Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Change.

Change is one of those words that has a few too many meanings to post.  Good 'ol dictionary.com has the low down here if you'd like to go read the 152 meanings...or maybe just 38.

Change can be used as a noun or a verb and right now we are experiencing both grammatical facets of that little word. We have incurred change (n.) in that our lifestyle has changed dramatically and we are experiencing change (v.) in that we, ourselves, are changing.  And if you have to think about that too long it will make your brain hurt.

Ow. That was my brain hurting.


Change can be a good thing. Change can be a bad thing. Change can make you grow or it can make you shrivel up in a corner and suck your thumb. 

I've thought and done all of these things over the course of the last 3 months, but right now I'm in the corner sucking my thumb. And that's not necessarily a bad thing, it's just where I am at this point. I don't plan on staying here.


Because nobody puts baby in a corner. Okay, okay...I couldn't help myself.


There has been a lot of change in our lives here in Monklandia over the last several months. I mentioned some of it in my last post...umm...3 months ago.

The biggest change is that Monk still has not found a new job. When I typed those words in my last post, it seemed like such a temporary thing. A hiccup in our lives that would be short-lived and solved quickly. 

Now, 3 months later, it actually brings me physical pain to even type it.  Stick a searing hot poker up your nose into your brain and that's pretty much how it makes me feel.

Daily, I watch my husband get up, take a shower, dress, then head to the computer to check his email in hopes that someone has responded to his applications. It wasn't so bad at first, but now I see him crumple a little more every time. And that breaks my heart, y'all. He is a good man. 

He is a man that thrives on routine. Whereas his wife lives in a fly-by-the-seat-of-her-pants, eating butterflies and pooping rainbows sort of world.  You see where I'm going with this, right? He needs a routine lest he be consumed by my level of crazy.

So the change in the job situation has dictated a change in the financial situation.  I'm not going to say much about this except for the fact that unemployment funds don't take a family of 6 very far at all. At all.

And the fact that we aren't already sunk financially is solely because of Jesus. He has sustained us and provided for us in ways that blow my feeble mind and convict my sinful, wayward heart. 

One family (whom we've never even met!) sacrificially gave us money because they felt led by the Lord to do so.  That amount of money? It was within a few dollars of our exact house payment.

We've had friends just give us random amounts of money during times we were running short, but never even shared with anyone. We were given a stove when ours broke. Hope and Charlie's school will not even consider letting me withdraw them (I've approached them twice now)...they just tell me not to worry about it.

I'm humbled and amazed by the provision. 

The change in the job/financial situation has brought about a change in our attitudes.  See the whole noun vs verb thing going on?  I know it's confusing and frankly, this is why my brain hurts.

God has used this time to shape us, humble us, strengthen us, encourage us, use us ... change us.  

Our faith has been strengthened, our commitment to one another and our girls more determined and our resolve to lead a simpler life sealed. 

Ultimately, we have learned that things do not matter. People do. And  Jesus matters most.

Now doesn't all of that sound lovely?

So why am I shriveled up in a corner sucking my thumb?  Figuratively speaking, of course. Otherwise that would be weird.

Because no matter how much I rattle on about faith and strength and how much I love Jesus....some days I'm just scared. And worried.

Today has been one of those days. 

I'm consider myself a happy, positive person.  I like to think of ways to keep our family afloat and how to make our food stretch further, ways to encourage my husband in his disappointments and how to garner more photography business.  

But some days the unicorns and butterflies turn on me. Some days my rainbow laden world is gray and lifeless and things go from being  a vibrant technicolor to just plain old black and white. Or worse yet...gray.

Some days I'm angry because I don't understand. I'm selfish because I want 'things'.  I fight old demons and think we're being punished for some unknown sin (old fundamental Baptist habits die hard, y'all).

It's hard for me to admit that.  Because admitting that means that my faith sucks and that all of this talk of Jesus and provision is just empty chatter, right?

No, it doesn't. It means that I'm a sinful human being in need of grace. And I'm so very thankful that His grace is available to me. Every day. All day. Any time I need it.

Today has been hard. I imagine that the further and further we get into this jobless situation, that more and more these hard days will come. Especially when the phone rings off the hook with people wanting  money.  Or watching Monk's disappointment day after day. Or wondering if we will lose our home, after all. 

These are real things. They are real concerns. I expect our faith to be stretched beyond what we think we can handle. And that terrifies me if I dwell on it.

I try and remind myself that Jesus hears me when I don't know what to pray (Rom 8:26). He provides for His own (Matt 6:26). He tells me what my mind should be thinking about (Phil 4:8). Lastly and probably my favorite of all, each day is a fresh start (Lam 3:22-23).

I am not consumed because His compassion's never fail and His mercies are new every morning. Because HE is faithful.

How can that not give us hope?

So while this is a hard time of change for us....ultimately, it will change us.  It will be interesting to see where it all leads.

I know what my heart wants for our lives, but I don't yet know God's plan for our lives. 

And that my friends .....

...means more change.

(This is how Maggie feels about change)