Thursday, March 29, 2007

No Wonder I Can't Keep Up!!

I have never, in my married life, been very good at keeping up with laundry. My poor husband has opened his drawers many, many times over the years to find no clean underwear, socks, or t-shirts. Of course, in my former ways I would have responded with, "When you notice you are almost out of clean underwear--WASH SOME! I mean, you are an adult, aren't you?" Well, maybe I didn't say that out loud, but I was thinking it!

Thankfully, God has taught me the importance of being a helper to my husband. I have been trying very hard to have his clothes clean, ironed, and ready for him in the mornings. Even with the proper attitude and effort, I'm barely keeping up. I'm ironing the morning that we need something, or maybe the night before. I'm doing laundry like a mad person. But there is always more waiting.

It has occurred to me this week how much time I really spend on clothes. I am either picking them up, sorting them, washing them, drying them, folding them, stacking them, moving them from one place or another, hanging them or putting them away all the time. Why? Why can't I keep up?

Then I stumbled on a link about down-sizing. A family had moved into a home half the square footage of their old place. It got me to thinking--how much clothes do we really need? So I took inventory...

My 3 year old has:

23 pairs of pants
17 pairs of shorts
32 dresses
46 shirts
plus socks, panties, and pajamas.

GOOD GRIEF!!! Now to be fair, I didn't buy any of it. Her closet is completely outfitted by hand-me-downs. They are a blessing--and we have been abundantly blessed. I think it's time to bless someone else! Did I mention that all of those numbers above are for in-season clothing? That's right, there are winter clothes lurking around, too. Add three more members of the family, plus towels, etc. NO WONDER I CAN'T KEEP UP!!!

Some local families with 3 year old girls are about to get very lucky!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Can We Do Better Than This?

I read an article recently about a church with a sign on the door that says, "No Perfect People Allowed." I have also heard people welcomed to a church with similar thoughts "Come on in, we aren't perfect, we don't have it all figured out either." If I am visiting a church, is that what I want to see and hear?

If I am struggling with addiction or have marital problems or any number of other things and I go to church, do I want to hear that church people also have problems? Oh, I see! It's supposed to make me feel like I "fit in." I am supposed to let my guard down and realize that I am not the only one in the room who struggles. OK...............but why go there if they are just like me? Where is the hope of changing?

And I can't get over that sign on the church door. I just keep thinking of this verse:

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matt. 5:48
Now why, if Jesus told us to be perfect, don't our churches expect any better than what the world has? I would think that when a visitor comes who does not know the Lord, they would be refreshed to find that God's people are different. That coming to Christ has changed us. That we are free from what now troubles them.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17
Either Christ died for our sins or He didn't. If He did, then why do we still walk around ensnared by them? Are we free or not? Shouldn't an unsaved person be able to walk in our doors and see the effect of Christ's sacrifice on the lives of the people inside the doors? Shouldn't God's power be evident in our lives?
Why are we settling for this?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Problem With Pants

In our family we are 3/4 girls. Even so, there are far more pants and jeans than dresses in this house. As I have become determined to be a feminine example to my daughters, as well as dress them more femininely, I have realized that we are going to have to do some shopping or sewing. I have lived in jeans since I quit teaching 3 years ago. My daughters and I always wear dresses on Sundays, but that is about it. I overheard one of my daughter's classmates (a 2nd grader) say, "I wouldn't be caught dead in a dress!" She meant it, too! I know there are some girls (and women!) who do not even own a dress. There are far more influences for wearing pants and being tough and being man-like than there are examples of being feminine and lovely and graceful. At least in my circle of the world. Have you seen the new Gap ad on TV? For those of you who don't watch TV, or haven't seen it:,699163,6&clink=699163

After viewing this commercial the other night my husband said simply, "Therein lies the problem." It is all about influence. The world's influence and expectations are strong--and not just about clothing. There really is a need to purposefully teach our children about God's ways. This means being aware of the influences (however subtle) that war against them. I'm not sure it's enough for me to just be a good example by wearing dresses. I think that would be lopsided combat! It will also take discussions about other clothing we see, reading scripture together, and just plain teaching.

It really isn't just about pants, you know. It's an entire attitude that I need to protect my girls against. I think the Gap ad speaks volumes about it.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Being a Girl

When we found out our second child was going to be a girl, my husband (who was very happy to have another daughter, by the way) said, "Well, that's that. No one to help me with the yard or the cars. Your life just got easier, though." I reminded him that every time I went to the restroom in public I would now have 2 little ducklings following after me.

All kidding aside, I have much more responsibility than that! I have to show these two how to be godly women. Right now they are only girls, but it is also my responsibility to show them how to be girls. What does that mean?

First of all, I've been convicted lately about the need to be both modest and feminine. I'm tired of our unisex society and equal expectations for men and women. Today I dressed my daughters in dresses for school/preschool. "Why am I wearing a dress today?" my 7 year old wanted to know. I told her, "Well, first of all: You are a girl." It's going to take some getting used to, but I will show them how to be girls in the way we dress. It will be different from the way boys dress.

Secondly, I will set up an expectation for them. I have already begun to do this when I give compliments. For example, when one of them helps me with a household task I say, "Thank you. You are a very good sweeper. You are going to take such good care of your house when you are a mommy." Or when they do something to help their dad, I let them know how lucky their husband is going to be to have such a good helper. I have told them in no uncertain terms that I am Daddy's helper.

The other thing I am going to do is teach them the skills they will need to be a wife and mother. When they leave our house, they will know how to cook, clean, sew, etc. I will not send them into marriage as unprepared as I was. Oh sure, they need to learn things from their dad, too. But they must have basic housekeeping skills--I don't want them to have to learn all this in their 30's!

It seems that most of what "being a girl" means is "learning to be a woman." So, I will find godly women to be an example to them. Like Debi Pearl (Created to Be His Help Meet author), I will point out the ladies that I want them to look up to. "Doesn't Mrs. Smith keep her house nice?" "Look how beautiful Miss Katie's dresses always are--she is such a good seamstress." However, as scary as it may seem, I am the most constant example they have. I think I need to go pray now...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

A Late Start

I'm really getting into this housekeeping stuff. I've been decluttering, cleaning, ironing, sewing, etc. for a few weeks now. Even the stuff I don't like to do I have been tackling. Why? Because I love the Lord and my husband and my girls. I want to do it for all of them. I know God wants me to keep our home. I know it helps my husband when I do (God also wants that.) I know it teaches my daughters good things when they see me and help me work. I've finally given myself permission to not be involved in all the things I am talented in.

It's easy to put off keeping a house and instead pursue those things that you are good at. It's infantile, but easy! I used to teach elementary school/coordinate children's classes at church/write curriculum. I enjoyed it. I was good at it. And I got compliments when I did it (mostly). Plus, it needed to be done. I was working for the Lord, right? Besides, aren't we encouraged to use our gifts and talents for God?

Well, let's contrast that with housekeeping. I'm disorganized. I don't know how to do a lot of things. It's not in the limelight. Why would I want to do this? I don't feel that this is my particular area of talent anyway. Surely God did not create all women to be housekeepers! Why else would he have given us such different areas of ability?

Here's the bottom line. I am a wife. Every verse in the Bible that speaks to wives is speaking to me. I do not have a reason to ignore these verses because I have "talents." Oh how I wish I had learned and understood what it means to be a godly wife before we got married instead of 13 years in! Just being willing to obey makes a huge difference. God will help me learn to do the things I do not know how to do. Each day I will dedicate our home to the Lord and ask Him to help me do my job.

I'm getting a late start. My seven year old has seen many years of a bad example. Can we undo the damage? I must teach her to be a godly wife and mother before she is grown. I want to prepare my daughters for marriage and hopefully motherhood. I want them to walk into it knowing how to serve the Lord. I hope they will not listen to this garbage about using their talents if it takes them away from home. I believe God can use a willing, obedient heart more than a talent any day.

So, I'm getting a late start. But it's a start.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

When Did Suzie Get Here?

What is happening to me? I sit at work (did I mention I work in the mornings?) and think of all the things I need to be doing at home. I'm actually frustrated that I cannot be home taking care of my house. I have 1/3 of the dining room curtains hung up. The other 2/3 still need to be sewn. I put on an apron when I get home and work on the house. And it's a joy!!! I mean, it's overwhelming sometimes but it's where I want to be. When did I become Suzie Homemaker???

Oh yeah--I remember. I prayed that God would turn my heart to my home. I prayed that He would make my priorities the things He wanted them to be. I "discovered" by studying the Bible that I am designed to be my husband's helper. I've found numerous sites online where women tell all the wonderful things they do to take care of their husband, children, and home. What have I been doing the last 13 years?

Oh yeah--I remember. I was on my hands and knees digging through a pile of socks trying to find some to wear to work that day. I was running to the grocery store after work to grab something for dinner that night. I was paying bills on my conference period and grading papers in front of the TV every night. I was running, running...I remember now.

Thank you, Lord, for delivering me from that life. Thank you for teaching me how to be a wife and mother. Thank you for making my heart change. My skills will follow. I can learn how to do the things my family has been needing. I want to learn and You will help me.

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
Proverbs 14:1

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Modesty 101

I was taught what I would consider "basic modesty" as a child. It went pretty much like this: 1. no miniskirts or too short shorts 2. put a shirt on when you get out of the pool 3. wear a slip 4. keep things covered that should be covered. Yep. That was pretty much it. We kind of knew what things we should not even try to wear and mom dealt with individual outfits as needed. So, I had a basic understanding of modesty.

I did not know what the Bible has to say about being modest. I only ran across those verses in the last 2 years, believe it or not. I would have told you that I was modest, though. No blatant violations in this area on my part.

But there is really more to it. There is this concept that goes hand in hand with modesty for women...femininity. I have read books, articles on the Internet, and studied God's word on these topics and it's all swimming around in my head very fast! Here's what I've learned.
1. Satan has succeeded in blending the 2 sexes until many things are unisex. This is not God's design.
2. Feminists have had a great toll on society and families.
3. Modesty doesn't have cut and dry rules in God's word.
4. It's important to be feminine because God created men and women differently.
5. Rethinking society's accepted norms can be hard.
6. My daughters already have wrong ideas (at 7 and 3)!!!

I read about a "Dresses for a Week" challenge. Where I'm not interested in being "dresses only," I do want to be "dresses more often." Though many would disagree with me, I do not believe that women must wear dresses 24/7. I do, however, believe that it is important to dress femininely and modestly. That naturally means more dresses and skirts and far less jeans. I have 2 daughters who must have a feminine example before them and who need to learn to dress like ladies. They are freaked out by my choices this week!! My poor 3 year old was just sure it was church day when I pulled out a dress for her to wear this morning. She asked me 4 times where we were going. I complimented my 7 year old yesterday for her skirt and shirt because she looked very pretty. "I was a little embarrassed this morning," she told me. She's just not used to dressing this way.

I am thankful that God has opened my eyes to these very important issues before more bad habits are formed in my children. I will continue to pray and sort through clothes--getting rid of what doesn't make the grade. It's hard changing something this big, but I want to please the Lord. When I search online, I feel very behind on this topic. However, in my life people are going to think we've flipped. It's worth it, though.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hello! I am...

My mother-in-law taught across the hall from a friend for years. I do mean years--this lady had taught since Moses was a child (as they say). When this friend retired she gave me boxes of teaching stuff. As a new teacher I was thrilled! Now, most of it was placed in the trash can, but it sure was fun to look through.

One thing that caught my eye was a sign in sheet for an Open House night from the late 50's or early 60's. Each lady had signed her name like this: Mrs. John Smith I thought that was so strange! The only time I had ever been referred to by my husband's name was at the end of our wedding. To not even sign your own first name seemed so strange to me. I know it was customary at that time in society, but there is something more to it.

My husband is in the middle of deciding on a new path for his job/career/ministry. We are praying, but we have no idea where we will end up in a few years. It really doesn't bother me. I am his wife. If he is a minister--then I am a minister's wife. If he is an engineer--then I am an engineer's wife. If he is a carpenter--then I am a carpenter's wife. My place is where he is. My home is where he lives. My role as his wife and helper will not really change, even if the type of help he needs does.

This is not what most women find themselves thinking. I have heard quite the opposite opinion expressed even by Christian women. We have this false idea of our "rights." (I have a right to my own career. I have a right to decide where I want to live. He doesn't have a right to change the plans we have made. Etc.) To tell you the truth, I have not always felt this way either. It is a good place to be. There is peace in doing things God's way. I'm glad to be here.

Monday, March 19, 2007

What Does It Look Like?

This quest for a godly home began some time ago. God has worked and moved in ways that we only pieced together later. One thing that really got us to thinking was when I observed that most of the Christian families we know do not look any different from the families in the world. Except for where we spend our Sunday mornings, there is precious little difference. The differences were mostly in the things we did NOT do--no drinking, no cussing, no partying, etc. But shouldn't our lives stand out more than that? Shouldn't the way we live each day--not just the things we stay away from--look different?

Now to be fair, we know some very godly people. There are people who have been an example to us in the way they live. We just don't find ourselves surrounded by such people on a daily basis. Or, they are so much farther down the road of life than we are that we missed seeing them as young parents. So we find ourselves looking to scripture for our guidance. What does a godly home look like?

Today I had a realization about what it should look like! I'm almost afraid to write it because I feel so inadequate to accomplish this one. I guess I will remember the verse:
9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV)
Here was my realization: If my home is a godly home, it will be orderly because God is orderly.
33For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. (1 Corinthians 14:33, NIV) What a motivation! I have cleaned my house for many reasons--it needed it, I was embarrassed to have people stop by, to please my husband, because no one else was going to do it, to find something that was lost, etc. But to keep my home in order because that is more like that is a reason!!!
I am incapable of doing it, of course. I will pray and He will provide. Just like always. But this time as order creeps into our home, it will stay because God is making us more like Him every day.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

How To NOT Raise Kids

It occurred to me a few years ago that I was not raising kids. We used to live next door to some friends and went through several pregnancies as neighbors. Many things about our lives were the same in those early years. We both dealt with diapers, spitting up, childhood illnesses, milestones, toys all over the house, etc. But later it hit me--we were not engaged in exactly the same task. See, my friend has 2 boys and I have 2 girls. So we are not just raising kids. She is raising godly men and I am raising godly women. Our results will differ greatly, so shouldn't our parenting differ as well?

For my girls to turn into godly young ladies, I have to know how I want them to turn out. That has sent me on a journey to discover what the Bible says about women. THAT has turned up some interesting topics!!!

The thing I'm thinking about these last few days is modesty and being feminine. There is a lot to read on the web about these topics. I'm mulling over all this info and praying about it as well. I intend to talk to husband later when we get a chance. More importantly, what does the Bible have to say?

How should parenting differ for boys and girls? Any comments?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Only If They Deserve It

So here is a radical idea: God wants wives to submit to their husbands--EVEN WHEN THEIR HUSBAND IS A BONEHEAD!!! What? Surely not! Let's consider some situations.
#1 Something breaks at the house. Husband tells wife not to do anything because he will fix it when he gets home. Wife, knowing husband will only make things worse, calls a repairman. When husband gets home he either sees the repairman still there, or sees the bill for the repairs that have been made. But wife had no choice, because she KNEW she was better able to handle the situation than husband. History has proven that. Right?
#2 Wife is preparing to go to Ladies' Bible class. Husband has some work to do and does not feel he will finish if he also has to keep the kids. He asks her to stay home this time. Wife, not feeling sorry for husband because after all SHE always has work to do while the kids are with her, goes anyway. After all, doesn't he care about her spiritual needs?
OK, we could think of examples all day. Perhaps when you think of submitting to your husband, you also have good intentions, EXCEPT those situations when you are clearly right and he is wrong. After all, God gave you a good head on your shoulders, right? He surely does not intend for you to follow when the leader does not know what he is doing! This is submitting only when you have deemed that your husband deserves it. This is not what God intended.
Let's look at a scripture:
22Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Eph. 5:22-24
A friend recently began reading Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl. She called to tell me she was stuck on the part that said the job of leading the family is better to be done poorly by your husband, than done well by you. She said she just couldn't see giving up control of some things to her husband because he was an idiot!
This is a problem of perspective. The Bible doesn't say anything about submitting to our husbands when they deserve it. It says to submit to your husband as to the Lord. And He always deserves our submission! So don't think about if your husband is qualified or not, remember that when you submit to your husband, you are submitting to God. Trust Him to take care of what happens next. Oh, and in case you still have some doubts...the last part of that verse has 2 very important words----"in everything." This is what God calls wives to do. Will you obey and trust God?

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Keeping Kids Entertained

I warned my daughters that the particular McDonald's where we were stopping did NOT have a playplace. "Why not?" my 3 year old wondered. They began listing all the restaurants we frequent which do offer playgrounds. I informed them that when I was growing up, NO restaurants had playgrounds for kids. "What did you do, Mommy?" "Well, we just ate," I told them.

Boy, do we entertain kids these days!!! It isn't just restaurants. There is almost nothing we do where the children's "needs" have not been provided for in the area of entertainment. Doctor's office...Lego table and movie. Movie store...giant hopscotch on floor. Grocery cart shaped like a car. Car dealership...playroom. Insurance office...lollipops and balloons. Church...well we have that covered too.

I cannot think of very many places we go where my children are expected to just sit and wait. And that is a great character building exercise! Just sitting on hard plastic chairs with mommy and being a little bit bored lets them know that the particular errand we are on is not about them. There is no fit being pitched when it is time to leave, as if the entire reason we are there is so they can play with the germy toys that are provided. It's obvious that we are leaving because mommy is finished with her business.

Children cannot even get a haircut these days with out mass entertainment being provided. Have you seen the hair cut place at Toys R Us? Come to think of it, the toy store is already all about kids, but we also must provide a play place there???

No wonder children are not begging to go to church. I know folks who have left their home church because "the kids don't want to come." They instead sought out a church with a dynamic (read: entertaining) children's ministry or youth program. Now, I am not blaming these parents. Good for them for being willing to do what it takes to keep their children in church. BUT...what happens when the puppet show is over, the DVD curriculum is unplugged, the play structure dismantled, and the games, prizes, and incentives are gone? Do the children have a faith that is all their own? Or will they turn and find something that is more entertaining?

I want to protect my children from all this. I want them to know boredom. I want them to have to wait with no toys in hand. I want them to talk with mom and dad while they wait for the food instead of skipping over to the sandbox. Why? Well, it's good for them. And maybe church won't have to suffer in the comparison. Or kill itself trying to keep their attention.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Church Is Keeping Me Busy!!!

So here's my latest dilema...we are encouraged to be involved in ministry at church. Everyone is encouraged to use their particular gifts and talents for the Lord. We have a lot of programs at church that someone has to be in charge of. We need people to plan, set up, run, and clean up after everything we have. At a smaller church like ours, this takes a toll on people. It isn't just men either. Feminism has wormed it's way into the church and women are expected to do things just like men. Some of them even want to. There are precious few things left that are gender specific, even in the church.

Well, from what I see in scripture of COURSE I am supposed to be involved in our church. BUT, my first responsibilities are at home and my family. How do I know this?

NIV 3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Did you see that "busy at home" part? It's not just a phrase. The whole thing that younger women are to be learning is about home and family and their own personal walk with the Lord. No mention of being busy at church. Hmmm... Let's look at a different version.

KJV 3The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Oh no, the different version didn't help at all! This one says I am to be a "keeper at home." Who is keeping the home if mom and dad are both involved in different ministries and serve on different committees and have signed up to help with various activities? Who keeps the home then? It doesn't just say keep the home--it says at home. Something else troubles me about this version. It talks about blaspheming the word of God if these things are not done!! That is much stronger language than the other version. Let's try this again.

THE MESSAGE Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don't want anyone looking down on God's Message because of their behavior.

Whew! There we go--finally a version that we can live with today. According to this paraphrase I just have to keep a good house. I can clean house, no problem. I will make time for that right in between church and the leadership meeting at church tomorrow.

Sorry, I'm being a little sarcastic. I just can't align what I read in God's word with what is expected of me today as a woman. Changing is going to be hard because I have very few examples before me and very little encouragement. However, I see the wisdom in God's plan when I look around at families falling apart today.

And to be fair, it isn't just church activities that keep women from fullfilling these verses. Lots of things can take you away from home. Good things. But I think church should be different. What do you think?

Friday, March 9, 2007

Did I Get To Me Yet?

I began by telling you how "it all started with me." Let me explain. A friend recommended a book to me several years ago. When I finally got around to buying the book--here is where everything started! Now, God already woke up our faith by having me quit work and learn to trust His provision. Now He was going to work on me...

The book was called Created to Be His Help Meet by Debi Pearl. I cannot imagine I would have ever bought this book except the friend who recommended it. What I found inside completely changed my view of marriage, family, wives, husbands, family roles, etc. I had never heard teaching like this in my life!!! Debi Pearl was actually suggesting what I had suspected all along--when the Bible says, "Wives, submit to your husband" it actually means submit!!I heard a sermon years ago before I was married that said "submit" only means "respond to." I could accept that definition and even made a note in my Bible. This book is not politically correct by any means! But instantly our marriage was happier. It was like a huge burden had been taken off of my shoulders. I only had to be a wife and mother. My main job in life was to be my husband's helper. This was such refreshing news!

Now I know there are women who just want to scream when they see me believing such obvious "garbage!" Ladies, it's all there in the Bible. You can read an excerpt of the book at the website. ( Just search the articles with the title of the book. I am grateful that I finally heard someone explain how God intended all this to work. And guess what? There are many, many others out there who agree with this "new" theory. (Ha!) I found them all over the web. I just don't personally know very many of them. In my life, most women think submit is a dirty word.

I don't think many Christian wives are rebellious on purpose--I think they have just been fed lies so long from the world or the enemy that they are acting the only way they know how.

So how do I share this new knowledge of mine with others?

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Lessons From Manna

While I was going through all the turmoil of trusting the Lord with our needs and finances, I was teaching a Bible class for children at our church. We were learning about Moses and the Israelites when they were in the desert. I was teaching the children about the manna God sent for them to eat each morning. I had to read over this section of scripture, of course, before I was ready to teach the lesson. (See Exodus 16)

The Lord commanded the Isrealites to gather only the amount of manna they needed for each day. But some of the people tried to stash some away and the next morning it was covered in maggots. They found out that if they wanted to eat, they had to do things God's way. Now, why did God not allow the Isrealites to have a supply of food on hand so they would not have to worry? They could store it up and not spend every morning going out to gather what they needed. Wouldn't that be smart and responsible of them to ration their food to last longer? And it hit me: He wanted them to depend on Him!!! They had to go to bed each night with faith that God would again supply their food the next day. Each day they woke up and found that He was faithful.

That was very eye-opening for me! I had money in the bank and just because I wasn't adding to that each month, I saw there was no hope. We would eventually run out of money and my biggest fear was that I would have to go back to work full time. My dream of staying home to raise my children would be crushed. They would have to go to daycare-it was all going to be over. But God showed me that He is more than able to supply what I need for each day. We have had some nights when supper wasn't very exciting, but we have never gone hungry. We have always had what we needed. A bag of hand-me-downs here, an offer to go out to eat there, God takes care of us each day. There may be a time in our life when we do not have food or clothes like we would like to have (manna for 40 years?!)...but I go to bed each night now with faith that God will take care of us. No longer do I believe that we are capable of taking care of ourselves all by ourselves.
We need to depend on God. He will send the manna when it is needed and not before.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

It Started With Me Continued

So, God made it possible (and necessary!) for me to quit work. We knew we had enough money in savings to make it for a while. I made a little money babysitting and proceeded to find out what it was like to be a "stay at home mom" for the first time.

I just KNEW that there was no way someone who got to stay home could possibly ever have stress! How could you? I woke up every day for the first few weeks saying to myself, "You mean ALL I have to do is wash the dishes and do the laundry?" It just seemed so easy to me--well, maybe simple is a better word. I went from leaving the house at 6:30 every morning and returning at 4:30 or 5:00 in the afternoon where I had more work to do for my job as well as household work to simply taking care of my family. I didn't have to get dressed up, make-up was optional, if there were errands to do or calls to make I could do that. If one of the kids was sick--no problem. I didn't have to worry about calling in. It was all so wonderful. I could continue to nurse my younger daughter who was 9 months old at the time and no more leaving my kids with someone else! Life was good.

But guess what? There was stress. And it was all financial. I watched our savings being eaten away as we tried to be as frugal as possible. I literally freaked out when it came time to pay bills. The kids got sick all the time and each trip to the dr. cost money. I taught Bible class during this time and very plainly explained to the little ones that the Bible says not to worry about what we will eat or drink or wear. He takes care of the birds and the flowers. He will take care of us. They accepted that as fact. Why couldn't I? (to be continued)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

It Started With Me

Long before I began praying for God to change our family, something happened to change our lifestyle tremendously. I was teaching full-time and my husband working full-time as well. Of course, I had the summers and holidays off. So, for a working mom I felt pretty lucky. I had far more time with my daughter than most working moms, right? I wanted to be home--didn't like leaving my daughter each day, but we had crunched the numbers over and over and it just didn't work out.
Then my friend and babysitter told me she did not want to keep kids the next school year. I had a 4 year old and a newborn. OK Lord, I prayed on the way home, I know you will provide a new babysitter. But He didn't. It soon occured to us that it just wasn't going to work out. Well, I told my husband, I'm qualified to keep the kids. It was scary--but we did it. I packed up my teaching things that May just in case we actually went through with it. I didn't tell anyone at work I was thinking about quitting. In June I turned in my resignation and our journey began.
It would grow my faith in ways I was totally unprepared for. (to be continued)

Monday, March 5, 2007

When We First Started...

I had no clue about being a godly wife when we got married. No one even counseled us beforehand. We had been dating for so long I think everyone at our church just said, "It's about time! Let's get these 2 married!" So, we just jumped right in. The only thing different for our marriage is that we were both Christians. But, that did not mean we had a godly marriage.

I'm not even sure I could have told you much about what scripture has to say on the subject of marriage. Or roles of husbands and wives. I probably had never read or paid attention to those verses much.

It's been 14 years this summer since we said, "I do" and boy have things changed! But most of the changes occured in the last few years. God has been very busy working on this family, which now includes 2 beautiful daughters. We have come a long way in understanding what scripture has to say about the family.

I intend to share what I'm learning on this blog. Maybe it will encourage other women to re-think what they have (or have NOT) been taught about being a family.