I've created this blog to journal about our lives and what God is doing through our family. It truly is a new beginning for our family in more ways than one. Probably, if you are reading this, you know that Doug and I have been through a time of separation.
However, though separated, I prayed constantly for God to work in our family and to show us where to go from here. I knew divorce wasn't His plan, but I sure couldn't see that living our lives the way we had been was part of His plan, either. As I began to really listen to the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart and make decisions as I felt led, His way became clearer each day.
As we began to put our selfish concerns and worries aside and trust the Lord's leading, it became absolutely clear to both of us that God's intent for our family was not divorce. Instead, He had plans for our family even greater than the two of us knew. He spoke clearly to me in a prayer service one Sunday evening, that our family had work to do for His kingdom and that our marriage and family would be used to serve that purpose, if we would obey His call.
Doug and I had a discussion and agreed to pray and study separately to see what God was speaking to each of us individually. We felt that He would lead us both in the same direction, if He had work for us to do. By this time, we had both committed to keeping our marriage and family together but were still living in separate homes in order to fulfill contractual obligations to landlords. However, though living apart, we began to spend evenings and weekends together again and pray about what God had in store for our family.
A few weeks later, we sat down to discuss what we felt God was speaking to each of us. Doug and I are very different in ways, so I had experiences different from his, although I believe God ordained both journeys. I had "stumbled upon" a book (I bought it because it was on sale - or so I thought at the time), prayed, sermons were brought to me, I read and studied scripture and spoke with other christian friends. I read and researched. Doug began studying the Bible each morning before he went to work and praying over what ministry, if any, we should be part of.
When we sat down to talk about it, I had a little more clear vision than Doug did, but we were both on the same path. He spoke of how he felt we needed to be involved with children, although he didn't feel it meant children's ministry at the church, which I had been very involved in before. He told me that he didn't feel as though he was finished being a father, although he also didn't feel he would have any more biological children. He definately knew our ministry would involve children, and it would involve our home, but he was still praying about the specifics. He didn't feel led to take immediate action, but to keep studying and praying, waiting for the God's perfect time.
I told him that I agreed with the fact that our ministry would involve children and that we should continue to pray. If children were going to be brought into our home for any reason or length of time, it would affect our entire family. We talked about being sure that our own boys were well taken care of and safe at all times. God has already given us these three and we want to be sure we remember that unless God does give us other children, they are our priority.
By the time our conversation had come to an end, we had concluded that we would somehow be involved with children, but really didn't know exactly what God had in store. We would wait, pray and be open to where God leads.
Time passed and it came time to prepare for our households to merge. We began a search for a home. We were very blessed with the opportunity to purchase a home with a finished basement, which gives us more living space than we have ever had. Four finished bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, huge family/play room, playhouse and even a pool in the backyard. A contract was signed and plans to move began.
This brings us to "New Beginning #1". A new beginning for our marriage and family. We moved into the new house with help from friends and family. Admittedly, I did have a few concerns about everyone being in the same house again. However, as days passed, God gave me peace about my worries and assured me that He would take care of me, if I allowed Him to. It's amazing how well things go when you are not worried! Living together has been such a different experience than it was before the separation. Everyone is working together and contributing to the household and there is a peace that we have never known. We're not perfect, but God has definately blessed us.
As we have continued to pray and study about what ministry our family would do, we have continually come back to James 1:27, which says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
I've also been led to Matthew 10:38-39 repeatedly, in different ways. It says this, "and anyone who does not take up his cross is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it."
"Beginning #2" - The opportunity to live for Christ in a way we have never done before. A chance to lose our lifes for His cause, to serve beyond our understanding where we are called to serve. An opportunity to know real life more fully than we have ever known when we lose our own selfish desires and intentions. An opportunity for our children to learn to serve and sacrifice for others because of our the example we give them.
This is where the title of this new blog is rooted.....finding a new life/lifestyle in Christ by committing each day to sacrifice our own lives and intentions for His kingdom.
We are on a new journey. A journey to find a new life. A life that is given to us when we sacrifice our own.
Please come with us. I hope you'll not only follow our journey, but be inspired to find a new life of your own.