Unconventional: not based on or conforming to what is generally done or believed: unusual, atypical, irregular, abnormal.
In my research about blogging, there were many suggestions on how to capture an audience, what not to write, and ways to address your readers. And while we surely don’t want to bore you with our posts, we need to be honest: we’re not writers. We love to use proper grammar and tell funny anecdotes, but we will never claim to be gifted in the area of written stories. We like voice inflection and using our hands and hearing reponses when we share. We find this idea of a blog to be a tad unusual, unconventional if you will.
So, why would we put ourselves in such new territory? We have been called to make some pretty big changes in our life over the past year. God is shaping us through this crazy adventure He has taken us on. Are we the only ones who are being stretched to be stewards of God’s Creation and bearers of His Kingdom to a broken world? Surely not. We want to share our story, our unconventional calling. “Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!” Psalm 107:2 NLT
We got married and had quite a time getting settled, but once we seemed to find a routine in our lives we found ourselves craving something more. We suddenly felt out of place in a very welcoming environment. Stable jobs, an active church family, buying a house, and raising a puppy hardly seemed like a life to be unhappy in. It was a challenging period in our marriage as we discussed and prayed about how to address this. After doing a random job search, I found a description for foster parents. It seemed harmless, as well as unalarming to us since we have always planned to foster or adopt children. But thanks to Google, a few quick clicks around the internet, and we found ourselves looking at fulltime, paid careers in residential group homes hundreds of miles away. Within a month we were saying yes to a job as family teachers at Thornwell Home for Children in South Carolina. Future posts will hold more specifics and personal stories about that decision, but for now let’s just say that we were 100% sure and 100% unsure about what God was calling us to. Many people were confused about how we came to this decision, why we would move from our familiarity, and when we’d be back living in Michigan. We asked the same things! This was exciting and frightening to us, but we felt above all else, God was moving, unconventionally.
All these changes and we hadn’t even started our job yet! We had no idea how crazy we actually were for following this call. We will be sharing about the ups and downs of being family teachers periodically. It is an intense and active position. We are learning new things everyday. We work alongside some amazing people who model, train, and encourage us as we learn how to do our job. It is essential for us to be flexible in this field, and there are constant reminders of a need for God’s grace. It is unconvetional to say the least. God is surely using this new career path to draw us to Himself. With that, we have heard God’s voice consistently louder in our marriage leading us to parenthood. This comes as no suprise to most. It is assumed that children come next in our timeline of events. Yet, it is not a usual, regular calling to be parents. We are moving to a life as foster and adoptive parents. Let us clarify something about this: we are NOT currently adopting children. There is no active process happening for adoption or even private foster kids. This simply means we have confirmed God’s leading that the legacy children bring will not look the same for this Sampson family as it does for many other families. It means that we may never have children that share our blood, but ones that will be loved just the same. God is entrusting us with an unconventional family.
Since we met, Jonathon and I have desired to be more like Christ, to help people in need, to love like Jesus did. It is evident that God has a purpose for our family, whatever that may look like. Our desire is to be intentional about the lessons God is teaching us on a daily basis, and as He leads, share them with you. Please join us on this journey!