What’s a “Job” day?

Have you ever heard that expression before? “It’s such a Job day.” I don’t mean “Job” as in job, as in go get a job. But “Job” as in the Biblical man mentioned in the book of Job in the Bible. Okay, just making sure we’re on the same page.

I think this must be a fairly old expression, because I remember them having Anne Shirley use it in the movie Anne of Green Gables, while Marilla rolled her eyes at her.

I bring this up (and maybe I shouldn’t because I’m still processing) because I have been contemplating a few things that at first seemed random, but on closer examination…not so random at all (they never are, of course).

So that new car we were just gifted…the pretty burnt orange one, it’s dead. We had to get it towed the day after getting its plates, insurance, and whatever else my hubby did at the DMV. I sort of rolled my eyes when I received the text from my husband that said, “do we still have towing?” Oh great, I thought. Seriously! The Lord just gave us this car! We didn’t have to pay a thing! I had just written a blog in which I gushed and gushed over His goodness to us, and now it won’t even start. I mean, we laid hands on it as a family and everything, thanking the Lord for His provision…and we’re not even Pentecostal, ya’ll (I’m not southern either, for that matter, lol).

At this point, you probably wouldn’t have faulted me for saying, “Lord, what’s going on? I thought this was from you.” But… actually I didn’t. This surprised me as much as anyone. My first thought was actually, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away,” lol.

Seriously, though, I picked my husband up in my mother’s vehicle (because how funny would it have been if I took our van and it decided to die also…because it has been whenever it feels the need to) and we went to Walmart to get computer ink, cereal and graham crackers…and we just laughed. We decided since we didn’t have the kids with us, it was kind of like a date, so I bought Oreos too. This is where my husband reminded me that nothing happening to us was at all random.

You see, first our four bikes were stolen (this was only a couple of weeks ago), so we filed a claim with our insurance and are awaiting the results of that. Next, our van starting stranding us all over town, so Aaron’s been tinkering with that. Finally, we received this wonderful gift of a car from the Lord (I have no doubts it was from Him still), but then it died. And I mean died! The timing belt snapped and it would cost more to fix than we were willing to buy it for pretty much…so by by pretty car.

All this and I’m not mad…and I’m so taken aback by that. In fact, I was in the shower this morning thanking the Lord for everything He was doing for us, when I suddenly remember the car, and started laughing that I wasn’t mad about it. Why?! I’m so confused why I’m not having a pity party right now…why I’m not crying out that I’m having such a “Job Day”…or month for that matter, but on the contrary, I’m filled with so much joy. I can only credit all of this to Him, because I feel as though my normal response would be to stress…and in some moments I have, but He has refused to leave me in that place. So I think, maybe He wants us to have no vehicles and stay home a whole bunch more, lol. Maybe there will be a giant car pile up on the road and we’ll miss it because we have no car! It makes me want to yell, “Hey Lord, we have a motorcycle too, You know. Don’t forget about that,” and then stand back and wait for Him to do His thing. Because you know what….His thing is not to take things away.

The book of Job is not about our God making bets with the Devil and taking things away. It’s about His sovereignty over all things!…and that we can trust in Him. This just hit me today, as I sat fearful on the floor wondering if He would take the motorcycle next, because though I didn’t dwell on it, to be honest, it did cross my mind. I even started to have a little panic attack when Aaron took the kids on an errand in our van, hoping that it wouldn’t stall out and get them in a huge accident. So, not every moment of my day has been trust, trust, trust…but then Lord reminded me about Job. Job didn’t do anything to deserve to have all of his worldly possessions taken away…it wasn’t his fault. Neither, is there anything I can do, or not do, to end this crazy month…or to see it last into tomorrow. It’s not about the stuff. God owns all of that. He gave us a $1500 dollar car for free in a day…and three days later it wasn’t worth the parking lot it stalled out on. Nothing is out of His reach.

Everyday, I could be fearful that something could be taken away. But then it hits me. Nothing has ever been secure in my hands…ever!!!! Nothing has ever come to me by my own means…outside of the grace of God. So we trust…and thank him that we’ve had our van as long as we have, and that it ran today just fine.

I still feel a bit like I’m on Blue’s Clues, pulling out my handy dandy notebook, and trying to figure out what it all will look like in the end. I’m still crying out for a few more clues, because I think we must still be a little bit dense as to His intentions. I mean, I didn’t ask for a free car, so His giving it to us and then taking it away must have been for some other reason than for us to have had it…was that confusing? Right, that’s why I need another clue.

But I cannot fear my God…I can’t be afraid of Him and serve Him at the same time. I read that somewhere, though I couldn’t tell you where, and it has stuck with me.

One last crazy example. Prior to this pregnancy I’ve had two miscarriages in a row. I won’t go into the emotions of those right now, except to say that with the second (which was farther along than the first), I kept wondering why the Lord was taking away a perfectly happy, healthy baby from me. Then the pathology report came back…it was a chromosomal defect. Had I carried to term, it could have been extremely non-functioning. The Lord took my baby to be with Him. It was a mercy, not a curse.

We were going to spend $1500 on a car that might have been okayed by the mechanic because he might not have been able to tell the timing belt was about to break…but God knew. He also knew we were set on buying it…so He may have given it to us for free, because He knew it was a dud, and He graciously wasn’t willing that we spend that money for nothing. Just sayin… why do we always see the gray and not the silver lining?

I don’t know if this was the reason, only that my God is good…and a good God gives good gifts. …and life lessons that make us stronger count as one of those. 🙂 Hope this encourages some of you who might be having “Job days” yourselves. So, God bless you if you are. It’s an opportunity to trust!

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Homeschool Ready…steady as we go.

Happy Sunday everyone. I know that Saturday was to be my normal day for posting, but it was supposed to be a video blog and I had the most difficult time figuring things out.

I made two videos because the first one only played sideways, and the second one upside down. I finally turned to Google and figured out how to flip them upright.

Then I tried to upload it directly to this page…but again Google suggested that it was better to use a third party to embed the video instead, like YouTube or Vimeo. Still, with doing that, I had to go to bed by the time things were said and done and it’s been over two hours and my video still hasn’t fully uploaded to YouTube… and it’s not that long. Maybe ten minutes.

So today’s blog, which should have been yesterday’s, does have my “Homeschool Ready” video, but it is also a cry for help 🙂 If anyone else out there makes regular videos or vlogs and posts them, is there a more efficient way to get this done? Any help would be…you know, helpful. 🙂

Tip #1 to myself. Smile before pressing play on the camera so your still image isn’t a funny one, lol.

Orange Metal Roses Are My Favorite

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it or not, but we have been having some van problems. Besides my husband’s motorcycle, this is our only vehicle… so this is a big problem!

I won’t go into what’s wrong with it (cause it doesn’t matter), but it completely died on me the other day when I was coming home from Walmart. I was able to coast into an un-used driveway, which fortunately was less than a mile from home… but it was 109 degrees out, so still very unpleasant. I had been using my metal coffee mug to keep my water cold in the car, but it got so hot that I couldn’t hold it walking home and had to stuff it in my purse, haha.

So…skipping more of this, I will say that I was discouraged. Discouraged because a broken vehicle meant taking money out of our savings account (possibly enough to buy a new one) and I didn’t want to. I didn’t doubt that the Lord would take care of us, but every year it seems there has been something to drain what we’ve been trying to save, and so my attitude was crumby.

Then…I just sort of threw up my arms in surrender. I’m not sure why, but I just gave it all up. I thought, Lord, if we need to spend every last dime of our savings on a vehicle and start at square one for the house we’ve been saving for, than so be it. This is not a surprise to You, God…it’s obviously not Your timing for us to do anything else with this money. Money is no object to you, and I trust You fully to supply what You want for us, when You want it.

I then called my husband and let him know how I was feeling, and that I’d support him in whatever he felt we needed to do vehicle-wise. He said his boss knew a guy who was selling a 5 seater Saturn Vue for $1500. We talked about it, knowing it wouldn’t fit our whole family, but would get me around with the four kids while he drove his motorcycle until we were able to make a good decision on a family car. Then he’d sell his motorcycle (he drives that thing all jacketed up in 109 degrees…he’s my hero) and use the Saturn as his car. Great, I thought. If the car is fit to buy, than this would be a good solution for the present. Hang in there readers…this is where it gets really good!

He comes home from work smiling. Evidently, his boss’s church (still don’t know how they got involved in this) decided to buy the car from the guy who owned it…and give it to us. What?!!!! They handled everything at the DMV, signed over the title to us, and gave it to us the very next day!!! Don’t I have to have 10 kids and need to be on food stamps to receive blessings like this??? They don’t even know us…why would they do this? Answer. They didn’t. God did.

In my last blog, I mentioned all those people suffering in Louisiana right now, and in places like Syria. God helps them… and yet, He still helps me. It’s been so long since I’ve felt his direct touch in my life, I hadn’t known how much I’d been yearning for it! I was ready to hand over everything to Him, and instead, He handed me a giant orange metal rose. I haven’t the proper words to express how touched I am, but I wanted to say what I could in praise to Him, and to all that He does for us when we deserve none of it.

My needs seem so insignificant in comparison to others, but He is not a respecter of persons. He tells us to pray unceasingly! How can I do that unless, along with the prayers for others, I include prayers for my own life…the life He gave me. He’s not blaming me for not having it so bad. I had no say in the matter of where I was born or in the things I’ve been given. He doesn’t expect me to suck it up and walk tall just because it’s “no big thang.” Yet, somehow I always tend to feel that way. It’s such a lie. He wants us to be humble. He wants us to ask Him for the things that we need. He wants us to be completely dependent on Him and know from where our help comes from!

Don’t mean to ramble, but that’s what’s on my heart today 🙂 …and did I mention that orange roses are my favorite…cause they are. All praise and glory to our God and Father, the maker of Heaven and Earth!

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A little 3AM Perspective

For anyone wondering, I will be blogging Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Strange days, perhaps, but I do have a reason for them. 🙂 Mondays, because it’s the beginning of the week, Thursdays, because it’s my slowest school day with the kids and, Saturdays, because I’m going to start vlogging (and that’s the day I’ll post the video to my site).

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Now, for 3Am. To be fair to my 3 year old, it was actually around 3:30 when she came into our room, wet bottoms (she’d had an accident) and barking like a seal. I hate the croup. It’s just one of the absolute worst colds to watch your little ones suffer through.

Well, in she came and out we went to the living room couches. She on one and I on the other. I made her some tea with honey, and dutifully applied Vicks and Breath Easy essential oils to her chest and feet. Not sure if the feet thing actually works, but my mother in law told me to do it…so I do it 😉 Can’t hurt.

I don’t mind sleeping on the couch. It’s pretty comfy, as far as couches go… except there was no real sleeping. Somewhere around 4AM my six year old got up with the beginnings of the sniffles and wanted to join us, but I said no because she is a kicker and a twister in close quarters, so I joined her in her bed. Then Vienna started a coughing fit so I went back to the couch… then Selia called me because she couldn’t sleep, so I gave her cereal because she was “starving”…  and so the ping ponging went until 5ish, when my husband got up. I laid on the couch awake until he left at 6… when my 10 year old got up. She never gets up at 6. NEVER! (She’d sleep in until 10 if I’d let her) She’d set an alarm, though, so she could start her day early and then have some screen time. Then my son got up. Help me.

Blessedly, she got breakfast for them, and I stayed on the couch, telling them that I was not available for any more anythings until I’d had a chance to fall asleep and wake up again. But…the little one inside of me wanted in on the action and so cuddled up next to my bladder. Shortly after, my mom called and needed to pick something up on her way to work. All the while, I felt like I had a bowling ball rolling back and forth against the right side of my brain every time I got up or down from the couch.

Since my mother was on her way, I finally decided to resign myself to morning. I found two Tylenol and made a piece of toast and a cup of coffee. Vienna ended up with half my toast (“Mommy, if you don’t want your toast, I can have it for you”), while she, my six year old and I all sat down to color butterfly pictures and watch a YouTube video of Lori Lane from The End In Mind. She’s my latest find and a great way to start the morning. By the time I got up to shower my headache was gone. Read from I Timothy, watched a beautiful video on FaceBook that made me cry and then powered through the rest of the day… sorta.

Then tonight I sat down to catch some news on the 1 of 3 channels we get with the bunny ears and watched footage of the floods in Louisiana and of the injured children hidden away in the hospitals they’ve had to move underground in Syria. I’m amazed that he Lord even listens to me sometimes. That the same God who holds these people close, holds me as well… giving me relief through small pleasures like coffee and coloring pages, while guiding parents and little ones to safer places where the flood waters have not yet reached and the bombs have not touched. I’m humbled and grateful that my bad days really aren’t so bad. And I hope I remember that tomorrow, as I pray for them tonight.

 

Name change!

It’s not a huge name change, but a fitting one. This site was titled “Write With Me” because I thought that I wanted a blog dedicated to encouraging others to write. But…  something that I took away from the blogging challenge was that I think I’m writing to readers… lifers really. People I want to do life with. So I changed my title to “Walk With Me,” because that’s really what I want. It’s the series title for my book, Beneath Outstretched Arms, because of a re-occurring dream Tristan has, but it has sort of encapsulated my thoughts ever since 🙂

I still haven’t decided which days I will be blogging on, but I’ll get to that soon. Right now, I will be MIA for just a little bit to get ready for this coming school year 🙂 See you soon!

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This would be a pretty place to walk 🙂

The end.

oo

Yay, we’ve reached day 30 of our 30 days of everyday blogging! Have I loved it? Sort of, yeah. Will I keep it up? No way, Jose! This is a lot of work, haha.

I don’t actually mind the work. It’s been really, really good for me to do this, and it’s put a habit of blogging into place that needed to exist, but I don’t believe that I will do it everyday.

So, now the question is “how often?” I could just say, “Oh, well, once or twice a week. I don’t know,” but then I think I would be destroying my new habit. If I’m going to do it once or twice a week, then I feel that I need to decide that by choosing two specific days of the week and then setting an alarm on my phone to remind me to do it. No willy nilly maybes.

What do you all think? How often do you blog? What works for you? For those of you who were in the challenge, do you intend to continue everyday? Why or why not?

Moving on: My 6 year old (the one who doesn’t want to age past ten or have babies when she grows up because it hurts) is now playing with a baby doll. NONE of my kids have ever played with baby dolls. They have one…for you know, in case. But they always choose stuffed animals. So, it’s been fun for me to watch. She just picked it up a few days after our interesting conversation about child birth (and how she’ll probably be adopting someday, haha), and has begun carrying it around…rocking it, changing its clothes, giving it baths and making it beds. I even made her a little diaper at her request. I don’t know what happened, but this must be good therapy for her. It makes my heart happy. She will be an excellent and very helpful big sister!

Also…though some of your kids have probably already gone back to school, I still have a little bit more time. Our homeschooling co-op doesn’t start until after labor day, however…giving me the extra time I need to implement my very ingenious new plan for getting through our school work in a much more timely manner. Four kids can take a while…and like I said before, I’m going to be a she-wolf about it, so I need a good plan.

Once a week, I am going to hide myself away and youtube the kids math and reading instructions for them. I will tape myself as though I’m talking to them…giving them instructions for what materials they will need before they begin, and places for them to pause the video so that they can gather these materials and/or work out a review problem in their head. What will I be doing while they get on the computer to do this? I will be teaching something to another kid. I will be helping student A with their math worksheet (now they’ve heart the instructions) while student B listens to theirs. I will be practicing the alphabet with my 4 year old while my 10 year old learns her new phonics sound so that she’s ready to read to me when I’m done. I will be there for discussion and help instead of for every bit of instruction time…actually, I will be there for that too (because I will be able to be in two places at once. Online and in the living room). I’m so excited I can scarcely sit in my chair!!! It may be a lot of prep work once a week…but if this helps me get through all of our subjects for all four kids during the week, it will be totally worth it!

You might be asking why I just don’t go to online classes that already exist. This is a reasonable question. I just really like the curriculum we have, and so I’m willing to go the extra mile to use it. Also, I want to start weaning my ten year old off of having me be there for everything. Eventually, I would like to see her pick up the teachers manual, learn the lesson, do the lesson and then check the answers herself…and only come to me when she has a question. I was homeschooled and did this quite a bit. Reading instructions and comprehending what she is reading is something she needs to begin to learn. I’m fairly certain she’ll be weaned off of my videos before the year is half done. That will leave us more time to do history, science and art together …and to really enjoy these subjects and discussion time.

This may be a crazy idea, but it’s worth a try 🙂