Boundaries of Uniqueness

School is back in session and I, for one, have found something that went missing this summer… something I need for pure survival… something that was hijacked by travel, pool dates, late nights and camping trips… routine! Hip hip hooray, there is now a somewhat organized method to our madness.

Oh yes, routine… some people find boredom in the fact that every Monday they have Mexican food or Wednesdays are for group Bible Study, but not me. No, instead of boredom I find comfort in structure. Routine is the peanut butter to my jelly, the ping to my pong, the normal to my crazy. And I think you get the point.

However, I’m sure we’ve all learned that even in routine and structure things are busy. There’s always a practice, a meeting, lessons, homework… the list could go on and on. We have one main boundary in our house when it comes to extracurricular activities. Each child (we have three boys) can choose one activity per season. Obviously, you can do the math so we’re still looking at three activities per season. It’s a personal boundary that works well for our family and so far we haven’t had to make any hard “choices” between activities (however, I’m fairly sure that day will come).

Now, our boundary sounds easy enough, one activity per child per season, but I’m the first to say that this boundary hasn’t come without it’s challenges. See, our three boys look a lot alike. They are blonde-haired, blue-eyed stair steps. While they are fiercely different in many way, as brothers they also have a fair number of similarities. They’re often confused in public by people who don’t know us super-well and most people assume since they look alike, their personalities must also be cookie cutter. But as Christians, we all understand the blessing of being uniquely created as God’s child… and as a mom I’m commanded to nurture that uniqueness in each child. I don’t want my younger boys to only follow in the footsteps of their older brother. I want each of my children to understand who God uniquely created them to be. I want them to find their own passions and desires.

For instance, my oldest son is obsessed with anything sports related, especially football and baseball. Our middle son, Gage, really isn’t quite as interested in sports… he tried baseball (because, as he said, “Jett plays baseball”) and it wasn’t a great fit; he thought soccer looked boring, and he believes football games are scheduled so he can meet his friends to play with behind the stands. But about 9 months ago he approached us saying that he’d like to try karate, a hobby no one in our family is interested in… and we let him try it. He has flourished under the instruction of a kind yet disciplined South Korean Tae Kwon Do instructor. He’s found a niche that speaks to him individually and also allows him to flourish as part of a group.

Gage recently told me he loved that God let him be the middle boy in our family and then he repeated something his Dad and I have said to him many times over the years… “I’m the only boy in our family who gets to be a big brother and a little brother at the same time. Jett is only a big brother and Brewer is only a little brother, but I get to do both.” A definite sign he’s starting to embrace his uniqueness.

Brandi is a wife to Pete and mom to Jett, Gage, and Brewer. Her life is truly “Brandi & Boys.” She is not trying for a 4th baby to “get a girl” as that is the question most asked of her. God has placed some amazing girls in her life she gets to love and influence. Brandi has been a pastor’s wife for almost 15 years. She and her husband planted Cross Point Church in Nashville, Tennessee in 2002. Brandi has a heart for women in ministry and co-leads a ministry for pastors’ wives called “Leading and Loving It.” Brandi loves to be organized, but hates to clean. She is always up for trying a new recipe, especially if it’s a dessert. Reading is a favorite past time and she almost reads fiction. She adores the beach, Diet Dr. Pepper and ice cream is her favorite food.