Our Family Calling

Bautista Family Bridge

“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” 1 Peter 4:10

My husband and I met while serving in ministry. Since that day we have continued to serve together in ministry, sometimes in the same capacity and most often in different areas, but always together.

Over the years we have grown and matured. As our family life has changed we have had to evaluate the calling in our lives. What began as individual callings into ministry evolved into a calling of us as husband and wife. When our family grew, our calling did also.

It became a call for our family into ministry. My husband and I know our family is called and that requires sacrifice, rest, hard work, intentionality and care. It’s a difficult place to be for a young family, both require a lot physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

But there’s nowhere else we’d rather be.

Bautista Kiddos

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up.” Deuteronomy 6:5-7

While I may be the one on a church staff, it is our family that is called. We are a team, this is our tribe. We are meant to be in ministry and meant to lead our family, together.

The thing about being called as a family is that family life and ministry are not separate. My husband and I do not see ministry and family as two separate compartments in our lives.

Our ministry is our children and the Church. God is first in our lives, always. Our marriage is second. Our children third. Ministry next. When our priorities are in line, balance in our lives is possible. (Although balance is not what we think it is. See my previous blog here.)

The best way to teach our children about ministry and calling is to live it out with them. They are just as much a part of it as we are.

It is not just a call for us as individuals, it’s a calling for our family.

 

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It’s Been a While

Well, it’s been a while. So let’s catch up.

My last post was in November of last year. Life for the Bautista family got a little crazy.

In November we found out our heart warrior was going to need another surgery sooner than we thought. So we began preparing to have surgery before Christmas, but it worked out that we were able to spend time with family in California before surgery.

The first few months of the year were a whirlwind for us.

January I started working full time at the church.

February we went in for our second open heart surgery. This time around it was not as traumatic, but still a toll on us emotionally and spiritually. Our heart warrior came out with flying colors, a week later we were home. (It’s crazy to think that we were home one week after an open heart surgery! When compared to last time it was like night and day.)

March began a journey into a new job for my husband.

April I started a new position at the church.

So here we are, in July. We are still learning our new normal, with new jobs and four kiddos.

We’re halfway through the year and I am ready to run into this next half and finish strong!

Beautiful Things

The other day I was driving and had all four kiddos in the car and heard the most beautiful conversation between my boys.

Michael said, “Daniel, will you be my best friend?”

Daniel responded, “umm…yes!”

The two of them proceeded to make up some crazy game to play and their laughter filled the car, even if it was brief (they are brothers after all).

I was immediately caught up in that moment. How incredible it was to hear my children being so civil with each other. It was a nice and needed reminder to take those moments, savor them and cherish them.

In the midst of this crazy life of raising little humans and working in ministry and trying to be the wife I’m called to be it’s easy to get caught up in the task at hand that I forget the people I am called to love.

“He made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

Life is beautiful, once you are able to change your perspective and see those moments as blessings. We tend to focus on what’s wrong and instead we need to change the lens in which we look at life.

Choose to see the good and beautiful in everything you do. It’s not always easy, but make the effort.

Holiday Traditions & Memories

I remember the holidays as a kid and how much fun they were. I remember cousins running around, aunts and uncles cracking jokes and laughing, great food, and playing cards.

As we head into the holiday season for the third year away from my family, there begins a sense of longing for holidays like I remember. I want my children to have similar memories of holidays, I want them to love this time of year and love being around family.

The reality is my children will not have memories of the holidays like I do, those are my memories. But my children will have memories, and it’s up to me to create a place where memories like the ones I have can be created.

We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun

I am learning that my children won’t remember how much effort I put into their halloween costume or how many (or how big) their Christmas gifts are. The things my children will remember is the experience and how it made them feel.

It’s up to me to create those memories with my children; to have fun and realize they are what matters most and they are my family.

This holiday season have fun, make memories, and choose joy.

Is it ok that I’m ok?

As a CHD heart mama I’ve found myself searching for normalcy in this new area of my life; searching for others like me, who have a precious heart warrior. 

It’s a strange thing to feel so alone and then realize you are in fact not alone, at all. 

There are people all around me who have either experienced heart surgery or know someone that has been through this process. 

At the end of the day I count my blessings but I can’t help but think, is it ok that I’m ok? 

I’ve been waiting for that moment when my emotions well up and spill out uncontrollably. I’ve been waiting for that moment when it all catches up to me. 

But it hasn’t. I feel ok, actually I feel like my cup is overflowing. Is that ok? 

I realize there is not one way to process things. There is only the expectations we place on ourselves. I am who I am. And I am overflowing because I have an amazing God who has filled me and taken care of me. 

Even though the world says I need to be taken down and torn apart because of this season I am in, I don’t have to. I am strong because my God is strong. 

Our circumstances have a way of making us stronger. 

So is it ok that I’m ok? Absolutely. 

Don’t Forget You

As a mom it is so easy to fall into the habit of constantly giving, constantly focusing on taking care of everyone.

But don’t forget about you! 

I am guilty of looking to the well being of everyone around me without making sure I am ok. I take care of everyone and empty myself until I reach my breaking point. 

When I reach that point, in all honesty I am not truly taking care of everyone the way I think I am. 

I am learning to take time for myself. Do the things that fill me up, that give me energy, that I find fun. 

If I don’t take care of myself first how can I do everything God has called me to? 

So what is it that you do for yourself? The key is it has to be something no one else can control, something just for you. 

It takes discipline and an understanding that it’s not selfish to take care of yourself and have fun. The people you take care of, that depend on you need the best version of you. 

Enjoying Today 

It was one of those days, I was standing in my kitchen listening to my two year old scream at the top of his lungs because I told him he couldn’t have something. 

I found myself thinking of when would he grow out of his terrible tantrum days. 

I was exhausted and my ears hadn’t stopped ringing all day. 

Later that night my daughter woke up crying, because she couldn’t find her pacificier. 

As I sat in the rocking chair holding my not so little one year old, time seemed to have paused. 

I looked down at my baby, perfectly resting in my arms I realized I needed to savor the moment, the season. 

I can get so caught up in moving forward, what’s on the agenda for the next day, things I need to get done, etc. that I forget each season has a purpose. 

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭6:34‬ ‭

Imagine if we lived each day knowing it has a purpose. How much more intentional would we be to find God working in and through the fabric of our lives?  

If I get too consumed with the next season I will miss the blessings of my current season. 

So enjoy today. Find those moments when time seems to pause and savor therichness  of your season.