To be honest, I live most days pretty scared.
Scared that I don’t really want this dream or vision that I attempt to woo others to follow…
This dream that I left great friends in Dallas to pursue.
I don’t know how to love the city and sometimes, I don’t know that I want my kids to love it, either.
Where will this love take us?
What will it require of us?
What will we have to give up?
Who will my kids bring home as friends?
Will my kids delight in the things in which I may find discomfort?
Do I really want to share my resources with my neighbors when I drive home from church and find them in my yard, swinging on our horse swing or lounging on my porch swing?
Do I really want my kids to dress like the city, talk like the city, love the city?
Do I really trust God in all of this?
I drove home tonight and there they were, 10-15 kids, racing bikes and scooters up and down the sidewalk, throwing trash in the yard, and sitting on my treasured front porch swing.
I immediately became eat up with the feeling that I have no privacy in this place. Every time we’re home, my kids are outside playing with the neighborhood kids. We have absolutely zero family time here and to have family time, in our own yard, I feel like I have to go around and ask the neighborhood kids to leave, which is just awkward.
At dinner tonight, we sat around the table and I asked my kids what they were thankful for. It’s our nightly dinner tradition and so I was all ears. I had a hard time coming up with things about the day myself, so I let them go first to give me some extra time to think of something good.
In unison, they all said, “OUR FRIENDS!”
All I could think was, Are you kidding me???
Your friends steal our time…sit in my space…trash my yard.
They hog the basketballs and your scooters and they lay in my hammock.
They. Lay. In. My. Hammock.
I listen as the kids talk over one another and their excitement is contagious.
Really contagious and I can’t help but get excited with them.
And I can’t help but feel shame for the irritation I felt when I pulled into the drive earlier.
I put the kids to bed and I’m reminded that this is what I’ve been praying for:
“God, please do abundantly more in my kids’ lives, that they may lead their generation to glorify Christ.”
I’ve been praying this for as long as I can remember.
These kids, the ones who kill the grass and toss my hammock pillows all over the yard, are the way by which my children are living out our (my) vision of loving the city. God is using Sean and Juan and Tink and Hunter and Haily and Nickie and the others, to help us learn how to live what we say we believe.
And He’s using my children to model the way for me.
I have a lot to learn about God, our city, this call – and yet, could it be that my tribe of young, Christ-followers will stimulate my own growth in the grace and knowledge of Jesus?
I am married to the Man, Thad. I love his bald head, his blue eyes, and the way his eyes crinkle in the corners when he smiles. I love his laugh, the way he rubs his head when he is thinking about hard things, and the way he chews the end of his pen when writing. He loves Jesus more than me and I love that the most. He’s my best friend. He’s the father of my children. He’s the one I want to grow old with.
He is a bi-vocational pastor who spends his days managing stuff and testing water and spends all the rest of his time making disciples, smoking a pipe, and scratching out sermons. And occasionally, he lays in his hammock.
Oh, and by the way, tomorrow we’re having a giveaway. And it’s not a book. So come back by here and enter tomorrow morning. You’re gonna love it!