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I’m sitting here this morning, surrounded by a heap of mess.  There’s folded laundry in front of me waiting to be put away, bags and boxes from last night’s concert waiting to be unpacked and organized (Home Edit, please come and fix my life!) and a floor that hasn’t been mopped in two months (just being real, folks). We woke bleary-eyed kids up this morning and I drove them to school while they asked if we can’t write notes to their coaches excusing them from practices today (from our oldest two) and  if school everyday is a real thing and when does she get to stay home(this from our youngest).  Between living with Grandma and Grandpa, my husband’s schedule as a pastor, and all of the typical life stuff, we often wonder if we’re asking too much of our kids.  We chose this life.  We chose to go a different way.  We prayed, we considered our kids, but we ultimately said yes to all of this, knowing it would have both sacrifices and blessings.

The majority of you who are reading this have the privilege of choice.  We were born with options, and born with resources.  We have been able to choose if we will go to college, if we will marry, if/how we will have children.  We’ve been able to choose between split level or Cape Cod, even choosing the custom finishes for the home.  We choose SUV or minivan, full-time, part-time, or work from home.  Public school or private school.  We have goals and are working towards them.  My friends, we have been given many choices.

I had a conversation over the weekend with a dear woman who hasn’t.  I had never met her before and honestly, had a terrible attitude about the interruption in my day. I wanted to watch a soccer game, not talk to a stranger. But as I listened to her story, my heart changed.  She came here alone, as a fourteen year old. Life has not been easy, but that’s her story to tell, not mine. As I listened  I was struck by the contrasts in our life.  How few options she had, and how difficult this life had been for her.  She lives within a mile of the private school our children attend.  We buzz past her house regularly in our minivan, with our fast food and our sports equipment and our iPhones.  We often choose ourselves, thinking about ourselves, doing what we think is best and if we’re honest, easiest.  But if we’re saying we follow Jesus, the challenge issued calls for us to spend our options on behalf of others.  It means falling into the back of the line and pushing others to the front.  I don’t think God has much to say about which backsplash we choose or what upgrades we’ll get on our cars.  He does have a lot to say about how we love others, and where our position ought to be-something about the last being first and the first being last?  It is so against our natural self to choose this, so counter to the culture we live in.

This way of living is only sustainable through Jesus and the power of the Spirit of God in you and in me.  It is a deeper call to a deeper life, and though it is messy it is RICH.  Left to my own devices, I would choose comfort and convenience every time.  I am so glad God pulls us away from that and into His redemptive story!

We can’t really know how our kids are going to process all of this.  That’s hard sometimes.  But I hope that they’ll see their mom and dad wrestling with a faith that asks us to do hard things.  I hope we’re showing them that this isn’t an easy faith or a cheap grace we’ve been given. I don’t want to sell our kids a fake version of the Christian life, this version we’re so often sold that tells us to ask for more, more, more but no sacrifice is required.

Let’s press deeper, friends, and give more.  Let’s use our homes and our lives to serve and be generous.  Let’s leverage our voices for the ones who need it.  What are some ways you’re already doing this?  Does it scare you to really think this through?  Brainstorm with me…what does this look like in real life?