Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Listening to a Calling

Joining again this week with Ginny and so many others to share about what I am knitting and reading.

With the celebration this past weekend, I didn't get too much knitting done.  I am still working on the back of the vest and I have started another pair of socks for Emmy - these in a not natural but probably strong yarn that is a nylon/acrylic blend that was given to me.

As far as reading, I have a confession to make.  I resisted reading about the Duggar family because I thought that I would find little in common with them since they had a fairly high income and put their family "out there" via the television program (which I have never seen since we don't have television or high speed internet).   Then I read that some of my favorite bloggers have been enjoying their newest book - A Love that Multiplies.  Well, maybe they did have something to share that  I could learn.

I was so wrong in my presumptions!
 I have asked God for forgiveness for judging and for being hypocritical.  Don't I also "put my family out there" as well by sharing on this blog?  Who am I to judge their choices of being filmed for a program.  They put their faith right out there for all to see.  Perhaps many thousands people have learnined about the Christian faith and even accepted Jesus as their savior through their programs and books.  

The Duggars (as far as I can tell from their book) live their faith.   They also put God first and family second. Family comes before activites, personal interests, even an organized church.  This is what binds them.  

This is also what has been our family's goal in living a family centered life.  We believe the family should spend the majority of their time as a unit, learning, loving and working together - that this is the foundation from which a child learns about our faith (more important than even the church), our standards, the importance of working things out, of helping one another and finding joy through the ordinary days we call life.  

When the Duggars last baby (I think it was their last - not sure if she has had another since the book) was born very prematurely and had to remain in the hospital for about six months, the Duggars found a house to rent near the hospital as they lived two hours away.  It was very important for them to keep the family together.

The Duggars also put serving others as a priority using Jesus as the example.  This is something that God has put on my heart for the last several months.   Our family serves from time to time, doing obvious things such as helping our neighbors or giving when we are asked but not to the point of sacrificial giving.  I have felt God calling me to start a food distribution and thrift shop at our small rural church and have shared this with some others but have not taken the next steps.   To me a Christian church's number one mission should be serving - and the obvious first step would be serving the needy in the community where the church is located. 

How are others going to "see" God's love without action?  As a chuch, we are not doing what we are called to do if we just serve one another (yes, this is important as well but there is so much more to done).   I just see so many churches (ours included - I have always been a bit resistant to institutionalization) caught up in their own activities, Bible studies, youth groups, sports tournaments, etc..   but have been left wondering -  how are we serving?
Well, I know I am not to wait and let others do it - if I feel God calling, I must answer.  


  1. Great post and good food for thought - and action. Service to others is such a vital part of the Christian walk! Family is the most important unit of society. I salute you for talking necessary steps to keep your close and strong. No other success can compensate for failure in the home! I read the Duggar's first book and truly enjoyed it. The second book is on my "to read" list. I think that family really has it all together. Thanks for this post and enjoy your week!

  2. We were discussing this very topic last week in church. It is so important to look outside of ourselves, but so easy to forget in the bustle of everyday life. Thank you for your honesty :) x

  3. I bet your vest will be lovely- almost to hot to knit here...have a lovely week.

  4. such good words here. i am with you all the way.

  5. The Duggars are an amazing family. I actually met one of the older girls at a conference we attended a couple of years ago and she was truly a doll. I applaud them for standing by their convictions. God has blessed them with means and energy to provide for all their children and I believe they do it wholeheartedly. Great point about service. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the day to day that it's hard to make the time for it, but it's oh so important! Being new to the northeast, we need to be intentional about finding opportunities. Great post, Tonya!

  6. Love the gray and yellow yarn together. Thanks for sharing this post.

  7. Balancing serving others inside and outside the church can be a difficult task at times. And serving others needs to be alongside spreading the gospel, not in place of. Using Jesus' example is a good thing - He served (and even gave up his life for his children) while teaching. I'm glad that you're having the desire to share and show God's great love to others - I need to do/show that more as well. It's easy to get caught up with the hustle bustle of life and get very inward thinking. Training ourselves and our children to think about others first is a difficult, but rewarding path.

    P.S. - love the yellow & gray combination

  8. Love your critique of the duggar book, I'll keep it in mind. I know my daughter would love to read it! Love your knitting, great colors in the wool.

  9. Thanks for the review of the book, I have never seen the show and don't know much about them, but it sounds like I might like that book.

    Love the colours you are working with.

  10. I really admire the Duggars. I enjoyed their first book quite a bit. Today is Jim Bob's b-day! I know this b/c it's also my son's b-day! Don't be too hard on yourself about the tv/media stuff - it can be very hard to decipher what's authentic and what's been edited to tell a story. I wish I had the body/mindset to have as many kids as they do, but I know that's not my purpose in life. I think it's quite an accomplishment indeed!

  11. Great post. Thought provoking.
    I do think the world of the Duggars.

  12. I love the Duggars, too, just because they are so dang nice. I want to have my family behave like them someday. To answer your question, Michelle did get pregnant after the youngest one (Josie, who is now doing great!) but miscarried at 19 weeks. The camera followed them in for a routine check-up when the doctor was unable to find a heartbeat. And it was really touching to see how the film crew handled it - the kids thought they were going to find out if it was a boy or a girl, and were asking the crew members when they got back, but they didn't answer. It was so hard to watch Michelle wait for all the children to gather before she made the announcement. But they were praising God through it all and they continue to talk about how they're helping their family grieve. I love their open door policy - letting any kid who wants to spend the night in their room - even if it means needing extra pillows and blankets and sleeping on the floor! It's hard to like them because of the stigma of reality TV - my family makes fun of me, but I just tell, them, "I drink the kool-ade!" (it's an expression that means "I buy into it" in case you're not familiar.) Anyway, I drink the Duggar-ade.
    A bunch of episodes are on youtube, as well as pre-TV show specials. My favorites are 16 Children and Moving In and On the Road with 16 Children (both are available on youtube).

  13. Love that book!! I used to watch them all the time when we owned a tv and still watch them on you tube for inspiration every now and then. As ridiculous as it sounds - their relationship with God was one of the seeds planted within me, bringing me back to Him.