Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I have been told and read that one of the ways we can know that something is from God and His will for us is to get confirmation from other believers so that's what I've been asking for. And wouldn't you know it, He's been bringing it through my husband, through friends, through circumstances. Many things are on our plates right now and it looks like change is coming. And He's right there directing our steps. I'm thankful everyday for a husband who also loves the Lord.
Monday, March 15, 2010
I don't know that I've mentioned previously that I have been in business all of my adult working life. At any time if I didn't have my own business, I was studying business or helping someone else start one or grow one. My undergraduate degree is in business management and my "fun" was reading books about business - how to start them, how to improve them, how to lead in them, how to manage them. I thought for sure I'd be in business all my life. Then I got to leave the business world and just be a mom and a wife, and I liked it. After I discontinued selling Tupperware a year ago (May 2009) we realized we didn't need for me to bring in any income and I settled into my new role as VP of Household Affairs. It was a transition that actually took almost 3 years for me mentally.
When my husband and I met in 2000, I was supporting myself and our oldest. I had been doing that alone for 12 years. I don't mean that no one ever helped me care for my son. I couldn't have gotten through without relatives and friends. But financially, for the most part, I was it. When my son was little I worked and went to school, thinking education would be our only way out of the poverty I grew up with. Eventually I got a job that paid more than I hoped to make out of college and quit school. And that's where we were when I met Dennis and we got married. So when our daughter was born in 2005, I wanted to be home with her more than anything, but my mind had difficulty letting go of being a provider. I had a few different businesses from home but when Tupperware ended I was ready. I love being home with her and never missing a thing. I love seeing her personality grow and develop, and I love knowing she is getting more of the stuff we want her to have (hugs and kisses, love, Christ, the Bible) and less of the things we don't. It's a good time. Then I went to the women's retreat with church.
During the second night at the retreat, I was up from about midnight to 5 a.m. with God, working out "stuff". And the Holy Spirit said "What if you were made to be a business woman?" And it came out like "What if God MADE you for the purpose of being a business woman?" That kind of upset my apple cart. Once again, I didn't say "OK God, if that's the way you want it, I'm in." I wish that was my first response. That's my heart's desire - to always want the things He wants for me. But the reality is I'm human and I wanted to just stay an at-home mom. I didn't want anything interfering with my relationship with Him and I didn't want to engage in anything that took time from my family. I can't say too many times how loving and patient He is with us. I did come to grips with it and not long after the retreat, He gave me a wonderful picture of what business as a ministry could look like for our family.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
What about the actual serving part at the shelter? I met some wonderful people - homeless and not homeless. As I was driving into Des Moines it was raining. I thought about how the people who'd come for lunch would have to be in the rain once they were done eating. If you don't know, dear reader, they don't usually get to hang out in the shelters during the day. They can be there for meals and to sleep if they get a spot and then they are out. Also, on the way down I chose to eat an orange for breakfast and drink water only and I realized that the homeless can't even necessarily get water when they are thirsty. Seriously, what do we know about this life and the plight of others??? I realized that homelessness definitely has no "one size fits all" solution. Some of the issues these people face - mental illness, spiritual attack, lack of education, lack of family, lack of resources, lack of so many things, makes it a formidable task to help them out of that situation. I gained a new appreciation for shelters, even though most of what I've read makes them a place I'd never want to be. And honestly, I thought the shelter we served in was so decrepit, I cried. It looked nice on the outside and once you got in, it smelled bad, the kitchen was gross and dirty, paint was peeling. I wondered how the state wouldn't close that kitchen because if it was a restaurant they sure would. I felt that the people we were serving deserved better than that. And yet, at least someone was providing them a meal when without it, many of them would go hungry.