Monday, November 21, 2011
Choosing Your Blessings
I really want pretty flowers in my garden. Would you please give me some?
P.S. - I want pink ones. That smell pretty. That don't have too many thorns, you don't want me to get hurt! And not too small, I want to be able to cut them and put them into a vase. Okay? Thanks.
P.P.S. - I know that my soil is a mess with weeds and rocks. You can work miracles, though, right? Thanks.
P.P.S. - I'd rather that you water my garden in a different way than rain. It gets too muddy, and the moisture makes my hair crazy.
Have you ever prayed for something, and then given God a roadmap as to how you want Him to provide for / bless / heal you? I wish I could say I am old enough to have avoided such a 'rookie-prayer', but hence, I found myself doing just that a few months ago.
It is no secret that since I lost my job three years ago we've had our challenges. I was challenged with finding my identity as a stay at home mom (SAHM for the pros) and simultaneously we (much like many Americans) have been challenged financially. After all, we have a house, two kids, and rather enjoy being able to eat. All of those challenges came to a head in the summer when we found ourselves unable to make bills. We knew we needed help.
As we prayed for hope in the midst of our financial storms, my hubby began looking for a second job, while I reluctantly began putting in applications to a variety of places. I didn't want a job. I had finally fallen in love with and found my place as a SAHM, and was content in that identity. However, I really felt like I needed to at least try to find a way to help my hubby financially.
And so, I went on job interviews. I networked. Most of all I prayed. I prayed that God would "provide" financially. I prayed that I could stay at home while He provided. I prayed that I could be a SAHM while he dropped a check into the mailbox that would take care of all our needs. Oh, and I entered the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes (really, I did).
Suddenly, I received His call. It was on the phone, and it was from a former co-worker turned manager at the company that I had been laid off from three years ago. She offered me a temporary job, Monday thru Friday, 40 hours a week, in an office 40 miles away. When she told me the job description, it seemed as though it was tailored just for me. The contract was until the end of the year, and I knew what I had to do.
After hanging up the phone, I cried. They weren't happy tears. I was disappointed. I didn't want this blessing. I wanted the flowers without the rain. It was painful to swallow my pride and work for a company that had laid me off. It was doubly painful that I had to leave my kids and husband all day. And then I took a step back and saw the big picture.
It is a temporary job. Though it has the potential to become more than that, for the time-being, it is just that. The hours are such that with my four year old's preschool schedule, and the naptime schedule both kids maintain, we need limited childcare. (We've been able to trade babysitting with some friends as well, which helps financially.) Finally, it is just enough time to get ahead a bit; pay bills that we had no idea how we were going to afford and put a few dollars into savings. It gets us to the beginning of the next year, when I declare an end to the resolution word "CHALLENGE". It really is a blessing. And as I am now halfway through my assignment, I see the flowers poking their pretty pink heads up through the soil.
There are challenges every day. Waking at 4:30am to commute an hour is painful. Not being able to mop / do laundry / cook / bake bread is like nails on a chalkboard. I miss my husband. I miss my boys. However, I know that God is providing according to His will, and answering my prayer. How can I be anything but thankful?
And so, I have a dozen blog posts about homemade drain cleaners, Pinterest projects, gardening triumphs, delicious baked goods, and sore throat remedies that will remain on the back-burner until I get a spare moment.
I know you don't mind much...you'll get to see the flowers soon enough.