Monday, August 30, 2010

It’s About Relating, Not About Doing

[I began to write this post a couple of weeks ago on August 16th.  For the sake of time and simplicity, I will not change its beginning to make the point that now it has been two weeks since this all took place.]
Yesterday, as I pondered some of the events of my past week, I began to see something and to learn what it meant. 
I had all last week to myself at home.  My husband and two of my children went on vacation to visit family.  I did not go with them because we have four dogs and to try to find someone to care for them is such a hassle, especially now that my oldest one is blind. Four weeks ago, I went on a vacation with my daughter to visit my family for a couple of weeks, and last week, my husband took one of our sons and our daughter to visit his family.  A dear friend came to visit me for the first weekend, and we had a fantastic time together.  After her departure on Sunday, I had the house pretty much all to myself for the rest of the week.  I had made up my mind that I was going to accomplish a great many things.  My plans were to catch up in areas or responsibility where I was behind and also immerse myself in some reading, studying, and writing (three of my favorite things to do).  Those were my goals.  Some were accomplished, and some were not.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Battle with T I M E

I have this constant battle with time, and it seems to be getting worse and worse.  On some days, the battle is more like a full blown war.  Each day there are so many different things calling and needing my attention and energy.  And sometimes I arrive at days like today where I feel completely frustrated over the battle. 
Today, my focus has been upon coming up with a “doable” way for me to bring some extra income into our finances.  My husband works very hard to provide the money for our family’s needs; he couldn’t possibly work any harder.  However, living expenses continue increasing and my husband’s salary does not or it’s actually being decreased by company pay cuts or higher health insurance costs.  Such is the economy we live in today.
We are a one-income household and have been for 16 years.  Sixteen years ago, I made a commitment to my children to be a stay at home mom for them and to raise them and be their main influence and teacher in their childhood.  The decision did not come easily because of the material sacrifices it would entail.  At that time, I was cutting our income in exactly half, and we had plenty of bills to pay.  We faced our share of financial hardships and difficulties for years.  And many times, we wondered if we were going to make it at all.  However, our children never went without food, shelter, and the great love and attention of their parents.  Twelve years ago, I added another commitment along to that when I decided to home school my children.  When I was praying about that decision in 1998, it was made clear to me that there were no negatives for my children if I proceeded with home schooling.  I did realize that the one thing I needed to be very aware of was that I was giving up a lot of my time for my children.  I remember writing a list of “pros” and “cons”, with my “pros” list being lengthy and my “cons” list having one item: my time.  And so my focus for the last 16 years has been having a strong marriage, raising and teaching our children, and caring for our home. 
There have been moments over the years when I’ve toyed with the idea of working part time because our finances were in such a crunch.  Yet, every time, the idea seems ridiculous because it doesn’t seem possible to me to be able to divide myself or my efforts any further.  I feel that adding work outside of the home would certainly cause me lose focus and bring some failure at another one of my very important roles. The roles I have made a commitment to are too precious to me to set myself up to fail in any of them.  Many times, I’ve had at length conversations with God and asked Him to give me peace in one decision or another and reminded myself to trust in HIS provision for us.  He often reassures me that all is going to be okay.
But occasionally I arrive at days like today, when I am anxious and frustrated about the finances and my seeming incapacity to do anything about helping them.  I try to come up with ideas of things I could possibly do, even considering incorporating my blogs/writing to make a few dollars to help us out.  But as I pursue trying to go about how in the world to do these things, I feel like I am in slow motion, pushing against a ton of bricks.  Where does the time come from to educate myself in how to make bit of money doing something I love and also incorporate it into my daily schedule?  I love to write and share about my experiences with God in daily life, but how do I find more time to do it?  I long for more time to study, to read and write, to minister and help others, but how do I find it?  I don’t know. 
Well, I don’t know in the relative sense of the words.  I do know in the absolute sense.  God is the one who is the Giver of time, energy, and perseverance.  If He’s not providing it, and I’m trying to force it, then it will feel like I’m pushing against a ton of bricks and going nowhere.  But I also struggle with the fact that just because something is difficult, it doesn’t mean God is not all over it and leading me that direction.  Plenty of things in my life have come with great difficulty, and it has been God taking me through those paths.  In the midst of difficulty, He accomplishes the greatest things within me.  Like I know He’s doing even now.
I’m not sure what the purpose of writing all this is, except to help me think things through.  Writing is my outlet.  It also gives me the opportunity to be sincerely honest with all who read this blog in stating that while I firmly believe in the sovereignty of God and His complete control over all, I still wrestle like everyone else in the difficulties of this human life.
Trusting Him for the answers and for all that we need…

Great Article on Home Church

I was just made aware of a wonderful article published on the website about home churches.  I believe this article was very well written and that the author did a great job of highlighting some of the greatest things about participating in a home church.  The highlights mentioned are some of the very reasons why I love the home church concept and participating in a home church.

“To get to church on a recent Sunday morning, the Yeldell family walked no farther than their own living room to greet fellow worshippers.  The members of this "house church" are part of what experts say is a fundamental shift in the way U.S. Christians think about church. Skip the sermons, costly church buildings and large, faceless crowds, they say. House church is about relationships forged in small faith communities.”

Please read the article in its entirety and view some photos at the following link: