Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Words Are Needed

I know that typically my Wednesday's are "wordless", but today I just feel an inner stirring of discontentment and words are needed for me to sort through it.  

As some of you (family and friends) may know we have decided to stay in Southern CA.  This was a big decision and an enormous leap of faith on my part. 

If you know me personally, you know that I can be controlling and have always envisioned my life going my way (which rarely happens, hence this record of letting go of control and letting God direct my paths). This is an ongoing struggle for me.  I am independent, strong, willful and stubborn, which I had always viewed as definite strengths - and at times they are - but these characteristics have also been the cause of stumbling and hard lessons learned.

For the past two years, maybe more, I have been learning to be led.  

This was a new concept for me (and believe me, still so difficult).  About a year into learning to be led I was encouraged by a book, which I had ignored to read a few years prior to moving to SD at a pivotal point in my marriage.  A time when we were both losing and in danger of massive failure.  By God's mercy, we ended up in SD, immediately began attending a healthy church, made some great friends and started anew.  I finally got around to reading this book last year, and it completely changed my view of why I was created and for whom I was to serve. It took my liberal, contemporary views of wifehood and scrambled them into an almost unrecognizable version of who Alison was created to be. 

I was far from it.

And I longed for it.

I began on a journey of servitude towards my husband and God that I never dared embark on before (vulnerability is not my forte).  And yes, I have failed more times that I can mention. But I continued on and purposed to be the Godly wife I was created to be.  Much of that meant surrendering my will and learning to trust and follow my husband.  

Over the past few years I have been tested in this area like never before.

{Back to staying in Southern CA.}

I have been wanting to move back home (Central CA) since we've been in Southern CA.  I talked about it daily. I got in touch with a realtor there so that I was in on the real estate happenings when it came time to buy a home. I inadvertently brainwashed Emma into saying things like, "I can't wait to move back to..." and, "its so much more fun in...".  

So you understand that it was no secret what my plans were.

Mark, however, was under tremendous pressure to find a good job back home in this terrible economy when he had a perfectly good job offered to him here in SD that he was excited about.
I continued to press on with what I wanted.  I continued to discourage him.

I'm not sure how or when it happened but the Lord spoke to my heart and made me realize (I actually think it was at Bible study a couple of weeks ago) that I serve and honor Him when I serve and honor my husband.  Even if that means that I don't get what I want (or what I think I want).

I prayed about it...  and I mean on-my-knees-prayed about it (you know its REALLY serious when that happens) and finally came to Mark with what was on my heart.  I basically gave it over to him.  I told him that he was placed as the head of our family for a reason and I trust him to make the best decision for our family.  

He was (visibly) relieved.  And he decided.  And I literally watched the stress fall from his shoulder's as he told me that he really felt it was best for us to stay.  (He was going to forego it all to move us back home because he wants me to be happy more than anything.)

And I was humbled.  Thank you Lord for your provision over my life by giving me this man.

Oddly enough, I felt relieved too.  Not because a decision had been made, but because I had allowed him to do what he was called to do: Lead.  

So now a whole new slew of stress has entered our lives as we prepare to really establish ourselves here and I'm trying to process it all.  Our largest source of stress: buying a house. Although it is a great time to buy, houses down here are still expensive (especially on one income, I will probably have to return to wedding planning...thats a whole separate post); there is a lot of competition by other prospective buyers and multiple bids on one property.  


I am feeling overwhelmed by that and the other things happening this year: foster care, Mark transitioning from one job to another, me (probably) starting to work part-time again, homeschooling Emma, leading the Orphans Care Team we started last year at our church, in addition to many other things we are involved in.   

If you think of it, please lift us up in prayer during this hectic time.  

I know that my worries and my stress are small compared to others who are struggling with sickness, the death of a loved one, losing homes or jobs and I almost feel guilty bringing my worries before God.  But I know that He cares about the details and for this I am so thankful.



Cha Olsen said...

You are amazing and I am so proud to have been your room mate. You inspire me in many ways Alison.

Kelsey said...

I stumbled across your blog today and just wanted to thank you for this post. It is such an awesome reminder to give everything over to God, even when it is hard. Praying for you during this hectic time in your life!

Krystyn said...

It is so much easier to say "let go and let God" than to actually do it. That is awesome that you prayed so hard and were able to get to this point.

You'll have my prayers.

Sweet Home Amy said...

I am so proud of you for looking to God for help and guidance! He truly will appear in the moments when you need Him most, and like you said, although you thought you wanted things one way, you realized how much better things would be if you followed His advice.

Oh and hello from SITS! :)

Lora said...

Visiting you from SITs...I am right there with you. Lost my job in August, and as a single gal--it's not easy. I've always been fiercely independent and solidly sure what MY plans were. It's been such an amazing learning process to discover that waiting and listening and actually following God's so much better.

Amy Mikel Waldron said...

God treats all prayers the same. . .each one is equally important to Him!

You are in my prayers.


Just say Julie said...

Stopping by from SITS. It's always hard to give up plans and control, but it sounds like you've grown from laying it down. Good for you! I'll send a prayer up for you in your new tranistion.

Rebecca said...

Praying for you Alison and inspired by your Faith and ability to let go, I truly appreciate how difficult that is.

Thank-you for sharing and being so 'real'.

The Schoolhouse @ Deer Run said...

I knew what book you read before I clicked to see what it was. Created to be His Helpmeet was the most influential book I've read. It has improved my marriage so much. I surrendered to God's call on my life to homeschool my 2 boys in the last year or so. If God's calling you to do it, I encourage you to commit to it no matter what. God will honor that kind of faith. Know what I mean? It's neat to see a woman following God's heart & blessing Him. Love, Torie

3 Bay B Chicks said...

This is one incredible journey you are one, Alison. I was happy to read that you and your husband are finding your path...together. Trust that the other details will work themselves out. You are a strong couple who will be able to meet the challenges that life may throw your way!


The Schoolhouse @ Deer Run said...

Curriculum is a subject I ponder a lot. To me, it's fun to research. My oldest boy is 5 & will start official "K" in the fall. For now I do daily (most days M-F) Bible study. For this we use Catherine Voss's Children's Bible, Truth & Grace Memory Book 1, & then I bless them with "Bless Your Children Every Day" & we are learning how to pray. This is working very well for us, but I've tried many different things before settling on this for our Bible & I'm sure it will change again as we go. I'm learning to be more flexible than I'm comfortable with. : ) I'm using "Teach Your Child to Read in 100
Easy lessons" on Joshua, my oldest too. A curriculum (or more correctly teaching method) that I'm looking into is this The whole "school" day would focus largely on God's Word which I believe is fantastic. For math I'm thinking about either Math U See or Modern Curriculm Press. For Language arts I'm looking at The Madsen Method. I will probably do alot of unit studies. It's crazy & overwhelming how many choices that are out there. Feel free to email me anytime with questions or just to chat about homeschooling stuff. My email is on my profile page (I think).

Anonymous said...

Came to your blog through SITS. Good luck in your journey of becoming further rooted where you have been planted. I am a Texan living in Pennsylvania and there have been so many times where I have longed for home. It has only been within the past 2 years (I've been here almost 5) that I have finally accepted this is my home now and have begun to make a life for myself here.

I am subscribing to you, I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit to your blog. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comment.

I certainly do know what you mean! My little stinker has a little bit red head in her (drat we didn't get any red hair lol), so that makes it all the more interesting!

I am due with our 2nd girl June
23rd. Hope is so very excited about getting a sister.

I definitely miss Texas weather (especially in the winter) but I enjoy spring & fall up here in PA.

Aunt Spicy said...

That was exactly what I needed to read today, thank you! I need to be still a little more often and listen! Thanks!

cathy said...

that is great that you have come to terms with staying in SD, It has been hard on me also, I was hoping you all could get closer to home, but the way the economy is right now, Mark made a good choice for you and the family. I know its been hard on Mark also, but hopefully in 2 yrs you might be able to come home, jobs should be more available by then I hope. I miss the kids tremendously and wish I could be at Emmas games or dance classes, its hard not being able to see it all. So keep your spirits high and have faith in god and he will put you and Mark in the right path. I love my son and I know his family is first and would not jepardize anything to fail his family.