Things at the homestead have been interesting, to say the least. Our smallest hen, Butters, has started acting like a rooster! It is the weirdest thing I’ve ever seen. She is trying to “mate” with two of our hens, and she does circles around them with her wing out…I’ve researched it and it seems to be a dominance thing. I’ve read that sometimes in a flock with no rooster, one of the hens will take on the role of the rooster to keep peace in the flock. You can imagine how shocked I was when I first witnessed this behavior! “Is our she a he?!!” But no, Butters is definitely a hen.
There is never a dull moment with these animals 🙂
Other than strange chicken behavior, I’ve been having fun trying to plan our vacation to Costa Rica in April. Jason and I have never been out of the country, and would not be able to go if it weren’t for a very generous gift from a sweet family member. The task of planning this trip is a bit overwhelming right now, mainly because I keep looking at maps like this, that leave me thinking “Uhhh….durrrrr hmmmmm”:
We have no idea where to stay (if any of you readers have been there, please help!), but we do have some ideas of what we’d like to do:
- Soak in a thermal hot spring
- Hike, hike, and hike some more
- Zipline through the forest
- Go on the swinging bridges in the forest
- Catch a glimpse of the wildlife (sloths, monkeys, colorful birds, oh my!)
- Eat a banana that was locally grown
- Spend some time on the beach
My husband is low maintenance for sure 😀 When I asked him the one thing that he really wanted to do while there, he immediately replied with the “eat a local banana” answer. This cracked me up! I never thought about that, but it would be awesome to eat a banana from the actual place where they’re grown and shipped from! So…in continuation of my list:
6. Eat a local banana
Anyway, those things are not the reason I am writing today. Last week was hard. I described in my last post how God is teaching to die to self, and to love others sacrificially. Every day that I spend at home is a learning experience for me. Last week was a quiet one. My heart grew restless and I began questioning His calling on my life – “Lord, am I on a shelf because I am precious to you or because I put myself here out of fear?” “Have you been waiting for me to move this whole time?” “Have I misunderstood your words over my life? Are you waiting for me??”
My heart was in such a confused state that every night before bed I would pray for an obvious sign from the Lord that I am exactly where He wants me.
And while walking in the park one day, I received it.
But first, a little background before we get into it.
My last job was as a nanny to the same family for 7 years. This was the job I held all throughout my college years. I watched three smart, beautiful kids grow up over the span of seven years. There were two boys and one girl (the oldest). When I began babysitting them, they were 6 months, 3, and 5 years old. I had fun with the kids, but I also let the challenging times shape how I viewed that time of my life. While I was in this job, I did not appreciate it for what it was. I had no clue how God was using me or shaping me in this role. I thought that my job as a nanny was to get me to a place where God really wanted me. I often commented to my (now) husband: “I can’t wait to get a real job” Ha! Um, raising three kids is a real job, Stacey!
Newsflash: God really wants you exactly where you are, most of the time. He puts us specific seasons of our lives for a reason. It is not only a waste of our time to ‘wish’ ourselves out of a season, but I think it also insults God a little.
Now that I am out of that season, I look back on it and wish I wouldn’t have let such small things stress me out. I wish I would’ve had more patience with the kids and made more memorable moments with them. I have regret about some of the ways I acted and some of the things I did/didn’t do with them. I have regret for not truly living in the moments of those years. At least that’s how I see it….
So now we get to the present…where I’m fervently praying for God to show me that I am where I am supposed to be- in the home.
Last week, I took Marley to the park for a walk. It was a beautiful, sunny, fall day. It was also unseasonably warm. I began getting hot in my long sleeve exercise shirt, but the sun felt so great on my face. It is in that moment that God chose to flood me with a memory I had long forgotten from my nannying days.
In this memory, John (the youngest) was about 2-3 at the time. We used to take their dog, Cookie, on a walk around the block. At the end of the block, right before going back home, there was a stone wall that the (bigger) kids used to love to hop up and balance across until jumping off at the end.
Well, this particular time, it was just John and I. We were about to pass the stone wall, and John wanted to go up there (just like his big brother and sister, of course!). I was afraid for him, I thought he might be too little…but he was so eager to that I decided to hoist him above me on the wall. I remembered putting him up there and his face was so proud! He felt so big and triumphant to be walking on the stone wall just like the big kids. His little hand was clasped in mine, I remember looking up and at him so proud and happy for him in that moment. His tiny fingers were tightly clamping down on mine, his focus was strong. He put one foot in front of the other, the sun was shining on our faces and once we got to the end of the wall, I did a big reach and swung him back down to the sidewalk to join me. He was so happy!
I had completely forgotten that moment. I quickly thanked God for it. And then He spoke:
“That is who you ARE. You are a soft landing for your friends and family. You are a care giver, a nurturer. You help those that can’t do it by themselves scale stone walls. And how you remember that season is not how the children remember it. Let me show you what they remember.”
Over the next few days, God put memory upon memory in my mind…those that I had long forgotten or that had been clouded by some of the more stressful times with the kids. He reminded me of the first day of Christmas break with the kids. How they ran from the bus, through the living room door and immediately began getting ready for Christmas. The middle child would turn on Christmas music, the girl and I would bake Christmas cookies in the kitchen, and John would build his train track around the Christmas tree. The smells and sounds in the house were wonderful, we all were in a good mood. He reminded me of that time we went to the zoo and got caught in a torrential downpour and had to spend most of the morning huddling together under a Dippin’ Dots umbrella…except I viewed that trip as an utter disaster, but the Lord brought it back in a different light..this time He showed me how, even though I thought it was miserable, the kids were laughing under that umbrella – they thought it a great adventure!
The way we see ourselves and our situations is not how God sees them. It’s not even how others see them. They way I was looking at John while he was balancing on the stone wall, my eyes full of pride and love, that is how God looks at me. And that is how He looks at you too. The way I tightly gripped John’s hand as he walked across the wall- the Lord grasps our hand the same way as we go through life. He boosts us up into scary situations but He never lets go of our hand. And he catches us when we have come to the end of the wall.
He delights in us the way we delight in our children. He eagerly waits for us to wake from our slumber in the morning. He misses us while we sleep. He takes pleasure in us when we turn to Him at the beginning of our day.
I know that there is a ministry in what I’m doing. I know that the next season he takes me into will be of equal importance as what He’s given me right now. I don’t know what the next season looks like, but I believe my God. Nothing is wasted. If you are anxious about your current circumstances, the Lord wants you to pray to Him. Forget all of your own plans for your life and truly seek His plan for you. Ask for revelation, ask for a clear and observable sign. God loves to show Himself to His children.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” – Matthew 7:7
“And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” – 2 Peter 1:11
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24
It is easy to get obsessed with the future. It is easy to worry and be anxious about what is coming next. While it is sometimes important and necessary to think in a long-term sense, I think what the Lord really wants His believers to do is to seek out the calling He has placed in their lives for that day. Not next month or next year, but that day. Pray for wisdom for this very day. Pray that you can glorify your Lord through your words and actions this day. Pray that at the end of the day, that the Lord will be pleased with what you’ve done. Doing this has made each and every day so much easier. I can rest in the Lord and know that I am doing what I need to do today.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”- Matthew 6:34
May the Lord bless you with revelation, with peace to get through this day, and with a glimpse of His everlasting Love. You. are. so. loved.
See you next time,