Dad's stressed out, mom's overwhelmed, kids are at each other's throat. There's more trash in the back seat than at home because you've eaten in the car more than your kitchen table. Ever been there? It is so hard to balance it all especially this time of year. Webster defines the word threshold as "an intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction to occur." When the word "threshold" is used with people, the "reaction" is usually that point in which someone blows up, melts down, or gives in because life has gotten too hard. Nobody wins when that happens.
Thankfully, there is another option. A threshold can also be defined as "a point of entry or beginning, the start of something new, the beginning of something different"-the point at which one door closes and another opens. Could it be that when we get to that threshold where we just can't take it anymore, God may just be up to something new?
I've reached that kind of threshold many times in my life, Two of them really stand out in my mind as catalysts for something new God was up to. Years ago, I was a 30-year-old, working wife and mom with two young sons. My husband and I both taught and coached full time in different school districts. I was in charge of getting our little ones ready, commuting 35 minutes each way, and dropping them off on the way to school each day. I was one "stressed out momma" using a whole pack of crackers to keep our toddler from crying on the commute each day. As the school year progressed, I could feel my stress level increase. It was getting too much for our young family. It wasn't fair to our children, my husband, or myself.
When I finally left my teaching position to become a stay at home mom, there was an immediate sense of peace and calm that came over our home. You could tell God was up to something new. It was definitely a financial shift for our family, but it was well worth the sacrifices that we had to make. Our kids were happier being at home with their momma instead of a sitter every day. I was happier being able to slow down the pace of our family, and my husband was happier because I was happier. It was a short season in our family's life, but one that we will always treasure.
Our family found ourselves at a similar threshold just recently. After being empty-nesters for several years, my husband and I prayerfully decided to foster to adopt three active, elementary age siblings. Trying to balance work and home with three new children brought our home to a similar threshold. You could feel the tension and intensity in our home rise as our schedule got out of control. We needed some healthy boundaries in our lives to protect our family. We could see the busyness affecting our family and a decision had to be made. We could continue in the craziness or trust God and make some tough changes. God has been so faithful in the past. Why would we not trust Him again? It has only been short time since we reached this new threshold, but already there is a peace that has washed over our home again. That is when you know God is up to something new and beautiful.
Rock Solid Families is the "new" that God is up to in our home. Both my husband and I have stepped away from our full-time positions to launch this new ministry for couples and families. It's a decision that comes after years of prayer and wise counsel. We could not be more excited to minister to other families who find themselves facing similar thresholds. We look forward to see what God has in store for Rock Solid Families, as we put our trust in Him.