What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, May 20, 2011

Starting Fresh

I mentioned last week that I was happy about something life-altering happening that very week. Friday, to be exact. Although it didn't really FEEL like anything had happened until.....today.

We are starting out on a very new path; one built upon faith and persevered with prayer.

While happy (ecstatic, thrilled, joyful!) is at the height of my emotions right now I am also a wee bit nervous, worried, and a tad bit terrified. It seems a dichotomy. But isn't a life drawn closer to God one to rejoice over? And isn't stepping out in blind faith almost always terribly hard to do?

Faith is easy when it is lived out day to day, in the comfortable silence of contentment. It is easy to be faithful when that faithfulness adds nothing to your life but joy and happiness. Yet faith is more potent, holds more power, in those moments where your soul is most vulnerable.

We never truly have control of our lives. We, rightly, plan our childrens' weddings and stock our retirement funds, we have children assuming we will be the ones to raise them and yet at a moment they can be taken away from us or us from them. But we still act as if we control tomorrow and trust that all will go relatively smoothly and according to plan. But what if faith requires of you to not be able to see into the future at all, to step out in blind obedience? What if it requires you to live a life that is utterly outrageous to the world? Homeschooling? Bearing CHILDREN? Celebrating a monogomous marriage of 60 years?!?

What about considering the state of your family and your duties under God of more importance than anything, including a paycheck?

What if God takes you to a place where your faith adds hardship, not ease, to your life? What if, living in faith, means giving up some comfort, some peace, some stability for a while but promises you JOY in their stead?

These are the questions we have been seriously wrestling with for over a year now. We are used to living a life separate. We chose an entirely foreign setup for education. The only time we give a thought to pregnancy is when SURPRISE, we ARE! (we aren't.) We are the black sheep of the Reformed churches, welcoming our children to partake of the Lords supper. We travel over an hour to church on Sundays. We don't have cable or any channels at all, actually.

MADNESS, every bit of it.

But all of these things have been relatively simple choices to make and to live with because we know exactly where those choices will lead us.

When Matt took this job, he took a drastic pay cut but did so happily in order to be with our family more, live nearer to our parents, and worship in a church that we felt was most God-honoring. But time went on and work would take him away from home more and more until he was hardly home at all. In March, after being away from home 5 out of 6 consecutive weeks and being scheduled to go away again just one week later, it was blatantly clear that something had to change.

How could he do the most IMPORTANT thing in life, the thing he is most CALLED to do, without being here to do it? How can he lead a family who he doesn't see?

In our minds, in our hearts, in our LIVES....something had to change.

Matt has been wanting to work for himself for quite a while and began thinking very seriously about it for over a year now, with me always encouraging him to make the leap. He is so intelligent and respected, such a hard worker and so incredibly skilled. I knew back then (and know now) that anything he sets his mind to will be a success. But it always came back to fear.

Maybe it wasn't a fabulous paycheck, but it is a regular one.

The economy is in the pot and jobs are already scarce...we ought to be thankful for a job, not thinking of quitting one.

There are plenty of mouths to feed and hollow legs sitting around the table three times a day and all are dependent upon him.

And the most poisonous of all: what if I FAIL?

So month after month we counted joy in all things, even while being apart and we prayed.

Meanwhile, I worked tirelessly at home to free us completely from debt and clear as many potential burdens as possible- paying in cash for Judah's birth, paying off our car, and setting aside money enough to live on for a while and to start a business whenever Matt was ready to make the plunge. Not to mention feeding, butchering and filling three freezers with livestock to eat in the lean times, whenever they might come.

And here they are!

Friday was his LAST day of working for someone else.

Not many people think we are making a wise move~ quitting a reliable, stable job to embark on a journey into the unknown. We are doing so, however, because we want to give God glory through our family, that we might fulfill the most important calling we have: to live our lives for Christ and to lead our family in His ways.

Let me be clear~I am not suggesting that all people who are employed are somehow not bringing glory to God or that we are somehow more holy than 9 to 5ers~just that living our lives and raising our children for God's glory hasn't been easy for us these last few years and we want to change that. A business of his own, Lord willing, is a great way to do just that.

Starting a new business and embarking on your own is a difficult decision to make, let alone in a time where our nation is fumbling around for a foothold in so many different areas.

We would covet any prayers you would be willing to offer up on our behalf: specifically, that the Lord bless and strengthen our family during this transitional time, drawing us closer to Him, that He provides for our needs and grants us wisdom and perseverance, that He bless Matt for his efforts for our family (and for Him) and that we endure the inevitable hardships and pitfalls with grace.

Today was the first day of the rest of our lives...


Amy said...

I'm glad that you are taking a step that you feel is God's plan for your life. And I'm especially glad Matt will be able to home more with you all. That is the best part of it.
I had to smile when you mentioned the "black sheep of the reformed churchs" part. Our church is somewhat split (actually, not so much anymore because most of the people who did believe in "A" left our church...but that's another story) on that fact. Many of the parents bring their children to the Lord's supper, while many don't. Actually, not so many are in the "many don't" category anymore, because they all left. But like I said, that's another story. :-P

Tracy said...

Hooray! Can you tell us a bit about what he's doing? So glad for you that he's HOME!

Miranda Hupp said...

How exciting! Im so happy for you. Change can be scary but fun too! God will bless you for your faithfulness. :)

Jerelene said...

I'll add your family to my prayer list :) So happy that your hubby will be able to be home with you and your lovely children. Can't wait to hear all about this new venture :)
Love and blessings, Jerelene

sandy said...

That sounds very exciting Rebecca! I will certainly be praying for you and for your family. Have a whole host of questions about how you help your husband save money (I really struggle to do that!), but I'll save them for another time! Feel like I'm going to become "that girl you've never met that asks WAY too many questions:-)" Sending lots of love and courage your way*

Unknown said...

How scary and exciting!!! Praying for you! I too would love to hear what Matt is doing! :)

Abigail said...

I'll continue to pray that God pours out largess as you step farther off the beaten path, and I'm confident that you bring Him honor in deliberately seeking to be more what He calls families to be. Even though it might not appear wise to some, He knows your hearts and the godly intention therein.

May He smooth the path before you and fill your storehouse with strength, provision, bravery, joy, and CUSTOMERS! :)

p.s. If you need us to provide a glowing testimonial of Matt's fire-breathing talents, say the word!

Anonymous said...

I've seen this done a lot. But never have I seen this done with such diligence and planning. This does not mean you have no faith. On the contrary, you both have.

Since you both are self-employed and ebooks seem to be the rage in blogdom, how about writing a book on how you saved for this. I am not joking. I do not need books on cleaning or recipes and do not want to waste my money, even $5 on it. But I would buy a book that talks about how a family like yours saves. And be willing to pay for it.

God bless you Rebecca. Matt is very lucky to have you. And from your blog posts about him, I am sure he says it in words and actions.


Jody said...

Thank you for willing to share of your life and your decisions with such vulnerability and transparency. It is an encouragement to others who see you walk out your convictions by faith, and with wisdom (ie; planning).

God is faithful...look at His provision for Abraham when he faithfully set out to honor and obey God. There are many, many examples of how He provides (the Israelites in the wilderness for instance). He is more than enough. Just keep your eyes fixed on Him, as He has called you out of the boat (a 'regular' job and paycheck) and keep your eyes stayed on Him, and not on the "wind" (the trials that will come). THANK HIM for His provision, and follow HIS peace.

God bless you and your family!


Victorianlady8 said...

So many years ago when we had our fourth child, our family did the same thing! I can say to you, though there have been many tough times, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way:) And what a huge blessing to be together!!!!!!! You will love all that your husband has to give to your children and to YOU! He will be such a blessing to his sons, and to his daughters. The feelings you get to share your husband's business and the learning your children will get will be worth all the sacrifices. God bless you all and we will be praying!!!!!! God bless Matt for making such a great decision and God bless you Rebecca for standing by him through all the hard work of him being away all those times. God will not let your work return void. love from Mumofeight

Terri said...

AWESOME, Rebecca! That is wonderful, yet scary I'm sure. Praying for you and Matt as you start on this new adventure.

Marlene Bibby said...

WOW, big brave step. We will be praying.

Anonymous said...

YEAh... hope you get to read this.. but my hubby and i have scaled down a bit. he was in the military for several years before we got married and he said he WILL NOT work for someone else again. So when we got married he started his own business and we got pregnant with our first one.

After a year and a half the business is picking up quite well. and my income as a RN 2 days a week has held us over in the process of him going to grad school and starting a business!

Let your creativity continue to flow.. its fun to see your man blossom and dream. I know you will continue to love and support him wonderfully!

blessings and Wisdom to you all!
much love

Jaya P said...

you will be in my prayers, rebecca. good luck with the new life :)

Wendy said...

Rebecca, this will certainly explain why you were so deeply on my mind the other day! I was wondering about how you both were doing and how the new job was coming along. I know that it seems like something to be fearful of...but you are absolutely right...we are not in charge, and just because you had a job that "seemed" like a steady thing...you were no more in charge of that than you are this one. God will surely bless those who sacrifice for righteousness! I am so proud of you both and the lovely family that you have! Just remember...God loves us so much that he knows the number of the hairs on our heads...who cares about something so miniscule? He does for sure! I will be praying for you and Matt on your new adventure...and if you need to find some contacts feel free to use us!

terricheney said...

Congratulations....We are in a waiting phase in our lives. The job my husband has is very emotionally draining and hard to take on a day to day basis. We've been in deep prayer about a new life for ourselves, but have yet to hear from God. So we wait.

My prayers go with you and Matt on your new ventures. You are a wise woman who has looked well to the ways of her household indeed. May God bless you and your family mightily!

Anonymous said...

Oh, how fabulous! I am thrilled for all of you. Prayers for your success!

Dana said...

So excited for you all as you take this step! Will be thinking and praying for you.

JenniferM said...

How exciting! I've been blessed to have my husband work from home since the day we married. I don't know how I'd survive the day without him around when we need him. There have been times when we thought he'd have to go and get a "real job", but God has seen fit to keep him right here. He's a web developer, so as long as the work comes his way, he seldom has to leave the house at all.

Mar said...

Congratulations to you all and God's blessings on all of you! Here's hoping the children let him actually work! :) We'll keep you in our prayers.