Would you have ever dreamed you would be here? The family and life you once hoped for, is radically different. Whether because of your kids, career, or location, life does not seem to be aligning up to what you expected. Right? We will call it A-Traditional Family…
Well, welcome to the party, the A-Traditional Family party…
What is an A-Traditional Family?
I am glad you asked. Picture “Leaver It To Beaver.” Think of the family structure and family values. An A-Traditional Family is anything contrary to that family structure. Maybe it is because you family needs a dual-income. Or possibly because your children are a little different. You get the picture.
Do you think you fall into this type of family?
- your boy is developing slower than the rest of his class
- you are raising your children all by yourself
- you’ve had to relocate for a job opportunity
- your marriage has lost its spark
- your daughter only cares about boys and won’t listen to you
If you can relate to any of these or some modification to one of these, congratulations. You too are part of this A-Traditional Family community. Let’s keep going.
Meet Our A-Traditional Family
1st ChildFirst child with Down syndrome. Stephanie and I saw our life change tremendously with our first child. Fayth was born with Down syndrome. We were thrusted into the category of a special needs family. Life would never look the same. Feel free to read our story about Fayth, our daughter with Down syndrome. I know there is a book coming one of these days.
But our family differences didn’t stop there.
2nd ChildOur 2nd child took us 3 years of trying. Can you say FRUSTRATING? Month after month, checking the pregnancy tests just SUCKED!! Heart break after heart break.
At wasn’t all perfect after Stephanie got pregnant either.
With 16 days left to Stephanie giving birth to our 2nd child, Stephen, the doctor told us we need an emergency C-Section.
I thought, “Hold on one sec. We still have two weeks.” Normal? Nope.
After convincing the doctor we could wait one more day to get everything ready, we went to sleep that night with a 10:00am appointment for Stephen to be delivered on February 14, 2012.
At 4am on the day of our appointment, Stephanie screams to me from the bathroom….(Let’s skip the details.)
In 15 minutes after the scream, I am skidding in front of the hospital to get my wife into delivery. I was also praising Jesus for not taking Stephanie’s life that day. I was very scarred.
Oh yes, Stephen and Stephanie made it through amazingly. Our first healthy boy, well, I guess child in general.
Back to our abnormality.
We had moved up to Utah, away from both of our families to plant a church. I started as the associate pastor, but then took over the lead pastor position only 16 months into the launch of the church.
(for those who know nothing about planting churches, this is not an optimal formula for a sustaining church)
2 years after I took over, we had needed to close the church/corporation.
I was left scratching my head to what career path I was going to head into. Let alone trying to picking up the pieces of my shattered identity. I was raised as a pastor’s kid, I went to college to become a pastor, and I had been in professional ministry for the past 8 years.
I was lost, but needed to keep moving forward.
So what did I do? I started coaching special needs families and also started a window cleaning business. I wonder how many businesses have started because a person lost their job or needed to change careers?
About 2 months after I started the window cleaning business, Stephanie asked me in a car ride home, “Did you ever anticipate we would be in this place in our lives?”
I laughed. But I don’t remember her laughing.
Could that question depict our family any better? We are taking anything but the traditional path. Our family is what I would call an A-Traditional Family. We had an A-Traditional Family structure, with A-Tradtional Family circumstances.
A-Traditional Family Becomes Normal
As I coach special needs families, I’ve learned special needs families are not the only ones experiencing abnormality. What is a special needs family any ways?
The majority of families experience some type of special, abnormality. Whether it is because their kids have a learning disability, Dad is going through a job transition, different parenting situations, or kids are now teenagers. Enough said on that one.
With this ever increasing abnormality, we have seen that A-Traditional Families are the new norm. But the question sits, “Can you still lead your family towards traditional family values admits the abnormalities?”
My family is a testament to this answer. Yes.
Conditions and circumstances do not define us. Problems, hardships, and difficulties do not pull us down or destroy us. We use these to build upon our foundation in Jesus Christ. Jesus is our foundation and nothing can or will detour us from building upon that foundation.
(Going through family adversity and need help? You would love this FREE gift – 7 Steps To Overcome Adversity & Build A Healthy Family Life)
Jesus In An A-Traditional Family
There is no smoke screen here. Jesus is the Lord of our home. When all the trials and tribulations have been thrown against the winds, we have attempted to stand upon our true roots, our foundation in Jesus Christ.
We are by no means perfect. We have our flaws and issues, but we draw nearer to God everyday with all battles.
7But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in a Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. 10I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.
If you would like to journey with us, join the part with other A-Traditional Families.
My hope is not only to blog, but to help you in your journey. As part of the community, you become a part of a group to receive information and offers to help lead your family in this 21st century.
An A-Traditional Dad,
PS – One requirement. Your family has to be a little bit different in some way. How has your family experience an A-Traditional life? Leave a comment.tweet
PSS – If there is any way that I could help you out, please let me know. I would love to serve and help you in any way possible.