So I started a blog a month ago and then didn't write on it for three weeks. Rather lame. But it's because it's been an incredibly overwhelming month. Not as overwhelming as last June when I lost my mom, and not as overwhelming as the four times I've brought home newborn babies, but overwhelming nonetheless.
In the last month my husband and I, through a whole lot of prayer and seeking wisdom from others, have decided to have me stay home full time and resign from my position at our church. I've worked in lessening capacities in ministry ever since our first child was born seven years ago. When she was born, for the first year we juggled my full 40 hour work week around Paul's 24/hour fire shifts. It went terribly and we never saw each other...we passed one another in the doorways and gave high-fives or sometimes a quick kiss as he came in from work and I headed out the door to work.
So after a year of that I cut down to 30 hours/week, then 10 hours/week, then back up to 20 hours/week, then back down to 12/hours. But still. Oh my. 4 kids and a crazy fire fighter's work schedule and school schedules and piano lessons and doctor's appointments and play dates and, and, and.
Many of you reading this are nodding your heads because your experience is exactly the same. It's exhausting. And although we are not at all certain how we can cut out my income, though small, from our budget, we know that time is actually more precious than money, and we have to do this for our family. We can find other ways to save or make money. We can't ever find more time than what's already been given to us. So that's the commodity we have to treasure most.
This has not been an easy decision. I love ministry. I love the work of the local church. LOVE IT. It's a tremendous honor to be a part of God's work in reaching hearts and changing lives in our community. Ministry makes my heart beat. And, then also, there's the financial thing. I don't make alot of money but I make enough to help pay the bills and save a bit for college.
But, God has made it clear that we have to let go of trying to manage this crazy, exhausting schedule, and let God provide peace for our family as only He can do. At some point, you just have to trust God.
My mom used to always say, "Let go and let God, Rebecca." When I was stressed about tests or grades or getting married or having a baby or money or anything else. I can hear her now..."Oh Rebecca. Let go and let God."
I remember the morning of my high school graduation. I was sitting at the kitchen table eating cereal. My Mom was washing the windows in preparation for my open house that night. I said something like, "Well Mom, you're done! What's that feel like?" (I'm the youngest...so my graduation launched Mom & Dad into empty-nesting.) She giggled, of course, in her Pam way. And then she said, "Well, I guess we just have to let go and let God now. It's all up to Him at this point."
Of course it was all up to God all along...everything is up to God. But I just love her way of giggling and letting go. She made it sound so easy. It's usually not though.
But, finally, that's what we've chosen to do. God made it abundantly clear that our family needs the consistency of having me home, rather than Paul and I passing in the doorways anymore. I'll still be speaking independently for churches or schools as opportunities arise, and I'm thrilled about all the dreams God continues to give me to grow and expand the Far Above Rubies ministry that He has put in my heart over the years (www.faraboverubiesministry.com). I still get to do ministry and reach others with the love of Jesus. But on my own time. At a pace that my family can handle.
And in following God's leading has come great peace. (Not in the checkbook...not so much peace there:) But peace in my heart. And I know that an increased peace in our home will come as well. It almost makes me giddy to think that when Paul comes home from work after being up all night, he can go take a nap all morning. I won't have to run off to work and leave him to parent 4 children on no sleep.
And, it even almost makes me giddy to have more time to take care of this beautiful home God gave us. I can actually vacuum. And maybe even dust now and then. I said maybe.
So...let go and let God. He can handle it. No matter what it is.
And, as the verse below says, when we let God handle our stuff, His peace actually guards our hearts and minds. Imagine the peace of God actually standing guard around your heart. That really does make me giddy. Makes me want to giggle like my Mom.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, 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." Philippians 4:6-7