Greg & I always said throughout our journey that we walked around with an ‘S’ on our forehead. We just seemed stupid. How does a family of five, living month-to-month in an apartment with no jobs keep doing what we were doing? We were 10+ months into this journey, which started when Greg was laid off from his job in Canada. We were able to finish the school year there, move back to Frisco, Texas, enroll the kids back into school and keep searching for a job. We both looked for jobs, believe me. But we both prayed fervently about what & where God wanted us to go. Did He ever say ‘Go get a job at Lowe’s or be a waitress’? No. Did He ever say, ‘Don’t put the kids into costly activities, such as dance and karate? No. Did He ever say, ‘Don’t get that car because of what others might think’? No. We asked! Over and over we asked about each step, each purchase or non-purchase–should we or shouldn’t we. We followed God’s direction every step of the way. But His direction, as usual, isn’t typical and surely isn’t what the average Joe would say is right.
Doing life without a job & a family according to the world goes like this–1) take any job you can get; humble yourself completely, degrade yourself, if necessary; work long, menial hours; 2) wear a long face; worry incessantly; turn to other pleasures to get you through; 3) anger and bitterness are allowed because the situation sucks and there’s no end in sight; 4) certainly don’t spend money on anything other than absolute necessities, which of course includes activities for the kids; 5) always have something to tell family of your job search progress.
Ahhhhh!!! Just typing all that makes me crazy! It suckers me into the angst and lonely feelings that were always lurking and which I had to pray out constantly.
Peace beyond understanding looks like you’re wearing an ‘S’ on your forehead. You must be stupid for not worrying. You must be stupid for spending money you don’t have on that. Here’s the worst–not being able to plan.
People would ask, ‘What are your plans this summer?”
My response–“I don’t know.”
Or, “Where are the kids going to school next year?”
“I don’t know.”
“Would you like to go on this family trip this fall?”
“I don’t know.”
And I didn’t know. And I don’t know now. Only God knows. We pray and plan as much as we can, but always it’s God who tells us our next steps. During the journey He would only tells us just prior to taking the step where that step would be…and we had to be okay with that.
So if ‘Stupid is as stupid does,’ then call me stupid in love with my Savior.
My Red Journals continues…
Friday, November 15, 2002
Lord, all details of the job search, the play, school & illnesses are spinning out of control. My head is swimming and I can’t keep up. So now, I just stop and breathe and look to You. Calm, calm. Breathe. Try to clear my mind and listen to You. Lord, simplify, clarify and beautify. All that I’m doing I think I’m doing ultimately for You. Please make sure that I am. Only You can solve all of these details & clear my head to make sense of it all.
Dear Jesus, our main concern right now is Liza. I discovered two small lumps on the side of her throat on Wednesday morning. Lord, please send us to a doctor to have Liza seen so that we may dissolve all fear. Lord, take the lumps away. Heal our daughter.
Lord, Jesus, I gave my children and Greg up to You back many, many months ago. I know that they’re a wonderful gift from You and I have the incredible gift of sharing my life with them. But, oh Lord, help me to know what to say. DON’T! STOP! It’s all too much! I love YOU! Don’t You see?! Don’t test me this way! This journey’s path is reaching into the darkness of the woods! Turn me back on the path with the sun. Heal her, heal her, heal her and me.
Thank You for Your word, which says to me right now, “The Lord says, ‘Don’t be afraid! Don’t be paralyzed by this mighty army! For the battle is not yours, but God’s!” 2 Chronicles 20:15
Feed my soul with Your words. Take over my thoughts & actions. Take this craziness from me & leave only PEACE. Let me see all obstacles & solutions through Your eyes. Hold me. Hold Liza. Carry us through today.
November 25, 2002
I give thanks today for all that You have made possible for all that You have made possible for the Christmas musical! The props will be done & the set completed (with a lot more work!) & they look fabulous! Thank You for all of the help! Thank You for the vision coming to life! Thank You for Jenn, Helen & Lisa & the entire cast for being so gun-ho for all of my crazy ideas!
I pray now for all of those seekers that our church members might bring to the pay that they might hear all the good news about Jesus. Please put the play on the hearts of many to come & be changed! Your will be done.
Lord, now I pray for this other job opportunity with Oracle. Please, put Your plan in motion. Please, put Greg in the minds of the key decision makers with Oracle. We know that the end of this journey will climax with an unfathomable answer. We wait, once again, patiently, confidently, and expectantly for You. Your will be done.
Finally, I pray for grace for each of us in this family. Grace with one another & towards others. We should act as You would.
December 3, 2002
So much to do. Today I pray for so much: focus, energy, health, productivity, control of frustrations, but first, I come to You to breathe. Let me pause in Your presence. Let me feel Your arms take hold. I want to relinquish all control to You. How quickly evil wants to take hold, even with the work that I’m doing for You. Wash out all evil & down thoughts. Place Your blessings on me. “Our God is an awesome God!”
Lord, I pray for all facets of the play. Please prepare hearts for those coming to see the play, especially for those I’ve been asked to pray for, the Waltons & the Harmons. Please be with these families. Bring them to the play safely. Plant seeds of Your message, water unyielding growth & sprout saplings into sturdy plants with deep roots in You. Thank You for the opportunity for all that You would have me do.
You just gave me an idea for a poem “My Gift.” You just make me sing!
Please be with Jenn, Helen & Lisa & thank You for them.
Thursday, January 9,2003
Dear Lord Jesus,
I am in awe of Your wondrous power. I have begun reading the Bible-in-a-year with The Daily Bread & have read the creation in Genesis & am amazed once again. Dumbfounded that what I take for granted every day was nothing til You breathed it into being.
Now, I am awed at how You are working Your plan for our family. God, these past few weeks, well, most of December, has been very difficult. We have cried out ENOUGH! You know where we stand: no job prospects, all monies due (storage $530, car insurance $1,000, dance costume fees $360, tax prep for 2001 $999 & the list of usuals).
Spring in this apartment would be devastating! Claustrophobic! Saying “I don’t know” to every question about our immediate future is excruciatingly OLD! Greg & I appear as if we are doing nothing! There is no plan B, as my mom keeps suggesting! We are solely relying on You! We know You’ll come through, Lord.
So we’re into the fourth day since the end of the holidays & You are moving. You are advancing the Perot proposition. We are praying for Greg’s name to be in the minds of the decision makers at Perot. That’s #1 of the Miracle 1, 2, 3 prayer. #2, we pray for the house on St. James in Lucas & #3 allow us to transfer the kids to McKinney or wherever is the right place for them.
Perot is moving along. Greg received confirmation that he’s in the running again. Hallelujah. The Lucas house is still available. And now, through the Christmas play, You have presented a small opportunity for me at Lucas Christian Academy. I met with the headmaster Wednesday & observed the class–a production class where I can do anything I want! Everything sounds great & I’ll get paid for 2 official hours that I’d work at the school.
My main concern is the number of volunteer hours I would put in again for this job. I don’t want to do this unless I give 100% effort & creativity. For the past 11 years, I’ve volunteered & donated our money for so many causes. I’ve always wanted to, gladly, but I’ve been ready for a while now to get paid for my abilities. That’s the big drawback, but I’m saying ‘yes.’ You have handed this to me on a solver platter, in Lucas, 10 minutes from the Lucas house. I’m stepping into this with faith, as I should. So here is my prayer. Lord, guide me with these kids. Give me the right show to help them to grow & mature. Lead through me. Be my hands, feet & tongue. Please grow this opportunity into others, bigger, more far-reaching, evangelizing Your name to the masses. Thank You for leading me to this school & for knitting together all of these details of our lives into the perfect package. I hold fast to Zecheriah 8:11-23 that our times of mourning from July, August, October & January have ended.”
I have just read parts of the books prior to Zecheriah, which are Habbakuk (which started this journey) then Zephaniah, Haggai & Zecheriah. In Haggai 2:18-19, You say “From today, this 24th day of the month…I will bless you…From this day I will bless You.” I know this is Your promise of fruit abundant, that the end has come! Thank You oh heavenly Father for guiding me all the way! Through questions & despair, but never questioning You on the final outcome!
You have filled my heart with gladness!