Thursday, May 10, 2012

Learning Patience

I have to admit yesterday, I was feeling a little sorry for myself. A couple weeks ago we entered the Worst Driveway in Northern Michigan contest. I honestly felt that it was God sent. I had not been very good at getting the paper those last few weeks and I just happened to get one that had the article about this contest. I felt it was meant for us. We really do have a hazordous driveway. It should be called the Venus Car Trap, because that is just what it tries to do.

After checking my email later in the afternoon yesterday I found out that we didn't even qualify to be one of the three finalists. That just took the wind out of my sails! What a HUGE relief it would have been for us to win. To not have to wonder how we will get through another winter with a driveway that gets worse and worse with every spring thaw and heavy rain.

Then I started to think about the countless other things that our house needs. And all the extra expenses we will have once the baby comes. We are living in 2012 and here we are deciding to use cloth diapers, not because it will create less waste, or because it is more environmentally friendly, but because disposable diapers are an extra cost we may not be able to afford.

It is so overwhelming sometimes to think of all the needs we have. I think back to before we moved back up here from Grand Rapids and how I always had to check myself with, "Is this a need or a want?" We could afford to get things whether we needed it or not. Now all my wants are needs! Oh, how things change.

How nice it was to have two incomes! Imagine, if we had two incomes now and still lived the same lifestyle how much money we would have! Even with the cost of daycare we probably would have money to spare. But, that is not the path we chose. We chose for me to stay home and live on one modest income. And really, that is okay. The sacrifices we are making, will be worth more than money for our kids.

I hate having these feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. At least for me those days are rare. I have to remind myself that God has a plan for us, and right now, His plan wasn't meant for it to be easy. It may never be easy. There are many reasons I can think of to try to explain to myself why things have to be so hard. But my hope is that it won't be this hard forever and I am sure that it won't.

God has been teaching me patience. Me, a person who always had things come easy and immediately, who now will have to learn to wait. We need windows, siding, another bedroom, a garage, a driveway, car repairs, we will have medical bills after the baby, chiropractor costs, and other little things that always come up. Do all these things NEED to be had now? No, but it would be nice to not waste heat in the winter to poorly sealed windows. It will take time, and not that much really, a few years and if we do it right we can get all that done. Patience, is what we need to learn.

I think of James 1:1-4 which says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Be happy when you face problems! Really? Well, yes! We don't have to go through our struggles alone. If we have a relationship with God, he will be there to guide us lift us back up when we've been knocked down! It is easy to feel sorry for ourselves, I have, but thankfully it doesn't last long. When I start to feel that way I think of all the ways God has pulled us through one problem after another.

We have food on our plates, a roof over our heads, and bills that get paid on time. We always have JUST enough to get by, but we ALWAYS have enough. God will provide! And for that we are very thankful.

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