Some times I get side tracked looking at the lives of my family and friends. I see their vacations and dreams coming into form and actually happening. I see their awesome lives and wish I had an awesome life too, I wish I had awesomeness instead of what feels like constant struggle to just stay afloat. Often feeling weighted down by living pay check to pay check, occasionally coming up for air with financial relief from time to time, but mostly feeling the weight of finances. We eat and we eat decently, because thankfully God has given me the ability to make amazing food with very little. Thankfully he has given me a husband and kids who do not eat a ton at each meal.
Often times my struggles seem so many, so many times, that I don’t want to burden anyone with them anymore. It sometimes seems that the struggles start to get ridiculous after a while. It becomes either hilarious or depressing to the point of tears. I bounce between thanksgiving in what we do have, the blessings God has given us and frustrated tears that we can’t seem to get beyond where we are. It seems we work and work harder and we still remain we’re we are.
We have poured our hearts out to the Lord, we have asked his favor upon us, we have asked God if he wants Mark in a different job. A job that would provide beyond living pay check to pay check, a job that would actually help us rise above where are are now. There are possible sacrifices in Mark finding a different job as well. Ideally, one that he would work from home would be amazing, but we haven’t found a job like that yet. Another draw back is we may have to move and we don’t want to move. My great, great Grandfather moved from Denmark and they settled upon the southern Minnesota area to farm and live. Thus, four or five generations later we are still here, my grandparents are still here, my parents are still here, my sisters are still here, and I after seven years moved back. I never planned to stay, I never planned to want to stay, I wanted away from here as fast and as far as possible. But, here I am finding, seven years later, with Mark finding we have do desire to move anywhere else.
Mark and I talk often about moving to have a job which would pay more money, but we would loose the blessing of my family near by. Family that we have come to cherish living near. We would have more money, but not have family. Sure, we could find friends, a dear church body to become our “family”. I have done this before, I have dear friends that have come family to me in Lake City, Colorado. I also realize the true gift we have of my close knit family, here, a craving I have learned most people have. A craving to connect and belong to their actual families and when their family fails at being what someone needs, they find a family unit in some form. I am blessed indeed.
After I have wallowed and cried about where I am in life, I begin to thank the Lord for that which I have in my life. I look at it from the perspective of eternity. Is what I am struggling with an issue of salvation, is it an issue of my relationship with God being in jeopardy. The answer is almost always, no, my salvation is secure, my relationship with God secure, everything else is simply the trials of living on earth, living on a fallen, cursed land. I begin praising the Lord because I have shelter over my head, we have food in our bellies, we have family and friends who love us and we love them. We are so rich in so many ways. We are blessed in so many ways.
It is important in times when others lives and dreams appear so much more appealing and when it feels as if God has forgotten us. That I must sit back and even write down what Mark and I’s goals and dreams look like, it’s important to go back and remember the times God has blessed us, the times God has poured out on us, the times God has answered us in bigger and more amazing ways than we can remember. This is especially important when life feels dry and cracked, when it feels like it will never rain again and moisture will never come again. In times when it feels like we work and work and work some more, only to have more bills and less fun. More bills and less provision. It’s important to remember the times God sent the rain and when he did it was at the exact time the crops needed it. I must remember that when God allows a crop to die it is never without reason, when God reaps a harvest it is never without a reason, anything God does or allows is never without a reason. I have to decide am I going to scorn and slap God’s hand and reject the bad, but rejoice when good happens. Will I trust God with only the good, but not with what I think is bad? Sure, it’s hard, but is it bad or does it just appear bad? It becomes bad when I wait longer than I wanted to, when someone or something is taken from me before I get to say goodbye.
Father God, when I forget send your Holy Spirit to help me remember your goodness and faithfulness. Father, when death feels like it is on my doorstep, refresh me in spirit, refresh me. Let your rain fall upon me. Father when all seems hopeless, remind me that you are hope. When I fall further into self pity, drag me out of my pity party, the pit that becomes so deep, and place me on solid ground. Make my feet as hinds feet that run across the craziest mountain walls, hinds feet that stand with confidence and sure footing where sure footing looks like death. Rescue me my shepherd who knows the amazing meadows, the places of rest.
Father remind me when I sometimes forget.