Contribution to Missional Mom
Some of my greatest memories of friendship and Bible study are with my friend Kyndi Rudzena. It’s been several years since we lived in the same place, and we rarely talk. But, I love that God is teaching us similar things and that we still have so much in common. I posted her most recent blog on my site, and I would like to add a response of how God has led our family to honor Him in similar ways.
It is a constant battle to live in this world and not be of this world. One of our biggest battles came last year. Chris had been in construction for almost 15 years. He had finally reached the position of project manager, a position he always wanted, and was renovating a popular hotel. He was making more money than we ever thought we would see. The problem is that the renovation was in Orlando. We live in Memphis. His company moved him to Orlando without me and our 3 children to come home one weekend a month. We were devastated but stuck. We have a house and a car note, but fortunately no other debt. We were bound by our stuff. We lived with the arrangement for almost 3 months, and Chris came home to look for a job. The response I received from many suburban wives was, “You’ll get used to it.” The problem was that I didn’t want to get used to it. We didn’t want to get used to it. We didn’t want our children to get used to it.
If we are to impress the commands of the Lord upon our children’s hearts… at the table, when they lie down, when they wake up, [when we take them to school, when we pick them up], when we go on walks, etc., (as Deuteronomy 6 says), we have to be present at the table, be present when they lie down, be present when they wake up, etc…
Our conclusion: To point our children to Christ, we both need to be fully engaged in their lives. While this seems simple, it obviously is not normal for the culture in which we live.
There are other small ways that we strive to live intentionally as a family. We allow our children limited activities. Currently, Tuesday afternoon is the only time our girls have an activity after school. We offered our almost five-year-old an activity, and he turned it down. We left it at that.
We eat at the table as a family nightly. We talk to each other. Strange, right? (See my earlier post entitled “The Table”).
We are also on mission as a family to reach our neighbors. This life is not about us. While we are teaching our children to love God, we are also teaching them to love people. We live on a fairly busy street in an affluent suburb. We play in the front yard. We grill out in the drive-way. We have friends over and sit in lawn chairs in the drive-way. We are the biggest red-necks around! But, being outside attracts people. We get a lot of strange looks, but we also get visitors. We have conversations and opportunities that would never happen if we were hiding in the backyard.
Daily, it is a struggle to go against the grain, but we have to stay focused. It will be so worth not giving ourselves over to the junk of this world. He is so much better than what this world has to offer.
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him… And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” 1 John 2:15,17
This post was a contribution to a post from my friend Kyndi Rudzena. You can find more about her family and their journey to New York at http://www.therudzenafamily.blogspot.com