Saturday, May 5, 2012

A week later...

You know those moments where you finally have an opportunity to look around, appreciate beauty, take a deep breath, and think, "Life is good!" Moments like that are a great thing- I look forward to those moments! I crave them! I try and seek them out! Today on Facebook the blog owner for Time Warp Wife posted a picture and status update:

"The view from my deck. It's a beautiful night and I'm about to get into the hot tub. Love it!"

I sadly admit, my first reaction was total jealousy. What a beautiful way to end a day! I imagine how marvelous it would be to see such a gorgeous sky and feel the luxury of slipping into a nice hot tub! I can almost feel the steaming bubbles massage away my aches while the cold night breeze kisses my face and blows through my hair. I imagine my family's current tribulation behind us. I imagine feeling happy and settled...

And then, I wake up- back to reality...

It has been a week since I found out about my dear husband's job loss. I wish I could say that this week has only been filled with smiles, encouraging words, and calm moments. Yes, we have had our share of those- but that is not all that happened. Between those helpful and enlightened times were flashes of doubt, fear, and sorrow. 

In those dark moments I tried to stay strong, and generally they were simply moments- less than minutes long- and I was able to find strength. However, some of these times were longer than the others- and in those, I felt broken. I longed for happiness. I longed to feel settled. I coveted those feelings. It was generally around the time I realized that I was "coveting" that I snapped out of my self-pity, said a prayer asking for forgiveness for my sin (coveting is something I really need to work on), and then asked for God's help. I did not ask God to make me happy, or make me feel settled. I asked Him for something greater, and something only He can give...

Yes, beyond feeling "happy" and "settled" there is a still better feeling- peace.

How can we feel peace? True peace?

Now, during this difficult time, I pray and feel peace. 

My family has more people collectively praying for us than we have ever had at any given time. I have been so amazed with the supportive friends, peers, and loved ones who have offered prayers on our behalf. These loving prayers make a difference, they really do. We can feel them- and every single prayer impacts our family in a positive way. I cannot begin to explain the comfort that washes over me when I am told that my family is being prayed for. Really, I cannot explain it- it is wonderful!!!

2 Corinthians reminds me: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Tonight, before I go to sleep- I will say a prayer. I will pray for those I know are in need of prayer, and I will pray for my family. Do I pray for my husband to get a great, high paying job? Do I pray for my unborn baby to be perfect and beautiful? Do I pray for my children to have everything they want in the world? Do I pray for luxury materials to surround me? No. I don't.

I pray that my husband be open to whatever path God has in store for him, and his heart be prepared to recognize promptings of the Spirit that will lead us where the Lord will have us go. I pray that God will help me be the mother He would have me be to the children He has entrusted to my care. I pray that God will give my husband the ability to find the means to provide for our family. I pray that we live in safe and, if possible, comfortable surroundings.

Along with my desires, I always offer thanks for my multitude of blessings. My family, my faith, the restoration of the Gospel. I thank God for having us in the United States. I thank God for clean water, providing our needs, and giving us so many material comforts.

I have a lot to pray for... and so does everyone else, which is why it is so remarkable that so many are taking the time and effort to remember our family in their prayers. 

Yes, we are blessed...

with Peace.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Today's Trial is Tomorrow's Testimony

I woke at 4am. I tried to go back to sleep, but couldn't. I cuddled with my husband for a bit and then went downstairs to be alone with my scriptures.

I know I am blessed. I know it. I have a wonderful life, and we are merely experiencing a setback. But still, there is internal nagging. There is creeping fear. There is shaky uncertainty. There is confusion.

As I open my scriptures, 1 Corinthians 14:33 reminds me,

...God is not the author of confusion, but of peace...

So I wait.

I will wait, I will read, I will ponder, I will pray. And just as Psalm 121 suggests,

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

This is temporary. From an eternal prospective, this trail does not matter at all. What does matter, however, is how we will handle this trial.

I need to stop the mental nagging. I need to stop the fear. I need to block the uncertainty and confusion. I need to turn to Christ and feel His grace and peace. With Him I will find rest.

After reading my scriptures I turned to one of my favorite uplifting websites: Women Living Well. It was there I found this:

Have you ever laid in bed awake at night and wondered – Why me? I don’t understand these circumstances God? Have you ever felt like a failure – like the rest of the world has it figured out and you are the only one who just can’t seem to pull it together? Your will and determination just simply aren’t enough? Your 2 year old won’t let you buckle them in the car, your 3 year old bites, your four year old hits, your 10 year old struggles with reading, your teenager is defiant, or your grown child is making poor decisions and you sit there helpless.
Ecclesiastes 8:14 says “There is something else meaningless that occurs on earth; righteous men who get what the wicked deserve, and wicked men who get what the righteous deserve.”
Have you ever seen a mom of little ones dying of cancer, a young child’s life snuffed out in a car accident, a noble man losing his job while a wicked man succeeds. Do you look around and ask what’s up with this lopsided world? It doesn’t make sense?
Solomon, the wisest man on earth admits in Ecclesiastes 8:16 and 17 there are some things we will never understand on this side of heaven. He says “When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe man’s labor on earth – his eyes not seeing sleep day or night – then I saw all that God has done. NO one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it.
No amount of lost sleep can help us comprehend what God is doing. Though we can put entire libraries on a tiny micro-chip – our human minds will never be able to solve the mysteries of God’s works. So what do we do?
“Cast all your anxious thoughts on him because he cares for you.” (I Peter 5:7)

See the full blog post here.

I will cast my anxiety and follow a simple plan:

1) I will support my husband by helping him remember how wonderful he is.
2) I will do my job as homemaker, wife, and homeschooler. I will freelance write when I can, but remember  
           my job is first and foremost to be my family's greatest earthly helper.
3) I will find beauty in life, every day, and I will make it a priority to help my family see that beauty as well.
4) Each day I will have *something* fun or enjoyable planned for us to do together. Dollar movies, trips to
            the park, picnics, an afternoon at the pool- something to help remind all of us that life is fun and
            enjoyable. We should embrace this extra time together that we have been given, and each day I will
            come up with small ways of doing that.
5) I will keep my faith, and become stronger than ever. I will continue to thank God for all He has given us.