What are some of the most important things you look for in a church?
"We are also changing churches, but we were members of a conservative Mennonite church and they do not support our decision to homeschool so we are visiting around right now. We so hope to find a conservative church that supports adoption and homeschooling!"
Hi, Erin! :) Thank you for your question.
Choosing a church is such an important decision. We've always been very faithful and active in our local church, which means we'll be spending alot of time there. :)
Solid doctrine is always the first thing we look for. We are Baptist in our doctrine, and we look for a church that holds to those doctrinal truths of the Bible first.
Conservative music is also important to our family. While their are certainly varying opinions on the style of music appropiate for worship, we prefer traditional, conservative music. I play the piano, two of our children play the violin, I'll be teaching three of our children piano this year, and all of us love to sing. Music is big in our family and we desire to only introduce certain styles of music to our children, especially while they are young and impressionable.
Godly preaching/teaching---and a Focus on MISSIONS---these two explain themselves, I think.
Lastly, we desire a church home that values the Family Structure. Daddy as the head of the home, Mommy as the helpmeet, and children as the blessings God says they are. :) We would love a family-integrated church, but there aren't too many of those around, so we'll make it work wherever the Lord leads us. We would like a church that respects our desire to follow the Lord wherever (and however) He leads us---whether that be family size, ministries, children, adoption, etc. :)
It would be "nice" if there was a perfect church that met all of our preferences, but you know how the saying goes---If you find a perfect church, don't join it, 'cause then it won't be perfect anymore. :) We certainly need to grow and change daily as we follow the Lord, and we look forward to finding a place of worship where we can both be an encouragement AND be encouraged in the LORD.
Looking for a new church is never easy. I'll be praying for you and the whole Martin family as you seek the LORD for your new church home.
How many children do you plan to have?
Hi, Judi. :) Of course I remember you! Thanks for commenting.
We don't have a "set" number of children in mind for our family. I'm so glad GOD knows, though. ;) All I can say is that we have always been open to however many God wants us to have. If He blesses us with more biological children (and we're hoping He will!) we will rejoice. If we are priveleged to be able to adopt again (and we're hoping we are!) we will rejoice. And if we "only" have these precious 7, we will rejoice.
When I was a little girl, I always said I wanted to get married at 18 and have 12 children. Well, I was 19 when I got married......we'll have to wait and see on the 12.
If I had to state a number, right now, today, I'd say I think we'll have 12 children. But who knows??? :)
How do you find time to ever do anything for yourself that requires you to be away from the home (like going to the dentist, visiting a friend, etc.)? Do you have friends or family near by that you can leave your kids with so you can do things for yourself?
I love this question. For the most part, where I go, the children go. Grocery shopping (although we do this with Brent usually), doctor's appointments, visiting friends, museums, Target, thrift stores, parks, banks---they all go with me. There have been a couple of instances where my sweet sister Lauren has kept some of the children while I took a couple of other children to a doctor's appointment.
My dad is our only "babysitter". He keeps all of the children about once every 2 months so Brent and I can go on a dinner date.
Other than my sister and my dad keeping our children on a rare occasion, we just take them with us everywhere we go. Is it always easy? No. :) (We have FIVE children still in carseats!) But we chose to have these children, they're our responsibility, and truly, we enjoy having them with us all the time!
Brent and I enjoy our time alone in the evenings after our children have gone to bed. We talk, cuddle, read, use our computers, watch a movie, etc. And we take a walk a couple times a week (after we run) around our local track while the children play safely in earshot, so we can communicate and have some "talk" time.
I rarely go anywhere alone. Actually, I can't remember the last time I went somewhere alone! :) Someday, there will be a season for that again----but in the meantime, I'm determined to enjoy my days as a busy Mama. :)