The struggle to …. wait: and be of good courage

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.  ~Psalms 27:14

But what if I am tired of waiting? Shouldn’t there be a time limit to this sort of thing? How long do I have to wait???????

Sounds like an adult version of “Are we there yet?”, doesn’t it.

These are the questions that I wrestle with. I feel like Jacob wrestling with God on this issue. I would so love for the Lord to show me WHY we have the struggles we have right now. I often think that if He could just lay it out there…. so I could understand….. then, I would be able to endure it better.  But that isn’t the way God works, is it? It is the not knowing that builds my faith; teaches me to trust

There are days that I hate money. I hate the fact that we need it to survive on this planet. I long for a life long past where gardens flourished, eggs were collected and your meat supply lived in your back yard. Days when you could pay for dental visits with a few chickens and a month’s worth of egg deliveries.

I hate that if you need money, you have to have it for anyone to loan any to you. I hate being so poor you have to chose between putting gas in the tank or paying the garbage, water or electric bill. I hate that people no longer value hard work, they value a piece of paper with some letters on it more.

Yet, God says to wait.

In my heart I ask, why? Wait for what? We are trying, Lord. We are actively looking for work…. We take every opportunity you provide. We serve, we attend church faithfully, we do our best to do the tasks you provide for us to do…. we help the people you have given to us to love….
We have applied for re-training funds…. and been denied… twice.
We have turned in thousands upon thousands of applications over the course of 3 years…. only to be under- or over-qualified for every single position.                                                                                            We have tried to revamp the resume…. twice.

We have been told, “You’re hired. Soon as we get the contract, you are our guy!” Only to never hear from them again.                          
We have tried to apply for pizza delivery jobs….. only to be told our cars are “too old” to be used as delivery vehicles.
We have applied to fast food jobs….. just to be told “I can’t hire you, you will leave here as soon as a job in your field opens up.”

I am trying to wait. Waiting is hard!

Some days I feel like waiting on the Lord takes more courage than I contain. I am not strong enough for this. Which is rather funny to me, because people think that I am pretty strong. Newsflash: I am not. Being the wife of someone who has been “un-employed” is tough. I see the looks from people, the looks that say, “Well, you should just go get a job.”  …. oh how I wish it was that easy. I have a job., I have 4 or 5 of them. I am a wife and mother – first and foremost. That is job one. Job two is editing and writing for other homeschoolers. Job three is helping someone run their local farmers market. Job four  is doing some internet marketing for a local company. Job five is babysitting work. Where do I fit another job?  I would get a job that has me working nights, but then when would I sleep?
All these jobs that I have, have a strange effect on my husband. He never says it out-loud, but in his spirit I see it…. it creates in him a feeling of inadequacy.  He desires to be the bread winner and I believe that desire in his heart is given to him by God, but for some reason, God is saying wait. I have to be strong and not let my worries show…. not let my frustrations escape…. not let my own discouragement flourish.  When I am weak and it surfaces, it sucks the life out of my husband. I see him ache and hurt…. he feels like he is the cause of my pain. He isn’t. It is just my own weakness.
I don’t blame him. I see how hard he tries. I see him sweating under hot cars, driving to far away places to make deals and sell the things we can, sweating in the shop to build the things he needs to build.
It is weird to see people actually resent you asking them to pray for your husband to find a job…. I mean they have been praying for 3 and 1/2 years, they start to wonder what is wrong with someone that they can’t get a job….. any  job.  Then they start to ask…. “well, hasn’t he tried McDonalds?” It takes an amazing amount of restraint not to choke people when they say things like that…..

The reality: I don’t like waiting.

Wait on the Lord: Be of good courage…. He will strengthen you.

I know that much of my ramblings here today have seemed pessimistic… please read it as I intend it…. sometimes I need the catharsis of words, I need to let them roll of my fingers and out of my brain. If left swirling there, the discouragement builds, tears become the way of the day, and I start to long for escape. For as much as the thoughts above are the things that I wrestle with God over, I do see his faithfulness. I do see his care. I know that we are provided for.

This month’s testimony of praise…. 
Rent is due, no shock there, it is due every month.  The shocker is usually the WAY it gets paid. About the 15th of every month I start to sweat the rent payment.  I scramble and save every penny to make sure that we are going to be close enough.  This month I had a small wad of cash…. and some of the weirdest checks….  One was from Bank of America…. they sent us 12 dollars that apparently were from some account that we closed over 4 years ago…  Another one was from a bank we had used that paid out dividend rewards for purchases. When that bank closed, they told us that all our earned dividend income was just gone, we would never see it.  Last month a check for 132 dollars came from them. It was our dividends. That cash, those checks…. and the child support payments, we had 28 dollar MORE than we needed to pay rent.
Praise God.
It is these testimonies….. these unexplainable arrival of checks. The ability to have made a rent payment for 3 years without a steady job, these are the things that strengthen my heart.

Sometimes God lays our family on people’s hearts and we get gift cards or other things…. and those things are a great encouragement.  It lets us know that He hears our prayers and the details of our lives are not insignificant to Him, by moving others to help.

So, even though I am very bad at waiting…. we will continue to wait. Even though I don’t feel strong or courageous…. I will wait. I will watch for evidence of His mercy and grace….  and I will praise him for all the things, big and small, that he does for us each day.
 

 

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Asia: The Peoples and History, a review

* the following post is a review of a book. I have received no compensation for reviewing this book, just an electronic copy, used for the purpose of this review*

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Book:  Asia: The Peoples and History

Genre: Curriculum

Situational Uses: Home Bible Study, Sunday School, Children’s Church, Homeschool

Author: Bonnie Rose Hudson

Website:  www.writebonnierose.com

E-Book available at: The Old Schoolhouse Magazine  for $6.95

Kindle Version available at: Amazon.com for $6.95

Print version is coming soon!

We used this book as a family devotional.  Each week, we broke from our usual family time and we would read a story and answer  the discussion questions from Asia: The Peoples and History.  My husband and I want our boys to have an understanding of other peoples and cultures. Life is so different when you live outside of the United States. We want them to know that not all the world has three or four Bibles to read or church buildings to meet in each week. Living in other cultures can be very difficult.

We are involved with a mid-week children’s ministry with our church and have been studying the missionary journeys of Paul in Acts. Our study of Asia: The Peoples and History helped us see that the need for the gospel hasn’t changed since the time of Paul. People today still need to know about Jesus.

Bonnie Rose Hudson uses vivid imagery to help your children experience what people in Asia experience each day. You will learn a bit more about the history of each country you study. There are also activities to help reinforce learning about each country and answer keys are included.

This book has studies on the following countries: Laos, Bangladesh, Napal, China, Iran, and Vietnam. If you were to follow a weekly study program the book would cover sixteen weeks worth of lessons.

My boys (ages 11 and 7) enjoyed the stories and activities each week.  They were always a little sad when a story ended, they wanted to hear more about the characters! My husband and I enjoyed listening to the boys answer the discussion questions. It was exciting to hear how they are growing and interpreting the world around them.  I think the best part for me, was hearing how they incorporated these lessons into their prayers.  With each new country we heard them include requests with their nightly prayers. It is a blessing to hear your child pray for people and places that need the Lord.

I encourage families to think about purchasing this book as a devotional study. It is a fantastic way to help your children learn about the people of Asia.

As a family, we decided to offer up a list of countries for Ms. Hudson’s next book.  We were thinking we would like to know more about the people and believers in the Philippines, Japan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, India, Kazakhstan, and North and South Korea.  What countries would you like to know more about? 

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