Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Hero

"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

     If anyone has weaknesses, it is me!  I have struggled with weakness my whole life, just as everyone does, whether they like to admit it or not.  Some of my weaknesses, among many others, include a tongue that I can't keep in check, impatience when I can't get things accomplished, crankiness when I'm hungry or tired, selfishness, insecurity, and the list could go on.  The point is not to bash myself, but to lift up Jesus that much more because, despite the fact that I live in weakness, He wants to use me for His glory.  On my own, I will fail Him every day.  I have tons of positive qualities and talents that He's given me, which I try to use for His kingdom, too, but there is an overwhelming feeling of excitement and joy that overtakes me when there is a problem or situation that is too much for me to handle on my own and God takes over and saves the day.  I love it!  I delight in it!

     I am glad that I have weakness so that I can see God's amazing qualities and work that much more clearly.  I think this will be my family's anchor verse for this next phase in our lives.  There is no way that we can make one income work on our own.  We are too weak.  We can't make us have more money; additionally, we will be tempted to spend money when we need to save and, I am sure, make other financial mistakes along the way, some of which could be "costly."  It will be so important for us to stay in His Word, in prayer, and in counsel with those who are wiser and more knowledgeable about things than we are.   I cannot wait for God to show up and see how He is going to provide for us and move in ways we never thought imaginable!

     One of my co-workers, after I told the gang that I wasn't returning the next school year, said "Look at you!  You're glowing, you're so happy!"  I told her that the glow was not from the fact that I get to stay at home with Nora-Kate (although that makes me INCREDIBLY happy!), but the glow was from knowing that the only way we will survive is by God showing up and providing.  I love it when He is all we have because HE IS ALL WE NEED!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Faith Journey

Well, finally, I can share with the world that I will be a stay-at-home mom at the end of this school year.  Thanks to God and His answer to prayer, we have made the decision for me to stay at home because we know that is the next calling on my life.

I strive to live my life according to God's plan. I felt Him calling me to be a teacher (I had no desire to be a teacher on my own) and I felt Him leading me to the school where I currently teach. Because I followed where He led, I met my husband, worked with some of the best colleagues anywhere, worked with some of the greatest students, and have grown tremendously in my walk with Christ.
The decision that Josh and I are making for me to stay at home was very difficult. I have had conversations with several people about finances—about how to afford vacations and how any family can live off of one income with our world's current economic status. I had those conversations because I felt God tugging on my heart to stay at home full time, but I didn't see how we could afford it, so I started asking people questions. However, God taught me something unexpected. He taught me that, where it is good to seek counsel (Proverbs 20:18, 12:15), I am also living a life of faith. Faith means that I don't have the answer before I make a move. Otherwise, it's not faith. He's also taught me to completely and unashamedly rely on Him for everything in my life and He has never let me down. So, when I asked people financial questions, they gave me good advice, but I could never find the answer as to how to make the calling on our life (me to stay at home full time) into a reality. Our numbers didn't add up on paper. We knew that He was asking us to make this move and have faith that He would provide, so we have to do that. Even if He chooses not to provide for us, that's His choice and we will still praise Him because He is good no matter what happens to us.
Working at JCHS allowed me to learn two main things. One, I am not here for myself. This life is not about me. It's about others and helping them. My co-workers have seen me make many mistakes and I will make plenty more as I work as a stay-at-home mom, something I have no idea how to do, but that's how I learn--from the errors I make. We grow exponentially when we make mistakes and learn from them. I never mind making mistakes and I don't mind that people see me fall.  I do, however, get upset if I don't learn from my mistakes and do better the next time.
The other thing I've learned is that nothing I put my hand on to accomplish apart from God will succeed. I have been fairly successful at my teaching job because God was with me. If I continued teaching next year, I wouldn't be successful because it's not where God wants me. As much as I love my job and my co-workers, I have to make this move for personal reasons. I have a daughter who needs me and a God Who is asking me to trust Him, so I am planning to act. Maybe one day, I will teach again in the public education arena, but I will always do whatever I feel like God is asking me to do because I will never succeed on my own.  I am held accountable to my Father and I cannot face Him in eternity one day and tell Him that I didn't follow His call because I didn't have faith for Him to provide what we needed, even though that is one of His many precious promises in His Word (Philippians 4:19).

I am so excited about the new chapter in my life.  I am excited to see God show up, the ways He will provide, and the acts He will accomplish through our lives.  When He is in control, everything is possible!  I know that we will see abundantly more than anything we could ever ask for or imagine (Ephesians 3:20).  I am excited about being led to a place where I have nothing else to lean and rely on besides Him.  He is everything we need!