This year is already coming to a close and it has been a crazy one for us. Traveling to 16 different states with the kids, away from home for months at a time, and learning to rest hard.
We love our life, but that doesn’t mean it is all sunshine and rainbows. It took some intention and conscious decision making and a heck of a lot of prayer and diligence and sacrifice. You know that quote that is often floating around social media, “remember when what you have is exactly what you prayed for?” well that couldn’t be more true for our family journey, and what’s even more exciting is we’re still on it…
Around six years ago, our life could not have looked more different. I was walking away from a dream job, super pregnant and immensely stressed – I ended up on bed rest because of the amount of stress my body was under with work and a pregnancy. We were broke, and I mean b-r-o-k-e. Our electric kept getting shut off, our car was repossessed…twice, and we had some serious debt chasing after us. Our marriage was anything but joyful. We had a baby on the way, and a four year old we were trying to build a healthy life for. In short, if there was a word that meant more opposite than the word opposite, that’s what our life looked like then compared to now.
We broke. I broke. Months after our sweet girl was born, I couldn’t deal with the chaos around us anymore. Things didn’t get worse, but they definitely weren’t getting better. We had to get intentional about life as a family, a life for His glory and not our own, a life worth pouring into, and not a life sucking us dry, but encouraging us to give more, share more, do more.
One night I sat down and wrote out what I loved about our life and what I wanted to change. Sharing these things with Sam was an entertaining conversation, especially since things had been so rocky for us during this season.
I asked him if we could fight in prayer and action for these things, to make better choices, seek counsel…lay it all on the table and only pick up what we were called to moving forward. Those first small steps, a lot of repenting, and prayer changed our lives.
We knew we wanted a life where Sam was more involved with the upbringing of the kids, a life that allowed us abundant quality time together because that relational foundation was too important for us to sacrifice, a life that would allow us to travel together, to visit our friends and family all over the world, and a life that allowed us to make a safe and restful home base that we always came back to. Most importantly, we wanted to be living the life we were designed for in Him, and stop living a life that only benefited (or harmed) us for our own glory.
We’re living that out now, and on the days I choose to fully receive the goodness of His grace and see how far we’ve come, I’m left weeping with humility and gratitude.
You’re family may look nothing like ours, and that’s a good thing. You may be past your crash and burn, or you may be living in the crash or burn right now. I’d be foolish to think we will never experience such low times again, but I am hope filled and hopeful, that we will remember His grace sustained us.
I still have to remember its ok to breathe, to question everything in our day to day. Is it moving us forward, closer, better…whatever positive adjective you want to insert there, or is it harming us, distracting us, dividing us?
I think when we take the time to contemplate those things for ourselves and our “family” whatever your family composition may be, it changes our trajectory. It helps us recalibrate. It becomes easier to say yes to doing something that seems impossible, or outside of the cultural flow. It allows us to build the very family unit we were designed and purposed for.
So take a week off, or a day, or an hour. It’s ok to breathe, in fact, we need to in order to step away and see what’s really going on around us. Reflect on the good, and the bad, the purposed and the playful…What needs to change? What is really in that sweet spot that lights you or your family unit up?