Sunday, August 22, 2010

Counting my blessings

Last week I had one of those weeks that everyone wants to have.  Blessings just kept pouring in.  I feel like Chris and I have slowly, but surely, been becoming much more obedient to God and he has been richly blessing us. 

When I was pregnant with Isabella (who is about to turn 4) I started a plan to read the Bible in one year.  I have spent my entire life in church, Sunday school classes, weekly Bible studies, and even attended a Christian college.  The Bible is certainly not foreign to me, but I had never really sat down to read it cover-to-cover.  I was doing so good....until the night that Isabella was born.  Suddenly, I had a newborn, a toddler, and a 3 year-old with a broken right arm.  I was trying to sell my house and move our family to Valley Center.  Chris moved a month early and I stayed back so Sophia could finish the semester at preschool.  Then we moved in to the basement of his parents house (2 adults, 3 kids, an 80lb. dog in a one bedroom, one living room basement).  I paint a pretty picture - don't I?  It wasn't pretty, and I was a wreck.  Needless to say I discontinued my effort to read the Bible in a year. 

Fast-forward 3 1/2 years. Add one more baby to the mix, a new house, finishing the basement, the house flooding, refinishing the basement. I've had every excuse there possibly could be, but the reality was I was not being obedient. I KNEW I should be reading the Bible daily. I heard it at church, I heard it in our weekly Bible study group. I felt a strong calling that I should be doing it. But I didn't.

Then this summer came.   On June, 7, I finally recommitted to read the Bible every night for a year.  It started with the purchase of a new Bible.  Sometimes you need something that simple  to make a fresh start.  Then, a committment to not go to bed,  no matter how tired I was, without reading the daily section.  So far, so good.
Chris, has recently felt an incredibly strong calling from God.  It's completly and utterly out of his comfort zone.  But he knew it was from God and not something he would have dreamed up.  He has felt the need to spend the next year talking to someone everyday about God.   Not necessarily street corner evangalizing, but walking up to a total stranger and asking them if he can pray for them.  Talking to a sick neighbor and praying for them on the spot.  Telling another neighbor about his church and extending an invitation.  Totally and completly out of his comfort zone.  But he's obeying.  He's started a blog to write about his daily encounters and you can read it here.  Be sure to read the "About this Blog" page as it explains the entire project!

Sometimes obedience is not comfortable or easy, but totally necessary.  Suddenly, we've been receiving some amazing blessings.  We needed a new van, but couldn't afford the payments.  Then his Grandma couldn't drive anymore and we were able to purchase hers at a ridiculously low price.  A friend asked me, that same week, to babysit her child part-time.  Totally enough to make the car payment.  Blessing.  Chris had a couple of freelance jobs come up.  Blessing.  I work at the Parent's Day Out program on fridays and that just started up again.  The paycheck will soon come.  For a stay-at-home mom to find a part-time job she can do while raising her kids - well, it's rare.  Blessing.  I volunteered to run our children's ministries at our church, something I felt like I should have done for the last year.  But I kept holding back.  But I finally volunteered, and shockingly, they said they were willing to pay me part-time to do it and I was prepared to do it for free.  Blessing.

I know there's no way to understand God's timing.  And our obedience obviously doesn't necessarily directly corelate to our recent blessings.  God is way bigger than that.  These were just very tangible ways that we've seen God at work in our lives.  We've certainly not only benefited from financial blessings. We've been blessed immeasurably by God in so many other ways.  But, it's just been so rewarding lately to feel like we're finally doing what God's been calling us to do.   A feeling of peace I guess.  We've spent 7 1/2 years trying to teach our children to be obedient, but it turns out we were the ones needing the lesson.   

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