Well so once again, I have been faithful to my promise. I have not written in a looong time because I have not had the time to do it. It never stressed me out, but honestly, so much has happened I have just been sad that I haven’t had the chance to tell my 4 followers (one of whom I live with) what’s going on in the Donalson house. So here’s the latest:
I’ve learned a really hard lesson. First of all, I am so incredibly thankful that I learned this lesson within such a short time period because you can’t time travel backwards and change things. Last I wrote, I told of my wonderful new full time position with Mercy in Urgent Care. It is 3 days a week 10am-10pm or later, and I have to work nights, weekends, holidays, etc…I thought this attempt to pay off my student loans quickly was worth the sacrifices involved in this job. I miss dinner and bedtime at home 3-4 nights a week, I don’t get to see friends very often and most of all, we have been dealing with this RELENTLESS wheel of illness in our house for 3 months now. I have 4 priorities: #1 – I am a Christ follower who needs time with Jesus, #2 – I am a wife who needs time to nurture that relationship, #3 – I am a mother of 2 and I need to love on, raise, teach and nurture them and #4 – everything else (friends, activities, church, work, etc…) This is not to say all the things encompassed in #4 are not important BUT the 1st 3 are more important. SOMEHOW because of the distraction in my heart, this one little part of #4 (work) became #1. And the motive, although it might have seemed pure, good and even beneficial as the long term result would be great, was to pay off my student loans in 2 years.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
I don’t know if I could admit to hating or despising God, HOWEVER, I neglected him for a good while and perhaps that is just like hating or despising. I have learned this lesson in SO many areas of my life – frustrating how my brain continues to dismiss it so I have to relearn it. It’s like chasing your tail around and round and round and round – never making any headway. I feel like the Lord is standing above me, or around me just watching me as his head spins and thinking, ‘when will she ask me for understanding and wisdom on this?’ (even though He already knows). Why has it taken so long for me to realize that it is OKAY IN EVERY WAY to ask HARD questions like WHY? Why me? Why now? Why this family? Why are we all sick again? Why do I despise my job? Why did you lead me down this path? WHAT IS THE LESSON HERE?? I sort of walked through this open door assuming it was what He had for me at the time (4 months ago) and sure that He would teach me and show me what His purpose was. Well, He did exactly that. I will never know all the details about why but you know what? I asked Him WHY?! And you know what? HE TOLD ME! It was/is to teach me that when all the older people say, “I never wished I would have spent more time at the office or made more money or (fill in the blank), I only wish I would have spent more time with my family and my Lord”, it’s for real! Praise Him for teaching me so young that money is just paper and a means of survival. It does not define me and it does not place a value on me. It’s paper. I work to pay on my loans, and help Shane provide a good enough and healthy life for our family, but NOT to store up riches. And WORK (wow, has that perspective changed) WORK, is a means for MINISTRY! I guess I made ministry fit into my work rather than WORK fitting into my MINISTRY! What’s my ministry? It’s simple (yes, I am still on a ‘simple’ kick). It is to know Christ and make Him known. So…it is just fun sometimes (as much as working where I am is super hard) to pray for at least ONE person or ONE thing to happen in a days work that makes me feel like the kingdom advanced that day. God never shows up empty handed. Never. The only problem is that I count myself more important than His kingdom so often that sometimes I forget to ask Him to use me. All this to say, our sweet, sweet Jesus who has immense compassion for us especially in distressing times, has once again opened a door for me and closed any others. I have felt like I wanted to leave this job for quite some time now and He has allowed it. I am moving forward VERY prayerfully, knowing that if this is NOT the will of God, regardless of how it might seem, I do NOT want to move forward. I will be working in a medical spa up the road from my house and across the street from Shane’s work. 3 days, which ever 3 days I want, 9-5, no holidays, weekends, nights or being asked to work with the flu. No runny noses, no one coughing in your face, no one stomping their selfish foot in the doorway demanding attention, and no internal tears on my part wondering if the patients will ever stop coming and if I will ever get home to rest my head. I will not miss dinner, I will not miss bedtime, and Naomi probably won’t beg me to stay home ‘and play with Naomi for just a few more minutes’. Or maybe she will but it won’t rip my heart out like it does now, knowing I will be home at 5. Praise God for His provision. I could never guess what He is up to – He is FULL of surprises. There will be sacrifices on this side of the coin too though but these sacrifices; trying to figure out what to give up, cut out, do away with, sell, etc…are SUCH PIE compared to the sacrifice of time with my Lord, husband and kids.
The Parable of the Rich Fool
13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?” 15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”
16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. 17 He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’
18 “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. 19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’
20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’
21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
We read this in small group last night and it says it better than I could say myself obviously. Although there is a whole other lesson in this passage regarding being rich toward God, and understanding that every last fraction of a penny that you think you own, you actually don’t, but instead God who created you, graciously gave it to you out of the goodness of His heart and it ALL belongs to Him. It’s funny to think of tithing the way we do. 10% + that we give to the church and other causes. Instead, it should be the other way around; being willing to give it ALL, asking God how much we should keep. Do we really not think he would open the floodgates of blessing like scripture promises? I guess we don’t – what an unbelieving nation….me included. Is He not capable of solving every problem, way above and beyond any expectations we might have? Anyway, this is a whole other soapbox, when all I really wanted to point out is that I am here on this earth to know Christ, make Him known, raise God fearing children with Shane who have a servant heart for His kingdom and to leave a legacy for those after me that might actually shake heaven – rather than a barn full of grain on the earth that will waste away that I worked so hard for and took all the glory.
I am excited to start this new chapter. The last one was short – only 4 months. But I feel like I grew up a whole 10 years or so in those months. I’ll be 30 March 11th. This was timely. Hopefully, I will begin to find the time, health and energy to spend more time in the kitchen and post more fantastic recipes. And hopefully, I will have left over time to rant, rave and preach to this computer screen. What a refreshing time of my life – bringing in Spring, a much less stressful job, much more time with my family and the ability to be outdoors a lot. My heart is happy. Thank you Lord for your Word and for the simple fact that you cared so much about me to die in my place.