Thursday, May 3, 2018

Would I do it differently?

At a dinner with friends last night I was discussing the fact that we had been feeling weary lately.  Weary in waiting on the Lord and weary in a tight financial season.  This couple is the couple that we can share everything with, they are the friends to us that we need to see on a monthly basis simply for the sake of being together.  They know us, they walk with us, and at times it feels like they carry us through all seasons of our lives.  They have walked with us from dating into marriage, infertility to child-rearing, and miscarriage into laughter.  I am so grateful for them and I also know that they are a safe space and we can always be completely open and honest with them.  

As we were talking, my friend simply asked me, "have you considered just getting a regular job so you can pay your bills and then do all of this on the side?"

The short answer is yes, but, I won't.  As I have been writing over the last couple of weeks I have been sharing that the Lord is on the cusp of bringing something new into my life and I don't know what it is.  While I am comfortable in the waiting, it can be weary FULLY relying on the Lord to provide for our needs.  We all KNOW how stressful finances are and most people know what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck.  We are in that boat and you know what, IT IS OK.

I have admitted that the Lord continues to have to work with us on refining the idol of money in our hearts and I genuinely believe that we are daily choosing to knock it down.  How so?  Daily we keep track of what our most important financial priorities are.  For us, that often looks like forgoing purchasing anything extra throughout the day.  For me, it looks like wearing the same wardrobe of clothes year after year and only getting new clothes from hand-me-downs, or buying essentials like camis from Wal-mart.  For Jake, it looks like stretching out that tool or doing maintenance on our cars himself instead of hiring someone.  None of these things are deal breakers and all of them are manageable.  Indulging materially is not an option.

You know what we have been able to indulge on?  Family time!  We have been able to make more meaningful and impactful memories over the past year as a family and as husband and wife than many of the years prior.  Yes, before we took amazing trips but now, everything we do, is done with more intention than was ever considered before.  We are also grateful for the generosity of our parents in multiple different regards - shout out, we love you mom and dad (both sets)!  From treating us to dinners out to heavily discounting vacations, you guys have given us the opportunity to indulge in life at a time when we wouldn't be able to on our own. 

We have also been able to indulge in friendship with incredible intentionality.  Not working five days a week has reduced my work stress level immensely so going to those impromptu cook-outs on Wednesday or even Sunday nights are a lot more manageable.  I am no longer too stressed to jump in and be spontaneous in an (budget-friendly 😉) activity with friends on a weeknight.  Our time is ours, not anyone else's.  

Finally, we have been able to indulge in our faith.  Not only have we been able to serve more readily, but out of sheer need, we have dug into seeking God's will for our family.  I have never been more confident of Jake's love, respect and adoration for me and my gifting and God's role in our marriage.  He has proven to me time and time again of his trust in the Lord and me.  Not once has he wavered.  God has also begun to reveal ministry points within us that we didn't realize on our own. 

You see, we may not have a lot of money right now but we have an incredibly close family bond, I have a loving husband and a thriving marriage and the boys have a present and involved father and most importantly we have our faith.  A faith that has proven real in the most tangible and intangible ways over and over again.  What more could I really ask for?

I wanted to write this today to remind you that when I am transparent with you during the difficult moments, my intention is not to make God look bad but to be honest as far as what walking into your calling can feel like. It can wear you down but it takes a conscious effort to see the bright-side. 

As the question from my friend so quickly revealed to her and I, I am not willing to trade this season or step away from the work God has me doing in order to feel more comfortable.  I will not trade the time that I have, the quality of my marriage or the ability to be present with our kids right now.  God has us walking in this season for a reason and while the fruitfulness of our lives is not showing up in dollar signs, God has been so faithful to bring fruit in much more important ways.

I hope that you see the fruit in your walk with the Lord today.  I hope the weight of the good fruit far outweighs the weight of the weariness.  God is faithful to provide for your needs - just pay attention because He may be showing up in a different way than you expect.