<----------------- In the fall of 1992, a college junior named Brandon Hatmaker pretended he needed another fork in the Oklahoma Baptist University cafeteria so he would “randomly” arrive at the utensil cart just as my freshman self was getting there in line. Obviously, with moves that smooth, we got married. Seventeen years after the wedding, we’ve created a whole life, including a bunch of headstrong kids, a temperamental garden, and a church plant in Austin, TX, where we have lived for 12 years.
When the kids were 1, 3, and 5, I decided that was perfect timing to start a writing career and speaking ministry (sarcasm). In the eight years since, I have written nine books and Bible studies and worn out the airlines speaking all over the United States at conferences for women, church planters, young adults, and unsuspecting men who got roped into running the tech booth or a camera at an event for chicks.
As things were clipping right along, in 2007 God engineered a massive gear change for our family. In summary, He said: “My entire world is crumbling and starving and dying, and you’re blessing blessed people and dreaming about your next house.” Evidently He was serious about all that stuff in the Bible. A year later, we had moved, started Austin New Church whose mantra is “Love Your Neighbor, Serve Your City”, and learned that the easiest place to stay comfortably off-mission is in the western church, where we had been doing a lovely job of serving the saved and ignoring everyone else.
As life headed decidedly down the path of Justice and Mission, it became clear in early 2010 that we were called into adoption. From Ethiopia. Two kids. Straight up. We filled out every form ever created in the history of the earth to bring home our seven-year-old son (Ben) and our five-year-old daughter (Remy). With five kids, all dinner invitations have ended and gas mileage is coming to ruin with a vehicle big enough to cart around this tribe. (Sorry, earth. At least the suburban runs on Flex Fuel.)
If my goal at one time was to be a Bible teacher making an impact through communication, now it is to simply be a Christ-follower making an impact through radical obedience. So if this whole speaking and writing thing went away tomorrow in lieu of some new task, I wouldn’t be surprised or disappointed. In the meantime, the writing and teaching will continue until God gives us our next crazy assignment.