In the last year or so the Lord has given Andy and I more understanding of what He desires The Kingdom to look like. At the moment I am almost at a loss for words to try and explain any of it because it has been our own personal journey. But to try and make a very long story short, He has put the ideas of community and simplicity on our hearts. God requires opposite thinking and opposite action. When we want to do one thing, He usually wants us to do the complete opposite. For example, community and simplicity. The American culture, especially, has done a good job in creating a culture that is individualistic and extravagant. We feed our human hunger for more stuff, more food, more money, more me- and then we justify it when the Truth is slapped in our face. As a born and raised Christian, American girl, the Truth is just now really messing my life up. It really is like the Matrix and the only way to get out is to DO the opposite of what our culture says and does. That might sound crazy or over the top, but to go back to the Matrix sounds even more crazy. Don't get me wrong, Andy and I are not going to drop everything that we have and leave on this wild adventure, right now. There are moments that we would LIKE to do that, but we believe the Lord is not calling us to that. That would create more confusion, conflict, and bitterness than anything- and that is not from the Lord. So, back to my two words: community and simplicity. This is what He is calling us to do today. I am asking Him to give me more of an understanding of what that means in our home (buying less, eating less, eating more simply, hanging our clothes outside to dry, staying at home more, worshiping and praying more often with the kids, reaching out to our neighbors and loving them, enjoying the friendships He has already given me). Andy and I are asking Him what it means for us, as a couple (continue ministering to the poor and homeless downtown, taking our kids to assisted living homes to talk with the elderly, redirecting some/all of our tithe to go straight to the needy- even if that means NOT getting a tax benefit from it, praying together and asking the Spirit to guide us and keep our eyes off ourselves). Andy is asking what it means for him (taking every opportunity to speak Truth with his students at the high school, pouring more into his friendships, being available to lead groups to minister to the homeless, to continue leading his family in God's direction).
This really is just a glimpse of what the Lord is teaching us. I guess we have had this knowledge for a long time, but we haven't REALLY understood it with our hearts until now- and this is just the beginning. We are asking for patience, self-control, gentleness and all the fruits of the Spirit as we wait on the Lord. All of this has given us more intimacy with Him and each other which is really the biggest miracle of all. Thank you all for loving us and being patient with us as we process and mature in our walk with the Lord. All of you have been a huge influence in where we are at now, we are blessed beyond words!