This morning it is raining. Outside the clouds are overcast and gray and rain falls from the skies like a mist in the Scottish hills. The air is cold! As I sipped my delicious and most desired cup of coffee Grace watched her new favorite movie (which was also my favorite movie as a little girl), Sleeping Beauty. Anya crawled around our little floor looking for little nibbles of food to put in her mouth. I quickly scooped her up and put her in the high chair and gave her her very own piece of spiced pumpkin bread August had made yesterday. It is strange, she does not like me to feed her the Gerber foods anymore. It is often a battle to get the spoon into her mouth. She does LOVE our food though and she’ll gobble it right up if I let her do it. She is extremely independent!
I think she is teething again. Oh teething. You can read about my frustrations with this in previous blogs. She just doesn’t seem to handle the pain very well and at this very moment when she should be napping, she is crying for my attention. Lately, I have the hardest time getting her to nap. She’ll usually take one consistent nap during the day but she’ll most ardently boycott the second! No matter how many times I go to lay her back down she refuses. I am quite reluctant to give it up. I need that second nap time as much as she does. The day is just too hectic and a grumpy baby girl does not make it any easier. So, I go back to the drawing boards. Teething gel, Tylenol, iced teething rings…lots of cuddling. Lots of patience on my part, too. Oh patience. If we remain patient God rewards us. It has taken me so long to learn this art of self-control! But, as I said…God is good and He is faithful to those that trust in Him. “I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1. God has certainly heard my cry!
August begins training for full-time work at UPS this next week!!!!! WHOOOO, YIPEE!!!!! Can you tell I’m excited?? After waiting three years for this it seems God is moving to open a door for us. August will spend a full week in Maryland learning all the ways of a UPSman and then begin driving for three weeks in Staunton and then move on to three weeks of training down in Fredricksburg. After all that we will know where he will be placed and wherever that is we will call that home. Really? I cannot begin to express how excited and thankful I am. Through all of this God has certainly taught me the importance of waiting on Him. Truly, resting in Him brings peace and if you are receptive to God’s teaching trials really do bring blessing!
“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:1-3
I just find it simply amazing at how readily impatient we are as human beings. We don’t like to be uncomfortable. Trials bring us discomfort. They force us to look at ourselves. For me, this trial has been one huge uncomfortable and self-revealing lesson of how disgruntled I can be, how self-centered, unthankful, and what other word than whiny! WHAT? Did I really just say that out loud? Yep. Over the past few years, August and I have been through many ups and downs but the biggest complaint I had was that we had no home of our own, no place for just us to be us. I felt extremely shorthanded in terms of what I had in order to raise two small children. I complained A LOT. I got frustrated quite a bit. I got angry. I cried often. I became bitter to some extent. I would pray and cry out to God for help. I hated that I responded to my trial in that way. I was not exhibiting any fruits of the spirit in my opinion. I do a good job of putting on a mask….everything is OK with me on the outside…but inside is a intense battle of the wills. Where was my peace, where was my patience, self-control, gentleness, meekness?? God so lovingly was working out those things within me. First I was angry, upset, jealous of others. Then, I moved into despair. Oh, I am always meant to get the short end of the stick! I would think to myself. (yes, pathetic I know…but it’s good to be open and honest). Then, God brought me to the full realization of how ugly my sin nature was. I began to see how yucky it was to so discontent. I was cleaning our cook top one afternoon and it hit me. This is a beautiful stove. We have granite counter tops. Hard wood floors. Everything in this apartment is gorgeous; however small it is. He was beginning to show me all the things I could be greatful for. We live close to both my family and August’s sweet family is right next store. I began to realize how blessed I really was. I was never lonely because family was always nearby. I enjoyed sweet sweet fellowship with my beautiful mother-in-law who I admire very much. I could readily put the girls in the car and visit my precious mother. August provides us with gormet food and drink. My girls were happy! So happy! God finally brought me to surrender. Oh sweet surrender. It truly is beautiful because I stopped striving. I stopped thinking about ME and began thinking about Him.
“He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”
It seems it has taken me quite some time to surrender my desires to Him and just to peacefully trust in Him. What was worrying about everything doing for me anyways? Absolutely NOTHING. God saved me from myself. Yep. Big worriesome ME. I am so thankful for this trial because it has just brought me that much more of an understanding about what it means to be content in all things. All that we work for in the world will pass away, but God is eternal and that hope I have in Him will certainly not dissapoint. So I am thankful now that despite all of my struggling against God’s teaching me, He has brought me into the realization that in and of Himself is our home and our provision. I just find it slightly ironic that it is now that God is beginning to bless August’s work and bring us into more job security. Just speculating!! I know God doesn’t hold things over our heads….but He sure is ready to bless when we give everything to Him. I’m so glad God is faithful.