Thursday, April 14, 2016

Guess What?

Guess what I've been doing? Working my tail off! I have two sibling children "enrolled" in my in-home daycare and preschool. They're three and five years old. We will only have the sister until fall, at which time she starts kindergarten.

Here is the little guy with the stuffy he brought from home. We are all in love with him already. The sister is nice and fun, but not quite so sweet as her brother. They are both bright and teaching them is easy. Speech is a challenge for the three year old, and we are still learning what sounds he is missing and what the substitutions are. One is /k/ and I'm trying to help him, but that's not an easy one to describe or show mouth position for.

My living room has become the playroom, the family room has become my children's school room, and half the dining room is the preschool room. Fortunately, my girls now read all their own social studies, science and literature, so that makes running a daycare easier than it might be. I have the girls narrate their assignments to me after they finish, and after the daycare kids leave at 5 PM (they're here full-time), I do writing and spelling with my girls. They boys just need me to check their assignment sheets and listen to them narrate, and of course I have to go over their writing assignments via regular writing conferences.

It isn't easy, and after three days I'm still getting the hang of it, but it's a blessing to have this necessary income. All my children love kids and they've been such a big help to me. They are learning how to run a business and be professional, and what hard work feels like. It's been a positive experience thus far, though I'm so busy I can barely check email once before bed. I've worked on this post a few minutes over three days, and don't expect to get back here very often.

And how are you, my friends? Anything new in your lives?

Saturday, April 2, 2016

When You Need to Wait

Waiting on the Lord

I have advertised my childcare services for a couple weeks now, and the only response has been attempts by three people to scam me (but I had been warned and was ready).

Oh, Lord Jesus, come. Evil is everywhere and that part is so discouraging.

I have done my mother and teacher and homemaker duties all these days, somewhat anxious but fighting those feelings because I know they lead only to folly.

Food prices have risen steadily and kids keep putting holes in their socks and shoes and growing like mad, and my husband hasn't had a raise in three years. Homeschooling all four children formally now, has also increased expenses, as we try to share resources and still be efficient.

Not to mention, I unnecessarily tightened things further by sponsoring a third child--which I do not regret and for which my husband doesn't begrudge me. We are encouraged in God's word to give back a portion of our incomes, and that goes for us, the low-income people as well. No matter how much we have, it comes from God and giving it back to Him is not scary.

Please don't wonder if we're eating well, because we are, definitely. We're not behind on bills so we aren't desperate, but tell that to my heart, will you?

I need a job and God knows I need a job. We've prayed for other options, but babysitting is the only option that still allows me to invest my whole heart into my children. About employment I've always felt that if one does his or her part, if laziness is not present, if consistency in looking is there, if hope doesn't die and despair doesn't cripple--making it difficult to keep on looking--then the hard work will pay off...and this even more likely for the Christian, whose hope is in God.

Oh, but the waiting. Is there anything other than pride that can cause a Christian to stumble so wretchedly? Yes, I think it's impatience.

I looked for a sermon on impatience before continuing with my Saturday chores, and I found it on a David Mathis Desiring God post. Here is an important excerpt:

Patience is the companion of humility and the enemy of pride. “The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit” (Ecclesiastes 7:8). It is the appropriate posture of the creature illumined enough to say, “God is sovereign, and I am not.” And it is not our own production, but “the fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22; 5:5).

Three pointers were given in the article to help us when we're in a period of waiting on the Lord:

1. Renew faith and hope

2. Pray and give thanks (I especially love this one. Giving thanks and praying for others takes the focus off of ourselves, and since that self-focus is part of the problem in fretting, a love-your-neighbor focus is just what we need. (And what our neighbors need!)

3. Remember the patience of God

It's an outstanding article and better than anything I can write, so please, read it if you are waiting on the Lord for anything at all. Maybe you're waiting on a job, for the healing of a relationship or illness, for a child to love, or for the salvation of a loved one or neighbor or friend. God uses our waiting to build us up in Him, for his glory.

The Holy Spirit reminds me that the reason I'm struggling is because I think I know all the answers, and I'm wondering why God isn't catching up to my thinking.

And as always, I have it backwards. God is waiting for me to catch up to his will, not the other way around.

Bless you, friend, as you wait, and here are verses to help.

Verses on waiting and steadfastness:

Psalms 27:13-14 I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living! Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!

Psalms 37:34 Wait for the LORD and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Isaiah 30:18 Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.

Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

Micah 7:7 But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.

Acts 1:4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Colossians 1:11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy,

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

James 5:11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.