9 years ago we started our little family, and it has been an amazing adventure, for sure! As Christ followers, we knew the commitment to raise a family according to God’s guidance was a high calling. To be honest, we thought we had it all together, too, but for years it wasn’t the priority it needed to be. Believe it or not, it took a good eight years before that sunk in! At a marriage conference our church sponsored we were challenged by Shannon O’Dell (Brand New Church) and everything we thought we knew changed for the better. We learned that some of the things we were doing, saying, and thinking were just wrong. Since then, God has done some drastic remodeling in our family, and now He is our first priority. We still aren’t perfect. But the things we learned served as the catalyst to what I refer to as a “heart transplant” that’s ongoing.
We treat each other differently. My husband serves as the leader and head of our family, and believe me, we function much better this way! He is the spiritual leader, and sink or swim, we’ll be together. I try to show respect to him, and in turn, he wants to be the man I know God has called him to be. That spills out to our kids, too, because they see that example. We try to teach them the life lessons now, little by little, that they’ll need to be light to what sometimes feels like a very dark world. Our kids only have so long with us before we send them out into the world, so we want to make the most of the time we’re given with them.
We believe that children are precious gifts from God entrusted to us while we are here. They don’t belong to us, but for some reason God saw fit to give them to us, so we are taking that gift very seriously. We have chosen to homeschool our children and want to be involved first hand in helping them learn and be excited about learning! I have a passion for igniting a passion for learning in them! There are many reasons we homeschool, but if I had to pick one, that would be it. I want them to love reading. I want them to love learning. This is our fifth year homeschooling, and while we aren’t even close to having it all figured out, it’s been a fun adventure to try!
Since I stay at home with our three kids, right now we’re a single income family. That means I have to be creative with a small budget. So, I like to be as resourceful with what God has given us as I can. I shop sales, I coupon (though not as “extreme” as I used to), we go to garage sales as a family, we buy what we can on clearance or second hand, and if we don’t need it we do without. This was something I grew up with, so being “thrifty” is in my blood, I guess you could say. I think God wants us to be good stewards of our money, and this is part of that.
We also love traveling. We’ve always loved taking family vacations, and what few trips my husband and I took alone, we always wished the kids were with us. Until this year though, we really hadn’t been much of anywhere. We’ve been to a few places: Gatlinburg, St. Louis, Branson, and Gulf Shores. But that was it. Until this year, I had never even experienced a plane ride. What a bubble I have lived in! We want more for our kids, and we want to see the world with them. It started with our mission trip to Haiti in February, but we don’t want to stop there. We have a goal of taking many more trips, and hopefully, eventually we can become and on-the-road-family, traveling and experiencing that together. If the goal of being a Christ follower is to know Christ and to make Him known, then the Great commission definitely applies here. Our prayer is that our kids spill over with the love of Jesus and we get the opportunity to share the gospel globally!
All of these things make up who we are as a family. We believe that no matter what we are doing, if we are doing in for God, it’s worship. Our lives are an act of worship and everything we do is our ministry if we choose to let it be. As a mom, that is something I have recently been taking to heart. That’s why my motivation for this is Colossians 3:17. Everything we do, we should want to glorify God with it. It’s all for Him.