Dear friends, today I have the privilege of sharing the words of my best friend and wife, Holly – the one who married a fool, and stuck foolishly by his side through the most difficult journey of her life; learning to truly live by faith. To her credit, she has always been the one who is first to listen, last to preach, and the one who’d rather live out the plan than make a public speech. But even in that quiet reserve, she bravely admits that an occasional few words from the wife of a fool are actually the ones that give our story its most credible voice. Thank you, sweet wife and fellow fool, for courageously sharing your heart.
A Few Things I’ve Learned as The Wife of The Extravagant Fool
Hi, my name is Holly and I married a fool! Now, in all fairness, He wasn’t a fool when I married him. He was a kind, loving, generous and very driven man. He worked his tail off to provide everything for our family that we could ever need, and nearly anything we could ever want. But, in His spirit, He knew there was more, and honestly, so did I.
About six years ago, when it became apparent that we would lose everything that all his hard work had provided, we could both see the writing on the wall and knew that this wasn’t going to be your typical “riches to rags” story. This one had a greater purpose. We had a calling! I’m not saying it has been easy because it certainly hasn’t. In fact, it has been devastating as I’ve watched the life that I thought I wanted die a slow death. But, I wouldn’t trade its blessings for anything or any amount of money. I’ve learned many things as I’ve traveled this journey with Kevin, The Extravagant Fool. Here are just a few of them:
God will use anyone with a willing heart, especially one that fully seeks Him.
It is often the things that we think remove us from the running as viable candidates, that actually makes us a perfect pick for the job. I’ve seen that God frequently makes better use of our flaws than our strengths. For in our weakness, He is strong. What better way for Him to be glorified than to use two fools like Kevin and I.
God has a plan for every created thing, and every single person.
His word says that before He formed us in the womb, He knew us. God doesn’t do things without a plan and a purpose, so if He created someone then He has a plan in mind for them. I find that very comforting. None of us are here to simply take up space. I’ve learned that most of us will never find that purpose unless we are either pushed outside of our comfort zone or we choose to make that leap. Kevin and I were pushed and God’s purpose is being revealed more and more every day.
I think if a person is wondering what their purpose is they should consider what hurts their heart the most when they look around the world. What is that thing deep in you that just never seems to go away? That could very well be your purpose! Why not just go for it – be open to it – and tell your Father that you are available? We can either live a mediocre life going through the motions or we can decide to be “all-in”, knowing that we serve a loving Father who only desires good things for us. At the end of our life which of those choices will we be most excited about?
We will be miserable if we try to live in a way that is contrary to His purpose.
We will consistently feel undervalued, misused and aimless. Nothing will fill those holes. If we choose not to live as we’ve been purposed, it is no different than a beautiful glass vase being used as a hammer. I can try and use that beautiful vase as I would a hammer but eventually it will be smashed into pieces and useless. As a result, the work of the hammer never gets done and my beautiful flowers have nowhere to be displayed. Best to let the hammer be a hammer, and the vase be a vase, for neither can do the work of the other successfully.
Nothing man-made will truly set us free.
There is no political party, self-help book, bible study group, marriage counseling or program that can fix all of our problems. What we all need individually and corporately are not more PROGRAMS! We need to humble ourselves and seek the face of our Father above all else. His word says that if we seek Him first all these things will be added to us. Kevin puts it this way, “Seek Him first, not just above all things, but instead of all things”. We can become so concerned with fixing all the problems of our world, whether it’s in our own little world or the world at large, that we stop seeking Him first. He is the answer to all that ails us. When we seek His face we are no longer eye to eye with our problems. We can only see His eyes, and in them His peace.
Money is never what makes people happy.
I think we can all agree, in theory. But many still want to hedge their bets by storing it up. I have seen too many rich people who are miserable, or miserable to others, and too many people with little who are joyfully generous, to believe otherwise. Why do we define “rich” and “poor” based upon dollars and cents, anyway? Isn’t wealth really a matter of the heart? Ultimately, do we know where our true provision comes from? If a job can be lost and a 401K zapped right before our eyes, wouldn’t it just make more sense to put our faith in the creator of the Universe for our provision? He is our only reliable source for He is limitless and knows our every need, thus there is no need to hedge our bets!
It is never a good idea to give our children everything their heart desires.
In fact, it almost always creates a monster! And society will not thank us later. Certainly, teach them to work diligently, but even better, teach them how to seek God. I believe it is much better to let them see and feel the miraculous hand of provision from their God than glorifying their parent’s wealth, or even their own abilities. I say, go out on a limb in faith and watch what your Father will do. Your whole family will get to experience the awe and wonder of His love. And seeing Him perform a miracle will change you and them more than anything money can buy and He is always full of surprises!
If God has given you a dream, never ever give up.
We always forget that when the characters in the Bible were told what to do they often had to wait for long periods of time before they ever saw it come to fruition. We have become a very impatient society whose foremost desire is immediate gratification. This isn’t good for us and it isn’t good for our children (see point #6). Stick to it, fight the fight and finish the race! Very rarely do those who give up get a reward. But those who finish the race are honored with the prize. We may be bruised and bloody at the finish line, but we can say that we fought the good fight, carried God’s purpose, and finished well.
Always be thankful for what you do have.
We inherently become what we focus on. We can get lost in what we think God isn’t doing rather than being thankful for what He is doing. But if we wake up being thankful, it will change our day. Plus, as an added bonus, it really ticks Satan off! God loves a thankful heart, especially one in the midst of circumstances that should be rocking our world. I know how I feel when my children walk around complaining when I’ve just done something for them and also how I feel when they are grateful. Their gratitude moves my heart. I know it moves my Father’s, too.
People will always surprise us.
They will hurt us with their selfishness but they will also blow our minds with their selfless generosity. In these last 6 -7 years, Kevin and I have been hurt deeply by people that we thought cared about us. People that we thought would be in our corner have turned their backs on us; they have ridiculed us and called us foolish, and have not stood in faith with us. It is excruciatingly painful. Kevin likes to say, “We must lower our expectations of people and raise them of God.” I find that when I can do that I am more easily able to forgive them and see God’s hand in the situation. The ticket is to not become bitter when those we expected to love us well, just don’t.
The flip side is to joyfully recognize that people can also surprise us….in a great way! Unexpected people, even strangers, have been an incredible support, which goes to show that a God who likes to keep us on our toes, can and will use whomever He sees fit. Including a sweet, very faithful 17- year old girl, an amazing family in Brazil, and a kind, generous man in Virginia, and many, many others – all people that I look forward to meeting one day, hopefully this side of heaven, who have all changed my life due to their kind words, encouragement and even financial support.
More of God is worth any price.
Several years ago, after our large home had been foreclosed on and we were living in a tiny little rental, a good friend of mine just offhandedly asked me if my life felt any different living in the tiny rental vs. living in the “big house”. I had to stop and really think on this question. And I still ponder it a lot to this day. I told her that I still had the same chair that sits in my bedroom in a corner. It is where I do my morning bible study. I spent my alone time there in the “big house” and I spent it there in the tiny rental. Both homes had walls and bathrooms and kitchens and most importantly the same people lived there. So, I had to honestly tell her that no, it didn’t really feel that different in the day to day. I still had a roof over my head and a comfy bible study chair and my family around me. I guess that kind of put it in perspective.
But, in the last few months, I went back to that conversation and God reminded me of another conversation – one that I had with Him while sitting in the “big house” during one of my alone times. I remember thinking, praying “Father…surely there is more to life than this! I live in this beautiful house. I drive a brand new car. I live in this sought after neighborhood, but I still feel like there is more to life than this. What am I missing? Show me God! Give me the More! I want whatever you have for me. I want to be what you made me to be. I don’t want to waste this life on myself.”
As I pondered this conversation with God from many years ago, while sitting in my same comfy chair (in the home where I currently live), it hit me…I no longer ask Him that question! I am living the More! God is revealing to Kevin and I daily what He created us to be. I wouldn’t want it any other way and I wouldn’t give any of it back. The scales have been removed. I was blind but now I see. The MORE is always worth it!
Thank you, Kevin Adams, The Extravagant Fool, for being willing to risk it all to serve our Father with all your heart and without limits. You have given your wife and your children a legacy and a gift far greater than money could ever provide. Here’s to many more years being the wife of a fool!!
What We’re Up To
As a ministry, we are currently developing educational resources, online support tools and forming a community to help equip and encourage the faithful steps of inspired believers. If you’d like to help us, purchase The Extravagant Fool as a gift for someone you care about, and recommend it to others. You can also support our work by donating here.
Up Next: Stories, challenges, and much more on what we’ve learned from this six year journey.
Kevin, Holly, and The Extravagant Fool family
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