It seems increasingly difficult to live for God in our culture today, especially as parents. My husband, Scott, and I began the parenting journey more than five years ago with no clue of how God would be involved in our family. We've learned so much about God and have seen his supernatural power at work with each choice we have made in obedience to him. Each step of the parenting journey has been a yielding of our own desires to God as we strive to obey him; to live in a way that pleases him; and to love him with our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
After my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, I deeply questioned God's love for me and his power to intervene in my life. We prayed and trusted God to grow our family without pursuing infertility treatments. Following were two long years of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual anguish. As the waiting progressed, I spent more time reading the Bible and praying in search of understanding. Each time I struggled, God would give me hope through the Bible, during time alone with him, or through teaching on Christian radio, to remind me that he cared. My faith became stronger, and I lived each day expecting God to answer my prayers for children. In time, God revealed his power and we were blessed with our first son, Isaiah Nathanael. Two years later, God gave us another son, Caleb Samuel.
The sacrifice of obedience
I resigned from my job to be a stay-at-home mom, not realizing how difficult it would be to take the path God had laid out for me. Our household income decreased by more than $50,000 between my leaving the workforce and my husband taking a pay cut when he chose a different career path as a CPA in order to stay near our families. We had downsized to one car the previous year and also made a commitment to give back to God the first 10 percent of our income. With great apprehension, we plunged forward and chose to trust God for what we could not see. God's faithfulness had us in awe and we began to believe that he was surely in control! His provisions always came in unexpected ways in the form of bonuses, insurance payments, gifts from family, and even part-time work from home for me at various times. He continues to entrust us with more, and we are now tithing 14 percent on one income!
Choosing God's path has not been painless or effortless! We have had times of doubt, questioning, and self-pity. Daily, we are bombarded with the temptation to have bigger, better, newer, and more things as we see our family, friends, and neighbors accumulate "stuff." Teaching our boys the truth and standards of God is challenging when the world wants to ingrain in them an attitude of self-sufficiency instead of a dependency on God. We've had to learn discipline in order to live differently.