Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Changing Normal"

The lives we live here in the year 2012 are anything but normal. They have become "accepted" thus seeming very normal, but there is nothing "normal" about parents working 12 hour days, children caring for themselves, children spending every night at athletic events, 1 night a week around the dinner table as a family and only seeing our children for an hour and a half each day. It has at times and for a season become necessary, but it is not normal. IF this is normal, I don't want to be normal. Our society has accepted this way of life and from where I stand it is a trap. One that we have found ourselves caught in. Please hear my heart, what I am about to say is not easy and it is not my intent to ask or insinuate that you should change your normal. Recently the Lord has called Matt and I to a place of evaluation. We have taken some time to evaluate each of our children, our schedule and our family life. During this time of evaluation we have become convicted that it is time to change the Hawkins normal. With four boys we understand that life is going to be busy and we love everything that we do, but a few months ago it hit us that we have 5 years left with Matthew under our roof. Matt came to me and this is what he said, "I have five years left to train Matthew up in righteousness and holiness and to impart Godly wisdom to him and teach him what it means to be a man of God. I have 5 years left to cast a vision for the kingdom of God into his heart and to teach him what it means to be a man of character and integrity and a Godly husband and father. I can't do that in a hour and a half a day. It is time we as a family make a difference for the kingdom of God." His words were such a confirmation because God had been weaving these same thoughts into the tapestry of my heart. We prayed for a month and discussed what this "change" would look like for our family. The Lord impressed on both of our hearts that it was time for the Hawkins to "rest and know that HE is God." For a season, we are resting from ALL extra curricular activities. We have to work, we have to go to school and we get to go to church. Aside from those commitments we will be focusing on what it means to be a family and how we as a family can serve each other and our community. I love watching Matt's excitement as he plans family service projects, family fun nights, family trips and devotions. I know what you are thinking? What do the boys think about this? At first the two oldest were not thrilled and are still trying to respectfully accept this change, but I shared with them, this is not just a good idea or thought or something we want to "try." This is a matter of obedience. The Lord himself has called OUR FAMILY to this place and we MUST obey. If it were just an idea or a thought I would be walking forward with fear and trembling afraid I was setting my children up for a life of therapy, but knowing it is a God Calling on our life I am excited and can't wait to watch and see what He will do during this change. I tell my children often, "I am more concerned with your character than with your comfort and fun." I want you to know that we have awesome children. They love the Lord and they are very good boys, but I can see glimpses of this world weaseling its way into their lives. I see things of this world becoming important to them. I see their identity becoming defined by the sport they play and the opinions of their friends. When those things become evident it is time for a change. God's word tells us that we are to be "in the world, but not of the world." We are to "step out and be separate." The time we have with our children is fleeting. We blink and they are grown and gone. We are stewards but for a time. I want to know that I have done all I can do to teach them, show them and train them to love Jesus with all their heart, soul and mind. This is just for a season. (or so we think!) We must obey! Pray for our family as we walk this road of obedience. Pray that we honor the Lord in ALL we do.