The Chambers Family
Hi, we are Josh and Autumn Chambers and we have four kids, Oliver: 13, Wyatt; 11, Zadie; 9, and Lucy; 6. We met at a singles class at First Baptist Church and got to know each other very quickly. We were both out of college and realized very quickly that God had us on a unique path that included each other. We were married quite quickly after meeting and welcomed our first son a little more than a year later. We welcomed our second son less than 2 years later. When we were first married we knew we were open to growing our family through adoption and had even started an international adoption before finding out we were pregnant with our first son. After putting the adoption on hold, the country we had chosen shut down to international adoptions. After the birth of our second child, we knew we wanted to actively pursue international adoption again and God lit our hearts on fire for Ethiopia. Long story short, we brought our first daughter home from Ethiopia in 2010. We had our fourth child, our youngest daughter, in 2013. So the first 7 years of our marriage were focused on building and raising our young family. We both came from families of believers and had a strong childhood being raised in the church so it came naturally for us to do the same for our family. We do not take that for granted and realize what a blessing that legacy has been to us both.
With this new season of uncharted uncertainty, we have found that we have had more time to draw together. Sometimes this has felt like an uncomfortable struggle. We are human and stir crazy and our kids argue and the house seems too small for the 6 of us to all be trying to do school and take conference calls and find some quiet time. But we have also been reminded daily what a blessing this time of togetherness is. When we find a way to gently answer questions about one of children’s new fears; when we’re out on our third walk of the day; when we get to spend longer in our daily devotion as a family; when we find some breathing room to make space for game night every night of the week. We have had to remember daily as the news gets to be too much, to lift our eyes from the breaking waves and turn them to Jesus. Our hope is not found in this world, praise the Lord! We know that this home is temporary and our hope is found in an eternal Savior. By making this our focus it helps us to teach our children to make it their focus. Our only hope in parenting them is to the lay the same Godly foundation that was laid for us.
We are using this time to encourage ourselves, and our kids, to pray. To pray for doctors and nurses, first responders, those that are sick, and those are that are hurting and alone. Pray for neighbors and strangers and grocery store workers.
And then, we try to encourage our kids to have an attitude of gratitude. We have found that we and our children can so often be looking inward and we try to encourage them to be thankful. No, it doesn’t change their hearts immediately. But it does make it easier to take the focus off of us. Even if we have to walk through the motions, it helps to remember to stop and find things to be grateful for. In all of this, we are thankful for a God who draws near and promises to never leave us.