I have scrapbooks for all of my babies to give to them one day. Love gifts from their Mama. Books that are all about them and totally for them - from their Mama for when they leave home someday.
But, this here blog journal of mine? Well, this will be theirs to have one day, as well - another love gift from their Mama. But, this one is more about me - and my journey. The whole original idea behind this blog space was to have a day by day, month by month, year by year - what have you - record of the days of their Mama and her journey as a woman, a wife, a mother, and a lover of Jesus.
It's a place where hopefully all of my children will be able to look back one day - and as they read the road map of our lives as a family - they'll be able to trace the fingerprints of God all the way through. They will be able to see our muddling, baby steps as parents, our relationship as a couple, and our journey with Jesus as we have tried our best to listen to Him, to hear His still small voice, to walk with Him, and to follow His leading in the best way that we have known how to do - all the while having three small pairs of young little eyes looking on.
Very humbling. Scary, even. And the depth of responsibility that we feel with each successive child that we bring into this world and with each new chapter in this journey of Life that we live can sometimes feel a bit daunting. We're not just responsible for the two of us anymore...we have a whole passel of kids along for the ride, as well.
But you know what? More than anything, I want them to see that no matter what - their Mommy and Daddy loved Jesus, and we loved each other, and we loved them. Regardless. Regardless of life around us. Regardless of our bumbling mistakes. Regardless of anything. And I want them to see that we weren't afraid to say we were sorry. And we weren't afraid to admit our mistakes. And we were willing to take risks. And we were willing to step out in faith when others thought we were crazy. And we stood by each other's side no matter what.
I want them to see what a living faith looks like. A humble walk with Jesus that doesn't have all of the answers and doesn't pretend to. A vulnerable relationship that tries to block out the clamor of the world around us and really tries to hear. And a journey where we try to get out of the way of ourselves and remember that it's all about Jesus in the first place, anyway.
Because all along - God is always faithful. He always comes through. And He always provides exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond anything that we could ever ask for or imagine. He is good; and He is trustworthy. Always, and no matter what.
And so....in recent weeks and months, as we have felt Him preparing us, yet again, for another chapter - another "season" - in our lives.... we have tried to remember and recount God's faithfulness and provision all along the way. We often joke that God has us on a three to five year plan before we get moved onto something different. I feel like we're nomads sometimes. But really....that is what we are, is it not? This isn't our home. We're strangers here....
How often I can forget when I get comfortable.
So, for about 3+ years now, God has made us increasingly un-comfortable. We have been questioning and challenging so many thoughts that have been ingrained as "truth" into our brains. By who - I don't really know. It's just what we kind of intrinsically believed. We used to believe that if you were really and truly "sold out to Jesus" then you went to a Bible college or seminary and became a pastor or a missionary for the rest of your days. We used to think that only those in "full-time vocational ministry" were the ones who were "the called." We used to be surrounded only by fellow believers - secure in our bubbled worlds of Christianity - so much so, that there was a time when I couldn't even count on one hand friends that I had who didn't know Jesus. I used to think that "avoiding the appearance of evil" was a far loftier goal than maybe getting my hands dirty a bit and walking alongside someone whose life looked a whole lot messier than mine.
I used to think Jesus was safe.
I used to think that He fit into a neat little box.
That made me comfortable. And it made me feel good about myself.
But, He has made us increasingly restless - and after thirteen years of "full-time vocational Christian ministry," He has made it clear to us that now is the season to step away from that and begin to live out and practice what we have been preaching to the choir for the past three years. And, just like Abraham, He told us to "move" before He showed us our next step. His kids - the ones who have a back-up plan for their back-up plans, and the ones who have a mortgage, student loans, and a fourth baby on the way - put in our resignation with our missions organization, but with no Plan B in sight.
But like His track record has always proven, God came through.
And, first thing in the new year, my husband will be working full-time as a Home Mortgage Consultant with Wells Fargo. Crazy stuff. A whole new chapter. A whole new season.
But that's what journey is all about.
Thanks for taking the ride with us, sweet boys.
Thanks for placing full faith in your Mama and your Daddy.
And thank you for the life lessons for us on how we need to freely and fully trust our Abba Father.
Always, and no matter what....