Archive | April 2012

So Many Questions

Who has the answers?

I was going to blog about a completely different topic today (why I don’t like asking for or accepting help), but something just came up.

In all honesty, I am feeling quite a bit of anxiety today. I have a lot of questions, but not so many answers.

My husband lost his job on Friday the 13th. We have been here before, and here we are again. When he lost his job before, I was employed full time at a well paying job. I don’t even remember it hurting us at all.

This time, I am not employed. I am a stay at home mom. We made the decision for me to stay home over 3 years ago, because our family was falling apart. Other families were able to do it; raise a family and have both parents working. I didn’t understand why it was such a struggle for us. I had to come to the realization that God doesn’t intend the same thing for each and every family. It’s been the most difficult thing we have ever done, living on one income, but we were finally to a point that it was getting easier.

When he lost his job before, we at least had my income to fall back on. This time we have our faith to rely on, but it doesn’t pay well.  

The thing is, at the beginning of this year, I told my husband that I just had this feeling that something big was going to happen this year. I was right, but it wasn’t the something big I thought it was going to be. I took a break from blogging to focus on whatever this big thing was that was going to happen. We have spent extra time strengthening our marriage. Thank God we did, because right now, we need the strength of US. 

I am making an extra effort to focus on TODAY. Only TODAY. TODAY I am thankful, because God has provided. We have food. We have a house. We have all of our utilities. We have a few extras. We have great neighbors, great friends and a great family. We are wanting for nothing… TODAY. 

I have so many questions about tomorrow though. 

And so few answers.

Only faith. 

Hebrews 11:1 – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen  

And TODAY.

Pray for me?

How can I pray for YOU today? What are your needs, your wants, your desires? How can I bless YOU? 

 

Satan must be…. um…. MAD

Friends tell me that things come in threes. 

Number one was on Friday the 13th of all days. I hesitated. 

Number two was on Tuesday the 24th. I laughed. 

Number three came on Wednesday the 25th. I cried. 

Number four… yes, NUMBER FOUR came on Thursday the 26th. 

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

I came to the conclusion that someone is not happy. That someone is Satan. I am not responding in a way that is pleasing to his evil ways. He is watching and he is waiting. He wants me to break. 

I can’t. As long as I have faith, I can not break. 

I am not worried about tomorrow. Should I be? Maybe, but I’m not. 

I am thankful for today. TODAY. 

Matthew 6:25-27 – “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

Not me. I should probably worry more, but I have enough experience to know it doesn’t help.  

I will take the good and the bad… and I will consider this portion of my life to be full of joy. 

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds 

PURE JOY

Cup Of Noodles or Homemade Chicken Noodle?

I like quick.

I like easy.

There is a whole section of the internet geared towards saving time and I might waste some time reading that section of the internet.

We (I) want dinner like five minutes ago.

We (I) want immediate answers to our (my) prayers. NOW would be good. Yesterday would be better.

We consider it success when we pop our food in the microwave oven, pull it out and call it dinner. Likewise, I think it would be kind of cool to have a prayer machine that I could pop in my requests, wait a few minutes, and have an answer literally fall into my hands.

Veruca Salt anyone? I *might* sound like her sometimes. I don’t want to wait. I don’t want to put it in writing. “I want it noooooooooow”. (And if I don’t get the things I’m after, I’m going to screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam)

It doesn’t work that way, does it ? (if it does, please email me at …….. KIDDING!)

Last night, I was writing my requests on paper and putting them in the microwave to see what would happen after 3 minutes pondering a microwaveable faith. I’m being serious when I say I would love to have instant answers. I don’t really do “wait” well.

I asked God “Can’t I just have the answers NOW?”.

In His infinite grace and patience, He said “Do you want Cup O’Noodles or Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup?”

Well, Cup O’Noodles ARE quick and easy. What… you just add water, then put it in the microwave for 3 minutes. They are cheap… and unhealthy… and all of a sudden completely unappealing. But if I am hungry and I want something instantly… it’s there. (not really, we don’t even own any… I swear)

Chicken Noodle Soup? Hmmmmm. But it takes so long to make. And I hate to wait. However, I love a pot of CNS.

Yes, it takes time, it takes preparation, it takes work… and a lot of patience in waiting as that aroma fills the house.

You have to dice the onions, boil the chicken, shred the chicken, cut heart shaped carrots.

Heart shaped carrots

Yes, I really do.

What do you mean you don’t? 😉

Then there is the sauteing, the boiling, adding the herbs and then the wait… oh the wait!

Time and again, though, I choose the Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. I know it takes time and I have to be patient. The process can be painstaking, but I know the end result is worth it. 

Knowing this, why would I settle for ANYTHING instant? Instant noodles OR instant answers to my prayers?

The best things in life are not instant. They take time, prayers, patience and work.

I’ll take the homemade chicken noodle soup, Lord… and I’ll wait for an answer to my prayers too.


I love to link up with other great bloggers. I’ve linked my post up at Intentional Me and Thought Provoking Thursday.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Part 1

Part 2

We made last minute plans on Thursday to go to the beach for the weekend. He was let go from his job on Friday.

One of the first questions out of my mouth was “What about the beach?”.

I mean, it didn’t make sense to go and spend that money. We might need it. Although the motel we were staying at had a 24 hour cancellation policy, I was sure we could call and explain the circumstances and they would be gracious.

My husband said “We go. We make memories. Worry can wait”.

So we loaded up the car and we went.

The kids were thrilled! That first day, we played in the water and the sand. We threw a frisbee. We played football. We went back to our room for dinner, and then returned to the beach to watch the sun set.

I said to myself “if God can create THIS, surely He can ‘fix’ our situation. It can not possibly be too big for him”. I said it out loud. I told my husband. I told my 12 year old. She is our natural worrier. She said “I can live without everything, but I don’t want to lose our house”. I sighed, because I don’t want to lose our house either, but then I said “If that is the worst thing that happens to us, we are still blessed. We still have each other”. She nodded her head and hugged me.

The morning of the second day, we were on the beach before 9:00. My husband and I watched the kids play. I breathed in and said “I am glad that we did this. If we had stayed home, we would have worried, argued, cried. But here, I can see that nothing is too big for God. He made all this”.

Although it defied logic, I am glad we went. It truly was a breath of fresh air. It was just what we needed. Perhaps it is more than coincidence that I booked the trip at last minute (something I never do!), so that there wasn’t time to cancel. Perhaps He knew exactly what we were going to need, before we knew.

Yes. We will be okay.

Together

Sometimes I feel so alone. Like I am the only person going through whatever it is I am going through at that time. 

Sometimes I forget about who God has given me and who he has surrounded me with. 

Sometimes when I am longing for someone to reach out to me, I don’t see who is already there. 

Together. 

We are together. We are entering this new phase of life that is scary and unsure. We can only count on today, because we are not sure what tomorrow will bring. 

Unsure of everything except being together. 

Together. 

The bumps in the roads, the potholes, the obstacles… they don’t seem so daunting when we are together. It’s not scary when you have someone to hold your hand, to remind you, that you are not alone, you are 

together. 

I wouldn’t have it any other way. I can not imagine traversing this road alone, with no one at my side. 

I am thankful, for today, that I am not alone, that we are indeed

together. 

The way God intends for it to be. He doesn’t want us to be or feel alone. He wants us together and He has given me the perfect person to be in togetherness with. 

We will come out on the other side of this uncertainty…

TOGETHER. 

 Image

I am linking up with Gypsy Mama’s 5 minute Friday. Today’s word is TOGETHER. Click over to her blog to check out some other great posts. 

When Hope Knocks

I remember the day as clearly as if it just happened yesterday. But it wasn’t yesterday. It was the summer of 2009. The days were hot and my patience was short. We were in a time of life that yielded too many bills and too little money. There didn’t seem to be an end.

Feeling strongly led by the God I serve, I had quit my job 5 months earlier to stay home with my children. There were days that I felt I must have made a mistake in hearing Him, but deep down, I knew I hadn’t.

On this day, I was feeling defeated. We were behind on our mortgage, our utilities and had medical bills up the wazoo. (What’s a wazoo, anyway?)

My kids were in the living room, running and yelling and having a good time, when the phone rang. I escaped to my room to take the call. It wasn’t good news. By the end of the conversation, I found out that our income would be reduced another $100 per month. I honestly did not know how we would survive, because we already were not making it. I asked the person on the other end to check their numbers again and they did. They insisted there was not a mistake.

“Okay, God, you have GOT to get this one. I can not take this anymore”.

At that moment, as I ended the call, the dogs started going crazy in the front room. My children came running back “Daddy’s friend is at the door!”

“Oh, brother”, I thought.

In my house, any stranger that comes to the door is “daddy’s friend”. I figured I was in just the right mood to chase away a door to door salesman.

I scooted around the dogs, the kids and the couch cushions. I peeked out the window.

Wow.

I was shocked. It WAS daddy’s friend. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t shocked because it was daddy’s friend. I was shocked because daddy’s friend had suffered the devastating loss of his beautiful wife just two days before. I could not imagine why he was standing on our porch.

I opened the door and he introduced himself. Softly I said “Yeah, yeah. I know who you are. What’s going on?” and I stepped out on the porch closing the door behind me.

Mercifully, my children did not follow me out. Maybe they knew what was about to happen and knew how sacred it would be to me.

He started telling me about how tough things were financially in his and his wife’s early marriage. There were days that they didn’t know if the gas in their car would get them close enough to work to make more money to put more gas in their car. He truly understood struggle. And worry. And the loss of hope.

He proceeded to tell me that he and another friend had just been together praying. He said “I felt strongly led by the Lord to come give this to you”. He held his hand out. I reached out to meet his and he put a hundred dollar bill in my hand.

I knew then, that we would be okay. I knew that God had sent this man to offer me hope, to show me the love of God and to say “Yes, God hears you, He is listening, He is here”.

There is no way to explain this off as a coincidence. I prefer to think of it as a gift of hope through a God-incidence. He knew. He listened. He answered my prayer.

Have you met Jennifer at Getting Down with Jesus? She is talking about God-Bumps and God-incidences on her blog today. I think you will really like her. Please go tell her hi! Click here:

How to Pack the Kids’ bags for a road trip

I love to vacation.

I hate to pack.

I really don’t like to pack bags for myself and four kids.

I also don’t really want to have to check their bags to make sure they have everything they need. Inevitably I find a pair of socks, but no underwear; a toy, but no toothbrush.

My family and I were heading to the beach this past weekend. Since I am also not a planner, I waited until the last minute to pack. I may have been packing when we were supposed to be leaving. It’s just me. It’s who I am.

Well, I stumbled upon the PERFECT solution to packing the kids’ bags. Lo and behold, THEY did not forget one single thing. (I, however, forgot my toothbrush… and the toothpaste)

I opened up Microsoft Word, typed up a list, made it in check off format, and printed out three of them. (one child chose not to go. she’s old enough to decide that)

  • 2 pairs of socks
  • 2 pairs of underwear
  • a pair of pajamas
  • extra pair of pants
  • toothbrush

(this is not the entire list, just a sample!)

I handed it to them. I am not kidding, within 15 minutes, their bags were packed. I wasn’t even picky about what they brought it in. One child chose a backpack, another a grocery store paper bag, and the other a bucket. The magic of this whole situation was I only had to do 5 minutes of work and it saved me about an hour of time!

Next time I am giving them my packing list.

How do you get your kids’ bags packed? Do you do it for them, or do they do it themselves? 


As usual, I am linking up at Works for Me Wednesday. Be sure to click over and check out the other great links!