Real diamonds

Diamonds (Image from )

I have to confess, I’ve been battling some discontent lately on the financial front.  For so many years we’ve been so careful.  We’re now debt-free except for the house– a huge blessing.  We even have a little money in an emergency fund. But I think somehow I expected to have a teeny bit more financial ease once we’d reached that goal– just a little more money for extras on a monthly basis.  Except then the A/C breaks, and the calves need hay, and grocery prices go up, and the homeschool graduation fee is due, and somebody needs shoes, and always there are doctor bills.  Every month the reasons are different, but the end result is the same:  the money is gone.

Meanwhile our cars are all between 15 and 20 years old.  John and I have been day dreaming about (someday, maybe) getting a pretty band added to my wedding ring, one with a dab more bling.  I’m longing to take our girls back to Ethiopia for a homeland visit, except– hello!!– airfare for 5 =$10,000.   And I’ve just been feeling discontent.  (Heaven forgive me, I know I’m so very blessed, but those are the feelings that creep in from time to time.)

And then yesterday morning, I read this:

Two years ago, I sat in a locked caged room in the back of a downtown pawn shop and smiled happy tears while I watched a kind older gentleman wearing a gun who has worked in the pawn business for 60 years pry open the prongs around my wedding ring diamond and pocket the stone. As he handed me my mangled ring and the company check for the price I had negotiated with him, tears filled his eyes. He choked back sobs as he then slid two crisp bills out of his personal wallet and pressed them into my palm above the check. “One for each of them. Go get those babies.” And I did. And now I am coming for you, Haven. God has spoiled me rotten in this life, and you are another one of His precious Gemstones and HE has determined your worth. I would trade everything I have for this treasure in jars of clay; I will sell everything I own to buy this field.”   (More about them here)

That’s just a snippet of the story of a momma who made sacrifices to bring 2 precious children into their family, and is now adopting another child.  That story is exactly what my discontent heart needed to hear this morning, to settle everything back into place.  Because in a very real but perhaps less dramatic way, our family made a similar choice all those years ago.
Sure, it’d be fun to drive a newer vehicle, to have more margin in our budget, to travel more.  And (frivolous as the longing is) lots of gals would understand the desire for a ring with some bling. Who doesn’t want it all?

But back in 1998 when we stepped forward with Our little ones from Ethiopia (2004 and 2005)our first adoption, we made a choice as to where our resources would go.  Toward our children. One in 1998.  One in 2000.  One in 2004.  One in 2005.  Two in 2007.  Priceless, precious children of God, now our own.

We could have chosen stuff.  But we chose people.  And let me tell you, we are unworthy of the favor God showed us by entrusting these precious ones to us. It’s a choice I’ll never, ever regret. Yes, even if  every now and then my foolish, forgetful heart needs a reminder  about priorities.

And now, if you haven’t already, will you click here and go help that momma bring her little Haven home?  I hope you will also consider sharing and liking this post so that more folks can hear her story.Haven

They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them. I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul.  ~Jeremiah 32:38-41 NIV
Pin It


  1. AMEN and AMEN! Love that Missy and LOVE how God is using her and her family.

    Now when you’re ready to go back to Ethiopia call me and we’ll get you there as cheaply as possible. 😉 <3

  2. Can relate to your story about having a bit for frivolous? things with the payment of one debt or another. With added work hours am hoping that I can pay down those college loans and get them out of my hair. But like you said, someone will need help buying a new car, a grandchild will get sick and I will have to take time off work, a child will need help moving, and the list goes on and on. But I keep plugging along happily knowing that in an area where depression is running rampant I must be vigilant in my thoughts and actions or find myself on the edge of a depressive mood which might be hard to control. I keep in the forefront of my mind all the people from elementary age to senior citizens who are suffering from depression and try to keep my mind clear, pray often, and surround myself with uplifting people.

  3. Thanks for this today too. We’re trying hard to get our 2nd adoption paid off and having months of medical bills especially therapy for our 1st adopted daughter and I’ve had 2 surgeries and brakes and tires and the major house projects that are piling up.

  4. Mary, this was wonderful. You have chosen the better part. This is the perspective of life that is life-giving! I am praying though that God will give you that band on your finger too. He is so extravagant in His gifts to us. Thank you for this post.

  5. Mary – I am so touched by this. I am in the process of adopting a child and was looking around my house this morning, wondering if any I had was worth selling! Your posts about God providing for each of your adoptions are such an encouragement to me. I can’t wait to see how God provides for us as well. – Stephanie

  6. You spoke to my heart today! I struggle with this too and while we haven’t adopted any children, we did choose to have 4 wonderful sons and to have me stay home and raise them. I love this line – We could have chosen stuff. But we chose people. – I’m going to write it down in big letters and put it somewhere I can see it often.

  7. Lea Stormhammer says:

    Thanks Mary.

    Just Thanks.


  8. Gary Coryer says:

    Darn you Mary! Grown men aren’t supposed to cry!
    Peace my friend, God will reward you for all you do!

  9. Earlier this year I bought and read your book, “A Sane Woman’s Guide to Raising a Large Family.” I got a few pointers out of it. One was your birthday tradition of taking the birthday child out to dinner with just mom and dad.

    My husband and I are expecting our 5th baby in a couple of weeks. Naturally money is tight and will be for a while. I threw out an idea to our oldest, whose birthday is this week-another birthday present from mom and dad when you know you will get plenty of presents from extended family or go out to eat at a restaurant with mom and dad. There was no discussion. She wanted the restaurant experience. The experience filled a need in her (and my) life. Because she is the oldest, more help is expected from her. She seems to enjoy helping.

    I just wanted to say thank you for this idea, and this post, to again remind us that people (souls) are more important than things.

  10. Whenever I am feeling a little wanty in the bling department, I remind myself that the majority of diamonds are produced via child labour, and frequently the profits are used to finance a warlord’s military efforts (so called “blood” diamonds). That is not an industry I’d care to support even if I could. Makes me feel better about the simple gold band on my left finger . . . now, if only I could do something about my old decrepit sofa . . .

  11. There is a woman at our church who is missing her ring finger on her left hand. When she was overseas, as was the custom there and then, she hopped off a slow- moving trolley. Her engagement ring caught on something on a railing, and zowie! finger gone, leaving blood spattered on the side of the car, which did not stop. She is very good at telling the story to wide-eyed children, usually ending with a warning about the dangers of shiny things.

  12. Thank you for this post. It is a beautiful reminder of priorities and people above things. I have struggled financially and gotten a lot of comments about how much my son “cost.” Love the sotry and gives me hope for the next one 🙂

  13. fellow Christian says:

    Take care not to do your good works before men, to be seen by them; or you will have no reward from your Father in heaven

  14. Hi Mary,
    Such a great story. I love all the pictures. Just going through old pictures brings you right back to the feelings you had when you were there. I’m sure you remember the feeling that no sacrifice was too great.
    I’ve been married 21 years and never had a ring and don’t really care. Bling is not important to me, but this morning I woke up and was feeling a little discontent myself. Why can’t I have just a little extra in the budget to fill in the potholes (trenches?) in our driveway or to put new barn boards up on the barn so there aren’t huge spaces where they’ve come off over the years. It would be nice to be able to buy a new pair of shoes without having to rework the budget a million ways. But, I wouldn’t trade the fact that I got to stay home (mostly) and homeschool my kids for the last 14 years, that I got to spend the last few years with my mom before she died and so many other blessings.
    Thanks for sharing and reminding me of the real diamonds.