Jenny

    Thank you for the encouragement in obedience. I have a Grace too and I can't imagine life without her. Praying for you and your family.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09355193720504216083 AmyQ

    What an incredible post. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13290830560591987006 Amy Nelson

    I have been reading your blog for a few months and have not said anything. I could not wait any longer. I am overwhelmed at all you are doing for God's kingdom. My initial reaction is to say, "Ok – my turn – I need to move and adopt a handful (or more) of children." God quickly snaps me back into reality reminding me that I am in the midst of brokenness..as we all are. I pray that God will continue to use you there…and use me here. Thank you for your words.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03658729125513363988 J Gutwein

    Truly a miracle! Love, J

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06805179360821655998 The Hull’s at #4

    Katie, I love this post! I'm a kicker and screamer too! Praying blessings over you and your girls!Kim

  • http://gatheringpeeps.com Tami

    wow…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09063029032695060303 Susie

    ok, seriously? This blog changes me every time you write. I need to come back and reread and process, but for now, I need to bundle up my kids and take them to the doctor… hopefully with your words in my heart.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03603244678280067360 stephanie garcia

    Thank you for sharing Grace's beautiful story. We have a daughter with mild CP who was supposed to either die or be a "vegetable" according to doctors, but who is very much alive and well and who knows her own mind just like your Grace!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15092529758375734896 Mark and Sarah

    What a beautiful post. Thank you for challenging me and my little world today–the one I think I can control. Praise God that you are obedient…even if it took a little while with Sarah, you did come around, when most wouldn't! May the blessings of Christmas surround your family this coming week.

  • http://thetraintocrazy.typepad.com Andrea

    Beautiful. Motherhood is sweet, wonderful, maddening journey and you really do know what is best for your little ones. Bath time is often like that around here as well. And I like to say that age 3 are the Theatrical Threes. So true.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00310072331960500111 aimee

    that's why they're called the trying three's!wow – i really (REALLY) needed this post today. we really are whiney toddlers, aren't we? no matter how often we're reminded and shown that God's way is best, we're having the grocery store meltdown in our efforts to avoid what He wants us to do.praying that this 32 year old toddler will remember how great bathtime can be…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17769334647328805623 Holli

    thank you so much for this post!!! AMEN! Thank you God for loving us enough to watch our three old fits and love us enough to teach us through it!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17247824698674815568 Mom to 9 Blessings!

    All I can say is I love you Katie!As a Mom of 9 – God uses each of our children to teach me the very same lessons. "Jill, My child you like it best being in the center of My will. Come and let us go together."Yes, Lord! Yes, Lord! Yes, LORD!Following obediently with you Katie!Praying over your precious family with joy!Love,Jill

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10573694669935438019 shannon

    I came across your blog recently, and your words have breathed an entirely renewed faith back into me. Your words are a beautiful testimony to the Lord in CONSTANT action. Thank you for the blessings you have given all of us by sharing your family's story. If you, this sweet humble woman, can see, hear, and feel His glorious beauty amidst such struggle and angst, then surely all of us should, too. His light shines so brightly on you, and thank goodness for that! Shannon

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00347652142463308256 Goodness and Mercy Mom

    Oh, Katie, truly a beautiful story that I needed to read today. Isn't it amazing how God speaks to us through our children's actions. What an amazing story of God's grace and your Grace!!!Thanks. I've been fighting God at bathtime, too. (Lately the water has been really cold.) Sometimes obedience is hard. Your words are such an encouragement to me today. I'm going to read your post at our family devotion time tonight (we do this often). We will continue to cover you, your daughters, and your ministry with prayer.God Bless,Kathie

  • Anonymous

    Wow Katie,Everytime I read your blog I am encouraged to be more obedient, challenged to trust God more, and reminded that HE is the only one in total control of our lives and our worlds. I have been that toddler too many times to count-you are not alone! I love that when we do slow down a little bit in our fight we discover how amazing the things God has given us really are. Thank you for sharing your world with us so we can glimpse a little bit of what God is doing in it.RaVae

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16999153775307342942 Small Stones

    LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this post!!!!!! Thank you SOOOO much for the reminder that His plan is always the best. :)Keep up the bathtime battle (and do NOT think you are a horrible Mom! Oh my gosh, Katie! You are a wonderful, loving mother! You have the patience to allow your child her tantrum, and the control to get her in the bath when her time has come. Thank you for being an example to me of a good Mom!)Praying as always for you and your family,Breclyn

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17253303288242135440 Laurel

    What a wonderful analogy! Great post!You are an AMAZING mama … don't think anything less.Blessings,mama of many :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15472682395051448838 Blessedw5mom

    Katie~ Your words bless me in ways I can not even express. Thankyou for following Gods call.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03796808566902777825 Fuad

    May our Lord continue to guide you;and by your example, continue to guide us, that we may also hear His message and be obedient.I wish you and your girls much joy and happiness as we approach the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord.What a truly wonderful mother you are.

  • Janelle

    Your post spoke to my heart too. How easily we forget that God knows what is best and we have no idea how great His plan is for us! When my life changes in a way that wasn't part of my plan I feel lost and it's because I'm not listening to God. And…I wonder if God just laughs when we say, "I'm not having any more children"?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06413335347500198234 Danna

    That is awesome.. And comes at the perfect time in my life! Struggling with what I want to do and what God wants. It was a great reminder that I like to be in God's will too, and I have peace about my decision. Even though it's not what I WANT to do, it's what I will do. It's what God wants.

  • Anonymous

    You are absolutely amazing! What an awesome devotional this was. Now I just need to stop and be quiet long enough to hear God!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03153932064788973286 charis

    katie~your honesty and open heart challenge and inspire me. i LOVE hearing your updates and i am praying for you. it is so awesome to hear how God is moving in your family's life!charis

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13005806533979363637 Heidi K.

    Thank you!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14144819273838586814 Jen

    I needed this today. I'm in the middle of a kicking and screaming fit and THIS is EXACTLY what I needed. Thank you for sharing your heart so beautifully. I am amazed. God be with you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03842066298771324417 Auntie Em

    This is a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12372228068864440179 sunny-d

    Is there anything better than a great wrestling match with God…I long for my hip to be bruised, just like Jacob, even to the point of needing a hip-replacement! :) Oh the purpose in the pain. Call me crazy, but I believe God when He says count it all a loss! Your account is a beautiful picture to me of God's great economy! woot!!

  • http://minnesotamom.wordpress.com/ minnesotamom

    Grace's story is fabulous, filled with…grace. Thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13589698549708645809 Cindy

    You are SO right. God’s plan is usually pretty great. He writes the best stories and has the best plots. The story He is telling through you is simply breath-taking. I always look forward to your next post and then am (still)amazed at the wisdom that spills out.I am so glad He does not let us win. He's had to drag me down the hall a few times. Thank God He who calls us is faithful.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15794737247800074622 learningtogether

    I have tears running down my face. Thank you. From a woman who just welcomed her own "Grace" home.

  • Anonymous

    My family is inspired by your example and your words. We are praying for you. His "Grace" is sufficient.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02608199440254905212 Kristen

    You are so wise. Thank you for listening and obeying and teaching us. My youngest turns 3 tomorrow. I never realized how much I was like her.Until tonight.I want God's will, even when I don't know it.Thank you. Our family prays for yours daily. We think of chickens and blankets and seed and making a difference.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03362639383721753180 Jennifer T.

    I had to grin at your assessment of three year olds. I have long felt that one year olds are more difficult than two year olds!Thank you for telling this beautiful story. I have a special needs sister named Sarah, named after my favorite doll at the time.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14043677672931768639 Tammy On the Go

    I say, Join the kicking and screaming, it may turn into laughter and she gets to see a funny side of you….I have a couple of kids that do this very same thing. 3 is not easy. but is sure is fun.oh I hope to meet you one day.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12881189921656112620 Becca

    Amen!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08543633305746839753 Jimmy Armstrong

    Great story and reminder, which was especially timely for me to read…thanks for your ministry to both the community you interact with and those who read your blog. We dont know eachother – I was referred to your blog by someone else in the adoption word – and I have become a faithful reader. Thanks for your example, ministry and great storiesJimmy ArmstrongKansas City, Missouri

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08543633305746839753 Jimmy Armstrong

    P.S. What would be a good post to read to get a better background picture of how you got to be where you are at…I haven't gotten to be able to read posts back to 2007 yet:)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09530696142174406639 Sandie

    Oh Katie….just when I think you cannot move me more than you already have…..!Please, there must be a book. What a gift to the world that would be.Love and Blessings to you and the girls.XX Sandie – Australia

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17946903135252874458 Are These Kids All Yours?

    What an incredible story! Thank you for sharing it with us. Praise God for Grace!!! Praise God for a 12th daughter, and for obedience…..what a whole new meaning and perspective.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12955029706756769653 Jewels of My Heart

    Thank You Jesus for Grace…….He is oh, so faithful and we are oh, so blessed.God bless you all precious family

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16835005258125873195 Jacki

    I stumbled upon your site here one day. Actually, I was searching for something worthwhile on the internet to spent my sacred time on. You make me weep. This story leaves any believer quiet, reflective, and stunned at your faithfulness for such a young Godly woman. God has given you great wisdom through your obedience. I want to tell others of what God is doing through you. Thank you. I am praying for you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04455698547207302964 David and Sarah

    Oh Katie, what a beautiful post. God is so patient and kind. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Anonymous

    You are an amazing writer with amazing insight. What a great analogy! It will definitely stick with me.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10455212092597969656 Margo

    So good Katie. Thank you for following God with your whole heart. Every time I read your posts, it keeps me accountable to do the same. I'm moving to Swaziland in May, and your stories help to subside any doubts or fears that sometimes start to creep in. Thank you and God bless you and your family!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16775051137470537027 David and Amy

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful and poignant thoughts. So true.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11705917883828933628 Shannon-

    Did you write this just for me today? You did, didn't you? How did you know? ( ha ha )You sweet sweet loving woman. Thank you. This is may be the kick in the pants i need.

  • Anonymous

    Once again, I am humbled by your beautiful post. Thank you…for teaching me something I needed to learn.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12277126825351553004 Faith

    WOW!!That was just what I needed.Thank you!!I am at a point where I feel like God is calling me to something or putting something in front of me but I haven't heard it yet. Something is up but I'm just not sure what it is. It reminds me of when you wrote about getting into your car and driving around trying to find out where God was leading you.It is good for me to remember that other people have those same types of moments. It isn't just me. God speaks in His timing, not ours. It's also good for me to hear – "I like being in the center of God’s will for my life. God’s plan is usually pretty great. It is a whole lot better than mine anyway." I want to remember this. I want my heart to be ready to hear whatever He is saying. I want to be ready to jump in with both feet."I've a feeling in my soul and I pray that I'm not wrong. That the life I have now, it is only the beginning…" -Third DayGod bless you!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15257520996905615648 Scott Klamert

    Wonderful words of wisdom :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11450956125210433128 Sidnie

    I struggle with obedience everyday. I try to obey his commands, but there are some days where I feel as though I know best.My children are no different. They disobey, they throw tantrums, and when I am so very exhausted, I do not persist.But God does. He persists until I have no other choice but to give in to His will, and realize that He knows best! Beautiful words, Katie. Wonderful reminder in these days where pouting and crying are being looked on by "Santa"… ;)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10465485415958930196 Joe and Melissa

    oh grace…she WOULD all of a sudden hate baths.we miss you all so so so much.

  • Karen Barnes Snyder

    Dear Katie – I have wanted to write you since my friend, Melody, first told me about your site last year, but never took the time. I, as I am sure many others, DO look forward to reading your words of wisdom & grace often, so don't stop!The last time I saw you, you were about 3 yrs. old. I dated a guy named Mike, who worked with your dad. We did fun things with your parents & visited them several times at their house. Brad was just a baby the last time I saw you. I just wanted you to know, as a Christian, how inspiring you are, & how much you motivate me & others to be more in tune with what God wants us to do with our lives; to use our blessings to bless others; to listen to the voice of the Spirit. Your parents are the most phenomenal, godly people I think I know of, and I haven't even seen them since 1991! But, I know from reading your blog, what a fantastic job they did of raising 2 very godly children. Tell them hello for me. If there is a list you send out from time to time of things you need there, please tell me where I can find it.And lastly, I am simply blown away by your spiritual maturity. God sure has His hand on you. Thank you for always blessing me and teaching me, a 54 y/o woman, more about God. Your blog is SO important to encourage other Christians in the work we all do (or aren't doing in some cases).Love & kisses to all of you,Karen (Barnes) Snyder

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00324479985950087358 PegS

    Oh, Katie! Never, never, ever hesitate to write what is on your heart. Don't listen to yourself saying, "This is so mundane; why would anyone be interested?" Because we are!! I personally LOVE to read how God is working in and through you and your girls. And I am awed to remember how very young YOU are to be doing all this. May God touch all of you with special grace and blessings this Christmas season. Peggy

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13047218763905849917 Meredith

    Thank you so much. I so appreciate what you do.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03715324871432811928 Coral Christine

    Dear Katie,I think you are an amazing girl!!Every time I read your blog I yearn to go be like you in Africa!!You are truley a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ! Praying for you!!All4ChristCoral

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03715324871432811928 Coral Christine

    Wow…Okay. That is all that came to mind at first. YOu are so right. There are plenty of things I would have missed out on had I had my way. One I can think of right off the bat is my little Chinese baby. I did the same thing. She had Hep. B and I thought it would better if she were not in a home full of other children. I began to pray for the family that would adopt an older, special needs child. I thought it would better for her if she had been placed with first time parents…no other children to possible spread this disease. I prayed and prayed, until one day the Lord showed me this was our little girl. Panic set in…did I pray her away??The Lord waited for me patiently to come back into my right mind and showed me so gently, that His plan for our daughter was perfect…His plan was us. His plan was healing and we didn't have to worry about the next step, because His grace was sufficient for us. I love you sweet sister. I hope one day we will be able to meet in person. I pray for you and all of your precious girls. You are such an encouragement to me and my family.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10925615006720302501 Renee

    Beautiful, Katie. What a great lesson and example of our resistance to obey! And yes, three is much harder than two! But she sure is a SWEET THREE! As always, you are in my prayers! love you!

  • Anonymous

    beautifully written. thanks for sharing~heather

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11586066822993946977 babydoc

    Thank you so much Katie, that is so me ten times over. God's continued blessings to you. Liz, UK

  • http://www.patacakebabies.com/wordpress Dianne

    We are each the same…no matter how old we are. We want our way, but how awesome when God shows us that HIS way is, indeed, so much better. I will pray for you…I can only imagine how much energy it must take to care for 14 children! God bless you dear Katie!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14216697845934961718 andrew

    What an amazing analogy!! Thanks Katie.

  • http://erikamolina.wordpress.com/ erikamolina

    oh I've been waiting (almost imptiently) for your next post. I loved it. Wonderfully written.I love to be in the center of God's will too :)Thank you so much for taking the time to write and share with us. Trully a blessing.With love in Him,Erika.[would you tell the girls that a girl far away called erika sends them hi's and is praying for them? ;) Merry Christmas! ]

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07951669846635311270 Doodiebug

    I stumbled across your blog several months ago and was just blown away to realize just how young you are, how incredibly in love with Jesus Christ you are and the amazing things you are doing so far away from your family! I stop by every so often to catch up and each time I am just brought to tears, as I read your amazing stories. You have a definite gift with words! God bless you and your girls during this Christmas season! Dee Dee

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06122380694586382307 Jessa

    Wow. Thank you for sharing this. I'm not sure what to say – there is so much swirling in my heart. Just thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Hey Katie, My name is Carly Schrader. I am 25 and was born with Cerebral Palsy. I was never supposed to walk or be anything but "a vegetable in a wheelchair." God has healed me in miraculous ways! I can now do almost everything that people without Cerebral Palsy do. I walk run, and even drive a car. I'll be praying for Grace. Thanks for sharing the story about her. Oh, and I know what you mean about obedience. God recently told me to move to Uganda, so in August of 2010, that's what I'm doing. I'll be living and working in Karamoja. Maybe I can meet you someday! :-)Rejoice in the Lord Always,Carly Schrader

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10749495088712479138 Carly

    Hey Katie, The last comment I left anonymously, and then I realized how I could sign in with my google account. That was a very inspiring story. Thank you!Rejoice in the Lord Always,Carly Schrader

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09829589033814069102 kim•ber•ly

    Thank you for sharing this story. It is a beautiful reminder of so many things I need to be reminded of.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08411875604165948012 SiLa

    Our God is amazing God! He have so much patience for us.Dear Katie, may God keep you safe in His arms. Amen

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06091232102936751058 The Ferrill’s

    I see so much of myself in my disobedient children. How He teaches us through a child! Thank you for opening up your heart to us, Katie. It encourages me greatly!Laine

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13251699587621835032 Jim and April

    Hello Katie & Gwen,I am going to email this to you Gwen and also put this on your blog Katie to make for sure you girls get this!Before God told Jim and I to stop trying to conceive and to adopt our first child from Uganda, we were doing these IVIG treatments which would help me not miscarry once we got pregnant. A nurse would come to our home and administer via intravenously. So I now have an abundance of medical supplies and would LOVE to send them to you katie or if you don’t need all of them and know a medical facility in Uganda that might, I could still send them to you! I will go home tonight and make an inventory of exactly what all I have and how many but to give you an idea….I have many IV starter kits, medical tape, boxes of medical gloves, lots of alcohol pads, lots of gauge pads, tons of needles in various sizes, heparin lock, saline syringes, tubing for various medical things and a red sharps container among probably other things that I cannot think of right now. Please let me know if you are interested. Soon as I get the inventory I will email it also! Thanks so much!Love in Christ, April http://www.aswewaitwithhope.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous

    Wow, what a way to put a humbling lesson. My son is only 14 months, and we already struggle and only see it getting worse. I know we are alike that we are both so stubborn and independant, and I get so frustated (not in front of him, I try to stay calm & in control, then release my irration when they are gone). I never thought about his "tantrums" in relation to the way I obey God. Thank you for putting in such a way. It made my eyes open wide with understanding.

  • http://www.callwhenyougetthere.com Jenn Calling Home

    I just discovered your ministry today. What a beautiful thing you do. This is a powerful post… amazing to see how God works and how you are obedient to his will.

  • Anonymous

    your stories often bring me to the point of tears! Thank you for allowing the Lord to speak through you. If you have time and want to read a good parenting book there's one called "don't make me count to three" by ginger plowman. it focuses on disciplining a child's heart biblically. i'm a first time mom and it's been a GREAT eye opener and help to me!

  • http://noisycolorfullively.wordpress.com/ noisycolorfullively

    Katie. "But I think sometimes we have to throw a fit, to been horribly resistant, to appreciate how awesome it is when we finally obey."I am a foster mother here stateside. I have a three year old boy who struggles with anger and his speech delays add to his frustrations. I have so struggled with his fit throwing. I feel like I'm not doing my job. I don't know how to discipline his disobedience and no one I've talked to has given me any ideas that help. Then I read your post. You are right. That is right. And the Lord is ministering to my heart through that statement. Thank you. Thank you for what you do. Thank you for loving well. And thank you for sharing what you do.

  • Missie

    Katie, I'm new to your blog. I heard about your ministry a few weeks ago and I just wanted to let you know how proud I am to be your sister in Christ. I can't explain the feeling I get when I see Christians actually doing what we're called to do. You are an inspiration, and even though you live across the world, you have blessed my life by your story.I will be praying for you and your family (both in Uganda and in America). God bless you and keep you always.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11447648898316884917 Renee

    Mmmmm…. Just beautiful. Thank you. :)Blessings,Renee

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09018660919796496888 Stacey

    You bless, not just your children and your community and your village and your family and your friends. You bless a worldwide community of readers who pray for you and cherish you and praise God for the work you are doing, and receive so much inspiration from you and your beautiful family. God is indeed great and mighty, and His grace is truly amazing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09567398445753025662 Jamie @ Six Bricks High

    I recently found your blog and have so enjoyed reading! I have shared it with my 17 year old daughter, and she has been so touched by your story. She wrote a post over on my blog (www.sixbrickshigh.com) talking of you and your ministry. You are an inspiration! You have made a big impression on the heart of my girl. Thank you. Praying for you and looking forward to reading more.

  • Anonymous

    i think what you are doing is amazing, and by shining God's light. keep on truckin girl =]

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07051821102578257785 Tereza Crump aka MyTreasuredCreations

    I love reading your blog. You speak with such Grace, only possible to someone who really knows the Lord. God loves you so much. I can tell by the way He blesses you and shares all these precious ones with you. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09675485453694999261 Mrs. McGoo

    beautiful comparison to our own walks with the Lord. Thank you Katie for sharing. beautiful!

  • http://www.lifeisabowlofwedgies.blogspot.com/ Melody

    Unbelievable post here. I am convicted, encouraged and honored to know your through your blog. I am praying for you and your family. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

  • http://davidmcdivitt.wordpress.com/ davidmcdivitt

    Katie….As always your words are touching! Thank You for serving the children of God.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08428801816816476824 Haley

    I am reading this at what is probably pretty close to bath time. Praying for an easy and fun bath time tonight!You are such an encouragement!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16264683890580004905 Amy

    What a great post and reminder to listen to God's will for us and follow.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17895091186649302554 Nahl

    You should know you're doing some beautiful work, and you should never give up!Thanks for bringing so much positivity to so many people's lives.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06943038338298274041 Lay Down Life

    I am overwhelmed.Thank you.

  • Anonymous

    Katie! This was truly inspirational. Thank you very much.Blessings,C.Norman

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for your beautiful words. I really needed to hear that today! You are truly amazing and such a wonderful mother. I hope you and your girls had a wonderful Christmas. May you have many blessings in the upcoming New Year.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much for your beautiful words. I really needed to hear that today! You are truly amazing and such a wonderful mother. I hope you and your girls had a wonderful Christmas. May you have many blessings in the upcoming New Year.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for writing everything you do! I am so inspired by everything you do, completely blown away~

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13600148899348868100 Betsy Markman

    Thank you for this wonderful post (and for all of your posts, for that matter).I think I tend to mis-identify far too many of my struggles. They've probably got much more to do with obedience than anything else. Thank you for your obedience in mothering these precious girls!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15990026808000443790 natali

    what an amazing post!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13508147443426657080 Leanne Stewart

    This was posted on my friend's Facebook wall. I am undone.Thank you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04194542499632486388 Kathy

    Oh, Katie, we learn so much from our children. Thank you for sharing so beautifully this lesson that God taught you through Grace. I long to live obediently, but sometimes I seem to just think I have got it figured out on my own, and don't even wait to hear from God. You are so right about living in the center of God's will – nothing else like it! Why do I forget so easily how wonderful it really is?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13038150233270643685 Chance Faulkner

    awesome

  • Anonymous

    I am learning more about what you are doing. I met with Gwen and Suzanne today and it was wonderful. I am hopeful to have them on my MomTv.com show called Madre Minutes. Thanks or the bath story. It was great. I have 6 daughters.Barbara Collins†madreminutes.blogspot.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15754741140456260177 Chargualaf Family

    Amazing!!–and so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03382966038522662787 Sandy at God Speaks Today

    A friend posted your blog on my facebook page thinking I may enjoy this post. Oh my. You spoke straight to my heart. The 3-year-old…the adoption…the lesson on obedience. It all hits home for me.And that isn't even why this person posted it.I love when God does this.Bless you for your obedience and for sharing the lessons you are learning with the rest of the world.Love,Sandy

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12988970365851453138 Tara @ Feels like home

    What a beautiful post.I've never visited your blog before. I followed a link, not knowing anything about you or your family. My daughter is Grace, also, and I kept reading with the intention of posting a "Me, too!" comment.And then, wow. What a wonderful message tied up in the resistance of a 3-year-old to take a bath. I just read the chapters in Numbers where Moses and Aaron disobey God, so I think obedience is part of his message for me today. Thank you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05319385199181183660 mark

    That was an AMAZING story! How much we miss out when we do not follow God's guidance and prodding.

  • Anonymous

    I worked at my church summer camp this summer. A man by the name of Steve Langer came and spoke with us. He is from Brentwood, TN and completely inspired me through you. You have such an amazing heart, a love and desire to serve Him. I am so proud of the work you are doing, and it gives me the hope and encouragement to do this myself someday soon. Thank you so much!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02471313255115430982 TheTimberCreekKid

    You are a amazing person! God has blesed you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11740892170940148053 Monica

    I can't even tell you how much I needed to read this–thank you for sharing with people you may not ever meet. My husband and I are in the process of applying for a waiting child with special needs from South Korea. Last night we had a phone interview and this morning I woke up feeling overwhelmed, doubting our ability to handle this…but I know God has directed our path and just like you said–His grace will sustain us. Thank you so so so much. Praying for you!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15157198858039588210 Marti

    I have the privledge of reading this post to our church's youth group tonight as a lesson of God's Ultimate Authority in our lives. I have been so blessed by reading your posts..and challenged. Thanks for honoring God with your life and sharing it with us…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12692936239384102040 Valerie

    That was so beautiful. I read it to my eight year old daughter and cried. We are in the process of adoption and we pray for who God will choose. Thank you for seeing children as God does, as a unique and special life. A blessing. I will pray for you and your strength. Which every mother needs. :)

  • Bre

    Wow. This is awesome! I may not know you but I would just like to say you have such a beautiful heart! Thank you for, even when it's not what you want, being obedient to God and His plan. It is very evident that He is using you and despite your age, you are a wonderful mother! Those girls are going to grow up knowing how to serve God because they were led by EXAMPLE. And that isn't something many people are blessed enough to have! :) God bless you, Katie! p.s. I am praying and hoping to take a missions trip to Busia, Uganda this July. I have no clue what to expect and even though I know it will be out of my comfort zone…I know it is heavy on my heart. Is there anything you could tell me or advice or anything? (since you live there and all)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07076182563115741350 Nicole Collett

    Hi it is nice to find someone who feels the same way about Africa.I also have blog at blogger. It is called Gods girl helping Africa. I am 11. I want to be a missionary in Africa. How did you get people to look at your blog ?


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