Did You Hear That?

November 16, 2009 at 9:45 am 18 comments

I’m not totally sure where this post is going… so be patient with me. We’ll go somewhere and I think I have a point, just not sure if I’ll find the point along the way.

You know the game Telephone? Where there is a line of people and the first person comes up with a message and whispers it to the person next to them. They whisper it to the person next to them. And so on, until you get to the end and the last person announces the message. Somehow the sentence “Look at those beautiful blue skies by the sea” turns into “The cat throws beautiful poop pies on Chelsea.” If you are like me and grew up going to church camps, you probably played that game and then got a message about how gossip is similar. You may tell someone something but then they could pass it on and somehow it ends up being something totally different that could hurt someone. (Let’s not have the discussion about the true reason gossip is wrong- it really has nothing to do with the fact that your message might be misheard and told improperly. But that’s not my point today.)

I think telephone is a funny game. It’s always entertaining to hear how it’ll turn out. But what’s even more fascinating is when multiple people can listen to the exact same thing, but hear something completely different.

I was at a meeting last week at church. Someone asked me how Stephen was doing so I started giving my update. One of the men in the room hadn’t heard the story so I gave a quick recap. “Well Stephen was in an ATV accident and beat up his face pretty good.” Another man in the room said, “OHHHHHH!! An ATV accident!” I looked at him and said, “Yeah, an ATV accident.” And he laughed a bit and said, “I thought he was in an HEB accident!! I wasn’t sure what happened and I was scared to ask. An unruly cart or something like that? I just couldn’t figure it out.” (For those of you who don’t live in Texas, HEB is a grocery store.) Hilarious.

This weekend I went to the Women of Faith conference at the Toyota Center. I have been to my fair share of conferences throughout my life but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this one. I was excited nevertheless. I was going with a big group of women from my church. A friend of my mom’s came in town for the weekend so I was going to get to spend time with her. Another bonus – Lauren and her mom met us there. So after work on Friday, I headed downtown to find the hotel. I wasn’t nervous about my drive into “the city” but soon realized that I was arriving a few minutes after 5:00. Not fun. Not fun at all. I only had to do one U-Turn and cut off one person to get to my location though. I think that’s a win.

We walked to a nearby restaurant to grab a quick dinner before the 7:00 session started. It seemed to be a neat place except for the man at the table next to us that didn’t understand that he wasn’t actually part of our conversation. I almost turned into a 3rd grader and said, “This conversation is between A and B, so C your way out of it.” Yes, I know. We should have been Christ to him and loved him. We tried. But when he kept staring at me (like super creepy stare) and smiled and said, “Cat got your tongue?” all of my friendliness vanished.

We headed to the Toyota Center and this is actually the point of my post. I know the quickest route from Point A to Point B is a straight line, but I like to take you on the scenic route. I make no apologies.

Like the ATV/HEB confusion, I think every woman heard something different this weekend. We were all sitting in the same arena listening to the same speakers but we all heard different things. If we are going to be completely honest, this conference wasn’t my cup of tea. I came with my Bible and a journal for note-taking. I didn’t use either. My cup of tea includes the Bible and large quantities of notes. These speakers were funny and had great stories to tell about some rough lessons they’ve learned. I know they reached many women and I definitely see their passion for the Lord in what they are doing. There just weren’t many things that were said that really left a mark on my heart. But there was one thing.

On Friday night, Steven Curtis Chapman took the stage. I love him. LOVE him. His music is beautiful and his heart for God is just amazing. He told a story about when he and his wife were about to go meet their first adopted child, Shaohannah. His wife Mary Beth struggled with a few fears before they met her. What if she didn’t love her the same as she loved her biological children? What if she just couldn’t love this child enough?? But when she took Shaohannah in her arms, she was overcome with love. She instantly loved this child more than she could ever imagine.

They grew to have a new understanding of Christ’s love. He says He’s our Father. What does that mean? How could love us all the time, no matter what? Could he really love me more than my own dad? More than my own mom? There are so many of us, how does he even have enough love to love us all?? I can understand that He loved Jesus, Jesus was His own son. But me? I am half Kurt, half Alice. How could he love me as I’m His own?

Because I am His own. Just as Shaohannah belongs to the Chapmans. Just as my friend Lyndsey belongs to her parents. Wholly and completely. Without condition or exception or an asterisk. Adoption is a beautiful portrait of unconditional parental love.

As a childless married woman, this hit me. I don’t know if that’s God’s plan for my life. I would love to have a half Stephen, half Chelsea child. But it’s possible that God has other plans. And, my gosh, God’s plans are fabulous. So if He chooses adoption for us, we will gladly accept that calling on our life. Maybe He’ll want me to learn a lesson about what love is really all about. I don’t know. I’m sure there are many women who didn’t hear that message. They heard something else, something that God wanted them to hear. All I know is that SCC’s message was something I was supposed to hear.

On Sunday morning, we watched a NOOMA video called Lump. Can you guess what it was about? Love. Specifically a parent’s love for their child. Hi God, I hear you. So I’m going to chew on these things for a while and see what I’m supposed to learn. If you have any morsels of truth, share away.

For now I’m going to focus on the sentence Rob Bell spoke to his son: “There is nothing you could do to make me love you less.”

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Entry filed under: Chelsea, Family, Marriage, Stephen. Tags: , , , , , , .

Seven Quick Takes (vol.15) Ten on Tuesday (6)

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life  |  November 16, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Deep thoughts on a Monday morning! Beautiful. I think there is definitely a lot for you guys to chew on, here. But just the fact that you’re so willing to listen to different options and consider them with God’s intentions at the center of your thoughts is amazing. Think about what an impact that ALONE could have on your life! No matter where you are led, to always consider how God wants your life to go? That is awesome.

    Also, if you’re trying to hook long term readers with this one — wanting to find out how this unfolds in the future — well done. I’ll be here to listen for a laaawng time 🙂 But, I probably would have been anyway.

  • 2. Southern Gal  |  November 16, 2009 at 10:38 am

    Love this post. Yes, we all can be in the same place, hearing the same people speak and come away with exactly what God wants us to hear. And that may be something different for everyone. Isn’t that amazing?

    Love SCC. I subscribe to the Chapman Channel blog feeds and am so uplifted by their stories even before the tragic death of Maria.

    I pray the Lord will reveal His plans to your hearts about children, adoption, etc. We were not supposed to have any children and were blessed with three! You can read about it on my blog if you’d like. http://itwasbroughtonbylove.blogspot.com/2009/08/hope.html

  • 3. Kyla Roma  |  November 16, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Oh my goodness, you certainly pack a punch, don’t you? It’s too bad that the whole conference didn’t speak to you, but it sounds like you left with one piece of something that’s going to stay with you. And it also sounds like that story was something that really leapt into your heart.

    Whenever you guys decide to have children, I have no doubt that they will be very lucky and very loved- no matter how they come into your lives.

  • 4. Lindsay  |  November 16, 2009 at 11:05 am

    I JUST DROVE THROUGH THE SNOW FOR THE FIRST TIME! i know it has nothing to do with your blog but i thought you should know..I just went through the scariest morning of my LIFE.

  • 5. Lyndsey  |  November 16, 2009 at 11:07 am

    I read this article in people magazine this weekend about a family who adopted 4 African American boys in addition to the 2 children they already had. They starved the adopted children for 15 years. Starved them to the point that the oldest who was 19 was not even four feet tall and weighed 45 lbs.

    The story made me sick to my stomach and made my heart ache. How could people take these children and promise to parent them and then abuse them that way? I wanted to send these boys food and money and help them somehow. Of course now they have a new family that loves them wholly and unconditionally. I spent the rest of the day reflecting on how many babies are in the world with no one to love them. I know I cannot help them all. I can’t feed them all or hug them all or even cry over them all. But perhaps I could help 2 or 3. I could feed, hug, love, and cry over 2 or 3.

    So… my dear friend. We may have gotten the same lesson at the same time in different states from VERY different sources.

  • 6. Taryn M. Peine  |  November 16, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Awesome thoughts for this Monday morning, Chelsea. I have thought about this before too – and the only conclusion I can really come to on anything in life is NOTHING is going to look the way I thought it would. AKA – if you want to hear God laugh, make a plan…

  • 7. jill  |  November 16, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Great post…and I’m glad you have your ears and heart open. I currently know 2 couples planning/going through adoption for Ethiopian babies.

  • 8. thatmarriedcouple  |  November 16, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Beautiful. Adoption crosses my mind occasionally when I remember that fertility is a gift (as opposed to a right). I try to keep my prayer “Lord, bless us with children” (someday), even though I often want to specify all the details about those children!

  • 9. Dad  |  November 16, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    There is nothing you could do to make me love you less.

  • 10. Lisa  |  November 16, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    What a powerful post, Chelsea. It’s odd, because at the time of the conference, I did not think it was my cup of tea either. However, I cannot stop thinking about some of the powerful things that were said or the mention of some of the books. I am reminded that even though I had very different expectations, God is blessing me in a very different way than I expected. Funny how God works! Love you bunches!

  • 11. Autumn  |  November 16, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    Wow… Well said.
    I have so many many close friends who have chosen the adoption road for themselves, and they are so blessed. (Check out my blogroll sometime.)
    Whatever lies ahead for your family, God bless…

  • 12. Lisa D  |  November 16, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    Very well written, Chelsea. It is really hard to wrap your mind around God’s love for us. I think of how much I love my nephews – and they aren’t even my own children – and then I have to try to multiply that love I feel by infinity or something like that, and yah, it’s just kind of amazing. Especially the ‘nothing yhou could do to make me love you less.’

  • 13. The Husband  |  November 16, 2009 at 10:53 pm

    Kids would be fun either way. I still think it’s fun, adopted or not, to raise a kid in any brainwashing way you want!

  • 14. Jessica  |  November 16, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    I’m going to start commenting backwards and end with where you started, hope you don’t mine.

    We watched Lump before our bio 2 final! It’s a good, good NOOMA. One of my favorites, actually.

    You know what’s weird is that I was thinking the same thing about sermons at church when you take something one way when someone takes something another way. It’s pretty interesting stuff.

    And how you took us on a scenic route in your blog is how I drive around downtown. Now that’s something to apologize for. (My driving, not your scenic routes)

  • 15. mom  |  November 16, 2009 at 11:27 pm

    This “nana”, “memaw”, “gigi”, “granny”, “grandma” or whatever you call her will love your children no matter HOW you have them…I also LOVED SCC – he is such an amazing man with such a heart for the Lord. I thnk what he has done for those precious children – taking them into his family – is wonderful…..and I too say, you could never do anything that would make me love you less….:)

  • 16. Maureen (MIL)  |  November 17, 2009 at 12:43 am

    I will love my grandbabies no matter how they get here! I love Steven Curtis Chapman too. He and his wife are amazing people.

  • 17. Courtney  |  November 17, 2009 at 2:17 am

    What a coincidence – I just watched a movie called ‘The Christmas Child” with Steven Curtis Chapman on Friday night. I liked it – it’s about a man who comes to Texas and learns about his birth family.

    I have it both ways, since I have a biological parent and an adoptive parent. Love is very special no matter what! You and Stephen will be very loving parents, and this future aunt can’t wait 🙂

  • 18. Julia  |  November 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Good post.

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