Saturday, November 8, 2008

A REEEEAALLY LONG POST (to make up for the last three weeks of nonexistent posts)

The last three weeks have been a total blur. Starting with midterms, we moved to the worst. cold. ever. then on to working at the insurance agency every afternoon, which brought us to the October 31 and the fabulous Fall Festival at our church. It has taken me an entire 8 days to get caught up from those few weeks, and I still have some VERY neglected areas in my home.

But through all the chaos, neglect, and stress that has been in our home and in our lives over the last week, the Lord has been nudging, whispering, and reminding us of how blessed we really are.

I am particularly grateful this evening. You see, it wasn't that long ago that I was in class 15 hours a week, at work 30 hours a week, in church 9 hours a week, and doing homework 7 hours a week (on average). Count it up folks: (give me a minute to pull out my calculator... and please don't laugh at the fact that I can't do simple addition in my head) that's 61 hours.... six. one..... sixty one! hours that I worked outside the home. Did I mention I was pregnant for part of that time?

After Chloe was born, I quit school and cut my work hours back to 25 a week. Still, finances were tight, the house was a mess, and things were not well.

Around Chloe's first birthday, the Lord moved on my husband's heart, and he decided he would pick up more hours at work (and accept some financial support from family) so that I could quit work, go back to school, and focus on being a wife and mom.

I won't lie to you. This was NOT an easy transition for me. I never considered myself the stay-at-home type. I was a professional. I was the person who hired people to cook and clean and keep my kids. (Granted, I never actually hired anybody... but always thought it was a great idea in my head.)

But I eventually found my homemaking groove and began to recognize the substantial difference in the atmosphere of our home. Hubby had undies and socks folded in his drawer when he got ready for work in the morning. Dinner went from hamburger helper and McDonald's dollar menu to real meat with fresh veggies. There was less tension, hence, less fighting. Chloe was more obedient because of the consistency of being with her parents more hours in the week.

I don't want to paint a picture of perfection. My house was still mostly messy. I still burned dinner AT LEAST one night a week.

But the atmosphere. That's where we saw the difference. There was room for the Lord, and time to spend in His presence. Difficult discussions were no longer rushed in between to-do items. Instead, they were thought out and planned before the first word was spoken. The Lord really used that time in our home to heal and restore and bless our family.

Then the semester from H-E-double-hockey-sticks started (that's happening now, for those of you who are just joining us). I'm taking more hours than I have ever taken as a mom (in a vain attempt to graduate in December). Hubby is student teaching, which means looooong hours and NO (I repeat NO) pay. The economy went to pot, which - speaking frankly - means people don't pay rent, and owning a rental property doesn't do anybody any good if nobody is paying rent.

In the meantime, family crises (not directly in our home, but in the homes of family we love) seem to be jabbing us left and right, with little reprieve between rounds.

Now I realize those last couple paragraphs sound a lot like complaining, and I'm not saying that the last couple months haven't been FULL of PLENTY of that from my mouth.

But that's not what this post is about.

You see, the Lord gave me a glimpse - even if just for a few months - of what a happy home looks and feels like.

And, here's the kicker y'all, it's still within reach! We know where the Lord has called us, and The Big Move* will put us smack dab in the center of God's will. If we can hold our breath and press through for just a few more months. If we can scrape by and eat Ramen for just a few days longer, then the Lord has a HUGE blessing waiting for us at the end.

When we were in the midst of everything (midterms, economic stress, family crisis)I asked a friend, "Where is the Lord in this?"

Her response was to remind me of the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead (John 11).

Mary and Martha knew Jesus could heal their brother Lazarus, and they sent for him in plenty of time.

But Jesus, knowing that Lazarus was at death's door, CHOSE to delay. For TWO DAYS he stayed where he was.

When he finally arrived, Lazarus was dead and in the grave. Martha's response was so similar to my response to the difficulties of the past few weeks, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." In essence, "WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!?!"

But the story does not end there, she went on to say, "But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask." And He did. Lazarus was raised from the dead.

This is the story I am clinging to these days. I have been in the place where I have said, "Where is the Lord in this?! Why has He not intervened?!"

But I recognize now that, after his delay, He is going to bring a mighty miracle out of this situation. God will still do what Jesus asks for on my behalf.

So... this post didn't exactly go the way I intended.

I think I just needed to see it all in writing. God has brought us to where we are. God has brought us to where we are. And, despite the appearance of things, we're on the verge of an amazing blessing.

I think I just needed to write that out for myself.


I'll update and comment as much as I can, but PLEASE know that I am reading your blogs and keeping up with your lives (but not in that creepy stalker way... more in that I-love-my-sista's-in-Christ way... you know).

In the mean time, Peace out. Or, rather, Peace In.

*I know I keep promising, but it's coming soon... the post about The Big Move. So, so soon.


Debbie said...

Oh Brandy I am so sorry things have been so tough. I think it is awesome, though that you obeyed God's will for you during this time and you became a stay-at-home Mom. Now mind you, I am not one to think God's will for me is the same for everyone so I am not saying, "Way to go girl, you are a stay-at-home Mom just like me!", but it is obvious to me by seeing the good fruit that God wanted you to stay at home. During hard times it is so hard to see God and it feels like He's gone, but He is always at work. Just like with Lazarus, He knew the problem, knew he could get there right away and heal him, but God's will was for the greater miracle. God is not idle, Brandy, and He has a wonderful plan for your life. I feel so blessed just to know you!

Debbie C. said...

I've missed your posting but totally understand and it sounds as if you've had your plate pretty full. Isn't it funny that in the crazy, stressed out times, God usually gets our attention the most and that's when His Spirit does some of the most meticulous surgery to our hearts. Know that He is continuing to do that "good work" in you all and that in itself is such an edifying thought. Love ya!

Shanda said...

I really know all about how the writing it out for yourself. I'm so glad to know what's going on in your life, so that I can pray for you.
And I just want you to know that this post ministered to me today with what I'm going through.
But I won't get into all that. It's on my blog.
I, too, feel so blessed by you!

The Quote That Started It All...

I myself have twelve hats, each one representing a different personality. Why be just yourself? - Margaret Atwood