I have only a week and a half before I return to work. The time has simply flown by! I have very much enjoyed being home with the kids and taking care of everything here at home without being pulled in different directions. While I am anxious about returning to the office, I am also a little excited to get back in the swing of things. The perfect job would allow me to work from home a few days a week so I don't feel so stinkin' behind all the time. I hate that feeling like I am a hamster on a wheel--spinning, spinning, spinning. My goal is to try and find more balance. Heavy sigh here because I have yet to succeed, but this time I will be more deliberate and positive. Check in to see how that goes!!!!
A few blogs back I mentioned that I sense the turning of a page for our family and how we approach life in general. The trip to pick up our daughter (still loving how that sounds..."daughter") really changed our perspective and sparked a strong desire to do things differently. First on the agenda is to become absolutely debt free. So we took a hard look at the finances and mapped it out. Armed with our new plan, we were excited and eager to get started.
Then, excuse the expression, but I am beginning to think that all the wrath in hell was unleashed on us. At the risk of sharing too much information let me tell you a bit about the last 2 months in the Wright household:
1) Before we even left for Africa the airfare almost doubled.
2) Before we left we put the car in the shop because of a funny sound. We landed to the tune of repairs costing $2500 smackaroos.
3) The old car the au pair drives is leaking oil badly so we needed to buy a new one. Found a great deal on an old Saab--3000 more dollars flew out of the account. We thought we could get at least $2000 for the Volvo (the mechanic said $2500 so we thought we were being conservative with the $2000 estimate). Almost 2 months on e-bay and Craig's list and we have been offered $800. The tires on the beast are worth almost $500. Heavy, heavy sigh here.
4) Transmission started slipping in Shawn's truck. $800 later we really do praise God it was not the $2200 the mechanic originally thought.
5) Family trip to the dentist went awry and we will need about $700 in treatment not covered by the insurance. And, they tell me we have excellent insurance.
6) Engine light on in my car. Something with a throttle and blah, blah, blah. $800 more dollars. I am beginning to feel numb.
7) We need to readopt Abigail in the U.S. to secure American documents for her and we planned on about $800. Guess again...because we live in Fulton County, GA we are paying approx $1800.
So in the last 2 months we have spent $12,000 dollars that was NEVER in the budget, and it was most definitely not on this new map we made to get out of debt.
The evolution of my prayers went something like this:
Oh Lord, we were not planning to spend this much on airfare. I know your hand is in this and you have us covered so I refuse to fret. We will have Abby soon. Please keep us safe as we travel.
Well, we have not really had any major work done on the car and thanks God we have the cash to take care. It could be much worse. No worries.
Thank God we have the Volvo to sell and replace most of the cash to pay for the "new" old Saab we need to buy. God, please help the car sell quickly!
Your truck is doing what? Transmission???? Aren't those things expensive to repair? I knew that truck was a lemon when you bought it. What are we going to do? Oh, Lord!
Boys, brush your teeth after EVERY meal from now on. God, you see what is happening down here. You got this, right?
You have got to be kidding me. An engine light? Oh GGGGGGOOOOOOODDDDDDD, where are you? Did you forget about us down here? You see we have been faithful and well this is not part of the plan. I hear nothing...not even static.
Okay, what next? I am rolling with the punches. This Lord? Well this is simply ridiculous. I just don't understand.
I'm not real proud of it, but that is the ugly sum of it. I am sure none of you ever talk to the Lord that way and none of these thoughts ever invade your prayers. I figure he knows the real me and it is better just to get it all out there.
So I have been depressed and anxious and I will just go on and admit it, even a little angry. Why? Why is this happening now? I just want to enjoy our new baby and bask in the newness of it all. Come on God, work with me here. We are the good guys.
While the budget was rapidly entering the red zone, I spent many hours helping my amazing boys memorize Matthew 5, 6, and 7. To complete memory level 5 they must be able to recite all three chapters word PERFECT in one sitting. Pretty heavy stuff for little fellas, but they are simply amazing (get that from their mom's side--wink, wink). In case you have no idea what Matthew 5, 6 & 7 encompasses, it's the Sermon on the Mount and let me tell you that it has much more than the Beatitudes and the Lord's prayer. Those chapters pack a pretty powerful punch and listening to your 9 year old sons quote it from memory is a humbling experience.
I listened to the words..."consider the lilies...are you not much more valuable than they...why should you worry what you will eat...even the pagans run after these things but your heavenly father knows what you need...he sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous...do not worry about tomorrow...each day has enough trouble of its own."
And then I knew. Well, let me rephrase: I have no idea why this is all happening to us now and I am frustrated that MY plans are thwarted. I do know that I have a heavenly father who knows what I need and sometimes I get out in front of him. He gives me just enough rope (kinda like I do with my children) and then he very patiently beckons me back. He reminds me that I am not in charge of these situations even though I like to act like it (ouch, ouch, ouch).
Then he very gently says to me, "What, child, did you really learn from this trip to Ethiopia? Did you really see all those people? Did you see the hunger? Did you see the disease? Did you see the pain? When you were in that church with hundreds of my people praising me did you see that? They have nothing. Yet they were so sincere in their praise that you felt it even though you could not understand a word. You felt my presence there and you saw me when you looked at them. Those people are depending on me for their very next meal. They have no idea how they will survive even one more day. You child have been blessed beyond measure. You will bask in a warm shower and choose from a closet full of clothes. Tonight you will lie in a dry, soft bed. You will put leftover food in your refrigerator because your children could not consume all that you prepared. Do I need to continue?"
There is nothing really for me to say. Like a little child caught being naughty I can only shake my head.
"Child, you must learn to depend on me. I am here and I am aware of your every circumstance. Do you really know who I am?"
Still nothing for me to say. So I nod my head and the tears come.
But He won't let me go yet. "If you know who I am then why are we having this conversation?"
And so I am utterly ashamed and speechless before my heavenly father. He does not really expect an answer. He made his point and put the ball squarely back in my court.