A New Day

I wish I could say that I went on yesterday to live in victory and walk in peace with my children.  Apparently they didn’t get the memo that we were starting fresh, so when I left the computer and their attitudes were still as crummy as mine had been when I sat down, I confess that I fell into despair again.

Matt came home at one point during the day and pointed out that what he had read in yesterday’s post and what he was seeing dragging around the house with the long face were not the same person.  😦

Some days you lose the battle.  Yesterday I lost.  I was tired and gave up.  I appreciate the comments and encouragement that many of you shared with me; they were and are a blessing.  My rational side knew the truth yesterday, but my emotions got the better of me.

But this is the beauty of grace.  Today is new.  A good night of sleep, a cup of coffee, and time in the Word, and I feel stronger.  I still quiver a bit at facing today, still feeling the bruises and tender from yesterday’s struggles, but I am ready to start again.  I am encouraged.

I read this today in my quiet time:

Steel is the product of iron plus fire.  Soil is rock plus heat and the crushing of glaciers.  Linen is flax plus the water that cleans it, the comb that separates it, the flail that pounds it, and the shuttle that weaves it.  In the same way, the development of human character requires a plus attached to it, for great character is made not through luxurious living but through suffering.  And the world does not forget people of great character.

Some day God is going to reveal this fact to every Christian:  the very things they now rebel against are the instruments He has used to perfect their character and to mold them into perfection, so they may later be used as polished stones in His heaven yet to come.

~ Streams in the Desert, December 2

And this Scripture reading went along with it:

For because He Himself has suffered when tempted, He is able to help those who are being tempted.

~ Hebrews 2:16

Lonely as I may feel some days, I am not alone.  And the struggles we face, the girls and I, are not without purpose.

Have a blessed Thursday, friends!

By His Grace ~

~ Sara

Week In Review – So Happy It’s Friday

Downer Warning:  It’s been a week, and I am just starting to really “feel” the events today.  This could be a very crabby post.  Feel free to flee now, or read on at your own risk.  😮

On Wednesday of this week, I had my SUV broken into and my purse stolen.  My brand new purse and wallet that I had only had for one month.  Exactly.one.month.  On a day that started out well and in the middle of what I hoped was going to be a drama-free week, everything was turned on its side.  I tried to do school with the girls, but they were clearly disturbed by what had happened and I was so distracted by phone calls to be made and trying to find somewhere to take my window-missing truck before it started to rain, we ended up only getting about half of our stuff done.  I spent most of the day numb and somewhat disoriented.  Thursday felt about the same.

Today I’m just mad.  I’m mad that my whole week got jacked up by someone’s selfishness.  I’m mad that everything cost just enough to be a giant nuisance, but probably not enough to make it worth submitting to insurance.  I’m mad that we haven’t even gotten the credit card bill for the dang purse yet and it’s already gone.  I’m mad that Matt had to take money out of savings so that I could go get groceries (because I was trying to be “good” and use cash and that was stolen).  I’m mad that I had to put groceries back today because I had to save money to go replace my driver’s license.  I’m mad that I have to make a bunch of phone calls this afternoon to change our auto-pay information from our checking account, because we had to open a new one.  I’m mad  that when I went to order new checks today, I got all the way through and realized I had no way to pay for them online.  I’m mad at the inconvenience it is causing Matt to be without any of his business credit cards for the next couple of weeks.

None of this is a big deal.  It really isn’t.  But it’s been an entire summer of this.kind.of.stuff.  Unplanned, unbudgeted inconveniences.  Matt and I laid in bed on Wednesday night and began to count up how many unexpected expenses we’ve had just this summer:

  • my truck window
  • my purse, wallet, and cash
  • his truck totaled
  • flat tire on his truck led to getting four new tires
  • two weed whips gone
  • one lawn mower dead
  • tool theft
  • roof repairs
  • broken rear hatch handle on my truck
  • broken antenna (not a cheap fix)
  • both air conditioning units at the house needing repairs
  • two speeding tickets

There were a few more, but they’re not coming to mind.  Needless to say, we’re worn down by the financial blood bath that this summer has been.

On the other hand, God has been more than generous with us this year.  It’s been a good year for the business and He’s been prompting Matt to work hard on saving money.  It’s just that Matt thought he was saving for the future, not for right now to just replace all our broken or stolen stuff.

I know God hasn’t changed.  I know He is still good.  I cling to His faithfulness and His promise to carry me.  There is still much to be thankful for and at least one beautiful story has come out of this, which I will share on Monday.  But today I feel a little like I’m going insane.  I told a friend today that I’m not even sure if this is Biblical, but I’m just going to go ahead and start “claiming” a drama-free week next week.  In Jesus name.

Now that I have written all of this down and looked back through it, I’m actually laughing.  It’s all just so ridiculous.  I wonder what could be next?!?!

Have a fabulous weekend, friends.  I’m sure going to try to here!

Only By His Grace ~

~ Sara

Missing

I read other blogs.  I see the  photos.  I watch my friends’ families.  And I feel a small sense of loss.

I have a twinge of sadness that my husband has no son to walk alongside him.  No one to pass on his trade to, his skills, his business.  No one that *really* wants to wrestle or throw a baseball or watch the NBA (*gag*).  I feel a bit of loss that I have no son to influence, no boy that will eventually eat me out of house and home, or who will one day tower over me and yet still be my child.  No sweet, tender boy to direct in the ways of becoming a strong, godly man.

A boy is not what God has chosen for us.  He chose for us to have four beautiful girlie girls.  He knew that we would reach four and feel our family was full, quite possibly complete.  He knew that my husband would have to enter the world of estrogen and only have his work as an escape.  He knew I would not have to work through the energy and the physicality that is a boy and that I would occasionally feel an ache when I see other families with their sons.

Sometimes the ache is replaced with an irritation.  Sometimes I am simply annoyed, even angered, that others would think our family is somehow lacking because we don’t have sons.  This comes from so many places.  Friends, family, strangers at the grocery store.  You gonna keep tryin’ til you have a boy? Seriously, is our proliferation really your concern?  God knew what He put in my womb.  He didn’t make a mistake giving us four girls.  Each one is an incredible blessing.  Each one is perfect.  And I wouldn’t trade a single one of them to have a son.

Most of the time I am content.  I am satisfied with my girls.  I thoroughly enjoy them.  Like I keep saying, God knew.  He makes no mistakes.  One day, if He wills, I will have four sons through our daughters marriages.  And perhaps grandsons.  But I know that’s not entirely the same.

I know that we are not necessarily “done”.  But we feel no leading, no calling to add to our numbers.  Not naturally.  Not through adoption.  That can change, but it’s where our hearts have been for quite some time.

I do not begrudge the eight “x” chromosomes that God knit together in my womb.  But sometimes I still long for a “y”.

Little Things

It’s funny how the small things add up into something so much greater.  This shouldn’t surprise me, as I teach my girls their addition facts, but on days like today you notice how it starts to accumulate.

It starts very early with crying, whining, complaining, and attitude.  And it starts with my beloved giving his Blackberry a coffee bath on the way home from the gym.  I give him my Blackberry and am left with no phone for the day, except his office phone, because both of our home phones are dead.  As in no-longer-able-to-be-charged dead.  He’s left with the use of a phone, but none of the data that he needs, like client phone numbers or addresses.  We’re reminded of the importance of backing up our phone data.  *sigh*

There are more struggles as we push through the school day and then I get a call from the ballet teacher that second child’s class has been canceled due to low enrollment and she needs to move to a Monday/Wednesday rotation for the school year.  That makes four nights a week at the ballet studio and four nights a week of anything for kids is a point I never wanted to get to, especially when they are still in grade school.  I try not to cry while I’m on the phone (Matt’s office phone) with the ballet instructor.

I contemplate calling Matt and figure it can wait until he gets home.  Then I get a call from him on the home phone, which is dead, but the answering machine works.  “Honey, I’ve been in a wreck.  I’m okay, but I need you to call my next appointment and tell them I won’t be there.  I think the guy that hit me is having a heart attack.” The girls and I take hands and pray.

I feel completely beaten by this day.  It’s not that anything huge happened.  Matt was not injured.  We did not get a call from a doctor saying one of us is terminally ill.  Our house is still standing.  Everything, in the grand scheme of things, is fine.  But it’s the little things of life that wear you down.  And this day has been one giant inconvenience of little things.

Except for two bright spot little things.  A sweet friend who sent me a text after all this happened and offered to come over and watch our kids so Matt and I could go out.  I cried.  I had to turn her down because Matt had meetings and Grace had ballet.  But sometimes, it truly is the thought that counts.

And just now, other friends stopped by with an apple pie.  Just because.

God is good.  He carries us on the days when the big things hit us and on days when the little ones threaten to overwhelm us.  He sees me.  He sees us.  He will get us through Matt having a broken phone and a broken truck, or maybe no truck at all.  He will get us through the decisions about ballet and schedules.  He will get us through bad attitudes and hard days.  He will carry us on the wings of His grace and the unexpected kindnesses of friends.