Family + Faith + Encouragement
I remember a time not to long ago when I had just had my third baby and a friend knocked on my door. When I opened it I was completely surprised! She said "I heard you had a baby." I hadn't seen or talked to her the entire pregnancy and that was before Facebook and gender reveal parties. It was my 3rd boy so I didn't have a shower to invite anyone too. Actually, number 3 caught me by surprise. It was that knock on the door that changed my life.
I realized then that I had become a "recluse" of sorts. I had a new born baby and I wasn't going anywhere. We had just recently stopped going to our church for the same reason that many people do. She was coming to find out if I had any maternity clothes she could borrow and I sold her three tubs worth for nearly nothing because I was DONE. She invited us to church and we went and it was exactly what I needed.
Fast forward to this morning. A great many things has happened in the last 6 years. I have gotten a degree, started a blog, went back to work, came home from work, lost weight, made friends and more friends. This morning I was in awe of what God has done in my life. I'm a stay at home mom again with other stay at home moms who are coming home to their babies or simply contributing to their families. I'm more involved at church and I feel free.
There is this little part of me that still wants to hide in my corner and watch the world go by. I just can't do that, I have to get up and fight despite my fears. Everyday is a new day and some days are easy. Some are hard.
Just look at what I've got. I want to see more pictures like this. More pictures of friends who have made a REAL connection here on earth. Who love each other and appreciate what we all try to accomplish each and every day.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
I love my girls!
You see dirty socks, I see a story. Today is laundry day for my husbands dirty clothes. He doesn't have much to wash each week but every week I go out to the garage and pull this basket off the shelf. It's full of dirty, grass covered socks. The socks serve a purpose and are essential when lawn care is part of your mission to "debt freedom". His dirty socks each week are a reminder to me that I have a hard working husband who will do whatever it takes to provide for his family and more.
We began living a different life with a different mindset less than 2 years ago. People don't understand it and that's okay. We cut up credit cards and began paying off debt from the highest interest rates and lowest payments first. We snowball debt. We've gotten laser focused, made mistakes along the way, but we are trying. As of result we've paid off nearly $30k in debt and still working at it. Consumer debt gets out of hand when you are borrowing Peter to pay Paul and wanting more "things" than you truly deserve to have or earned...or saved for.
However, every single time I go to the garage and pick up this basket of socks I want to cry. My husband LOVES mowing yards, he would tell you that he always has. He would tell you if he could he would do it all year and never work for anyone but himself. Then Monday came and he was home with us all day...and wished he didn't have to get on his mower or go to work the next day. See, what it boils down to is that truly he would not do this if he didn't have too. He would spend his evenings with our kids and with me. He would not be running all over creation mowing yards and coming in dead tired every night. I love a hard working man and he is one.
He just came in from work and said..."Okay, I gotta go to work." I said...."We are going to see Granny." His response sadly was..."I should probably go see her too but I've gotta work." He's making a quick sandwich and heading back out in the heat with clean white socks. I found a way to bring myself home from my job because my kids needed me and I was missing everything working 50 plus hours a week. My means, it will bring him home too. He might tell you he'd never stop working but I'd like to think he could have more options. Our "time debt" is stealing our life away minute by minute. My purpose in life is greater than debt of any kind. I love teaching and education and I believe God will use my background in some significant way in the future, maybe sooner rather than later, maybe not. I love teaching but my purpose is bigger and I needed a means bigger to get me there If what I have found wasn't meant for us, it wouldn't have worked for us, AND is why I believe it has worked for many others. Still, it is providing more than we imagined already in less than 2 years, and we've only just begun. It's just a means to an end...a vehicle to allow us to live more purposefully. Our purpose, fulfilled, is going to be amazing to watch unfold.
Until that day, we are marching arm in arm to debt freedom and some day I won't have to keep a basket in the garage for his dirty socks.
The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender. Proverbs 22:77
And so, we work.
We look after each other.
We take care of our own.
We talk to the creditors.
We make payments.
We don't worry.
Today I was going about my business (literally working) and while talking on the phone I received a text. When I finished my call and I went to read it. Just the first little bit startled me. Then my phone rang, it was my friend who had sent the text and I answered.
As my friend told me about a series of events and how the played out over the weekend, my heart broke for her with each turn of the story. At the end, ultimately, she was safe and sound at home and talking to me. It felt like I was a million miles away from her because I could not reach through the phone and hug her. She has been my best friend for so long and is that friend that you can not hear from for months and be okay because when you talk again it's like you never missed a beat. She is that kind of friend to me.
I love her. I hurt for her when she hurts and I cry for her when she does. I rejoice with her when times are good and happy and joyful. Circumstances and distance do not mean a thing when you love someone so much because you make a way You are okay that you are apart but can't get enough hugs and conversation when you get to see each other.
Today the story that played out was devastating and something that no woman should have to endure short of losing a child. Every woman's body belongs to her and it is her to give to her husbands and to God out of pleasure and worship and never for anyone else except to give birth to another soul. Our bodies are a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) and were made for a purpose (Jeremiah 1:5).
All weekend I read and studied on how it's always that one thing, that one experience that puts the spirit of fear in us but that is not of God (see previous post). God put a Spirit of strength, love and sound-mind in us. He gave us women a power that men will never possess. He set us apart and made us special, worthy, necessary, precious, and to be cherished. It is not God that lowers His expectations for us, it us that lowers our expectations for us. Circumstances and feelings we have are the factors that raise and lower those expectations. Circumstances and feelings can flip them like a switch. God does not waiver, He is steady, and He knows what He is doing.
After my sweet friend poured out her grief and shame and how she felt undeserving all I could do was listen. I literally hit the mute button so that she could just spill everything she could until she had said all she could say. All the while silently praying that God give me the words. It wasn't until later that I realized He already had, I just needed to be the vessel that poured them out on her.
To know God's love is something so special. We should all feel it. I cant feel it for you, or my friends, or my family. We each have to feel it for ourselves. That love causes me to lift my hands in the air with praise as if I'm reaching to the heavens for Him to pick me up as a small child. Like a Big Daddy who can pick His baby girl up and give her a whole new view, a completely different perspective. Remember...
Did you ever have someone pick you up when you were little. Didn't it seem so different up higher where you could see. I remember being picked up so many times, I remember riding on my Dad's shoulders and holding on. I remember how my heart pounded with all the new perspective and how exciting it was. That is exactly the feeling I get when I ask my Lord Father to pick me up. He lifts me up, gives me a new perspective and sets me back down with a whole new posture.
I want my sweet friend to know that love and I hope she felt it today. Even through scripture, prayer and words of love I could hear her voice shake with uncertainty. I think to myself; it's okay baby girl, you can take that first step again. Our Father is holding your hand. Be certain in your steps, He will guide and light the way and when you need Him to pick you up, raise your arms and praise Him for what He is about to do because He is about to give you a whole new perspective, His perspective, a view you couldn't see before.
Our body is a living sacrifice to be kept holy for Him and how dare anyone defile His beautiful works. He will seek justice for you, He will have mercy on those who want to be forgiven, and we all can walk humbly with Him, like a child.