Tuesday, September 27, 2011

In the life of a carpenter's wife...

We have gotten a WHOLE LOT of rain the past two days.
I love rain.
I especially love hard rains and big storms.
But, for the past eight and a half years
I only like rain on the weekends.
Yes, a bit picky, I know.
Because when it rains during the week
my husband doesn't work
and when my husband doesn't work
my husband doesn't get paid
Nope, no paid time off in his profession
No work equals no pay.

My husband, my little man, and myself were driving home
from taking the other two to school
My little man says that he wants to build houses when he grows up
to which my husband says
that is not something that he wants to do
not something that he recommends
and I don't think I would recommend it either.

I enjoy a rain day every now and then
I enjoy my husband
climbing back in bed for another hour or so
I enjoy having him around
for our morning routine
I enjoy the time spent together
the family dinner
having him there for our bedtime routine
I love having him around for the day
Two rain days, three rain days, however,
leave me extremely concerned
fretting, worrying, running numbers though my head

and then I remember
how many times we have been here
how many times I have worried
about where the money is going to come from
how many times I have been concerned that a bill
or two, or three was going to have to be set aside
only to have the exact amount covered
some how, He always makes a way

And so, when I felt my husband slide back in bed
next to me this morning
I was worried
and reminded
a soft voice whispered to me
I. will. provide.
and I enjoyed our second rain day.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Special Polly

My four year old loves playing Polly Pockets while his sister and brother are at school...and since there is no one left here at home to play with him, I am the chosen one.  We have our routine in the morning and he's very patient.  He came in the bathroom while I was drying my hair and asked, "Mama, do you want to be Soul Surfer Polly today?"

Introducing Soul Surfer Polly:

Let me just say that she did not lose her arm in a shark attack, but it's the name that my littlest man has given this certain Polly...he loved that movie...and I think he's the cutest for thinking of this.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall is in the air...

Living in the midwest, I have always liked the changes in season...maybe not so much when fall changes to winter...but a part of me longs for the blankets of white stuff, if nothing else, around Christmas time.

I have always said that my favorite season is summer...the warm weather, the sunshine, the pool, the beach...but, especially after this past summer, I have changed my mind. 

I have never longed for 60 degree weather more in my life than I did this past July and August.  I have discovered that I don't do well in the heat any more and I welcome the cool fall days, the chilly nights, the leaves changing, the trips to the orchard, the sweatshirts...I welcome it all with open arms.

So, happy first day of Fall!  Since I have already been frequenting our local orchard since it opened the end of August, and I have already had my windows open for the past two or so weeks, and I am sitting here in my sweatshirt I really don't plan to do anything differently...it's just nice to be able to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What's Best for My Family...

In a little over a week I will be starting my new hours at work.  It was a decision that was bathed in much thought and prayer.  I have always held the position that I am my husbands helpmate and the burden to provide for our family should not be his alone.

The big debate between stay-at-home mothers and working mothers, I am afraid, will be something that is always there.  It has been quite evident to me lately...not only in talk among women but also in articles that have been shared via facebook.

The other day, I clicked on one of the links to read and was saddened at what I read.  Not only was this person using scripture about laying down ones life to describe her role as a stay at home mom but was criticizing mom's who either by choice or by need work outside the home...and other Christian mom's were applauding her article.

Let me start by saying that I was strictly stay-at-home mom for five years and loved the privilege to do so.  Then, when my husband lost his job in the summer of 2008, I felt it was my duty to pick up the slack and do all I could to help keep us a float.  I said for better or worse, for richer or poorer and I meant it.  I started out by working at Walmart (a job I hated with a passion) and then six months later, God answered my prayers and allowed me to score the job that I still have now.  The decision for me to work outside the home was not an easy one...not something that I was ready (or really even willing at first) to do.  But, it was something that I felt God was leading me to...and how everything was orchestrated proves that God has had His hand in it all.

About six weeks after Dan was taken off the unemployed list and went back to work, I was able to go PRN at my current job and once again enjoy being at home the majority of the time with my kids.  It has been a wonderful year (and a few months) home with my kids, but once again, God orchestrated this position opening up for me and it was truly an answer to prayer...He provides once again.

I type all this to say how disappointed I am when mom's use this subject to bash each other.  When instead of supporting how hard it is to stay at home 24/7 with your kids or balance life at home with being a working mother, women chose to tear each other down...and using verses from the Bible to make whatever path one is walking seem more noble that another woman's calling.  What about examining yourself using an example from the Bible:

Proverbs 31: 10-31
10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Whatever path God has chosen for you, my prayer is that your children rise up and call you blessed and your husband praises you....that the pressures you feel from the Christian women around you (whether they be working or stay-at-home) would fall away...because as long as you are doing what's right by your own family and by your God, who are we to judge.

Friday, September 2, 2011

A Happy Anniversary...

For two years, I dreaded this day as it approached.  It was a day that was flashing bright red on the calendar...a day that I thought I would self destruct if I got out of bed that day...a day that was met with so much anxiety and fear.  I dreaded this day when the one year mark hit.  I dreaded it even more when we approached two years.

September 2, 2008, was a morning like any other...that is until the phone rang and my husband gave me the news.  It was news that I thought if I ever heard, I would crumble to the ground.  It almost went that way, but something deep within whispered to me to stand tall.

It was a rough twenty-two months.  There were times I felt beat up, hopeless, forgotten...times when I didn't know how I was going to make it through the day.  These days had been ordained for me before I was a twinkle in my parents eye.  God knew the exact moment, God new my pain, He knew every tear I would cry, He knew every prayer I would whisper through sobs, He knew. 

He never forgot about us and knew just who he would send to bless us and when.  I still remember the pain of those long 22 months and it still brings tears to my eyes and an ache to my heart...but, I remember even more the food that was brought to my door, the bags and bags of clothes that clothed my children (and still clothe my children) that whole time, the gift cards so we could escape and let go a little, the bills that were paid, the cards that were sent, the miracles of how He provided our every need.  I knew my God was worthy of my praise before, I knew He cared so deeply and tenderly for me...but now my hearts swells because I know these truths in an even deeper way now.

Things will never be the way they were before that day in two thousand eight.  My husband will never feel secure in a job, he may never make the money he made before, we may never have the benefits we had before, I may never be able to be a stay-at-home mom again.  I can sit an focus on that and get discouraged or I can turn that in to praise...that, no, things will never be the same but for different reasons.  I will never take my husbands job (or mine for that matter) for granted, I will never go back to the same mindset I had about money or material things, my relationship with God has changed, my marriage has changed, our family has changed, I have changed.

There has been much thought and reflection today...some reading back over past posts...remembering all that God has done for us these past three years.  And I must say, today is a very happy anniversary.