Today I did something I never would’ve thought I’d do. Today I walked into our realtors office and withdrew our house from the market. Not because it’s the wrong time of the year to be trying to sell a house(the market is hot), not because we haven’t had any interest(we had a strong offer), and not because we don’t “want” to move, but because God said so. For those of you who don’t know me personally, I’m a go-getter with a planning fetish; not that being driven is a bad thing. However when I pursue my plans at all costs, then I’ve made them idols in my heart.
For years now I have wanted to sell this house and get a place out of town. By the way “town” is less than 500 people- so it’s not like I’m living in a huge metropolis here. I can load up the kids in my truck and be in some of God’s most beautiful creation in a matter of minutes(the picture on my home page is one I took minutes from my house.) I have friends around who do ranch and thankfully will always put me to work when I need a little ag-therapy. I have so much to be thankful for, and yet I have not been content or nearly thankful enough for the blessings my zip code allows me. I’ve not enjoyed my house because I’ve been focusing on resale value. I have not truly loved my neighbors by working through our differences, because I’ve always seen the situation as temporary. I’ve aloud myself to buy into the lie that if only the house would sell/ we could get out of town our whole lives would be better. And I have exhausted my energy, time, resources and relationships to try and make that happen.
I’ve struggled with contentment throughout my life. I have always been looking for what’s coming next. Trace Atkins song “Your Gonna’ Miss This” has been me to a T. What better work can I be doing? I’ve thought that not having acreage and my own milk cow meant I couldn’t truly homestead or help people live more simply. I know in my head that the Bible teaches that God is my portion and all I need, but do I really believe that in the deepest places of my heart? Hebrew 13:5(NKJ) says “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So how is this an act of obedience? Well a couple of weeks ago I heard a message on discipline. It was a great message and I was really enjoying it, taking it in, and noding my head as he talked about requiring first time cheerful obedience from our children, because that is the only true obedience. Then the pastor said something that kicked me in the teeth. He said if someone(me) hadn’t heard from God in a while it is possible that we didn’t cheerfully obey Him last time. Um ouch! You see God has told me for years to be content, and I’ve done my best at faking it. The problem with that is I can’t fool God anymore than I can control the weather. God looks straight at my heart and sees all the ugly I try so hard to hide. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11-13 “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” I am encouraged that Paul also had to learn to be content; not that my circumstances hold a candle to what Paul endured. God teaches each of us and even a great apostle had to learn this lesson. If that wasn’t a big enough pill to swallow the pastor went on to suggest that we go back to the last time we were unwilling to obey God; obey Him, and wait for further instructions.
Does this mean our “starter” home will be our forever home? I don’t know. What I do know is I have decided to believe with my whole heart the promises found in Jeremiah 29 and Proverbs 3. I am going to choose His plan over mine. I am going to learn to be content right where I’m at. I’m going to homestead this .27 acres to the best of my abilities, and I am going to Praise God each and every day for my home, my family, and my many blessings. I may even paint Hebrews 13:5 on my bedroom wall and throw resale value to the wind!!
You know those days when it seems that everything and everyone is out to get on your nerves. Then there are those days when the people in your life really are trying to make you insane (I swear they really are):-) I am currently in a very busy and exciting season of life. I am homeschooling my two wonderfully independent children (kindergarten and 3rd grade), starting a new health and fitness journey and business, multiple Bible Studies going on each week, pursuing some ministry opportunities, writing and working part-time, oh and our house is on the market. I’ve been really struggling to keep up and I’ve known for a while now that something would have to give. Fortunately I was able to quit my part time job, but they haven’t found my replacement yet, but hopefully just a couple more weeks.
Yesterday was the day that it all seemed to come to a head. My very independent-dare I say strong-willed children- had been feeling the strain of the pace we’ve been trying to keep. Yesterday they had had enough. Nothing went right. I couldn’t get one to write a single word, the other had “forgotten” every sight word, and I was not the patient mother/ teacher that I want to be. I was frazzled, frustrated, and furious by the end of the day. They were in about the same shape. I finally threw up my hands in defeat over the school work. Going to my room I cried out to God for help.
Waiting for a business question to be answered I logged on to Facebook. But instead of the answer I was looking for, I found an article titled ” How to Be the Mom Your Strong-Willed Child Needs.” It was a Christian article with good Biblical advice. But mostly it reminded me that God has entrusted me with these precious little and not-so little ones. He knew that we would have days like yesterday and still He in His infinite wisdom picked me to be their mom. That was a huge wake-up call for me. My hubby and I set four serious hard and fast boundaries for the kids last night. We made our expectations crystal clear.
And you know what happened today? We had one of the best days we’ve had in a long time. I made it a priority to get up early enough to spend quiet time in prayer and the Word. Then I got my workout finished before they were up. Filled up on God’s Word and sweaty I was able to greet my kids this morning with new confidence. We made school a priority, knowing that we would get to the fun stuff(and house work) later. Working diligently we all actually enjoyed school, the house still got cleanish, dinner was done at a reasonable time, and no one got yelled at.
I started this post earlier this evening, but was reminded by Wy-Guy that I told him we would play catch with his new football. I was so happy to be able to tell him he was right and I could save this and finish it later. I enjoyed 45 minutes tossing the ball around with him and Ms. Sis more than I can tell you. It was amazing choosing to be in the moment and see his face shine when he caught the ball. Yes I still have a lot going on. And yes there are still many tasks that need to be accomplished. But when I get my heart and priorities right, surrender to the One who made me, relying on His strength I can go about my work joyfully. I praise God for days like yesterday because their lessons can lead us to days like today and I call that a win.
Playing sight word bingo together!
New Year’s is such a special time. It’s a rare time when we look forward while looking back. We ponder, we reflect, and we plan. We regret, we hope, but mostly we take a good long hard look in the mirror and evaluate our lives. Some years we treasure and don’t want to let go of and others we can’t wait to be over and onto hopefully bigger and better things.
I’m no different than anyone else. This time of year gets me thinking. My husband and I were married on New Year’s Eve 2005. We picked that day for a few reasons, but mostly because neither one of us are very good at remembering what day it is. It wasn’t until years later that I started to see the built in blessing of the day we choose. While it’s easy to remember, it’s also easy to reflect on our journey so far. I think that reflecting is a helpful tool for us to stay grateful, humble, and honest. Anniversaries as well as New Years are a great reminder to check-in.
As I reflect on 2015 I see God working in my life. I can sum it up in one word, clarity. This past year God has revealed so much truth to me in so many areas in my life. I have carried huge areas of unbelief, misconception, doubt, and fear for much of my life. But by His Grace my eyes have been opened and He has been leading me to such a sweet place of contentment. This hasn’t been the case the whole year, but as we put 2015 to rest I can see His hand at work preparing me through out the year.
Looking forward to 2016 I have one resolution that pretty much covers everything I want to do this year. The one word for 2016 I want to define my life is obedience. I want to obey God’s call in every area of my life this year! If I do this I know it will be the most incredible year yet. To quote someone much smarter than me, “Our job is obedience, God’s job is results.”
Here’s to the year in the rear view mirror, the one in the windshield, but mostly here’s to the Creator how holds each and every year for us all for all time. Happy New Year!
Any one who has an actual emergency plan will tell you they realized one way or another that they were not prepared should things go south. Well today was my day to realize just how unprepared for the unexpected I am. Thankfully nothing bad happened to open my eyes. I was reading an article in Backwoods Home Magazine( btw great resource for those who want to live a simpler life) when it became crystal clear that I’ve been living in a delusion. You see, if you would’ve asked me yesterday, I would’ve told you I was pretty prepared.
After reading this great article and reflecting on how we really live(not how I grew up, but actually live today) I’ve decided to make some changes. I’m not talking about bomb shelters and communes here, but being prepared should something locally, regionally, nationally, or globally go terribly wrong. In a series of posts I’ll be looking at:
- What does being prepared even mean?
- What does the Bible say about preparing for the future?
- Is knowledge the key, what should our mindset be?
- What kind of events should we be “prepping” for?
- What gear is needed and how to use it?
I hope you’ll come on this adventure with me. I’m excited to get going and look forward to sharing all I learn with you. As always I would love to hear from you, any ideas, questions, thoughts, or experiences.
I’ve been “wanting” to start a blog for a long time now. I say “wanting” because as much a I want to share, grow, and learn with others I’ve been terrified to actually do it. I’ve gone back and forth in my mind, arguing with God and myself. What if no one likes my blog? What if I sound as crazy as I am? I want to help people but what if I don’t help one single soul, or worse yet cause more harm than good. Words are powerful, what if I mess this up? And so on and so on. Then over the last few weeks in my Bible study with my dear friend, we’ve been challenged to say yes to God about sharing our story, make a connection with someone and give them something precious to us. So here I go.
I had the best name picked out for my blog. My blog that was mostly going to be about homesteading, motherhood, marriage, and just enough God thrown in to be nice and Christian. It was cute. It was catchy. It was perfect. It was taken. Yep, not only was the name I wanted taken, but every reasonable variation of it was also taken. Well what now?
I started thinking about what else I could call this adventure when a few of my favorite verses started screaming in my brain. 1Thessalonians 4:11 “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and work with your hands, just like we told you.” Sounds like living simply to me. The other verse I couldn’t shake was Jeremiah 29:11. Reading further I realized there is more than the first promise here. Jeremiah 29:11-13 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Here I am saying yes. It is the desire of my heart to love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others as I love myself. I pray that as Jesus transforms me I get to experience a life of hope filled simplicity.