One of the questions we’re often asked is, “How are the kids doing?”
I [Charlie] love that so many people are invested in the well being of our children. One of the great gifts of the Church is the community of people who truly care about our overall health.
Enduring COVID-19, moving cross country, and starting a new faith community are big challenges. It’s impossible to know how these things are forming our kids long-term. As far as we can see, though, everyone is doing well.
All four of our kids will be entering the same elementary school this year. We’re excited about the opportunity they will have to be together in the same building for a couple years (and to be on one schedule!). They love their school, their friends, and their community.
It’s strange to be raising kids who will identify as New Englanders and will probably refer to us as their Midwestern parents. They are growing up near New York City, in a coastal community, with a very different social-political-spiritual landscape than they would have had growing up in central Illinois. This place will shape them in ways we can’t possibly predict or imagine (or control).
I was recently studying Deuteronomy 6 in preparation for our first child dedications at City Coast. It was a special ceremony because we dedicated one of our kids within the context of this new faith community. Making promises to cultivate an environment of faith at home and within this church were deeply personal.
Our most consistent prayer for our kids is that they will love God with everything they are and love others as they themselves are loved. It’s definitely a lesson that is more caught than taught. Everyday, they are watching the ways we love God and love others.
Before starting City Coast, Leslie and I often “talked church” with one another. Since moving and starting City Coast, we’ve realized there are other ears listening in, other voices contributing to the conversation, and other hearts being formed. When we are in the house, in the van, in our beds, at the table, etc. all of our hearts are being shaped.
It’s an answered prayer to see our kids eager to serve and be involved with City Coast. They have ideas for events, offer to help as much as they can, and share about it with their friends. They ask us great questions, and make us think twice about why we’re doing what we’re doing.
During the first ever baptisms in City Coast’s history, we had the privilege of baptizing one of our own kids. It was a milestone as church planters and as a pastor, but even more as parents.
We knew this endeavor would shape all of us, especially the kids.
As far as we can see, we are all doing well.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise (Deuteronomy 6.5-7, ESV).