Namely, a little more than a month ago, we invited another family to come and live with us. I don't know how to tell this story without just jumping right on in... so:
- They are roughly our age (just realized I don't actually know their exact ages), with two kiddos ages 4 & 2.
- Details to come later, but we met through this blog. Yes. You read that right.
- They were living in a very un-family-friendly locale and for years have talked about moving to the Dallas area.
- We've been brainstorming with them job and housing possibilities, but (unless you're an executive) it's just hard to convince a potential employer, "really, I'm serious" when you're applying for a position while living in a completely different part of the country.
- We invited them a month ago.
- They should arrive in about 3 days, depending on how much longer their road trip with little ones actually goes.
- We've given them the option of staying up to six months, if need be, in order to get a job, find a local church body, make sure they settle in a living situation they'll be content with, etc. Obviously we'll all be delighted if that pans out sooner rather than later, but in this current job environment and so that they don't feel rushed, we've offered up to six months.
- We have a four bedroom/three bath house with a large living area and 2 small "other" spaces (a sun room and an office), so we've moved our play room into the sunroom, and our daughter has given up her room for this time. They'll have two bedrooms and one bathroom and of course we'll share the common space. Yes, it'll be tight to some degree.
- First, as we were going through a small group study of David Platt's book Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, God prompted Doug & I to do this as we prayed through and for their situation... and we've always tried to obey Him quickly.
- Second, because we're part of the Body of Christ & they are our brother and sister. If my blood brother or sister were in a hard situation, without any family members to rely on, of course I'd do all that I could to help them. And the New Testament doesn't use the terms "brother and sister" to mean "people we hold at arms' distance and keep meaning to get together with." While living overseas, we came to understand so much more about the close familial relationships God intends for us to have within the Body of Christ & want to live that out in our lives as He prompts us to do. This is one fleshing out of that conviction He's put in our hearts.
- Third, because it's really not that much of a sacrifice to make in order to invest in a family's ability to provide for their needs and flourish as a family.
- We made a long list of things to think through and talk through (alone time, chores/routines, quiet nap times in mid-day, personal preferences/norms like clutter, can kids walk around with snacks?, what's the neighborhood like, etc.) and then talked and e-mailed and skyped like mad about them.
- We're going to have weekly house meetings after the kids are in bed to talk through any issues/concerns that have come up that week.
- We'll do it by God's grace... as both of us are couples trying to be molded to the image of Jesus, we want to let this process shape and refine us and not just make us bitter or frustrated. So we're going to work at it & pray about it.
If you've read this blog for very long, you've probably realized that we are willing to take risks if we believe it's what God's led us to do as a family... moving to China almost 7 years ago, having our daughter in Thailand 6 years ago, moving to Istanbul with three week's notice 4 & 1/2 years ago, deciding to stay in the States without a job or house or car 1 year ago... and now this. We like adventures, when God's the travel director of those adventures.
Thoughts? Advice? Mainly, I just wanted to share so that those of you who read more than just a post here or there would be informed about something big happening in our life.
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