I am overflowing right now, and so is our house. What words can I find? Beauty so much that it hurts a little.
I have been working hard on teaching "Love" especially as described in 1 Corinthians 13 and keeping grace at the center of what it means to love others when you want the first turn, when you want that toy, when you get offended. I am seeking to teach understanding and gratitude to Jesus at the very center of why we do the "right thing." We don't do the right thing because it makes God happy but instead, God is happy with us because of Jesus' goodness traded for our badness, so - hallelujah!- we long to do the right thing as a thank you gift back to Him. It is hard, though, when children are whining - again - from the other room about that minuscule object that I find completely worthless and wouldn't it be easier to snatch it away and toss it in the trash or just take it away for awhile until the storm blows over? That does happen sometimes, but I am working on forming the kind of thoughts and words I share and how to develop language to be able to discuss these things in simple 2-4 year old language, and I am so thankful to the Lord for giving me patience more than I would have ever imagined possible for myself, an impatient, snappish, fretful woman. So I keep asking for that peace that passes all understanding, and remembering the longsuffering of the Lord when He has to deal with my whining all the time.
We have more family here tonight. Little Charles and Alma are sleeping sweetly in the guest room snuggled up to each other. My children have taught me so much about generosity and caring as I watch them love and pray all week for these two neighbors. Lyddie insisted this week on putting away some of a new toy I pulled out on Thursday so that she could share it with Alma and Charles when they came again. The thought of her joy and sincerity in longing to share with them still brings me tears to my eyes. Adding two kids on a weekend does mean the attention is spread more thin than usual and some children may not be able to tolerate that but I have just continued to stand in awe of the compassionate and understanding hearts of a two year old and a four year old. I do make extra special effort to sneak in special time here and there with each one, like climbing tonight into Millie's toddler bed and then up onto Lyddie's bunk bed after everyone was settled in order to have quiet special time alone talking with each of them and snuggling even more than usual.
And now for our incredible encouragement of the month: As of the very end of 2013, we were finally fully funded in our work here on the Rez as a family, with the condition that Jesse continue to substitute teach at least six days a month to finish out our income needs. Subbing has been difficult the past few years as it means he basically is working full time in ministry with a second job on top of it that pulls him away from his primary love and work. Maybe that's not wording it right but essentially, that's pretty accurate. Also, it has been challenging in several months to get the number of jobs he needs, especially holiday or vacation months which means the next month we basically don't have enough to make ends meet very well. Stressful, and wearing, but at the same time, always encouraging since God has always provided for what we need.
Our next big hope and goal has been to be fully funded without additional income and guess what?? After much hard work, especially on Jesse's part, we are within $100/month of that goal!!! My friends, I can't tell you how incredible that is, that in just this past month the last $600/month is almost met. We have a new church partner here in Washington State and a few other churches increased their giving. Praise the Lord with me for His incredible provision and care for us, even in the times that have been lean and stretching. I am so thankful to Him for His goodness to me. He is truly "the God of my exceeding joy," as the Psalmist declares.