Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Family on Purpose {our history}

If you think I’m a qualified professional parenting expert, think again. Our nightly routine usually consists of some version of us hog tying the kids to bed so I can have time to get my nails painted and dry before I'm ready for bed. 

I joke about the hog tying, although a few desperate moments have made me take that idea seriously.

The point is that I don’t feel very qualified to talk about this kind of thing. We’re still figuring out, and often as we go along.

My husband is a pastor, and we’ve spent the bulk of our married life in some sort of ministry. About seven years ago we moved with our three kids across the state to settle in a new town. We moved for a few different reasons, but mainly we moved because we knew that God was propelling us to a different way of doing ministry. We also got the added benefit of moving close to my husband’s boyhood home, and where his family still lives.

Our oldest son soon started kindergarten. By the end of the school year we knew that God was moving us to homeschool our kids. So we did, with much fear and trepidation. After three years of home education we realized that we needed to place the kids in school; it’s a complicated and messy story. But we knew, deep within, that was what God wanted us to do. 

After placing the kids in school we quickly realized something. We missed them. Desperately. We mourned the loss of family time. And that change brought us to a place of soul searching and praying. We wanted to cultivate and create as much family time as possible, without pulling the kids from school. At about the same time, we realized that God was calling us all along to actively and intentionally disciple our kids. It’s something he calls every parent to do. But we also struggled with this, not because we didn’t want to. We struggled because the life we were living made it hard to find the time. We spent a lot of time pouring into and discipling others, and that left not as much time to disciple our own. 

We’ve been slowly making changes to allow our family to have more time. 

We say no to some extra activities.

We politely decline some social events.

We have tuned ourselves to the rhythm of our kids and while we don’t cater to them, we adjust the schedule so that they can be at peace. 

Honestly, this is hard. It’s counter cultural to trim the schedule, to do less, to say no to things. I think we are often misunderstood. I realize that this is most likely for a season, a season of extreme no saying. And I’m guessing that God will move us to a different kind of busy at times, where we connect with others more and allow a few more things to fill the calendar. 

But this season has taught us a few things. One is that it’s okay to say no. It’s also taught us to listen the rhythms of our family. And it’s helped us to create a pattern where discipleship and faith teaching happen at home. 

This next month, you’ll get a chance to hear our story more and hopefully you’ll come away with some insight and inspiration on how to do family on purpose in your own home. 

And in the end, my prayer is that we’ll all be better disciple makers. 


New here? 

This is part 3 of a 31 day series on how to be intentional as a parent, or more specially-creating the family you were meant to have.

You can catch up on all the posts here.

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