Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

 

I struggle with trusting people. I struggle even more when it comes to trusting God. He has all these plans for me and I have no map from Point A to Point B. All I’ve got is His word that Point B is going to be awesome.

The foundation of my belief is that Yahweh loves me. Deep, wide, enormously, amazing love.  He knew me and He still sent a sacrifice for me so that He could have a one on one relationship with me.

So it stands to reason that if someone loves you, they only have good things planned for you. The problem comes when you don’t know the end game.

Yahweh’s plans are typically lessons that hurt. They take you, break you down, thrash you around, and suddenly, just when you think you can’t take anymore you find yourself at Point B.

Personally, I have found that the best lessons are the messiest and hardest. I’ve also learned that the messier and harder the lesson the harder it is to forget in the future.

I don’t know the plan He has for me. Sometimes, I feel that I’m so in the dark that there is no way that what I’m dealing with is for my good. How can anything that hurts this bad be for my good?

Then I’m reminded that the foundation of my belief is that Jehovah was sent for my redemption because I’m loved so deeply. I may never understand the plan. I may never know why it had to be hard. I may not even agree with the method in which the lesson is taught, but I know without a doubt that the one who loves me is the controller of the Map.

He loves me. He loves me deeply. Armed with that truth, the plan is what the plan is and I will keep putting one foot in front of the other knowing that I am held by the one that knows where all the hurt is and that maybe when I get to Point B I won’t hurt as much anymore.

 

 

 

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What now?

I am not skilled to understand
What God has willed what God Has planned
I only know at his right hand
Stands one who is my Savior –Aaron Shust

Wednesday started as a normal day. Isn’t that how all the stories start when something bad has happened?

It was a normal day and it was ordinary until 3:17.

My husband was fired.

We’ve been married 17-years. We’ve been through lean times, hard time, up’s and down’s. Jobs have come and gone, but that was before we had kids. Sure, we’ve had hard times since then, but my husband hasn’t been without of a job since we had our first child twelve-ears ago.

It’s scary.

I don’t know what’s going to happen from this point forward. I don’t know if everything will be ok or if the world we’ve created will crash and burn.

I don’t know anything, really.

Here’s what I do know: God loves us. I don’t know why we’ve had such a hard year. I don’t know why things have happened the way they’ve happened. All I know is God loves us.

Somehow, someway, Jesus is going to use this situation to make our lives better. Something good is going to come from all of this junk we’ve endured this past year.

It is well with my soul. There are storms and they aren’t easy to weather sometimes, but it is well with my soul.

 

Downsizing

The process of downsizing is hard. How do you pick through 17-years of accumulated junk and keep what is most important?

I have trinkets galore, ya know?

Ugh.

So yesterday I go through my kitchen and I start chunking stuff in a box. The more I chunk, the more pissed I get. Most of my baking stuff, my bread pans, and different gadgets. For years I’ve collected all this stuff because I love to bake and now I’m tossing into a box to sell or give to charity. And. I. Am. Pissed.

Why would God do this to me? Why would He put me in a position where I have to get rid of all my stuff and move into a box with wheels.

He and my husband got together and have thrown me and my stuff into chaos. I can’t function in chaos. I get addled, panicky, and angry.

When I’m finally done, I sit down in the living room and take a deep breath. I’m still mad as hell.

Then the whisper.

Who put you in your financial mess?

Well, me.

Who wants to get out of the financial mess?

Me.

I’m pouting at this point because I know where this is going.

My decisions and choices have put in the position I’m in. God had nothing to do with me spending money I didn’t have for things I didn’t need. He did tell me to spoil my children or buy that baking stuff. He didn’t do any of it.

He gave me the freedom to dig my own hole. I’m down in the hole looking for someone to blame and, of course, my first reaction is it has to be His fault.

Just because Papa doesn’t bail me out every time I get into trouble doesn’t mean He doesn’t care or doesn’t love me. It means He loves and cares about me enough to let me hang myself so that I remember the lesson. So I can feel the pain of selling my things, moving my family, and the hurt of realizing that this is all my own bad decisions coming to fruition.

I don’t like this burden of debt and responsibility. I don’t like my husband being a slave to a job he hates. I don’t like teaching my kids that debt is a way of life. I don’t like feeling this weight and pressure to keep up with the people around me.

My finances, my family, my choices all have to be centered around what God has for me regardless of what everyone around me says.

This may not be an easy journey, but great lessons are never easily learned.

Hard Decisions

The husband and I talked for weeks about what we should do about our finances, our stuff, our kids, our marriage, our relationships, and our future.

Our finances are a mess. We are the typical American family, with the typical American debt: house and credit cards. We’d have car debt if it weren’t for us being adamant about keeping the vehicles paid off.

So what do we do about the 150K mortgage and the 25K in debt? Well, I’ve tried the lottery, and at the rate I’m going I’ll be -$4 for the month on buying tickets. My ship sank in the harbor I do believe.

We have to have a home. I hate the idea of renting though. It’s throwing money to someone else to pay off their debt. Well, if we aren’t going to rent and we don’t want another mortgage how do we live?

Full-time RV living.  Wha??????

Yeah, we’ll have to rent the space to park it. Yeah, we’ll have to learn how to adjust how we live. Yeah, it won’t be easy. Yeah, I know we’ve done gone and lost our dang minds.

But, there’s also an exciting aspect to it too.

No more stuff. No knick-knacks, no boxes of stuff we might use later, no nothing. All gone.

We’re going to have a giant garage sell and get rid of all of it. Put all that we make towards our debt and work on getting out of debt. So far, it’s a five year plan. We’ll see if we’re able to keep it.

Anything we don’t sell we’ll donate. Poof, all gone.

In a way, it feels very liberating. It feels like it’s whats best for us.

Is there a chance we could be making a mistake? Sure. We all do. Mistakes are part of life.

We’ve prayed about it, talked about it, prayed some more, then prayed some more. The best we can do is follow through with what we feel like we’re being led to do. So, if it is a mistake, then surely, somewhere in there is a lesson to be learned.

 

 

The beginning…

My first post was me stopping the nonsense of continuing on the path that I’d started.

This post is about the beginning of a new path.

What’s the path you ask?

It’s the path that takes me down the road to where Jesus wants me.

What’s that path going to look like?

Truth be told, I have no idea. I know it starts with less stuff.

I’ve put my house on the market, and hopefully it sells. Once it sells, I’m buying and RV and selling everything I can so I can be more open and available to where Jesus wants me to be. Whether that’s right where I am, city wise, or in a completely different city, doing something I never thought I’d be doing.

Now the waiting begins.

I have not-so-secret secret. I hate waiting. I hate patience. I’m the epitome of “I prayed for patience, but it took too long.”  Patience is a virtue that I just don’t have. Yes, I know, patience is wonderful, magical, and amazing.

I barely have enough patience to wait for microwave popcorn.

So waiting for my house to sell and learning to hold loosely isn’t going to be easy for me.

Maybe this is why I’ve been sent down this path. To make sure my next bag of popcorn is fully popped so I can actually enjoy fully popped popcorn.

Learning to Hold Loosely

I have learned to hold all things loosely, so God will not have to pry them out of my hands.–Corrie Ten Boom

It’s hard to hold things loosely. It’s hard to let God be the comfort you need. This world tells me I need things for peace and comfort. So I start white-knuckling the little bit I have and before long I look like a pack rat. I have trinkets, pictures, knick-knacks, collectibles, and all the little comforts that I’m told I need.

Then God comes along and whispers.

He whispers again. I politely smile and keep going.

He whispers yet again. I smile bigger and go to a garage sale.

He gets a little louder. I want that candle.

He raises His voice. I like that house because it has a nice floor plan. Who cares that it costs more than I could ever pay off.

Then He yells.

When God yells it takes me off guard. I’m so used to Him whispering because that’s who God is. He’s a whisperer. He likes me to stop, and listen. But sometimes, I’m so bullheaded that I just keep going thinking I know what He wants me to do.

I’m overwhelmed. I feel like I”m supposed to homeschool. So I pulled my girls and I”m homeschooling. I’m supposed to be homesteading. So I buy a huge piece of land and start working to make it into what it’s supposed to be. My supposed to’s start coming so fast and furious that I can’t stop.

But it’s what I was supposed to do right?

Did I even bother asking?

No. No, I did not.

Why? Because I am so caught up in what I thought I was supposed to be doing that I didn’t stop. I’m overwhelmed because God was whispering and I didn’t stop to listen or ask or take a moment and just be.

He’s yelled finally, and I stop everything.

Am I happy? NO.

I hate being in debt. I hate having so much responsibility. I hate a huge house that I have to keep clean. I hate not having time to spend with my girls. I hate that my husband is working so many hours that my girls don’t have a father.

So how do I fix it? Can it be fixed?

Well, yes, but it could take a while.

Holding loosely takes time to learn. Maybe putting it down on paper will hold me accountable. Maybe others seeing that they aren’t the only ones that get yelled at will help them learn to hold loosely as well.

I don’t know the answers because I’m still learning.

Maybe next week I’ll have an answer to something and I can start small.

Learning to hold loosely,

EJ