Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Life's been happening!

I'm so thankful the girls and I have been out of school yesterday and today! It has given me a chance to catch up on e-mails, lesson plans and oh yes...laundry.

Thank you all for supporting Kris in the Extreme Home makeover! He actually wasn't shown.
=( In fact, there weren't a lot of the workers shown, but as HE said, "That's not what it's about." And he's totally right! That family was amazing!

Still, it would've been really cool. =)

Things have been a little stressful in our lives the past few weeks. And I'm very curious to know if it has been in your life too?

We hear it every time we turn on the news..."The Economy this and The Economy that".

But how has the economy been effecting your life?

It caught up with us this last week. My husband, Kris, has a full-time job but he is also in charge of another company. The money he makes from that job is something we depend on, it's never been "extra" for us. However, for whatever reasons, work has seemingly disappeared from that place.

It's S-L-O-W. People aren't paying their bills that are due to him and work just isn't rolling in like it used to.

So, surprisingly, I am thankful our house hasn't sold at the moment. Although I still scream in my heart that I would eat kidney beans every day for dinner if we could move. =) ha ha.

Last night Kris and I were talking about everything and what we need to do and I felt like my throat was beginning to swallow up and get smaller and smaller...like I couldn't breathe.

It's been a long time since I've felt that way.

In two weeks our country will have a new president, new leaders and a likely a new direction.

But in two weeks, will my home be the same? Will I still be able to afford to keep my girls at their school? Will we be able to buy healthy food? Will we be able to take the girls to do anything fun again? What will my life look like in two weeks?

It would be very easy in a situation like this to get worked up in a tizzy.

Thankfully the girls fell asleep early last night, I went and sat on my bed to work on a bible study I'm doing at church. It's by Lisa Whittle called, "Behind Those Eyes'.

It's been a great book so far and I highly recommend it! *Click on her name to be taken to Lisa's blog.

However, I got to a verse that was used and my heart almost stopped beating. It was like God was breathing right in my face. You know how that feels? You get hot and sweaty, uncomfortable...kinda like how I felt when I was talking with Kris just a few minutes earlier.

The verse was in Psalm 119:96:

"To all perfection I see a limit, but your commands are boundless."

Lisa was writing about a character in her book called "Ms. Perfection".

And although, I have never considered myself perfect, in fact far from it, I somehow found myself identifying with this character.

You see, we so badly want on the outside for everything to "look" a certain way. Maybe because if it "looks" that way...we can deny the own truth in our lives? Maybe.

But when I read this verse, I stopped. And I asked the Lord, "What are you trying to say?"

And I thought about how I had looked at our budget earlier that day, trying to find a way to make it "perfect".

I thought about how Taylor needs a pair of black Sunday shoes so she can "look right" on Sundays.

I thought about how I cried this last Sunday because my roots desperately need some color on them...to "look right".

I thought about how I "need" new curtains for my living room because the ones in there, well, they don't "look right" either.

Oh believe me, God got in my face about this.

He said, "Nicki, what does that verse tell you to do?"

You see, His commands, well they are boundless.......meaning THEY have no end. My job, it's not to be perfect or to try and "look" the part. It's to obey.

Oh and the Lord wasn't done there.

I started think about the commands God gives us to obey. There were simple ones that came up. And there were more complicated ones. I came up with a list and thought maybe you could add to them too today. Again, this was a personal conviction, not all of these are "listed as commands" in scripture.

1. Be submissive. To God AND my husband.
2. Trust in God, always. Never man.
3. Meet with Him, my God, early each day. (well....that's not a "command" but, it is for me)
4. Don't be jealous or try to "play the part"
5. Sunday is a day of rest and worship....not "catch up"
6. Sprinkle Salt (Him), everywhere I go. Being a light in every situation. Even to sassy girlys.
7. Pray, without ceasing. Never stop praying.
8. Be as frugal as possible. That means, coupons, and shopping around. It's not about convenience right now. And to tithe...that never changes for us. But you get the idea.

Although I "wish" things were not the way they were and I'm surprised at how quickly things changed for us, God isn't surprised by any of it.

He knows. He's here. He's walking the road with us through this hard time. But He's waiting.

He's waiting to see if we will be obedient to Him. Not perfect....obedient.

So yet another road to walk, by faith and not sight.


ValleyGirl said...

These are certainly times of uncertainty. How awesome that there is Someone we CAN be sure of. Who won't let us down, who knows what's best for us, who undertakes and provides for us.

Sue Feenstra said...

Wow! This is exactly what I needed to hear today. Sometimes, I get so worried about the future of my family and our country that it almost paralyzes me, but then I am reminded in God's word that He is with us every step of the day and that we are to worry about today only. Thank you!

amy said...

ohh, i had worked myself into one more tizzy last night to the point that i couldn't even sleep. i started reading your post and tears welled up in my eyes...i knew the Lord was about to speak to me through you and boy, did He!

thank you for your faithfulness and your transparency in a world where it's so easy to "look the part." i miss getting to chat with you, too!


Michelle said...

I needed to hear this today, thanks!
And by the way I LOVE your new page!


Louise said...

Beautiful post!!
God is SO good and He cares SO much about each individual.
Love that ending it is not important to 'be perfect, but obedient.'

Found you through valleygirl!

Faith said...

We are feeling it BIG time and trusting that God is going to supply all our needs according to HIS glorious riches.

I loved your list...I really needed to read that today. Thanks girl! God is in control!

On Purpose said...

Your page looks "perfectly beautiful" even though thats not what matters...you still need to hear that...I really like the looks of it!

I love when you share your "personal" time with God with us girls out here in blog land...cause then we get the benefits too!

You just keep being obedient girl and you will be blessed beyond what you could ever imagine...He is faithful!

LeAnne said...

Seems like I've been battling that ALOT lately. There was one day that I was almost in tears because there was so much I wanted or thought I needed. I want my hair cut short, I wanted certain things for the boys, wanted certain kind of food one day, but with the finances the way they are, I couldn't do those things. I almost had the thought to go back to work, but then I thought it through again and remembered what I ALREADY do have. I don't know if you've seen the 10 predictions no matter who wins the election, but I'll email them to you because it's too long for right here.

MiMi said...

I just finished the "Behind The Eyes" study, also, and I think there is a little bit of "Ms. Perfection" in every one of us.

My family is also facing uncertain times right now. This verse has been a good one to help me through recent days.

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.  God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."      Matthew:6:34  (The Message)

Jennifer said...

WOW - what a powerful post. It so easy to convince ourselves that if we get everything "perfect" that it is a sign of God's blessing..when it is our own effort. If we will simply be obedient and let God provide the details just as He want to do.

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Nikki, this was such a moving post! I think anyone that doesn't question what will be happening must be living in a cave with no communication. The Lord is still on the throne and He will be with us. We just don't know what will happen. Along with jillions of others about 30% of my 401K is gone and although I didn't put all my hope in it for sure, I am a lot closer to retirement age than a lot of you guys so to me it is like a big revelation that I will probably be working longer. It's a good thing I love my job, but only the Lord knows what direction it will all go. I look back at financial choices I have made and it would be easy to beat myself up.. I just need to pray and without ceasing for sure. He is our Redeemer!

The Patterson 5 said...

Powerful, helpful, what I needed to hear. I get caught up in what others think so often and I have to stop and get back to God and know what He thinks is the only thing that is important. God wants our worship, our love and our obediance. Times are tight right now for most everybody and for some who may be out of work,frightning. I pray that God is using these times to bring us back to Him. Back to full reliance on Him for our needs. Trusting that He is in control and whoever wins the upcoming election is under God's ultimate plan.


PS thanks for your email and reassuring words.

I think of you when I see leaves flying down in the wind....dancing with God! Thank you for sharing that day and all the days you find time to blog!

Love your new look!

Kay Martin said...

Change hurts...even good change. Yes, we are all being impacted by the world wide financial meltdown. May an older woman encourage you out of my long experience?

"Afford my chldren to go to their school..."if they make the change it will hurt; but God will show you and your husband how to work with them in that pain and they will grow in strength through that challenge. With the two of you in one mind with God as your lead; your children will be fine.

"afford to do anything fun with our children...." My grown children tell me the no cost inventive things we came up with in hard financial time was the best times of their lives. You are one amazingly creative woman: I can only imagine what you can create that would delight your family.

Perfectionism: I just read up on this in preparing my writers' workshop and guidelines manual for "Razor Wire Newsletter" writers. A writer expert explained that perfectionism comes out of a low self worth image. He said that when we get obcessed with this no writing assignments ever meet our unrealistic standards. His advise was not to use writers who cannot hand in their articles although they are not perfect.

Bottom-line on all our what if's...faith flames in the unknown places. What we feed will grow; eiher we feed our spirit with the Word of God and we speak to ourselves the promises of God; or we hear the world news, doubts of friends and feed our mind and souls in anxiety and fear.

Easy...no; logical...perhaps not; ...saints have been here over and over and proven God is enough.
This is our test: He is faithful, will we be?

Alisun said...

So many things in common girl and I fall short on most thanks for a gentle reminder of them.
I like your new page it looks great!

Cindy said...

I am in the middle of an online Behind Those Eyes study and am learning alot about obedience.

We are all facing uncertain times. Yesterday I had to cut hours for several employees where I work. It is just tough out there. YET! God is still and will be in control even after the election. It is scary to think of the possible outcome but we must remember to put our hope in the one who created us all.

I continue to pray for you.

Jenny said...

Hi Nikki!
That was great! I don't think I can add anything to your list. But I do know how you feel. Both Chad and my job are on shaky ground, not a fun place to be. Especially since I just started teaching a new Bible study at church.

The one thing we have been trying to do is make sure we are building on the solid rock, so even if the land moves, the rock will be fine!

I don't think that makes any sense but...


Sharon Brumfield said...

I do feel the crunch to. With no job and the money going out and none coming in....it makes my stomach a little sick. I have felt the squeeze and the feeling of not being able to breath. And still God reminds me that I am to be still and KNOW that He is still God. He knows....
He is still working for my good even when my emotions are screaming for some relief. I will not refuse to go into the fiery furnace. I am His responsibility....I will keep reminding myself of that and renewing my mind to that truth.
I will keep my eyes on the hills...my help is coming. Yours too girl!

Luanne said...

Just stopping by to say "Hey"--I didn't just want to come by and snoop around!!! Met you through Lysa's blog! I loved this post--How many times have we looked back and thanked God that He did not give us exactly what we wanted. I'm so glad He is all knowing and all loving at the same time. God bless!