Meet the Brinkman’s: Ivan, Deb, Chaley & Tumebo
Who are you?
We are the Brinkman family. Ivan is a Chemical Engineer and Deb is a stay-at-home mom. We live in Hiawatha and have two children. Chaley is 9 years old, in 4th grade and enjoys swimming. Tumebo is 6, in kindergarten and is a typical boy that enjoys playing with trains, trucks and cars.
What challenges do you face as a family?
We face challenges in lots of aspects of our lives. How we are raising our children? Are we spending enough time with them and mentoring their relationship with Christ? Are we spending enough time in the Word ourselves, and as a family? Our daily choices of how we spend our time and what we do with our resources. Are we being missional enough and demonstrating our love for Christ in our daily lives? How do we discipline appropriately so as not to crush our child’s spirit but to hold them accountable for their choices and actions in a loving, Christ-like manner?
How have you seen God working in your life in regard to these challenges?
God has been working through our lives greatly with our children. They are so close and personal with mom and dad with everything we do. They can find every way possible to push our buttons and challenge us. When you think you have an area under control and have given it to God, they find a piece and grab on to it and twist. With kids, you realize how human you are and how you need to give everything to God. (click to tweet) There are times you know you have blown it and you need to pray. Asking them for forgiveness and telling them you are sorry is just the starting point, as you try to figure out what happened and what is really going on inside of your heart.
Another real challenge in our lives is just time and all the competing priorities. How do you make the right choices and be intentional with doing the things you feel called to do versus just things in life that you need to do but are not necessarily building God’s kingdom? By taking the time to hear God, being in the Word and talking to God (praying and listening) you can be more intentional with your lives and your time.
What things have you implemented with your family to draw them closer to God?
We do devotionals, bible reading and memorize scriptures with the kids. We also have a weekly bible study as a family that includes a lesson, discussion questions and time to share, reflect and relate. It also may include an activity that helps the kids better understand the lesson. Last summer we joined a group from Stonebridge on a mission trip to Rosebud Indian Reservation. We also participate in Backyard Bible Club and the Angel Tree program. We have our kids pray at meal time and encourage them to pray/talk to God in their daily lives.
What advice would you give others who are facing similar struggles?
To always seek God first and be intentional/consistent with the activities that help you grow in your relationship with Christ.