Sunday, December 23, 2007
Happy Holy Days!
And even more so -- Merry CHRISTmas!
We have recently visited several local churches, and have thus made many new acquaintances. When we meet new people, usually the first exclamation is “Wow! all they all yours?!”. Yes, all four kids are ours. Micah is 5, Eva is 3, Moriah will be 2 in January, and Isaiah is about 6 months. Four kids in five years.
When that initial shock wears off, they go on to the normal questions. "So Chester, what do you do?”. We not sure what people expect for an answer, but it certainly isn't his usual, “I'm a full-time Dad and student”. Yes indeed, Amy works part time, Chester is a student. This arrangement, while rather unconventional, allows some really neat family dynamics. Chester dedicates three days a week to studying, and has a major role in the kids lives. He trains them in character, plays in the garage with them (you should see the ramps Micah makes for his cars), and is quickly passing on his love of tools and gardening. Amy works four half-days a week, and during that time escapes from the constant noise of children, and gets things done that generally stay done and are appreciated. What mom wouldn't kill for that? Additionally, her job is flexible with time and pays quite well. Having this outlet allows the rest of the week at home to be a time of reading to the kids, “playing school” (Micah's learning to read) and just loving on the kids. The kids spend one afternoon a week with Nani (Amy's parents are “Nani” and “Papa”), and they look forward to that afternoon all week – she really has the magic touch.
By then, our new acquaintance is pretty well in shock. And we haven't even invited them over yet to discover that we have eight people living in our small three-bedroom house (Nathan and Toby, two of Chester's brothers, live in our basement while all three of them study Mechanical Engineering), that we have no TV (“No wonder you have so many kids!”), that our girls sleep on bunk beds made out of industrial steel shelving, that we grow eight kinds of perennial fruits in our yard, that between the adults who live here, we own ten motorized vehicles (not all of them run!), nor that we spend almost nothing on food for our tribe (God usually provides free food for us). Chester was once told “I like people who think outside the box, but you seem to live outside the box”.
We're not just weird to be weird though. We have a purpose in life. We hope that when we're finished with the necessary education, God will allow us to serve missionaries through Chester's aviation and engineering (and maybe through Amy's computer skills too). It'll be four years or so before he's done, because his three days allotted to study allow just enough time to take three classes per semester. But the pace is reasonable, and he's able to absorb the knowledge rather than just cramming for exams all the time. And by God's grace, we are staying financially afloat living on one part-time income. Money is tight, of course, but we trust God to continue to provide, just as He always has. The Davis clan in Omaha has a sign that we love: “We don't believe in miracles, we rely on them.”
Yeah, compared to the average American, and even the average American Christian, we're odd. We have a reason though, and we're living on purpose. In a world where everything is increasingly busy and costly, it's nice to know why we choose to live the way we do, and trust the One we serve. If our new friend hasn't yet run for cover, we finish with these questions:
"How about you? What's your purpose in life?"
"What do you do, and why do you do it? ”
We'd love to hear your answers to these questions, and what God is doing in your life – drop us a note!