Our girls share a room, and just beside Leah's bed- Zoe's twin bottom bunk bed seemed to be calling my name. It's soft sheet, fluffy down pillow, and cozy down comforter were lying there looking more comfortable than anything I'd ever seen. I decided that since Leah was sure to wake up at any moment, I'd just take a quick little nap in Zoe's bed. This way- when Leah woke up, she'd see my snoozing right beside her, and wake me up.
And certainly- she woke up to see me snoozing; but she woke me up in the most unconventional and absolute sweetest way!!
My eyes cracked open to see the cutest curly-headed 3 year old girl sitting on the edge of her bed, staring at her mommy, making a 'kiss-kiss' sound with her lips. When I looked at her, she said with an excited grin, "Mommy!!! I woked you up by doing THIS (kiss-kiss-kiss) sound!!! Heee heeeee heeee!"
I must have been more tired than I realized, because somehow- despite the cuteness- I closed my eyes again and fell back to sleep. The next time I opened my eyes, Leah was sitting on the bed with me, half beside me, half on top of me, and she was attempting to shove a chocolate chip cookie in my mouth. I look up to her expectant face as she said "Mommy!!! I broughted you a cookie to eat! It's really yummy!"
When it's all grim and gray and dreary, and the "life-is-hard-reaper" is towering over my shoulder beating me down, the easiest thing to do is crawl into bed, cover my head up, and ignore it all. Easy or not- I've never had the option to do that. My 3 girls "force" me to keep the momentum up. Having to take care of their needs trumps any desire I have to give up. For that, I am ever thankful.
At this point, I'm gonna be honest, and bare "the life is crazy tough" right now stuff. Breaking it down with out too many details- I'll give a quick example:
Finances are kah-put. Being in the construction/repair industry- ya- in this economy, 'nuff said.
Mis-managing our week-to-week paycheck is an attribution, as well. There are times we really should not eat out, or joy-ride around town..... but we do it anyway. Unwise.
We've created a budget, and the budget would work- if we'd just suck it up and stick to it. Budget (the lack of) aside, another spin out in our bank account happens when there isn't any work for Joshua to do- staying home, sans pay, is especially painful on our pocket book.
With Thanksgiving being hosted at our house this year, an extra large chunk of dough moves itself down our belly's, inside the same week that Joshua is only able to work for 2 days. Ouch! Ouch! OUCH!
Monday night this week my van (our only family vehicle) randomly quits working just down the road from our house on my way to the grocery store. Plans that I had to attend a bible study that night, take our 3 year old to her sweet little class the next day, and volunteer in my 7 year olds classroom that morning are all immediately canceled.
It's almost December, which means we should be prepping to pay our Property Taxes, and making plans to buy Christmas gifts.
Our family life, specifically our marriage, has been in a "growing" process- trying to overcome certain issues and junky stuffs.
The power company gives us a call to "remind" us of our "nonpayment" and just before that phone call, our Zoe walks upstairs only to come flying back down squealing "It's raining in our house!!"
By all personal standards; I should be an incredible wreck. I'm typically a high strung, high stress personality type; I can get overwhelmed in a snap if the conditions are ripe.
There again- taking care of my 3 girls as a stay at home mommy for the past 7 years, I've grown so much in learning how to handle stressful situations. Any mom can attest to this after experiencing numerous grocery store meltdowns, park-play-date tantrums, the rush of dinner time, bath time, and bedtime chaos, and the squeals and whines, and tattle-tales of sibling rivalry.
Inside the mire, I am witness to absolute sweetness.
Our marriage issues are on hold as Joshua and I lock arms to stand beside one another and fight the battle of stress and uncertainty. Not gone. But- on the back burner.
We have both experienced the trials of extreme financial woes, each during our childhood and adolecent years, and during the first several years of our 10 year old marriage. It's tough, but an easy fight to win. God has shown us over and over and OVER how faithful He is in providing for our needs. I'm excited (crazy excited) to be in this situation right now; because I know I'll get to witness the miracles that God has in store for us. And- whoa!- in our experience, His miracles are incredible. Far beyond anything that we could ever accomplish. It's amazing.
And inside the mire, perspective is gained: "What's really important? What matters?"
I honestly believe that God orchestrated these trials. He wants to teach us something, lead us in a new direction, and 'force' a change in all of us (for the better!) if we let Him.
I'm open to it and I'm ready for it.
"Here I am, Lord. Change me!!!!"