The Family

The Family
Justice, Logan, Jacy Klaire, Joy, Josie Kate, Luke, Megan, Judah, Kerry, Jaxon

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Raising Kids Ain't Easy

Raising kids ain't easy.  As parents we constantly battle with decisions and plans as we try to find fulfillment in our own lives without messing our kids up too badly in the process.  There is so much pressure sometimes.  Then when you do make a big decision: do I take the job, do we move, do we have more kids, do we buy that house, etc. we constantly question whether it was best for the kids.
"Get food for (?) people don't got none food"
Working on the grammar but love the heart!
When we decided to sell out and move to Haiti, it did not sit too well with our older kids.  They were high school and college ages and in complex situations themselves.  We felt torn between doing what we felt we should do and doing what seemed "best" for our kids according the world's standards.  Many sleepless nights were spent in prayer and seeking God's direction.

It was tough!  We cried and struggled through many nights in Haiti.  Phone calls and skype often ended in pain.  But we knew we were doing the right thing.  We knew that God's plan is not best for me and bad for them.  We had to believe that by faith, because on the surface it did not appear that way at the beginning.  But God is faithful.  With time, each of our older children came to Haiti and were impacted by it.  All of them came to place to realize that God had worked things out perfectly. 

Looking back, we see how God used all of that to make ALL of us better and stronger.  All three of those kids in college make us so proud we don't know what to do.  Not because they are in college.  Not because they have it all together- none of us do.  We are so proud because they have a heart to give back and impact the lives of others.  They all get that life is not a race to the most toys.  Life is a difficult adventure where you navigate complicated relationships in order to impact as many people as you can for their good.  It's about helping people fulfill their destiny for which God created them.  It's a reciprocal process.  The more you pour yourself into others, the more you find who you are and what you were created to do.  Our move to Haiti helped our older kids see that.  But what about the  younger kids that we took to Haiti with us.  Many argued that they already had issues from being adopted.  We were told that they needed a stable environment that Haiti couldn't provide.  But we knew we were supposed to go.

So we went.  We spent 3 years serving God by ministering to the Haitian people.  It was hard on everyone.  Our kids reached school age and we realized that there were issues from the prenatal drug abuse.  We tried many different arrangements for educating them.  Nothing seemed to be working.  Finally we knew God was moving us back to the U.S. to meet their needs.  We didn't feel like it was a mistake to have gone.  It changed all of our lives, even if our impact there was not as far reaching as we had hoped.  But in our minds, we still sometimes question if our time there really impacted our kids possitively or not.  Then we get a glimpse into their hearts from something like the picture Jaxon drew for MLK day.

Jaxon is our 6 year old kindergartner.   He is  a special little guy that has already overcome some pretty big odds in his six years.  Looking at the picture he drew makes me very proud.  Not because of impeccable spelling or mastery of writing skills- although mine is not much better.  I am proud because it shows he gets it already.  The looks on the faces of the people with no food is eerily reminiscent of the looks on faces of the hungry in Haiti.  The desperate souls that came to us constantly in need of food and care.  You wonder if the kids even really got it.  By the looks of Jaxon's "I have a dream..." picture, Yeah, he got it...

Monday, January 12, 2015

Pro-Life Really?

This Sunday is Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.  As I consider that, I wonder just how "pro-life" we really are.  I fear that at times it is just another way we justify dividing up teams between "us" and "them".  We as evangelicals often feed ourselves on self righteous platitudes that make us feel better about ourselves, but does nothing to mobilize us to love and engage a hurting world.  Where do we find ourselves on the pro-life scale:

Bumper sticker pro-lifer
T-shirt pro-lifer
Facebook/Twitter/Instagram post a pro-life slogan pro-lifer
Give some money to a pro-life cause pro-lifer
Post a shock video of aborted babies pro-lifer
Volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center pro-lifer
Campaign and vote against pro-abortion candidates even I think they are cute and charismatic pro-lifer
That's all good stuff, but what if that crisis pregnancy center called and said that they have a pregnant mother willing to carry the baby and forego the abortion if there is someone to adopt it...what kind of pro-lifer are you?

Help find a home pro-lifer
Create a fund and raise the money to fully sponsor the adoption pro-lifer
or do we believe SO much in the life of ONE child as to say WE would take it?

What about our other kids though?  What about our career? What about our weekends and trips? What about the things we would have to sacrifice?  Would you even CONSIDER it- pro-lifer?

What if the baby is a minority, or mixed race- pro-lifer?
What if the mother is currently on drugs and the baby may be addicted- pro-lifer?
What if the minority, drug positive baby, is the child of a prostitute- pro-lifer?
What if that minority, drug positive baby, is the result of that prostitute being raped- pro-lifer?

It comes down to do we REALLY care about LIFE or just a political, evangelical, conservative dogma?  Will we give OUR lives for the sake of ONE unborn life?  Will we even give our oppulance and comfort for ONE?

If all us Pro-lifers we're that committed to LIFE and not just an agenda or position, we could rescue thousands of LIVES with LOVE.  But that would require too much sacrifice of our lifestyles I think.
Strange thing, Jesus died so WE can have life, and we must die to SELF if we are to truly be Pro- LIFE.