I’ve signed up again (a perspective from Misty: a mom of 7 in full time missions

This fall will be 10 years since we walked into the greatest journey of our lives. 10 years ago we said yes to laying down our dreams for life and picking up the dreams The Lord had in store for us. The stories are endless as we have been challenged, transformed, ignited, grown, and provided for. Each move we have made and each child we have adopted has taken us to a new level of faith, I, at the time, wasn’t sure I could handle. Each step of faith leading to one journey after the other and stretching us even more. This past year when we felt called to YWAM Kona I knew The Lord was asking something of us that only HE could do. Come on, 9 family members go to Kona, Hawaii for 6 months!!! Who does this? Who gets invited to such a thing? Well we did and every need and every step of the way He provided. At 42 years old I became more alive than I have ever felt. I learned so much about walking life out to the fullest. I learned about joyful repentance, walking with an unoffendable heart and the great joy of sharing the gospel. These are all things I have been taught before but they were taken to a whole new level and it spoke right to my heart. While in those 6 months I felt more alive than ever I was also challenged far beyond what I had signed up for. From selling everything we owned on this earth but our 9 passenger van and some clothes, to my dad being given not much more time to live, to one of our children having the emotional hurts of his past and letting them all come to a head while in Kona, a miscarriage at 14 weeks, going low and serving and leading peers, wrestling all along with what is after Kona. The things I asked of The Lord at age 42 was that he would give me greater wisdom, more humility, grow me in leadership and more love for HIS word. I just did not know I would get in leading 16 peers and 24 children on outreach, in being desperate for HIS word to carry me through the pain of not being with my dad in his illness, and in trying to love a 10 year old boy who thought he could raise himself. I found myself both grateful and exhausted at the end of the 6 months. When I arrived back in Dallas and saw my parents and hugged their necks I was overcome by the graciousness of The Lord that he sustained my dads life long enough for me to see him face to face again. During all of this we felt like Canby, Oregon had been highlighted to us as the place He had for us next. This all felt like an out of body experience since I was trying to grieve my dads death and figure out how and why we we would be sent 30 hours away from “home”. In August we started our journey to Canby where our kids attended camp the first week we were here. Brady and I both almost instantly fell in love with the mountains and trees and the weather. ( I wore a sweatshirt in August) As I wrestled with The Lord the following two weeks as to how were we going to start all over again and how do I fill this whole in my heart of my dad being gone and are my kids going to like it here, is The Lord going to speak to them too that this is where we are suppose to be and will we find a home, what will we do for school and the list goes on. I am thankful to say that The Lord has made it such a pleasurable journey. He has answered so many of my requests for instance; schooling, a home to live in, what we will do here? YES! He spoke to my children unanimously that we were to be here. We have met many wonderful and like hearted people on this journey of pursing the presence of The Lord. So although I still have questions unanswered and my heart still grieves, I have signed up again whole heartedly to this season of life laid before me. I am excited and thankful to be here, make this our new home and partner with what is going on here.

Misty

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One day remaining

LoveLooksLikeThis is a non profit organization operating on your tax deductible donations. There is ONE day remaining to make your year end contributions. Help us raise 5,000.00 by years end to begin 2012 with these initiatives. *1 church 1 family 1 child web campaign
*love sacks for foster children
*peer foster / adopt families
*mobilization and service projects to waiting children

To make your secure credit card contribution today email Brady at Bradycottle@me.com

Brady Cottle
Subscribe to our blog
http://www.lovelookslikethis.com

817.793.5986 direct

Less than 2 days remaining to reach our year end goal

LoveLooksLikeThis is a non profit organization operating on your tax deductible donations. There are 2 days remaining to make your year end contributions. Help us raise 5,000.00 by years end to begin 2012 with these initiatives. *1 church 1 family 1 child web campaign
*love sacks for foster children
*peer foster / adopt families
*mobilization and service projects to waiting children

To make your secure credit card contribution today email Brady at Bradycottle@me.com

Brady Cottle
Subscribe to our blog
http://www.lovelookslikethis.com

817.793.5986 direct

From tonight’s 20/20

See this excerpt from tonight’s 20/20 report on drugs and kids in foster care
“In Texas, foster children were 53 times more likely to be prescribed five or more psychiatric medications at the same time than non-foster children. In Massachusetts, they were 19 times more likely. In Michigan, the number was 15 times. It was 13 times in Oregon. And in Florida, foster children were nearly four times as likely to be given five or more psychotropic medications at the same time compared to non-foster children.”
Read more at http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=15058380&sid=81

This is why I do this

Last week we were in Kansas City, Mo, one of our favorite places on planet earth.  Trust me its not the scenery or flashy tourist attractions that lure us there a few times a year rather something far less tangible or easy to convey in this blog.  We go to KC, MO for our hopeful expectation that we will encounter God like every other time that we have visited the International House of Prayer (or IHOP).   This time we went in faith that the kids would be able to attend “SIGNS AND WONDERS CAMP”.  I know, it may sound like an odd name to some of you but this place is serious about teaching kids to listen and obey the voice of God and about living a radical God powered life.  We came to this camp after seeing how kids are valued as vessels of God waiting to be activated and poured out rather than lesser folk who have to be taken care of while the adults do their thing.  We saw first hand this past December the mark made on our own kids lives after attending the children’s equipping classes at the ONE THING CONFERENCE.

I remember holding my iphone as steady as I could  trying to record  my oldest son Kam deliver an inspiring message to a few hundred of his peers. He prayed a powerful prayer full of faith and innocents as he said “God help us to raise the dead and save puppies”  C’mon he’s 8, Im sure from his perspective, finding lost puppies would be helping to solve one of the worlds biggest problems.  Yes, its precious but whats more compelling is that I saw my kids filled with expectation, wonder, delight and devotion to the things of God and His Kingdom.  It was as if their hearts had been doused with fuel this whole time just waiting for someone to come along with the right match…….They lit up! Their eyes and hearts were opened in a way we had never seen and suddenly we became more aware of our awesome responsibility of shepherding their gifts and the honor of stewarding their hearts for the Kingdom.

We became parents to fulfill the commands of Jesus.  We are becoming better parents as we understand that our children will bring something to this age that we may never see ourselves…..and that is a people of God on fire for Him and for the ones He loves.   A shift took place and we become more aware that this role we play as parents is not about us, but about them.  What an  What a privilege!   I have to admit, that at 41 years of age I still default to making most of my life decisions in such a way that most benefit me.  As a follower of Jesus I tend to be more self serving than truly sacrificial.  However, when I see my kids in this sort of environment its like they are becoming who they are supposed to be.    They came home every day excited about spending 12 hot summer hours with 250 other kids.  They worshiped together, prayed for one another, played capture the flag and other “camp stuff” and then came home worn out but excited to relay the days events to Misty and I.  One night as we were driving back to the hotel I suggested that they were not having any fun and that we should go home the next morning.  A loud and violent protest broke out inside our 9 passenger van and they all cried in unison  “NO”.

What they relayed to us was no joke! My kids encountered God in a way I long to be connected to Him.  They were provoked to do something active in their pursuit of Him.    They are learning that in them dwells the power to do the things that Jesus spoke of. While the adults sneer analytically and our cynicism prevents our own encounters, our kids rush fast into the presence of God unhindered by hurt, unbelief or hardness of heart.  Now I run faster to keep up and respond to how the Lord has answered my prayers for them. I pray that they continue to run unfettered with reckless abandonment as we all cry “Come Lord Jesus”!

An Open Letter From Dad

Dear Cottle Kids! As I roll through the thoughts of this Father’s Day I had a few things I wanted to share. I love being your dad! Truth is there is no greater honor God has given me than to be the dad and husband of this amazing family. I can’t wait to see who we all become together because I’m so proud of who you are now. Each of my kids inspire me and provoke me to be a better man, to think more , dream more, love more and be present in the moment. I have one desire and that is that you be all you are made to be, seeing all the goodness of God and take your place in part of a generation that will hasten the return of Jesus! What a great and glorious adventure we are on. Yes, It will sometimes be exhausting, hard and even painful to keep your head and faith high, but I promise you the things we will discover together are going to be priceless, unforgettable and miraculous. Love Jesus wholeheartedly, love others lavishly and live like there is nothing more certain or worth pursuing than the fruit of those things. Undoubtedly, I will forget the passion and zeal for you that I have for you while I write these words but your Heavenly Daddy will never fall short in loving you well. I pray that as we travel life together I will do well to represent His heart to yours. Thanks for a great day, Love, Dad.