The past - well, I would say 2-3 years in my life can be described as the best and the worst so far. How is that? Well 3 years ago, after 7 years of asking God - Jesse asked me to marry him. When I tell you I asked for him for 7 years, I mean that. I have proof. Over and over in my journal I pleaded with God for Jesse and for God to give him a love for me that he had never known. Obviously I did not think it would take 7 years. HA! I guess Jesse needed 7 years to develop that love for me. I used to be insecure and think that he might change his mind about me - want to date me today but probably not tomorrow. I am excited that God took that fear from me and gave us both a very firm and secure love for one another, a love with the knowing that we will always strive to love one another like Jesus loves the Church.
We planned our wedding in 5 months, got married, and while we were just adjusting to living with each other - got pregnant. Wow. For a woman, learning to live with a man is a BIG adjustment. We are just wired so differently. I am sure they say the same. So now we are pregnant, living in a one room apartment.. which was an awesome one room apt - but still - one room. So we bought a house.
Want a recap? In one year, we got engaged, planned our wedding, got married, pregnant, and bought a house. My doctor at the time reminded me that these are major life stressers and most people try to do this all over a 3-5 year span. Not us.
So we gave birth to the most incredible son in the world the following March. After months of prayer and exhausting inner turmoil, I resigned from a job that I love with a great passion. I never wanted to be a stay at home mommy until I held my son. I knew that he and Jesse were my first ministry - no more feeding 80 or more families a week and being too tired to feed my own.
My resignation became such the mess that I had not even dreamed it would be. I assumed everyone would understand that I was resigning to be with my family and be a wife and a mommy - more like the Proverbs 31 woman and less like corporate america. Well, long story short, that was not at all how it went. About 1-2 weeks after I resigned, my dad found out that his body is full of cancer - stage 4.
At this point, I gained some strength and confirmation from God that this was the time for me to resign from my job. This was time for me to be wife, mommy, and the only daughter my daddy had to love him in the way only a little girl can love her daddy.
This past year has been a tough road to trod. My resignation has been tough, emotional, and I have lost a lot of great relationships. I have learned a lot. You learn who your real friends are when you are on a rough road. Jesse started real estate. We invested so much of our savings there. If you have a tv or newspaper or even drive around our city you realize that the housing market is slow slow slow. In real estate if you sell no homes, you make no money. Just so you know - your mortgage company does not care if you have no money - they want their payment.
We have struggled financially in the past year like we never have before BUT listen to this...
God has reminded us of His great love and provision for us, His children, who acted out of obedience. He is so faithful to give us our daily bread and often daily bread that we can share with others. There have many times in the past few months when we did not know how we would have a new baby - that's right - we got pregnant again in March. We did not know how we would pay our mortgage or utilities. We admit that many times we have worried, only to be corrected by God - who is our provider.
During these months of drought in our life - there were many times in which God spoke clearly to us to give some of what we had to someone else in need. Giving is not natural to most when we have an abundance but try to give in a drought. I will say that each time, we did make a hard choice to be obedient and God reminded us of who He is and who owns and who manages. I don't know if you have ever taken care of someone else's property but if they call and say do this with it - you do just that. You are the manager - they are the owner.
We have learned so much through these past couple of years. Now I am nearing 8 months of pregnancy, chasing my 20 month old son everywhere, watching my daddy suffer through a body full of cancer, watching my momma's heart break more day by day, still dealing with my resignation from a year ago, oh - and - the Shoppe is in the midst of a major phase. Life is still difficult. There are days I ask God how will we do "this" before I even let my feet hit the floor. He always reassures me that "WE" will do this.
I am learning more about the important things in life. I am learning to trust God more than I ever thought I needed to. I am learning the gift of being a mommy every time I see my son learn something new, want to do nothing more than cuddle-bug with his mommy, or give me a new kind of kiss. I am learning the precious love and gift of being a mommy every time my sweet daughter moves inside of me - confirming her life and soon arrival. I am learning the gift of being a wife when my husband desires nothing more than for me to stop and simply be his wife - letting the whole world wait for what they want from me.
I am learning how sweet it is to see God provide in so many ways. I am learning to extend grace to people when they are mean, say spiteful things to me, or try to tear me down. I am learning to slow down and know what is most important.
A couple of weeks ago I was laying on the bed with my daddy - just cuddle'bugging (that's what Abram and I call it), when my sweet, weak and fragile daddy reminded me of the important things in life. He said he he wished he had spent less time working and more time being with us. He said he wished he could drive me around on the tractor one more time, help me build a playhouse again. Those are the important things in life.
Look at your life. Evaluate it. What is most important. What will you want to do when you know your time is nearing it's end?