Lots of people take the opportunity at the start of a new year to make resolutions – commitments to certain new actions; Nam and I have never been these people. However, the opportunity of a fresh vantage point is a neat thing. So, in our family, we have a discussion time of what challenges we anticipate facing in the year ahead. We commit those to the Lord in prayer asking Him to go before us in all of it. And, this year, we’ve decided to add a verse for the year: a family motto, so to speak, that will call us back to how we want to approach challenges.
Here are some of the challenges we anticipate this year:
- The logistics of having two new babies to care for. How do we balance being the sole care providers for them with the reality that they are not to be the ultimate center of our household? (Especially in the face of being Isaac and Samuel’s parents…how do we not just crumple under our enormous love for these girls?) What things can we do now that set a good precedent for how we want to later approach things with them?
- The financial change of having two new mouths and bottoms to tend to, as well as the decision about being a one- or two-income household.
- A changing marriage: certainly our marriage has been colored by infertility and loss for so many years that having that veil lifted will be a new chapter. Pregnancy has been a unique time, too. We look forward to restoring a new intimacy to our marriage, but we don’t want to be naïve that our hearts will not automatically and wholly be pulled to girls, girls, girls! We remember how our own hand-holding changed when Annie came into our home – and she’s just a puppy!
- Extended family dynamics: these are always interesting, but we love our families so much that we wanted to ask the Lord to intervene. As our family has changed, so has our extended families’ lives changed. With the addition of Charlotte and Esther, our interactions and roles with them will be different.
- Nam has a business opportunity that we would really like to pursue. The particulars may be challenging for a number of reasons.
- Nam will be taking on a formal leadership role as deacon at our church. We expect this to paint a different type of target on our family’s back for Satan. We want to be vigilant of this, but stand firm in serving where God has called us.
- For me specifically, I feel the need to be precious in a new way. For so long, I’ve been a medical pincushion, a radiation sponge, or a baby vessel. I’d like to be just me and feel treasured just that way. Plus, while my stretch marks might be beautiful to some now (NOT me!), I’m sure they’ll be far less appealing without sweet little girls kicking them from the inside. I admire my friends who call their stretch marks victory, but I am not in that category of gals.
- For Nam specifically, he needs to feel treasured and honored as the leader of our family – not just as a financial provider or worker bee in our house. On our list of challenges, this one holds a top spot. A husband respected as head keeps the family well-led.
- Finally, a changing relationship with the Lord will occur. He is taking us out of the desert and into the Promised Land. Not only do we not want to forget the intimacy we’ve had with Him in the desert, but we do not want to follow the steps of our forefathers and forget all He’s done for us. The luxurious amount of time we’ve had to steep in God’s word is certainly going to lessen as bottles and diapers become necessary, but that doesn’t change our own need for feeding. So, continuing to relate to the Lord but on a new plane will be another top priority.
Our family motto for the year comes from Philippians 4 – And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
We want our family to be to others as the Philippians were to Paul: concerned, caring, knowing what it is to be in need, and knowing what it is to have plenty. And at the end of all of that, we want to assert trust in our Lord that He will meet all of our needs. When babies cries are never-ending, we want to expect Christ’s soothing. When the Dave Ramsey budget isn’t balanced, we want to have the peace of Christ’s coming provision wash over us. When I am covered in two day old puke crying at being overwhelmed and longing for being back in my classroom (Ha!), I want to remember God’s provision both past and future. When Nam comes from coaching to a filthy home requiring more work, we want to remember and ask God to meet the needs of his heart.
And maybe none of those things will happen. Maybe we will be a storybook family. But either way, we know that God will meet all of our needs (even in unexpected ways) because of Christ, just as He has always done.
Happy New Year to you and your family And our God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.
My Savior, My God – great video of Aaron Shust performing this modified hymn