Harder Family

Harder Family

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A New Year, A New Perspective

Although it is now 20 days into 2015, I decided to write down some changes we are trying to make as a family. 2014 was an amazing year of spiritual growth for our family. God used many things to help W and I grow in our walk with the Lord. One of the main things that helped us was watching the series "Behold Your God". We watched the series the first time in adult Sunday School at church. The series stretched us and our low view of God. Sure, we knew who God was and we studied His word, but I didn't realize how many times in my life I was depending upon myself and my ways instead of God and His ways. He is worthy of so much more then casual worship! Church is about Him, quiet time is about Him, my life is all about Him. We were made to bring Him glory!!

We started doing the "Behold Your God" workbook and DVDs as a family. It has been amazing to see God continue to work in our lives and draw us, and our kids, closer to Him. It has also helped us develop a deeper love and understanding of who He is. The more we learn, the more we realize how little we know about Him! The best part about learning more about God is realizing that we will spend an eternity with Him getting to know Him, and we will never know all about Him!!

This leads me to 2015. We have decided to make 2015 a year of intentional life lessons, for both us and the kids. Each month we are taking on a different challenge to help us in our walk with the Lord, and to garner a deeper understanding of what God may want to teach us. January is our month of intentionally finishing our Bible study workbook with the kids and continuing to declutter/de-materialize our lives (something we started in 2014). February will be a month of "eating like an orphan". In our crazy, material happy/seeking, super blessed country, we want to be intentional in our understanding of what kids around the world are experiencing. We want to be able to pray for them and understand what their lives are like. How can we do that unless we have a better understanding of what their lives are like?

So many kids go to bed hungry, including kids in our own country, many don't eat for many days, and fortunate ones may have one meal (maybe two) a day. Although we aren't going to extremes like that to teach ourselves compassion, we are making our menu for the month of February a month of hot cereal, rice and beans. We have looked up recipes from around the world that many kids eat (African red beans, Sudanese soup, Haitian beans, Puerto Rico beans and rice, etc). We may have one or two meals with Asian noodles since in my research I have found that kids in countries like Vietnam eat noodles in their orphanages. Most days will consist of hot cereal for breakfast (they will have some sugar and milk in it-we know this is going to be a huge adjustment for them). Lunch and dinner will be some form of rice and beans. It should be an eye opening and challenging month for all of us. I am giving up my protein bars, my salads, my veggie/fruit smoothies, etc. I know that God has some incredible lessons to teach us.

I plan on blogging about how our month progresses, along with the recipes that we are eating for the week. I'll keep you posted about future months. We have some ideas such as no heat, no air conditioning, no snacks, no sugar, no technology, no driving (we are working on the logistics of this one), etc. If you have any ideas that may work, let me know.

May God use 2015 to be another year of spiritual growth in not only knowing more of who God is, but also experiencing suffering with our brothers and sisters around the world. May each of us continue to daily pray for not only our suffering brothers and sisters around the world, but also for the millions of orphans without earthly parents. May they find comfort in knowing the best Father of all!

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