I have always been super blessed to witness the blessings and the curses of the high calling (that also serves as the main source of family income) of full time ministry, first in my father's role as a pastor and local missionary and now, in my husband's role as first, a youth pastor and now, a lead pastor at a small church in rural Kentucky. Nothing can bring more joy and at times, more frustration, then seeing the men you love work diligently to serve God and serve others, as obviously deamed the most important commandments by Jesus Christ in Mark 12:30-31.
I never fully grasped what giving your whole life over to do the work of God truly meant. I never got that my dad could have done anything else and made more money, provided more "stuff" for us to enjoy, provided a more open schedule that could even allow sleeping in on Sunday mornings, should Saturday evening been rough. He could have, but God called him to live a sacrificial life that included long, odd hours, busy weekends with conference leading and attending, long, hard Sundays and lots of hours studying God's word for personal growth as well as guidance in how to lead others to grow in Christ. God saw that I didn't totally grasp the joys and the importance of such a calling of people in His kingdom, so he sent me Joshua, whose life could again have been filled with prestige, money, stuff and time, but instead, God blesses us with more than we could imagine through the joy of being a family that is committed to leading a life that is hopefully a testimony of God's great grace!
We have recently been more humbled by God's recent calling to Joshua to accept the call to serve in this different area of ministry of lead pastor's family. God uses us, His people, to share His love with others. He could have done anythingand shown his greatness by any means he wanted, but he created people and then, he decided that he would send His only son, Jesus Christ, to be the sacrifice for all of our sins, and calling us to Him, he would change our hearts, our minds, and give us overwhelming desires to follow Him, no matter the cost. I will never stop being amazed at how very unworthy I am and how very awesome that God is to show us his power in real and true ways in the smallest and biggest of ways each day that we live.
I pray that our little family never loses sight of where God has called us and what He has called us to in this fishbowl that is the minister's home. I won't always raise my children how some of our "church folk" might agree and Joshua won't always bring the best messages or say all of the right words that spur people to grow closer to Christ, but with the grace and wisdom God provides, we pray that when people see the McFarlands, they see the sincere desires of our hearts, which first and foremost are to love God and then very second, to love others. . . our family, our friends and those who have yet to know Christ!