Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Time of Testing

I had mentioned in a previous post how we had gone through a period of testing following our decision for me to leave work.  I promised I would share that with you, but honestly I have had a hard time sitting down to actually write it out.  It is not that I don't want to share it.  I think it is that I don't know exactly how to share it all.  

I don't want to focus on the testing necessarily, but on the grace that God provided to help us deal with it and the peace that came out of it.

It started on a Wednesday...

We took our main car into the dealership for an oil change (we had a coupon) and get the 100,000 mile check up done.  We have never done a 100,000 mile check up before with any of our vehicles.  If they reached that mark, Brian could do whatever needed to be done or they just weren't worth the expense.  So, when Brian sent me a text late that afternoon that it was going to cost over $300 to get the car back I was really glad I was sitting down. Undoubtedly, you have to actually lift out the engine to change a spark plug in this vehicle.  Seriously?!  

We had the amount saved for car maintenance, but it was intended to fix the Buick.  Guess that will just have to wait a little bit longer.  Also, they couldn't get the work completed so it wouldn't be finished until Thursday morning.  

Wednesday night I was heading to bed and noticed that the dryer was making a funny noise.  It was running but not turning.  Brian thought it was the belt, but at 10:30 at night he was not taking it apart to find out for sure.  

Then came Thursday...

Brian stayed home to take apart the dryer and I took the wet load to a friend's house.  Sure enough it was the belt and he was able to find the replacement part about 45 minutes away.  The washing machine had been making a noise when it agitated and they had the parts in stock for that as well.  So, when the clothes were finished I headed back to the house.  If the car was ready, we would both go and I would drive the other car back in time for me to get back for a meeting at work.

Before we could leave, the dealership called with more great news (insert major sarcasm here).  The engine mount had a crack in it.  That would be another $500!  Thankfully, it was the top one and we could wait a bit on replacing it.  Brian may possibly be able to do that work himself, but we'll see.

So, $380 later we get our car back and another $60 later we have the dryer and washing machine fixed (although last night I noticed more noise from the washing machine so maybe not).  At this point, I knew we were being tested and, as I've said before, when I know I'm being tested I dig in my heels!

Oh, did I mention that Brian was leaving on Friday for San Francisco?  He had to get all of his packing done Thursday night.  About 11:30 or so Sarah starts waking up.  Congestion, coughing...yep, she was sick.  Brian was finally done about midnight and I slept on the couch with her propped up on me from about midnight to 2am.  I was able to put her back in her bed, but just tossed and turned until Brian's alarm went off at 4am. 

 Friday was pretty quiet...

Brian left around 5am and I was able to get about 2 hours of sleep.  
I pretty much felt like I had been hit by a truck.  
Sarah and I both stayed home on Friday.

but Saturday, oh Saturday!

Saturday was filled with mischievous and grumpy children, meltdowns, homework, laundry, stopped up toilets (yes that is plural!), minor injuries, and I can't even remember what else.  Nothing happened by itself.  While I was dealing with one crisis another one began.  

I have to admit, I did not handle these moments with the grace I needed to exhibit.  I could handle the big events.  I could almost laugh them off trusting God to handle them.  It was the little things that got me.  It was a bombardment and before I knew it, I was grumpy and testy and impatient.  If only I had just stopped for a moment in the chaos to ask for the grace and strength to handle the things of the day...

Sunday!  O glorious day!

Somehow I managed to get the whole brood (including the extra kiddo on crutches) to church.  God knew I needed to be there!  
The songs, the people, the sermon...how He spoke to me that morning!  

Follow Him, trust Him...songs that affirmed my original decision, words that spoke right to my heart.  Someone else may have heard a different point that morning (God does work that way, you know),  but for me it was about trusting Him enough to follow Him where ever He leads me.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Our decision for me to leave work and stay home doesn't make sense on paper, but I know He has something planned that is greater than we could ever imagine.  I don't know what that is and I know it won't be easy, but I also know that I can trust Him... 

and that is all I need to know. 

Living thru faith,

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