This blog is primarily a journal so I can pass down family history, stories, ideas, recipes, and examples of God's goodness witnessed. I don't want to ever take anything for granted and hope to teach our kids that God is GOOD ALL THE TIME!
Yesterday I was feeling down, in despair, and destitute- actually quite pitiful. The word that came to mind was RAW. I know on the blog, and in life, I may seem upbeat and cheery, but there are times when I feel like the scales are tipping to the side of uncertainty, "What do we do now?" It's at these moments when I realize I'm not in control. God has a plan. He's making me and molding me into the person He desires me to be. Reliant on Him, rather than reliant on self.
This has been a tough year on us. Like many Americans, we've been hit pretty hard with the economic downturn. Living on one income is difficult. Unexpected expenses can really rock the financial boat. We've had a number of unexpected expenses arise. I feel like we've had a financial earthquake and the aftershocks keep rolling in. I wonder when it will end, but I'm afraid to even ask.
Through all of this God continues to teach us lessons.
The Stuff Doesn't Matter
In 2007, my hub was offered a job position in Southern California. We had a comfortable life in the Pacific Northwest. We had a lot of friends, a GREAT church, a wonderful community, newly built custom home, a view of majestic mountains, everything we could dream of. I remember walking our property talking with God. I didn't want to move. I loved all we had. I loved the comfort and security. I sensed Him asking me, "Do you love this house, more than you love what I have in store for you? Do you love this property more than the plans I have for you? Do you love that view more than what awaits?"
These are tough questions!
At that time He gave me the following verses:
"Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you."Hebrews 12:1
I knew God was asking me to jump out of the comfort zone and head to a new land with new adventures in store. He was dealing with my heart and my stuff. I took to heart, "throw off anything that hinders." I had a lot of sentimental stuff hindering me from moving. We began to move things out, but that was only the beginning.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,"
I like how The Message rephrases it too:
Discipline in a Long-Distance Race
"Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!"
Even after paring down, we moved to SoCal with A LOT! I really felt for our poor movers. Over the last couple years we've thrown off probably thousands of pounds of hindrances, but there's still more to be done. I'm giving away and selling so much. It's freeing! And I've realized so much of it just doesn't matter temporarily or eternally. It's cluttering up our house, my heart, and our family freedom.
God, Where Are You?
Over the last six months or so, I feel like I've been in a boxing match getting knocked into the rings, finding strength to get up only to get hit again. God's blessed us with amazing resilience, but it gets exhausting. I can't tell you how many times I've had "Job" moments. Now there's a man who went THROUGH it!!
Over the last few months we've lost friends to illness, our cat died, we've had financial strains, broken bones, dental issues, and we're looking at being transferred once again. We're living in a state of uncertainty. I've noticed anxiety creeping into life again. Living in the moment has gone out the window while my mind is preoccupied with worries about how this is all going to work out. Since I'm such a control-freak, I'm so quick to try to grab the reins from God thinking He has NO IDEA where we're going. I'm just like the Israelites during the Exodus. You'd think I'd learn something along the way, but apparently I haven't grasped the concept yet!
I'm reading Beth Moore's Breaking Free right now. Could there be a more perfect book, besides the Bible, for me to read? I'd quote the whole book because it's that good, but that would make for one HUGE blog, so I'll keep it short.
"God surpasses our dreams when we reach past our personal plans and agendas to grab the hand of Christ and walk the path He has chosen for us."
"His Word, 'is a lamp to my feet.' meaning a guide for the steps I'm taking right now. His Word is also 'a light for my path,' meaning a guide for my immediate future. God's Word sheds light on our 'present' path and our immediate future so we'll know what steps to take, but for further instruction we'll have to walk today and check again!"
God does know where we're going. He hears the cries of uncertainty and reassures. He's been consistently revealing himself through His Word, other books, sermons, and my kids.
Listen to the Kids
I may not have mentioned it yet to day, but our kids are awesomeness! They provide great perspective and wisdom continually.
Yesterday, when I had the look of a stressed out mom, our oldest son said to me, "Mom, this is just like Soul Surfer. When Bethany lost her arm and thought she had lost it all, she went to Thailand. God gave her perspective in her situation. Mom, you just need to check your perspective."
Oh my word! Was that my precious child who just spoke these amazing words? Love Him! The wisdom of youth is priceless!
I had lost perspective. He guided me back on the path.
When the Israelites were full of doubt in their weakness Moses reassured them,
"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:13-14
So, I will be still, or as The Message reads, "keep your mouth shut!" God has a plan. He is the potter, I am the clay. Sometimes this molding process can just be a bit uncomfortable.