Shake Well

July 7, 2009

Isn’t it funny how you end up on different blogs? Sometimes I think God divinely directs our clicks on the computer and directs us to just what we need to read at just the right time. This happened to me last week, and I was so deeply encouraged by what I read.

It is the blog of a guy I went to college with. He has recently been diagnosed with a brain tumor and is going through all of the twists and turns of this reality. Reading his blog was another reminder to me of how pain connects people. At the root of all pain is this deep (sometimes more deep than others) loss of “what life was supposed to look like”.

David, the blog writer, wrote about a phrase that he read on an orange juice bottle one morning. It said, “Shake well. Settling is natural.” I haven’t been able to stop thinking about that phrase. How easy it is to fall into the easy, simple, safe way of living. We take no risks; we keep our relationships at superficial levels; we try our best to arrive at death “safely”. But when we do this, we rob ourselves of exciting adventures; deep, meaningful relationships; doing things we would never dream of doing.

Steve and I just celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary while we were on our ministry trip last week. Before we went to Ecuador, we spent 5 days in Gatlinburg, TN for a youth conference. Our high school students surprised us with an authentic Gatlinburg-style wedding vow renewal. It was hilariously wonderful and beautiful at the same time.

wedding vow renewal

As I thought about the last 7 years, they aren’t necessarily what I would have imagined. But, I stood there, looking at our students and I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. We are so blessed with deep, meaningful relationships with students, friends, and family. We have gone on so many adventures in our 7 years of marriage – from India to Ecuador, from leaving our family in North Carolina to following God’s call in Ohio. We have done things and experienced things we never would have dreamed.

Sometimes people ask God to be “shaken”. We didn’t. Infertility was not a choice we made and has been a deep pain that has continually brought us back to the heart of God after questions, fears and doubts. But the journey of infertility has shook us well. It has not allowed us to “settle” for the life we thought we wanted.

The truth is, infertility has been the path that has brought adventure and opportunities to do things we never would have been able to do in places we never imagined visiting. Infertility has been the vessel for us to connect with people in deeper and more intimate ways. Infertility has reminded us of our total dependence on Christ.

So now we have a new prayer. “Lord, shake well. It is so natural for us to just want to settle with life on our terms. But God, we want to be shaken. Shaken to deeper places with you. With others. With each other. So shake well. We don’t want to settle.”


  • we are now in month 3 of what was quoted to us as an 8 month waiting period

Prayer Requests:

  • sometimes we feel like this adoption will never happen, we need faith to believe God is still carrying this through
  • for our little one wherever he/she may be – that they would be loved and touched

Until next Monday, love Kate & Steve

3 Responses to “Shake Well”

  1. Kim said

    What a great post! Just wait and see what God has in store for you as you continue down the adoption road! The relationships He will provide you with are irreplaceable! It will happen, I know it!

  2. Victoria said

    Excellent thoughts – so true. God knows your plan, but it is still hard to wait for it all. We adopted from Russia last year after waiting 2 1/2 years. It was a slow, long wait and after infertility treatments, it still felt awful. We have our baby now, but I remember the pain like it was yesterday. It seems like things are moving quickly in Russia right now, so maybe it will be sooner than you think! God Bless –

  3. Sarah said

    I wrote a comment and then accidently deleted it, it was an awesome comment too! Just wanted to let you know that I’m praying for you and your child, who is already planned, chosen, known and loved by God.

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