I am the oldest of 8 children. Growing up, we were each expected to take piano lessons and one additional instrument (most of us played either the violin or the cello). With 8 kids in the family that was a huge time commitment for my parents and an even larger financial commitment. Add to that, my parents weren’t okay with just any music teacher. They wanted to provide the very best training and opportunities. We traveled 14 hours round trip every other week to lessons and went away to summer music camps each summer.
It was expensive.
It was also a top priority.
One time my dad asked my mom, “When are we going to admit that we can’t afford these lessons anymore?”
My mom answered, “Never!”
Over the years we did lots of fundraising as a family. We sold suckers, strawberry pies, and arts and crafts. We gave benefit concerts. We asked businesses to sponsor us as we headed off to music camps. Fortunately, we also earned plenty of scholarships along the way to help ease the financial burden.
With all this in my background, you would think I am a pro at fundraising. But you would be wrong. I am not, and I never was. In addition, because I needed to participate in so many of these events growing up, I absolutely HATE it! I hate asking for money. I hate rejection. I hate feeling like I have to beg. I hate not being self-sufficient. (I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in feeling this way either… how many of us run away from anything that screams, “I NEED YOUR MONEY!”) As a result, I am currently in a situation that is extremely uncomfortable.
Today I told my husband, “It would be so much easier to change my mind. I could go back to my old (easy) life of 4 kids. I could give up on the fundraising. I could avoid all the paperwork and legalities. I could take a nap and catch up on my missed TV shows.”
So why don’t I just take the easy road? Why do I hold on to this idea that I have to do things I hate and work harder than I’m accustomed to working?
It’s simple: I have met three kids that I believe are supposed to be part of my family. Actually, I not only believe it, I feel it so strongly that I KNOW they are supposed to be part of my family. I can’t imagine not having them in our home. I also recognize that having a family requires sacrifice. So, sacrifice I will!
Today at church someone read a quote that I especially liked:
If you have something that the Lord asks or expects you to do and you don’t know just how to proceed, do your best. Move in the direction that you ought to go; trust the Lord, give him a chance, and he will never fail you.