Back in June of 2016, my wife and I moved our family into a bigger house. We our first home that we absolutely loved for the previous 11 years. Our first home was the first major decision we made as a married couple and the first real responsibility we took on as a team. It was the house we brought our 3 babies home to. It is the place we met some of the families that have become our closest friends. We celebrated many firsts and had some great times there; we’ve also cried and had some rough times there. We became connected to and grew to love our growing Sendera Ranch neighborhood. Ann and I both work in that same community, our kids go to school and play ball there, and I have a small business that has grown tremendously there. All this to say it was a gut-wrenching decision for us to leave.
The bigger house posed some significant changes and brought about some major challenges. There was to be more house to maintain, more yard to keep up with, and the obvious increase of financial requirements of a bigger home on a larger piece of property. A higher mortgage tagged with increased utility bills was a bit intimidating. Beyond the measurables, we knew that new relationships would have to be formed. As a pretty severe extrovert, this was exciting to me, but a bit more daunting to my more introverted wife and our three young children. I am writing not to express all the reasons why I regret the move; I certainly do not. I write this to explain why.
We came to a decision that we wanted to grow our family. Having made the decision to foster children, and eventually adopt, we knew we needed to stretch our family to allow room for growth. Despite being quite content in our first home, with our family as it was constructed, and in the financial position we were in, we knew the sacrifice was worth it. We needed more space if we were going to have more people in our family, plain and simple. There had to be more bedroom space, more living space, more room to spread out, and some room to grow. I guess you could say we weren’t moving into a bigger home for the people that lived there, we were building it for those that weren’t there yet. We have since had 3 beautiful foster children live with us for 8 months. After they went back to their family, we were able to have my dad move in with us. Basically, the bigger house has allowed us to do exactly what we hoped and prayed that it would! We have begun to build great relationships with new neighbors, our kids have made great new friends, and we are becoming part of a new community of people. As a bonus, we haven’t had to sacrifice our old relationships, friendships, and community connections. It was a bit of a stretch for us, and we have grown tremendously as a family as a result. It was a great decision for our family.
Today, our church (Fellowship of the Parks in Haslet) is in the middle of a building project that will basically give our church family a bigger house. As a church, we made the decision to do so for the same reasons, knowing we would face the same challenges as my family did. We decided to build a bigger house because we want to grow our family. Our decision was NOT that we wanted a bigger, newer building with nicer stuff in it for the people currently part of our church family. Our decision was based solely on the desire to grow our family. In other words, we aren’t building a bigger space for the people that are currently here, we are building it for those that are not here yet. We need many of the same things I did in a house. We need space for our new family members to sit, a little more living space, and of course some room for future growth. Of course, this comes with some financial commitments and some logistical challenges. The members of our current church “family” have had to stretch and deal with the growing pains already. But here is what we know: bringing new members into our family is worth it.
My prayer for FOTP in Haslet is that the experience will mimic what God has done in our home. I want new family members to find a home in our space; I want some old family members to come back to be with us; I want new relationships to be formed and new community to be found. For whatever reason you may be searching for a new home, we would love to be the place your family finds. As a family, we stepped out in faith asking God to grow our family, having no idea exactly who He would bring to us. As a church, we are doing the same. As a family, we were open to bringing in kids of any age, gender, religion, race, ethnicity or size. As a church, we are doing the same. As a family, we have been blessed for taking some chances and making some tough decisions. As a church, I fully expect the same.
Our vision as a church is a family for everyone. So please excuse our mess as we expand a bit to provide them a little space to move into.
As info, we plan to have our project completed in August 2018. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.