This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

Holding my Breath

>> Saturday, June 23, 2007

Staying home with my boys is simultaneously the easiest and hardest thing I have ever done in my life. When I look at my boys and how amazing they are, I don't question ever my decision to spend every day with them. That does not mean, however, that making it a reality is easy. Far from it.

On paper, Mark and I can not afford to live like we do. Not because my husband doesn't make enough money, but because it is so expensive to even exist these days. We have had to cut things out of our lives significantly in order to be successful at these choices we've made. We haven't ever had a vacation as a married couple, we rarely get new clothes or shoes and we have prepaid cell phones with only enough minutes for emergencies. I clip coupons like a mad woman and have learned how to make good, mostly healthy meals for our family on a lean grocery budget. We rarely rent or go to the movies and going out to eat in a restaurant is a splurge. My husband takes mass transit to work so we can have only one car and pay for "recreational use" car insurance instead of commuter rates. We have had to be creative and God has been good.

As I was typing that list, I realized that to some of you, living without those things may sound horrible. The truth is, I rarely miss them. Make no mistake, sometimes I miss them desperately, but only rarely. You see, God has been faithful. As just one example, when Mark was looking for a job that would afford me the opportunity to stay home, God gave him a job that subsidized all but $100 a YEAR for his light-rail pass (We'd pay close to that in a month in GAS alone for him to get to work), so we were able to sell a car, lose a car payment, and use the equity in the car to pay off other miscellaneous bills. When we were surprised with our second son and wondered how we would be paying our medical deductible, Mark got a bonus check. When we were surprised with our second son and didn't know how we would pay for diapers and such, God blessed Mark with a 9% raise! I am often quoted as saying that if God can make manna fall from the sky, why not money? When we've needed it, it has come from out of nowhere. Bonuses are not a regular part of Mark's job, and he wasn't due for a raise when he got one.

So why am I holding my breath today? Our ONE vehicle isn't working. I won't confuse or bore you with the details. We thought it was the battery (see yesterday's post), and it partially was, but there is more to it and after a few hours, Mark and my dad decided a professional needs to be involved. Which is expensive. So here I am again, knowing first hand how faithful God is, and yet I'm still anxious about this. How is that possible?

It's possible because I'm human. That's not an excuse, it's simply a fact. We aren't capable of having peace-that-passes-all-understanding on our own. It is provided to us through the Holy Spirit, and ladies, I am having trouble letting the Holy Spirit reign in my life today. I keep wanting to figure out a way to "fix" this, when I know that I can't. I keep wanting it to just "go away", when I know that it won't. So I decided to type this post. Not only to remind myself of the things God has done for our family, but to remind myself of all the people out there who could be reading this, just wishing their biggest problems were car problems. Perspective can really help change things. And as I'm finishing up this post, I'm finding that God has already begun to bless me with perspective, and I'm on my way to peace.

Philipians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:28-34
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own


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